Blog Statement

It is time to expose the corruption of Kip McKean’s “International Christian Church” (ICC); “Have nothing to do with the worthless deeds of evil and darkness but instead expose them.” –Ephesians 5:11

This organization is guilty of abusive policies, exploiting members, coercion, and even extortion.

All this in the name of “putting the Kingdom first”? They have forgotten what the Kingdom of God really is.

This is abuse against the people of God.

This can no longer be called a church; it is now a corrupt organization pretending to be a church. For those in the lower levels of leadership who are offended by my words, it is time for you to step back and take a good look at what this organization has become.

Their actions against those who attempt to speak up against this abuse border on psychological terrorism. It is time for the ICC to give an account for what it has done.

Kip McKean baselessly character assassinates anyone who criticizes him as being “bitter” and it is time to put an end to that. This is indignation; an anger aroused against abuse and corruption.

These are articles of indignation against the abuse of God’s people.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

[Article 4] The ICC's Psychological Control System

This article is available for download in PDF format here
A file with all the articles is available for download here
[The Articles of Indignation: Article 4]
The ICC’s Psychological Control System (Part 1)
By Daniel Berg           June 25, 2015

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. –Deceptions of False Teachers, 2 Peter 2:18-19

Introduction: A System of Abuse Twice Used

Many people refer to Kip McKean’s psychological system of control as “mind control”, but seem unable to explain how this is actually done. The term “mind control” sounds so sci-fi that it seems ridiculous to some people that something like this could be realistically implemented by a church, and yet we see examples of this throughout history such as Steward Traill’s Church of Bible Understanding (don’t all such organizations claim that they are just “following the Bible”?) which was founded in 1971.
My articles have outlined the different ways that the ICC would psychologically manipulate people and I often use the group psychological theories of recognized nineteenth-century thinkers such as Gustave Le Bon and Sigmund Freud to show how this is being done. The key behind manipulating a person or a group of people is to keep them from realizing that they are actually being manipulated, therefore the manipulation needs to be disguised as something else. It is interesting to note that when people bring up the subject of psychological theory to discuss how the members are being manipulated they are criticized for bringing up “worldly concepts” against their “holy organization”; as if they are somehow exempt from such psychological phenomena. Once again this plays right into the theories of group psychology, that the people who get pulled into this mentality think that their organization is above the rules. Many of these manipulative policies appear seemingly innocent at first, but they serve as components in a larger system and come together to form a system that serves a specific purpose; very much like an engineer will put together various components to create a specific device. The system that the ICC has built serves to maximize the money that they take from their congregation as well as establishing significant control over them and this was the same type of system that Kip built during the ICOC as can be seen in the letters from the ICOC leaders in 2003 where they apologize for this abuse and coercion done during Kip’s leadership.

Many have concluded the reason for all of this sin, disorder and bitterness was “the system” –
World Sector Leaders, discipleship partners, Bible Talks, megachurches, the “Study Series,” etc.
(Some have even gone so far as to call it the “evil” system.) A system is simply applying Biblical
principles to create methods. Some churches in the name of “freedom in Christ” have abandoned
all methodologies such as Bible Talks, discipleship partners, etc. We must have a system that
uses Biblical principles in order to evangelize the world. –Kip McKean, “From Babylon onto Zion”, July 13, 2003.

It is interesting to note here that Kip criticizes the ICOC on the basis that some of their Churches had done away with discipleship partners and bible talks, and yet once again he avoids the issue of abusive money policies as being part of the system and instead obscurely alludes to “sin, disorder, and bitterness” instead of addressing the main concerns that people had with his organization. His avoidance of the issue of obtaining money from members through coercive tactics continues throughout the rest of the letter as I show in my other article; How Kip McKean’s Old Movement Fell which addresses this part of Kip’s history. It has become very clear from my previous articles that this system has not been based on “Biblical principles” on which Kip attempts to make his argument and this article will serve to enforce that as I describe his current psychological system of control.





Word Definition Manipulation
“Word definition manipulation” is simply my terminology for what is going on here, call it what you like. This form of manipulation is the main reason why I use quotations around certain words throughout all my articles. The ICC has its particular definition of what it means to be “spiritual”, “unspiritual”, or “divisive” and assigns these definitions according to what is most profitable to their desires. Many times the quotations I use in my articles are to indicate that the definitions of certain words have been skewed or called into question.
They also define any writing that criticizes their organization as “spiritual pornography”; using such a psychologically ugly term to deter their congregation from reading such material that could shed light on their corruption (and they tell their members that it is a sin for them to read this material as well, hence the name). I address this issue in another article; Spiritual Pornography: Kip McKean’s Gag for Hiding Corruption and Silencing Victims.
This type of manipulation is not confined to individual words alone but also to phrases that the ICC likes to use such using the phrase “put the Kingdom first” when coercing money out of members or forcing them to go to all their mandatory meetings. They also use the phrase “sold out” when speaking in context of the member’s devotion to their organization. Last time I checked their “First Principles”, the Kingdom of God is the church, the people of God, so shouldn’t they be putting the needs of their members as a priority? Also what do they mean by “sold out”? Sold out to what? Not the Bible obviously. They throw these buzzwords around like confetti with no thought to any deeper meaning.

The “Domino Effect” Control System

The “domino effect” is my name for a control phenomenon that Kip McKean puts to use during contribution raises and often special contributions as well. I actually touched on a few concepts of this in my first article about the corrupt ICC policies, but I had not yet assigned a name for this particular control method or described it in detail.
During a contribution raise it starts with Kip McKean demanding that each region leader raise the total contribution of their congregation by a certain amount. By giving his region leaders such a specific requirement the only way for them to be sure to meet Kip’s demand is to put pressure on all their members to raise their contributions. I discuss the pressure put on the congregation to raise their contributions in my previous article about corrupt ICC policies and I mentioned that it should be the decision of each individual as to whether or not to raise their contribution (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). But with Kip McKean pressuring his leaders to meet their quotas, this no longer became optional for most of the membership in the eyes of the leaders. The region leaders then tell the disciplers in the region that they need to convince the members whom they are “discipling” to give more money. I also remember the region leaders actually say to the disciplers that they need to tell anyone who does not raise their contribution that they are “unspiritual” or “selfish”; this is intentional character assassination since it is disregarding the financial situation of each individual member. 
Because these “disciplers” are eager to please their superiors in order to move up in the ranks, they dutifully comply with coercing money out of the people whom they were supposed to be advising. And because the members are told to confess all their sins to their disciplers so that they can be “healed” (James 5:16), then the disciplers have an arsenal of knowledge of the members past sins that they can use to destroy their self-esteem while coercing more money out of them, and I have seen them do this quite often. Thus the region leaders instigate members into manipulating other members, and because most of these “disciplers” are not actually employed by the church, if they cross the line with their coercion then the ICC leaders can pretend that they were not involved and can claim that they are not accountable for their misconduct, however, they do nothing to prevent it from happening. Now we see why this is called the “Domino Effect”, one action leads to another which leads to manipulation and coercion. Kip McKean can successfully get his members to manipulate each other in an indirect manner while pretending to be innocent for any abusive transgressions committed by these members while continuing to allow such abusive behavior as long as it helps the ICC’s profits.

Here is the account of [anonymous] who became a victim of this control system (since they asked to remain anonymous I replace the name with [anonymous] and any gender-indicating words with [he/she] or [her/his]):

So when I was in leadership I was the song leader and I was being trained as the single leader. This was right before the leadership was changing the leader and his wife was moving to lead a different city and so were the single leaders. When they left there were several people who wanted my spot who spread such horrendous lies about me ( these were 2 of my roommates) my discipler on the other hand ran me over every D-time saying I was in sin that I'm not doing anything and just raking me over coals. When my house was falling part I was told that it was my fault (I had no idea why the 2 that were slandering me and were in yelling matches with my other roommate on a daily basis and didn't take D-times seriously). When I mentioned I wanted to live on my own I was told if I lived by myself that I would, and I quote;  "you will burn in hell and become a drunken [gender-specific derogatory insult]", ( I have never drank and I don't sleep around, and never have).  The new leadership didn't care; they never got with me, and instead listened to the people who were pulling for my spot. I was taken out of the singles role. The male song leader made 3 of my singers cry one day while I was not there, so I called and asked what happened (not angrily or judging, just trying to find out what happened), but he went on a power trip on how I know nothing and that I need to learn how to handle the singers. The next day I got a call that I was being replaced with a person who wanted my spot and who had no music training. Still they wouldn’t even meet with me, they told me over the phone.

I was one of three singles that had a job, but was told not to get health insurance and to put it towards my tithe instead. I was giving $100 a week (I made $400 a week) and I was told I had to give more (via text message). When I told him I couldn’t he wanted to know why so I had to tell him everything I paid for.

I was guilt-tripped so much; I was told that I was not giving and that I didn’t rely on God.

I left, my dad came during a devo, I was packed and on the curb before he even got there. We packed everything I had in the back of his ranger ( I moved to the city in a U-Haul I had sold my bed 9 months before for food money because I couldn't afford my bills (student loans and rent) and most of all my tithe). I had to do it this way. They were checking up on me all the time coming over unannounced.
I'm getting better now. I have issues like most do when they leave a situation like that. I have PTSD and can't open the front door when someone knocks without fear that they they'll be behind it. I go to therapy and am getting through it. I have my faith and it is strong but to them I am a fall away.

For people hungry for leadership, even positions that are supposed to be skill-specific such as “song leader” end up being used to quench peoples thirst for a position of recognition within this organization. These positions and minor roles of leadership are dangled in front of the members, to use as leverage to motivate them whenever the next contribution raise or special missions contribution comes up. Such power plays are not uncommon, back when I used to live with ICC members, I would witness certain roommates being slandered by others who were gunning for their leadership positions and heard similar situations happen in many other households. What [anonymous] also experienced here is a type of reverse quid pro quo; when someone in a minor role of leadership does not increase their contribution by the amount of money dictated by the upper leadership or does not give the amount imposed on them for a special contribution, they face possible demotion or being taken out of leadership entirely. This concept of reverse quid pro quo is not only used on members in minor positions of leadership, but it is also used on dating couples in the church as well to determine whether they are “spiritual” enough to continue their relationship (I will address this in the Control of Dating section below).

So why is there such a hunger for leadership and struggle for power within this organization? The ICC tells these people that their organization can make them into someone great and many of these people have abandoned getting higher educations and they see becoming a leader in this organization as their last chance to make a name for themselves. To desire recognition for their existence, the ICC provides an easy outlet for people who foster such desires and tells them that they can achieve greatness by moving up the ranks of their organization; just keep on giving that money and raising those contributions and one day they too will be admired as a “spiritual leader for God”. But with so many people vying for recognition this creates a power struggle and the results are as we see in the account of [anonymous].

Also notice how [anonymous] was giving 25% of [his/her] income, and still the leaders character assassinated [her/him]; telling [him/her] that [she/he] was not sacrificial. With such a competition for leadership, the decision for whether or not you get to keep your position often does end up on whether you keep increasing your contribution whenever the upper leadership tells you to. I have seen people coerced into giving 30% and still be called “selfish” if they didn’t increase this amount at the next contribution raise. Let me remind you that the last time I heard Kip McKean talking about how much he gives, that he claims to give 15% of his income and that he is “all in”. In terms of percentage of income, many of the other members are coerced into giving much more sacrificially than Kip. You see what is wrong here? This organization is no longer about the “heart to give”; when the region leaders ask the disciplers to get more money out of the people whom they are “discipling” because Kip has demanded for each region to meet a certain quota, it becomes all about the money and not about the heart.

“Seeking Advice” for a Means of Control
To deter any members who harbor thoughts of not raising their contributions because they are struggling financially, the ICC has a system where they tell the congregation that “anyone who thinks that they cannot raise their contribution, go seek financial advice from your discipler.” Now after reading the section immediately above, it is pretty obvious what happens when these members go to their disciplers to try to seek this so-called “financial advice” about whether to raise their contribution. Also any members who attempt to avoid going in for this “financial advice” are rebuked by the leaders if they find out that they do not intend to raise their contribution (they claim to be rebuking them for “not seeking advice”, but it is clear what results they actually want since this “advice” is meant to subject them to manipulation). This is to try to ensure that members do not escape from being manipulated and to bring accusations against those who try to escape from it.

To confirm this, never in my six years with the ICC did I ever witness any discipler giving “financial advice” in accordance with an individual’s financial situation. 99% of the time (I leave the leftover 1% as a mere courtesy for any unknown cases, but you get the picture here) the members were always told to raise their contribution by the amount that the leadership dictated or referred to another leader to get additional “advice” if the first attempted coercion failed. 
      After some time in the church, members will eventually catch on to this system of “seeking advice” and therefore become less convincible, the ICC leaders try to counteract this by preaching that it is “spiritual” for members to take advice even when they believe that such advice is awful and even when they think they already know what this advice will be (which they do). They tell their members that they will be blessed for “obeying their leaders” and to “take advice even though you think it is stupid” (yes an ICC region leader literally preached that) and they will quote Proverbs 12:15. It is because of this that members who do not take the “financial advice” (allowing themselves to be coerced into giving more money) are considered to be “unspiritual”.

When these “advisors” are trying to coerce the people whom they are “advising”, they play it off as if they are their “spiritual coaches” and that they are discipling them to be more sacrificial and spiritual by pushing them to give more money. “This will help you to grow your faith”; they will say. They try to project this positive image over their manipulative actions, but this image doesn’t really fit the situation since they were supposed to be “financial advisors”. This kind of “coach” analogy is being deceptively applied here (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). If the potential victim still stresses their inability to increase their weekly contribution these “coaches” quickly change into interrogators, trying to find any weakness to exploit and even using a list of their past confessed sins against them, trying to assault their self-esteem and attack their sense of spirituality; calling them “unspiritual” and then presenting this contribution raise as the solution for regaining their “spirituality”.

This “coach” image is also used when these “advisors” are trying to coerce members into giving whatever amount of money the leadership decrees for them to give during a special contribution; trying to convince these members that the dictated amount of money is a “goal” and that the pressure which they put on them is synonymous with the pressure that coaches put on their athletes to meet their goals. I described this in my article The ICC’s Corrupt Policies for Money (Part 2).

Therefore, to summarize this section; if you don’t “seek advice” (even when you already know what they are going to tell you, which everyone does) you are considered “unspiritual” and “prideful”. If you don’t take the advice (no matter how unreasonable it is) you are considered “unspiritual” and “arrogant” (and some will even go as far as to say that the member is in “sin” if they reject the “advice”). If you do not raise your contribution when told to do so you are considered “unspiritual” and “selfish”. For any one of these things a member may be disqualified for a promotion into leadership or even demoted as well as having their reputation slandered (members are not allowed to “slander” (criticize) leaders, but leaders slandering members of lower rank is tolerated).

The godly give good advice, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.-Proverbs 10:21, NLT

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the sear of scoffers;…-Psalm 1:1

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.-Proverbs 1:5

There was not any care taken to the quality of the “advice” that was being given, they didn’t care how foolish it was as long as their policies were followed without question and as long as they got their money. This “advice” cannot be classified as actual advice at all, these are merely autonomic responses; answers that are given in accordance with the desires of their superiors without any thought given to an individual’s financial situation or any other factors in their daily lives.

This system of “seeking device” is also used to deter members from missing any of their mandatory meetings (I will discuss this subject shortly) and is also used in controlling many other aspects of members lives (especially if that aspect has to do with money).

Confining Primary Social Circles
In the above section I mentioned that certain actions will cause the leadership to label people as “unspiritual”. For some who are unfamiliar with this organization, they may say to themselves “why is this so bad?” Putting aside the effects of reverse quid pro quo with the denial of promotion and even demotion, besides those who are trying to obtain a spot in leadership, and besides those who are trying to date another member (see Control of Dating below), how will these labels negatively affect other people in the organization?

The ICC puts an aggressive emphasis on their members to have all their primary friends in their church; as often as a few times a month during one of the mandatory meetings it will be preached “do you have all your best friends in this church?” Now I think it is good to have friends in the church and I think this could be seen as the occasional and well-meaning good advice if given in the proper context, but to preach this to the congregation from the pulpit nearly every month? There are hundreds of different lessons that can be learned from the Bible, so why do they repeatedly return to this subject at least once to several times a month?
People are also pressured to go to all the ICC New Years parties, Labor Day parties, etc. Members who attempt to go to a New Years party or Labor Day party other than the one hosted by the ICC are ridiculed for “not putting the Kingdom first”, which is another one of those phrases they like to throw around without thinking. Also take into account all the mandatory meetings (discussed below) that these members are required to go to. What the ICC does is it swallows their social lives until their organization becomes their predominant social circle. They insist that putting so much of their lives into the church will keep them “faithful”, but isn’t relying on social support to keep us “faithful” actually rather superficial? Last time I checked it was our own faith in God which matters. Once again this is Kip capitalizing on the effects of group psychology.

Now let’s go back to the original question; how does the label of being “unspiritual” affect these people? Now we know that this is a death blow socially where for many cases, the majority of the member’s social circle has now been taken up by Kip McKean’s organization. It is now apparent why they seem so keen on hammering these social concepts into the heads of their members.  The social pressure that they are capable of unleashing against their members becomes magnified. This is especially effective on teenagers and college-aged people who are concerned about their self-image and the way that other people view them, not to say that is doesn’t affect older adults as well but it has more of an impact on younger people.
When you take into account that in a few years most of the members will have the majority their friends within this organization; now what if that member gets disfellowshipped and marked? They instantly lose their connection to years of friendships. Now we see why the threat of being disfellowshipped and marked is not merely expulsion from the “church”, but stealing away years of relationships as well. This allows the ICC upper leadership to establish significant terrifying control over their members.

“Salvation Issues” and the ICC’s Propaganda Against the ICOC
In this section I appear to side with the ICOC on some issues to a certain degree, but never was I a member of the ICOC, I have no ulterior motives for writing this section (and the article that follows this one) other than to expose hypocritical behavior on the part of the ICC leaders and contradictions to their arguments that they make against their former organization. Since I am now not affiliated with either organization, I can remark on whatever observations I make about these organizations and can wield the truth freely here. If anyone reading this is not really interested in hearing about the squabble between these organizations; this section still sheds light on some of the inner workings of the ICC and so I would encourage you to read it anyway.

In the midst of the ICC’s coercion of their congregation, the ICOC churches were providing these people with a way out and Kip did not like that at all. He needed a way to prevent them from leaving and therefore he needed to convince them that going to the ICOC would still result in them losing their salvation.

In the beginning, the ICC did seem to have some compelling reasons for believing that people who left the Church were also leaving God, and I did not want to doubt their sincerity. But it is now apparent that there is much manipulation going on and this salvation issue is now being used as blackmail against the members. It won’t be necessary for me to go into too much detail as to why this belief is held but in summary it has to do with:
[1]. A Church teaching that baptism is necessary for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21, Colossians 2:12). 
[2]. Having a congregation in which everyone is evangelistic and has the goal to save lost souls (Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 9:23-26)
[3]*. Having all the members of the congregation in “discipling relationships”.

Though number 3 is not actually a Biblical requirement as a salvation issue (though it is good Biblical advice as can be seen from scriptures such as Proverbs 27:17), I will include it anyway since the ICC insists on using this in their arguments and it will soon play a role in this article. These “discipling relationships” are part of the reason why the “advice” system described above works so well, because each person has an assigned “discipler” who they are required to answer to. Also, for anyone that was reading this article who was somehow hoping that I would disagree with the ICC’s doctrine on baptism, sorry, I can’t help you there. The belief that baptism was necessary for the forgiveness of sins was held by the early Christians and the idea that baptism was not necessary for remission of sins did not really arise in Christianity until the writings of John Wycliffe in the 14th century who wrote about it in terms of his opposition to the sacraments, but it did not become popular until the 1500’s. I prefer to stick with the earliest held beliefs rather than those that are the most popular today, realistically speaking, choosing to place your trust in a form of Christianity that was not even invented until over a millennium after Jesus Christ seems equivalent to gambling with your own salvation, but that’s the end of my spiel on baptism.

After that side note, let’s go back to the subject at hand. The ICC would discourage their members with anti-ICOC statements in their sermons, but with people still leaving to go back to the ICOC it was at this point that Kip McKean decided to turn up the pressure and thus the “Five Core Values” were invented. Of these five core values I address four of them (1-4) and three of which were introduced as “salvation issues” in their anti-ICOC propaganda. Here are the “Five Core Values”:

1●Central leadership with a central leader (they really like to stress the underlined part)
2●In a discipling relationship with a discipleship partner
3●Evangelizing the world in a generation
4*Speak where the Bible is silent and be silent where the Bible speaks
5*(The fifth is not even worth mentioning word-for-word at this point, it’s basically the same “we are just following the whole Bible” type of shallow claim we have all heard before that such religious organizations baselessly like to throw out there and which we all know is not the case for this organization which has an obvious profiteering agenda to their teachings. In other words, the 5th is just propaganda to convince members that their teachings are “Biblical”)

These could not be considered “core values” since they were something that did not even exist until 2014-ish, nearly 8 years after the Church was already “founded” (there was some shaky stuff involved with this “founding” if you read about what Kip did to the Portland church), especially the “central leadership” part since it was obvious that it was gradually phased into the church over time by the upper leadership until finally it was announced as a “core value”.
The 4th “core value” has also been the source of some squabbles between the ICC and ICOC. Here Kip McKean is basically claiming that he is free to elaborate on issues on which the Bible is “silent” claiming that 1 Corinthians 10:23-32 gives him this right. The ICOC began to have concerns with this because of the blatant over exaggeration and exploitation of certain scriptures during Kip’s time of leadership in the ICOC (and we now know that these methods were being used to coerce and control the congregation) and after removing Kip from leadership many ICOC churches began to have a policy of being “silent where the Bible is silent” in order to prevent further abuse. The ICC leaders like to point out that some ICOC churches went overboard by saying that they couldn’t have positions such as “region leader” since these terms are not used in the Bible. Criticizing their former organization for the titles they decide to use is a petty argument to make; at least these churches were trying to prevent further abusive policies from being created, and now we see Kip putting his abusive policies into practice once again using this “core values” as an excuse.

Before the creation of these “core values” the leadership would often preach that the ICOC had abandoned discipling and that they no longer believed in evangelizing the world since the ICOC churches had become autonomous and were not a single “movement”. They would follow this up by saying that the ICOC churches were “dead spiritually” and that they were no longer evangelistic. From some people that I spoke with, it appeared that there were indeed some ICOC churches that were no longer aggressive evangelistically, but this was not a representation of the ICOC as a whole; from other sources I have heard that there are ICOC churches that are still very much evangelistic.
When ICC leaders make statements about how the ICC churches have abandoned discipling, they often quote a specific example where the membership actually applauded when it was announced that there would no longer be assigned discipleship partners. The ICC leaders would comment on this applause with slanderous statements that they were glad to not have accountability so that they could “go back to lives filled with sin.” This makes absolutely no sense; if these people wanted to live sin-filled lives then they would not have even bothered showing up at church in the first place. The reason why the congregation applauded can be derived from realizing how abusively these “discipling relationships” were used, as can be seen throughout my articles (and the ICOC Apology Letters). You can hardly blame them for seeing the discipleship partner setup as an abusive system that could no longer be trusted and the applause that followed the announcement of the disbandment of this system. There are still ICOC churches that practice discipling with discipleship partners, as well as ICOC churches that practice discipling without assigned discipleship partners (meaning that they are free to choose whom to be discipled by), and yes there are ICOC churches that do not have a mandatory “discipling system” because this system has been abused in the past (and is currently being abused by the ICC). The ICC’s general statement that the ICOC does not disciple their members is fairly inaccurate and even slanderous.
Despite the ICC’s propaganda that people who went back to the ICOC would effectively lose their salvation because of their “lukewarmness”, there were people who were aware of the fallacies to their attempted persuasion and therefore when the ICC’s abuses and corrupt policies began to mount up these people began fleeing back to the ICOC. It was at this point that Kip McKean needed something else to threaten these people with eternal damnation, something besides discipleship, evangelism, and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Back when the ICOC was a one-of-a-kind organization, these three qualities were enough to keep people from leaving even in the midst of great abuse, but now with the existence of both the ICC and ICOC, there were two organizations that shared these qualities. Kip now had a “competitor”, and as the ICC’s corruption grew he was beginning to lose members to this competition. He had to think of something else, and he had just the thing; central leadership (with a central leader). Being a cunning man, Kip had planned for this in advance since the leadership would often include statements that threw negative light on the ICOC’s autonomy ever since 2008 (but it was not yet being taught as a “salvation requirement” at this time), so when the ICC’s abuse had grown to the point that people were beginning to flee, he was ready to put this doctrine of central leadership (with a central leader) into action by embedding it into his “Five Core Values” and bringing it into the Church in 2014. Please see my next article The ICC’s Psychological Control System (Part 2); The Issue of Central Leadership for more details on this. This one-man leadership doctrine had allowed Kip to monopolize power during his reign of the ICOC, but this time it would often be presented to the members as a salvation requirement if they thought about leaving.

Now before we go any further let’s first clear up how they influence members into believing that leaving the church means losing their salvation. There is a certain misconception about the ICC in forums on the internet where people claim that the ICC teaches their members that anyone who leaves their church is going to hell. Even though there is no doubt that they want members to believe this, they do not impart this belief on their members in such a forward manner (although they do indeed tell anyone who tries to leave that they are going to hell).
When studying the Bible with potential converts or talking with outsiders they don’t come out and say “anyone who leaves our church is going to hell” or that they are the “only true church in which you can be saved”; as I said before this would bring too much scrutiny against their organization and recruitment would become hard for them. Therefore they use a somewhat stealthier method; they say that in order for members to “ensure their own salvation” that they need to go to a church that has certain “requirements”, and in their sermons they subtly insert propaganda to make their members believe that the ICC is the only church that meets these said “requirements”. Therefore when you hear ICC leaders or members assuring potential converts during the first principles studies; “oh no, we don’t teach that anyone who leaves our church is going to hell”, this statement is actually half true (kind of), although this is something that they want to members to subconsciously believe once they have been brought into the organization.
Now I do believe in having standards for a church, but notice what Kip McKean does next; in order to stop people from fleeing to the ICOC, Kip needed to make up another “requirement”, and thus now we see the ICC leaders trying to sell this doctrine of “central leadership with a central leader” as a requirement for “God’s Church”. Now for members who attempt to flee the ICC to go to the ICOC, this is used as blackmail.
Soon this issue of central leadership became a matter of salvation, just as Kip McKean intended. I was present at a leader’s meeting when an ICC leader came to the front and told the congregation “I have a new conviction” he said; “whoever goes from the ICC to the ICOC is going to hell because the ICOC does not have central leadership and they know that is wrong. We all need to have deep convictions in this”. This so-called new “conviction” as an issue of salvation was soon being peddled around the fellowship by the other ICC leaders; when one of the sisters left the ICC to go an ICOC church (this ICOC church was very evangelistic and it had discipling) the leaders called her and told her that she was “in the darkness” and that she was going to hell. When other people left to go to the ICOC as well, rather than saying “they went to the ICOC” the leaders would instead tell me that “they fell away from God”, that they had turned their backs on God and left their salvation behind. This idea of central leadership was being imposed on everyone as a salvation issue and therefore served to prevent members from going over to the ICOC (because losing members = losing money).  

Now to reiterate what has already been presented in this section; when doing Bible studies with potential converts, they do not tell them that anyone who leaves their Church is considered to have “lost their salvation” as this person is not yet under their psychological control and this would most likely scare them away (when I say “psychological control” I am of course referring to the group psychological theories of Gustave Le Bon and Sigmund Freud which I have alluded to in other articles). Instead the new converts will potentially find out about this when either they or someone else tries to leave the organization and then witness the leadership accusing them of having “lost their salvation”. Even when trying to leave the ICC to go to the ICOC people still receive phone calls saying that they are “in the darkness” and they are going to hell.
For most of the members that are doing Bible studies with potential converts, their omission of this information is not intentionally manipulative but has more to do with the fact that there has never been an official announcement from the ICC leadership that they believe that anyone who leaves their Church is going to hell (at least not in that exact wording) as this would bring scrutiny upon themselves and make it harder for them to bring in new members. But in recent years the ICC the leadership’s behavior toward this issue is becoming fairly obvious and therefore the church members will usually try to avoid this subject entirely when studying with potential converts, however, I have seen some flat-out lie about it at times due to their own over eagerness when they see that a potential convert is close to joining. Misinformation is tolerated (if it will help them achieve their goals) because most of these people are not what you would call “professionals” since they are not actually employed by the Church, it is easy for the ICC leaders to disregard these as “rookie mistakes” and can easily escape any legal obligation to be held accountable for any possible misconduct, but of course they do very little to prevent it from happening and actually instigate the members to manipulate each other as we saw in the previous section about the “Domino Effect” control system.

Strong Enforcement of Multiple Weekly Mandatory Meetings
Kip McKean strongly enforces his members to go to a certain amount of mandatory meetings every week. They try to use Hebrews 10:24-25 to say that members must come to every single meeting:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. –Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV

Many scholars believe that it was Paul who wrote Hebrews, and the original wording that is used here is egkataliepontes; which means to forsake, to desert, or to abandon.

The question here is how long does it have to be for something to be considered “abandoned”? A couple weeks? A month? A year? A decade? The definition of this is left to some discretion, though most would agree that this means to either leave permanently or for an extended period of time, however, the ICC leaders come down on and rebuke anyone who misses a single “mandatory meeting”; this suspiciously shows that there is another agenda at work here. Also this verse is written along the lines of corrective advice and there is no rebuke given toward those who do forsake meetings, there is nothing in this verse to justify the ICC’s harsh crackdown on anyone who doesn’t come to every meeting they have (usually 3 to 4 meetings a week for college students and between 2 and 4 for singles and marrieds).

Another set of scriptures they attempt to exploit to enforce their policy of mandatory meetings is 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and Romans 12:3-8. In these scriptures Paul uses an analogy to describe God’s church as a body to say that each member in the church has a role, just like each part on a physical body play a role for certain functionalities. The point that Paul is trying to make here is that everyone has an important part in the church. The ICC attempts to go beyond this by making an additional analogy to a different aspect of a physical body; and this aspect is in the event that a body part is separated from an actual human body, that body part will begin to rot. The ICC further insinuates that because the church is the “body of Christ”, this means that members must come to every one of their mandatory meetings or else they will “die spiritually”.
To describe this in my own terminology, I would refer to this as an overanalogization; this is basing doctrine off of an analogy while ignoring the author’s original intent for said analogy, this is unsuitable for doctrinal derivation. Jesus did teach using analogies, however, Jesus also had the power on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:2-6), and he was the son of God. It is quite presumptuous of these people to just go around making up their own analogies based on other analogies and then trying to use these analogies as a base for church doctrine as if their ideas are ordained by God. An analogy is an imperfect representation that is meant to get across a certain point, so for someone to try to draw up conclusions around an analogy that are outside the authors intended use, this can yield inaccurate results. It is too obvious that this organization does not care about accuracy; they only care about what scriptures they can exploit for their own purposes. They now repeatedly throw around the phrase “it’s a meeting of the body” when telling their members that they can’t miss any meetings, like the rest of the buzzwords they use, they mindlessly throw this phrase around without any thought to the errors of its derivation.
           

There are regions of the Church where members who are college students are told that they cannot have classes on Wednesday nights even if these classes are required for their major because these would conflict with their midweek meetings and that they must “put the Kingdom first”. Once again, this shows their total ignorance to what the “Kingdom of God” really is; the Kingdom of God is not a meeting, the Kingdom is the people of God. If a person in the Church has a need for a specific class, then the Church should be accommodating to meet that need. They claim that the required meetings are so that all members may be “encouraged” but what they are actually doing is mindlessly suppressing their members which is in fact the opposite of encouraging them, especially when there are significantly more meetings required for college students which decreases the time they have to study. Also take into account the increased work hours these students have to take up in order to keep up with constantly raising their tithes; it is no wonder that their college ministries are comprised predominantly of students with college majors that have lower study time requirements.

I mentioned before the dangers of group psychology and quoted Gustave Le Bon who writes “The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological crowd is the following: Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a crowd puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of isolation.” 
Le Bon comments further on the effects of this collective mind by saying; “In the collective mind the intellectual aptitudes of the individuals, and in consequence their individuality, are weakened. The heterogeneous is swamped by the homogeneous, and the unconscious qualities obtain the upper hand.” Sigmund Freud refers to this as the “herd instinct” or “group mind”, which leads to a lowering of an individual’s capacity to think in a more intelligent manner. Once again, I am merely conveying the content of the conclusions of these psychological authoritarians and I do not write this to insult the congregation’s intelligence. Hopefully many who read my first articles also followed my suggestion of reading the writings of these men so as to be aware of the nature of the psychological influences of which I am alluding to in my articles.

Kip McKean takes advantage of the psychological effects of the group mind mentality by telling his congregation that they must be “united in mind and thought”, quoting such verses as 1 Corinthians 1:10 and Ephesians 4:3. These verses were originally meant for the congregation to be united in the apostle’s teachings, but now this is used against any member who begins to object to the ICC’s actions; as if they are the real problem by disrupting the “unity of the congregation”.

The insistence that all members attend at least 2-4 mandatory meetings every week serves to accelerate the transition of new members into the group psychological state as well as to make sure that this state is maintained for the older members. This makes them more susceptible to methods of coercion and it also serves to stealthily feed beliefs to the congregation that cannot be taught up front, such as the belief that anyone who leaves the ICC loses their salvation. They cannot teach this during the first principles studies since it would scare them away, so instead this belief is subtly introduced to the members and repeatedly reinforced through many mandatory meetings. These required meetings are also meant to subject members to the psychological factors of repetition:

Given to exaggeration in its feelings, a crowd is only impressed by excessive sentiments. An orator wishing to move a crowd must make an abusive use of violent affirmations. To exaggerate, to affirm, to resort to repetitions, and never to attempt to prove anything by reasoning are methods of argument well known to speakers at public meetings. –Gustave Le Bon, Book 1; The Minds of Crowds, Ch. 2.3

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. –Adolf Hitler


These meetings also have another purpose besides psychological influence; there are practical reasons as well. In my first two articles titled The ICC’s Corrupt Policies for Money parts 1 and 2, I showed how the ICC would spread misinformation and half-truths to institute corrupt policies for their own profit. Some people refer to these as “smoke and mirrors” tactics. These tactics can backfire, however, if a record of statements is kept that could be referred back to at a later time to prove the leadership’s dishonesty; therefore they cannot afford to have such statements in a written form or a form of communication that can be stored as a record. The best method is to influence the congregation through oral communication. By having 3 to 4 mandatory meetings a week, this provides the leadership with the ability to ensure that all members are present to receive the orally-delivered propaganda and then to have this propaganda repeated to induce subconscious psychological acceptance. The reason they stress that every single member be present at all meetings is important since if even one member escapes their psychological influence they can become a danger to the system and can easily shatter a carefully created illusion in the minds of other members. This is why certain members are aggressively marked for being “divisive” and all members are coerced into breaking off all communication with such people.

This is an attempt by Kip McKean to capitalize on the concepts of group psychology to influence the minds of his congregation and to keep them under his influence.


(Added commentary 9/28/2015)
I mentioned above that the ICC is wary of having a record of statements which could potentially reveal times where they have been deceitful (such as the claim that “anyone who goes to the ICOC is going to hell”; which was said during an unrecorded leaders meeting), however, I would like to point out that sometimes they let certain things slip during sermons or written articles which are recorded.

A good example of how the ICC is afraid of being caught in their own contradictions can be seen by the account of the original author of kipmckean.com. Before the ICC used threats to grab it from him; his site would often post material that revealed the things that these ICC leaders said in the past. Here is the author’s account of why the people in the ICC leadership were afraid of his site:

I purposely kept the site neutral in its content and supplied very little, if any, commentary as to my views about events that were happening in the ICOC and to McKean.  Believe me, I could have said a lot more, but decided to offer links and comparisons and allow website visitors the opportunity to be fully informed and to make their own decisions based on the information they researched.   For instance, had a website visitor wanted to read the letters and articles that were addressing McKean’s divisive actions in 2005, they would have to know and go to each individual churches website to read the letter that that church wrote in response to McKean’s announcement that he was forming a new movement and then attempting to pull members out of his former church into his newly formed church.  Instead, the website visitor could now read both McKean’s articles and each churches letter in an easy to read timeline.

I also pulled quotes from McKean’s sermons and articles that where inflammatory against his former fellowship or quotes used to confuse members as to who a Christian truly was, what the church taught regarding the possibility of any other church outside his movement being Christian, and how McKean’s doctrine added to the scriptures regarding the steps needed in becoming a Christian, etc.  Once again, I only pulled quotes directly from McKean.  I did not give my commentary on the subject.  I used only McKean’s words.


Then he goes on to remark on the ICC’s celebration of the transfer of the domain name kipmckean.com into the ICC’s hands:

What follows over the next several postings, will be my account of events that have caused them to claim “When this transfer is complete this week, it will mark the end of the worst persecution we’ve received from any website on the internet!” and “This is undoubtedly the largest victory we’ve seen in our Cyber-Ministry!!!” While flattering as this is to me, I also find it laughable that they think they have overcome some huge obstacle.   Apparently posting their own words on the website seems to be the worst thing they have faced.   Showing both sides of a story is something they cringe in fear of.  These men are not men of God.

The rest of the author’s account of how the ICC used deceit and threats to wrestle the kipmckean.com domain name from him can be found here.

This website also includes the original material that was on kipmckean.com before the ICC took it over to post their propaganda.

A prime example of where the ICC leaders constantly contradict themselves is with the following reasoning:

1. ICC loses members = “God is pruning us; that proves we are God’s movement.”
Compare to:
2. ICC gets baptisms = “God is adding to our number; that proves we are God’s movement.”


Whatever happens; whether the ICC is gaining members or losing members, they want their people to believe that they are “God’s Kingdom” and therefore resort to all kinds of contradictive reasoning to justify whatever they want to believe.

Control of Dating

The ICC leadership will only let their members date if the leaders have approved that these members are “spiritual”. Members are not allowed to date unless they are approved by the leadership, of course this is not something that they have announced, but rather they use methods that highly discourage members from even attempting to form a “romantic” relationship with another member without going through the proper channels; such as talking to their discipler first and then getting the approval of the region leader. 
       With this system in place hardly ever is an “illegal” couple formed, however, there have been a few cases where I have seen members attempt to date each other without leadership consent, in this case the leaders would demand to have a meeting with the couple and then ask them to break up on the grounds that their relationship is “unspiritual”. While doing this they coerce the couple with statements that they are “just concerned with their well-being and spirituality.” So we see that even though they do not officially tell the congregation that they are not allowed to date without their approval (they do not make this announcement because their abuse of power would become too obvious), they do have a system in place which ensures that unapproved couples do not get formed. It is one thing to be concerned about the well-being of an individual, but it is another thing entirely to be controlling. If God’s heart was to be controlling then he would have put Adam and Eve in a cage rather than allowing them to roam the Garden of Eden. God wants to give us the freedom of learning from our mistakes.
            The leaders claim that they want to make sure that the couple relationships are approved as being “spiritual” according to their definition of “spirituality”. Now recall from my previous writings that for members to not give their full special missions contribution (that was imposed on them, these amounts are not voluntarily agreed on) or who did not raise their contribution when “called” to do so, this is regarded as “unspiritual” by the leadership. And if these members are “discipling” other members, then they are expected to “disciple” them into raising their contributions and giving whatever amounts of money that are dictated during special contributions as well. So for a member to appear “spiritual” in the eyes of the leaders, they need to comply with these things that the leaders tell them to do. This is a very effective method for controlling young college-aged people with raging hormones.
It is not too hard to put two and two together to see the result of this; if members of the Church want to become a couple, they must behave in compliance with these policies. So if a brother becomes interested in one of the sisters, then to get leadership approval in order to ask her to date him he had better be ready to fork over whatever amount of money that the leadership asks for or else this approval will not be given. Well, now we see why they are so eager to “help make sure the dating couples are spiritual”, for this is a great deal for them in terms of monetary profit. Also these couples must continue to comply with these ICC policies in order to be considered to be “spiritual” enough to continue their relationship, so in effect they must give whatever money the leadership asks for, whenever they ask for it, or else it will affect whether these couples will even be “allowed” to get married. For these young people, the ICC’s control of dating becomes a highly effective leash to be used against them as well as controlling their young minor leaders.

There have been times in the ICC where I have been around newly married couples who didn’t even seem to love each other; there was kind of an awkwardness about them. I saw more affection in the relationships that my married friends outside the church had (and their relationship were pure). Some of these newly married ICC couples would brag that they were “so deep in God” that their love for God overshadows their love for each other. Is that so? In order to get married you of course have to comply with ICC policies (because you have to become a couple first, and I already showed the prerequisites required for that to happen). These people had to give whatever money the leadership demanded as well as coerce the people they were “discipling” to raise their contributions as well. So do they mean to tell me that they are so “deep in God” that I cannot see their love for each other even after they have been going along with these policies that are clearly against the scriptures? What is really happening here is that the lack of love I was seeing in these couples was due to the ICC’s attempts to make sure that their love for one another did not supersede their loyalty to their organization.
The ICC takes measures to insure this back when the couple first begins dating, if they see them getting too close they will intervene and tell them that they can only interact or talk to each other on certain days of the week. They claim that this will help them to be more devoted to God and that it will help their relationship, in some cases I have seen couples that were only allowed to talk to each other for one day a week. They keep this up for a couple months until the leaders see that their loyalty to their organization becomes solidified.
The reason they started doing this was because sometimes after a couple becomes allowed to date they leave the organization together. This is because the ICC leaders have used their control of dating to coerce these people to give more money, as well as getting them to manipulate other people into giving more money. Once these people get what they wanted and look back at what they had to go through in order to get it, they finally realize that it is better to leave the organization and therefore the couple leaves together.
By limiting their contact with each other and ensuring their loyalty to the organization, they can prevent couples from leaving together and even threaten to break them up for being “unspiritual” if they slack on their contributions or do not raise their contributions when told to do so. This also explains why Kip McKean and Victor Gonzalez Sr. were so confident when they told Karl W. that they would convince his wife to divorce him if he should dare to leave their organization (thankfully their plan didn’t work).

Conclusion
I have only provided a few examples of the scriptures which the ICC leaders twist to their own purposes. The ICC leaders distort a great number of other scriptures which can be disproven if we would only think critically. It is the profession of these people to use the Bible to make money after all. You need to ask yourselves for each scripture; what was the intent of the author when this scripture was written? Does this intent match what these Church leaders are trying to do? We need to be unified on the scriptures, but in order to make sure that our unification is based on the Bible we need to be able to think critically like the Bereans did rather than allowing ourselves to be pulled into a group mentality.

For Kip McKean, as a master architect of a system of control, he has realized that you cannot manipulate people if these people are aware that they are being manipulated. . Likewise, for a church filled with many good-hearted people in the lower ranks, it is very hard to get them to manipulate others if they become aware of what they are actually doing. Therefore this manipulation needs to be disguised as something else whether it be “advice” to influence people to make decisions according to the ICC leadership’s desires, claiming to be “concerned for your salvation” whenever abusive policies are questioned and “concern for your spirituality” whenever they want you to give more money, etc. The ICC has done a very thorough job of obscuring the main function of these policies and trying to present them as something else. As for those who become increasingly aware that something is wrong, Kip knows that everyone has their price and controls them via relationships, threats to upset their financial stability (for those who are employed), spiritual blackmail, etc.

With this Hebrews 4:12 comes to mind once again, like a double-edged sword the scriptures can be used either for good or evil, and for those who use it for the latter, as an instrument of control through fear and psychological terrorism, they are going to have to answer to God for it on judgment day.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. –Colossians 2:8




31 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with most of your conclusions. However, I think that Kip and the other leaders are as besotted with power as they are with money. I believe that Kip really thinks that his way is the only way to salvation. This shows very clearly what a sick sociopath he is. However, I never once had any kind of meeting or discussion with him. You know him better than I. It may be that he is laughing up his sleeve at us this entire time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was married in the ICC and left after seeing first hand the manipulation, deceit and unyielding control the church exerts over its members. My husband is still part of the ICC and has unequivocally expressed that his "church family" is more important to him than our physical family and marriage. This doesn't surprise me since this is what members are indoctrinated to believe. This can't be any more evident than when a young ICC member's father's funeral was held during the 2014 Global Leadership Conference. Instead of being with her mother and sister during this difficult time, the young lady briefly attended her "loving" [her words, not mine]father's funeral and then rushed back to the GLC festivities where she was patted on the back for putting the church first.

    Although I understand that members are brain washed into believing the church MUST take priority over any other relationship/commitment, it still pains me to know that a new convert to "God's one true church", the ICC, is technically more important to my husband than his own wife.

    I cannot help make the connection between the number of divorcees leading churches/regions and their devotion to Kip and the ICC. Several of these leaders were once married to spouses who either didn't want to join the ICC or left the group. It is my belief that these so called "leaders" contributed to the dissolution of their marriage by placing Kip and his organization above their spouses and children. Coincidentally, these leaders were eventually "rewarded" with titles (ie. Evangelists and Women's Ministry Leaders), power, prestige and shamefully for some younger "sold out" significant others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To August 16th ICC Wife- One of the main reasons I left the ICC was because of the number of divorced men and women Kip was tapping to be evangelists and women's ministry leaders despite his claims that the church does not condone divorce. It wasn't just one or two appointments of divorcees...there were several and many who divorced as disciples.

      There was once such case where the church leadership supported and encouraged one young man's refusal to reconcile and ultimately forgive his wife's indiscretions so that he could pursue another "sister" who he and the church considered "better ministry material". It wasn't too long after the divorce was final that this man began dating the "ministry material" sister, got engaged and they were both appointed evangelist and women's ministry leaders. It was appalling to hear ICC leaders justify this situation by saying that "God allowed the divorce to happen" so that this man could serve as an evangelist along side a sister who was a more "suitable helper."

      Delete
    2. Response to November 5th entry,

      This is what happens when your ambition to be an evangelist is more important than reconciling with the "wife of your youth". If this man is who I think it is, he blew an amazing opportunity to show his young daughter God's example of grace, mercy, forgiveness and unconditional love by refusing to reconcile with her mother. Instead marrying a woman who he and the church leaders believed would be better suited for his "career" as an evangelist. Apparently he missed the ICCM's assigned reading of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

      Delete
    3. "Apparently he missed the ICCM's assigned reading of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers."

      As well as the part in the bible where it says, "God hates divorce." -Malachi 2:16

      By the number of divorced evangelists and women's ministry leaders Kip has on staff, it appears that this is one scripture they've all skimmed over.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous November 5 & 6-You're referring to CL and KG (formerly KL). It's true that the "leaders" did not feel that KG was suited for the ministry but believed Cesar was. This hindered CL's ambition (albeit self-ambition) to be on staff and eventually an evangelist. You can imagine the pressure and strain this places on a marriage. In the ICC, if you want to be in the ministry you best marry someone leadership approves of and thinks is ministry material. As such, there is a lot of "arranged marriages" in the church. When the opportunity presented itself for CL to get out of his marriage to KG he was more than eager to do so despite the fact that they had a child together.

      Delete
    5. Cesar Limon and Jason Dimitri and I am sure a whole lot more are adulterers.

      Delete
  3. Dear ICC Wife (Anonymous-August 16th),

    Thank you for sharing your comments. My husband is also a member of the international christian church. His job usually requires that he works nights but on the evenings that he's off, he goes to the "mandatory meetings of the body". As busy as he is with church, we're lucky if we see each other during the week and since he works Saturdays, the only other time we might connect is on Sundays 'if' he doesn't have a leader's meeting. He claims he's just trying to "lead us spiritually" but the obvious question is how is our family expected to follow when the church basically demands all of his spare time? It's pretty disheartening to say the least. And he wonders why I have no interest in joining the group.

    By the way...can someone please explain where all the adults are in the church??? I went to a congregational service and I swear that 95% of the members looked like they just graduated high school. It was eerie. Almost like walking into a scene between Children of the Corn and Lord of the Flies. I jokingly asked the girl seated next to me where they kept everyone over the age of 30. She didn't get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A growing percentage of the Church is comprised of young college students since they are the most susceptible to psychological persuasion. This is because these young college students have only recently come of age and still have that lingering mindset to trust the words of the “adults” around them and are susceptible to the propaganda and psychological persuasion from these leaders whom they have chosen to trust.

      Moreover, for the college ministry they prefer to make leaders out of kids that are still young (both in terms of age and with respect to the length of time that they have been with the organization) and thus more susceptible to additional indoctrination. I was 19 when I joined in 2008 but it was becoming pretty clear that the new beliefs and policies that they were trying to stuff down my throat were not going down very well, so in the end they just put me over to the side and hoped that I wouldn’t cause them any trouble (we now see how that turned out, I wouldn’t stay silent while my brothers and sisters in Christ were being abused and coerced). These new doctrines and policies included the imposed belief that their contributions were “vow to God” that they could not lower (but the leadership did everything in their power to raise their contributions twice a year) and their new mandatory doctrine that the church of God must be led by a single “central leader” which Kip to trying to use to gain further power over the members and prevent them from leaving and then also their new policy established in 2013 which led to extortion of the members which I talked about in article 3.

      Delete
    2. This is in fact incorrect, the effort to grab young people is because they have no attachments and can be groomed in the church and are more likely to marry in the church. In 2000, it was announced the averaged member left the church after turning 35, when people begin thinking about a home and family.

      Young people trust the words of adults less

      Delete
    3. To Anonymous (August 26)
      My statement was based on the observations that I made for six years as I witnessed the ICC making leaders of young kids and then using them to spread policies throughout the church which were only loosely based off of a few particular scriptures taken out of context and that were for the purpose of profit and control. I observed the age groups which took a blind adherence to what the leadership was trying to impose on the congregation and then I saw as the older people left. Even in the statistic that you quoted that the average person who LEFT was 35 (you refer to the ICOC since it is 2000, but that was during Kip’s reign nonetheless), meanwhile the younger people stay and eventually realize how corrupt Kip’s organization is once they get older. If you wish to disagree with my observations then very well, but it's a stretch to claim your opinion as a "fact". Your observation that these people have less attachments is indeed another factor though, but the “grooming” you alluded to does involve all the psychological manipulations that I mentioned.

      Delete
    4. To Anonymous August 26th and Dan Berg:

      In the recent ICC Good News propaganda bulletin, Raul Moreno, the leader of the San Paola church explains why the group aggressively PREYS on young campus students. Raul writes:

      1. "Idealism of Youth". Of course what Raul doesn't say is that the young can also be naïve making them vulnerable targets for exploitation, manipulation, coercion and spiritual abuse.

      2. "Unhindered by Life's Problems." Raul claims that campus students don't have to worry about debts, bills, etc. therefore freeing them up to focus on evangelism full time (translation: recruiting new members for Kip's church). News Flash!!! College kids do acquire debt in the form of student loans. And sadly, since many students that join the ICC do DROP OUT of college to "advance" Kip's kingdom, they find it difficult to pay back these loans because they can't get the type of jobs their education was preparing them for before they were manipulated into believing that growing Kip's religious franchise was more important than their future.

      3. "Hearts Are Less Damaged by Sin". Raul believes that because campus students tend to be younger, they have committed less sin that hardens the heart. Wha?!? Two words for Raul that sinks this theory: DJ Comisford.

      4. "Talent". According to Raul, "a greater percentage of talented people [are found on campus] than those who do not have the privilege to go to university." Yep, you heard that right! You really want to know what ICC leaders think about you because you either 1) Didn't go to college OR
      2) Sacrificed your education for "the movement"? Refer back to Raul's quote you 'talentless' minion.

      5. "Nationals". Raul believes that campuses are great harvesting grounds for foreign recruits who can take Kip McKean's brand of Christianity back to their country. Through the use of their indoctrination curriculum called First Principles anyone who studies with the ICC is led to believe that he/she is not saved and must be baptized and remain a "sold out" member of the ICC or risk spending eternally in hell. Now if this isn't bad enough, foreigners/nationals are told they cannot get baptized unless they are willing to return to their country of origin to spread McKean's doctrine.
      Hey Kip! It's about time you practiced what you preach. Since your wife, Elena, is from Cuba when should we expect your move?

      6. "Long Life". Raul writes, "the younger one is converted, the more time that one has to serve God! Also, usually the more energy as well!" In the ICC, college students are exploited for their youth and vigor. Many of them serve as "unpaid interns" working full time for the church doing everything from recruiting, raising money, administrative tasks to babysitting church leaders' kids and cleaning leaders' homes.

      It's important to note that Kip used this type of organizational model to grow his previous church, the ICOC. Sadly, many of those that sacrificed their education and careers for the ICOC twenty years ago are finding it very difficult to make a living, now, because they do not have the necessary job skills required to obtain gainful employment. All the while the McKeans were able to send their kids to Ivy League colleges, travel the world and enjoy the amazing sunsets from the balcony of their high rise condo in Marina Del Rey.

      Delete
    5. You forgot to mention the kids' private tennis lessons, growing up in the affluent community of Pacific Palisades and attending one of LA's most elite and expensive preparatory schools. While Kip has called (and continues to call) thousands of young adults to give up their education, promising job opportunities and dreams for the sake of "advancing the gospel", he and Elena groomed their children to attend Harvard and Stanford helping to ensure their bright futures and apparently it worked. According to all three of the McKeans' kid's Linked-In profiles, they've been able to secure lucrative career paths unlike Kip and Elena's "spiritual children" who sadly sacrificed the same opportunities because they bought into the ICC/ICOC rhetoric.

      By the way, Kip has shared from the pulpit that it was his dream for his biological kids to attend Harvard. Hmm...nice to know that at least one person in the ICC is permitted to dream. I guess that's one of the perks of being the "central leader" you get to do whatever you want.

      Delete
    6. Let me get this straight...the ICC Leaders, including Raul Moreno, manipulate and coerce young church members to drop out of college so they can devote all their time and energy to "evangelizing" the schools they dropped out of. Only to be considered/referred to as "less talented" than the body of potential recruits (current campus students) these young members are directed to prey on at the universities they were formerly enrolled in.

      It's no surprise that ICC college "clubs" like those back in the day when Kip was leading the ICOC are being kicked off campuses.

      Delete
    7. My sister and I were members of the ICC. My sister left shortly after she was admonishment by the "evangelist" that sharing her faith was more important than studying for her mid-terms. This was coming from someone who never attended college and whose wife dropped out of school after she was converted in the campus ministry.

      I, too, decided to leave several months later after becoming concerned over the number of students quitting school to focus on "advancing the kingdom" as well as the church's practice of advising members to quit their jobs to follow evangelist(s) and their wives to their new congregation as added support to their leadership. Those that declined to move and/or quit school were often labeled and accused of "not seeking the church first", "resisting the spirit", "not being sold-out", etc.

      Delete
    8. To Nov. 2nd-
      One of the shepherds approached me and said that he had gotten advice about me moving to a different region to help "grow that ministry" and that it was a "go ahead" and wanted to know what I thought. I was like, "Dude...you didn't even ask me if I was interested in moving and plus that will add another 45 minutes to my commute to and from work." He said, "Your heart should be 'go any where, do anything for the kingdom.'" Can you spell M.A.N.I.P.U.L.A.T.I.O.N.

      This stuff happens all the time in the ICC. Leaders deciding when and where a person should move without even asking that person first. It's then presented to the person like, "If you're not willing to do this then you're obviously not 'sold out'".

      Delete
    9. Hi. I am also the spouse of an ICC member and I'm PISSED!!! My husband has been sick for nearly a week with vomiting, severe congestion, head ache, etc. Yet, he refuses to miss a "meeting of the body" in order to get the necessary rest to recover. Why? Because he's been indoctrinated by the church to believe that by doing so, he is not being "SOLD OUT".

      Now before anyone judges and thinks it's just my husband who is being overly zealous, Mandee Rohn (the wife of the Boston ICC leader)shared the following Facebook post on January 7th about her husband's health:

      "Hey Friends & Family! Many thanks to those who have been praying for Coltin, and my Dad Marks health.
      Unfortunately they both traveled in an ambulance last night due to extreme abdominal pain, projectile vomiting, among other symptoms that I won't mention. 911 was called when my Dad's vomiting became so violent that he passed out. They stayed the night in the hospital, they were diagnosed with food bourne illness, and were discharged between 4-5am this morning. Sadly Coltin & I's flight to Los Angeles for the Winter Workshop left without us at 5:30am.
      Today they are both still very weak, have had blurred vision and/or feelings of being disoriented, and have slept a majority of the day.
      Coltin and I are very hopeful that we will catch at least part of the Workshop in L.A however we are currently taking the time Coltin needs to recover from this unexpected family emergency."

      On January 8th, Mandee posts that she and Coltin are "LA bound". Clearly, a person who is suffering from "projectile vomiting, blurred vision, disoriented..." and apparently so sick he had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance just the day before is in no condition to travel.

      It is irresponsible for church leaders to preach, teach, dictate, command and set this kind of example. Even Jesus took time to rest. ICC leaders and members who fail to care for their health are not more "sold out". They're just IRRESPONSIBLE. It's these type of people who even drag their poor, sick kids to church functions.

      Delete
  4. Kip McKean's organization employs many of the similar tactics that have been identified as RED FLAGS commonly found in unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationships. Below, I have attached three of these tactics- ISOLATION, COERCION AND FEAR to the examples provided in your analysis:

    Confining Primary Social Circles=This is an example of ISOLATION. Emotionally abusive people limit and/or restrict the time their victims spend with family, friends or alone.

    Strong Enforcement of Multiple Weekly Mandatory Meetings=ICC leaders use COERCION to get members to comply to attending all group meetings. The most common type of coercion in the ICC is "emotional blackmail" where members fear the rejection and disapproval of leaders, other members and ultimately God for not making it to all the "meetings of the body".

    Salvation Issues=This is where the ICC uses FEAR to control its members. If someone decides to leave the group, they are told they will lose their salvation. If a person goes against what leaders advise them to do, they are at risk of losing their salvation. If a member refuses and/or cannot raise their contribution, this is considered a salvation issue and the individual is at risk of losing salvation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make some good points. Especially about the “emotional blackmail”; the ICC wants to make it so that most, if not all of the members main friends are within their organization so that they will be scared to leave and lose all their “relationships”.

      I have not witnessed anyone threatened with “losing their salvation” while citing their unwillingness to raise their contribution as the reason (although they will try to cite other reasons as a form of coercion), however, they do get slandered if they don’t and they are not allowed to (actually) date the sisters.

      Delete
  5. I have already shared this story on Facebook, but I thought that I should share it here as well.
    (I’m going to have to break this story into two parts since comments are limited 4096 characters, and I don’t care to make an entirely new blog post about it).

    Back when I was still part of the ICC, my roommate Stephen who was the south region campus leader at the time spoke to Oleg Sirotkin about the coercion that was being done to the members. Oleg was the region leader of the south region at the time (in case any of you don’t know the ICC’s terminology; the CAICC church is divided into regions and the “region leaders” control each church in a specific area). Stephen tried pleading with him and showed him the scriptures that the ICC was violating with their coercion and abusive leadership and finally Oleg answered; “I KNOW THAT WHAT THE ICC IS DOING IS WRONG, BUT I CANNOT LEAVE OR ELSE I WILL NOT HAVE A JOB ANYMORE.” Oleg had been going along with the coercion because for the contribution raises he was being pressured to raise the region’s contribution to a certain quota that was being dictated by his employer; Kip McKean.

    Oleg had essentially admitted that he was aware of the ICC’s corruption and after his meeting with Stephen he obviously realized this and then had Stephen marked for “being divisive”. Now Stephen had indeed invited Oleg to go over to the ICOC with him during the meeting but that was after it was already clear that Oleg had confessed that he did not like what the ICC leadership was doing (or specifically, pressuring him into coercing the members, although he didn’t put it that bluntly), so it seemed like he didn’t really want to be there if he wasn’t getting paid for it. Also according to Titus 3:10, before the church marks someone they need to get two warnings, but after the meeting Oleg marked Stephen right away without any such warning. Why would Oleg be so quick to mark Stephen whom he claimed was his “friend”? If he really considered him to be a “friend”, and if he was really marking Stephen for “divisiveness” then wouldn’t he have given him the two warnings? This indicates that Oleg was eager to mark Stephen in order to have him silenced. He did not want any word of his confession getting out about being aware of the ICC’s corruption for fear of incurring the anger of his employer.

    Stephen probably thought that he could reason with him because Oleg seems to be one of the more kind-hearted leaders. But Oleg was depending on his paychecks from Kip to support his family and was otherwise not authorized to work anywhere else in the U.S. (and ICOC leaders have said that they do not want to hire him because he had a reputation for lying) so ultimately Oleg threw Steven under the bus in order to protect himself and the financial support for his family rather than taking a stand for the members who are being coerced (whom he claims to be his “spiritual family”). Many people become fazed because some of these leaders seem nice, but when push comes to shove these leaders will choose to protect only themselves in the end, and Kip knows exactly how to manipulate them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the time that it happened I had no idea what was going on, only that the leaders had told me that my roommate Stephen was “marked by the church” and that he was moving out of the brother’s household. The shepherd of the region suspiciously asked me; “Did Stephen tell you anything?” Since me and Stephen had been roommates, the shepherd thought that I may had heard something but Stephen had not yet told me anything about what happened at this point in time so I told the shepherd “no, he hasn’t said anything to me”. Then he said, “ok, just don’t say anything about it.” Say anything about what?- I thought to myself. I knew that there was something going on that had the shepherd and the region leader on edge; something that they did not want people to know.

      I found out the full story of why my roommate Stephen was marked about a week after Anthony Olmos had tried to coerce me into accepting the policy on extorting money from the members (a spoiler in case anyone has not read that article; his attempt failed). Whenever people speak out against the ICC’s corruption the leaders label them as “bitter” and “deceived by Satan”, however, this confirmed my suspicions that many of the leaders themselves are actually aware of the corruption within their own organization and are willingly going along with it. Even for ex-members who tell stories about the manipulative tactics of the ICC leadership; the content of their accounts match and support one another as well as the accounts of ex-leaders who express how they were ashamed of what they did while under the influence Kip’s organization.

      These people who are part of Kip’s inner circle call themselves “the leaders of God’s kingdom”, but instead they are the ABUSERS of God’s kingdom by exploiting people’s faith in God. Such scoundrels who actively hurt God’s people will have no place in heaven. Many are aware of what they are doing; so they are hurting God’s people as if they do not even believe that God exists. After all, if you really believed in God then would you knowingly hurt his children and exploit them for money? In the midst of their coercion they abusively use and distort whatever scriptures they can as if they do not care about perverting God’s Word as long as they can use it to fulfill their own agendas (I show many cases throughout my articles where they obviously twist certain scriptures for their own purposes). In the lower ranks of leadership there are people who may simply be misguided, but at the core of the ICC’s upper level of leadership there is corruption and wickedness.

      Delete
    2. Daniel-

      The reality is that many who make up Kip's "Leadership Team" are in it for a job and a paycheck. Being an evangelist and a women's ministry leader in Kip's church is a cushy job and those that are employed by Kip are willing to do anything to keep it that way even if it means compromising their integrity and taking advantage of those in their congregation. It's reality and it's sad. Unfortunately, there will always be new batches of Kip(s) and Elena(s) popping up to exploit those they can.

      Delete
    3. "The shepherd of the region suspiciously asked me; 'Did Stephen tell you anything?' "Then he said, 'ok, just don't say anything about it.'

      I wouldn't be surprised if this was the same shepherd whose son, overwhelmed by the pressure of the church's annual fund drive, was arrested for stealing watches from a department store so he could sell them to meet the church's Special Mission's goal.

      Delete
  6. What most people in the ICC do not realize is that Oleg Sirotkin is not ANY DIFFERENT than most (if not all) of the former ICOC ministry staff who join up with Kip. They do so for one reason: a paycheck. Kip McKean, Corey Blackwell, Chris Broom, Victor Gonzales Sr., Carlos Mejia, Luis Martinez, Blaise Feumbia, Chris McGrath, etc. etc. all regurgitate the same rhetoric about leaving the ICOC because it was dying. Not true. Not one of these men left the ICOC while still employed by them. They left because they were either fired or laid off. Jermaine Peacock, a former ICOC evangelist, recently joined Kip ONLY AFTER being let from the San Diego ICOC. His hope, like the others, is that the ICC would hire him. And the plan is to eventually hire the Peacocks.
    Many of these ex-icoc ministry couples, including Kip and Elena, DO NOT have the necessary job skills, training and/or education to secure a secular job. This is why so many of them turn to multi-level marketing because they aren't qualified to do anything else.

    If it wasn't for Russ Ewell giving the ICOC Portland Church the go ahead to hire the McKeans, Kip and Elena would still be out of a job. PERIOD. They lack the job skills to obtain viable careers that would afford them to sustain the lavish lifestyle both are accustomed to living. END OF STORY.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I came across this recent video of one of Chris Broom’s speeches:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxE6mn7I1fA&feature=player_embedded

    This “sermon” is a classic example of psychological manipulation through association.

    At 28:00 he says to the ICC church leaders (Bible talk leaders, disciplers, etc) that they need to keep those whom they are leading to be “accountable”. Note that this right after he talked about the special missions contribution, then after calling the leaders to hold those whom they are leading “accountable”, he flows right back into the special missions contribution at 29:00.

    Therefore, the flow of Chris Brooms speech between 23:30 to 29:30 is: Give special missions contribution>>leaders you need to keep the members “accountable” >>Give full special missions contribution in order to be “faithful”.
    This psychologically influences the members into thinking that they need to be held “accountable” to giving their quota for the special contribution even though these amounts are dictated by the leadership and that they have no say over the issue over what this expected “full amount” is.

    34:15 - Chris Broom talks about "rebellion"; implying that those who question the leadership (and therefore the ICC leadership's decisions) are going against God.
    "They were grumbling against their human leaders, but really against God".

    "Are you giving a 'faithful report' or do you see signs of rebellion in your life”.
    Earlier in the video Chris had already associated the term "giving a faithful report" to giving the full missions contribution amount dictated by the leadership (he starts speaking about this contribution at 23:30 in the video and then later makes the said association). He had also already associated rebelling against God with questioning the ICC leadership. So in other words this is to psychologically influence the members into thinking that in order to be “faithful” they need to agree to give the ICC leadership whatever amount of money they ask for, and to question this policy is “rebellion against God”.

    This is why the ICC is so strict about their multiple weekly “mandatory meetings” where the members are subjected to these kinds of psychologically influential speech sessions every week; to control the minds of their members by hammering these manipulative ideas into them.

    Of course the November special control is significantly smaller than the one they have in June, but they use this same format of psychological control during the June contribution which is now 25 times their weekly contribution (and for many of the members, they have been coerced into giving 30% of their weekly paycheck so this the June special contribution is really a 75 times contribution in terms of a 10% tithe).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Kip's 11-22-15 propaganda driven "Good News E-Mail", he shares a story and pictures submitted by Chris Broom of NYICC church members begging for money in the snow. It's possible that these members were not on target to meet the church's imposed "Thanksgiving" cash fund drive so they were coerced, manipulated and/or guilted into doing the only thing they could to raise the money...beg.

      Delete
  8. To Anon (Nov. 25):

    It wasn't New York but Chicago church members. And we weren't just "begging for money in the snow". It was actually a SNOW STORM!!! Chicago disciples are RADICAL, man! Who cares if our World Sector Leaders are sippin' $6.00 mocha lattes (that they expense back to the church) next to a warm fire waiting for dinner reservations at Per Se while we're freezin' our butts off. We still love you Chris and Teresa Broom!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have a story that best illustrates the FEAR ICC members have of falling out of favor with church leaders. When I decided to leave the group for most of the same reasons outlined in this blog, ICC members took to my Facebook page with comments and accusations about me "leaving God" and risking eternal damnation. When I replied that I, in fact, was not leaving God but rather a church that I felt was spiritually crippling, I was called a "deserter", a "John Mark", a "fall-away" and again told that I was going to "hell". Having been part of the church for several years, I understood that these were FEAR tactics and a feeble attempt to keep people from leaving the group. Less people means less money in church leaders' pockets. After going back and forth with members regarding my decision to leave I finally asked the one question that no one, despite their outspoken conviction concerning my spiritual fate, was willing to answer (at least on a public forum): "Does that mean all three of Kip and Elena's kids are going to hell? They were baptized disciples and no longer part of the church."

    Wouldn't you know...the thread went dead. Not one ICC member was bold enough to tackle this question. Why? Because members have been indoctrinated not to level the same type of scrutiny on church leaders as they do each other. Leaders decide if and when members are ready to date, marry, where they should live, if/when members are permitted to go on vacation and for how long, if/where they go to school, etc. Church leaders can make life very difficult for someone who doesn't tow the party line or whom they perceive to be "critical". This is a real threat especially to the young rank and file members whose entire social construct and support system is the church.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to share an "A-Ha moment" I had during an encounter with Elena McKean.

      There was a married couple the church was aggressively trying to recruit because this couple were potential "big givers" financially. Elena approached me and requested that I "serve" this couple by offering to babysit for them during the week. At the time, not only was I working a full time job but also leading a bible talk, discipling four women, studying the bible with two others and serving as the lead teacher for Kid's Kingdom. This was on top of attending Wednesday night Devo, Friday night bible talk, tagging on Saturdays, church on Sundays and leaders' meeting Sunday nights.

      As Elena was standing in front of me, I remember thinking "Really?!? Why don't you offer to babysit? You have the time!" This is when the realization hit me...there are certain jobs/duties that Kip and Elena feel are beneath them.

      When the McKeans were leading their former fellowship, the ICOC, Elena always had personal assistants, live-in nannies, a team of rotating sisters to clean her home...you name it, she had it. So it makes sense that Elena feels she shouldn't have to serve in this capacity.

      How ironic for the McKeans to claim they worship Jesus. The Son of God who actually got down on his hands and knees to do the most menial of jobs...the washing of his followers' feet.

      Delete
  10. The psychological manipulation is embedded in everything that they do as an organization, even something as simple as setting up chairs for church service. One morning before church, there were brothers working to get the room ready before service. We ended up getting permission from the venue to expand the room with the one adjacent to it because this particular service required additional set up. One of the brothers mentioned how making the room bigger was actually beneficial because a smaller room would make the church seem as though it is packed, and it could lead members to think along the lines of, "Wow, look at all these people here! We are doing awesome." He then continued by saying that leadership wants to promote growth, so it is always better to expand the room so that there are more empty chairs. This is because empty chairs would in contrast lead the members to think, "We really need to fill all these empty chairs! We have to get more people to become members."

    They really have everything down to a T, seeing that something like chair placement is even used by leadership to place heavy emphasis on the need to proselytize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ICC Leaders (especially Kip) are known to operate from a foundation of deceit and manipulation. This is what the ICOC, under the McKean's leadership, was built on and we know how that cookie crumbled, literally. The ICC is following suit.

      Delete