(Posted at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ubfmexico/)
March 4, 2007
My UBF Experience (Or They Wanted to Dupe Me and They Failed)
By Juan F.
In Chicago, I started my freshman year at Northeastern IL University back in the fall of 1990. I was a young energetic man, full of academic conquest in my mind. All I had on my mind was to study and become a better student than I was in Roosevelt High School. I was not a bad student in high school but I wasn't the best. I wanted to be better and in college the stakes were so much higher (no pun intended). Before I went to UNI (as it was referred back then) I already had my experiences in various religious groups trying to convert me to their cult like ways (such as the Jehovah's Witnesses). But I was also a self taught student of the bible. Even though I had no affiliation with any major or minor churches I loved to read the bible and its stories. When you do that God himself gives you wisdom to discern the truth. It is harder for anyone to be duped by these cults. It is not impossible, it is just a little bit harder for them to do that. During my freshman year I was too busy trying to assimilate to the new school environment. My first year was a test, could I manage it or not? No one from my family had ever gone to college, I was the first. During my second year around the campus, I started to see some Korean missionaries talking to students. I did not know who they were or who they represented. I thought it was a nice gesture because they were preaching the word of God or so I thought. I did not know they were actually preaching the word of Samuel Lee.
It was probably around 1992 when missionary Joseph Ahn approached me while I was in the university library. It must have been in the spring. He spoke Spanish and was very presentable, mild manner. He invited me to one of UBF's spring conferences. He gave me a form to fill out and said that it would cost around 30 dollars (if my memory serves me correctly) to attend. I told him right of the bat that I wasn't really interested, and that I saw no reason why I needed to complete the form with all of my personal information¿furthermore why did I need to pay a church service? Does God need my money? In order to convince me he told me that he would pay. I could have cared less. I also told him that he was wasting his time and that I was not interested in going. A relationship of mine had been broken by the Jehovah's Witnesses tenement back in high school, which was still fresh in my memory, so I was not in the mood to entertain any other church representative.
Then I started to work in the NEIU Art Gallery. Yeah, some of you might remember me. I sat in the gallery between classes to guard the art work. Unfortunately when you are exposed to the public like that you can't avoid solicitors, and Joseph Ahn was very persistent. This was a red flag. My mistake was that I was too diplomatic, and you can't do that with these cults. You have to be real firm. Even though I never asked for it, he made it a point to always share the ever infamous ONE WORD with me. Later I found out that I was a number in their long list of tallies. That is why he would always share his one word. It was not really to share the Gospel, or save a soul. It was to gain numbers. Maybe at some point of UBF's history they did do that, but over the years they lost focus and it turned into a numbers game. And later I found out that the true purpose for studying the bible with him was so that sooner or later I would succumb and become a missionary for UBF. Not for God, but for UBF. But one thing UBF had was patience. Every time he met me he would invite me to the Artesian Ave, church (headquarters) for Sunday worship. He started to stress that Sunday was a very holy day and that people needed to go to church no matter what they were doing. I was not convinced because first of all, historically speaking, the Sabbath was on Saturdays until the Holy Roman Church changed that, and then everyone else adopted it, so furthermore, I told him that while he was on earth Jesus was accused by the Pharisees of violating the Sabbath too. Anyway to make a long story short I slowly accepted going to these meetings and studying the bible with Joseph. For my part one thing that was missing in my life was a clear direction of who Jesus and God were. Even though I had all of this knowledge of the bible because I was self taught, I also had all this knowledge about other religions such as Islam. So I had a very difficult and internal struggle about which was the right religion¿Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, or Buddhism? As the years progressed my struggle was just between Christianity and Islam. Where would my heart lead me? I needed to find out the truth and in retrospect maybe I allowed myself to go to UBF to get a better idea about where God wanted me to go.
To my credit no matter how many times I was invited to conferences, bible studies, or Sunday worship services I never allowed myself to be manhandled by this group. Joseph will attest that I was a real struggle for him, giving him plenty of headaches and maybe caused him to loose a few hairs. The first time I went to their church I was disgusted by Samuel Lee. There he was sitting on a fancy golden chair as if he was God. I though to myself: what the h--- is this crap? This was not a notion of a humble Jesus. Joseph would always stress that I should were a tie and long sleeve shirt because I would look more presentable. I would always reply: Did Jesus wear a three piece suit? Emiliano Zapata, Mexican Revolutionary hero said that: A monkey in a three piece suit is still a monkey. I was always questioning the reasons they would choose certain things that were not in accordance with the bible. And I never wore a tie and shirt to the Sunday services. The real danger in these cults is that the more they expose you to repetitive teachings and mannerism; you start to let your defenses down. I noticed that many people who were members or followers had suffered tremendously in life and as a refuge they sought comfort in UBF. A lion in sheep's clothing for sure. Or is that a wolf in sheep's clothing? (I'm being sarcastic.) The first time I went to Michigan State University back in 1995 (I think) for their annual world conference, I was blown away by the sheer size of the school. To entice me Joseph would tell me that the university was like this and like that and that if people went they would do this and that. It was all baloney!! Once you set foot on their conferences there is no down time. If there is it is only to eat and go to the washroom. My first time at MSU I did not follow the set schedule. This approach of theirs was reminiscent of the Baptists that would preach to children in the Albany Park neighborhood. The Baptists would entice children to go to Indiana in their yellow school buses to get a goldfish and at the end of the day you got no fish! This was another red flag. It was a very controlling experience. But like I said I did not follow their schedule. I only went to their huge gathering when the cultural dances began. I wanted to see my Mexican brothers and sisters blow the roof of that auditorium.
I thank God it did not go their way. The more I became involve in UBF, the more I did not want to be a part of them. And then a few years later, the fan was hit with some funky stuff. It was the RSQUBF explosion. I read about what I always had suspected. That is probably why I never got too deep with UBF. Some of their teachings were troubling. Once my suspicions were confirmed by RSQUBF testimonies, I was ready to confront Joseph Ahn. It was a long time coming...
Epilogue: Before I go any further, I just want to attest that I am a Christian, non-denominational. It is very important for me to say this. After years of searching for the truth in all of the wrong places, like the Apostle Paul, everything had been made clear to me. I had seen the light. No more was I in search for the truth. There are some real good healthy churches, but most of the ones I encountered here in Chicago, IL have very dubious teachings, yet they are far better than UBF or GASP!!...Islam. I don't really know what is worst: Islam or UBF. With both you lose your total freedom and become sub-human. I thank God for his saving grace. Christ has set me free in every sense of the word and I give glory to God and his only begotten savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen! Till next time for part 2.