(Cussing warning - but it's a quote, and in context. And you'll NEVER guess who it was.)
I was recently reminded of the following:
Kip McKean lives in a $650,000 luxury condo that he purchased in 2010. (For the record, as seen in the link, Kip's legal name is "Thomas Wayne", not "Kip".)
This condo has a special significance to me. This is where I visited Kip in 2011 to talk about lying, theft, abuse and threats by one of his top leaders. And was completely shot down.
If I were better informed about Kip's history, I would have known in advance how the meeting would turn out. Kip would categorically defend the higher leader (Victor), and systematically attack the lower leader (me). Because leadership is from God and leaders are always right. And the most important thing is to maintain order. Leaders on top, and Kip on top of the leaders.
So, my Kip McKean luxury condo meeting was short and ended abruptly. I started talking, and for several seconds started to tell Kip how Victor had lied to me and abused his position in the church to steal from me.
Kip then interrupted me to insist that nothing of the sort had happened. Victor was innocent of all charges (except of possibly being "insensitive"), and that everything was certainly just a "misunderstanding."
Never mind that Victor had already confessed to everything in front of a witness.
However, while Kip's buddy was found mostly innocent, "I", on the other hand, was found very, very guilty.
Why? Because I was guilty of the cardinal sin of the church - I was found to no longer believe all of the (ridiculous, wrong, damaging) things that every member of Kip's churches are supposed to believe.
So, here I was, in Kip's luxury condo, getting shot down.
(It wasn't until much, much later, that the obvious dawned on me - the whole meeting was a setup. Kip and Victor had obviously talked beforehand, and Kip had decided what had happened, and how the meeting would turn out, long before the meeting.)
That was an interesting day. Kip chatted me up at first, while we waited for Victor and Jeremy to get there. Then, I sat in disbelief as lies won out over truth. Then, I listened to Kip say the words "fuck" and "shit" in the same breath. That shattered a bit of my uptight religious sensibilities of the time (even though I was basically atheist by this point.)
(Context - one among the laundry list of concerns I levied about Victor was that he cusses .. something that I questioned as a church leader in a church that explicitly teaches teaches against it. So Kip says, "What did he say? Fuck? Shit? Ass? ...You know, some of words are relative now. 'Butt' used to be a swear word, but now is normal for people to say." Not what I would have expected, although Victor nor Jeremy flinched or blinked.)
Then Elena came in, and I sensed some serious tension between Kip and her. About what? Who knows. But there was snapping going on about things she wanted to do.
So we drew things to a close, Kip gave me a big creepy hug, and I walked back out, past the doors of executives and celebrities, and down towards my junky car, to ask Jeremy, why in the living H. E. double hockey-stick didn't he open his mouth and defend my word against Victor's, since he knew full well he was lying?
... So, $650,000 ... If memory serves, I think there were about 200 members in the City of Angels church in 2010. That would mean, $3,250 per member towards the cost of the condo (ignoring the other 10% or whatever additional cost for closing fees, etc.) Spread out over a year, that would be an average of $270 per member, per month.
Oddly, I remember at the annual financial meeting in 2010 that the entire amount of money the church received in that year was around $650,000.
That's a lot of dollars, all donated with sacrifice by church members.
And whether or not the condo money came out of the sacrifice and contributions of the church members in 2010, or before, or after, ... that's a lot of dollars.
I know for me, I'm sure glad my year-over-year sacrifice of 25% of my annual income, and many personal sacrifices, were able to be put to good use - helping pay for Kip's condo, where I started to see, that the man that I had invested 15 years and two mission teams following, was not much like I had thought, hoped, or been told.
(Here is some more info about Kip's condo.)