Archive for July, 2006

Easy believism

July 29, 2006

(Related: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

No, not that easy believism. I’m talking about the easy believism described below (from here):

He [a “Christian journalist”] wrote to me stating he has met with the Joe Jr. team [leaders of a church] and that the church was no longer a cult. He stated he has taken the “leader’s word at face value and trusted them.” If this is an example of what is available for Christian guidance for cult members, God help us all!

God help us indeed!

I wouldn’t count on such people, who show such gullibility and such a lack of discernment about cults, to care one whit about the testimonies or plight of former members or about the evidence. I’d go further and say that dealing with such gullible people can reopen the very wounds that our former cult inflicted upon us. Sadly, such gullible and undiscerning people, for the most part, call themselves evangelical Christians.

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Spiritual abuse in Kiev, Ukraine

July 17, 2006

(Related: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Here’s are some accounts of spiritual abuse in the Kiev, Ukraine chapter of UBF whose director, Peter Kim, is apparently a disciple of Peter Chang in Bonn and praised as an “exemplary” chapter leader. Many familiar themes in there for me:

17th-Jun-2006 12:51 pm (UTC)
[Author:] hdchris

I decided to translate the issues he mentions, because they once again affirm that UBF abuse is the same everywhere in the world:

* Andrew and his elder brother Ivan were down with influenza and temperature above 39C. Yet, they were commanded to attend a meeting. Ivan did not attend the meeting, therefore his wedding was postponed. Andrew being younger and not so courageous to decline attended the meeting that lasted after midnight when there was scarce public transport. After that, he got a sever pneumonia and later bronchitis, which healed completely only after leaving UBF, because in UBF he had never enough time to rest and recover.

* Andrey said the leader propagated wrong information about me and my wife (who was from Kiev) after we left UBF, in order to put us in a bad light

* Before conferences, they had 15 different meetings a week in Kiev (in Heidelberg, it was similar, by the way) where they had to come to the center

* The leader ordered some to run to the station, singing songs. Those who refused to run were kicked out.

* Those who came late to the meetings were ordered to buy food for the others (which is costly and time-consuming in Kiev)

* Those who wanted to visit their parents in the summer holidays were publicly dispraised

* It was not allowed to date or to marry without approval of the pastor

* Those members who attended other churches in Kiev were considered lost sheep

* You could not be in a good standing with UBF without attending *all* meetings

* One shepherdess was told to come to a meeting, although she had fever and her infant at home

* When the wife of the leader left the hospital in order to attend a UBF meeting, though she was on a drip, this was presented as exemplary behavior

* If you leave Kiev and visit another church in another town, you are denounced by the leader

* For those who lived in common life apartments it was mandatory to attend the early morning meeting at 6:30am in the center

* Those who are not active in the church are regularly criticized in public

* The leader blamed the members with the words even my children (3 and 10 years old) are giving more tithes than you do

* The members are told to obey *everything* the leader commands, even if it seems to be false

* Every week you need to write a sogam with a list of your own problems and application of the Bible to your life, and have to share it in public. Those who do not write are publicly denounced.

* UBF exerts training for spiritual education. Some demands of these trainings are given as if they came out of the mouth of Jesus Christ directly. Only God can demand such things from others.

* In Kiev, one of the trainings was to hold a chair over the head (even the person who was defending UBF in that discussion was among the people who were trained that way).

* If you missed the early morning meetings, sometimes money was collected as a punitive measure.

* The leader regularly said we are the disciples of Jesus Christ, we are more similar to the first church, in other churches the people compromise

* You were not allowed to miss the many meetings during the preparation phase for the conferences.

* The leader said I regret having founded the marriage of Ivan and Ira

I can also add another story I was told by another ex Kiev UBF member. He once missed the Sunday service, because he drove to another town. When he came back, he was kicked out of his home (a UBF brothers common life apartment) by the leader (though the leader of course was not even living in that apartment), and he had to spend the night in the railway station. That happened in winter.

What was Peter Kim’s response to the ex-member who presented this list of issues to him? The leader refused to even look at the list, but answered: “If you don’t like how we do it, you can go.”

Geographical distribution of UBF abuse

July 17, 2006

I’m updating my geographical distribution of UBF abuse list. The following is a simple listing of current UBF chapters where I have seen or been told of what I would consider to be reports/complaints/observations of spiritual abuse and other kinds of abuses and also aberrant teachings/practices:

United States:

Chicago HQ (obviously) and affiliates:

UIC (part of Chicago HQ)
IIT (part of Chicago HQ)
COD (part of Chicago HQ)
Northwestern U. (part of Chicago HQ)
Northeastern Illinois U. (part of Chicago HQ)
Loyola U. (part of Chicago HQ)

Triton (Chicago satellite)
Wright (Chicago satellite)
U. of Chicago (Chicago satellite)
DePaul (Chicago satellite)

U. of Illinois Urbana
Western Illinois U.
Toledo
Columbus
Akron
Cincinnati
Arlington, TX
Los Angeles
Arizona
Penn State U.
Washington D.C.
Baltimore II
New Jersey
New York
UMKC (Kansas City, Mo)
Minneapolis

Canada:

London
Montreal
Ottawa
Toronto
Waterloo

South America:

Mexico
Venezuela

Germany

Bonn
Cologne
Heidelberg

Eurasia

Moscow, Russia

Kiev, Ukraine

Minsk, Belarus

Sofia, Bulgaria

India

Hong Kong

Mongolia

Turkey

Korea (Yes, I know Korea is part of Eurasia.)

Seoul:

Anam I
NamSan
Kwanak (SNU)
Kyung Hee
Yonhee

KwangJu