The Words of the Cooper Family

No fear: Married to the Moonies

Simon Cooper
May 31, 2012

Ever had that feeling when you know your innocent, so you have nothing to hide, and you have No Fear.

That is basically our media policy. The documentary coming out on Channel 4 on Thursday 31st May, Married to the Moonies, is a new bench mark in our approach to communication, and as a consequence also a leap forward from previous TV coverage of our faith and community. When we decide to trust, people might just start to trust us not to have a hidden agenda.

It does hark back to the rusty old accusations made in the past, but only to remind people we are still around and give the real story (the 3 young couples) a bit more of an edge. Brainwashed, them? Hard to believe…. It stays away from theology, which for a Unificationist like me is a shame. But of course it wasn't made for us, and for a 9-10 pm Thursday night audience it's a sensible decision to focus on the human story.

It was not easy often convincing people that it really makes sense to be as open as possible with the media, because so many people have been burnt and hurt in the past. But it's one of those risks we have to keep on taking, because in the end, don't we kind of believe it's not about our glory or personal public status, but doing something for the vision that we carry in our heart?

More to the point, despite being far from perfect, having lots of difficult cultural issues, and various organizational challenges, we DO have something significant to contribute through our values and teaching to different spheres of British society. And so let's get ourselves out there in the public domain, and in the mainstream.

Potentially what this doc will do is get some people in the media asking what's the rest of the story, and starting to dig a bit deeper.

Oh…do we want that? Can we really handle it? It's not all pretty is it? But again, for any organization to be forced to take a cold hard look at itself is only healthy in the long run.

Having people on the outside asking why you do this, and that, and placing us in a situation where we have to articulate more effectively what we stand for will only help us to mature and strengthen our vision.

We might even start asking more awkward questions on the inside, but that's another blog.

Want to say that a lot of the ground work for this doc goes back several years when Richard Biddlecombe, Nancy Jubb, and Tim Read went around doing some serious visiting of a large number of media outlets handing out press packs and meeting a range of people, to update them on where our movement is today. It's always the hard grafters that secure progress.

Finally so grateful for the people who agreed to be open about their family and personal life in a very public way by agreeing to be in the documentary. I think they did a fantastic job of representing the young people in our community and the parents of our families. 

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