The Family And The Unification Church Edited by Gene G. James

Doing Love: Tensions In the Ideal Family - Eileen Barker

Put in its most crude form the problem which this paper attempts to address is: Why is it that the more members of the Unification Church pursue the goal of creating a unified world within which the Ideal Family could flourish, the more they have, at least in the West, become typified as people who cause disunity and division within their own families? To address such a problem demands a sociological critique which, it must be stressed, should not be mistaken for a theological criticism. The paper is at no point concerned with whether Unification theology is true or false in any ontological or metaphysical sense. I write neither as a theologian nor a believer -- nor yet do I write-as a disbeliever. I write as a sociologist who has observed those for, and through, who m Unification theology lives.1

But although I write as a sociologist I shall not be offering any statistical analyses of questionnaires. I have done that elsewhere.2 Instead I shall try to paint a picture which comes from the vicarious experiences of in-depth interviews, casual conversations and participant observation within the Unification Church and, of course, from my own direct experience of life as a fellow social animal. It is a picture which is complicated and uncertain and one which is in parts as blurred as the social processes it tries to portray; it is a picture of a situation which is, I believe, upheld in some ways by the very tensions which it is its avowed purpose to dissolve, and thus one which can be threatened by its own successes. It is a picture which would seem at times to demand the risk of assuming phenomena describable only in terms the social scientist is rarely well equipped to handle -- concepts of love and pain, of gnawing needs and empty longings, of awe-ful rapture and fearful submission, of happy companionship and silent comfort, of joyous relief and niggling doubts, and perhaps above all, of an every-day, taken-for-granted ordinariness which is apparently incomprehensible to the majority of those who take for granted other ordinarinesses lived through other faiths.

From a sociological perspective it is possible that both the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of Unification theology (at least as it has been most frequently taught in America and Europe) is that conversion implies commitment. If you accept the truth of Unification theology as explained in Divine Principle,3 if in particular you accept its "conclusion" that the Lord of the Second Advent is upon the earth, then you are faced with the stark challenge of submission or rejection. Unification theology demands a translation from the transcendent, the cognitive and the spiritual into the mundane, the practical and the daily events of material existence. To believe is to act. To accept is to give oneself to God -- and to work with all one's heart, with all one's mind and with all one's fellow Moonies for the restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Most theologies (certainly those within the Christian tradition) lay an especial emphasis upon the value of love. In Unification theology love features not only in those areas in which we have commonly expected its presence -- soteriologies, eschatologies and cosmologies -- it also has a central role in Unification theodicy. The Fall was due not just to the fact of disobedience toward God's will, but to a disobedience which involved the misuse of love. To have sex is not necessarily to make love. To presume, to preempt a consummation of carnal union without the celebration of union through God is not only to do that which is false and wrong, it is a sacrilege of that which is most true and good.

But of course it is good to love in the right way. The problem is how can we do it? Why do we keep going wrong? Fallen nature (original sin) may provide an ultimate "why," but by itself it does little to explain in terms of intermediate, "operational" whys and wherefores. Why might it seem that even a messiah will find he has to reject his own family and do apparently unloving acts? Apart from theological explanations, is it perhaps that there is a paradoxical (possibly concomitant) socio-logic which confounds, or at least confronts, those who would restore the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth? Is there a socio-logic which describes a realm within which more becomes less; within which the single-minded devotion of one's energies towards a single value brings in its wake not only costs in terms of other values, but costs in terms of the very value that is being pursued?

The Ideal Family in Unification Theology

One of the basic tenets of Unification theology is that the fundamental unit of society is the family -- neither man nor woman being complete in him or herself until being blessed in a God-centered marriage, sharing a vertical relationship of give-and-take with God and a horizontal one of true love with each other and, to complete what is termed the Four Position Foundation, a further vertical relationship of true, God-centered give-and-take love with their children. Because the only force that is stronger than that of the Principle is the force of love, there is always the possibility that during their period of growth a person might fall through indulging in non-Principled love. The restoration of the world depends upon establishing the Ideal Family in place of the family unit which has existed since the Fall and in which there has been false (Satanically-centered) love. In this process of restoration the role and example of the Messiah is crucial.

Members of the Church who are considered to have reached a sufficiently high level of spiritual maturity are "blessed" in marriage by Reverend Moon. The Blessing is the most important and sacred rite of the Church. It is not merely a wedding ceremony, it incorporates a "rebirth" and a purification sacrament. Although it is not part of the official Unification dogma, almost all the members believe that Rev. Moon is the Lord of the Second Advent. Messiahship is an office in which a sinless man, born of human parents, is in a position to fulfill the purpose of creation -- so long as he is accepted and followed. Jesus was unable to fulfill his mission and to get married before he was killed. This was largely the fault of John the Baptist who did not fulfill his role adequately so that the Jews did not realize Jesus' true position. Jesus, through his death, was able to offer the world spiritual, but not physical salvation. It is now the time when the Lord of the Second Advent might be able to complete the salvation or restoration of the world.

The Messiah must stand before God as the origin of all ideal individuals and must establish the ideal family, which is the Family which fulfills the Purpose of the Creation and is the place where God's love can dwell. He must then also establish the ideal nation and world, thereby realizing the originally intended Kingdom of Heaven on earth, fulfilling the Purpose of Creation. This is the purpose tor which the Messiah comes.4

A Sociological Perspective on Social Reality

Before proceeding it might be helpful to say a word or two about the sociological perspective. Let it be admitted at once that the sociologist has no special way of assessing the sort of love that exists between a person and God, and, indeed, can have only a limited, external knowledge of the sort of relationships that exist between individual people. The sociologist is mainly interested in social interaction with respect to the social environment which we inhabit. For the sociologistflnan is essentially a social animal -- that is to say, man cannot become truly human except through some sort of interaction with others; he is incapable of developing normally the faculties which are associated with the species homo sapiens (language, moral behavior, loving relations) unless he spends time in the company of other members of the species. Few of the small number of feral children who have been discovered have managed to survive their childhood. The human baby develops into a man or woman by "taking in" society through the process known as socialization. This is not to say that man is nothing but a product of society -- he is much else beside, nor that society plays an unnegotiably deterministic role. And of course any social reality is as dependent on its members for its existence as they are dependent on the existence of some sort of social reality for their existence.

The concept of social reality is a particularly elusive one to grasp without fading away into nothingness on the one hand, or becoming reified -- made into too concrete a "thing" -- on the other hand (both of which events can indeed occur to particular aspects of social reality in practice). Social reality is a reality in the sense that it exists independent of the volition of any one individual. It is something that faces him whether he likes it or not. He may have more or less success in changing it, but he cannot wish it away. It is a social reality in that it consists of the interactions between people and the structures which are formed, insofar as these interactions become institutionalized or patterned through people complying with more or less agreed norms and roles over time. It also consists of the culture, the values, mores and generally held beliefs about the nature of reality and how one ought to act which are shared by, or publicly knowable to, those who participate in that particular social reality. Some aspects of the culture will be known explicitly, perhaps as part of legal, religious or educational knowledge, but other areas are known at an implicit, relatively unconscious level, being taken for granted or considered part of the very nature of things, despite the fact that participants in another social reality might consider such beliefs or practices bizarre or grossly unnatural. Social realities are rarely discrete. They tend, with more or less coincidence according to our social position, to overlap with each other. To some degree each of us faces a slightly different social reality from that which faces our neighbor, and to some degree each of us shares with our neighbor aspects of the one social reality. Social reality is, in short, the environment within which the individual has to enact and to negotiate his interactions with other individuals and which, at the same time, through his interactions, he will preserve or alter in one direction or another.

It is this social environment which members of the Unification Church hope to alter, and which they do indeed alter through their actions. And it is this environment which would appear to present the Church members with a frustrating, "Catch 22" situation.

The Ideal Family and the Social Environment

According to Unification theology we are now living in a time in which the conditions are such that the Ideal Family could be established on earth -- the potential exists. The members believe that they can be helped to play their role partly through their knowledge and acceptance of Divine Principle, partly because of the spiritual significance and rites of the Blessing that Rev. Moon offers each of the couples whom he brings together in matrimony, and partly through the example of the "True Parents," Rev. and Mrs. Moon. The problem is that neither the example nor the actuality of the Ideal Family has yet been fully realizable in practice because of the wider environment within which the Unification Church has to operate. While the Ideal Family is meant to exemplify, to lay the foundation for, and to perpetuate a social environment within which we can all enjoy ideal relationships based on true love, it is the existing social environment which is preventing the Ideal Family from successfully coming into existence. There may well be other responsible factors. I suspect there are. But focusing just on this one double bind we can see that actual interactions between the members and (1) their physical parents, (2) their spouses, and (3) their children, are not without difficulties which seriously threaten the realization of ideal familial relationships.

This has of course been recognized and written about by Unificationists. Rev. Kwak, for example, has frequently discussed the problems of the Ideal Family operating within an external environment which is not ideal -- problems for which he offers theological explanations and practical instruction according to the tenets of the Principle. Discussion of the problems is usually couched in terms which imply or explicitly state that the present difficulties are a challenge which need only be of a temporary nature -- so long as everyone does what has to be done. The apparently less than-perfect actions may indeed be seen to constitute a necessary part of the restoration process as those who seem to suffer are in fact being helped towards a more advanced state of growth, or as a firmer foundation is being laid for those who are to come after. The breakthrough out of the vicious circle is, however, expected and hopeful signs are pointed out.

The Ideal Son/Husband/Father Positions in Tension with Society

That the situation to date has been such that ideal family relationships have not been fully realizable is evident when one looks at the family circumstances of Rev. Moon. We are told how he had to cut off relations with his mother, telling her not to visit him in prison if she was going to cry5 and how, because of a promise he had made, he took one of his disciples with him to Pusan, leaving his own family behind in North Korea.6 It is explained that: "He never paid too much attention to his own family." Because the Principle teaches that salvation has to come through restoring the sinner first "Father [Rev. Moon] never really approached his family with the word of salvation but instead poured out his love to the inmates [of the prison] and the members."7

Rev. Moon further felt compelled to leave his first wife and two-month old baby son in 1946 when he received a revelation. He left without telling them what had happened and his wife did not know where he was for the next six years.8 After they were reunited "Father had to choose the lady (his first wife) or the brothers and sisters [followers]. Father was very decisive in choosing the brothers and sisters."9

Rev. Moon's present wife and her mother also had to suffer, partly because of the social reality of the situation, but also, it is explained, for theological reasons. It might be worth quoting Rev. Moon at some length in order to indicate the sort of reasons that he puts forward for the suffering and eventual victory of his wife:

There were many families who believed that the heavenly bride might come out of their own home because of the revelations they had received. Not only one family but many families believed that. Think what a shocking event it was to those families to have Mother [Mrs. Moon] chosen. There were also many spiritual old ladies who were like prophetesses between God and mankind. I had listened to them as instruments of heavenly revelation on many occasions, and they had participated in many dispensational roles. Therefore they had a certain pride and authority, and felt that they were the ones who would decide the bride of heaven. But all of a sudden, without consulting them I chose Mother....

Since their hopes were so great and their expectations so high, when those hopes and expectations were betrayed their reaction was equally as deep. Their disappointments and disenchantments were great....

Knowing about this impossible, tense background, as soon as the holy wedding was conducted in 1960 I asked Mother's mother to confine herself; she was not to come see her own daughter too often, or if she did she should come secretly through the back door. That put Mother's mother in such a miserable, cast-out position that nobody envied her role. Everyone had thought that becoming Mother's mother would be glorious, like becoming an empress's mother. But I just silenced all those expectations and pushed her into a sacrificial role, not even letting her come to see her daughter freely.

Furthermore, in the first year I treated Mother almost like a servant instead of my wife. We were bride and bridegroom but that honeymoon period was nothing but an ordeal on Mother's part. She started out as a servant because I wanted her to start out from the very bottom.

The important internal meaning behind my actions in that period was a test of faith for grandmother and Mother. No matter what the circumstances, they should not complain or rebel against me. They had to accept and persevere. That was the real goal, what I really wanted. And they met that expectation....

During those years all kinds of things were said, even that Mother was a failure, and that I was going to hand-pick a new bride. You can imagine how heartbreaking that kind of rumor was to Mother....

As the days and years passed, what happened? Since Mother continually persevered, since she was patient and silent and upheld her faith in me, eventually the whole environment of accusation was reversed into respect and admiration....

At the time we never even discussed these situations. I never said to Mother, "You must understand this, persevere and win out because I am doing this on purpose." If I had explained and comforted her that way, then even though she had won, it would not have been valuable.

I have been explaining this in depth, revealing it today [May 3, 1977] to you as I never have even to Mother; this is the first time in my life I have explained it in such depth....10

In the speech from which the above quotations are taken Rev. Moon explains far more about the theological reasons for his treatment of Mrs. Moon, but the point that I wish to bring out here is that he does point to the environment as being an important factor in explaining his behavior -- and it does not seem to have prevented the young Mrs. Moo n from enjoying a close give-and-take relationship with her husband.

But perhaps, from the point of view of the Principle, the most poignant familial disruption for Rev. Moon has been the way in which the existence of the wider environment -- his need to minister to the rest of the world -- has kept him from giving the kind of loving attention that the father of an Ideal Family would want to bestow upon his own children.

I could not treat my oldest son, Sung Jin, kissing and embracing him, as average parents would. I was very serious in handling my newborn child.

The mother and father ought to get together in harmony and kiss the children. Only after my marriage with Mother was begun in 1960 could I allow Sung Jin to enter my house and speak briefly to him. It wasn't easy. A child could never understand, no matter how much blessing he is born with, why his father would treat him like that. He accumulated much resentment and he wouldn't understand readily what I said. I knew that I should do that, but it was not easy. Only after I made the family foundation strong could I receive my child.11

But the children born after Rev. Moon's marriage in 1960 have suffered too. After her own Blessing in June 1981 Ye Jin Nim gave a short, tearful testimony in which she mentioned some of the difficulties which she and her brothers and sisters have encountered through being Rev. Moon's children: "... we felt like we did not have a childhood."12

Rev. Kwak in explaining the theological significance of Ye Jin Nim's Blessing talked also about the children's problems and how, because of the social reality within which they found themselves they were deprived of "normal" childhood relationships with (1) their parents, (2) other members of the Church, and (3) the wider society.

When they go to school, because they bear Rev. Moon's name, no one can accept them as just ordinary people; everybody has a certain viewpoint of them. Furthermore, in our church everybody expects perfection of them. Also, they cannot freely bring friends over to visit them. Our members and leaders, because they expect too much from them, cannot be close to them, and even their parents have little time to spend with them....True Parents' life style does not allow them to spend the time that a father and mother should spend with their children. Many times, children need to discuss something with their father and mother, but True Children have no opportunity.

Why does Father do this? One of the main traditions Father has had to establish is to love Cain; therefore, he has given us, as Cain, more love than he has given his own children. Hopefully, from now on, he will have more time to take care of his children; but actually, he recently went to Europe to begin a new phase of public pioneering life.13

Tensions in Church Member's Family Relationships

The rift that has developed between many members and their physical (non-Unificationist) families is a familiar enough story. While much of the press reporting on "The Church That Breaks Up Families"14 is sensationalizing rubbish, there is no doubt that many parents have suffered considerable anguish on learning that their (adult) child has become a Moonie. It is also true that many a Moonie has suffered considerable anguish from his parents' inability to understand his point of view -- to see social reality as he has learned to see it.

That such divisions occur will not come as a surprise to the sociologist or historian of new religious movements. It is almost a sociological law that those who hold strongly to a belief system which radically challenges a generally accepted status quo will have to isolate themselves from those with whom they disagree, at least in the early stages of a movement's development, and this will frequently lead to familial estrangement. The Gautama Buddha abandoned his wife and son so that he could escape from a social environment which was too all-encompassing for him to be able to see what he believed was to be seen beyond its limits. Jesus of Nazareth declared

For I come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.15

And, even more relentlessly,

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.16

The fairly obvious point is that if an individual wants to follow a set of beliefs and a way of life which is at variance with the rest of society then, as a social animal, he will, except in a few, rare cases, need some sort of support from other individuals. It is not just the kind of psychological comfort we all get from being among like-minded people that he will need, but the deeper support of a social context within which the new language, concepts and vision of reality can be "lived" through everyday interactions. The group, if it is to "work through" its "social policy" needs an environment that can both reinforce and keep alive its way of looking at the world, and protect it from the continual questioning and disbelief of those who still hold to the picture of reality from which the convert has defected. And of course, if those who wish to question the new beliefs are the very people who socialized the individual into his original beliefs then the separation may (sociologically speaking) have to be all that more complete.

There is a somewhat ironic twist to this situation that might be mentioned here, namely, that those who join the Unification Church are more likely to do so because of, rather than in spite of, their parents' values and attitudes. I have discussed this at some length in "Identity within an Unorthodox Orthodoxy" and "Who'd be a Moonie?"17 but perhaps I should repeat here that Moonies tend to share with their parents a certain amount of idealism and strongmindedness and to place a particular value on the concepts of duty and service to others.

It is these values of duty and service to others which can give rise to some heart-searching internal conflicts once the Church member himself contemplates his role as a parent. To sacrifice oneself can provide a wonderful opportunity to be of service. To sacrifice one's parents might be an unfortunate necessity in some cases; but parents are probably old enough to look after themselves, or at least to accept some responsibility for their own future. And it is towards the future that the Unificationist must look. But what happens if it seems to be necessary to sacrifice that very future? While it may be one's duty to sacrifice oneself, is it not also one's duty not to sacrifice, but to accept the responsibility of parenthood? Does not that responsibility mean that the child should be brought up in an ideal environment of parental care?

Questions of financial security and health insurance which rarely, if ever, bother the minds of the young Church members, start to nag at the minds of Blessed or matched members. But even more fundamentally, many of the young parents can find themselves torn by the fear that they will be unable to develop the sort of intimate, loving relationship with their children of which they had dreamed. If the Ideal Family is the basic unit of society, should the basic unit be split up; should the husband's mission be in one state or one country while his wife is fundraising elsewhere? Is it right for parents to have to harden themselves against becoming too emotionally involved in their children's lives? While those who work at the nursery to which Moonie parents send their children may be well-trained, responsible and loving fellow Unificationists, and while the Little Angels' School in Seoul to which it is expected many of the children will go, undoubtedly has facilities which are superior to those of many a local school in the West, what about the Ideal Family unit?

The tensions arising here are the familiar ones associated with what the economists call opportunity cost. In a situation in which not everything can be done because of a finite supply of scarce resources (such as time, money and personnel), the pursuit of one goal or value has to be done at the expense of another goal or value. If one "does love" for one's immediate family, it can be at the cost of "doing love" tor the rest of the world. If one loves Mankind, the price can be that one has no time or energy to love men and women.

While the either/or does not have to be absolute, the Unification Church, like many a millennial movement before it, has to work out a calculus of costs and profits in terms of means and ends. Priorities have to be allocated and losses and sacrifices risked. For Rev. Moon the order of priorities is clear: "God wants an individual to sacrifice himself for his country more than for his family, and to sacrifice himself more for the world than for the country."18 Or: "Even though somehow you become worthy parents, the next step means sacrificing them tor the sake of the whole. The wife you love so much must go out and the children you love so much must also sacrifice... "20 It is not that Rev. Moon discounts the importance of the family unit. It is a central part of the Principle and he makes many statements about the crucial role that parents have to play in passing on the correct traditions to their children. But as the Ideal Family cannot operate in a social environment which is not ideal, the immediate family has to be sacrificed (though obviously with as little cost as possible) for the sake of the larger whole.

Tensions in the Triad

There is much more that could be said about the relation between the whole and the parts and about long-term and short-term goals,20 but I would like to turn now to consider a totally different aspect of the Ideal Family -- that of its being God-centered -- and to suggest that this can, in a perhaps not altogether expected fashion, be the source of certain tensions of a curiously sociological nature. Here it is necessary to reiterate what has already been stated -- that this is a paper written from a sociological perspective, in no way claiming to touch upon theological verities.21

It is a central and absolutely necessary aspect of the relationship between a husband and wife in the Unification Church that their relationship should be God-centered. This is more than saying that it should not be Lucifer-centered. It should, in a positive and active sense, have God as the main focus, the raison d'etre, of the union. The primary duty of each member of the partnership is to try to see things -- and indeed his or her spouse -- from God's point of view. God is loved above all, and from and through the individual's vertical love for God will flow his or her horizontal love. The theological, and indeed, the practical advantages of such an attitude within marriage are fairly obvious.22 It is perfectly possible that for the Ideal Family in the ideal environment there is nothing but advantage to a God-centered marriage, but in actual marriages in which the partners are attempting (rather than completely realizing) a God-centered union, there can be tensions resulting from the relationship being that of a triad (association of three rather than a dyad (association of two).

The sociological structure of the dyad is characterized by two phenomena that are absent from it. One is the intensification of relation by a third element, or by a social framework that transcends both members of the dyad. The other is any disturbance and distraction of pure and immediate reciprocity. In some cases the dyadic relationship is more intensive and strong.... Likewise, they carefully avoid many disturbances and dangers into which confidence in a third party and in the triad itself might lead the two.23

Sociologically speaking the dyad has different properties -- that is, different potentialities and different constraints -- from the triad. These potentialities and constraints mean that the relationship can be both helped and hindered in the search for true love in the sense of mutual understanding. By looking for those features that God would value in one's partner one is given a positive rather than a negative approach, but this can also lead to a denial, or a lack of facing up to the very real problems that can exist between two people and regarding which the mutual negotiation may be necessary for the resolution of the problems. While on the one hand the "intervention" of God can be a valuable assistance, on the other hand relying on his intervention or mediation can result in a loss of direct contact, of direct understanding, of the feelings of empathy that direct reciprocity can stimulate. Even when one is dealing with the most anthropomorphically conceived God, the capacity of human beings, even those who have received the Blessing, to know for certain that they are really seeing through God's eyes, or, even more to the point, that they are being seen by their partner through God's eyes, can be severely limited. As one frustrated young man put it "I just don't recognize myself in the picture she says God has given her of what I'm really like. I wish she'd come off it and try to be a bit more approachable and understanding."

Allied to such grounds for suspicion and frustration there can develop more serious problems of communication and, subsequently, of power. While God himself can certainly not be accused of a policy of "divide and rule" there is a sense in which belief in his omniscient presence within the marriage contract can lead to "alliances" which exclude, almost as easily as they include, the other partner. This may be experienced as a subjective or as an objective social reality. It can take the somewhat self-righteous form of "Well, I have God on m y side" or "You are making things difficult, but with God's help I shall cope." Or it can take the more petulant form of "You're always with God these days -- what about giving me a bit of time for a change?" In either case the "eternal triangle" effect can be as destructive as the arrival of an importunate lover or mistress.

It will of course be legitimately argued that God himself would not be the cause of anything but an enhanced relationship between two people. I hope it will be realized that nothing I have said would deny this. The point that I have been trying to make is that, while honestly trying to "do" love through God, human beings can, in certain circumstances, be observed to get further from, rather than nearer to, their goal, and that to some extent some of this failure can be understood in terms of the tensions that can arise between two people when they have to take a third into account. This is not to say that centering on the third cannot function to promote mutual reciprocity -- it can, with profit. It is merely to point out that there is a socio-logic which makes the properties of a triad different from those of a dyad and these can, in certain circumstances, include costs.

Concluding Remarks

In this paper I have tried to document a few of the sociological difficulties encountered by those who are attempting to create the Ideal Family. It has not been argued that the Ideal Family cannot exist, and it has certainly not been argued that the families of

Unification Church members are any less successful than those in the wider society. On the contrary, what evidence there is suggests that by several criteria (such as the divorce rate) they could if anything be more successful.

But the Ideal Family does not yet exist, and one reason is that the family does not live in isolation from the rest of the social environment, and so long as other members of the society have other interests or other ideals (or, believing in the same ideals, believe that these should be implemented by different means) there is likely to be strife between members and non-members in proportion to the extent that the members wish to change the social reality of the dissenting non-members. Of course Unificationists could opt for creating their own, enclosed community (such as the Hutterites or some Anabaptist groups have done -- though they have not succeeded in overcoming all difficulties),24 but this is not the Unificationist goal.

Whether or not the Catch 22 situation of the relationship between the environment and the establishment of the Ideal Family can in fact be overcome, I cannot know. As a sociologist all I have tried to do is to indicate some of the tensions and costs inherent in attempts to establish the Ideal Family under present circumstances. It is plain that good will and the Blessing are not in themselves sufficient foundations for the Ideal Family. Whether the spiral is one that can be broken out of remains to be seen. That there are difficulties is indisputable. Perhaps the last word should be left to Rev. Moon:

The Bible says that your own family is your worst enemy. Even now in the 20th century this is a paradox, and people try to interpret it in their own way. If I am asked if I and my family have achieved this standard, I can confidently say yes. If you have not crossed over that threshold, then you have nothing to do with that. This is the Principle. It is not that I enjoy doing this, but it cannot be by-passed. If you are conducting laboratory experiments, you must do so in accord with natural law. Otherwise your experiments will fail. We cannot add and subtract at our will from Principle. I cannot do that and God cannot do so either. You have to tread on the path of Principle. How wonderful it would be if we could override it. As intelligent as I am, there is no other choice. I want to say OK and let you pass, but I cannot.25


1 I would like to express my thanks to the Social Science Research Council of Great Britain which has funded my research into the Unification Church.

2 Inter alia "Who'd Be a Moonie?" in Bryan Wilson, ed.. The Social Impact of New Religious Movements (Barrytown, N.Y.: Unif. Theo. Seminary, distr. Roseof Sharon Press, 1981).

3 Divine Principle (Washington, D.C: Holy Spirit Assn. for the Unif. of World Christianity. 1973).

4 Outline of the Principle: Level 4 (New York: Holy Spirit Assn. for the Umf. of World Christianity, 1980), p. 57.

5 Won Pil Kim, Father's Course and Our Life of Faith (London: Holy Spirit Assn. for the Unif. of World Christianity, 1982), p. 81.

6 Ibid., p. 91.

7 Principle Life, November 1979, p. 9.

8 Kim, pp. 145-46.

9 Ibid., p. 147.

10 Blessing Quarterly 1, no. 2: 23-24.

11 Blessing Quarterly 3, no. 2: 7.

12 Today's World (August 1981): 7.

13 Ibid., p. 17.

14 This was a headline used by the Daily Mail, against which the British Unification Church lost a libel action in 1981.

15 Matthew 10:35-36.

16 Luke 14:26.

17 "Identity within an Unorthodox Orthodoxy," in Identification and the Revival of Orthodoxy, eds. William Shaffir and Louis Greenspan, (Waterloo, One: Wiltnd Laurier Univ. Press, 1982.

18 Tomorrow's World (August 1981), p. 4.

19 Blessing Quarterly 3, no. 2: 8.

20 Some of the issues are discussed from a different perspective in Karl Popper, The Opeti Society and its Enemies (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1945).

21 See my "The Limits of Displacement: Two Disciplines Face Each Other" in Sociology and Theology: Alliance and Conflict, eds. D. Martin, J. Orme-Mills and W.S.F. Pickering, (Brighton, Eng.: Harvester Press, 1980).

22 I have discussed some of these in "Living the Divine Principle," Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 45, no. 1 (1978).

23 Kurt Wolff, The Sociology of Georg Simmel (New York: Free Press, 1950), p. 136.

24 See for example W.S.F. Pickering, "Hutterites and Problems of Persistence and Social Control in Religious Communities," Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions 44, no. 1 (1977).

25 Blessing Quarterly 3, no. 2: 8. 

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