(Originally posted at http://community.livejournal.com/rsqubf.)
(See also http://exubf.blogspot.com/2007/07/jim-b.html and http://exubf.blogspot.com/2007/04/peter-chang.html.)
Comment by chevlion on 2005-10-23
Subject: Thoughts on returning to UBF.
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.
Comment by chevlion on 2005-10-29
Subject: my experiences with testimonies
It wasn't just at large conferences where testimonies were so important. When I first joined the Columbus Ohio chapter in 1982, the Saturday "sogam" meetings were a mandatory event. Everyone was expected not just to attend, but also to be prepared to read a testimony each Saturday night. If someone came to the meeting without a testimony and Peter Chang found out, he subjected that person to a long and merciless rebuke in front of the whole group. The ostensible purpose for writing testimonies was to reveal how God had worked in your life, but they actually were a way for Peter and the other leaders to learn all the sordid details of your past life. They were dissatisfied with testimonies which said, "I learned that Jesus loves me." A good testimony said something like "I saw Jesus' love for me because he rescued me from being a drug-dealing axe murderer." In 1984 I shared my life testimony at the Lake Geneva Easter conference. To this day, I can't believe that I was able to stand in front of three or four hundred people and give a speech. I had always been extremely self-conscious, but I was able to overcome my fears that day. To prepare for the Lake Geneva testimony, I was told to write my autobiography. I wrote 12 or 13 pages, but it wasn't enough. Teddy urged me to write everything, so I did. My autobiography ended up being about 125 handwritten, single-spaced pages. Moses spent the 2 weeks or so before the conference helping me write the version I was going to read at the conference. They said he was helping me edit it, but he was actually making sure it toed the UBF party line. I was happy with it because Moses and Peter and Teddy were. I can't remember what my original title was, but Samuel C. Lee changed it not long before I was to go on stage. I still have no idea what his title means - "From Odds to Providence." Nothing else came of all the effort I poured into that 125-page autobiography or all the pain writing it dredged up again. I was paraded in front of everyone at the conference as a good sheep, as a reformed troubled adolescent. After the conference was over, my life returned to normal. Later, I will share more about how UBF made it their business to know all of my business, but never cared about the pain and sorrow telling them about my past put me through.
Thank God there is life after UBF! (posted by chevlion)
I spent ten years in and out of the Ohio State UBF chapter in Columbus, Ohio -- from June 1982 to May 1992. After I left, one of the Korean missionaries left a note which said "Please come back to God" at my apartment. I had the presence of mind to know the truth that I hadn't left God at all, but I did wander for a while. The best parts of my life happened after I left UBF. I married a beautiful woman who was a believer. Through her prayer and support, I am growing in a new relationship with God at a church where we both are happy. We both are active in the church. I have a well-paying job where I am respected and my work is appreciated. I thank God that when I didn't know what to do or where to go next, he had his hand over me and guided me where he wanted me to be.