The Words the Ellanson Family

Minnesota Farm Boy (Rev. Lowell C. Ellanson) Finds True Love and Adventure in Rev. Moon's Church

Bob Selle
April 12 2011

Unificationists looking for an outside-the-box entre to inform laymen about the romance of the Unification movement need look no further than Wronged, Wrecked, and Resurrected: A Minnesota Farm Boy's Path From Abuse and Addiction to Finding God Through the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, by Lowell Ellanson. This new autobiography is an exciting and inspiring read -- one that will cause jaws to drop, eyes to open, and breath to stop.

Written in a down-to-earth, familiar style, Ellanson's book (call it Wronged for short) has a noteworthy rhythm. It leads the reader from amazing spiritual experiences to heart-stopping dangers he faced to joyful times to deep experiences of the Divine Principle, God, and the marriage tradition of the church. Lowell artfully weaves together all of these elements to create a volume that not only fascinates but naturally educates any reader in the exciting basics of the theology of the Unification Church and the Marriage Blessing for which it is famous.

For a first-time author, this book is a stunner. Wronged is packed with startling stories and inspiring anecdotes, holding your attention from beginning to end. It starts when Ellanson was five years old, when he suddenly heard a voice, out of nowhere, saying, "Christ is on the earth. The year 1975 is going to be a very important year. By the year 2000, the Kingdom of Heaven will be on the Earth."

Then, a few weeks later, a similar voice told him: "Jesus has returned, and he is building the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth." Ellanson writes that he would remember these revelations from time to time as the years went by -- and, amazingly, he would eventually find that they were true.

Raised on a hog farm near St. Peter, Minnesota, all was well with young Ellanson until a devious family friend pulled him into a pattern of sexual abuse that lasted for nearly a year (This is the interval he calls his period of being "Wronged").

With the guilt from the abuse festering in his soul, Ellanson was victimized by several additional twists of fate that combined to push him over the edge into alcohol- and drug abuse (thus the "Wrecked" interval). He pursued a dissolute life for years during which he battled frightening demonic compulsions and had several brushes with death. Filled with bitterness, mistrust, self-hate, and hopelessness, he slid to the brink of suicide.

Ellanson's wayward experiences finally scared him into attending an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting. Through the AA program and its simple but powerful philosophy, Ellanson got sober, kicking both alcohol and drugs. He writes that he hasn't touched either since.

Ellanson moved to Fargo, N.D. in his mid-twenties. While delivering pizza to a local dormitory at the University of North Dakota he bumped into a Japanese Unificationist who became like a "spiritual mother" to him.

Before long, he was studying the Divine Principle, the revelatory theology of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, at the local Unification Church center. And when he was led to the conclusion that the messiah was on earth, he was dumbstruck.

Ellanson joined the Unification Church (the "Resurrected" interval) and moved into the church center. Throughout this section, Lowell gives the reader an overview of the Divine Principle in an entirely natural way: He educates without preaching. He does this by telling us how the different points of the Principle affected him or reminded him of past experiences. After a year or so in the Fargo area, he joined the national Unification Church mobile fundraising team (MFT). Ellanson is one of the MFT "saints" of the Unification movement, having spent seven years in that mission, and he recounts many extraordinary anecdotes while there.

Ellanson gives plenty of space to his rapturous, interracial matching and then Marriage-Blessing with Lesa Mitchell, an African-American sister from New Jersey, very naturally giving an overview of the deep theological meaning of the Marriage Blessing, the most important sacrament of the Unification Church. He explains the sanctity of the sexual relationship. He relates his experiences in the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principle (CARP), and praying at the Berlin Wall for it to fall -- on the very day communist East Germany announced the beginning of the end of its regime. He tells of how his parents became associated with the so-called deprogramming movement, and how reconciliation was eventually achieved. He recounts how he and Lesa became the managers of New Hope Farms, the equestrian facility in upstate New York.

Ellanson concludes by marveling over what a wonderfully rich and blessed life he has lived, despite the turmoil of his youth and looks forward to continuing "this wonder-filled adventure of life."

Wronged, Wrecked, and Resurrected: A Minnesota Farm Boy's Path From Abuse and Addiction to Finding God Through the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon
By Rev. Lowell C. Ellanson
Neversink Press; 2010 $14.95

Reviewed by Bob Selle 

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