Posts Tagged ‘veneration’

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.”

Advertisements

UBF "Founders Day"

December 20, 2003

Instead of mass marriage, Chicago UBF apparently held a UBF “Founders Day” meeting on the week of Samuel Lee’s birthday in early October. The point of this meeting? To praise Samuel Lee. According to RsqUBF discussion board posts, the organizer of this meeting seems to have been Ben Toh who also appears to have been the organizer of “memorial services” for Lee in previous years. On the program: An opening message in praise of Samuel Lee by “Mother” Barry, followed by three sogams in praise of Samuel Lee by Christy Toh, Alan Wolff, and … my mother. The choice of these three people to share such sogams makes me raise my eyebrows, especially the last two people. I’m guessing they didn’t volunteer to do this, but I could be wrong. If my mother did volunteer to share one of these Lee “praiseologies,” I have to marvel at how different her story is when she’s in front of me and when she’s in front of UBF “coworkers.” If my mother did not volunteer for this, I can only see it as a disgusting attempt to re-educate someone who possessed some shred of independent thinking about the person of Samuel Lee.

More on the beatification of Samuel Lee: The Korean UBF headquarters has dubbed their main auditorium “Samuel Lee Hall” or something to that effect. It’s also been reported that Samuel Lee’s widow has created a Samuel Lee shrine of sorts in their Chicago house that was destroyed by the January 2002 fire and subsequently rebuilt using UBF funds.