Gordon Anderson on personality cult
Another leader in the American Unification movement is Gordon Anderson. He has held the title of Secretary-General of the Professors World Peace Academy. In an article called "Bringing Unificationism to Eastern Europe" he said some very insightful things. Unificationists must give leadership to this world. When the Soviet Union and other communist countries fell, followers of Sun Myung Moon were finally allowed to enter and witness. Anderson gave good advice when he warned that members should not teach that "messianism" is a "cult of personality. Human rights are highly prized and democracy recently won. To speak of a political system which would not have these rights, or a new political messianism, or cult of personality around the Reverend Moon would be tantamount to evangelical suicide."
UC Not a Personality Cult
He teaches that members must be grown up and mature and not have any part of them that is psychologically dependent: "Providentially, blessed couples of the Unification Church are in the position of 'tribal messiahs' ... Unificationists must themselves be freed from psychological dependency before they can help East Europeans to overcome it. Yet many church members" look to the UC to give them lots of money or headquarters to take care of them.
He writes, "It is precisely because Unificationism has a teaching of true parentism which goes beyond the supernatural messianism of traditional christianity, that it has the religio-social elements necessary to address the problem of physical salvation. True parents nurture, guide, and love their children, they do not oppress them by what is frequently called 'paternalism.' True love and true parenting can provide discipline and order without violating human rights, and can operate perfectly well in a democratic political system."
Failure of Socialism
"The failures of all forms of socialism in the twentieth century reveal that to hand over the care of others to 'higher institutions,' does not save us; for the people in those institutions have their own sinful nature. History has forced us to realize that there is an enemy within each of us which can only be eliminated by changing ourselves. We must either face ourselves and take responsibility or live with the consequences of deferring our responsibilities to others or ignoring them. Government throws back at us in the form of higher taxes, reduced efficiency, and impersonal care. Mother nature throws our pollution back in the form of acid rain, toxic water, and toxic soil. The enemy, it turns out, is not capitalism, but what people do with the freedom capitalism requires."
"The socialist world has collapsed, with the 'proletariat' facing its own sin. In a society where everyone has become dependent on the state, which in turn is made up of all the people, no one takes responsibility." Anderson ends by saying that Unificationists who go to such places as East Germany that have lived their whole lives under a socialist personality cult of communist leaders, need to give "concrete" solutions to their problems. He writes, "Today Eastern Europe has concrete social needs. It will not be enough to teach workshops. Religious instruction must be complemented by concrete social activity. Eastern Europe needs books, teachers, and dedicated examples of productive and Godly living. We should raise money to send our books to libraries ... we should send our best teachers and professors to transmit the democratic tradition." We plan on translating this book and our other books into other languages and sending them to libraries around the world. We hope you feel my books are important and will help us distribute them.
Any quotes that anti-Moon writers find that seem to say he is against democracy and for totalitarianism are simply read out of context. If he sounds critical of democracy it is only because he is sometimes critical of how people have used their freedom. He is for freedom and for voluntary persuasion to educate people on how to use their freedom. The only case I have found in all my reading of church literature that may be seen as anti-democracy is an article by a top leader in the UC. Zin Moon Kim is very close to Rev. Moon. He has held many of the highest positions in the church from Korea to America. In an article titled "Ideal World and Modern Western Democracy" he seems to look at democracy with total disgust. He puts down capitalism and democracy as full of contradictions and selfishness. Like Marx, he blames capitalism for creating "great gaps between the rich and the poor. Pervasive individualism causes moral and ethical problems." I'm not going to quote all his criticisms. They are the same that all socialists make. But I will quote one passage and refute it. He says, "History bears witness that a good monarchy is better than a democracy, especially in elevating people's moral and ethical standards, because the vertical standard exists in a monarchy but not in a democracy, and within the capitalism which is based on it, come from the collapse of the vertical and horizontal family ethic."
The problem with this statement and all the rest he makes is that he gives no example of some wonderful monarchy for us to look at and even worse he gives no alternative. He concludes by saying that "today's democracy and capitalism are based on a nearsighted individualistic and materialistic way of life, their adherents will have eternal regret." What are we supposed to replace this with? He says that we must clearly understand "Unification Thought, which critiques and puts all areas of human thought into a Principled perspective." Democracy and capitalism have to do with politics and economics. He recommends the book Essentials of Unification Thought: The Head-Wing Thought. He says it contains 13 chapters. "We can surely solve all kinds of social problems by applying the wisdom of Unification Thought." He comments on each chapter. For economics he says UT "solves the problems of capitalism by clarifying the origin of 'mine' and that 'mine' is also 'ours.'" The chapter "'Politics' demonstrates that the true country should be based on the family system."
We're sorry but we don't understand one word of this. And we would very much like to read the two chapters so we could know why he feels democracy and capitalism are so bad and just what it is that he has as an alternative. We have never seen any economic system or political system that has beaten capitalism and democracy. Apparently Mr. Kim has. But unfortunately he leaves with nothing. He concludes by saying that "The theories of Economics and Politics are not yet published." We especially don't understand why he is so against democracy when the official text of the Church teaches that democracy is from God. Human history, it teaches, has progressed higher over time and finally God could speak to the founding fathers to replace monarchy with democracy. There are many books that show democratic nations are far less aggressive and more prosperous and good than authoritarian nations. I guess that in Mr. Kim's zeal for vertical respect of leaders in the UC organization that he has missed the point that there are vertical leaders in democratic nations too. And there is a hierarchy in capitalist business.
History is moving toward democracy
Like I said, Zin Moon Kim, seems to stand alone in UC writings in seeing that God is for a monarchy. I hope he clarifies what he means by monarchy. I hope he writes detailed chapters on economics and politics. Until then, I don't think he is worth listening to. Another Korean leader that has held one of the highest positions in the church is Rev. Ahn. He is the premier lecturer of the Divine Principle in the church. Rev. Moon has asked every member in the world to attend his lectures. He had an article in a church publication called "Forty Years of Principle Study: Becoming Liberated From Satan." He is a scholar as well as a teacher. He joined the year the church was founded in 1954 and taught the Principle ever since. He says, "America has three fathers. The first is George Washington, who liberated America from British rule. The American Revolution led to the French Revolution and the liberation of the colonies in Latin America. After the First World War, the European monarchies became democratic. After the Second World War, colonies gained their independence. As a result of the Third World War, communist countries are changing. Thus, George Washington as the first father, began the movement of liberation from monarchy."
I rest my case for democracy and that the UC is not for a world authoritarian state where there is no freedom.
Rev. Moon believes that the best economic system is Free Enterprise. The other name for free enterprise is capitalism. He made a strong statement on economics to the Soviet Union when communism fell. He gave an interview to the Soviet newspaper, Za rubezhom, saying, "I would like to encourage the efforts you are making in business and commerce, to develop a wider-based individual incentive system. When people are stimulated, they are inclined to work hard and produce more. This is the secret of success of the free enterprise systems."
At the following website http://www.ifas.org/books/980126.html is the following positive review of the paranoid anti-right wing book Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy by Frederick Clarkson:
"The radical religious right is a well-organized, well-funded political force in the United States. The movement has a clear ideology based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. The radical religious right also has a clear political agenda: the replace ment of traditional American secular constitutional democracy with some form of theocracy. And despite the fact that the movement consists of a minority of eligible voters around 15 percent by its own estimates the radical religious right presents a c lear and present danger to the future well-being of every American who does not subscribe to its views.
"Although religious political extremists are still relatively small in number, one should not be deceived. In the German elections of 1930 the Nazi Party drew only about 15 percent of the vote. Yet Hitler took power in less than three years, even in the fa ce of two strong, well-organized parties, the communists and the socialists.
"In order to provide tools to oppose religious political extremists, Frederick Clarkson's book provides well-researched, well-argued, and well-written information. Following in the footsteps of such scholars as Russ Bellant, Chip Berlet, Sara Diamond, Skip Porteous, and Rob Boston, Clarkson lays out a detailed and frightening analysis of what we face in dealing with the radical religious right.
"He devotes chapters to such subjects as the radical religious right's two centuries-old refusal to accept the firmly established constitutional principle of separation of church and state; what the true political status of their movement is, and the somet imes little recognized importance of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in it; Christian Reconstructionism (which provides the underlying theocratic ideology to the movement); an analysis of its main political fronts, such as the Christian Coalition, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation, and umbrella groups such as the Coalition on Revival; as well as the new male-chauvinist front, Promise Keepers.
"Clarkson also devotes a chapter to the growing role of violence in the promotion of the far right agenda (a matter of increasing importance since Richard Neuhaus, Chuck Colson, Robert Bork, Cal Thomas and others of their ilk now tell us that if they don't get their way through the ballot box, violence will become "unavoidable," and that's all right because its use will be pursuant to God's will.)
"The proposals of what to do about this clear and present danger is surprisingly thin. In the last chapter, Clarkson writes about "Defending Democracy: Rethink the Strategy." He presents a number of important measures, from registering more voters, conduct ing more research on the radical right, and identifying and exposing the "Christian Right's contradictions and weaknesses." But a good defense will take you only so far; it is the offensive tactics that are so essential.
"In the political game, having an offense good enough to win means having a strong ideological base, as does the radical religious right. To get more people to vote, and vote for democracy, we have to offer something positive to vote for, not simply someth ing negative to vote against. In my view, a political ideology built around the promotion of traditional American constitutional democracy is the key to victory.
"Nonetheless, Clarkson has made a major contribution to the necessary work of analysis and exposure of the radical religious right and its agenda. We, the American people need to mobilize in defense of our traditional secular American constitutional democracy before it is too late."