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Holly Lord 
22nd-Jan-2007 11:27 am
Last week I accidentally ran across several discussions about myself on the web, regarding University Bible Fellowship (UBF). That is how I eventually came to this forum. People in UBF would have known me as Holly Lord.

Here are the posts I saw from 2002:

and from 2004:

and from October of 2006:

I have to admit, I was surprised to see that I was not only remembered but also being discussed more than ten years after I had left the organization. I had been involved with UBF for about five and a half years, from 1988 until 1993.

I began to think about my experience in UBF. I read a number of posts by former members, such as those posted at http://www.ubf-net.de/int/rep/index.en.htm and posts on the boards listed above. Many things came back to me which I had forgotten, and I learned things about UBF's abuses that I did not know before. I have posted a testimony about my experience in UBF at http://www.geocities.com/holly.lord/ubf.html.

23rd-Jan-2007 04:22 am (UTC)
I found that it was in the 1995 Christmas circular. Lee used to write a long letter on Christmas that was xeroxed and sent to every UBFer in the world personally in order to bring everybody in line and pass his version of UBF history to everybody. It was in that letter.

So Joe seems to be one of the very few "intellectuals" in UBF. Can you understand why he did not see through the phony and evil Lee and still does not? Was it because he was always in a distance from Lee and Chicago and/or treated a bit differently by Lee because he was one of his precious model UBFins? As we know Lee was obsessed with having PhD titles etc. Maybe Joe never experienced what UBF is really like for an ordinary member and how corrupt the leaders are? But at least he should have noticed the twisted, shallow and onesided UBF "theology" then. Hard for me to understand.
24th-Jan-2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
I've been trying to remember the details about Joe. It has been over 13 years since I left UBF. I remember when he prepared his Sunday messages, he used commentaries he had purchased (I'm sorry, I don't remember which ones). He didn't only use Lee's messages and material. Yes, he's an intellectual guy. I thought his material was superior to Lee's. My best guess is he was treated well. I cannot say why Joe doesn't "see through the phony and evil Lee," except to say that I never really "saw through him" myself, in terms of understanding all that was going on with some members. If nothing else, Joe was hundreds of miles away from Chicago and had been for a long time.

I actually know relatively little about Joe's background or how he came to UBF. He and his sister (Terese Bird) were raised Catholic. He got his undergraduate degree at MIT and I think he worked on his degree from Harvard immediately afterward, so he must have started in UBF in high school. It's funny to think that I knew Joe for several years and never asked him how he came to UBF. He was already the director at Boston UBF when I went there.

As you mention, UBF was (is?) highly interested in having people with doctorates and other educated people in the organization. I specifically remember this as the case, and I remember thinking it was a good idea. Coming from a family where Christianity was largely criticized as being a religion of the stupid/uneducated/gullible, I personally felt that it was important to be an educated Christian--a person no one could accuse of ignorance. UBF's push for doctorates made perfect sense to me as something that would bring glory to God.

People with credentials are more difficult to disregard.
24th-Jan-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Do you know what happened with Terese Bird? All I know is the Birds had flown to "pioneer" Wales, but I'm not sure whether they are still in UBF.

Concerning titles, the problem is that UBF does not give people time to learn and study. They are only interested in the title, not in the scientific work behind. So you get trained in the art of getting phony/non-deserved titles. Samuel Lee's two titles were bought (one from a Korean college which got money from him (UBF offering money) and one from a US degree mill). UBF makes people feel very guilty if they spend a lot of time for their study instead of writing sogams, inviting students and making Bible study with them. Only few who are privileged by the leaders or who can not so easily be guilt-tripped manage to do both, UBF and study. And if they show some success, the leaders sometimes give them extra priviledges because they are of value for UBF as role models (see we UBF have such great PhD people, so we cannot be a cult). So they need not play UBF so much, or can decide on their own. Obviously Joe was one of them. It seem they gave him a lot of freedom. Therefore these people may sometimes not know how UBF life for a rank-and-file member looks like.
28th-Jan-2007 03:31 am (UTC)
No, I didn't even know the Birds had gone to Wales until recently.

The people who I knew well who got doctorates were Jim Rabchuk (physics) and Joe Schafer (statistics). I also knew Helen Rarick fairly well, as Jim Rarick was my Bible teacher for a while. (I think she was getting her doctorate in biology, as I believe she told me she was studying cows' eyeballs). All three got their PhD degrees from reputable universities. It was well known that Samuel Lee got his first "doctorate" as an honorary degree. I think that was the only "doctorate" he had when I left.

My best guess from my experience in UBF is that they wanted people to get doctorates 1) as you mentioned, to create role models, 2) to make UBF look more reputable to outsiders and 3) for those people earning doctorates to make more money and give more money to the organization. These are the same reasons they pushed technical and scientific degrees.
28th-Jan-2007 09:16 am (UTC)
In Bonn UBF, it was even more perfiduous. Peter Chang pushed some to get a PhD, but as soon as they got serious about it, he hindered them by e.g. inventing an obligatory sogam meeting just at the time when they had their important meetings at the universities. Then he looked whether they obeyed and made their PhD "by faith" (i.e. without really working and learning for it). Probably he did not really want anybody to get a PhD so he can be the only one in his chapter with this title where he is called "Missionary doctor Peter Chang" though the "doctor" has nothing to do with mission. He got his one in Pharmacy, which is a field where you can get the PhD with the least possible effort in Germany. I heard a similar thing about Samuel Lee's PhD. Originally, he registered some more members to the theological degree mill from which he got his PhD, but in the end he made sure that he was the only one who finished, so that he at least was the only one with a PhD in theology. In any way, the actual science (natural science or theology) is of little to no interest to these people. It is only about getting the title. They just love titles amd hierarchies. Even "shepherd" and "missionary" are used as titles in UBF.
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