Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Appendix 2 Antonio Betancourt
Founding member and former secretary general, CAUSA International. Currently, Executive Director of the Summit Council, the Federation for World Peace, the Association for the Unity of Latin America; and president, World Institute for Development and Peace.
"You create a position by creating value. Leave a legacy of genuine value behind in whatever you do, then any position acquired in life can never be challenged." These were Dr. Bo Hi Pak's words in the beginning of 1980, and they have served as my motto ever since.
For me to reminisce about Dr. Pak is to ponder practically all my years in the Unification Church. It gives me the opportunity to publicly express my gratitude to someone who has played a critical role in my life. In reality, my 23-year association with Dr. and Mrs. Pak is integral to my relationship with my spiritual parents, Rev. and Mrs. Moon, my wife, my children, my mission, and my entire outlook.
From a singer in an international choir (the New Hope Singers International with Dr. Pak in charge) and then a missionary for the Unification Church in upper Manhattan in the 1970s, to my present position as an international consultant and director of several humanitarian international organizations-my life and my missions have all developed together with my relationship with Dr. Bo Hi Pak.
In November 1979, Rev. Moon directed Dr. Pak to prepare to go to Latin America. He felt that the Unification Movement urgently needed to support the Latin governments facing a fate similar to Nicaragua at the hands of communist-led insurgents. Along with Argentine journalist Antonio Rodriguez Carmona and Celia Fraga Roomer, I accompanied Dr. Pak in the capacity of special assistant and translator.
The direction from Rev. Moon came as a result of a project for Latin America presented to him after my brother Michael and I met Mr. Rodriguez as we were doing missionary work in upper Manhattan. Mr. Rodriguez came to the United States for a "mission from God," which he called "Crusada Argentina USA" (CAUSA). Initially its purpose was to improve relations between the United States, especially the American media, and Argentina and Latin America.
Mr. Rodriguez believed that news about that part of the world was so distorted that the United States had to be awakened to the real dangers of communist work in Latin America. After we taught him Divine Principle and Victory over Communism (VOC), Mr. Rodriguez realized that the Unification Movement had the power and mission to educate America about its responsibility regarding the totalitarian menace in Latin America and around the world.
Our first approach would be to show Latin America that The News World, the New York daily newspaper founded by Rev. Moon in 1976, could provide accurate, objective, and sympathetic coverage of the plight of the people suffering from communist aggression. To help with our project, we thought it essential to create a Spanish newspaper in New York that would serve as a tribute to and harmonizer of all Latin America.
Our champion for this historical enterprise was Dr. Bo Hi Pak. He could inspire Rev. Moon to support these efforts. Dr. Pak had just completed a historical match with the U.S. Congress defending our movement, which was under heavy attack from far left forces in America. Dr. Pak was inspired and understood our strategy very well. When these ideas were presented to Rev. and Mrs. Moon, they completely agreed with the formula. They said that the road to Washington is through the Latin American capitals. Dr. Pak wanted the United States to be indebted to Rev. Moon for fighting the forces of communism. America was advocating military and security solutions, while Rev. Moon was promoting victory over communism based on the ideology of Godism and democracy.
The first order was to recruit professional journalists who would help us launch Noticias del Mundo in New York. We toured Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Chile where we found first-class journalists who volunteered in the launching of our newspaper, which began publication in 1980.
As president of News World Communications, publishers of the New York City Tribune and Noticias del Mundo, Dr. Pak was welcomed by the heads of state of many Latin American countries: Rodrigo Carazo in Costa Rica, our first country; Napoleon Duarte of El Salvador; Aparicio Mendez of Uruguay; Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay; Suazo Cordova of Honduras; Jorge Blanco of the Dominican Republic; Augusto Pinochet of Chile; Belisario Betancourt of Colombia; and many others.
Our detractors said we made contacts with only the right-wing dictators of Latin America, whereas the truth is we visited every head of state who would receive us with our message of peace and hope from Rev. Moon.
We never gave financial or any logistical support to the arms struggles led by anti-communist forces. We had enough responsibility in dealing with the ideological and philosophical education programs. Our fight was "mind to mind" from a theological perspective.
Over and over, we heard pleas for assistance. The heads of state wanted help in the ideological struggle. We offered them our strength, which was education on an idea that is superior to communism-Godism. With this the nations could regain their most valuable resource, their youth, who were being lost to communist idealism.
Just as Caleb reported to Moses, Dr. Pak would bring news from the field to Rev. Moon. Upon this assessment, Rev. Moon decided to establish the Confederation of the Association for the Unity of the Societies of the Americas (CAUSA International). Dr. Pak became the president and I the secretary-general. Rev. Moon also selected a group of Unification Theological Seminary graduates to develop the CAUSA Institute with its educational programs. A mighty work began that expanded from Latin America, eventually covering the five continents of the world.
We established a base in Montevideo, Uruguay, where Dr. Pak negotiated on behalf of the Movement the acquisition of a hotel (number one in the country), a bank, and a new newspaper, Ultimas Noticias, which later became the second most important daily in the country. Tens of thousands of Uruguayans from all walks of life were educated with the CAUSA worldview.
We could literally write many books about our experiences with CAUSA International and working side by side with Dr. Pak about the projects that we developed together over the past 23 years. In the early days of CAUSA, we traveled to nearly every country in Latin America. Our team taught academicians, journalists, scientists, political leaders, union workers, soldiers, doctors, lawyers-everyone. We had the honor to meet many heads of state and religious leaders, including His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Plaza, chancellor of the Pontifical University of La Plata and archbishop of La Plata in Argentina. It pleased our hearts to hear the Archbishop praise our work.
He said, "Dr. Moon chose to challenge the ideological cause of such violence in what Pope Leo XIII alluded to as the `obsolete theory' of Marxism itself. Rev. Moon's and Dr. Pak's activities are significant in that they constitute not only an expose and a critical analysis of Marxism, but bring in a counterproposal to Marxism."
On November 15, 1984, while Rev. Moon was serving a term in Danbury prison on trumped-up charges of tax evasion, honorary doctorate degrees from the Catholic University of La Plata, Argentina, were presented to Rev. Moon and Dr. Pak at a special ceremony at the United Nations. Mrs. Moon received the honor on behalf of her husband. This was a demonstration of courage and moral support by Archbishop Antonio Plaza and the president of the University, Dr. Nicolas Argentato, for the efforts of Rev. Moon and Dr. Pak for the struggle of democracy under God in Latin America.
In January 1984, Rev. Moon founded the Association for the Unity of Latin America (AULA). The primary purpose of AULA is to foster activities that will articulate a route to greater unity among the Latin American countries. It takes its inspiration from the ideals and purposes of the liberator, Simon Bolivar, as well as the great patriots of the Hispanic-American world. Working with Ambassador Jose Maria Chaves, we held many programs throughout the Western hemisphere, but certainly the most memorable include audiences and recognition of our work by His Holiness John Paul II (1985), Mother Teresa (1985), and King Juan Carlos I of Spain (1986).
Recognizing the Soviet totalitarian threat and its effect upon the security and stability of the free world, Dr. Pak, along with Dr. Joseph Churba, supported the idea of the establishment of the International Security Council in Washington, D.C., in September 1984. It was founded as a rallying point for top intelligence analysts from around the world in academia, government, and the military to analyze the threat and propose solutions to problems of Soviet expansionism. It was thanks to Dr. Pak's enthusiasm and endorsement that this project received direction and generous patronage from Rev. and Mrs. Moon. By personally bringing it to their attention, we were able to create a very serious think tank with an outstanding quarterly journal, Global Affairs, offering to advise and educate leaders and enlighten public opinion on important issues such as terrorism, the radical entente, the threat to NATO, and the growing Soviet threat in the Middle and Far East.
From 1985-86, we developed the CAUSA International Military Association (CIMA) as an educational association committed to the cause of freedom around the world. This organization was geared to a membership of senior retired U.S. and foreign military officers.
In 1987, under Dr. Pak's direction as president, the inaugural conference of the Summit Council for World Peace was held in Seoul, Korea. The Summit Council, in many ways, represents the pinnacle of Rev. Moon's efforts to reach out to the world's most influential and respected leaders. Dr. Pak spared no expense to embrace incumbent and former heads of state and government and tap this rich reservoir of wisdom and experience. At each event, Dr. Pak shared the vision of the founder to challenge the participants to use their expertise as statesmen for the work of peace, unity, and harmony among the nations of the world. Former Presidents Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, George Bush of the United States, Mikhail Gorbachev from Russia, Fernando Belaunde Terry of Peru, Julio Turbay Ayala of Colombia, and Mario Echandi of Costa Rica; former Prime Ministers Sir Edward Heath from England and Aziz Sidky of Egypt; former Governor General Edward Schreyer from Canada; and many others have helped to advance the cause of peace proposed by the Summit Council thanks to Dr. Pak's undying dedication to build that institution.
I remember the period 1990-93 as being particularly busy and hectic years. In February 1990, we held a Summit Council conference in Seoul and simultaneously celebrated the 70th birthday of Rev. Moon. In April 1990, Dr. Pak oversaw the conference in Moscow and meetings with President Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. The Summit Council brought 40 former heads of state, government, prime ministers, and many world leaders from 60 nations for a total of more than 1,000 guests. Along with the World Media Association, the conference discussed the "Global Implications of Glasnost and Perestroika." It was a gala, phenomenonal event. Then on April 11, Rev. and Mrs. Moon led the delegation of heads of state for an engrossing private session with Mr. Gorbachev. For the Unification movement, this was one of the most historical providential activities of the end of this century.
In August 1991, the inaugural conference of the Federation for World Peace was held in Seoul with former U.S. Secretary of State General Alexander Haig as the keynote speaker. The Federation was initially conceived as an umbrella coalition of many organizations founded by Rev. and Mrs. Moon. An enormous amount of organizing had to be done. Dr. Pak had his finger on every detail. Within days of returning to Washington, D.C., in September 1991, Dr. Pak addressed the International Commission for the Reunification of Korea, a newly launched project of the Summit Council.
That year in November, thanks to the work of the Summit Council and its Commission on Korean Reunification, we pulled off the biggest coup in the history of the Movement by bringing Rev. and Mrs. Moon to their hometown in North Korea. How this happened is truly one of the greatest stories to be told. At the time, I honestly felt like Dr. Pak and I were true disciples of Christ. Many late night meetings took place in Beijing; quiet, intense negotiations with the North Koreans were held involving protocol, schedule, and a million other details.
Finally, a delegation of about 30 people was brought to Beijing, including Church elders and members to record and chronicle the trip. Then at the last minute, North Korea said only Korean nationals could enter the country. That meant, Rev. and Mrs. Moon, Dr. and Mrs. Pak, Peter Kim, and two assistants. The rest of us stayed behind. For us, it was like Rev. and Mrs. Moon were going to another planet; one can't imagine a more surreal atmosphere than seeing them leave on a North Korean jet, not knowing if they would be taken captive or whether their lives were in danger. We could only pray and hope they were in God's hands.
On the sixth day, a member came back to Beijing with a roll of film. It was like Alexander Graham Bell and the first telephone. We gathered around the development of that film like it was the birth of our first baby. Slowly the picture came into focus: it was Rev. Moon and Kim Il Sung embracing. The man who had imprisoned, tortured, humiliated, and abused our spiritual leader was embracing him like a long-lost brother. It was the most beautiful, tearful sight I'd ever witnessed, the embrace of the historical Jacob and Esau.
The Segye Ilbo and Sekai Nippo newspapers were on hand to transmit the photos to wire services around the world. By the next morning, the entire world saw the photo and had to acknowledge that Rev. Moon had done the impossible! When Rev. and Mrs. Moon returned to Beijing a few days later, it was total pandemonium. We gathered in their suite and heard Dr. Pak give the most amazing testimony about Rev. and Mrs. Moons' relatives, visiting Rev. Moon's birthplace, and embracing Kim Il Sung.
The result of the historical encounter between President Kim Il Sung and Rev. Moon was expressed in a 10-point communique, one of which was an agreement to have prime ministerial talks between North and South Korea. This opened the door to a new era of relations between the DPRK and South Korea. This occurred a few days after Rev. Moon's departure from Pyongyang. Another area negotiated included North Korea's desire for light-water nuclear reactors to replace their old ones that created the so-called controversy of the DPRK nuclear weapons program.
In the following months and years, the Summit Council, under the direction of Dr. Pak, has effectively used back-door diplomacy to promote dialogue between the United States and the DPRK in order to resolve this potential nuclear buildup in northeast Asia. The Summit Council was responsible to nourish the process of diplomatic rapprochement between Washington and Pyongyang. This led to the final signing of the "Framework Agreement" on October 21, 1994, between the United States and the DPRK that froze the weapons-grade plutonium-producing reactors in exchange for light-water reactors.
Dr. Pak was instrumental in bringing The Washington Times to conduct Kim Il Sung's first interview since 1972. He was also responsible for bringing in international cable television companies, CNN, NHK of Japan, and BBC of London. This enabled the DPRK to have international exposure and to bring them out of their self-imposed isolation.
The scope of Dr. Pak's ground-breaking work for permanent peace and the eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula deserves far more space than what can be dedicated in these pages; certainly it would be enough to fill several books.
In 1992, at the second Federation for World Peace, the keynote speaker was Mikhail Gorbachev. At the time, no Russian president, incumbent or former, had ever visited Korea, so his coming represented a major event in the country's history. There were many logistical nightmares to contend with, but like he was executing a precise military maneuver, Dr. Pak made sure every item was attended to. He left nothing to chance. The result was a wonderful, warm, and friendly encounter between Mr. and Mrs. Gorbachev and Rev. and Mrs. Moon. It was a visit filled with symbolism; the whole country watched as these two former archrivals embraced in a spirit of forgiveness and harmony. ,
In July 1994, Dr. Pak and I attended the funeral of Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang. He was the only South Korean citizen and I the only U.S. citizen in attendance. Upon his return to Beijing, Dr. Pak received enormous persecution from Seoul. Although we attended as representatives of Rev. Moon, Dr. Pak underwent derision from conservatives in South Korea and the threat of arrest and imprisonment from the ROK government for violating its national security decrees. Dr. Pak had to fight for his reputation and his legal rights. He had to call on his tremendous inner reserves and strength, as I watched him weather this storm that kept him from returning to his beloved homeland for three years. During that time, Dr. Pak worked tirelessly to promote family values and to help rebuild and fortify the Unification Movement in Japan.
I have only described my personal experience with the external course followed by Dr. Pak of mostly 18 years. Each step required enormous work, mastery in planning, and diplomacy, but most of all prayer. Each project has a story behind it and someday volumes will be written.
For me Dr. Pak has been a role model, a teacher of diplomacy with a heart of gold. As an example, a brother in Washington, Bruce Williams, narrates the following story. When he was assistant pastor of the Unification Church of Washington, he witnessed an event that even Dr. Pak has no knowledge of. Bruce says that one night, "Bo Hi Pak arrived outside with an elder Korean gentleman who may or may not have been a member. It was snowing heavily. I was watching from the window without being seen when the guest slipped and fell while getting out of the car. Dr. Pak looked around to see if anyone was watching, then he suddenly slipped and fell down in the snow. They were laughing about how slippery the ground was and helping each other to get up." I have never seen a man who tried so hard to make people feel at ease and who sees God in everyone as much as Dr. Pak.
He is a man I can approach, someone I can speak with honestly and forthrightly. Wherever we went, whether China, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Europe, he always went out of his way to involve me and the staff around us and to make us part of the big picture. When he visited Rev. Moon, he gave us credit for the achievements. He values the opinion of his staff and others. He genuinely and truly is interested in people. He is a good listener. Those are important qualities for a leader.
I always felt that, among all the leaders in America serving under Rev. Moon, Dr. Pak is the most approachable, the one who can understand Western thinking, our feelings and way of doing things, but more fundamentally, the one who knows how to extract the best of Western members for the sake of God's will.
Dr. Pak has this quality of taking the best from everyone. He doesn't impose himself, he listens carefully, evaluates, meditates, then acts. If it's not working out right, he's not afraid to admit his shortcomings, cut his losses, and start again. He sets a standard. We always called it "DP standard." It means doing it right. Sometimes it means spending more, but with an eye toward history, he always seemed to be right. The Washington Times, the Little Angels, the Kirov Ballet, Atlantic Video, the Summit Council, these are all Dr. Pak's legacy of doing it right. He always said we are representing Heavenly Father and True Parents, and our lives have to be absolutely True Parent-centered. Therefore he encourages us to give our best.
Dr. Pak is a passionate speaker and caring person. I saw this in November 1997 when he was asked to deliver the eulogy of our dear friend, Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II. He brought the whole audience to tears at the Christ Church in Georgetown packed with blue blood Washingtonians. It was from the heart that he recalled the great deeds and kindness of Ambassador MacArthur.
Recently, at an international conference of the Federation for World Peace, he was asked to sit at the dais next to Mrs. Moon. He apparently had no title or position to be introduced and he asked me, "What title can I use? I have no position here in America anymore." I told him, "You have created a position and a title for yourself by creating genuine value through service to humanity, assisting and serving our True Parents, so your best and indisputable title is `special assistant to Rev. and Mrs. Moon."' That night Dr. Pak was introduced with the title he loves the most, "Dr. Bo Hi Pak, special assistant to Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon."
We have walked many miles together. If it is Heaven's will, I hope to walk many more. If I have to ask the simple question: where would I be if Dr. Pak had not entered my life? I would philosophically answer, I am what I am today because of Dr. and Mrs. Pak, their living faith, their selflessness, and the spirit of total attendance to God and True Parents. Dr. Pak gave me his heart and soul, and everyday and forevermore I say, thank you.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents