Mercy Multiplied (formerly known as Mercy Ministries) consists of several in-patient facilities which claim to assist young women recover from abuse, eating disorders, and various other mental and emotional conditions. On Sunday, online magazine Slate revealed unflattering and disturbing results of an investigation of the ministry through the eyes of several former patients.
If the reports are true, then Mercy Multiplied should be shut down.
These stories reminded me of the 1990s controversy over repressed memories and especially the Philadelphia area counseling center Genesis Associates. Former Mercy girls told Slate they were led to believe they had been sexually abused and involved in sex trafficking via imagery techniques. They claim that in counseling sessions girls were told by their counselors that God had reveal certain past abusive events. Residents were urged to cast out demons and refuse needed medications.There seemed to be some similarities to the demon trials described by Mark Driscoll.
This morning, I asked Mercy Multiplied’s Director of Communication Jackie Quinn for a response to the Slate article but did not get a response.
One cannot know if these allegations are true or wide spread but it does provide a cautionary tale to people who are considering counseling to avoid these kind of techniques. I hope Mercy Multiplied will address the possible use of visualization techniques where false memories might be implanted.
From the mid-1990s, here are some clips of Genesis Associates from the documentary Divided Memories.