The Character assasination of former members by current ones is an issue that many individuals raise in criticism of the I.C.C. Few examples, however, are in print and can be used as evidence in debating this issue. Luckily, an individual that is a member of the church signed my guestbook anonymously recently and supplied me with a piece of evidence I can use to help illuminate my point.
Let it first be known that the first time I was a victim of this was only a month after my leaving. I bumped into an aquaintance of mine, James, and chatted for a few minutes. I told him about how I felt, leaving , and how the "disciples" that were my friends only talked to me to try to get me to join again. He promised to remain my friend, and then said that he would stay real.
A week later I was aproached by three seperate individuals claiming that they heard I was smoking marijuana. I was able to get one of them to tell me who said it, and was utterly shocked to find out it was James.
True, we were not close, but I thought that he was above spreading rumors and outright slander. It turned out that he said he could smell it on my breath. While it was true that I had smoked pot as a teen ager, I had not smoked anything but cigarettes for four years, and only cigarettes in the past couple months.
I confronted James, and he was forced to apologize to me and to everyone else that had heard that lie. Issue over... or so I thought.
The following is an anonymous guestbook comment left recently, and my response to it:
As a committed disciple of Jesus, I follow God and his commands wholeheartedly. Daniel, your comments are to be taken into consideration, however, for those of you who really look at this--you need to realize that Daniel DeSailles is a man who smokes and sleeps around with his girlfriends--he does not hesitate to disclose this to people. I wanted to make everyone aware of these facts. Those of you who choose to listen to what is on this page--I just wanted you to be aware of the kind of person you are dealing with.
The truth is that I do smoke, but the last time I checked it was only a sin according to the International Churches of Christ. Secondly, about my sleeping with girlfriends, it is common among former members of cults, just recently getting over their programming to "go a little wild". I admit I did sleep with my first girl friend after leaving the church, and that almost drove me to return. The second person that I went out with after leaving the ICC, I never engaged in sexual intercourse with. Even if I had, however, I freely admit that I would not consider it wrong. Now, to my rebuttal: the only individuals in the church that knew that I slept with someone were people that I told in strict confidence, I repeat strict. They were people who I thought would not spread it around. Apparently one of them has, and I am almost certain that it is Mike Hammer. Furthermore, my smoking cigarettes has no bearing on whether or not I am telling the truth. I invite everyone who reads this guestbook to note the example below of character assasination, and what will be the norm if you join the ICC. Those you love and trust with your life will turn on you when you decide that their church is not the one for you. If you choose to speak up about what you believe is wrong, this will happen to you. As evidence that I am human, I will leave this individuals message up. As evidnce that they are not human, I will leave it up as well.
On a personal note to Mike Hammer:
If it was your intention to hurt me Mike, it worked. Not because of what was said, it is plainly evident that I smoke. Furthermore, when counseling and talking with former members I openly admit that I slept with someone when I left. I use that as an illustrative example of how someone can mess up when they realize that they are completely free again.
What does hurt me is how much you have lost my respect. You had something to do with this message being posted; either you wrote it yourself, or you told other people what I told to you in confidence. Either way you are not even half of the man I believed you to be.
Well, this individual has written me again, and then decided to make his comments confidential. This is what he wrote to me
I made this one private because I didn't want to clutter up the guestbook. This is the same person who wrote about the smoking and other things. I honestly felt it was right, and that people should know. But I also realize that we all make mistakes, and I realize now that I was definitely in error to slander you like that, and I apologize with the Godly sorrow you find in the Bible. The absolute, number one reason for my reply is that I want to make you absolutely, 100 percent sure that Mike Hammer told me nothing at all. He's not like me, he wouldn't slander someone like that. We truly need to be committed to 1 Corinthians 13, love, which I believe someone else mentioned in the guestbook, and my original response was definitely not that! I hope you accept my apology and even more I hope that you know for sure that Mike Hammer had nothing to do with this. So instead of feeling all down, I've taken this as a learning experience and won't be doing it again! Please respond back, Daniel, I want to know what you feel about this, and not to feel bad. My original intention was that I wanted people to know facts that you wouldn't want them to know, so that they are aware of the entire story.
Granted, I did not want my site to be clouded by my personal life. I wanted it to be strictly facts, and some commentary about those facts. You however chose to bring in my personal life, and then to add to it a liberal dose of slander. I will not accept your apology until you tell me who you are.
My intention with this site was that I would not be the issue, although now I realize that speaking in such a public way requires me to be above reproach. I still consider what you did to be reprehensible, as well as what you and the organization does to other individuals.
I have almost puzzled out who you are. You have to be a member of the CSUN ministry, there is no doubt about that in my mind. You can't be a sister because they would not been told this. You can not be latino, because every latino person I know at CSUN would have too much honor. You could not be almost 90 % of the people in the ministry because they couldn't have written as well as you do. So, the list is narrowed down to Scott, Dewitt, Brian, Eddy, Eric, James, Phil, or Sean. Whoever it is please step forward and your confidentiality will be respected.
If you reveal your identity to me, then we can talk like men face to face. If you choose not to you are revealing your pettiness and cowardice to all who come across my webpage, both current members and former ones. No one else will know who you are, but you will know that you are a coward.