mercy ministries admits deceit

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Joined in 2005
December 17, 2009, 08:55

Mercy Ministries admits claims were false


December 17, 2009

FORMER directors of Mercy Ministries yesterday admitted the evangelical Christian organisation had engaged in false, misleading and deceptive conduct by wrongly claiming their residential care programs were free and included support from psychologists, dietitians, general practitioners and counsellors.

The admission is part of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruling, after an 18-month investigation into complaints from former residents who were forced to undergo exorcisms and use prayer to treat serious health problems such as bipolar disorder and anorexia.

Targeting girls and women aged 16 to 28, Mercy Ministries also claimed – on its website and in advertising material distributed in Gloria Jeans cafes around the country – that its program was free, yet a Herald investigation revealed residents had to sign over their Centrelink benefits during their stay.

The ACCC ordered the former directors to pay $1050 to each of the 110 young women who took part in their programs from January 2005 to June last year, the total being $118,154. They have also agreed to attend annual trade practices compliance training for three years.

”Given the vital role charitable organisations have in our society, and the trust placed in them, it is imperative that their conduct is of the highest standard, especially in their dealings with vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community,” the ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said yesterday. ”Misleading conduct of this kind is a matter of serious concern.”

Hillsong Church said in October it had cut ties with the group. At the same time, Mercy Ministries announced it was closing its Sydney home, citing ”extreme financial challenges and a steady drop in our support base”.

Joined in 2009
December 19, 2009, 10:13

I must say that I knew a girl that went through mercy in sydney and she is very grateful for her time there. she said it really helped her with the problems she was having.

That said, most of the problems came from the sunshine coast home. They put someone in charge there that had no clue of what it meant to be compassionate and to help someone. she probably single handedly brought down the charity.

I’m not saying that there was no one hurt by attending mercy as I know there were. But I also know of the girls that are success stories through mercy. the girls i know weren’t dealing with lesbian issues though. they were dealing with self image, self harm, eating disorders and rape.

Lets not see mercy as just an ex-gay program so we can whinge and complain and badger them on our little forum here. These were genuine people that wanted to help and make a difference in our nation. their methods were misguided and their information they acted on was distorted. But come on guys, Lets love one another, including the tax collector and the pharisee’s, Just as Jesus loves us.

Joined in 2006
December 19, 2009, 10:17

well once living on the sunshine coast i know of people that were hurt by the experience with mercy ministries.

I also know of people that were helped by them.

but in saying that

no one is perfect, including christian churches and ministries.

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