The Words of the Cooper Family

The media might show us the way forward

Simon Cooper
September 11, 2012

The media, if we engage with it properly, might show us the way forward and help us reach our goal of sharing the gospel.

We don't always like what journalists say about our unification movement and Rev Moon. It's frustrating. But despite the media's often limited ability to research in greater depth, they nevertheless play a vital role in keeping everyone as upfront and and honest as possible. Eventually, we, like everyone else in society, have to learn to communicate in a language that everyone can relate to. One day, when we 'get it', it will help us to spread the good news that we have. We will have arrived, it will be real.

But there is some big road trip for us to get through first.

So here's my verdict on the last week from a media perspective: We have had some pretty awful press in the last 7 days, but also there have been some good articles which have been objective and balanced. The radio and TV content has been generally much better. Especially I have found that the best opportunities are when doing live interviews or discussions, because it avoids too much editing.

Point one, in life if you have detractors and critics try to meet with them where possible. That is what Jacob did in the end with his brother, and things worked out for them.

Another thing I feel we should learn to be, is more honest about how we really feel. That resonates with people. We always know when someone is being candid with us and it helps to build trust and even empathy.

I know a lot of people were not happy with William Haines' interview on the radio 4 Sunday program. I would agree he could have been less despondent, but he had his reasons. I should have made more effort to prep him a bit more too. But what he actually said about the Principle and True Father was v powerful and convincing. And although we might not like to hear it on the airwaves, when he said 'not many people have joined for the last 25 years' he is putting something out there in the public domain, which as a community and especially as an organisation we need to come to terms with and address, possibly with a radical debate. That would be good for our health to face up to that reality.

Anyhow, several people have asked me to send out some links to the different interviews etc, so please find below a list of links to some of the different stories that I was involved in organising over the last week or so.

Would love to hear what you have to say about it all.

A Guardian piece which was the result of a 40 minute telephone interview with the journalist about how I met the movement and my wife. see picture above:

to the right of the article you can see a link to another story 'i was a moonie cult leader' which in the hard copy paper version appeared along side my story. It is by Steven Hassan who I once spent three days with in a room at SOAS being told why I should leave the movement.

An article by the Independent religious correspondent was fair. he also took the time to come to 43LG and spend 40 minutes talking.

Here is the interview William Haines did. (the item begins 12mins 50secs in) What do you think, or what would you have said?

Here is the radio interview on the Today program, my first chance to talk with John Humphreys. I thought he did a good job with the interview. he put some provocative questions, but let me answer, didn't interrupt, and didn't try to have the last word. Good journalism.

Of course the big question is how do we shift the agenda away from having to defend.

Here is an interview on BBC world service at 3am in the morning. The hard bit was trying to get back to sleep after:

Here is the BBC breaking news item with Robert Piggot who I have had a chance to meet and speak to regularly over the last 8 months. He has always been v kind and respectful when ever we have spoken together on the phone or had the chance to meet.

The cut away footage is a bit dated and misleading to say the least with the dollars being exchanged through car windows. It looks more like what I did before I joined the movement. but again the footage raises the question what have we been doing to grab media attention in the last 20 odd years and generate new footage?

Here is the SKY news interview. I had a Snicker in the taxi they picked me up in. I said to myself if I eat this now, the sugar should kick in round about the time I do the interview live.

So, Probably that is enough links for one post. I hope if you are a Unificationist you will go away and think deeply about all of this. The media is a kind of reflection of how we are perceived by society, and in that sense it helps to inform us and provide us with another reality beyond our own perception of who we are.

If you are not a Unificationist, or if you are a journalist, you might think what is the missing link? Where are the missing pieces of the jigsaw. As I said to a close relative who doesn't like any religions at all and was happy to see a particularly harsh article in the Mail, you got to use your rationale brain to see there is more to this story than has been narrated to us so far, and that's hard sometimes for people on both sides of the fence to accept. 

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