A History of the Unification Church in Canada: 1965-1991

by Franco Famularo

Chapter Four - Robert Duffy's First Term [Part 2]

Initial Restructuring -- New Hope for a New Canada Tour and the Yankee Stadium Campaign --The Washington Monument Campaign and Rev. Moon's Visit -- Ideological Work -- Final months of Duffy's first term

B. New Hope for a New Canada Tour and the Yankee Stadium Campaign

1. Ottawa

First stop was the nation's capital. On April 18, 1976 the entire membership gathered in the nation's capital where the public relations team consisting of Alan Wilding, Anne Caze, Sheila Cummings and Anne Ranniste had already been making contacts for a week. Upon arrival the general membership began distributing leaflets and evangelizing throughout Ottawa particularly focusing on the downtown area and the Sparks Street pedestrian mall. A temporary office was rented on Sparks Street where Terry Brabazon gave short one hour overviews of the Divine Principle to invited guests. The guests were then encouraged to attend the public meeting held on Saturday April 24.

Results were not easy to come by, however, and on April 21 the entire membership gathered at 5:00 a.m. at the Gatineau Park hills, north of Ottawa, to hold a serious prayer meeting. Here the membership prayed in unison determining to bring success in their campaign.35 The next day a parade and rally was held on Sparks Street where a lunch-time crowd gathered to hear a number of Unificationists proclaim their message and receive invitations to the public meeting.

On Friday April 23 the first meeting of the three-city tour called the "New Hope Banquet" was held in the Renaissance Room of Ottawa's prestigious Chateau Laurier Hotel. The banquet, attended by fifty leading Ottawa citizens which included academicians who attended the International Conference for the Unity of the Sciences, consisted of welcoming remarks by James Buchanan and a speech by Robert Duffy on "God's Hope for Canada. The meeting concluded with a twenty-minute film of Rev. Moon's Day of Hope 1974 Tour of the United States.36 Unificationists sat at each table to help answer questions of the invited guests. This was also the basic pattern for the banquets held in Montreal and Toronto.

Duffy, who had initially felt insecure speaking to the invited guests gained much confidence from the success of the initial meeting. The basic content of his speech throughout the tour consisted of a Canadian adaptation of Rev. Moon's message to the American people. An excerpt follows:

The North American continent has been blessed so abundantly by God. It is time to ask ourselves, "Why?". What is God's hope for Canada? Did God intend His blessing solely for us? Or has God given us those blessings to share with others?". I have traveled in the Orient and in Europe. The poor in Canada live like kings compared with the poor in most other countries. Our political and social freedoms are unparalleled in any part of the world. But, we must ask: Are we morally superior to other nations? Are Canadian people willing to sacrifice these blessings so that others may be raised to enjoy them also? We must share with America and all nations of the world the divine task of building one family of man under God, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This is God's hope for Canada: that we do this, and bring the heart of God and man into oneness.37

The above words, along with the following were printed on most campaign literature:

Come and hear this message from the Rev.Sun Myung Moon, given by Robert S. Duffy, president of the Unification Church of Canada.

The general membership was elated with the "victory" of the first meeting since the Canadian church had never before organized such an event.

The following evening, April 24, a meeting for the general public was held at the Colonel By Auditorium of the University of Ottawa. Sixty guests attended. In contrast to the previous evening's formal banquet, emphasis was on creating a lighter atmosphere. Therefore the program began with entertainment provided by then new member John Halenko on his guitar and was followed by Duffy's speech and the film of Rev. Moon's speaking tour. Those who attended were given literature and encouraged to attend a one-day seminar the following day held at the Ottawa center on Prince of Wales Drive.

2. Montreal

After a full week of fund-raising and public relations activity the campaign moved to Montreal. The entire membership crowded into the Rue Jeanne Mance center on May 2. Since Montreal consisted of both French and English speakers some reorganization was necessary. Seeing that reaching "higher level" people was important for the success of the banquet Jacques Blain and Caren Folk were added to the team. Leaflets were distributed on Rue Sainte Catherine and around the McGill University campus. The members also attempted a new tactic which was not greatly appreciated by the Montreal police when they started placing posters in strategic locations advertising the May 8 public meeting. The Montreal law enforcement officers reacted strongly and Alan Wilding ended up in prison for one night.

Seeking greater visibility the members also tried wearing sandwich boards announcing the "New Hope for a New Canada" as they approached people on the street. Those interested were invited to Divine Principle lectures at the Montreal Church center which were given in English by Terry Brabazon and in French by Franco Famularo. Those who came, as in Ottawa, were given a one hour general overview of the Divine Principle.

On May 7 the New Hope Banquet was held in the Richelieu Room of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Jacques Blain, then director of the Unification Church in Montreal, made the welcoming remarks and served as Duffy's translator. Again approximately fifty invited guests attended including the parents of some Unificationists. The next evening a meeting for the general public was held at the Charles Martin Theatre of McGill University. Sixty-five guests attended. Literature printed in both French and English introduced the program as being conducted in conjunction with the Bicentennial God Bless America Festival at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The leaflet encouraged those invited to "come and hear this dynamic message inspired by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon."38 It also provided a brief history of Rev. Moon and the Unification Church entitled "Who we are." Guests were again invited to attend a one-day presentation of the Divine Principle.

On May 9 eight guests attended a one day workshop held at the Montreal center. Robert Duffy and Jacques Blain gave the lectures. Among those in attendance was Barry Stanton, a reporter who feigned interest in the church. His lengthy and uncomplimentary article about his experiences with the Unification Church in Montreal appeared in October 1976 issue of the French language magazine Chatelaine.39

3. Toronto

Members gathered in Toronto on May 16 having followed the same pattern of fund-raising and doing public relations work the previous week. This being the third and final campaign the members had higher expectations. David Decker joined the public relations team, while Jim Buchanan, Wayne Lamond and Jorg Heller led the witnessing teams. As the members mass leafleted and approached people throughout Toronto and especially on Yonge Street, Alan Thibideau and Franco Famularo gave lectures in extra office space rented at 696 Yonge Street. Lectures were given throughout the day every hour on the hour and both lecturers were kept busy from morning till late in the evening.40

On Thursday, May 20, a lunch-time rally was held at Nathan Phillip's Square in front of Toronto's City Hall. Over a thousand people listened as the New Hope Ensemble sang and a number of Unificationists spoke. The crowd was invited to participate in the New Hope for a New Canada festival. For Alan Wilding this was like a dream come true. Upon reflection he said:

When Father (Rev. Moon) came in December 1971 I drove him by Nathan Phillip's Square and told him that we often spoke to large crowds there. Of course it was a kind of "white lie" since we only attracted a handful of people. With the success of this rally today I felt like that "white lie" had become a reality like a dream come true.41

For those that had been involved since the early pioneer days of the Unification Church in Canada, the recent flurry of activities gave them reason to have much hope.

The New Hope Banquet held in the Library Room of the Royal York Hotel was the most successful of the tour as seventy invited guests attended. Alan Wilding, who made the welcoming remarks, before Duffy's speech, shared his experiences with Rev. Moon during his 1971 visit to Canada. Voice crackling and with tears in his eyes Wilding explained how Rev. Moon, who had slept on the floor of their rented house on Scollard Street, had predicted that he would speak in every state in the United States and that his name would be known in every American household. Wilding confessed that in 1971 he couldn't believe it would ever happen.42 Standing before the group of distinguished Torontonians, Wilding observed they had come a long way since their pioneer period.

The next evening, May 22, seventy people attended the New Hope Festival held at the Library Theatre of the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. On this occasion, the New Hope Ensemble sang to the audience before Duffy delivered his speech. The success of the tour just concluded was but the launching pad for the next phase of the campaign which began the next day.

An internal workshop for members was held on May 23 at the Repo Estate in preparation for what would be a very intensive campaign. Brabazon gave a number of lectures while Duffy spoke about the history of the Unification Church of Canada. Re-organization was also discussed as the members prepared to invite people to Rev. Moon's speech in New York City from Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. It was decided that Alan Wilding would be overall coordinator, and that Terry Brabazon, Jacques Blain and Jim Buchanan would lead activities in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, respectively.

4. Free Buses to New York City

Aware of anti-American sentiments prevalent in Canada at the time, members began inviting people to the Bicentennial God Bless American Festival in New York City under the theme "Let's Be Good Neighbors." Since New York City was several hundred miles from Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa, finding a way to attract people to go was the greatest concern. The leaders of the Canadian Church had discussed this point at length when in an earlier meeting Alan Wilding suggested that they should advertise "FREE BUSES TO THE FESTIVAL". Although there was general agreement on the plan to bus people to New York City, finding the funds to do this seemed an insurmountable obstacle. This was overcome by a $25,000 loan provided by the American Unification Church which the Canadians agreed to pay back a few months later.43

The other factor was the limited time remaining; only nine days till the festival. Therefore, it was decided to not only distribute leaflets on the street, visit people door to door and place posters in strategic locations, but also to utilize the mass media. Although this was all done on very short notice, advertisements were placed on television, radio and in major daily newspapers in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. The Montreal Star for Friday May 28, 1976, carried a three-quarter page advertisement for the Bicentennial God Bless America Festival in New York City's Yankee Stadium. The advertisement included a large photo of Rev. Moon and announced that free buses to the Festival on June 1 would be provided. The advertisement also gave detailed instructions on where, when and how to get to the festival as follows:

New York City, Yankee Stadium, Interstate 87
Thomas E. Dewey Expressway
June 1st at 7:00 p.m. Gates open at 5:00 pm
You can fly, drive your car, take a train, hitch-hike or ride one of our FREE buses...44

Undoubtedly it was not inexpensive, but the goal of filling twenty-five buses with people from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal was realized.

On June 1, despite numerous threats by opponents and even a bomb scare at the Ottawa bus terminal, twenty-five bus loads of people traveled to New York City from Canada departing just after midnight and arriving in mid-afternoon. Although some of the travelers were genuinely interested there were also those who literally came for the "free ride." The author, who traveled with one busload from Ottawa at the time, observed the surprise on some of the people's faces when they read about the Bicentennial Festival on the front page of New York City's Daily News at a rest stop north of New York City. Some of the people on the bus, fearing that they would be brainwashed by Rev. Moon at the festival (such was the nature of the article in the Daily News) wondered what they had gotten themselves into. Indeed some of the participants headed for the various sights around Manhattan upon arrival. The majority, however, did stay.

A section was reserved in the stadium for the Canadians who wore buttons sporting Canadian and American flags declaring "Let's be good neighbours." The weather, however, proved not to be very friendly. Shortly after their arrival, the Canadians, along with everyone in the stadium, were soaked by torrential rains that continued until shortly before the festival began. There were not too many places to run for cover.

Along with the approximately 1,000 people who traveled by bus from Canada were a number of representatives of the Canadian media.45 John Marshall and Arnie Hakala of Toronto daily newspapers, the Globe and Mail, and The Toronto Star, respectively, as well as Malcolm Dean, Rick Japsersen and John Darrock of C.B.C. Radio and Television; Norma Briday of Toronto's CHUM Radio and Wally Macht of C.F.T.O. Television in Toronto also attended.46

For members of the Unification Church the event was miraculous. It had started to rain shortly before the event began and all the decorations the members had worked so hard to install throughout the stadium were blown away by the winds. Then Unificationists started singing "You are My Sunshine" and the rains "miraculously" came to a halt just prior to Rev. Moon's speech. Arnie Hakala reported that according to one member's view: "'God won't let it rain when Rev. Moon is speaking...' And it didn't."47 The evening program which included performances by The New York City Symphony Orchestra, The Korean Folk Ballet and the New Hope Singers International was seen as a success, although the stadium was not filled to overflowing as hoped for.48

For Canadian Unificationists the event was also seen as an especially sweet victory. In their view they had overcome all odds and brought twenty-five bus loads full of people to hear the Messiah speak. The Canadians had occupied an entire block of seats in Yankee Stadium while waving Canadian flags throughout. It was in the eyes of the members of the small Canadian Unification Church a "victory" they had longed for since the beginning of their campaign.

For the participating non-Unificationist Canadians on the other hand it was an unusual experience. They had traveled for up to twelve hours by bus from Canada to be greeted by hostile weather just before the festival began. Most of the participants were soaking wet when they watched the performances and listened to Rev. Moon's speech in Korean with English translation provided by Colonel Bo Hi Pak. After the program ended the Canadians boarded the buses and traveled straight back to Canada through the night. In addition some were also greeted by gangs of hostile young New Yorkers upon exiting Yankee Stadium.49

The media which generally took an unsympathetic view of Rev. Moon and the Unification Church at the time reported about the festival throughout the world. Since several media representatives attended from Canada, the Canadian public was given a distinctly Canadian version of events on television, radio and in the print media. Globe and Mail reporter John Marshall, who attended the event, described his experience as follows:

The odds are against Sun Myung Moon, a self proclaimed prophet, achieving his announced goal of a global religious takeover from a U.S. base. That's the indication from the reactions of Canadians who returned from New York yesterday, unshowered, unshaven and unconverted after a 27 hour bus ride broken only by an all stops out Moon rally in Yankee Stadium. Those already members of the Unification Church which was founded by the controversial South Korean industrialist, retained their adherence to the man believed by his followers to be the new Messiah. But there were no more than 60 members according to organizers of the Canadian bus convoy, which provided free transportation, costing $20,000 to nearly 1,000 people from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.50

Transportation to the festival had in fact cost $24,000, not to mention the other expenses incurred such as advertising which ran the bill for the "Free Buses to New York" campaign to approximately $45,000.51 Marshall's article also explained what some of the passengers who were interviewed did during their stay in New York. Although most participated in the festival others took the free ride and went sightseeing. Interviews were also conducted with some Unificationists, namely Tom Weller and Angus Sullivan. Sullivan who spoke extensively with Marshall expressed that "the verity of the message would be recognized by those who sought it."52

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