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Leo Mercer (alt. "Mercier") was a friend of William Branham's and one of two men in charge of recording all of his sermons. William Branham preached a sermon on August 15, 1965 where one of Leo Mercer's dreams played a prominent role. During the early 1960's Leo moved to Prescott, Arizona where he was in charge of a number of William Branham's followers who had migrated together to a place they called "The Park".
Leo Mercier was accused of homosexuality by Lee Vayle, and accused of molesting and abusing children at The Park in testimony given in the Supreme Court of California.
What William Branham said
Leo Mercier and Gene Goad were mentioned by William Branham as early as June 4, 1955 when he said, "Here sets Leo Mercier and Gene Goad down here, friends of mine with the my recorders."
William Branham also gave him a great character reference when he said,
- "And Leo Mercier...and Gene Goad here is the tape boys, the official tape boys of the campaign. And they taken this position so that they could go around in the meeting. They are my brothers and my friends in the Gospel. Mr. Goad here is right from your city, or close to it here. Mr. Mercier was formerly in a Catholic from up here in Michigan somewhere, I believe. They formed their little FBI party and come down to find out whether that gift was true or not. They found it, as the Lord always does. And now, they've been with me for some time. How long you been along, Brother Mercier? Four years. Found them to be real, honest boys, right on the mark."
One of William Branham's last services, "Leadership" was spoken in Prescott on October 31, 1965 where he said, "Dear Jesus, I cannot express my--my feelings and my gratitude towards Brother Mercier, Brother Goad, and all these fine people and their little children."
Sin in the camp
From testimony given in the Supreme Court of California in 2008, Case #S045060:
- Leo Mercer, a self-proclaimed minister, ran the park. After Brother Branham’s death in 1965, 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.
- Deborah Chiba, defendant’s aunt, was an emergency room nurse. She was allowed to testify extensively about her own and others’ experiences growing up in the trailer park. When Chiba was six, she was called to the front of a prayer meeting, and asked to sit in Mercer’s lap to tell him her sins. After she reported minor infractions, Mercer asked Chiba if she had ever improperly touched her private parts or those of her brothers. In particular, he inquired whether she had ever put her mouth on her brothers’ genitalia or they on hers. She repeatedly denied this had happened. Thereafter, Chiba was singled out for mistreatment, removed from her family, and placed in a different home. One day she was told she needed to be examined for worms. A nurse thoroughly examined her while Mercer watched. Her parents were not present. A few days later Chiba was brought to the dining hall, where Mercer announced to everyone that the nurse’s examination had indicated Chiba was a “dirty little girl who liked to play with” herself. He called Chiba a whore and a lesbian.
- Chiba was sometimes whipped for minor infractions. Once her brother Johnny was beaten until he bled. In 1971, the year defendant was born, Chiba was about 10 years old. 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. Chiba 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.
- Doris Scott, defendant’s aunt, moved to the park in 1962 when she was 18, and left in 1975. At the time of her testimony, she had recently learned that Mercer had molested one of her sons.
From a sermon titled "Godhead" preached by Lee Vayle on July 2, 2000"
- At the same time Leo and Gene, two homosexuals, attached themselves to Bro. Branham's ministry, tape boys, which was allowed by God, and when they absolutely showed what they were, God warned Bro. Branham what would happen to them. And I saw the vision in the vision book. "Leave them alone. They will leave and go into false doctrine." Now watch: doctrine. People hate the thought of doctrine. They don't want me to teach doctrine. They despise it. "They will leave and go into false doctrine and destroy themselves." That's in the vision book. And they did it.
- If William Branham saw a vision of what would happen to Leo Mercier, why did he not protect the men, women and children of the Park from the 'false doctrine'?
- Why did William Branham continued giving Leo Mercer great character references wherever he spoke?
- Did William Branham really discern Leo Mercer's problems?
- William Branham used the phrase "Tape Boys" to refer to Leo Mercer and Gene Goad. Why does Voice of God Recordings continue to sell "Tape Boy" pins to young boys and girls if the legacy of Leo Mercer was child abuse and homosexuality?
- Child abuse is not simply "false doctrine". What Lee Vayle read in the book of prophecy should be questioned, because as far as we know Leo Mercer only taught what the tapes said.
- Lee Vayle affirms that a book of William Branham's prophecies did exist. Where is it?
|"And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" (Matthew 18:5-7)
"These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them." (Proverbs 24:23-25)