Posts Tagged ‘bonn’

John Jun’s response to my personal story

April 26, 2004

The following is an email exchange I had in January with a struggling member of Korean UBF who confronted John Jun with my personal story along with other documents. It illustrates the attitude and mentality of the current UBF leadership in regard to people’s grievances against UBF.

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:53:49 -0500

From: Joe Chung

To: []

Subject: Re: Re: Your mail

Reply-To: Joe Chung

Hello, []. I think it is wonderful and courageous of you to have this talk with Mr. Jun. His responses are not a surprise to me since he is not unlike my own father in his absolute loyalty to his leaders. I have addressed his specific responses below. Please scroll down.

>>>Dear, Joe.
>>>Last thursday(8th,january, korean time), I met John Jun.
>>>The reason why I decided to meet him was the last sunday(4th, jan)
>>>message about John 4:27-38. [ those contents in brief; …. food for soul….
>>>there are persons spreading seeds and persons collecting the fruits….]
>>>In that message, he illustrated Sarah Barry, SL and Daniel Hong along
>>>with many famous, modern ancestors of faith as good examples of the above
>>>mentioned persons.
>>>………………………………..
>>>So our talk was started from the point why I became upset upon hearing
>>>the message. Just like that talk time of Nov(?),203, John Jun was prone to
>>>mentioning many good points(sacrifice, devotion, humility etc) of SB
>>>in a unidirectional way and initiatively, not permitting my arguments in
>>>general.

>>>Upon that attitude, I only said that there are also suspicious points
>>>about SB though I’m not absolutely sure. And I initiated to go further upon the
>>>things related to SL. For, at this time, I prepared the printed materials
>>>such as ‘horror storries’, letters to Kalep Hong etc’, ‘your testimony’, UBF soul’s
>>>post mentioning the similarity between descipleship philosophy and UBF, and
>>>J Dietzel’ s testimony. Those materials were chosen rather randomly but
>>>also appeared objective and persuasive to me.

>>>Asking why ‘SL’ appear in that message, I continued my arguments
>>>reading the underlined parts by me. Limited by shortage by time and also by my
>>>poor experience in such kind of meeting, we couldn’t discuss many things.
>>>…………………………………….
>>>In my feeling the most obvious pattern of response by JJ, was his
>>>’not-carefully-hearing or thinking mind. And he repeatedly said that we
>>>people should know both sides of any problem and we should talk about upon
>>>concrete evidence. And then he seemed to say the prepared
>>>interpretations of each event.
>>>………………………………………….
>>>According to JJ’s saying, the boy with psoriasis in your life
>>>testimony was some improved with saline injection and then ran away with a korean
>>>woman missionary after 5-6 months, but in your testimony that fact is not
>>>mentioned. Is that so? I’m not sure.

I have communicated with John P. in the last month. According to him, Samuel Lee’s “treatments” were no more effective than the steroids and various other drugs he took for his condition. More recent drug advances have helped to keep his condition under control.

The problem was that S. Lee and other top leaders claimed that S. Lee’s “treatments” had FULLY HEALED Mr. P. This was even claimed in a Korean newspaper article after Channel 2 TV in Chicago did their investigative report of Chicago UBF. So S. Lee and others plainly lied about Mr. P. to members and even to the public.

Another plain lie is this claim that he [Mr. P.] “ran away” with a Korean woman missionary. This is to imply that he was somehow romantically involved with someone at Chicago UBF, and that he left to continue in his “lustful desires and relationship,” a common tactic used to slander those who leave. Mr. P. left by himself. I was in Mr. P.’s fellowship, so I know.

I have also learned from emailing Mr. P. that the “treatments” did not stop with salt water injections (10-30 per day). S. Lee also did things such as blood suctioning and placing herbs into open lesions with exposed muscle underneath and lighting the herbs on fire.

>>>Then about the person with brain tumor: at that time, the measures
>>>given for the persons were the best. And the true diagnosis lately discovered
>>>was a sorry to everybody.
>>>His such explanation is good enough? I don’t know. But at this time of
>>>writing, at least I can say the atmosphere of chicago ubf under the autocratic
>>>way of direction is abnormal or wrong.
>>>But JJ doesn’t mention such a point. And I also couldn’t point out or
>>>argue against that kind of behavior of JJ due to my poor understanding of
>>>the discussion flow.

Sure, everyone was sorry to hear that Gary Cowen was sick due to a malignant brain tumor. And people praised his faith, graciousness, etc. after multiple brain surgeries. There was a nice funeral held for him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t erase the fact that they earlier accepted S. Lee’s pronouncements that Mr. Cowen was just pretending to be sick and even demon possessed.

>>>And then about R. Yoon: JJ says R yoon was a person SL favored a lot
>>>than others.But sadly and agianst the hopes of concerned people, the first
>>>husband was too lustful in a physical sense; the second husband had no
>>>interest in mission an he pressured R yoon to leave with him to NY or
>>>like that, but R yoon rejected the proposal of the second husband.
>>>Is that so? I’m not sure.
>>>And at present time of my writing, I recall that JJ didn’t answer any
>>>about the issue of abortion.

Unfortunately, Mr. Jun is right about Rebekah Yoon being “favored” by S Lee. In fact, he was obsessed with her. No matter what the faults of her two husbands, these husbands were hand-picked by S. Lee for her. S. Lee tried to dominate her life in every way, even taking away her son when he felt like it.

The abortion issue cannot even be argued. There is no question that S. Lee ordered her to get that abortion. No wonder that Mr. Jun didn’t even want to address it.

>>>And then about S. choi Jr; JJ denied about any pressurizing of S. Choi
>>>Jr’s parents. And so the part of your testimony is lying, revealing the
>>>falsehood of testimony in general.

As I have written in my personal story, it was Yoonsook Choi [my mother-in-law] who told my wife and at least one other Korean missionary that Mr. Jun pressured her and her husband to sign that prepared statement after the suicide. So, either my mother-in-law is lying, or Mr. Jun is the one who is lying.

>>>And about your eyelid surgery: if so, it was your responsibility
>>>finally.(**Joe, JJ didn’t say these words in a hurting manner. So I hope you are not
>>>hurt by this)

I’m surprised that Mr. Jun would even comment on my eyelid surgery. Even my parents would be afraid to say that this eyelid surgery was my “responsibility.” My parents know that it was S. Lee’s idea and that it was they who pushed and pressured me to get this surgery so as not to anger S. Lee.

Furthermore, I was in the middle of serving on a court jury for two weeks when I had to get this surgery done. I had to explain to the judge and fellow jurors why I was wearing sunglasses in court to try to hide my stitches and scars. I should add that detail to my personal story.

>>>………………………
>>>After then, we couldn’t have enough time to read further. So I
>>>hurriedly said some more.
>>>About Bonn center: JJ sent some senior shephards to Bonn center but
>>>couldn’t find any evidence, so the testimony is basically lying.

I recently communicated with a Cologne UBF person, and even people in Cologne and probably Abraham K. Lee himself seem to still believe that Peter Chang and the Bonn Center is terrible.

Is it true what I hear, that some Korean chapters are sending their kids to Bonn for some kinds of “training?”

>>>And I summarily insisted that formal repent and frank discussion and
>>>clear accounting should be done. But there was no special response within
>>>the given time.
>>>And he said that probably you were actually a fruitless person (**Joe,
>>>JJ’s saying was never the kind of hurting you. And he said this only in a
>>>vague way.), and so you maybe have been trained more from SL or others, so
>>>its maybe the cause of your present behavior(this last sentence is my
>>>thinking).

Hmm. I never heard during my time in Chicago UBF that I was a “fruitless” person. Instead, I heard a lot of praise, that I was some kind of “exemplary second generation missionary.”

If I failed to “feed many sheep” in Chicago UBF, it was because I didn’t want to bring them there, where they could be abused by S. Lee or hear his often patently offensive Sunday “messages” and “announcements.”

[Rest of email not included]

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Selective recognition of leadership cults

February 10, 2004

For two consecutive years, 1999-2000, Samuel Lee ordered all Chicago-area UBF chapters to gather at the World Buffet restaurant in Niles, Illinois to throw a big birthday bash for Sarah Barry. Thousands of dollars were spent for Barry at these events, and she was lavished with gifts, but more disturbing to me was all the unbridled praise, not praise for God, but praise for Lee and Barry. On the World Buffet karaoke stage were featured song and dance numbers and skits(!) dedicated to Barry. In 1999, I had to be part of one these dance numbers. A Wright College “performance” included incredibly syrupy praise for Barry as an “angel from above.”

Cut to 2002. Barry makes a 5-figure contribution to a North Korean relief organization in the name of the now deceased Samuel Lee. The contribution opens the way for Barry to take a guided tour of North Korea. She goes there and comes back with a report that says something to the effect that she witnessed a leadership cult in North Korea.

Cut to later in 2002. Barry declares in a letter that the leadership cult in Bonn is an “exemplary” UBF chapter that many other chapters should emulate.

Incidentally, Lee ordered a similar birthday bash for my father at the World Buffet in 1998.

What would Jesus have thought of these World Buffet bashes where leaders were lavished with gifts and praised to the heavens?

In UBF terms, such idolatrous veneration and “hero” worship is called “thankfulness”, thankfulness which is supposed to silence any and all criticisms, valid or not, in the name of “spiritual order.”

"Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep."

December 3, 2003

“Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep.” This seems to be how some in North American UBF try to mask UBF’s hierarchical authoritarianism, which begins, at its lowest level, with the one-to-one, shepherd-to-sheep relationship. The Hong brothers, the late Daniel Hong and now Paul Hong, seem to espouse this model for the relationship between “shepherds” and “sheep” in UBF. (Interesting that Paul Hong would be preaching this “sheep=God, shepherd=God” message. The stories of former Toledo UBFers would indicate that he most emphasizes the “Shepherd=God” portion, where “Shepherd=himself.”) Their biblical justification for this comes almost entirely from the Old Testament and focuses mainly on Moses “who spoke for God.” Any reputable Christian teacher or student of the Bible would look at a statement like “Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep” and reject it at face value as a dangerous teaching and would probably consider its source to be most likely a cult.

There are other problems. If “Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep,” then by necessity, Sheep must be a “lesser God” than Shepherd in UBF. If Sheep=God wants to do A and Shepherd=God wants Sheep=God to do B, don’t you have quite a conundrum? After all, they are both “God” to each other. It’s even worse if Sheep=God wants to do A and Shepherd=God wants to do not-A, the opposite. Then what happens? We have “God” opposing “God.” Of course, then UBF “spiritual order” takes effect, and “Sheep is god to a Shepherd, but Shepherd is G-O-D to a sheep.” And if Sheep doesn’t meekly accept it, then “Sheep can just leave!” said the Shepherd. Why not just be honest and admit that the equality implied by “Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep” simply does not exist in UBF?

Another point: “Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep” is something that I can’t remember Samuel Lee or Sarah Barry ever saying. In fact, it was more common for Lee to say condescending things like “Sheep are sheep. They only like to eat, graze and mate. They never say thank you.” At least Lee/Barry never gave the illusion that a UBF sheep is “God to a shepherd” or to anyone else. The next generation of UBF leaders like Paul Hong may be even more gifted in the art of doublespeak than Lee/Barry.

See this archived RsqUBF discussion thread for an idea of how the UBF “Shepherd-Sheep” relationship works in reality.

Also see Joachim D.’s account of life in Bonn UBF at http://ubf-info.de/int/bonn/joachimd200105.en.htm, in which we see the “Sheep is God to a Shepherd, and Shepherd is God to a sheep” principle taken to its ugly conclusion:

Once he (Peter Chang, Bonn UBF head) literally said at the announcements at the end of a meeting: “I am God.” He did not say that he was like God, or that he was God’s servant or God’s representative, but he said, he was God. That was not a slip of the tongue or attribute to his poor German, because right after this statement he deliberately paused, after which he let us decide either to accept this or “go out through the open door now”. At that time no one said a word; all was silent and just stared straight ahead, I did too. In my heart I was shocked and at the same time ashamed to be in a fellowship where the leaders magnifies himself so.