Naomi’s Mercy Ministries Story from Seantheblogonaut.com
This story was originally a comment on a post titled “Hillsong In Trouble Over Mercy Ministries” which appeared on Matt Stone’s blog and can be found here. It was then published by Sean on seantheblogonaut.com.
“Hi I am that girl… I am Naomi Johnson, and I thank those who have been open to hearing this truth. I have this to say to the person who said “I laughed at the opening ……….” in regard to the SMH reporting. I can understand the urge to giggle at such thing, esp. when you don’t know the people. I’m not mad at your sentiments, indeed sometimes all one can do is laugh… but you know, this is my life, this is not about bashing Christians, it’s not about bashing hillsong, it’s not about Easter being right around the corner…. this is about my life, the lives of countless others, and the lives of more girls yet to enter in through those gates.
As for the SMH – myself and the other 2 girls have been in communication with the SMH for a number of months, this wasn’t an “off the cuff” reporting, indeed Ruth Pollard has done a meticulous job in her research, and in her reporting. I know ppl are going to be outraged, there are going to be debate between fundamentalist, church goers, the non religious, b/c let’s face it there are so many issues at play here. And besides everyone loves a good heated debate.
I just ask this, this one little thing to be remembered. This has not been a decision any of us have taken lightly, we are not out for fame or fortune, we have not sold our stories, and we have not received a single cent. Speaking out is in fact terrifying… sore grapes are certainly not at play here…. sour grapes do not speak out 3 yrs down the track, sour grapes do not lead to psych hospital admissions, and sour grapes do not leave a person so destroyed that they cannot even talk to their family.
For a number of months I couldn’t talk, my family didn’t understand, of course it was put down just to the enormous crises I was left in from mercy… but they didn’t know then that I couldn’t speak to them because I feared that by opening my mouth I was letting that “poison” that was within me out… this is what I believed after mercy repeatedly telling me I was “poisonous”… I couldn’t speak to them (my family) because they were my world, they were my family and I would destroy them by opening my mouth… I loved them too much to let that happen.
So no this isn’t about any of the debates between fundamentalists, Christianity, atheism or any of that…. of course people are going to be interested in the details, the how’s, the when’s, the why’s …… I still cannot fully comprehend all these myself. But in the end this is what remains – desperate, hurting and ill girls and young women who are seeking for help only to be left destroyed.
My one mission is speaking out is not for me, but to stop another girl, another woman, your sister? your friend? becoming another life almost snuffed out. If my life and my experiences, as harrowing and horrific as it has been to live though… and as terrifying as it is to speak out and identify myself… but if it means I save another person from the same thing, well…. I won’t say it was worth it… but at least it’s been turned around for something good. Maybe someone will be speared and will instead receive the professional and qualified help that is really needed.
And I say this, after everything, I do not believe mercy intended harm… the staff are ppl who just want to help… they just are not equipped to do so. Yes, some they have helped, but many, many others they have destroyed… does that really balance the odds when you’re dealing with life… because that is what it comes down to .
Sure I have my opinions on the topics of debate, and I know people will be interested in the DETAILS, but I also hope that people can put aside their affiliations, and just be firstly human before taking sides and jumping on the bandwagon.
I do not hate Mercy (i do not agree with them, and it scares me to think of them continuing to operate without any governing medical and professional board to whom they are accountable), I’m just deeply saddened that in their desire to help, they forget that real mental illness, psychological disorders are not things to play around with – even if all they meant was to help, the facts remain and they need to acknowledge this.”