Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 19 - The Unsung Hero of Soviet Liberation Reverend Moon Meets Gorbachev [Part 3 / 6]
The Ripening of the Gorbachev Revolution
The decisive punch for the Gorbachev revolution came at the beginning of 1990. In February, the Communist Party Central Committee adopted a new political platform and decided to amend articles 6 and 7 of the Soviet constitution. The reforms included abandonment of the dictatorship of the Communist Party, adoption of a multi-party system, and separation between the Communist Party and the government. This last step involved the introduction of a presidential system of government.
Of course, there was some doubt in the West about the way the Soviet leaders still spoke of "adhering to Marxist-Leninist principles," but it was without doubt an exceptional and unprecedented policy shift. The Soviet Union had turned the corner and entered into a new phase, bringing to a close the long history of communist dictatorship. It was fostering freedom and democratic development on the basis of a multi-party system, which was a dramatic and historical turning point.
On March 15, a special meeting of the Soviet People's Committee convened in the Kremlin. Mikhail Gorbachev was elected as the first Soviet president with 1,329 of the 1,878 votes cast. His elected term of office was five years.
Three months later, on June 1, Gorbachev met with Bush in Washington, D.C., and they signed a joint agreement on a series of disarmament measures. At the signing, Bush said:
Even up until a short time ago, there were some who thought that it was the destiny of the United States and the Soviet Union, and the destiny of the people of our two great nations, to be in conflict forever. But now you, President Gorbachev, and I are challenging history and taking a new step. We have to forge a new relationship of cooperation between the Soviet Union and the United States.
We may not agree about everything, and indeed we still do not agree about everything, but we do believe in a common, sincere desire. That desire is the termination of the Cold War, something that the world and humanity are longing for at this time.
In response, President Gorbachev said:
The important thing is, America and the Soviet Union are not simply signing an agreement to move toward a better international environment, toward more trusting international relations and a world without violence. We are also acting concretely to accomplish these things.
We talked about much more than I anticipated. I am only human, and I may be sentimental. But at any rate, both the Soviet Union and America are working hard for the success of our goals, and I congratulate the great people of our two nations. President Bush, I want to shake your hand and congratulate both of our efforts.
Then he turned to Bush and extended his hand.
You could see the glistening of tears in the eyes of the two men as they looked at each other. Beginning with the First Lady Barbara Bush, who was sitting in the front row, many attending dignitaries were moved by the emotion of the moment and took out their handkerchiefs. To me, the sound was a musical overture for a symphony of world peace.
Reverend Moon Makes His Approach to the Soviet Union
How, then, did the historical handshake between Reverend Moon and Mikhail Gorbachev materialize? In what manner did it unfold? I have explained the background that made the meeting of these two giants inevitable; the very nature of Reverend Moon's headwing thought meant that it was destined to liberate the Soviet Union. Gorbachev, meanwhile, was destined to embrace and welcome it. I think it is reasonable to say that the revolution ushered in by Gorbachev was in fact the fruit of Reverend Moon's lifelong conviction and effort.
Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and Reverend Moon's overtures to the Soviet Union were not easily accomplished. As much as the free world disbelieved the good faith of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union and the communist world disbelieved the motives of Reverend Moon; they considered him their sworn enemy. In one sense, that was only natural.
At the height of Soviet imperialism, the Soviets counted three individuals as their greatest enemies. The Soviet KGB considered it their mission to assassinate or otherwise remove these three individuals. The first was, of course, President Ronald Reagan; they thought that if Reagan were out of the way, then world communization would be in their grasp for sure.
The second individual was Pope John Paul II. From an early time, this pope had declared that communism was the enemy of humanity, the enemy of God.
The third individual was Reverend Moon. In fact, he was the person the Soviet Union feared the most, because he had an ideology that could topple Marxism-Leninism and sweep it out the door. Moreover, he spread his Victory Over Communism movement across the entire world and put communism on the defensive in every part of the globe.
It was the KGB's mission to remove these three mega-enemies of the communist revolution, and they went about it with alacrity.
On March 30, 1981, President Reagan was the victim of a shooting. With luck, he escaped with his life intact. Was this the work of the KGB? The truth behind the incident has never been clearly revealed, but many have their suspicions.
On May 13 of that same year, Pope John Paul II was also the target of a shooting. Fortunately, his life was also preserved by a narrow escape.
In 1988, Yu Kikumura, an operative of the Japanese Red Army, was dispatched to the United States to blow up Reverend Moon's summer residence. Fortunately, Kikumara was stopped and checked by police while traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike on April 12. The police discovered a small firearm and explosives, and Kikumaru was arrested. This terrorist plot was discovered by none other than a simple routine inspection! The police had not been acting on any intelligence information. Looking at these facts, who can doubt the reality of the protection of God?
If the Soviet Union thought of Reverend Moon as an enemy, to the point that it attempted to have him assassinated, then it would not be easy to convince them of his true intentions.
Preparations for the Moscow rally began in March 1989. The 10th World Media Conference was convened in Washington, D.C., and for the first time in the history of the conference, twelve representatives of the Soviet press attended. That fact alone astonished the Western press. Even more incredible was the influence and status of some of those visiting journalists. For example, one of the guest speakers was Vitaly Kobysh, the chief editor at Izvestia, official newspaper of the Soviet government. Mr. Kobysh was also one of the chief advisers to Gorbachev, as well as Gorbachev's speech-writer. He accompanied him everywhere, including the U.S.-USSR summit.
When asked what is different in the Soviet Union as a result of glasnost and perestroika, Mr. Kobysh replied: "Isn't my attending Reverend Moon's conference a rather dramatic change in itself?"
Reverend Moon's speech at the tenth World Media Conference surprised the Soviet media representatives. They were also surprised by the quality of the other media representatives who had gathered from around the world.
The World Media Conference was convened by the World Media Association. As chairman, I forged some very close, lasting friendships with the Soviet journalists, and I also had plenty of opportunities to testify to them about Reverend Moon. I had, in fact, met them before. Prior to the Soviet representatives' participation in the World Media Conference, we had organized a number of visits to the Soviet Union by American media people. We had also conducted several fact-finding tours in the Soviet Union. The twelve Soviet representatives were thus acquaintances whom I had met before in Moscow. I had been able to inform them about Reverend Moon and his work when I met them before. However, for the tenth World Media Conference, they visited the United States at the personal invitation of Reverend Moon, and that made all the difference. They could hear his words directly (the keynote speech at the conference) and see for themselves the fruits of Reverend Moon's global foundation. Later, Mr. Kobysh wrote a paper about this visit and all he had seen.
Besides experiencing the conference, the twelve Soviet representatives also visited Reverend Moon's residence in New York, again at his invitation. Over lunch together, he spoke to them words I am sure they will never forget. The lunch gave them the opportunity to experience Reverend Moon's character and personality for themselves. I think they realized at that time that he was the one person who could rescue the Soviet Union.
At that luncheon, we had a focused discussion about holding the eleventh World Media Conference in Moscow. The Soviets promised that they would approach their government about it. They expressed confidence in the idea, saying, "There is no one who would more welcome this kind of media conference in Moscow than General Secretary Gorbachev. We think that this is just what the glasnost and perestroika policies need."
Mr. Kobysh said that he would report to Gorbachev about what he had seen during this visit to the United States. Although we felt encouraged and reassured, still nobody thought that the Soviet empire would simply open the door to the Unification Church movement.
Nevertheless, as he promised, Mr. Kobysh reported all about the conference and his U.S. trip to Gorbachev. From that point on, small indications that the Soviet Union was changing its attitude toward us began to make their way to the surface. For example, the Soviet weekly magazine New Age published the paper written by Mr. Kobysh (July 7, 1989). The title was somehow intriguing: "How Do You Make an Enemy Into a Friend?" The subtitle was "Looking at Reverend Sun Myung Moon in a Different Light." In his conclusion, Mr. Kobysh stated, "We have overcome the differences of ideology. Reverend Moon and his believers are our compatriots, our allies."
Soviet representatives visited Reverend Moon's resident in 1989.
Also, a Soviet magazine specializing in foreign affairs (Za rubezhom, issue 24, 1989) ran an interview with Reverend Moon's wife, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, in the religion and society pages. The feature story, titled "My Husband and the Unification Church," was the first article in the Soviet press that ever presented Reverend Moon and his wife, as well as the Unification Church, in a positive light.
That same year, the Soviet Union readily accepted an invitation by the World Media Association to take five top Soviet media people to visit the Far East in early September. The team was headed up by Ms. Natalia Yakoleva, the editor in chief responsible for North American coverage at Novosti, the official Soviet news service. Also included were Vitale Kobysh; Farid Seiful-Mulukov, anchorman for the Soviet national television and radio broadcasting service; Mr. Vladimir Iodansky, vice editor of the Za rubezhom; and Mr. Vladimir Goussev, chief television cameraman for Gorbachev.
The first stop on this Asian tour was South Korea. After seeing the development in South Korea, these seasoned journalists were reportedly so struck with admiration and wonder that they could not find the words to express it. In particular, their visit to Reverend Moon's Little Angels Performing Arts Center was notable. Watching the elegant and refined Little Angels dance and sing so joyfully, the visiting Soviets felt the pull of their own true hearts and they cried. For this reason, they later invited the Little Angels to the Soviet Union to per-form, and that performance was broadcast all across the Soviet Union by the national broadcasting network.
The day before the Soviet visitors were scheduled to leave South Korea, Reverend Moon invited them to his house in Hannam-dong, in Seoul. Enjoying a meal of traditional Korean food lovingly prepared by Mrs. Moon, the visitors were as joyful as young children.
That evening, without beating around the bush, Reverend Moon put a question to the visitors. "Will you welcome me if we hold the media conference in Moscow and I attend in person?" he asked.
The Soviets clapped their hands and boisterously called out, "Da! Da!" ("Yes" in Russian).
Then, smiling, Reverend Moon asked again, jokingly, "Your government tried to have me killed. Can I really trust you folks in the Soviet Union?"
At this, Mr. Kobysh became quite serious. "I will take responsibility for it," he said vehemently. "I will guarantee your safety in the name of General Secretary Gorbachev."
The following day, the Soviet media group left South Korea to go to Japan, where they spent the next five days. In Japan that they were warmly welcomed and taken care of by the staff and members of the Unification Church. After Japan, the team visited Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, as well as North Korea. By far the most impressive experiences of their Far Eastern tour, however, occurred during the time they spent in South Korea and Japan.
One memorable incident took place on September 15. A farewell banquet was being held in downtown Tokyo, but the guests of honor had still not arrived even thirty minutes after the time scheduled to begin. The organizers of the banquet were understandably nervous and kept looking at their watches. Finally, after another thirty minutes, the Soviet visitors arrived, obviously having rushed to get there.
They told us they had been waiting at the Soviet Embassy for the official go-ahead from their government on holding the eleventh World Media Conference in Moscow. They had wanted to announce it at the banquet. In the end, the government, or to be more precise, Gorbachev, issued the authorization. But that was not all the good news. It had also been decided that Novosti would even co-host the conference.
So that was the way in which Moscow became the host of the eleventh World Media Conference. Gorbachev gave the OK in full knowledge that Reverend Moon would he visiting Moscow as part of the event. Our guests were late because they had wanted to make this news known before they left Japan, as a present to Reverend Moon.
The banquet that evening became a celebration of the Soviet Union's decision to convene the Moscow conference.
The head of the visiting Soviet team, Ms. Yakoleva, in a short address to the participants and organizers of the banquet, made the following comments: "The thing that has most impressed me in my visit to Japan is the sincere and heartfelt welcome we received from the young people of the Unification Church," she said. "I was truly surprised to find such young people of quality. I had had my doubts that such young people could he found in today's society. But as the saying goes, you can tell a tree by its fruits. Watching these young people, I have come to understand quite well what kind of thought and education Reverend Moon stands for."
The impression left on Ms. Yakoleva was so deep that she was moved to tears as she spoke. I believe that she was grieving as she cried, grieving for the young people of the Soviet Union, who as yet had to live with so little freedom of expression, because of so much freedom denied.
Also speaking at the banquet was Mr. Shigenobu Inoue, chief editorial writer for the Japanese paper Sekai Nippo (sister paper to the Washington Times) and former vice director of editorials at Japan's famous Sankei Shinbun newspaper. In his sendoff address, Mr. Inoue said, "I'm sure I know why you, our distinguished guests, have visited Japan. I guess you want to find out the secret of our success. You want to know how Japan, a defeated nation in the Second World War, could accomplish such economic development and prosperity. Well, let me tell you. Our secret is the Japanese people's spirit of love: love for our families, love for our companies, love for our society and our nation."
Upon hearing these words, Yakoleva grabbed the microphone again. "Could you donate some of that love to the Soviet Union, please?" she asked. It was a very dramatic moment.
And so the matter of the eleventh World Media Conference in Moscow was settled. The date for the conference was decided to be April 10-12, 1990, and the location was to be at the best international conference facilities in Moscow, the famous Sovincenter. Officially, the name of the conference was to be called the Moscow Convention, referring to the joint convening of the World Media Conference, the Summit Council for Peace, and the Association for the Unity of Latin America Conference.
The Moscow Convention was to be the largest international convention held by the Unification movement up until that time. It took place approximately fourteen years from the time of the Washington Monument rally, and thus the prophecy of the Moscow rally was fulfilled. And yet, who would have imagined how events would unfold to allow the Moscow rally to be accomplished?
Yes, indeed. God works in mysterious ways.
Reverend Moon Arrives in Moscow April 8, 1990, was a truly historical day. It marked Reverend Moon's arrival in the suzerain nation of the communist empire, the Soviet Union.
Reverend and Mrs. Moon arrived with their entourage at the Moscow airport aboard a Pan Am flight from New York. As soon as they arrived, they were guided to the VIP lounge. I was already in Moscow, having arrived earlier in my capacity as chairman of the organizing committee for the convention. Awaiting the Moons in the VIP lounge were Albert Vlasov, chief of Novosti (the convening organization on the Soviet side), and other important members of his staff, as well as the media people we had already met during the tours to the Far East and the United States. They had all come out to welcome Reverend Moon like old friends. One surprise was the high-level KGB official assigned to protect Reverend and Mrs. Moon and their family.
As soon as Reverend Moon stepped into the VIP room, Mr. Vlasov greeted him and they shook hands. Ms. Yakoleva presented him with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and Mr. Kobysh gave one to Mrs. Moon. Everyone, including the reporters who packed the room, broke into applause. It was a stirring moment. Here was Reverend Moon, the same man who had suffered intense oppression from the North Korean communist regime, receiving flowers in Moscow. He had faced death not once but several times, yet never gave up.
Outside the airport, limousines and a huge police escort were waiting. Reverend and Mrs. Moon got into the lead limousine. I joined them, taking a seat in the front. The journey from the airport to the VIP accommodations would normally take about thirty minutes, but we covered the distance in half that time. On Moscow's larger roads, there is a center lane marked by yellow lines that is reserved for the head of the Soviet Union and visiting heads of state. The police escort took this route. The Soviet government had decided that this visitor belonged to that level.
Reverend Moon and his family were housed in a VIP guesthouse operated by the government. The entire facility was made available for Reverend Moon and his entourage for the duration of the convention. The lower floor was designated as accommodations for the former presidents and prime ministers attending the conference.
Reverend Moon greeted the Soviet officials who had come to welcome him. Then, together with our church staff and his assistants, he offered a prayer to God.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for permitting this day, this day I have longed for my whole life. Now communism and the Soviet Union, which was the enemy of Heaven, have bowed down before You. They have capitulated. Father, please regard them with Your merciful love, please take care of them.
The prayer was deep and earnest. Everyone in our small gathering was in tears. Our leader finished his prayer, then sat down and shared with us. What he spoke about was meaningful and portentous.
Now communism has truly come to the end of the road; it is finished. Moreover, secular humanism is finished as well. Even the established churches, those that could only think in their own narrow direction, have come to the end of the line. The new vision that leads the twenty-first century will come from a new paradigm, a new ideological underpinning. That new ideology is Godism, it is headwing thought. Based on this new ideology, this new thought, the vision of the world village and the one world family will come to the foreground. Now, we have to get on with the business of helping the Soviet Union. We have to be serious about helping them.
He also spoke about Gorbachev:
The most important task facing the president is spiritual revival. He needs a revival of the value system, and the revival must he ushered in by a new concept of God. The fate of the Soviet Union will hinge on how much President Gorbachev responds to my words.
But there was still one piece of the picture to be accomplished, one matter still left in doubt. Would Reverend Moon be able to meet President Gorbachev?
The World Media Conference was very important, but it wasn't the only reason that Reverend Moon came to Moscow. A more important goal was to meet with Gorbachev. That was really why Reverend Moon came to Moscow.
From the viewpoint of God's providence, the conference between Reverend Moon and President Gorbachev carried huge significance. In Unification Principle terms, the meeting between these two figures represented the reunion of Esau and Jacob taking place on the world level. That reunion had to be accomplished at the point where the final providence of God for humanity was being completed. From the viewpoint of God's providence, Gorbachev was in the position of the historical Esau, representing that position on the world level. Reverend Moon was, of course, in the position of the historical Jacob, again on the world level.
In the Old Testament, Esau and Jacob are the twin sons of Isaac, son of Abraham. Esau, the elder of the two, was in a position similar to that of Cain, the eldest son in Adam's family; he represented the position of those relatively further from God. The position of the younger twin, Jacob, was similar to that of Adam's second son, Abel, the position of those relatively closer to God. Another way to put this is to say that the elder represented Satan's side and the younger God's side.
When Jacob melted his brother's heart, when he embraced Esau-the brother who had sought to kill him -- the long history of conflict that began with Cain and Abel was brought to a close, and a new history for Heaven, the history of the chosen people of Israel, started. (See Gen. 25:19 to 35:15.) Originally, Abel should have loved Cain, the elder brother who wanted to kill him. Through love, Abel should have liberated Cain from the pain and anguish he was experiencing in his heart. But Abel could not do it, and in the end he was murdered. It was imperative for God's providence that the same result not be repeated in the relationship between Jacob and Esau.
God's desire that the two brothers unite was fulfilled in those two biblical figures. Esau surrendered before the love of Jacob of his own free will. At that time, the resentment in Esau's heart was eliminated. Thus, Jacob's victory of love fulfilled the very thing that Abel, in the end, had been unable to achieve. This event also held the important significance of God bringing Satan to a natural and self-motivated surrender. It was a joyful victory, not only for Jacob but also for God.
The meeting of Reverend Moon and President Gorbachev was an event with the exact same meaning, but on a global level. There was no one more fit to represent the satanic side than the most powerful man in the Soviet Union, and no one more fit to represent God's side than Reverend Moon. Just as Esau accepted and received Jacob, the world-level Esau had to receive and acknowledge the world-level Jacob. In other words, from God's viewpoint, the world-level Esau had to surrender, freely and of his own will, to the world-level Jacob. That is the point where the Kingdom of Heaven on earth begins.
For Gorbachev to welcome and accept Reverend Moon with open arms involved a certain portion of human responsibility. After all, nothing of value is ever achieved simply by sitting down and waiting. Nothing is automatic.
For a long time beforehand, I had been thinking of how this meeting could be accomplished, what strategy to use. I had discussed the matter with President Gorbachev's close aides several times, and they always promised their active support. However, the real problem was, who would "pin the bell on the cat's collar" (a Korean expression meaning to carry out the actual task).
I was thinking of two people in particular. One was Alexander Yakolev, member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party Politburo, and member of the Presidential Council. Mr. Yakolev was one of the principle architects behind the glasnost and perestroika policies, and a true comrade of President Gorbachev's. He also believed that reform was the only way for the Soviet Union to survive. When the opportunity presented itself, I explained to him how the way for the new policies to succeed was for the Soviet Union to accept and receive Reverend Moon. Mr. Yakolev decided to place his trust in my words.
The other person was Dr. Yuri Ossipyan, vice president of the USSR Academy of Sciences, chairman of the World Association of Physicists, presidential adviser, and close personal friend of President Gorbachev's. Dr. Ossipyan and I were good friends. Moreover, he had often visited the United States and was not only familiar with Reverend Moon but also believed that Reverend Moon's youth movement was the only thing that could save the Soviet Union once the control of communism was removed.
Despite these good contacts, no decision had been reached regarding a meeting by the time Reverend Moon arrived in Moscow. To complicate things, Gorbachev was enjoying the heights of celebrity. Once again, I sought out the two influential individuals mentioned above. This time, I brought along a lot more materials for them to show the president, and I persuaded them to seek a final decision on the meeting. Both of them gave it their best efforts. On April 9, they visited President Gorbachev together and proposed that he set everything aside and make a meeting with Reverend Moon. They later told me that they even "worked up a sweat" explaining to him why and how such a meeting would benefit the USSR. According to their report, President Gorbachev was deeply moved. He concluded that Rev. Sun MyungMoon was someone he really must meet, no matter what.
From what was explained to me, there were two things in particular that impressed President Gorbachev and led him to respect Reverend Moon's sense of character.
The first was Reverend Moon's development of the Panda automobile plant in the People's Republic of China. Gorbachev looked at photographs and listened to an explanation of how Reverend Moon invested $250 million in China to build the largest automobile manufacturing plant in Asia. Gorbachev felt there was something fresh about Reverend Moon. Moreover, the timing was directly after the Tiananmen Square incident, when China was taking a harsh beating in international public opinion. (In June 1989, the Chinese authorities intervened when large-scale demonstrations erupted in an atmosphere of heightened demands for democracy. The People's Liberation Army was mobilized and the demonstrations suppressed by force. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of demonstrators died.) It was a time when all the Western Europeans were packing up and pulling out of China, but here was Reverend Moon even speeding up investment, saying, "True help is helping someone when they are in trouble. This is the time when China really needs our help." This attitude had a big impact on Gorbachev.
The second item that especially impressed the Soviet leader was the report about Reverend Moon's incarceration in Danbury. President Gorbachev heard how the U.S. government persecuted Reverend Moon and even threw him into prison. He also heard how, in the midst of tribulation, Reverend Moon not only forgave America but even selflessly invested finances to create the Washington Times for the express purpose of helping America. Gorbachev came to realize that Reverend Moon was not the kind of man who sought revenge. He saw that Reverend Moon would not seek retribution on the Soviet Union because of communism, and this also moved him.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, on the afternoon of April 9, I received a historical phone call from Dr. Ossipyan.
The president has decided to meet Reverend and Mrs. Moon. The meeting is set for ten o'clock in the morning on April 11, at the presidential office in the Kremlin. First, the president would like to meet with the Moons together with the twenty-eight former heads of state, and then he would like a separate, private meeting with Reverend Moon alone.
When I heard this, all I could do was sit down and mumble "Thank you, God, thank you." Tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes.