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Grand opening of a new website 
12th-Mar-2007 03:35 am

Greetings all! I am pleased to unveil to the general public a new website called UBF Survivor. On the site you will find:

  • A discussion of the phenomenon of UBFism as a pseudo-Christian totalist religion.
  • A personal testimony of spiritual and psychological abuse in UBF.
  • A compendium of resources for those who have left UBF or are considering departing from the group.
  • A glossary of UBF's unique jargon, which I call UBFspeak.
Extra features which I have recently added include an example UBF testimony, message, fellowship group report, and worship service order.

As a survivor of UBF, I hope that my site will be a useful resource for those in the ex-UBF community, potential UBF recruits, UBFers who are questioning the system, concerned family members, and those interested in the cult problem in general. If you have any suggestions on how my site may better achieve this goal, please let me know.

To one and all, then: http://www.ubfsurvivor.info.

Comments 
12th-Mar-2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your great effort to put all these together. As we know already, there are so many shepherds with the heart of "thief" in campuses all over the world. I believe that many innocent students will benefit from your great work. I was particularly moved by your testimony. I could not but cry after I read your testimony. As a former UBF Korean missionary, I once fervently supported the practices and theology that have hurt you and many others badly. I even prayed to God fervently that God might continue to expand his kingdom through these practices all over the world. I sincerely apologize to you as one of many Korean Christians. I hope that your experience might not lead you to have prejudice against many good Korean people. May God continue to be with you and heal you. Thanks again for your great work.
13th-Mar-2007 02:46 am (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words, Human. I must admit that I am still a tiny bit wary of Koreans. I came across a Korean today at work and she hardly spoke any English. It reminded me of UBF right away, of course. While I try to be open-minded about the Korean people I meet these days, I must say that I hope never to have to come into contact with kimchee again!
13th-Mar-2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
Well, I understand it's not everybody's sake, but I didn't find kimchee the worst experience in my UBF time. Sometimes my wife and I are still missing it. It probably makes addicted, that's why Koreans need it every day. Luckily we know some ex UBF Koreans who can provide us with some if the withdrawal syndromes are too bad ;-) Another bad habit we kept from our UBF time is eating Ramyon, preferably the extra hot type...

Anyway, I also want to say thank you in the name of many people who are searching for information. I wished I had it available earlier when I was in UBF.
16th-Mar-2007 02:32 am (UTC)
I must say that I hope never to have to come into contact with kimchee again!

I am sorry to hear that. You know, kimchi is very good for your health. I have the following from Wikipedia:

"Kimchi has been cited by health magazines as one of the world’s five “healthiest foods,” for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and perhaps even preventing cancer.

Since kimchi is made of various vegetables, it contains a high concentration of dietary fibers, while being low in calories. It also provides 80% of the daily required amount of ascorbic acid and carotene. Most types of kimchi contain common ingredients like onions, garlic and peppers all of which have well-known health benefits. The main vegetable being made into kimchi also contributes to the overall nutritional value. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium and iron and also has active and beneficial bacterial cultures of Lactobacilli which results in a higher lactic acid content in the final product than in yoghurt."


So when you don't eat kimchi, you are losing the opportunity to prevent cancer and the opportunity to prevent constipation!! The Wikipedia article seems to be pretty close to the results from the Kimchi Research Institute of Pusan National University. I personally think that kimchi is the best gift to the world from Korea. Who knows? Maybe it would taste better for you if you tried it outside UBF! May God bless your tongue the next time you have to try kimchi that it might not burn! For more information of Korean foods, check the website of Korean Tourism Organization.
16th-Mar-2007 02:11 pm (UTC) - kimchee
Thanks for this posting, Human. You gave me a good laugh which was much needed! I never would have guessed that a kimchee research institute existed. Rest assured that I eat a very healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, fiber and vitamins. I look forward to keeping my diet kimchee-free for the forseeable future. However, if you ever come to Maryland, let me know. You can try a crabcake and I will try some kimchee.
14th-Mar-2007 03:40 pm (UTC) - A website that is well done but not one I would recommend
Dear UBFSurvivor,

I visited you website and I liked how it is constructed, but I do not like some of the contents. I believe many of the books you recommend on theology are antithetical to the Christian faith especially the ones by Borg, Ehrman and Spong. If I were in UBF I would be having a field day with your website. I'm surprised that Brian Karcher hasn't chimed in yet and cited it as a reason how clueless former UBF members are. I would rather return to UBF(That is definitely not happening!) than recommend those books. Are you also a feminist, global warming and homosexual activist too?
15th-Mar-2007 12:24 pm (UTC) - Re: A website that is well done but not one I would recommend
jsaintl, it's sentences like your last one (I agree with your other remarks!) which are very irritating and make me shrink away from evangelical fundamentalism, US-style. The world is not simply black and white like that, everybody conservative/republican being on the "good" side, and everybody being liberal/democrat are the unbelievers on the bad side. I think it's a problem that your political system consists of only two parties. In such a setting people tend to forget that both parties are made of humans, but associate one side with God and the other side with anti-God powers. Just as in UBF we associated UBF with "God's work" and became unable to see the evil things in UBF. What the US really has to overcome is the direct "connection between the act of being an evangelical and political conservatism" (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/3/13/04123/5353, yes, I dare to quote from an agnostic's website, in the spirit of what rsqnonny wrote - often what these people have to say or even how they behave is much better than what I read or see from Christians), and it is encouraging to see that some US evangelicals are currently starting to break that black/white thinking and challenge the government in positions where it acts clearly against the spirit of the Bible and Jesus to love your enemies, protect the environment etc.

There are many positive achievements and ideas in feminism, and you should be tolerant enough to accept both Christians, those who take Paul's quotes about women as something timeless and those who interpret them as being bound to the time and culture. Even if they were wrong, that's nothing on which our faith is built upon and where we cannot be tolerant (i.e. accept others' positions without making them our own). I was sometimes criticized as misogynic because I criticized UBF for making Sarah Barry the top leader. But my point was that UBF's stance of taking the Bible literally and making a woman the top leader (and teacher) is contradictory. If UBF had a more liberal Bible understanding in general, I would not have criticized that. But if people claim to take the Bible literally, they must do it consistently and not only where they like. (They also call her "Mother" Barry which is directly opposed to Jesus' teachings in Mt 23.)

Concerning global warming what's wrong with being concerned about that? Doesn't it show more ignorance if people still deny this phenomenon? And isn't it one of God's first commands to mankind to protect the earth?

And concerning homosexual activists, yes they are annoying, but anti-homosexual activists, who condemn and rant against these people are annoying as well. I don't see Jesus doing something like this. It's rather the attitude deep down in our hearts which is the problem (do we love our neighbor or not), and the problem of hypocrisy that were His main points.

And hypocrisy is a problem that is very obvious for the right-wing fundamentalists in the US, so they have nothing to brag about and rant about others. Tedd Haggard being only one of many examples in the last time. Not to speak about the catastrophic situation into which a right-wing fundamentalist president has brought the world. You changed your views about UBF. Maybe after a few more Katrina's and a war against Iran, you will change also your views about other things. Be open to that.
15th-Mar-2007 12:28 pm (UTC) - Re: A website that is well done but not one I would recommend
Apart from that, I completely agree with you that we desperately need web sites which will refute UBFism from a more Bible-focused and conservative point of view, particularly if you want to help current UBF people. The problem is that they too have this black-and-white thinking, and if they find that the website author has a liberal view, they immediately dismiss any criticism by that person no matter how truthful it is. They are not able as rsqnonny to differentiate. The only information about UBF that I had as a member was from the state Evangelical church in Germany which is liberal, so I ignored the criticism although it was completely right. What I learned from my time in UBF is to be more open to other positions and to differentiate.

The problem is for instance, that Evangelical Christians often have difficulties to spot UBF as a cult because they have a black/white definition saying that every group which is based on the Bible and has not extra teachings is a church and everything else is a cult. Dr. Armstrong for instance identified ICoC as a cult because of their teachings on baptism, while he considers UBF a good Christian movement. In reality, ICoC and UBF are very much the same; this little difference is absolutely unimportant. I think that's part of what rsqnonny wanted to say.

Again, I agree with your comment; only the last sentence irritated me very much. Being for or against UBF has nothing to do with global warming (except that in my eyes those who deny the problem of global warming are just as ignorant as the UBF members who deny the problems in UBF). I'm not sure how much my "heretic" words will incur your wrath or whether I will now be a leftist, homosexual activist in your eyes; I do not hope so. I will not enter a discussion about these issues because it's not the purpose of this forum, I just couldn't leave that last sentence uncommented. What UBF is doing is wrong no matter on which political or theological side you stand, and we need to refute it from every position to show how wrong it is.
16th-Mar-2007 04:56 am (UTC) - Re: A website that is well done but not one I would recommend
Chris, I don't think you have a full understanding of evangelical fundamentalism - US style, as you put it. Wheaton College is no longer the bastion of evangelical fundamentalism nor is Dr. Armstrong recognized as the top conservative/evangelical theologian in the Chicago area. He is not even that well known outside of Wheaton College. In my mind and several others in the Chicagoland area that mantle would fall on Dr. Erwin Lutzer and/or Dr. James MacDonald. Dr. Armstrong's recognition, conservative evangelical theology and writings are far surpassed by those two. Even Dr. John MacArthur said if he lived in Chicago, he would be at Lutzer's church every Sunday. I know for a fact that Lutzer and MacDonald would not be fooled by UBF, as Dr. Armstrong has been. I would not call Dr. Armstrong or Ruth Tucker fundamentalist evangelicals. They are both moderates. Everybody I know at Moody Memorial church and Moody Bible Institute (MBI) considers UBF at best a TACO. Everyone I met on the faculty thinks MBI is a cult. MBI is much more conservative than either Wheaton College or Trinity International University. My pastor, Thorin Anderson, who is a very conservative, fundamental Baptist minister would call UBF a works-based apostate group.

Also, in the US, feminism is for the most part in direct conflict with Christianity. American feminists mock evangelical Christians at every chance and are very intolerant of them. An conservative Christian organization, Concerned Women of America (CWA) would think it very strange if asked them if there were any feminists in their group. If you want to read what feminism is all about read, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Feminism."

As far as global warming, this is also under the liberal agenda of people like Al Gore. There were several lies in his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." I don't know how old you are Chris, but in the 70's and the early 80's the same liberals were saying we were going to have global cooling or another Ice Age. So which is it? I'll just trust God.

I agree with you that UBF is a cult but the books that UBF Survivor endorses for theology are wrong in so many ways. If you don't believe me get a few of them and see how much people like the Episcopalian Spong marginalize the Bible and tries to mold into his ultra-liberal theology, especially the normalization and acceptance of homosexuality as moral.

Also, I don't think you have a good grasp of American politics. There are liberals in both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Democratic party has barely any conservatives left. Several of my conservative evangelistic, fundamentalist friends feel deserted by the Republican party and have gone over to the Constitution party. They were very unhappy about several of Pres. Bush's comments after last fall's election as I was.

You are also wrong about the Iraq war and Pres. Bush we are winning it and we are in the second of third stages of establishing a stable Iraqi democratic government. Saddam Hussein was a mass murderer and should have been taken out by the first Pres. Bush in 1991. Saddam did have WMD's and it is clearly documented by his own Air Force general, Georges Sada in his book. It is going to be difficult and longer but the US will succeed. I think you need to study the history of how the US established a very stable government in El Salvador in the '80's. Our military is following the same strategy. War with Iran is probably inevitable, that country is being run by jihadist terrorists and they have been the aggressors with their insurgents into Iraq. They want to destroy the US and Israel. My hunch is that Israel will strike them first with US assistance. You may think I am an extremist but this is how I see it. You would not be the first or last one to call me one. I will continue to live with a Christian worldview.


16th-Mar-2007 11:48 am (UTC) - Re: A website that is well done but not one I would recommend
As I wrote, though I had a lot to answer, this is not the right place to discuss these issues. Just one thing, since the denial of global warming is the most disturbing point for me, I'm old enough to know the difference between the climate in my own country in the 70s and 80s where I used to go skiing in the low mountain range and now where it is often not even possible in the high mountains. This year there was not winter at all in Germany, something that I never experienced, but there were severe storms. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. The glaciers, permafrost and pack-ice is vanishing at a shocking rate. There is nothing to discuss about, you can see and measure it. Also, computing power and climate models have improved so much since the 70s and 80s, you cannot compare that. We have all the data available, and not only the scientists are seeing and measuring it, we can now directly see and feel the changes at home. How can you ignore both science and what you see going on before your own eyes? This ignorance is what is so bewildering and crazy to us Europeans (see here for the differences in our awareness). I think this is also what is tearing the US society apart, since actually US is ahead of most other countries concerning science, yet there are so many people who so easily ignore any visible and scientific evidence.

You wrote "I will continue to live with a Christian worldview." But what you really want to say is that you want to stick to your US-conservative worldview, equating it with *the* Christian worldview. That's the same fault as we made in UBF where we thought UBFism is the Christian lifestyle. Some beliefs and practices were ok, but some were terribly wrong. And some had nothing to do with Christianity at all. We should not make the same mistake any more.
16th-Mar-2007 02:34 pm (UTC) - Re: A website that is well done but not one I would recommend

I must say that I was shocked by Jsaintl's posting, but I appreciate the thoughts raised on this topic by Chris, Anne and Nonny. I see the issue at hand as follows: UBFers and conservative Christians alike need to recognize that they do not have a monopoly on the truth. Other viewpoints exist that are entirely reasonable and the holders of those positions are not to be discredited automatically.

I am aware of the fact that the ex-UBF community tends to be very conservative in religious matters. However, on my website, I must call the truth as I see it, and present an alternative viewpoint. I recognize that certain people may decide to discard the entirety of what I say on the site based on the resources I recommend or my own current theological position. I would say that such narrow-mindedness is their loss.

29th-Mar-2007 04:26 am (UTC) - More shocking...
You should not be shocked. You have put together a bibliography of books on liberal theology that expresses the fact that the Bible is not the word of God, but just some words by some wise men. The authors you mentioned do not talk about truth but about how to rationalize sin such as adultery, abortion, homosexuality and other sins that are specifically worthy of condemnation in the Bible (See 1 Cor. 6: 9, 10; 1 Tim 1: 9-11). The other “healthy” alternatives to UBF as far as churches are also irresponsible and not Christian ones, even by your own admission. You even endorsed L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology!

Your brand of theology is not Biblical and therefore not truth. The problem is that you call truth as you see it and not as how God has revealed it through the Bible. I suggest you review some Bible verses (Matt. 7:13-20; Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim 3:16, 17; 2 Tim. 4: 3-5; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:18, 19). My household and I will stand on the side of Jesus the Truth (John 14:6). We chose the narrow way, not the narrow-minded way and broad way you have chosen.
29th-Mar-2007 03:47 pm (UTC) - Re: More shocking...
You even endorsed L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology!

That "endorsement of Scientology" is actually a link to http://www.xenu.net, a fiercely anti-Scientology site.
2nd-Apr-2007 03:32 pm (UTC) - Re: More shocking...

Jsaintl - your fundamentalist views are not what is shocking about your posts. I am well-acquainted with conservative Christianity, having allied myself to that group immediately following my departure from UBF. What is shocking about your posts is that you appear not to have learned the central lesson that I believe should be learned by all exiting cultists. The primary thing I learned from my UBF experience is that freedom of thought is sacrosanct. Never again shall I allow anyone else to have control over my mind, nor shall I attempt to exert such control over another. Thus, I am very hesitant about blindly issuing condemnations of others' beliefs. (I am less hesitant to condemn a cult's beliefs because I know that members are not free to choose their own beliefs.)

For example, even though I believe the conservative Christian viewpoint is wrong, contrary to Christ's teachings and psychologically damaging, I do not make it a point to impose my views on others militantly. Most of the talk on the RSQUBF discussion boards over the years has been from a conservative Christian viewpoint. However you don't find me responding to every posting saying, "No you're all wrong, you're not Christian, you better rethink everything and conform to my views, or else!"

Likely you would say, "My views are God's views, therefore it's okay for me to enforce my views upon others." But who's to say that your view of God is the correct one? You would say, "The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it." The problem is this - there is nothing about the 66 books of the Christian Bible that obviously makes them the literal or inspired words of God. Plenty of scriptures claim to be the words of God - the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Gnostic gospels are other examples. You choose to believe that the Christian Bible is literally God's word. I choose, based on reason and experience, to believe that the Bible is a human product, and can only be considered God's word in a symbolic, metaphorical sense. Now you can try to argue that your decision is better than mine, but it is still a choice you have made, nothing more.

Regardless of your decision about whether the Bible is divinely inspired or inerrant, you must also understand that, every piece of literature, especially one that was originally written millennia ago in another language, must be interpreted. Hence, when you say, "The Bible is truth," what you are really saying is "My fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible is truth." Now your interpretation may be right, but you must at least acknowledge that it is an interpretation, and that competitors do exist.

14th-Mar-2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for putting the site up, ubfsurvivor. It has unique insights to offer that aren't available elsewhere. Obviously, those who leave UBF do not all think the same way, for instance, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jsku/ubf.html. And being a "fundamentalist, evangelical" Christian does not protect us from being a member of or defender of a cultic or abusive system.
15th-Mar-2007 04:46 am (UTC) - I am not a defender of UBF, but I am...
a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian. RSQNONNY, if you would have read my posts consistently from the various websites from the last five years. You would have seen I have been consistently anti-UBF. But I am also firmly against everyone who poses themself as a Christian and doesn't believe in the Bible (God's word) as the lamp to their feet and light to their path. At least some UBF people believe in Sola Scriptura. Anyone who wants to believe in the ultra-liberal tripe Borg, Ehrman and Spong subscribe to are not Christians in my book. This is something I won't back down from. As I stated before, I would rather return to UBF and be a senseless sheep than read any of that godless and unbelieving trash. I will have to tell you that the leading evangelicals like Erwin Lutzer and Norman Geisler have openly and successfully debated against these apostates. I will admit I own most of the books in the first two sections, but all the books below "Toxic Faith," are all fit for the dumpster.

The same also applies for John Ku's website at University of Michigan. John Ku is an unbeliever. I have told John Ku's mother, Esther that her offspring have rebelled against the Christian faith. Rsqnonny, I don't know about you but I'd stick to the anti-UBF websites by Dr. Joseph Chung and Chris Z. Leaving UBF and going to the first two websites (Frank M's ubfsurvivor and John Ku's site) are akin to jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. You should stop discussing these websites.
15th-Mar-2007 05:27 am (UTC) - Re: I am not a defender of UBF, but I am...
jsaintl, I wasn't calling you a UBF defender; I don't know where you might have gotten that. I am saying that UBF is full of people (including people like Toh) who could be called "fundamentalist and evangelical" and "conservative," yet display an inverted morality and have condoned incredible inhumanity. I don't think I will be discounting the testimonies of abuse in UBF by people who are more "liberal" than me or even agnostic/atheistic. I'm secure enough in my faith that I can allow myself to disagree with some (or even all) of their theological stances on their *personal* web sites, but I can hardly consider them my "enemies" when I know their personal stories of UBF abuse are true because their stories are so much like mine. I'd much rather hang around with them and spiritedly discuss our theological differences than be burdened with the twisted theology and unscriptural interpretations of many "fundamentalist, evangelical" UBF members. But that's just me.
15th-Mar-2007 01:30 pm (UTC) - Re: I am not a defender of UBF, but I am...
Whoops, sorry, that comment was meant for jsaintl, not you, rsqnonnny. I hit the wrong reply button - not enough sleep, I guess. :)
16th-Mar-2007 05:29 am (UTC) - Re: I am not a defender of UBF, but I am...
I think you need to reread the last sentence in your last post. "And being a "fundamentalist, evangelical" Christian does not protect us from being a member of or defender of a cultic or abusive system." What am I supposed to conclude from that? I clearly identified myself as one. I wasn't discounting his testimony about how he was abused in UBF, just the subsequent material he wants to spoon off to people as sound theology. I think Dr. Enroth would be upset to be included in the same recommendation listing as Spong, Ehrman and Borg. Have you read anything by these authors? Also, I would not consider most people in UBF fundamentalist evangelicals because they put someone else's authority in front of the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. That was my problem with UBF and one of many reasons I left UBF.

RSQNONNY, I am also a big White Sox fan. I am not the bandwagon jumper variety like most are now. I have lived on the Southside of Chicago my entire life. I have been a lifetime White Sox fan since the Dick Allen/Wilbur Wood years (early 70's). My grandfather was a charter White Sox fan from 1901. My home is two block west of "The Cell." I am looking forward to the White Sox returning to the playoffs this fall and taking it all again, much to the northsiders' chagrin as a century of futility is around the corner for them. If you want, we can discuss this more at a White Sox game.
15th-Mar-2007 01:29 pm (UTC) - Re: I am not a defender of UBF, but I am...
You are absolutely entitled to have your opinion and to state it. However, I do not believe it is your place to condemn people as "unbelievers." Whether they are or not is between them and God. You don't have to agree with them. It does not make them any less human, nor any less deserving of respect. God loves us all, and we are all less than perfect, being a Christian means we have acknowledged that it is the blood of Christ which forgives us for our sins and imperfections and reunites us with God. I thank God that my faith survived intact after I left UBF, but I can imagine that for many, it is an uphill battle to separate the love of God from the abuse they suffered in UBF.

Also, I don't think you have the right to tell people what they should stop doing or discussing. The same right you have to express your opinions and choose the material which you will read and/or believe is a right we all share.
30th-Mar-2007 10:17 pm (UTC) - Characteristics of cults

Those who aren't afraid to view a website that encourages "heretical" views may want to check out a new page I put up on the characteristics of cults. The work presented there is not entirely original, but derives from the works of Robert Jay Lifton and Steven Hassan. The model of mind control I present on that page is the same one I use in my cult awareness talks for high school seniors.

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