Rune Rofke - Glenn Emery

Yankee Stadium: What Really Happened


Today is Day of All Things, the fourth of four holy days in the Unification Church. Yankee Stadium is history.

To try to capture the rally in this journal will require all my concentrated effort. As near as I can recall, things were samo-samo up until about 4:45 pm. A 70-foot hot air balloon was being inflated on the field, and large white letters that spelled out GOD BLESS AMERICA were being laid out in the outfield. It had been a beautiful, sunny day all afternoon.

Then the wind kicked up, and a big gust blew the balloon over on top of the letters. The balloon broke and all the air came out. As it was being packed up, a stronger gust came and tore the letters from the field. Huge pieces of white letters started flying everywhere. The whole thing was destroyed in a couple seconds. It was a mess.

The sky turned dark and a terrific storm blew in. It rained really hard for about ten minutes. The bags of balloons secured to the upper railings were getting blown all about, and I struggled in the rain to secure one. The only crowd at this point was mostly parents and guests. Everyone began singing "You Are My Sunshine," and eventually the rain stopped and about half an hour later the sun came out.

But I looked over the soggy remains of what was supposed to have been and couldn't help but feel it was some sort of terrible judgment. My heart sank at the sight.

The stadium never filled, only 80 percent, and the majority were kids, mostly black and Puerto Rican from Harlem and the Bronx.

When Father came out and started speaking in Korean, the crowd became absolutely possessed and began to boo and hiss. Father spoke briefly but very powerfully. Much of the crowd left during his speech. Everyone who came had been given a plastic flag to wave, but the kids tore the flags off the sticks and turned the sticks into daggers.

They stormed the bags of balloons tied to the railings, which were supposed to be released as part of the grand finale. From across the stadium where I sat, it looked like insects attacking sacks of eggs. They didn't want the balloons. They only wanted to destroy them with the sticks. It was pandemonium. If ever there was any doubt in my mind about whether Yankee Stadium would be victorious, it was gone. My eyes witnessed a complete and utter fiasco. I felt I was dying inside.

Father spoke on. He brought judgment to America. At one point he said this country is being ruled by Satan. The crowd visibly and audibly recoiled. Satan hates his own name most of all.

When it was finally over, I never had felt so dejected or defeated in my life. Yankee Stadium was a total failure. There was no other way to say it. We all looked at each other afterward and knew we had failed. I dreaded and feared would happen next. All of us felt crushed. America was doomed.

We all gathered outside the stadium. It began to rain. I felt God was crying.

Mr. Kamiyama appeared along with other leaders. They all seemed bewildered, not sure what to do. Mr. Kamiyama looked like he had been crying but was putting on a brave face. He obviously was suffering very much, feeling he had failed, as we all did.

Without any prompting, everyone gathered behind him. Spontaneously we started singing "Generation of Righteousness" and slowly began parading around the stadium. Everyone was crying. It was the lowest point I had ever experienced in the church. I never could imagine failure, none of us could, and now we were living it. To call the moment surreal would be an understatement. There are no words to describe it.

As we sang, moving counterclockwise around the stadium, we began cleaning up the plaza and street. Every poster, flier, chewing gum wrapper and cigarette butt, every tiny bit of debris and trash we picked up -- because it was all we could do. We had failed God, and having no position worthy of heaven, we humbled ourselves to picking up trash. I thought my heart was going to break.

As we circled the stadium, a group of six men approached me holding Divine Principle books. They were eager to show me, with its own words, how Divine Principle was false. But I was already defeated. I had no appetite for Satan's taunting and mocking. I continued on, cleansing the ground of everything that was wrong, as though plucking my own sins from the sight of heaven. What else could I do?

We made it all the way around the stadium and divided up into de-postering teams. We canvased all of the streets around the stadiums and removed all of Father's images that had been plastered across the Bronx for weeks. In a couple hours it was as if it had never happened. We took the subway back to the hotel and were told to go bed. There was no ceremony or celebration or congratulations. All we knew is the next day we would go to Belvedere to see Father. I was so anxious and full of dread, fearful of the judgment that was to come.

But Father was radiant. He was so happy he was practically dancing. He said Yankee Stadium was a stunning victory over Satan. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. 

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