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Date Posted: 15:50:15 03/03/05 Thu
Author: Chris
Subject: Re: Mental Illness
In reply to: Elizabeth 's message, "Mental Illness" on 15:11:06 03/03/05 Thu

The whole case is horrible, only horrible, and I was very sorry when I first heared about it. I have already experience a suicide in UBF and cried many tears because of this. I did not know Sarah but still I feel very sorry. And it is even more tragical because she leaves behind a husband and children. But probably even such a tragic death will not make the leaders think whether they did anything wrong.

Yes, I have seen the movie. Mental illnesses or instability is very frequent, among believers and unbelivers. People with mental illnesses are very frequent in UBF, because these people are vulnerable for cult recruiting. They are looking for guidance and friends which they can get in UBF. However, UBF is an environment with heavy group pressure and performance pressure. UBF does not account for people who are weak. UBF expects their members to be disciplined, trained, strong shepherds who help and train others, not to receive help and comfort and counseling which they may need in reality. They always have to conform to the ideal and get under mental pressure and guilt through this. In my chapter there was a Korean who was mentally ill, but he was expected to feed 4 sheep like the others. There were also Koreans who had difficulties to learn a foreign language and could not communicate with Germans, but they were expected to feed 4 sheep as well. Weak and ill people have no place in UBF, they are only sometimes tolerated in order to fill the seats and increase the numbers, because numbers are idolized by UBF and their main prayer topics. Instead of being comforted and counseled, the weak are "trained." Therefore UBF is an extremely unhealthy environment for people with mental illness. Usually the mental problems become aggravated through the UBF pressure, guilt tripping, training, pressure, separtion from outside world and "spiritualizing" everything. UBF shepherds and leaders have no education in counseling, not to speak about counseling mentally ill people which is even more difficult.

Suicides are a common phenomenon in UBF. There were 4 suicides in my chapter that I am aware of. One of them was a shepherd. There had been at least 2 suicides and 1 case of murder in Chicago before the recent death as well.

Elizabeth, are you a UBF member? How did UBF handle the issue? Did they tell you how Sarah died or did they try to cover it up? Do you think UBF is a healthy environment for mentally ill people? Do you think UBF is a healthy environment for anybody?

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