(Intro) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (En Español)
So that fateful day, not too many months after the lies, stealing, and threats, described in the part one and part two of my story, VGSr asked to meet with me and my wife at his apartment, which was near where I lived.
We went there and met him, and he had another married couple there waiting, DJ and VJ. VGSr told me that he was concerned about how I was doing spiritually. (The issue was that I had not given my weekly $$$ to the church for the previous couple of weeks). I told him that I was not sure if I wanted to remain a member of the church, and that I did not see eye to eye with the church on some different issues any more (I won't bore you with the details about the differences in beliefs right here, but might do so later for those interested in such things).
VGSr got very mad. He started telling me why I was so wrong and messed up, that I would become an enemy of God and end up going to hell...
"And if you should want to move back to [the author's home state], you better be sure that I will step in and try to convince your wife to leave you so she can stay here and be part of the church." (Strike one)
VGSr then immediately turns to my wife: "I know you love God very much, so you would obviously leave your husband so you could stay here with the church and be with God, right?" (Strike two)
(My wife does not respond.)
VGSr, leaning in towards my wife and pointing at me: "He already helped you get your papers, so you know that you don't need him any more." (Strike three)
(My wife does not respond.)
VGSr and his wife, along with DJ and VJ, were forming a unified front. For some reason I actually thought that someone else in the room would think that what was being said was crazy. But I would have been wrong. VGSr's loud wife loudly interjected to attack me. DJ, who had up to this point been a pretty good friend of mine, also mindbogglingly (to me) also tried to chime in to defend VGSr. Even DJ's wife VJ sat by giving support to VGSr's words through her body language.
So moments later, totally shellshocked by what was transpiring, I stood up and told them that the discussion was over, and my wife, baby and I left the apartment.
I talked to VGSr a couple of times after this, asking him to take back what he had said, and he refused. He instead repeated the threats each time I talked to him.
I also talked to DJ on two occasions afterwards, asking him to admit that he had been wrong in defending VGSr's threats, and he refused, trying to spin the conversation around to what he thought I was doing wrong. Damon, I was incredibly disappointed in you as both a friend and as a person for that. But you otherwise seem pretty reasonable and I think that you will some day be very, very sorry this and other things that the church has had you do.
I also went and talked to Kip, who instead of trying to fix things in any way, personally repeated VGSr's threats to me. Kip actually made these threats to me on two different occasions, saying that he would step in and try to get my wife to leave me rather than let her move somewhere where he did not have a church. Remind me again why people accuse Kip of being a cult leader and the church of being a cult?
So things had been rocky at church, but this was too much. Church leaders (and friends at that) directly threatening to try to destroy my marriage and family? I never thought I would see the day.
#1: I agree with "Anonymous" (although doesn't the Bible say something about not suing & taking each other to court?).ReplyDelete
#2: I'm so sorry this happened to you and your family, but hopefully you were able to learn a lot about yourself and about people in this church. I too was a member with my husband (though in another city) and we both decided to leave due to the way we were being treated. Your story reminded me of how much leaders are idolized and have the image that they can do no wrong. I hope your story goes on to help many others to find their voices to speak out. In the church we're taught to be loving and to assume the best of people, but unfortunately it can lead to being manipulated especially by leaders. Just know and rest assured that God is in charge and He has seen all that has happened. Trust that He will show you all that you need to learn from this and will give you the strength to move on and forgive (yourself, VGSr, & the others). And never forget that God is the Avenger. He will take care of VGSr and Kip & whomever else when the time comes. At least you had the courage to alert the leaders about what's going in their church, and now God will handle the rest. Please continue in your faith and not let these people discourage your relationship with God. Best wishes to you and your family.
Thanks so much for your comments and kind words!Delete
Sounds like pure evil to me. I went through a version of this when I left the COC in 1971.Delete
Thanks Cryptoreformer .. Could you describe your experience or link to somewhere that you wrote about it? Sometimes it helps to see the specifics of how history repeats itself. Thank youDelete
It took me 20 years to get over my 5 years with the Churches of Christ. I was a convert at the age 0f 18 and believed all they said. It took me 3 years more to see their hypocrisies. Then another 2 to leave it. When I left the COC in 1071, my wife who was raised in the COC left me. We never reconciled, and I divorced her in 1971 for abandonment.Delete
A little history lesson: Martin Luther originally never wanted to leave the Catholic Church. He was trying to expose the abuses of "charismatic" leaders who bully and intimidate in the Pope's name. Attempts to reform the Catholic Church led to threats of excommunication or burning at the stake and Luther faced it.Delete
I was a member of an ICC affiliated church and endured the same tribulations from the false brethren.
If more of us ex members of ICC speak out against the abuses, ICC will one day cease to exist. One of the hallmarks of the disciples and apostles is to speak out against evil.
Revelations 18:6 says"Repay her double the deeds she has done"
I believe these things, as this is not the first I have heard of the despicable things VG has been up to, from my understanding one of his sons is also corrupt and has been sleeping around with young disciples. Thank you for posting your link to my blog, and if anyone would like to know the abuses I have suffered, personally, or of many others, please check out my website: http://healthymama.net/queen-of-the-damned-recovering-from-cult-life/ReplyDelete
I have no knowledge about VG's sons, nor do I feel that it is appropriate to discuss it here or in public. Your own, personal stories of damage and recovery, yes. Thanks for your understanding.Delete
Kip's own kids have left the church. What does that tell you?Delete
So who is sleeping around with young disciples? And I believe this. Hiw can we change and challenge it?ReplyDelete
You might want to contact the author of that comment at her link about the accusation she made .. But if you read my other posts you will see that I went straight to the top, to Kip McKean, and was severely rebuffed. So my advice is if you want change, be move on to another group. When Kip is starved of members and contributions, many problems will be resolved.Delete
Kip has worked his con for decades I doubt that is going to be resolved soon, they deliberately target the young and vulnerable and sincere because often these people are just starting off in life or looking for a church and usually have never heard of cults nor will they fight back, trusting naive victim ripe for the cult to use and abuse. The sleeping around is common I've heard dozens of such stories from the old ICOC days, power goes to people's heads and they think they can do anything and not get caught, it's part of the training to become like Kip you think you are god and can do anything you want and to hell with anyone who dare's to get in their way.Delete
Thanks for your comments. And yes, I myself am an example of someone who was targeted while young, vulnerable, trusting and naive ... And have always been way too hesitant to try to fight back. Trying to change that though, at least by making my story availableDelete
Sorry to hear that, other cults have done the same, in Utah a Mormon cult had a wife leave her husband because he refused to go with the flow.ReplyDelete
Mario, despite the claims of the ICC that that "never happens" in Kip's churches, I have found many, many examples where the ICC and ICOC under Kip's leadership pressured a member to leave a non-member spouse. In their arrogance, they believe that non-members are throwaway items, and deal with them as such.Delete
If this experience was real, that's very unfortunate. I'm sorry that happened.ReplyDelete
My experiences with them have been much different and it was after leaving the San Francisco ICOC that back in 2006 that I have been a part of the ICC. I have not seen this type of behavior from leadership or other folks outside of leadership.
I get help with my relationship with God. I am a better father. And I lead my wife with love. What more could I ask for?
If it works for you then great. But you can't deny these things going on in the ICOC, BACC, or ICC. If you do then you are turning a blind eye. Too many people are doing that out of fear. No one wants to leave because this message they have planted in your brains that say "we are the one true church" everyone else is going to hell. Read your bible, you will find that this is not true. These churches need to stop, it's getting so that people are suffering from mental illness because of what these morons are doing. Don't let them trap you, and don't be afraid to make a stand. I was a part of the ICOC/BACC for 13 years and I saw many people leave or get get thrown out because of the hypocrisy and the thick-headedness of the leaders.Delete
To Anonymous June 11, 2014, you completely lost me at "If this experience was real".Delete
To kingdragyn18: Thanks for your comments, and I'm glad you were able to escape.Delete
It is a shame you didn't record this stuff on a dictaphone or something, this kind of stuff put online would destroy the cult and expose the evil leaders for what they are criminals.ReplyDelete
I was a part of the ICC for 14 years. My advice to you is to give "Real Christianity" a try. Don't believe the lies that the "Religious World" are all just a bunch of hypocrites. Do you really believe that real Christians who genuinely love God do not know him, and these abusive cult leaders do? Do you really believe that the Holy Spirit is SO weak that there are only a few thousand "Real Christians" in the Whole World? Forget what you learned at the Church of Christ, and take a fresh look at the bible. You cannot say that they are a cult one minute, and that their doctrine is true the next. Remember Jesus teaching "a house divided cannot stand". Either The Holy Spirit is at work there OR Satan, but not both. You need to accept that if they are not from God, they are from Satan and you have been deceived. Much of what you learned there is wrong. Go to a real Christian church to seek God, and if that doesn't work go to another. Remember "By their fruit you will recognize them". Remember the mark of true Christians is their love for one another not sold outness. Also, don't expect to find the kind of closeness that we felt when we were in a cult. Relationships in real churches take time. If you ask Him, God will lead you to a real Christian church where people serve God out of a pure heart, not fear.ReplyDelete
Who are you and can i interview you?ReplyDelete