Hey everyone– long time no blogging! Well, I’m back for a couple reasons. One reason is because I want to share with you not one, but TWO miracles. After years of silence, we former members have received two public responses from ubf leaders. This is stunning news my friends, because as we all know, the one thing ubf leaders do not want is public scrutiny. Today’s post is part 1 of 2 (I can only handle one miracle at a time!). I will share my reaction to another public response in the near future.
Today I am compelled to share my reaction to a public response from Toledo UBF, from the co-director himself actually. In case you are wondering, this first public response to me comes 6 and half years after resigning in protest from the group. The response comes after writing 4 books about ubfism and after over 20,000 blog comments.
A One-Star Amazon Review
That’s right friends, the public response to me comes in the form of a bad review on Amazon. You can read it here: a ubf leader reviews my book
The comment is from Russell Kille, who is co-director of Toledo ubf (The other co-director is Greg Lewis). Just so you know– I out rank Russel and Greg in the ubf hierarchy. Russell was but a sheep when I was already one year into my sheephood, and I was already a strong shepherd candidate when Russell arrived on the scene.
Thoughts of a Cultic Manipulator
The first thought Russell wants to share is that my book is “largely based on Brian’s experiences more than 30 years old.” This is a half-truth. Yes I do share my experiences, for what else do we have? Sharing personal experiences is what I was trained to do as a ubf messenger, right? So yes, it is true that I share a lot of my experiences. That way, readers can share in what I felt and saw. It is a lie however, that my experiences are only 30 plus years old. True, I was a member of ubf from 1987 to 2011. My good experiences, as I share in the book, are mostly from that 30 year old time frame. It is the recent, 2010 and later experiences that are rather bad. What I share in my book is that my entire time there is tainted, mixed with good and bad.
What I have discovered while helping over 40 people leave UBF is that their stories mimic my stories. The consistency between former member stories is astounding. When you read the 150+ survivor stories publicly available, you get very familiar with the patterns. These patterns of cultic thinking and behavior are a piece of my book.
Russell then states: “It is highly bias based on those with grievances against UBF.” This is the age old manipulation trick cult leaders use (either knowingly or unknowingly). They like to say, “Your experience doesn’t matter!” What is the whole point of my book? My point is in my title–my identity was snatched away from me! What does this mean? Well, it means I spent my adult formative years living the ubf-imposed identity. It means ubf leaders infiltrated my life, ignored my personal boundaries, and claimed that I belonged to them. It means I spent decades suffering from people telling me that my viewpoint doesn’t matter and that my experiences are not trustworthy. Russell is doing what ubf leaders always do–negate the experiences of people who reject his narrative.
Russell then immediately makes a personal exhortation: “I would encourage Brian to consider the change of UBF leadership and or research the current policies and practices of UBF.” Is this a book review or a demand for me to shut up? This is another common practice of ubf leaders–to give you commands! Oh how I hate the times when I was younger and submitted to such commands!
Russell then makes a rather wild claim: “I believe a fair and impartial examination of the present UBF ministry would reveal the countless endorsements and stories of people who have come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior through this Christ centered ministry.” A fair and impartial examination? Well why don’t we ask the 8 cult watchgroups of their third party opinion of this so-called “Christ centered ministry”? This is code for “Let’s paint ubf in a positive light, shall we?”
Nothing has changed. In 2018, Russell displays the same cultic mindset as I experienced 30 years ago, 20 years ago and 10 years ago. He displays the same authoritarian, command-driven mindset that continues to push students away from this toxic group. And he shows us the same defensive nature that plagued me for so many years.
Did Russell even read my book? I doubt it. If he did, maybe instead of dismissing my stories, commanding me to reconsider the group, and defending his narrative, he might just realize the goal of my book–reconciliation.