According to Slate, this gap in American health care has created an opportunity for unregulated religious facilities posing as mental health clinics to take a dangerous role. Slate’s Jennifer Miller interviewed 14 former staffers, ex-clients and families for Nashville-based Mercy Ministries — recently renamed Mercy Multiplied.
The charity serves as an in-patient setting for exclusively female clients, aged 13 to 28. An insight into the philosophy behind the program can perhaps be gleaned from a speech by its founder, Nancy Alcorn, who in 2008 said,
“If there’s demonic activity, like if somebody has opened themselves up to the spirit of lust or pornography or lots of promiscuous sexual activity, then we’ve opened the door for demonic powers. And secular psychiatrists want to medicate things like that, but Jesus did not say to medicate a demon. He said to cast them out. And that’s supposed to be a part of normal Christianity.”
One former patient, Hayley Baker, suffered from a plethora of diagnoses, including major depression and an eating disorder. She also suffered a history of child abuse when she entered a Mercy facility in 2009.
Baker says she was denied prescription Xanax by staffers while suffering nighttime panic attacks, and instead given a sheet of paper saying, “Peaceful Sleep,” bearing a line from the book of Psalms: “He grants sleep to those he loves.”
Baker, like other patients, was told prayer could cure her problems. In fact, staffers approached all problems with this one-size-fits-all religious approach. When one facility experienced an outbreak of mononucleosis, residents were made to walk through the halls and call for banishing of the evil spirits that were causing it.
Baker, who was molested as a little girl, said part of the treatment she was expected to perform was to imagine Jesus being present during a traumatic event in her past and absolving her of guilt associated with it.
“I couldn’t make up Jesus saying something to me,” Hayley told Slate. “I didn’t blame myself for the abuse.”
I’ve had mono. By the time I was diagnosed, I’d had it for some time, and my spleen was enlarged, a common situation with mono. You need to have care, so you don’t rupture your spleen, which is a life threatening situation. “Banishing evil spirits causing mono”. What in the effety eff do you say about that? What happens when the “evil spirits” result in a spleen rupture? This is willful stupidity. It’s dangerous stupidity. It’s devastating to think of all the women who are being so maltreated, especially when they have troubles enough weighing them down.
Their rating at Charity Navigator is 85.97. The recent name change to Mercy Multiplied reflects on how much this fake clinic is branching out. They have even set up in Canada. There’s some very good insight into this travesty of so-called mental health help here. A lot of women end up at MM because there’s simply no other option – they don’t have the money for proper care. There’s more information here and here. There’s also Mercy Survivors.