Proceedings of the Virgin Islands' Seminar on Unification Theology -- Darrol Bryant, General Editor - April 1, 1980
George Exoo: I'm not too certain how one makes an appeal through formal channels of polity to people in the Unification Church. But I sense that, if there is a familial model, then some of the patriarchs in the family are in this room, and I would like to make an appeal to sensitivity on the part of those people to some issues which concern at least me. But I also think they are issues of concern to members of the community of faith that I represent, namely the Unitarian Universalist Association.
I'm impressed by the statements of this group in its wish to create the kingdom of God on earth. That seems to me greatly preferable to a notion off lying away to some place other than this earth. But that view of the kingdom of God then seems to have some other implications that concern me since they potentially influence all of us, those outside of the Unification Church here in the United States and members of other faiths around the world.
I am disturbed that somehow inherent in the structure of the theology and in the method of institutionalization of that theology there seems to be an implicit totalitarianism that tends to push towards a monolithic rule for life. I want to urge people in the Unification Church, if I can, to be sensitive to this. Let me try to illustrate this point in two dimensions.
The first of these is the relationship of the Unification Church with other world faiths. I speak of those specifically outside of Christianity. In hearing the comments this last week, I am reminded of the great German-Austrian composer Arnold Schonberg who was Jewish. When I did research on him, I discovered in his writings the great idea that he had in the early thirties. He was going to create an organization, a sort of Jewish Unification Party, which would unify all the Jews in the world -- under him. When one is talking about a unification of religions around the world, that involves people of other faiths. People of other faiths are not, I think, going to be particularly anxious to join together under the single banner of the goals of Unification Church, if their own particular religious sensitivities and practices cannot be respected. If you move into Shinto or Buddhist contexts, and start talking about Cain and Abel and say that this is the true theology of the way the world is, I suspect you will get a lot of thank you's and many smiles, but they will leave, and that will be the end of it. It will make no impact whatsoever.
I've been impressed by the writing that I've seen from Warren Lewis that indicates that there is going to be a sensitivity to the religious symbol systems of the rest of the world. I hope that Unification as a whole does a lot of very serious thinking about what its philosophy might mean to Buddhist, or Hindu, or Muslim members.
The second sensitivity emerges out of my fear of a kind of monolithic rule imposed in a totalitarian way and arises out of my particular concern, as a parish minister, with homosexuals and with single people. I sense here that this theological emphasis is completely geared towards the notion of a heterosexual, monogamous marriage. With this as the center, other kinds of relationships do not seem possible or viable. Single people seem to be regarded somewhat like Cinderellas amidst the chosen people's family: the homosexuals have been labeled as "Satanic" here.
I would urge upon you the following kind of thinking in regard to this very, very difficult issue. The homosexual population of the world appears to be perhaps up to ten percent. It is a trans-historical, trans-cultural phenomenon. It is not simply limited to certain segments of Greenwich Village. It might be fair, therefore, to consider homosexuality as a kind of "normal" deviancy. But of those people who have that deviancy, as a parish minister, I know that most of them are not hanging around gay bars and Turkish baths. They are very good, honest, hardworking people, who suffer very much because of the nature of their being, over which they have no control.
Indeed, I would urge you to look at this problem as one of perhaps "achieved" versus "ascribed" behaviors. Behaviors are achieved because the merit or condemnation with which they are contested comes as a result of the ethical consequences of actions people choose. Ascription has to do with things that people have no control over. It's like having blue or brown eyes, black or white skin. As far as I can see, sexual preferences are a kind of ascriptive preference that gets linked with other cultural forms and voluntary behaviors. But the people who have those particular ascriptive preferences have no control over their basic libidinal preferences. I had no control, for example, over my love of Bach, and somebody could tell me to listen to the Grateful Dead and to do so forever and ever, but that would never suppress my love of Bach which just seems to be there. Neither would it make me like the Grateful Dead. My love for Bach was there the first moment I discovered his music. It seems to me strange that in the Unification movement which is very much concerned about deprogramming, as well it should be, should also want to treat homosexuals in the church to a kind of "Anita Bryant deprogramming." This seems very insensitive to me. I think that your work with singles and your work with the gays, who are in your midst, provides for you a great opportunity to be very creative in terms of ministering to people who are denigrated by society and need your love. And I would urge you, therefore, to expand your concept of what it means to "be fruitful and multiply" and what it means to be "creative," because creativity in being fruitful and multiplying need not be limited to the creation of new babies through heterosexual intercourse. That's my statement.
Joseph Bakke: It's good to be here at this conference. I've greeted most of you individually during the past week. For those of you that I haven't, my name is Joseph Bakke. I was raised in Oregon, and twenty-one years ago I started my missionary journey to Norway where my people come from. I've been visiting Norway ever since and last year I moved to Norway. I'm based there, although I get to the Orient a great deal.
I'd like to give you a little background. I've been in the gospel ministry for thirty-five years. Yesterday I became a year older. Thank you to you who helped me celebrate my birthday yesterday. Fifty-six years as a teenager; now that's a pretty good record. But it's a joy to be here. I love people and I realize that when we come into the world, we know nothing. We are where we are today as a result of what we have gained, whether it came through studying or listening or seeing. So we have diverse opinions and this is healthy, especially when you consider that people have been playing the low key on the differences and really manifesting tolerance and good will one toward another. I'd like to see the dialogues continue.
When I was in England I was told about a young Norwegian man that they wanted me to meet. He was with the Unification Church. Well, my first thought was, boy, I'm going to deprogram him; can't afford to have a Norwegian in that outfit. All that I had heard was second and third hand and everything was derogatory; everything from the press was derogatory. But I was wise enough to realize that you can't set forth doctrines or make a valuable or even a responsible decision without knowing the facts. It says in the Bible, Proverbs 18:13, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it is folly and shame unto him." So I purposed in my heart that I would go for myself, would hear for myself and would see for myself. So I went. The man in charge (I think it was Dennis Orme) delivered a message which was very interesting: where did we come from? Where are we now? Where are we going? And what should we be doing?
It was a very interesting address and when it was over, everything was opened for discussion and criticism. Quickly enough a couple of nuts took to their feet and all they had to offer was criticism. And I discovered that any fool can criticize and most fools do. It takes an intelligent person to try to understand. And so when they got through I stood up and when the platform recognized me I explained that this was my first visit, and that I'd heard so many derogatory things about the outfit, I wanted to come and see for myself. And then I quoted that scripture that I just gave, Proverbs 18:13. It was greeted with great applause. And then I went on to say that there aren't two people here that could agree on everything that there is. So, we can magnify differences, but let's think in terms of what we agree on. Now from what I have learned, former communists have embraced this movement. Those who have been highly immoral have now straightened their lives out and have become very moral. Those who were former drunks are now abstaining, and the smokers have given up. A friend that I knew who was staying with a lady, rooming in her home, painted the whole house and did carpentry work and wouldn't take a penny for it.
Everywhere they went, they were cleaning up and conducting great crusades. After the crusades they cleaned up the mess that was left. These things spoke well to me, and although we could be miles apart theologically, I liked what they were doing. So in closing, one thing I would like to deal with is the word of God -- I'm a stickler for the Bible. Listen for a moment to a little poem that I thought was rather fitting:
It's strange we trust each other and
only doubt our Lord;
We take the word of mortals and yet distrust his word.
But oh what light and glory would shine o'er all our days
If we would but remember God means just what he says.
If we would but remember God means just what he says. The uninformed as well as the misinformed group together in spiritual darkness. I'm sure you'll agree with me on that. But then you can sit in the darkness so long that you become so accustomed to the darkness that you actually think that you're sitting in the light.
A final thought: Martin Luther said, "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has." It never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not it struggles against the divine word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God. Now a little humor. There's a story of an uneducated minister. His favorite book was the Book of Random. And one day he opened up the book and it fell to the passages in Daniel. He'd never been there before and he tried to tackle that word "Nebuchadnezzar." He'd never seen it so he started, "There was a man named..." he said, "I'm going to speak about this man, Nebuch." And he says, "I'm going to talk about where he got the razor and I'm going to talk about what he did with that razor after he got it." he said, "Let's proceed to the first point. Who was Nebuch?" And then he discovered he didn't know who Nebuch was. He said, "Folks, it doesn't matter who Nebuch was. Let's proceed to the second point: where did he get the razor? Where did Nebuch get that razor?" And when he discovered he had no answer for that, he said, "Folks, it doesn't matter who Nebuch was, or where he got the razor. Let's proceed to the last point: what did he do with that razor after he got it?" And then he brought his theme home. "It doesn't matter who you is, or what you got; the mainest point is what are you doing with what you got?" God bless you. (Laughter)
Frank Flinn: There are four points I would like to make. First, I'd like to talk about the relationship between Unification theology and theological discourse itself. As you all know, we had some problems with that. Then I'd like to speak about biblical exegesis, Christianity and the West, and theology on the ineradicability of evil.
First, we had some problems on theological discourse. I think that we all saw that the conference got much better when the theological discourse got up to the level of a unified discourse. When that started happening, real theological discussion started taking place. I think that should be noted.
Second, biblical exegesis. I think that the essential thing in the Divine Principle, the essential insight about biblical exegesis, is that the story of Israel is normative for world history. As a normative story it says that what happened in Israel happened again in America and now can happen in some other country too. That is the real heart of what I would call Unification allegory: that the history of Israel is a normative history. What happened in Israel is what God wants, not simply for Israel, but for all men.
Third, Christianity and the West. We all are aware of the imperialism both of Russia and the United States and the dangers of imperialism. I think that we theologians should recognize that God doesn't have to throw all his marbles into the West. If God wants to raise up another nation, just as Amos said in Chapter 9, "I brought up... the Philistines from Caphtor" he can, since he is the one who brought up other peoples from other places. They had their exodus too. And I think that we see in Unification the movement of real, genuine, indigenization of Christian thought, coming from another culture.
My fourth point concerns a weakness in Unification thought: I don't think it has a sufficient theology of the traditional notion of the ineradicability of evil. I would like to see the question of evil really posed and really faced head on. Thank you.
Stanley Johannesen: I would really like to address myself, for just a moment, to the week itself and what it seems to me happened here rather than to aspects of Unification thought. It seems clear to me from the experience of this week that even legitimate educational and public relations concerns of the church don't mix terribly well with theological speculation, for complex reasons that I think are mostly social and institutional. I'd like to express some disappointments I've experienced this week. But note that these are not severe and are certainly overcome by some very rich things I've gotten personally and intellectually out of this.
For what they're worth, I'd like to talk about two things that I think happened here. One is (and this is really not a matter of personal animus, although I've felt a little anger and frustration at times) that there are people who came here to be assured about the Unification Church in its institutional aspects, to investigate finances, and so on. Now these are certainly legitimate interests. But I think that, on the face of it, coming here to do this is hypocritical. The charade of asking questions and appearing mollified by the transparent sincerity of Mr. Salonen and other members of the Unification Church is at best a cumbersome way to go about getting information which is very easy to get. It seems to me that most of that kind of information is a matter of fact; it's on the public record, as Mr. Salonen suggested. To accept an invitation to come to a theological seminar in order to be reassured about things which are in the nature of things not susceptible of proof or disproof in this situation, is either hypocritical or foolish. That is, to be swayed by the appearance of sincerity, which I think is genuine, is not the relevant procedure in such matters.
The other area of disappointment has to do with the nature of dialogue in meetings of this kind. The confrontation of opinion and the idea of a seminar are to me, two very different things. The word "seminar" was used for these meetings, and I presume it was intended to mean something. The seminar, to those of us who owe a great deal to an academic tradition, is an institution specifically designed to create a protected environment for intellectual risk-taking, an intellectual play among equals. The principle of the seminar, whether it's mistaken or not, is that risk and play release deep creative powers in the mind that are not released in any other way. Opinion-mongering and speculation seem to me only superficially related. Although they may be easily confused, they're profoundly different things, I think. Opinionating is a narcissistic non-growth behavior, in which ideas are reinforced by repetition of things that were there all along and are not likely to change. Speculation, on the other hand, is a social activity, a deep trusting, risk-taking and playing with other kinds of people. It's an occasion for brilliant people to open themselves to an intellectual system and let it play over the range of their own problems and, to do it in the spirit of protected play. And I don't think that's a trivial exercise. It's not an exercise that all human beings should do all the time. But it is something essential to the deepest purposes of social and spiritual life.
I think we reached a high point the other day with the papers given by Flinn and Kliever. Now that is not just because they were prepared and that they're bright and they're clever, but because in laughing at absurdity and delighting in cleverness for its own sake, we saw deeply into the profoundest mystery of our common humanity. It is suggestive to me that on some such ground of the fantastic and absurd, the deepest political and social truths are reached in the Unification system. And that's what I got out of this week: a very rich touching of all the things that interest me from an entirely fresh and original perspective that is itself not afraid of either risk or play.
Charles Norton: My wife isn't here today. That's a good thing. I'm touched by Professor Johannesen: when he talks, I start to cry... I could never figure out why I was here. I had a long argument with Herbert Richardson last night so I'm in better shape today. I thought maybe, as they say here in the Divine Principle, that it was because there are many of us who thought we might be the messiah, and I thought maybe Elijah had come and it would be my turn. I'm still not sure.
It pains me in some way because I have a very deep sense that the young people, the people involved in the Unification movement, are sincerely involved. Truth to me has been very important and I've struggled for a long time trying to figure out where it lies. Sometimes I think I might have succeeded. I've considered myself a prophet in the desert for a long time and I'm still there. Seattle kind of had that function for me. I left whatever Boston would be -- Jerusalem or some damn place -- and retreated for twenty years trying to figure out what the heck was going on. It disappoints me in some way to figure out that I can't fit in anywhere in a place like this because I feel like my conception of truth would probably rule me out. I got into a discussion the other day which was sort of at the heart of the matter with the young fellow who had talked about communism. It seems to me the chief difficulty with what life is came about because we have followed the rule of Descartes in some way. We have killed ourselves off by overly mechanizing what life is biologically. And in the process, in order then to resurrect ourselves, we've had to spiritualize it; so in a sense we're left with trying to spiritualize a machine. And that is the fundamental mistake. Life or biology, as far as I'm concerned, is a mystery. It's got almost everything in it that we would need in order to be religious, mystical or anything else, without becoming silly, or stupid. An amoeba in itself has all the complexity, all the wisdom, all the biological stuff that you would need. No man can understand how life goes together. One can intuit and introspect within the context of biological reality and not fall into a gross materialism because that is not the way it is.
God, if there is such a being, has spent a long time creating the very wonderful creatures that we are. There is something in us that I would say represents the inheritance of the struggle of ages -- millions, billions of years. There are things that we know that we don't know that we know. Nature has been through all kinds of trials before and has set within us warning signs that we have not caught up with yet. No matter how we struggle with these things, whether as religious mythology or as psychological mythology, it is there. The fact that in a sense we are smarter creatures than we know is why we can introspect and look deeply and find something that is useful. But to call that something as silly as "spirit men" and other over-simplified stuff that I heard here is disappointing. Although I understand it's done everywhere, to me it seems the ultimate of intellectual folly to do it that way.
Lonnie Kliever: People hearing my comments the other day -- which I neither retract nor regret -- may not have appreciated the positive side of what I was by implication arguing. Divine Principle should be taken for what it is: a wondrous story told by a gifted story-teller. It's a story that I don't believe a word of (Laughter), but then I don't believe a word of any of the stories of any religion, though that's beside the point. The point is that stories are the means by which we shape our destinies, comfort ourselves, and guide our lives. As metaphor, this story speaks of life and speaks to life.
I also want to affirm to my friends in the movement -- the seminary students for whom I have great affection and Mr. Kim for whom I have great respect -- my appreciation for this enjoyable week and my pledge to continue to drive those wedges of irony and iconoclasm, humility and repentance between you and your story that will further liberate and unify us all.
David Simpson: I will be very brief. I want to say that I did not work out a resolution to present tonight. Part of what I want to say is why I didn't, and I hope that the reason is constructive. There may be other resolutions -- I don't know about them -- but I did not personally pursue the suggestion I made the other night about a resolution.
I want to begin by expressing what I'm sure everyone else will want to say at some point, and that is an appreciation for finding what I didn't expect to find when I came to this conference. Everyone has said, and now I can join the ranks of saying, that when you get to know the Moonies you'll really like them. And that's what happened. I can say that very honestly and openly. I was also just incredibly amazed by the quality of the minds that were here. I'm not an academician. I am neither a student nor a teacher, and yet it was very exciting to be an observer-participant to some really incredible stuff that was going on here.
My reason for not pursing the matter of the resolution is that within the last few hours it finally dawned on me that the conference is exactly what it says it is. If I had read that at the beginning of the week, I probably would not have pursued so arduously some of the questions that I had. I do believe that the conference fulfilled its expectations in saying that it was a seminar on Unification theology. I came here with a suitcase of other agenda items that I shared with my small group and that many of you may also have had. And I still kept wanting to get them met even as late as a few minutes ago. But it now seems to me that perhaps my suggestion ought to be recommendations for subsequent conferences or consultations having to do with those other issues that I and some other people raised.
I think the other reason for my not wanting to put together a resolution, or get some of you to help me do it, was that I sensed last night that what was happening was a division, a further separation and distancing that resolutions might have even furthered. That division is not so much between myself and people who are Unificationists, but between myself and others like me and the theologians and the academicians who came here to engage in the dialogue. And I just thought that it would be disruptive to pursue the question of resolutions. I think that can be pursued outside somewhere.
I want to make a couple of further suggestions about subsequent conferences. I kept saying that I don't really care what you think, but if I had read the invitation carefully I should have been here to care about what you think. I did learn that, I think. But I think there needs to be a dialogue with people who see the mission of the church primarily in terms of social justice issues. That dialogue might have to do much more with what you do based on what you believe.
My other suggestion for a conference would be something about how you go about doing what you do. That might be a conference between some of us social activists in the churches and the NCCSA. I would just like to leave those two suggestions with you because I personally would be very interested in pursuing them, interested because I really have learned a lot. I am very grateful for that.
Herbert Richardson: I'd like to thank you participants. I've been to an awful lot of theological conferences with the Unification Church and I would like to say that I always find myself intellectually stimulated and coming up with new ideas. But when I received an invitation to this conference I threw it right in the wastebasket and I said, I am not going, I want my summer to myself, I am not going!
I said that very firmly to my friend Darrol Bryant. I said. I do not want to go, and especially I don't want to listen to those divine principle lectures. I like to read it in a book. I'm a reader. When I went to college and listened to these lectures it always seemed to me like such a waste of time. My reading pace was five times faster than my hearing pace. Some people like to listen and hear it and some people like to read it. I'm not being critical, I've just got a problem around this kind of lecture presentation. I practically flunked out of college for cutting classes. I suppose I practically flunked out of this conference for cutting classes. (Laughter)
But what happened was that as the conference was developing -- I know Darrol and am a friend of Darrol's -- I would ask him, well, how's it going? He would tell me Durwood Foster's going to be there. Durwood Foster! Hey now, that's pretty good. Lonnie Kliever is going to be there. Lonnie? That's really interesting. Myrtle Langley. I've never met her, gee, I'd like to meet her. Tim Miller. I've met Tim at the seminary, just briefly. And Tom McGowan is going. I thought, gee, McGowan is coming.
The next thing I knew, I thought that since there are all these people coming, I'm going to go to the conference for the participants. That's why I came. I really did. I came to have a week with you people. James Deotis Roberts, I was with Deotis ten, fifteen years ago at Harvard and we hardly got to know each other and I don't feel as if I've really been able to get to know him well. But I have a tremendous theological respect for him, if I may say that. And for you Lonnie, and for you Durwood, for you David. Joe, I've loved knowing you. Throughout the week it's been running through my mind just what a sheer joy it is to have a chance to be together with people I've known from the past and wanted somehow, in the providence of God, a chance to be together with a bit more. People like Deotis and Lonnie and many others. The chance to meet people whose names I'd heard, like Myrtle. And then to come here and meet people like Francis Botchway and Sami and Wellington. Paul, I never had a chance to hear you before. We haven't had a chance to talk, but I find you really impressive. I'm sorry I didn't get more of a chance to talk with Fred Sontag. I'm just feeling like I wish I had another month to be here with you all to talk. Bill and Bettina, what you do out there in Berkeley is absolutely fascinating to me. And so I'm very, very grateful to you. And I've been carrying around this participant list like I did in the sixth grade. Then I had an autograph book and at the end of the year I got everybody's autograph. I almost wanted to pass this list around and get autographs and exchange names and addresses. That is why this conference has been good for me.
Now I'd like to say something about what it seems to me it is that Rev. Moon believes in. I sometimes think that even the Unification people aren't clear about it, though actually I do think they are. Nevertheless, it does take a little clarifying. I said to John Maniatis (John, I'll probably get you in trouble if I tell these stories, but I'm trying to (Laughter)), that I've heard these workshop lectures. Do I have to hear them again? Why do we do this? And John said, don't you understand that the lectures are to give us all something in common so that when we go out of the lectures we have something around which discussions and interactions can begin easily? So what's important isn't what goes on in the room, but what goes on afterward among people. (Mr. Kim, don't hold John responsible for anything I'm saying he said; I'm a great story teller (Laughter). It was really Tony Guerra who said that.) Around the discussion of the principle a give-and-take process is created. Now, I certainly believe that's true, so here's my conclusion and my pitch.
As I've gotten to know the people here there has emerged in my imagination a sense of what we constitute as a community of people that has a certain future. My point is not that I think we should be organized in any way, but the importance of the networks of friendship and getting to know one another and talking that are being created. I can see how important those networks of cooperation and interest have been in bringing us all together. There's hardly a person here who isn't here because they're a prior friend of somebody else in the room. I mean it's really interesting. We're all prior friends of one another in the room; that's why we're here. And this conference just confirms, I suppose, friendship and love in humanity. This, we might say, is the real gift that Rev. Moon has given us in this conference.
But actually I don't think Rev. Moon does it. I've thought about who gave us this conference which cost, I heard, somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000. When I heard that, what I thought was this: how long did it take some little Moonie kid out there selling candy to make it possible for us to have this conference? And I did a little calculation: it probably took a 22-year-old girl on a fundraising team going through mid-west America, working in supermarkets selling candy, about one year or more to raise the amount of money that was spent to bring us here. My heart is grateful to that little girl. I don't know her name; nobody knows her name. But there's some young woman or young man who has been laboring to make it possible for us to be here. And I love her and I thank her. I believe that what she has given us is something that we could make worth all her labor.
It seems to me that the creation of the community of people who are brought together in a spirit of love and talk, give and take, is the gift really of Rev. Moon and that little Moonie girl to us. I hope that this meeting and these friendships will go on and on and on to have fruit and bring good to the world. And so I thank you all. I thank Rev. Moon and I thank that little girl out there who worked so hard that we might be here today; I thank Rev. Kwak and David Kim and John Maniatis and all the people whom it's so much easier to thank because they're here. And I thank God. (Applause)
Neil Salonen: Someone asked the question this morning about the hierarchy or the structure of the church. I think that although we're hierarchical in one sense, we're not a strict hierarchy; for us to do anything, for us to work on anything, for us even to organize a conference like this, it's never simply one person doing it. It's always a number of people trying to act together.
As you can probably imagine from our understanding of Korea as the nation in which the dispensation of the second advent will begin, our feeling is that the nation of Korea will ultimately become a nation of priests. So within our movement, we look among the Korean people to find those to whom God is speaking.
When Rev. Moon brought his ministry to the United States, he came basically alone. But as he has continued to work here, we've been very fortunate in that some of his early followers have come and have helped to advise us both in Europe and in the United States. In particular, in this conference we've been privileged to work under the guidance of two of the very early followers of Rev. Moon, the president of the Unification Theological Seminary, M r David S.C. Kim, who gave the opening address, and Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, who will now make a few closing remarks.
Rev. Kwak joined the Unification Church in 1957 As someone pointed out the other day, this was before a lot of what we now teach and a lot of what we now look upon as some confirmation of our beliefs, had taken place. For example, before 1960, the Unification Church members prayed in the name of Jesus Christ. It is only after 1960 that we began praying in the name and through the position of the True Parents. At that time it was very difficult to become a member of the Unification Church. There were no visible signs, and our teaching was not as well explained even as it is today, much less as it will be, we hope, in the near future.
Rev. Kwak, as one of the early members, underwent the hardships of the early church. He became a member at the time when there were many spiritual phenomena. He went through many of the years in Korea when our church was misunderstood and mischaracterized. Sometimes the newspaper articles, no more accurate in those days than they are now, were viewed as factual documents.
He has done many things in the church. As a pioneer, he was a lecturer of the divine principle for a substantial period of time. He worked with the Professors World Peace Academy and on a number of other projects. He has a brilliant mind.
When Rev. Moon was traveling last year, 1978, and was unavailable for direct, personal guidance, Rev. Moon established a trinity representing three nations -- Rev. Kwak, Mr. Kamiyama, a Japanese man, and myself. This was the first time that I actually worked directly with Rev. Kwak. I found him to be an extremely sensitive person, a listening person, someone who is responsive across cultural and national lines, someone to whom I felt I could really express myself and be understood.
I found him to be even more than an elder brother; I found him to be almost a spiritual father. And I found that he's a person who gives deep advice, a real shepherd for the members of the church. So I'm very pleased at this time to introduce someone who means a great deal to us, one of the members of the thirty-six blessed families of the Unification Church, which represent the immediate personal foundation for the mission of Rev. Moon. I ask you to join with me in giving a warm welcome to Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak. (Applause)