Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Time For the Internet's Favorite Gameshow...


Otherwise censorship-happy Exorcist quack and blogger with a Messiah-complex Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries has recently made a blog post about allegations regarding her sexual-orientation appearing in the Nashville Scene's "Jesus Rx" article (which, compared to what else is in the article, is the least of her problems).

Ironically, in the first comment on a blog where Nancy denies being a lesbian, a woman declares her love for her.

Surprisingly, comments mentioning the abuse/mistreatment scandal have not been instantly deleted.

Sean the Blogonaut posted this at February 26, 2009 3:37 AM:

So does this mean that:

a) you will not be requiring applicants to list their sexual preferences

b)that you will not attempt to promote gay conversian propaganda

c)that you will be honest in your representation of statistics associated with your success

d)that you will stop the provision of exorcism as a treatment for severe mental illness

e)That you will be following a more balanced approach to mental health that includes appropriate medical and psychiatric treatment.

I find it disgusting, demeaning and downright unchristian to demonise those who simply ask you to be honest about what services you provide.

I couldn't care less if you you are gay, bisexual or straight it is your organisation's treatment and attitude toward sexuality that is the problem.

And John Weaver of Against Biblical Counseling posted this at February 26, 2009 3:24 PM:

What these blogs care about - and I run one of them - is that the Mercy Survivors get justice. We could care less whether Nancy is gay. We merely report what the papers argue\say (or what Nancy says) and let the readers draw their own conclusions. What we are concerned about is Mercy's shameful treatment of Survivors in Australia, and its use of Restoring the Foundations. Having read the RTF manual, I do not see how Mercy could have ever considered it a productive tool for counseling the mentally ill.

I do not hate Nancy. To be honest, I feel sorry for her, though I admit i have been angered by her from time to time, and by the stuff she has said (particularly her crazy statements about not medicating demons). But there is no excuse for Mercy using deliverance\exorcism (whatever you want to call it) on mentally ill people. All Nancy has to do to stop my criticism is 1) publically - as in newspapers - apologize for her organization's treatment of the Australian survivors 2)not use RTF or any other deliverance manual for treating the mentally ill, but instead use psychotherapeutic counseling and 3) Be transparent about treatment practices. I don't think those are unrealistic goals, but i don't expect Mercy to acheive them.

And this at February 26, 2009 4:54 PM:

Dear Dacia,
I'd like to point out that my blog, against biblical counseling, quoted directly from the Restoring the Foundations manual and from other Mercy material that proved that Nancy did in fact use RTF. There has been precious little similar coming from pro-Mercy advocates.


P.S. I'm not trying to be confrontational. Just pointing this out. I'd also like to point out, in case anyone asks, that against biblical counseling refers to specific forms of Christian counseling (biblical\nouthetics counseling and deliverance ministries), not Christian counseling as a whole.

And yours truly posted this at February 27, 2009 12:12 AM:

Wow, Nancy. You left Sean and John's comments up. I'm impressed. I honestly did not expect that. From my own experience I find you and your your organization to be rather unethical, censorship-happy folk.

Speaking of which, here's a link to the article discussed in your blog entry (probably slipped your mind to put it in there, eh?). ;)

Remember how back in May 2008 the first response to the Mercy Oz debacle coming from Mercy America was to delete the "controversy" section from Wikipedia's Mercy Ministries page (they actually traced IP address to Mercy Ministries of America).

And then, in October of 2008, your organization launched a bunch of bogus copyright infringement claims on YouTube videos critical of Mercy Ministries to have YouTube take them down. These weren't just videos that made-fair use of your promotional material and commented on the abuse scandal that your organization had YouTube take down, but also Australian news footage reporting on mistreatment and abuse at Mercy facilities.

This coupled with the "Restoring the Foundations" workbook (which you reference in your books "Cut" and "Violated" and your February 10th, 2008 speech at Capital Christian Center) being leaked to the press and organization's constant denials of using exorcism to treat mental-illness is why I and others (which includes former supporters) find both you and your organization to be remarkably untrustworthy.

And Candace, about about you having "not seen or heard one story where a girl was mistreated because of her orientation" or "have never heard of them using exorcism on anyone"; if you are lying for Nancy, please don't. Two of the women whose stories feature in the "Jesus Rx" article are about exactly that (what happened to Jennifer Wynne was horrible, and Jodi Ferris was chewed out just for looking like a lesbian by Alcorn herself). We've all seen the YouTube video where she brags about the "casting out of demons" performed at Mercy to an entire megachurch.

And kateykat:

"How do you know about what the program is like without ever being through the program??"

From not only listening to women who have been through the program (not just the ones with the scripted "personal testimonies" appearing in Mercy Ministries propoganda), but also listening to former staff members and reading the material used in Mercy's treatment program.

Place your bets, folks.


Sean the Blogonaut posted again on February 27, 2009 3:14 PM:

It is interesting to note that I asked some questions of Nancy - quite direct, on her own blog, yet she hasn't answered. No one I have contacted from Mercy Ministries has ever responded to my emails.

My position on Mercy Ministries is that they probablly do a good job of taking care of pregnant women, sheltering people who have a hard life, providing a safe (very evangelically orientated)environment. Offering love to those wo have experienced abuse/hardship is a wonderful thing.

The treatment of those who have a mental illness, those with different religious backgrounds, those with a different sexual orientation is cause for concern. As is Mercy Ministries public denegration of psychatric care.

My aim in campaigning "against" Mercy has been to try and get them to offer a more balanced approach to mental health care, so that they are not abusing people intentionally or otherwise.

To get them to be honest about their successes, that is, not to use marketing puffery and spin(fine when you are raising money I suppose) when people are tryng to evaluate the efficacy of the service.

To stop them from publically vilifying brave women who speak out against them.

To get them to review and improve their services.

It took 25 years and a scandal to get Mercy to generate statistics on their program - even then, only selected information is revealled.

It took scandal and continued pressure from bloggers,and media to get them to change their use of the RTF.

It took pressure from Media and Bloggers to get an apology for the treatment of Australian survivors

My advice to women who have contacted me is to do their own research, to walk into Mercy knowing as much about the organisation as possible. To not see them as a last resort. That there is always hope.

Mercy Ministries has good intentions but we all know where the road paved with those may lead.

I have been critical even harsh in regards to Nancy and Mercy at times, what motivates me is not hatred of Christians (although I am philosophically opposed to their beliefs) but the care of vulnerable people.

I do find the US vs Them mentality obvious in these comments deplorable. To label detractors and commenters as the “enemy”, to cast us out in the name of Jesus – is to dehumanise us and in dehumanising us any action against us becomes righteous. If there is always agreement, if we always engage in back slapping and glory be to Mercy, then nothing improves.

Credit to Nancy for allowing me to post here, it is not the sort of treatment I have come to expect from Mercy Ministries.

Me again on March 3, 2009 3:34 PM

"I rebuke you trolls in the name of Jesus. Go back to the pits of hell where you belong."

I know Christ, and know of trolls, but who are you?

"I am so tired of hearing people run their mouths and creating drama. I miss the 'no-drama' mercy bubble. Too bad we can't make the whole 'no-drama' rule to the outside world lol."

Yeah, funny story about that. Mercy actually did try to do that back in October of 2008 by filing DMCA takedown notices on videos critical of them (which included videos Australian news footage and interviews of women mistreated at Mercy facilities).

Tell me Nancy, how does this video infringe on Mercy Ministries' copyrighted material? It was the first to be taken down from my old YouTube channel, not by a claim of copyright infringement from the Sydney Morning Herald (they didn't object ot it being there) but from Mercy Ministries Inc. What about this one? Australia's Channel 10 didn't object to it being on YouTube, but Mercy Ministries Inc claimed that it infringed on their copyright.

Didn't you meet with the women in these videos? This is part of why they found your apology insencere.

And to think you have the gall to claim that you are taking the high road.

EDIT: Me on March 30th @ 9:33am:

Forgive the long interval between your post and my response, Ken Mansfield, someone close to me died this month and I have been grieving.

The way that YouTube works is that anyone can in good faith notify YouTube about a video that they have reason to believe is copyright infringement. YouTube automatically flags and takes down those videos.

From the experience of many folks on YouTube, the "good faith" part is somewhat optional. The takedown notice emails that YouTube sent me specifically said that it was Mercy Ministries Inc that complained to them

This is how it was worded in the emails: "Dear Member: This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Mercy Ministries, Inc. claiming that this material is infringing:"

If you contact me through my profile I can forward some of the emails to you.

I do know that you have to disclose your name, location and other identity in order to file a counter–notification. Perhaps that is why you do not want to do it.

What can I say, I like my anonymity. What Mercy did to my account hasn't really hurt me as much as it has it has them. I don't know if you are aware of this, but on Youtube people who use the DMCA as a means of silencing criticism of their ideas and beliefs are regarded as the scum of the earth. Imagine how an organization that uses the DMCA to not just silence criticism (i.e: my opinion videos) but also to cover-up their abuse and mistreatment of women (the Aussie news footage on my account) will be regarded on the internet.