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Here is a recent comment written by a former member of the ICOC… 
12th-Oct-2005 05:50 pm

Here is a recent comment written by a former member of the ICOC Berlin who is now operating the website icoc.de with critical information about the group.

What’s going on in the ICOC?!

August 16 2005

One more year in the new time calculation of the ICOC has passed by. The various processes of change still seem to ferment inside the ICOC. From time to time critical observers stumble over some references to a perception of the gloomy past. The lame explanation attempts of the ideological crash after Kip McKean has been “toppled over” can be found in the text of speeches at “services” or member meetings (so-called “devotions”), now publicly accessible on the ICOC Germany Internet site. When I will find some time, I comment them here shortly with quotes.

However, something else is going on, on the side of the dropouts resp. former members of the ICOC. In various e-mails and talks on the phone, these people report on late effects of (intense) memberships in the years up to about 2003, some of which were traumatic. This gives me reason to another comment under the title “late effects.”

Late Effects

Since about one year observers could have the impression that the ICOC has vanished from the scene. The times seem over when the members of the Berlin chapter were eagerly on their “mission trip” in the city. But this impression can be wrong.

The dramatic changes inside the world-wide organization ICOC left their traces for sure. I almost thought it would be not necessary to observe the ICOC any longer. The group is stagnating, plodding along, stewing in its own grease. The die-hards resp. hard-liners are striving to keep the once fanatically recruited members in line. The boastful slogans of the “building of the Kingdom of God in the whole world” this all “in one generation” and lead by power hungry “leaders” are gone.

The ICOC lost itself and their former ideology. On the one side this seems to be good, because now there is no more danger of getting into a system of mind and behavior control after meeting a fanatically convinced recruiter.

But what has happened with the many people who have left the group in the last time and before the collapse?! The other side looks rather dark. The conflict-laden past of the ICOC is a heavy burden. Again and again dropouts are popping up who are talking about the late effects of the (sometimes) long year membership in this religiously extreme group. That’s clear, because it cannot be that the ICOC left only people behind who have gotten over their time in the group and are leading a lucky and satisfying life now.

Some days ago I talked on the phone for a very long time with a young woman who has been a member of ICOC Berlin for some years. She had been recruited with 16 years as a schoolkid and succumbed to the fascination of this seemingly Christian community at that time. It followed the usual game with Bible study, baptism, discipleship partner, dating, evangelization etc. By the way, the parents did not agree with the membership, but as usual have been lied to and deceived by their child and the group. The main thing was that money was available for the weekly offering in time.

With increasing age, after passing the abitur (German school leaving examination and university-entrance diploma) and the beginning of the university study, a miserable everyday life began. The many fellow students, who were not members of the ICOC of course, met in taverns in the evenings, went into the cinema or on concerts, strolled much (free) time and often led a generous and free life.

As a member of the ICOC, the daily schedule was strictly regimented, there was actually no real room for doing anything else. The entire free time had to be spent in and with the “church”. Again and again, they were called to “incessant evangelization,” even and particularly in their free time. The meetings in the common life groups or at the chapter leader’s home became more and more annoying. There were psychological encroachments when the wife of the church leader carried her dissatisfaction (particularly concerning sex) along, or the marriage partner chosen by the group did not have his “drives” under control. "Actually you could not really talk openly and frankly with anybody in the group. Everything I said that was not compliant with the group’s ideology was given away by my alleged friends to the church leadership used against me in the end.”

Today this woman does not live in Berlin any longer. Although all contacts have been cut off, somewhat of the psychological dependence remained. For a long time the doctrine of the ICOC on all lines was considered as the only correct one and most of all pleasing to God. “I sometimes have the feeling they try to invade into my dreams and want to win me back again.” In these dreams, the man who had been arranged to be the future marriage partner also appears and pressures the young woman. She never loved him, but did not even want to love him. She only played her role in their game because otherwise she would have been the odd one out and would have been punished by the group through withdrawal of love and appreciation.

As in so many cases, a lasting processing of these experiences and healing of the mental injuries is hardly possible today. Discussions with those people who at that time exerted such an influence on many biographies resp. interfered deeply into their lives (and that often without being aware of the consequences) are not possible, they cannot talk with these people who have once been forced upon them as “discipleship partner,” fellowship leader or church leader. Either that person is still “with ardent zeal” in the group, or has also left the group and cannot be reached any longer.

I keep my opinion that it is extremely negligent of the ICOC and their responsible persons to forget about and repress the past (after all a sound 20 years), to conceal, to romanticize or even glorify, to play down or even to deny. You cannot say simply: “We accepted the punishment of God, have changed, and thus the sins of the past are forgiven.” If you make a “restart,” not all onerous “data” has been already deleted from hard disk automatically.

H.S./August 2005

16th-Oct-2005 01:44 am (UTC) - Coincidentally
Coincidentally, this incident of racial violence just took place today. (I posted the article because the link was too long.) What is most interesting to me is the mayor's statement that the some of the black gang members had "imagined grievances" against the white supremacists.

Mayor Blames Gangs for Anti-Nazi Violence


TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A crowd that gathered to protest a white supremacists' march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said.

Mayor Jack Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help.

``It's exactly what they wanted,'' Ford said of the group that planned the march, which was canceled because of the rioting.

At least two dozen members of the National Socialist Movement, which calls itself ``America's Nazi Party,'' had gathered at a city park to march under police protection. Organizers said they were demonstrating against black gangs they said were harassing white residents.

Violence broke out about one-quarter of a mile away along the planned march route shortly before it was to begin. One group of men pounded on a convenience store, and others overturned vehicles. There was a report of a shooting but police hadn't found a victim, Police Chief Mike Navarre said.

For several hours, about 150 police officers chased bands of young men through the area. Officers wearing gas masks fired tear gas canisters and flash-bang devices designed to stun suspects, only to see the groups reform and resume throwing rocks and bottles.

Finally, police marched shoulder-to-shoulder down the street shouting to people to stay inside, and the crowd of several hundred dispersed.

At least two dozen people were arrested on charges including assault, vandalism, failure to obey police and failure to disperse. Several officers and firefighters were injured, Navarre said.

``We frankly could have made a couple hundred arrests easily,'' he said. He said the white supremacists left shortly after the march was canceled.

The mayor had appealed to residents the night before to ignore the march. He said the city wouldn't give the Nazi group a permit to march in the streets but couldn't stop them from walking on the sidewalks like other citizens.

When the rioting broke out, Ford tried to negotiate with those involved, but ``they weren't interested in that.''

He said they were mostly ``gang members who had real or imagined grievances and took it as an opportunity to speak in their own way.''

``I am disappointed that some folks who clearly are not strong citizens to begin with took this opportunity to make this statement,'' Ford said. ``I was chagrined that there were obvious mothers and children in the crowd with them. Several intimated that they had guns.''

Thomas Frisch, 76, said a large group of men destroyed the exterior of a gas station next to his home of 30 years.

``A whole big gang started to come in here. Next thing you know, they're jumping on the car. Then they overturned it. Then they started on the building, breaking windows, ripping the bars off,'' he said.

Keith White, a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march in the first place.

``They let them come here and expect this not to happen?'' said White, 29.

A spokesman for the National Socialist Movement blamed police for losing control of the situation.

10/15/05 20:36

© Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
16th-Oct-2005 07:14 am (UTC) - Re: Coincidentally
Actually, this is what I meant.
Extremists provoking other extremists, who in turn provoke the masses.
Those things can happen, and we should most definitely warn against extremism.

But just like I don't look at my friend from Ghana, saying "You should be serving the food", I don't want to have him look at me and say "You are responsible for slavery!". He's a free man, responsible for his own life, as am I. I'm not playing superior and the last thing I would want is have him play "the inferior" only to prove his own moral superiority over me. That's not the way to blend the community, that's segregation at it's finest.
And this is what those people in that article were doing: whites blaming blacks, blacks blaming whites, when all that was on stake are a few white extremists protesting about black vandals with the obviously wrong implication black = vandal.
The moral victor in such a battle is never the one pointing the finger at the other or the one making sweeping statements, the moral victor in such a situation is the one who will stay calm and let the actions of their opponent discredit themselves.
But resorting to vandalism in order to prove that you're not a vandal... I'm sorry. It isn't funny.

I wholeheartedly agree with Martin Luther King's dream:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

This will never happen as long as either side is hurling accusations against the other for the sole reason of colour.
Sad, so sad. God created all men equal.

In Christ,
16th-Oct-2005 09:58 am (UTC) - Re: Coincidentally
"the moral victor in such a situation is the one who will stay calm and let the actions of their opponent discredit themselves."

Yes, I agree that that would be the best thing to do- turn the other cheek- so to speak.

This is what the mayor wanted to do also: "The mayor had appealed to residents the night before to ignore the march. He said the city wouldn't give the Nazi group a permit to march in the streets but couldn't stop them from walking on the sidewalks like other citizens."

I guess it was to painful of a reminder to the African Americans. "a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march: `They let them come here and expect this not to happen?'"

Anyways, where was Toledo UBf to invite the Nazis to Bible study?
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