Archive for April, 2006

The UC, UBF and "decisions of faith"

April 24, 2006

(Related: 1, 2, 3)

Another post from earlier this year concerning similar experiences in the Unification Church and UBF:

Here’s another excerpt. Here we can see the Unification Church playing a “discipleship game” similar to that experienced by many in UBF, the game called “make a decision of faith (and make sure your ‘decision’ matches our will)”:

I soon found myself fascinated and entangled with the doctrine, feeling compelled to stay by the message that upon continuous repetition I had unconsciously come to accept. I was unable to overcome the fear I had been indoctrinated with, i.e. the fear of betraying God and of being invaded and destroyed by satan if I left this “heavenly fortress” (or “bootcamp”) that, I had come to believe, protected me. THE FEAR I HAD BEEN “INJECTED” WITH, AND MY DESIRE TO SERVE GOD, WERE FROM THEN ON OFTEN USED TO MANIPULATE MY DECISIONS, TO ELIMINATE CHOICES WHICH DID NOT SERVE THE GROUP’S PURPOSES – THUS UNDERMINING MY OWN FREEDOM OF CHOICE. My leaders in California, including Mr. Aokie (regional director), Myra Stanaecki, and a woman named Jossenta, upon learning that I was scheduled to begin my civil service (the mandatory substitute for military service) in Germany by Dec. 1st., 1986, had a meeting and, rather than advising me to return home, told me that … “I should decide.” Since I had accepted their teaching, choosing that option would have been equal to betraying God and committing spiritual suicide. As a freshly commited new member I would never opt for this choice – and they knew and relied on it.

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A UBF Easter conference memory

April 12, 2006

From my personal story:

In April 2000, I attended a UBF Easter conference where Samuel Lee was present. A college student named Daniel C., the son of current Chicago UBF elder, Isaac C., delivered a message during an evening meeting. For no apparent reason, Mr. Lee stated that he did not like the message that Daniel delivered or the way that Daniel delivered the message, and Mr. Lee ordered that Daniel be made to run laps around the conference grounds in the dark of night. This all happened even while Daniel’s mother was present at the same conference. The text of the Easter message that Daniel delivered can be read at [url withheld].

I thought that night for the umpteenth time in my UBF life, as I saw Dan C. trudge sadly into the night at the conference grounds, “Only in a cult does this stuff happen.”

Horror stories in the UC and UBF

April 12, 2006

(Related: 1, 2, 3)

This was a post from February about horror stories told in the Unification Church and in UBF about former members:

I was reading something written by Ingo Michehl, a former Moonie. He and I may have crossed paths around 1989-90 at UIC in Chicago while I was going to school there and he was recruiting there for CARP, a student organization and Moonie front group. As expected, there are echoes of UBF in a lot of what he writes about his Moonie experience. Something I wanted to highlight is his experience of the horror stories that were told about what would happen to those who left the group:

My last leader, Mr. Tetsuo Yoshizumi, in Chicago once came to me after my not having followed one of his directions completely. He stuck a few hundred dollars into my shirt pocket, pushed me and yelled “I don’t want you in my center any more! You are satan! Go back to Germany – with satan! NOW! Pack your stuff and GET OUT!”

I was shocked! If I obeyed his command I would commit “spiritual suicide” (since we were taught that upon leaving the church, satan would invade us completely, destroy our family, cause us to become insane or die through some horrible accident. At meetings we would continuousely hear testimonies of leaders about members who would not “unite” with their leaders (called CF’s or Central Figures). One story the regional director of Chicago, Rev. Hong, one of Mr. Moon’s first disciples, told was that upon disuniting with his directions, a member’s child had just been born without ears. Another disobedient member had developed cancer – satan’s punishment.). What would you have done in my situation if you had been indoctrinated with all these very real fears? Well, some part of me was rebellious, saying “OK! If all my work is not enough, and you really want me to leave – I’ll go!”. Yet the other part which was dominated by fear, guilt and low self-esteem which my leader had beaten into me (verbally as well as physically), was stronger, so I lowered my head and said “I repent! I’m sorry! I’ll never do it again!”

Here are some of the UBF defenses of the horror stories told by Sam Lee, defenses that I’ve heard and read:

  • “You have to know the ‘context’ and Dr. Lee’s motives.”
  • “Was it wrong for Dr. Lee to tell such stories? No.”
  • “You should not ask whether it was wrong for Dr. Lee to tell such stories. Rather, you should ask whether the stories are true.”