May 16, 2015

Kip McKean to Step Down as Leader of City of Angels Cult

According to Kip McKean's "Good News Email," an electronic propaganda tool he uses to promote his cult, Kip will be stepping down as LE (lead evangelist) of the City of Angels International Christian Church cult, effective in about one year from now (summer 2016).

This comes as welcome news to many of us who are hoping for the failure of the cult and for the protection of countless young people who are in danger of becoming involved and having their lives completely taken over by years of forced "volunteer" service, as once happened to me and to hundreds of thousands of others like me.

The leadership of Los Angeles branch of the "Sold-Out Discipling Movement," a non-movement created by McKean in an attempt to consolidate his power and multiply his income, sorry, I mean, created by McKean in a valiant effort to fearlessly take the true, lost gospel of the first century Church to a lost modern world, saving a generation of people who would otherwise be lost in its entirety to the eternal fires of hell, will be taken over by McKean disciple, Tim Kernan. Tim is known for being Canadian and for speaking Canadian French as well as English, and for getting very red in the face when he is serious about whatever he is talking about.

Kip, for his part, will dedicate his time and efforts towards his "Crown of Thorns" project, which is the name that he came up with, sorry, that the Holy Spirit came up with to describe his current plans to create a clone of the International Churches of Christ (ICOC), the network of churches that he created and that in a rare, wise move, subsequently removed him from their leadership in 2001 or so.

It does make me think back a bit to that original announcement made in the ICOC that Kip was going on a "sabbatical" for a time to work on personal and family issues. Of course, that sabbatical turned into a full dismissal from all duties and employment of Kip by the ICOC. It was just baby steps to getting rid of Kip completely. We could only hope that this will turn out to be a similar case in the ICC. However, this is not likely, as Kip has ruthlessly vetted his top leadership for loyalty to himself. Not that this is effective, as there have been multiple reports of his top leaders laughing at him behind his back. But then, they laugh at each other behind each others' backs as well, just like Jesus would do (irony.)

So, why this change? Kip has been slipping for years. Even when I was an active member five years ago, word was going around through the leadership that Kip was starting to get too old to do the job he had once done. Forgetting what orders he gave to which cult staff, keeping things straight, mental capacity stuff like that. I can only imagine what five more years of toll may have been taken on his mind, what with the pressure of saving the whole of the lost human race resting solely on his shoulders. Or the frustration and humiliation of leading a tiny cult of 3,000 instead of the 100,000 that he once did. Or just age? Either way. There were rumors of Kip having some serious health problems a few months ago but I didn't dig far enough to get the full scoop.

What might this change mean? Honestly, nobody will lead anything the way Kip does. Kip is unmatched in his drive, knowledge, and understanding of organizational dynamics. Kip makes churches increase in number (notice I didn't say "grow.") Kip is good at pushing people towards ever-increasing fanaticism - I mean - helping people continually increase their level of commitment to God. No-one - NO-ONE - in the ICC is as effective at doing this as Kip is, Tim included.

Tim, as I knew him, is much less driven than Kip. Tim likes to relax and watch movies and play video games. Kip seems to have no "off" switch, except maybe when dining at fancy restaurants on the church's dime (my observation). So, I'd anticipate (hope for?) a bit of a kinder, gentler cult under Tim's hand. Ah, who am I kidding? All of Kip's franchises work on churning through fresh blood, sucking new recruits dry of as much time and money as possible, just like they did to me and so many others, no matter who is at the helm.

This brings up an interesting comment that Tim Kernan made to me years ago about Kip McKean's ministry methodology. Tim described Kip's ministry to me as a very "dirty workshop." He explained that Kip had a very "dirty" way of getting things done. I did not know at the time to what he was referring, although I did find out later, when Kip did some of his dirty work on me. (One of his top guys had been threatening me and stole a few thousand from me, and Kip, despite a full confession, backed his leader up, and then actually made threats my myself and my family, which he even repeated later to me to make sure I understood he was serious. Read that full story here. You can read more about the dirty side of ICC methodology in this article written by a high-ranking ICC leader, Victor Gonzalez Jr., who also very publicly left the cult not too long ago.)

The interesting thing is that Tim knew even back then about the "dirty" methodologies that Kip employs, and seemed to have reservations about them, yet has continued to work and train under Kip despite that fact. I suppose this tells us something about Tim, about Kip, or maybe even about human nature. Anyway, the five years that have passed since Tim made that comment to me is a long time for Kip to have worked on Tim's "leadership abilities," molding him into a more ruthless, vicious, and "effective" version of his former self.

Time will tell. However, it seems to me like the stars are aligning and the "growth" of Kip's ministry will continue to slow. And this is a good thing, since every person who is not baptized into the International Christian Church is one person saved from the system of abuse and lies that is the ICC.

And here's to a hopefully less "dirty" way of doing business in the ICC.

44 comments:

  1. Sooner or later, sooner hopefully Kip's cult will not have him as their prophet and then they will drift back to mainline church of christ style, history will probably ignore him and the churches of christ will try to eradicate all memories of a mad man who was a greedy selfish control freak who caused mayhem and division for a few decades and then was thankfully gone. Good riddance to bad rubbish, the egomaniac cult leader ruined many lives with his harsh hypocritical abusive system and destroyed many families and careers. He was a waste of space.

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    1. True, after Kip is not leading, the ICC will slowly but surely (quickly but surely?) move back to a traditional Church of Christ style in teaching and practice. And yes, until then Kip will continue to leave the swath of destruction behind him that the world has endured for the last few decades

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    2. Why did you leave the church after so many years, what happened

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    3. Kip McKean and his henchman, Victor Gonzalez Sr., both threatened me and revealed their utter hypocrisy. Sorry I wasted my time with them and their BS. Here is a link to the whole story: Why I Left the City Of Angels International Christian Church

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  2. Keep in mind that the "Crown of Thorns" is not just some small side project (at least not in Kip's mind). It is the leadership council for what he sees as the pillar churches in his worldwide movement. If anything, he sees it as a step "up" rather than down - going from leading just one church in LA to overseeing the entire "movement".

    Either way, not much is going to happen. He doesn't have the power and the persuasion that he once had. There may be some growth for a little while, but then Kip will get old and things will start to peter out. His underlings, while zealous, will not be able to keep the momentum going, and the "movement" will go down in history as just another radical sect/cult. I guarantee that 50 years from now nobody alive will know who Kip or the ICC was.

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    1. I agree - even at my highest moment of Kip-inspired zeal, I was keenly aware that the movement would fade out as soon as Kip was not at the wheel. The only difference is that now I am eager for this to happen sooner than later

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    2. Remember even the "entire movement" is an insignificant group barely 3,000 in number that the vast majority of people have never heard of until tragically they lose a kid to the cult, the "movement" is nothing more than a Kip fan club, once he's gone they will certainly fade to nothing. The ICC cult as a whole is less than many churches in a single city, smaller than the ICOC in NY. Kip is a nobody a washed up has-been in the grand scheme of cults.

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    3. This is not a step up. He was already at the top as leader of the movement. Kip, while deceitful, has always been a big believer in leading by example. This can only mean that he is no longer leading by example.

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    4. To Anonymous May 18: Great points! "Movement" my @$$! Just a small gathering to kiss Kip's butt and keep his income flowing. Too many people can see straight through him today. Thanks for commenting!

      To philomath44: You mean, Kip has always been a big TALKER about leading by example? Yeah, Kip is a big talker. Sometimes he even uses his big talk to threaten people, such as people who don't want to live where he tells them and follow his every order (like me). As for really leading by example, I think that the ICOC kicked him out years ago precisely because he WASN'T leading my example, and had not been for quite some time.

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    5. I didn't say his example was a good one :) Remember "leading by example" was relative to what Kip believed it should look like, not necessarily what the bible taught. I think it was just a front so that others under him felt justified to do the same things he did. When you are caught up in a controlling culture, one tends to follow the example of those who lead them thinking they are doing right. In reality, the whole system is shot, so everyone goes about deceived until a divine intervention like the Henry Kriete letter in 2005. It is a phenomenon not unfamiliar to many people who are under the power of "group think".

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  3. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of the abusive-cultic discipleship movement lead by Kip. But there are so many to replace him, this destructive group which really began in Gainesville, FL (before Boston) needs to die out as the worst baggage of the Restoration Movement since Daniel Sommer and his followers.

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    1. Clark, I totally agree!

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    2. Kip is irreplaceable in that if someone were to replace his role, they would not be as he was. Thats the good news. The other factor that many miss is that the leaders under Kip don't really want to do things the way he does. Unfortunately, they are too afraid to challenge his ways because doing so will cost them their jobs. Once that threat is no longer present, you will see a rush to do things differently. This is exaclty what happened in the ICOC. Once Kip's influence and intimidation was no longer present, they did what ever they wanted to do. Actually, they did what they always wanted to do.

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    3. A "rush to do things differently" can mean many different things in this context. To some leaders currently under Kip, those who held quiet reservations about his "radicalness", this will mean doing things more like the ICOC or even like non-denominational churches. But to others (i.e., those who truly drank the Kool-Aid) this will motivate them to go even farther than Kip in terms of abusiveness/control/etc. But these latter types of groups aren't likely to make much progress beyond an initial loud flare-up, and the former will eventually blend back in with mainstream restorationism.

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  4. So what kind of leader will Tim Kernan be? He seems very militant and aggressive in his blog ministryjournal.org

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    1. One of the stories that Tim LOVES to share is how he and Leanne lived off the benevolence offering of the CAICC disciples when they first moved to LA. He brags about how he would go back to Kip time after time for financial support that Elena accused him of taking advantage of the church and being a false brother. Interestingly, Tim has admitted that he will not personally disciple those that are squeaky wheels, selfish, or untalented "UNLESS they bring something to the table...and it has to be something BIG...like MONEY!"
      Listen for yourself http://torontodisciples.org/sermons/

      Kip is known to squeeze blood out of a gnat. Tim isn't any different as a leader.

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    2. Which sermon was this spoken? What context?

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    3. If true, he is in sin and will answer for it. In an alternate scenario, assuming this is NOT his motive, how would Kip's activities be any different than journeyman encourager/grower , Paul?

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    4. That would not seem far off. I have interacted with Tim when he used to run "Just Disciples" a short time after the Henry Kriete letter, and when Tim was in Montreal at the time. Tim seemed nice at first, but when raising issues about the ICOC, he would immediately turn nasty and resort to personal attacks.

      And seeing these comments about Tim, none of this surprises me at all.

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    5. Hyung, as someone who knows Tim personally, I find this quote, "turn nasty and resort to personal attacks" laughable. If he truly did this, someone within earshot would abruptly disciple him.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing. As someone who has been a member of the ICOC since 1990 (and Crossroads Churches before then), so many of these stories have the ring of truth. If anything, it appears that Kip is getting worse. He has no one in his life to call him out.Elena exhibits every symptom of battered wife syndrome. Even his own family disavows his insanity. I think the breaking up of Kip's gang is imminent. So much of what I read sounded like experiences I had. There were several people who left our church to hook up with Kip, and I've heard that it's life under the boot all over again.

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    1. Poor Elena. I'm sure if she even tried to leave him she'd be stripped of all finances. I'm glad her kids are grown and can make their own decisions.

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    2. And there is her solution run to the kids they'd look after her

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    3. I, too, have seen first-hand the mind-control Kip has perpetrated on his own family. They, however, are ALL control freaks (the admiral on down), so they can't see the forest for all the trees.
      The huge red flags? Kip being forced to leave 4 different churches-- 3 of which he founded; accumulating vast wealth; lying through his teeth. I'd go all the way to "sociopath", actually.

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  6. I was familiar with Kip waaay back in the Boston Church of Christ days in the 80s. This guy was scary as hell to me. His whole preaching style was sharp and abrasive. He reminded me of Jim Jones (the preacher who led his followers to Guyana and forced them to drink poisoned Kool Aid).
    And you mean he was ousted from the 1st cult just to start another? Unbelievable!

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  7. Even with Kip gone it could take that cult along time to change, they will still think they are the only church, hopefully with him gone the cult will not grow and just fade to nothing

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    1. I don't attend their church first off. Second, no one in their church believes this. Stop perpetuating nonsense.

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  8. It has long been my view that Kip did not undergo a purification of his ego, which is the sin of pride, before he became a leader. The path to become a mature Christian is a long process of sanctification. putting to death what is earthly in us. He seems to be in love with this image of himself as a new Apostle Paul. His churches seem to be based on reenforcing this image.

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  9. After watching the video in which Tim Kernan made the announcement that he is going back to LA, it seemed as though Kip was putting on him some of the administration duties of the LA church, but not really handing over power as the "supreme leader." Are you sure your info is correct? I know Tim Kernan and he would indeed make a suitable puppet which Kip could manipulate from the background (there is no way he will completely give up power), but if it was announced that Tim was taking over the movement I think this would have been bigger news and so far there hasn't been too much talk about it.

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  10. Every ailing Hitler needs a Josef Goebels.

    Enter Tim Kernan.

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  11. It has been confirmed that Kip McKean will continue to serve as the "lead evangelist" and continue to work on the "crown of thorns" project (in other words, he will still oversee and have control of all the churches) while Tim Kernan will take over the administrative duties in the L.A. "pillar church". So Kip McKean is still in control of the organization, he just lightened his work load.

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    1. Well now he can travel around the world and vacation all he wants while spending his followers money with less responsibilities to tie him down. The people who do the real work on the “crown of thorns” project are the ones who sacrifice all they have to go on the mission teams and spend months and years evangelizing in their assigned cities. All Kip does is sit back and bark orders and pay short visits the churches in order to “encourage” them. You can’t call this “work”; it’s an excuse to go vacationing.

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  12. I just had a conversation with kips disciples here in palm desert California and the language they used was like I am a mainline COC and that I'm incorrect because I don't believe in a central church and ask me to join them in their quest to evangelize the nations

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  13. I just had a conversation with kips disciples here in palm desert California and the language they used was like I am a mainline COC and that I'm incorrect because I don't believe in a central church and ask me to join them in their quest to evangelize the nations

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    1. Is it sin to use similar terminology? Is central leadership not abundantly evident in the OT/NT? Have you ever read through the Bible study on the topic? I personally changed my mind on the subject after viewing the scriptures in a consolidated format vs cherry-picked autonomous verses. Try it out.

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  14. Regardless of your stance, your writing is atrocious and so riddled with sarcasm that it's almost impossible to even take you serious. Your writing is so filled with half baked truths and "opinions" which you call truth, when the fact is that you were simply bitter because you weren't getting your way.

    That being said, the ICC is far from perfect, in fact it's flawed is so many areas that a simple response here wouldn't do it any justice. Are there truths to your statements? Yes. Some are very accurate, but rather then stand on a soap box dissing Kip and his followers, have you ever thought to just be open and honest with, A) Who you are (because I know who you are), B) Posting conversations you've had with leadership and allow that to speak for itself, C) Explain what your "solution" was, where did you go, where do you worship now and how is it different?

    I've wanted to leave for a while but clearly as much as people tear the church apart, they still are 95% more obedient to the scriptures then any other church I've attended. Sadly, even the ICOC holds more true then the corner community church.

    Look forward to your response. BTW, I'm anonymous because I'm still in the ministry.

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  15. I was part of the Cape Town church and the Johannesburg church in South Africa for a total of 15 Years. I left because I felt I was not growing as a Christian and was not getting the help I needed as an emptynester. I was no longer happy in services. They spoke about love but did not demonstrate it very much although I know others found the churches very loving. What I did gain from being in the ICOC is how to "Dig" deep into God's word and study and understand what He expects from us. I had 5 friends become Christians in a space of 10 years. This was only by God's grace. I learnt to spread the word of God and not be ashamed to stand up to the fact that I am a Christian both at work and with my family and friends. My friends who became Christians find great advise for their marriage and parenting. My son of 35 and his wife have also been in the ICOC for 11 years. They are still members and serve in the church in Dubai UAE. They too find loads of help and advise to help their marriage grow and with raising their 2 children with love and discipline. My eldest sister was in the ICOC for 26 years. she too left 2 years ago. She felt it was God's will for her and her husband who was a disciple for 15 years to move on. The ICOC have an amazing ministry for Gay and Lesbian members and anyone who wants to get help. They teach God's love and assist in staying pure and faithful to God. This ministry just keeps on growing year after year. The Ministry is called "Strength In Weakness" I have stayed faithful to God. I am a Messianic Jew and by God's grace I am growing closer and closer to God.Yes, once you leave the ICOC all your "so called" brothers and sisters in Christ disappear and you are "labeled" as an outsider but they did teach me a lot of lessons and I heard many sermons that other churches would dare not preach about. In the USA and many other countries there are HUGE churches outside of the ICOC where there are hundreds of evangelists who have $10 000 000 and more in their banks account. Jesus spoke about the poor many times. He told the rich man to sell everything he had and follow him. Why are you not attacking these "False Prophets"? Who claim to be children of God yet there are millions of poor people around them. I live in Africa and see the poverty. I know of 10 Evangelists in the USA alone who have a combined wealth of over $100 000 000. In South Africa that could build over 1000 schools and 1000 hospitals and feed 100 000 children everyday for 10 years. Yes I am no longer a member of the ICOC but they DID teach me to have a closer relationship with God and to share my faith and help GROW God's kingdom. In closing when I first became involved with the ICOC I was a 30 year old drug addict and divorcee and did not have a great relationship with my 2 small sons of 6 and 4. I was suicidal and it was my eldest sister who told me about the ICOC. Today my 2 sons are my best friends and I am a proud grandfather of 4 beautiful children. I became actively involved in my sons lives in the same month I was baptized in 1990. The church urged me to be the best father I could be. Unfortunately both my sons also gave in to peer pressure and did drugs in their youth however today they are happily married. The one son has been married for 10 years and the other for 8 years. As mentioned my eldest son and his wife are disciples. They still have "date night" weekly. How many married couple do that today both those in the church and outside the church? Like ANY church the world over the ICOC is not perfect and many people have had bad experiences including me. BUT they have also got many many good points and teachings straight from THE WORD OF GOD.

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    1. Just a correction. It is 100 Hospitals and 100 Schools and not 1000 of each

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    2. This blog is about the icc , not the icoc; regardless point taken. This whole website is dead. Anyone who is even remotely objective and not in deliberate habitual sin can see the fallacy throughout these half-truth twists. tbh, the dishonesty here is comparable to a satire magazine at a grocery store.

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    3. Right? It's sad how every time I see blogs like this, it's all distorted, half-truth, sentimental, lukewarm people congregating to slander. As someone who has ties with all 3 movements, and majority of you involved, you need to repent. Not ONCE in all my years have I seen someone step away in complete righteousness. They always have some huge looming sin overhead. Always

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