VOL. LXXVIII, No.20, PAGE 1
14 January, 1991.
“Korean `cult’ quits Winnipeg?”
By Paul Hayward
A controversial Korean missionary church which targeted university students appears to have packed it in and left Winnipeg. However, a member of the group insists it is still going strong.
The University Bible Fellowship(UBF) was banned from the University off Winnipeg in 1986 and then from the U of M last summer, follwing numerous complaints of cult-like activities.
Kevin Jesmer, a third year arts student and long-time member of the UBF, confirmed that the Korean members had sold their house on 3 Emory Road in early December, but said the UBF was still here and that he had been appointed as director.
“Basically, through newspaper articles, slander and lies, people’s minds have been poisoned from hearing the gospel from Korean missionaries, so a Canadian [Jesmer] was raised up as the leader,” said Jesmer.
Jesmer wouldn’t comment on how many Canadian members remained, but said, while at first the group would be small, he was sure it would grow.
“I don’t think it’s a victory [for the UBF’s critics]. Sometimes in a war you have to retreat and reform. Sometimes a retreat is the wisest thing,” said Jesmer.
However, Gord Gillespie of Manitoba Cult Awareness said he believed and hoped the UBF are a spent force in Winnipeg.
“I think Jesmer is just whistling in the wind. He has to put up a bold front, he’s got to be optimistic. After all, he’s their last hope in Winnipeg,” responded Gillespie, who estimated the number of Winnipeg members to be about seven or eight.
Gillespie said the UBF’s failure to establish a foothold in Winnipeg was largely a result of the media coverage.
See Cult page 6
“In my opinion, the newspaper articles have been absolutely bang on. I think the reporters have been very responsible, working hard to find reliable resources, people who have actually been in the group and their parents, people who know what it’s really like.”
Jesmer stated he felt the church’s critics were motivated by an element of racism and atheism.
“Basically Canadians judge us from a humanist, non-Christian point of view”, said Jesmer.
The UBF will continue to be banned from the U of M.
Note: This article was written in 1990. At the time Kevin Jesmer was still a UBF loyalist. But he recently left UBF and goes to a healthy church 🙂