Author Topic: John Mercer  (Read 2936 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LMJ630

  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
John Mercer
« on: September 08, 2006, 04:35:57 PM »
Hello,

I am conducting research on Mission Mountain School and have been reading through some of your posts here.  I was wondering if anyone could give me more information about John Mercer, the owner.  I have read claims that he has a degree in ecology, not psychology, and has no experience in the mental health field.  Does anyone know where he went to school?  Or how he came to work in the RTC business?

I found the statement of one girl on the ISAC website, which detailed allegations of abuse such as invasive therapy (which forced this girl to label herself an addict), forced labor and exercise, and a strict meal plan.  Can anyone corroborate or deny that these things occurred?  Would you be able to provide the names of staff who engaged in these behaviors?  I see from reading your posts that John, Colleen and Gary are a few of those people.

Also, I am interested in hearing about the physical school itself.  Was it adequate to house teenage girls?  Dirty, clean, small, big, crowded?  Locked windows and doors (i.e. fire escape hazard)?  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline katfish

  • Posts: 543
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.cafety.org
Re: John Mercer
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2006, 07:37:28 PM »
Quote from: ""LMJ630""
Hello,

I am conducting research on Mission Mountain School and have been reading through some of your posts here.  I was wondering if anyone could give me more information about John Mercer, the owner.  I have read claims that he has a degree in ecology, not psychology, and has no experience in the mental health field.  Does anyone know where he went to school?  Or how he came to work in the RTC business?

I found the statement of one girl on the ISAC website, which detailed allegations of abuse such as invasive therapy (which forced this girl to label herself an addict), forced labor and exercise, and a strict meal plan.  Can anyone corroborate or deny that these things occurred?  Would you be able to provide the names of staff who engaged in these behaviors?  I see from reading your posts that John, Colleen and Gary are a few of those people.

Also, I am interested in hearing about the physical school itself.  Was it adequate to house teenage girls?  Dirty, clean, small, big, crowded?  Locked windows and doors (i.e. fire escape hazard)?  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!


Hi J,

John Mercer obtained his degree at Univ. of MT.  Supposedly he's working on his PhD in psychology at this time (scary prospect!) at U of M.  John, I believe, got his start at Spring Creek Community Center, which was sold to  Spring Creek Lodge in 1990 (I think).  He's a recovering addict, as are the rest of them-  John, Coleen, Deb, and Mike  (Gary I'm pretty sure is too)- so naturally that qualifies them to treat kids- the AA experts (pls. note the dripping sarcasm here)

I also think Mike may have some kind of drug counseling certificate- although I can't be sure he completed college.  That's doubtful, in retrospect. Doubtful with Deb as well.  Colleen has a BA in English.  She 'taught' the English classes whie I was there- but she was not working toward her education degree nor had any kind of certification (as far as I know.)

All of the methods you mention were upheld by all former staff (during my stay at least) it was a daily routine of the program, not the exception.  The emotional abuse- ie. yelling, name calling, intimidation was not done by all staff, however. This was mostly John and Mike.  Colleen and Deb jumped in sometimes as well.  the secondary staff sometimes mimiced John and Mike's methods, but never to the degree J and M took it.

The facility itself was clean... we were responsible for that daily, very high standards were set and we were punished with work crew for things like not dusting behind picture frames, leaving a hair on the floor- but the standards varied, depending on who was 'checking chores.'  

When I was there, I don't think the windows were locked, it was not a locked down facility, however unless we had good reason to be outside the normal bouds of the campus we were not allowed to go past them and were punished for that- plus, we were so ingrained with the fear of never reconciling with our parents if we left and, having no access to the world outside and our only option being to be the bad kid again and runaway if we felt we were being mistreated, it wasn't something most of us wanted anymore- I think most of us wanted help and wanted to be 'good kids'... we were made to believe mistreatment was therapy, that the school had  our best interest in mind, so running away, while somewhat of a problem  was not super common.  It didn't take long to break one enough to have them become complicit in their own mistreatment.

Plus, as in my case- gettting caught thinking about running was horrible- work crew for weeks, dropped off 25 miles and have to hike back, being told horrible things about yourself... just real degrading, dehumanizing stuff...


I should note here that the only primary staff/founder who did not mistreat students  (as far as I know), but was complicit in our exploitation was Gary Kent.  He's either a masters level couselor or a psychologist, not sure.  I know he's part of the MT couseling association (or something to that effect).  In anycase, it was always clear he greatly disapproved of John and his methods.  He was minimally coercive and didn't humiliate us like John and Mike did.  
Yet, while he frowned (often literally) at John when he was being awful, he never did a thing to help us. He was bullied by John as well.  

I have list of alumni who can coroborate every claim that I recall reading or have personally made on this forum.  Feel free to e-mail me at kat (at) Cafety.org  The alumni range from as recent a graduate as this year to most every year b/w now and 1993, near when the school opened up which i believe was 1990.  Definitely e-mail me for more on that....  Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Offline LMJ630

  • Posts: 72
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
John Mercer
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2006, 10:06:57 AM »
Thank you Kat.  You have been very helpful!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 164661
  • Karma: +2/-1
    • View Profile
Re: John Mercer
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2006, 02:08:09 AM »
Hello,

I am conducting research on Mission Mountain School and have been reading through some of your posts here.  I was wondering if anyone could give me more information about John Mercer, the owner.  I have read claims that he has a degree in ecology, not psychology, and has no experience in the mental health field.  Does anyone know where he went to school?  Or how he came to work in the RTC business?

I found the statement of one girl on the ISAC website, which detailed allegations of abuse such as invasive therapy (which forced this girl to label herself an addict), forced labor and exercise, and a strict meal plan.  Can anyone corroborate or deny that these things occurred?  Would you be able to provide the names of staff who engaged in these behaviors?  I see from reading your posts that John, Colleen and Gary are a few of those people.

Also, I am interested in hearing about the physical school itself.  Was it adequate to house teenage girls?  Dirty, clean, small, big, crowded?  Locked windows and doors (i.e. fire escape hazard)?  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!



Good Evening,

I went to Mission Mountain recently, from May untill Christmas 2005. When I arrived at the school, Gary Kent was about to retire, and none of the other three founders were present for around 5 months. Mike is a name I have not heard, I think he had left the program, But John and Colleen are still going strong. I never knew he was not certified until I left the program.
The cleanliness of the school was sparatic. The kitchen was disgusting. The dishwashers had old food and grime embedded in the sides and they continously fell out of place. The walls of the kitchen were covered in an orange coating of something. We attempted to clean it, when wiped away the wall was a bright white.
The bathrooms in the cabins were okay. The shower stalls had mold and mildew at the tops as did the ceilings. The main rooms wall paper was shedding in a few of the cabins. The main entrances were the only exit, but there wasn't much obstructing the ways out.

Going with the cabins. They were nice. The windows opened easily and the screen popped out in a jiffy. The great thing from keeping girls from running or sneaking around was that the bears did come onto the campus. The staff had regular checks to see all girls in bed. There were eight girls in a two room cabin, four to a room.
The facility all together was not disgusting, other than the kitchen. Its funny though, it was us that did all that work, painting the houses and mowing the grass. Wouldn't a bit of our money go into that.

I would be happy to help out with anything I can.
My Email is Gone_no_longer@yahoo.com[/u]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline BarnardlyB

  • Posts: 84
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
John Mercer
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2006, 02:49:37 AM »
"The cleanliness of the school was sparatic. The kitchen was disgusting. The dishwashers had old food and grime embedded in the sides and they continously fell out of place. The walls of the kitchen were covered in an orange coating of something. We attempted to clean it, when wiped away the wall was a bright white.
The bathrooms in the cabins were okay. The shower stalls had mold and mildew at the tops as did the ceilings. The main rooms wall paper was shedding in a few of the cabins. The main entrances were the only exit, but there wasn't much obstructing the ways out.

Going with the cabins. They were nice. The windows opened easily and the screen popped out in a jiffy. The great thing from keeping girls from running or sneaking around was that the bears did come onto the campus. The staff had regular checks to see all girls in bed. There were eight girls in a two room cabin, four to a room.
The facility all together was not disgusting, other than the kitchen. Its funny though, it was us that did all that work, painting the houses and mowing the grass."

Thats interesting becuause the standard when we were there (old school, Im sure you remember Kat) that was totally unaccpetable. The standard was white glove clean and to an extent it was just everyday,....nothing out of ordinary. I still remember when it took an hour and an half to mop and clean the kitchen floors during the raining season...that was a pain....
I still remember when 'cabin checks' started. It was needed at the time.


Anywho....Kat, I read the book, Help at any cost. It definatly challened me and shook my foundation for a second...and made me question my belief of the system and school.
I still believe and stand true to my story and experience. It was good for me,.....it was what it was. It helped me and Im sorry for its affect on you. But when it comes the time for my kid to act out....staying home and giving love is the way I  think I'll go and sending away, is last resort if an option at all.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
ou are you
I am I,
Two individuals dancing on our own two feet, & when were together...its beautiful

Offline Anonymous

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 164661
  • Karma: +2/-1
    • View Profile
John Mercer
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 06:15:47 PM »
you can read a little abt  John at

http://natsap.org/bios_John%20Mercer.asp
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 164661
  • Karma: +2/-1
    • View Profile
John Mercer
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 06:18:48 PM »
Who are you and why are you resesarching MMS?  I might be able to help you if you give an email address where i can contact you privately.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »