BOYS OF ST. VINCENT
The movie The Boys Of St. Vincent is a movie, a docudrama, that is based on a scandal of a Catholic-run orphanage in Newfoundland in the 1970s. Boys were sexually molested by a pedophile priests. It is a damning condemnation of both the Catholic Church and the government of Newfoundland who tried to cover it up.
The use of the word dangerous by Hassan and anti-cultists is not precise. If a dog is dangerous it will kill you. People who are dangerous are criminals like Al Capone and Saddam Hussein. They attack with violence. No matter how fierce the debate between those who favor big government and those who favor limited government in American politics never gets to the point that one side tries to ban the other. The two party system began with the fight between Jefferson and Hamilton and continues today between the Democrats and Republicans. Each side thinks the other is leading the country down the drain but no one talks of the other side with the venom that Hassan writes about Moon. Hassan has crossed a line by using the word dangerous. Rev. Moon and his followers are not "dangerous." They are not criminals that need to be jailed or killed because they are a threat to law and order. The beatings and jailings of Rev. Moon and his followers has been a gross injustice. The truth is that for most people coming in contact with the UC is good for them. Rev. Moon is the greatest thing that has ever happened to this world. The UC has made and continues to make many mistakes. So what. So does Steve Hassan. Edward's book mentions Hassan as part of the deprogramming he went through. He considers his activities in his early days as wrong. Why doesn't he give others the slack to make mistakes? Billy Graham is squeaky clean, but he also is a milk toast who refuses to get controversial like Jerry Falwell. When Falwell shows up at Harvard to speak the Liberals line up and protest calling him all kinds of names.
Hassan and company fail to see things in perspective. Hassan says he is Jewish. God tells Moses and Joshua and those who are going to enter Caanan that they are the Chosen People, and they are to commit genocide on the inhabitants of Isral. They are to kill every man, woman and child. When Joshua enters Caanan he attacks Jericho The Old Testament says "they took the city. Then they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword" (Joshua 3:21).
The religious writer Karen Armstrong hates this about Jewish history. She quotes Moses in her book A History of God saying, ".. when they arrived in the Promised Land they were to have no dealings whatever with the native inhabitants. They 'must make no covenant with them or show them any pity' (Deut. 7:3). There must be no intermarriage and no social mixing. Above all, they were to wipe out the Canaanite religion: 'Tear down their altars, smash their standing stones, cut down their sacred poles and set fire to their idols,' Moses commands the Israelites, 'For you are a people consecrated to Yahweh your Elohim; it is you that Yahweh our Elohim has chosen to be his very own people out of all the peoples of the earth' (Deut. 7: 5-6). Contrary to the quotes taken out of context by Hassan, Moon has made it crystal clear that he and his movement will not anything like the greatest leader in Judaism did. What does Hassan have to say about Moses? Hassan says he is a Jew. Would Hassan have followed Moses? Or would he have left Moses cult and gone into Canaan and warned the people that there was a madman named Moses who heard voices and who had evil followers who were coming to commit genocide in the name of God? Obviously, Moses, by Hassan's own neat little formula, is a Hitler like authoritarian leader -- a danger to freedom of mind and body.
Mohammed fought a tribe of Jews once. After he defeated them he lined up 700 men and had their heads cut off. The first Christian political leader was the Roman Emperor Constantine. He persecuted the pagans. Karen Armstrong condones this in her book Muhammad with the logic that it was a primitive time and that's what leaders did. Jesus did not go along with the custom of stoning adulterous women. The whole notion of anti-Cultists that everything has to be just right and everyone has medical insurance, works according to OSHA standards of safety, and it looks like Billy Graham who has no followers is ridiculous.
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC -- CULT OF TWO
Abraham is the considered the father of all three monotheistic religions and he had a cult of one. Remember how he told his son Isaac to get on an altar so he could plunge a knife in him because God told him to do it. Isaac, like any good glassy eyes zombie, faithfully did as his Jim Jones father told him to do. God finally stopped him. It was a test. How can Hassan be so sure that God is not testing him and all of us with the words of truth from Rev. Moon who made thousands of young people give up everything and follow him. What career opportunities and training did the followers of Jesus get? Could we say that they and St. Paul were high intensity? They were all killed for their witnessing. They were all seen as dangerous and killed. When the majority sees a small group as dangerous that small group will be attacked. Americans should know better but repeat the past and kill Joseph Smith and imprison Rev. Moon. What is normal about anyone or anything in the Bible and the Koran? Hassan thinks his sacred text, the Torah, is just fine, but the theology and history of the DP and Unificationists is "dangerous." Aren't there millions of people who think Jews are dangerous in this world? They hate them so much that they blow up buses of innocent people in Jerusalem. Is his fellow Jews squeaky clean and making no mistakes?
Hassan defines a cult as a group who thinks they are God's gift to mankind -- a special group who are the chosen ones -- the favorites of God who will be the special group that the Messiah comes to. This is what the Jews have said for 2000 years. Hassan never mentions these things when he attacks minority religions. Christians and Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for thousands of years. The Christians feel he is coming again and Jews wait for the first one. Does Hassan believe in a messiah coming to save the Jews? Remember the scene in the movie Fiddler on the Roof where a Jew says that their being forced out of their homes now would be a good time for the Messiah to come? Wouldn't it be a good time for the Messiah to come now to the Jews in Israel as they are surrounded by enemies and may soon have nuclear weapons? It is obvious to me that we are living in the time of the Last Days. Does Hassan think he would see the Messiah so clearly if he came to save Israel or whole the world? Will he accept the messiah when he comes? What will he look like? I'm not an expert on what Jews and Christians feel about the coming of the Messiah, but it seems to me that there is little anticipation of the messiah coming among the Jews. In the book Idiots Guide to Catholicism there is no mention of the second coming of Christ. To find passion for the second coming you have to read Protestants like Billy Graham and Tim LaHaye. Graham says in his book Hope for the Troubled Heart, "We should live as Paul did, serving faithfully and anticipating Christ's return." Billy Graham thinks Christ will return on the clouds and only a few Christians will see him. What does Hassan think his messiah will look like. If he is a man, do you think he might be "high intensity?" Do you think he might be more passionate than Abraham and Moses? The Bible says Abraham had to suddenly leave his home. He lied to the Pharaoh and let his wife, Sarah, go to bed with the Pharaoh. The followers of Moses were constantly whining and rejecting his leadership even though he did miracles. Is Steve sure he is going to be a good follower? Abraham and Moses seem awfully authoritarian and "crazy for God" in the Bible.
It makes sense to me that the Messiah would bring a logical teaching and then marry every division who fight each other. Rev. Moon has matched and married thousands of couples who are black and white, Muslim and Jew, and catholic and Protestant. Nothing else will unite mankind into one family so we can have peace on earth.
Sun Myung Moon proclaimed in all 50 states in the early 70s on a public speaking tour that the coming of the Messiah and the teachings of the end of the world are the most important thing there is. Everyone is to prepare for that. He says, "When Jesus promised his Second Coming, he conveyed a feeling of great imminence. From the day Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, Christians have been watching for his return to earth. For the last 2,000 years of history, it has been the hope of every Christian to see the returning Christ. But this extraordinary event has never occurred. Many people tired of waiting. Some finally decided this Second Coming would not happen literally. They came to think, 'This is just one of God's methods to keep us alert.'"
"Tonight we must clarify the meaning of the end of the world as the Bible prophesies it. We must also know how the Lord will reappear when he comes in the fullness of time."
Her said, "... the vital issue of the Second Advent -- the most important question of our time. ... the time of the Second Coming of Christ is near."
Stephen Carter, in his recent book, The Dissent of the Governed" says, "Tolerance is not simply a willingness to listen to what others have to say. It is also a resistance to the quick use of state power the exclusive prerogative of violent force, remember t o force dissenters and the different to conform." The result of Hassan and company is the use of force such as used in Waco.
At his website, Hassan writes, "I am deeply interested in the faith-based initiative that your office is undertaking. One of your most serious challenges will be to distinguish authentic faith-based organizations from fraudulent and destructive ones. The task is serious because you and your colleagues will be called upon to account for the spending of taxpayers' money. Support of questionable groups could inspire enormous controversy. Already my local paper the Boston Globe has run several stories questioning the support of destructive groups such as Scientology and the Moonies. Even more serious, a decision to fund a destructive group could do enormous damage to those who seek the services of such organizations." Hassan is wrong in thinking the UC is fraudulent and destructive.
Faith is a powerful tool for behavioral change and many of these organizations use this to their own advantage. Such groups often recruit members through such "helping initiatives." I know this first hand. I was recruited into the Moonies in 1974 through such a front group. During my two and half years of slavish devotion to the "Messiah Moon" I personally recruited many people through a variety of front groups promising to help alleviate the suffering of humanity. I have a long list of Moonie fronts on my web site. Since leaving the group in 1976, I have devoted my life to fighting the threat of destructive groups as an author and activist, as well as a mental health counselor. My mission has been to help families get their loved ones out of destructive groups and also to get the word out. I have appeared on hundreds of TV and radio programs -- Nightline, 60 Minutes etc.. My message? Mind control and social influence techniques exist and can be used unethically by totalitarian figures and institutions to undermine free will. People who are in great need or are in transition are the most vulnerable to destructive cult recruitment.
The good news is that it is possible to identify a destructive group based on its behaviors, and not beliefs. I have developed a model of destructive mind control. It can be found online at my web site at http://www.freedomofmind.com/resource/srmind.htm .It is a practical model that can be applied to any relationship or organization, not just one with a religious orientation. I would like to emphasize that it is not a group's beliefs that are the criteria for deciding whether or not a group is destructive but, instead, its practices.
DISCERNING WHAT IS OF GOD
Hassan is confident he can detect cults with his formula, but it falls apart because the founders of religions would not have passed the test of Hassan. Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, that has around a billion followers, grew up in wealth as the son of a king. This pampered prince was married at 16 and had a child. At age 21 he walked out on his wife and child without saying anything and spent years following gurus who told him to live an ascetic life. He almost died in denying his body. Then he got a revelation that he was the great teacher of mankind and started getting followers. Eventually he went back to where he was born and begged for food door to door. His father and wife were in pain to hear this. This is often the pattern in religion -- leave your home and deny yourself. Parents and relatives and friends freak out. Hassan would have been at Buddha's side asking for thousands of dollars and they would figure out how Steve would talk to Buddha and show him how ridiculous his life was. Then Steve could spend his entire life getting Buddha's followers, especially those who became celibate monks and nuns, to get a life. To follow people who give up sex is obviously neurotic and I'm sure there were some who felt their time with Buddha was a waste of time and they should ask for reparations for the years lost and for some the loss of children from being celibate. Does anyone really believe Steve would discern that Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, John the Baptist, Paul, Muhammad and Buddha were not dangerous and evil? In the book Pontius Pilate, Ann Wroe writes that Israel at the time of Jesus was "filled up with mavericks, prophets and impostors." What would Steve have told Pontius Pilate about Jesus? Would he have told Pilate that Jesus would become the most important man in human history and his followers would create the greatest nation on earth 2000 years later? Remember how Jesus said he heard voices that said he was the only way to God? Want to put money on who Steve would have supported in the history of religious persecution?
Hassan is the tired old persecutor who pounds away at his Big Lie. The UC has the Big Idea, the Big Dream. It is a refreshing breeze of idealism and hope for a utopia that is realistically based on democracy, capitalism and freedom -- in other words, the Constitution of the United States. Hassan spreads lies that the UC is a Nazi organization even though there has not been any pattern of criminal behavior by Moon or his members. If there has been some reluctance of foreign members not abiding by immigration laws, well, who says every law is of God? I don't know what the handful of members from other countries do about immigration. I have not seen any large scale rebelling against them. Most of the foreign members I see are married to Americans. There has not only been no dangerous behavior by Unificationists for the 40 years they have existed in America. Hassan is the cheerleader of persecutors and whips up a frenzy about peaceful groups and the result is a modern day burning at the stake at Waco. Hassan probably sincerely feels he is a crusader for freedom. He gets a few people to agree with him and the yellow journalistic press adore him, but any thinking person will dismiss him as just another scared person in the mob yelling for Jesus to be crucified. We fear and become afraid of what is spiritually higher -- truer -- and different. Fallen man is afraid to stretch and think deeply. Love is patience and people like Hassan are not patient.
BOSTON GLOBE ARTICLE
Eugene curtin write in an article in the UNews about the Boston Globe having an article positive to Hassan and negative to the UC. Hassan, he says, is "a man whose entire professional life revolves around denigrating religious faiths held dear by hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of fine, law-abiding Americans." There are, he says a "number of reputable non-church experts both religious and secular who think Hassan is a paranoid fraud." He goes on to write:
Two things, then. First, it shakes me that a major American newspaper like the Boston Globe values so lightly the religious sensibilities of Unificationists and others that it would regurgitate decades-old calumny. And regurgitate it with no significant opportunity for response. This does not bode well for the mental and even physical security of our children.
Second, what else is new? In the early part of the 19th century, Catholic churches in this country were burned to the ground and priests murdered. The Mormons were hounded into the desert. Jehovah's Witnesses were tossed into prison for refusing to salute the flag. The Boston Globe editors, for all their smug sophistication, are simply infected by a strain of religious bigotry that is as old as Salem. The bigots of old did not see a scared young kid fresh off the boat from Ireland tasked with preaching his faith in a foreign land. They saw only a papist infiltrator seeking to corrupt the minds of Protestant America.
Today's bigots don't see our families as positive entities struggling to raise our kids as God-loving patriots in a world awash with pornography, cynicism and violence. They see only "Moonie automatons" trying to take over the world. Human nature is slow to change.
So, sure, write to the Boston Globe editors and let them know that we know they're a scurrilous bunch of phonies. But more important, let us be about our Father's business. Let's work to raise children who love God and revere their country and who are entirely unimpressed with the hedonistic 20th century.
And then, 150 years from now, we can look down from our hopefully lofty perches at some academic researcher tracking the history of religious bigotry in the late 20th century. With some satisfaction we will watch him make photocopies of a particularly egregious piece of irresponsibility that appeared in the Boston Globe way back in 1997.
Peter Ross wrote the following about Hassan that appeared in the UC's newspaper the Unification News in February 1997:
TO: Steve Hassan FROM: Peter D. Ross RE: Recent correspondence DATE: January 15, 1996 Beyond the audacity of your January 13 letter, please
be assured that I have only imparted to John Koch the truth
about who you are, the discredited junk science you
pedal, and the illicit activities you have engaged in.
Furthermore, I have sought to facilitate
communication between John and those whom you have so
egregiously abused for your own profit that the Globe might
publish an objective account. If this is
"unflattering" to you, I believe you should follow the
dictates of your conscience, publicly apologize to
the Unification Church, and engage in a more pleasing
line of work. You must have anticipated that sooner or later
your fifteen minutes of fame would reach an
inevitable and natural conclusion when an informed public
would exclaim that the emperor has no
clothes! On a personal note, Steve, I believe that many years
ago during a brief association with the Church you had a
profound religious experience. Unfortunately, before
you had time to fully comprehend it and take responsibility
for it, it was ripped away from you. Through the
abusive process of faith-breaking you were indeed
victimized. In the interim, beyond the crass commercial use
you have made of your apostasy, I believe you have
not been able to fully heal from that tragic occurrence. It
is obvious to me that while you never really joined
the Unification Church you have not been able to just leave
it behind. However, when you are ready to take
responsibility in this regard, I am confident you will
experience the forgiveness and compassion of those whom you
TO: Steve Hassan
FROM: Peter D. Ross
RE: Recent correspondence
DATE: January 15, 1996
Beyond the audacity of your January 13 letter, please be assured that I have only imparted to John Koch the truth about who you are, the discredited junk science you pedal, and the illicit activities you have engaged in. Furthermore, I have sought to facilitate communication between John and those whom you have so egregiously abused for your own profit that the Globe might publish an objective account. If this is "unflattering" to you, I believe you should follow the dictates of your conscience, publicly apologize to the Unification Church, and engage in a more pleasing line of work. You must have anticipated that sooner or later your fifteen minutes of fame would reach an inevitable and natural conclusion when an informed public would exclaim that the emperor has no clothes!
On a personal note, Steve, I believe that many years ago during a brief association with the Church you had a profound religious experience. Unfortunately, before you had time to fully comprehend it and take responsibility for it, it was ripped away from you. Through the abusive process of faith-breaking you were indeed victimized. In the interim, beyond the crass commercial use you have made of your apostasy, I believe you have not been able to fully heal from that tragic occurrence. It is obvious to me that while you never really joined the Unification Church you have not been able to just leave it behind. However, when you are ready to take responsibility in this regard, I am confident you will experience the forgiveness and compassion of those whom you have wronged.