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UBF Returnees-Why Do They Return? 
17th-Jan-2006 06:13 am
This is a reposting of a private discussion thread with some confidential information removed for public view. It shows why some former members return to UBF despite their valid reasons for leaving. Primary reasons are 1) pressure from current UBF members (including family in UBF), 2) hope for change and 3) difficulty adjusting to life outside of UBF. At the same time, it also shows how some returnees eventually end up making a final exit from UBF and join a normal church.

"My chapter had two former members attend the Summer Conference. I do not know why they went to the conference, knowing the truth about UBF, unless they got fooled into thinking they have changed. They could never get me to go back again. I did twice in the past because of my husband. I am so thankful to God for the information on the web that revealed the truth of UBF, validated my experience, convinced my husband to leave, and has provided support."
17th-Jan-2006 06:44 am (UTC) - Comments
From: chungjoe
Date: August 17th, 2005 - 01:18 am

Actually, this was a fairly common phenomenon in Chicago. I would be surprised to see old "sheep" at a conference whom I had not seen for a long time. They probably succumbed to the desperate pleas of UBF members who can be very persistent and persuasive when trying to get people to come to their conferences.

David and Esther Jung left UBF (or were forced out, maybe), came back, and then left again. John and Deborah Lee left briefly; now he is a UBF Board member. A guy named Tony Gale left and came back, to the detriment of his marriage. I think they are deceived into coming back by UBF members. It's the UBF members who take the initiative to try to cajole them back, probably with claims of changes. I heard that Henry Park was in Canada trying to talk "reform" missionaries into returning to UBF.

Last Sunday, (chapter director) also announced that a 2nd gen in Chicago returned after being gone 8 years and has now married in UBF.

That 2nd gen is probably Daniel Sohn, Jr. who can't really be said to have left UBF. In UBF terms, he had "wandered" for 8 years, but I would see him occasionally at conferences and UBF gatherings. When his sister, Sarah, was in danger of leaving UBF, he "coworked" with his father to confine her to a room to literally beat her "back to her senses." And this was when he himself was out of UBF. They treated his "returning" as if the prodigal son had returned.

Joe, I know you are right about this being common in UBF. I explained why I came back twice. But, I guess with all the info. now about UBF on the web, I think to myself, why? Do you REALLY believe things have changed?

As much as I can remember, there were three members who left and came back (including myself) among shepherds/shepherdesses. (All) have joined a normal church and never returned.

(See next comment for continued discussion)
18th-Jan-2006 07:57 pm (UTC) - Re: Comments
"My chapter had two former members attend the Summer Conference."

Just as an update, one of them went to the conference only but never returned to UBF; the other one came back after the conference, but did not stay.
17th-Jan-2006 06:46 am (UTC) - Continued Comments
From: nick__t
Date: August 17th, 2005 - 06:54 pm
Subject: leaving ubf is hard but good

In the years I was in Chicago, I saw literally hundreds of people leavet he ubf. I cannot recall anyone who was "committed" to ubf who left on anything resembling normal or good terms with the ubf. Usually, the people who wanted to leave would try to figure out how they could get out of the ubf sphere of control, but get out of there without having their name and reputation and person trashed.

In the case of John Lee, he left when EE Chang Woo gave the ultimatum about those ubfKoreans who went to the other church, for revival because their ubf life was dead. I think the actual problem was that many ubfKoreans at that time did not think EE was infallible due to his obvious ungodly handling of the Rebekah Yoon coerced abortion. EE Chang Woo insulted them and mocked them to bring them back under his control, but many of the senoir ubfKoreans stuck together and did not bow down to EE again. John Lee refused to back down and family left wihout any fanfare.

When they came back later like 4 years later, they were regarded with suspicion as they had spent a number of years in another ministry, and they did not have the requisite ubfKorean smell and atttiude. Later, after they acquired the ubfKorean spiritual smell, John Lee became a board member. I had spoken to his family twice about their reason for coming back to ubf. Basically they said other pastors they encountered (korean of course) could not command the 'spiritual respect' that EE commanded from ubfKoreans. To me, this lines up with Chris' observation that ubf is mostly about human pride.

So many second gens left, but they did not bother to speak to Americans even while they were at ubf, so there is nothing I can say about them. Personally, I felt half were incredibly proud, and half were normal and even humble. Over time, all who stay and buy into the ubf system morph in to incredbily proud. I see pride and deception as the real heritages of EE Chang Woo and his Frankenstien's monster, aka the ubf.

The David Jun family is trying to make their own church, literally their own church. They are trying to pick off attendants from a Korean church they had been attending. Then they began a worship service at their own house, trying to get people to play music, sing, give money which DJ is overseeing, blah, blah. David Jun gives the message comprised of his own ideas, many of which are basically the same us ubf. I heard he gave a message recently about 'whether you eat or drink, etc. do it for the glory of God'. It sounds like he is using the bad methods he learned at ubf.

By the way, nobody has ever heard that he apologized for his ungodly behavior at ubf. This is the typical pattern for 99% of ubfKoreans. Leaving ubf is good when the person is changed, and willingly renounces all the bad of ubf.
3rd-Feb-2006 10:42 pm (UTC) - Comment: Thoughts on returning to UBF
From: chevlion
Date: October 23rd, 2005 - 03:29 pm

Let me apologize in advance for the length of this reply. I've made it as brief as I can.

You concluded your statement by saying that if Americans leave UBF, they can return to their families. It's not as easy as that.

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and was in the OSU chapter from June 1982 to May 1992. I made three attempts to leave during that time, two of which were successful. My mom threw me out of the house in 1982 because I was 18 and I was impossible to live with, so I moved in with some UBF men. (I will post my full testimony later; I'm working on it as a response to a letter I read on the EscapeUBF website.)

I first tried to leave in May 1985 because Peter Chang gave me a particularly harsh rebuke, but that departure was more of a childish acting out. Sadly, I felt so isolated from my parents that when I decided to come back, I called Peter and asked him to come get me, instead of my dad.

In December 1985, one of the American shepherds was giving me some training which was actually brainwashing. I decided that I had had enough and stormed out of the center. I went to my parents' house and stayed with them until I moved into a rooming house in June 1986.

Because of the way UBF had treated me, I decided I didn't love God or believe in him any more and convinced myself that he could never love me again. In November I heard a sermon about the prodigal son which reminded me that God still loved me and had never stopped loving me. In a congregation of 300 people, it felt as though the pastor were speaking only to me.

I knew that I needed a relationship with God and needed to join a church. But because I didn't know anywhere else to go, I went back to UBF and joined their north campus fellowship. I moved in with a UBF family in June 1987 and spent the next four and a half years being oppressed by that fellowship's leader. (Details will be provided in my testimony.)

In September 1991 I started a Master's degree program in ESL at Ohio State. In May 1992 I lost my teaching assistant position and therefore couldn't finish the Master's program. I wanted to transfer to Ohio University in Athens to finish my degree there. I mentioned this to Peter Chang after a Sunday worship a couple of weeks later and he said, "I don't think I am ready for you to do that." I turned around and left, that time for good.
5th-Feb-2006 04:02 am (UTC) - ...because they want a simpler life.
Chris has written about this before. Cults, in a way, offer a simpler life. Decisions are made for you. A definite routine is imposed. Your direction and "meaning" are clear. It's human nature to pine for this simpler life, especially when life "outside" becomes difficult, as illustrated by the Israelites ...

"The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, 'If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!'” - Exodus 16:2-3 (HCSB)

"... The Israelites cried again and said, 'Who will feed us meat?
We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic.'" - Numbers 11:4-5 (HCSB)

At this stage, their critical thinking is teetering on the brink, and they can't grasp the obvious: "They were slaves!" This is actually more common in former cult members than is admitted, I think. It may be called "floating" or "dissociation" or "spacing out," the feeling that leaving the cult was a mistake, especially on days when one is lonely or depressed. God knows I experienced this in the first couple of years that I was out of UBF. Mary Alice Chrnalogar has written that the key to coming out of these "floating" lapses is to restore one's objective and critical thinking. and that involves recounting how your former cult's teachings and practices fit into the typical patterns used by cults and destructive groups.
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