My Feelings about UBF

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 8.36.40 AMHere is a somewhat poetical but not completely poetical writing I wrote about what I would tell my Pastor if I thought he would listen. How I want to cry because he shutdown UBF by not listening to his flock because they were younger than him and not telling them the truth about what he really wants them to do and banishing them from the loving presence of the other sheep. UBF Pastors, I am begging you do not close down UBF. I love UBF but I heard UBF facilities are being shutdown on other campuses and maybe my own for which I might weep. I do not think it was because of the sheep trying to become new shepherds. I think……It was you.

I felt so loved at UBF when I talked to or interacted with almost anyone other than my local Pastor.

You had a problem with me and so you made everyone angry at me

I could not talk to you about my problems

you would just get mad and not listen

so I did not talk to you

I could talk to anyone else in the Church

but not the Pastor

And then one day I had to leave because I did not agree with someone spiritually older than you. I suppose it was because I interpreted the Bible about a single passage. They told me I could not disrespect my elders.

I think I know why you would not listen

because you think the older never has to listen to the younger

that is why there is more hope for a fool than you

because you are wiser in your own eyes than everyone younger than you

I wish you had more hope than a fool

I wish we could be friends

I loved my UBF

I felt loved by everyone but the Pastor

Then he told them I must be fixed

But fixing me made me worse

because my Pastor broke me

He taught those below him we should not date

but pray to God

that God will send the right person

I prayed to God and thought I found someone

I did not date like he said

I followed the directions the way I thought he meant

But he did not mean what he said

There was secret knowledge reserved for the elite which I was not yet privy to, because I was not old enough. He really meant UBF has a system by which other people will find you a spouse. If I was told that in the beginning I could have obeyed but I was not considered old enough to know. But how could I have known if you did not tell me?

I obeyed what I was told

I was punished with brokenness

because I did not obey the secret rule

I was not told

because I was not old enough

So really Pastor it is not my fault that our chapter of UBF is at risk of being shut down. It is yours because you have the key to the esoteric knowledge of God’s will and you will not share it with those younger than you. You think they are too young to understand, they are too young to understand what they are not told. But you are too old to understand what you were told not old and senile but proud that you are older than everyone else so you will not listen.

If you just told them how people really get married they would not be angry at you for not telling them until it is too late. If UBF put it on their own website people would not have to read it on slanderous websites. There would be nothing slanderous about it because you would not have deceived them. A man cannot be guilty of the crime of hiding evidence when he put the evidence on the Church website for all to see.

I do not think most ex-members are angry that you arrange marriages so much as that you hide that you arrange marriages and promote it as the only way to please God best. Do not be a lamp hidden in a basket to block the light for if the light that is in you is darkness how dark will that darkness be?

When you will not share your light with the flock because you do not want them to know your secret rules the light that should come out of you is like darkness hidden within you and how dark is that darkness.

Put on the UBF website that you believe in practicing arranged marriage or matchmaking or whatever you want to call it but do not call it marriage by faith without explaining what that really means. If you don’t do this, Pastor it will be your fault when the Church doors are closed because you are spiritually too old to listen to the flock and they are too spiritually young to be told the truth about what you really mean.

People are not kicking Muslims off campus for forbidding dating they say openly it is “against our religion”. But when you keep your rules secret to the young so that the young cannot obey them, when the young have broken hearts because you broke their spirit, they ask a stronger man to break down your Church doors.

I want to cry

because I can see the flock no more

because the Pastor said I was bad

But now I want to cry even more

because the Pastor broke the pen

and scattered the sheep abroad

to be eaten by ravenous wolves

I never asked the University to ban UBF. But people are asking because you do not tell the truth. And there I was loved and felt loved except by you Pastor and I am sad that not only do I lose access to the flock but now they are harmed more because you have banned them from campus against my will.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us, fellowshipbible. You expressed many emotions I have felt the past several years. Honestly I felt these things from the beginning, in 1987. It is difficult to read your poem without tearing up.

    As a former leader at ubf, what do I want? It could be said as simply as you share in your poem: I want ubf missionaries to feel. I want them to stop saying emotions are evil, humanistic, unspiritual, Satanic, etc.

    This all speaks to what Dr. Hassan calls emotional control. The “E” in his excellent B.I.T.E. model stands for “emotion”. Take a look at the things on the top of his emotional control list.

    1. Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings – some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong or selfish

    2. Teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of homesickness, anger, doubt

    3. Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault

    4. Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness

    Is this not what ubf Koreans call “training”? I reached out to Steve and he has amazing resources and an uncanny understanding of what we are going through at ubf due to his Moonie leadership background.

  2. Hey everyone: Anyone interested in having Dr. Steve Hassan do a workshop somewhere? I will help organize. I need some volunteers and donations and interest.

    Thoughts on a “Freedom of Mind Workshop for former ubf members”?

    Dr. Hassan services

    “Option Four: Sponsor a workshop or attend a scheduled ex-member workshop. If you are on a very limited budget but would like to work with Steve in person, consider organizing a program in your city. If there are a number of other former members who also want to work on issues relating to cult involvement, then pooling financial resources is a good choice. If you have experience at event planning, or are just a highly motivated person and have good organizational skills and free time, just contact the office for more information.”

  3. Speaking of emotions, songs and movies were the best way for my emotions and conscience to grow back after having been cut out by ubf missionaries. The best anti-dote for KOPAHN is music!

    For example, this song explains how I felt as I resigned from ubf forever:

    Petra: Second Wind

  4. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, I will venture a reply : )

    Seems like UBF got banned at a University?

    I really appreciate your poetic form and expression. Honestly, you have given voice and form to many of the “groans” in my heart. Sometimes poetry really encapsulates a feeling or reality that can’t be attested to. There are so many statements here. I just want to respond to a few. I value your struggle and God’s people and the difficult time you and your ministry have gone though, and pray God will continue to build your love as you bear your own cross, the weight of the ministry at your school.

    “But he did not mean what he said.” How many people have tried to follow what a missionary pastor has said, and it led to bad consequences, yet the pastor wasn’t accountable? “Didn’t mean what he said” is too often true. Lack of English training and being equipped for intercultural missions is a serious problem that will take generations to correct.

    “How could I have known if you did not tell me?” I recently brought up the problem of unspoken expectations with one of the missionaries in our church. He seems completely unaware of the possibility, and expects a clean slate approach, not taking his own leadership responsibly. I made a decision before God to not let anyone punish or dictate my life with unspoken expectations again. And not much response to this from said missionary.

    “Do not be a lamp hidden in a basket to block the light” This describes well the problem of hidden expectations, hidden discipleship plans, and all the gossipping about growing disciples in UBF that often happens (not always, but often). To make healthy boundaries, students and shepherds have to learn to say, “ok, I can serve (x role), but please tell me first before you tell the conference committee” so that it can be about discipleship instead of show. For one conference (it was a frighteningly large conference) I was strongly advocated to be a messenger. Another vigourously stood against me to be a messenger because I had been “disobedient.” Yet that person had never approached me about my supposed “disobedience”, and the person advocating me to be a messenger never asked me first, though it was (quite frankly) a very large conference. Openness and transparency (yes I know you should make hard decisions away from the public, but) are absolutely key in this culture and our time.

    “Do not call it marriage by faith without explaining what that really means.” If they explained in fullness, they know most people would just go to Cru or FOCUS or IVBF. If they really explained how little they support family or mission as well, they would get a much different reaction. However, it would also make them accountable to own up to mistakes in the past and that is not easily manageable.

    • “Seems like UBF got banned at a University?”

      It is not clear to me, but yes there is an effort to ban ubf at one university it would seem. This is not new. ubf has been banned numerous times in the past. I’m not concerned with banning them. I just want to warn people of the harmful effects of KOPAHN theology.

      ubf promises to make you a “world class leader” through their hidden 6 stage disciple training program.

      I stand as a living witness that such “training” servers only to feed the narcissistic supply of a few Korean ubf leaders. After 24 years of such “training” I could not speak or listen to American English properly, had no clue what the basic doctrines of Christianity are, and was only world class in one thing: sitting on a folding chair and foolishly submitting all my life decisions to my shepherd for approval and to find “God’s will” for my life.

      Don’t be fooled. “God’s will” is code at ubf for “stay loyal to ubf”. ubf people are confused between “ubf” and “God”. This is all proof-texted from the bible to give the false appearance of authority. Don’t believe them.

  5. forestsfailyou

    One of the most damning things I ever heard from someone in UBF (and I use the word damn in its intended usage) was when I was told that my “shepherd” was better able to discern God’s will. For several years I had a friend who was Korean and a girl. She lived in Chicago and so I had not seen her in person in about 5 years. When it was discovered that I had a “girlfriend” I started being told to give up Ishmael. At the same time I heard people joyously tell older leaders “He is struggling to give up a Korean girlfriend.” Despite these efforts I still talked to her, until her family found out I was in UBF. Apparently her uncle is a pastor in Chicago and knew well of the organization and instructed his niece to break all contact.

    • Mark Mederich

      MJ/USA FOR AFRICA ’85:
      “There comes a time when we hear a certain call
      When the world must come together as one
      There are people dying
      And its time to lend a hand to life
      The greatest gift of all

      We can’t go on pretending day by day
      That someone, somehow will soon make a change
      We are all a part of Gods great big family
      And the truth, you know,
      Love is all we need

      We are the world, we are the children
      We are the ones who make a brighter day
      So lets start giving
      There’s a choice we’re making
      We’re saving our own lives
      Its true we’ll make a better day
      Just you and me

      Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
      And their lives will be stronger and free
      As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
      So we all must lend a helping hand


      When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
      But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall well well well well
      Let us realize that a change can only come
      When we stand together as one

      [Chorus: x2]
      Just You and me”


  6. I almost fully resonate with fellowshipbible’s poem, as well as with Brian, Matt and forests. Considering that I have been in UBF for 35 years (longer than any two of you combined!), my sentiments might be all the greater. But let me try to be charitable and to stop and empathize.

    I’ve said this repeatedly, (most if not close to all of) our ubf missionaries DID sacrifice in order to be missionaries in a foreign land. They, for the most part, are also extremely generous and hospitable. We, the indigenous people, SHOULD commend them. But they SHOULD NOT expect that we do, since they did so for God and not just for us. As long as they expect, they are only making themselves miserable for nothing. When they expect, God will say, “Is my reward not enough?” So, thank God for their sacrifice and generosity.

    To be empathetic, they are expressing their culture and imposing their expectations on Americans and other indigenous people. It’s because they know of no other way to express their Christianity. Sadly, most ubf chapters are based on Korean culture and expectations, including what this poem expresses so well. I understand this and want to be patient and understanding with them. But it DOES NOT excuse them. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Because they do not contextualize (thinking it is a sin or a compromise to do so), more and more problems, schisms, conflicts, departures and divisions will arise, as has been happening.

    What wins people is not how much one sacrifices or how generous one is. But what wins people is incarnation, condescension and genuine humility. As long as our missionaries keep their (power) distance, they are not going to have many true friends or disciples among Americans, no matter how much they sacrifice.

    I believe that our missionaries are truly commendable in countless ways. But as long as that is what they think of themselves, the results will be counterproductive. I was trying to be charitable, but I probably did not succeed!

    • MJ Peace

      Thank you for sharing fellowshipbible. This brings up a question I have. I’m not Korean and so maybe those who are Korean can answer this. Dr. B, you bring up a valid point about the lack of contextualization when it comes to marriage in UBF, which is “MBF.” I don’t understand how it is laudable for a man to wait for his Bible Teacher to find a spouse for him. In the US this is not normal behavior. Usually, the guys I know would think it insulting if they cannot find a girl they like and have to wait for someone to find someone for them (like Isaac in the Bible, who was 40). They also find it insulting when they have found a Christian lady they like and yet are forbidden to talk to her. A lot of young people date in UBF, but can’t share it openly. In Korean Culture is the characteristic of waiting until someone finds a spouse for you the acceptable way of marriage? In the US, it can be interpreted as spinelessness or cowardice. In American churches there is nothing wrong with a Godly man courting a Godly woman, that is the way dating/courtship (whatever you want to call it works.) It’s in UBF (and maybe other Asian Churches?) that it is frowned upon. It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not suggesting everyone needs to date to get married, it is helpful to have the input of friends, family and mentors in the process of getting married. I’m saying why is dating mostly always considered sinful in UBF? It’s the old trick of parents hating whoever their daughter brings home, instead of helping their daughter make good choices and supporting the choices she makes.

    • Charles Wilson
      Charles Wilson

      I’m half Filipinos and half white. I grew up almost always around asian people and I excused much of what I saw missionaries do because of I perceived as Korean culture. But what’s grievous when I consider it now is that that was all done on my part. Missionaries never excused or asked understanding for these abusive practices as being related to Korean culture. Instead, it was always taught as “God’s way” which is revealed in the bible and plain as day in the word of God, particularly about how to marry.

      I believe UBF should answer for its own actions and those brought in should stop excusing it by their own reasoning. As many have mentioned here, and which is highlighted in the article, things are not what they seem. But there’s no need to find a way to excuse it anymore.

  7. Mark Mederich

    [Admin Note: I fixed the formatting of this comment and share the first part. We cannot post the whole article as a comment, but everyone can read the full article here: Statements from Blaine Ayers, Executive Director, SAE Fraternity This article contains his comments after some of the Oklahoma fraternity SAE chapter were video taped singing a hateful chant on a bus.]

    Good morning.

    I want to thank everyone for coming today. In addition to being the Fraternity’s Executive Director, I’m also a proud member of SAE. And I want to start my remarks today by saying that the recent actions of certain members at the University of Oklahoma do not reflect the Fraternity I now lead. The chant in the video is ugly, demoralizing and absolutely counter to the values of SAE. I want to be crystal clear – we have zero tolerance for that sort of behavior.

    As a national organization, however, we must take accountability for the actions of those whom we have welcomed into our membership. And so today I want to apologize on behalf of our Fraternity for the pain this situation has caused. The words were offensive and harmful, and we now must begin the task of seeking forgiveness and taking steps to ensure this never happens again.”

    • Wow Mark! Did you hit enter so many times or was that a formatting thing?

      Even so, it’s a great example of an organization taking responsibility for their leadership, one that is essential in surviving today’s information culture.

    • Admin Note: I fixed the comment formatting.

    • I really love how the leaders in Oklahoma responded to this, both in and out of the SAE fraternity.

      This is an exemplary leadership action:

      1) “we must take accountability for the actions of those whom we have welcomed into our membership”

      2) “we now must begin the task of seeking forgiveness and taking steps to ensure this never happens again.”

      I hope ubf leaders are reading this. Can you see how shallow and empty the words “I want to apologize” would be without these two concrete statements of repentance and penance?

      This is what I have been saying for the past 4 years. I summed it up in my open letter which sparked a few discussions with ATK (the GD) but his responses never came close to what the SAE director writes.

      In my letter I share two of the demands that I am convinced the gospel makes of us:

      1) repentance: Admit the abuse, to open the door to actual forgiveness and reconciliation.

      2) penance: Release the bonds, to ensure the abuse never happens again.

      Two demands: My Open Letter to the Director of UBF

    • Mark Mederich


  8. big bear

    Thanks for sharing your feelings…feelings are suppressed in UBF as if they don’t matter…emotions are ignored…this is a real sign of an unhealthy church…families need to be loved, students and the body of Christ…how can a church love if it does not listen to its members and the body of Christ…yes many in UBF sacrifice much..I was once there for 28 years…unfortunately, these sacrifices become a banner of pride and stubborn refusal to listen to the younger generation..I became so caught in the UBF system as a director that I failed to listen to my now ex-wife and children…God did not abandon us but it is destructive if you do not humble yourself to listen to others..this site has reinforced everything that I saw that was destructive about UBF and I learned more about UBF after leaving especially about its dark history…yes there is no perfect church but it does not give a church a reason to not listen to others and the church around them who are making strides to change and bring healing…your feeling are important and keep speaking out until someone will listen,,,God hears your concerns and sees your struggle..God is love and He loves you unconditionally…

    • Amen, Big Bear. I’m sure that Jesus’ pow-wow sessions with his disciples had a lot of sharing and communication, and the big prayer meetings like in Acts 1 surely had a great deal of sharing, prayer and healing woundedness. Imagine how much the church had to learn to trust Peter again . . . by coming together they were healed in Christ.

  9. fellowshipbible

    What is KOPAHN?

    Did someone make the text really vertical and hit enter so many times because they felt enter was hit so much in the article to copy the structure and subtly suggest it should not be used so much or was it more of a computer issue or something else?

    • Hi fellowshipbible,

      To answer your questions… Yes that comment by Mark is a computer glitch. I plan on fixing the formatting of that comment this weekend when I get a chance.

      KOPAHN is an acronym for Kingdom Of Priests And Holy Nation. ubf refuses to identify their theology. They claim the absurdity of “we just follow the bible only”. That is a common fallacy. No one “just obeys the bible”. Everyone has their own theology.

      So I labeled the cult theology of ubf as “KOPAHN”. I describe this briefly in my 2nd book, “Goodness Found: The Butterfly Narratives”.

      I have sometimes called my new theology as “the butterfly theology” or “outlaw theology”. No one will have perfect theology. We all die before figuring it all out. So I knowingly and unashamedly am working out my theology while first learning how to love people, even enemies.

  10. fellowshipbible

    Is the person in that picture swimming or drowning? At first I thought they were swimming but than I noticed the position of the hands and lack of visibility of the head

    • I chose the picture of a drowning person…that is how I often felt at ubf for 24 years and that is how your poem/article made me feel. I find it so very healthy to express such feelings. I just thank God that Chris and Dr. Hassan and all 9 Christian pastors, along with my wife and entire family were there for me.

    • I also have to credit Ben and Joe and Westloop and this ubfriends community. Without them my recovery from ubf would have been far more devastating. I only had to write 3 books. Without them I might have had to write 3 dozen books or not even discover my love for being an author!

  11. Mark Mederich


    • Mark Mederich