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 3] The ICC's Extortion and Coercion for Money

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 3]
The ICC’s Extortion and Coercion for Money
By Daniel Berg           June 25, 2015

Coercion and Extortion
In 2013, Kip McKean put in action a policy which dictated that members who did not give a contribution for two weeks in a row would be “warned” that they would be disfellowshipped. This is regardless of whether that member is actually receiving any income. Now for those of you outside the ICC who have studied your Bibles on the subject of how the Church went about collecting their finances; it should be fairly obvious how unbiblical this policy is, however, I shall continue anyway to explain why this is not in line with the scriptures because my target audience has been manipulated into believing otherwise.

The ICC churches keep detailed track of the contribution records of every single member (for the sake of “accountability” is what they tell people). They do this by introducing “contribution envelopes” where everyone is required to put their name on the front and turn in with their contribution. The members were assured that “many other churches do this”, of course other churches do have optional envelopes for members to use, but it is quite a stretch for the ICC to use this as an example for what they were doing.

Starting in 2013, those in the Church who missed their contributions two weeks in a row are approached by an ICC leader who will ask them why they are not giving them money. If the member has a job from which they are receiving income then the leader will tell them that they are subject to being disfellowshipped from the Church if they keep missing payments. If the member says that they are unemployed, then the Church leader will then make an obscure reference to Exodus 23 and 34 with the phrase “No one is to appear before me empty-handed” in which God is giving the Israelites instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The ICC leader will then try to convince the member that this means that they need to continue to give money to the Church every Sunday regardless of whether or not they are receiving any income.

First of all, let’s take a closer look at these scriptures.  The Festival of Unleavened bread which is described in Exodus 23, Exodus 34, and Deuteronomy 16 is part of a set of three festivals; Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering. These three great festivals were also known as the three feasts, and the Festival of Harvest was also known as the Feast of Weeks (better known as the Pentecost) and the Festival of Ingathering was also known as the Feast of Tabernacles as can be seen in Deuteronomy 16.

Exodus 23:14-17 introduces the Feast (Festival) of Unleavened Bread, the Feast (Festival) of Harvest, and the Feast (Festival) of Ingathering:
Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year:  You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.
The above verse is from the New King James Version, the phrase “none shall appear before Me empty” is read as “No one is to appear before me empty-handed” in the NIV which is the phrase that the ICC leaders use when confronting people about their contributions.

Feast of Unleavened Bread:
It is right after this feast was mentioned that we saw the phrase “No one is to appear before me empty-handed”. The resurrection of Jesus Christ took place during the Feast of Unleavened Bread as well as the Israelite’s Exodus from their slavery in Egypt. In 1 Corinthians 5:8 Paul references this feast saying; “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” As a part of God’s instruction for this feast, leavened bread products were put out of their homes. Leaven during this time symbolized sin, and this feast demonstrates our need to eliminate it from our lives. Paul also recognized that the unleavened bread of this feast is symbolic of sincerity and truth. During this time they recalled their exodus and their freedom from slavery. Eating unleavened bread was a physical reminder that we are to become spiritually unleavened by removing the sin in our lives.

Feast of Harvest (Feast of Weeks):
Deuteronomy 16:9-10 describes the Feast of Harvest;
Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you.
This feast did not have a set date, but they would begin counting as soon as the first crops appeared. Then they would give an offering in proportion with the harvest that they were blessed with, giving this offering in thanks to God.

Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Ingathering):
Deuteronomy 16:13-15 describes the Feast of Tabernacles;
Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
The Feast of Tabernacles was to be celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Jewish month and its purpose was to commemorate the time that God provided for the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness and guided them to the Promised Land.

Why does the ICC use an obscure phrase from this scripture to demand money from their members? Some people have a harder time studying the Old Testament (the fact that these festivals are known by different names also contributes somewhat to the understanding difficulty to the casual reader) and therefore it is easier to take these scriptures out of context. Even just dropping an obscure phrase is enough to sway the minds of many members who look up to these people as their spiritual leaders. This method is not unique to this particular verse alone; when a member brings up to the leaders how their policies contradict certain scriptures I have often seen them quoting other Old Testament scriptures out of context. They try to dazzle the questioner with their Bible knowledge and act as if these contradictions are something that can be explained away; often trying to make the member feel inferior in the process, as if they are not qualified to question the intentions of these leaders. This is especially effective against young college students who have only recently come of age and still have that lingering mindset to trust the words of the “adults” around them. They lord their Bible knowledge over the rest of the congregation and then ridicule anyone who calls their ungodly policies into question. It doesn’t matter if they can quote more memory scriptures than anyone else or name all the Kings of Israel and all their descendants and accomplishments; their Bible knowledge counts for nothing if they merely use it as a tool for their own purposes, becoming experts in scriptural manipulation, rather than obeying the Bible in full.

I can see no connection between this scripture and the ICC’s decision to expel anyone from their Church who does not give money. It can be shown that the first century Church did not do this to their members either as we see in 2 Corinthians 11:5-9 Paul writes:
I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?  I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.  And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.
We see that Paul went around preaching the Word to the churches free of charge. Instead he received support from the brothers in Macedonia to supply his needs. Then he goes further to even say that he has no intention of making these churches financially support him in the future either, so that he may not be a burden to them.

2 Corinthians 2:17
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul writes:
Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.  On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
The members of the church were asked to give in proportion to their income. The actions of the ICC leaders to coerce members with no income to give them money is completely unscriptural.

After the ICC leader has dropped the phrase “No one is to appear before me empty-handed”, they will then try to emotionally manipulate the member by quoting scriptures from Acts 2:44-46, Acts 4:32-37, or 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. In these scriptures the disciples banded together to sacrifice to the needy disciples in the Church, note that the offerings in all three of these scriptures were for benevolence (the contribution by the Macedonians was for the poor disciples in Jerusalem as shown in Romans 15:26-27), they were intended for the needy and impoverished members of the churches, not for some upper leadership bigshot can save up and spend on a condo or for other leaders who get paid almost ten times as much as their struggling interns. Verse 3 of 2 Corinthians 8 reads; “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,”. Trying to use these scriptures to coerce money out of members is definitely against the spirit in which they were written.
When coercing more money out of their members they always use the phrase “put the Kingdom first”; the last time I checked the “First Principles” the Kingdom of God was supposed to be the church, the people of God. So shouldn’t they be putting the needs of their members as a priority as we see them doing in Acts 2:44-46, Acts 4:32-37 and 2 Corinthians 8?
Why does the ICC use these passages in the Bible for the opposite use of which they were intended? These scriptures describe the loving sacrifices of the first century Christians to give to the impoverished and needy among them, and yet the ICC uses these same scriptures to rip money from the hands of their poorer members.
The ICC leader will then assassinate the character of the member; telling them that they need to be as sacrificial as these disciples were and give to the church and telling them that they are “selfish” unless they do so. If the member still expresses their inability to give them money after all this, then the ICC leader will tell them that they need to “give money to God” or else they can no longer be a part of the Church. Normally their emotional manipulation and character assassination win out in the end and this final threat is rarely used, but I have witnessed them use it as a last resort if their other attempts have failed. Kip McKean has decreed that every member without exception needs to give them money after all, and the leaders who serve under him are expected to enforce this.

When the ICC leader is in the midst of coercing the member they are very insistent on using the phrase “give to God”, that these members must “give to God” or else they can’t be a part of the Church. Their insistence on using this phrase is understandable, after all, “giving to God” sounds nice doesn’t it? But what if they just came right out and said; “if you don’t give money to us then you can’t be a part of our Church anymore”; well at this point the extortion becomes a bit too obvious.
First of all we need to consider this; what is the definition of “giving to God”? It is time to demystify this vague phrase. I strongly believe in giving to God, but it must be done in the right way. After all, when you give to the church it does not go directly to God’s bank account in heaven, rather, it goes to the paid staff of that church. We can be sure that our money is “going to God” if the leaders we are supporting are adhering to God’s Word. If they are twisting scriptures in whichever way they please, caring more about their own agenda rather than God’s intention for those scriptures, then giving money to these people can no longer be considered the same as giving to God.

The ICC’s actions of telling their members that they must “give to God” or else be disfellowshipped from the church is blackmail. Now just how is this blackmail?  Members are told that if they leave Kip McKean’s organization then they are going to Hell; even if they leave to go to another Church that preaches baptism for the forgiveness of sins such as the ICOC they are still told that they are going to Hell because they say “that Church does not have central leadership” (I address the central leadership issue in another article).
            Now everyone knows the simple mathematical relation: if A=B, and B=C, then A=C. Now apply that relation to this situation: if members that are told that unless they continue to give money (even regardless of whether or not they are receiving income) then they cannot be a part of the Church, and if they are told that if they are not a part of the Church then they are going to Hell. Taking these factors into account, this is synonymous with them saying, “unless you continue to give us money, we will take your salvation from you; so you better do what we say or you’ll burn in Hell”.  This is blackmail, and yet so many of the members do not even realize how they have been manipulated.
            Now that we have established that this is indeed blackmail, let’s return to the definition of extortion that I laid down in my first article; extortion is when coercion along with threats, blackmail, or some other use of force is used to get money from someone. What the ICC is doing definitely meets the definition of extortion by using “spiritual” threats. Although this may not actually be illegal in the eyes of the law because the gun that the ICC leaders are holding to the heads of their victims here is spiritual, not physical. But this is a form of extortion nonetheless.

The Corruption of Richard Anthony Olmos (and more extortion techniques)

In my post titled “Possible Concerns with my Articles” I wrote ; “People may notice that for the most part, I do not mention specific identities for ICC leaders in my articles and I simply refer to them as “ICC leaders”. The reason that I keep them anonymous is that I do not know whether they were intentionally trying to psychologically manipulate people or whether it is they themselves that are being psychologically manipulated and are unaware of the abuse that is being wrought.” Then later in this paragraph I made the following exception; “I only mention a few ICC leaders who I do know are corrupt and have made extraordinary displays of corruption.” Well, this is one of those exceptions since the man in question has both shown himself to be very manipulative in nature and has committed what amounts to a criminal act during his employment by the ICC (the fact that he didn’t get caught doesn’t mean a thing). He also attempted to use some deceitful tactics for extortion that I suspect may be in use by other ICC leaders (Where else did he learn them from?) as well as tactics that I know are used by many other ICC leaders, so this is also a continuation of the section above.

I remember bringing my concerns of this issue of extortion to a certain region leader named Anthony Olmos; this man was recently made an evangelist in the ICC. I was already aware of certain troubling issues in his background, such as him stealing thousands of dollars from Stephen Morichi (my roommate) during his time as an ICC intern in Paris (now that I put this in writing, this is a serious red flag which I should have considered before thinking that I could reason with this man), but it was his behavior during this meeting that caused me to be even more disturbed. In Anthony’s case it was all too clear that the arguments he attempted to use were intentionally meant to deceive and manipulate.

During this meeting I remember first expressing my concerns with the ICC’s misuse of the phrase in Exodus 23, that the context of these offerings should not be applied to force money out of our congregation. His response was “well, offerings cost money don’t they? Therefore this is telling people to give money.” In the wake of such a response I only gave a troubled silence as I tried to make sense of this reply. Concern #1: he was kind of avoiding the main issue of taking scripture out of context here. Concern #2: he was doing some serious scriptural gymnastics; Old Testament offering = give money = members of the church must be disfellowshipped if they do not give money. After receiving such a nonsensical answer, I was not sure how I should reply, so instead I proceeded to bring up other scriptures and observe his response to them so as to verify this man’s state of mind.

I then brought up the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 which clearly says that the contribution should represent a portion of received income and then 2 Corinthians 9:7 which states: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Anthony ignored 1 Corinthians 16 and instead jumped on the first sentence of 2 Corinthians 9:7 where it says “Each of you should give what you have decided to give…” He then stated “This verse says give, so you have to give” he said; trying to insinuate that this meant regardless of receiving income. I was shocked by how blatantly he was trying to bend this scripture to his own agenda. He had just used word play to try to force this scripture to take on a new whole meaning; word play shows a total disregard of the intentions of the author and is an atrocity to doctrinal derivation (Titus 2:1; You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine).
I was so shocked by this that once again I didn’t say anything and Anthony appeared to misinterpret this silence to mean that the meeting was going well (for him) as he turned to another scripture in 1 Corinthians 9, he then read 1 Corinthians 9:1-14 which is about how those who preach the Gospel have a right to receive aid for their necessities, and he did not read any further than verse 14. 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 says; “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.” He then once again tried telling me that the ICC’s forced contributions were justified. But if he had read further, in 1 Corinthians 9:15-18 Paul says;
 “But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.”
This verse shows that Paul did not use his rights to take money from anyone, rather we see as in Philippians 4:10-20 that he received aid from churches who agreed to support him from their own free will. He even states in verse 18 that the act of demanding payment for his services would be considered an “abuse of authority”. Of course it is apparent why the ICC prefers the NIV Bible since this last phrase is changed. The NKJV (the version I used during my meeting with Anthony) is said to have the most accurate word-for-word translation by some Bible scholars. In the NIV version, verse 18 reads; “What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.” The phrase “abuse of authority” is noticeably missing in the NIV. But if we look at the phrase Paul used in the original Greek, it is: ΕἸς ΤῸ ΜῊ ΚΑΤΑΧΡΉΣΑΣΘΑΙ, this phrase translates as “that I abuse not” where ΚΑΤΑΧΡΉΣΑΣΘΑΙ (καταχρήσασθαι) is the word for abuse. Other Bible translations for this verse use “I abuse not my power”, “I abuse not my authority” or “I abuse not my right” for this part of the scripture.
            It seems as though Anthony tactfully stopped short of this scripture and just read the first part, leaving out the section of scripture which proved that his current actions would actually be considered an abuse of power (and he knew that I was reading out of the NKJV during this meeting, so the NIV translation would not have helped him to avoid the issue).

There is a fine line between asking for people to support you with your necessities for living and using your position with the ill intention of monetary gain. It is clear that people in the first century church were not being forced to give, but rather to contribute out of their income. It is still very much against the Bible to force unemployed people to give money under the threat of expelling them from the Church (I was kind of wondering why the Church seemed to have a total lack of ministry for the homeless, now I began to realize why).

As my alarm grew I then quoted to him the scripture in 2 Corinthians 2:17
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
You may notice that the above verse is the NIV version rather than the NKJV that I was using in the actual meeting, this is because I couldn’t remember the reference number of the scripture at the time and quoted the NIV from memory. This was more of an “ambush” than a meeting, since Anthony came upon me unexpectedly after he heard me express doubts about this policy, and then attempted to coerce me into getting in line with this policy after a midweek service, not giving me time to study my Bible in detail beforehand (although I had studied this subject out a few weeks earlier, which is why these scriptures were still fresh on my mind). This seems to be common practice among the leadership when they spot any troublesome individuals since it gives them a significant advantage when manipulating members.
            After quoting 2 Corinthians 2:17 I expressed my concern that their coercion of the congregation was selling the word of God for a profit. To this Anthony responded with how little he was paid as a Paris intern and gave me his story about how he was barely able to get by with the little finances he had, as if this proved anything. To argue that the church is not profiting off of these policies because of how little you are paid is an argument made in total ignorance of business concepts. Would you say that Walmart is not making a profit because they pay their employees minimum wage? In fact, they profit more because of this. At this point Anthony’s desperation began to show as his arguments became more ridiculous. It was also Anthony’s time as a barely paid Paris intern that he stole those thousands of dollars from Stephen (and he has never paid back a cent of it despite promising he would, Psalms 37:21); the ICC should pay their interns more if they are stealing money from their “best friends” just to survive.

I began to get frustrated and quoted the scriptures that I had used before to see if I could get a sensible response, but instead he continued his attempts at playing around with the wording, doing his gymnastics routine. “We are just asking for a bit of money, is that so bad?” said Anthony; trying to play off my emotions. “It’s not about the money”, I told him firmly; “it’s about the principle”.  The amount of money they were taking from people made no difference, it was about the principle; extortion is extortion. It always starts off with “just a bit of money” at first, then people get coerced into giving more and more (as my first article on the ICC’s corrupt money policies shows very clearly). Not to mention that people who do not give above a certain threshold of money are considered “unspiritual”; I have witnessed leaders preach in D-groups that unless you give an X amount of money then “you are not about advancing God’s Kingdom”. This is kind of preaching is not at all about the heart of people to give and puts contempt on the poorer members (unless these poorer members can match the amount that the more well-off members are giving), the scorn and disrespect shown to the less fortunate members was disgusting to see. Even young kids were being coerced into giving their entire allowances to the church; this is especially true in any church that has been under Vic Sr.’s leadership.
This continued until finally I brought up the fact that in order to make people give money, they were forcing members to go “tagging” to obtain this money in areas where they knew that it was illegal for them to do so (because the police had already warned them multiple times), this is a direct violation of Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 (and therefore also not in line with Proverbs 21:3 and 1 Samuel 15:22; included at the bottom of this article). Normally “tagging” is used for special contributions, but Anthony was using this to obtain weekly contributions from members as well. If they had a license (and if members were not forced) this would have been acceptable but they did not have such a license and knew that doing this was illegal.
Anthony became irritated with my persistence at this point and he finally proclaimed “You cannot go to this church unless you give money to God.” He then quoted Hebrews 13:17, and told me that I needed to “obey my leaders” and submit myself to this policy (and he even said that he would continue to make members go “tagging” illegally). There it was once again before my eyes; this extortion was once again rearing its ugly head as this corrupt leader made his proclamation and followed it up with this abusive use of scripture. At this point Anthony could no longer deny that his actions were against the scriptures, and yet he was attempting to use his position and abuse his power in order to run me over anyway. Despite my efforts there was no intention to change on this issue. Instead of listening to the Bible they commenced with a scriptural gymnastics routine, trying to bend any scripture and any “word play” they could toward their agenda; abusing their power and exploiting whatever scriptures that were convenient for them to use. There was no desire for repentance, only blind adherence to the orders of Kip McKean. As I said before, giving money to this organization can no longer be considered the same as “giving money to God”, and it was with a heart filled with sadness that I finally realized how corrupt the ICC had become.
Scriptures such as Hebrews 13:17 were intended to be used by spiritual churches that held to the teachings of the Apostles, loved God and cared for their members, not to enforce abusive policies. The ICC has shown that they have no interest in adhering to the scriptures in the Bible; they only look for ways to exploit them. At this point the ICC no longer has any right to quote these passages of scripture that were intended to be used by Godly churches (or churches that were at least making an effort to be Godly) as if these scriptures were somehow applicable to their organization. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”-Galatians 1:8

The fact that Anthony had pulled out the big guns on me with this clear abuse of power showed that he had no intention of allowing me to leave this meeting (ambush) until he had successfully coerced me into accepting this policy. At this point it appeared that I only had two options:
1.) Allow myself to be manipulated and turn my back on my convictions
2.) Rebuke Anthony on his abusive manipulation and then be branded as a “divisive” person and be marked by the Church (and disfellowshipped).
Now we see why so many people suffer from psychological trauma due to this organization, these were two very dark options before me. But then I figured out that I had a third option; I looked up at Anthony and with a saddened voice I slowly said; “Anthony, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I will go home and study this out. If I find that what you are saying is in line with the scriptures then I’ll believe you, but if I find out that what you say is not in line with the Bible, you will never see me again.”
It was a neutral answer which would allow me to leave the meeting, and it gave Anthony nothing to use to accuse me. It was also unexpected; like I said before people who have been with the church long enough are supposed to believe that leaving the church (or being disfellowshipped) results in eternal damnation of their souls (unless they return). So for a person who had been with the church for six years such as myself, the answer that I had given him was outside what he would have predicted since the usual response in such a situation would have been either dejected acceptance or an outraged reaction (which then gives the leader an excuse to mark the victim for being “divisive”). Anthony’s wife was also sitting a few tables away from us within earshot, and with nobody else around she was likely hearing our conversation, so he could not easily make up lies about what happened in order to cover for himself (I am not too sure what story he told everyone afterward).
Of course this was a card that I could only use once; if I ever returned I would be expected to either accept the abusive policy or be disfellowshipped and most likely marked, but one use was all I needed. As I stood up to leave I went around the table to give him a goodbye hug, as is customary in the ICC.  He wouldn’t even stand up to return my farewell greeting, he just sat there with his head down, realizing that he had just been caught red-handed (he knew that the arguments that he had just attempted to use to try to coerce me would not hold up under critical examination, which was why he was so determined to force me to submit to the policy right then and there), and he had nothing to use against me since I had escaped his trap with a neutral answer.
If a member attempts to rebuke a leader on charges of abusive behavior, they will character assassinate this member with claims that they were “lashing out” at them out of bitterness, then have they will be disfellowshipped and marked for being “divisive”; I had seen them do this too many times before. Members who leave or are forced to leave (disfellowshipped) will often react or “lash out” against this abuse in the midst of their psychological turmoil and this gives the ICC leader the opportunity to have them marked. Being “marked” means that everyone in the church is called to no longer associate or communicate with that person as well as cutting them off in all social media sites; therefore a “marked” victim is effectively silenced. A marked victim also has their reputation slandered by leaders who tell lies or half-truths about them. I remember catching a few leaders in this act (these were top-ranked leaders, like shepherds and region leaders) and calling them out on it back when I was still part of the organization. Because the congregation is told to no longer communicate with these marked victims, their ability to defend themselves from this slander is severely limited.  
Confronting Anthony on his corruption at this time would have solved nothing; he had already demonstrated that he was beyond reasoning with and he was just one cog in a larger system of psychological terrorism. I would leave to fight another day; even though I was able to escape without being coerced I still needed to expose evil (Ephesians 5:11) so as to prevent this man from hurting others. Of course as long as people keep giving their money, they do not see this dark side of the ICC, and the leaders are successfully able to coerce most of the members to give more money without having to resort to the extortion method.
I had done quite a bit of “region hopping” that summer and had learned that this policy was also being enforced in all the other regions of the Church as well.  All the disciplers were also expected to get money out of the people whom they were “discipling”; otherwise they would not be allowed to disciple anyone, and because they were all hungry for leadership and promotion they dutifully complied. I had finally realized that the corruption reached all the way to the top; there was nowhere else for me to go. No Church is without sin, but there comes a point where corruption reaches such a level that you have to draw the line somewhere, and this line had been crossed (normally no corruption of any kind should be tolerated, but let me remind you once again that this is a church that influences their members to believe that they will go to hell if they dare to leave and therefore many members will stay even after the realization that something is very wrong). I had stayed in this Church for so long hoping that one day things would get better, that there would be some repentance, but it became clear that things were only getting worse.
I finally took my leave from this organization; even after leaving the ICC I never stopped thinking of the members as my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The only thing that had changed was that I realized that they were under the tyranny of a corrupt system. As I began to write my articles I discovered even worse accounts of corruption that the ICC had tried to hide and I make mention of some of these in my article; “Spiritual Pornography”; Kip McKean’s Ruse for Hiding Corruption and Silencing Victims.

To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. –Mark 12:33

If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. –Matthew 12:7

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
    and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. –Hosea 6:6

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. –Proverbs 21:3

 But Samuel replied:
Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. -1 Samuel 15:22 


  1. "Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, *receiving* *no* *help* *from* *the* *pagans*. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth." (3 John 5-8, NIV, emphasis added).

    I think the subject of "tagging" deserves its own article, given that the practice is so insidious, abusive, and widespread.

    First of all, the practice is deceptive: those who are "contributing" are misled about just what it is that they are contributing to; they are led to believe that they're giving to a benign church group which is then going to use the money for benevolent and charitable purposes. Taggers hold up vaguely-worded signs hinting that the money is going towards "missions" and "benevolence" - when in reality not a dime will go into the hands of those who truly need it. Funds collected through tagging (or any other fund-raising method in the ICC) go primarily to the administrative costs (read: salaries, travel, etc.) of the "mission". Can you imagine how effective a "tagger" would be if his/her sign read: "Help me pay my preacher's mortgage/association payments on his West LA condo and his frequent flights abroad"?

    Secondly, it is exploitative towards the "tagger" himself/herself. Bypassers see the tagger and probably think, "How nice that this person has volunteered to do a good service for his/her organization." What bypassers *don't* see, however, is the fact that the tagger probably doesn't really even want to be out on the street; they are likely there because they are desperate and their leader told them that they need to do "whatever it takes" to come up with the contribution money.

    Thirdly, it is hypocritical of the ICC. As someone who was in Kip's original "movement" for nearly 20 years, I think you might be surprised that this sort of fundraising would have been *frowned* *upon* in the early days of the movement. Back then, leaders were proud of the fact that all the funds came from the membership (rather than "the world"), and it was common to hear them say things like: "SEE, WE'RE NOT A CULT LIKE THE MOONIES; WE DON'T HAVE OUR PEOPLE SELLING FLOWERS AND BEGGING IN THE STREETS FOR MONEY". This was - and still is - a big boasting point for ICC/ICOC. But how is coerced "tagging" any different from what the Moonies/etc. do?

    Finally - and most interestingly - there is absolutely no Biblical support for this practice! None at all! Nowhere in the apostle Paul's fundraising pleas does he even *suggest* that the church should look to the world for support! In fact, the author of 3 John makes this very interesting incidental comment (regarding support for the church's missionaries): they "receiv[ed] NO HELP FROM THE PAGANS" (v.7). Although I am no longer a Bible-believer or Christian, I find it ironic that a group that prides itself on going only by the Bible can overlook such clear principles as these.

    In closing - let me comment on the utter irony of the situation. Missionary collections are supposed to be collected from the churches and given to the missionaries who do the actual work. In the ICC, it is the R&F members (as opposed to the staff) who do all the evangelistic/missionary work. So, if anything, the *church leaders* should be paying *them* (the R&F) for their service rather than the other way around.

    1. Apparently, someone in ICC leadership is reading your article(s) especially the one on the group's practice of tagging. Members have been directed to no longer wear their MERCY t-shirts during "begging campaigns" for conferences, workshops, retreats, camps, or special missions. They are now required to wear their 2015 purple GLC t-shirt when soliciting donations. However, the ICC is still not going through the proper channels for authorization to beg and/or raise money for their campaigns. For example, the San Diego ICC was kicked off the premises of a shopping mall for trying to sell cupcakes to fund the group's up coming November mission's drive because they failed to get the necessary approval from property management before setting up shop.

  2. Dearest Dan, I appreciate what you are doing to expose Kip and his criminality. However, the ICC has not "become" corrupt - it was corrupt from its first day. All of these things, with the possible exception of threatening to disfellowship members for non-payment of contribution, took place in the ICOC under Kip. I am the commenter who worked for the admin office in Berlin in the 1990's. I wrote that comment before reading part III. It is all the same, right down to those damned envelopes! Back then we were told that new converts should give 10% of their before tax income. They based this on the OT tithe. They then told us that "sold-out" disciples increase this percentage as time goes on. I remember one sermon where our evangelist took us through the OT and showed us the math of Jewish tithing and contribution. He told us that Jews had actually given much more than 10%. I forget the actual number, but it was very high. He used this to show us how lucky we were only to have to give 10%! I remember thinking to myself: "Good God! Are they going to make me start giving that much at some point?" However, I would never have dared to say this out loud, because they would have called me divisive way back then, as well. I do not believe that Kip ever really repented of what happened in the ICOC. I cannot read his thoughts, but his actions go a long way toward proving my point. It is so sad that he continues to dupe people.

    1. I see your point. Kip obviously planned to reinstate the same abusive system he had before from day 1 when he started his new organization. Kip was corrupted from the start of the ICC, but he had to put considerable effort into getting all the other leaders to go along with it. This is what I refer to as the ICC "becoming corrupt"; it is the process of Kip McKean slowly introducing his abusive policies into the church and deceiving (or even bullying) the other leaders into going along with it.

  3. The ICC's begging for money has only gotten worse. Tim Kernan begs for "missions contribution" money on his FB page, and includes a link to the LAICC's donation page ( Conveniently, the church's contribution site accepts credit card payments! Hmmm.....all the talk about members being financially responsible, and yet Kip apparently has no qualms with encouraging already-struggling members to further mess up their stability by using credit cards to pay contribution! (At least the "old movement" was wise enough to discourage this practice).

  4. Hi Berg! Hey man, I just wanted to say... Don't drive yourself crazy! I think it highly unlikely that you'll ever convince the crazies that they're crazy.

    Also, I think there's an underlying, fundamental issue with all of this: the ICC isn't a church at all !! They have zero authority to tell anyone anything (biblically, theologically, etc).

    There always has been, and always will be, one Christian Church.

    Hope this find you well!



  5. Just a simple question. In some countries donations to church are only tax exempt if they are given freely. Otherwise these fall under membership fees - which are taxed. When I was still in church (in a certain country outside US) people used to give their tithe by bank transaction. We instructed people to write "voluntary donation" with the bank transfer. Well at that time it kind of was.

    How are the laws in US? If membership fees are taxed, then current 'donations' clearly fall under that. If you can't be a member without giving a certain sum of money then this is a membership fee. In the old days we never threatened anyone with disfellowshipment on money reasons and generally even accepted people who gave on average less than 10% (but we did warn them that God does not bless their finances if they are not giving) - so we could get away with calling it voluntary donations.

    Now if membership fees are taxed in US - then ICC has a LOT of taxes to pay.
    Does anyone know about this?