The Scandal around Bonn UBF – A Chronology of Events
We are attempting here to put a chronology to the scandal around Bonn UBF. Most of the documents can only be ranked and understood in the chronological context. This case study also shows characteristically how UBF is dealing with problems, and may serve as a representative documentation and lesson for the future. It also allows insight into the behavior of the leaders of Germany UBF: Kaleb Hong, Abraham Lee and Peter Chang.
Though we could find out many things, still much remains in the dark. Most things happened, as usual in UBF, behind the scenes. Particularly those leaders, who always pretended to be more spiritual than others and not “politically” minded, have taken part the most in these games behind the scenes. UBF is also known for efficiently covering up problems and not letting anything become public. Here are some pieces to the puzzle, which when gathered together among others, from various reports of UBF members, build a frightening case as an overall picture. Please notify us if you can add important details or find mistakes. In order to protect the private sphere of former members, their surnames are abbreviated in the following.
The methods applied by UBF to deal with misconduct and sins can be seen clearly from this example: Cover up, deny, play down and “sit out.” The problems are brushed under the carpet or they just wait until the problems are dead and buried, over and done with, and all members who knew and demurred about these problems have left UBF. After this, they “reconcile” again without any of these problems being solved.
By the way, it should be noted that there is also a Christian way to deal with misconduct and sins. Here are some keywords which we warmly recommend to UBF: Be straightforward and honest, tell the truth to each other, come into the light, confess ones sins to each other and admit the misconduct, repent, apologize and ask for forgiveness, change fundamentally and continue to be changed by God. Unfortunately, the Christian way of dealing with problems seems to be completely unknown in UBF and “repenting” is only something which should be demanded from “sheep.”
Here is the chronology of events, so that everybody can get a picture of it on his own:
Our chronology starts in the year 2000. The problems, however, exist much longer, and the recent scandal in Bonn UBF has had a long previous history. Already in the mid of the 1980s newspapers warned for the first time of UBF, especially of Bonn UBF. At the end of the 1980s, the first detailed reports on UBF by cult experts were published. Even Jürgen D., a long time former member of Bonn UBF, who even had written a counterstatement to these reports, dissociated from Bonn UBF and Peter Chang in a letter in the year 1996.
01/30/2000: Peter (Dae-Won) Chang, the leader of UBF in Bonn, Germany, is asked by Susanna P. for an appointment, because she has some grave allegations against him, which she wants to clarify in a personal talk. Susanna had been sent from Korea for some years as a missionary to Bonn UBF and from there to Siegen (a city in Germany), where she was still subordinate to Peter Chang as a leader. She had experienced the authoritarian conduct of Peter Chang in Bonn as well as in Siegen. Peter Chang declines to talk with her.
09/09/2000: After Susanna has reported on the problems in Bonn UBF to the director of Germany UBF, Abraham Lee, her charges are rejected by him. Susanna is depicted as somebody fouling her own nest, and on the Germany UBF leaders’ meeting on September 9, Abraham Lee declared her allegations as lies. However, the problems with Peter Chang in Bonn UBF were in not new, but had been brought up for many years by other co-workers of Bonn UBF again and again. The fact that Bonn UBF resembled more of a military camp than a Christian church was well known everywhere in UBF, though this was often considered as exemplary according to the understanding of mission by UBF members. But although they knew about the special situation in Bonn, now, suddenly, they pretended that the claims of Susanna were made up completely out of thin air.
09/12/2000: Peter Chang rejects another appointment for a talk with Susanna.
09/14/2000: Susanna writes a letter to Peter Chang asking him to answer her questions within one week. The letter was never answered.
10/01/2000: Susanna writes an open letter of complaint about the Situation in Bonn UBF in the Korean language to all leaders of UBF chapters in Germany.
10/04/2000: Kaleb Hong in Heidelberg, who later will be the director of Germany UBF instead of Abraham Lee, receives a copy of the letter, but ignores it. When he was asked about it, he appeases the situation by saying we need to focus first on the upcoming autumn conference, taking place quite a few weeks later. [This is a typical pattern of behavior of UBF leaders in order to play for time. In a similar way, Abraham Lee and Samuel Lee ignored requests about urgent problems with the pretext that they had to care for the preparation of conferences which wouldn’t take place until months later. Of course in UBF conferences are organized all the time, so that in this way they were able to eradicate any discussion about any urgent problems in the bud.]
10/17/2000: After the letter became partially known among the Koreans, Peter Chang reacts, too. But he does not answer himself, but lets the sister of Susanna, Josefine, who had been married to a German member of Bonn UBF, write a reply letter in the Korean language and lets it be published in the Internet.
11/19/2000: After the autumn conference Kaleb Hong continues to keep silent, though he is asked for a statement again by Markus P., the husband of Susanna P., and by other co-workers. Only after repeated urging does he mention the issue at the weekly members’ meeting of Heidelberg UBF. He mentions that a letter of complaint had arrived, but he does not tell the co-workers anything about the content and makes the sweeping statement that the letter is a “slandering campaign” presumably made up by the reformers, who are denoted by him as “savage wolves.” Furthermore, he says that leaders like Abraham Lee or Samuel Lee (he does not even cater to the person of Peter Chang) have sometimes a difficult character, but we should nevertheless accept them as they are. The members should pray for them to resist the reform movement.
02/02/2001: The aliens registration office of the city of Siegen receives an anonymous letter in which Markus P. is denounced. It claims that his green-card and residence permit were not granted in a legitimate way. The letter is written with very poor use of the German language, similar to that used by the of UBF-Koreans.
03/30/2001: The aliens registration office of the city of Siegen receives another anonymous letter denouncing Markus P., with similar content and the same poor use of the German language, with some expressions which are typical for UBF missionaries. At the same time Markus P. is denounced at his working place in a Korean company in an anonymous letter in the Korean language. Maybe somebody believes that they are able to deport the discomforting family of Markus and Susanna P. back to Korea in this way, or to prove that “God does not bless this family;” as it is claimed in Bonn UBF.
04/14/2001: Andreas P., a leading German member of Bonn UBF, has met a severe crisis. He cannot bring the things demanded by his chapter leader Peter Chang into agreement with his faith and conscience any more. However, he cannot just leave Bonn UBF, because his wife is completely addicted to Peter Chang. After Andreas spoke out on matters, he is told to move out of his family’s shared apartment and instead live in the UBF center as punishment, and is ordered to write a testimony of repentance. His wife threatens that if he does not to move out that very evening, she will take the five children and move into the house of Peter Chang. She also demands that he turns over his house keys and check card, so that he cannot draw any money from their bank account. In this desperate situation, expelled by his wife and his church, Andreas calls the UBF chapter in Dortmund late in the evening. He has a little confidence that they may help the situation from a biblical view. Though the reform movement was going on already for quite a few months and most of the German UBF chapters had voted in favor of a reform, the director of Dortmund UBF, Jesaja Lee, until that day had not taken a clear stand on this issue. Only later, after experiencing how the UBF leadership dealt with the case, Dortmund UBF joined the reform movement, too. And Andreas until that day did not even know at all that a reform movement existed, since such problems had of course been completely concealed from the members in Bonn UBF. Jesaja Lee suggests to Andreas to come to Dortmund for the time being and offers his support in solving the problems.
04/15/2001: It is Easter Sunday. Andreas arrives in Dortmund in the morning, exhausted. In order to not jeopardize his marriage, he had handed over his key and spent the night at his working place. He did not even have time to pack a bag. For the first time in long while, Andreas has the opportunity to have a good night’s rest and some quiet time in Dortmund. In the afternoon, he joins the Sunday worship service. After Andreas had explained his awkward situation in short, the Dortmund UBF director, Jesaja Lee, asks him to first sort things out and write down his thoughts about the problems without being ruffled or affected by the opinions of others. Focusing on the problems in writing helps him start to see the problems clearer and to thoughtfully process his experiences.
04/16/2001: Andreas continues to deal with the problems experienced in Bonn UBF in writing on Easter Monday.
04/18/2001: The first German translation of the letter of complaint written by Susanna P. is made. Reading it, Andreas is stunned, but also relieved not to be alone with his view of things. Except for some personal problems with Peter Chang about which Andreas cannot know, such as Chang demanding an adoption of Susanna’s child, he confirms the content of the letter as being true.
04/20/2001: After Andreas had worked for one week at his work place in Bonn, where nobody from Bonn UBF tries to contact him, he attends the spring Bible conference of Dortmund UBF on the weekend.
04/23/2001: In the week after the conference Andreas stays in Dortmund in order to become clear about various things. So much free time to think and read the Bible on his own and pray is a completely new experience for him. During this time also his wish is growing to supplement his first written compilation of problems by making a Biblical survey of the problems in Bonn.
04/29/2001: Kaleb Hong from Heidelberg lets his right hand man, Reiner Schauwienold, write a letter to Stephan Choe from Bochum, one of the spokesmen of the reformers, and lets three other German members sign this letter. Kaleb Hong himself does not sign it in order to make the initiative seem to originate from German co-workers. The pretext of the letter is its reference to a composition, presented by the reform leaders to the UBF leadership. It demonizes the mindset of the reformers and their criticizing of the leadership. But among others in the letter, the criticism uttered by Susanna about Peter Chang is called an evil slandering again. One of the cosigners later admits that he hadn’t even read the letter of Susanna at that time. The letter ends by threatening Stephan Choe with the word: “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck…”
04/30/2001: Andreas meets with Joachim D., another member of Bonn UBF living in a similar situation. Joachim meanwhile also regards the authoritarian leadership of Bonn UBF as extremely problematic, but he, too, has a wife who is a vigorous follower of Peter Chang. Nevertheless, he also dares to write down his experiences in Bonn, which turns out to become a severe test for his marriage, so that he cannot not speak out against Peter Chang any more from then on. From Joachim, Andreas also hears that in Bonn, officially, nobody took cognizance of his absence or dares to ask about him.
05/01/2001: Samuel Lee, the “general director” of UBF in Chicago, writes a letter in Korean to Peter Chang, in which he praises him and his ministry in Bonn to the heavens and sends copies to all German UBF chapters.
05/03/2001: For the first time it is reported that Peter Chang plans to move to Leipzig. As was found out later, Peter Chang really considered fleeing to Leipzig. Officially this is called “sending out to a new pioneering ministry” of course. Later, when the situation for Chang eases, he doesn’t speak about it any more.
05/06/2001: In Cologne, at that time the headquarters of Germany UBF, Andreas (Bonn), Jesaja Lee and Kaleb Kim (Dortmund) talk with Abraham Lee, Markus Keum and Peter Lee (Cologne) in the evening for five hours about the whole issue. It is reported that Abraham Lee had been labeled as a “Jell-O pudding” in the course of the conversation. Abraham Lee explains that he had not known how serious the problem was, but he promises to resolutely do something according to Biblical proceedings.
05/07/2001: In Cologne, Abraham Lee talks with Peter Chang, who denies all allegations against him and Bonn UBF, and depicts everything as only being a purely private problem of the family of Andreas.
Now, after the letter of Samuel Lee with the paean of praise for Peter Chang has arrived, nobody believes any more that Abraham Lee will dare to do something against Peter Chang.
05/08/2001: Stephanus Park (Bonn) and the wife of Andreas visit Abraham Lee in Cologne. They too call the whole issue only a personal problem of Andreas and his family.
Because he had heard about the situation in Bonn from Abraham Lee, Kaleb Hong calls Jesaja Lee in Dortmund. He assures that he is standing one hundred per cent on the side of the truth. Interestingly, on the very same day the Korean translation of the letter of his Heidelberg “shepherds,” depicting everything as a slandering, is published on the Internet.
05/10/2001: Abraham Lee speaks in Cologne with Joachim from Bonn, who affirms the description of the circumstances in Bonn by Andreas as being true. When he called Jesaja Lee shortly thereafter to inform him about the situation in Bonn UBF, supposedly he even used the word “cult.”
The wife of Andreas writes an extremely venomous letter to Jesaja Lee, alleging that he has among other things, insidious, malignant and political motives. She prompted him not to interfere in her “house church” (marriage). She writes that as his co-worker, she has been engaged in the holy task of struggling for Andreas’ repentance for the past four years, since he had a “sincere prayer topic” (problem). She writes that her treatment of Andreas had been necessary in order to make “the consequences of his mindset very clear.” The language of her letter alone shows her total indoctrination.
05/11/2001: Big meeting in Cologne. Attendants: Abraham Lee, Peter Lee, Markus Keum, David Hong, Sarah Lee, Andreas Krahwinkel, Anton S. (has left UBF meanwhile), Volker Keller (Cologne), Jesaja Lee (Dortmund), Andreas P. (Bonn), Walter Nett, Daniel Park (Düsseldorf). Again, they confirm to have recognized the gravity of the problem in Bonn UBF and make assurances to initiate the necessary steps.
05/13/2001: Kaleb Hong writes a letter to Samuel Lee reporting to him the problems in Bonn UBF. At the members’ meeting on Sunday in Heidelberg Kaleb Hong lets the report of Andreas on Peter Chang be read, and now all of a sudden claims that all these allegations against Peter Chang are true, though he had called the similar allegations of Susanna against Peter Chang as a “slandering campaign” only some weeks earlier. The members are shocked. Some weeks later, again, when it becomes clear that Samuel Lee despite all this would stand on the side of Peter Chang, Kaleb Hong apologizes for his “political acting” and co-works together with Peter Chang again. The same opportunistic behavior can be seen with Abraham Lee, though not so quickly and distinctively. The members assume the respective opinion of the leaders and later also stop being shocked, after Kaleb Hong had announced his new direction “we are co-working well together with Peter Chang again.”
05/15/2001: In the evening another meeting in Cologne. Attendants: Abraham Lee (Cologne), Peter Chang (Bonn), Jesaja Lee (Dortmund), Kaleb Hong (Heidelberg). Jesaja Lee describes the problems and demands a statement of Peter Chang, saying it was not his intent to attack the Bonn chapter without reason or to abuse the case of Andreas for reform. Peter Chang says that he is only misunderstood and has not reason to repent or resign. He says he only wanted to help the family of Andreas, to restore their harmony, and there were no noteworthy problems besides this, and anyway not coming from his side. He says he also tried to visit Andreas, but he was not there. He admits that he recently considered handing over the leadership and move to Leipzig. He denies the supposed existence of a dubious bank account in Belgium. He also says he never had taken the position of God, and never determined the amount of offering money. Only one of the three houses in Bonn UBF was registered in his name. Abraham Lee admits that he should not have ignored the letter of Susanna. Only by the testimony of Andreas, which was mainly the same, he had recognized the gravity of the issue. He said he also recognized that the problems of Bonn UBF are damaging the reputation of Germany UBF and also the reputation of Samuel Lee. Peter Chang should make a written statement about the mentioned issues. He says he decided to solve the problems in a Biblical way and bear the consequences if he was not able to solve them. Kaleb Hong chimes in that Peter Chang has many gifts, but is lacking of an objective view. He says restoring members trust towards the leadership is the most important thing right now. Peter Chang was not a good example. Kaleb Hong reports that Samuel Lee got a shock when he heard about the problems. Peter Chang should be made responsible and step back from his ministry, but he should be given time to solve the problems. Peter Chang answers that in the future he wanted to better himself, but not resign. He says he would agree to write a testimony, but not a testimony of repentance.
05/16/2001: Abraham Lee and Andreas write letters to Samuel Lee. Jesaja Lee writes a letter to John Jun, the director of Korea UBF.
05/17/2001: Samuel Lee tells Peter Chang to visit him in Chicago. Insiders talk about a “training” for Peter Chang of at least half a year in Chicago. Peter Chang follows the instruction of Samuel Lee and flies to Chicago. He does not come alone, however, but takes Stephanus Park with him, obviously in order to testify in his favor. The leadership in Bonn is taken over for the time being by John Park of New Jersey UBF, a close confidant of Peter Chang, who arrives for this very purpose from the USA.
05/18/2001: Samuel Peter Ryu (Mainz), a follower of Peter Chang, and John Park visit Andreas in his office and have one-sided talk at him for 13 hours.
05/19/2001: Despite all of this, Andreas comes to Dortmund again. On this day his wife calls five times to Dortmund demanding that he should come to the spring conference of Bonn UBF in Olpe. Jesaja Lee and Kaleb Kim therefore drive from Dortmund to Olpe with him. When he arrives in Olpe, Andreas is allowed to enter, but Jesaja Lee and Kaleb Kim are hindered by force to leave the car. They are attacked and threatened by a “greeting delegation” of six missionaries. Among them are the leaders of New Jersey UBF, John Park, and Kiev UBF, Peter Kim, who both are good friends with Peter Chang and have adopted many of his methods of leadership in their own UBF chapters. After Jesaja rebuked them telling them that they are not informed about the background situation at all, at least Peter Kim of Kiev held his horses. The Bonn missionaries try by all means to prevent Andreas from returning to Dortmund, however, without success. Walter Nett and Daniel Park from Düsseldorf UBF, who came to talk with the co-workers from Bonn about the problems, experienced similar things that day, though they are well known as anti-reformers. Though they succeeded in getting in, very quickly they found themselves outside again (original quote in the diplomatic language of UBF: “We have been led outside by the hand”). Also, at this weekend, Sarah Barry (founder and since 2002 director of UBF) calls the wife of Andreas. The highest leadership of UBF tries to depict the problems around Peter Chang as a “marriage problem” of Andreas and to solve it by either integrating Andreas back into Bonn UBF or sending his family somewhere else without causing a stir.
05/20/2001: Jesaja Lee writes a letter to Samuel Lee describing the situation to him and asks him to solve the problem.
05/21/2001: Andreas gets back the keys for the apartment from his wife. Now he can use his own apartment again.
05/22/2001: Peter Chang and Stephanus Park come back from Chicago to Bonn ahead of schedule. It is reported that Peter Chang pretended to have an urgent date of a trial as a reason for his departure from the USA. Seemingly, he fears to be replaced as leader in Germany during his absence. As his official reason, he claims he came back to Germany in order to rescue the marriage of Andreas.
05/24/2001: Jesaja Lee (Dortmund) and Kaleb Hong (Heidelberg) talk with Abraham Lee in Cologne. All of them are likewise puzzled by the quick return of Peter Chang. Again, no decisions are made.
Jesaja suggests that a joint meeting of the Cologne UBF church council together with some other leaders of Germany UBF should take place. Leaders of UBF chapters which had joined the reform movement should also take part in that meeting. At this meeting, a demand note to Peter Chang should be written and sent to him, according to which he should make a detailed written statement about the allegations of Andreas and Susanna in about one week. If he neither can clear up the problems in a satisfactory way, nor repents, the co-workers should put out a statement in which they dissociate from Peter Chang in Bonn.
05/25/2001: Peter Chang sends a fax to Abraham Lee explaining that he wants to co-work and solve the “marriage problem of Andreas.”
A longtime former member of Bonn UBF, Paulus E., who had been active there for 10 years as a UBF missionary, affirms the reports about the authoritative leadership and other complaints against Peter Chang in a letter to John Jun, the leader of Korea UBF. Abraham Lee receives a copy of this letter.
05/26/2001: A typical UBF solution emerges. The wife of Andreas is instructed by Samuel Lee to move to Cologne UBF with her husband. Peter Chang shall “bow his head” towards Abraham Lee and other leaders according to the words of Samuel Lee, and co-work with them. In this way, the UBF image would be restored and thus the problem solved. The only problem still left seems to be now, the wife of Andreas so far refuses to obey this instruction and obeys Peter Chang more than Abraham Lee and Samuel Lee.
05/27/2001: Andreas attends the worship service in Cologne together with his wife. But immediately after this, she drives back to Bonn in order to also attend the worship service there in the afternoon. Again, after this, in the evening there is a big meeting in Cologne. Attendants: Abraham Lee, Peter Lee, Markus Keum, Moses Hur, Andreas Krahwinkel, Anton S., Volker Keller (Cologne), Jesaja Lee (Dortmund), Walter Nett, Daniel Park (Düsseldorf). Besides Jesaja Lee again no representative of reform is admitted. Walter Nett reports that he wanted to speak frankly about the problems at the conference in Olpe, but had been pushed out of the door. Jesaja reports about his experiences, the struggle, the false allegations and interference, especially by John Park, Peter Kim and Samuel Peter Ryu, and about the hardening of the attitude of the wife of Andreas, who does not want to leave Bonn UBF, despite the instruction of Samuel Lee. After Samuel Lee had received a long letter from the wife of Andreas, he had recognized himself, that her relationship to Peter Chang was unhealthy and instructed that Peter Chang should not see her any more, but send her out to another UBF chapter. Abraham Lee also reports about the Fax written by Peter Chang in which he asks for help to co-work for world mission and solve these problems. Peter Chang allegedly had repented with tears in Chicago, but Abraham Lee doubts his repentance and is waiting for it to be proven by deeds. The fact that the family of Andreas is allowed to attend the worship service in Cologne is regarded as a positive signal, but more positive signals should follow. Various suggestions for a solution are made, but again no concrete decision is made.
06/01/2001: Meanwhile it looks like the majority of the conservative UBF leaders just want to wait. Only Peter Lee (Cologne) and Jesaja Lee (Dortmund) are pushing for immediate further steps against Peter Chang. All the others seem to follow the instruction of Samuel Lee who has given “wait and see” as the only direction. Meanwhile it is suggested that Andreas move to Heidelberg under Kaleb Hong since his wife is refusing to move to Cologne of Abraham Lee. Both of them seem to be unhappy with this suggestion as well.
Andreas reports that meanwhile both of his elder children are keeping their eyes shut when he is speaking with them, because their mother and “grandpa Peter” (Chang) had instructed them to do so. As a reason they are told the “dad is spiritually unhealthy.” He is also blamed with being possessed by an evil demon.
Samuel Lee seems to have recognized the problem in Bonn, that the relationship of the women with Peter Chang is unhealthy, and that Peter Chang is not completely obedient to him. He instructs that the wife of Andreas “is offered as his Isaac, to send her out and not see her any more.” After this Peter Chang has all his female followers write letters to Samuel Lee, in which they should emphasize that their relation to Peter Chang is absolutely healthy.
06/09/2001: The situation in Germany stays the same. Abraham Lee rejected the proposal of Jesaja Lee to sit at the table and talk about the problems together with leaders of the reform movement. And he also rejected the proposal to invite two or three representatives of the reform movement to the meeting of the Cologne UBF church council to discuss about these problems. As the reason he states that this could be interpreted by Samuel Lee as a sign that he had been influenced by the reformers.
06/12/2001: Jesaja Lee, Abraham Lee and Peter Lee prepare a letter to Peter Chang in which he is asked to give a written statement about the following five points within one week: his claiming a position as the visible representative of God whom everybody needs to obey absolutely, his strong interfering into the marriages of the members of his chapter, his disciplining of the children of members using dubious methods including beatings with a stick and the destruction of their family life by not leaving them any time for themselves and their children due to his time-consuming program, the missing financial report of Bonn UBF, as well as the exploitation of the members of his chapter, who have to obtain bank loans and serve him, while he himself is enjoying an easy life. In order to make sure that the changes in Bonn are continued on in the long run, he should also agree to inform his co-workers about the problems and let his chapter be monitored by talks with his co-workers and visits.
It is not known whether the letter has been ever sent to Peter Chang. A controversial point seems to have been whether the letter should be sent in the name of the Cologne UBF or in the name of all UBF chapters in Germany. Since Abraham Lee had rejected to talk with the reformers, Jesaja Lee insists that this letter could only be sent in the name of Cologne UBF. Abraham Lee does not seem to really like this idea.
06/15/2001: Andreas is visiting an evangelical church in Bonn now together with his wife, after Samuel Lee had several times plainly instructed her not to see Peter Chang again. She is however still on the side of Peter Chang, but Andreas hopes that by visiting the other church she will start to open her eyes to her dependency of this man and the spiritual problems in Bonn UBF.
06/28/2001: Stephanus Park (Bonn) writes a Korean counterstatement against the report of Andreas for the leaders of Korea UBF.
07/26/2001: Beginning of the 2001 international summer conference of UBF in the USA at the Illinois State University (ISU).
07/28/2001: Peter Chang of Bonn delivers the main message of the conference, with the very title of the conference, “A Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation.” Not only is the reform movement boycotting this conference, but so also are some UBF members of some UBF chapters, which do not belong to the reform movement. Among others, the wife and the son of Abraham Lee and some members of Cologne UBF do not fly to the conference for this reason. And some of those who do attend leave the hall while Peter Chang is delivering his message. It is a lame and non-effective protest, however. Most of the international attendants do not notice anything and are not informed about the problems anyway. Besides this, the conference is the usual propaganda show of Samuel Lee with the same messages and the same program as every year. Some leaders like Kaleb Hong try mask the low turnout of attendants by attending the conference with nearly all members of their UBF chapters despite the high cost of airfare. Of course all of Bonn UBF, about 40 members, traveled to the USA in order to shout encouraging “amens” to their idol, as they usually do.
Andreas P. attends the conference because of his wife, who absolutely wanted to attend the conference in the USA despite her bad health. Furthermore, Samuel Lee had called Andreas before and promised to talk with him there. Andreas expects a solution of the problem and even agrees to speak the usual prayer at the conference before the message of Peter Chang. Obviously, Samuel Lee hereby only wanted to demonstrate to the attendants that in Bonn everything is in harmony again. During the conference, Mark Yoon, one of the close assistants to the highest UBF leaders, said that Peter Chang had only good motives in what he was doing, and that Andreas should apologize and co-work with Peter Chang again. Sarah Barry said that maybe Andreas could be right, but nevertheless “the servant of God” should be respected and they should co-work together with Peter Chang. Andreas could hardly get the chance to speak with Samuel Lee. Instead, Samuel Lee quickly sent Andreas and his wife on a vacation trip to Miami, Florida, as a reward for Andreas attending the conference, or for his wife for manipulating Andreas into attending the conference. His attendance was important for Samuel Lee, since Andreas had to deliver messages already on earlier international conferences and his absence would have been noticed, while through his participation it seemed that everything was in order.
07/29/2001: End of the international summer conference. Abraham Lee does not return back to Cologne after this conference. The official explanation is that he is staying in Chicago in order to study Mark’s gospel and to be spiritually strengthened by the fellowship with Samuel Lee. But to everybody who knows UBF and Samuel Lee it is clear that Abraham Lee is kept in Chicago for “training.” Samuel Lee even tells him to hand in his passport in order to prevent his premature departure. Abraham Lee obeys this instruction. In the interim, however, Abraham Lee seems to insist on a solution to the problem with Peter Chang, whereupon Samuel Lee decides to unseat him as the director of Europe UBF.
While Abraham Lee is still in Chicago, Kaleb Hong dissociates from Jesaja Lee in Dortmund and instead visits Peter Chang in Bonn and is now saying that he wants to co-work together for the sake of raising up disciples, though he knows about the problem in Bonn. While in May he still claimed to stand one hundred per cent on the side of the truth, he now says that he is ashamed of his previous “political mindset.” Also Markus Keum from Cologne visits Bonn UBF on the occasion of their 21st anniversary. Kaleb Hong, Markus Keum and Peter Chang obviously agree to ignore the problems and co-work together as if nothing had happened. Peter Chang meanwhile announces in Bonn, that, Abraham Lee, had already been unseated by Samuel Lee and that all the allegations brought forward against him beforehand had been only the work of the devil.
The wife of Andreas now does not attend the evangelical church any more. But she speaks with Peter Chang and after this attends the worship service and the so-called breakfast fellowship with him in Bonn UBF again. Thus, the ceasefire in the family obviously only lasted until the conference. Andreas recognized that they only wanted to appease him until the conference, and then only to integrate his family back into Bonn UBF after the conference. His wife now gets the highest appreciation and compliments in every aspect by Peter Chang, being called “mother of the nation,” “ancestor of all mothers of faith in Bonn” and an “outstanding example.” Andreas continues to attend the worship service at the evangelical church.
09/14/2001: Abraham Lee is still in Chicago, where he is still officially “studying Mark’s gospel.” Samuel Lee writes letters to Kaleb Hong, Markus Keum (the right hand of Abraham Lee in Cologne) and the wife and the son of Abraham Lee. Meanwhile, we received copies of these letters. Besides these letters there must have been further correspondence between Kaleb Hong and Abraham Lee to Samuel Lee about the case of Peter Chang, the content of which are not known. In the letter to Kaleb Hong, Samuel Lee criticizes the wife of Abraham Lee and tells him that he is planning to make him, Kaleb Hong, the director of Europe UBF and Andreas Krahwinkel the director of Cologne UBF (both positions had been held by Abraham Lee before). Nevertheless, Kaleb Hong (believing nobody knew about the content of the letter of Samuel Lee to him) denies until early November that Abraham Lee was in Chicago for any other reason than “bible study”, nor was there a plan to make him the European director instead. In the letter to Markus Keum, Samuel Lee criticizes the non-appearance of the wife of Abraham Lee and another member of Cologne UBF at the summer conference and writes that all who opposed in this way, have been “dismissed from their jobs.” Abraham Lee is criticized as well, and the reason for his staying in Chicago was to receive “divine discipline.” Markus Keum is appointed as temporary director of Cologne UBF. In the letter to the wife of Abraham Lee, her non-appearance at the conference is called a “rebellion.” She is told to not interfere into the leadership of Markus Keum and Andreas Krahwinkel. In the letter to the son of Abraham Lee, his mother is criticized again.
09/18/2001: Thereafter, the UBF leadership does nothing against Peter Chang. Therefore Jesaja Lee (Dortmund) himself takes the initiative and writes a letter to Peter Chang (Bonn). In this letter he asks him to make a written statement regarding the following points within the next ten days: his claiming of the title “the servant of God” and demanding absolute obedience towards his “orientations,” his interfering into the marriages and letting spouses live apart from each other, his permanent disciplining of the children of other co-workers, even with blows from a stick, and demanding the adoption of the child of a co-worker even after she clearly rejected this, disclosure of the financial and offering money reports of Bonn UBF, his luxurious lifestyle while the co-workers have to take on debts and serve him. This letter of Jesaja Lee of course never has been answered.
10/04/2001: During this weekend, a conference of the German UBF directors was to take place at Rehe which had been planned well in advance. But, because Abraham Lee was staying in Chicago, it had been canceled at first. But since Kaleb Hong had reported about this to Chicago, Samuel Lee had given the instruction through Peter Chang, to have the conference of directors nevertheless. At this conference, out of about thirty, only eight UBF directors attended, because they were discontented with the attitude of the leadership in Cologne and Chicago according the unsolved problems of Bonn UBF.
10/05/2001: In Korea at the board meeting of UBF, fourteen leading UBF members who approved reform were deprived from their membership.
10/07/2001: In the “announcements” after the Sunday message in Bonn UBF, Peter Chang announces the dismissal of Abraham Lee in Cologne. The Bonn UBF members “pray” for Andreas to understand the heart of the “servant of God,” so he may apologize to Peter Chang.
10/18/2001: Peter Chang still seems to consider the option of fleeing to Leipzig. He sometimes stays there and apparently rented an apartment there.
10/19/2001: Jesaja Lee publishes two documents about the situation of Bonn UBF and Germany UBF after the ISU conference on Korean web sites.
10/20/2001: At the autumn Bible conference of the German Reform UBF in Güntersberge, a spontaneous unofficial signature collection is made on the margin of the agenda, with over 50 members of Reform UBF dissociating themselves from Peter Chang with their signature.
11/05/2001: Abraham Lee, against the will of Samuel Lee returns back to Cologne in the night, by secretly getting the authorities issue a new passport for him. Soon afterwards Kaleb Hong receives from Korea UBF the “official” certificate of appointment. He tells the members of Heidelberg UBF, that he did not want to accept the appointment because he like Moses regarded himself as unqualified, but then humbly like Moses accepted the directorship nevertheless.
12/04/2001: The wife of Andreas again visits the evangelical church together with Andreas due to the intervention of Samuel Lee. Andreas hopes again that the sound teaching there will appeal to her. He assumes that there is a moratorium between Peter Chang, Abraham Lee and Kaleb Hong, and that Samuel Lee and the other leaders consider the problem in Bonn solved by letting them visit the evangelical church now.
After Samuel Lee in his had threatened the insubordinate Korean leaders to make native people leaders, now, suddenly, the Sunday sermons in Cologne, Bonn and Heidelberg are not delivered any more by the Korean leaders Abraham Lee, Peter Chang and Kaleb Hong, but by the German “shepherds” Andreas Krahwinkel, Peter Schweitzer and Reiner Schauwienold. Nevertheless, the Koreans remain the chapter directors and elements that should be preached in the sermon are still defined by them. Delivering the messages had been their only real task before. Otherwise there are no changes in Bonn UBF. Peter Chang continues to be the director and claims to have done everything right. He says the recent “persecution” and “testing” is a proof that he is doing the work of God.
12/19/2001: Michael K., a student who made Bible study in Bonn UBF for two years, describes in a testimony (only available in German) his spiritual struggle during this time and describes several unbiblical things according to his point of view, such as the authoritarian shepherd-sheep-structures, use of titles and the extreme focus on mission as the goal and meaning of a life of faith.
01/08/2002: Samuel Lee dies of a fire in his house. At the same time the conference of the European UBF directors takes place, to which Abraham Lee, the former European director, is already not invited any more.
01/12/2002: Funeral of Samuel Lee in Chicago. Sarah Barry is appointed the new director of UBF.
01/15/2002: Stephan Choe offers to talk about unity between reformers and non-reformers without preconditions to Abraham Lee and the Cologne co-workers. His offer is rejected.
01/18/2002: As Kaleb Hong reports in a letter to John Jun, on this day all co-workers rejoice and clap their hands when the leadership for Germany UBF is once again officially transferred to Kaleb Hong in front of the whole team at the conference of chapter directors. He also explicitly reports that Peter Chang and Abraham Lee again have shaken hands. In the UBF newsletter, he mentions the problems as a minor issue between Cologne UBF and Bonn UBF and pretends to know nothing about the background situation, though he had interfered in these issues all the time.
01/23/2002: Isaac Lee (Stuttgart) and Stephan Choe (Bochum) in the name of all reformers suggest again talking about the unity of UBF to Kaleb Hong and Abraham Lee, which is rejected again.
01/31/2002: In Korea at the board meeting of UBF, all remaining reformers are deprived of their membership.
02/06/2002: It becomes known that Peter Chang was reported to the police. This starts to make waves. Peter Chang himself seems to run scared, making phone calls to everywhere in order to find out who is behind this. Members are told to call former members to find out whether they have something to do with it. Instead of showing repentance, Peter Chang presents himself as a victim of persecution now and only tries to save his own skin. He claims towards the reform opponents in Chicago and Seoul that the reform movement was behind the charge (which is definitely untrue). Thereupon the UBF leadership of reform opponents in Chicago and Seoul put pressure on Abraham Lee in Cologne, telling him to support Peter Chang. After that, Abraham Lee flies to Korea again. Alone the flight costs which were used up by leaders for their incessant traveling in the course of this scandal must sum up to a five-figure amount, and all this is paid from the offering moneys of the members, who stinted themselves beyond measure to support “world mission.” It can be foreseen, though, that the charge against Peter Chang will be in vain. Most of the witnesses who would be able to give evidence do not speak up, due to false “Christian” forbearance or with regard to their spouses who are still slaves to Peter Chang, while most of the members would even perjure in order to protect the “servant of God” Peter Chang. Perhaps it now pays off Peter Chang that he let the married members swear at the wedding ceremony to “endanger their very necks (risked their lives)” for him. Only few of his misdoings can be punished according to the law anyway, even if one could definitely prove them. If e.g. somebody lets himself be beaten “voluntarily” with blows from a stick (i.e. if nobody holds him by force or ties him up), then this is more or less considered as his own foolishness and not as illegal restraint or bodily injury. The problem is that most have in this sense “voluntarily” undergone these and other tortures and that everything happens at a psychological level which is hardly comprehensible in terms of the law. If somebody neglects his or her children to go to a UBF meeting, then he or she is accountable for this in the first line, not UBF and not Peter Chang. The amount of psychological and “spiritual” pressure laying on the person can hardly be investigated before a court. Similar problems exist according the enforcement and misappropriation of offering monies. The offerings are given in closed envelopes, without predetermination for a specific purpose, no receipts are made out and there isn’t any bookkeeping. And even if something could be proven here, it could be regarded as your own stupidity to give so much money away without caring where it goes. The only thing which perhaps could be punished would be tax evasion. For this, however, the same problem applies that nobody actually knows or is able to prove how much “income” Peter Chang really derives from his “religious” business. The UBF members know nothing about what happens in financial respect in UBF. They are only there acquiring new members and for giving their offering monies. If they would demand an account and be interested in any way in the use of the offering monies, then they would be immediately branded as greedy for money and unspiritual. Only the leaders know how much is collected and what happens with the money. Added to all of this, you have to face the difficulty that the abuse took place over years and decades and the persons affected often are only able to openly speak about it many years later. Most criminal offenses have become time-barred by then. Unfortunately, whoever made the police aware of the mischief done in Bonn UBF by Peter Chang (former members, neighbors or indirectly affected persons who have read the reports on the Internet), will therefore have little chance of success with the charge.
03/13/2002: It becomes known that Peter Chang had bought a new chapter building in Bonn-Lengsdorf in addition to the present three houses in Bonn-Endenich. The co-workers have to slave away the whole day now, remodeling and fixing up this new center building. The new building is by the way not a simple bungalow, as it might appear at a first view from the front, but an extensive estate with garden and parking lots, multistory on the back of the sloping site. All four houses and properties are recorded in the registry of deeds under the name of Chang. Although all houses were bought with the offering monies of the members, the members living in these houses (about twelve families) still have to pay rent to Peter Chang according to information from former members. Though he does not have a job, he meanwhile owns houses worth certainly a million Euros, and in addition collects rent from the members who already paid the money for these houses. An extremely clever and lucrative business model. Still he himself claims Bonn UBF to be a “manger ministry.”
03/16/2002: The chapter leaders of Reform UBF in Germany, Andreas Ahn (Aachen), Isaac Park (Bayreuth), Dr. Paul Lee (Berlin), Dr. Stephan Choe (Bochum), Thomas Hwang (Bremen), Joseph Han (Darmstadt), Jesaja Lee (Dortmund), Joseph Kim (Duisburg), Dr. Paulus Kwon (Frankfurt), Lukas Kwon (Gießen), David Kang (Göttingen), Daniel Song (Heidelberg), Augustin Hong (Hamburg), Josef Park (Marburg), Hudson Lee (München), Daniel Hong (München), Dr. Lukas Park (Potsdam), Markus Park (Siegen), Isaac Lee (Stuttgart), Georg M. Park (Wuppertal) sign and publish a declaration according to which they dissociate from Peter Chang and his methods until he declines his unbiblical deeds in word and deeds.
04/05/2002: Peter Chang organizes in Korea the marriage of a Korean missionary woman from New Jersey to his eldest son Petrus Chang, who has just finished high school. Normally, UBF marriages are not arranged in such a young age, but Peter Chang says his son has to marry early in order to protect him from temptation during his future university study. Almost all of the people from Bonn UBF fly with him to Korea to attend the wedding celebration. At this opportunity Peter Chang also tries to arrange a marriage between a young female student in Bonn UBF (a “sheep” which has only been a few months in UBF) and an older co-worker (a “shepherd”) from New Jersey UBF. A friend of this student had already asked a cult advice center for help, and Bonn UBF is now trying with all means to bind this young student to UBF. Only with the help of former UBF members and great effort it is possible to convince her to leave UBF. The “love bombing” of Bonn UBF had nearly claimed another victim. She is now member of a healthy evangelical church.
08/01/2002: At this weekend the 2002 Reform UBF European summer Bible conference takes place in Eringerfeld.
08/08/2002: One week after the reform conference at the same location, the 2002 European summer Bible conference of the non-reform UBF takes place. Mainly, it is organized by Bonn UBF. Senior staff members and leaders from Chicago and Korea attend, including Sarah Barry. The cooperation of the new leader, Kaleb Hong, with the old Germany UBF director, Abraham Lee, and the Bonn UBF director, Peter Chang, seems to go on without a hitch.
08/23/2002: The media start to pick up the issue of Bonn UBF. In the “Bonner General-Anzeiger” newspaper, an article about Peter Chang is published with the headline “He has a totalitarian power position.”
08/24/2002: The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (South German Newspaper) reports with the headline “Bible friends allegedly abused children – public prosecution office in Bonn investigates the leader of the ‘University Bible Fellowship.’“)
08/30/2002: Another article is published in the “Bonner General-Anzeiger” with the headline “Children thankful for beatings.”
09/02/2002: The Korean Christian news magazine “NewsNJoy” reports about the article in the South German Newspaper.
09/04/2002: The evangelical news agency “idea” reports in its press service on the investigations against the Bonn UBF director.
10/07/2002: The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports under the heading “Bible friends go into hiding” about the behavior of Bonn UBF after the recent publications.
10/08/2002: The “Bonner General-Anzeiger” reports about the present behavior of Bonn UBF with the headline “Be unobtrusive and don’t stand out negatively in public any more.”
10/16/2002: Sarah Barry publishes a report in the UBF internal magazine “UBF News,” depicting Bonn UBF as an exemplary UBF chapter. She also particularly mentions that Kaleb Hong, Abraham Lee and Peter Chang sat and prayed together throughout the whole summer conference, apparently wanting to make it clear that there are no more discrepancies between the leaders of the German UBF.
03/22/2002: Heidelberg, Bonn and Cologne UBF organize a joint conference with the title “For the Glory of God.” With the passage from John 17 they try to evoke and seal unity among the three chapters. Stephanus Park and Peter Chang give lectures on the history of UBF (from their view).
04/09/2003: The “Bonner General-Anzeiger” reports that Bonn public prosecution has stopped the proceedings against Peter Chang. As already mentioned, it was probably too difficult to find punishable acts which could persist in court, could be satisfactorily proven, and weren’t time-barred already. Given the chronic overload of German public prosecutors, it is therefore understandable that the proceedings had to be stopped. Peter Chang apparently also instructed his co-workers to not attract attention in public any more. Meanwhile, his group hardly can be seen recruiting new members in Bonn, and they pay attention that the children are no longer sent to nursery schools untended or with bruises. The hustle and bustle in the media had also scared some potential witnesses and resulted in their withdrawing from the scene. It can be supposed that Bonn UBF now will slowly come out of the snail shell again into that they had retreated until the storm was over. An all-clear, saying “Bonn UBF has no more outer effect anyway,” cannot be given yet, and the personality cult around Peter Chang by indoctrinated and exploited members still goes on.
05/26/2003: Peter Chang publishes a short report on Bonn UBF on the official internet pages of UBF in Korea, showing no signs of repentance or insight. Like the leadership in Chicago, Chang is now putting his hope on the “second generation.” He brags about 70 people now attending his worship services and their plan of “pioneering” the faculty of medicine at the university of Bonn. The report also confirms that Peter Chang still considers sleep deprivation a proved means for the indoctrination of his members. It had already been observed that lights were burning also in the group rooms of the UBF in Bonn-Lengsdorf till far after midnight, although the members have to gather for prayer early in the morning again.
06/04/2003: Werner K., the first German co-worker of Bonn UBF, breaks his silence. For almost ten years he had to struggle with the results of the traumatic departure typical of such cults, until he was able to report about his experience in Bonn UBF openly. His report confirms the previous testimonials of former members and permits a glance into the abysses that open to persons affected during and also after such spiritual abuse, which amounts to spiritual rape. The report shows that Peter Chang used the same extreme methods for indoctrination and manipulation of people already earlier. Quite obviously they originated from his “spiritual” foster father Samuel Lee from his time in Korea.
08/13/2003: A student reports that during the last Bible conference of Bonn UBF, again small children were left without supervision. A cult commissioner reports a similar, particularly extreme case which happened some time ago. According to the report, the police, alerted by neighbors, had to break open the apartment of UBF parents, where a small child cried without interruption. They found the infant, caged in a playpen, only with a bowl of milk which had tipped over meanwhile, left all alone in the apartment. The parents were away for a Bible conference of Bonn UBF.
02/19/2004: Heidelberg, Cologne and Bonn UBF are holding “leading co-workers conference” for three days in Ahrweiler with the title “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”