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The Park

John Collins03/29/2013

Today, I’m going to try to tackle the “huge elephant in the message room”:  The Park.  Video available here:

This is not an easy subject – even though I was not directly or indirectly involved.  I know several people that have escaped from The Park, and I understand both the complexity and the pain. 

I ask that those who argue and resort to cursing or condemnation in our forums please show respect for the victims as we try to take this on with delicate sympathy.

This is a subject avoided by everyone who knew about it.  From the Message Ministers who cover it up to the message ministers who can’t comprehend how this can happen to “God’s little bride” to the escapees who will cope with the emotional scars they will carry for the rest of their lives. 

It is also a subject that is all too common in religious cults.  No religious cult unanimously decided that they want to endure emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual abuse to the point that their lives will be changed forever.  Most cult movements start on grounds of some type of reformation, and many times that reformation is for a good cause. 

Reformation that is grounded in the Bible will always end with lives that are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Reformation that does not align with the scriptures will end with lives that are ruined forever.

Gene Goad and Leo Mercier were students of the cult leader, William Marrion Branham.  Branham first introduced them in 1955 in Macon, Georgia:

Here is a friend of mine, Brother Leo Mercier. He's from up in Michigan. And he--he comes from that badger state, I believe, up there, 'course you can be forgiven for that, you know, from being from Michigan. And a very fine boy, him and Gene Goad, another chum, bosom friend... I call them my students. They're missionary boys, studying for missionary. They come along in the meetings and take tape recordings and so forth.


Though closely involved with the spreading of William Branham’s ministry, Gene and Leo Mercier had a hidden secret: They were both homosexual and sexual deviants.  Two personality traits that not only conflicted with Branham’s public opinion, but also with the religious beliefs of most Christian churches.  But evidently, Branham’s public opinion did not match his personal opinion; he seemed to really enjoy spending his spare time with the two homosexuals.  Branham started meeting the “Tape Boys,” Gene and Leo, in private:

Here not long ago, you might've heard it in the magazines. I love wild animals. And I was setting on my porch with my student ministers down here, Mr. Mercier  and Mr. Goad, I, the tape boys. And they come up there and we talk.

AN.EXODUS, 56-0615

Brother Leo Mercier  (He's somewhere here in the building.) and Brother Gene Goad, setting here. Precious boys that goes with me wherever I go.


Lee Vayle knew they were homosexual.  In fact, from the accounts of others who knew these two “Tape Boys,” their physical actions and speech were very obviously different than most of the church, and outsiders who were experienced in the “ways of the world” would comment that these two men were homosexual.  In a sermon in 2000, Lee Vayle reminds his congregation that these two men were homosexual:

At the same time Leo and Gene, two homosexuals, attached themselves to Bro. Branham's ministry, tape boys…

Lee Vayle, Godhead 7/2/2000

But William Branham trusted the homosexuals with the handling of his ministry.  Not just the recordings, but the publications and even events described in the sermons themselves.  These two homosexual “tape boys” were responsible for the alteration of the prophecies, which we know changed drastically over time to fit actual history.  They were responsible for making sure that each prophecy could not be proven to have failed:

By the way, Mr. Mercier  and many of them are going to take some of these old prophecies, and dig them out, and revise them a little, or bring them up to date, and put them in papers.


In 1964, the two sexual deviants setup a commune in Prescott, AZ, and William Branham ordained their operation.

Brother Leo, Brother Gene and pilgrims, I--I deem this one of the grand privileges that I've had, to come here to see for myself what you have here on these grounds. It's a... I have been blessed as I moved across the little creek there, and see this court. And I... One time when Brother Leo was making tapes, and I told him that surely there was something greater in life for him than to make tape. And, course, tape-making is something that we must do, but it's blessed us, but there is something else. We're all cut out for different things to do.

And to come here this morning and look, this fine little Jerusalem setting out here, little, what I called, it Goshen, I believe, when we come over this morning. Remember, Goshen was one of the places that they worshipped, one of the first places the tent was pitched. And to meet old friends, and--and new, and to have this time allotted to us, I just... It seems like that--that you just don't want to leave. There's just something that wants to hold you. I can see why you people would want to stay here. See? It's something that grips you.

I don't believe I was ever in any sweeter worship and fellowship, as these songs and things, that I set there and bite my lips and shake my feet, and try to hold myself back from screaming out, when I heard those old songs sang in the way I think they ought to be sung, and that's sung in the Spirit. Now, that's what we--we... Paul said, "If I sing, I'll sing in the Spirit." Now, I can't imagine the Spirit as being screaming to the top of our voice. I--I think the Spirit of Christ is love, and gentleness, and peace, that--that brings something to our souls, that feed us. I think, there, that's the way them songs should be sang.


Notice the title of the sermon:  The Oddball. 

What happened next has ruined the lives of many families.  Most will never speak of it, because they have been emotionally scarred forever.  Many do not understand it – this is supposed to be “God’s chosen bride,” yet the sexual acts and physical abuse that followed would split marriages, ruin lives, and even produce a victim – one that the State of California would prefer to send to the electric chair rather than allow to be on the streets.  I say a “victim,” because even though his crimes are horrendous, this poor man was a result of Branham’s “precious” homosexual deviants.

According to California Case #S-045060:

Mercer gradually became more authoritative, employing various forms of punishment. He would ostracize people from the community and separate families. Children were beaten for minor infractions like talking during a march or not tying their shoes. Mercer would punish girls by cutting their hair, and force boys to wear girls’ clothing. There was also evidence that Mercer sexually abused children.

Under the disguise of “God’s will,” these two homosexual deviants would physically and sexually abuse the children, spiritually destroy the followers, separate the families, and some have testified even perform homosexual acts on the fathers. 

What is interesting is that the court document both refers to the commune in Prescott and the following in general as “a cult,” yet refers to the cult leader “William Branham” as “Brother Branham.”  This is unusual – typically official documents refer to pastors, especially of cult churches, as “reverend” or “pastor” or some other title than “Brother.”  Did “the organization” get involved in the court proceedings?

One young child was forced to sit in Leo Mercier’s lap and describe sexual acts that she committed with herself, and then Leo watched as a nurse examined the victim to see if she had “worms.” 

The court documents record that “[she] was sometimes whipped for minor infractions. Once her brother {…} was beaten until he bled.  Mercer ordered that [her] hair be cut off to punish her because he had had a vision from God that she was being sexually inappropriate with young children. So [she] was beaten and forced to wear masculine clothes that covered much of her body, hiding her bruises. Her fingertips were burned so she would know what hell felt like.

In the lengthy trial that would focus on one victim of the cult, many other victims stood to testify.  They told of their sexual abuse and the deviant acts that Branham’s “precious tape boys” performed on men, women, and children in the commune.  They told of the spiritual abuse that had beat them down into submission – good men and women that were deprived of many needs to pleasure the two homosexuals and the victims that would change over time. 

But every single testimony had one common aspect:  the fear that would pursue and the constant pain that they would face every day for the rest of their lives.  They called these “effects of The Park.” 

The victims cope with this traumatic situation by suppressing the memories – which is both unhealthy and dangerous.  Many will never speak of what happened there because of the unbearable pain that resurrects at just the mention of the name they call it, “The Park.”  Some male victims with wives outside of the commune do not even discuss these matters with their wives; the scars are too deep.

Many of you learning about these things would think of this as a very tragic incident, probably the worst in the history of the cult, and one of the worst in the history of the nation.  You would also think of this as an isolated incident.  But it is not.

The reason it is not is because of the pastors and elders who know what happened in the Park.  The ones that cover it up because they do not have enough character to stand up for what is right -- men with no backbone to warn others of the impending dangers that can destroy the lives of many.

And I’m not talking about any of the victims; I’m talking about the founding fathers of the cult of William Marrion Branham’s “Message.”  The “Message” that was altered by two homosexual deviants to trick the people into believing that false visions were accurate and failed prophecies came to pass.

By covering up the “secret sins,” these men with no backbone allow others to become filled with the same deviant spirit.  They allow song leaders to molest young children and allow the pastors to cover it up.  Why not?  The Message itself has the same thing?  Victims are contacting me from around the world with similar “isolated” incidents.  After so many “isolations,” it becomes the “norm,” and not the abnormal! 

This can happen in any church.  It happens often in the Catholic Church, and was one of the many reasons that Martin Luther took his stand for reformation.  But there is a difference between the sexual deviants in “The Message” and the reformed churches that we have today.  While the cult churches cover these things up, the other Christian churches spread awareness, both internally and externally.  If there is a sexual deviant pianist, the pastors do not allow her to continue in a position that could create more victims – they spread awareness.  Yes, she can be forgiven, and we hope to God that she is – but don’t place more potential victims in harm’s way!

Scarred followers have contacted me from around the world to tell of their abuse by family members.  Many describe telling the pastor, and how nothing changed to protect the innocent.  More than one has described the pastor siding with the deviant – even though they were proven guilty by court of law!

God needs men to lead His children with backbone.  Men who are not afraid to admit failure to lead God’s children to Truth.

James 4 seems to be speaking directly out of the pages of Scripture to these ministers.  God beckons “Stand up for what is right!

It is true that we are not to judge the person – that is described all throughout the Bible.  But we can’t hide behind that statement, simply because we do not want to admit that the doctrine ITSELF is wrong!

James says,

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.  The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.  There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

But at the same time, James tells us not to be so caught up into the things of life that we overlook the bigger picture!  He continues to say,

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

The chapter ends with these words, words calling out to pastors to stand up for Truth.  Forget about the profit you make from the prophet’s mistake!  You don’t even know if you will make another dollar – you do not know what tomorrow brings!  You may not even be alive tomorrow!  James combines very powerful words into one sentence, the last sentence of the chapter:

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by The Park, or by any similar “fruit” of William Branham’s Message, we have people to help.  Do not try to cope with this alone.

Christ established the church to build up one another, not to break them down.  This is not your fault, and is a skeleton in the closet of every man who knows about it and does nothing – who is not already a victim. 

Please seek help.  If you do not know how to seek help, we will do our best to find a way.  There are many of us, right now, helping others impacted by deviant men and women that this cult of William Branham has produced.  Some helping still attend the cult churches – not realizing that the branches produced come from the trunk.

If you need help, and do not know how to get it, please contact us on