Archive for February, 2005

"About Destructive Religious Groups"

February 23, 2005

The United Ministry at Harvard lists some characteristics of destructive religious groups:

* a leader who claims divinity, or a special relationship to God
* a leader who is sole judge of a member’s actions or faith
* aspirations to total control over a member’s life
* development of unhealthy emotional dependence on the group or leader
* prohibition of critical analysis or independent thinking
* exploitation of a member’s finances
* exclusivity and isolation
* ego destruction, mind control, manipulation of a member’s relationships with family and friends

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All this really did happen…

February 13, 2005

A post at a Ex-Jews for Jesus blog reveals how similar the frequency and types of abuse are in various abusive groups.

Good intentions, zeal and … abomination

February 4, 2005

Something I wish I’d written:

Author: Ward
Subject: Re: I met Christ
In reply to: UBF “second gen” ‘s message, “I met Christ” on 17:13:12 02/01/05 Tue

Regarding this part:

“Well, a lot has changed in UBF over the past couple of years. I do have to admit that there were a lot of strange, shameless things going on when DSL was leading UBF.”

The fact that “DSL” was leading is exactly the point–to lead is to have followers, and most people followed “DSL” lock-stock-and-barrel, unthinkingly. Yes, it was strange and shameless on a grand scale. If you were one of the few who didn’t buy into many of these strange and shameless things, there was pretty much no one to discuss this freely with.

Regarding this other part:

“THere are people who really want to serve God and who really love JEsus [in UBF].”

Love for God cannot be separated from love for neighbor; this is obvious from the Bible. I agree there were many who wanted and want to serve God and love Jesus, but many of these very same people committed intentional and extremely unloving acts towards their fellow men and women inside UBF and outside of it, too. I was also taken in by this kind of zeal, and for a long time. This zeal alone is not Christian, and there were, and I have a hunch still are, many in UBF who only have this kind of one-sided and un-Biblical zeal, which is wrong. That’s all some of us are trying to say to you. May God bless you to do both, as I’m sure you want to do–love God AND love others, as Jesus completely commanded.

Something that I did write in late 2001:

Posted by * on October 01, 2001 at 22:27:29:

In Reply to: UBF isn’t a hell built by Samuel Lee… posted by rJ on September 22, 2001 at 10:28:24:

No, of course UBF isn’t a hell built by Samuel Lee. But I wonder if a bunch of Satanists would have treated a fellow Satanist as badly as Chicago UBF members treated Gary Cowen [see my personal story]. I was there. I saw with my own eyes what he was put through. Samuel Lee said he was a liar and “faking it,” so it must have been true. “O, look. Gary’s pretending he can’t pick up that pen he just dropped because his fake brain cancer is affecting his motor skills. O, look. Gary’s pretending he can’t climb those steps because his fake brain cancer is making him too weak. No, don’t help him. Samuel Lee said so. Samuel Lee said bring him to the Center and put his feet in ice water, so it’s got to be done. Well, at least we gave him a nice funeral.” But so did the Israelites after they killed the prophets, didn’t they? No, UBF isn’t a hell built by Samuel Lee. But I wonder if atheists, pagans, mobsters, or even Satanists would have treated one of their fellows like that.

Update: The treatment of Gary Cowen was apparently even worse than I remember:

Date Posted: 13:52:17 03/06/05 Sun
Author: Nick T.
Subject: bedridden for several years
In reply to: Chris ‘s message, “Re: Mental Illness” on 17:12:48 03/05/05 Sat

A man in Chicago, Gary ‘Jeremiah’ Cowen, became very sick for several years. When he first got ill, he was reviled and maltreated by EE Chang Woo [Sam Lee], who accused him of faking his illness. It was a very vocal and even violent treatment that EE put forth for him. Thru ubfKoreans, they did things like stomp on his hands when he fell down, or take him outside the Chicago Revenue Center and turn on the hose and soak him to humiliate him. Lots of cursing at him during meetings.