The Early Unification Church History

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CHAPTER 6

SOME PEOPLE WE MET AND A FEW WHO MOVED INTO OUR CENTER

As we witnessed to people, we thought we should get everyone we could to move into the center. If they just moved into the center, we would have a much better chance of teaching them The Divine Principle and raising them spiritually. Our experiment had unintended consequences.

We had all types of people move in, they would move in and we would witness to them. We had a Filipino general move in with us at one time, he had come to America with a fortune and lost it all on high living and a woman. Anybody that showed an interest we would try to work with them and we always had this hope that they would grow spiritually and become solid members.

As people came along in the study of the Principles and joined, we invited them to move into the center. The feeling was that the new person could grow better with the family for support. Although this seemed a good idea it really didn't work. At that time we were working to lay a spiritual foundation for the United States and things were very difficult. The people that moved in were often seeking only a family, after experiencing a dysfunctional family in childhood. They enjoyed the family and a good place to live, they saw the Divine Principle as a necessary chore. They would endure the study sessions with little real interest. Many of them were a lot of talk, little action and no growth. I can not recall a single person that moved into the center during that period that is still in the movement. Some stayed around for some time before disappearing or being invited to leave.

The practice of moving people in to live with us lead to many problems. Some people can drain you, although they don't seem to be a major problem, their presence saps the center spiritually and physically. They are takers, and many hung around the Unification Church, it is not until they are removed that members suddenly realize what a problem they were.

I will tell about just a few people who moved in with us. Looking back we had some humorous experiences.

One of the people that moved in with us, let's call him Henry, was one of my contacts at a flying saucer convention. His favorite pastimes were eating and sleeping. He kept a rope and hard hat by his bed in case of the great earth quake. Henry was a big person, not overly fat, but with a gargantuan appetite. His breakfast consisted of hot cereal about 3 inches deep in a huge pot more than a foot across, with half a dozen eggs broken on top. This was put down in less time than one might consume a bowl of corn flakes. Dinner for him usually consisted of at least 3 heaping plates of food, put down in record time, which left him sweating and breathing heavily. Henry made short work of any leftovers, taking the position of center garbage can away from me. With Henry around there was no such thing as a late night snack on leftovers. The refrigerator was bare.

At about the same time Henry came in, we acquired another of the early live in members. This was John, who we soon referred to as the Mad Frenchman. He was French and a total space case, he couldn't keep a job because he could easily spend a whole day doing a thirty minute task. It also took him hours to get started to work in the mornings. When he made breakfast for himself it meant dawdling around in the kitchen until lunch time getting his special health food breakfast together. By the time he was finished with breakfast it was time for lunch which took the rest of the afternoon. He was big on health food and political arguments.

Both Henry and John moved with us from Cole St. to the new center on Masonic Ave. One evening Miss Kim was cooking dinner, and having it mostly prepared, asked the Mad Frenchman if he knew how to use a pressure cooker. He assured her that he did and she went to her room. She had just put the potatoes on a high flame which was to be turned down as soon as it built up pressure. A short time later we heard a huge explosion and everyone rushed to the kitchen. The Mad Frenchman forgot about the pressure cooker immediately after Miss Kim left the kitchen. It is doubtful if he had ever seen a pressure cooker before. The pressure cooker exploded, caving in the top of the gas range, blowing a chunk of the lid up and knocking a hole in the ceiling. The explosion blew out a number of windows and coated the kitchen ceiling nicely with a coating of mashed potatoes.

Henry at the instant of the explosion was doing the second most important thing to him next to eating, that was loading up his plate. He was bent down at the oven loading his plate to itís capacity with food that was in the oven to be kept warm. When we arrived on the scene he was crawling backwards into the hall on his hands and knees. He then stood up feeling his body, he thought for sure he had gone to the spirit world. This was a traumatic experience for Henry and I don't think he ever quite had the his former zest for eating.

It wasn't very funny at the time and we were lucky that no one was hurt or even killed but later we laughed many times about the pressure cooker story.

As usual it finally became apparent that Henry and John were living there for some other reason than serving God -- namely cheap rent. I don't remember the details but I was probably given the job of inviting them to leave.

A COMPULSIVE LIAR

It was during our time at 410 Cole St., that I had my first experience with a compulsive liar. Al was a Raleigh salesman who met Doris and Pauline at Foster's Restaurant. He sold things to waitresses on their lunch break. They invited him to study the Divine Principle, which he did and apparently accepted it.

He finally moved in with us, and wore a heavy black wool suit and after awhile it became apparent that the suit had never been to the cleaners. Although Al talked big, and told us how to find people and how to make our movement really move forward, he never brought any action only talk. It soon became apparent that Al was little interested in the Divine Principle.

He sounded like he knew what he was doing. He also impressed the members with his past adventures. After awhile it became apparent that he was making up stories as he went along. There was nothing that you could mention that Al had not done nor could you mention a geographical location where he hadn't been. If you took all the things that he claimed to have done and all the places he had claimed to have been, he would have to be at least a hundred and forty years old.

As an example I think Al claimed to have a wife killed in a tragic car accident. He had to support his orphaned daughter who was living with his mother. At one time he also claimed to have been in a German concentration camp during World War II after being part of the French underground. A compulsive liar's stories are always very thin on detail, often conflict and eventually they start crossing themselves up. When confronting one of these liars, there is no reason to disprove the person nor do you want to waste the time to disprove them.

On the other hand, there are people who have done many things. It would almost seem they are making up stories, however their stories stand up. They just happen to be good at telling their stories, and often take a little license with the facts to make it a good story, but they aren't really liars.

Al may have been my first experience with a compulsive liar. I later became aware of others at places I worked and also found a few in the Unification Church. They often impress young and naive people around them with made up stories of their education, intelligence or experiences. If anyone really starts investigating their stories or credentials they don't stand up.

My experience with compulsive liars has been limited to a few people. Not being a psychologist I can't give an authoritative explanation of their problem, but it seems that these people try to impress others by fabricating a background to impress others, such as the amount of education they have, which can't be traced. They often have some pathetic story that can't be traced.

I suspect that Al is still living a strange lonely life, as he was when Doris and Pauline found him in a restaurant trying to sell the Raleigh products. The last time anyone saw Al he was wearing a clerical collar and looked like a priest. He was working in some storefront churches, and probably impressing people with his past and his education.

WE BECOME NAIVE SUBJECTS OF A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY

One of our meetings was attended by a university student, who was working on his doctorate in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. The students name was John Loflin. He also moved in with us for a period of time, in order to study our group.

The following is an excerpt written by John Loflin for The New Age Frontiers, January 15, 1963, No. 7:

Reflection on My First Year with the Divine Principles

As the beginning of my second year with the Divine Principles movement approaches I would like to share some of my reflections on my first year with the readers of The New Age Frontiers.

Let Me begin with a few words about the nature and history of my religious stand and quest. I am by training and disposition the sort of person who is exceedingly curious about ideas of ultimate truth. But at the same time I have always been extremely interested in systems of thought which attempt to deal with questions of ultimate meaning and truth. A significant part of my life can be written in terms of a pre-occupation with these matters. I have at one time or another given more or less sustained attention to all of the wide range of major alternatives in conceiving man and the universe, and to many of the sub-alternatives.

In the face of the bewildering variety of conceptions of the nature of ultimate reality that exist in the world, each of which has committed followers who feel they have sufficient proof of their position, some years ago I shifted the terms of my concern from one primarily focused on thought itself to one focusing more on the consequences of thought on the way in which persons act. I took up an approach of "by their fruits ye shall know them."

It did not take long to reach the conclusion that the fruits of the established and wide-spread systems of ultimate truth were inadequate, and from the beginning of my sociological training I have focused on New conceptions. About a year ago, in the course of my study and observation I found the Divine Principles movement - or more correctly it found me...

In my first year with the Divine Principles I have endeavored to apply my sociological training to grasp the elusive distinctive character of the movement. Although this effort has in some ways rendered some things explicable, it has left more sociological questions unanswered, and what is perhaps more important, it has raised a range of questions with which conventional sociological formuli [sic] do not a perhaps cannot deal. I have found this in itself most instructive...

All the things I have said are, of course, well known to members since they precede from revealed truth. I am sure that members will continue to have patience as I discover for myself, and within the point of view with which I must work, what they already know.

John Loflin

We had welcomed him with open arms, hoping he would see the great truth of the Divine Principle, recognize Reverend Moon and eventually become a member.

As I remember, in his youth he was a "born again Christian" youth leader who had turned atheist in college, and following the pattern of many who give up Christianity for agnosticism. He could not be satisfied in just dumping Christianity, but had to go to great lengths to justify what he had done, maybe to the point of obsession. He probably thought anyone following any religious persuasion definitely inferior and mentally deficient; even more so, anyone following a small insignificant cult led by and unknown person from a small eastern nation. The results of his study were predictable and was especially suited for the academic climate at Berkeley. Several people with academic credentials went over his dissertation, and commented that it was lacking in objectivity and they were surprised it was so easily accepted at the university.

Loflin seems obsessed proving religion wrong. The people who make religion -- especially a "cult" -- a part of their lives do so because they are weak in character, or lack the education to understand the better explanations of man such as sociological and psychology. This is the way people who deny God often spend the rest of their lives convincing themselves that theirs is the right stand.

He had set out to justify his personal feelings about religion. The early members were portrayed as inept, uneducated and rather dull people. A concept that has been embraced even by some Unification Church members today. He later published a book about us, based on his study, that wrote the Unification Church off as just another garden variety, little cult which had no future.

His hero was a famed sociologist named Blumer who lived with a street gang in Boston, gaining their trust, and his sociological study established a new method of study and he became famous. Following Blumerís example, John followed that technique and moved into the center, to observe this weird little "cult" for his dissertation.

At the center, we kept a guest book which everybody signed when they came to hear the Divine Principle. It contained the names and addresses of some about 1500 people who had come to hear and study The Divine Principle over a period of several years. All of this work had brought little visible results, however it was like pouring a footing for a foundation of a building. Later, the guest book was stolen from the center on Masonic Street. A guest book would not be an item of value to many people. Allegedly John Loflin stole the book. There were reports of him interviewing people who had studied with us, their names and addresses likely from the stolen guest book.

It was said by one of our later members, that we had never been confronted by a disinterested scientific observer before and there for we just couldn't and hinted we were probably to uneducated to understand anything as profound a sociology.

This same disinterested scientific observer, made a trip to Wyoming to testify at a divorce proceeding. One of our members had her children taken away because of her activities as a member of the Unification Church. This was partially because of his disinterested testimony.

John Loflin later became a professor of sociology, one of the textbooks in sociology contained a chapter on religion by him. He was and maybe is, considered an expert on the Unification Church. There have been reports of him showing up at our Science Conference or trying to attend other Unification Church activities from time to time. If he had been truly objective he could have done a celebrated sociological and historical study of the Unification Church from its inception in the United States.

I am sure that we have not heard the last of John Loflin. At some future date, I expect he will come out with another book, a definitive work depicting the Unification Church. It will be from the same tiresome academic viewpoint. He will have a book full of explanations and jargon, and it will undoubtedly be embraced by the detractors of the Unification Church. A lifetime of studying something without the slightest idea of what he had seen. It would seem the definitive statement is Reverend Sun Myung Moon's and the results he has brought with his small unimportant "cult" that will never amount to anything.

At last report John was teaching at some college in California and probably retired by now.

OTHERS THAT STUDIED WITH US

There was Bill, a San Francisco detective who didn't move in with us, but was active for a while and maybe slightly interested in the one of the girls more than the Divine Principle. He was psychic and used his abilities often to solve crimes, although he didn't let it be known publicly that was how he did it.

The last I heard of Bill, was during the height of the hippie era in the Haight Ashbury district. His moment of fame came when he made national news. He busted the famed ballet dancers, Rudolph Nuryev and Dame Margot Fontaine for smoking pot in the Haight Ashbury district. The charges were quickly dismissed.

For those old enough to remember, there was at one time a classic Saturday morning radio program for kids called Big John and Sparkey. Their creator came to our center and went through the Divine Principle. He had been down on his luck for some time, and became a born again Christian. He hoped to get a Christian Big John and Sparky going but I don't think it ever got off the ground.

One time while living on Cole St., we ran adds in the newspaper. Miss Kim received a call from a priest a nearby Catholic Church. He wanted to learn about the Divine Principle, but didn't want to be seen coming to the center, or even be seen by our members. So on the evenings he was to meet with Miss Kim to study the Divine Principle, we went out to witness. He would go out for a walk, and when he came by the entrance to the center, would just walk up the steps and through the door, which was to be left unlocked.

Miss Kim studied with him and took him through the Divine Principle over a number of sessions. He thought it was just great; I don't know if he understood about Reverend Moon or not. He was in his fifties and said that the Catholic Church had been his life and that he entered the study for the priesthood at an early age. He said that it was too late for him to change his life and that he knew nothing else but the priesthood. After studying the entire Divine Principle with Miss Kim, he left and we never saw him again.

Along with those who studied the Divine Principle, there was an array of people who moved in and out of the center. Some could only make it for a few days. They quickly felt uncomfortable with us, because of the spiritual atmosphere. We always hoped they would grow spiritually and become good members, but none ever did.

These people did not grow spiritually and usually were only casually interested in the Divine Principle. However, some found a family and a home. There were some who had never experienced living in a real family and like it. In some instances the were attracted by cheap room and board. All they had to do for these great rates was attend an occasional meeting.

Miss Kim thought I was too soft in nature, and usually gave me the job of booting them out, a job that others would quickly have jumped at. This was to toughen me up, it didn't, and I still dislike that type of confrontation. People were not asked to leave without working with them for a long time, and trying to light a spark in them. There was always hope that when someone moved in they would grow and become a member but of those that moved in I don't remember any who became lasting members.

 

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