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Taken from an article written by a Christian in Uganda, a land that… 
26th-Apr-2006 09:52 am
Dilbert
Taken from an article written by a Christian in Uganda, a land that experienced a great Christian revival, but is also plagued by all sorts of cults and self-proclaimed "prophets" and "pastors" now (just like Korea):
A danger of these cultic bodies is that victims lose a sense of self and personal identity. They are distanced or isolated from their families, friends and society in general through various brainwashing techniques.

Because of this, once stable families, marriages and other social relationships disintegrate or totally break up as victims get bonded to the cult leadership.

Victims become unable to individually define who they are, what they are, where they are, how they are and why, meaning, they can't pursue their own visions.

A survey of those who have been deceived by false teachers will reveal men and women whose marriages have been broken, children and parents whose relationships have been totally destroyed and men and women who freely re-marry, having abandoned their first relationships without remorse.
I have experienced the latter in my UBF chapter. When the wife of our spiritual-giantly "Abraham of faith" wanted to leave UBF (leave UBF, not God!), he was told to divorce from her and marry another girl from my chapter. He did so without remorse. The advice was given by Samuel Lee directly, who had also arranged his first marriage.
You will also find people whose relationships outside the group are either curtailed or totally broken and people who can't do anything without seeking the blessing of their leaders.

In most cases followers are mere implementers of their leaders' decisions in every aspect of life, no matter the leadership's level of expertise.

This serves the interests of the leaders and is the reason many people have been economically, socially, physically, spiritually and politically ruined.

Victims of these cultic entities are subjected to financial, material, physical and spiritual exploitations and ruin.

This happens because before they realise they are in the wrong hands, victims feel they should practise 'good' stewardship and contribute all they can to satisfy the leadership's needs.

Many give all their wealth in the hope that God will be pleased to bless them multifold. Through such activities, people have been dispossessed or robbed of their homes, had their bank accounts emptied and seen their businesses collapse in the name of the Lord.
Applies to UBF completely.

Cults are basically the same everywhere. I am tired of these doctrinal-based definitions of a cult, of these people who claim because UBF has an orthodox "statement of faith" it cannot be a cult. Open your eyes. Cults are so similar, independent of whether they appear as non-Christian, pseudo-Christian or Christian ("Bible-based"). It's all the same. The doctrine is only a facade, it has no practical meaning in a cult. Rather, it's all about controlling, manipulating and exploiting people and the egomaniacal desires of the leadership, money, power, domination.
Comments 
27th-Apr-2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Rather, it's all about controlling, manipulating and exploiting people and the egomaniacal desires of the leadership, money, power, domination.

This is a good definition of a cult.

To cult leaders the Bible is a means to an end; controlling and abusing people. No different than Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard's books. The Bible is in many ways easier for cult leaders because is contains contains the word of God. Further, most people believe the Bible is God's word, even if they no little about its contents. This makes it easier for the cult leader to convince followers that his false interpretation is true. Hubbard, Smith, and other cult leaders using books outside of the Bible have the added task of convincing people the book itself has some divine inspiration.
27th-Apr-2006 06:17 am (UTC)
To cult leaders the Bible is a means to an end; ... The Bible is in many ways easier for cult leaders because is contains contains the word of God. Further, most people believe the Bible is God's word, even if they no little about its contents.

Right. That's probably the reason why so many different cults claim to be Bible-based, even if they are very far away from Christianity. We have a natural trust in the Bible, first, because when you read it, you somehow feel that it is genuine and Godly, and second, because our parents and forefathers believed in the Bibel which gives it even more credibility and trust. Cult leaders exploit this. (On the other side, cult leaders also offer something more "interesting", something their followers' itching ears want to hear. They add their own teachings like the book of Mormon or the Antroposophic teachings. But that's not always necessary. Another tactics is to add nothing, but simply twist the existing teachings, or add things only "between the lines", through non-formalized behaviour rules, practices, elitism etc.)

But I think there is another reason why Christianity and the Bible is interesting for cult leaders, namely that it teaches humility, to believe things you cannot see, to see first your own faults, to be obedient, to be generous in offering money etc. These are all things that can be easily exploited. They may ask you for a lot of money for "mission", and you give to them generously. Then when you ask for whether it is used for the right purpose, they ask you to "simply believe me", "why are you so distrustful?" Then when you found it has been misappropriated they tell you "don't judge." It happens often that Christians are exploited, and that's something normal. But if they are exploited systematically by cult leaders in the name of God, that's abominable and cannot be tolerated.

I remember how Kaleb Hong wanted somebody to obey him. So he told him the Bible verse "obey your leaders" and that was the end. He gave him only two choices: To obey the Bible and thus do Kaleb had told him, or to turn out to be an unbeliever who does not obey the Bible, because he does not obey his leaders. They take one verse out of context, place it in their own context, make it absolute, and have a great instrument to pressure you to do what they want you to do.

(Because we believe the Bible is God's word, we believe every word or verse must be taken "absolute" and we are "liberal" if we don't believe so. But that's simply not true. Most teachings of the Bible have limitations and restrictions and exceptions. You see this when Jesus broke the Sabbath or David took the consecrated bread. Or when Jesus said categorically you shall not divorce, but in other places he and Paul speak about exceptions. But cult leaders like to take "one word" and use it as a hammer against you. Note that it is always they who chose the word, not the member. For instance, if you want to attend the funeral of your parents, they tell you "let the dead bury their own dead" but you are not allowed to answer "Honor your father and mother". In their own dealing with God's words, cult leaders don't take it absolute, either. However, they make exceptions where they like, e.g. ordering a divorce if one marriage partner wants to leave the cult, not where it is Biblically appropriate.)
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