The Words of the Tsubata Family
This content comes from the context of a conversation with other Unification Church members (most of whom are against the idea of GPF), but I can't post what they said since I don't have their consent. I'm only posting Kate's replies.
1) I am attending, for the first time, the Global Peace Convention in Atlanta. The spirit is very warm, open, honest. Hyun Jin Moon testifying to Father. People sharing successful projects teaching character, Korean reunification, interfaith cooperation...no hate, no accusation.
2) I am attending as a nonprofit NGO person involved in youth empowerment around the world. I also am (as a lifelong journalist) observing and asking lots of questions. I have no agenda other than finding truth.
3) I am writing a full report, for everyone's knowledge or information. I hope to post it tonight.
4) Okay, I don't have time to do a full report now, but I will give a short list version. Here's what is happening: Hoon Dok Hae at 5 a.m. interfaith devotionals at 7. Meetings in which non-paid speakers are sharing their actual projects, many of which were initiated locally after attending previous GPC events. Lots of young people involved, only some of whom are Unification Church, many of whom are college students inspired by the events, from the local area, working at the conference unpaid. Ex-presidents working together to create a governance forum (for real.) Staff relating to each other and guests with humble, welcoming, natural manner. I haven't once heard the term "VIP." Pastors creating plans how to revive and help bring responsibility into American churches. Young people committing to proactive efforts in their home areas.
5) Regarding the issue of "loyalty," Hyun Jin Moon has testified to Father at least twice in my hearing. Staff members (at least 3) from different departments have all mentioned his constant concern for honoring Father's legacy. Another point: he refused to defend himself or to let others defend him, by casting any aspersions on any member of the True Father. He only recently has allowed people to even speak up to share factual information with those making allegations.
6) From what I can see, his concept and principles are unchanged from everything he was always saying: Spiritual nature of humans, we are one family under God, Ownership, service, leadership, etc. These were exactly the ideas he was expressing for some years back, which everyone applauded and seemed to feel were highly principled.
7) The thing I do notice, however, is that this is more about the world than about the organization, or Hyun Jin Moon himself. The sessions are basically taking place with a lot of autonomy of the various project developers. The focus is on reporting the methods and results being used, rather than theorizing or merely analyzing the problems. There is a lot of cross-communication; surprising mixes where Latin American leaders are attending sessions on initiatives in US inner cities, or where Kurdish nationals are responding to the testimonies of American Indians.
8) There is virtually no PR, no salesmanship, no hype happening. There's a bit more relaxed atmosphere than in many conferences where I've participated. With more emphasis on actual projects, the focus is really on practical "how to" ideas. The results seem to be the draw--because change is seen, then the methods become interesting to people.
9) Coming from the pages here, rife with strong statements of disunity, disloyalty, larceny, and betrayal, I really didn't know what to expect. I can attest that there is Godly love, active service, and a depth of heart here. It reminds me of our younger years, when we were excited to be changing the world. When God was obvious because we worked with him, daily.
10) I have to get some sleep, if I'm going to make it to Hoon Dok Hae at 5. Be well, everyone.
11) Hoon Dok Hae report -- Okay, I have more to report. I'm not sure I will be able to put into words what has been a shocking and profound experience, but here goes.
Despite having been up until 2:30, I scraped myself out of bed at 5, arriving a few minutes late for Hoon Dok Hae. I expected a few members, a person reading, and a closing prayer. To my surprise, the large meeting room was packed with members, and Hyun Jin Moon was there. The reading was Peace Message #3, but before we got started, he really pushed us all to read Peace Message #1 on our own today.
As the speech was read (even as the title was read) he was interacting with it, having things re-read, stopping to quiz us on the meaning, underlining some of the most central concepts. Throughout, it was a very direct and frank interaction. He'd ask questions about parts of the Family Pledge, or what Father was saying about some point, and he would expound on the meaning, bringing out the central points, all along the way.
About some of the points he made, I could not help but nearly punch the air. Things like: Obedience-- absolute obedience--is to God, not to church leaders. God is the author of the providence, no one else.
Our spirit enters spirit world with the results of everything we did, words and deeds. No leader, church community determines our spiritual state--we decide now by virtue of what we are doing whether we are living in heaven or hell.
Many, many, many other points. But besides a deep knowledge and passion for Father's message (I never attended Hoon Dok Hae where anyone cared so much that every statement, every word was understood, re-read, emphasized) there was other information given. First of all, anyone who says he doesn't love or isn't absolutely loyal to True Parents is a sadly, tragically mistaken.
Over and over, he spoke about how Father, and his family, worked and suffered to establish the original ideal. He didn't say his siblings were above the law, and he didn't accuse them either. In fact, his whole spirit was "I will take responsibility for them," and "They are my family. Every one." Same with Mother, no anger or hate.
About leaders, for sure, he was also quite clear. If the True Father are dysfunctional, he said, who exactly was the person who was tasked with their raising and care? "It was not Rev. Kwak." He pointed out quite clearly that certain leaders crave the intoxication of being in charge, being in power, having control over money, being able to manipulate. These things, he said, are false, and for us to believe leaders who are hungry only for these false "drugs" shows we are not checking for facts, for consistency, for continuity with Father's lifelong direction and purpose.
By the end of the speech, he was broken up, speaking about Father's teachings having been ignored and twisted. We all started crying. The whole room was full of people sobbing, and the prayer was also just an open-hearted moment of mourning and re-commitment. He said "I don't want anyone to follow me. I just ask you to follow God, to live as True Families, to make Father's words substantial in the world."
In 10 years, I haven't felt such a real and authentic love for God or True Parents or the principle or the world from any church event. This guy is real. He loves his parents, his family, and God--so much that he doesn't care if he is persecuted by people who once admired and understood him. I have to say, I think he is hurt by the members' wholesale acceptance of three years of lies. He won't criticize his sister or brother, but I think it hurt that they joined a cabal to insinuate to Father that he was setting himself up as above True Parents. I can only say, this is true, real, and I have seen this with my own eyes, and I have checked the spirit and the truth and the basis in our teachings, and I can't find any heresy, apostasy, hate or lies.
12) Okay, thanks for everyone's comments. I can sense how serious and how honest each person is being, and what their genuine concerns are. I do share the underlying desire to find what is actual, what is of God, what is lasting and permanent, and also, what can bring the results of loving unity, good and healthy communication, and proper physical action.
Regarding the question, and the issue of True Mother: I didn't sense any differentiation in his statements between Father and Mother. His focus was on their message, the pattern of their life, the mission of saving mankind. If anything, his attitude was kind of a deep reverence towards the actual value and heart and consistent sacrifice that marks their lives and their mission. He wasn't doing theological nitpicking about "does Mother represent True Parents" or anything. Not even a hint of that.
The distinction (which is what others seem to be driving at) is that he doesn't see his role, or our role, as being court followers, hanging around a royal hierarchy and just waiting on orders. His concept is very American, amazingly so, in that God is the author of the providence, we are each individually responsible before God for carrying out his will. He sees us all as being joint heirs of True Parents, not a privileged chosen people sitting around with guaranteed salvation if we just hang in there. His view is that we should inherit True Parents' heart to save the world, and that we take the leadership role in our own spheres, bringing the principle into substantial form in some way. He's not interested in vetting our theological or political views, or having some kind of decision-making over anyone.
His beef, if I can put it in the common vernacular, is with a false understanding that True Parents are on top of a pyramid with "leaders" controlling the communication with others, and with members (especially Japanese members) on the lowest level, being guilted into stuff that supports the whims of the leaders.
I did get the strong sense he thinks that certain individuals have deliberately inserted themselves in between him and Mother and Father, creating a lot of lies, suspicions and rumors, which are the basis of all the accusations from True Parents. This I also drew from some discussions with people who were there at the time. Some of True Parents' direct staff saw leaders go into closed-door meetings with True Parents, and Father come out angry, accusing Hyun Jin Moon of various things (dishonoring True Parents, doing his own thing, etc.) From many of the board meeting reports that Damian published, it definitely seems that efforts were made to pack the boards with hostile persons, to nullify and/or vote out Hyun Jin Moon. True Mother and True Father didn't do this. These were the actions of specific individuals, and some of the True Children who we now know were involved in unprincipled activities.
I know that there are a lot of issues floating around, and many of my dearest friends have been hurt as these gargantuan struggles have taken place. Having seen, over the past few months, from his accusers a steady diet of hate, revelations of immoral and deceptive behavior from the other players, a lack of openness to members' honest concerns, and a lot of talk about money and position--I already had concerns.
Many of the people in this discussion have repeated allegations about him (disloyalty, lack of unity with True Mother or True Father when alive, stealing assets, refusing to "follow", etc.). I didn't have direct knowledge of any of it, and felt it was an internal family issue.
But having seen what I saw, with my own eyes, I am now inclined to speak up. First of all, where did True Parents get the idea that he was "disloyal" or wanting to set himself above them? It's pretty obvious that it came from individuals who accused him, in closed settings. Second, who benefits from a power struggle? If he were able to communicate openly and visit Mother freely, without the whisperings and negative commentary of her "advisors," I think they'd be on the same page in minutes.
Third, how do we tribal messiahs benefit from getting on one side or the other? We have our missions, our responsibilities, to bring all humanity into heaven on earth. How does our lining up against one son help us do that? Conversely, how is his doing what he believes to save the world stopping you or me from doing what God instructs us to do? I never read in Divine Principle or Father's speeches that I was supposed to join anyone's lawsuit or inspect their actions in regard to their beliefs.
Fourth, I think there's a lot more similarity between what Hyun Jin Moon and Hyung Jin Moon are saying than between what the "leaders" and either of them are saying. Both of the brothers seem to be about living it. The leaders seem to be about "who is the heir? Who owns what? Who decides on spending? Who wins?" Again, I think if Mother, the two H's, were in the same room, the resolution would be a matter of an hour. The real question is--do the leaders trust Mother to think on her own, and to act on her own? Or do they secretly think she's too weak or too pliable, and must be "guided" to act on their own agendas.
My sense is that this could all be worked out if everyone else steps out of the way. Let the brothers and the mother communicate without the entourage present. Let Hyun Jin Moon report directly to her, receive her input; let Hyung Jin Moon report, receive her input. Let her voice her own opinions and concerns, independent of the "leaders."
13) And finally, one legal point: if a lawsuit alleges that True Parents "own" or "direct" all assets, and that the board does not have the actual fiduciary duty, but is in effect just the proxy for True Parents, the issue of tax exemption is called into question. This basically says "the prosecutors in 1982 were right." Also, as certain "facts" become public, many players may find themselves liable for criminal charges, for fraud, malfeasance, etc. If people are concerned about sales of assets, etc., please consider what will happen when the entire organization's tax status is revoked because of the actual statements and legal filings of our own organization. Not only will all properties become taxable, but we will be liable for past taxes, fines, etc. A sledgehammer to kill a fly.
I feel it's time to see that all this fighting has had no positive effect for God, or for us, and that it has distracted us from our real mission of saving humanity.
I report all this to you in truth and in conscience and in love for you all. I am on no one's side, and I don't get paid by anyone, and I have no agenda to push for. But I feel this is a serious issue, and we need to humbly consider and pray and think about the long term consequences of our words and actions.