Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 19 - The Unsung Hero of Soviet Liberation Reverend Moon Meets Gorbachev [Part 4 / 6]
Soviet Communist Party Officials Get Their First Sermon
On April 10, 1990, the long-awaited day finally came for the opening of the Moscow Convention. We began in the morning, with a thousand participants gathered in the Sovincenter. Approximately half were from seventy different nations, and the other half were from the Soviet Union. This was extremely large for an international conference. Moreover, the level of influence represented would have much greater impact than a mass gathering of even hundreds of thousands of the general public.
The proceedings were conducted in both English and Russian. In the plenary session, the welcoming address was by Novosti Press Agency Chairman Albert Vlasov, representing the conveners of the conference. Next I gave a short word of greeting as the convention steering committee chairman. I was followed by Dr. Rodrigo Carazo, former president of Costa Rica, who introduced Reverend Moon as the founder of the participating organizations.
Amid thunderous applause, the historical moment unfolded. Now was the time for Reverend Moon to speak to all humankind from within the heart of the Soviet empire, the very center and capital ciy of the Soviet Union. Can you imagine how he felt? Reverend Moon had worked and longed for this moment all his life.
After warm words of thanks, he launched into the keynote address, titled, "True Unification and One World."
I was recently asked by members of the Soviet media regarding my views on the importance of a spiritual renaissance as a precondition to social, economic and political progress. I would like to take this opportunity to elaborate on some of those views. I believe that such a spiritual renaissance is vitally important. To achieve it, a deeper understanding of the human situation is necessary. This calls for some reflection on philosophical and religious topics. It may not directly concern either communications or media, but for me it is the fundamental understanding necessary to secure true peace in our world. Furthermore, it is the essence of my lifelong search, discovery and teaching.
With this introduction, Reverend Moon proceeded to convey a spiritual message, outlining the essence of his teaching, the Unification Principle. He spoke about the ideal of God's creation and the fall of God's children, Adam and Eve, into corruption. He also spoke about God's providence of salvation through the Messiah and how Christ comes as the True Parent of humankind to open up the era of True Parenthood and "True Parentism." Then he emphasized how a mental and spiritual revival is the precondition for true social, economic and political progress.
The audience listened attentively. Finally, he concluded his speech with:
I clearly envision a moral and economic renaissance for the Soviet Union that will dramatically affect the entire world. I will do all I can to encourage and support that renaissance. You are undertaking a new Soviet revolution, but this should be a revolution without blood or bullets -- a revolution of the heart and soul.
I have been speaking about the importance of the family. But I want to tell you that in the depths of my heart, I feel that the Soviet people are a part of my family. I assure you that my wife and children feel the same. Also, I assure you that members of the Unification movement worldwide will do their utmost to work together with you for the future prosperity and well-being of all humanity.
I believe the Soviet Union will play a key role in God's plan to build a world of lasting true peace. This vast union of nations, which stretches from the far East, with its border on my country of Korea, to the very heart of Europe -- the birthplace of Western civilization -- has a natural destiny to be a bridge between Europe and Asia. We must regard ourselves as being all members of one global family living in one global house.
May God bless the Soviet Union and all its people.
It was an impressive sermon, a declaration. When the speech finished, the rose to their feet, their eyes full of admiration, and gave Reverend Moon a standing ovation.
Among the five hundred something Soviet participants listening to this speech were the following officials: Dr. Vladimir Petrovsky, deputy foreign minister of the USSR; Dr. Vadim Zagladin, adviser on international affairs to Mikhail Gorbachev in his capacity as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet; Dr. Andrew Grachev, deputy director, International Affairs Department, Central Committee, CPSU; Dr. Nikolai Shislin, foreign policy adviser, Central Committee, CPSU; Dr. Pavel Bunich, deputy chairman, Supreme Soviet Committee for Economic Reform, USSR; Mr. Alexander Sergeevich Dzasokhov, chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Committee for International Affairs; and others.
The chief of the News Division for the Soviet national television broadcasting agency called the speech "the first sermon that the officials of the Soviet Union Communist Party have ever heard in their lives." Novosti's Vlasov gave a meaningful appraisal of the plenary session. "In essence, this convention is proof that the Cold War has already finished."
Reverend Moon delivered the keynote address, "Owe Unification and One World" on April 10, 1990, before more than 1,000 participants, from 70 nations gathered in the Sovincenter in Moscow.
There is one more thing I feel compelled to mention. Everyone who attended the convention, in particular the Soviets, expected to hear from Reverend Moon a blast of fiery anti-communist rhetoric and a thorough condemnation of all things communist. Remember that Reverend Moon was and is a man who has devoted his life to the struggle with communism. In a complete reversal of all expectations, however, he said not a single word criticizing either communism or the Soviet Union.
Of course, one does not liberate one's enemies by attacking them. The way to liberate them is to deliver the truth. Anyway you look at it Reverend Moon always walks a proactive path. If he has enough time to criticize them, he would rather spend that time, be it even a few seconds, giving them a few more words of truth.
At the Moscow Convention, Reverend Moon lived to the fullest the role of messenger of love and apostle of the truth.
The Moon-Gorbachev Talks That Shaped History
I have already explained why it was necessary, providentially speaking, that Rev. Sun Myung Moon had to meet with President Gorbachev. Gorbachev, standing in the position of Esau (and Cain) on the world level, had to receive, to embrace, Jacob (and Abel) on the world level, namely the person of Reverend Moon. By doing this, he could fulfill the providential role that God and Heaven had planned for him.
In one bound, Gorbachev, standing on Satan's side as the representative of communism and the Soviet Union, could become Heaven's supporter and ally, thus completing the providence of Heaven. In this way, he would be connected to Heaven's fortune and destiny. Without being so connected, Gorbachev would not be able to overcome and survive the tribulations that the Soviet Union was faced with at that time.
Without meeting me, he cannot be connected to Heaven's fortune and destiny, and without being connected to Heaven's fortune and destiny, he will not make it much further.
These are Reverend Moon's words, spoken in reference to President Gorbachev.
When all was said and done, meeting Reverend Moon was the way for Gorbachev to survive, a fact which was borne out later by certain dramatic events. The fact is, Reverend Moon understood that Gorbachev would confront certain threats to his life later on in the course of things.
At the time, the reforms in the Soviet Union had developed to a level where no one was able to control them. The reforms had become a whirlwind, like a racing locomotive without brakes. By now, no one could stop that locomotive. The movement toward Soviet liberation had been started through the figure of Mikhail Gorbachev, but this movement, these reforms, did not belong to Gorbachev the man. They were God's reforms. It was God's movement for liberation.
In plain terms, we can call the Gorbachev reforms a revolution. But that revolution stretched far beyond what President Gorbachev himself had envisioned. The revolution became a rushing and dangerous torrent, one which the prime instigator himself could not control. In one mad rush, it swept through the whole of Soviet society. The dam had already burst, and no power on earth could stop the wave of this revolution.
Gorbachev himself never imagined that the glasnost and perestroika policies would go this far. One time, he perceptively said, "At this point, all we can do is entrust things to the flow of history."
By that time, he understood how helpless he was to control events. If he had been a man inclined to religious insight, he might have expressed it another way, a more accurate way: "At this point, all we can do is entrust things to the providence of God."
He was, however, an atheist, at least up until then.
It is a principle of history that "the child of revolution" is destined to die in a bloody manner, and this is the fate that confronted Mikhail Gorbachev. The one person who understood this fact completely was Rev. Sun Myung Moon. However, it was one of his missions to meet President Gorbachev, to impart to him the blessing of God, and to connect him to the flow of heavenly destiny. This would allow Gorbachev to receive God's protection, and it was Reverend Moon's deep desire that he should.
The day of the one-on-one talks arrived. The date: April 11, 1991. It was a bright, clear day, with not one cloud to be seen in the sky.
A little before ten in the morning, Reverend and Mrs. Moon got in the limousine provided by the Soviet government. I got in the front seat. The twenty-eight former heads of state who had gathered for the conference boarded a bus that came behind us.
At exactly ten o'clock, we entered the Kremlin and passed into the deeper recesses of the palace. Everyone got out in front of the presidential office building, whereupon we were guided to a reception room equipped with a large conference table. Reverend and Mrs. Moon were seated at the top of the table, and I, being their designated interpreter, was seated next to them. The former presidents and prime ministers took the remaining seats on both sides of the table.
Soon President Gorbachev came in sporting a big smile. He was accompanied by Alexander Yakolev, a member of the Communist Party Politburo, and Dr. Ivan T. Frolov, who was secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee and editor in chief at Pravda (official newspaper of the Soviet government). Also with the President were the chief of staff, a stenographer, and interpreters. When Gorbachev entered, everyone broke into applause. For all of us, it was our first time to sec him in person.
First of all, President Gorbachev expressed his thanks to Reverend Moon and praised highly the joint convening of the World Media Conference, the Summit Council for World Peace, and the AULA conference in Moscow. After this, he enthusiastically set about explaining the success of the glasnost and perestroika policies.
"We have now come to the time for Soviet society to move from the reconstruction stage to actually taking substantial actions on that foundation," the president said determinedly. "At this point, I want to take advantage of the current national sentiment and begin to implement more radical reforms." He also expressed his confidence in the future, saying, "We have now arrived at the construction of a new world order." Gorbachev spoke in Russian, and his interpreter translated into English.
Reverend Moon spoke up as soon as Gorbachev had finished his speech. "Mr. President, you look much younger than you appear on television and in photographs. You're really quite handsome." A burst of laughter filled the room, and the atmosphere lightened considerably.
"Subashiha, subashiba (thank you, thank you)," President Gorbachev said over and over. "I've been so busy with my work that I forgot that I'm getting old," he retorted jokingly.
Reverend Moon spoke again.
On behalf of our team of representatives of the nations of the world, let me express our admiration and praise for you. We are holding this convention in Moscow simply because we want to understand and support the perestroika policies that you, Mr. President, are pursuing. We want to publicize them to the whole world.
The twenty-eight VIPs in attendance clapped their hands and expressed their support and approval. Reverend Moon continued speaking.
Twenty-eight former heads of state, as well as Reverend and Mrs. Moon, met with President Gorbachev.
I have taken this opportunity to prepare a gift on behalf of all of us. This piece of art is a white marble vase that is produced in my home country of Korea. You can see it has a dragon design etched into it. The white is symbolic of the Korean people, known as the `white-robed people.' It represents purity and innocence. The stone symbolizes unchanging eternity, and the dragon symbolizes prosperity, authority and honor, according to Eastern philosophy. With this, Mr. President, you will be able to overcome any adversity that presents itself to you.
President Gorbachev rose and stood together with Reverend and Mrs. Moon in front of the cameras as he received the marble vase. As photographs were taken, he thanked them. "Subashiha, subashiba. With this marble vase, now there is nothing I can't do!" he quipped effortlessly. Once again, all the participants clapped and laughed out loud. The atmosphere was very happy, harmonious and comfortable.
This brought to a conclusion the first part of this summit meeting. It had taken approximately one hour and thirty minutes.
Next, the chief of staff came and guided Reverend and Mrs. Moon to the presidential office. They were accompanied only by myself; Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak, head of our World Missions Department; and Ambassador Jose Maria Chaves, president of AULA. Again, I was to act as interpreter for Reverend and Mrs. Moon. On the Soviet side, we were joined by President Gorbachev, his interpreter, and the chairman of the Novosti Press Agency.
The treatment we received from the Soviet side was in two ways unprecedented and exceptional.
First of all, up until that very day, no outsider had ever entered the working offices of the Soviet head of state in all of the history of the Soviet Union. This office was the very center of power for the entire Soviet empire, the most secret of secret places. For this meeting, however, they broke the rule.
Secondly, the presidential office is truly an office, not a place for social gatherings. For this reason, it is not acceptable for someone to visit accompanied by his wife, for example. In the beginning, the president's staff had obstinately refused to allow Reverend Moon to be accompanied by Mrs. Moon. But I was even more obstinate that it was our tradition that the two of them had to go together if the meeting were to be auspicious. From God's viewpoint, Reverend and Mrs. Moon are in the True Parents position, and therefore they have to go in together in order to be able to pass on God's blessing and connect the president with providential fortune.
This is what I said. "Mrs. Moon is the president of the Women's Federation for World Peace. She does not participate simply as Reverend Moon's wife. Doesn't President Gorbachev need the support of the world's women? Please ask the president. If Reverend and Mrs. Moon cannot come together, then we'll just have to call the meeting of"
I put it to them resolutely and presented my request with determination. I set my faith in God and approached the matter with self-assurance and a good measure of audacity. Indeed, I believed that President Gorbachev's future depended on it; it was a matter of his survival. In the end, the president gave his OK.
The president's office was a functional office for dealing with the mountain of constantly incoming matters. It didn't quite seem like a room belonging to a magnificent and imposing palace like the Kremlin. In the front was a working desk, next to which was standing a flag of the Soviet Union. A portrait of Lenin hung upon the wall. To the side was a table for conferencing with staff, around which about ten or so chairs were placed. Stalin ruled over the entire Soviet domain from this very room. From here, Brezhnev commanded his strategy of world communization. I couldn't help shuddering at the thought of it.
But times had changed. Here we were, in the same room, discussing God and peace together with the president of the Soviet Union. History sure is strange.
The first thing we did after entering the president's office was to hold a ceremony conferring a medal on President Gorbachev. This is a fact that has not been made public until now. Although it was a ceremony to confer the medal, from God's viewpoint, it was a ceremony to confer Heaven's blessing. The medal was the Latin American Order of Liberty and Unity, an award established by the Association for the Unity of Latin America. In the center of the medal is a sculpted representation of Simon Bolivar, hero of Central and South American independence and unity. The ceremony consisted of the founder of AULA, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, presenting President Gorbachev with this medal.
Ambassador Chaves read the award proclamation, and Reverend Moon put a special sash on President Gorbachev, draping the sash across his shoulder. He also pinned the medal on the president's chest. Next, he placed his right hand over the medal, clasped Mrs. Moon's hand with his left hand, then offered an earnest prayer. His voice trembled with emotion, and the tears glistened in both his and Mrs. Moon's eyes. At the end of the prayer, he said in English, "God bless you, Mr. President," and these two figures, these two cosmic men, warmly embraced.
President Gorbachev's face was flushed, and he looked very happy, almost like a little child. He extended his arm and shook hands with everyone.
Ah, I wondered if this office, this throne of Soviet dictatorship, had ever seen such a scene before. Had the atmosphere here ever shimmered with such a warm pulsation of love?
President Gorbachev had received the blessing of Heaven, and he now could receive the protection of providential fortune.
Next, both Reverend Moon and President Gorbachev took their seats and began to exchange words that would change the course of history.
A miraculous photo" of Reverend and Mrs. Moon in the office of President Gorbachev in the Kremlin on April 11, 1991.
"President Gorbachev. I believe in your intentions and motives for your reforms," Reverend Moon said. "However, if you think of these reforms as your own, you will fail. These reforms are being carried out by God. In fact, you have been called by God exactly for this sacred mission.
The way for you and the Soviet Union to survive is to invite God and have God here, in the Soviet Union. All human endeavors that are conducted without God are destined to failure.
President Gorbachev. Communism is not God's idea or ideology. Communism is destined to become extinct. Please raise up religious freedom in this nation. You need to have a spiritual perestroika before anything else. The nation will not perish, even if the Communist Party does. Under a spiritual perestroika, a new nation will be born, a new true nation.
When you allowed the Berlin Wall to be destroyed, you acted with courage. In the future, you will have to have even greater determination. Please do not block the various Soviet republics if they seek independence. Even without them, Russia is huge, don't you think?
At this point in history, you, Mr. President, are the one person in the world who can prevent war, who can prevent nuclear warfare. You, President Gorbachev, can destroy humankind by wilting in these last stages, and you can also build a lasting peace for all the world. That is why I came here today to ask for God's blessing upon you. Do not be too attached to the position of president of the Soviet Union. You are destined to work as an apostle of peace, to do much work as the president of the world. Such works will last forever. Under no circumstances whatsoever must you allow the shedding of blood.
I suppose that if you consider the first part of today's talks as a sermon on perestroika by President Gorbachev, the second part, this one-on-one conference, was a sermon on Godism, delivered earnestly and with a warning by Reverend Moon.
The president listened most attentively. I translated Reverend Moon's words into English, and the Soviet interpreter translated into Russian. Light sparked in the midst of this give and take of serious direction. President Gorbachev nodded his head back and forth, and listened.
Reverend Moon. The words you speak cannot be called usual. Nevertheless, I believe that you say them with love, both for me and the Soviet Union. Today I have understood the real meaning behind your words. After I visited the pope in Rome, my understanding of religion has broadened considerably. Concerning the role of religion, I have the same view as you.
Reverend Moon changed the topic to pending political issues. "As a Korean, I feel great respect for your efforts on behalf of peace and stability in Northeast Asia, as well as your endeavors for advancing friendship between the Soviet Union and my homeland, South Korea. The Korean peninsula is destined to be unified someday. My people are counting upon the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Soviet Union and South Korea, and hope that you will meet with President Roh Tae Woo."
In response to this, President Gorbachev said, "I am sure that South Korean-Soviet relations will develop favorably. I think that we need, first and foremost, political stability and an easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula. I think friendly relations with South Korea is just a matter of time. There are no obstacles in the way there whatsoever. I want to meet with President Roh Tae Woo."
What a refreshing response! One of the great fruits of the Moscow Convention and Reverend Moon's visit to Seoul was the progress made on the Korean peninsula issue. Where the leading figures of Korean politics had been unable to accomplish much at all in the way of easing the tensions of the Korean peninsula and working on the problem of peaceful Korean reunification, Reverend Moon successfully held one-on-one talks with President Gorbachev and obtained a concrete expression of commitment from him: "It's simply a matter of time. There are no obstacles. I want to meet with President Roh." The fact that Reverend Moon was able to accomplish this, where no one else could, shocked the Korean political and media establishments.
President Gorbachev carried out his expressed promises. Shortly after, on June 4, 1990, he held a summit meeting with Korea's President Roh Tae Woo (in office 1988-93). Korea-Soviet relations advanced with lightning speed, until on September 30 that same year, the two nations established diplomatic relations.
In its April 29 edition, Shisa Journal, a weekly Korean current affairs magazine, gave top marks to the Moon-Gorbachev talks. Shisa praised them highly, saying, "Never before has any Soviet head of state so clearly declared the Soviet stance on Korea-Soviet relations and the Korean peninsula security issue. It is unprecedented." Shisa Journal also compared the results of the Moon-Gorbachev talks with those of a visit by Kim Young Sam, a top member of the Korean Democratic Liberal Party that headed the Korean government. That trip was made by Kim on March 21 the same year. Shisa Journal said, "The method and content of Reverend Sun Myung Moon's approach to the Soviet Union is on a completely different level to the government's approach."
Shisa Journal also pointed out that "in front of the Moon approach, the role of that famous Northern Diplomacy emissary has been relegated to that of dropout university student."
This is an allusion to Mr. Chol On Pak, who worked very hard on establishing diplomatic ties between South Korea and Hungary, and other Eastern European nations.) The reason is, of course, because this was the very first time for President Gorbachev to directly express his stance on Korea-Soviet relations. Moreover, the president readily agreed to be an intermediary in easing the tensions on the Korean peninsula.
At the conclusion of the talks, Reverend Moon said to Gorbachev, "If there is anything at all I can help with, please don't hesitate to give me a call. Of course, I am a religious leader, but I think there is nothing more important at this point in time than helping your work, Mr. President."
President Gorbachev beamed back at him. "Sometimes those Washington Times articles give me quite a bit of grief," he said, and laughed.
"The Washington Times absolutely supports your glasnost and perestroika policies," the Reverend Moon replied. "They are just spurring you on. To encourage your work. Sometimes a bit of criticism is the best encouragement. And after all, the reason we are holding this media conference here is to encourage your work, isn't it?" To this Gorbachev replied, "Subashiba, Subashiba."
The atmosphere was full of goodwill and friendship.
On the way out of Gorbachev's office after some photographs had been taken, Father shook his hand firmly and earnestly said, "President Gorbachev, please make sure you come to Korea. I'll see you in Korea."
As President Gorbachev shook hands with Mrs. Moon, he said, "You are a beautiful lady, Mrs. Moon. These Korean traditional clothes suit you very well."
"I admire your beautiful wife Raisa so much," replied Mrs. Moon. "Women around the world really respect her. I'm looking forward to meeting her tomorrow. And my husband already mentioned it, but let me again compliment you on your good looks, President Gorbachev."
I'm sure Gorbachev felt as if he were on cloud nine. Both men shared a good laugh. The atmosphere was positively family-like and the exchange most congenial.
From God's viewpoint, this encounter represented a great victory of the universal Jacob. At that very moment, a great condition for the start of a new providence worldwide was established. Beyond that, the talks also changed human history in concrete, substantial ways, a fact resoundingly testified to by the subsequent history of world events.