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What Can I Gain From Admiting I Am In A Cult? 
5th-Jun-2006 08:06 pm
UBF members and other cult members often accuse former members who confess that they were in a cult of lying, exaggerating the truth, slandering, or vengful. Many people will lie to benefit themselves or to hurt others in vengence. For example, one may lie about being harassed at work to make money in a law suit. Often, people lie in order to get a date. One may lie about being oppressed in order to receive sympathy, praise, or donations from the world. There are many cases in which lying benefits people in terms of short-term worldly praise and profit at the expense of others.

However, I cannot think of any benefit we could attain from admitting that we were in a cult. I am certainly not going to acquire a better job by admitting I am in a cult. I am not going to make myself more attractive to women by admitting that I am in a cult. I am not going to make any money from being in a cult? I am not going to destroy the cult, because it will always continue with a deluted core membership. I am not going to make friends, neither among Christians nor non-Christians by admitting that I am in a cult. In fact, admitting that I am in a cult to Christians with no cult experience has only caused confusion. Most people either think cult members were foolish for "allowing" the cult to control them or that it is just misunderstanding or exaggeration.

Therefore, I conclude that there is little, if any benefit for anyone to admit they were in a cult. I ask those who would accuse former members of cults as liars; why would they lie?
Comments 
7th-Jun-2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
why would they lie?

Samuel Lee brainwashed my wife to believe that I would leave her as her father had left her and her mother if she didn't obey him. So at one point my wife accepted his advice for her to be separated from me and she 'obeyed' him believing that she was obeying God's direction. She took our 6-month-old son and left me to go back to Korea. I have never experienced such a traumatic event in my whole life. You come home one day and find your son and your wife gone with no trace! Then bunch of UBFKorean elders visited me in a shock and told me that I was receiving a 'divine discipline' from God!

What is more disgusting is that the whole story has been somehow turned around so strangely that people believe that it was actually I who left my son and my wife! Samuel Lee and UBF made me the bad guy and a liar. But you cannot do anything about it because you were made to believe that if you leave UBF, God will punish you. Of course that is the most disgusting lie that could be fabricated in the name of 'one-to-one Bible study'.

In UBF there is no truth. There is only abuse and deception to improve UBF business by making campus students 'committed' UBF devotees.

Why would anyone allow such an organization run his life? Because a cult like UBF manipulates a person on the level of his conscience by teaching common virtues with the terror of God's punishment. No innocent college freshman in any campus can escape easily this trap.

It is as if your friend could manipulate you by using the virtue of friendship like "if you are my friend, do this." If you are a good guy, you will find that it would be very difficult to refuse your friend because you know that friendship is a great virtue worth sacrificing yourself. But if you refuse your friend who is trying to use you, he will accuse you of being a liar and a hypocrite. That is what UBF does. If anyone leaves UBF, UBF fabricates many lies about him to demonize him. UBF is like a manipulative friend that anyone should avoid.
7th-Jun-2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
So at one point my wife accepted his advice for her to be separated from me and she 'obeyed' him believing that she was obeying God's direction. She took our 6-month-old son and left me to go back to Korea. I have never experienced such a traumatic event in my whole life. You come home one day and find your son and your wife gone with no trace! Then bunch of UBFKorean elders visited me in a shock and told me that I was receiving a 'divine discipline' from God!

What a story! You'd think it is unbelievable, but I believe you because I experienced something similar. My chapter leader kind of kidnapped my fiance (we had been engaged for one year) only days before our planned wedding. He told her to pack her things and come with him to another UBF chapter in the area. Only there, he told her that I had become unspiritual and she needed to stay there and would not go back with him. The leader's wife lied to me she did not know where my fiance was. Well, that was really a traumatic experience. At that time, my mother was visiting me and asked me where my fiance was, and I could not even give an answer. The same leader had for 10 years claimed to be my special friend and spiritual mentor. Yes, they are unashamed to exploit friendship and trust. I had never in my life such bad "friends" as in UBF. As soon as the leader told anything bad about me, and as soon as I left UBF, they stopped being my friends.
8th-Jun-2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
Only there, he told her that I had become unspiritual and she needed to stay there and would not go back with him.

My wife said that Samuel Lee told her that I had become unspiritual too! I delievered a message one day in a meeting. My wife told me that everyone liked it. But I did not follow UBF convention of copying Samuel Lee's stupid message. I prepared the message based on my own understanding and research. I always thought that Samuel Lee's message lacked basic reasoning and rigorous research. I was also working toward phD at that time. One math professor liked my work and wanted me to join his team. But Samuel Lee and his cronies pressured me hard to stop my study and to work full time for UBF work. I told them many times to just leave me alone. But they kept on telling me that I had to 'commit' myself to 'the work of God' first, which of course didn't make any sense to me because I was already fully committed to the work of God. Then they said that I had become a mental patient! My wife also believed that I had become 'spiritually sick' even though I don't think she even knew what she was talking about. She was on Samuel Lee's side and I was the only one on my side. This caused a lot of trouble in our marriage. I didn't want UBF come between her and me. But they said that it was very 'unspiritual' idea. Then a few days later I came home only to find that my son disappeared with my wife.

My son told me that he sometimes feels distance between me and him. Strangely I feel exactly the same from time to time. So finally a few weeks ago, I told him everything that had happened about 10 years ago. I never told him about the separation before. After that, we are doing much better now. I was also very mad at my wife. It was very difficult for a long time for us to come to reconciliation. For such a long time she believed that she did what she did because she was obeying God when she took my son and left me to go back to Korea. She also told me that Samuel Lee made her believe that the separation was the only way to 'help' me. She said that to make her obey him, Samuel Lee used the story about Abraham's faith to sacrifice his one and only son Isaac to obey God! Samuel Lee told her that she should love God more than her husband by using the Abraham's story! So she decided to accept his advice. Now finally she told me a few days ago that what she did to me was very wrong and what Samuel Lee and UBF did to her and our son was very terrible. But I also understand that she did what she did because she was manipulated to believe that what she was doing was the best for our family at that time. Anyway it has been such a long journey for both of us to finally attend the Wednesday prayer meeting at the Moody church yesterday.
8th-Jun-2006 12:11 pm (UTC) - You may be asking the wrong question...
...not what can I gain, but what can others gain from my being in (and out of) a cult? Remember that what was considered bad for you God can use it for good. It is to God's glory that we were all in a cult, so that our faith may be strengthened to speak boldly on these matters, for our encouragement to each other and for a warning to others. What is the purpose of this website, if not to admit that we were in a cult and to warn others of the consequences from joining it? When you share your unique story of being in a cult, you are not only telling the history of your life, you are telling HIStory: the continuing story of God's love, God's mercy, and God's ability to save and transform people in all kinds of circumstances.

Honestly, the people that would benefit from you NOT admitting you were in a cult would be those in UBF. I agree with you, that those in UBF do nothing but lie and writhe in seeping, silent rage against those of us who are bold enough to tell it like it is; however, we should not let anyone's opinion of us deter us from telling the truth and from displaying God's love for us through this adversity. Yes, it IS a point of vulnerability and embarassment to admit I was in a cult. Yes, it can be confusing and cause more trouble in the wrong circumstances. But most of all, it can be a great testimony (not sogam) to others of how God has worked in your life and how He can do the same for others.

One last thing: sharing your cult experience to the next generation is a good recommendation as well. The youth who will be leaving their parent's homes and going out into the world, among the wolves, can be easily preyed upon by cults such as UBF and, without preparation and equipping, may not know how to spot a cult and be sucked into one, as we all were. If you have the means to speak to your church's youth group, or a general assembly at a school about cults, then do so. Your testimony may be the one that keeps them from some unnecessary suffering.

I understand your point of view about the uselessness of admitting you were in a cult. In lots of venues, it isn't necessary to talk about it. However, I think that there are many other opportunities for sharing and witnessing to others using this experience, which maybe you have not thought of. You may just impact someone with your story and move them closer to Christ. Please take this posting in the spirit which it is given: I am not trying to critize; rather, I think it is good to look at the other side of that question and answer "What can others gain from me admitting that I was in a cult?"
8th-Jun-2006 08:38 pm (UTC) - Re: You may be asking the wrong question...
You are right, tgifoz, it is helpful for us and others to tell the truth and explain we were in a cult. But I think you misunderstood what pecowas wanted to say with this question. He was talking about the fact that the testimony of ex cult members is often questioned. They say ex member are biased so you cannot believe them what they tell about the group. This is what cult apologists often say when people complain about the groups they have been in. What pecowas wanted to say is that this argumentation makes no sense, since what benefit would ex member from telling bad things about the group they have been in and spent a lot of time with, and gave their heart to? All of us would be much happier if we could say we were in a group which was a bit extreme, but not a cult. But if we admit we were in a really extreme group, a cult, this has a reason. We would not say it just for fun, because we would not gain anything from such a claim. I think that was what pecowas wanted to say.



10th-Jun-2006 09:42 pm (UTC) - Re: You may be asking the wrong question...
But I think you misunderstood what pecowas wanted to say with this question. He was talking about the fact that the testimony of ex cult members is often questioned. They say ex member are biased so you cannot believe them what they tell about the group. This is what cult apologists often say when people complain about the groups they have been in. What pecowas wanted to say is that this argumentation makes no sense, since what benefit would ex member from telling bad things about the group they have been in and spent a lot of time with, and gave their heart to?</q>

Chris is correct. I am not arguing that we should not tell our stories of cult abuse. They are beneficial for ex-UBF members and for anyone seeking the truth about UBF. I am arguing that our stories should be believed because we have nothing to gain from making up or exaggerating how UBF treated us. Chris and Human12's stories are a perfect example. There is no worldly benefit from telling our stories, which is the only benefit cults care about. Their gain is spiritual; internally, as a method of dealing with the abuse and externally, if it encourages people to avoid UBF.

8th-Jun-2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
You're right, pecowas. There's not much to gain at all from speaking the truth about the cult experience. None of us is writing a book (and flogging it for sales at every opportunity) or suing our former cult. There's not much understanding or sympathy to be gained out there, outside of other people who have been in cults themselves. I think of the vast majority of defectors from N. Korea, the former Soviet Union and the former East Germany. Their "run to freedom" may have been mentioned in a newspaper article or two. But for the most part, these defectors' lives were incredibly difficult in what they thought was the land of freedom due to alienation, lack of understanding, lack of resources, etc.

If there's anything we are seeking to gain from admitting former cult involvement, it is closure. Some gain the closure by just forgetting about it all and putting it behind them. Good for them. At some point in time, I think most former members do end up putting their cult experience behind them. Some of us need to speak out and continue to speak out, in part, due to our need for the same closure. There is no motivation on our part to lie or exaggerate.

A business that consistently rips people off deserves its negative rating by the Better Business Bureau. The people who report this crooked business to the BBB aren't generally called vengeful liars. They did other consumers a favor by warning them to steer clear of that crooked business. They can't obtain the closure they need from the crooked business that ripped them off, so warning others to steer clear--and so avoid the same harm--is a way for them to obtain some kind of closure. To be sure, UBF has done much more to us than just rip us off.
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