International Churches of Christ founder named by five women in abuse lawsuits

THOMAS Wayne “Kip” McKean II, above, and the ICOC stand accused, along with several affiliated outfits, of childhood sexual abuse and a financial pyramid scheme.

According to The Guardian, the lawsuits, which seek damages, allege that defendants created “a widespread culture of acceptance of the abuse of children”.

A church elder allegedly told a mother of two young girls who were sexually assaulted on church grounds:

What happened to your girls isn’t that big of a deal. Most girls have been molested by the time they reach 18.

The five women filed a complaint in December that said the ICOC failed to stop convicted paedophile and church member David Saracino from sexually assaulting them when they were between the ages of four and 17.

According to the legal documents, Saracino received a 40-year prison sentence for raping a four-year-old in 2004.

Saracino, who quoted extensively from the Bible at his trial, was described by prosecutor Cynthia Guillory of being:

The worst of the worst, a predator who sought out single women with financial problems to gain access to their small children, who then became his victims.

Another February filing asserts that Anthony M Stowers, a transgender man, was molested from the age of three while in an ICOC preschool’s care.

The legal documents allege that Stowers’s abuse occurred as ICOC members and leaders who were not employees of his school were given unfettered access to students.

Stowers, in the filing, recalls “many instances” in which he was pulled out of classes and brought to another ICOC property where he was molested as well as filmed and photographed while nude.

Image via YouTube

Spearheading the lawsuits is Michele “Chele” Roland, above, a former member of the ICOC who runs a YouTube podcast called WhaTheFlok.

Roland and her attorney, Bobby Samini, filed a series of lawsuits. One addresses the abuse that she personally suffered. She accuses the church and its leaders of fostering an exploitative environment that resulted in her sexual assault by an ICOC recruit.

Collectively, her complaint and the others accuse the ICOC of being a dangerous cult.

But the Los Angeles-based organisation, with about 118,000 congregants, vehemently denies that characterization while saying it is on a fact-finding mission about the abuse allegations.

For years accusers were held back from seeking legal action against the ICOC because of statutes of limitation that generally prohibit suing for long ago harm. But two newly enacted California laws helped set the stage for the cases against the ICOC.

The Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act as well as the California Child Victims Act extended time limits that victims of sexual abuse have to initiate legal proceedings, effectively giving those who were minors when they were molested a second chance to seek justice.

Samini is quoted as saying:

It’s very hard, day after day after day, to hear people tell you that they were sexually abused by people in their church that they trusted

Roland and Samini say they are working with at least 100 more alleged victims. “At this point, it’s a bottomless pit,” said Roland, saying she and Samini have gotten a thousand calls from people with similar claims. “We are getting more calls every day.”

California State University sociology professor emerita Janja Lalich, who leads the Lalich Center on Cults and Coercion, said she believes the ICOC has at least some of the “hallmarks of a cult”.

One aspect that she specifically mentioned was the lawsuits’ description of a religious culture that was permissive of molestation and never reported it to authorities ostensibly to avoid scandal.

Churches and missionaries are dangerous. Period!

Cases such as these should stand as a stark warning to people mesmerised by preachers like McKean that they are at risk from the moment they become embroiled with religious organisations of all stripes.

But they don’t. At best they are lied to and fleeced of their savings. At worst, their children are exposed to paedophile rapists such as David Saracino, who have a very long reach.

For example, Baptist News this month reported on the abuse inflicted on children in Malawi, one of the world’s least-developed nations, by foreign missionaries.

Malawi’s encounter with these godly perverts first came to the fore in the case of Gerald Campbell, above, a nondenominational Christian missionary from Texas who admitted to the US Justice Department that he molested and defiled Malawi children in 2016. He was jailed for 25 years for abusing eight orphans.

A 2019 report revealed how Southern Baptist missionaries who allegedly violated children in Malawi and Indonesia left a trail of 24 victims.

And then, in December 2022 a Christian pastor from America was accused of violating children at a Malawi orphanage connected to US superstar Madonna.

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2 responses to “International Churches of Christ founder named by five women in abuse lawsuits”

  1. What a surprise to find more Kristian Kiddie Kuddlers, they are as obnoxious and perverted as the other KKKs but with sillier hats.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m sure that none of us have ever come across such cases before!

      Liked by 3 people

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