Chung Pyung Lake Workshops
Report on the Dae Mo Nim Conference
April 25, 1999
I enjoyed the ceremony, much more than I expected to. Although singing the same song over and over again can be tiresome, the enthusiasm of clapping and drumming made up for it. It was almost as good as being in a black church on Sunday, which I thoroughly enjoy. The whole thing was too long, of course. But there were actually chairs to sit on. And the venue was quite nice. All and all, as Unification Church members-only events go, it was much more endurable than most.
Mrs. Kim seemed to by a sweet lady and quite charismatic. However, her teachings are problematic for me. She teaches that most of our ancestors are either mired in mud, hiding under rocks, or trapped in snake pits. This runs counter to almost all other mediumistic accounts, as well as the testimony from Sang Hun Lee's medium in the Unification Church tradition. There are also problems having to do with her belief that evil spirits interpenetrate all levels of the spirit world, that most of us have myriads of evil spirits in our bodies, that members who don't go to her ceremonies will be dragged to hell, etc. etc. These things not only contradict what we have been taught previously in Unification Church tradition, but also seem to render the sacrament of the Seung Hwa ceremony--initiated directly by True Parents--null and void.
On the other hand, I found the An Soo (self slapping) ceremony invigorating and cleansing. It reminded me of some of the shakra cleansing/attunement exercises I have done in New Age workshops. Also, it is comforting to believe (if one can) that one's ancestors can now receive the blessing. Finally, it was great to see so many old friends from other states (they came from the South and Southeast regions as well as region three.)
Oh, I should mention that I believe the Dae Mo Nim workshop gives the lie to H's membership figures. There were at least 1,000-1,200 adults in the DC workshop. 1,500 were reported in Chicago (although I was not there). I'm not sure about California. Rev. Pak reported that 5,000 people had registered for the New York conference.
The numbers are even more impressive if one realizes that each person attending was supposed to fill out a form pledging a $700 donation. That's at least $700,000 in pledges from DC alone. If some of these other estimates are accurate, we could be talking about $4 to 5 million dollars. Not bad for a week's work.
As I've said before, it seems certain that the Chung Pyung providence is the single most successful project in the UM today, seen from a financial point of view.
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