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 8] "Spiritual Pornography": Kip McKean's Ruse for Hiding Corruption and Silencing Victims

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 8]
Spiritual Pornography” Propaganda: Kip McKean’s Ruse for Hiding Corruption and Silencing Victims
By Daniel Berg           June 25, 2015

The ICC does a good job as portraying those who leave their organization as "casualties in a spiritual war",
rather than victims of abuse. They also quote John 15:2 when speaking to their congregation about those who leave; saying that God is “pruning” his church and making it better. Those who speak out against this abuse are character assassinated (see my character assassination article) and slandered by the ICC leaders who want to hide the damage that is being done. 

Usually converts last only about two to three years in the ICC before they become disgusted with the hypocrisy and end up leaving. Most people become aware of the corruption long before they actually leave, but they are compelled to stay because of the psychological shackles that have been put on them by the ICC leaders. They know that something is wrong, they know that the converts they are bringing into the church become sheep for the slaughter, but they redeem their actions in their own minds because since they are technically saving souls they reason that God will pardon the abuse that is being done (my next article, The ICC’s Universal Excuse: “We are Evangelizing the World”, clears up this issue). Jesse was one such member who found himself in this psychological trap, and here is part of his account:

We were bothered by it, but we brushed it aside, made excuses, diminished, and dismissed the concerns of others and of our own minds. We told ourselves nobody is perfect. We told ourselves, it is not so bad. We told ourselves, for better or worse, this is the Kingdom of God. And these things were reinforced by the teaching and preaching which told us that if we left this church, we would, in effect, be leaving God. That little fear tactic worked wonders to silence our inner critic. We started thinking that it was our problem, that we weren't submissive enough, that we weren't trusting God enough, that we were having a bad attitude.
But part of us knew that was total misguided rules taught by men. Eventually, that part of us grew stronger than the voices which told us to excuse and ignore what we knew was wrong.

Here is a link to Jesse's full account:

Please note that not all viewpoints expressed in his full account coincide with the views of this article, however, his account shows how oppressively controlled these members feel and there are many like him who realize that something is wrong but are too afraid to speak up.

We see here once again the way the ICC traps their members into thinking that their salvation depends on them staying in their church, and this becomes an effective tool for control. Leaving the organization means eternal damnation, unless you return, which they call being “restored”. Some people who leave are unable to escape this psychological trap and return, and I have even seen some weak-minded people repeatedly leave and then return in a vicious cycle of abuse and psychological coercion. For this latter case the individual seems to be mentally troubled to a noticeable degree, but the ICC leaders insist that this damage was caused by them leaving in the first place and that they had been corrupted by the world. I find it hard to argue with this last statement since some members actually do go back to drug use after leaving the ICC’s chemical recovery program, but I think that the abuse in the ICC may have acted as a catalyst in this regard. Also many people who leave the ICC will engage in acts of sin thinking; "well I'm going to hell anyway", because of the abusive psychological influence this organization had on them that they cannot be saved unless they come back to the organization. This is why many will dejectedly return to the ICC after leaving, to be abused once again.

An example of the psychological trauma that this organization causes can be seen from the account of [anonymous], who was part of the Portland church:
“Everything changed so radically and people pushed for power and I was in the cross hairs... I now suffer from PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] and have to undergo intense therapy.”

Even to this day, [he/she] still receives therapy to help [her/him] cope with what [he/she] experienced in Portland (which I described in my other article, The ICC’s Psychological Control System, using this experience as a specific example). After talking with [her/him] some more [he/she] expressed to me the fear that this condition causes:
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.

Because of the fear that PTSD causes, [she/he] wishes to remain anonymous (both in name and gender, which is why I’m using the [he/she] terms). “Fall away” is the term that the ICC uses toward people who leave, it is a phrase that is short for saying that these people have “fallen away” from God and lost their salvation. I would commend this person for letting me use their account for this article; such accounts can be hard to come by since many such people are afraid to speak up because they have been so hurt and traumatized by their experiences that they do not wish to recall it, much less write about it and allow it to be featured in an article.

The ICC aggressively extracts as much money and productivity as they can out of their members until they crash. The end result is a tragic one as many ICC members suffer from mental trauma so great that they need to seek therapy and some even go to psychological recovery centers designed to help people with the trauma caused by cult-like organizations. The ICC does a good job of desensitizing their members to the word “cult”, however, it is apparent that this is an abusive and corrupt organization. The ICC needs to stop comparing itself to the first century Christians who were called a “cult” by the Roman officials and Pharisees; the ICC with its abusive methods is nothing like the first century Church.

A man named Karl W. was stolen from and lied to by Victor Senior Gonzalez and then threatened by both Vic Sr. and Kip McKean. His is a very long and disturbing account, and so I’ll let the man himself tell the story by providing a link to his blog which details the events that transpired:

A part of his account that significantly shows the state of the leadership is the part right after he describes how Victor Sr. Gonzalez stole money from him, and then Vic’s reaction when Karl W. said that he was going to take the matter to Kip:

I got mad and told him I was going to go talk to his boss, Kip. VGSr (Victor Gonzalez Sr.) freaked out and threatened me, telling me that if I talked to Kip about it that not only would our relationship be over, he would no longer train or associate with me in any way, but that he would use his position of power to try to make my life as difficult and miserable as possible in any way that he could.
I let VGSr steal from me, lie to me, and then bully and threaten me into silence.

And by remaining silent, I probably enabled him to do the same thing to others.

At a later time Karl W. eventually did take the matter to Kip and was reimbursed only for 1/3 of the money, but then both Kip and Vic threatened Karl, so taking this matter to the highest level of leadership didn’t solve very much.

(Karl W. asked me not to show his last name because he wishes not to be associated with this organization in the eyes of potential employers, which is understandable given what this organization has become, although you guys in the ICC know exactly which Karl W. I am talking about here).

I will give a few more details about Karl W.’s situation in another article, but I encourage those reading this to see his blog to get the full story (and if you saw how the ICC leaders attacked Karl on his Facebook page to try to distort this story it is clear that they were trying to cover it up). I didn’t even know that this incident had occurred until a little over two years later. There were already so many people leaving the Church and being labeled as “divisive” that if this incident had caused an increase to the number of people leaving, then it was hardly noticeable. Either that or Kip McKean’s propaganda team in the upper leadership had done a good job of covering it up. 
I remember visiting the East Region under the leadership of Vic Sr. two years after this incident, and I find it no coincidence that all the shepherds had fled the region. In the two weeks I spent in this region I was surprised to find that the entirety of the church was comprised of young college students and those who were about that age. I couldn’t find anyone who had been in the church longer than two years (besides the leader and maybe a couple others whom I forgot to ask). This church had existed for at least 5 years, where were the original members? Even if many of them had gone on mission teams or had been sent to other regions, there should have been people who would have stayed due to being small business owners or who had careers that allowed them to support the church, but there were no such people to be found. To make matters more awkward, during Vic Sr.’s leave of absence he gave control of the church to a member who had only been converted four months prior. Now I don’t want to be down on anybody because of their youth, he was a great guy from what I could tell. But from what rationale would cause the leader to give control over to someone who was at least six times less experienced than everyone else? This is especially unnerving when I am talking about an “experience” with a maximum scale of two years. Even though I would not hear about the Karl W. incident until a few months later, it was clear to me that something had destroyed this region, and the fact that the leadership of the church was given to someone who had only been a Christian for four months during Vic Sr.’s leave of absence was also cause to suspect that something wasn’t right. After reading Karl W.’s account of Vic Sr.’s abusive behavior and corruption, now it made sense to me why the older members had left.

Many such accounts of corruption and the victims of the ICC’s abuse can be found in forums all over the internet (read with caution). At first I was told that these people were just “being deceived due to their own bitterness” (yes, every person who spoke against the ICC was automatically and baselessly labeled as “deceived”).  I remember a couple years ago when a region leader was teaching the first principle studies and told us that after the Discipleship study that we need to pick up the pace that we do bible studies with an individual to about two studies a week or else they may “see all the bad stuff on the internet about us”.  This did not make any sense to me and I asked “why should we be worried about stuff written on the internet if we are supposed to be calling out members to cross-check all their information (to be “Bereans” in ICC lingo), if the things said about us are merely emotional outbursts of bitterness with no valid argument then why should we even be worried about this?” If this was the Movement of God, then what did we have to be afraid of? Why should we rush people through the Bible studies?  Indeed, we should be wary of the things that we read on the internet, but the sheer number of accounts of the ICC’s corruption as well as the fact that these accounts are in agreement with each other (and some even citing very specific examples of corruption) is cause for alarm. These accounts even include ex-ICC leaders who apologized for how they unknowingly manipulated people (and hence why I keep most ICC leaders anonymous in my articles; I don’t want to incriminate people who were merely under psychological influence).

Kip McKean now calls any such accounts “spiritual pornography” and tells members to stay away from these writings. Basically this term is used to discourage members from reading anything critical about his Church and covering their ears and blocking their eyes from seeing the abuse going on around them. The ICC leaders will tell you “As a mature Christian you wouldn’t look at pornography would you? Then neither should you look at spiritual pornography.” This “spiritual pornography” of course refers to any criticisms against the ICC. So it’s not okay for anyone to criticize Kip’s organization but it’s okay for him to slander the ICOC? When people speak against the ICC the leaders tell their members that this is “evil persecution” against the “church of God”. Do they still dare to call themselves the “church of God” in the midst of all the people that they have hurt and abused? “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” –1 Peter 3:17.

Here is an example of the reasoning that Kip uses when he speaks about this “spiritual pornography”:
You know, there is a proliferation — literally, that’s the word — of not only anti-cult material, little packets, but booklets, books, videos — Preston Shepperd calls this stuff “spiritual pornography“. (amen)  You say, well why? Well, what was the reason you first opened Playboy Magazine? You were curious. You know, a lot of us as Christians, we don’t understand the schemes of Satan. How did Satan get Eve? By her curiosity. Just twisting a few things around. Even the world says curiosity kills the cat. Some of you say, “well, hold it, if you’re strong enough — if there isn’t anything wrong in this stuff, then why shouldn’t I read these anti-Boston materials?” Well, let me ask you this. You’ve been a Christian for a while and prayerfully you’re strong in the Lord. Why can’t you just open a Playboy and just see how it goes? Let me tell you something. I’ve been a Christian for 17 years. I don’t dare get close to one! (amen) And you shouldn’t get close to that spiritual pornography. The thing that’s driving you there is curiosity. That is Satan. Get it out of the house!”  McKean – They Hated the Dreamer, 1989
Yes, let’s completely ignore the anguished cries of these abused and hurting people because that is what “mature Christians” do I guess. Kip’s statements on “spiritual pornography” are on display at the website which show how he tries to mislead the congregation with these statements. 
            They also try to relate these materials to being a “virus” that will corrupt the “faith” of the members if they dare to look at such material. They use this fear-inducing image to dissuade them from conducting further research about the history of their organization. The ICC leadership even attempts to deter members from looking at anti-ICOC material that is dated back to the time during which Kip McKean was leading that organization, because the same abusive policies which oppressed their former organization back then have now been replicated in their new organization.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding Jesse's account very similar was said by a former ICOC leader "What began with the power of love turned into the love of power"