Sun Myung Moon, The Early Years, 1920-53

By Michael Breen


Chapter One, The Moon Village

1. Some Unificationists, attributing the Chinese characters sang (upper) and sa (thought) to the name, have declared the meaning to be, providentially, 'village of heavenly thought' This is a case of over-interpretation.

2. There are 275 Korean family names and 3,349 clans. All Koreans with the surname Moon belong to the same clan. There are around 400,000 Moons in south Korea. Sun-myung Moon is the leader of this clan at the time of writing.

3. Korean men are usually given a pen-name in their middle age if they have reached a good social position. The name may be given by a senior person such as a clan leader. Close friends will then call the person by their pen-name.

4. See article 'Jeongju-eso Somun-nan Bo1z-padul Jib' (The House in Jeongju that was Rumored to be Blessed) in Tong-il Se-gye, the Korean Unification Church monthly, February 1983, p. 30, quoting Kim Heung-bok, then aged seventy-one, who lived in a nearby village.

5. School enrolment increased considerably under Japanese rule, but even by 1945 only twenty percent of Koreans had received any formal schooling. A 1944 survey revealed that nearly half the seventeen million population was illiterate. See Korea: the Politics of the Vortex by Gregory Henderson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1968, p.89.

6. The book was written by Lee Dam in the early 1600s.

7. The address was 2221, Sangsa-ri, Dokon-myon (township), Jeongjugun (county), Pyong-an Buk-do (province). No. 2221 was a myon or township-level number

8. Kyong-bok's three sons and two of Kyong-chon's sons now live in south Korea.


9. The Moons' reputation was confirmed by Lee Yong-chul, who lived in the neighboring village before his escape to south Korea during the Korean War. Author's interview.

10. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'Textbook of Love,' Feb. 5, 1984, HSA-UWC, New York, p.11. HSA-UWC is an abbreviation for the Ho]y Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, the official name of the Unification Church.

11. Sun-myungMoon, sermon, 'Individual Course of Life,' Jan. 20,1980, HSA-UWC, New York, p. 8.

12. According to their tombstones in north Korea, Moon's mother was born on Oct. 25,1888, and her husband on July 11, 1893. These dates are by the lunar calendar, which runs around a month behind the solar calendar. He died on Oct. 11, 1954 and she on Jan. 7,1968, by the solar calendar.

13. Her family's home was 207, Daesan-dong, Dokon township, Jeongju county.

14. This is a rare example of a two-syllable sumame.

15. Chondo-kyo, or Religion of the Heavenly Way, is a native Korean faith, which developed in the nineteenth century as an alternative to Roman Catholicism. Originally known as Tonghak (Eastern Learning, as opposed to Western learning), it was anti-foreign and nationalistic. Although still in existence, it has little influence in modern Korea.

16. Some south Korean historians see the 'March the 1st Movement' as marking the birth of modern Korea. See, for example, the History of Korea by Han Woo-keun, Eul-yoo Publishing Co., Seoul, 1970, pp.477-8.

17. The currency was the Japanese yen. In Korean rendering, the Chinese character is won.

18. The document was made available to the author by Sun-myung Moon's cousin, Yong-gi, who claimed Yoon-kook had appeared to him in a dream and given him an address in a mountain village in south Korea. Yong-gi wrote to the address and received a reply that Moon Yoon-kook had indeed lived there, but that he had already been dead for several years.

19. In other words, Moon celebrates his birthday on January 6, lunar. This day falls on a different day each year by the solar calendar.

20. See chapter 10, note 42.


21. These details are from interviews with Moon's second cousin, Seung-gyun. In the 1960S, Seung-gyun changed his name to Seung-yong on the advice of a fortune-teller on the grounds that 'yong' would bring him better health and fortune.

22. Moon" "from childhood, was clairvoyant and clairaudient. I could see through people, see their spirits." From a question-and-answer session with American followers and invited guests during a US tour in March 1965, published by The Unified Family, Washington DC, 1967. Ref: MS-I, p. 1.

23. See Unification Theology, revised edition, by Young Oon Kim, HSA-UWC, New York, 1987, P.15.

24. Ibid.

25. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'Our Church and Korea seen from the Providence of God,' Feb. 19,1989, Seoul. Author's notes.

26. Incident told to author by Moon Seung-gyun.

27. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'The Blessing of God Through History,' Feb. l3, 1965, Oakland, California, p. 4, The Unified Family, Washington DC, 1967.

28. Moon's cousin, Yong-hyon, in interview

29. As yet, it has been impossible to verify this claim. There may be another explanation which his widow was afraid to reveal publicly in the presence of local Communist officials and Moon's entourage. In an interview, one neighbor, Lee Yong-chul, who stayed until the last moment, escaping from advancing Communist forces in November 1950, said the Communist authorities used to refer to Morum and Sangsa-ri as 'ee-nam bu-rak' (second south Korean villages) because many anti-Communist Christians lived there. Such a reputation suggests that Yong-soo and others who remained may have been victimized by the regime after the war.

30. I here is some discrepancy here between sources. Moon Yong-sun says seven years. Moon Seung-gyun says it was four years, and that the boys did not start school until they were ten years old.

31. Although their languages are different, Koreans, Chinese and Japanese can communicate through the common linguistic root of written Chinese. South Koreans learn Sino-Korean characters (i.e., Chinese characters in Korean pronunciation).

32. Details from author's interviews with Moon Seung-gyun.


33. See Today's World, a monthly published by the World Mission Department, HSA-UWC, New York, May 1986, p. 8.

34. This and incidents below from interviews with Moon Seung-gyun

Chapter Two - The Conversion

1. Interestingly, American missionaries may have been aware of the incident involving Hyo-shim, but not of the resulting conversion. The nearby Syenchun (spelling of Soonchun at the time) mission reported a strange case of a woman in a place called Syengmyen who was apparently possessed by a demon. Church elders offered prayers and the dearting spirit announced it was going to a certain house in a place called Samyen. Could this be a reference to Nam (south) So-myon where Hyo-shim was healed? A church worker later visited this house to see if all was well and was told that one of the women of the house had recently become "possessed of a demon." Ref: 'Syenchun's Triumph in Christ,' typewritten station report for 1931-2, Chosen Mission of the Presbyterian Church, USA.

2. For accounts of the development of Christianity in Korea at the time of Moon's childhood, see Wildfire: Church Growth in Korea by Roy E. Shearer, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, History of the Korea Mission, Presbyterian Church USA 1884-1934 edited by Harry A. Rhodes, published by the Chosen Mission, Presbyterian Church, USA, Seoul, and Mission to Korea by George Thompson Brown, Board of World Missions, Presbyterian Church, USA. For a charming account of the early missionary work in northern Korea, see Gold in Korea by William Newton Blair, Presbyterian Church of the USA, New York City, l957. For a more comprehensive history, see A History of the Church in Korea by Allen D. Clark, Christian Literature Society of Korea, Seoul, 1971.

3. Rev. Gye was living in California in the 1980s, but declined to be interviewed for this book.

4. The brother was called Yong gwan . According to cousin Moon Yong gi, the sister's name was Yong ho.

5. Author's interview with Moon Seung-gyun

6. Sun-myung Moon, sermon at Chongpa-dong Church, Seoul, Dec. 30, 1990. Author's notes.


7. Question-and-answer session with American followers and their invited guests during a U.S. tour in March 1965, published by The Unified Family, Washington DC, 1967. Ref: MS- I, p. 1.

8. South Hill is Namsan in Korean. Moon's cousin, Seung-gyun, said this was where Moon used to pray. This rise, unnamed in local maps, was overshadowed by a larger hill, called Myodu Mt., which was identified in one official publication as the place where Moon encountered Jesus. Ref Footprints of the Unification Movement Vol. l, l HSA-UWC International, Seoul, 1996, p.20.

9. Moon was fifteen years old at the time. However, by Korean reckoning, by which a baby is one year old at birth, he was sixteen. Many accounts, for this reason, assume the event occurred in 1936. The date is also frequently referred to as Easter Day. In fact, Easter fell on April 21st in 1935. Yu Kwang-yol claims that Jesus revealed to Moon that April 17 was the real date of the resurrection. See: History of the Unification Church, Vol. I by Yu Kwang-yol, HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1978, p .13.

10. This is the standard explanation in the Unification Church of Moon's encounter with Jesus. However, in an interview with the author, Lee Yo-han, director of the church seminary in Korea and a longtime follower, suggested that Moon's description of the events is a summary and that, in fact, the mission would have been given over a period of time, not all at once. "There is suffering and experience, then prayer and exchange with God, then more suffering and experience," he said. "For Father (Moon) there was a period of realizing his mission. It didn't happen overnight. There was a questioning development. Revelation is conditional, not absolute. It is a reservation, not a ticket.

11. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'Faith and Reality,' printed in New Hope, HSA-UWC., New York, 1973, p. 2.

12. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'Men are Destined to Co the Road of Restoration,' March 14, 1965, p. 6, 'The Unified Family, USA, 1967.

13. Ibid.

14. Op. cit. MS-I, p. 4.

15. Op. cit. MS-3, p. 13.

16. Ibid. 'The Principle' refers to Moon's teaching. The theological texts used by the Unification Church have been written under Moon's guidance by followers. The first was Wonri Haesul (Principle Explanation) published in Seoul in 1957. The second, Wonri Kangron (Principle Discourse) published in Seoul in 1966, was translated into English as


Divine Principle in the United States in 1973. A more widely used text is Outline of the Principle - Level 4, published in the United States in 1980. A new text, Exposition of the Divine Principle, was published in the United States in 1996.

17. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was one of the two trees in the Garden of Eden, as described in the Book of Genesis.

18. Op. cit. MS-I, p.3.

19. Sun-myung Moon, 'Sonseng-nimeui long-gyong Yoohak Shijeol' (Teacher's Student Days in Tokyo), a speech to Unificationist students at Waseda University, Tokyo, on October 8,1965, translated from Japanese in Moon Sun-myung Sonseng Malseum Seonjib ('The Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon'), Vol. 15, HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1986, pp. 180-4.

20. Two points of the Principle were developed later. Moon has said that it was several years before he arrived at the view that God could not intervene to prevent the fall because he had created man free. Although he referred in the early 1950s to the 'dual characteristics' of God and the creation, the specific notion of internal character and external form as one of the pairs of dual characteristics first appeared in 1957 in Wonri Haesul, written by Eu Hyo-won. For this point the author is grateful to Kang Hyun-shil.

21. See Question-and-answer session with Rev. Lee Sang-hun, a close disciple, and director of the Unification Thought Institute in Seoul, and seminar participants, in Unification Thought Quarterly, No. 7, Seoul, 1984.

22. Ibid.

23. An interesting, and unresearched, possibility is that several others on the fringes of Korean Christianity were having similar experiences to Moon. Lee Yo-han told the author that, while he believed that Korea had been 'chosen' by God' because of its tradition of filial piety, the person to bring God's new truth could have been one of several. Lee, who was a Christian pastor before meeting Moon in the early 1950s (see ch. 10), said that in 1945 there were around seventy 'messiahs' in Korea and that in the early 1960s they rapidly declined.

Chapter Three - The Crying Church

1. Sun-myung Moon, op. cit., Waseda speech.

2. Moon's second cousin, Seung-gyun, in interview with the author.


3. In Korean, Kyongsong Sang-gong Kang-seup Hag-won. In February 1939, it was renamed Kyongsong Sang-gong Shilmu Hak-kyo (Kyongsong Practical Business School for Commerce and Industry). Kyongsong was the word for Seoul during the Japanese occupation. The building was destroyed by fire in 1965. The middle school on the premises at the time of writing is affiliated with nearby Joong-ang University

4. Author's interview.

5. Fighting usually meant Korean ssirum wrestling, similar to Japanese sumo, where the idea is to throw your opponent on to the ground.

6. The boys could choose between soccer, basketball, and ssirum wrestling clubs which were held after school.

7. It is common for male cousins and friends in Korea to refer to one another as 'brothers.'

8. Told to the author by Moon Seung-gyun.

9. Rumsey was joined in 1932 by another American, T. M. Parsons, and two British missionaries, E. H. Meredith and L. Vessey. By 1938, there were six churches and 192 believers. After this peak, the numbers dwindled. The missionaries were forced by the Japanese authorities to leave by the end of 1940. Ref: The Christian Encyclopedia, The Christian Literature Press, Seoul, 1980, p. 1181.

10. According to Pak's brother, Pak Kyong-do, in interview with the author.

11. Author's intervieuw with Kim Hee-son

12. 'This account of Lee Yong-do and the Jesus Church is compiled from interviews with: Lee's daughter-in-law, Chun Chul-ja; founding Jesus Church figures, Han Joon-myung and Lee Ho-bin; Lee long sun, the director of the Joong-ang Seminary in Seoul, founded by the Jesus Church; and Unification Church theologian Kim Young-oon.

13. The institute was in the Kwangsuk-dong area of the city. It had been founded by two Canadian Presbyterian missionaries, both sisters, who named it after their mother

14. The bureaucrat was Kim Dae-wu, a Korean in the social affairs section of the Governor-general's office.

15. See chapter six for history of the west coast Holy Lord group. Han Joon-myung told the author that Baek was accompanied by Lee Ho bin and Han's sister and that he walked part of the way barefoot as an act of discipline.


16. Han Joon-myung said that Baek "had a discipline problem" after his wife had died, and that he was expelled "because of an indiscretion committed in autumn 1934."

17. This account was related to the author by Kim Bom-joon's niece, Kim Bok-soon. Han Joon-myung said that the niece confused Baek's group with the 'In-the-Belly' group in Pyongyang (see chapter six).

18. According to Kim Young-oon, Moon attributed this decline to the introduction by Han Joon-myung of the ideas of Swedenborg. Kim said she disagreed with this opinion.

19. Author's interview with Kwak No-pil.

20. At least seven of his former charges later found their way to the Unification Church

21. Author's interview with Im Nam-sook. The children used 'Shi' (Mister) and 'Sonseng,' (teacher) in referring to Moon.

22. This episode was told to the author by Kim Hee-son.

Chapter Four - Emoto Ryumei

1. Ref: History of the Unification Church, Vol. l by Yu Kwang-yol, HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1978, P.22.

2. The Japanese education system went from elementary school to middle school, high school, technical high school, junior college and university. The classes at the technical high school were taught by professors.

3. Some 723,000 Korean laborers were drafted to work in Japan, and to support the Japanese military as laborers in Japan and overseas. In 1941 there were 3,208 Koreans in the military. By 1945 there were 269,270. See Korea: the Politics of the Vortex by Gregory Henderson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1968, ch. 4.

4. In the war years, more than fifty church workers were killed, two thousand ministers and church workers were imprisoned, and over two hundred churches closed. The numbers of Protestants was reduced by half to 350,000. See A History of the Church in Korea by Allen D. Clark, Christian Literature Society of Korea, Seoul, 1971, PP. 230-1.

5. Emoto is a common Japanese surname. Ryumei is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters for Moon's first name, Yong-myung.


6. Korean resentment ran, and still runs, deep. An instance: Cho Yong-gi, the prominent south Korean pastor who leads Korea's largest Christian congregation, the Full Gospel Church in Seoul, told a group of Japanese Christians in Tokyo in the 1970s that it took him twenty-five years to remove the hatred in his heart, and allow that God wanted to "save" the Japanese too.

7. The lodgings were at 2-chome, Tosuga-cho, Yodobashi-ku.

8. This incident was related to the author by Aum Duk-moon, who was present in the meeting.

9. According to Aum Duk-moon, the support for Kim Ku was ideological, not active, as the penalties were too harsh. For example, a student could expect a ten-year sentence simply for distributing anti-government leaflets.

10. At the time of writing, Chang, who changed his name to Chang Chol, is the Minister of Arts and Culture in north Korea. Kim went to China after World War Two but his present whereabouts are not known.

11. Sun-myung Moon, op. cit., Waseda speech.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Aum Duk-moon, who related this incident to the author, did not know what the illness was.

16. This point was made by Lee Hee-wook in an interview with the author. Lee was in Aum's architecture class, and in the same lodgings as Moon for one year. Lee said many Korean students worked in offices during the day and could earn forty to fifty won a month.

17. Sun-myung Moon, op. cit., Waseda speech. Lee Hee-wook told the author that Moon was quite poor, but once, out of friendship, bought Lee a suit.

18. Op. cit., Waseda speech.

19. The Life of Rev. Sun Myung Moon Part 1: Chronology 1920-1987, Unification Theological Seminary, Barrytown, New York, 1988, p. 8. 'This is a translation from the Japanese of History of the Unification Church Vol. 1, ed. Kachi Masayuki.

20. Yu Kwang-yol, 'Unification Church History from the Early Days,' speech reprinted in New Hope News, Oct. 7, 1974, HSA-UWC, USA.


21. Sun-myung Moon, op. cit., Waseda speech. "That's why, until I was thirty, there was not a day went by that I wasn't hungry," he said.

22. Aum exchanged photos and letters with the girl, but his parents were against the match and he eventually married someone they chose for him.

Chapter Five - The Second Israel

1. Moon's cousin, and from History of the Unification Church Vol. 1, ch. 6, by Yu Kwang-yol, HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1978.

2. For example: "Will you be the kind of person God will run out to meet with tears, even forgetting to put his shoes on in expectation of meeting you?" he asked in a 1979 sermon, "The Abel's Right Path from the Providential Point of View, Barrytown, New York, Dec. 30,1979, HSA-UWC, USA.

3. Author's interview with Moon Seung-gyun.

4. The author is grateful to Kang Hyun-shil for this point. Kang, a Presbyterian seminary student when she joined Moon in 1952, said Choi's mother disapproved of Moon because he was not in the Jaegun Church.

5. These details were related to the author by Lee in interview. Lee died in 1989.

6. Author's interview with Moon Yong-hyon.

7. The Life of Rev .Sun Myung Moon Part I: Chronology 1920- 1987, OP. cit., p. 9

8 The Japanese firm is now known as the Kashima Kensetsu Construction Company.

9. Im Nam-sook in interview with the author.

10. Pak Sul-nam, a female celibate in Kim Baek-moon's group, told the author that Moon "really respected women" and listened to his wife's opinions. This observation is noted in the context of Korea's male-dominated society.

11. This account taken from interviews with Kwak No-pil and Im Nam sook.

12. Moon Yong-gi, in interview with the author.

13. Moon has said the search for the Principle took nine years, which meant he would have been ready to start his mission in 1944. It is


possible that he had not yet decided how to proceed or simply that he was being cautious, given his recent arrest. It could also be argued that his mission did not begin until the summer of 1946, when he first started publicly teaching the content of the Principle (see ch. 6).

14. Sun-myung Moon, op. cit., Waseda speech.

15. Sun-myung Moon, sermon at Chongpa dong Church, Seoul, Dec. 30, 1990, author's notes. Mansei is the Korean equivalent of the Japanese Banzai. The shout is made with both arms thrust into the air.

16. For more on this period, see Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-47, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1981.

17. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'The Significance of July 1,1973,' God's Will and the World, HSA-UWC, New York, 1985, p.140. Moon has not identified whom he met for this purpose.

18. The baby was born at home, with the landlord's sister, Lee Kee-yon, and Pak Sul-nam, a celibate in Kim Baek moon's group, as the mid-wives. Author's interview with Pak Sul-nam.

19. The account of Kim Baek-moon was compiled from interviews with: Shin Hyon-shik, the elder of Kim's church in Seoul; Pak Kyong-do, a former Kim follower who joined the Unification Church; Kim Yong-jin, a Presbyterian minister in Chonju, North Cholla Province, who was a celibate at Kim's retreat; and Hong Yi-sun, a female celibate at the retreat, who later became the second ordained woman minister in the Korean Methodist Church. For comparisons between the theologies of Moon and Kim, the author relied on Pak Sang-ne, a theologian, formerly at Yonsei University, who was a member of the Unification Church for two years in the 1950s and then joined Kim's church, which he left in 1982 after twenty-seven years. Elder Shin Hyon-shik blocked several requests by the author and go-betweens to meet with Kim. Additional information was supplied by Choe Joong-hyun, a Unificationist and a scholar of Korean Christian groups.

20. The church was named the Israel Yasokyo, the retreat the Israel Yasokyo Sudowon. Israel was printed in Korean script and the rest of the name in Chinese characters. Yaso is Jesus in the Korean rendering of the Chinese characters .

21. Wedemeyer was reportedly the first choice to head the American Military Government in Korea, but was dropped as his role in north China was considered more important. See Korea: the Politics of the


Vortex by Gregory Henderson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1968, P. 416, note 32.

22. Lee later lost favor with Rhee and was appointed ambassador to Taiwan. He died in 1972 at the age of seventy-two. Biographical information is from the author's interview with An Ho-sang who was the chief ideologue of Lee's youth group and Korea's first minister for education. See also Henderson, op. cit., and Harold Joyce Noble's Embassy at War, University of Washington Press, 1975, PP- I 64-5,247

23. According to Pak Sul-nam and Im Nam-sook in interviews. Im said Moon's wife complained to her that during this period he would give his salary to Kim instead of to her.

24. Sun-myung Moon, lecture series, 'History of the Unification Church,' Dec. 27,1971, The Unified Family, Washington DC, p. 6.

25. According to Kim's elder, Shin Hyon-shik. Shin said that from this time, Kim began compiling his revelations into a comprehensive theology.

26. The later claim of Moon's followers that he is the second Messiah (Christ, Lord of the Second Coming) is not meant in the traditional Christian sense that he is the second person of the Trinity. For further explanation see Exposition of the Divine Principle, HSA-UWC, New York, 1996, especially Part 1, ch. 4 & 7, and Part 11, ch. 2 & 6.

27. Moon did not give up hope that Kim would recognize his teaching. See chapter 10.

28. For an explanation of Moon's view of how God had prepared such groups to be united, see his lecture 'History of the Unification Church,' Dec. 27,1971, Washington DC.

29. According to Baek Hee-suk, daughter of Lee Kee-hwan from Heuksok dong, in an interview with the author.

30. Kim In-ju, who was the second person to follow Moon in north Korea, says he arrived in Pyongyang on June 6.

31. Moon's former wife, Choi Sun-kil, in an interview conducted on the author's behalf by Im Nam-sook. Im's view was that Choi was naive to believe him: "It was obviously an excuse so she would not worry. He could have bought rice in Seoul." Kim Won-pil said that on his way to buy rice, Moon had a revelation that he should go to Pyongyang (see Kim Won-pil, Father's Course and Our Life of Faith, HSA-UWC, London, 1982, P. l 45. Other versions of this event say Moon went out to gather firewood.


32. Na Choi-sup, in an interview with the author

Chapter Six - The Jerusalem of the East

1. Official Japanese government figures show Christian numbers had declined from 508,000 in 1940 to 383,000 by 1942. Buddhists increased from 538,000 to 607,000 over the same period. Some 92,000 followers of Japanese Shintoism, presumably many of them Japanese residents, were recorded in 1942. Ref: Chosen Chongdolzbu Tong-gye Yeonbo (Annual Statistics of the Korean Government-General). For more on this and the post-war period, see Allen D. Clark, A History of the Church in Korea, ch. 10, The Christian Literature Society of Korea, Seoul, 1971.

2. Author's interview with Kim In-ju.

3. Although unusual for the two Kims, this was a format common to spiritual groups and not especially developed by Moon.

4 Ref: Malachi 4:5, Matthew 17:12-13, and John 1:21.

5. Moon Sonseng in Korean.

6. Kim Won-pil, 'Father's Early Ministry in Pyongyang', Today's World. Jan. 1982, P.7. For Kim's account of this period in north Korea see also 'Testimony of Father's Life,' a speech given on Oct. 14,1979, printed by HSA-UWC, New York, and a series of talks to Unificationists, translated and published in English as Fathers Course and our Life of Faith, HSA-UWC, London, 1982.

7. According to Na Choi-sup's sister, Yoo-sup, the complaint was lodged by Kim In-ju's husband.

8. This section drawn from Sun-myung Moon, lecture series, 'History of the Unification Church,' Dec. 27,1971, The Unified Family, Washington DC.

9. The story of the two spiritual women, Kim Song-do and Huh Ho-bin, is drawn from: Sun-myung Moon, 'The History of the Unification Church,' Dec. 27,1971; interview with Kim Sun-yong, Kim Song-do's daughter-in-law; Chung Soo-won, Kim Sun-yong's son and a Unification Church leader, 'So-myongha-shin Deut Kil Dara' (Following the Call of God's Providence) in Witness: Experiences of Faith, Vol. 1 (a collection of testimonies of early members of the Unification Church), HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1982, PP. 346-59; Hong Soon-ae, a member of both groups and later to become Sun-myung Moon's mother-in-law, in a talk given


August 1, 1974, from handwritten notes; additional points in interviews with Lee Ho-bin and Han loon-myung of the Jesus Church and from Kim Won-pil, op. cit. Father's Course, ch.4.

10. Adultery is still a crime under south Korean law.

11. Hwang, however, was already debilitated by torture and died shortly after his release. Kim Won-pil, Today's World Jan. 1982, p.11.

12. "When I was in prison in north Korea I went through severe torture. The more severe the torture was, the stronger I would become. Every cell of mine was mobilized to fight against the pain. I would fancy that with every blow God's blessing would be multiplied. Because of this I was not afraid of the torture and I could easily endure it." Ref: Sun-myung Moon, 'May God Protect Us,' New Hope, HSA-UWC, New York, 1973, p.28.

13. Author's interview with Cha Sang-soon.

14. Kim Won-pil, Today's World, Jan. 1982, p. 11.

15. Na Choi-sup, Na Yu-sup, and Pak Kyong-do in interviews with the author.

16. The following account is drawn from interviews with Kim In-ju, Ok Se-hyun, and Cha Sang-soon.

17. This hymn is one of 47 'Holy Songs' of the Unification Church. Seven others were written by Moon: 'Garden of Restoration' (1950), 'New Song of Inspiration' (1950), 'Blessing of Glory' (1950), 'Suffering Heart'(1951), 'Grace of the Holy Garden' (1953), 'Song of the Principle Soldiers' (1959), 'Unified Soldiers' (1962).

18. Chi Seung-do, Hana-nim-eui Indo-dero (According to the Guidance of God) in Witness: Experiences of Faith, Vol. 1, HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1982, pp. 362-81.

19. Later renamed the Social Democratic Party to broaden its appeal. For more on this period, see Allen D. Clark, op. cit.

20. Author's interview with Han Joon-myong.

21. Uncharitable as the accusation may be, this was undoubtedly a significant factor. See Kim Won-pil, Today's World, Jan. 1982, p. 18.

22. Kim Won-pil, Ibid.

23. Kim Won-pil, op. cit. Fathers Course, ch. 16.

24. Kim Won-pil, Today's World, Jan. 1982, p.15.

25. "I felt terrible about this for years," Kim In-ju told the author. She


said that in 1970, shortly before his death, her father wrote a formal apology to Moon. Years later, her husband heard the Principle and came to respect Moon, she said.

26. Author's interview with Cha Sang-soon.

27. This account has been drawn from interviews with Cha and Moon's second cousin, Seung-gyun. Seung-gyun's recollection is that Cha told them Moon was the Messiah. Cha denied referring to Moon as the second Christ, but said he described Moon as "a great man." It is possible that it was Moon's other followers who told the family they thought he was the Messiah, when Moon's mother and brother visited them in Pyongyang.

28. The trial account is based on interviews with Ok Se-hyun, written interviews with Kim Won-pil, and Today's World, Jan. 1982, p. 19. The author has not applied to see the trial records in north Korea, on the assumption that permission would be denied. Interestingly, however, the records may actually be in the United States, not in Pyongyang. Tons of documents were seized by American forces when they captured Pyongyang during the Korean War, and stored in boxes in the National Archives, where they remain, largely unsorted.

29. Neither Kim Won-pil nor Ok Se-hyun could recall details such as the name of the defense lawyer or the location of the courthouse. There were only two courts in Pyongyang at the time, the District Court (Chi-bang Bobwon) and the Higher Court of Justice (Go-deung Bobwon). The author has assumed that the trial was held in the former.

30. This was unusual behavior for a Korean prisoner. In the judicial systems of both north and south Korea, once arrested, a defendant loses his or her social position and is considered guilty, and has an uphill struggle to prove innocence. The usual approach is therefore to act repentful to secure the best treatment from the guards and the most lenient sentence from the judge. Acting confidently innocent does not pay.

Chapter Seven - Death Camp

1. This account of Kim Won-dok is based on Sun-myung Moon, "The History of the Unification Church," Dec. 29, 1971, Washington DC, and Kim Won-pil, 'Testimony of Father's Life,' Oct. 14, 1979, HSA-UWC, New York, and author's interviews with Park Chong-hwa.


2. Mu Jong had commanded a Korean unit of Mao Tse-tung's Eighth Route Army and participated in the famous Long March with Mao. A leader of the 'Yenan' faction of north Korean Communists, he was later purged by Kim Il-sung.

3. Pak Chong-hwa claimed that the dream of the man on the throne was fabricated by early followers. The author was unable to trace Kim Won-dok to verify his story.

4. In an interview with the author in Seoul, a former villager, Kim Yu-song, said the locals were not aware of the nature of the prisoners' crimes.

5. This point made by Kim In-ho (prisoner number 424) in interview with the author. Kim, a young anti-Communist guerrilla at the time of his imprisonment, escaped to south Korea during the Korean War and became an intelligence officer involved in covert operations against north Korea. Another former prisoner, Hahn Byoung-ku, told the author that many of the political prisoners were students from Pyongyang. Hahn also escaped to the South, went to the United States to study and was a professor of mass communications at Seoul's Kyung-hee University at the time of the interview. Both men were in the same cell as Moon .

6. Author's interview with the prisoner, Lee long-kook (prisoner number 1084, later 247), now a doctor of oriental medicine in Seoul.

7. This account of the camp before Moon's arrival is drawn from Kim In-ho's autobiography, Beyond The Line of Death ch. 9-12, Jinheung Munhwa Co., Seoul, 1984.

8. Kim told the author this selection was random.

9. A former prisoner, Lee long-kook, said he thought it was eleven hundred and fifty bags. Of these, six hundred and fifty were for export to the Soviet Union and China and had to be tied off three times. The bags for domestic use were tied off once. Author's interview.

10. Kim In-ho, op. cit., p.76.

11. According to Lee Jong-kook The prisoner's name was Chon Hasong.

12. The numbers 5,9,6 in Korean are o-koo-ryuk. The first two syllables sound like the root of the word eok-ool-hada, which means to suffer unjustly.

13. Sun-myung Moon, lecture series, "History of the Unification Church" Dec. 28, 1971, p. 1.


14. Sun-myung Moon, sermon, 'I Must be the Victor for God,' Feb. 20, 1965, The Unified Family, Washington DC, p. 7. See also 'Three Stages of Judgment' in op. cit., New Hope, p. 35.

15. The description of the prison that follows is drawn from Sun-myung Moon, 'History of the Unification Church,' Kim In-ho op. cit., interviews with Kim In-ho, Pak Chong-hwa, and six other survivors living in south Korea: Kang Sam-won, Ju Heung-shik, Hahn Byoung-ku, Lee Jong-kook, Kim Dong-ok and Kim Jong-chan. Pak is by far the most authoritative source. Although also a prisoner, as the overall leader, he enjoyed relative freedom. Other prisoners were not allowed to talk, or walk around the camp, and mostly knew each other by number. The author had several lengthy interviews with Pak, and has also drawn on notes from a speech Pak gave in Seoul to visiting American clergy on April 11, 1985.

16. This point made by Kim In-ho in an interview with the author.

17. Prisoners were not supposed to talk. Kim In-ho, op. cit. p. 78, said that the presence of suspected informers in cells limited the amount of surreptitious conversation.

18. Moon's team leader's name was Kim Nam-seon.

19. Recalling his hunger in an interview, Pak quoted an old Korean proverb: "When our parents die we are sad, when our children and spouse die we are also sad, but the most unbearable experience of all is to starve."

20. Pak Chong-hwa said there were three commandants while he was in the prison. The first was Kim Byong-sup, who had been junior to Pak in the Democratic Youth Committee, a Communist organization. He was replaced by Hong Kee-soo, who had also been a Democratic Youth Committee member. Pak could not recall the name of the third commandant.

21. Kim In-ho told the author the work party heads were "robbers, rapists and murderers." This differs from the account of Pak Chong-hwa, who said most were government officials or soldiers, who, like himself, had been sentenced for dereliction of duty. For Kim, the anti-Communist, there may have been no distinction.

22. It was actually an angel who asked people why they were looking up into heaven for Christ to return . See 7 he Bible, Acts 1:11.

23. The Bible, John 2:4. See also Matthew 12: 46-50.


24. These conversations are reconstructed by the author on the basis of Pak's recollection of the main points. For further explanation of Moon's reasoning, see public speeches, 'God's Hope for Man,' 'God's Hope for America, 'The Future of Christianity' and 'The New Future of Christianity,' in Sun-myung Moon's, Gods Will and The World, HSA-UWC, New York, 1985.

25. According to Pak, Moon said Judas was jealous because Jesus intended to marry the woman he loved, Lazarus' sister, Mary. Judas rejected Jesus' suggestion that he, Judas, marry Mary's sister, Martha, and betrayed Jesus to the authorities. The author has left this as a footnote due to doubts about Pak's recollection. While the points about John the Baptist and Jesus' mother, Mary, have been made elsewhere, the author is unfamiliar with the point about Judas and is unwilling to attribute it to Moon. Moon may have simply said it was his view that Judas was motivated by jealousy.

26. Pak said a number of people in the prison had dreams of Moon. Kim In-ho, op. cit., notes that rumors spread that Moon had strange powers. Guards, he said, did not abuse Moon, after one guard had experienced some supernatural chastisement for doing so. Kim may have heard Pak's story second-hand and assumed he was a guard.

27. Pak said Moon used the word wonhwa-won, literally 'garden of circular harmony.' This word has not been used in his subsequent teaching.

28. The winner was chosen by camp authorities from a short-list of seven or eight supplied by Pak. Author's interview.

29. This is reconstructed from Pak's memory of discussions with Moon on two occasions, when Pak arranged for Moon to take the day off work.

30. As the leader, Pak was allowed to have pencil and paper. He kept a diary during the prison years.

31. Moon told Pak: "The fact that you had the dream is because of ,your ancestors' accumulated merit in the spiritual world. But some prisoners have evil ancestors, so it's very difficult for them even if you do help them." Author's interview with Pak.

32. The names of the followers were given to the author by Pak. Information on Kim Jin-soo from Kim In-ho, op. cit., and The Christian Encyclopedia, The Christian Literature Press, Seoul, 1980, p.295. Pak said he, Kim Won-dok and Kim Jin-soo were the only ones who understood


Moon to any extent. The reader should understand, therefore, that the symbolism of the number twelve, echoing Jesus' disciples, was important for Moon, but the definition of 'follower' should be seen as being broad.

33. Ju, who later changed his name to Ju Chang-woo, was introduced to the author by Pak Chong-hwa. The author was unable to independently verify that Ju was an anti-Communist activist, as he claimed, and not a common criminal. See note 43 below.

34. In October 1948, Shtykov was appointed the first Soviet ambassador to Pyongyang.

35. In south Korea, Moon and Ju tried separately to find the treasure, but were unsuccessful. (See ch. 10).

36. Pak said he was in Moon's cell at the time, and witnessed this incident.

37. Reconstructed from the author's interview with Ok Se-hyun and from Kim Won-pil, 'Prison Life in Hungnam,' Today's World, July 1983. Both heard of the experience from Moon's mother and later from Moon. Moon has referred to this struggle in sermons. For example: "When I was in prison my parents visited me, and asked me to relinquish my mission from God, to deny my mission. Although it was like cutting me with a knife, I rejected them." See The Blessing of God Through History' Feb. 13,1965, The Unified Family, Washington DC, p. 4.

38. Author's interview with Moon Yong-gi.

39. Ok said Moon's mother stayed with her for one night, before visiting him on one occasion, and for twenty days after another visit. "She was very dedicated to him and didn't want to leave him at the prison," she said. She said his mother only went to Hungnam twice, but Moon Yong-gi indicated there were more visits.

40. Pak said one informer was assigned to watch him.

41. According to Pak, these reflections were thrown into a bucket and never read, let alone responded to.

42. The word for 'crime' in Korean is the same as the word for 'sin.' Moon's understanding of his mission was that he should not rest or accept favors.

43. Kim In-ho alleged, in an interview with the author, that Ju Heung-shik was among this group.

44. In the 1950S, a new melody was composed by a friend of Pak's. The


song is now one of the Unification Church Holy Songs.

45. The medical director, Lee Moon-jae, was not a prisoner.

46. Interview with Won Jang-sup who was the police chief in Hungnam for the three months of south Korean occupation in 1950. At the time of the interview, in south Korea, Won was the director of the Hungnam office in the government's shadow bureaucracy for north Korea.

47. For an account of the strategic bombing campaign and the attacks on Hungnam, see Robert F. Futrell, The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953, Office of Air Force History, USAF, Washington DC, 1983, PP. I83-90.

48. Pak in an interview with the author.

49. The account of the final ten weeks in the camp are drawn from interviews with four survivors who eventually found their way to south Korea. They are Hahn Byoung-ku, Lee Jong-kook, Kim Dong-ok, and Kim Jong-chan.

50. For an official account of the drive up the east coast by the south Koreans, see History of UN Forces In Korean War, Vol. IV, Ministry of National Defense, Seoul, 1975, pp. 306-8.

51. Hahn Byoung-ku, Lee long-kook, and Kim long-chan were in this group. Kim Dong-ok was in a different group, where prisoners slipped out of a house, that had been requisitioned on the first night, when the guards were sleeping.

52. Pak Chong-hwa and Ju Heung-shik offer a different version of Moon's release, according to which south Korean troops liberated the camp, just before Moon was scheduled to be called out for execution. This is, in fact, the standard version taught to Unificationists. Pak had already been released, but Ju claims that he and Moon parted company as they walked out of the camp, promising to meet up again.

53. See Kim Won-pil, op. cit., Father's Course, p 93. Kim does not refer to Moon Jong-bin by name.

Chapter Eight - Forty Days in Pyongyang

1. See Kim Won-pil, op. cit., Father's Course, p 93.

2. 'Blessing of Glory' is the first song in the Unification Church Holy Songs book. Moon also wrote another hymn, called 'New Song of


Inspiration', during the six weeks in Pyongyang.

3. In reference to this, he later told his cousin Moon Yong-gi, "God's Providence is awesome." (Author's interview with Moon Yong-gi. ) Moon met two sisters and his sister-in-law when he returned to north Korea in 1991.

4. See Kim Won-pil, op. cit., Fathers Course, p. 94. See also Kim's 'From Pyongyang to Pusan,; Today's World, April 1983.

5. Rice cakes are traditionally eaten on holidays and special occasions.

6. At least eighteen former members of the Pyongyang group are known to have gone to south Korea. Six of them remained followers: Kim In ju, Kim Won-pil, Chong Dal-ok, Cha Sang-soon, Ok Se-hyun and Chi Seung-do. Kim Chong-hwa, the main follower of that period, opposed Moon after her release from prison. In south Korea, Moon sent Pak Chong-hwa to meet her seven times, before finally accepting that she would not return. She now lives in the United States. The author was unable to trace her.

7. As we have already noted, this is a common title indicating respect. Korean social norms required such a title for Moon. Followers referred to him as 'Sonseng-nim' (nim is an honorific affix), meaning "teacher' or 'Master.' Attempts at translation are awkward because neither 'teacher' nor 'master' adequately conveys the social sense of someone who the speaker accepts is superior in wisdom and station. (Moon's first sermons were published for followers in America under the ill-fitting title, 'Master Speaks,'). Publicly, he is still called 'Reverend Moon' in the West. To Koreans, 'Moksa-nim' (Reverend) is rather ordinary for the founder of a church. From the early 1960s, he has also been referred to by Unificationists as Abo-nim (Father), which, unlike 'Sonseng', has a religious connotation, unacceptable to non-believers.

8. 'This account based on author's interview with Pak Chong-hwa.

9. Her husband was a Protestant church elder and became a minister in Pusan after the Korean War.

10. Pak never saw his family again and remarried in south Korea. He wrote to his old address in 1989 and received a letter from his son. Pak later learned from another refugee in south Korea, that his cousin in Sangsuku-ri had joined the exodus with her husband and three children, but had turned back because of the bitter cold. Moon Jong-bin has not been heard of since. It is assumed he did not escape from north Korea.


1. Pak's estimate. This chapter is based on interviews with Pak, and Kim Won-pil's recollections in Today's World, April 1983, pp. 9-21.

2. Lee's daughter, Im Nam-sook, in an interview with the author.

3. Pak's recollection is different. He thought that Moon and Kim returned at 9 p.m. that same night.

4. See Gregory Henderson, Korea: The Politics of the Vortex, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1968, pp. 163-4.

5. See Jon Halliday and Bruce Cumings, I, Pantheon Books, New York, 1988, pp. 132-8.

6. Author's interview with Kim Hee-son.

7. Author's interview with Im Nam-sook.

8. Pak recounted this incident in an interview, but could not recall who the letter was for. 'The author assumes it was Kim Chong-hwa. Pak was unclear why Moon decided to tear it up at that time.

9. Pak earned his keep, selling the tables made by the carpenter and later rented his own room He rejoined Moon in 1953.

Chapter Ten - The Rock of Tears

1. Kim Won-pil, Today's World, April 1983, P.21. Kim's recollections of the Pusan period were compiled from various speeches and published in Today's World, May 1982, pp. 9-19.

2. Author's interview with Kwak No-pil. The dialogue which follows is reconstructed with some poetic license. 'The author has also taken some license with the timing of this event. It may have taken place some days or weeks later.

3. Later, when Kwak went to the army for four years military service, Moon came to wave him off, and asked him to join him when the military service was over, an invitation which Kwak regretted that he never followed up. "I think if I had done so I would be a very important person now. I thought he was crazy then but now I think he is a great man," he said thirty years later.

4. This episode is based on Aum Duk-moon, 'From schoolmate to disciple' Today's World, June 1982, P.6, with additional details from the


author's interviews with Aum.

5. Aum told the author this meeting was on January 30th or 31st. Moon might have been using 'yesterday, instead of 'three days ago' in the same vague sense as 'I just got here.'

6. Author's interview with Ok Se-hyun.

7. Kim later went into business. He joined the Unification Church and left it in 1959.

8. Aum Duk-moon, in an interview with the author.

9. Administratively, the area was Pomil-chon. Pomne-gol, which means 'Tiger Stream Valley', was the local, unofficial name.

10. Op. cit., Today's World, June 1982.

11 Today's World, Sept. 1983, pp. 16-20.

12. 'Uncle' (Ajoshi in Korean) is a polite reference to an older man Moon was 'Big Uncle' to distinguish him from Kim Won-pil, who was 'Little Uncle'

13. Author's interviews with Ok and Aum.

14. The original text of the Principle, written by Moon, was kept for many years by Kim Won-pil, and is now kept in the Unification Church headquarters in Seoul. Kang Hyun-shil also has a handwritten version. The official text was written later by other followers. (See ch. 2, note 16.)

15. Today's World, May 1982, p. 13.

16. Today's World, May 1982, p. 16. Such simple, touching lessons had a profound impact on western Unificationists in the late 1970s, when Kim was assigned to a mission in Britain, and, to some extent, over-turned an authoritarian interpretation of Moon's doctrine which had prevailed in the early European movement.

17. Kang Hyun-shil's story is from her interviews with the author, with additional points from, 'From Evangelist to Disciple', Today's World, Aug. 1982, and an unpublished speech she gave to American Christian clergy in Seoul in 1985.

18. Author's interview.

19. Moon used the Korean phrase "Odi-so o-shos-oyo?", which is more of a polite inquiry like the English "How can I help you?" than a direct question.

20. John 4:20.


21. Philippians 3:20.

22. The unusual story which follows was recounted to the author by Kim Je-san in an interview. Mrs. Kim's tale was, at times, such a mixture of vision and reality - characteristic of someone who spends the great part of her day in prayer - that the author has relied on Kang Hyun-shil for the basic outline of Kim's experience.

23. By the 1980s, Kim Baek-moon still had a small following of about fifty people, who met in a church called the Songsu Church in the Chongnung district of Seoul. He died in 1990. His theology is contained in three works: Songshin Shinhak (Theology of the Holy Spirit), 1954; Kumbon Wonri (The Fundamental Principle),1958; and Shinang Inkyoron ('Theory of the Nature of Faith), 1970 - all published by the Daeji Publishing Co., Seoul. According to theologian Pak Sang-ne (see ch.5, note 19), the two men's teachings, although superficially similar in categories, are very different in content. Critics later claimed that Moon stole Kim's teaching, a charge which Pak Sang-ne rejected.

24. Lee Kee-hwan was a sister of Lee Kee-bong and Lee Kee-ha, Moon's landladies in Heuksok-dong, Seoul. This account is from interviews with her daughter, Baek Hee-suk, and with Pak Kyong-do.

25. Details according to Kim Won-pil, Today's World, May 1982, p. 15.

26. Pak Kyong-do told the author he felt guilty about leaving Kim Baek-moon, as Kim had paid for his studies. He stayed with Kim's church and joined Moon some years later.

27. This is apparent from a long letter which Wadsworth later wrote to Pak.

28. Wadsworth was pastor of a church in Maine in the mid- 1980s. He declined an invitation by American Unification Church members to visit Korea with other clergy for an introduction to Moon's teachings.

29. These details are from the author's interviews with Lee Yo-han.

30. Lee has a gift for making the biblical stories relevant to the modern individual's life of faith. Some of his lectures have been published in Faith and Life, International One World Crusade, Tokyo, 1977.

31. The neighbor, Lee Bong-eun, later became a Unificationist. See Lee Bong-eun, 'Chookbok' (Blessing), Witness: experiences of Faith, Vol. 2, HSA-UWC, Seoul, 1984, p.171. Also, points about Lee Yo-han are from the author's interview with the neighbor's son, Soo-kyung, who became a prominent Unificationist.


32. Kim Won-pil, Today's World, May 1982, P. 14.

33. The account of Moon's wife was told to the author by Kang Hyun-shil.

34. Im Nam-sook, in an interview with the author.

35. This detail from Im Nam-sook's interview with Mrs. Choi.

36. See Kim Won-pil, Fathers Course and Our Life of Faith, HSA-UWC, London, 1982, ch. 21.

37. It is apparent that Moon considered the early period of marriage, during this testing time, in the sense of an engagement. The key 'test' during this time would be for both Moon and his wife to put God's will before their own desires.

38. Moon's Jan. 6 (lunar) birthday fell on February 19 by that year's solar calendar.

39. The curfew was in effect from the start of the guerrilla fighting in 1946 and lasted until 1981, when it was abolished by the new ruler, Chun Doo-hwan. The curfew was mostly from midnight to 4 a.m., although sometimes it ran from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

40. Kang, Ok and Kim were told of the events that followed their departure by Mrs. Song. She was the wife of a Salvation Army officer and had been recently introduced to Moon by Lee Yo-han.

41. According to Pak Chong-hwa, the father-in-law, Chang Hee-wook. was a former president of Seoul National University

42. This is according to Pak Chong-hwa. Pak also told the author he filled in Moon's age as 44 in order that he could avoid reserve training. Moon was fined for this false claim in 1955. Moon may have informally changed his name as early as 1951. Kang Hyun-shil recalled that when she first met him in July 1952, he was using 'Sun-myung.'

43. Chi Seung-do had moved to Seoul after Moon was imprisoned in north Korea. She was in Taegu, when she found out from her son that Moon was in Pusan. Chong Dal-ok later married Kim Won-pil.

44. The following details are from Moon Seung-gyun, in an interview with the author.

45. See ch. 3, note 7.

46. Moon Seung-gyun moved to Seoul at the end of 1953. He decided to join the Unification Church in February 1956 and formally joined on January 1, 1957.


47. When Moon was arrested in 1955, prosecutors investigated adultery charges, but failed to uncover evidence.

48. The Unification Church was formally established in 1954 as Se-gye Kido-kyo Tong-il Shilyong Hyop-hae.


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