The Words of the Mullen Family

A Letter from Danbury

Tom Mullen
February 1987

Tom Mullen with his grandniece.

Tom Mullen, 54, has been in Danbury since August 1982. He works in the kitchen, where Father also used to work. Tom has gotten to know several members through visits and phone calls. Recently he wrote this letter to a sister in the World Mission Department, Denise Maduro, and she contributed it to Today's World. Here are some of his additional thoughts about Father and Mother, which Denise took down from a phone conversation with him.

Phone conversation:

I knew Father was coming a month before, because it was already in the papers. They started checking the place out for safety. I knew a little Korean because I had lived in Korea for 4 years. Therefore I thought I should, and wished I could, be Father's cube mate.

I didn't know that he would be with Mr. Kamiyama or that he could speak English.

On the very first morning I went to bring him tea. But I saw some beautiful things that the other inmates had brought. Tea, coffee, cookies, candy bars, juice, and soda were covering his bed. I approached and greeted him. I said, "Anyong hashimnika." He stood up and bowed, and we shook hands. Then we talked for a very few minutes He was happy to know I had been in Korea.

Every man has either an odd or an even number. Father and I had odd numbers, so we worked the same day and had the same visiting days. That way I would always see his family, and he would see mine.

My wife Cathy, my daughter, and my son all love Father very much. My wife once said, "Mother is the most beautiful middle-aged woman I have ever seen. She has no wrinkles, her eyes sparkle, and her smile makes you feel warm."


Tom will be released from Danbury on August 3, 1987, and will stay in a halfway house until December 3, 1987.

My dear brothers and sisters, first I would like to say that never in my life have I allowed myself to become so indebted to anyone or anything as I am to Father and all of you. The help you give, the love you share, the warm words and the concern, are more than I could ever expect even if we were brothers and sisters by blood. These are not idle words when I say that someday, someway, I will find a way to repay this debt to the church or to Father or to someone sent my way -- this debt of love and kindness that has helped carry me during these, the hardest days of my life.

Starting with Father and all the members of the World Mission Department, I have been inspired that kindness and love can manifest more kindness and love than all the manmade laws and rules can produce in a lifetime. Please know that I do not take your goodness for granted. Even if I sometimes forget to express my gratitude, it is always present.

Let's see, what can I tell you about that you don't already know? My son, whose name is also Thomas, is stationed in California in the Air Force, and overall I think he is quite content with his lot in life. Had I not become involved in something that landed me in Danbury, I'm quite sure he would have continued in college and eventually come to work with me in my business. But fate dealt us a bad hand, and I was sent away, and he just could not handle his mother and sister any longer. So as a family we decided that perhaps the Air Force was the best bet. It turned out best for him, or at least it seems at this time. He is scheduled to get a week out here, so God willing we will spend some time together. I'm really looking forward to that. Please pray it works out.

As you may or may not know, my daughter is a very troubled 28 year old lady. She is an alcoholic, and when she starts drinking she starts taking pills and speed, and sooner or later she collapses or has an accident. Normally something drastic happens to her. Only God and her mother and father know how she suffers, and we suffer with her. I have faith that one day soon God will answer our prayers and she will be cured of this curse. The shame of all this is that when she is not drinking she is the most loving, caring daughter or person you could ever find. So please continue to pray for her victory.

My wife of 32 years, Cathy, is not well, in that she has had several major operations. But she waits and prays for my return, and for our daughter's and her own total recovery. And all these things plus many others will happen, because I am blessed with your prayers and Father's love and friendship. The day he left he held both my hands in his hands. Then we hugged each other, and as I kissed his cheek he said, "It will be okay." So that was like a promise, and I believe him.

Danbury Prison doesn't change much. It's not as exciting as when we were graced by the presence of Rev. Moon, but life goes on. After all this time it seems that time drags much slower than it did before. My world consists of one building and the freedom to walk 80 yards to the north, 250 yards to the west, 400 yards to the east, and nowhere to the south. So since Father has been gone, after over 420 days or 10,080 hours or 604,800 minutes in this small area, it gets to be a real drag.

My days normally feel like they're 40 hours long. I spend some of these long hours reading, I pray a lot, I walk several miles every day, and I sleep as much as possible. The real punishment of being in Danbury is that you become non-productive. You get to share in none of the decisions that dictate your own life or the lives of those you love. No man or woman should ever be made to feel useless or not needed. I've never been a loser in my life, but prisons and the people who run them try to make you feel like a loser. And if you feel like a loser, then you are a loser. I think part of my love for all of you is because you treat me like I really count for something. Thanks again.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, I shall close this letter, reminding you that God loves you because He's God, Father loves you because you are his special children, and I love you because you have made me special, too.

Please take care of yourselves and each other and know you are loved.

Gratefully yours in faith,

Tom Mullen Your Danbury brother 

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