Thursday, January 31, 2008

Patrick C. (former California UBF)


Check out Jerry Bridges’s article, “Gospel-Driven Sanctification.”

I’d particularly recommend reading this article if you’re suffering from the fallout of years spent slaving away in a false, works-righteousness centered “ministry” like the University Bible Fellowship.

Speaking of UBF. At first glance, whether your acquaintance began with their website or in person (e.g. perhaps you were “fished” on campus? Or invited to a Bible conference?), UBF appears to be an evangelical organization. But looks can be deceiving. At best (if, for instance, your shepherd or shepherdess is a true Christian seeking to help you) you’re in for some guilt-trips over your poor performance. “How many times have you fished today?” “How many Bible studies are you doing?” “Don’t you want to live in common life?” And so on. Or worse, you’ll possibly end up in a long-term, co-dependent affair with a jealous lover who’ll never leave you alone. Things could even get worse than this, but I’ll save that for another time. Flee from UBF and embrace Christ!

Andrei S. (former Kiev UBF)

(Translated from Russian. Posted at

TESTIMONY by Andrey S. (ex Kiev UBF)

Yesterday several brothers and I were virtually expelled from the church [Kiev UBF]. I think it is difficult to misinterpret the pronouncements of our pastor [Peter Kim, the Kiev UBF director, he is not really a pastor], since he repeated them about 20 times: “Such people should leave”, “It is better for you not to come anymore”, “Change yourself, we will continue in the same way as we have always done”. That whole story did not begin yesterday, such stories repeated in UBF time and again for more than 40 years.

I have not been an accidental person in UBF and I have not been a “rebel”. I attended UBF for almost 11 years and did everything I was demanded to do. Often I felt that something was wrong but could not understand the exact problem. I was a witness of many weird acts: punishments for coming too late [to UBF meetings], running around the campus shouting slogans, revilements and humiliations for hours of people who brought too small an offering or just had a sad face, permanent atmosphere of fear of the pastor [the Kiev UBF Director], compulsion of sick persons to leave their beds to attend insignificant and unwholesome UBF meetings that often were dedicated to humiliations of somebody else, and many other things. I endured those things, believing they were accidental mistakes, for who does not make mistakes?

But one day I discovered that they are not accidental mistakes of a specific man, but fruits of a system. I found out horrible facts about forced abortions (in Chicago and Korea), destruction of families and violation of the personality of members. All these things are called “disciple training” in UBF. I am sad that the understanding of these words depreciated to such a level. When I found out all these things, my eyes were opened and I decided that it was impossible, sinful and irresponsibly before God to cowardly keep silent. I went to the pastor and talked to him that the church had to go through repentance for these detestable things. Two days before (as if they had a presentiment) I had been dismissed from Sunday messages, and the group, where I was the leader, was broken up (of course only in part, the Korean missionaries left my group, but my Bible students remained). The talk [with the director Peter Kim] was difficult, I had a feeling of pain and suffering, and I was named a “person with an evil spirit”. Nevertheless I did not leave, but continued to talk personally with the pastor, and later several other brothers also talked with him, and finally I publicly shared my testimony. It was a difficult time, but I decided to endure it and stay, in the hope that everything will change. This whole story lasted 8 months. I did not behave insolently or forwardly, I tried to talk decently and with dignity.

Since about a month I was not talking with anybody about the issue. But yesterday the pastor himself put an end to it. It started with one sister delivering a message on 1Tim 2:8-15 (the brothers were not allowed to deliver messages because they sort of fell into disgrace in the eyes of the pastor). Please read this passage carefully [as it contains the words “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”]. In her message the sister said “I thank the brothers for leaving the sisters the spiritual privilege of delivering messages”. At the end of the meeting, the pastor reminded everybody of that phrase, adding that the brothers did not simply leave that privilege to the sisters, but that they lost that privilege, calling them “rubbish.” Then one of the brothers stood up, said “You are telling a lie!”, and went out. This brother was responsible for the construction of the new church building, which was a very big work and responsibility (of course without getting any compensation for that). He then was immediately dismissed from his position and a new person was appointed [when the building was almost finished]. After that the words “such people should better leave” were used, particularly referring to three persons: my friend, the brother who already went out, and me.

I do not regret anything and I thank the Lord. The Lord was leading me and helped me not to be a fearful person. The Lord taught me an omni-important lesson: There is no place for exaltation of one above the other in any Christian community, as Jesus taught in Mk 10 and Mt 23. The violation of even the smaller commands of Jesus leads to bad consequences. I had experienced that on my own back.

What next? I want to open a home ministry, something like It is important to communicate with Christians. They will have a conference in two days. I want to better understand how to walk my life and minister in the future.

Andrei S. (ex Kiev UBF)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Charles (former New York (?) UBF)

(Reports and impressions from the 2001 UBF international conference, posted at See also the full thread.)

Date Posted: 12:22:06 04/10/02 Wed
Author: PC
Subject: response to concerned
In reply to: Concerned 's message, "Hey pc......" on 12:22:06 04/10/02 Wed

Dear Concerned,
This message board seems pretty intense! The things mentioned by others like people claiming to be God etc. really had no effect on me. I had never heard such accusations before and quite frankly it seems that statement was probably taken out of context, unless that guy is a total nut case which I suppose is possible.
anyway, There were so many very serious problems at ISU.

But let me first mention those things which were not so serious.
First there was so much time wasted on things that were non-spiritual and not beneficial. What does Korean Dancing have to do with Jesus? Also it was interesting to note how so much time and money was put into producing an extremely impressive dance and music programs (although it seems Africa was neglected in this regard) It really seemed like a waste. What does Beethoven have to do with praising God? I don't really understand that. One could say that this is all for the purpose of praising God but then why not chose some sacred music by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Beethoven or one of the many other great composers who wrote music for God. I don't know, it just doesn't seem right to focus on entertainment and call it worship. I think that is a real deception.

Another thing, that was apparent right off the bat, and which was a bit more serious, was the so-called "Asian Despot" mentality which was plainly in operation. Samuel Lee was really acting like an "Asian Despot." I am not talking about what he was saying but what he was doing during the whole conference. He sat in the back most of the time like an overseer. On each side sat (what appeared to be) a lackey. He would constantly start speaking to these people seemingly making comments on what was being done or said or on the lighting or on the position of the speaker in relation to the podium. He was not paying attention to what was being said. In short he was not listening for the voice of God in what was being done or said but he was overseeing everything and giving his approval or disapproval. That is at least what it looked like to me. Also, getting up and asking a person to move over a few inches so he can be in the middle of the podium or whatever, is very distracting and takes away from the "message." All these kind of activities draw attention away from the speaker that everyone is supposed to be listening to.

I am quite familiar with the this type of mentality. It immediately turned me off toward Samuel Lee. It seemed he wanted everyone to know who was in charge.

These things I know, could be to some extent explained away. However, there were many other things that were much more serious that can't be explained or excused.

The so-called messages were all delivered in the same style by different people. This to me made it seem that the individuals who delivered the messages were not the ones who wrote them. I have no evidence of this besides my gut feeling but that is what it seemed like. I suppose in an organization like UBF where everyone is encouraged to speak in the same way and use the same strange terminology it is possible that this impression was not reality. (on this topic, another thing. Why do American people who have been raised in America and who speak English as their first language speak with a Korean accent. It sounds very strange! It seems that there is even an appropriate way to say the name "Jesus" with a higher tone on the first syllable and lower on the second. This is very strange!)

Another thing, because all the messages (except samuel lee's) were read. They sounded rehearsed and insincere. It seemed that the message was a childish performance with various silly hand gestures thrown in. (after which everyone would laugh, even if they were not at all funny) Ministers of the Gospel should be delivering messages with conviction, and those messages should be prepared by themselves.

Getting more serious...
Many things that were said in the messages were gross exaggerations or actually completely untruthful! This was perhaps the biggest problem for me. When people talked about the "wilderness training" of the Israelites and the "woman at the well" story, there was so much nonsense in the message. Of course the original story was reviewed and actually read aloud, but then there were many details added that were plainly NOT IN THE BIBLE! I understand that sometimes ministers will overemphasize a point in order to bring across an important message and I believe that this can some times be useful. However, during these messages the speaker would first start with the text and then he would add facts to the text and then he would create a teaching based on a combination of the actual text, his added facts and a very strange interpretation of the gospel message (maybe a UBF interpretation). As a result, these wonderful texts were twisted to present a message that was clearly not in the original passage.
If I had a copy of the message here I could give you specific examples. Unfortunately I do not.
So that is the first problem, obvious misinterpretation of the Bible. Needless to say that is extremely dangerous!

Second, the outright lies that were told from the pulpit were unbelievable. If you know anything at all about Christian history and if you were paying attention you could hear so many LIES! Most of this came from Samuel Lee. I could give you a list of lies but I will just give a few.
1.Misinterpretation of the term "House-church"
2.stating that many famous christian leaders were "self supporting missionaries" (i.e., billy graham, martin luther)
and there were several others.

These were outright lies and the most frustrating thing was that no one corrected him!

However the thing that got under my skin the most about his talk was the unbelievable statement (I can't remember it exactly now but it was something like) "The hope for America is World missions!" (or self supporting world mission or something.)
This is total nonsense! The hope of America should be Jesus Christ and nothing else.

well there are many other things that I could say but this covers the basics of what bothered me.
FALSE TEACHING is what it boils down to. There is no way around that. Either you admit it or you are lying!

Now if these problems had been addressed after ISU or if some one had made a public apology for the false teachings. I might have felt better, but instead everyone went on to say what a wonderful conference it was and how everyone was more filled with the grace of Jesus. I was very upset. UBF had betrayed God before my eyes. I have also betrayed God in the past, but should I expect to be forgiven if I don't try to right the wrongs?

there is your answer.

>What was it about the ISU conference that made you
>question UBF? I was there and heard many messages,
>World Mission Testimonies, and dances, etc... .
>Nothing seemed odd, or out of the ordinary that would
>set off sirens.

Date Posted: 14:21:53 04/11/02 Thu
Author: -pc
Subject: some more remarks on ISU
In reply to: UBF Shepherd 's message, "Re: response to concerned" on 14:21:53 04/11/02 Thu

Chris thanks for the link to the message page.

It was interesting to see how some of the messages, although they had similar titles and themes, were completely different then the ones given at the conference. Quite deceptive.
However this quote I remember:

"Go, call your husband!" Humanly speaking, this was interference with her private life. However, Jesus did not mind violating her human rights to talk about her sin problem in order to heal her sin-sick soul. Her real problem appeared to be a husband problem or marriage problem as common people think. But it was a sin problem. Her cursed woman's desire controlled her and drove her until she became a helpless Samaritan woman. As a result, even if she had married five times, she would remain with a severe marriage problem. In proportion to her gravity of sin, her cursed desire might have tormented her without ceasing (Ge 3:16).

Wow, you just gave "sound" justification for violating people's human rights anyway you want, totally misinterpreted the Bible, insulted the institution of marriage and women in general, and all that without any real useful point in the entire paragraph! Amazing!

"She said, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet" (19). Right after that, she asked him first about where to worship (20). Why did she suddenly talk about worship? She had gone too far to talk about worshiping God. Another reason might be that Jews and Samaritans had a different idea about the place of worship. Anyway she did not hesitate to talk about the worship problem. It was because she was still a human being created in the image of God. Her life was still shining like stars in the sky."

Does anyone have any idea what that means? There is no logical progression of thought. I don't know maybe it is a "cursed Korean-English problem" :).

and then there are just so many little problems that the overall message has the ring of foolishness

By the same token, we must know that corrupted men and wayward women are seeking (No one seeks God unless God draws them and we are all sinners just like this woman. He should really say wayward women (and men) are "longing for God" or "feel their need of God.") God earnestly in their hearts like the Samaritan woman (was she seeking God? There is no evidence of that in the Bible). We love Jesus who seeks the Samaritan woman (what in the world does this have to do with the rest of the paragraph? Again, there is just no logical thought progression. At best this is just bad writing.

another example of the lack of logical thought progression:

When Jesus said, "God is spirit," he meant that God is not flesh; but God is spirit. He is not confined to the limitations of the flesh.(good so far) He is the eternal and infinite God. Therefore, God can be our Everlasting Father. We will enjoy eternal life in the kingdom of God when our earthly tent is destroyed (over all the point is OK but the progression is confusing and vague. There is not a+b=c or some other structure of thought to help us understand why these things are being said.

Another thing about this particular message is that is quite degrading to women. It seems that women are only relegated to certain roles.
For example:
God is especially seeking lost Samaritan women in the hope of raising them as mothers of prayer.
This is a bit subtle (although quite obvious). Why not say women of prayer, or prayer warriors, or great missionaries. Why must it be "Mother." In this story we don't have any evidence that this woman had children so that can't be the reason. It seems that "mother of prayer" is just another UBF term. Another point on this. I think many groups should give more room to woman who choose not to be married. THere is nothing wrong with this indeed it is encouraged in the Bible.

Another thing is the attack on the institution of marriage.
Marriage Problem
Husband Problem
and Cursed Desire Problem
are terms that are used in this text to some how imply that it is wrong to desire to find joy in marriage. That is just so wrong. In addition, "cursed desire problem" must be referring to Genesis 3:16(?). Lets be honest if the desire for a mate is a "cursed desire problem" then men have it just as well as women and let me tell you from most of the men I know they have it much worse than women. To say that the desire for marriage (in God's will) is a curse... WOW, shame on you people!

Here is another winner from the conference and then I will stop (there just isn't anything going on in the office today)

Why did God give them wilderness training? It was to lay the foundation of world salvation work. After wilderness training, God led them to the promised land. According to God's plan, his people had to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. They had to be shepherds and shepherdesses to plant the knowledge of God in the hearts of pagan people in the promised land.(This is not biblical, not even close) But they could not maintain God's blessing. When they began to enjoy little comforts and little conveniences of civilized Canaan and they began to enjoy flowing milk and honey, they gradually melted into the easygoing life of the Canaanites(what do you call easy going little comforts? what like idolatry or immorality or what? How can you say to enjoy one's self is wrong using this example as proof? Is that why God punished his people?). As a result, they abandoned God and their holy mission.

Well these are just a few of the less problematic things that were said at the conference. It seems that the bad stuff will be hidden away because it would just be to embarrassing to put on a website.

Thanks again to Amy for taking the time to talk to me. May God bless you and your family!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


(Originally posted at

Date Posted: 16:53:59 01/09/02 Wed
Author: Jacque
Subject: UBF Alumni

Someone compared UBF to a revolving door for Americans. I agree with this from personal experience, and sometimes I catch myself wondering just how many people have passed through that door. Why did so many leave? Why did so many stick around for years only to go? Yet for many the time in UBF is something they want to forget. Very few return back to visit their alma matter. In 20 years I can only recall it happening twice. For most who leave it seems to bring a wince of pain in their eyes when you mention it as if the rememberance of a bad dream.

There is undoubtedly a large number of UBF alumni out there. They have similar stories and experiences of the joy of learning the Gospel for the first time, growing in a personal love relationship with Christ and serving him together with other believers and also the realization that something was deeply disturbing.

I couldn't guess how many thousands are out there. Compared to the rest of Christendom, it is certainly negligible, but they all have their own stories.

I like to think that most end up in good churches and become leaders, Bible teachers, and prayer warriors tempered and tried by their experiences in UBF.

I don't know. I know that I am really old and yet there was a whole American generation that disappeared before me. It kind of reminds me of working at McDonalds. The product is mediocre but consistent, the remuneration lousy, the turnover of help is incredibly high, and yet millions are served.

Sorry, I was becoming cynical again. Perhaps it is better people don't stick around. I think being in UBF is something everyone ought to do. It really gives you a perspective and an appreciation for the other ministries out there. Sorry.

Anyway, all you UBF alumni. Don't try to deny it. Write in and tell us your experiences. I want to hear about the experiences from the 70s.

I said enough. Bye.

ex-UBFSoul (former New York UBF)

(Originally posted at

Date Posted: 21:40:08 09/19/03 Fri
Author: ex-UBFSoul
Subject: UBF Mind Control
In reply to: Chris 's message, "Mind Control" on 11:49:23 09/19/03 Fri

Hi Chris,

When I was UBFSoul and in UBF I didn’t realize that I was being subjected to mind control techniques and I don’t think UBF members know that they are employing these techniques. At some point it struck me that the main objective of UBF is not to teach college students the Bible. UBF’s objective is to form more house churches. That’s what they pray for. They pray for 10,000 house churches. They say, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” but they mean a kingdom of house churches.

UBF is not an organization comprised of members; it’s an organization of house churches. Like all organizations, it wants to expand. They can’t ask college students, “Do you want to be a part of a house church?” Students would never accept. Therefore they have to hide their agenda and slowly alter the student’s perspective using subtle mind control techniques.

The UBF agenda starts with Bible study and ends with “marriage by faith.” In between they employ increasingly aggressive mind control techniques. Almost everyone in UBF has experienced this series of techniques:

Deception: (year 1) They will invite you to what appears to be a harmless Bible study. The deception is that the UBF Bible study invitation is really in an invitation to a UBF controlled life and an arranged marriage to another UBF member. They don’t fully disclose their “plans” for your life. UBF uses the Bible as a means of coercing naïve young college students into the Confucian-Christian UBF lifestyle.

Love Bombing: (year 1) They will flatter and feed you. Their lives revolve around recruiting more UBF members so they will do their best to make you feel welcomed and indebted. They will invite you to their homes, feed you, flatter you and treat you like a king. Your apprehensions and suspicions about the group disappear because these people seem like the kindest and most generous people you’ve ever met in your life. What you don’t realize is that they are so happy to see you because they are under a lot pressure to recruit more members and produce numbers.

Public Confession: (year 1-2) They will ask you to write and share testimonies with the group. The first half of the testimony is a summary of the passage and the second half is an “application.” The application is really a confession of how you failed as a Christian. Communist regimes also use the same technique. Those who hear the confession feel guilt because they are guilty of the same crimes.

Not only will you confess and feel guilt, but you will experience ten to twenty times more guilt as you hear many others confessing the same laziness in UBF activities, the same sin of not going “fishing” enough, the same sin of not writing enough testimony, and the same sin of desiring sleep, rest, or free time. You will even see people crying about it, which will really make you feel even more guilt. You will feel tired and sleep deprived during these meetings as you experience wave after wave of indoctrination that will seep into your subconscious.

Time Control: (year 1-2) They will ask you to join the orchestra, singing group, become a presider, become fellowship leader, or any number of activities. I notice that they ask you to join the orchestra or some singing group even when you can’t sing or play an instrument. You begin to realize that you are visiting the local UBF center almost every day. You don’t have any time to spare for non-UBF friends or family.

Relationship Control: (year 2-3) They will ask you to move in with another UBF member. This is known as “common life.” The point is to totally immerse you in the Confucian-Christian UBF lifestyle. The natural power of peer pressure then begins to take effect. It’s natural for people to want to conform to the behavior of the group. Once you live with a UBF member and all your time is devoted to UBF activities your personality will inevitably change whether you like it or not. They will convince you that dating is sinful and you will begin to feel lonely and desperate.

Marriage Control: (year 3-5) They will ask you to agree to marry. They don’t tell you who, they just wait for you to become sufficiently desperate after years of Relationship Control that you are willing to marry almost anyone. If you refuse their proposal, they will starve you for another year or two and then apply even more pressure. Eventually, you surrender and agree to marry unconditionally on their terms. You will think it was your decision and choice, but actually you were controlled and you had no choice. Ideally, they want you to marry a stranger so as to minimize the possibility of love.

Total Control: (the rest of your life) Once you are trapped in a loveless arranged marriage, you are completely trapped. Your involvement with the group is the only thing that justifies your marriage. The endless time consuming UBF activities allow you and your spouse to essentially lead separate lives and keep your minds off the fact that your marriage is loveless. You will repent of your sinful desire for love and companionship and rededicate yourself to UBF activities. All your friends, your entire social network, is in UBF. Once you have “married by faith” you have proven to them that they control your entire life. There is nothing they cannot ask you to do. The cycle is complete when you find that you are a fifty-year-old hanging around college campuses deceptively inviting some young naïve college students into the same trap you fell into.

Their mind control techniques failed to work on me because I continually refused to join orchestra or singing groups and I refused “common living.” Because of this thier attempts to coerce me into “marriage by faith” failed.

Don’t Fall For the Trap,

Jan (former Chicago UBF)

(Originally posted at

Date Posted: 15:09:21 09/19/03 Fri
Author: Jan
Subject: Re: Mind Control
In reply to: Chris 's message, "Mind Control" on 11:49:23 09/19/03 Fri

This did not happen to me but was a problem that I saw many times. Ironically, I thought I was the strong one for remaining and being obedient but it was the reverse. Have you noticed that no UBF member is a lawyer. That is how it was in Chicago, maybe different in other chapter, if so let me know. No lawyers in Chicago UBF because Samuel Lee liked to tell people what they should major in and advise them away from law school because you were going to become a liar. Law school was seeing as a training in lying. One girl I became friends with was intent on going to law school would share it in her testimony every week. Because she was new and a white girl (HNW) [HNW is a UBFism meaning a white female], she was not told right away that in UBF you go to medical school or nursing or engineering but not Law school. I felt sorry for her, thinking one day she will be counseled and told to give it up to Jesus. And she will have to give up her dream that she expressed so wonderfully when giving her testimony. Of course she ran away ["ran away" is how UBF members describe the act of leaving UBF without saying goodbye--a common occurrence]. I thought I was the strong one who remained and obeyed the servants of God. But I was the mind controlled one, not the strong one, ready to give up my hopes and dreams.

exNYubfer (former New York UBF)

(Originally posted at

Date Posted: 21:56:12 09/29/03 Mon
Author: exNYubfer
Subject: Re: Mind Control
In reply to: Chris 's message, "Mind Control" on 11:49:23 09/19/03 Fri

I agree wholeheartedly with ex-ubfsoul and all of you. I went through very similar tactics in UBF as well. Oh how I want to encourage those who are out...GOD IS LOVEEEE!!!! God wants you to be IN LOVE with Him. God is IN LOVE with you!!! There is FREEDOM in Christ Jesus. Praise the Lord for saving us from the chains of UBF.

I pray that the one UBFer who is reading this right now will realize that he/she is committing idolatry before the God of the Bible because the UBF god is NOT the Almighty God! The God of the Bible is full of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness and self-control bc that IS the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The God of the Bible is holy and just and convicts us of our sin and leads us to repentance. He NEVER inflicts us with this gnawing guilt that never goes away. That is the work of the devil. The Devil is the accuser, the liar the one who wants you to always feel that you fall short of the glory of God. But we are REDEEMED through the blood of Christ! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!

PRAISE GOD! I love you Jesus. I praise Your HOLY Name. I give thanks to You for always answering our prayers and always being slow to anger and abounding in love. I praise you for giving us this inexpressible peace and FREEDOM from sin. Dear God I lift up to You right now all those who are still ensnared in the UBF cult. Lord Jesus TOUCH their hearts. Let them realize that they are not worshipping YOU. They are worshipping an idol. Father I pray that you lead these people out so that they may know who You truly are. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Monday, January 14, 2008


(Posted on the old RsqUBF bulletin board, 2/2001)

Author: maria

Subject: relief and closure

I just found this site this morning, and my first reaction was a sense of relief and some closure. It seems to me that, in addition to myself, there have been a number of people who have been hurt by UBF. I studied with a missionary for three years at UBF and sometime would like to share my story. But right now, what I would like to say, from reading some of the posted messages, is that this site could do a lot of good - if it is not turned into a place to argue. For those who are still actively involved in UBF, and are happy, please understand that those of us who are raising objections about UBF once were where you are. I remember the days I first started studying at UBF - I also remember the constant 'rebuking', the manipulations, the imposed feelings of guilt and inadequacy.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Friend of Penn State UBF recruit

(Posted at

Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 15:55:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: UBF Concerns

Dear :

I am a Penn State U. student and I am a part of an excellent Bible-based group.

My friend P., however was a member of our group, but all the long was a member of another group. Last Saturday, I found out that P.'s other group was the UBF. P. boldly declared one day that he doesn't want to be in our group, and didn't give a real reason. I always thought that it was strange how P. referred to his group as a mostly Korean group. ... When I was told by another friend that the UBF is borderline cultish, I did some research on it. My research brought me to your website. I read every testimony and it is eerily similar to what P. describes to me.

Here is the list of startling facts:

P. spends a lot of time with his one-on-one teacher, J. P. lives in my building and he told me that he spends 8 hours in J.'s office on Saturday's. He also goes out with J. at least twice a week. Everything is always him and J. He is getting out of touch with his other friends.

J. is married and I asked P., "doesn't J. need time with his wife instead of young college men?" P. told me, "J. loves his wife and all, but he is a busy man."

P. said that one-on-one Bible study is intense and he gets frustrated sometimes but J. helps him through it. P. said that J. is his accountability partner. P. says that J. is his "guidance counselor." He said that J. is a good "Shepard" and he is his "sheep".

We all are at Penn State University, and the UBF here is NOT an official group!

P. is very depressed and keeps saying that he's unattractive and not meant to be married. He said that sometimes God doesn't want us to marry.

P. just yesterday went to J.'s house and told me that he'd be back at nine so we can hang out and do homework. P. didn't get back until 2PM TODAY! He says that he stayed over J.'s and slept on his couch and then woke up for a one-on-one study.

I wanted to investigate this whole thing more and so I suggested that I sit in on one of their one-on-ones and P. quickly said, no. He said that "J. doesn't like any distractions." So I thought that I could infiltrate their group to investigate what I read on-line, and I proposed that I join the UBF. I thought that they would be happy to have me, but they don't want me. P said, "no offensive but J. doesn't want to talk to you. He is too busy."


P. refused to miss a week of one-on-one. When I suggested to him to miss a week to catch up on sleep, P. said, "there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, but God does chastise His children."

P. thinks that it's God will for him to stay in the UBF and he and J. refuse to let me in the group, or to come between them.

Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 05:49:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Partial Good News with UBF

I told P. about two weeks ago what the UBF was up to. P. was angry and didn't believe it, but then later he told me that it seems as though he's being forced to be "presider" at UBF Church services. This is a job that P. is neither interested in, nor has the time for.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Frank M. (former Baltimore UBF)

(Posted at

A Personal Testimony of Spiritual and Psychological Abuse in UBF


First, I have to explain why UBF was attractive to me at the time I joined, which was in the late 1990s. I was in my first week of college. About half of my friends had moved away for college. I had also broken up with my girlfriend a couple weeks earlier. It was difficult for me to make friends, so losing these friends had a magnified impact. UBF appealed to me because it seemed to provide an instant set of friends. I was also searching spiritually during that time. After being an agnostic for a few years, I had come back to faith in God and was looking for spiritual guidance. Lastly, I was nursing an as yet undiagnosed, but long-standing problem with depression and anxiety. I longed for something to help the pain and for someone to acknowledge my suffering.

First encounter

Thus the stage was set for me to make the worst decision of my life. On the Wednesday of my first week of school at UMBC (the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) I was studying linear algebra alone on a bench in one of the academic buildings. I was biding my time until an evening ballroom dancing class. Looking away from my work I spied a middle-aged Korean man walking the upstairs corridor carrying a briefcase. A minute later, I saw the same man approaching me. "Can I sit next to you?" he asked. I assented and he explained that he came from an organization called the University Bible Fellowship, or UBF. During the ensuing conversation I mentioned that I had been reading Matthew's gospel on my own. He seemed to take great interest in everything I said and offered to study the Bible with me.

During the conversation he also handed me a simple pamphlet with a hand-drawn picture of a shepherd on the front. Now I know what you're thinking, readers. "Don't do it! Red flags should be going off in your head left and right." But they weren't. I was young and inexperienced and honestly the thought that I was being invited into a cult never crossed my mind. I accepted his invitation to meet with him the next week for a one-hour Bible study of the so-called "one-to-one" format. The man, who called himself Peter but handed me a business card with his first name reading "Sung-Il," also asked for my phone number. I believe I declined to give it, instead offering an email address.

First study session

The next week, I faithfully met this stranger at a designated site on campus. He produced two Bibles, both New International Versions. His was well-worn and had markings on it with colored pencil. We read part of the first chapter of the book of Genesis, taking turns reading the verses. Next came out the question paper. I read question number one, stammered out some sort of answer, and then listened to Peter give a forceful answer in his broken English. I no longer remember the content of the discussion, but suffice to say that that didn't matter. Here I had a person who was paying attention to me. Also, the man had a strange way about him. He spoke with authority as if he knew that what he was saying about God was certain. In a world of questions, he seemed to be providing definitive answers.

Continued study

So I agreed to meet Peter again. The next few times I met him we went over different passages of Genesis in sequential order. We got up to the ninth chapter and then skipped to the twelfth chapter. Between meetings, I would go over the passage and answer the questions on my own sheet. I also read treatises he gave me on the passages. I did not at the time know that these treatises were UBF messages penned by the revered founder of UBF, Samuel Lee. (Now something must be explained. Korean UBF people have two names - their real Korean names, and their English UBF names. Often former UBF members refer to UBF leader Samuel Lee by his real name Chang Woo Lee.) These messages are the same ones that are read verbatim at UBF pulpits on Sundays.

Sunday services and testimonies

After a few weeks, I was asked to attend a UBF Sunday Worship Service. Everyone at the service seemed to know about me already and they were mostly very friendly and welcoming. The service was held at what Peter called "the Bible Center," but which was really his living room. As I would learn over the next five years, every UBF service follows a preset format. In fact, only a couple months after starting to attend these services, I was called upon to lead them, which basically meant standing at the podium, conducting the flow of the service and giving a short prayer. Around the time I accepted this job as "presider" I unwittingly gave my first "testimony." Namely, I was invited to write and deliver a speech relating how a particular Bible passage applied to my life. Peter did not vet the speech beforehand, which I would later discover was a rare exception. The actual text of this speech can be read here. From then onward, I wrote a testimony every week and shared it with Peter or a small group. On special occasions I would speak to the entire congregation at the service.

The Baltimore II UBF Chapter

UBF is organized geographically into chapters. I was in the Baltimore II UBF chapter, which preys more-or-less exclusively on the students of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). The chapter leader is Peter (my UBF teacher). The other UBF Koreans are Peter's wife Anna, and the family of Andrew and Joanna. Peter and Anna had three college age children. The main American members were Dane, David, Don, and myself. There were usually about 15 faithful members total.

Reaction of family and friends

My family was always suspicious toward my involvement in UBF. The first thing they asked me was, "Have you checked this group out?" I remember having some serious discussions with mom about what it was that I was getting into. Because of their concern, I went to the campus ministry office to see if they knew anything about UBF. Unfortunately, UMBC has no campus minister and there was never anyone in the office. Whenever I went to a big UBF meeting, my mom would always say, "Remember to think for yourself."

When I tried to get my friends involved in UBF, I was met with cold opposition. One friend said he wouldn't join because "it seems strange." I'm sure my sudden change into a religious fanatic had bewildered them. When it became clear that they wouldn't join UBF, I distanced myself from them.

Fishing ministry

The process of finding new UBF students is called "fishing ministry." Non-Korean members who participate in fishing are given the title "shepherd." In turn, the initiates are called "sheep." I began fishing ministry after about six months of being in UBF. At first I did this with the most senior American shepherd, Dane. Typically, we would look for someone who was alone, and we would explain that we were from UBF and were looking for persons interested in studying the Bible. Most people gave a flat no, and we would leave without inquiring further. Some people would say, "I already go to church" or "I went to Sunday school." Acting like spiritual know-it-alls, we would engage these persons in a conversation and quote the Bible in an attempt to show them that their current religious activities are insufficient. Then we would explain that God has a special plan for them to study the Bible one-to-one and become a Bible teacher. We would talk to anywhere between one and ten people in a period from 15 to 120 minutes. We had to report our progress at the end of the week.

Being a shepherd

After a year or two in UBF I became a full-fledged shepherd which means I began to "feed" a sheep. I did my best to teach this freshman guy everything I had been taught by Peter about Genesis. Unlike myself, this sheep's personality was not pliant so I had little success and he stopped studying after a few weeks. I may have had one or two other sheep during the next year who studied a couple times and that was all. Toward the end of my third year in UBF I fished a sheep by the name of John, who stayed with me for a year and a half. I believe Peter deliberately put a lot of pressure on John so he would drop out. John was of Asian descent and UBF prefers Caucasians.

Deeper into the mire

The first summer after joining, I attended my first UBF conference. The next summer, I had my first experiences with the dreaded "message training" and "drama training," which I will explain below. After a few years in UBF, I began living in a "common life" apartment, only to leave a few months later when my roommate left UBF. Soon after that I graduated from UMBC.

At the encouragement of UBF, I applied to PhD programs in my field. (It just so happens that UBF highly prizes advanced degrees, especially in technical and medical professions. 1) It was made clear that I was to stay with the Baltimore II UBF even after graduation. Hence, I chose to attend the best grad program in the local area, namely UM, College Park. After beginning "PhD training," I went on a "mission journey" to Germany, became a "fellowship leader" and began attending the "leaders' meeting."

Strange and cultish aspects of UBF

I could write an endless number of pages on the weird practices and beliefs of UBF. Those which touched me in a personal way are described below, in alphabetical order. The remaining salient aspects of UBF are detailed in my treatise on UBFism.

Arranged marriage

Arranged marriage or "marriage by faith" is the only accepted way of marriage in UBF. I actually witnessed an arranged marriage involving Dane, the most senior shepherd in the chapter. Dane knew full well that he was going to be married to a UBF Korean of the leaders' choosing whom he had hardly met before. Dane's only "prayer topic" was that she would be an English major (so they could perhaps communicate).

Aspersions cast on people who leave UBF

It was preached in UBF messages (sermons) that people who left UBF got into car accidents and died or became quadriplegic. Those who left UBF were shunned completely. Every manner of aspersion was cast upon them. Peter made up a complicated scheme to explain the leaving of one of his students after five years. The central component was that the student who left was playing the "female role" in a homosexual relationship with another UBF member. 2 Peter also liked to relate a story about Brent, who would have been the Abraham of Faith of the chapter had he stayed in UBF. According to Peter, he didn't want to marry the woman UBF chose for him. Instead, he wanted to marry a "very theen" woman whom he met at the pool. He left UBF and they got married. After a year, the woman became "three times fat." This was seen as God's judgment on Brent for having wanted his "own way."

Being put on the spot

Peter liked to put people on the spot and grill them with hard, personal questions in front of everybody. He also liked to ask people to make commitments on the spot in a public setting. Once at the UBF service I was asked by Peter to attend the UBF conference in Germany. I had to give him my decision immediately, in front of everyone. (Yes, I went and no, UBF did not pay for it.) On another occasion, I was sharing a life testimony and explained that I did not like being forced to do things the "Korean way." Peter interrupted and made me reread the sentence to say, "I don't like doing things God's way."

Bible study with an agenda

The meaning and purpose of Bible study is to discuss what the Bible says and what it means. UBF does not care about such things. Rather, UBF is interested in how they can twist around what is in the Bible to make it seem to fit their agenda. Often this involves reading things into the Bible that aren't there. At every one-to-one UBF study meeting, the shepherd has a predetermined idea of what the sheep should learn. There will be just enough discussion to make it seem like actual Bible study as opposed to one-way indoctrination, but even the discussion will tend to be one-sided.

Confusing jargon

UBFers constantly talk in code language. Some examples of the UBF jargon include "broken shepherd heart," "Holy Nation Woman," "junk sheep," "Abraham of Faith," and "vessel of coworkship."

Dating is not allowed

Any kind of acknowledgment of sexuality was seen as sinful. Those who entered UBF in a romantic relationship were quickly pushed to give it up. One time very early in my UBF studies, Peter asked me, "What is your sin? Maybe looking at girls' hips?" I said yes.

Deceptive recruitment

Members who are invited to join UBF are told all they have to do is attend a one-hour Bible study once a week. They are not told upfront that they will be required to do so many other things as time goes on. One time I asked Peter about this and he said, "If I had told you you would have to do all these things at the beginning, would you have joined?" I replied in the negative.

Difficulties in communication

UBF leaders do not listen with the goal of understanding. Rather, they listen to hear what they want to hear. Honest, two-way conversation rarely happens in UBF. This is not a result of cultural differences, as UBF would like everyone to think. UBF actually discourages its members from forming close relationships with their peers. Everything is channeled into the dysfunctional authoritarian shepherd/sheep relationship. For instance, if a question arises about something learned, the member should take the issue up with his/her shepherd as opposed to asking a peer about it. One time, Dane, a more senior shepherd, sat down to talk with me about the history of the "ministry" and somehow the Korean leaders found out about it. I was severely castigated by Peter's wife - "Shepherd Dane is not your shepherd!"

Drama training

Every time a UBF holiday or major conference was upcoming, I would have to participate in a play, called a "drama," scripted and directed by one of the UBF Koreans. The purpose of these plays was to entertain the audience at important UBF meetings, and to break down the personality of the actors. The manner in which we portrayed our characters in these plays was most unconventional and unnatural. I remember always being in a psychological state of dissociation when acting in UBF dramas. One time toward the end of my stay in UBF, I was told to write a script for a holiday drama. However, when we met to practice the drama, another UBF Korean showed up with a script of his own. "Ha! We never intended to use your script," he told me, "it was just training."

Eternal salvation depends on leader's approval

Most UBF members are kept in constant doubt of their salvation. Salvation appeared to be tied to the leaders' approval rather than to one's internalization of Christian principles.

Every meeting was mandatory

I often had to skip family events, including my parents' 25th wedding anniversary, to attend UBF meetings. If you didn't attend a meeting, there would be some sort of phone call or follow-up to find out why. Those who missed meetings were looked down upon and criticized by the leaders as "unfaithful to God."

Hierarchy of power

Called "spiritual order" by UBFers. There is a clear pecking order among long-standing members and even new recruits. Generally seniority rules, although sometimes those who are particularly well-trained rise above their juniors. Members who are lower on the hierarchy are expected to be thankful towards the higher-ups. Higher-ups are encouraged to rebuke those below them, but the other way around is not allowed.

Jealousy and rivalries

There was a bitter rivalry between Peter's wife and the UBF Korean wife of Dane. Peter assented, "They are worse than unbelievers." Peter himself was intensely resentful of Jacob Lee, leader of the UBF in Washington, DC.3

Made-up "sins" and "problems"

If you did not have problems in your life before coming to UBF, UBF would make up fake problems for you to struggle with. Typical made-up "sins" and "problems" include "laziness," "pride," "selfishness," "pleasure seeking," "easygoing life," "job problem," "marriage problem," and having one's "own idea," "own plan," or "own way."

Mental problems seen as spiritual problems

UBF attracts a disproportionate amount of people with mental problems. These medical conditions are seen as being strictly spiritual difficulties. One of Peter's sheep took medication for ADHD. Peter ordered him to stop taking his medication and supposedly "cured" him. Two other sheep were depressed and heard voices at times. Peter rebuked them because he thought they were "demon-possessed."

Message training

With message training, you start out writing your own sermon, what UBFers call a "message." Always, by the time I got to deliver it to an audience, my work underwent so many revisions at Peter's direction that it was no longer my message, but Peter's message spoken by proxy. A great deal of spiritual manipulation takes place during message training. For the 2003 spring Bible academy, I did my first training session with a different UBF Korean called Andrew. Unlike Peter, Andrew encouraged me to emphasize God's grace in my life over performance at UBF tasks. However, I finished the message training with Peter and had to completely rewrite and rethink the message according to his desires. Then, just after I delivered the message which he had vetted, Peter denounced me in front of everyone at the service. "Please pray for Shep-a-dah Frank," he exclaimed, "I am very discouraged that he does not accept his own mess age!" (Note: a sample UBF message and commentary are available here.)

Numerical quotas

UBF prayers are full of numbers. All the leaders have quotas they have to meet in terms of the number of initiates they indoctrinate per week. Each fellowship or chapter has numerical goals for their membership and these are prayed for regularly. Also, there are number goals such as "10,000 house churches in America." Especially mindless were the prayers for 523 campuses in USA and 250 in Canada. These numbers are nowhere near correct, but they are taken very seriously. Once we went to a conference and discovered that Chicago was praying for 253 campuses in Canada. So from then on Peter corrected us and we prayed for 253.

People's names were changed

One time Peter suddenly changed the names of two Korean women in the chapter. Jaewon became Joanna and Gail changed to Susanna. I have no idea why or if they had any input into what their names would be.

Persecution complex

UBF members are paranoid about negative views of their organization. Events such as being thrown out of the library for "fishing" there were seen as "persecution." The most common "persecutions" were at the hands of family members who disagreed with UBF. Family members were seen as enemies of God and enemies of the "ministry."

Peter's out of control ego

At every meeting he had to have the first and last word. His opinion was always seen as superior to others'. His tone toward others was often mocking, especially toward his own family. One instance where Peter was publicly humiliating his son was especially chilling - "Very sorry, Shep. Dane and Shep. Frank, but I want to brainwasheemyson! He must be brainwasheed into Jejzurz," Peter exclaimed.


Black and Asian people were not seen as desirable UBF candidates because "they have their own culture." One of my "sheep" was Asian. I was told by Peter's wife to get a white "sheep" next time.

Terrible gossip

There was always some sort of intrigue going on in our chapter. Peter and his wife were huge gossip mongers. Peter regularly told me about the personal problems of his other UBF students. For example, one time he told me that his student had confided in him that he was afraid his penis was too small. "Ha! It is not effecteev," Peter mocked.

The belief that no one outside of UBF is "saved"

At one Friday meeting, Peter asked everybody what percentage of people would go to heaven. I answered ten percent. Another person answered five percent. Peter then corrected everybody, saying, "Only one or two percent." He also said that no one that goes to sporting events at Camden Yards, the Baltimore ballpark, is saved.
The leader is always right

During my time in UBF, there was a feeling that I would face God's condemnation if I didn't do things Peter's way. It took me four years in UBF to realize that he was not right all the time.

The UBF voice

A good portion of UBF people, including Americans, talk in a halting, exaggerated manner, often mispronouncing words and omitting articles. For example, the perennial phrase of "fishing ministry:" "Would you like to study Bible?" UBFers are more likely to use the UBF voice when delivering an important message or testimony than in normal conversation.


Everyone in UBF is addressed by a title. The lowest level title is "brother" or "sister" and is reserved for new recruits. Next is "shepherd" or "shepherdess" (often abbreviated S., Sh., Shp. or Shps.). This title is used for those who recruit "sheep." The most exalted title is "missionary," (abbreviated M., Mis. or Misn.). All Korean UBF adults are called "missionary." Those who have doctoral degress get an additional title "doctor." The original leader of UBF was called "Missionary Doctor Samuel Lee" (even though his degrees are fake). The UBF cofounder Sara Barry has a special title, "Reverend Mother."
Your leader makes major and minor life decisions for you

From what you study, to how you spend your time, to when and whom you marry, UBF leaders expect access to all areas of your life. UBF members are not generally free to make their own decisions. I remember Peter spent many hours "advising" one of my peers through looking for a job after he graduated.

Leaving UBF

I don't want to try to imagine anything more difficult than leaving the cult. It was a year-long process of questioning the UBF system and the leader's authority. I was giving voice to some of my doubts, mainly in my own head, although sometimes I made my doubts public. I committed myself to finding out the truth even if it was different than what the group taught. I was reading Christian books such as Healing for Damaged Emotions and Healing Grace by David Seamands and Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderen. I really wished I could get away from UBF for long enough to clear my thoughts. Some times I would go on long drives at night to get away and think. Actually, I took a vacation for a couple days. With the help of those books, I came to the conclusion that I was definitely overburdened by UBF and by my school work.

Attempts to confront the leaders

Twice I attempted to confront UBF leaders about things I did not feel comfortable with. Foolishly, I went directly to Peter first. As soon as he got the sense of where the discussion was going, he turned the tables and began lambasting me. "You are worse than worm crawling in dirt," he said. I tried to respond by saying that I had accepted Jesus into my life through Mark 10:45 and I believed I was saved. Peter said no. "Do you remember when we were at conference and I gave you direction to drink orange juice and eat all different kinds of food? You did not obey!" (Peter did not even know or care that at his direction I had actually begun drinking orange juice and that I was trying many different kinds of food I didn't like.) Peter succeeded in convincing me that I was an unrepentant sinner in need of salvation. The ensuing few months were some of the most terrible times in my life because of the guilt and confusion I felt.

A second time, I went to talk to Dane about the way things were being handled in the chapter. I began by saying that I was concerned about the lack of grace in UBF and some apparent misunderstandings between the leadership and the members. I was hoping we could engineer some change in our chapter. However, as soon as Dane got wind that I was trying to address a problem, he took over the conversation and began defending and praising Peter, even though I had not mentioned Peter in a negative light.

Private doubts and confusion

Some entries in my journal from my last few months in UBF illustrate the mental and physical strain I was under.

* June 18: "It bothers me that they will pray for me to feed 12 sheep or do something, but not for me to stand firm in the gospel."
* June 20: "I have a general not happy, uncomfortable feeling, like I need a long long time of rest and recovery from brutal abuse. There is a pressure in my chest that is like a million-pound burden."
* July 3: "My life is really out of balance."
* July 7: "There is a destructive air of a secret society about it. There is more focus about UBF than about Jesus. Our ministry doesn't strive to live by the entire New Testament, just by certain UBF customs."
* July 9: "Weighed 111 lb."
* August 16: "Tried to go to sleep around 2am, but found that mind was very active and prone to uncontrollable negative thinking, especially worrying about spiritual life or doubts."

The End

Once toward the end of my stay in UBF, Peter decided I would deliver a message based on the healing of the Gerasene demoniac in Luke 8. Peter asked me to name the "demon" that was in my "heart," implying that he believed I was demon-possessed. I was at first shocked that he would suggest such a thing, but I eventually capitulated and concluded that my "demon" was perfectionism. I wrote a twelve-page (single spaced) testimony detailing my problem of perfectionism, both spiritually and practically. Then, Peter told me my demon was not perfectionism but my "own idea" and "own way," but he would not explain what he meant by this. (After leaving UBF, I realized he meant that I was demon-possessed because I did not obey him "absolutely" and think like a robot the way he wanted me to.)

Despite Peter's attempts to plant doubt in me, I eventually returned to the theme of taking grace seriously. So I tried to take it easier at UBF. I still came to all the events and did everything that was asked of me, but no more. I was glad to give up leading a fellowship. I also dropped out of the PhD program, as I was paralyzed by my spiritual confusion.

At the very end, I called in sick to one of the meetings and spent a few days without any group contact. One of the things I decided during that time was that Peter was not qualified to be the leader of any church group. I was reading in the New Testament about the qualifications of church leaders and one was, "He must not be overbearing" (see Titus 1:7). Peter is definitely overbearing and I think any member of Baltimore II would privately assent to that. I also took a quick glance at the online testimonies of some former UBFers, but was unsure of how much to believe because I had been told that these websites were Satan's lies.

Finally, one day I visited a park with my mother. We discussed my thoughts that something was really wrong with this group. At this point, I did not think that Peter would have done anything to hurt me intentionally. I just thought there was a big misunderstanding between us. In any case, I decided to end my association with the group once and for all. That evening I called Peter and told him I would not be coming back. He began telling me that without UBF, I would lose my salvation. Then, he asked me, "Do you think Bible study caused you to give up your PhD?" I knew this was a trick to make me feel guilty, but I was confident that my decision to leave UBF was entirely for spiritual reasons, not because of its effect on my studies. So I told him I had nothing more to say to him, and hung up. I have not had contact with any UBF member since that day. My total time in UBF was five years, one and a half months.

Life after UBF

Assessing the damage

The day after I left UBF, I began to see a pattern of deliberate deception and manipulation in what I had previously classed as misunderstandings between Peter and myself. Put in simpler terms, I realized I was in a cult. Around this time, I also accepted the fact that I was in need of help for depression and anxiety. I had been having anxiety attacks and dizzy spells from time to time during the past three years. As a result of the mental tension I was undergoing, I developed chronic myofascial pain in most of my body. So I began to take medication and go to psychotherapy. Also, I decided to stay away from school for the time being. I would not have tried to go for a PhD had it not been UBF's desire.


During the half-year immediately following my cult exit, I was in a dense fog of depression. My visit to the Wellspring retreat center in Ohio did offer a ray of hope. There I learned about Lifton's eight points of thought reform, and saw how each of them was used in UBF. I also appreciated the caring nature of the staff there. Unfortunately, when I got home from Wellspring, I didn't know what to do with my time. Since I was not working, I spent most of my time at home either stewing or reading about cults, psychology, and spiritual things. For recreation, I played video games and squash. Although it was a dark time for me, I remember having some feeling of wonder because I felt like I was in a time warp - as if I had just woken up from a five-year coma.

Rebuilding a life

It eventually became clear to me that my medications were not helping my depression. At the suggestion of my psychotherapist, I entered myself into psychiatric hospitalization. I spent a week in the inpatient ward and a month attending the outpatient program. Many positive things came out of my stay in the hospital. I was set up with an excellent doctor and therapist, was started on medication that helped me sleep, and it was made clear to me that I needed to get out of the house regularly. I began two volunteer jobs. Volunteering helped me re-accommodate myself to being out and about in the non-cult world.

About a year after leaving UBF I started working in a paid position in a field completely different from what I studied and worked at while in the group. Also, a new set of medications began to take hold. I was seeing exciting glimpses of what life could be like without being weighed down all the time. I also began to make new friends from my contacts in volunteering and work.

Spiritual growth

My UBF experience had the effect of deepening my connection to the spiritual. When I left UBF I was very in touch with my spiritual side and I felt that leaving UBF was definitely what God wanted me to do. I have been through a few spiritual phases since leaving UBF.

* The first phase was the "I'm still afraid to go to church" phase. This lasted a few months and I kept my spiritual life strong by praying and reading Christian literature. During this time, I would have classed myself as a conservative Evangelical.
* The next couple months were my church-finding phase. I studied up on just about every Christian denomination known to man and attended church at a few of them.
* Third was my moderate, United Methodist phase. I found a church home at the University United Methodist Church in College Park, MD. I decided to stay there because of their excellent assistant minister and the high quality of people in their campus ministry. I participated in group Bible studies on campus (led by the minister), assisted with sound and video at worship services, and sang in the contemporary Christian choir. This phase lasted a year and a half.
* Currently I am being drawn into ever more progressive ways of thinking. Some great books disintegrated what was remaining of my conservatism. They included Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism by Bishop Spong, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but not Literally by Marcus Borg, and Why the Jews Rejected Jesus by David Klinghoffer. I became convinced that the Bible is the fallible work of humans and that uncertainty is the mark of religious maturity. I no longer hold to most of the traditional Christian doctrines about Jesus, but Jesus' teachings still form a significant part of my moral foundations.


My decision to leave UBF stands as the best decision of my life and I am very grateful for it. Given the grave nature of what I went through, it would have been easy to give up on life. However, I decided to face directly every challenge life has thrown at me and have done surprisingly well. Depression and anxiety no longer rule my life. I feel good about myself and am encouraged that wherever I go, people seem to like me and think that I am a really good person. I have learned to think for myself and to say "no" when necessary. I am finally re-entering the field in which I was educated. There still remains some work left to be done in my recovery, most of it related to dating and relationships. In all, there is a bright future for me and indeed anyone with the will and perseverance to get themselves out of UBF.


1. Note that UBF does not prize theological degrees. Rather, theological education is discouraged. Almost no UBF member has any formal theological training. (On very rare occasions, some UBF chapters will bring a guest speaker from a Bible college in an attempt to gain legitimacy within Christian circles.)

2. Apparently, Peter got this idea from a "Bible study" session with the UBFer before he left. They were discussing a passage that Peter believes says homosexuality is sinful. When Peter shared this view, the student pounded his fist on the table and got up. Peter then put his hands on him and yelled, "Confess! You have evil homosexual demons in your heart." Peter related, "I was ready to fight him." Then, one day the UBFer who was about to leave invited the other UBFer over to dinner. Peter claimed that by cooking dinner he was acting like a woman, and suggested that the two of them may have been gay lovers.

3. According to Peter, when he came to the USA in the early 1990s, he went to Washington UBF and was told by Jacob Lee that his job would be to drive students to and from services. Peter wanted to be able to "pioneer" his own chapter. So he successfully appealed to Chang Woo Lee and was granted the Baltimore II chapter in the mid-1990s. Peter considers himself spiritually superior to Jacob Lee. Once he said that the only UBF chapters that were worth their salt were Chicago and LA. So he refused to "cowork" with other UBF chapters in the region. Especially, we looked down on all of the Washington and Baltimore I UBFers as second-class because they had "so many missionaries" and not many "sheep." Because they were not "fruitful," we assumed they had a spiritual "problem."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Korean Staff (Open Letter to Samuel Lee, 1976)

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1976 Open Letter to Samuel Lee

(Seven Korean UBF staff shepherds wrote this document on April 17, 1976 before Easter to Samuel Lee. This is translated from Korean.)

Matthew 7:16,17: "By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit."

May the grace of Jesus be upon you in this Easter season.

First of all, we are very sad to send this letter to you without first having the chance to discuss it with you. As you know, we have sacrificed our youth, dreams and family to serve the ministry of God. We have never disobeyed you. We obeyed you because we believed that you are God's servant. We hope that you might understand how we have suffered until we gave up Sunday worship services and the wedding of our sheep. We believe that God has begun his ministry in Korea and led UBF for 15 years through the Holy Spirit. We already thought how much our action would influence junior shepherds and sheep.

Shepherd Lee! On April 2, 1976, you ordered senior shepherds to gather at Chong-No chapter for message training because they were late for a meeting at 8:30 am. Through shepherd Mark Yang, you ordered Joseph Lee to go to Kwang-Joo chapter and Nathaniel Ahn to go to Dae-Jeon chapter. Mark Yang gave a meaningful smile and said to us, "Wait for a while and there will be another order." A few moments later, An-Soon Lee came and said, "Just write the message well." She explained why we got message training. It was because shepherd Chang-Woo Lee had difficulty writing the Genesis message, so he called every chapter in the morning. We heard from your wife that she paid careful attention to you because you would hit the rear end of shepherds after you quarreled with her. However, we did not take it seriously.

We believed that you were our spiritual father who gave us training out of love. You ordered Joseph Lee to move to Myung-Ryun chapter and Jonah Kim to move to Su-Daemoon chapter because they did not attend English Bible study on April 7, 1976. As we absolutely obeyed you as God's servant for eight to 10 years, shepherds Joseph Lee and Jonah Kim decided to obey your direction. We persuaded shepherd Nathaniel Ahn and Matthew Sohn to obey your direction. We prayed together and discussed current problems and future directions in UBF.

We found several problems in UBF. First, we do not know why UBF exists now. Even local churches are making efforts for campus mission and world mission now. Second, why have so many well-trained shepherds become useless? The situation was not too bad three years ago. Now they do not trust each other and compete too much to survive. Third, it is not right to overlook illegal acts inside UBF in the name of the ministry of God. We are tired of being trained by you and it difficult to see why we should continue to serve the ministry of UBF. Therefore, we decided to leave Seoul and spend time in prayer and God's words in order to refresh ourselves.

Shepherd Lee! Why did we become miserable like this? Why did UBF become miserable like this? We have received new life and calling from God to serve the ministry of God through UBF. Why are these tragic things happening10 years after we sacrificed our lives and gave up everything? We just kept crying without doing anything. We have lived for the truth, mission and our sheep to learn about Jesus, but we ended up being miserable. We could not stop crying. We prayed that God may use you and junior shepherds even if we might leave UBF. However, there was one unsolved question in our mind. Would every problem be solved if we resign? We have received calling from God to live for his glory. What is the right way to serve God even if we die right now?

We have prayed to find what we need to do for the future ministry of God. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit led us to this conclusion: to repent the sins of UBF and receive the grace of God. We should repent all our sins. We prayed together to find all spiritual sins and illegal activities under your leadership. Shepherd Lee! We were in high emotion. However, we've overcome our emotion now and made a decision for the truth. Please consider our opinions deeply.

1. Offering

As you know very well, our offering is from poor college students and laymen shepherds who are not economically settled yet. They sacrificed their whole income like the widow of Luke 21. Offering money should be used for world mission and charity. However, you spent the offering - 150,000won ($15,000) - by yourself. You should be concentrating on prayer and the ministry of the word instead. You said that we were too immature to take care of the offering money. However, you misappropriated the offering in the following ways:

i) Misappropriation of offering money

Shepherd Lee! In 1974, 20,000,000 won ($20,000) was collected for Bangladesh hunger. You misappropriated 20,000,000 won ($20,000) to buy the building for the Kwan-Ak chapter in 1975. You said that offering money would be returned later to be used for its original purpose. We agreed with you at that time. You, however, decided to permanently misappropriate those offering for spiritually poor students of the Seoul National University at the staff meeting of January 3, 1976. In order to collect this offering, our brothers and sisters sold their wedding rings, necklaces, textbooks, even their blood and offered their savings and college tuition. Those offerings should be used for Bangladesh hunger. What is worse, the Eerie chapter gave a lot of offering for charity since 1970. However, only 1,000,000 won ($1,000) was sent to Bangladesh in the spring of 1971. We cannot tell students to give offering for the 1976 Christmas because our conscience of faith would not allow us. Recently, the Dae-Han magazine was indicted for misappropriation of donation money. The illegal misappropriation should not be allowed for non-profit organizations.

ii) Concealment of an accounting book in UBF headquarters

You never disclosed the accounting of UBF headquarters. Matthew Sohn and Samuel Lee always reported the accounting by depending on information that your wife provided. As a result, they could only forge accounting. A large amount of money has been used for obscure reasons. The accounting has never been audited. We can not understand how one person can use such a large amount of money without an audit. Furthermore, a huge amount of money comes from abroad by layman missionaries. These offerings are very precious. Nobody, however, knows how these offerings have been used so far.

iii) Obscure expenses and expenditures

You bought a lot of real estate without discussion. When you attended the 1974 Swiss Rojan International Conference, you spent a lot of money bribing Korean religious leaders who were criticizing UBF. Your official monthly salary is 10,000 won ($100). You, however, squandered much more money than your salary. For example, you gave 1,000 won ($1.00) to sheep who came to greet you on new year's day. Is 1,000 won meaningful to our sheep? You, as the president of leaders, must give your attention to prayer and the ministry of the word (Act 6:3-6). You, however, control all expenses and expenditures by yourself. You treat the offering money of UBF as your own. As a result, UBF becomes corrupted. You show us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

2. Abuse of human right

Shepherd Lee! You taught us that one person's life is more important than the whole world. Therefore, human beings should not be used as means in whatever situation. You, however, do evil in the name of good purpose and abuse human rights. These will become serious issues in our society if these are disclosed to the public.

(i) Case for violence and lynch

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 UBF. There are a lot of cases. Shepherd Lee! We can not find anything like this in Jesus. If a victim sues you, UBF will be considered a cult and will be sentenced as guilty.

(ii) Forced arranged marriage

Shepherd Lee! Marriage is the blessing of God and should not be used for any other purposes. Marriage should be decided by the two people seriously. In the 1975 fall leader conference, you forced single male shepherds to make an oath, "I am the husband of a female German missionary." Even some shepherds, who were already engaged, were forced to do it. You might think that you did it for the love of spinster missionaries. You, however, did it strategically to encourage the loyalty of spinster missionaries to you. Shepherd Jung-Jin Kim did not answer your question immediately when you asked if he would marry the missionary you had in mind. As a result, you changed his name to Three Years Kim and ordered him not to marry within three years. Eung-Pyo Hong at Sudaemoon chapter was already engaged. You, however, ignored his engagement and forced him to marry another woman. You, however, excommunicated him saying he was like Ananias and Sapphira when he did not accept your order. The worst case was missionary candidate Soong-Heum Kim. You ordered him to marry Jung-Hwa Sho. She, however, turned down your direction. Thus, you ordered him to marry Jun-ho Lee. This time he turned down your direction because he wondered why God's direction was so whimsical. Because of his decision, you did not accept him as a missionary even though he sacrificed a lot in Chicago. Hwang-Woo Yeo, the Seoul districts judge, left UBF when you forced him to obey the arranged marriage. You spiritually abused Sang-Bong Kim at Kwan-Ak chapter when he objected to marry So-Won Kim. Whoever did not obey your marriage direction in UBF was accused of being a rebellious sinner. They had no choice but to leave UBF in the end. Most of the marriages in UBF were political. Marriage has been used to make members loyal to UBF. The arranged wedding is criticized by many people in our society and is disclosed to newspapers. The arranged wedding is not only non-Biblical, but also a sin that deprives humans of the freedom of marriage.

3. Cheat, theft and illegal activity

Shepherd Lee! Christianity never ignored ethics and morals in society (Matthew 5:20). You, however, said that the contradiction of ethical morals should be overcome. This non-biblical philosophy has justified many illegal activities.

(i) Theft

You ordered people to steal passports of missionary candidates for several years under the name of missionary training. The victims were missionaries Young-Ok Lee, Phil-Soon Huh, and Duk-Ki Kim. You also confiscated the working permit of missionary candidate Joon-Ki Chung because he was likely to desert missionary training. As Christians, we can not understand those things.

(ii) Forged documents and bribe

In December 1975, you wanted to change your ownership of the building of the Kwan-Ak chapter (25,000,000 won - $25,000) to the organization because of its high property tax. You changed the name of UBF to City Evangelism and appointed Joseph Lee, Nathaniel Ahn, Moses Kim and Mary Joo as committee members to obtain the alternation permission of ownership from local court. You also bribed tax collectors and notary officials to register non-registered real estate owned by the laymen mission organization. You evaded taxes. It is very sad that you, the chief leader of UBF, broke the law while keeping it secret from our sheep. Do we need to own those properties by breaking the law?

(iii) Destruction of family

You easily destroyed other shepherds' families while overprotecting your family. Family is a fundamental unit. Furthermore, a Christian family is the body of Christ. A Christian family is holy and personal and should not be destroyed by anyone. Only Jesus is the head of Christian family and leads it (Ephesians 5:30-33). You, however, intervened in the families of our sheep too much and easily destroyed families. You ordered Shepherd Paul Lee's wife to divorce her husband in the name of shepherd training. You ordered Samuel H. Lee to go to Kwang-Joo chapter after sending his children to an orphanage and his wife to the USA. These are not just verbal threat. You forced Kyung-Hee Suh (the wife of president of laymen shepherds Jin-Tae Suh) to go to USA because, you said, she was not qualified to be the wife of a president, and separated her from her family for one year. You forced Isaac Koh to sleep in the UBF center for self-control training of marriage life. You also ordered other shepherds be away from their wives and to divorce them. We did not take the arranged marriages seriously. But the suffering you cause in real marriages is unbearable.

4. Non-biblical education methods

Shepherd Lee! The education method of UBF is based on Jesus' disciple training. The basic of Jesus' education method is personal conversion. Our current education methods, however, depart far from the Bible.

(i) Forced repentance

Shepherd Lee! You forced missionary candidate Suk-Jo Chang to put red pepper into his eyes and made him strike his head on the wall for his repentance. He repented his sin superficially, but kept his bitterness in his heart. He never wrote a letter after he went to the USA. You also beaten or threatened people to repent. There is no example that true repentance is achieved by inhumane forced repentance. Missionaries who experienced inhumane training have bitter and askew hearts. We can not bear it any longer. Isn't repentance originated by the Holy Spirit?

(ii) Forced testimony sharing

Shepherd Lee! Testimony sharing can be used as a good educational method through which we can accept God's word deep in our heart and solve our problems. You, however, forced people to confess their sin through testimony by ignoring their own initiatives. You gave suffering to our sheep when they confessed their sin. You used their weak points to make them obey your direction. You forced E-Sook Ahn to write love confession several times before her marriage. This is severe spiritual abuse.

(iii) Infusion of personal philosophy through your message

Shepherd Lee! The essence of Christianity is Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection. For several years, you overstressed Genesis Bible study to force people to depend on your messages alone. Even though there was daily bread, you overstressed the part of the Bible to lose the universality of the Bible. This gave rise to the misunderstanding that our way of the Bible study is the same as that of a cult. We failed to teach our sheep the gospel of Jesus. Our Bible study methods are not those of Jesus and the Apostle Paul, but an infusion of your personal philosophy that blocks a free and creative way of thinking. It hinders the growth of faith for our sheep at each chapter.

(iv) Inhumane training of shepherds

Shepherd Lee! We admit that we shepherds need a lot of training in order for UBF to grow. It is true that you have much interest in shepherd training. You are absorbed in training shepherds after the CNF conference. You are proud that you are the best trainer in the world. We have been proud that we have wonderful trainer like you. What are the fruits of your training for the last 10 years? You were proud that you chose us from the best intellectuals. We tried our best to accept your training. But according to you, we turned out to be useless. Is there any problem in your training? Shepherd training absolutely needs individuality and self-control. Your training, however, is not spiritual training but spiritual abuse including harsh language, beatings and torture. You did not show personal interest and seriously discuss individual spiritual growth. You did not develop individual and personal talents. You made all members identical. You punished shepherds rather than helping them solve their problems if their errors were found. For example, you defiled them by beating (i.e., Man-Suk Chang) and hurt them spiritually by alienation. You threatened to impose fines and salary reduction. We are in despair due to horror, guilt, shame and self-accusation rather than growing spiritually by solving our problems. You don't have any standard for training. According to your wife, An-Soon, you hit the rear end of shepherds after you quarreled with your wife. Therefore, she tried her best not to quarrel with you. When we heard about this, we were shocked because we respected you as our spiritual father.

Shepherd Lee! Who grows spiritually by inhumane and identical training? The more we get your training, the more we become useless. Shepherd Jin-Hwa Lee does not say anything whenever he attends the leader meeting. Shepherd Nam-Kyun loses his hope. Shepherd Jonah Kim loses his whole desire. You, however, said that we were proud, lazy, and low-level because we graduated from third-level universities. You seem never to improve your personality. Your standard of training is to make a person like you and the goal of training is to absolutely obey you. We always worry about how we can escape your training and when your training is finished, rather than about growing our faith by training. Your training prevents us from growing. You make us spiritually useless and use us as a means for your business. Shepherd Lee! We are tired of your training. We bear fruits of fear, horror, lies, mistrust, and evil spirits rather than those of righteousness and peace. Shepherd Lee! We feel choked.

5. Shepherd Chang-Woo Lee centered-ministry

Jesus should be the center of the gospel ministry. The current UBF ministry is your ministry not Jesus'. The evidence is the following:

(i) Paralyzed function of committees

You appoint committee members by yourself. The main functions of committees are to budget, account, audit and inspect. You, however, won't reject to disclose the accounting balance and thus, the committee is nothing but a name. You always decide what you want without free discussion or vote. You easily changed decisions made by committee members. In fact, committees become puppets. For example, after you diverted 1974 offering money for Bangladesh hunger (20,000,000 won) to buy the building for the Kwan-Ak chapter, you forcefully obtained the purchase permission in the name of spiritual salvation during the regular committee meeting of January 3, 1976. This caused committee member Ik-Keun Hwang to resign. When this become a problem, you enforced the committee meeting on April 10, 1976, while five committee members did not attend. You concealed your sin of misappropriation by diverting world mission offering to refill offering money for Bangladesh hunger. You secretly appointed Seong-Jang Lee as the president of a committee to register the Kwan-Ak chapter building even though there was a legal committee president. These facts show that the committee becomes puppet controlled by you. As a result, you control the accounting and personnel administration of UBF by yourself. This causes you to make several sins.

(ii) Dictatorship of leader meeting

We were proud like the Apostolic church members when we accepted the calling to be a shepherd. We were eager to attend leader meetings. When we attended the leader meeting, we refreshed ourselves by the Holy Spirit. We came from a long distance to listen to your message every Monday despite financial difficulties. What is the situation now? You, the president of leaders, dictate in various meetings of 30 leaders. Through meetings, you input your thoughts to leaders without discussion.

You appointed, dismissed and changed the staff shepherds and lay shepherds by yourself. You gave bonuses and reduced salaries whenever you wanted. You manipulated your authority to subordinate shepherds who sacrificed their family, dreams, and life. You made Kil-Soo Kim, Anna Song, and Mark Yang your private tutors for your children. We, therefore, lost the meaning of God's absolute calling. Because of violence, shepherds live in fear. Every Monday, shepherds worry if they will be beaten in the name of training. They tremble with fear from beginning Monday morning and often attend the leader meeting without having lunch.

You ordered us to report the number of Sunday worship attendants and the amount of offering rather than the work of the Holy Spirit. Do you know that some shepherds made a false report? This is due to your dictatorship and fear rather than some shepherd's cowardliness. Joseph Lee sacrificed his life for 10 years. You said, "He can not live if he leaves UBF." You publicly told another shepherd that he hurt the ministry of God. He was an ineffective shepherd.

Shepherd Lee! Who can work under a leader like you? You judged a coworker's prayer topics and acted without truth in the name of training. You hurt shepherds fatally in their heart. When you discovered the weakness of one shepherd, you ordered one shepherd to train the other shepherd. You planted mistrust, doubt and bitterness among shepherds. Only order and reluctant submission remains in our leader meetings, which is far from the atmosphere of the Apostolic church. When the Holy Spirit works, all the believers become one in heart and mind (Act 4:32). When Satan works, only division and fear are expected.

Shepherd Lee! We lack a sense of spirit, philosophy and history. We sometimes did not love truth. However, if anybody read the facts mentioned above, he surely would say that UBF is gone too far from the spirit of truth. We have no doubt that God has used and blessed UBF through you. However, when we recall the last several years, UBF becomes nothing but a den of robbers since you did not spend the offering for charity.

We believed that you changed after you burnt yourself. Therefore, we absolutely trusted in you and followed your directions. We believed that you loved God and truth. We thought that we served God by obeying your directions in whatever situation. Last week, we deeply meditated with the Bible to ask if our act was like Korah who led a rebellion against Moses, the servant of God. We asked ourselves if criticizing you was to betray you, our spiritual father. We also thought that we should serve God's ministry as one body, keeping in mind the miserable history of division in our country. If all the facts in UBF are disclosed to the public, UBF will be an issue of horror in society. We already considered that our act might devastate the UBF ministry and hurt our sheep. This is not all! When we repented the sins of UBF before God, we experienced the suffering of death because we ourselves were already deeply ill.

You, however, said several time that UBF should perish for the glory of God if UBF is gone from the truth. You were right! In Jeremiah chapter 7, God said that He would make his temple like Shiloh. His people, the Israelites, did all kinds of evil and followed other gods while saying, "This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!" God said that He would scatter the Israelites and make them captives of Babylon. God is righteous. If there was no truth and righteousness in his ministry and people, God turned his promise over to Gentiles, destroyed his temple, and scattered his people. The ministry without truth should not exist. As long as the ministry exists without truth, God's glory is not revealed and our sheep are manipulated. We all agree that you are idolized in UBF and your glory is revealed without revealing God's glory. UBF ministry becomes a man-made ministry, in which Satan works.

Jesus said in John 8:44 that Satan is a liar and killer. Your saying seemed to be right when you said. That you, however, lied too much as a Christian leader after all. UBF is not a ministry of light and truth, but a ministry of cheating that has a lot of dark secrets (1 John 1). UBF is far from righteousness (Matthew 23). We have worked very closely with you for 10 years. We conclude that we'd rather die than work with you like Rehoboam (1 King 12). UBF used to be a life-giving ministry of the Holy Spirit. Now you use people and desert them.

What you do is far from what Jesus did. It is a life-killing ministry, not a life-giving ministry. You heard from Shepherd John Jun that we gathered near City Tae-Jeon on April 14, 1976. You sent Isaac Koh's family to the shepherd Nathaniel Ahn's house and expelled his 10-month pregnant wife (Ee-Sook Ahn), three year old son (Daniel), 14-month old daughter (Ee-Sook) to Kyomoon, Kyungki-do without shepherd Nathaniel Ahn. Seeing what you did to shepherd Nathaniel Ahn, we can not respect, love and obey you.

You announced that shepherd Nathaniel Ahn was qualified to be your successor. He might be deluded by Satan for a while. Nonetheless, was it permissible for you to take advantage of a weak pregnant woman and children in order to accomplish your goal? You sent shepherds Moses Kim, Isaac Koh, and Kil-Soo Kim to occupy Hanyang chapter by force while shepherd Nathaniel Ahn was out of town. You hurt the brothers and sisters in Hanyang chapter who recently accepted Jesus. Jesus said, "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:6) Jesus said, "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

The work of the Holy Spirit is to be one heart and will. Could your untruthful acts be justified even if your acts were for the training of shepherd Nathaniel Ahn and for the ministry of God? How many times did you teach us that Satan used weak persons based on Genesis 3 and John 8? Your responsibility is to be a peacemaker. You, however, made shepherds Moses Kim, Isaac Koh, Kil-Soo Kim enemies of each other for your strategy. During the last 10 years, you led several shepherds to believe that they would be your successor in order to make them subject to you. You broke the friendship among leaders. Shepherds Jonah Kim, Joseph Lee, Nathaniel Ahn, Matthew Sohn all have the training to be your successor. They all agree that your acts are non-biblical. Can it be said that we are proud and low-level though we are already over 35 years old and have served the UBF ministry for 10 years? You might say that shepherd Nathaniel Ahn and all other shepherds are rebellious against you and are led by Satan. Nonetheless, it is not right for you to think that you have the right to do such murderous acts. You always have served the UBF ministry based on your spiritual philosophy that God's ministry can kill and manipulate people like Moses and Samuel did. You said before that it is all right for Jonah Kim to commit suicide in order for Joseph Lee to be your successor. You recently excommunicated Joseph Lee. You tried to eliminate Nathaniel Ahn this time. How can we believe that you are not going to eliminate shepherds Man-Suk Chang and Paul Lee?

Based on your deeds, we don't think that you learned from Jesus, Moses, and David. Moses killed many people who served idols. He, however, forgave Aaron, his closest coworker (Exodus 32). Did Moses pray for his people by laying his life as a security? Even when Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses, Moses did not give them training or revenge. Instead, God judged them (Numbers 12). Is there anything wrong for us to say that you, the servant of God, judge people because, you think you are equal to God? King David fled when his son, Absalom, rose in revolt (2 Samuel 15). He let God judge. How sorrowful David was when God judged Absalom! Didn't the father in Luke 15 want his prodigal son to repent and come back home? Jesus once rebuked Peter as Satan because of his human thoughts. Did Jesus visit again his disciples who betrayed him and serve them by love (John 21)? Apostle Paul served people with humility and tears (Act 20). Why couldn't you talk with us and help us even though we are wrong? We have never been against you for 10 years. How could we trust you as spiritual father and serve the ministry of God with you if you do not listen to us just one time?

We have wrongfully thought you are the spiritual father of UBF. You take advantage of your authority as the spiritual father, teacher and leader of UBF. However, God, our lord, is the only father, teacher and master. We are all brothers (Matthew 23:8-11). We understand that you should be respected as a spiritual father to establish spiritual order. Saint Paul also called Timothy son. The equality in UBF is, however, broken. Under the broken equality, calling you a spiritual father leaves UBF members in the relation of master and servant. You are nothing but a cult leader because you tried to become God. As a result, Satan works in UBF in several areas. We cannot but conclude that your words and deeds are tied up to the evil spirit of lying, killing, and fear (Roman 8:15).

Shepherd Lee! You might think that we lead a rebellion against you for political reasons or we are Satan led by one shepherd. We, including you, should repent together before God. You know well that UBF becomes a problem as a cult in our society. You made an excuse saying that UBF is strict. You also criticize the religious leaders. Why, then, do you flatter them by spending money inviting them? We cannot but think that you flatter them because you fear the disclosure of UBF's wrongdoing.

We will not keep silent about all the evil in the name of God's glory. We will not allow the evil ministry that idolizes you and manipulates our sheep. We pray that you repent and resign from UBF. This is the only way to restore the ministry of UBF for the glory of God. We are going to wholeheartedly pray for you. Please pray for us that we might continue to serve the ministry of God. We sincerely pray that the Lord of Lords, the righteous God, may win the victory.

April 15, 1976

Samuel H. Lee
Barnabas Chang
Peter Suh
Nathaniel Ahn
Matthew Sohn
Joseph Lee
Jonah Kim

This is a part of document from 1976 first UBF reform movement.

Ministry directions of UBF

UBF should be the ministry that God may use after solving the problems mentioned above. We suggest the following ministry directions based on the Bible. We want to change the regulations of UBF based on the following directions.

Main direction: The Holy Spirit instead of one person should lead ministry. The agenda should be discussed and determined together.

1. System

(1) Identical man-made system should be changed to creative and independent system that respects the ministry of local chapters (Ephesians 2:21,22).
(2) Each chapter is led under each chapter director's responsibility. UBF discussion committee should be organized.
(3) Abroad chapters are independently administrated. Offering money for missionaries' education and training should be sent to the main accounting department (Romans 15:25,26). Missionary sends offering to his home chapter by his own will.

2. Enforcement of committee

The function of committees should be reinforced to establish budget, audit, inspect accounting, and administer personnel (Act 20:28).

3. Separation of administration: Administration personnel will control budget, accounting and auditing.
(Currently, the president of leaders has controlled accounting even though he should concentrate on the prayer and the ministry of the word.) (Act 6:3-6)

4. Education of shepherds and missionaries: Impersonal physical training should be stopped and education should concentrate on spiritual inspiration. (1 Timothy 4:7,8)

5. Administration of personnel: Personnel administration committee should maintain the administration of personnel. (Currently, the president of leaders decides and maintains the administration of personnel.) (Act 1:15-26)

6. Protection of private life: The family of shepherds and laymen should not be inhibited by anybody for any reason.