A History Of The Unification Church In America, 1959–74 -Emergence of a National Movement
By Michael L. Mickler
The Re-Education Foundation: 1966-71
Mr. Choi Joins the Movement
The Mission to Japan
Early Days in San Francisco
The Re-Education Center
International Exchange Press
The Principles of Education
Founding the International Ideal City
The International Re-Education Foundation
The Pioneer Academy
If the middle 1960s were years of transition for the Unification Church in the Bay Area, the late 1960s were years of transformation. This transformation was reflected, most fundamentally, in a radically different membership profile and approach. Whereas members previously had been older, often married and relatively established, the accent in the late 1960s was on youth. Members who joined during this period were, for the most part, in their early twenties, unmarried and unattached. At the same time, whereas previously the church had been concerned with proclaiming its message, the accent in the late 1960s was on action. "Salvation," as one piece of church literature put it, "is not to speak about [the] heavenly kingdom but to actualize it." 138
Given the focus on youth and action, the thrust of the church in the late 1960s was less theological than educational and finally utopian. The concern was both for instruction and for the establishment of institutions reflecting utopian ideals. Rather than through spiritualists or prophecy, hope and excitement were generated through a consummate effort to set up an "International Ideal City." Three key factors contributed to this development: a new church community, changes in the San Francisco Bay Area environment and the figure of Sang Ik Choi.
A new church community. The story of the Unification Church in the Bay Area during the late 1960s had its beginnings, no less than during the early 1960s, in a transplanted community of believers. Rather than from Oregon, however, this community came from Japan. In this sense, one key factor contributing to developments in the Bay Area community was the pattern of life established in the Japanese church.
Changes in the Bay Area environment. If the new church community was from an entirely different locale, the Bay Area to which it came also was markedly different. On the one hand, institutional breakdown resulting from assassinations, campus protest, racial confrontations and draft resistance had produced the first supply of disaffected youth. On the other hand, idealism implicit in the Haight-Ashbury hippie district had cast a utopian tint over the entire Bay Area.
The figure of Sang Ik Choi. While the interplay between the new church community and changes in the Bay Area environment helped produce the transformation referred to at the beginning of this section, of more import was the figure of Sang Ik Choi. No less than Miss Kim for her group, Mr. Choi shaped the character of the local church. In this sense, the story of the Unification Church in the Bay Area during this period begins with his story.
Mr. Choi Joins the Movement
Unfortunately, the printed sources relating to Mr. Choi's life before the Unification Church are limited to a transcribed talk delivered by Michiko Matsumoto, the first disciple of the Japanese church. Entitled, "The Road Rev. Nishikawa Followed," the full transcription amounts to only ten pages. 139 Nonetheless, it includes relevant biographical detail that, as in the case of Miss Kim, can be grouped under the headings of formative influences, conversion and mission.
The most obvious formative influence in Mr. Choi's early life was his upbringing in Japan. Raised at Namba, Osaka, from age two through his college years, Mr. Choi returned to Korea only after the second World War. At that time, many Koreans living in Japan, including Mr. Choi's family, were forced to return. Although he could speak both Japanese and English (he got a job interpreting for occupying G.I. forces), it wasn't until then that Mr. Choi began to learn Korean.
The second formative influence for Mr. Choi was his father's involvement with Tenri-kyo, one of the new religions of Japan and Korea. 140 First as a devoted disciple and later as chief of a local church, Mr. Choi's father began to see himself in different terms after returning to Korea. Mrs. Matsumoto noted:
One day when his father became sick with a high fever, he began to say something unusual, "I am a King." The family, who gathered around him were so surprised ... he acted as if he were a real king, and his family thought he was . . . mad. But in order to make himself a true missionary of Tenri-kyo, he exhausted all his fortune for religious things: He built a shrine. During its construction, workers were obligated to wear white clothing and to work without smoking and drinking. And they prayed to the sun. . . . His father's sister sympathized with him and made a king's garment for him, in which he walked around with dignity. 141
Because the family became poor as a result of his father's activity, Mr. Choi, as eldest son, was forced to support them. As a result, he reacted against religion. As Mrs. Matsumoto noted,
He loved liquor very much and drank twice as much as others did. . . . Because I had known him only as a devoted disciple, I was surprised to hear that he was a real alcoholic. . . . He spent all his money for alcohol and the people. The last thing he cared for was religion. He didn't believe in God and was afraid of behaving like his father.
A turning point in Mr. Choi's life came when he was persuaded to attend a week-long Christian revival meeting on the side of a mountain. A woman dentist friend had promised a Pentecost experience. According to Mrs. Matsumoto, "Rev. Nishikawa was curious and decided to follow her as if they were going on a picnic." However, it was at this revival, that Mr. Choi converted to Christianity. Mrs. Matsumoto described his experience:
While everyone was praying seriously, Rev. Nishikawa was in an unobserved corner; he hesitated to pray. He had never prayed before and did not know how. But since he was obliged to pray, he did. His first words to God were "How are you God?" After that he was not what he had been. He was crying and praying for repentance with incredible words, "The universe is dirty. Human beings are dirty. Please pass judgment on me strictly. Destroy such an impure world." He tore a jacket, hit his breast with his hands, and threw a rock into the sea. And the sky turned red, and he heard a voice, "Who can save this impure world?" He answered, "I will. Please judge me." The voice said, "I love thee." "How can I answer you, God? I will present you this watch given by my friend," and he threw the watch away. Watching this, everyone around him was so surprised and shocked. 142
Having become a Christian, Mr. Choi smuggled himself from Korea into Japan (the two countries had not restored diplomatic relations) and entered a holiness theological school. On graduating, he returned to Korea during the Korean War and became a war clergyman. After the war, he worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army, helped distribute food to war orphans, and started an independent holiness church. In 1957, he heard of the Unification Church but was skeptical. Mrs. Matsumoto noted:
There were a lot of religions in Korea. Everybody knew the end was approaching. He came across the name of the Unification Church. He thought this was an imitation. God is the only one who can unify the world, nevertheless, man was doing. How arrogant they were. He even prayed for God to forgive their arrogance. 143
One day, however, in April, 1957, Mr. Choi met a friend who went to the Unification Church and who persuaded him to attend a lecture. Although Mr. Choi was to be engaged in three days, he agreed. Again, Mrs. Matsumoto set the scene:
When about ten persons gathered for a lecture in a room with a blackboard in Seoul, a little woman entered the room and said, "Let's pray before hearing God's words." Rev. Nishikawa thought she fooled him. But once he listened to her pray, he was [so] amazed [as] to cry. The regular prayer always says, "Give me . . . Forgive me. . . ." But hers was different. She prayed to comfort God . . . he listened to her lecture for the whole three days, and he leaned toward her theory.
He got excited. . . . and asked his fiancée to hear this, but she refused. So he ended that relationship. 144
Mr. Choi also ended his relationship with the Holiness Church. Quitting his ministry, he joined the Unification Church. He went on a forty-day mission to the Korean countryside during the summer and founded a church. More important were the sentiments he expressed a year later:
When I think of myself a year ago, before I had heard the Principles, and when, in April, I heard them and was deeply impressed, I immediately thought, "I would like to bring these words to Japan." 145
The Mission to Japan
Sang Ik Choi was the Unification Church's missionary to Japan from 1958 until 1964. The pattern of church life that emerged in Japan during that period was the result of three interrelated factors: the leadership of Mr. Choi, the national ethos of Japan, and the contingencies of the time. As it was this Japanese pattern of church life that was 'exported' to the Bay Area in the late 1960s, it is worthwhile to consider each of these factors individually.
The leadership of Mr. Choi
No less than Miss Kim in America, Mr. Choi had relative autonomy in developing the Japanese movement. Reverend Moon offered him no instructions or suggestions. The situation is nicely illustrated in Michiko Matsumoto's description of Mr. Choi's 'commission':
He told the great leader [Rev. Moon], through President Eu, that he would like to go to Japan for mission. The great leader answered, "Do as you like." When he left . . . he went to the great leader who was praying deep in the mountains. He just said, "Good luck!" and did not even pray for him or order him. Why? Before Rev. Nishikawa, three missionaries went to Japan, but they failed because of persecution, temptation, hunger, and so on. It was just at the time when the great leader was thinking of sending somebody to Japan that Rev. Nishikawa said by himself that he would go. The great leader wanted to celebrate, encourage, and order something for Rev. Nishikawa. But . . . he thought it was better to admire him after he succeeded. He only prayed, "I wish he could do as he likes." 146
Mr. Choi made known his desire to undertake the mission to Japan on May 27, 1958. Speaking to Mr. Eu on the second floor of the Pusan church, he kept his plans secret from everyone else. One reason for secrecy was that Mr. Choi had decided, once again, to stowaway. Having met with the captain of the trading ship Kinsekikon in a Pusan coffee shop, Mr. Choi anticipated an early June departure.
Following a trip to Seoul and his meeting with Rev. Moon in the mountains near Taegu, Mr. Choi returned to Pusan in "high spirits." Nonetheless, beginning in Pusan, he confronted a number of obstacles. First, the captain had not made the agreed upon arrangements. Second, the ship was delayed. Third, a disturbing message came from Seoul. Mr. Choi wrote:
A telegram came from Seoul ordering me to return there. "Stop," it said. I wanted to die. After having sworn to go, and departed, how could I return to Seoul? It would be better to die. I sent a letter and a telegram asking them to wait three more days, and I hurried up my departure. The command was from Master, how could I disobey it? But I had resolved to go and departed; I could not return. . . . No matter what, I vowed to go, and I am determined. Even if I die in fulfilling my vow, I must go because I believe that I am going to save the Japanese and all of the peoples of the world. 147
Although doing "as he liked," Mr. Choi may have had occasion to wish he had returned to Seoul. Not only was his money stolen by shipmates (who used it to buy seaweed which they sold and split the profits), but also he, the captain, crew, and ship were seized by Japanese port authorities near Hiroshima on June 21, 1958. Forced to endure a six-month jail sentence, Mr. Choi only avoided compulsory repatriation at his release by fasting to induce illness. Escaping from a sanatorium where he was sent, he made his way to Tokyo. Still, his problems were not over. According to Mrs. Matsumoto,
Nobody listened to him. He was always refused. He had no money, no food, no clothes, and was so exhausted as to cough out blood from tuberculosis from which he had suffered in his youth. But he went on mission. He slept in parks or playgrounds of schools fearing to be in the crowds. When he looked at himself on the glass window, he was shocked to see such a miserable figure . . . with long hair, a pale face, and a skinny body. 148
For six months after escaping the sanatorium there was no progress. Finally, he got a job "as a salesman for a watch shop, 'Ondori-Sha,' at Takadanobaba in Tokyo." During the morning, he worked; during the afternoon, he proselytized. Once a week, he rented the second floor of the shop to preach. Yet, as he noted, "Not many came." Still, he wanted to start a church and printed pamphlets with the name, "World Christ Unification Divine Spiritual Association." According to his missionary diary, the founding of the Japanese "Unification Church Association" took place Friday, October 12, 1959. Mr. Choi, however, was the only real member. As he noted,
People came to listen, but I was sad that there were few ardent believers. I had started my missionary work about ten months before and had no genuine results. 149
This situation continued until Mr. Choi met Michiko Matsumoto in April, 1960. A Korean Christian whose Japanese husband had died of paratyphoid fever during the Second World War, Mrs. Matsumoto became a devoted disciple and brought Setsuko, a university student. From that point, the movement began to grow. Following a breakthrough in late 1962 when fifty young leaders of Risshokoseikai converted, the growth was more dynamic. 150 Mr. Choi continued to lead the church in Japan until he was taken by the Immigration Service and deported in 1964.
The national ethos of Japan
The national ethos of Japan was a second important factor in shaping the pattern of church life exported to the Bay Area in the late 1960s. Although loyalty amid adversity, perseverance, and the all-or-nothing quality of Mr. Choi's personal course was influential on members who consciously sought to emulate his samurai pattern, of more import for future Bay Area developments was the Japanese affinity for organization. A tight organizational structure quickly characterized the pattern of church life in Japan. This emphasis was reflected in three important developments: a communal lifestyle, a corporate church structure, and a systematic elaboration of the training session. Although aspects were modified, the Bay Area environment in the late 1960s was receptive to each of these innovations.
A communal lifestyle. Whereas communal living was secondary and a pragmatic necessity among Miss Kim's group in America, it was the basic pattern of church life in Japan from the beginning. Mr. Choi later remarked:
Actually living together, that system started from Japan. I started it. Even in Korea, they are not living together. But in Japan . . . I thought we needed a strong movement of dedicated people living together . . . so I started living together in Japan. 151
Living together also implied working together. From the beginning, rather than holding separate jobs as in America, the Japanese movement sought common employment: first in "haihin kaishu," the door-to-door collection of newspapers, magazines, bottles, and old clothing to be resold to junk dealers; and later, in small church run businesses. 152
A corporate church structure. The cooperation and communication that facilitated living and working together was also reflected in a tighter church organization. Rather than a loose association as in America, the church in Japan took on more of the qualities of a corporation. The island was divided into 11 districts which, in turn, were divided into prefectural churches (there were 36 of these by 1966). At the same time, there was a strong national headquarters in Tokyo. Not only were the strongest members transferred from the districts to headquarters, but headquarters, itself, was highly organized into bureaus, departments, divisions and committees. A 1966 report asserted, "with such a center, the local churches can be united and revitalized. And from this center, Japan can be united with the world." 153
A systematic training program. The organizational emphasis that characterized lifestyle and church structure in Japan was also reflected in a systematic training program. As contrasted with the more haphazard development in America, the training session in Japan achieved a significantly higher level of sophistication. Varying in length from three to forty days and either "on an introductory level or for study in depth and leadership training," there was a separate training facility and a regular staff. Again, as contrasted with the informal, almost folksy atmosphere in America, the sessions themselves were far more focused. According to a 1966 report,
The schedule is characterized by intensive group activity. Trainees meet regularly in groups of eight to ten, to eat, to pray, and to discuss questions and difficulties; they are under the direction of a leader at all times. After the trainees bed down, the leaders gather for evaluation and planning. They watch the trainees carefully for qualities of leadership, for participation, and for any problems that might arise. 154
Contingencies of the time
Aside from Mr. Choi's leadership and the organizational emphasis of the culture, the contingencies of the time were a third factor helping to shape the pattern of church life exported to the Bay Area in the late 1960s. The key elements here were the relationship between Korea and Japan, the position of students in Japanese life, and the era of post-war reconstruction in Japan.
Korea and Japan. While Miss Kim gained access and garnered interest among certain groups in America because of her Korean origins, Mr. Choi's experience in Japan was quite the opposite. Because of long-standing conflicts, the most recent being Japan's occupation of Korea (1905-1945), there were bitter and prejudicial feelings on both sides. Not until 1965 did the two nations establish diplomatic relations, and even then the action was marred by protest. 155
This situation forced Mr. Choi to become a stowaway and change his name to missionize Japan. More important, it affected his presentation of the Principle. If Miss Kim labored under the fact of a new revelation, Mr. Choi labored under the point of its origin. There was no way he could say that the revelation came from Korea or that the new teacher was a Korean. On the other hand, the fact of a new revelation was no problem. Literally hundreds of groups in post-war Japan were proclaiming new revelations. For this reason, the practice in Japan was to focus on the teaching and goals of the group rather than its origin. This emphasis continued in the Bay Area.
Students in Japanese life. From its beginnings, the Japanese movement focused its recruiting efforts on both high school and college students. The results were good. Miss Kim, on her way to Korea in 1964, reported that thirty full-time evangelists were living at Tokyo headquarters, many of whom were "high school boys and girls." At Nagoya, 200 high school students reportedly had become affiliated by 1966. Nor were college students far behind. According to a 1966 article, the "National Student Movement," later known as the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), comprised "approximately 350 active members in 60 universities throughout Japan." 156 Although not all CARP members were church members, those who were made up a substantial portion of the movement.
There were two important reasons why the Japanese church became student-focused. First, jobs were not easy to quit or to find in Japan. Moreover, unlike in America, employment implied a lifetime commitment. Hence, the employed were less accessible. Second, students in post-war Japan had a good deal of prestige and were influential in the larger society. As a consequence, the movement concentrated its efforts on students through witnessing, through display tables, and, most effectively, through organizing as a club activity on campus. Whereas on American campuses, fraternities and sororities were a focus of student involvement, on Japanese campuses, clubs were at the center of student life. According to one account,
Each Autumn, all the Japanese universities hold festivals of up to a week in length, at which every club puts up a display. No club had the magnetic power of the Principle Study Group. Outdoors, we street preached and passed out leaflets advertising the display and a forthcoming meeting at which national leaders of the Unification Church and members from that university's club would make introductory speeches on the Principle. Youth and student members from all parts of Tokyo would join to assist wherever a festival was being held. 157
Post-war reconstruction. One of the biggest boons to the Unification Church as well as to other new religious movements in Japan following the Second World War was the era of post-war reconstruction. Whereas Korea was still poor and the United States had already arrived, Japan was bustling with the excitement of economic expansion. The impact of this expansion upon religion was great. Rather than otherworldly expectations, groups tied into the reconstruction fervor. The Unification Church was no exception.
Mr. Choi was particularly imaginative in his view of the future world. As Michiko Matsumoto noted,
We enjoyed his theory of "the end." He filled us with a lot of hopes. An apple became as large as a watermelon. On going to the neighborhood, we could go there by escalator. 158
"The end," of course, was really only the beginning. Mr. Choi always emphasized concrete hope. Rather than simply imagining, he would have members draw pictures of homes they would occupy in the ideal world. They would build a city! As skilled as Miss Kim was in generating hope through spiritual prophecy, Mr. Choi was equally adept in generating hope through utopian ideals.
Nor were these just pipe dreams. They were actually building. They had an organization. They had started businesses. Why couldn't the kingdom start from there? Although of a different sort than Miss Kim's, it was this vision that finally integrated the pattern of church life in Japan. It was where the leadership of Mr. Choi, the national ethos of Japan, and the contingencies of the time all came together. More than anything else, it was this vision that was exported to the Bay Area in the late 1960s.
Early Days in San Francisco
The story of the Unification Church and its new beginning in San Francisco during the late 1960s was, again, not the story of a single missionary's endeavor. It was the story of a transplanted community of believers. Rather than moving several hundred miles down the coastline, as happened when the original community began in California, this community transplanted itself from an entirely different culture. The struggle of the community to overcome barriers of culture, to win its first converts, and to establish itself in San Francisco was the earliest portion of their story.
When Mr. Choi arrived in the Bay Area on November 12, 1965, following Rev. Moon's first world tour, Daikon and Soo Lim had already been in Washington, D.C., for several months. As one later report put it, "they were thriving bush-league Americans." 159 Coming to the Bay Area to be with Mr. Choi, the three moved into an apartment at 43rd and Fulton St., San Francisco. Mrs. Choi and Mr. Choi's infant son, Chinki, arrived from Tokyo on December 28th. Then, on February 28, 1966, Enchon Endo, Koro Ishiguro, and Mitsuko Yoshida arrived via boat from Japan. These eight people were the new beginning of the Unification Church in San Francisco during the late 1960s. Everyone lived at the 43rd Street center.
There were several parallels between the new community and Miss Kim's group which had arrived in San Francisco six years previously. Both were transplanted communities, both lived communally, and both struggled to root themselves in the new environment. At the same time, there were significant differences. Aside from disparate points of origin, these differences were reflected, most basically, in a radically different membership profile and approach.
The members whom Miss Kim gathered in the Bay Area in 1960 were, quite simply, all she had. They were the survivors of her Oregon mission. More importantly, they had been with the Principle only a matter of months. The members whom Mr. Choi gathered in the Bay Area in 1966, on the other hand, were a select group. Daikon and Soo Lim had won the right to come to America by being the most effective witnessers in Japan. Mrs. Choi was among the earliest Korean members of the church. Enchon, from Tokyo, was president of the church's High School Students' Association for the Research of Principles (HARP) and among the group of converts from Risshoroseikai. Koro, from Nagoya, was vice-president of the high school association there and among a group of converts from a local Shinto sect. 160 Both were hand-picked by Mr. Choi. Mitsuko Yoshida was national advisor to the high school association. In short, Mr. Choi assembled an elite corps of missionaries: all members for several years, all dedicated, and all successful.
In addition, except for Mr. Choi who was deported, there was less of a sense of desperation in the new community than there had been in Miss Kim's group's headlong flight from Oakhill. Whereas Miss Kim's group had cut all ties with the Northwest and were on their own, Mr. Choi's group still had connections with Japan. This connection meant that there was initial financial support and the possibility of reinforcements. Rather than the uncertainty and tentativeness that had characterized Miss Kim's group, the new group had the assurance and stability of a pattern of church life developed over several years in Japan. As a consequence, there was less trial and error than in Miss Kim's group. Notably, there were no initial attempts at mass conversion through speaking engagements or communication media. This may have been due in part to the language barrier, but, more likely, it was due to a more developed sense of strategy and tactics.
On the other hand, there was no church visitation or serious theological focus as in Miss Kim's group. This was due partly to the fact that most of the members were non-Christian converts and partly to the pattern of church life developed in Japan, where there were few Christian churches. The emphasis, rather, was on action. Members witnessed actively on the streets, in parks, and on campuses. Though avoiding churches, the feeling was much more that of a planned missionary assault.
However, whatever advantages the new group had in membership or approach were offset by the cultural barriers. Having begun activities in March, 1966, the work was difficult. According to a later report,
The next year was probably one of the biggest challenges of their lives. They were literally fired up with spirit and drive, but the barriers, language, custom, etc. were almost equal to this drive. Their effort to share with others was very trying. 161
For several months, there was no result. Then, during the summer of 1966, Koro met David Doerring, an Iowa farm boy who had just arrived in the Bay Area. As the first American to join the group, his account is revealing:
I was in a tee-shirt part way stretched out on a beach, looking at the sun, and wondering how I got there. Koro showed me an address and said, "You come!" I came and immediately found myself in the world of oriental custom and tradition. I liked the people, and when Koro asked me I moved in. . . . 162
The group continued to work hard. David Doerring noted, "Competition was a key word, and in an average day Soo and Daikon would gather the names of thirty or so people." Yet few responded. Late in 1966, Daikon and Soo Lim met Phyllis Yamoto, a Japanese-American student at San Francisco State University. Then, in the spring of 1967, Taco Serizawa (having come from Japan to take the place of Mitsuko Yoshida who was ill) met Ron Pepper. According to David Doerring, it was with Ron that Mr. Choi "could really set his movement into motion":
He was willing to do anything asked of him. He took the initiative of street speaking in Golden Gate Park after inspiration from Enchon and Koro and a push from Daikon. 163
Soon after Ron Pepper joined, Soo Lim met David Hose, an aspiring young artist living on the fringe of the Haight-Ashbury district. Then, in the autumn and early winter came Steve Mudgett, Clint Steery, Diana Swank and Carmela Acohido. Although struggles continued, by the end of 1967, the original community of eight had doubled itself with eight new American members. A pattern of doubling membership annually continued until 1971.
While the barriers of language and culture had inhibited the community's early proselytization efforts, it had one other important effect. It hindered communication with other Unification Church members in the Bay Area. Known as the "Japanese Family," Mr. Choi's group went their own way. This was dramatized in June, 1967 when the group incorporated as the International Unification Church -- a separate incorporation from Miss Kim's Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC).
The Re-Education Center
Besides differences in the origin and makeup of the two founding communities, there were several differences in their development. While these differences can be expressed in a variety of ways, most fundamental was Mr Choi's decision to create a social movement rather than a church. A split between spiritual and organizational leadership had signaled the demise of Miss Kim's community in the Bay Area. However, a synthesis fashioned between these two kinds of authority led to the growth and development of Mr. Choi's group. Although there are other ways to tell the story of the Re-Education Center, one significant way is in terms of the constructive use made of the tension between spiritual and organizational authority.
The lines of spiritual authority in Mr. Choi's community were grounded in the origin and makeup of the founding group. As in Japan, the community style was communal. While this was a secondary development in Miss Kim's group, it was the primary pattern of Mr. Choi's group from the beginning. Second, the membership in Mr. Choi's original group had sharp disparities in age. This had not been the case in Miss Kim's group. Mr. Choi, however, brought over younger people. The combination of these two factors -- a communal lifestyle and sharp disparities of age (virtually alternate generations) -- resulted in a pattern of community life resembling that of an extended family. As the community's first newsletter put it,
Until now, the Center has been referred to as a group or a community, but actually the feeling that is shared is one of a family. In fact, our members relate to each other as brother and sister. 164
Although Miss Kim's group referred to themselves as a family, the lack of a strongly communal lifestyle and sharp disparities of age made for peer-relationships than the more defined lines of authority characteristic of a family. This situation was apparent in the relative positions of Miss Kim and Mr. Choi. Whereas in print, Miss Kim might be referred to as "our beloved elder sister" or even "our Mother in faith," she was always "Miss Kim" in person. For Mr. Choi, the situation was reversed. In print, he was usually referred to as "Mr. Choi," teacher or educator, while he was always "Papa" in person. As he noted,
In the beginning nobody called me Mr. Choi. They called me Papa; we lived like a family. Now many people call me Papasan, but people who lived with me don't call me Mr. Choi or Papasan, just Papa. 165
Nor was this a single-parent family as Miss Kim's group had been. Since Mrs. Choi was there, the group also had a 'Mamasan'. Along with Mr. Choi's sermons and lectures, community newsletters also devoted space to question and answer sessions with Mrs. Choi. One of the group's student members described the set-up in a term paper:
The structure of our family stands with Papasan and Mamasan (Mrs. Choi) as the heads of our family. Papa is involved with the educational movement part of our family. He is continually thinking what is the best way to publicize our Principle to the American people; how he can best teach the brothers in our family to speak and lecture well; how he can influence prominent people in San Francisco. Mamasan works from the other end, internally rather than externally. She involves herself with family members' problems in their family relationships, in the understanding of themselves and then the overcoming of their own weak or negative points such as impatience, arrogance, and insensitivity. Papasan works with the collective family as a revolutionary educational group. Mama works with each individual brother or sister with his or her personal problem. Papa is a great extrovert, always thinking big things, like establishing a Principle university. Mama is an introvert, thinking about her development of character and how to overcome some trait within her. So they are like the yin-yang symbol, complete opposites but extremely complementary. 166
If the lines of spiritual authority in Mr. Choi's group were relatively set, the lines of organizational authority were subject to the shifting ground of circumstance. Operating in a time and locale of radical questioning, experimentation, and secularization, the community, as noted, developed an organizational structure that was less churchly and more educational, consciously adapted to an urban environment and newer American members. Mr. Choi was "advisor" to the organization from the beginning and, as in the Japanese church, sought to delegate responsibility.
A combination of these factors produced a pattern of organizational authority that was both flexible and capable of sophistication. The consciousness of being an educational foundation came early. As Mr. Choi noted,
I started as a Unification Church missionary when I came here. Then we started church activities, and I got a little problem. First thing, in San Francisco, people are very liberal. They are not interested in Christianity. In the Orient, Christianity comes from Europe, the West side, civilized country, so right after the Second World War was over, they were very interested in Western culture and religion, so I could start it in Japan very easily. After I came to America I was surprised that . . . especially young people in San Francisco were not very much interested in religion . . . and then people who are interested in religion do not want to change anything . . . . Then, at the same time, the hippie movement started. When I saw the hippie people I really hurt. Young men with long hair without any discipline or training, character education. They want to live whatever they want; they have license; they want an easy life. So I thought I better contribute my life to the character education of life rather than religious life. Then this way I can help American society and this way I can be successful rather than by a religious approach. 167
Thus, the transformation began. Rather than "Divine" Principle, the teaching or ideology (not revelation) was the "Unification" Principle. Rather than on a new society, emphasis was placed on a better society. Rather than the Kingdom of God, the vision was the ideal world, a humanistically inspired utopia constructed along the lines of a comprehensive, universally applicable educational program and principles.
In brief, the organizational structure of the Bay Area group in the late 1960s was more that of a social movement and efforts were made to incorporate a broad base of membership. Although theological sophistication was lost, there were some organizational gains. First, there was a clear-cut distinction between spiritual and organizational authority. Whereas a church structure might blur the distinctions, there was less chance of this with an educational foundation. Hence, Mr. Choi's spiritual authority was not challenged. Second, the educational format afforded American members an outlet for expression and an opportunity to help shape and direct organizational activities. Whereas, in Miss Kim's group, an excessive amount of sophistication might have interfered with spiritual goals, in Mr. Choi's group, excessive sophistication was an eagerly sought-after commodity.
For the Unification Church during the late 1960s in San Francisco, Re-Education was the answer. Mr. Choi combined the attributes of family and organization in a way that made for both stability and growth. By early 1970, the group had three centers in San Francisco as well as satellite centers in San Jose and Palo Alto. Interestingly, emergent patterns were reminiscent of the Japanese church. Although couched in American idiom, the Japanese pattern of church life was reflected clearly in the establishment of a student movement, in group training sessions, and in the public meeting.
When the Re-Education Center members purchased their second house at 2065 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, in July, 1969, the previous center at 762 Eighth Avenue became the "Student Center." Sixteen full-time students lived there. While this development paralleled the pattern in Japan, the means of involving students was different. Rather than organizing as a club activity on campus, the Re-Education Center offered "Experimental College" classes. The opportunity for this was part of the radical experimentation in education on many college campuses in the United States during the 1960s. That Mr. Choi's group was able to adapt successfully to this opportunity indicated both organizational flexibility and a degree of sophistication. Classes on the "Dialectical Unification Principle" were weekly offerings on several area campuses. The response was good. At City College of San Francisco, the group's class was filmed as the most successful Experimental College course. 168
Campus unrest, strife and strikes in 1968 led to the development of the student movement. As previous student leaders were involved in protest activities, the "Unified Students" (members of the Re-Education Center) were able to obtain vacant leadership positions in student government. Steve Hart became Student Body President and David Endo, Student Body Vice-President at City College of San Francisco. Stefan Phaender was appointed Director of Communications on the Student Council at San Francisco State University. Although these were lame-duck positions with small budgets and less interest, success bred hope. An October 1968 "Prospectus for the Establishment of the Student Unification Movement" outlined ambitious plans for a number of projects and the establishment of publications, cultural, recreational and business departments. 169
The group's first training session was held in the Palo Alto hills, July 4-7, 1968. Just as with Miss Kim's group, the training session was recognized as a potent device. As Ron Pepper put it following the completion of the first session,
Although I have explained the Unification Principle many times, I hadn't grasped the deep heart of it until now. We were actually studying the original way of human life and living it during our training period. 170
While the group's first session had been for resident members, a second weekend session over Labor Day, 1968, included guests. The results were duly noted:
The Re-Education members and their weekend visitors slept together, ate together, worked together, studied together and lived together. The impact of three short days on each participant was very great. The moments after the last lecture were filled with hand shaking, bear hugging, tears, and broad smiles. How grateful and overjoyed were those hearts to have actually heard and experienced the truth: Man CAN live in harmony exhibiting the beauty of true human feelings and character. . . . 171
Quickly, the training session became the group's chief means of promoting conversion. As one member stated "If there is no permanent change in character, then the training session is little more than an interesting gathering of people." 172
Again, in developing the training session, the group demonstrated both adaptability and sophistication. Not only were the early sessions coordinated to fall on long holiday weekends -- the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, New Year's, Easter, Mother's Day -- but they became highly structured. The level of sophistication in the Japanese church was reflected in the way procedures were routinized. Members developed elaborate training session manuals and followed exacting time schedules-for wake-up, exercises, meals, group meetings, sports, and lectures. Staff responsibilities proliferated into a number of role functions: Director, Assistant Director, Lecturers, Exercise Coordinator, Music Makers, Food Preparation, Registration, Housekeeper, Photographer, and Recorder. 173
The Re-Education Center also began to develop activities that were explicitly cultural. These began as early as November, 1968, with the renovation of the center basement at 762 Eighth Avenue, the construction of a "Universal Stage," and the first "Unified Family Production." Soon Ron Pepper was head of the Cultural Department. Later Clint Steery became music director and head of the "New Age Band." All of these developments were utilized in the center's most ambitious project to date: the Public Meeting.
Held at the Unitarian Center in San Francisco, these meetings were monthly affairs between October and March, 1969-70. They featured entertainment, expositions of the center's activities, and speeches by Mr. Choi. Members witnessed actively for these gatherings, and the average attendance of 150-200 San Franciscans was a stark contrast to the empty Lions Club Hall which had greeted Miss Kim's group. Ron Pepper wrote:
We have pictures in our scrapbook of the public meetings which the Japanese family has held. Since the San Francisco family was very small when I came these pictures really impressed me. . . . Of course I thought we could do the same thing here someday, but really doing it even with the comparatively small membership we have is something to give me great hope for our collective ability in the future. 174
The student movement, training sessions, and public meetings all helped root the Re-Education Center. In short, the transplant was taking. There were, however, two other developments of 1968-69 which, while not without precedent in the Japanese church, led to a growth not previously seen.
International Exchange Press
One of the most important factors influencing the future direction of Mr. Choi's group was the establishment of the International Exchange Press in January, 1968. Unlike the American church's first print shop in Galen Pumphrey's bedroom, this new print company focused on outside jobs. It was the family's first business. A community newsletter explained Mr. Choi's idea:
He said that it was time to begin to build the economic foundation for the ideal city where our brothers and sisters could live and work together. . . . "If we can work together in our own business, we can really feel that every effort is serving God 100% and what's more we can overcome the situation that exists when brothers and sisters hold outside jobs where people and environment make it difficult to practice and become truth. Also, we need to set up a business with the potential to really support the family economically." 175
If the rationale was clear, it was not, at first, totally clear what business enterprise was appropriate. As one member noted, "There was much discussion and 'looking into' of the kind of businesses that would serve our purposes best." 176 Then, in late January, 1968, the "heavenly chance" came to purchase what had been a one-man print shop in the poorer section of 3rd Street in downtown San Francisco. Ron Pepper wrote, "We determined to spend our sweat and tears to restore this world and gathered $2000 within twelve hours to make the down payment." 177
Although the shop was small, hopes were large. The printing company would be only a first step, and as its name, International Exchange Press implied, the vision was global. 178 Regardless of the vision, opening a print shop necessitated many practical tasks. One member wrote, "From that time on, the key words and main focus of our family were: 'Witness! and bring the printing orders!'" 179
Mr. Choi, especially, began to focus more energy on the company, and within a year the shop began to expand. Most of the financial returns were reinvested to allow volume capacity to increase, and orders that previously took many days to put out could be done in a day. The shop went from two presses to five and added other equipment. Most importantly, it was able to line up regular customers.
In addition to outside jobs, the shop printed church literature. As well as witnessing materials, the first Universal Voice was printed in May, 1968. Conceived of as the community's newspaper and published monthly, the Universal Voice became increasingly sophisticated. On the other hand, the Epoch-Maker, first published in April, 1969, was fashioned along the lines of Miss Kim's New Age Frontiers. An internal newsletter, it contained sermons, letters, news briefs and inspirational material. While these published periodicals were significant, of more import as a formative influence were the booklets that Mr. Choi published. These launched the community into a radical new direction.
The Principles of Education
Aside from the decision to initiate business enterprises, the other major formative influence on the new community was the publication of Mr. Choi's Principles of Education. Unlike Miss Kim's text which was purported to be a pure translation of the Principles as lectured in Korea, Mr. Choi's work was a conscious adaptation. As such, it had significant impact on the direction in which the community was to move: specifically, from a theological to an educational and finally utopian focus. It is important to recognize that the Principle was the matrix of the community and was consistently taught. Nonetheless, to understand the distinctive development of the Re-Education Center, it is necessary to outline the origins, content, and implications of Mr. Choi's Principles of Education.
The Principles of Education were written by Mr. Choi to appeal to secular, non-theistic audiences. First composed in Japan where the Christian base was slight and where the Korean origins of the Principle had to be camouflaged, the series was revised and expanded in San Francisco. Thus, the same cultural context which led the community to organize as an educational foundation also fostered a revised ideology. As for the sources of this revision, Mr. Choi's words must suffice:
I used the Divine Principle, which is a very religious approach. But I digested the Divine Principle. Based on the Divine Principle, I put my philosophical ideas and a little bit of oriental religion together and I a little bit changed the Divine Principle. 180
A series of booklets published by the community during 1969, the Principles of Education elaborated specific theories of Mr. Choi: Theory of Cause and Effect, Theory of Universal Value, Theory of Good and Evil, Theory of the Ideal Man, Theory of Happiness, The Purpose of Mankind. Two titles contemplated but never written (or translated from the Japanese) were Theory of the Kaleidoscopic Community and Theory of Eternity. Basically, the series was a humanistic counterpart to the Divine Principle. Ancient wisdom was stressed over new revelation; the "human way of life" was stressed over transcendent grace; and human ignorance was emphasized over sin. In short, Mr. Choi's Principles of Education posited the attainability of an ideal world through an application of the community's overriding concept of conscientious common sense.
Although Mr. Choi devised a system of educational principles that would presumably lead to "divine" principles, what was critical for the community's development was the way in which the Principles of Education assumed a life of their own. Rather than leading to theology, the Principles of Education were set off against theology. Thus, the break between the new community in the Bay Area and the one that had preceded it was complete. As Mr. Choi later remarked, "My way is more a character-educational way, and Miss Kim's is more of a church-theological way."
Not only was there a break between the communities but there was a reaction against the previous interpretation of the Principle. In this sense, Mr. Choi's Principles of Education were constructed not only as a response to a particular secular environment but also as a response to the Principle. If Miss Kim responded to metaphysical truths reminiscent of Swedenborg and a personal healing, Mr. Choi responded to ethical truths and the possibility of social reconstruction. His emphasis on building institutions was particularly strong. Concluding his Theory of the Ideal Man, he wrote:
Without concrete action, concrete ideals will never be realized and are useless. We are not only metaphysical existences, but we are also actual existences. Therefore, happiness comes from actualization of idea. Greater happiness comes from a greater actualization and attainment of ideals. So, understanding truth is something, but actualizing truth is everything. 181
More than any other factor, the Principles of Education led the community into a utopian experiment. Ironically, although afraid of behaving like his father, Mr. Choi began building a shrine of his own.
Founding the International Ideal City
By the end of 1969, the Re-Education Center was quite successful and members could point to substantial growth. Mr. Choi's Principles of Education were printed the previous October and, as one piece of church literature noted, over 500,000 educational pamphlets had been distributed. The International Exchange Press was turning over $24,000 worth of business a month and included sophisticated equipment as well as ten regular employees. As many as 270 San Franciscans had attended the monthly Public Meetings and the Universal Voice was circulating to 3,000 Bay Area residents. The Student Movement continued to grow and was operating on state campuses at Davis, Sacramento, Hayward, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. A corps of lecturers were available and the movement was also beginning to penetrate into high school classrooms. A soon to be established "adult" center would accommodate older associates. Perhaps the most accurate measure of the center's growth was the annual financial statement of the International Unification Church. From a total income of $10,639 in May, 1968, the corporation was operating on a budget of over a quarter of a million dollars by May, 1970. 182
As a result of this rather phenomenal three and a half years of growth, group members found themselves at a turning point as the new decade of the 1970s began. The sense that they were ready for a new step was best depicted in Mr. Choi's move from San Francisco to Calistoga, California, about fifty miles northeast of the Bay Area, where the community had an A-frame house and twenty acres of land. There, amid the mineral baths and hot springs of the Napa Valley, Mr. Choi lived from January to March, 1970. Although this move had been prompted by a recurrence of health problems, it was in this somewhat isolated and idyllic setting that Mr. Choi formulated the next stage of the community's development. At a Family Meeting on March 12, 1970, he announced:
From now on, we will increase our project to actualize the international ideal city based on our land in Calistoga. This is really good land but we will look for even more and better land . . . The centers are going to compete with each other from now on. We will send good men to our place in Calistoga. Later, we will expand, make our own city, our own bank and currency, our own everything. We will experiment. If we can establish the ideal city-system, we can win the whole world. 183
Once this declaration was made, the community quickly found "more and better land." Alongside the masthead of the next Epoch-Maker ran the following:
Bulletin: Our Family has just purchased 600 acres of land in Northern California, a couple of hours drive from San Francisco. Hills, streams, and beautiful farming lands are the foundations for our family's newest project: The International Ideal City. 184
Located off Route 128 just south of Boonville in Mendocino County, California, the former Hiram Nobles Sheep Ranch was now the property of the Re-Education Center. While members were inspired by Edenic possibilities and tended to quote freely from the Book of Revelation, the same balance between spiritual and organizational authority that characterized the Re-Education Center also characterized the center's approach to the International Ideal City. On the one hand, members were 'pioneers' exploring the new land with a spirit of high adventure. On the other hand, they were 'scientists' organizing a utopian experiment that would 'prove' their social theories. To understand the story of the International Ideal City, it is necessary to balance their pioneer spirit with the test results.
The vision of founding an ideal city, a vision which Mr. Choi articulated concretely while in Calistoga, was, in fact, the vision he had carried to the Bay Area from Japan. It had kept the community going during the early days in San Francisco, inspired the group's entry in business enterprises, and was now leading the community into a high-risk utopian venture. Although the group was able to raise the down-payment for the land through the donation of one member, they were heavily mortgaged. On the other hand, the community felt prepared to make the leap. As Mr. Choi put it, "We must put forth great effort with a spirit of adventure." 185
The spirit of adventure that Mr. Choi had cultivated in his missionary life since first stowing away to Japan was re-activated in the Ideal City project. The community was going where they hadn't gone before. Whereas the Re-Education Center was based on the successful Japanese pattern, there was no pattern for an international ideal city. For this reason, no less than in Miss Kim's group, expectations were extravagant. Initial plans called for the city to "be composed of various sectors representing the unique architectural style of a particular culture: United States, Canada, Africa, the Nations of South America, Europe, the Middle East and Far East." Development of the project was to proceed in three discrete phases:
First Phase 1970 to 1971- Completion of agricultural project and educational/cultural buildings for training character and for workers living quarters. Necessary improvements on lower land to provide adequate roadways, bridge, etc.
Second Phase 1971 to 1972- Implementation of international sector to include houses of each culture and international pioneer university together with research and computer facilities.
Third Phase 1972 To 1973- Begin roadside shops for vegetables, hotel and restaurant facilities, expanded educational facilities, living quarters, and dam for recreational area. 186
If the city had a timetable for completion of its physical plant, it also had a constitution that expressed its orientation and ideals. The basic ideals were expressed in the "Articles of Establishment of the International Ideal City" and included relevant sections on politics, economy, education, culture, law and "qualifications for citizenship." 187
While it was a pioneer venture, the International Ideal City Project also was an experiment. As such, it was avowedly public. Just as Mr. Choi had refused a copyright for his Principles of Education, in order "to freely contribute to mankind" beyond group benefit, so too, the Ideal City Project would be a model for others to study. As one early report stated,
When the working model is established, psychologists, social scientists, teachers, industrial anthropologists, personnel directors, and politicians can visit the city and see how an ideal society works. 188
What, then, would such researchers have had a chance to see? In March, 1970, they would have seen "600 acres of rolling hills and bottomland and two perennial streams, virgin except for a few acres of apple orchard." Two months later, in May, 1970, they would have seen "two house trailers with a sewage system, a dam, and a network of trenches irrigating ten acres planted with tomatoes, squash, corn, cucumbers, and pumpkins. In September, they would have seen "an elegant double-width mobile home" as well as pipes and sprinklers watering fields that had "just delivered the peak of their crops to Safeway." 189 A freshly dug well provided water for hot and cold taps, and a newly constructed chicken coop housed 1500 chickens. Two hundred sheep roamed the hills while five cattle roamed the bottomland.
These results were impressive for the first six months of ownership. However, this was the extent of the physical development of the Ideal City. Had researchers come back six months later, they would have seen much the same thing. Although county authorities had approved plans for a first educational building, that structure was never built. Nor, though Mr. Choi had planted fifty grape leaves before the entrance to the planned hotel, was that hotel or any other building ever constructed.
Undoubtedly, had researchers been present, they would have questioned why progress was halted. Overall, there were two major factors. The first had to do with the nature of experimental enterprises. Although the community had invested heavily in the project, it was never a pioneer struggle or a matter of survival but rather an experiment in social theory. The objective distance maintained throughout was evident in the fact that at no time did the community commit more than eight to fifteen of its one hundred members to full-time work on the site.
The second factor followed from a new gestalt which the project had created. The spirit of adventure refused to be confined to Mendocino County and permeated community activities in the Bay Area. As members quickly discovered, "Everyone really opens when there is talk of our land and the city." 190 In this sense, the experiment began to transform the experimenters and to reshape community life. Witnessing became largely a matter of promoting the land development with brochures, mailings and tables set up in the city. The Public Meetings, which had been switched from the Unitarian Center to the Scottish Rite Temple, became fund-raisers for the project.
If the experiment re-shaped community activities in the city, it too was transformed. A kind of dialectical process evolved whereby the project was not only an experiment but a great site for weekend training sessions and festivals. With land, the community found that it didn't have to rent sites for public gatherings but could host their own. The center initiated "Open Land" programs inviting Boonville residents and San Franciscans to the project for a day of "activities, entertainment, open-air meals, and conversation." 191 Instead of a new educational building, a new outdoor stage was constructed by International Ideal City Ranch carpenter, Bobby Wilson.
In short, rather than a discrete experiment, members integrated the International Ideal City with activities of the Re-Education Center. To assess the success or failure of the experiment, it is necessary to consider the transformation of the Re-Education Center.
The International Re-Education Foundation
As mentioned, the founding of the International Ideal City had important ramifications for the community in San Francisco. It not only affected how the community went about its activities but also affected how the group thought about itself. It altered the community's self-image. This was most apparent in the transformation of the "Re-Education Center" into the "International Re-Education Foundation." The group no longer thought of itself as a local center but as an international foundation. The new foundation was incorporated by the state of California on May 4, 1971.
Thus, the founding of the International Ideal City in Mendocino County was answered by the founding of the International Re-Education Foundation (IRF) in San Francisco. In many ways, the new foundation mirrored the natural growth of the Re-Education Center. International Exchange Enterprises had proliferated beyond one printing company to an employment agency, a travel service, a home-restoration company, an import-export venture, a gas station, and a cleaning company. 192 Within the community, "house organization" had proliferated into twelve discrete departments with individual heads. The Universal Voice had expanded its format, and the New Age Band had evolved into the New Age Orchestra.
At the same time, the International Re-Education Foundation was more than the Re-Education Center writ large. There were qualitative as well as quantitative changes. Basically, these qualitative changes meant less family and more organization. Although Papasan and Mamasan were still present, organizational demands of the expanded foundation created a more formal and public atmosphere. Previously informal question and answer sessions with Mr. Choi were now titled "Wisdom from the East" and open to the public. There was less time for family activity as every night of the week was tied up. Mondays were set aside for "Unification Principle lectures & discussion"; Tuesdays were "Wisdom from the East" nights; Wednesdays were "Fellowship" nights; Thursdays were "World Culture" nights; Fridays were "Comparative Religion" nights; Saturdays were "Current Affairs" nights and Sundays were meeting days. 193
Equally illustrative of the move from family to organization were the opportunities for new members to contribute to the activities of the International Re-Education Foundation. They could, as one piece of literature put it,
play in the New Age Orchestra
sing in the New Age Choir
participate in the New Age Players (help with props, costumes, scenery, etc. as well as acting)
collect money for dinner or special events
be a doorman one night a week
help in the kitchen (main dishes, desserts & breads)
be a waitress in the coffee shop
help with art projects (drawing, lettering posters, flyers, etc.)
be an After-Dinner volunteer
drive people home after the evening's program
help mail out the Universal Voice
provide entertainment for Open House, World Family Meetings, banquets, etc.
help organize banquets, cultural events & other special events
be active in making new friends of the Foundation
bake for the coffee shop, birthdays or festivals.
The move from family to organization was concretized by the purchase of an imposing new headquarters at 44 Page Street, San Francisco in June, 1971. The former site of a Druid Temple, the new Page Street building was four stories high with a ballroom and balcony as well as office space and numerous rooms. It was to the community in the urban environment what the land project was to the community in rural Mendocino County. It provided a facility for extensive programs. At the same time, the building was reminiscent of Miss Kim's group's purchase of the Masonic Avenue house and required extensive renovation. Nonetheless, the Page Street headquarters quickly became a center of activity.
One of the important effects of the Page Street purchase was its impact on associate membership. The potential of the new facility to enhance outside involvement was considerable. The large kitchen was made available for luncheons in the afternoon. Meeting rooms were available for rent in the evenings. One could become an associate member for $2.00 a month and be entitled "to all publications, attendance and dinner at the monthly birthday celebration, and a visitor's pass to the International Ideal City." 194 For $35.00, associate members could have dinner every night of the month at the main center. For a larger donation, associates could become a foundation sponsor. Although the Buchannan Street Adult center was sold to help purchase Page Street headquarters, the "World Family Movement" was organized to involve adults and parents of members. The foundation was consciously attempting to increase its contacts within the local community.
The Page Street facility also led the community to two more ambitious projects. These transformed what had been the Student Movement and the Public Meeting. What resulted consummated the efforts of Mr. Choi's group in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The International Pioneer Academy
If the establishment of the International Ideal City was on Mr. Choi's agenda from the beginning of his stay in the Bay Area, closely linked to that vision was the setting up of a university. Although it was not financially feasible to begin construction of a university on the land in Mendocino County, purchase of the Page Street facility gave a new impetus to the idea. By setting up "The International Pioneer Academy" at 44 Page Street, Mr. Choi not only actualized that idea but also transformed the Student Movement. Rather than operating in nearby universities, students would attend their own! Again, as with the ideal city, the move was toward a reformation of society through the establishment of model institutions that worked. In the context of campus riots and disillusionment of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Re-Education Foundation nurtured hopes of remaking society through character education of future leaders. This attitude was reflected in the "Prospectus for the Establishment" of the International Pioneer Academy:
Political experts alone will not bring about a better society and world. The realization of such a society will be accomplished by capable leaders who are guided by principle and who have character and human dignity. Without an education to create such leaders, the idea of a better society and world is just a dream, and the suffering of humanity cannot be solved. Such an educational academy of leaders can be the rock on which to build a great new society. 195
An advisory meeting was held at 44 Page Street on June 7, 1971 with "much discussion" about the forthcoming International Pioneer University. The Universal Voice announced that the academy would open for its first semester in the fall.
Having made that commitment, the next step was to recruit faculty. Although a formidable task, the assignment was somewhat mollified by the already existent Student Movement. Not only were members active on Bay Area campuses but also their experimental courses had been well received. In addition, the Student Center had, since January 1970, instituted a Friday night "Forum of Giants" which brought professors to the center. Combined with the steady stream of speakers for the foundation's scheduled programs, a pool of contacts was available.
In addition, the idea of founding an academy was itself enticing. Dedicated as "a battleground against partial ideas and a catalyst for their synthesis," the Academy was as attractive to emeritus professors with careers behind them as it was to "up-and-comers" with hypotheses to test. By September, the foundation had recruited an impressive array of scholars. Headed by R. Gordon Agnew, Professor Emeritus at the University of California Medical Center, who accepted the post of president, the faculty included Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, founder of the California Institute of Asian Studies, as well as eight Bay Area professors, a lawyer and the news producer for KRON-TV. 196
More problematic than the recruitment of faculty was the recruitment of students. Although scholarships were available for the $300.00 per term tuition, the academy was not chartered and could not offer degrees. Significantly, by late summer, as one member's diary noted, "most potential students had already picked a college or university to attend for the upcoming academic year." 197 Nonetheless, by mid-September, the foundation recruited ten outside students who, along with twenty or so members, comprised the Academy's first class.
The International Pioneer Academy officially opened on September 20, 1971. Course offerings were available in the History of World Cultures, Fine Arts, Sociology, Economics, Law, History of World Philosophy, History of World Religions, Psychology, Political Science, Nations of the World, Contemporary Ideological Currents, Contemporary International and Domestic Problem Analysis, and the Principles of Education. Classes met from 8:00 a.m. until 11:50 a.m. (with breaks) Monday through Friday, from 7:30 p.m. until 9:20 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and from 7:30 p.m. until 8:20 p.m. on Thursday when Mr. Choi lectured. Besides the uniforms which students wore, each day began with several songs and a pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag. On the entrance of each professor, the class, as one member wrote, "would all rise and say, 'Good morning, Mr./Dr. (teacher's name),' to show respect." 198
Overall, Mr. Choi achieved a rather remarkable coup in establishing the International Pioneer Academy. Not only was he able to integrate "universal guiding principles" into the academy's curriculum and framework, but also he was able to involve important outside people in its development. At the same time, he was able to integrate the academy with the International Ideal City Project. There, students would be able to put into practice theories learned in the classroom. It was, of course, the addition of 44 Page Street that enabled Mr. Choi to parley the Student Movement into the International Pioneer Academy. The same facility effected a similar transformation of the Public Meeting.
International Friendship Banquets
As previously mentioned, public meetings sponsored by the Re-Education Center at the San Francisco Unitarian Center were, with the purchase of the Boonville property, transformed into "fundraisers" at the Scottish Rite Auditorium and finally into "Open Land" programs hosted by the community in Mendocino County. They continued following the establishment of the International Re-Education Foundation and became linked with seasonal celebrations. "International" spring, summer, and fall festivals were held in 1971. These festivals were elaborate affairs featuring participation from "Booners" (residents of Boonville or surrounding towns and counties), San Franciscans and international representatives from various of the consulates in San Francisco.199 With such sponsors as Sheriff Matthew Carberry of San Francisco, Mrs. Margaret Krsak Koesen and Homer Mannix, editor and publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, the gatherings included country concessions, art exhibitions, pony rides, speeches, athletic contests, international song and dance, and tours of the Ideal City Project.
If the land in Mendocino demonstrated to the community the possibilities of hosting their own rural gatherings, the purchase of 44 Page Street offered similar possibilities in the city. With ballroom and balcony, the new facility became the site of a succession of "International Friendship Banquets" during the latter half of 1971. The first of these, "German-American Friendship Night" was held on June 12, 1971. It featured a program of dinner, entertainment, cultural discussions and dancing as well as speeches by Dr. Erich Franz Sommer, First Class Consul, Cultural Affairs, for the German Consulate, and San Francisco Sheriff Matthew Carberry.
"Italian-American Friendship Night" on July 10 was an even more elaborate affairs with 500 guests, a flag ceremony, speeches by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto and the Honorable Piero Mustacchi, Vice Consul of Italy. It also included a dance presentation from the San Francisco Park and Recreation Department and music by representatives from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as the Foundation's own New Age Band and String Quartet. Mayor Alioto returned to 44 Page Street on August 28, 1971, for "Japanese -American Friendship Night" and was again a featured speaker along with Japanese Consul General Eikichi Hara. The foundation sponsored "India-American Friendship Night" on October 23rd. Tickets for all these programs were sold at $3.50 each by members who witnessed actively to make sure each event was a sellout. 200
Besides bi-national friendship banquets, the Foundation sponsored other public gatherings at 44 Page Street. Noteworthy was the "World Religion Congregation" held on August 8, 1971. Opening with a "universal proclamation of peace," the program had speakers from seven major faiths: Ali Kahn -- Islam; Rabbi Paul Citrin -- Judaism; Dr. Framroze Bode -- Zoroastrianism; Rev. Koshin Ogui -- Buddhism; Rev. Tony Ubalde -- Christianity; Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri -- Buddhism; and Sang Ik Choi -- Universalism. 201 As with all programs, the World Religion Congregation concluded with foundation members joined together on the stage in song. On August 21, 1971, the Foundation sponsored "Family Night" for parents, children, aunts, uncles, and cousins of members, and on November 6th, they sponsored "Utopia Night." Combined with what had gone before, the last Page Street banquet of 1971 was aptly titled.
If the autumn of 1963 marked a harvest of sorts for Miss Kim's group in the Bay Area, the latter half of 1971 was harvest-time for Mr. Choi's group. Besides founding the International Pioneer Academy and successfully implementing International Friendship Banquets, numerous businesses, and an expanded nightly program, Mr. Choi and the foundation began to receive public recognition. Mr. Choi was named "Man of the Day" by a local radio station. More significantly, on June 7, 1971, members learned that the Federal Government's Alternative Service Program approved the foundation as "an acceptable alternate service to the draft for conscientious objectors." 202 In addition to public recognition, the foundation felt itself sufficiently evolved by the latter half of 1971 to sponsor a week-long "International Friendship Aloha Tour" to Hawaii beginning on August 23rd, a Human Relationship Symposium on October 30-31, and a full operatic production of Madame Butterfly on December 5th. 203
While each of these occasions were noteworthy, they were all overshadowed by the "International Christmas Friendship Banquet" held December 18, 1971 at the Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post Street in San Francisco. Again, if Children's Day 1963 was the culmination of Miss Kim's efforts in the Bay Area, the International Christmas Friendship Banquet of 1971 was the culmination of Mr. Choi's work. The previous year, well over six hundred San Franciscans, including seventy who had to be turned away, attended a similar foundation-sponsored Christmas banquet at Bimbo's Restaurant near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. The Kabuki Theater, however, was able to accommodate the over twelve hundred guests who paid $6.50 each to attend the 1971 International Christmas Friendship Banquet.
Co-chaired by Lim P. Lee, postmaster of San Francisco, Glenn Bassett, vice president of Wells Fargo Bank, and Dr. Robert Thornton, professor of physics at the University of San Francisco, the second annual International Christmas Friendship Festival was intended to be "a proclamation of peace, goodwill, and love among world peoples." Thirty-seven nations were officially represented in an opening flag ceremony and by their consular representatives. Performances by entertainers from eight nations as well as an evening overture by the New Age Orchestra of the International Re-Education Center highlighted the program. In addition to international representation, state and civic officials were on hand for the occasion. Senator Milton Marks extended a welcome, and addressing the audience on "The Possibility of World Peace" were Mrs. Homai Framroze Bode, recipient of the "Member of the British Empire" award for distinguished social work; Dr. Zuretti L. Goosby, president of San Francisco's Board of Education; and George Mardikian, recipient of the Medal of Freedom, author of the noted "Song of America" and founder of the city's internationally known Omar Khayyam's Restaurant. 204
The International Christmas Friendship Banquet was truly climactic for members of the Re-Education Foundation in the sense that all aspects of their work came together at the Kabuki Theater. On March 12, 1970, when Mr. Choi held the family meeting that launched the community into the International Ideal City Project, he commented that the group had "a basic weak point, a lack of good connections or contacts." 205 As members gathered on the stage of the Kabuki Theater and looked out over the audience of prominent San Franciscans and world delegates, that weak point appeared to be overcome.
Despite that prospect, the Re-Education Foundation was not to enter the promised land of utopian fulfillment. As was the case with Miss Kim's group, the culmination of their activity was also a turning point. The next three years would bring dramatic changes to the Unification Church in the San Francisco Bay Area. The most obvious of these changes was the dismantling of all Mr. Choi had built up.
138. Prospectus for the Establishment of the International Ideal City Under the Re-Education Movement. Pamphlet published by the Re-Education Center, 1970.
139. Michiko Matsumoto, "The Road Rev. Nishikawa Followed," Faith and Life (Tokyo: Kougensha, 1976). Unpublished English translation.
140. Tenrikyo ("The Religion of Heavenly Truth") was founded by Nakayama Miki (1798-1887) following a revelatory experience in 1838. It was granted government sanction in 1908 as the last of the original thirteen Shinto sects. In 1960, Tenrikyo withdrew from the order of Association of Shinto Sects as a consequence of its intended universal mission. Followers believe salvation extends over the world from a sacred spot called the Jiba-the center of the world-situated in the city of Tenri, Nara prefecture. There, followers have constructed Tenri-city, the model of the ideal society which they were commissioned to build on earth. See Joseph M. Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), pp. 220-272, 308-310; H. Weill McFarland, The Rush Hour of the Gods (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967), pp. xi-xii, 58-59, 89; Robert S. Ellwood, "Tenrikyo, The Religion of Heavenly Wisdom," The Eagle and the Rising Sun: Americans and the New Religions of Japan (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1974), pp. 37-68; Hori Ichiro (ed.), Japanese Religion (Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd., 1972).
141. Matsumoto, "The Road Rev. Nishikawa Followed."
145. Masaru Nishikawa [Sang Ik Choi], "The Record of Witnessing in Japan," in Faith and Life (Tokyo: Kougensha, 1966). Unpublished English translation.
146. Matsumoto, "The Road Rev. Nishikawa Followed."
147. Nishikawa, "The Record of Witnessing in Japan."
148. Matsumoto, "The Road Rev. Nishikawa Followed."
149. Nishikawa, "The Record of Witnessing in Japan."
150. "News from Japan," New Age Frontiers, April 1963.
151. Interview with Sang Ik Choi at Alamo, California, October, 1978.
152. "Report from Japan: Economic Enterprises," New Age Frontiers, February 1966.
153. "Report from Japan: Organization," New Age Frontiers, February 1966.
154. "Report from Japan: Training Programs," New Age Frontiers, February, 1966.
155. Student riots erupted throughout Korea.
156. "Report from Japan: University Division," New Age Frontiers, February, 1966.
158. Matsumoto, "The Road Rev. Nishikawa Followed."
159. David Doerring, "History of the Re-Education Center," Epoch Maker, March, 1969.
160. Interview with Koro Ishiguro, Alamo, California, March 1979.
161. Doerring, "History of the Re-Education Center," Epoch Maker, March 1969.
164. "Spiritual Revival," Universal Voice , May 1968.
165. Interview with Sang Ik Choi, Alamo, California, March 1979.
166. Edna Lee, "The Family," unpublished paper, San Francisco State University, n.d.
167. Interview with Sang Ik Choi, Alamo, California, March 1979.
168. Alice Hamaker, "What's Happening," Epoch Maker #15, October 1979.
169. "Prospectus for the Establishment of the Student Unification Movement," Universal Voice, October 1968.
170. Ron Pepper, untitled testimony, Universal Voice, July 1968.
171. Carmela Acohido, "Third Successful Session," Universal Voice, September 1968.
172. Ron Pepper, "Training Session," Epoch Maker #9, July 1969.
173. "Re-Education Center 6th Training Session," unpublished manual, n.d.
174. Ron Pepper, "The Past Year: 1969," Epoch Maker #18, January 1970.
175. "International Exchange Press," Universal Voice, August 1968.
176. Ibid .
177. Ron Pepper, "History of the Re-Education Center," Epoch Maker #2, April 1969.
178. According to the Universal Voice, August 1968, "The opening of the International Exchange Press (then called the World Printing Company) was unheralded by the mass media, but in the hearts and minds of brothers and sisters that day, had great historical significance and meaning. Only they recognized how much the growth and development-the success-of that small 'seed of a company' would mean to this world someday. This was the first printing company established in America whose sole purpose for existence was not in any way for the selfish gain of its workers or management. It was established for the benefit of America and the American people."
179. Josephine Louie, "History of the Re-Education Center," Epoch Maker #4, April 1969.
180. Interview with Sang Ik Choi, Alamo, California, March 1969.
181. Sang Ik Choi, The Theory of the Ideal Man (San Francisco: Re-Education Center, 1969), 49.
182. Prospectus for the Establishment of the International Ideal City, brochure published in 1971.
183. Sang Ik Choi, "Papasan Speaks at Family Meeting March 12, 1970," Epoch Maker #21, March 1970.
184. Bulletin," Epoch Maker #21, March 1970.
185. Sang Ik Choi, "Papasan Speaks at Family Meeting March 12, 1970."; The center had committed itself to a $165,000 mortgage on the property. They had been able to pay the down payment through a donation from Ellie Elliot, a member from San Jose.
186. Prospectus for the Establishment of the International Ideal City.
187. Ibid .
188. William McClellan, "Utopian Born: Extrovert Community Shows Practical Ways to Better World," Universal Voice, June 1970.
189. William McClellan, "New World Discovered," Columbus: The Magazine for the 1970 San Francisco Columbus Day Celebration, October, 1970
190. Michael Warder, "Letter from Mission in Palo Alto," Epoch Maker #21, March 1970.
191. Walter Gottesman, "Open Land Opens People," Universal Voice, September 1970.
192. These were International Exchange Employment, Seno Travel Service, Ideal Home Restoration, International Exchanges, International Exchange Union 76 Service Station, and International Exchange Maintenance.
193. Prospectus for the Establishment of the International Re-Education Foundation," brochure published in 1971.
194. "What Is the International Re-Education Foundation?" Brochure published in 1971.
195. "Prospectus for the Establishment of the International Pioneer Academy," brochure published in 1971.
196. "International Pioneer Academy: Global Education," Universal Voice, October 1971.
197. Kevin Brennan, "When and After Kevin Brennan First Met the Unified Family." Unpublished diary, 1967-70.
199. "International Summer Festival Held in Mendocino," Universal Voice, August 1971.
200. See "Cultures Come Together," Universal Voice, July 1971; and "Alioto Addresses Cultural Gathering," Universal Voice, August 1971.
201. "Major Religions Unite for World Cooperation," Universal Voice August 1971.
202. Selective Service System, California Headquarters. Letter to International Re-Education Foundation, June 7, 1971.
203. See "Schedule of Coming Events," Epoch Maker #32-41, July-November, 1971.
204. "Peace on Earth," Universal Voice, January 1972.
205. "Papasan Speaks at Family Meeting, March 12, 1970," Epoch Maker, #21, March 1970.
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