Rev. Moon Is Misunderstood
Sun Myung Moon began his ministry in 1945. In 1951 he began writing the first draft of his basic theology, the Divine Principle, in a shack he built in war torn Korea. Slowly, he gained followers and sent his first missionary to America in 1959. Miss Kim had been a professor at a University in Korea. When she heard the Divine Principle and accepted it as the truth that would bring world peace, she was fired.
She started her mission in America in Eugene, Oregon. She began writing a version of the Divine Principle in English and within a few years she had it printed herself. This book was used by the members in the early days. Her book was not very thorough. Sadly, God was not able to use her or the other pioneers who came to America to write a bestseller.
A major flaw in the way she organized the movement was to create socialist communes. America hates socialism. It is a capitalist country. Another famous missionary from Korea was Onni who built a socialist commune in Oakland, CA. Onni was very dynamic and worked hard. Hundreds, if not thousands, joined in the late 60s and early 70s. She made some other mistakes too. She didn't call it a church but used various New-Age names. She also did not reveal who the founder was even after a person had been a member for awhile. Because of all this socialism it was doomed to fail. By the end of the 1970s the movement had died. There was initial excitement but socialism kills the spirit and not did the movement stop growing, many began leaving.
By the 1980s many members were in their 30s and getting married. Since then, the church has become boring. Everyone has gone to live in the suburbs and what few young people who do join, are put into fundraising teams that live in communes. So we continue to see horror stories in national magazines by former members and their parents. I think the church will go three stages. The first stage (Formation Stage) is socialist communes. The second stage (Growth Stage) is individualistic suburb homes. The third stage (Completion Stage) will be capitalist cohousing communities.
Onni had her famous socialist communes with several houses in Oakland and Berkely and the infamous Booneville. Here is a picture of Rev. Moon praying in the tiny living room of the small Dana Street house in Oakland, California which is the room I first met the church. I was witnessed to by a brother in the church named Jeremiah who had a table of literature at the entrance to the University of California, Berkeley. I stopped to look at a poster that had pictures of people working in a garden at their retreat north of San Franciso in the Napa Valley. It was the early 70s and I was idealistic and thinking of going back to land. I was swept up in the atmosphere of the times. I was disillusioned with being a school teacher and was reading the new magazine Mother Earth News. I was invited to a lecture they had every wednesday night. The poster had big letters saying it was called International Re-Education Foundation. When I went I was caught up in high energy of the program they put on in their little living room. They asked for $25.00 to spend a weekend in the country. I went. It is a long story, but I will say that I was blown away by the part of the Principle they taught and totally confused about the lifestyle.
Onni's commune fell apart several years later as all socialist communes do. And sadly, some of the people that had taught and inspired me then eventually left and became outspoken about the gruelling hours with no pay they did for years. I remember Evey Eden playing her musical instrument the night I came over. She plays a prominent part in Barb Underwood's Hostage to Heaven. Barb tells the typical of giving everything and feeling no appreciation. And like so many who left, she doesn't know why she was told to live the kind of lifestyle she did and she was not taught the deepest meaning of the Divine Principle. Leaders in the early days were very authoritarian and believed that spiritual growth came from blindly following, never questioning anything and never having any free time alone. The leaders meant well. They felt they were in a war and there was no time or need for privates to question generals. They were wrong. Even some of the leaders left. Michael Warder was one of those big shots who eventually left. He taught the weekend workshop at their retreat in the country. He is now an outspoken opponent of the Church saying that people have no freedom there because Moon doesn't believe in freedom. Former members like him and Steve Hassan misjudge the church. It is a young movement that is experimenting. It will eventually mature and sweep the earth with a rational and logical lifestyle. I believe that lifestyle is what write in this book.
Because of books like Barb Underwood's and because of people like Warder, who I respected, I left the Church for seven years. As hard as it had been living the life of a lying fundraiser, I couldn't get the teachings out of my mind. Those years without the Principle were the worst years of my life. I tried so hard to break the logic of the Principle, but it is unbreakable. The logic is perfect. The lifestyle was imperfect. Onni and other pioneers of the UC made a tremendous mistake in organizing the movement with the ideology of socialism. Not only would Barb Underwood still be a member but her mother, Betty, would also be one instead of being the co-author of their book. It is difficult to separate the baby from the bathwater in this sick world led by the invisible Satan. And it is difficult to separate the baby from the bathwater in the UC.
The UC may still have some communes. I live far away from large centers, but I occasionally meet a fundraiser in the little town I live in. I feel so sorry for them. Each one was selling some ridiculous little painting that costs them less than a dollar and was asking $15.00 for some purpose nobody would grasp. I pray to God that my church will give up this madness. While those poor young people are fundraising they live in socialist communes. At the most, this nonesense will stop after 70 or so years because that is the maximum socialism can last. The Soviet Union collapsed after 72 years. So will UC socialism.
In the 1970s a professor Eileen Barker studied the church in England for years and wrote a thorough analysis in her book, The Making of a Moonie. She has some pictures in the book of the members' lifestyle. I have shown a few here.
One of the reasons the church became so "high intensity" as anti-Moon people call it, is because Rev. Moon went on a speaking tour in the 70s and everyone traveled to help and because they were not stable they turned to fundraising. Sadly, this turned out to be short-term gain for long term pain. Some former members look back at this time as abuse but the motivation was simply to follow the messiah who was on a whirlwind tour. Even though there were only a few thousand young people, they were able to earn the millions of dollars to pay for the campaign that took Rev. Moon to every state. They were able to bring an overflow crowd of over 30,000 people to Madison Square Garden in 1974. On the left is a picture of Rev. Moon speaking there.
I was one of those young people who worked on that campaign. Everyone worked incredibly hard to make the tour a success. Unfortunately, everything was going so fast that no one took time to explain what it all meant. And so, many left feeling their efforts had been in vain. It wasn't. Some day they will be proud of how incredibly hard they worked and how much they sacrificed for helping the Lord of the Second Advent.
I pray that the members now can create loving cohousing communities that show the lifestyle that God wants people to live. When that happens I hope former members like Barb Underwood, Mike Warder, and Steve Hassan can return. When they do, no one should criticize them for having worked against the messiah who we affectionately call "Father." They are just ignorant of God's providence.
Religion -- Difficult To Understand
Religion is probably the most difficult thing to understand. Satan exists and he doesn't like anyone leading a religious life. One of his tactics is to make people think that religious people are strange. Because people are fallen and imperfect, some religious people are truly strange. But then people in all walks of life act strangely in some ways. But there are some words and deeds of religious people that may look strange but are really a necessary part of God's plan.
In the case of Rev. Moon, there are some things that he has done that are difficult to explain. Anti-Moon people will pick different aspects of Rev. Moon's life and his movement and think they have found reasons to show that he and his movement are everything from weird to dangerous. Many members have made mistakes. Rev. Moon says he has not. He has brought the truth that will set mankind free. He is so great and has proven himself to be so sacrificial in his long life that we should get to the point of not questioning him. He doesn't do mass suicides; he does mass weddings.
Noah and Ham
The best example I can give to explain our situation is to use the story of Noah and his sons. Noah looked like a total nutcase. He built a boat out in a field for 120 years because he said the world would end with a big flood. If this isn't the definition of insanity, I don't what it is. Never the less his wife and three sons followed him as best they could. Everyone laughed at them. Anti-Cult, Anti-Moon, ignorant religious bigoted journalist type people would have had a field day with Noah's "cult." We read in the Bible that after Noah was God's champion and saved his family's lives, his sons betrayed him. Noah got drunk one day and fell asleep in his tent. We learn in the Divine Principle that this was a test for unity. Noah's son Ham tragically failed to restore what happened in the Garden of Eden by not feeling shame. He multiplied evil by getting his other brothers to help him cover their father with a blanket. They were critical and ashamed of their father. They felt he was not worthy of being a champion of God. They disunited with him in their hearts. Noah had proved himself a million times over but Satan is so powerful. He can blind everybody if he puts his mind to it. Satan is today doing the same thing to those followers of Rev. Moon who are super critical. Rev. Moon has proven himself to be the most disciplined and idealistic man who has ever lived. If he ever does anything that seems nuts, we must all examine ourselves and reflect upon all the mistakes that people have made in human history of not seeing through God's eyes.
He has been betrayed by countless people. Sadly, he has had two previous wives who betrayed him and lately he has had problems in his own family. His oldest son became an addict and abused his wife. She left, divorced him, and wrote a book criticizing Moon's family. She even went on such TV shows as 60 Minutes. One of Rev. Moon's daughter's also appeared on 60 Minutes. To prove he is not the messiah, she revealed that he has a child out of wedlock named Sammy.
Rev. Moon has taught absolute purity his whole life. He says he has lived an absolutely principled life himself. I don't know exactly what is going on with this child. If there is one, then I can only believe there is a principled reason why it happened. I don't believe in blind obedience. I would not drink poison kool-aid like those poor souls did when Jim Jones told them to. We must keep in mind that there are exceptions to rules. Rev. Moon has revealed that Jesus's mother committed adultery to conceive Jesus. Obviously, God is against adultery. Mary did what she did to restore some failure in the past. I assume that Rev. Moon has done the same. But even if we never find out, there is so much truth and love from Rev. Moon that we should follow him.
Nansook goes on tours for her book on radio and TV shows. She tells the world that Rev. Moon says he and his wife and his family are perfect. Obviously there are problems in their family and this shows, to her, that he is more than just a hypocrite, he is an evil deceiver. It is true that he has used the word perfect sometimes in some speeches put together in a book called, Textbook For World Peace. He mentions that Mrs. Moon is now the "Perfected Eve." Rev. Moon does not dwell on the word "perfect." He uses the phrase, "True Parents." The problem with the word perfect is that it gives the impression that no mistakes can be made. The Principle teaches that there are three levels in the growth period that culminate in perfection. In the ideal world there will be no sin. Everyone will be one with God. But there will be erasers on pencils. Rev. Moon says he is absolutely pure. He teaches absolute purity. No one could say such a thing for a long time and not be exposed if he wasn't. I believe Rev. Moon is telling the truth. He is always totally confident. If he was not what he says he is, then he wouldn't have the power to speak so strongly about sexual purity and create a movement with so many people who also believe in him and his values. Just because his children may not measure up to absolute perfection, does not mean that he doesn't.
Jesus was a true man. If we use Nansook's definition of perfection then how could we say that Jesus is the perfect messiah? Jesus was convicted and given capital punishment for being a dangerous radical. Everyone of his disciples deserted him. Does this sound like a perfect man? It doesn't matter what other people do. Jesus and Rev. Moon have proven themselves to be champions of true love and have worked harder for the vision of a worldwide utopia of true love than anyone in human history.
Finally, we will look at some inspiring quotations from some of Rev. Moon's speeches in which he talks about the noble and exciting goal of a worldwide utopia.