Archive for March, 2005

Some peculiar moral reasoning

March 30, 2005

(Related: 1, 2)

Someone wrote the following in January of 2001 in the rsqubf guestbook:

Name: he must go

Comments: Looking at this dreambook has brought back memories and brought on new feelings, the foremost of which is heaviness of heart over the condemnation of Gary (Jeremiah) Cowen. Nothing was done for the poor man. He was judged for his sins and made to suffer, but it was not God who judged and punished.

Thursday, January 11th 2001 – 02:07:40 PM

What the commenter is trying to convey is how Chicago UBF members might have internally justified their mistreatment of Gary Cowen. In their minds, he had it coming for whatever sins he may have commited or whatever sins they were told he commited.

Apparently, this peculiar (and quite disturbing) kind of moral reasoning has not died in UBF. A ~26 year veteran of Chicago UBF, a cancer survivor herself, was asked recently about my account of the mistreatment of Mr. Cowen. She reportedly did not deny that such things were done to Mr. Cowen, but she also saw the need to make it known that Mr. Cowen was not an innocent victim of the mistreatment, that Mr. Cowen was hardly a “righteous” man. No remorse. No shame. Instead, more blaming of a victim, someone who was treated inhumanely (to put it charitably) by Sam Lee and his all-too-willing accomplices in Chicago UBF.

"Some ways to identify high-pressure groups"

March 22, 2005

(Related: 1, 2, 3)

The optimist in me wants to see a good trend beginning to develop on American campuses. The Chaplain’s Office of the University of Pennsylvania lists some ways to identify high-pressure groups:

Observe the group’s responses to you and how you feel. If you can answer “yes” to three or more of these statements, you should seriously reconsider your involvement.

. The group seems to be perfect. Everyone agrees and follows all orders cheerfully.

. The group claims to have “all the answers” to your problems.

. The group offers “instant friendship.” They will not take “no” for an answer; invitations are impossible to refuse without feeling guilty and/or ungrateful.

. You are asked to recruit new members soon after joining.

. The group insists on total obedience to their leaders and discourages questions or doubts as signs of weak faith. You may be rejected or shunned if you persist in asking questions.

. Your parents and friends are described as being “unable to understand or help you” with religious matters.

. The group encourages you to put their meetings and activities before all other commitments, including studying.

. The group puts down your past religious, social or political affiliation.

If you can answer “YES” to any three of these questions, you should consider talking to a University staff member or administrator. Remember …

. Your mind is a gift! Don’t waste it, use it!

. You don’t have to be manipulated!

They have already received their reward

March 19, 2005

(Related: 1, 2)

I have predicted in the past that Sarah Barry, surrounded by the same people who elevated Sam Lee and his misdeeds to untouchability with endless and exaggerated praise, would get worse, not better over time. This goes beyond her tolerating (even encouraging) the use of her “official” title, “Mother” Barry.

In December of 2004, there appeared this post by a Korean UBF member about a Sarah Barry visit to his chapter:

Date Posted: 17:08:48 12/09/04 Thu
Author: Bong-jin Kang
Subject: Regarding SB

Hello to all.

Tuesday this week, S.Barry came to our center after her trip to Philipine UBF conference. She will going to give her life testimony regarding UBF (10 pieces serially) in the major christian newspaper soon.

By the way, as my wife told to me yesterday, when SB came to our UBF center (snu3.ubf.or.kr), she told all the members sit together round. She recommended all say about his/her yearly key verses. During that time, one woman leader said to her “I admire you” (Surely she said this from her sincere mind, not from a unsound mind). About hearing this, SB said (I was absent at that time) “you shoudn’t say such thing to me. you should say such thing only to Jesus.” I beleve SB’s sincerety in this event.

Later in December, there appeared this post by the same Korean UBF member:

Date Posted: 16:59:18 12/28/04 Tue
Author: bj
Subject: Re: Regarding SB
In reply to: Bong-jin Kang ‘s message, “Regarding SB” on 17:08:48 12/09/04 Thu

There are already 3 pieces of SB’s testimony in Kookmin-ilbo.(proposed to be a seires of 10 pieces)

address of ‘piece 1’—>
http://www.kmib.co.kr/html/kmview/2004/1226/091965388323111215.html

‘piece 2’—>
http://www.kmib.co.kr/html/kmview/2004/1227/091965455623111215.html

‘piece 3’—>
http://www.kmib.co.kr/html/kmview/2004/1228/091965571523111215.html

So as she was telling a Korean UBF admirer to not express such admiration for her, she had probably already submitted a 10-part life story to the Kookmin Ilbo newspaper (not a Christian newspaper as originally claimed) for publication. And this 10-part life story (reportedly a whitewashing of UBF’s long rap sheet of abusive behavior, full of self praise, praise for Sam Lee, praise for UBF) was certainly required reading for virtually every Korean UBF and Korean-speaking USA UBF member.

Incidentally, there was also this post about a Chicago UBF “message” around that time:

Date Posted: 11:43:47 12/15/04 Wed
Author: Nick T.
Subject: most recent dribble [drivel?] from ubf Sunday message
In reply to: Bong-jin Kang ‘s message, “Regarding SB” on 17:08:48
12/09/04 Thu

FYI- here is a portion of the most recent Chicago ubfcult Sunday message. Try to read it without getting naseous. After reading, then decide who is humble and who is not.

Look at verse 48: “for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed¡¦” Mary remembered her humble state–an ordinary girl from Galilee. God made her a truly blessed woman from generations to generations. Even Moscow taxi drivers carry the picture of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is worthy to receive all the honor that she deserves as the holy and pure mother of Jesus. The image of praying and devout Mary provides us peace and comfort. We all have this yearning for a holy mother’s love. The body of Christ needs mothers of prayer who embrace lonely, broken sinners and wipe out their tears with the holy love of God. Christian churches are blessed and strong with many wonderful mothers of prayer around the world. UBF is no exception. We are blessed with the presence of Mother Sarah Barry and Mother Grace A. Lee.

The human veneration culture of UBF which became so clear to me and disgusted me so much in 2000 is apparently alive and well. It made Sam Lee worse and worse; it seems to be doing the same to Barry.

"A Word of Warning"

March 4, 2005

(Related: 1)

Stanford Associated Religions lists some characteristics of destructive religious groups:

Unfortunately, not every religious group has your best interests at heart. Groups to avoid have some or all of the following characteristics.

* Pressure and Deception: They use high-pressure recruitment tactics or are not up-front about their motives when they first approach you. SAR members are required to identify themselves on all News and Publications and to be clear and forthright about their motives.

* Totalitarian Worldview: They do not encourage critical, independent thinking. The first goal of higher education is to enable you to think for yourself. Be aware of groups or leaders who try to control your life or who claim to possess the truth exclusively.

* Alienation: They want to choose your friends for you. While all religions have moral guidelines, watch out for groups that encourage you to sever ties with close friends and family who are not members. They are manipulative and extremely dangerous.

* Exploitation: They make unrealistic demands regarding your time and/or money. If participation in a group takes away from your study time, beware. A group or leader that cares about you understands that your studies-your future-are your first priority as a Stanford student. SAR members are strictly forbidden to require dues from student participants.

What love-bombing is like

March 2, 2005

From a former Triton UBF 2ndgen’s story:

On a rare occasion when we went to the beach, my parents found a baby crab. They immediately grabbed this crab, took it out of its natural surroundings of Lake Michigan and brought it home. They placed it in an old fish tank and proceeded to feed it. I found it strange that we had a newfound pet in the house since up till now we only had goldfish. A few months after the crab grew a bit from my parents feeding it, they killed and ate it. My siblings and I were shocked and appalled as I’m sure the crab was. But the crab had no say. As far as the crab knew, my parents were doing it a favor by placing it in a new “safe” fish tank away from the dangers of a natural body of water. Similarly, my parents unwittingly brought this baby crab into an even more dangerous environment – a bubble of an existence in a man-made aquarium. This is perhaps the greatest metaphor of my life as a missionary kid. Except this crab escaped before anyone could kill it. [cue violins] Entering the sea of the real world after having been sheltered since birth has been difficult and exciting. There is so much I do not know in this world. I am essentially a blank slate. Everything is new to me. However, my upbringing urges me to examine people’s motives. As a skeptic, it is not difficult for me to discern when someone is placed in an unjust situation. The worst scenario possible has already occurred in the bulk of my life through the cult called UBF.