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.
I was disappointed because you had already heard Victor’s full confession. You listened to Victor describe how he had plotted over the course of months, building layer upon layer of premeditated lies to deceive me and separate me from my money. You listened to him confess detail after detail of the lengths that he went to to trick and lie to me. And then after hearing his full confession, you took me to a meeting with Kip with the promise that it was to “fix things.” But that is not what happened.
You silently watched me start to describe to Kip what Victor had done. You silently watched Kip interrupt me after less than a dozen words to staunchly disagree with my accusations and tell me to my face that the whole situation was merely an “innocent misunderstanding” and the Victor never had any ill intent.
You then silently watched as Victor presented a story to Kip that completely contradicted everything that he had just confessed to you and me only two days before. You sat there, silent, as Victor claimed that he now suddenly had no recollection whatsoever of what had happened between him and me. You were silent as Victor protested his innocence and declared me the “ungrateful,” bad-hearted one who didn’t “appreciate” all of his “help.”
You silently watched as I then complained to Kip about Victor’s habitually foul mouth. You sat silently as Kip asked me, “What words did Victor say? Fuck? Shit? Ass?”
And you sat silently as Kip told me that I was a much, much worse sinner than Victor was.
I walked out with my head spinning and wondering how I had allowed blatant lies to be presented as fact, and how I had allowed someone who had not even been there (Kip) tell me falsehoods about what had happened to me. And then I came to realization that you, Jeremy, had been sitting there the whole time, and never opened your mouth.
Jeremy, it was your job to open your mouth. It was your moral duty, simply as a non-evil human being, to say, “Kip, what Victor is saying now is a complete contradiction to what he so clearly confessed just two days ago. This guy here is not confused. Victor is lying.”
With your actions, you took sides to protect the abuser. With your silence, you defended Victor’s lies and turned me into the “liar.”
Jeremy, that was not good.
(It wasn’t much until later that I realized that you, Kip and Victor had already discussed the situation without me present, and the outcome of our sham meeting had already been determined long before I ever walked into the room.)
So I was disappointed, Jeremy, and rightly so. I was disappointed in Victor Gonzalez, in Kip McKean, and in Jeremy Ciaramella.
But I still gave you the benefit of the doubt.
Let’s fast forward just a bit. Kip and Victor both make it clear that it is their intention to destroy my family if I do not wish to submit to their authority.
So my family moves away from Los Angeles, and to Phoenix, partly due to the terror that these evil men instilled in my wife and that still was living in her heart. We move to one of the few other cities on the face of the earth that had one of Kip’s churches, since obviously, Kip’s franchise of churches are the One True Church and to move anywhere else would be to leave God and destine my wife to eternity in hell. (So she still had been conditioned to believe.)
In Phoenix, we continue attending church services at the Phoenix International Christian Church, which I had helped plant in 2006. I was hanging out with my friends there, including one who was a major church leader and someone that I helped study the Bible with and baptize. In fact, even my wife was someone that I invited off the street and baptized years before in this same Phoenix ICC - the first baptism the church saw.
You, Jeremy, were not yet the leader of the PVICC. Someone else was. But then Kip, I’m sorry, the “Holy Spirit,” who talks exclusively to Kip, decided to move that leader away and to move you here.
I invited you over to my house several times to share a meal. In fact, tried to invite you over so many times that my wife got mad at me and said, “Isn’t it obvious to you by now that Jeremy doesn’t want to come here? Why do you make a fool out of both of us by still inviting him?” Well, it was because I mistakenly trusted you and erroneously thought that you were my friend.
Then I wrote about what had happened with Victor, and what happened later with Kip. Out of respect for you, I did not include your name. It was never my desire to make you look bad - in fact, although I needed to tell my story, I made sure to protect you by not naming you and also not describing your utter lack of usefulness.
So when I posted the link on my Facebook page, it was not out of malice. Not to you or to any person. Not to hurt or destroy the church. Yes to accurately describe the abuse of Victor Gonzalez, with the hope that he might be prevented from repeat offending again.
So I was disheartened when you got on my Facebook page and in a very deceptive and dishonest way tried to create the impression that I was being less than fair, or even dishonest, in what I wrote. Do you realize that all of my family and life-long friends read an emotional, heart-wrenching account of everything that I was subjected to by Kip and Victor, only to then read your comments that were designed to make me look like I was lying?
That, sir, was a VERY shitty thing for you to do.
Besides indirectly refuting the words of my personal testimony, “I’m not saying you are lying but ….” Actually, the only reason you would write that is to insinuate, that yes, I was lying and not accurately describing the events that transpired. And then you expressed several cherry-picked details to create a very false illusion of our meeting with Victor and Kip, designed to make me look like a liar and to make Kip, Victor, and yourself look good. Naturally, your motive was to try to “protect the flock,” which meant defend your leader and the image of “The Kingdom” at any cost, even if it meant being deceptive.
And then you tried to claim that you had never heard of the church trying to split up a marriage before. Really? Were you and I part of the same church? More likely, you think that “disciples” are justified in leaving their “non-believing” spouses, which is what Kip and Kip’s churches have practiced for decades. Kip did not stutter when he told me that he would try to get my wife to leave me. Kip repeated the threat, again without stuttering, when I went back to him a second time. And Victor, with the full support of Damon at his side, literally told my wife right in front of my face that she didn’t need me and that she should leave me. Fully supported by Kip, who defended Victor’s threat and repeated it himself to my face, twice, without stuttering.
Just in case you really are so poorly informed, which I find very difficult to believe, here are a couple of stories of marriages that were destroyed directly by Kip’s ministries convincing a member to leave a non-member spouse over the issue of membership.
But even then, in my foolish, trusting nature, I still tried to give you the benefit of the doubt in my mind. I thought, Jeremy doesn’t know what to do, and maybe he really sees things that way.
So when you asked to talk to me in person, I took it, again naively, as a friendly gesture, intended to try to help resolve things. Lord knows you were a witness to the verification of all of the abuse that I received.
And you can be the witness that I invited you, again, to my house to talk over a meal.
However, you insisted that we meet at a McDonalds. Ever affable, I accepted, not anticipating the blows to await me. I was just a bit nervous, asking you if you were going to bring Victor Gonzalez there for a surprise conference with me (to which you replied, “No, I’d never do that!”)
So after thereby leading me to believe that it would be a “safe” encounter, you will probably remember that you wasted not time in revealing the purpose of the meeting - to tell me what a bad person I was, and to ask me to please not set foot in the church again.
Seriously? This church that I helped build, and where so many of my years-old friends are? This church where I never spoke to anyone to dissuade them from their faith? This church where you yourself had just arrived to lead a few short months prior?
In the moment I was so stunned that I did not know what to say, so I said, it’s OK, I understand, don’t worry, it’s fine.
But… This is what I get for simply telling the truth about real events that transpired? If you could even tell me one tiny thing that I exaggerated, or modified, or left out, I could maybe understand.
My account was true and it is accurate, down to the very last detail.
Add that to the list of terrible things that you did.
Even at this juncture, against all odds, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. My “in-the-know” church friend told me days later that you only disinvited me because that was the instruction that you received from “Los Angeles.”
So it’s clear where your loyalties lie. Was it with our teamwork working together in ministry activities and working on the “Internet ministry” of the SODM websites? No. Was it with our 5+ years of “real” friendship that spanned 3 cities and 3 states? No.
Was it with God? Was your loyalty to the the TRUTH and with telling the truth?
NO. Not even.
Your loyalty lay with doing whatever Kip McKean and your human “leaders” told you to do, right or wrong.
Was God threatened by me describing what had happened? I doubt it.
I still didn’t realize at the time that you were stabbing me in the back, throwing me under the bus. Even at this juncture, I foolishly and stubbornly gave you the benefit of the doubt. You know, Jeremy is just doing what he thinks is right.
But then you unfriended me on Facebook, and I realized how stupid I was to ever think that you and I were friends in real life. You were just using me. As long as I was translating Kip’s articles into Spanish for the “Movement,” you were my friend. As long as I was giving my contribution, you were my friend. (More on your role in the cynical manipulation of my money on Kip’s behalf another time.) As long as I kept hidden what Kip wanted hidden, you were my friend.
So I am disappointed in you, Jeremy Ciaramella. Disappointed that you choose church bureaucracy over being a decent human. Disappointed that you, whether out of fear, or lack of character, or for whatever reason, refused to speak the truth you knew to refute the lies at the appropriate moment. Disappointed that you came on to my Facebook page and used dishonest and misleading words to try to smear my reputation in front of all of my friends and loved ones and falsely portray me as a liar. Disappointed that you chose to protect the abusers and attack the abused. Disappointed that you chose to separate me from my long-time friends in an attempt to prevent people finding out the things that happened. Disappointed that you violated my trust over and over again. And disappointed in myself for making the mistake trusting you over and over again.
But some good came out of it. First, the moment, the very moment that my wife found out that you had “uninvited” me from the Phoenix ICC, she was done with you and with Kip’s churches. She finally was able to break free from the mind control that had been placed over her by Kip’s stooges. I actually appreciate the fact that no-one from church ever called her or contacted her, to my knowledge, ever again. Even though I am sure that “before God” it was sin and hypocrisy on their part. It clearly revealed the heart and motives of the church and its leaders.
My wife now realizes how foolish it was of her to trust the “disciples” of the ICC. And I thank you, Jeremy, for that.
And your complete ******ness, when added to that of Kip and Victor, is what has motivated me to continue writing and warning people about the ICC. My comments on the ICC have now been seen by over 18,000 people on this site alone, which is a direct result of your actions described above. You may have prevented few dozen people from seeing my face in church service, but you have motivated me to take my message to many, many, many more people around the world. And I will continue to do so.
You acting like such a **** helped me realize that it isn’t just Victor, it isn’t just Kip - the ICC / SODM itself is a user and abuser of people. Use a person for as much time, talent and money as humanly possible, and then as soon as they are longer “useful,” toss them to the side like so much trash, and then move on to use someone new. That is not a compliment of you or your church in any way. It is, however, an accurate description of a movement well-known for it’s incredibly high turnover rate.
You were the straw that broke the camel’s back. So pat yourself on the back for all of the people who won’t get baptized, thanks to the efforts that you have inspired.
In your defense, I do realize that you, as well as the other ICC leaders, are currently a victim of mind control yourself, and that this will eventually wear off. (Of course, the paycheck doesn’t hurt, either.) You would never do the things that you do if you were not being led to do so by Kip. However, Kip is a true master of the art, so I don’t expect you to snap out of it any time soon. When you do eventually break the cycle, you will become acutely aware of the folly of your previous actions, of all of your lost years, and of the trail of broken people you have left in your wake. And you will join the hundreds of thousands of former members who warn others against Kip and his unhealthy, abusive ministries. You never know, maybe you will even write your own post for this site or another one like it.
PS I know how hard it was for you when you first came to Phoenix and how such a large part of the church was not welcoming or accepting of you, and even fought actively against you. I hope for your sake that that has improved. But even more, I hope that you will soon be able to renounce the control of Kip over your life and worship of "the Kingdom," and begin a path of healing.
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