Truth Is My Sword Volume I -Collected Speeches in the Public Arena
by Bo Hi Pak
Media and Traditional Values
September 18, 1986
In this speech Dr. Pak explains Reverend Moon's motivation behind his far-flung media enterprises-which include newspapers like The Washington Times, New York City Tribune, and Noticias del Mundo; magazines like The World & I; and the World Media Association-and his work toward Latin American unity. Dr. Pak explains that Reverend Moon is a modern-day prophet using the best means available to spread God's message and establish true values, as well as realize the family of man under the parenthood of God. The following remarks were delivered by Dr. Pak at the Eighth World Media Conference in Washington, D.C., on September 18, 1986.
Board Chairman, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another gathering of this annual conference. After taking the World Media Association on the road for all eight years of its existence, it is good to be holding the 1986 conference here in the nation's capital. I have a double reason to be happy about holding the conference here in Washington, since The Washington Times, our newspaper, makes its home in this great city. President Reagan reads The Washington Times first thing every morning. We also publish Insight, our weekly news magazine, as well as The World & I , our newest monthly magazine, for national and global distribution.
As you all know, the World Media Association and its sponsoring organization, News World Communications, were founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon. This is stated clearly at the top of the general information sheet that goes out each year with the invitations. We also enclose a copy of the World Media Association's statement of purpose, which explains what the organization does and why.
Still, no matter where we hold the World Media Conference, no matter how many people there are or what the theme of that particular conference is, one question is asked more than any other. That question is always a variation on the theme of "Why are you doing this? Why are you spending so much money on a conference that nets you no real monetary return or increase in newspaper circulation?" The answer lies in understanding that we believe in it as a cause, a cause which is bigger than our lives, our business, and our fortune. Reverend Moon has dedicated his entire life to the restoration of traditional values in every area of human life, including science, religion, and media.
In addition to this World Media Association, Reverend Moon founded the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences in order to study the relationship of empirical science to absolute values. He likewise founded the Assembly of World Religions, which brings together prominent theologians and scholars from the various world religions to discuss what they understand in common about the nature of God and the question of good and evil. I mention just three of the numerous international conferences he has founded.
Reverend Moon is a crusader for God and has been for his entire life. Today in our changing world, Reverend Moon is fulfilling the role of a prophet. He is "the voice crying in the wilderness," as the scripture says. Throughout human history, God frequently raised up such voices, and through them He gave words of warning and called upon His people to rededicate themselves to Him. This historical role of the prophet is and always has been an unpopular mission. The prophet must tell the truth squarely, and the truth is sometimes very painful to hear.
In the process of doing his mission, Reverend Moon inevitably became controversial. He has been persecuted, although he is not the first religious leader in history to be persecuted. Every major religious figure in the Judeo-Christian tradition has walked the path of suffering through persecution. In the Old Testament era, many of the prophets were scorned. St. Paul, St. Peter, and others were imprisoned. Jesus Christ himself was crucified. Even in American history, Roger Williams was exiled, Joseph Smith was killed, and Martin Luther King, Jr., was jailed many times. Reverend Moon is following in this same tradition.
Reverend Moon's primary mission does not entail making conferences or founding newspapers. His mission centers around encouraging the righteous people of the world-those who believe in a living God-to unite for the common purpose of opposing evil. As the familiar saying goes, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
If the good people of the world had opened their eyes and united in defense of their Jewish brethren, Hitler's holocaust would never have taken place. What could have rallied the forces of good against that monstrous evil and prevented the holocaust before it ever began? The media could have. Yet they didn't cry out until it was too late.
Today we face an even greater evil: the international totalitarian system of communism. Communism is not confined to one country as were the Nazis. Communism is global. It persecutes religion and minority races, especially the Jews. And like fascism before it, communism is often apologized for, ignored, even praised by the media. By the time we wake up, will it be too late again? I hope the recent outrageous arrest and interrogation of Nicholas Daniloff in Moscow will open the eyes of the media to the true nature of communism. The media performed their adversarial role with the government with great zeal during the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. They were quick to point out the atrocities committed by the United States forces at My Lai. But why were they so silent when a half-million Vietnamese boat people went to their deaths trying to escape the bloodbath that followed the communist takeover of Vietnam? The systematic starvation of more than 3 million civilians in Cambodia failed to stir the righteous indignation of the world press in proportion to the seriousness of the crime, and the continuing Soviet-sponsored holocaust in Afghanistan is an occasional one-day story, not much more. Where are the media?
Any incident in South Africa earns three minutes on the network nightly news. That is fine because I also oppose apartheid, and the protection of human rights is one of the responsibilities of the media. But where is the nightly three minutes for the Jewish and Muslim people oppressed inside the Soviet Union? These things need to be discussed openly and with candor. The media's failure to be consistent and righteous has caused this profession to come under increasing criticism by the general public. They sense we are not fulfilling our responsibility.
Reverend Moon believes in a powerful and independent media, even though he himself has often been the victim of their power. He knows the power of the media could have made the difference in the holocaust of World War II. He knows they could have made the difference in Vietnam. And he knows they can make the difference in the current conflict against tyranny.
Reverend Moon has founded many newspapers and publications around the world for this reason. The Washington Times is just one. In addition, he founded the World Media Association in 1978. The WMA has conducted numerous fact-finding tours of critical areas. We have been three times to the Soviet Union, twice to China, and twice around the rim of the Pacific Basin known as the Great Arc of Free Asia. We went to Europe in 1983 to observe first-hand the peace movement demonstrations against the placement of NATO missiles in Europe. We took opinion leaders from many nations to Central America to observe events.
Through these activities, Reverend Moon wants media professionals to be exposed to the realities of the world, to draw their own conclusions, and, further, to discuss the ethical issues related to media coverage of these regions-as much as he stresses total freedom of the press. When we first initiated this conference, we had many scornful eyes upon us. After eight years, however, we have proven to the world that the World Media Association is not only a legitimate, issues-oriented media institute, but that it serves a vital role in the ongoing dialogue of media responsibility.
This year, as you can see from the schedule, we have assembled the most qualified possible participation: liberal and conservative, foreign and domestic. It would be hard to put together a more appropriate team of speakers and panelists than you see here in this conference. The work of the World Media Association has been a great success. It is clearly an idea whose time has come.
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