40 Years in America

Rev. Moonís World Tours

Father being greeted at San Francisco Airport, 1965

It has already been noted that activities in America were peripheral to the mainstream Unification tradition, which was focused in Korea and, to a lesser extent, Japan. However, work there solidified by the mid-1960s to the point that the church was ready to give serious attention to world mission. The most dramatic indications of this new direction were Rev. Moonís two world tours, the first in 1965 and the second in 1969. The main purpose of these tours was to connect the foundations that had been established in Korea to the world. In 1965, Rev. Moon sanctified 120 "holy grounds" worldwide, including 55 in the United States. In 1969, building on the blessing in marriage of 430 couples in Korea, Rev. Moon "blessed" 43 couples worldwide: 13 in the United States, 8 in Germany, and 22 in Japan. In addition to these central purposes, the tours gave Rev. Moon the chance to assess opportunities for worldwide expansion and to provide direction for missions already in place. In America, the two tours afforded members their first opportunity to participate directly in the movementís mainstream tradition.

Rev. Moon departed from Korea for his first world tour in January, 1965. After spending two weeks in Japan, he and Mrs. Won Bok Choi left for America. Miss Kim, who accompanied them to Japan, departed ahead of them "to prepare Americans for his visit." In an article, "Hail to the Brightness," the New Age Frontiers chronicled Rev. Moonís San Francisco Bay Area arrival:

The Great Day dawned for us before the sun was up. At 5:30 a.m. on the still, cool morning of Friday, February 12th, our Master set foot upon the continent of North America. Twenty-seven highly honored, greatly privileged, and totally breathless members of the Unified Family in the United States were on hand to greet him and Mrs. Choi as they stepped off the Japan Airlines flight from Hawaii at the San Francisco International Airport. Among the fortunate few were the three missionaries from Korea whose love and single- minded devotion were responsible for the presence of Americans at the momentous occasion -- Miss Young Oon Kim, Col. Bo Hi Pak, and Mr. David Kim.

The "Official Party" stayed in the San Francisco Bay Area for seven days, with the high point of the visit being the selection and sanctification of "sacred ground." In the next forty-four days, Rev. Moon traveled by car to all forty-eight continental United States, setting up a total of fifty-five Holy Grounds. A key part of each ceremony was the burying of a "holy rock" from Korea. Having completed a three-year course of "national restoration" on the Korean peninsula, Rev. Moon transplanted Korean rocks in American soil. At the same time, a pebble was gathered from the grounds of City Hall at each stop in America and put in a sack for later transport back to Korea. Having completed the full circuit, Rev. Moon arrived back in the San Francisco Bay Area on March 30th. At that point, he flew to Washington, D.C. which was his base of operations for three months until July 1, 1965, when he departed for Europe. In Washington, he convened a twenty-one day training session, continued touring, and spoke often. By June, members were ready with the first edition of The Master Speaks, seven edited, in-house transcriptions of question and answer sessions with Rev. Moon taped at various centers throughout the country. In addition to activities with members, Rev. Moon initiated contact with several prominent Americans, including the well-known trance medium, Arthur Ford, and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Rev. Moon talking with members during the 1965 tour.

It is impossible to appreciate the full-scale advance of local centers between 1969-71 without reference to Rev. Moonís thirty-nine day visit to the United States as a part of his second world tour in February and March, 1969. Accompanied by Mrs. Moon, Mr. Hyo Won Eu (President of HSA-UWC, Korea), Mrs. Won Bok Choi, and Mr. Osamu Kuboki (President of HSAUWC, Japan), Rev. Moon arrived at San Francisco International Airport on February 4, 1969 and at Washington headquarters on February 9th.

It was during this stay that assembled American members heard first-hand of anti-communist and student activities of the Korean and Japanese members. Equally significant were Mr. Euís Divine Principle lectures, which American members heard for the first time. Finally, Rev. Moonís whirlwind tour of machine shops in New York City raised membersí consciousness with regard to economic enterprises.

At the United Nations Building, 1969, (left to right): Miss Shim, Father, Mrs. Won Pok Choi, Dianne Fernsler, unknown, Barbara Mikesell and Sang Ik Choi.

However, the major focus of Rev. Moonís stay in Washington, D.C. was the blessing in marriage of thirteen American couples: six previously married and seven new couples. This was the first marriage in the church outside of Korea. Those taking part in the February 28th ceremony included George Norton and the Pumphreys from Miss Kimís original Bay Area group, Edwin Ang from Berkeley, American HSA-UWC President Philip Burley, and two couples from Mr. Kimís Northwest group. Following Rev. Moon and his partyís departure from Kennedy International Airport on March 15, 1969, another wedding for eight couples was held in Essen, Germany, on March 28, 1969. There, Pauline Phillips and Doris Walder from Miss Kimís original Bay Area community were blessed. Other participants there included Elke Klawiter, Peter Koch, Barbara Koch and the Werners, all of whom had joined under Miss Kim in the Bay Area. A third ceremony for twenty-two couples in Japan was held in late April, 1969.

Despite a renewed sense of national solidarity and urgency as a result of Rev. Moonís visits, attempts to forge a national movement during the 1960s were abortive. As a result of competing ideas about the nature and purposes of their organizations, differing interpretations of the Principle, and conflicting mission styles, a national movement had not emerged by the end of 1971. Instead, what emerged was a complicated set of missionary jurisdictions, shifting alliances, and general grievances. At the same time, there were significant developments during the period. Most important were the moves beyond evangelistic witness into economic, cultural and anti-communist activities. This full scale advance continued, though in markedly different fashion following Rev. Moonís third world tour. That tour, begun in late November, 1971, not only inaugurated a unified American movement but also radically restructured priorities. As one of Mr. Choiís Re-Education members wrote, "I sensed some heavy changes were coming."

The first American Blessing Ceremony, February 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C. 

It was during this stay that assembled American members heard first-hand of anti-communist and student activities of the Korean and Japanese members. Equally significant were Mr. Euís Divine Principle lectures, which American members heard for the first time. Finally, Rev. Moonís whirlwind tour of machine shops in New York City raised membersí consciousness with regard to economic enterprises.

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