Hermeneutics and Unification Theology - Edited by Darrol Bryant Durwood Foster

Witnessing, Evangelizing and Formation: The Hermeneutics of Style

Darrol Bryant: The first thing that I want to do is thank you, Dr. Durst, for this marvelous meal. I thought we might shift our focus somewhat this evening to the question of the lifestyle of the Unification movement. One of the ways to understand a movement other than looking at its theology is to look at its practice. We might call this the "hermeneutics of style." Anyway, I thought we might direct some specific questions to Dr. Durst about the Unification movement in the Bay Area. This seems to be the most controversial center, the most controversial part of the Unification movement in the United States. Let me begin by asking you. Dr. Durst, to say something about the kinds of institutions and organizations and communities that are a part of the movement here. Then, secondly, would you say something about the charges that have been leveled against the Creative Community Project? In particular, the charge that it is being deceptive because of its failure to make explicit its connections to the Unification Church.

Mose Durst: One of the things that inspired me about the Unification Church is that it was a movement to transform culture. When I saw things like the International Conferences on the Unity of the Sciences, the International Cultural Foundation, opera centers, Freedom Leadership Foundation and the News World,1 I saw the attempt to take every dimension of culture and to transform it. It was belief, from my own Jewish background, that religion if it was to have any meaning at all, had to have meaning in every dimension of life. The orthodox Jews perform 613 blessings. No matter what you do -- wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, start your tape recorder -- you say a blessing, every dimension of life has a sense of holiness. I was frustrated in art and teaching in that I could not experience that wholistic sense of life. I had training in humanistic psychology. I had been involved with many things. When I came into the Church, I felt that the principles of the movement were applicable to politics and economics. One could view the Principle as a management principle. I've had some training in management theory and I direct a small non-profit management corporation. The Principle is a management principle. It's management by objectives in the best sense. I always felt the necessity to deal not only with the Church as a church but also to relate the Church to many other areas of life.

I began with Dr. Bergman and some other people, "Judaism in Service to the World," which is my attempt to bridge the Jewish-Christian argument. That corporation is a non-profit corporation and still exists. I naively never realized how much hostility it would bring from the Jewish community. So very quickly, after I had seen the hostility, I down-played it. In fact we had a concert in which we brought the Tel Aviv String Quartet to the Fairmont Hotel. All of the money collected was supposed to go to the Jewish National Fund (JNF). I think it's the first example of the JNF refusing to take money from somebody. We had to give the check anonymously to the Jewish Welfare Federation because there was such hostility from the JNF. I thought that the great bridge we had with the Jewish community was the Soviet Jewry issue, because we're concerned about that, and many groups in the Bay Area are concerned about that. We sent volunteers to help Soviet Jewry groups in San Francisco. Of course, our people are all energetic and out to really accomplish something. One of the problems in the Jewish community is the need for volunteers. Our people went as volunteers and the Jewish community was completely convinced that we wanted to take over. We had a tremendous back-lash. So we withdrew from any active public involvement. We felt that on a one-to-one level we could have good relations with the Jewish community.

I started the Creative Community Project five years ago. I felt that there were many professionals in the Bay Area who not only did not want to involve themselves in any church, especially the Unification Church, and who didn't want to talk about God directly, but who wanted to live in a healthy community, a community with high ethical ideals. The great attraction of the Principle for me -- and I came after studying it for a long while and looking at the people -- was that it brought back my whole sense of the ethics of Judaism. For me, Judaism is essentially an ethical religion. The value I see in it is as an ethical tradition. When I came to the Unification Church, it was like, "There it is again." I had lost it somehow over the years. Buber had gotten me into all kinds of mystical things, like Hasidism, and somehow the practical ethics of community got lost somewhere. For me, the ethics of community are very important. I had a lot of friends who could not relate to the church, but who could relate to an ethical community of creative people working together. A number of professors who taught at U.C. Berkeley and other places would later move into our community, the Creative Community Project. They just wanted to be members of a community that was living a high ethical life. That was our purpose and at the same time it created a bridge for people who wanted to get involved in the Unification Church. What we wanted to do was involve people in a movement that was dedicated to making real God's ideal in the world. It seemed to me that everything Rev. Moon represented was to create projects that could relate to people. So the Creative Community Project was another way that I dreamed up, with a few other people who help me, of translating how I could reach professional people. That was the original idea.

In the Bay Area we also have the Unification Church, we have the MFT2, we have CARP, we have tables, as some of you know, in the Civic Center and Fisherman's Wharf where people say, "Hi! We're the Moonies. You've heard about us, but how much do you know about us?" We've got those tables, our MFT people wear little badges that say "Unification Church," others invite people to lectures. There are many ways in which we reach people.

Basically, however, I have felt that the way you communicate a religious idea to someone is as much by listening as by talking. I am on the streets witnessing maybe four hours a day. But what I do is I attempt to make a basis of relationship with someone. I see someone with a book. It may be by Ken Kesey. I teach literature. How do you make a relationship with someone? You go up and say, "Hi! How do you like that book?" You start a conversation. Realistically, that person is going to get on the bus in four minutes. I don't know if you've ever witnessed on the street and tried to invite someone over to your house in four minutes, but this is my existentialist frame. I've got four minutes to establish a credible, loving, trusting relationship with this person. My motivation is to find a way to give God's love to this person, to establish a relationship that we can build on. I may only have a chance to get this person's address so that I can call for coffee later on. I may only tell him later on that I am the director of the Unification Church in the Bay Area, and the director of the Creative Community Project and that I teach at Laney College, etc. My initial impulse is to establish a relationship. Once I've got a relationship, then I can explain a lot of other things. Who wants to talk about ontology and eschatology unless you happen to be really involved in those areas? I talk to a lot of people about the Yankees. I can make a good basis there. I can go way back on Yankee stuff. I've got down all the figures on the Yankees. I can bring more people to the Unification Church by starting out with the Yankees. It is all a matter of relationship. I don't want to lay a trip on anybody. I teach all our people first to establish a relationship, and not to lay a trip on anybody, not to kill anybody by shoving on them your insight or religious idealism. Understand where people are coming from. Listen to their heart. Listen to their ideas. Listen to their dreams, their aspirations, their hopes. Try to establish a positive basis of relationship so that you can follow up on it. That's the basic way of relating.

Project Volunteer is another project that deals with social service to the community. I teach at Laney -- Laney is an inner-city college. It has mostly black, brown and oriental people. I came there in the '60s when it was an example of a multi-racial urban campus. I was interested in the anti-war movement, and it was the home of the anti-war movement, outside of Cal-Berkeley. Laney College: that was where it was at. I was always interested in community things. I'm on the Oakland Committee for Aging, I was on the Oakland Committee for Economic Development. I'm involved with community. So as an extension of this, what do I do? I create a Project Volunteer that can serve the community. All of our literature says: "Associated with and independent of the Unification Church." We work now with about 100 groups throughout the State. Everybody knows from our literature that we're Unification Church, but we don't go up to someone and say, "Look. We want to give you food. We're from the Unification Church." We say, "Look. We are from Project Volunteer. Here's our literature to read if you want to read it and find out all about us. Our purpose is to serve the community and neighborhood. We're going to ship food to Zaire, if you want to come down and bring your volunteers to help us load it on the train, fine." It's all out there. Our desire is to serve a purpose. If they want to know our background, they can. If they involve themselves at all with us, it's all out there so that they can see what they are involving themselves with. It's true that three years ago we did not have on our evening program form the full outline of the Unification Church and its background. As soon as it was brought to our attention that this was a difficulty, we changed. Anybody who comes over to our centers or has any involvement with us at all, knows it's directly connected with the Unification Church. If they come to the Church directly, there's no problem. For every seminar that anyone goes to, a person must sign a form that indicates that it's a project sponsored by the Unification Church.

But we are constantly criticized in the media for not announcing immediately that we are Moonies. But when I'm witnessing, in my heart I'm saying, "Heavenly Father, how can I find Your long-lost children? How can You use me as an instrument of Your love. The world is suffering." I give lectures every night. Most people do not have the foggiest idea of ethics at all. Especially young people. They don't have any idea about it. I feel that if I just give them an ethical framework in which to think about ethical questions, it's valuable, whether or not they come to a seminar, involve themselves with the Church or anything. I feel an obligation as God's son to serve my brothers and sisters, to give them something of value. If they then want to pursue that, then there are all kinds of ways to do that.

How do you lecture to people? You can't just lecture, "Believe this or die." At least you can't from my framework. My background in literature says that you must please people to teach people. So you have to make instruction funny, you have to give them Jewish humor from New York. You give them anything that will make them laugh, because if you just give them something like, "OK, here's the Truth, and this is going to be good for you, take it or die," nobody's going to receive that. Who wants to work for the goodness of the world? Everybody is looking for self-benefit, so if you can make him see that self-benefit is connected with the goodness of the world, great. So when people come over at night, they have a wonderful experience. Everybody in our family, in our Church in the Bay Area, says, "Look, you must give God's love and God's truth to the people. Truly serve them. You be God, you act as Jesus Christ to these people. What would you do if you were Jesus, and you had these people for two hours? How would you serve them, how would you love them, how would you care for them? Be like God to these people." So they have a tremendous loving experience. They're in an environment where everybody's loving them, caring for them. They may think, "Wow, this is far out. This is really kooky." They may think this is something special. So they come to a seminar, and they are really loved, because we are trying to think about role-playing God.

The central core of the Unification Church teaching and practice is to develop God-centered love. The thing that I have learned in the Unification Church is that the way in which I can resemble God most is through my heart, developing God's heart, and taking responsibility in my heart for other human beings. So everybody is trained to develop God's heart.

How well do we do it? We carry with us all the old baggage from wherever we came from, but at least everybody is thinking about, "How can I give God's love, God's heart, to my guest, my friend, my mom and dad, my neighbor, my uncle, whoever is at the seminar." And they genuinely have a transforming experience. They are loved like they've never been loved in their whole life. People genuinely care for their guests. They think, "This is my child, and I am God. Here is my son or daughter whom I have been missing for 6000 years. I have to serve this person with everything I've got. I may be tired, I may have a cold, it doesn't matter." Why do the people in the Church inspire me? Because I see that even when they are sick, they are out there, completely for other people. That for me was Christ's love, and it transformed my whole life to know what that meant.

So, people have a tremendous experience. They're loved up: they're given the way, the truth and the life and the love, imitations of Christ. That's the path they are shown. Once they've received that love, they feel real good. Then after two days or seven days or 21 days, they realize, "Uh, oh. I have to start giving it back." In other words, they come back into the city, and they go back to school, or back to work, or whatever they're doing with their life. And there is the crisis point in their spiritual life, because they realize, "My goodness, I've got to take responsibility for my own life. I've got to create this ideal." That's the transition to mature spiritual life, the beginning of the journey for a lot of people.

Some people have their faith broken. When they are kidnapped they are told, "The people didn't love you, don't you see, it was all just a nice environment, everybody was singing 'You are my sunshine," you were looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, and that's what did it. It was just everybody making believe that they were loving you and you were never loved before and you are only 23 and you are on a journey and blah, blah." The critics focus on all the external reasons why people change. Even though those things are true, they were genuinely offered God's love and a way of life that for me is the central core of Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Principle is not some weird, freaky idea; it's the core of my Jewish experience, and the core of what I have studied of Christianity. But it means taking it seriously 24 hours a day.

I was an existentialist-Marxist before I came to the Unification Church, so for me the idea of taking responsibility for every thought, every feeling, every action, was liberating -- because I knew I had to do it. There was a framework of absurdity in which I had to do it -- Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. All of a sudden I had a kind of responsibility which was complete and total, for everything: the way you look at someone, the way you move, the way you fall on the ground. If you fall on the ground, do it with grace, do it with a sense of purpose, with beauty

Many people have been deeply moved by their experience here. But sometimes, even from within the Church, we get persecution; some say we in Northern California are horizontal while everybody else in the movement is vertical in orientation. That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. How can you possibly love people all the time unless you're centered on God? If you weren't you'd just get wiped out. You couldn't possibly do it. We're probably the most orthodox Moonies in the whole world because we believe you have to be joyful and give God's love when you are hurting. That's the difficult part. To actually extend to people and witness on the streets when your back hurts, and to give God's love when you can't even talk, that's really being out there for people. It's very exhilarating, too, when people get into it. "Wow, this is really exciting, this is incredible. We are revolutionaries! W e are going to build the Kingdom, today! In fact, this is the Kingdom." Sometimes, even people in our Church are overwhelmed. "These people really believe they are creating the Kingdom!" In other words, we often have leaders who have been in the Church a long time, who think, "Well, the Kingdom is way out there " or "There's a symbolic Kingdom, and maybe someday." We believe God is creating the Kingdom now, tonight, this moment! And every moment, we have to make it sacred. If you look at brothers and sisters, you have to treat them as God. We absolutely cannot tolerate anything else but that. If you're spacing out, you should know that you're spacing out. You can do it if you want to, but take responsibility for it. So it becomes a very responsible life. People for the first time in their life, think, "Religion isn't a space-out, it is a love-in." And all of a sudden, Wow! You've got to take complete responsibility for acting like Christ each moment. It sets in motion all kinds of things. A young member will call his parents at home and say, "Gee, Mom and Dad. I just discovered Christianity. Why didn't you tell me all my life? You're a minister, where are you at?" The people we get, as Dr. Judah knows, are often people who come from good families and yet there is a vacuum, that big hole and then something happens. They don't find in the culture the reinforcement of very old values. So we give it to them.

Neil Duddy: I'm really glad to hear you say that you are a servant to the people in the Bay Area. I'm especially pleased that you are supporting and encouraging service, having folks in the Unification movement see themselves as servants of Christ, as His agents and models of transformation. I'm particularly glad to hear you say it because of your position here in the Unification Church.

But there are still some problems. As recently as November 1978 I know of two people who went across the Berkeley campus and were approached by folks supporting the Creative Community who, when asked if it was associated with the Unification Church, refused to answer. In the fall, also, there were a couple of folks out near College Avenue soliciting funds in wheelchairs. But they really didn't have any injury. In talking to them they just said that being out and soliciting funds for the Church is a hard job and the "wheelchairs help us avoid blisters on our feet." That is rather difficult to appreciate. I think that these kinds of incidents serve as points of fixation for people in the media. The media attaches itself to things that can create stigmas very easily. They are things that are visible, things that are titillating, things that are fascinating and things that should be avoided.

Darrol Bryant: (to Mose Durst) Do you know about this?

Neil Duddy: I was in Boston three weeks ago, and the same incident occurred out there. After talking with them for about five minutes and pursuing it further, I could determine they were members of the Unification Church. It was very touchy, and I realized the volatile nature of it.

Mose Durst: There are people in the Church who do fund-raise in wheelchairs. The reason for that is, at least for the ones I know of, that their legs actually hurt, and they do have medical problems. I have fund-raised and one of the most existential experiences in my life is going 16 hours on the streets with two bunches of roses in my hands and asking people to buy them. When you are walking up to them your whole life flashes in front of you. You begin wondering why you're here. And if you go many hours a day, day in and day out, you start hurting, you really start hurting. Everybody here who is a member of the Church has fund-raised. A lot of people do have problems with their legs, and I know that even when they get into wheelchairs, usually they'll sit in parking lots or places like that. I wish there were some easier way to make money for the Church. In the older churches there are tithings and ways in which the established members of the community can fund church causes. I've been in the Fairmont Hotel when a million dollars for the United Jewish Fund was raised in a few minutes. I was invited to hear our Israeli diplomat. He gave a little talk for 30 minutes, and after he finished explaining the crisis in Israel, which we all knew about anyway, they brought out the Israel bonds. In about 30 minutes they collected a million dollars. Everybody there was just obliged. The reason they were invited was that they were expected to give x thousands of dollars to the Jewish Fund.

Unfortunately, our movement is young in America, and to do the kinds of things that we do, we are willing to put ourselves on the line. My wife was an early missionary here. She worked at two jobs, she lectured, she was the only person when she came to Oakland, and she founded the Oakland Unification Church by herself. She had tuberculosis for a year as well as numerous other sicknesses. Her story is just like the missionaries of all the great religions. It was only after the foundation was built that something substantial could happen. But back to the wheelchair business: people should identify themselves and they should only use wheelchairs if there is a real need, not for some kind of phony reason.

Neil Duddy: In talking with the woman we simply tried to tell her what our response was and to encourage her to take a day off, that God's grace really couldn't find its fullness in her stressful situation. She needed a day off. Or she should go out and get a different job so that she could strengthen her legs a bit. The amount of empathy drawn by folks soliciting funds from wheelchairs and things of that nature borders closely on deception. Conversely, it's interpreted by the solicitor as a tremendous act demonstrating spirituality and an attempt to accomplish God's Kingdom.

Mose Durst: One of the greatest problems that I find is that our leadership is often so young. It would be nice if they came in at the age of thirty of forty, as I came in. One of the great frustrations for me is that people in our own movement do not understand the depth or the comprehensiveness of the Principle. They're looking for a savior, they're looking for something to get high on, they're looking for something and don't realize that Christianity is a really big, heavy, deep thing. It's going to change their whole life, and they have to develop a great maturity to deal with the largeness of Jesus Christ. So they do all kinds of things that are just shocking to me. Let me give you an example. Daphne Greene is one of the great critics of the Church. Before her son came into the Church, we knew everything about him. We knew he was on drugs, we knew he was an unstable guy, we knew he was going to cause a lot of potential problems, but what was our option? Well, we've got to give God's love to everybody. Welcome Mr. Greene. It's like Jesus -- when Judas betrayed him, it wasn't the first time. It couldn't have been the first time. Jesus must have known where Judas was at. He must have betrayed him many times. But what was Jesus' option? All He could do was love him. That is what we are about: developing loving hearts and that is risky.

There are people in the movement who are completely off the page with Rev. Moon. Rev. Moon is trying to love the people, serve the people, anything, bend over backwards and do flips to make people comfortable. He's scrupulous in every activity. And here people do all these off-the-page activities. Even me. I wish that we could, in one sense, brainwash the members, in the sense that we could tell somebody to do something and ask them to please do it carefully. It's incredible what people will do. Our bookkeeper forgot to pay a mortgage on a property for five months. How could he forget to pay the thing for five months? In another house there is this balloon payment of the mortgage.

How could you forget to read the contract? I lost some of my hair before the Church, but I've lost a lot more since the Church.

Millions of things come up that I would never have realized. I'm responsible for dealing with the media. We have a project at Booneville and much of the persecution here in California started about five years ago when NBC did a hatchet job on us. They flew over Booneville and took pictures of a barbed wire fence. There's about 50 feet of barbed wire on 700 acres at Booneville. It's an old sheep ranch. You couldn't lock the place in if you wanted to. The National Guard couldn't secure the place. Anyway, they took pictures of the barbed wire, and they blocked out the back so it looked like a concentration camp. The film was aired on NBC and made us look like real zombies. Before this film we'd never had a gate in Booneville, nothing was there. People could just come in and out. We had good relations with the neighbors. The film was shown on Thursday and, sure enough, starting on Friday night all the joy-riders from Cloverdale and Ukiah and Santa Rosa decided, "Let's go and harrass the Moonies." Beer cans were thrown all over the place, people started coming into the seminar, people started stealing the tools in the barn. So what do we do? Smart people that we are, we put up a gate, saying, "No Trespassing." That's all we needed to do. Sunday morning in the Chronicle, here's the next Moonie headline, "No Trespassing Gate!" What a foreboding and forbidding place! It was kind of stupid of us to do that, obviously, and not to figure that it was going to lead to more complications. One thing like that leads to another. Dealing with media, learning how to smile when they have the cameras on you, teaching our people on the street how to speak to people. Those are the difficulties.

Matthew Morrison: On the wheelchair issue, I know that when I was directing fund-raising in Los Angeles, it was brought to the attention of Mr. Salonen who is president of the American Unification Church. He issued a state-wide bulletin that no one was allowed, unless they had casts on their legs, to use wheelchairs. I had a member who had a broken leg, and he was forbidden to use a wheelchair.

Mose Durst: When I came to the "family," or the "family" came to me, I had a big house in Piedmont and people just moved into my house. There were just a few members in our Church at that time in Oakland. What was the process of raising money? Everything was run loosely. I got my paycheck from school and it went into a common pot. Whoever needed money, used it. It's a family. I wasn't worried about tax-exemption. I was a Marxist-existentialist professor, so who is worried about a deduction from the government? You just gave whatever you had. One guy was going to Cal, and I gave him his expenses. Someone else got some money from a relative and they just threw it into the pot. If we could send money back East to help the national Church, we did. Actually, that was a priority. Everybody was like brothers and sisters living in a family. When it was an emergency, you helped out. Your car was anybody's car.

Then as we grew we had to develop books, records, receipts and a formal accounting system. Try being a Moonie and get auto insurance, that's an interesting one. You ought to try it sometime. It's impossible to get auto insurance that isn't outrageously expensive for our five vans. Nobody will insure you. Now we have an organization; it's a huge organization with insurance and buildings and property and other things. Here I am, a literature professor, worried about car insurance, and liability insurance and land, how to deal with the media and the sewer system that is polluting the well of the next-door neighbor. All of these things are just incredibly complicated. Even with the best intentions, things bring about complexity without our wanting them to. And when things go wrong it takes years to straighten them out.

Take our bad image with the media. Take for instance somebody not identifying himself as a Church member. A number of people, when they begin witnessing are gun-shy. They're afraid to talk to anybody. It's not easy to go up to anybody on the street and stop them and start talking. People will think you're funny, some will abuse you, it happens every day. It's difficult. I've done it for years, and it's difficult. It's not easy going up to somebody and starting a conversation, especially for a young person who may be shy. But we encourage everybody: "Do you love God? Well, you have to care for people. You have to speak to them, bring them. We have to establish a foundation for our movement." Who's going to bring the members so they can go to the Seminary and go to all these places. We have a seminary, hospitals in Japan -- where do the personnel come from? W e bring them from the streets. How do we bring them? You have to talk to people. But it's not easy. So especially with all the persecution going on, people become extra shy. Then they wouldn't say anything if someone would ask, "Are you a member of the Unification Church?" -- "Oh, no, not me,I was just walking down the street." We give so many talks to people: "Please identify yourself." At the very least, deception is counterproductive. Anything you do will come out in the open. Anything you do, whether it be in your closet or wherever, you've got to assume it's a public act. Every private act has public implications. And it's counterproductive in the most basic way either to try and deceive people or to try and say you are not who you are.

It's true, we've had to learn practical things, like writing on every form exactly who we are. If people sign up for a seminar, they know about the Church. You have to get it all out in black and white. At first we didn't do that. So there was a certain process. We didn't feel people were committing themselves to anything, they were just coming to a seminar. Later all these things got heavy in the press with accusations of our not being willing to cross our t's and dot our i's. But it's been a real process of learning. For me one of the most valuable things is to have healthy critics. When Dr. Frederick Sontag came up and went to our seminar, he gave us all kinds of advice. We followed everything he suggested, including clearly writing on the forms the name of the Church. With Project Volunteer, we made it clear from the very beginning that it was sponsored by the Church. But it took time for us to learn those things.

Darrol Bryant: Isn't it true that a fairly high percentage of people come into the Church through the Bay Area?

Mose Durst: Well, we like to think we get a few.

Virginia Hearn: Could you tell us what an average workshop is like?

Mose Durst: Our members will meet someone on the street and invite them over to have dinner. It's a warm environment. Then we have entertainment. The idea is that through music, song and a heavenly environment we can open a person's heart so that they can be receptive to new ideas. We believe that the heart is the way to the mind. Love is the basis by which you know something. To know something is to love something, and to love something is to be open to knowledge. We have dinner and entertainment, then I'll give a very brief talk which is an overview of the Principle. We will invite people to either a one or two day seminar. One of the ways that we bring in a number of people is that we have one day seminars every day, 365 days a year in every center. Every day it is at the same time: at six o'clock we have dinner, 6:45 the entertainment, 7:15 the lecture begins and at 9:00 the bus goes up to the land. This happens every night, 365 days a year. It's like business. If you want to make a successful business, you open the store at 7 a.m. and you close it at midnight. You're bound to hit a certain number of customers. But we are not looking to collect members. We're looking to transform our own lives by loving someone else. Our basic belief is that the best way to transform ourselves is by helping someone else grow in God's love.

Today is a holiday for us. It's the Day of All Things. After I left the conference last night, our "family" had a pledge service where we rededicated ourselves to God. We went to our Holy Ground in San Francisco and prayed for the Bay Area and the State of California. We came back at 2:30 in the morning. That was the beginning of our day, it's our way of praying for the whole area.

So anyway, they come to the evening program. Then they can go to a one or a two day seminar. The seminar will begin in the morning. They will wash in the morning, have exercises, breakfast, each will share a little bit about his or her life. There will be a lecture at 11 o'clock which will last about an hour. We believe in lectures that are short enough that people can tolerate them. Another part of our belief is that people have an attention span of 45 minutes to an hour fora serious lecture. After that we have a group meeting where people discuss the lecture and bring out various points. The group leader will seek to discuss certain key points in the lecture. No matter what way the discussion goes, the ideal is at least to bring out those key points and deal with them. The purpose of our seminar is to show each individual that he's a child of God, that it's possible to build a world that reflects God's love, and we hope that these people, by seeing us as examples of people who are working to develop God's love, can have hope for their lives. So we seek to give hope, love and life to people in that day. That is our purpose.We believe that you've got to give people hope, and you've got to give them joy by teaching them a way in which they can transform their lives and transform the world around them.

Then we have lunch. Then they play dodge ball. They jump up and down, it's very enthusiastic. We use the dodge ball or the kick ball or the volley ball as an example, as a means by which to show a person that the degree to which he actually participates in an experience determines what he gets out of it. It's a very revealing activity about a person and his way of being in the world. There are people who are just sort of hiding in the background. There are people who avoid the game, saying, "Well, it's too violent." Some say, "Well, I like to watch other people do it." Many things come out in that kind of game. It's an incredible learning experience. We do that, then we have wash-up or whatever, then there's another lecture at 4:00 on the Fall. The first lecture was on the Principle of Creation. There's a group meeting after the second lecture. The third lecture is about 5:30 and it's on Restoration, or the Mission of Jesus. Then there is dinner and later there will be entertainment. The process of entertainment is to create a skit or a song to try and exemplify in some concrete way what they've learned during the day. It's not just hearing words. The idea of the day is to act in such a way as to make the ideas real. The day should be a transforming experience. In the evening then, we have entertainment and it's usually a very moving experience. Then at 10:00 we have a final sharing of what the day was like for each one. If it's a two-day seminar, we ask, "What do you look forward to for tomorrow?" We try to encourage people to take responsibility and set goals. People go to sleep at 11:00.

The staff of the seminar then evaluates each person: How is this person? What does he need? Where is he coming from? What are his values and his ideals? What did you learn from him? What can we teach him? What does he need tomorrow? How were the people in your group? Were the family members really responsible for other people, or were they just spacing out? What was the relationship of the words which we spoke to the actions which we were doing? For me, the evening lecture is a prayer. It's a check on my day. I see to what degree I'm living the words that are coming out of my mouth. So the lectures on the weekend are not just meant to be heard over and over again. They are meant to grow another human being: to see to what degree you're living your own ideals. We use it as a check on our own lives, an alignment, a spiritual alignment. So that's how we end the day. Usually the whole thing is a very moving experience. Even if people disagree with all the ideas, they realize, "Well, they're good people, and I wish them well."

We have a bus that goes down every night. Those people who want to leave get on the bus and go home. People who want to stay -- we encourage people to stay -- stay. They might stay for two, seven, or 21 days. Then they will come back into the city and participate in some way in the life of the city. We have people of all sorts: engineers, professors, doctors, young people. One of the unique features of the Bay Area is that we do have people who work at a full-time or a part-time job, or go to school and have normal lives. We have that kind of flexibility, and we find that it draws more people to our movement here to have that range of activities that a person can do. It gives us a basis of relating to almost everybody in the community. Our Project Volunteer, our Professional Society, and our Neighborhood Program are three programs that reach everybody in the community. They reach throughout the State of California.

In case you are wondering, about 15% of our people support the other 85%. In other words we minimize fund-raising. It's true that the 15% that do fund-raising go out for two or three weeks and work real hard. When they come back, another group goes out and they raise the money that supports the other 85% of the people. The reason for that is that we find it's more important to bring people than to bring money. You can't do the activities unless you pay the mortgages and bills. I don't know if you've ever been involved in running a church, but to pay the bills on x number of properties, and vehicles and health care and all the other expenses that a member has -- and we pay everything -- is a big task. Unless they've got a rich uncle or aunt or a parent who's willing to pay it we pay it. Most people will not ask their parents.

Virginia Hearn: Do you ever charge people?

Mose Durst: We charge everybody who comes to our seminar $20 for the weekend and $50 for the week. We used to try and give the seminars free, but it was counterproductive. People got nothing out of it. They felt, "Well, I'm getting it for free, it's not worth anything." So we charge everybody. Everybody who comes to our programs has to pay because we feel that we are giving a professional service. Our image, our activities and our functions are as professional as anything I've ever been involved in. We are professionals, we give a very professional seminar. They are going to get their money's worth. EST charges $300. We charge $20 for the weekend or $50 for the week.

Virginia Hearn: I have a lot of admiration for that kind of dynamic, but what motivates you? In the years of your commitment to the church, have you ever found that in spite of your good intentions your selfish cussedness comes to the fore and in a given relationship or relationships, you have really been hurtful, perhaps seriously hurtful? If so, what is your response to that?

Mose Durst: Well, that has certainly happened. It probably happens every day. My wife, thank God, is the kind of person who upholds the standard that before the sun sets, everything must be cleared. Although we have hurt each other, the Principle that we live by is a redemptive principle. Christ loves a redemptive life. We are here to love each other, not to judge each other or to hurt each other, although we may do a lot of judging and a lot of hurting. That's real, and that is our life. We are in a growth process. The only thing that saves me, personally -- and it's in my relationship to my wife -- is that standard where before we hit the sack, before we put our heads on the pillow, we get on our knees and pray and make sure that our hearts are clear. The most beautiful thing in my life is when we wake up in the morning at 5 o'clock, and my wife and I get down on our knees and pray to God that God can guide us through the day, so that we might be of service to Him. When we go to sleep at night, we get down on our knees and pray that we have helped Him in some way, and that our hearts are unburdened in our love for each other, in our love for the "family," our love for the world, and our love for God. That's the only thing that allows me to renew my day. When I teach my classes, sometimes I'm short with a student. I may be impatient. So each day I must go into my office and close the door and pray that God will forgive me and allow me to be tolerant to my students, allow me to be open to them and to listen to them, not just to the words they speak, but to their hearts and soul. But I have my shortcomings and I don't always do that. But my great hope and my great joy is that I believe in a redemptive Lord. I've experienced it, I've seen it work. It's the only way out of what I see as the tragedy of human life. Rev. Moon has a famous speech called "Victory Over Resentment." As I've experienced the world, everybody has been hurt by life and everybody hurts others, and everybody therefore has some reason to resent the world, be bitter about something. The only way out is that divine love, that redemptive love, Christ's love.

Virignia Hearn: And if someone comes to you and says, "How come you're so different?" what do you say?

Mose Durst: Well, ultimately I try to explain to him that I try to live by ideals. It's the ideal that is transforming my life. All that I can share with them is my ideal and my person. I'm a unique person as is everyone else. If you get to know people in the Unification Church you will find that the more they're involved in the Church the more unique they are. The people I know are the most unique batch of people I've ever met. If you share a common ideal, it allows you to trust that you can be unique. For example, if we share a common ideal, it allows us to be vulnerable. If you love your husband and he loves you, you share an ideal in common. You can be vulnerable and make mistakes. He's not going to slam you. He may say, "Darling, you've made a terrible mistake, let me help you." There's a heart of love, even if he wants to correct you. So the same thing applies to the world. W e can become more unique and vulnerable, if we share an ideal or a value that can embrace the depth of the self and the depth of the other. If we can truly respect the other in the most fundamental way, see divinity in the other, even if that person is not acting divinely, then we are developing a heart of love. It's real, it's not an illusion. Underneath that rough exterior there is a divine soul, and that's what we have to relate to. Why do we smile all the time? Because we are trying to relate to God within ourselves and to the God within others. Even though we, like everyone else, feel a whole range of emotions -- anger, frustration, whatever -- the question is, what do we do with our emotions? In the 60's you could just dump everything out on somebody else and feel, "Well, now I'm authentic." Real authenticity for us is the alignment of our individual feeling with a deeper purpose. It's a relationship that is important to us -- to other people, to God -- and the redemptive love that guides the relationship.

Virginia Hearn: To what do you attribute the animosity of ex-members?

Mose Durst: I, for one, have really tried to explore that because it's been so painful to me. They are often people I've loved and lived with. It's been the most baffling experience of my whole life. I think it has to do with the betrayal of love which is always painful, and the betrayal of love with such viciousness is just an added dimension of pain. Let me try to explain what I mean. I believe that in our movement people have genuinely experienced love, often it's a love that they never experienced before. And when they are somehow led to believe, for whatever reasons, that the love was false, they are very angry. Usually this process is one of breaking their faith. The same love that was directed in a constructive way, now, all of a sudden, becomes this lashing out, this hate. Literally it's hate, that's all it is. It's a desire to inflict pain on the object that you once loved. That's one dynamic that goes on.

In addition, people feel very bitter if they come to believe that they have been betrayed in love, that it isn't real, that it was all phony. They feel manipulated: my love was abused. I think that's the sense that many people have when they've had their faith broken, when they come to distrust what they had experienced in the "family." I think it's tragic that they come to feel that way. My experience of people who have dropped out, the ones who have become really vicious against the Church, it's like they never were here, ever! Of all the things they had experienced here they don't seem to remember any. It's like it never existed. This is another thing that I do not understand to this day, how can that happen? Their way of life afterwards is often an indication that nothing ever happened when they were here.

But basically, I see the animosity of former members as a dynamic revolving around the betrayal of love. There are other kinds of subsidiary things, but that's the main thing. People feel betrayed. They feel that they were manipulated, that they were abused, that the ideals that they were hopeful about and felt were real, really were not real, that the people they trusted and loved so much were really trying to deceive them. I think that it would be very painful to feel that way. But, fortunately I don't feel that way. I'm not worried. What Rev. Moon has done for me is to give me a basis for dealing with life in a much more profound and beautiful way. Even if, God forbid, he is storing up bucks in Tarrytown, I hope that my love is deep enough to redeem him, because he's given me a tremendous desire to deal in a loving way with difficult problems. I would think that people who feel that in some manner we have abused them would seek in some way to redeem us. They don't. They want to destroy us with a passion. That's what I don't understand. There is no desire to have real, honest dialogue. Of all the people who have been kidnapped -- and that's really the only way that people have turned against us, people have left our family here who say we're OK, but they simply "can't do it" -- no one has ever come back and sat down with me and explained what was wrong, or what their new experience was; no one has ever come back or confronted me directly over all the years.

Lewis Rambo: How many would you estimate that number to be?

Mose Durst: I would say that in all the years I've been here there must have been about 40 people who have been kidnapped, and not one has ever come back to sit down with me and explain what happened.

Neil Duddy: Was Christopher Edwards here?

Mose Durst: Yes. Here's a person who had a very difficult time loving people. He came from a very wealthy east coast family. He went to Yale, was very intellectual, but completely unable to love. He was on a lot of drugs when he came here. He hadn't been living with his parents when he came here. He lived with a couple who were doing, ironically as it turns out, these mind control experiments. It is curious, almost funny, that almost all the things that people accuse us of are usually things that they have been involved with in their own lives. Here's a guy who, for the most part, ran his own show. He was a tutor to the children, he was working on establishing a school. He read all the books he wanted to read. He had done a study on Hegel when he was at Yale, so we'd have all these discourses on Hegel. Our relationship was very intellectual. He read everything and basically did whatever he wanted to do. He wasn't really a solid member because he couldn't take the normal schedule of our life. So he lived in our professional house on Regent Street and actually followed pretty much his own schedule. He was not under any pressure at all.

But what happened was that his dad came to Hearst Street house to a lecture. Afterwards, we asked him if he had any questions. "No," he replied with this bright smile, and bright eyes. He loved everything. "Oh, everything was wonderful, I'm so happy my son is here." The next day Jessica -- the girl who served us hors d'oeuvres earlier -- and Chris were in the car. Ted Patrick and his goon squad took Jessica and threw her ten feet out of the car, stole her purse and grabbed Chris Edwards by the hands and feet, and threw him kicking and screaming into a van with bars on it.

That's the last we saw of him. That was the end of Chris Edwards; we never heard from him again. Then we heard that he was involved back East with others trying to break people's faith. The guy had a lot of problems in being able to love people. He experienced a genuine love and it moved him very deeply. When he was taken -- I know the process that Patrick puts people through -- his love and his ideals and his faith were broken. So he came to believe, somehow, that his experience was all betrayal, it was all false. Everybody was singing, "You are my Sunshine" and talking about the heavenly Kingdom and all that. It's such a cheap caricature. It's like spiritual pornography. Like being a pickpocket and going up to saints and only seeing their pockets. That's the level the book is at: a prostitute looking at the St. Francis Hotel and seeing everybody as a potential customer. That's the kind of sensibility that book comes from. He was a very delicate person who was just beginning to blossom.

Darrol Bryant: How long had he been here?

Mose Durst: A few months. Most of the time he was still into his own schedule. He was very egoistic. He wasn't that special, by our standards, but he said he was. He went to Yale so he put a lot of emphasis on that. Actually, all the people we get here are pretty sharp. Christina is Phi Beta Kappa at Cal, Mike has got all these keys, many that join our movement have degrees and awards and keys. We could melt down the Phi Beta Kappa keys and fill up a trunk. He wasn't unique. We get pretty high level people.

What we do with everybody is to determine, "What can he do, what does he like to do? How can we broaden him out?" We saw that Chris was interested in education, so we let him work on a school. We tried to really grow him, to let him do his thing. We tried to draw him out gradually and to let him see that he's responsible to other people. It's a process. Our style out here is that we try to deal very individually with each person. We have to let them unfold. Each person is very unique, and we try to baby everybody. Sometimes we let people do things that are completely selfish and off the page, but they are just growing.

Darrol Bryant: I think that your response to Professor Rambo's question is a partial one in the sense that it offers a kind of psychological explanation about why people become the way they become when they go through deprogramming. But there is another dimension to the whole phenomenon that is related to some socio-political forces in our society. Let me give you an example. I came here and went through the weekend up at Camp K. It was a very interesting experience for me, and a deeply moving one. The only thing you forgot to mention in your description of Camp K was how much they sing on the weekend. I hadn't sung so much in the past half-dozen years of my life put together, as I did in that weekend. Anyway, after that I went back to Canada, and not more than a month later, I had a call from a woman from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) who subsequently came out here to California. She was working for The Fifth Estate, a CBC public affairs program. They have an hour show once a week, and it's usually half an hour on one subject and half an hour on another. It has, I think, a fairly good reputation. The CBC has, for me, an extremely good reputation. I think of it as a tremendous system, and they do very, very fine work. She was interested in doing something on new religions, and had seen my name somewhere or other, and wondered if she might talk with me. So she came out to Waterloo and met with me and Rod Sawatsky who has also been involved in the study of the Unification Church. We spent a day with her and gave her all kinds of material. We got all kinds of assurances from her about her concern to give a fair treatment of the movement. I gave her your name and Christina's name, and told her about my experience here and other people in the Unification movement that I had met. She really traded in on that conversation with Rod and me in terms of making contact with various people. So they came out here and they did the show. And it was some show! It turned out not to be on the new religions, but specifically on the Unification Church. It presented the whole thing along the lines of ours being an age when people are seeking simple answers to complex questions. And one of the worst groups trading on this simple-mindedness is the Unification Church.

There had been an agreement that they might film Camp K. And Eric, the commentator on the show, posed as a person who happened to be on Fisherman's Wharf and was met by a member of the Unification Church. He went along to a Friday night meal and then the weekend. They showed a lot of things from Camp K, and what they showed was very fine. But they had to overlay it with a lot of commentary so that people wouldn't misunderstand what was going on. We saw people playing volley ball and listening to lectures and talking and singing and generally enjoying themselves. But the commentary said that there was something sinister going on here. Things weren't as they appeared to be. They also showed a Unification center not far from Toronto. But how did they shoot it? There's a barbed wire fence around this rural property. They shot the house on the hill through the barbed wire fence so that all you could really see is the barbed wire fence and the house is sort of indistinctly there in the background. It just blew me away. They interviewed several people on the show, but not one person who had any training in religious studies or theology. What's in it for those people to do that? They had never had any kind of relationship with the Unification Church. That's an additional part of the puzzle: the social forces that seem to be at work here to make it very, very important to discredit this movement, and show how terrible it is. I think you need to add a socio-political component to your understanding of what is happening.

Neil Duddy: We have had media come through, particularly since November, and they ask questions about different groups. It's very obvious from the beginning that they have a pre-set disposition. Some of that comes from the general backlash to a number of groups having, what we refer to as, an "esoteric gap." Some of the New Age religious movements have a habit of presenting themselves in a way that exposes as little as possible right in the beginning. They only present what is palatable and digestable. As the person makes more of a commitment, there is more knowledge given. When a person is about to move from being a disciple to becoming a teacher, he may find if he really evaluates the knowledge that he was initially taught and what he now knows about the entire commitment, that what he initially thought the group was about and what he now knows the group to be about are different. Things have become twisted. That can be a very disconcerting thing.We have to tell people that, yes, there are esoteric groups. But not everyone is in that category. Some people will tell you the story straight from the beginning. But with the media there is a big problem there. There's a tendency to assume that everything has an "esoteric gap" behind it, because some groups do. The group that I've been particularly studying spent $40,000 in the United States last year buying advertisements in different newspapers, giving what is a basic confession of Evangelical Christianity. It's just amazing, but what they really believe and how they practice it in their church has no resemblance to what they say they are in public. The media picks up on these discrepancies particularly when they are buying media time. A number of groups embody that type of process. So it is difficult for the media. It's very hard, when you do have a group that's being straight-forward, to convince the media to trust them, that that's what they really believe and there's nothing behind it.

Lewis Rambo: I don't know about the news media presentation, but I would say that this is a general problem in our society. How often have you seen a standard, conservative Christian group portrayed realistically? For example, in a film, it's generally a caricature of some kind or another. The preacher is usually put down either by the film or by the audience as somebody who is a demagogue.

Dagfinn Aslid: I used to work with the Norwegian radio, and I've done some free-lance journalism. I know the temptation to scandalize and dichotomize to portray something that has news value. It's very exciting to watch the revelation of what is really happening under the surface of things. I think that is quite an important factor in television in this country in the portrayal of religious groups. There seems to be a great need to play up the image of animosity between poor parents and victimized kid who has fallen prey to some sect.

Jonathan Wells: I wanted to make a theological point. It concerns "heavenly deception" which I presume everyone here has heard about. It's often alleged that this is a practice of the Unification Church. It is not. The basis for the allegation is, I believe, found in the Unification account of Jacob's course in which the Bible says that Jacob deceived Esau. And not only that, but Rebecca deceived Isaac and there is a whole set of deception stories there. The Unification Church says that actually it was God's will that Jacob did what he did. I saw an evangelical version of the Jacob story on television a few months back which said exactly the same thing. Some claim, on this basis, that the Unification Church teaches its members to systematically deceive people. That is not true. Yet the allegation persists. I think the public has an almost subliminal conviction that the Unification Church in fact teaches "heavenly deception."

Lewis Rambo: Can I make a comment on that? I went to Bush Street one evening. I had been invited through Mike, so I knew what was going on. During the time I was there, God was mentioned once or twice and then very vaguely. If I were an 18 or 19 year-old kid just off the streets I would not have any idea what was going on. It just looks like nice people with great ideas that no one in their right mind could possibly disagree with. But Rev. Moon was never mentioned, Jesus Christ was never mentioned, religion was never mentioned, except for a vague, "Well, most of us came from religious backgrounds." So I think that is confusing for an outsider. In one sense, it is not deception. Indeed some Protestant denominations have religious surveys that are in fact recruitment efforts. But my point is that it's not totally groundless to claim that there is deception there. Maybe you're not taught to do that. But if someone doesn't know about the movement, it might take a couple of days to get the point of what the movement is about because Rev. Moon was never mentioned. I was very careful to watch for that because I was concerned about this issue. I wanted to get a fair picture. Is that deception or not? I didn't see those sign-up sheets. The night I was there, I don't think anyone signed one. There was a guest register that I signed when I came in. But I knew what it was, so I wasn't looking for anything there. But I consciously watched for mention of the Church, God, Jesus Christ, Moon. Were they ever mentioned? No. Now, that's not deception, but how does one justify that? I mean, obviously you don't dump everything in one night, but there is a big difference between dumping everything and dumping nothing. The things that were said were such vague generalities that everyone, unless they were imbeciles, would agree with them.

Now, I like Dr. Durst's point earlier about the ethical framework. That's a start. But ethics have ontological foundations upon which they are built. Now obviously you can't dump all that in one night. But I can see why somebody might say, "Hey, I just wanted to go up and have a nice time for the weekend, and on the third day I finally heard that Moon is behind this." At least, when I was a kid and went to Southern Baptist camps I knew that it was a Southern Baptist camp. I knew it wasn't just a fun weekend. And I don't see what you would lose by making it very clear in the first lecture what is going on a bit more explicitly.

Darrol Bryant: Can I make one comment? I was very intrigued by what Dr. Durst was saying tonight. In my impression what he's saying is that there's a real issue here as to what the real content of the movement is. You are predicating your question on the assumption that the real content is Rev. Moon and all the explicitly religious claims of this movement, but isn't Dr. Durst suggesting something else?

Lewis Rambo: One of the criticisms I have of evangelicals is that they are not always up-front about their activities. So I would make the same criticism of them. If you are raising money, if you are doing anything, don't go intoa setting and pretend that you are not working for Bob Smith, or whoever you are raising money for. That is deception. And so I would say across the board, be very up-front. There's no reason for you not to be upfront. It seems to me that any movement that bases itself on honesty and integrity will come through in the end.

Stillson Judah: I wanted to interject something right here at this particular point. One of the things that's been very interesting to me is the early history of the Church in this particular area. Mike Mickler has been working on this early history and I've gotten a lot from him. We went together to see Mr. Choi who was also one of the early missionaries here in this area. Miss Kim was working here at the same time. But they each had entirely different methods. It seems to me that we have in the Creative Community Project a combination of two different methods. In talking with Mr. Choi, I discovered that he was not interested in the theology of the Unification Church, but in the carrying out of these principles in daily living. In other words, he was interested in love, caring and self-sacrifice. He didn't really care very much about the theology. His work in San Francisco went along these practical lines. He wrote a little book called Principles of Education.

Miss Kim, however, worked on an entirely different platform. She was interested in the theology. So, under her direction those who went out talked in terms of the theology of Rev. Moon and the whole Divine Principle. So you had these two different thrusts. It seems to me that what we have in the Creative Community Project is a combination of these two methods. When I went up to Booneville for the first weekend, I didn't hear anything about Rev. Moon either. But this seemed to be following exactly in the path that Mr. Choi had given. I understand that in the following week, one would get the theological side, which would represent the other side that had been given by Miss Kim. It seems to me that this is the way the thing really operated from the beginning. But the way it looks on the surface is, "Oh, well, this is 'heavenly deception' because you started off without mentioning that it was the Unification Church." I think that on that one weekend that I was up there, Rev. Moon's name wasn't mentioned at all.

Darrol Bryant: That was true in my experience, too.

Lewis Rambo: I'm not advocating that you present the whole theology at once. But at least you can make it clear where you are coming from. If for nothing else, you should do this for public relations.

Darrol Bryant: There are two points that I wanted to make. The first was to confirm what Dr. Durst said. When I went up to Camp K, I filled out a form that said, "The Creative Community Center is associated with and independent of the Unification Church." But there's another kind of point that I'm wanting to make here -- this has just occurred to me tonight -- but I don't know if I can articulate it clearly. But I'm trying to listen to what Dr. Durst is saying. I tend to be very sympathetic to the criticism being presented. But what I'm hearing Dr. Durst say is something like this: all dimensions of life are, in principle, open to God. Consequently, the way in which God is present in the world is not simply through theology or religion or the Church. These are not the only channels through which God is manifested in the world. If you begin with that assumption, it seems to make perfect sense that you would not necessarily mention anything of an explicitly religious or theological nature ata first meeting. Why not? Well, it is simply because that is not the only way in which one comes to have contact with the divine. One can begin anywhere, since everything is open to God.

Lewis Rambo: But that's a very abstract kind of argument. I think that in the actual practice of the way most people live their lives, people like things to be forthright. It's a very simple human desire. If you walk into a store, you want to know the name of the store. You want to know what you're buying. And I don't think that it would hurt anyone all that much, to, at the first of this lecture, say, "Look, we're the Creative Community Project. A lot of us happen to be members of the Unification Church." It's very simple to say that. If you did, then people like Chris Edwards wouldn't be able to make the justifiable claim that he didn't know for three days. That's his major argument, though in fact he did know beforehand.

Richard Quebedeaux: Just think about what it's like to identify yourself asa Moonie in this society.

Lewis Rambo: Well, I think that's tough, but I think that's the case with most religious groups.

Richard Quebedeaux: Not any more. No, religion's very popular now. It's in. You can go witness, get born again, give someone the four spiritual laws, and it's sort of chic. When I was an undergraduate at UCLA, Campus Crusade did exactly the same sort of deception. I think we all need to be honest, but I suppose the ethic always comes about that somehow the ends justify the means. Somehow we believe that if we are up-front at first nobody will come because of all the bad press we have in the media, but if they just come there they will know better. They will really understand things.

I understand that. I put together these conferences, and, boy, I'm beginning to wonder -- I know what's going to happen when people come. I'm trying to think up the best ways to get people to come...

Lewis Rambo: I talked with some people who went to the CARP meeting here recently. Half of the people there were people who were studying the movement. The other half of them, it was my impression, were people who were in one way or another marginal professor types in the Bay Area. By marginal I'm just describing their situation; I don't mean it as a put-down. For example, I mean someone who is a professor of chemistry and a recent immigrant. Well, they get there, and they don't know that CARP is connected with the Unification Church. Of course, I knew before, because of Mike's invitation. I met one guy who was a recent convert to an evangelical church and he didn't know. He just knew that there were some very nice people who insisted, who called him five times. When he discovered the connection, his initial response was to be offended. Now, is he better off having come only to be offended, or not come at all? My impression is frankly, that it would have been better for him not to have come at all. My own opinion is that if one is deceived in a situation like that the tendency would be to discount the movement immediately. And so, I'm bewildered as to why on a simple matter like this you aren't more direct. It is, at least, a safeguard for yourselves.

Mose Durst: I think it is a matter of judgment. I know CARP in all their literature talks about Rev. Moon. And CARP is inviting this professor...

Lewis Rambo: No, he was called on the telephone. He never received any literature.

Mose Durst: He never got any literature?

Lewis Rambo: That was what he told me.

Mose Durst: Our policy, again, is to give out literature to the people CARP invite. On the literature CARP gives a background of their inspiration by Rev. Moon. It's a very analogous situation. It's a question, I think, of judgment. The person comes to a seminar, and signs a form saying, "This seminar is co-sponsored by the Unification Church, or associated with the Unification Church." He's involving himself for a day or two and he knows that if he signs this registration form that that's what he's getting involved with. In my judgment, that's a really clear indication that it was out-front and straight-forward.

Lewis Rambo: I wasn't talking about that. I was talking about the evening session, where it could have been a group of very happy ex-University of California at Berkeley students living in a commune.

Mose Durst: But look at the realism of that. What would

Lewis Rambo: But it happens to be a lie. That's not what it is.

Mose Durst: That's unfair. If people ask, "What is this," they are told it's the Creative Community Project in association with the Unification Church or CARP or whatever. This is our policy.

Holly Sherman: When I first met the Church and was invited to come over to dinner, I didn't know anything about it but I went. "Out-front" means to me that what they believed was absolutely visible. And it was. I saw seventy or eighty people of all races, nationalities, and backgrounds that really cared about one another sincerely. And even though they didn't know me, they cared sincerely about me. To me, that's being "out-front." They were out-front with what they really believed sincerely. It is there in their life.I never have seen that change in the whole time I've been in the Church. So to me, "out-front" is putting into practice what they really believe.

Lewis Rambo: Yes, and I would agree with that. But I guess it strikes me as just peculiar

Holly Sherman: Because of what I saw and experienced I became very curious. I thought, "How come this exists? How can this be possible?" And so, I wanted to come and listen to lectures and learn about the doctrine and theology and things like that. In one sense, the doctrine is secondary. What is important was what I saw. What I saw first was what actually was being put into practice!

Lewis Rambo: Well, you see, I'm struck by another group I've been studying, the "Jews for Jesus." They are totally out-front. There's no surprise. They wear T-shirts that sock you in the nose. Here they are in the Los Angeles airport, wearing these big 'Jews for Jesus" T-shirts. And there's nothing hidden. It gets them into a lot of trouble. They're offensive to a lot of people. But no one can walk down through the airport and start reading a brochure and say, "Aha! I've been deceived." It's out-front. Everybody knows. There's no surprise.

Holly Sherman: I just don't see how our practice is "deception." I never felt deceived later when I found out what was being taught, because it all went along with what I had seen in the first place. I'd feel deceived if I found out later that actually what they believed was that we should be prejudiced and that we should hate and just live for ourselves. Then I would see deception, but I don't see...

Lewis Rambo: Now that's the kind of thing I'm perplexed with. I'm affirmative of the life-style I see. But why is it necessary for you to be hidden and deceptive about who you are? I believe that any truly religious group holds that the ends do not justify the means. Period. And any group that starts talking like that has started violating basic principles. Of course, with honesty, you may have to pay a price. You may not be popular. You may have problems. I admire the Jews for Jesus, because they don't pretend to be anything other than what they are. Anybody who takes a brochure knows exactly what they are getting. It seems to me to be a very simple thing.

Mose Durst: Again, we may be making a mountain out of a molehill. Somebody can come over for dinner, or somebody can come over during the day for tea or coffee, because if you meet somebody, you invite them over to your home. And our centers are our homes. Now this is one thing. But anyone who has any involvement in our programs, who is involved in any formal way, they will do so under the clear knowledge that this is associated with the Unification Church. Any involvement, any commitment whatsoever, whether it be contractual involving payment of money or a commitment of time or of going somewhere for a formal seminar or something, there is a clear indication that this is the Unification Church. I invite people over for coffee. I invite people over for tea. I just may want to talk to someone and see where they are at. They may be completely hostile to the Church, and they say, "Thank you, it's nice having coffee with you, have a good day." I want to see where people are at. We invite strangers into our home every night. It's important for us to see what people want with their lives before we offer them what we have. So we don't offer them the product until we know that they are in the market for that product. When they are in the market, we tell them exactly what the product is, and it's true and honest, and there's no deception. But it's a matter of judgment and distinction when you invite somebody over to your home. I'm talking from real experience of saying to somebody at three in the afternoon, "Why don't we go home for coffee? Let's sit down and chat." And if 1 see the person is open, I say, "Why don't you stay awhile for the lecture?"

Lewis Rambo: Now, I have no problems with that. But I was there for about three and a half hours. You say the whole thrust of your life is being devoted to God, that your relationship to God is the central driving force of your entire existence, and yet I didn't hear God mentioned once. Now that is curious. Why do you do it that way?

Virginia Hearn: I just want to make a passing comment that, since the days that Holly entered the Church, there has been a very bad press. And so, because of that, it's better that you be upfront because people do have those negative associations.

Durwood Foster: Perhaps the point I was going to make has already been sufficiently made. I'm sort of stewing over the issue that does seem to exist here, because it seems to me to be a very universal kind of ethical issue. I think it is a very real issue. I'm not sure that the Unification Church has been egregiously guilty on this score, but I've been trying to define precisely what the problem is. It seems to me that at a microscopic level, in a very miniscule way, the problem already exists in the approach which Dr. Durst engagingly described. That is, when you are at a bus stop with someone, you talk about Mickey Mantle for a bit. However, your real motive in being out there is to witness to God and the Church, but you don't let that be known immediately. You establish a human contact by some kind of humor or human empathy and so on. Is that deceptive already in that very small moment? Because it seems to me that the weekends are simply those kinds of moments enlarged, if you will. It may be that the greater magnitude of the weekend introduces a qualitative difference, I don't know. Magnitude seems to be important to Lewis in that he wouldn't mind if only 15 minutes went by and God wasn't mentioned, but if three and a half hours go by, then he does mind.

Lewis Rambo: It just strikes me as odd.

Durwood Foster: Right. But I wanted to mention some analogous kinds of situations that come to mind asI think about this. The pastor of my one-time Methodist church here in Berkeley, I remember, explained to some of us, on a weekend at a church retreat, his evangelical technique. He'd been rather successful in building up his congregation. He's not evangelical particularly, but he's a very engaging kind of person who's effective in building the church. He said he never comes on in a heavy religious way. He comes on in terms of relating to people humanly, and asking about their families, getting acquainted on that level. He gets to be friends with them. Pretty soon they are coming to church to visit, or whatever, and this winds up with their affiliating with the church. Now, there were some questions raised, when he presented that, about whether this was a good Christian strategy, as there were some who felt he ought to be more theological sooner -- whereas this person wasn't particularly theological at all. But I don't think anyone really raised the question of deception. Here was this large group of Methodists sitting around, and no one raised the question. But it seems to me that it was in the same way deceptive. If Dr. Durst's procedure is deceptive, then that was at least in some measure similarly deceptive.

Another kind of example that I encountered fairly recently is that I'm right now doing some fund-raising for a national organization to which I belong. It's essentially composed of people who teach in colleges and universities throughout the country, and it's a highly ethically conscious group. It's comprised of people who are teaching philosophy, ethics, theology, literature and so on. When we were being orientated as to how to go about fund-raising -- it's critical for the survival of the organization -- we were instructed to call the people whom we were to contact and say we wanted to make an appointment with them. But we were not to tell them we wanted to make a pitch to get a pledge from them. As I recall, one or two persons did wonder if that was completely ethical, but we were reassured that this was the way fund-raising was done; and the very great majority in that highly conscientious group did not raise any question about it. And that has been the way in which the fund-raising has been proceeding. We can all think of other kinds of examples, and I must confess that I don't know how to resolve this issue. It is a kind of dilemma, but it runs very pervasively through our lives.

One final illustration, there was a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby movie about 30 years ago that took this theme and played with it. One of them, I think it was Bob Hope, played this role where he was on a "complete candor" kick. He was totally up-front at every moment. The result was that relationships collapsed. It was obviously a kind of farce, but it drew upon the point that in human relations, you simply can't be totally up-front. You don't walk up to a lady on the bus and say, "I think you're really ugly." You smile, and do things that could be called "heavenly deception" because it's for the sake of agape, not offending people gratuitously.

Walter Hearn: I have a contrast to offer. In the evangelical circles in which I travel, I'm often concerned about a kind of upfront style some Christians have. It's a style in which one says the right words and lets the chips fall where they may. Some evangelicals want to say certain theological things in order to speak about Jesus Christ, and they have a style of doing it that may repel people. But their concern is to say it, and thus to honor Christ. I'm concerned about that. Most of the time I would like for them to have some of the spirit that Mose Durst has that says, "Well, what we're really concerned about is reaching this person. But we don't have to say 'Jesus Christ.' We can first say, 'Mickey Mantle'." A little subtlety -- and not only subtlety, but the idea of putting the other person's genuine needs first -- is needed. That means taking responsibility to step in and serve them in the best way, not just the way that will make you feel better because you've said Christ's name.

But now I want to turn this around because I think Ginny and I are a little concerned about how up-front you are. It seems to me that several questions have been asked to which we, as Christians, would have expected some of you to say something about Jesus Christ in your answers. But you haven't. Rather, you said something about Rev. Moon or about the Church or about an ideal or a loving community or a program, and we find that a cause for concern. Maybe you are being up-front. If you are, we're a little concerned. You already know where we stand, I think. I'm sort of surprised that I haven't heard more of Jesus Christ in our conversation when we've been speaking to each other as closely as we can, as brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope you're not being up-front. That is, I hope that it's just your style. We have to nail you to the wall and say, "Come on. What is it that really motivates you?" And you would say, "Well, it's Jesus Christ."

Jonathan Wells: I think I've heard Jesus Christ mentioned as much by Unificationists as by evangelicals, (laughter)

Walter Hearn: I would say that it's at critical junctures when questions were asked like "What is the Gospel?" or "What do you say to somebody in need?" that I missed it.

Jonathan Wells: OK. I don't think that's a question of deception. I think that's a question of whether we're heretics or not. (laughter) To get back to the ethical question, it's a valid question, and it's a very important one, but the point that Durwood made is that it's difficult to fix the line where you have to make this ethical stand. And I have just a short story about an incident that happened to me in the dining hall of a famous New England divinity school. One day I was eating lunch and I got to talking to the fellow next to me. Since I was new there, I was meeting everybody for the first time. As we got to talking, I said, "My name is Jonathan Wells." He was from Cuba, and we began to talk about Cuba, communism, and social action; and about ten minutes into the conversation a girl walked over who had recently found out that I was a Moonie. She said, "Oh, Jon, are you still in the Unification Church?" By the tone of her voice, it was evident that she was doing it to be nasty. That wasn't what shocked me. The guy I was talking to jumped out of his chair, started accusing me of deceiving him. I felt I was expected to wear a star like a star of David on my sleeve. It is getting totally ludicrous when I can't even talk to somebody without saying "Hi, I'm Jonathan Wells, from the Unification Church."

Anthony Guerra: I've been wanting to say something for the longest time, and that is this. I think the question of deception has to turn on this focus: whether or not we are saying things which in fact misrepresent what we actually believe, and hence leading people to make certain commitments or contributions on a false basis. And I think that's precisely what's not happening here! Someone comes to a meeting for three hours, and hears this talk about our ethical concerns, but doesn't hear about our doctrine of God or Jesus. I don't see the problem. The person goes away, and he has two options at that point. He can maybe take the advice and start loving people more or forget it. I've taught many groups. If that happens I'm really happy. If a person wants to hear more, then I'm also happy to teach more. But I concede that the mission of building the Kingdom has both very comprehensive and particular focuses, as Dr. Durst was saying. So you give as much as you can when you can. What's being given ina three-hour session when God or Jesus or Rev. Moon is not mentioned is not false. It speaks to one aspect of our commitment, and that's communicated. No one is asked to make a commitment to join the Church or dedicate themselves to the movement at that point.

Lewis Rambo: If the central motivating factor in your life is serving God through Jesus Christ then I can't imagine spending three hours talking without the central motivating factor of your life ever being mentioned. I would question whether that was really the central motivating factor of your life.

Darrol Bryant: I've talked to many people for many hours without... Lewis Rambo: But if in fact you are reaching out, it just strikes me as peculiar that you don't mention

Mose Durst: I don't understand what is so peculiar.

Lewis Rambo: Just a second. I'm in a double bind here, because I'm wanting to say to people, "Look, the Unification Church is doing some good things. The people I know in the movement are really fantastic. I know Mike Mickler, I know Mr. Masuda, etc. etc. Now I've met Dr. Durst. They are doing some valuable things." But then they start saying, "Well, I had a friend who went down to such and such, and they never mentioned the Church." Now, what rationale do I give them?

Anthony Guerra: The point is we're taking the mission absolutely seriously to serve God and to serve humanity.

Lewis Rambo: But what are your ultimate goals? What is the really crucial thing for you, for every single human being on the face of the earth? For me, as an evangelical Christian, the ultimate issue is Jesus Christ.

Jonathan Wells: And the ultimate issue for us is the Kingdom of God on earth. And one way to establish it is to raise the ethical standard, raise people's sense of idealism.

Richard Quebedeaux: The last thing I want to hear in a bunch of religious people is about Jesus Christ. I've heard about Jesus Christ in Sunday school since I've been a kid. I want to see Jesus Christ lived out. When I see that, I'm going to know something. Then you can talk to me about Jesus Christ and I'll listen to you. For me, "Your actions speak so loudly I can't hear a word you're saying." That's my gut level reaction to what you're saying. I don't know how many groups of evangelicals there are that you can go to and they are always saying "Praise the Lord! Jesus saved me, dah-da-dah."

Darrol Bryant: We will clearly have to continue this discussion but we will have to do it in a different format. I know that there are a couple of people who have said that they absolutely have to leave by 9:30 and I promised that we would formally adjourn at 9:00. It is after 9:00 now, so let me adjourn and then the conversation can continue.

Let me thank all of you very, very much for your participation in this conference. Each of these conferences is unique unto itself but this conference has been especially noteworthy in the sense that it has been one of the most sophisticated and theologically substantial conferences that I have had the occasion to be in over the past two and a half years. And I want to thank all of you who have come and have made that possible.


1 The News World is a New York City daily newspaper that began publishing Dec. 31, 1976. It is connected with the Unification movement.

2 A group of mobile fund-raising teams that raise money for the Unification Church. 

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