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Spiritual blindness 
20th-Jun-2007 10:50 pm
Thanks Amy for posting the email correspondence between you and Dr. Toh. I learned so many things that I never knew even though I was in UBF many years. Now I really regret that I supported UBF blindly. I thought I was serving God absolutely with no compromise and with no human thinking.

Dr. Ben Toh’s response clearly reveals the dangerous mindset that can really hurt innocent campus students using spiritual authority in the name of serving God. I would like to highlight a few points about the UBF mindset revealed in Dr. Ben Toh’ email.
21st-Jun-2007 04:03 am (UTC)
1. personal vs. organizational

It seems that Dr. Ben Toh does not clearly distinguish the difference between personal problems (sins) and organizational problems (sins). When we read the Bible very carefully, we discover that God deals with a sin in the following way:

a)He deals with a personal sin only on personal level.
b)He deals with a personal sin on a national level.
c)He deals with a national sin on a personal level.
d)He deals with a national sin on a national level.

Since all the readers of this forum are very well familiar with the Bible passages, I don’t think I need to show examples for each case above. I used the word ‘national’ but it can be applied to an organizational level too. When one reads Dr. Ben Toh’s email, he can easily spot that Dr. Ben Toh is trying to reduce any sin problem to a personal level claiming that everyone is accountable only to God.

Dr. Ben Toh claims the following:

“My account to you is the exact expression of my intent when I spoke to Jamie. Was it manipulative? Yes. Would I do it again? Very likely No. But I would say that I did so independently and I was not thinking of all the other events that you brought up, such as Yvette Shin, which I knew about, and definitely not the event in Korea in 1976, which I did not know about. I did so independently and on my own accord.

He says that he did what he did "independently and on my own accord.” Even a first grader in CBF would right away figure out that Dr. Ben Toh is lying. In UBF, your shepherd decides whom you should marry; you need to consult your shepherd about where to live and when to move; your chapter director will dictate what you should study and what kind of hair style you should have and whether or not you should get eyelid surgery. A fellowship leader--Dr. Ben Toh used to be the most powerful spiritual giant fellowship leader among all UBF fellowships--maintains very close relationship with a chapter leader. So anyone can easily see that the order of the divorce must have come directly from Dr. Samuel Lee who taught his supporters it was ok to violate human rights to help sheep. During Dr. Samuel Lee’s reign, no one could do anything on his own accord in UBF. So it is clear that Dr. Ben Toh is LYING.

Now Dr. Ben Toh is a revered elder in Chicago UBF. When he sins, he could be sinning on a personal level but at the same time he could be sinning on an organizational level because the position he holds in UBF. Let’s consider his sin of telling Jamie to divorce his wife. When he told Jamie to divorce his wife, was he doing this on purely personal level like a person-to-person affair? Or was he doing this as a UBF shepherd or a UBF fellowship leader?

What we former UBF members are concerned about what Dr. Ben Toh (and other UBF leaders) did/does is not what he did on personal level. We are concerned about what Dr. Ben Toh did as a UBF shepherd and as a UBF fellowship leader. Why? Because there are systematic and theological issues in UBF organization that encourage UBF shepherds and leaders do such things as Dr. Ben Toh now claims to regret.

Dr. Ben Toh might be a good person and a good Christian and a spiritual giant. But this fact(?) has nothing to do with the issue of his telling Jamie to divorce Amy. What we are concerned here is: what drove Dr. Ben Toh to tell Jamie to divorce Amy? In fact if UBF is a Christian organization with sound theological foundation, the current UBF leadership would take a very careful look at this event to get to the bottom of this problem. They must take this problem very seriously. But regretfully, the action that Dr. Ben Toh took regarding Jamie and
Amy is considered the most “exemplary” act of “faith” by all
UBF leaders. This clearly is a spiritual blindness. A blind guide like Dr. Ben Toh can lead sheep only through blind obedience to a crazy system. How could a spiritual leader like Dr. Ben Toh tell his sheep to divorce his wife? It is possible only when he is blinded by a system. This spiritual blindness in UBF system is the problem that the former UBF members are concerned about.

The Truth or the System? That is the qustion the UBFers should ponder upon.
21st-Jun-2007 05:07 am (UTC)
2. absolute vs. absurd

In UBF, having an ABSUOLTE attitude is the highly advertised sales phrase. However, the ABSOLUTE attitude in UBF demands absoluteness with no rigor in sound theology that the absolute attitude leads only to the ABSURD attitude.

Consider the excerpt from Dr. Ben Toh’s email:

“The gist of our 4 hour conversation is this: I asked Jamie, "In your opinion, is what your wife saying, thinking and doing right or wrong?" He said, "Wrong." I also asked, "If you believe she is wrong, are you willing to help her spiritually, no matter what it takes and no matter what the cost?" He slowly and reluctantly said, "Yes." Then I said (paraphrasing), "If you really want to help Amy to struggle spiritually before God, then you may be even willing to tell her that you would divorce her to help her to struggle before God, because Amy loves you dearly and would never want to be apart or separated from you." I also added, "Of course, you should never ever divorce your wife under any circumstances. But you could tell her and let her think that you would really divorce her, even though you never would." This was the gist of our conversation, even if it is mostly paraphrased.”

Let’s just consider the following part. Dr. Ben Toh asks Jamie “are you willing to help her spiritually, no matter what it takes and no matter what the cost?” Consider carefully “no matter what it takes and no matter what the cost”. In the case of Jamie, it meant “divorce”. Now should we consider it absolute attitude or absolutely absurd attitude to divorce a spouse to help her spiritually?

The problem with UBF system is that UBF system never teaches sheep that absolute obedience to the system could be absolutely absurd. Dr. Ben Toh must have never learned from Dr. Samuel Lee when absolute attitude could turn into absolutely absurd attitude.

The difference between a cultic organization and a sound Christian ministry is very simple. The latter has the ability to clearly say that divorcing a spouse to help her spiritually is absolutely absurd. But the former will say that one who is not willing to divorce his wife to help her spiritually is a humanistic sinner with no absolute attitude toward the word of God.

What is more absurd is that the UBF leaders use Abraham who was willing to sacrifice Isaac by faith to justify the UBF theology of “absurd attitude”. A UBFer might ask, “Was God being absurd when he told Abrahm to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering?” If there is a UBFer really asking this kind of question, there could be no other absurd question in the whole universe than this one. My answer will be: How can the Almighty God be ever being absurd at any moment? When God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering, he was absolutely not being absurd. But when Dr. Ben Toh told Jamie to divorce Amy, Dr. Ben Toh was being absolutely absurd.

Another immature UBFer like Dr. Ben Toh might ask: “But isn’t it in the Bible that we should be willing to sacrifice our own Isaac to serve God absolutely? So shouldn’t I be also willing to divorce my wife to help her spiritually to serve God with absolute attitude?” The answer is yes and no. Yes, it is in the Bible that we must serve God with absolute attitude. No. it is not in the Bible that Dr. Ben Toh should divorce his wife to help her spiritually or even pretend to divorce her to struggle before God.

What Dr. Ben Toh learned from Dr. Samuel Lee is how to use what is in the Bible to grow his fellowship ministry, which is absurd. Dr. Samuel Lee planted in Dr. Ben Toh’s heart the absolute attitude toward his UBF ministry so that he may never leave UBF but support him with all his heart and with all his mind and with all his strength and with all his money. Dr. Ben Toh learned that doubting the spiritual authority of Dr. Samuel Lee is absolutely absurd even though in reality it is absolutely absurd.

In conclusion, Dr. Ben Toh’s mindset reveals very clearly how blindly UBF leaders are holding onto the absolute absurdity of the UBF system with absolute attitude. They also teach their sheep to have absolute attitude toward Dr. Samuel Lee’s absolutely
22nd-Jun-2007 01:26 am (UTC)
Continued from 2. absolute vs. absurd...

...(Dr. Samuel Lee's absolutely) absurd theology.

21st-Jun-2007 03:22 pm (UTC) - Toh as a patholigical liar
I think these emails reveal who Toh really is, but Toh has to be benchmarked against something. I would not benchmark him against a spiritual giant, which he is definitely not. I benchmark him against the profile of a pathological liar, which is much worse than a habitual liar. (I don't believe Toh and ubf leaders operate on a Bible basis, but only on negative psychology while waving a Bible.)

Do some reading on the web about pathological liar, there are many charactersitics:

a pathological liar shows no concern for the people he is harming. Toh showed no concern at the time or today.

a patholigcal liar is highly refined in manipulation, deceit, and cunning. Toh even admitted he was manipulative, no argument!

a pathological liar uses strong emotions and dramatics when describing himself and his actions. when describing others, he shows negative or no emotions.

a patholigcal liar will lie to get sympathy from others. Toh's letters beg for sympathy for himself, while showing no sympathy for anyone else.

a pathological liar never gets around to the bottom line truth, that he did very wrong and harmed others.

a pathological liar lies to those in close relationships with him, as intimacy with the victims allows him to get closer and make use of their trust and friendship. toh did this same harm and slander to many other sheeps in his fellowship.

pathological liars repeat their behavior over very long periods of time. Toh lied greatly back then, is still lying greatly today.

There is much more. I would like to suggest the following as the epitaph on Ban Toh's gravestone:

From Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.

"Psychological Honesty": Even a pathological liar carries deep in his heart a desire for goodness and honesty and yet, because of painful emotional wounds, believes that the world never has, and never will, recognize his pain. And so, to hide that pain from himself, he uses all the lies he can concoct to hurl at the world as he runs in fear from his own goodness.

Oh Ban, Oh Ban, we hardly knew you back then, but now we all know you.

22nd-Jun-2007 02:42 am (UTC) - Re: Toh as a patholigical liar
Dr. Ben Toh says:

"My account to you is the exact expression of my intent when I spoke to Jamie. Was it manipulative? Yes. Would I do it again? Very likely No. But I would say that I did so independently and I was not thinking of all the other events that you brought up, such as Yvette Shin, which I knew about, and definitely not the event in Korea in 1976, which I did not know about. I did so independently and on my own accord. Was I trying to keep you in UBF? Yes. Should I have done so? No. Would I try something like this again? Very likely not."

Dr. Ben Toh asks himself "Would I do it again?" Then answers "Very likely not". He asks himself again "Would I try something like this agains?" His answer is "Very likely not." Here I see a bad influence of Bill Clinton on him. Maybe Dr. Ben Toh is using the English phrase "Very likely not" without understanding its meaning.

Dr. Ben Toh uses the phrase "defintely not" regarding his knowing of the events happened in UBF in 1976. It is very interesting to see how Dr. Ben Toh uses two completely different phrses to talk about two different situations.

In regard to anything bad about UBF, Dr. Ben Toh uses the phrase "defintely not" saying that he "defintely" does not know about it. But when he comes to something like telling his sheep to divorce his wife to keep him in UBF, he uses the phrase "very likely not" saying that it is not very likely that he would do it again.

I want to say that Dr. Ben Toh has "Definitely not" attitude toward UBF organization but he has "Very likely not" attitude toward the truth of God. From such a spiritual giant as Dr. Ben Toh, I would expect that he would say that he would "defintely" not do again such a thing as he did to Jamie and Amy and say that it is "very likely not" that he would have known the events in UBF in 1976.

"Definitely not" attitude has to do with absolute attitude. But "Very likely not" attitude is nothing but a form of moral relativism. So in conclusion, Dr. Ben Toh like all UBF leaders has absolute attitude toward UBF organization but has very relativistic attitude toward absolute morality found in the Bible. Dr. Ben Toh is not far away from turning his back on Jesus on account of UBF or maybe he already has.
23rd-Jun-2007 10:23 pm (UTC) - so many things to consider about Toh, ubf
I have been thinking about the Toh apologies, his specific style, his pivoting between public and personal considerations, his dodging of responsibility, his over-explaining himself to appear a better man, etc.

I don't know where to begin, so I just want to list a bunch of thoughts that fill my head about this.

That ubf and Toh practiced coercion to the point they destroyed one family (Hazel's) and attempted to destroy Amy's family. These are not accidents, these are not one or two bad choices. These are a pattern of coercion and harm that goes back 40 years. At ubf, divorce is the ultimate weapon of coercion. It has been used many times before, it will be used many times again.

I don't even see that Toh has any basic concept of whether he set out to do something right or something wrong. He pretends he was in such a confused state that he just blurted out the word divorce by accident. An idiot could say that it is not right to coerce a man to divorce his wife because she quit a group. But Toh didn't think like that for one minute, he already had his goal in mind, to destroy the family as his ultimate act of revenge. (If he was less cowardly, he may try to attack or kill them. Who knows?)

As I said before, Toh shows no remorse for the vast harm he caused. He caused so much harm to so many people, but has never made an attempt before this to repent or apologize. He shows only regret for a certain aspect of his choices and behaviors. I think if a normal Christian man sinned so greatly as Toh has and harmed others so much as Toh has, the normal Christian man would express deep remorse and guilt, a natural outcome of sin. Remorse is a moral anguish, guilt carries a personal sense of responsibility and culpability. But with Toh there is no remorse, no guilt! Only a degree of regret, which is a non-moral sense of loss. Toh has some regret but he directs that toward himself! This small regret he turns into a chance to indulge himself and seek sympathy from the very people he meant to harm to the utmost.

Toh realizes he is taking a risk by writing an apology of sorts. He thinks that this will go away and not haunt his ubf life anymore. So to limit his risk, he limited his apology to 'I go on the record as saying that I said one wrong word, but I never said I was perfect.' He needs to say, "I was so wrong, it was all my fault, please forgive me." And that is just the start. He needs to make up for the harm he caused, he needs to be removed from any position of authority in any ministry, and he needs serious help to become a normal person and maybe a genuine Christian someday. He does not want this, so he will never give the genuine apology. He is denying in order to avoid the consequences that could actually make him a decent man.

I have many thoughts like this. There is almost no end to the deception of this man's actions and the deficiencies of his 'apology'.

24th-Jun-2007 03:52 am (UTC) - risks vs. sins
Amid all the Christianese uttered by Ban Toh, we never read an actual admission that his admittedly-manipulative use of divorce was sin. Instead, he characterizes it as "regrettable" and chalks it up to his being a person who "takes risks". But he sees his greatest "sin" as being "complacent" (not working hard enough to further the UBF kingdom). This is the same theme he's repeated in his sogams for the last almost 20 years. This is the unchristian, alternate reality that UBF elders like Toh inhabit, where obvious sins are no sins at all.
24th-Jun-2007 10:05 pm (UTC) - Re: risks vs. sins
This Sunday's Chicago message teaches what it means to be "spiritually mute":

...What does it mean to be spiritually mute? To be spiritually mute is to not speak up for God and the truth when we have opportunity or obligation to do so. In our country we have the freedom of speech. We can share our faith in Christ without any threat of being arrested. This is not true in communist or Muslim nations. Even though we have this freedom of speech, in our human nature we are much more comfortable to speak about what is politically correct, like sports or the weather, since these are not offensive to people. Fear of rejection can rob a man of speech and make him silent. Remember Peter on the night of Jesus’ arrest? He was spiritually mute. He could not speak up for Jesus. Rather he lied, saying he didn’t even know Jesus. Later, after Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Christ, they were threatened by those in authority not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Peter replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Ac 4:19-20) Spiritually mute Peter became a bold and joyful preacher of the gospel of Christ. Later he wrote, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” (1Pe 4:11) He also wrote, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1Pe 3:15-16) Some spiritual mutes are blabbermouths to gossip or criticize. Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph 4:29) If we only talk about worldly things, then we are spiritually mute. If we have no idea what to say or pray, we are spiritually mute. When we come to Jesus and receive the word of God. Then we know what to say and how to pray. We can speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and plant faith and love for God in others...

Based on the Chicago message, Dr. Ben Toh is "spiritually mute". He does not speak the truth of God. He only speaks what is "politically correct" in UBF organization for fear of rejection and for fear of Skokie training. Dr. Ben Toh need to learn from St. Peter to speak the truth of God without the fear of UBF condemnation so that he can truly grow to become a spiritual giant in UBF organization.
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