Posts Tagged ‘ubf-leaders-pharaoh’

More bad memories of UBF international conferences past

July 27, 2004

As previously mentioned, I had to be in a fellowship leadership position in Chicago during the preparation for several of these past UBF international conferences at Michigan State University. Of course, this was not by choice. (I can say this with the utmost confidence: Hardly anything in my UBF life was by choice.) It was during these conference times that Sam Lee became most like the Pharaoh of Exodus 5 in his demand for numbers performance. The leaders would be made to meet every night around 7:30pm with Sam Lee and be made to “promise” to bring a certain number of conference “registrations” by 10-11pm the same night. The fear of the consequences for breaking one’s “promise” (usually getting “dumped” in Skokie for a walk back, i.e. “Skokie training”) was so great that there was no choice but to “register” anyone “by faith,” i.e. pay part of the registration fee out of one’s own pocket.

Funnier things happened. On some days, a certain fellowship leader would have a “good day” because his fellowship brought in, say, five conference registrations that day. Then, said fellowship leader would put two of the five conference registrations in his pocket, saving it up for the next day so he would have a better chance of keeping his forced “promise” the next day, a way of “lowering Sam Lee’s expectations.” Every fellowship leader did this at some point, and they did similar things week to week to cope with the pressure for Sunday meeting attendance numbers. (See also Henry Kriete’s account of the effects of another group’s obsession with numbers.) When it comes down to it, UBF is all about fear and shame because fear and shame become one’s primary motivation for doing anything (or for not doing something).

Another bad memory: Yvonne T. just losing it in an almost nervous breakdown after a international conference, right in front of “foreign guests” whom she was supposed to be busily chaperoning.

Movie Recommendation – Glengarry Glen Ross

December 8, 2003

In my previous post I alluded to the hellishly abusive experience of being a fellowship leader under Samuel Lee. The experience is really hard to describe in a way that people can understand. It was like being in a job from hell with a boss from hell, only worse because the boss from hell claimed to be a “great servant of God.” The Calabreses and the Duggals talk about it some in what they’ve written. For those who have a hard time understanding, I will always recommend that they watch the movie, “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Here are a couple of messages I’ve posted about it at RsqUBF:

Author: Me
Subject: Glengarry Glen Ross
In reply to: Chris ‘s message, “Similarities Between UBF and the Animal Farm” on 10:26:04 01/05/02 Sat

If you really want to get to know the pressure and psychological torture that fellowship leaders have to endure at the hands of Sam Lee in Chicago UBF, watch the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross.” The movie depicts almost perfectly the totally unchristian environment that Chicago fellowship leaders have to live in on a weekly basis, and especially during MSU/ISU preparation.

Author: Me
Subject: Re: Glengarry Glen Ross
In reply to: Joe ‘s message, “Re: Beat-up Men Beat up Women” on 20:52:45 11/01/03 Sat

>The pressure to produce numbers
>that was put on these men was so great (beyond the
>comprehension of most UBF members)…
If you want to get a good idea of the pressure that I speak of, try watching at least the beginning of the excellent movie, Glengarry Glen Ross. The movie is rated “R” for language, but then so was Samuel Lee’s language many times in his meetings with fellowship leaders.

That second message of 11/01/03 was part of a discussion thread called “Passive Men / Wild Women” that was started by Donna Adams, formerly of the Cincinnati UBF, whom Samuel Lee referred to as a “brainwashed vegetable woman” in one of his Sunday “messages.”