Pigpen

"When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong."

"There's something missing from our lives; something that has been stolen..."

That's from a trailer from an upcoming film adaptation of "The Giver":

What's missing from your lives, members of cults and totalist groups? Here's a clue from the same trailer:

"When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong." (To me, that's UBF in a nutshell.)

You should see this film.


Pigpen

Not Overbearing, but "Complex"

Some years ago, there was this "student leader" who had been at Wheaton College and other places, who made the news because of the abuse he dished out to young Christian recruits in the name of "mission training". His name was Feroze Golwalla. Here are some article links that still exist and some excerpts from those articles that describe some of the abuses he dished out:
"Andreson says that Golwalla hit her, ordered her to screw a twisted clothes hanger into her face, and convinced her to lick a filthy bathroom floor. Wolfe describes Golwalla as beating and sexually assaulting his male followers. Both Andreson and Wolfe say Golwalla ordered them to assault other group members in the name of spiritual purification."

"He had some very good reasons for what he did — not good reasons, but convincing reasons," says Andrew, another former member of Tariq’s group. "He’d say, ‘Well, if we were going to Canada or Mexico or something, maybe we’d get by with a little bit of prayer, a little bit of discipline or training, but this is Pakistan. We’ve got to have Olympic training.’ That was how we justified what was happening."

"Benjamin Wolfe was beaten so badly that blood poured from his ears when his eardrums were ruptured from Golwalla's open-handed smacks, his brother said."


"You beat people for training. Do you remember a big traffic jam in January of 1973 due to a severe snowstorm? Shepherds Nam-Kyun Lee, Isaac Koh, Jonah Kim, and Matthew Sohn were late for the leader meeting on that day. You ordered them to hit each other 10 times. Some of them fainted and some were hospitalized because of their wounded ears. According to the testimony of Moses Kim, you locked Dong-Jin Park in your house and made him sit naked in ice water for five hours. You ordered missionary candidate Ki-Hwang Yoo to be your personal driver. When he didn’t obey you, you expelled him to Jejoo Island. You also ordered shepherd Nam-Kyun Lee to give Ki-Hwang Yoo only one meal per day at Jejoo Island and beat him 100 times everyday. He finally got pneumonia due to ill nutrition and horror. You made shepherd Man-Suk Chang take his two toenails out. You beat National Medical Center doctor, Hyung-Sik Sunwoo, at Chongno chapter before his brothers and sisters. You ordered shepherd Man-Suk Chang to beat Ki-Cho Kim at the CNF Mission Report in September of 1975. He got bruises in his face and ears. After this, he left..."

Oops! That last excerpt was from a letter to another "mission-minded" abuser, written to him by young, intellectual Korean recruits.

How would the victims of Feroze Golwalla feel if you went up to them and told them that Golwalla wasn't overbearing, not overbearing at all? And that he was just "complex". And that he "had his reasons".

If you happened upon a supposed Christian ministry, ministry leader or web site that tells you that a monster like Feroze Golwalla wasn't overbearing, that he was a "complex" individual with strong beliefs that motivated him to do "sometimes" abusive things, what would you do? I know what I would do.
Pigpen

Dennis Rodman and Cult Apologism

Dennis Rodman (of all people) is now a North Korea apologist. His path to North Korea apologist is similar to the path taken by many cult apologists (also applies to UBF apologists):

1) He wants to keep an "open mind" toward a known cult leader/cult system.

2) He believes there are always "two sides to every story" (See point 1). The cult leader/system that wants to attract apologists also always insists that there are "two sides to every story".

3) He meets the cult leaders and finds that they are friendly and "cool". They seem nothing like the villains they are portrayed to be. They give him a strictly-controlled "guided tour" filled with flowers, clean houses, strange but good food, and the always-smiling faces.

4) He strikes up a friendship with the cult leaders. When confronted with negative facts about the cult, he brings up this friendship over and over. He's not hanging out with the cult leaders to either endorse or judge them. They are just his "friends". He says this over and over.

5) Former cult members/victims try to contact him to tell him that he is being used and that he has been manipulated by the cult leaders. He states emphatically that he is a friend of the cult leaders (See point 4), implicitly rejecting the harrowing testimonies of any who are not the friends of his new "friends". The more he is pressed to research the dark side of the cult that he has glossed over, the more he "doubles down".

6) His indoctrination now complete, he now advances to active apologism. "The cult isn't so bad. You guys are too negative. Look at all the positive stuff they're doing."
Pigpen

The Power of the Powerless

The following are some excerpts from "The Power of the Powerless" by Vaclav Havel. Emphases are mine. The purpose here is to highlight the shared experiences of people who have lived in totalitarian and "post-totalitarian" systems, including cults and cult-like groups.

"In 1974, when I was employed in a brewery, my immediate superior was a certain S, a person well versed in the art of making beer. He was proud of his profession and he wanted our brewery to brew good beer. He spent almost all his time at work, continually thinking up improvements, and he frequently made the rest of us feel uncomfortable because he assumed that we loved brewing as much as he did. In the midst of the slovenly indifference to work that socialism encourages, a more constructive worker would be difficult to imagine.

"The brewery itself was managed by people who understood their work less and were less fond of it, but who were politically more influential. They were bringing the brewery to ruin and not only did they fail to react to any of S's suggestions, but they actually became increasingly hostile toward him and tried in every way to thwart his efforts to do a good job. Eventually the situation became so bad that S felt compelled to write a lengthy letter to the manager's superior, in which he attempted to analyze the brewery's difficulties. He explained why it was the worst in the district and pointed to those responsible.

"His voice might have been heard. The manager, who was politically powerful but otherwise ignorant of beer, a man who loathed workers and was given to intrigue, might have been replaced and conditions in the brewery might have been improved on the basis of S's suggestions. Had this happened, it would have been a perfect example of small-scale work in action. Unfortunately, the precise opposite occurred: the manager of the brewery, who was a member of the Communist Party's district committee, had friends in higher places and he saw to it that the situation was resolved in his favor. S's analysis was described as a "defamatory document" and S himself was labeled a "political saboteur." He was thrown out of the brewery and shifted to another one where he was given a job requiring no skill. Here the notion of small-scale work had come up against the wall of the post-totalitarian system. By speaking the truth, S had stepped out of line, broken the rules, cast himself out, and he ended up as a sub-citizen, stigmatized as an enemy. He could now say anything he wanted, but he could never, as a matter of principle, expect to be heard. He had become the "dissident" of the Eastern Bohemian Brewery.

"I think this is a model case which, from another point of view, illustrates what I have already said in the preceding section: you do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. This is why our situation is not comparable to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when the Czech nation, in the worst period of Bachs absolutism, had only one real "dissident," Karel Havlíček , who was imprisoned in Brixen. Today, if we are not to be snobbish about it, we must admit that "dissidents" can be found on every street corner."
Pigpen

Sun Myung Moon is dead. (Why do they get away with it?)

Apparently, Sun Myung Moon died in August of last year. Finally. At the age of 92. In the US, Moon and "the Moonies" of the Unification Church (UC) were mostly seen as a running joke. But, actually, it isn't that funny. For most of his unfortunately long life, Moon led a church that probably abused millions of followers. Some of these UC abuses had unsurprising counterparts in UBF.

I want to highlight past posts on the UC and similarities to UBF.

I also want to not so much ask, but lament, "Why do they get away with it?" Why was Moon allowed to die filthy rich, in relative comfort, leaving these ill-gained filthy riches to his children?

I'll be adding more to this post.
Pigpen

Penn State Scandal: Sandusky found guilty

(This is related to a previous post.)

Jerry Sandusky was found guilty yesterday on 45 counts. And no one was surprised. Yet, if I may play devil's advocate for a moment, where was the video- or audio-taped evidence of him sexually abusing those 10 boys over a 15 year span? All the prosecution had was the word of witnesses, those who had been directly abused by Sandusky and those who claimed to have witnessed abuse by Sandusky. The defense brought witnesses who vouched for Sandusky's character and testified how he was a "hero" in the community, how he had helped hundreds (if not thousands) of vulnerable and underprivileged boys. Those who loved and admired Sandusky over the years would probably greatly outnumber those who accused him of these heinous crimes. Yet, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 51 counts. Why? Because the testimony of multiple abusees and witnesses is the clear evidence of his crimes. This standard of evidence isn't just a biblical thing (Deut. 19:15-19). Any rational system of justice has to operate on this standard: The charges are believable and serious (sexual abuse), there are multiple witnesses (8 of the 10 abusees testified against Sandusky), the witnesses are credible, there is no evidence of a conspiracy against the accused. The system depends on the jury being rational enough to know that these many victims/witnesses would not just make up these stories when it is painful for them to come forward with their accounts of abuse.

In past arguments with UBF defenders about the many abuses of Samuel Lee, I've run into this exasperating argument that there is no video or audio of Lee's abusing people, and also arguments like "I wasn't there, so I don't know" or "Well, he helped thousands, didn't he?" And this is in spite of witnesses to his abuses that go back as far as 1976. In an abusive system, a rational system of justice doesn't exist. In an abusive system, a rational standard of evidence based on the testimony of two or more witnesses is tossed aside, and abusive leaders are allowed to lead and abuse for years with no consequences.
Pigpen

"We Are Spiritual Abuse Survivors"

The writer/producer of the previously mentioned film, "Paradise Recovered", has written a piece called "We Are Spiritual Abuse Survivors" to "honor those who have been hurt by high-demand churches and cults". Excerpts below:

We are spiritual abuse survivors.

... we believed a dangerous lie that closely resembled the truth. And we have paid dearly for that belief with the sacrifice of our very souls.

...

We thought we were specially called by God. We learned later that we were just a means to an end, with the end being the elevation of our leader.

...

We were taught or reconditioned to fear everything that contradicted our leaders’ edicts. We believed dissent to be wicked, evil, and Satanic.

And then we learned something about our leaders that made us question all that we built our lives upon.
Dilbert

UBF's "hall of tyrannus" interpretation

Here is another example for UBF bible twisting, taken from medizinmission.wordpress.com:

"Sehen wir uns Vers 9 an: „Als aber einige verstockt waren und nicht glaubten und vor der Menge übel redeten von der Lehre, trennte er sich von ihnen und sonderte auch die Jünger ab und redete täglich in der Schule des Tyrannus.“ ...

In Vers 9 bedeutete „reden“ nicht ein einseitiges Lehren, sondern vielmehr eine geistliche Auseinandersetzung mit den Gläubigen. Paulus half ihnen, über das Wort Gottes sehr intensiv nachzudenken und es persönlich anzunehmen, anstatt nur einfach etwas zu konsumieren. Normalerweise ermutigten wir die Studenten, einmal in der Woche ZBS zu führen, aber Paulus hatte täglich Gemeinschaft mit den Jünger und sprach mit ihnen über das Wort Gottes. Vielleicht gab es ein zweistündiges BS, dann eine Essensgemeinschaft, anschließend Stellungnahmeschreiben und –vortragen. Dies geschah zwei Jahre lang, jeden Tag, also 720 Tage ohne Unterbrechung, was 2880 Stunden bedeutet, wenn man täglich 4 Stunden BS gehabt hätte. 2880 Stunden würden 28 Jahre BS bedeuten, wenn man nur 2 Stunden pro Woche das BS gehabt hätte. Paulus führte ein intensives BS mit einer Handvoll Jüngern in 2 Jahren, was in der Regel 28 Jahre BS machen könnte.

Was war die Folge diese intensiven BS auf der täglichen Basis? ..."

Translated:

"Let's look at verse 9: "But some of them became stubborn and refused to believe. In front of everyone, they said bad things about the Way. So Paul left these Jews and took the Lord’s followers with him. He went to a place where a man named Tyrannus had a school. There Paul talked with people every day." ...

In verse 9 the word "talked" does not mean one-sided teach, but rather a spiritual dispute with the believers. Paul helped them to think deeply about the Word of God and accept it personally, instead of simply consuming something. Usually we encourage the students to have 1:1 BS once a week, but Paul had daily fellowship with the disciples and talked with them about the word of God. Maybe they had two hours of BS, then eating fellowship, then testimony writing and -sharing. This happened for two years, every day, i.e. 720 days without interruption, which means 2880 hours, if you make BS 4 hours a day. 2800 hours would mean 28 years of BS if you only have 2 hours BS per week. Paul had an intensive BS with a handfull of disciples in 2 years, what usually would be done by 28 years BS.

What was the consequence of this intensive daily Bible study? ..."

This is from Bonn UBF, but I have seen this text interpreted similarly in Heidelberg UBF - it's part of the UBF Bible interpretation canon. The quote shows in a typical way how UBF reads Bible passages, and then twists them to mean something different and support UBF practices, and then draws conclusions from that twisted interpretation.

The first sentence is still ok. Paul surely did not just talk one-sidedly, but he discussed and disputed things with people. Other Bible translations use the word "reasoned" or "disputed" instead of "talked". But no Bible translation talks about "Bible study" or "testimony sharing" in the UBF way. These are the two things that UBF considers to be their "core values" (see Brian's last posting). So they try to make people believe these things are directly supported by the Bible, even though there is no evidence in the Bible at all. Also, the writer is trying to give the impression that UBF bible study is not one-sided, but it definitely is. You are not expected to "reason" or "dispute" in UBF, you are expected to "accept one word" which means accept UBF's interpretation of the text. And of course the fact that Paul talked every day does not mean that he talked to the same people every day. In fact, verse 10 suggests that he talked to different people from the area who visited the city and then spread his words. UBFers claim that the disciples were responsible for spreading the word, but obviously they couldn't have made intense BS for two years in the city and intense mission in the area at the same time. They claim that if UBFers follow that pattern of intense BS, there would be a spiritual revival. However, the passage also talks about other things that caused the revival, like "extraordinary miracles". They totally overlook these things.

Empowering and Active Integration

What is "active integration"? Thank God my family doesn't have to find out. The thoughts on these 2nd gen websites (created by 1st gen Koreans) documents the unspoken and undocumented concerns and fears I had for years.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.europeubf.org/ylc-2011/ministry/

Basic strategy of Active Integration:

- 2nd gens and shepherds need help equally.
- Priority: Have clear priority whether children or mission come first.
- It is the Holy Spirit who does the work. But the 2nd gens need help in following the guidance of the Holy Spirit: God’s word, spiritual value system, spiritual training

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is the redefining vocabulary tactic in plain site. Faith, identity and vision are all re-defined and bound to UBFism:

  • Faith (insight and values): faith in God is the foundation of life. (“Go back to the Bible!”)
  • Identity: identity as a people belonging to God and global leaders. (1 Peter 2:9)
  • Vision: God’s vision toward me and my people. Understanding the importance of inheriting and passing down the spiritual legacy.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The website even asks "who are the next generation". A deceptive answer is given... everyone in leadership knows that ONLY the Korean children of Korean UBF missionaries are the true "2nd gens". Any other race is involved only as a form of appeasement.

Who are the “NEXT GENERATION” we are referring to?

Most studies define next generation leaders as individuals under the age of 40. According to the book „The Young Evangelicas“ by Robert E. Webber, the young generation refer to those born after 1975. This young generation, namely the next generation from a new leader group for the 21 century.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And finally...empowering through Viagra...(I know this is just spam...but the forum is obviously not active. Why leave it out there?)


http://forum.empoweringubfnewgen.org/

  • Current Mood
    cold cold