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Date Posted: 04:53:31 05/16/04 Sun
Author: ExHeidelbergUBF
Subject: Re: Indoctrination
In reply to: exUbFerCincinnati 's message, "Re: Indoctrination" on 03:31:26 05/16/04 Sun

Let me recall a similar past experience in UBF just to confirm that arbitrary excommunication without reasons given happen rarely (since UBF as any cult does not want to lose its few precious followers) but they happen.

This happened to me after I had been 3 or 4 years in the cult. At that time I was completely conviced that UBF was my calling and my goal and meaning of life. I was sincere about this, and had offered a lot. Instead of working for my urgent examn thesis, and the pressure I had to finish, I had worked a whole summer renovating our center in Heidelberg. At that time my shepherd was a Korean missionary, D. (I will not give his name because he has apologized and changed and therefore the personal matter is settled). D could clearly see how devoted and serious I was with UBF, since I even put my examination at stake for UBF and offered my whole time and money for the renovation of the center. However, suddenly, without advance warning, during the 1:1 study, when I didn't answer his question immediately, he said he didn't want to see me any more, and I should never come back to the center again. When I asked why the only answer I got was that I "did not fit" into the ministry. I never got any other explanation. My own explanation is that there was a discussion in one of the 1:1's before where I insisted that God's word and conscience ruled over the shepherd's command, whereas D insisted on "absolute obedience," pointing out the defectiveness of our own conscience. There was some tension between us and I guess he felt that I was not obedient and subservient enough and I could influence the younger shepherds with my opinion. At that time D was also very authoritarian and absolute. I guess it was either I accepted him as a master or there was no future. Anyway, there was no concrete fault on my side and I was never told what I made wrong.

The situation was that D had kicked me out. D was not the leader, but (at that time) a good friend of Mr. Kaleb Hong, the chapter leader. I went to my UBF "common life" appartment and expected an apology of D or an explanation of Hong that the excommunication was not valid. Nothing happened. Nobody visited me (though of course, everybody knew). Then, somebody knocked and told me that Kaleb wanted to speak with me. He was going to a leadership meeting in Cologne and wanted to use the time on the way for talking with me. I said I had no interested to make a journey to Cologne but if he wants to speak me he can visit me. He never did this. Nor did any other UBF member visit me. Only one German member M visited me to make 1:1 with me, pointing out that I had to simply forgive D. Again, no explanation. I was very confused and asked myself whether I had been abandoned by God. I wanted to continue with my examination thesis, but I couldn't because I had no inner peace because of this excommunication. I knew that it was wrong, and that a church member cannot simply excommunicate another without reason and without going through the process described in Mt 18:15ff. But on the other side I still believed that these UBF people are "servants of God" so maybe God had abandoned me. On Sundays I went to a local church, sometimes M visited me and told me to forgive D, I was very despaired about my life, my mission and my study, but got no answers. The time passed.

Then something tragical happened. A UBF shepherd from my chapter had commited suicide. I had known him a little bit and had lived for some time together with him in UBF "common life." Therefore I went to his funeral, together with D (who had been his shepherd) and one or 2 other UBF members. Kaleb Hong did not attend the funeral. Some time later, I was invited back to UBF. The reason was probably that the younger shepherds had left and there was a lack of coworkers. Kaleb Hong urgently needed new members to fill the gaps. Since I had no other answer for my life, I accepted. I thought that God maybe simply had wanted to test me and now was reassuring his calling for me in UBF. I was not given an explanation for my expellation nor why I had been invited again. And I chose to simply forget about this chapter.

I am not resentful and have forgiven D when he apologized. He is now a very good friend. However, the behavior of D was never the main problem for me. The real problem was that of the leader.

Church members can not be excommunicated so easily by other church members, not even by the church leader, and in no case this may happen without reason given and offering of talks and clarification. The fact that these things happened are clear signs for the fact that UBF is a cult.

I know there have been more incidents like these where members have been excommunicated without reason, leaving them in a state of confusion and distress without help. I know of at least two "sheep" who had been dismissed by the wife of Kaleb Hong because they did not "grow" fast enough, abusing Bible snippets like Heb 5:12 "... though by this time you ought to be teachers .." Accidentally, I met one of them on the railway station, and she appeared very sad and frustrated, like "abadoned by God" as I think were here very words. I don't know how many ex UBF sheep may have committed suicide in such a situation even. If nobody has done it, then it's only by the mercy and help of God to them when they were alone. But the trauma of being kicked out can certainly be so intense that you start contemplating about suicide.

We all know how Samuel Lee also gloated about having kicked out the so called "uncle sheep." I.e. sheep who are too old, too poor or too mature to be able to exploit them for UBF purposes. I guess many of these "uncle sheep" may have had similar feelings when they were suddenly kicked out in a mood of Samuel Lee.

The arbitrariness of these decisions is another observation you mentioned. One sheep is dragged through the ministry for years and decades though it never makes the changes UBF hopes for, while others are suddenly kicked out when UBF leaders feel they should get rid of them. And nobody is involved in these discussions. Often the other members don't even know that somebody has been kicked out, and made believe they left from themselves.

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  • Re: Indoctrination -- Amy, 08:43:26 05/16/04 Sun

  • Re: Indoctrination -- ExUBFerCincinnati, 14:47:24 05/16/04 Sun

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