Class of '98 at Chung Pyung Lake

It poured with rain every day for three weeks and most developed a cough but 31 members of the class of '98 persevered and successfully completed their 40 day workshop at Chung Pyung Lake this summer. Most reported a sense of victory at the conclusion of the workshop following some rigorous and challenging external circumstances along the way. Simone Lancaster's experience was fairly typical. "After having difficulty going up the mountain at the beginning," she said, "I was able to do it quite easily after a few days. While praying at the trees I received inspiration that many things which I think were difficult could be resolved quite easily if I changed my attitude toward the situation and stopped worrying. So at the end of 40 days at Chung Pyung I felt physically fit and I had developed more self confidence."

Activities at Chung Pyung reminded Leslie DeJonge of shamanistic spirit-liberation ceremonies in his own country of Guyana. "The difference at Chung Pyung," he said, "is that the liberated, resentful spirits are then sent on to Heung Jin Nim's workshop and conversion." The most detailed report came from Serge Brosseau who gave a testimony at the Red Hook church following his return. The following excerpts are taken from his sermon.

"Along with the 31 of us who went to Chung Pyung Lake were Jack Toren from the class of `77 and Dr. Shawn Byrne who teaches here. I can't say I had any great internal breakthrough but I did feel a lot of love from Daemonim. I was at CPL last year for a 10 day workshop but I was not prepared at that time so I couldn't invest my whole heart. This time I went with a determination to invest myself.

It is normal for a graduating class to attend a 40 day workshop but we were the first class to attend the Chung Pyung workshop. There is now a guidebook with an explanation of its purpose "1. Inherit heavenly fortune by getting rid of evil spirits. 2. Prepare to go to the Kingdom of Heaven."

I didn't see angels and spirits as some have but I can say that it is a real place of repentance. I felt that my sins were so evident that I really had to repent by going to the trees. In our usual daily life, we have no time to repent or to look into our souls but there, the spiritual and physical worlds come together.

There is a story in the book of Matthew about Legion who was possessed by thousands of spirits. This is a story from 2000 years ago so today we can only imagine how many spirits are in our bodies. Daemonim says that we have thousands throughout our bodies and that these spirits cause trouble in our lives and can cause illness and accidents. It is through our sins that these evil spirits have a condition to enter us.

The problem is that none of us follow our original minds because a force makes us deviate. For example, Bill Clinton had affairs and lied about it. Why? It's because of evil spirits. Daemonim doesn't judge but she sees evil spirits and she brings angels to take the spirits out. Every morning, we rose and climbed the hill to pray at the trees because there are angels in the trees and they help us with our problems. One way in which they take the spirits out is through the clapping sessions after every meal. To the beat of a drum , we spent 70 minutes clapping and striking our bodies.

After the spirits leave our bodies, they go to a 100 day Divine Principle workshop with Heung Jin Nim in spirit world and then they receive the Blessing. These spirits then return to us. 3.2 billion spirits were Blessed last year and sat in the top rows at RFK stadium during the Blessing ceremony. In March of this year, another 3.6 billion were blessed and then at Madison Square Garden there were another 9.2 billion. In a ceremony planned for October 1st, another 5 billion will be blessed bringing the total to 21 billion. This is amazing. All this is possible because of Daemonim, Heung Jin Nim and True Parents.

Daemonim's main points are as follows: we need a true family; we need to take out our fallen nature; we should attend church and treat our leader as God; we cannot smoke or drink; we cannot fall; we should be careful with public money and we should never hurt or betray the hearts of others. I believe that this Chung Pyung Lake workshop has given us the internal foundation to fulfill our responsibilities as UTS graduates."

Following their return to the United States, the members of the Class of '98 were informed by President Shimmyo that their mission was to return to their home countries where they would receive a more specific assignment from their national leader.