Articles From the November 1997 Unification News
Pure Love Alliance National Summer Tour
by Michelle Myers-Washington, DC
"Absolute Love, Absolute Life, Absolute Sex...Thats Right!" blared 280 youths in roaring synchronicity in downtown Denver, Colorado bringing passersby to a quick halt and a quizzical expression. They marched with the precision of a finely tuned military brigade and chanted with the same unity. Their multi-colored placards and pickets pumped up and down as one, visible for blocks in the distance. Their common voice echoed equally far, prompting people to suspend their conversations and scan the area for the cause of this relentless howl. For many of these surprised city-dwellers, the purpose for this multitude of young marchers was not immediately clear, yet the power and passion behind their common cry forced everyones instant attention. Those so pulled to inquire asked, "Whats this all about?"
"We are the Pure Love Alliance and we are 300 young people on a national tour promoting sexual purity before marriage and fidelity within marriage...ABSOLUTE LOVE, ABSOLUTE LIFE...," they shouted on. Some would break into a question frenzy, wanting to know how to get in touch with us, work with us or join us, as though they suddenly forgot everything else they had to do in their lives. Some took our flier, replied "Oh" and continued in stride as though they see mobs of screaming youths on the hour. And some, with the word "purity" uttered, reacted "Not for me," and scurried away, occasionally glancing back to ensure there was a good distance expanding between us.
As our shirts read "Pure Love 97-Absolute Sex National Tour," we were without question a controversial force for almost everyone we met from coast to coast across the United States.
Jin Hun Nim announced the tour at a CARP leaders meeting in May in New York City with no forewarning to most of the attendees. He spoke passionately of his anguish and disgust at the ill effect of the exported filth with which America polluted the rest of the world-how he saw with his own eyes how Americas influence tainted the centuries-old family traditions of different nations and cultures. He saw the importance of changing the tide of the American moral decline as a global responsibility and even shared his worries about the future of his own children. He chided us on declaring the mission of the Pure Love Alliance and the Pure Love Tour to "ruffle the feathers" of America and ignite a "new sexual revolution." With the fire of loyalty to True Parents and the desperate concern of a father for the safety of his children, he poured out his heart to us.
The entire tour was organized in a matter of weeks. Many young CARP members were immediately promoted to heightened leadership positions and forced to quickly expand their scope of responsibility. This was part of an intentional plan Jin Hun Nim foresaw to pass ownership to members and refine their leadership skills for the coming "revolution".
We all converged July 28 on Los Angeles, as Howard Self once described, still "building the plane as we flew." Over 200 second generation members gathered in L.A., most making last-minute decisions to join the tour, meeting with about seventy CARP members. We had only a few days to prepare for our first public rally on July 4 which would include dancing STDs, a live hard-rock band, a squad of unified hip-hop dancers, a twelve-sister choir, a Won Hwa Do exhibition, a drama team, trained Absolute Sex speakers and the ceaseless behind-the-scenes details which go with effective stage management.
Suddenly, God opened a surprise window of opportunity to all of us. Days before our first scheduled public rally, we found out that the mayor of Los Angeles was being inaugurated for his second term. It came to our attention just the day before the event. We dropped everything and the entire tour membership began cranking out placards demanding that the mayor immediately halt the production of child pornography for which L.A. County leads the world. The 300 PLA members shocked the mayor, his associates, the L.A. Police Department, the media and ourselves. We were immediately broadcast on several L.A. television stations the same day we overran the police barriers and successfully demanded a photo with the mayor. This incident foreshadowed, in many ways, the path of the entire tour. In many cases, the unbridled vigor of the PLA members removed many obstacles and won continuous positive media coverage. Our ability to gear into quick mobilization based on Jin Hun Nims inspiration progressively increased. In some cases we did impromptu unplanned rallies which attracted the press without any prior media notice. To say the least, this kept everyone on their toes. Excited by our success and optimistic at the potential of our united effort, we left L.A. with zeal and anticipation to take on San Francisco-a guaranteed challenge.
As expected, the San Francisco media was mischievously preparing for our arrival. We were confronted with our first hard lessons of the snares and traps of the negative media. Some television stations tried to pin us as a front group for the Unification Church with a hidden agenda. This was one of the incidents which prompted Jin Hun Nim to call for an organized educational program during the tour to give PLA members solid skills in conveying the ideals of the Pure Love Alliance, even in the face of a potentially negative media. Outside of San Francisco, negative coverage was almost nonexistent. However, Jin Hun Nims concern for preparing PLA members to be able to return to their homes and centers with the refined skills to establish and build strong PLA chapters in their high schools and universities had us all strive for three prescribed areas of excellence: 1) excellent Absolute Sex speakers, 2) excellent ralliers, and 3) excellent fund-raisers.
We continued up the West Coast, studying and fraternizing on the long bus rides. Through Sacramento, Portland and Seattle we tightened up our marching skills, added to our stage performances, expanded our repertoire of seasoned Absolute Sex speakers and all the time enjoyed the consistent turnout of the media in every city to celebrate pure love with us.
Father always taught us: the more we go through difficulties, the more we can understand Gods heart. We met God in Yellowstone National Park. Yes, we were awe-inspired by the great waterfalls and caverns as well as the wild animals. But it was not until that night when the temperature dropped to 30 degrees that many of the summer-clad campers became very intimate with Heavenly Father. Despite our varied experiences, we can all agree that we will not forget our mountain top stay in the wilderness.
After Yellowstone, we moved on to Salt Lake City, which concluded the first portion of the tour before a Boulder, Colorado workshop with Rev. Sudo. Salt Lake City was exceptionally positive in its coverage and did extended interviews with Akiko Ikeno and Bo Jones, who would continue to be key PLA spokespeople.
The Boulder workshop was much needed to gain some internal spiritual food and allow members time to reflect on the issue of purity on a personal level. We also held our first Absolute Sex lecture competition. The finalists to represent each of thirty teams were chosen at random, which required everyone to train hard, not knowing if they would be chosen to represent their whole team. This demanded team unity and support, and drove members to give their very best. The final night in Boulder, Jin Hun Nim called for a marathon entertainment celebration which brought out five hours of skits, dances, poetry, bands and jokes, fueled by pure youthful enthusiasm. Jin Hun Nim encouraged us at the close of the evening, and we were fully charged to launch into the rest of the tour.
We made some surprise stops at Madison and Milwaukee before continuing to Chicago for a three-day engagement. Our Chicago schedule was the most demanding thus far of the tour. The first day we kept a non-stop schedule from early morning fund-raising to a midday downtown rally and march, followed by another rally at Playboy headquarters, complete with a media-covered "bunny" burning and stomping session to an evening pure love forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The following day, half the PLA joined in house-to-house pre-blessings with Chicago members, while the other half traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to protest the infamous Kinsey Institute and declare the end of the sexual revolution.
We continued to Detroit, Toronto and then to UTS for a two-day break where we shared personal testimonies, held a blessing workshop and prepared for the final stage of the tour with precision militarized marching and chanting training for the challenge of the upcoming big three: Boston, New York and Washington DC.
Boston was also the site of an event which demands mention. We held our second Absolute Sex speech competition there. This contest was almost beyond description. Brothers and sisters who were timid and awkward in Boulder now exploded into Heavenly impassioned fire breathers. They had all matured greatly in both their logical and heartistic expressions not only of the pain and misery of broken families and false love but also of their longing and determination to strive for pure love for themselves and the world. Not only did the speakers pour out their hearts in front of 300 observers, but those listening responded with deafening applause and encouragement until the auditorium was like a whirlwind of vitality element lifting everyone to the clouds. Sun Hee Mudgett won first place. Jin Hun Nims vision of tapping into the true potential of the second generation was becoming a reality.
Albany, Boston and Bridgeport preceded New York City, where we had a chance to really test our skills by giving a series of public Absolute Sex speeches on 42nd Street in Manhattan, directly in front of the SIECUS headquarters, the notorious promoters of comprehensive sex education. Jin Hun Nim then called for a strong indemnity condition to support Father in his declaration of "The Realm of the Cosmic Sabbath for the Parents of Heaven and Earth." We marched through Manhattan for four hours, convening in Central Park and praying in unison at the moment of Fathers declaration in Korea.
The tour continued in full throttle to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Richmond and Baltimore, culminating in Washington, DC. Our march participants swelled to about 500 here in DC as PLA members hit the height of their enthusiasm upon receiving Mayor Barrys greeting and reading of the Pure Love Pledge with them.
The extended accommodations and rally preparations provided by the DC Unification Church community were exceptional and much appreciated by the PLA. In Jin Hun Nims closing words of the tour in DC he specifically called for appreciation of the parents of the second generation, whose continued attendance to True Parents allowed their children to be part of this victorious national offering.
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