It's a familiar theme with most cults and abusive groups, the claim that "we've changed." In UBF's case: "We've changed a lot in 30 years" (a claim sometimes made privately, but never publically by the UBF leaders). My contact with UBF veterans from long ago confirms what I've observed: UBF has made the "we've changed" claim throughout those 30 year, while some of the worst abuses were being perpetrated.
In any case, in making the claims that "we've changed," UBF (as most cults and abusive groups will do) has skipped a step. They've failed to explain WHY the claimed changes needed to be made. Why have they failed to explain? Because then they might have to publically recognize the things that were wrong that required the claimed changes to be made, and then they might be obliged to publically apologize to the victims of those wrongs.
Some might counter, "Why is it important to know the WHY of change? Isnt' it enough to just change?" The WHY of change is actually quite important. Why are certain things not practiced anymore, for example, the common use of violence and humiliation in "training?" (The violence may be less commonly used, but I believe the training methods used are still abusive.)
1) Is it because the use of violence and inhumanity in supposedly "Christian" training is plainly wrong?
2) Or is it because one or more "trainees" sued you or threatened to sue you for what you believe--in your twisted version of Christianity--to be a perfectly valid method of "training?"
3) Or is it because "young people these days are too sensitive and too quickly feel that you are violating their human rights" when you train them using what you believe--in your twisted version of Christianity--to be a perfectly valid method of "training?"
4) Or is it because inhumanity in training was not as "effective" as you would have liked (i.e. "It didn't work," "It didn't increase the numbers")?
5) Or is it a combination of 2, 3 and 4?
In other words, did you change because something you did was wrong, or did you change because people were too "weak" to handle what you were doing?