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  • Writer's pictureEric Navas

The Spirit Moves West Book Review

Earlier I mentioned UBF's pro-UBF book called The Spirit Moves West. Today I will do a long review of the book. Refresher:

Like I mentioned before the book is about 97% of just interviews from pro-UBF. She even admits so in the introduction: "The data for this book consisted of interviews, surveys, participant observations, and content analysis... Interviews were conducted with missionaries, American leaders, second-generation Korean Americans (the adult children of missionaries) and UBF chapter leaders and staff in South Korea (pg 20).

This is the sources/documentation she uses: "My data also include(s) content analysis of UBF documents. These documents are: Mission Field Reports (2000-2010), Financial Reports (2000-2010), Annual Reviews Reports (2000-2010), written testimonies (conversion narratives) of missionaries and American converts (1980-2010), UBF Sunday worship service message/sermon archives (2007-2010), UBF history books, and UBF websites." (pg 20). Already Rebecca Kim is using bias and inaccurate intel to conduct this book.

Sidenote: It's interesting that Rebecca Kim doesn't include the mission reports Sara Barry made to the Presbyterian Board from 1956-1974:

Here's an example of bias and inaccuracies what I'm talking about:

"Several white students were kidnapped from their homes, work, or school by cult deprogrammers hired by their family members." (pg 118).

This is way off and mostly wrong. In doing my research on Rebecca's research there is three specific cases of white students getting deprogrammed: Tom Brown, Jon Berryman, and John Wick.

Tom Brown's story:

Jon Berryman's story:

John Wick:

But as you can see they were not kidnapped. There was only one case of a deprogramming kidnapping. It is the case of Annie (Anne?) Kang and she along with her family is Korean not white. Here is the story:

Here's commentary about Kang's story from my friends and ex-members:

"The article was written by cult apologists (John Trott), who always operate under the name of "religious freedom" but often have concrete cults in mind they are actually supporting. The magazine is published by a group called "Jesus people USA" which itself is known to be an unhealthy group. EE (Late Dr. Chang-Woo "Samuel" Lee) and Barry started to make some friendship with this group because they had the same "enemy", the former (real) CAN Cult Awareness Network.

See also the entry Cornerstone magazine in

The problem is that these cult and UBF defenders like Mr. Trott, the Passantinos, Miss (Ruth) Tucker never have been in UBF like an ordinary member, they don't know UBF from inside. Yet they dare to doubt the experience and testimonies of hundreds of dropouts. Nor did they experience cult dynamics and mind control being exercised on them in any other group. Therefore they don't understand what it is all about, plus they have ulterior motives to support and defend groups. Some are payed by cults, some simply like the appreciation and honor they use to get there, or they simply like to have an aberrant viewpoint. Maybe some may also honestly believe they do Christianity or religious freedom a favor.

They don't believe and discredit people like us or John who had seen UBF from inside. They also discredit people like Steven Hassan who talks about cult mind control and knows what he is talking about since he was in a cult (the Moonies).

There is another problem about these cult apologists particularly visible in that article: On the one side they deny that mind control aka "brainwashing" exists and is possible, not even over years in a controlling cult environment and supported by religious indoctrination ("if you don't follow us, you will be condemned by God"), on the other side they claim that secular deprogrammers are able to do this withing hours or days. The main line of their argumentation is inconsistent.

They not only speak "like a blind man speaks about color" (as we say in Germany), but their argumentation is also duplicitous. Source:

" Thanks for the insightful article from the Roving Reporter News Network. Last year I also obtained an article from the North Park University library, since the article could not be located on the web. I also did a little research to see if what was said in the aforementioned article was true. (Probably more than cult and Satanic sympathizer co-author, Jon Trott.) Jon Trott was clearly out to write a slanted article because his group, JPUSA, has many similarities to UBF. I called both John Wick and Tim Brauns to get their reactions to this article. Both of them did not even know this article existed. But they both also remembered Mr. Jon Trott calling them. They said he was very confrontational and only interested in writing an article to fit his agenda. This is completely evident when you read the interview with John Wick. Tim Brauns was so upset with Mr. Trott he said, "Print whatever you want. I went to talk to her. And that's all I'm going to say about that." After talking to Tim Brauns he said that Mr. Stott was framing everything from a deprogrammer angle even though Tim Brauns was not brought in as a deprogrammer but came as a reverend, counselor and formerly abused member of UBF. Tim Brauns did not want to talk him because he knew Jon Stott was out to distort anything he said. Donna Adams and John Wick were also brought in as counselors and former members of UBF. All these people were brought in by Annie's grandfather who had gobs of bad information about Samuel Lee's past tax evasion and money laundering in Korea and the USA.

In the article Annie lies in several critical parts of this article. In the first place, she lies and omits information about "marriage by faith." She says, "In Korea, unlike America, it is very common to be introduced to a possible candidate for marriage. My uncles and aunts were all introduced that way. But it's still, of course, up to the two people to decide whether they like each other, whether they want to get married and establish a family..." Annie ignores the fact that in UBF "marriages by faith" the parents are completely left out of the decision making process for marriage, unlike her culture and the Biblical example of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis. Moreover, they purposely make every effort to emasculate the parents from their parental duties. For the most part, they don�t want their parents involved in any part of the marriage planning. As if to say, we know and love your own children more than you do. On top of that, recently they have asked their parents to come up with several thousand dollars to get married in the UBF church to line the pockets of the head UBF person. Furthermore, the first time the parents even meet the spouses of their children is either at the wedding or after it. In my case it was after my marriage for my father.

She also lies inside the same sentence when she says, "I don't know what UBF was like before I came, but since I've been involved I've seen people introduced to up to six different candidates and say no to all of them." How could she know that somebody rejected six different marriage partners, yet not know what happened before she came to Chicago? I never heard of anybody being introduced up to 6 marriage candidates. In Chicago UBF, they usually propose one or two fake candidates. Then once somebody rejects their real proposed partner, they are put on a kind of indefinite probation. Usually the peer pressure by their shepherds and fellowship members are so intense that the couple caves in and gets married in short order. I�ve seen so many people get married in UBF who barely knew each other and are completely incompatible. They are not even allowed to court or date their future spouse. Even after people are married in UBF personal and sexual relationships between spouses is discouraged and the shepherd tries to be the third person in the marriage. These are the reasons there are so many divorces and dysfunctional families in UBF.

At another point in the article Annie says about Tim Brauns, �He said he was a former member of UBF, and though he confessed he had nothing against the doctrine of UBF, he did not like some of the church leaders�� This is also a complete lie. Tim Brauns told me that most of his account in the books, �Churches That Abuse,� and �Scripture Twisting� are about the unbiblical and extrabiblical things that he saw and occurred to him while in UBF. To add to the confusion about the ex-UBF people she says the opposite about John Wick. About John Wick she says, �He�d been in UBF, and said that he had no bad feelings toward Dr. Samuel Lee but that UBF was not a good church.� The first part of this statement is completely untrue. First of all, John Wick has related to me several times how Samuel Lee messed Americans� minds up by flouting different marriage partners, then retracting them and telling that they had severe marriage problems. He even used this trick on Americans with his own daughter, Little Sarah. Also, John Wick would have never called him, �Dr. Samuel Lee,� because this was a fake title Samuel Lee bought several years after John Wick left UBF. John Wick would say UBF is not only not a good church but also one that can reap incredible damage on young people�s lives. (John Wick is currently the COO of Wellspring Retreat Center in Albany, OH.) Annie and Jon Stott use these two different comparative accounts of UBF by former UBF members to infer that all the former UBF people are confused why they left and they don�t have and consistent arguments against UBF. The opposite is really the case.

Her doubletalk is prevalent throughout this article. In the beginning of the article she clearly states how her brothers kidnapped her. But at the end of the article she squarely puts the blame on the �American deprogrammers,� for being abducted and her dysfunctional relationship with her own family members. She says, �I feel those involved in deprogrammings such as mine use violence; they force you into confinement and proceed to accuse Bible-believing churches of actually being dangerous cults that infringe on individual rights� Not one time did Brauns, Chrnalogar, or Wick pray with me�I believe the deprogrammers� activity damages the victim, but the victim�s family as well. I feel the deprogrammers and their supporters took advantage of my parents, who were vulnerable and concerned for their daughter�� Never at any point in the article does she say that her bad relationships with her family members were brought on by herself or by allowing herself to be controlled by UBFin�s. She never considers the facts that if she is a Christian she needs to honor her parents. Instead, she slaps her family members with restraining orders though they are several states apart. Furthermore, if her family members are not Christians, as she implies, isn�t she supposed to testify to them about Jesus Christ through her life and words? Instead, she wants people to believe that she and her family were completely victimized by money hungry evil �deprogrammers.� She even uses the UBF trick to take some Bible verses out of context to justify her own problems. This article seems to be too �Annie Kang� centered instead of Christ centered. Even though her own account cannot be verified by anybody, she consistently lies and misrepresents throughout the article. I suggest the next time Mr. Jon Stott interviews anybody from UBF he should have them wired and strapped up to a lie detector." Source:

Sidenote: Chrnalogar who is mentioned here is Mary Alice Chrnalogar whom is the author of a book called Twisted Scriptures

In regards to Anne Kang herself I do not know if she is still a member of UBF (Chicago UBF) or not.

Here Rebecca shows how she conducted her research:

The survey questions are more or less the same as the interview questions shown above.

The questions offer little to no room for the UBF higher ups to develop critical thoughts/ In fact the questions are quite bias. There is no questions about something along the lines of "Would you leave UBF? If so where would you go?"

For those who insist on reading Rebecca Kim's book I suggestion that you only read the introduction and chapters 5-6.

In the end Rebecca's book The Spirit Moves West is a pseudo-scholarly book to promote UBF that has an oxford label on it.

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