“Underground Evangelism’s” Woes in Europe Increase

According to “idea”, the news service of the German Evangelical Alliance, the Austrian and Swiss branches of “Underground Evangelism” (more recently known as “Evangelism Center International”) have broken all official ties with the Los Angeles-based mother organization. In addition, the director of its German affiliate, Heinrich Floreck, resigned in January 1981 and is now involved in a bitter public dispute with UE. Since January, five of Floreck's colleagues in Germany have resigned as well as five of the board of directors' six members.


In all three cases, the home office has been accused of unethical financial practices. Joe Bass, its California director, was personally accused of authoritarian leadership. According to the Swiss office, Los Angeles had offered a Swiss director a secret bonus of 0.5% from all local contributions. They believe this to be a common practice among UE's North American leaders.


Floreck states that his German office received contributions totalling 21 million DM in 1980, making it UE's wealthiest affiliate. He observed during numerous trips to countries such as Uganda and Somalia that only a small portion of the total contributions were being spent as intended. "Was it ethical", he asks, "that only one small chartered plane with relief supplies costing 130,000 DM was dispatched to Uganda? A total of seven million DM had been contributed to this relief effort."


The home office in California is beginning legal proceedings against its departed Austrian and Swiss affiliates.


Source: idea, 6-29-81


Bill Yoder

Berlin-West, July 4, 1981


Appeared in the Mennonite “Gospel Herald”, Pennsylvania/USA, August 11, 1981, 236 words


Note from January 2022: Heinrich Floreck branched out on his own as early as 1981, founding the still-existent „ora Kinderhilfe e.V.“ He also founded – among others - „Logos Global Vision” in 2011. He has been involved in projects in Eastern Europe and resides in Vöhl just west of Kassel in Germany.