Oct 22, 2014

10 Things Concerned Parents Should Know About Kip McKean and the ICC

10. Two-thirds of the ICC is made up of college students between the ages of 18 and 22. Most drop out of college because they are unable to manage both school and the rigorous church schedule that each member is required to adhere to: church on Sunday, midweek service on Wednesday, bible talk on Friday, discipiling (D-times) meetings, evangelism or "sharing" several hours a day, bible studies with new recruits, "serving" paid staff leaders by house cleaning, baby sitting, running errands for them, etc. Failure to meet these demands are met with brow beating sessions where students are made to feel that they have a bad heart and are selfish by not putting the church first and as a result risk going to hell.

9. All three of Kip McKean's kids went to private school, graduated from Ivy-League colleges, and went to graduate school. Kip's children left the organization and want nothing to do with the church. Side Note: during her college years, Kip's eldest child suffered from bouts of depression and thoughts of suicide due to the scrutiny and intense pressure to preform which are hallmarks of Kip's leadership and church culture. Since many within the ICC (including top leaders), as well as ex-members have shared that they too have experienced these emotions as a result of their affiliation with the church, Kip felt compelled to write an article on the topic of Acedia, The Forgotten Sin to deflect his responsibility in cultivating an environment where depression is common because members never feel like they are able to do enough or measure up to Kip's standard.

Aug 31, 2014

Victor M. Gonzalez, Jr. - Why I Left the ICC!

WHY I LEFT THE ICC!

Guest contributor: Former ICC evangelist, Victor M. Gonzalez, Jr. 

Proverbs 18:17 "In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines."

Many of you have asked very valid questions recently. Where do I start?

I was fired on August 1, 2014 for my convictions. This was after Thomas (Kip) apologized for every single accusation that he had brought against me. Kyle Bartholomew was there; so was Joan Bartholomew, his wife, as were Elena (Kip's wife) and Aurora (my wife). You see, I don't agree with double standards: applying scriptures to some and then not to others. I don't agree with manipulation.

Thomas (Kip) has asked and lied about asking people to write letters against me (amongst the latest confirmed are Jared McGee and Rachel McGee who lead the Mexico City ICC). When Thomas (Kip) presented these letters to me, he simply said, "These are totally unsolicited. I didn't ask for them - they just sent them to me - look at what they are saying about you." At the GLC, when asked about his letter, Jared answered, "Yes. Thomas (Kip) asked for our input and wanted us to write a letter about you guys."

Jul 11, 2014

Kip McKean Covers Up More Teen Ministry Rapes?

Note: The following information is RUMOR. I and/or my sources may be mistaken or otherwise incorrect on any or all of the information contained herein. Any and all statements should be understood with the context of "allegedly." 

"Today, “churches” ... cover-up the sexual abuse of children by their [leaders]." (Taken from ICC propaganda email).

This is another story that has been given to me by a then-member of the CAICC who was made aware of the following situations at the time they occurred.

According to this source, there were recent cases of statutory rape in the City of Angels International Christian Church teen ministry. Cases in which the rapists were protected and the victim was not. A 21-year old woman, a teen worker in the CAICC teen ministry, allegedly seduced and had sex (statutory rape) with a 15-year-old boy, a member of the CAICC teen ministry. Around the same time, another woman of approximately the same age as the first also committed statutory rape with the same boy. Both women were "disciples," members in good standing in the City of Angels International Christian Church.

Jun 6, 2014

Why Predators and Psychopaths Are Drawn to Religious Leadership

Check out this article about why narcissists, sociopaths (synonym for psychopath) and predators are drawn to careers in religious leadership.

I read this thinking of Kip McKean (and Victor Gonzalez, Sr) and found them to meet basically every characteristic.

Psychology Today: Why Predators Are Attracted to Careers in the Clergy

May 28, 2014

Crosswalk.com: 10 Signs Of An Abusive Church

Would you believe that Kip McKean's International Christian Churches meet ALL TEN qualifications for an abusive church?

Crosswalk: 10 Signs of an Abusive Church >>

Every single sign applies to the ICC. However, I'd like to slightly reword "Unrealistic Promises" to make the concept more specific to the "Kipdom."

In the ICC, only leaders are guaranteed material comfort, with the guarantees increasing with the level of leadership. All "rank-and-file" members are expected to give, and give, and give, until it hurts. And then give some more.

Rank-and-file members are, however, promised that being "faithful to God" (which in practice is synonymous with doing whatever the ICC leadership requests or demands) means that God will bless them in unrealistic, magical ways. For example, "faithful disciples" are basically guaranteed a great spouse, "awesome" marriage, and abundant spiritual blessings from God. ICC leadership constantly preaches the message of how people's lives were terrible before finding "God" (again, saying "God" but meaning "the ICC") and how much their sad, empty, terrible lives were transformed because as a consequence of joining the church and doing whatever ICC leaders asked of them.

What do you think? Is the ICC an abusive church?

Someone on Facebook (a current ICC member) suggested that some of the abusive characteristics mentioned in the above-linked article are acceptable, since they are based on passages from the Bible. My response to that is 1. that's great that you are able to recognize that your church is exhibiting a majority of the abusive characteristics listed and 2. please remember that you can pretty much support anything you want with passages from the Bible, including murder and slavery, so that argument doesn't hold much water with me.

Thoughts?

May 7, 2014

A Letter To Jeremy of the Phoenix ICC

Letter to Jeremy Ciaramella, Lead Evangelist of the Phoenix International Christian Church.

Jeremy, I am disappointed.

I was disappointed with your “help” when you and I met with Kip McKean to discuss how Victor Gonzalez, Sr. had lied to me, abused me, stolen money from me, and threatened me.

I was disappointed because you kept your mouth shut as I was told that I was mistaken, when you had heard the full confession of my abuser. You lied to try to make me look bad and then lied to try to make others look good (ICC leaders, of course). You tricked me into meeting with you by telling me that you "loved me" (God, that sounds weirder than hell.) And then, in a final, vain and twisted attempt to try to silence my story, you used your position to separate me from my friends, all with the goal of protecting the abusers, who continue in their positions and abusing people to this day.

Apr 19, 2014

International Christian Church - Former Cult Member Speaks Out

There is another site that has popped up (icccult.com) that sheds light on the "true" experience of a member of Kip McKean's International Christian Church cult.

The writer describes his experience (lightly edited by me):

"...it became very obvious I had been part of a destructive, mind-control cult. I felt very depressed and traumatized that these supposedly nice people could transform into demon-like monsters so quickly...

"Looking back, all they wanted was people to be their slaves, making more converts and giving all they could to the cult leaders, who lived in luxury...

"The power of peer pressure in these groups should not be underestimated... It can overwhelm most people. Remember, most members don’t think it is a cult. Those sincere people lure you into what they think is a good thing, even while the leaders are taking all they can."

Is this just one more "bitter" and "ungrateful" ex-member, as Kip and co. would like you to believe? According to Kip, the only reason anyone leaves the church is because they are "in sin" or have a "bad heart." But does that make sense? Was Jesus in the business of recruiting mass followers so that he could live in luxury off of their donations?

Want to receive new blog posts as soon as they go live? Just enter your email over where it says "Receive New Posts By Email" in the right column >>