Articles From the February 1994 Unification News



It seems that with our alternative means of rapid communication, personal letters are a rare and precious commodity. However, every Christmas and New Years', letters make their annual appearances as we join with friends and relatives in making special efforts to communicate a year's happenings and to impart best wishes for the season. One such letter that my wife received was a heart-felt letter from a high school friend of hers and his wife who are both doctors practicing in Seattle. During a one and a half year assignment with the Church there, our respective families met on several occasions in an atmosphere savored with all the attributes of a sincere friendship.

Having written of their family's growth and development throughout '93, Dr. Steve inquired of our family. He closed by expressing his personal difficulty in reconciling the images of the Unification Church as presented by the media and the image of the Church that he has formed through his long-time friendship with my wife and those conversations with us in Seattle. How incongruous the two images appeared to him! In response, my wife felt to provide some succinct explanation as to why our community is so consistently demonized and persistently ridiculed in the popular media. Aware that she was responding to a rational, thoughtful, and liberally-minded friend ("liberal" in the truest sense of the word), my wife asked me for some suggestions. And so we chatted.

My wife's eventual response to Dr. Steve's quandary referenced the historical animosity directed to all new religious groups throughout history, and in particular here in America. The only way to begin to understand the persecution of Reverend Moon and the Unification Church in America is to see it in its proper context of classical religious bigotry. In that sense it is nothing new; nor is bigotry itself a new or recent phenomenon. There are however paticular cultural levers which disguise this essential feature of moonophobia, such as: (i) the specific use of the term "brain-washing" (because the founder of the Church is from Korea, the intent is to exploit the image of the mistreatment of American POW's by Chinese forces during the Korean war), (ii) the frequent recourse to stereo-typical anti-Asian racist sentiments ("the yellow peril" out to destroy America, false allegations of the Church's connections with the KCIA and the Japanese yakuza ), and (iii) the disparagement of the Holy Blessing ceremonies.

Our conversation did raise the inevitable question: how do you explain hatred? How to rationally explain an irrational force? How to explain hatred to someone who has probably not experienced it so personally or so intensely as many have in this country, such as, Jews, Mormons, Quakers, Baptists, Catholics, Muslims, Hare Krishnas, Scientologists, or Unificationists? Though hatred can be philosophically, psychologically, or socially defined, dissected, and ultimately rejected in retrospect contemporary instances can remain illusive, hidden or disguised. We all lament the manifestations of hatred throughout history, we are aware of how it operated and weep at sites dedicated to memorialize its carnage; we are revulsed at how incestuously it fed upon itself invariably leading to self-destruction and the destruction of all in its wake. Yet current acts of hatred can often be readily excused, justified, mitigated or condoned.

The Divine Principle clearly explains the phenomenal forces at work on such occasions and expounds upon the debilitating process that so adversely undermines an otherwise reasonable and conscientious individual or a sovereign authority. To comprehensively explain in a letter the causal factors and the full effects of an ongoing specific form of hatred is a difficult proposition and I will not undertake it here. However, the following illustrations and current examples may prove instructive.

I remember some 6 or 7 years ago, there was an incident in Northern Ireland's so-called "troubles" when two plain-clothes British soldiers were discovered in the midst of a funeral cortege for a recently murdered member of the I.R.A. Just the day before, at a funeral for another I.R.A member, shots had been fired on the crowd, so tensions at this second funeral were explosive. Having been identified, the soldiers panicked and tried to drive away, only to be surrounded by an angry crowd, violently stimulated by the futile efforts at escape and the smell of fear. All of the subsequent horrific events were captured by television cameras, as the crowd swarmed the car, dragged the two soldiers out and beat them to death.

I later forced myself, at every possible occasion, to watch again this appalling event, barely able to control the revulsion which swelled up inside me. Aware of all the historical anger and pain accumulated through 400 hundred years of suffering and resentment, I still could not rationalize this physical manifestation of hatred unleashed in those few moments. I thought of Jesus and the crowd that had so violently turned on him, I thought of Reverend Moon, while imprisoned for preaching in 1946, suspended from a ceiling and being systematically beaten and broken - organ by organ, bone by bone, and I thought of a dear Japanese sister struck and killed by two cars as she crossed a Newark street, while neither driver stopped to offer any help.

The destructive power of hatred is such that it overwhelms the rational human faculties and unleashes the most ominous aspect of fallen humanity's darker reality. As Edgar A. Guest wrote:

Hate is that evil
State of mind
Which feeds the worst
In Humankind.

I am sure that many Unificationists can recall incidents when they visibly observed this process in action and some of its inevitable results: a brief and abrupt ending to an otherwise cordial encounter, a hostile eruption in the middle of a warm conversation, the sudden cessation of a life-long relationship, or most tragically, the violent end to an innocent and promising life.

With this perspective in mind, one can begin to put into context the activities of organizations in America like the American Family Foundation (AFF), the International Cult Education Program (ICEP), and the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). What appear to be benign and sincere attempts to contribute to the welfare of society on the part of these organizations, deeper scrutiny reveals alternatively, enterprises entirely beset by the power of hatred. Hatred is the very raison d'etre for these organizations. Hatred incites their every activity and it fuels their persistent efforts. While those individuals publicly representing these organizations might in other social contexts appear as rational, sincere, and conscientious, yet in their public persona as representatives of these organizations, Herbert Rosedale, Marsha Rudin, and Cynthia Kisser, appear debilitated, blinded, and otherwise undermined as a result of their manifest hatred.

Early in his career as a moonophobe, Herbert Rosedale, in an article published in The Times Herald Record, described a Unification retreat site as "a center which spreads physical and emotional disease among its members and infects the community with the results therefrom." In observing the activities of hostile apostates of the Unification Church like Steve Hassan and in listening to his self-promotional rhetoric, it is appropriate to recall another definition of hatred: "the coward's revenge for being intimidated."

These individuals and organizations, among others, have served as catalysts for the opposition to the work of the Reverend Moon in America and to the egregious misrepresentation of the Unification Church to the American public. They have pursued this endeavor through the exploitation of national tragedies like Jonestown, and more recently our government's actions against the Branch Davidians. They have systematically presented to the American people distilled images of the Unification Church elicited from individuals who they themselves have so greedily "deprogrammed". They have intentionally and knowingly presented the theories of quacks and the proponents of junk science as tenable and legitimate, while refusing to disclose to the American public the refutations of those same theories by the established scientific community. In the face of universal condemnation from the established religious community in this country they have tried to deny their own anti-religious agenda. They have accused the Unification Church of illegal conduct, while they themselves have engaged in a conspiracy to deprive individual members of the Church of their civil rights. In several instances, associates of these organizations have been convicted of crimes committed against individual members of various religious communities., including the Unification Church. Hatred is a hidden trap for the unwary and for the unkind soul.

History will eventually recognize 1993 as being a year so dramatically and so directly impacted by the irrepressible personal sacrifices of Reverend and Mrs. Moon to promote world peace. In this regard, we witnessed the historic hand-shake between Itzak Rabin and Yassar Arafat. South Africa's promulgation of a new constitution affirming the equality of all of its peoples, inspired Time magazine to name De Klerk, Mandela, Rabin, and Arafat as their "people of the year". Not yet over, we were then informed that the British government had been conducting secret talks with the I.R.A. despite their repeated public refusals to ever do so. A final serving in this feast of reconciliation, was the reciprocal recognition of the state of Israel and the Vatican city by leaders of both communities. All of these events have given rise to great hopes for the imminent settlement of the vestiges of fallen history's legacy of hate.

The key to these peaceful departures was simply, yet profoundly, the willingness to speak together. It is an historical inevitability that foes and adversaries who have chosen to conduct their disagreements in war have eventually conceded to peaceful and respectful dialogue or, alternatively, face annihilation and extinction.

So in this New Year of 1994, representatives of the Unification community in America are as willing as they have always been to meet with representatives of any community or organization (the media included!) who remain ignorant or fearful of the Reverend and Mrs. Moon's work and the activities of the Unification community. In particular, with regard to AFF, ICEP, and CAN, representatives of the Unification community would be pleased, as they always have been, to engage in dialogue with representatives of the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League. By engaging in respectful discourse, the legitimate and respective concerns of the Jewish community, as represented by these organizations, and those of the Unification community could be resolved in the most conducive manner. It is to be hoped that these respected and influential organizations would finally withdraw their apparent support of, and condonation for, the activities of AFF, CAN, and ICEP. Such withdrawal of all and any support for these hate groups would greatly contribute to the demise of moonophobia in America, and its relegation into American history as the last example of institutionalized religious bigotry.


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