Monday, April 16, 2007

Amy Y. (former Chicago UBF)

Testimony of of Amy Y.

(Note: The name of Damon L's ex-wife has been replaced with "my Bible student".

In this September 2000 letter Amy Y., a long-standing UBF Chicago coworker and “shepherdess, reported on the dealing of leading UBF coworkers with the adultery of the daughter of the leader of the UBF, Samuel Lee, and the destruction of a family, which was connected with that connect.)

To the UBF Reformers:

September 21, 2000

On October 10, 1997, my 1:1 Bible student married Damon L, a man who studied Bible in UBF for over 10 years with Bible teachers such as Dr. Ben Toh and M. Little Sarah Kim [the daughter of the UBF “general director, Samuel Lee]. At the time I was hesitant in saying the marriage was a good idea because Damon was (and still is) an alcoholic. Dr.Ben's hope was that marriage would somehow cure Damon of his alcoholic ways, rather than depending on Christ alone to change him. On top of dealing with Damon's alcoholism, and soon enough his physical abuse, one week after marrying, Damon confessed to my bible student that he was involved in an adulterous relationship with M. Lt. Sarah Kim [who was married to Dr. Charles Kim] for the past several years.

My Bible student first learned of the adultery on Friday, October 17, 1997 (exactly one week after marrying Damon). After the Friday's leaders meeting, she couldn't find Damon. She looked around for 15 minutes until she saw 2 figures down the block. She approached them and found that it was Lt. Sarah and Damon. At that time Lt. Sarah said to Damon, “48 hours, 48 hours. When Damon and my bible student got home, my Bible student asked Damon what Lt.Sarah was talking about and why they speak in secret code language. Damon sat my Bible student down and asked her if she was ready for their first serious talk. Then he willingly confessed of the adultery. This was extremely painful and devastating for my Bible student to hear. She just got married so it should be one of the happiest times of her life. Instead, it turned out to be the most painful time. At that time my bible student asked Damon many questions such as when was the last time he and Lt.Sarah were together sexually, to which Damon responded, “A few weeks ago. Damon told my Bible student the “48 hours meant that was the next time Lt. Sarah wanted to get together with Damon – not necessarily sexually – but perhaps to make sure he kept their secret. When my Bible student asked Damon why he was freely telling her all this, Damon said he wanted to come clean with his sins and put it behind him. Damon said he was now committed to my Bible student and their marriage and that the relationship with Lt.Sarah was over. During that conversation Damon agreed to not even talk to Lt.Sarah anymore.
The next day my Bible student called Lt.Sarah and asked Sarah to meet her at the center. my Bible student asked Sarah to open her Bible and read 1 Samuel 2:12-26. my Bible student emphasized verse 22, which says, “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. my Bible student told Sarah she was just like Eli's sons. During this confrontation my Bible student told Sarah she would not tell anyone about the adultery as long as Sarah repented, never called Damon again, and kept away from him. my bible student told Sarah she wouldn't tell anyone as long as she and Damon could go on and try to make their new marriage work.

The next day was a Sunday. After the worship service I was waiting with S. Elena Lomahan (my shepherdess) in the sanctuary. We were passing the time talking, waiting for a dinner to begin. We saw Lt. Sarah pacing back and forth in the back of the sanctuary. It was obvious that Sarah was upset about something so we both went up to her and asked her what was wrong. Sarah said my bible student had been rude and disrespectful toward her. When we asked Sarah how my bible student had been rude, Sarah wouldn't say. We told Sarah we would talk to my bible student about it, but Sarah insisted that we just forget about it and not mention it to my bible student.

One or two days later during 1:1 Bible study with my bible student, against Lt. Sarah's wishes, I did speak to my bible student about her “rude behavior. I told my bible student she has to respect Lt. Sarah as her spiritual elder and not break the spiritual order. Since Lt. Sarah was one of Damon's shepherds, I told my bible student she has to talk to and work with Lt. Sarah a lot to help Damon grow spiritually and to help him stop drinking. As I continued to say similar things to my bible student she said, “I can't do that. At first she didn't want to tell me why she refused to co-work with Lt. Sarah. After asking many times finally my bible student told me about the adultery. I was completely shocked and couldn't believe it at first. I didn't want to believe it because at that time Lt. Sarah was my own 1:1 Genesis Bible teacher whom I respected very much. I knew her to be a good, very knowledgeable Bible teacher and, as I shared in my testimonies, my prayer topic at that time was to grow to be as good a Bible teacher as she. But after listening to my bible student tell me all the details of her conversations with Damon and Lt. Sarah, I knew she was telling me the truth. There was no way my bible student could be so creative as to make up all those details and, furthermore, she loved Damon and liked Lt. Sarah so there was no reason for her to make up any lies about them.
It was very difficult for me to finish teaching that Bible lesson because I couldn't think straight after hearing this news. But after somehow finishing, I went to my home in the back of the Bible House to pray about it. After a short time I returned to the Bible House to look for Dr. Ben. I found him having a Bible study. I interrupted the study and asked him to come over right afterward, telling him there was a very important matter I needed to talk to him about. Since he wasn't available I went across the street and asked my other Bible teacher, Elena Lomahan's, advice. When she learned of the adultery, Elena was shocked and very hurt since Lt. Sarah was her own Bible teacher and close friend of many years. Elena said she didn't believe it and asked me not to tell anyone that she knew about it. Later, after talking to Dr. Ben about it, he said he would ask Sarah Barry's advice. Sarah Barry told Dr. Ben they have to support Lt. Sarah as the spiritual elder and stand on her side. Dr. Ben informed me Sarah Barry said we all have to say we didn't believe it. Dr. Ben told me to tell my bible student never to talk about the adultery again. However, through personally talking to Damon, Dr. Ben knew for sure the adultery was true. Dr. Ben told me even though he knew it occurred he said he had to obey M. Sarah Barry and say it didn't happen. On several occasions when Dr. Ben and I met for 1:1 Bible studies we talked about how the situation should be handled. Dr. Ben said we should keep it quiet and not let anyone find out about the adultery. Dr. Ben kept telling me that we could not let Dr. Samuel Lee find out about his daughter's adultery because of how much it would hurt him and that the adultery could possibly destroy UBF. I didn't agree that keeping silent and not doing anything about it was the correct way to handle it so I continued to argue with Dr. Ben about it on many occasions. When Dr. Ben met Damon for 1:1, my bible student thought Dr. Ben would rebuke Damon for his sin of adultery. Instead, when Damon got home from Bible study, Dr. Ben told Damon to rebuke my bible student for breaking the spiritual order based on Numbers 12. He told my bible student it was not right for her to rebuke her spiritual elder, Lt. Sarah.

my bible student was willing to still try and make their marriage work just as long as Damon and Lt. Sarah cut off their relationship, but this did not happen. Lt. Sarah did not stop contacting Damon. She called him many times. One of these calls was on Christmas day of 1997. my bible student answered the phone so Lt. Sarah hung up. my bible student pressed *69 and traced the call back to Lt. Sarah's home phone number.

At first Damon kept his promise and didn't talk to Lt. Sarah, but after several months Damon told Dr. Ben he regretted having married my bible student. He blamed Dr. Ben and said, “Why did you make me marry my bible student? I don't love her. Damon began to drink heavily as he did in the past. Damon told my bible student that he loved Lt. Sarah and that Lt. Sarah loved him and that there was nothing my bible student could do about it. I had no idea what to tell my bible student and how to help her in this situation. I was amazed how graciously and prayerfully she handled it. During that time God helped her to really learn how to pray and cry out to God for help.

Since Lt. Sarah was my Bible teacher at that time, I immediately refused to continue studying with her. I had taught Bible to my sheep, Christine Petersen, for 3 years and around that time Dr. Samuel Lee told Christine to study Genesis with Lt. Sarah. I told Dr. Ben how much I was against the idea of an unrepentant adulterous woman teaching Bible to Christine, whom I loved very much. Lt. Sarah was also the Bible teacher of over 10 JBF (Juvenile Bible Fellowship) second generation missionary girls. I was also concerned about Lt. Sarah's bad influence to them. I didn't think she should be teaching Bible at all in her current spiritual condition. I asked Dr. Ben several times, “Would you want someone you loved like your daughter Agi to study Bible with an unrepentant adulterous woman? He was silent and could not say anything to that.

From the beginning Sarah Barry insisted we stand on Lt. Sarah's side. Sarah Barry said it was Damon's word against Lt. Sarah's word so there was no way to prove it. But this is not all there was. Both my bible student and myself saw evidences of the adultery, but UBF leadership failed to do anything about it. Sarah Barry said she asked Lt. Sarah on at least 2 occasions if the adultery was true. Lt. Sarah denied it and Sarah Barry said she believed Lt. Sarah was telling the truth.

One evening Damon and my bible student went to Sarah Barry's office. When Damon admitted his sin of adultery Sarah Barry punched Damon in the mouth two times. Then she told Damon never to say anything about the adultery again. Dr. Ben told my bible student the same thing: never to talk about it again to anyone, including to me. This was extremely difficult advice for my bible student to obey since she felt that she really needed support and counseling in dealing with an adulterous husband who did not want to repent. Sarah Barry strongly rebuked my bible student that night, making her read many verses from Proverbs. Sarah Barry told my bible student by talking about the adultery my bible student would be destroying her own family. Rather than dealing with the fact that it was Lt. Sarah and Damon who were destroying the Ls' marriage, Sarah Barry blamed my bible student.

I continued to press Dr. Ben to do something about the adultery. Rather than dealing with the problem, Dr. Ben, like Sarah Barry, started to blame it all on my bible student and say she caused it. Dr. Ben said my bible student was the evil one, rather than calling Lt. Sarah and Damon's relationship evil. Once during his prayer topics and announcements after our Wednesday fellowship meeting, Dr. Ben said my bible student's sin of missing her 1:1 Bible study that week with me was worse than committing adultery. Dr. Ben said the sin of adultery was just a sin against another person, but missing a 1:1 Bible study was sinning against God. Since I pushed Dr. Ben to do something about the adultery, he began to accuse me of being full of revenge and bitterness, saying I just wanted to “nail Lt. Sarah to the wall. Dr. Ben told my bible student she just wanted to expose, humiliate, and crucify Lt. Sarah. But in reality, while we were still in UBF my bible student only told one person, me, about the adultery and I only told two people, my shepherds, to ask their advice. If our motive was revenge or to humiliate we would have widely publicized the adultery. Rather than deal with the real issue at hand, Lt. Sarah's and Damon's adultery, Dr. Ben tried to shift the focus and say the problems were with my bible student and myself.

In June of 1998 my bible student left Damon and left UBF. Several months after leaving, my bible student sent letters toDr. Samuel Lee, Ron Ward, Sarah Barry, Dr. Ben Toh, Lt. Sarah Kim, Elena Lomahan, and myself. my bible student patiently waited over one year after first finding out about the adultery before she told anyone else, hoping and praying Lt. Sarah and Damon would quietly do the right thing and repent. In the letter my bible student told many of the details she knew about the adultery, hoping UBF leadership would look into the matter and help them. Ron Ward received his copy of the letter first. He called me at work and told me that he took Dr. Samuel Lee's letter from his mailbox so he wouldn't be upset reading such lies from my bible student. Ron Ward told me my bible student is a liar and a child of the devil and that we should have nothing to do with her and her lies. Ron Ward told me he had Damon come to the center and sign a paper saying the adultery didn't happen. Even though Damon denied it to Ron Ward, over the past one year he had confessed to 5 people of having committed adultery: my bible student, Dr. Ben, Sarah Barry, my bible student's mom, and myself. Ron Ward also told me not even to open my copy of the letter but to bring it to him right away if I received it. Since I had all my mail sent to the UIC Bible House (of UBF) it was easily intercepted by someone in UBF so, to this day, I never saw the letter. I didn't say anything to Ron Ward on the phone. I just listened to what he had to say. I definitely didn't agree with him but I didn't think it was appropriate to talk about it over the phone at my workplace where others could hear me. I always did want to personally talk to Ron Ward about it, but I was strongly encouraged by Dr. Ben and Sarah Barry not to talk to anyone about it.

I would like to share one last related incident. After a 3pm Sunday worship service I was looking around the sanctuary for my friend Dayna who asked for a ride home. I saw Lt. Sarah standing by herself about 20 feet away. Most people were standing around talking to their friends and sheep. I watched Lt. Sarah walk down the center aisle and secretly slip a note into Damon's hand who was standing near the back of the sanctuary. Lt. Sarah continued to walk quickly past Damon and went to talk to Elena. When I saw this I began to tremble; I couldn't believe what I saw. I couldn't believe Lt. Sarah's boldness and her continued contact with Damon. I was outraged by her deceptive behavior and hypocrisy. I immediately ran up to Elena who was talking to Lt. Sarah. I whispered into Elena's ear and told Elena what I saw. Elena immediately confronted Lt. Sarah who denied giving Damon a note. So we all went over to Damon and asked him to show us what was in his pockets. Damon only showed us what was in 2 of his pockets. I didn't know what to do. I was shaking in nervousness. I remember thinking maybe it's not my position to expose them (as Dr. Ben and Sarah Barry kept trying to tell me). I didn't know if I should insist that Damon show us what was in the rest of his pockets. When Damon didn't volunteer to show us, I went up to his face and said, “Fine, that's between you and God. And then I walked out of the church.

Looking back, I believe I made the wrong decision. I regret not seizing the moment and getting the note, which would have probably been evidence of the adultery. I regret being fearful and listening to Dr. Ben and Sarah Barry's advice that it wasn't my position to do anything about the adultery. I am very sorry I did not better defend my bible student and the truth. It is very sad that UBF leadership, especially Dr. Ben Toh and Sarah Barry, did not help Lt. Sarah and Damon to repent. Instead they lied and covered it up. As the psalmist said, “They threw in their lot with adulterers (Ps 50:18b). It is very sad that Lt. Sarah was knowingly allowed to destroy my bible student and Damon's marriage and that Lt. Sarah and Dr. Charles Kim's family cannot even begin to heal because she refuses to admit there's a problem. May God help them to do the right thing and come to Jesus in repentance. May God continue to heal my bible student, her parents, and her brother from the great pain and problems this has continued to cause their family. May God bless your prayer and labor for reform within Chicago UBF.

Amy Y.

October 10, 2000

It's been a few weeks since I wrote the above letter and, after having more time to pray and reflect on it, I would like to add this:

It's been 3 years since we found out about the adultery and cover up and still nothing has been done about these matters. It's been long enough. I'm sorry that it was not handled in a proper way by Chicago UBF leadership and so people (especially Dr. Charles Kim) might have to find out like this, in the not-most-ideal way.

Elders of Chicago UBF: what will you do about this? Will you look into it to see if we're telling the truth? Or will you ignore it and dismiss it? Will you only do whatever Samuel Lee tells you to do? Do you think these things are lies and slander? To prove I'm telling the truth, I would willingly take a lie detector test. It would be good if Sarah Barry, Dr. Ben Toh, Damon, and Lt. Sarah took one as well, if UBF is really interested in knowing the truth. If you have any questions about this please let me know.

[Subsequent remark, June 2002: Chicago UBF did nothing about it besides denying everything and threatening Amy and her husband to file a law suit against them, what never happened. Damon is still in UBF. my bible student for obvious reasons does not want anything to do with UBF. UBF is trying to cover up and forget everything as they did with every unpleasent event in the past. After the death of Samuel Lee in January 2002, Sarah Barry, who helped covering up these events, has been made the director of UBF in place of him.]

It took me over a year after leaving Chicago UBF to bring this matter out into the open. I hesitated until now because this doesn't appear to be about Samuel Lee and his corruption, who is the major source of problems in UBF. Since leaving UBF, I have spoken to and heard the stories of over 50 people who left UBF (most were members of the Chicago chapter but a few were from other chapters). Almost all of them left because of Samuel Lee's corruption (Before you accuse me/us of lying anymore, I encourage you to make the effort: call up those who have left and find out their stories firsthand. You'll be very much shocked and outraged. It took me several days to recover after hearing of the criminal, unchristian, and abusive practices of Chicago UBF leadership, particularly of Samuel Lee. Perhaps you will feel more comfortable calling the many who agree with us and are still in UBF; there are very many in Korea, Germany, and other US chapters who are taking a stand against Samuel Lee. So, if you are interested in knowing the truth, give them a call yourself or contact us and we'll get you in touch with them). Since the above matters didn't directly involve Samuel Lee, I considered not coming forward with this information, but through writing the letter I realized it does again reflect back to the corrupt system Samuel Lee established. As I saw for myself while in UBF for 7½ years, most UBF members will do anything to please Samuel Lee. In this case, Sarah Barry and Dr. Ben Toh were willing to lie, cover it all up and even use assault to keep this matter secret and to keep Samuel Lee happy. “And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah (Jeremiah 23:14).

The letter above does not at all do justice to my bible student. She was treated like garbage. First of all, at the direction of Dr. Ben Toh, she was asked to marry a violent alcoholic, a man who was known to punch holes in the Bible House walls and to frequently break his glasses and violins, etc., in a drunken rage. As I told Elena at the time, I didn't want to encourage my bible student to marry Damon – who would want someone they loved to marry a violent alcoholic? In the end, I did end up going along with Dr. Ben's idea for Damon to marry my bible student because it was strongly impressed upon me in UBF that I should obey my spiritual elders and their directions. Months into the marriage, Damon would punch my bible student in the ear and break her eardrum, calling for a trip to the emergency room. And, at the time, we all thought she had an ear infection. No, it wasn't that; it was the result of “marrying by faith in UBF – marrying someone she didn't know. In light of this, don't you think it is a good idea to get to know a person before you marry them? Even Jewish people in Bible times commonly had a 1-year engagement. So why not in many UBF marriages? Why do many there only have 2 or 3 weeks notice before they find out who they will marry? My shepherdess, Elena, told me she found out on a Monday or Tuesday who she would marry that Friday.
While I was in UBF, in order to promote marrying the UBF way, Dr. Ben often bragged that UBF had a 0% divorce rate. That is definitely not true. I've heard of many instances of those who were told by Samuel Lee to marry a particular individual by faith in UBF and, only after marriage, found out they married a non-Christian or mental patient, resulting in divorce. I met one Korean missionary who was strongly pushed by Samuel Lee to divorce her husband because her husband spoke out against Samuel Lee's corruption. Likewise, when my faith and conscience required that I speak up and disagree with Samuel Lee's control of everyone's lives, Dr. Ben Toh told my husband, Jamie, to divorce me and remain in UBF, rather than following my lead in trying to find a healthy, spirit-filled church (T.M.: for your information: Jamie did confirm this after our visit, in case you were wondering, so Deniz was not lying). Malachi 2:16a says, “‘I hate divorce,' says the Lord God of Israel. In Mark 10:9 Jesus says of marriage, “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Even though neither Jamie or I had any thought, intention, or desire of divorcing, Dr. Ben strongly pushed him to do it. (Actually I need to say “thank you to you Dr. Ben. It was this ungodly, un-Christlike advice you gave to Jamie that convinced him that he too needs to get out of UBF.) UBF says they have the prayer topic to raise up 7,000 house churches, but this will never happen through UBF as long as they sin by encouraging Christians to divorce each other, for which you are accountable before God, and as long as their members are forced to marry people they don't know who they sometimes end up finding out to be unbelievers. [There are members in UBF who for some reason or other take part in everything, but basically are unbelievers. This sometimes doesn't stand out, because the main thing in UBF is to take part in the full program and to be loyal.] Perhaps it was because Lt. Sarah herself was not happy in her “marriage by faith that caused her to commit adultery.
Chicago UBF members are strongly encouraged to “entrust their marriage to God and marry like Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24. UBF equates entrusting their marriage to God with letting Samuel Lee (most of the time) choose whoever they marry. And if you don't give your marriage into Samuel Lee's hands, you're seen as “rebellious, disobedient, lustful, faithless, etc. Someone in UBF recently wrote on this website, “We marry like this because it's in the Bible. It's how Adam and Eve and Isaac and Rebekah married. But sacrificing animals, circumcision, etc., are also in the Bible, but we are not asked to do those things anymore. [Amy forgot to mention that these favorite Bible passages in UBF are not only two special cases, but are not even good for justification of arranged marriages by spiritual leaders. Adam and Eve have been brought together by God directly, and the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah started on the initiative of Isaac's father. But even his father did not simply choose the spouse, but took care that it was led directly by God. In no case a spiritual leader was involved. This was also true for marriages in the first church. If someone was asked at all, it were the fathers, not the church elders. See also the verses quoted by Amy in the following.]

Let me give you a few verses to consider. (Please read them in context.) Numbers 36:6 says, “This is what the Lord commands for Zelophehad's daughters: They may marry anyone they please as long as they marry within the tribal clan of their father. 1 Corinthians 7:39b says, “But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord (emphasis mine). 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? These verses clearly tell us we can marry anyone we choose – as long as he/she is a Christian. Also, go back to 1 Corinthians 7:37. Notice the words “under no compulsion and “has control over his own will. I know of many cases in UBF marriages where people were strongly pushed against their will to marry someone they didn't want as a spouse. When they refused, their shepherds would commonly say things like, “You have to deny yourself... trust God... don't you have any faith?! There are cases of divorces after one week of marriage and stories of those who've wanted to kill themselves or have gone to mental institutions after having reluctantly submitted to UBF marriage by faith. But you don't hear anything about those marriages while you're in UBF. It's all kept quiet.

Why would you let Samuel Lee choose who you marry? Please seriously consider this question. Is it just because that's what everyone else does and that it's expected of you too? Is it because that's just what spiritual people of great faith in UBF do? When Sarah Barry was asked why there is no dating in UBF she responded it's to help keep our young people pure. But not dating and letting Samuel Lee choose who you will marry does not keep people pure. Only our personal relationship with Jesus and commitment to Him can keep us pure. And yes – He can help people be pure while dating – all we need is Jesus and the Holy Spirit – not legalism (please go to or for info on Eric and Leslie Ludy's ministry). Think about the many Christians of past and present whom God greatly used. Think about Billy Graham and Jim Elliot, to name a few. Was it sinful for them to date before marriage? Were they sinning when they decided for themselves and with God's leading who they would marry? UBF treats people like babies, making most of the decisions for their Bible students, like who they will marry. UBF does not respect that their Bible students might actually have the Holy Spirit's guidance. If you're a Christian you go directly to the Father; you don't need any priest or pastor to mediate for you. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, Jesus will help you, guide you, give you wisdom, and lead you to the one you should marry. Who do you think will pray more about your marriage: you or Samuel Lee? Obviously you. So, therefore, isn't it safe to assume God will reveal to you, not Samuel Lee, who you should marry? “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22). “These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence (Colossians 2:22-23).

Almost all Chicago UBF weddings have to be in October. They're usually on the closest Friday to Samuel Lee's birthday. Once I asked my shepherdess why all weddings have to be in October. She said Samuel Lee likes to have them near his birthday. She said it was his way of being unselfish and caring towards others on his birthday. But I think it's pretty obvious that the exact opposite is true. Everything has to be when and where Samuel Lee likes. Everything is done to please him. I would call that being selfish – not unselfish. How about asking the couple when would be best for them? Since many in UBF marry while in college, perhaps October, the middle of a semester, isn't the best time for them. Why not let them decide? And when you do marry in UBF you are absolutely required to be back from your honeymoon in time for the Sunday 3pm worship service, giving you a less than 2 day honeymoon. To go to another church service outside of UBF even one time might get you kicked out of UBF by Samuel Lee, as Esther Shin told me happened to her and a number of other Korean missionaries back around 10 years ago. I also know of 2 instances where marriage partners were switched within about 2 weeks of their weddings. Needless to say, that's crazy.

One last comment on UBF marriages: the last few years while I was in UBF on many occasions I heard Samuel Lee brag about how fast he could get each couple in and out of the church. He said he could have each couple finished in 15 minutes. I learned there were as many as 8 or 9 couples married on one recent Friday night. I just want to state the obvious: this is so sad (It's getting more and more like the Moonies). A wedding should not be rushed. It's supposed to be a most special once-in-a-lifetime celebration – not a horse race – not like going though the McDonald's drive thru. As we all know, we're supposed to do our best to win unbelievers over to Christ. But when unbelievers come to UBF weddings I believe they are pushed farther away when they see these not-so-special, quick ceremonies.

My bible student, I want to publicly apologize to you. I'm so sorry for being such a horrible friend to you through all that you went through. I know it's been a very painful and traumatic experience for you. I know that right before you married you told all your relatives your marriage would be so wonderful and blessed because you entrusted it to God, and then you went through all this. What a great humiliation and embarrassment this has been for you and your family. How much heartache and tears you have cried. Even though you did what was right and showed amazing patience and forgiveness, you were made out to be the bad guy- as crazy and as backwards as that is. Many lies were told about you by people who are supposed to be Christians. Even though the Tohs, Sarah Barry, Elena, and I knew what happened, we just acted as if nothing happened. We let you suffer all alone. We shut you out and pushed you away by not caring about what you were going through. We just wanted to keep it quiet and not hurt UBF's reputation. Even though you were so trusting, those you trusted and loved hurt you the most. I know I am one of them. I am so sorry that I listened to Dr. Ben when he told me not to talk to you about the adultery. If there was ever a time that you needed a friend, someone to pray with and share your pain, it was then. At the beginning of this year when I called you, your mom answered the phone and strongly rebuked me for not helping you through all this. What could I say to her? Nothing; she was absolutely right. I know I greatly disappointed you and only added to your pain. Everyone in UBF turned their backs on you and acted as if your marriage and your happiness didn't matter at all. Please forgive me for being one of them. May God continue to heal your wounded heart and shattered life. I still remember how you called me about 6 months after leaving UBF around Nov or Dec of '98. You were crying and lonely and hurting because of everything that happened. Despite your pain you said you trusted in God's sovereignty and that, even in all this, you believed God had a good purpose. I was amazed at your faith. I thank God for being with you through all this – and that He gave you His grace and a forgiving heart. I thank God for leading you to a healthy place to study the Bible and for surrounding you with many Christians who love and support you. I thank God for giving us a new start to our friendship! May God give us a genuine, deep friendship in Christ. I love you.

I want to close this letter by giving just a few of the other reasons why I left Chicago UBF. My leaving was not at all a sudden decision. I prayed about it over a period of several years. In UBF I saw and knew about many things that just weren't right/biblical. Most of the reasons why I left are about Samuel Lee. During my 7½ years in UBF I would hear Samuel Lee describe himself as a humble man, but what I personally saw of him was not humble. Everything had to be his way. He had to take control of every situation. He had members use his messages. If you tried to write your own Bible message it was very common for that person to be rebuked for not having a “humble learning mind, as if no one else could be inspired by the Holy Spirit. He assumed it was his position to decide: who others marry, what their major in college should be, what to name newborn babies and how many children some families should have, where people would live, what a person's hair and clothes should look like, who every conference messenger, presider, and musician should be, and the list goes on and on. He trusts only himself; he doesn't seem to think anyone else is reliable and capable of making good decisions on their own. He acted like he was the expert in every field. Samuel Lee didn't recognize that God gives different spiritual gifts to each Christian (Rom 12; 1 Cor 12). His attitude was that all gifts were given to him and that none were given to anyone else. I often heard him bragging about how great a writer he was, how well he knew the Bible, that he is a musical genius, that he wrote over 2000 letters that year, etc. Several times I heard him call the conductor of the orchestra a dummy whom he would have to teach and train rather than considering that maybe this professional musician might actually know music a little better than him (Phil 2:3). Samuel Lee was always putting others down, frequently calling people lazy, stupid, or dummy, while glorifying and saying how great he and his family are.

These are some of the unbiblical/unchristian, personal experiences I had in UBF:

1. Once during Sunday prayer topics and announcements, Samuel Lee told the congregation, “If you don't raise 12 disciples you'll go to hell! I wondered if Samuel Lee actually believed what he said or if he thought he could just go up there and say whatever he wanted – even if it's unbiblical. As any Christian knows, salvation does not depend on our good works, like raising disciples; we're saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). It is Christ's righteousness alone and trusting in what He did for us on the cross, rather than anything we do, that saves us. That day I brought my Bible student, Salena, to the service, so I was greatly embarrassed because of Samuel Lee's wrong teaching and had little desire from that point on to bring others to future worship services. Later that week I asked Dr. Ben about it. Dr. Ben and Samuel Lee couldn't understand why I was making a fuss over what was said, but I couldn't understand why no one else was. Dr. Ben's attitude toward me in situations like this was, “Who do you think you are – you are just a proud sheep trying to teach the world leader something. But in 1 Timothy 1:3 St. Paul told the young man Timothy, “... stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer. According to this verse, Paul encouraged the young (1 Tim 4:12) Timothy to speak up and even “command men to stop their false teachings. So I believe I did the right thing by standing on the side of God's truth rather than silently and blindly following the heresy of this self-proclaimed leader. God greatly blessed the Reformation as the lowly monk, Martin Luther, boldly spoke out against the false teachings and corruption of the church; likewise it is our responsibility to defend the truth to those like Samuel Lee. To Samuel Lee's credit, in the end he did end up admitting that what he said wasn't biblical. Samuel Lee said it was his way of encouraging UBF leaders to work hard and feed many sheep. This is both good and bad. It's obviously good that he could admit that what he said wasn't biblical, but the fact that he knew it wasn't biblical and said it anyway shows he was consciously trying to use fear and manipulation to get his desired result: larger numbers. There are right ways (like reminding them of the compelling grace of Jesus) and wrong ways of encouraging members to work hard. A pastor should not use lies and false teaching. Perhaps it may sound like I'm coming on too strong or harsh against Samuel Lee's false teaching, but, first of all, I believe there is no other doctrine more important in the Bible than how one is saved. Of all things, we need to make sure we teach this point correctly; the eternal life or eternal condemnation of those who hear our teaching may by resting on what they learn from us! “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:16). 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us a servant of God is to be one who “... correctly handles the word of truth. In Galatians, Paul gives his harshest rebuke to the Judaizers who, like Samuel Lee, tried to add good works to believing in Jesus in order to be saved. The Judaizers incorrectly taught that Christians still had to obey the law of Moses and Jewish traditions (which I believe UBF is not so clear on either). Paul said this to the people of Galatia concerning the false teaching Judiazers who messed up the doctrine of salvation and subsequently confused the Galatians: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so I now say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal 1:6-9). So here we learn it definitely is a very serious matter when someone incorrectly teaches the doctrine of salvation, especially if they purposely teach it incorrectly for their own motives.

2. I almost left UBF around June of '98 but didn't end up leaving for another year. After deciding to remain in UBF at that time, Elena told me Samuel Lee said, “It's good Amy didn't leave. The earth would have opened and swallowed her and her family up if she left. Samuel Lee was alluding to Numbers 16. In this story Korah and his friends rebelled against Moses and were punished by the earth splitting open and swallowing them alive. By passing this message on to me, Samuel Lee was implying that he was a Moses-like figure and that I was sinning and rebelling against him like Korah so I would be punished. Dr. Ben and Samuel Lee said if I left UBF I would be rebelling and sinning. They said if I left God would curse me and my children. They tried to threaten and scare me into staying in UBF. (I also still have the Sunday messages in which Samuel Lee tells stories about how those who left UBF were punished by God by getting into accidents and being afflicted with various diseases.) So many times Dr. Ben and Elena told me, “You can never find as good a place to study the Bible as UBF. But the funny thing is – ask them how they can make this statement. How can they compare UBF Bible studies to that of other ministries? A few months ago I invited Elena out to lunch to tell her why I left UBF but she didn't care to hear. During lunch I asked her how many times during her 18 years in UBF did she ever go to a Bible study or worship service outside of UBF to be able to say that UBF is so much better than all the rest of the Bible studies out there. She could not come up with one. I saw that UBF people are very insecure and fearful about members leaving the church. Many there have an elitist attitude, acting like UBF is the only church, or the number one church. They do not recognize the Holy Spirit's leading of their members to other ministries so they say of those who leave, “They abandoned God ... they left because they didn't want to carry the cross of Jesus ... they left because they want to live an easy-going life. They do not recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in other ministries. This is very sad; you're missing out on a lot to praise and thank God for. Part of me believed Elena and Dr. Ben when they said I wouldn't be able to find a good church if I left UBF. But the very next day after leaving, God led my family to a wonderful ministry called the LaGrange Bible Church where we've been ever since. Right when we started going there the church began small group studies on the book of Galatians. I am absolutely sure it was God's divine leading for our family. We desperately needed to study Galatians (which we never did in UBF). Through it God set straight some of the false teachings we learned at UBF. We learned about the freedom there is in Christ – freedom from legalism and man-made rules. (I highly recommend Warren W. Wiersbe's book “Be Free; it's a Bible study that explains Galatians very clearly and can open up your eyes to some of the wrong teachings of UBF.) Another story about deterring people from leaving UBF: My husband, Jamie, taught Bible to one Chinese woman, Wei Wong. Wei seemed to like Jamie. Dr. Ben was afraid that when Wei found out that Jamie and I were going to get married she would leave UBF, so Dr. Ben told Jamie to tell Wei that he really didn't want to marry me. Jamie was to say he really wanted to marry her but that he had to obey Samuel Lee's direction and marry me instead. In this way Dr. Ben told Jamie to lie to try to stop one woman from leaving UBF. Needless to say, his plan didn't work. God did not bless his “holy lying.

3. In UBF members were constantly encouraged to bring more and more people to the Sunday worship services. I have no problem with that. However, here's something I did have a problem with: UBF kept meticulous records of how many came and had to reach Samuel Lee's quota of 300 each Sunday; otherwise he would add on as many “supplementary services as necessary until the number was reached. You would think each person would count as +1; but Samuel Lee told my fellowship leader, Dr. Ben, that if anyone in our fellowship brought African American or Chinese people they would count as ‑1 (negative). So, in other words, we were discouraged from inviting African American or Chinese people. But James 2:1,8-9 say, “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. ... If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. Samuel Lee encourages members to focus on bringing in more white Americans. I know that God might give a person or ministry a calling to reach a certain group of people, say the Jewish or the poor, etc.; but even if we're focusing on reaching a particular group, shouldn't we equally welcome and embrace anyone who comes rather than treating certain races as second rate? Jesus told his disciples to go out and first reach the lost sheep of Israel, their fellow Jews (Matthew 10); but he also sought after the Samaritans (John 4), the despised enemies of the Jewish people. We should be happy to share the good news of Jesus Christ with anyone, with all people of all nations (Luke 2:10), rather than counting some as “‑1. Along these same lines, Samuel Lee would usually only choose white Americans to participate in dancing, drama, etc., unless there was a shortage of people; then others could join. One Turkish girl really wanted to dance at one conference [on UBF conferences there are often dancing performances] but was not chosen because she's not white; on the other hand, because I am white, I was always picked by Samuel Lee to dance. One time I injured my toe so I told them I would not be dancing, but they didn't want to take no for answer and kept pushing me to still dance. One person even accused me of faking my injury so I wouldn't have to dance, so I offered to show them my x-rays. This is just a bunch of silliness. Why not just give people the freedom to choose for themselves what they would like to participate in?

4. One Friday night Samuel Lee made my husband, Jamie, walk all the way from Skokie [a northern suburb of Chicago] to UIC [University of Illinois at Chicago, located southwest of downtown Chicago] because I didn't go to the Friday's leaders meeting. [This is the notorious “Skokie-Training. Please also consider that US Americans are not used to walk longer distances.] It took Jamie from 11pm to 5am to walk home. He had to go through some bad neighborhoods in the middle of the night and, from walking in dress shoes [UBF shepherds have to be always dressed for the part], his feet were in bad shape when he got home. Samuel Lee punished Jamie because of some supposed sin on my part – not going to a meeting. Where in the Bible does it say you have to attend a Friday meeting each week? This is a man-made/Samuel Lee made rule (Col 2:8) that does not demand anyone's absolute obedience. When I was in UBF, in order to push Bible students to never miss a Wednesday or Friday meeting, Elena and Dr. Ben would quote Revelation 2:10b, “Be faithful to the point of death – somehow equating faithfulness to God with attending UBF meetings. If you missed a meeting you were strongly rebuked as being lazy, unfaithful, unspiritual, and selfish for not coming to pray for others. You were made to feel tremendously guilty and that you sinned greatly against God. Jamie's punishment, walking from Skokie to UIC, is called necessary “training and discipline in UBF. If this kind of training is so absolutely needed like Samuel Lee says, then I would like to ask Samuel Lee a question: In your years of spiritual development what pastor ever trained you like this? Who did you absolutely submit to like this and do everything they said? So it's only necessary for everyone else except you? Another time Samuel Lee made Jamie walk from the Chicago center to UIC. Samuel Lee said he was punishing Jamie for working too much and not teaching Bible to enough students. (Ask Samuel Lee how many 1:1 Bible studies he had that week: None! He and his wife are exempt. Matthew 23:4 says of the Pharisees, “They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. According to Samuel Lee, everyone else besides he and his wife are but called by God to be 1:1 Bible teachers. I suggest reading “The Baptism with the Holy Spirit by R. A. Torrey. It well explains that each Christian has unique callings and gifts from the Holy Spirit and that if we're doing something without God's calling and without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, then we're doing more harm than good. Some are called to teach Bible, some are called to serve in the nursery, sing, show hospitality, care for the sick, etc.) The funny thing about this is that Samuel Lee was punishing Jamie for working too much, but he and Dr. Ben are the ones who told Jamie to get a second job in the first place. And yet another time Jamie was given “walking training for being late to a Sunday worship service when he was supposed to be a prayer servant. On this occasion, Charles Kim forgot until 1pm to tell Jamie he was chosen by Samuel Lee to be a prayer servant. Charles Kim called right when we were on the way out the door to pick up my Bible student, Vanessa, and my mom. There was no other ride up to the center so Jamie came with me to pick them up. Vanessa took a long time getting ready so we were late to the service. Trying to bring two people to church hoping that they will meet Jesus is definitely an accusable reason for being late. Samuel Lee didn't care to find out why Jamie was late for being a prayer servant. He just told Jamie to walk while he went off to enjoy a nice dinner. “The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly (Jeremiah 23:10b).

5. Samuel Lee had almost all the young women get shoulder length haircuts and/or perms. One time I went to his office and asked him why he does this. He said, “because this is a Bible academy. He made me go get perms many times. One time after sending me to get a perm, he took one look at my hair and told me to go right back and get it straightened. He never asked me what I wanted. Whatever he wanted he got, or we could expect a strong rebuke for being proud, disobedient and rebellious. One time he sent my Bible student to get a perm. I never saw her look as beautiful as she did after getting the perm, but Samuel Lee sent her back to get her hair straightened as well. If I remember correctly, Samuel Lee didn't want her to become proud because she looked so pretty and he was afraid she might “cook some young men [in UBF language, “to cook somebody means to allure him – presumably a Korean idiom]. A few days before my bible student's wedding, Samuel Lee called for my bible student to come to the center. Without asking her permission, he just began to chop away at her long hair with his scissors. He didn't even cut horizontally like a normal person; he cut in a downward motion. This was very difficult to watch; I had to leave the room several times because I felt sorry for her. I'm guessing this was Samuel Lee's way of giving her “humbleness training. This “hair training is legalism. Does God really care if our hair is long or short? Perhaps you may be thinking, “Who cares? It's just a haircut. This is not a major issue. But the big deal is that Samuel Lee wants to be God – that was Adam and Eve's original sin. They wanted to be God, do their own thing, and take control. Samuel Lee needs to come down from his throne and recognize the lordship of Christ – not the lordship of Samuel Lee. May God help him accept Jesus Christ as Lord before it's too late.

In order to get a person to obey Samuel Lee's trainings (walking, hair, music, diet, math, etc.), UBF Bible teachers would quote verses like Hebrews 12:5-11. “‘My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.'... No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Heb 12:5b,6,11). Proverbs 1:7 was also sometimes pointed to: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. So if you didn't obey and submit to these trainings you were considered a foolish, lazy, proud person who was rebelling against God and “God's servant's discipline. Rather than focusing on leading a person to Christ and waiting in prayer for the Holy Spirit to work in their life, Samuel Lee thinks it's his rightful position to mold and dominate members into becoming subservient to him. Jesus said in Luke 22:25b,26a, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that.

6. In UBF one has very little time for one's family. Spending time with your family is seen as a sin called “family-centeredness as opposed to God- or mission-centeredness. Dr. Ben was always telling us to spend all our free time at the Bible House, rather than spending time at home with one's spouse or children. First of all, if you're a “committed UBF member you probably have very little free time to begin with. There's full time work or classes and homework; Sunday service (plus commute: 3 hours); 1:1 Bible study with your teacher, usually Mon or Tues night (~2 hours); weekly testimony writing: ~3 hours; Wednesday and Friday night meetings (each 3-4 hours long, plus commute time); Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday orchestra practices (~3 hours each); Saturday morning meeting (2 hours); teaching 1:1 Bible study to students: anywhere from 2-15 hours a week; preparing for all the different Bible lessons you'll be teaching that week: many more hours. You get the picture. My response to UBF for trying to make people feel guilty for spending some time with their families is this: If you don't spend a lot of personal time with God how can you expect to have a good, strong, right relationship with Him? You can't. Likewise, if you do not spend enough time loving and taking care of your family you will not fulfill your mission before God as a parent, nor will you have strong, good relationships with your children. [Annotation by another ex-member: The Bible even asks in Titus 2:4,5 especially young women to love the family and be busy at home, prior to all other activities, so that no one will malign the word of God. Sure enough I have never heard that these verses or even the book of Titus has ever been studied in UBF.]

7. Once while my father was “persecuting UBF in '93, Samuel Lee told me to call my father and tell him, “The only reason why I'm in UBF is because I like one boy who goes to this church. In this way Samuel Lee was hoping this would cause my dad to stop trying to expose UBF to be a cult and that he would leave UBF alone. It's true that I definitely did like Jamie, but he wasn't the only reason why I was there. Those who really know me know I love to study God's word and that was why I was continuing 1:1 Bible study in UBF. In this way Samuel Lee was encouraging me to lie to my father. Around that same time Samuel Lee insisted that I write a letter to my dad asking him to buy me a car. I thought this was an absolutely ridiculous request, after all, my dad had stopped supporting me altogether when I refused to leave UBF in July of '93. So why in the world would he suddenly be willing to buy me a car? I told my Bible teachers I didn't want to write the letter and that I knew it wouldn't work, but they kept insisting that I obey Samuel Lee until I finally gave in and did it. As I expected, my dad didn't buy me a car. My family thought I was crazy for asking, but they figured Samuel Lee put me up to asking since they read of him having made others do the same thing in the past.
Samuel Lee always decided for our family where we lived; he never asked us our opinion on the matter. He did this to many others as well. Once I heard a fellowship leader say he couldn't freely leave UBF housing. He had to wait until Samuel Lee gave him permission. He said once you get in, you can't get out. Samuel Lee also took it upon himself to decide for our family when it was okay for us to start having children. One week after we got married, I received word from my shepherds that Samuel Lee said it was okay for us to start having children. The following day after I gave birth to our second son, Samuel Lee walked into the hospital room with the name “John written on a piece of paper; he had picked out a name for our son without asking us. Thankfully, we had already told the nurses to put a different name on the birth certificate.

8. At one Easter conference Samuel Lee changed all the music programs our fellowship had prepared. In the previous weeks each musician worked hard to memorize and prepare one piece to play at the conference. Samuel Lee cancelled all the other people's performances and made me play 6 pieces instead of one as I had planned. I had no time during the weekend conference to take care of others or study the Bible. I was stuck in a room struggling to quickly learn 5 new pieces at the last minute. Samuel Lee is famous for doing things like this. He just changes everyone else's plans, not caring about all the time, labor, and prayer they put into it. This is another one of his so-called “trainings.
Let me tell you about another one of my “flute training experiences. For about 2 years worth of Sundays, I played flute solos or duets practically every week for the worship services. I was not asked, “Would you like to play this Sunday? It was always something like, “You have been chosen by Samuel Lee to play. He would choose what piece I played. I would usually find out after the Friday's leaders meeting, around 10-10:30pm, giving me about a day and a half to memorize the piece (in UBF you're not supposed to use the sheet music). I am definitely not a born musician in any sense, so this was a rather difficult task to accomplish each week. Forget about having time to do my homework on the weekends (no wonder Samuel Lee had to assign people to help me with a few college papers I needed to write; I was too busy doing his bidding). One time, Samuel Lee had Lt. Sarah come over to me in the middle of the Friday's leaders meeting and tell me to play a piece for that night's intermission, giving me a one-hour notice. I refused; it was a ridiculous demand. There was no way I could prepare anything well in such a short amount of time. That night I was strongly rebuked for being proud, disobedient, and rebellious. Elena tried to sound spiritual and authoritative telling me, “Just play by faith. This is my response to that: Once during his Sunday message Samuel Lee said some people don't study and prepare for their exams. They just pray at the last minute and ask the Holy Spirit to do a miracle and help them get an “A. Well, the same thing applies to preparing a piece of music. I shouldn't demand a miracle flute performance from God. I was already married at that time; when I still refused my shepherds said, “Now that you got what you wanted, marrying Jamie, you think you don't have to listen to us anymore. This points to the way they tried to use my relationship with Jamie to manipulate me before marriage. If I didn't do what they wanted, like playing the flute, there was this threat hanging over my head that they would cancel my engagement to Jamie. In this way they controlled me and my relationship with Jamie. Last week one woman told me a similar story. Once she took a trip with a friend. Her shepherd told her if she didn't come back in time for the Friday leaders meeting they would cancel her engagement to one UBF shepherd. These are some clear examples of how UBF uses manipulation to make members do whatever they want.

9. One time Dr. Ben called one girl I studied the Bible with for 3 years “lustful, “horny, like a cat in heat. When he said this I lost a lot of respect for him as a servant of God and shepherd. I knew he must not love her like a father as he claimed to; otherwise he wouldn't have said this as well as many other bad things about her. That is obviously not what a servant of God should say.

10. My Bible teachers in UBF (and recently Yvonne) would often tell me, “You have to remember God's grace. You were loved so much, especially by ‘Dr.' Samuel Lee. To them I would like to say this: I am thankful to Elena. I know she did sacrifice a lot of time to try and “take care of me. I do value her friendship, but I just wish she was open to considering my concerns about UBF rather than insisting on the UBF way of doing everything, many of which are unbiblical. As far as I saw, she was absolutely, blindly loyal to Samuel Lee and, while I was her Bible student, she strongly encouraged me to absolutely obey Samuel Lee as well. But as Martin Luther said, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God ... Here I stand, I can do no other. My faith in God's word required that I leave UBF, particularly Samuel Lee's false teachings and corruption (a lot of worse things can be exposed about him, but I'll leave that to those who experienced those other horrific abuses firsthand). To those who continue to say I should I be thankful for my UBF experience: should I be thankful for all the wrong teachings, legalism, and manipulation?? They say I should be thankful to Samuel Lee for helping me financially. Yes, Samuel Lee had UBF pay for my tuition a couple of times and give me cheap housing. But why was I in need in the first place? Before coming to UBF I wasn't in need; my father had provided everything. My neediness only came about because I was in this Samuel Lee-established cult. It was very easy for Samuel Lee to give away other people's money. I've personally talked to ex-UBF members who told me how Samuel Lee would have some missionary call them after Easter and Christmas conferences to tell them they didn't give enough offering money. Then Samuel Lee would pass on the message for them to give $500 or $1000 more (on top of the hundreds or thousands they already gave that weekend in offerings and in registering themselves and their sheep for the conference). If they said they didn't have anymore money to give at that time and that they had already given everything they had, Samuel Lee would typically say, “Give $500 (or $1000) more by putting it on a credit card. So again, knowing how Samuel Lee would get money, I say it was easy for him to give away a little of the money that was not his own to begin with to a few people like myself and in this way give people the appearance that he's generous; while in reality this is not the case. “O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: ‘It is you who have ruined my vineyard: the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?' declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 3:12b-15). If we really want to see how Samuel Lee handles everyone's tithes, the elders should ask him to publish all financial statements and UBF bank statements for the past 20-30 years. That's what they do at the church I'm going to now. Every month it's published for anyone to see. This way we all know exactly how much money was received and exactly where it's going. Why doesn't Samuel Lee share this information? Shouldn't UBF members have access to this information? How much of members' money is he just hoarding in the bank? Is there anyone else besides him who decides where the money goes?
A few days ago Dindo called Jamie at work and said the only reason why I left UBF is because I wasn't getting any more financial help from Samuel Lee. Via Dindo, Dr. Ben implied I was only in UBF for financial gain; in this way I think he wants to spread rumors about me that I'm greedy and materialistic so no one will want to listen to those like me who are standing against the corruption of UBF. Dr. Ben, when did I ever ask UBF to give me any money? Never. What was given to me was usually given back in the offering plate. Dr. Ben, if you're right that I'm the kind of person who just wants to get some financial gain from others, then why did I recently turn down $80,000 from my dad to buy a house? You always did pride yourself on being a good judge of other people's character, but I don't think you're too good at it. Please know and tell the truth: I left UBF for the reasons stated in this letter – because I don't respect Samuel Lee as a servant of God and have found him to be very corrupt and abusive. “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership (Psalm 109:8). But I forgive you, Dr. Ben, for not portraying me correctly; I just sincerely pray for the sake of you and your family you may seriously consider and pray about finding a healthy ministry or joining the many who are working for much needed reformation within Chicago UBF.

11. During a 1999 MSU prayer meeting, Samuel Lee mentioned how all the Korean women missionaries worship him like God. Concerning this he laughed and smiled and seemed to be really enjoying this fact. If you're honest, you'll agree with Samuel Lee: people in Chicago UBF do worship him like God. But Acts 10:26 tells us that when Cornelius fell at Peter's feet in reverence, Peter quickly put an end to it and told Cornelius, “I am only a man myself. In Acts 14:14 when the crowd of people began to worship Paul and Barnabas, the 2 men tore their clothes and shouted, “... why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. Psalm 148:13 says, “... for his name alone is exalted. Many in UBF need to stop worshiping their Samuel Lee idol and worship only God. As Peter, Paul, and Barnabas refused to be worshipped and refused to take God's place in people's lives, so too should Samuel Lee. [But to the contrary, he enjoys worshipping him.]

Of course, not all things about UBF are bad. I did have some positive experiences there. Even though there are good things about UBF, I felt very much led of God to write about my negative experiences because they are very serious and need urgent attention. I believe there are many wonderful, sincere Christians among UBF members. UBF members are typically very sacrificial and hard-working. There are many there whose friendship I value very much. They are the reason why I'm writing this – because I care about them and want them to seek out the truth about Samuel Lee. Please don't take my word for it. There are at least two things you can do, if you're willing. 1) Go ask all the hundreds of people why they left Chicago UBF. But prepare yourself. You'll be very much shocked and overwhelmed. 2) Ask God. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth concerning all these matters. Please don't waste anymore of your life under unchristian, man-made rules, and legalism. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:8). “We cannot reach up to God by following rules of self-denial, by observing rituals, or by practicing religion. ... Man made religions focus on human effort; Christianity focuses on Christ's work. ... We can guard against man-made religions by asking these questions about any religious group: (1) Does it stress man-made rules and taboos rather than God's grace? (2) Does it foster a critical spirit toward others, or does it exercise discipline discreetly and lovingly? (3) Does it stress formulas, secret knowledge, or special visions more than the Word of God? (4) Does it elevate self-righteousness, honoring those who keep the rules, rather than elevating Christ? (5) Does it neglect Christ's universal church, claiming to be an elite group? (6) Does it teach humiliation of the body as a means to spiritual growth rather than focusing on the growth of the whole person? (7) Does it disregard the family rather than holding it in high regard as the Bible does? ... To the Colossians, the discipline demanded by the false teachers seemed good, and legalism still attracts many people today. Following a long list of religious rules requires strong self-discipline and can make a person appear moral, but religious rules cannot change a person's heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that (quote taken from the notes on Colossians 2:20-23 in the NIV Life Application Bible). The truth is within your reach. Please contact me if you would like any further information or help contacting other ex-UBF members to hear their stories. Some of you have told me that you feel like Chicago UBF people are unreachable and that we just have to wait for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and open their eyes concerning these things, but Psalm 94:16 says, “Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? If you have suffered at the hands of Samuel Lee please don't remain silent. Please speak up and take a stand on God's side. Share with us your experiences in Chicago UBF for the sake of those who are still suffering and being oppressed and abused there. Tell them you care enough to let them know the truth. I know some of you are afraid to openly say what happened to you because you're fearful of Samuel Lee's retaliation. We know Samuel Lee has had UBF members beaten for speaking out against him (One Korean missionary was beaten so severely he had to be hospitalized for 3 weeks). But please do not be fearful. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ... If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:28,31b). Amen.

Amy Y.