Unification News for April 2003
The Winds of Peace
This article is about history. In the April 1993 issue of this newspaper, I wrote about some of my own experiences in the church, and invited others to share their testimonies. Since then, a whole series of books about church history have come out. Most recently, the large We Will Stand commemorative book.
Herman Woukís novel The Winds of War follows the life of a fictional military officer named Victor ĎPugí Henry. (He was portrayed by Robert Mitchum in the lengthy TV miniseries.)
In the story, Henry and his family manage to encounter most of the major historical (and thus Providential) figures surrounding World War II. Without becoming famous themselves, the Henrys witness the entire course of the war.
For this article, Iím going to write about a few of the people Iíve met over the years, and testify to their little-known role in some of our movementís greatest accomplishments.
I joined the church in 1975 and, without really trying, Iíve managed to stay close to the Ďfront lineí of activity. This has given your author the opportunity, and the honor, to witness the actions of many who have achieved for more than I.
Here I will tell three stories, in order of their occurrence. As I write this, dozens of names come to mind. Iíd love to mention them all, but in this limited space I can only focus on a few key individuals.
The first story involves my own mother, Serenity Carlson. She joined the church in 1976, in Oakland.
Among other things, she ran the HSA Publications Dept. in New York, while doing Home Church in one of the cityís toughest housing projects. Later, she made two solo missionary visits to Zambia in Africa. As far as I can determine, she is the oldest person ever to serve full time on the National MFT.
In the summer of 1976, Serenity traveled cross-country with a group of Oakland members to attend the Yankee Stadium rally. They were seated behind home plate, near the memberís parentís section.
What happened next is familiar to all, but not the full details. The Oakland members, led by my mother and one brother, were singing songs. They continued as gusty winds blew away many of the decorations, and prevented a hot air balloon from flying over the stadium. They were aware that the weather forecast called for rain showers.
Just before the program was to open, a heavy downpour began. The church members responded by chanting the eventís motto, "Letís Go Over," again and again.
Meanwhile, Serenity and the other brother jumped back up. They began to sing "You Are My Sunshine." The Oakland group sang along, and within moments the entire stadium picked up the refrain.
I did also, from my assigned seat high in the upper bleachers. Only later did I learn of my motherís role that day.
Serenity now lives in her home town area, in North Dakota.
Fundraising is a key activity in our church, and itís practiced by our members in almost every nation. The local Korean members donít fundraise, but members from several other nations have been successful at it, in that newly-prosperous country.
Nearly all of our first generation members spent time fundraising, and now with the STF, our second generation is also enjoying this formative experience.
The second series of events took place in 1978-79, while I was serving as an MFT regional manager under Jack Hagel. Our region encompassed several western states, including Arizona and Colorado.
I donít know if he was the first, but for one Motherís Day, Mr. Hagel organized corner flower stands. None of us had ever tried it before, but with improvised signs, and Phoenix city permits in hand, we made a good go of it!
One of todayís most popular fundraising products is the shiny, metallic Ďimpactí picture. They are colorful, and appear to have a depth not seen in ordinary pictures.
On a sunny day in Phoenix, Arizona, two of our MFT sisters encountered a young man selling impact pictures. (Due to their famously litigious nature, I will not name the religion to which this man belonged.)
The sisters, Maria Caputi and Theresa Hile (then single) were quite impressed, and the other man rightly grasped the potential of further cooperation. He met with Mr. Hagel, then trained several of our members in the handling and presentation of these pictures.
Soon we were buying them in quantity, and offering them both Ďplainí and with wooden frames. We used luggage wheels to move them around, and then custom-made wooden carts. This was extremely successful, and within a few weeks, other MFT regions began using them as product.
One interesting note: inflation has affected fundraising as it has everything else. We were asking a one dollar donation for the plain pictures, and a whopping fifteen dollars with the wooden frames. Now, the picture alone is offered for fifteen -- and Iím afraid to ask how much they are with a frameÖ
A few weeks later, I moved to Golden, Colorado (near Denver), along with the regional office. Our brother Reid White had just broken his jaw. It was wired shut, making it difficult for him to fundraise, so we had a lot of time together. Meanwhile, Mr. Hagel, was looking for new fundraising ideas.
We hit upon the idea of marketing the impact pictures, and perhaps our other items, in busy public areas. We phoned every mall in the Denver area, until we found one that was willing to try our idea. Our members made a booth, and set it up in the walking area in between the stores.
It was a big success, and the idea spread across the country. Other people observed this, and competition sprang up. Within two years John Hessel had organized a company to focus exclusively on this type of marketing.
These days, itís hard to find a mall that doesnít have its own permanent booths set up.
The third series of events took place in Idaho. Eventually, they culminated in New York City.
In 1983-84, I served with the IOWC under Mr. Jim (Timothy) Comey. We traveled the western states until, in May 1984, we settled down in Idaho and established nine pioneer centers.
I was assigned to Twin Falls along with a British brother, Jim Owen. We worked out a method of fundraising adapted to our area, canvassing the isolated farms and ranches via bicycle, leaving the town itself to be Ďhití by numerous mobile teams.
In this way, we did not have to travel far, and were in fact home each evening. Thus we were able to establish Home Church areas, and set about meeting with every minister in town. We also encountered many conservative activists, and even the handful of liberals in the area.
Our best contact was a long-time activist named Paul Victor. As faithful Mormons, Paul and his wife Ruby had no trouble accepting us, and began working to support our activities. (Several of our other pioneers also met brave patriots in their towns.) With much assistance from Rosemary Yokoi, the Victors were able to bring almost half of Idahoís government (all three branches, plus local officials) to CAUSA conferences.
They also supported our Religious Freedom conferences, and we helped with some Mormon-founded projects. Later, this paved the way for many Idaho clergymen to visit Korea.
When Rev. Moon was about to be released from Danbury prison, Mr. Victor decided it would be a good idea to present him with a plaque, to thank him for his efforts on behalf of freedom. It was to be signed by as many Idaho VIPs as possible.
Mr. Comey assigned our brother Will Ramos to accompany Mr. Victor, and in a couple of days they gathered some forty signatures. Meanwhile, our Korean Regional Leader, Rev. JH Pak, had an inspiration. Instead of an ordinary little plaque, he thought, how about a large (sports type) winnerís trophy?
The trophy was created, with Mr. Victorís dedication and the VIP signatures engraved on it. Two Idaho legislators, Dieter Bayer and Robert Forrey, volunteered to present it to Rev. Moon.
A photo of the event was published on the front page of the New York Times. This photo, along with a much-reproduced editorial cartoon from the New York Post, radically changed the publicís perception of Rev. Moon, and of the outcome of his prison ordeal.
Both of those Idaho officials sacrificed their political careers for that courageous act. However, in the years since, they have been greatly blessed, and enjoyed success in other endeavors.
I have touched upon only three events which I have personally witnessed. Many others are being recorded in new books and articles. Recently, Rev. Yang created a fascinating PowerPoint presentation about his many experiences with the True Parents.
There are hundreds more stories waiting to be told. If you know any, please set about recording them.
Our new Book of Acts is going to be bigger than the Encyclopedia Britannica!
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