The Words of the Schell Family

Dae Mo Nim in Camberg

Ralph Schell
September 5, 1999

I decided to give an account of my experiences with Dae Mo Nim in Camberg [Germany] last August 3rd [1999]. Both I and my wife attended, which was very helpful to me as this was the first time I had attended such an event. For us it was actually an ancestor liberation, a pre-stage to blessing.

All in all it took quite an effort to get the necessary preparations done to be able to attend this event. I decided on the 50-bow condition as I already skipped breakfast nowadays in favor of a cup of coffee and a glass of milk in the mornings. That was actually more strenuous for me as I had a meniscus problem in my left knee, especially the first few days.

Next was the researching of ancestor lineages. I started asking around and fairly easily got word about how to check out my mother's side of the family, whereas my father had left little or no clues about his own. Most of the info we get through official channels arrives somewhat late due to verification (checking, double checking, etc.) so a newsletter later I found out the ceremony concerned father's side ancestors only. That really complicated the matter, as not only my father but probably a slew of ancestors on that side were likely to be Indonesian born. To further complicate matters was the factual situation in Indonesia at the time (even now there's pretty much going on as to the demise of the Suharto family and their cohorts - one of which took over the government from him, B. J. Habibie).

My recourse thus was to try to follow as many leads to his past as I could to research this. He was with the military there, thus that was one avenue of approach. I called and emailed around Holland only to find that records of such would not be of much genealogical value. I was referred back to the municipality where he last resided and had passed away. I checked the regional archive but they said that for the first 5 years after death records were still kept at city hall, so I checked there as well and was able to request a copy of the records they had on him.

In the meantime I looked around the Internet on genealogy and found an awful lot of info there, plus a site referring to a gov. institution - the Central Bureau of Genealogy in the Netherlands in the Hague. Since I was on vacation I decided to make a day trip to the institution, especially when I received the info on my father which confirmed my fears that at least one more generation of my ancestors did indeed hail from Indonesia. At the same time I emailed a friend who put me on to a site run by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and had a whole family search site to look up ones ancestors. Unfortunately the records there showed mostly Anglo-Saxon decent and thus was of little value to me. You may think this difficult compared to the US but a Belgian brother had to go to get a written permission from court just to be able to start looking into any records anywhere. He went through the local chapter of the Mormon Church in his place of residence.

Thus having visited this bureau and gained some more information on my grandparents and possible children thereof I also decided to locate my relatives in the States again with whom I had lost contact for quite some time. I check out Altavista's ''Find People'' and, since I knew the names of one of my cousins distinctly resembled those of my father, I was able to locate him and phone him. He was very surprised and pleased, he wanted to catch up with the latest so I told him that would be much cheaper per email. He readily passed that on to me. Since then he has filled me in on some details of my grandparents occupations and some of the circumstances leading to their death. Seems my grandfather had been struck quite hard in POW camp there by the Japanese and much later (after the war) died in the end of complications due to the blow on his head. That made very clear to me the extreme rage I sometimes felt towards my Japanese wife and the almost uncontrollable urge to knock her head off. Don't worry folks, she's still in one piece, my family is renowned for its short tempers so we keep that well under wraps.

We also had a lot of trouble trying to get our kids under wraps for just a day or two as well. Finally a break came, a Japanese friend of my wife's suggested we go to their place in Arnhem and travel to Camberg from there, her husband and I taking turns driving. That was a God-send, since the wife had already been to Dae Mo Nim in Korea she could take care of our 3 children. In the meantime my mother-in-law decided to come over from Japan with my sister-in-law, the mother having been here once this year already. It was quite soon after a stomach operation, as well, to remove some polyps. Tough old bird.... Unfortunately we did not get on to them in time before they left, otherwise the sister could have brought along a whole list of ancestors on her father's side. Seems they got a hold of this from the local Buddhist temple after paying a substantial investigation fee.

Thus my wife and I went together, I took along the necessary fees for liberation ($700 - for my side) and some DM 100.00 for travelling and other fees (60 for the WS-center and 40 for emergencies). It so turned out a sister needed some money to buy some drinks there as it was extremely hot and humid. The other 30 I gave to the family taking care of my children for travelling expenses and for putting up with my kids (who were actually well behaved over there). We got there an hour early so looked around the place and both the brother and I ran into people we hadn't seen for ages. He ran into a friend from Hamburg he hadn't seen in ten years and I met an Italian sister whom I had not seen in about 16 years. I gave her my email address as did an Australian sister to me (having noticed my Aussie drawl - I spent 14 yrs down under, she was born and bred Aussie and now lived in England).

The place was crowded with people from all over, some having driven for more than 24 hours to get to Camberg. I saw license plates from all over the EU (European Union) and a few from Scandinavia as well, I probably missed out on a few. There were some 900 people there and a whole slew of children of all ages. So many had come that quite a few had to stay outside, so a big speaker was placed outside the entrance to accommodate those people so that they too could participate in the proceedings. We prepared by singing Grace of the Holy Garden accompanied (or actually spurred on) by the beat of a drum. At times it reminded me of the stories I read as a teenager about Asterix and Obelix (most any European could tell you what this means) and the Roman galleys they used to trounce, like the guy up front was giving us the pace at which should be rowed (in this case sung).

Mrs. Kim came in wearing a very nice green dress to the applause of all present. We sang some more and Dae Mo Nim spoke, we tuned in on varying frequencies for simultaneous translation. It was very evident when Mrs. Kim spoke and when Dae Mo Nim channeled through her. It was extremely powerful, not understanding the Korean or not having the translation would leave most anyone with the impression she'd gone off the deep end. But the message in itself and the voice with which it carried through the room reminded me of the few times I had listened to TF speaking to us. I took notes in order to be able to study up on the speech and refresh my mind from time to time. Basically the points mentioned below were the ones she iterated at Camberg as well. Dae Mo Nim talked of the troubles she had gone through to find some of our ancestors, as beyond one or two generations she said that many of the names given on the forms were not our factual ancestors due to divorces, re-marriages, infidelity and the like. Knowing that both my father and grandfather had re-married 3 times I knew that one would not be far beyond the truth.

Another thing she pointed out that most of our ancestors were not in such good places as we may have thought them to be, as not many of them had made any substantial contribution to benefit their hometown, country, or the world. Also she noted that in many cases the conditions we had made were not enough, and that she had had to make up the difference (kyung-be), something like 75-80% she attributed to us and the other 20-25% she herself made the conditions for liberation. Here too she told us that all our ancestors had been found (the 7 generations) and even some had come to her for liberation whose descendants were not even in the church, with the pledge that they would bring them after being liberated - this, she mentioned, also made her work more difficult.

All in all we were there from about 5 pm to about 11 pm. She admonished us to do well in Europe for the next 100 days in order that she may return and bless the ancestors she had just liberated. We then had to wait for our National Representative to attend a meeting and then headed on home afterwards. In the meantime I walked around taking in the atmosphere and chatting with people here and there. Upon hearing that I hailed from the Netherlands a sister working in France asked me to pass on a message to a friend in the Netherlands.

We got home around 3.30 am and hit the sack. The next day we took the Nat. Leader off to the train station, I decided to fix my friend's computer, which went terribly wrong. I decided to return the next day and take my stuff along as well. He had a Win95 which was newer than the software-CD he had received with the system, so I decided to upgrade to Win98. An install of the Dutch (NL) version did not pan out, so I first installed the US version. After having installed the Dutch version I proceeded to set them up with an Internet account through a local PTT provider. That done I signed him up with Damian Andersen on UE as he specifically requested only speeches and nothing else. Since his wife was Japanese I installed IE 5.0 with all the language support as could be installed - including Japanese. She was very happy to send an email to the Nat. Repr. wife (also Japanese) in their native language. So was the other side....

All in all it was a very learning experience, even though we did have to pledge to pay the remaining $700 by November (yes... money, money, money....). Since then the fits of anger have subsided quite a bit, so there's hope for the future. Now all my kiddies have gone to school my wife has even gone looking for a part-time job and found one, she's to be doing light packing work in a printing shop. We agreed to have her pay 5% of the fee required for liberation on her father's side, all in reasonable installments. We'll first have to see how her new job works out before thinking about any donations on her part. Recently I ran into a former colleague I had not seen for quite some time as well.

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