A History of the Unification Church in Canada: 1965-1991
by Franco Famularo
Chapter Five - The Porter Era [Part 2]
A Married Couple leads the Church -- Rev. Moon's Fourth Visit to Canada -- Three Areas of Activity: Outreach, Ideological, Financial -- Increasing Opposition and the View of Outsiders -- Canada at the Crossroads Speaking Tour -- A New Phase
C. Three Areas of Activity: Outreach, Ideological, Financial
Although Rev. Moon's visit was very brief it was significant in that he encouraged the members to increase membership, intensify activities against the spread of communism and work for the preservation of the unity of Canada. Porter commented that "True Father's speech and instructions became the focal point of our activities for the next 6 years."20 This led to activities which basically developed along three lines: Outreach, ideological endeavors, and financial ventures. These will each be treated separately.
1. Outreach Activities
Although the method of approaching people on the street did not change much since the first Unificationists arrived in Canada, the presence of Marion Porter contributed greatly toward the education and nurturing of new recruits. Indeed, she was heavily involved in outreach activities during most of her time in Canada. Numerous methods and projects were undertaken to successfully recruit new people and gain influence in the community.
Workshops, Membership Increase and Publications
Through consistently holding open house meetings at the Admiral Road center and by following a similar pattern in other cities a heightened outreach consciousness developed. The result of this was that several people joined in late 1977 and early 1978 such as Briggite Brandt, Lucie Ouellette, Robert Tailleur, Eddie Hodorek, Elaine Long and Amy Valeur. There was a steady flow of new members joining until 1979. An important feature of the then successful outreach activities was the weekend workshop.
By May, 1978, seeing that there was a need for a permanent workshop site, the Clearstone Lodge was purchased near Cobourg, Ontario. The purchase of the ninety five acre property on Rice Lake was a big boost for the Canadian membership and brought the beginning of regular workshops. Beginning in spring 1978 weekend and week long seminars were held regularly at the lodge and guests came from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa to hear lectures which were usually given by Jim Buchanan or David Decker. Workshops continued to be held regularly till early 1980.
At this time the center directors were Wayne Lamond in Toronto, David Decker in Montreal, Jorg Heller in Ottawa and Anne Ranniste in Halifax. In August 1978, a new building was also purchased in Montreal (3680 Avenue du Musée). The new center, located across the street from the Soviet Consulate, was in a well situated downtown neighborhood of Montreal and in line with Porter's view of an "attractive location to host new members."
Visibly absent from the leadership list were Terry Brabazon, Jacques Blain and Anne Caze who had been prominent members during the Duffy period. When the Porter's arrived there were some serious misunderstandings between the Brabazons and the Porters which led the Brabazons to be alienated from the mainstream of activities. Jacques Blain and Anne Caze fell in love with each other and eventually disassociated themselves from the church. These events, as well as the departure of some members who were asked to discontinue their full-time involvement due to spiritual instability, might have led Porter to ask Rev. Moon for extra help from Europe. Porter noted:
In order to reach Father's goals I could see that it would be necessary to dilute some of the difficult relationships between the existing members and thus at a conference with Father in December it was agreed that in the spring of 1978 twenty members from the European IOWC mostly from England and France came to join us in Canada and which brought substantial improvement in the whole outreach.21
Thus, in the spring of 1978 twenty European members, mostly British and French, arrived from Britain. Nic Farrow, Trevor Brown, Rosemary Guy, Marie Jose Baut, Catherine Labitte, Douglas Burton, Peter Hume and Andre Maes were some of the Europeans who arrived in Canada to boost the ranks of the Canadian church. This increase of membership, along with a steady influx of members such as Eddie Young, Jim Brennan and Elizabeth Wycoff, who had joined in the United States or Europe increased the numbers of the Canadian church. Indeed the influx of Canadian members who had joined elsewhere was significant in the continued survival and growth of the Canadian church. More Canadians joined the church in the United States, for example, than in Canada.
Along with new members who joined in Canada such as Richard Fortin, Lynn Dutertre and Helene Dumont there was an increase in all aspects of activities conducted by the members. The increase of membership in Canada allowed for the multifarious approach to outreach from then on. Besides holding lecture evenings and open houses at the church centers, numerous experiments were attempted. One of them was holding lectures in public libraries in Ottawa and Toronto. Another was a Symposium at the University of Toronto under the theme "A New Focus for Men and Women Today," held on May 7, 1980. Through holding the symposium the Unification Church sought to clarify its position as was implicit in the program:
The ideas of the Unification Church have been much misunderstood and indeed misrepresented, and it is hoped that through these seminars a better understanding of its goals will be reached.22
The program included musical and theatrical performances by the American Unification Church's rock group, Sunburst, and the New World Players Repertory Company. In addition, a series of talks on topics such as spiritualism and spiritual life, Art, Science and Religion, and Love, Marriage and the Family were presented by Young Oon Kim, and American members Hugh and Nora Spurgin respectively. An overview of the main teachings of the Unification Church by Martin Porter was also part of the program. This effort combined many approaches to outreach experimented over the years, but did not bring immediately visible results in terms of membership growth.
Soon after, in July 1980, a series of talks were given at the Unification Church center in Toronto on a variety of topics based on such texts as Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm and Francis Shaeffers's How Should We Then Live. The intention was to lead people into discussions about spiritual issues as a prelude to being introduced to the Divine Principle. Another effort was that members went pioneering individually to a number of cities, such as London, Kitchener, Waterloo, Kingston, Belleville, and Peterborough in early 1981.
Yet another approach was the holding of International Evenings at the church center in Toronto which by June 1979 was located at 87 Bellevue Avenue. The new location, a 40 room building, formerly used as a home for the aged, replaced the Admiral Road center and was used as the venue for the lively evenings which included an Early Canadian Night and a Japanese Night. Members dressed in the costumes of the countries represented and created a festive atmosphere in order to attract people to the church. Whatever the approach, the ultimate purpose was to increase membership.
It was also decided to print a monthly newsletter in 1978 initially called One World but then changed to Today which was used by members while doing outreach and fund-raising. The first issue appeared in June 1978 and provided its readers with excerpts of Rev. Moon's speeches, testimonies and an invitation to one of the four centers in Canada (at the time Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax).23 Later, the Bulletin de L'unification, a French language newsletter was published to serve the French speaking parts of Canada. It contained mostly translations of articles from English language publications by Helene Dumont, a former Roman Catholic nun who had done translation work prior to joining. The French language newsletter also provided the reader with testimonies of new members and was distributed mostly to the parents of French speaking members in Quebec.
Still another development in outreach activities was the beginning of "Home Church" work in 1979. Originally conceived by Rev. Moon and strongly emphasized in his speeches to members beginning in mid-1978 the project was developed throughout the world. In what became known as "home church activity" members chose 360 homes in a particular neighborhood and approached people door to door. The goal was to establish churches in the homes of those contacted. Members were encouraged to not only teach the Divine Principle, but to also initiate community service projects as a means of gaining influence in the community. Through service activities it was hoped that the members would gain the trust of the people in the community.
A number of service projects evolved from this effort. For example, two Unificationists decided to provide a free bus service to the elderly who couldn't easily go shopping. Alan Thibideau, who had returned from Europe in early 1978, and new member Lynn Dutertre chose an area in the Bloor West Village of Toronto and after canvassing the area concluded that the greatest need was that seniors could not easily go shopping.24 Although initially greeted with enthusiasm by members of the community, it was soon reported in the press that Alan and Lynn, who had initiated the project in March 1979, were members of the "notorious" Unification Church and could not be trusted. Thus senior citizens in the area were discouraged from participating.25 Members of the Unification Church were then viewed with extreme caution and suspicion and thus the project was terminated.
Another project that evolved through the "Home Church" approach was the "Happy Children's Toy Library" initiated by Marion Porter in early 1981. Here members sought to create a toy lending library for children in the community. According to a pamphlet, the stated aims of the library founded by Unification Church volunteers was "to provide an increasing variety of good quality toys which will inspire attentiveness and creative thinking."26 The Home Church project, which also included efforts to beautify neighborhoods through street cleaning and offers of free help with home renovations, for some reason did not take root in Canada.
According to Stoyan Tadin, during the late 1970s and early 1980s there was the development of what seemed to be two parallel organizations. One was that of the full-time members and the other was that of the so-called "outside" members. The "outside" members were generally those members with children who held "normal" employment. They would participate in most activities and have Sunday Service among themselves. The full time members usually did not participate. The so-called "outside" members were among others the Changs, the Brabazons, the Tadins, the newly arrived Seidels, and the Boyces. These members also sought to develop Home Church type activities.27
In spite of numerous approaches, by the late 1970s and early 1980s it became increasingly difficult to find new recruits. The Unification Church was no longer an obscure religious group and was indeed the target of numerous attacks through negative articles in the mass media as well as the efforts of the newly formed "anti-cult movement" which worked actively against new religious movements and most particularly against the Unification Church. When approached by Unificationists, new guests who often did not know about Rev. Moon and the Unification Church on first encounter, would soon be confronted with negative information usually originating with the news media. This would often cause them to discontinue their study of Unificationist teachings. Some anti-Unificationists were even more zealous and persuaded people approached in public locations to not visit the church center. For example, a 1979 Globe and Mail article reported how members of the Council on Mind Abuse (COMA), a Toronto based "anti-cult" organization, successfully prevented someone from attending a lunch time meeting and lecture at the Unification Church. The potential recruit had met two members of the Unification Church at a shopping center and had initially agreed to attend.28
There were several factors that contributed to stagnation of church growth in Canada. Difficulties arose partly due to the inner workings of the organization itself and also because of increased external pressures. On the internal side there were tensions between the leadership and some of the membership, as well as an increased diversification of activities. Externally, as mentioned, there was media negativity and the rise of the "anti-cult" or anti-new religions movement. Before treating the anti-Unificationist elements, let us look briefly at some of the diverse activities Unificationists were involved in.
2. Ideological Activities
As mentioned, one of the results of Rev. Moon's 1977 visit was an increase in efforts directed toward halting the spread of international communism and the preservation of Canadian unity. These areas were tackled primarily by a small group of Unificationists who were engaged in both student activities at the University of Toronto campus through the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), and in ideological endeavors through the International Federation for Victory over Communism (VOC) or the Canadian Unity and Freedom Federation (CUFF).
The activities of CARP at the University of Toronto (U of T) intensified during the latter half of the 1970s and the early 1980s, primarily due to the presence of several Unificationists, who were enrolled in degree programs. These were namely Stoyan Tadin, who graduated from the U of T in 1977 and was for some time engaged in pursuing graduate studies, John Potjewyd, who was pursuing a doctorate in Aerospace Studies, Dietrich Seidel, recently graduated from the Unification Theological Seminary, who was then studying for a doctorate in Theology, and later Alan Wilding who completed an undergraduate degree in History.
Meetings were organized on a regular basis and either addressed theological questions or issues concerning the spread of Communism. Students were invited to attend meetings on such topics as "Unification Theology: Orthodox or Heresy" presented by then graduate student Dietrich Seidel.29 Other topics were "New Discoveries: Psychic Phenomena or Paraphysics" by John Potjewyd or the "Politics of Confrontation-What Alternatives" by Alan Wilding. Film presentations were also part of the program and on occasion some non-Unificationist guest speakers, mostly U of T professors, were invited to make presentations.
Attendance at these meetings was never more than fifty people, but they seem to have generated a great deal of controversy. Allegations that members of CARP were concealing their real identity as Unification Church members was a common accusation. The controversy led U of T student publication, The Varsity, to deny CARP members advertising space and the representatives of the University canceling on short notice rental agreements for rooms that had been booked for meetings. Issue was made that CARP was merely a front organization for the Unification Church and should be viewed with suspicion. Such was the content of a front page Varsity article by Chris Poupart:
Controversy continues across campus concerning the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) an organization that is a front for the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon ... The five week programme was thought to be too controversial, due to alleged unscrupulous recruiting practices employed by the Unification Church.30
Poupart was referring to the cancellation of a meeting room by St. Michael's College at the U of T as well as The Varsity's refusal to publish an advertisement by CARP in the form of an open letter to the student community. The letter by then U of T student, Alan Wilding, was later published by a competing university publication, The Newspaper. The Open letter by Wilding stated:
The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles is a registered student group in good standing with the University of Toronto. CARP does not exist solely to recruit students into the Unification Church ... To our dismay CARP has become the target of censorship and discrimination on campus.31
Although it might be difficult to understand why this small group, of no more than four students, sparked so much controversy through merely holding a series of lectures and film presentations on campus, it was characteristic of the anti-Unification Church atmosphere at the time. The media and the anti-cult groups were extremely effective in characterizing members of the Unification Church as evil and that affiliated organizations initiated by Unificationists deserved a great deal of distrust. It is interesting to note that the very same people who were involved in CARP were changing hats rather often and simultaneously developed several other activities such as a monthly newspaper and rallies for Canadian Unity. It appears that in the eyes of the public, or at least in the eyes of the media, Unificationist influence was much larger than it was in reality.
VOC and the "World Peace and Freedom Monthly"
As mentioned earlier, when Rev. Moon visited Toronto in 1977 he advised the members to develop VOC activities under the leadership of Sung San Lee. Initially Lee worked with Stoyan Tadin, John Potjewyd, and Angus Sullivan to develop this project. Since there was a shortage of personnel and funds Tadin, who then decided to discontinue graduate studies to devote himself fully to anti-communist work, acquired a personal loan of $3,000 "to get the project of the ground."32 VOC activities consisted mainly of organizing public meetings featuring anti-communist speakers such as the author of Will America Surrender, Slobodan Draskovich and Tomas Schumann, a journalist who had defected from the Soviet Union. January 1978 saw the initial issue of the World Peace and Freedom Monthly, an anti-communist journal, with Sung San Lee as publisher, John Potjewyd as editor, Petro Bilaniuk as contributing editor and Stoyan Tadin as treasurer.
When Sung San Lee departed for the United States in April 1978 ideological activities took a new turn and in preparation for the planned Celebrate Canada Festival, the Canadian Unity and Freedom Federation (CUFF) was formed to make a direct appeal to the pressing domestic issue of national unity.33 The responsible people of CUFF consisted of basically the same people who were active in CARP and VOC. An addition to the team was new member, Daniel Stringer, a graduate of the University of Ottawa who had previously been politically active with the Liberal Party of Canada. Let us now look at two activities that served as a launching pad for further ideological activities by Canadian Unificationists.
Celebrate Canada Festivals
The issue of Canadian unity, as it is today, was a hot topic of discussion in the mid to late 1970s. The separatist Parti Quebecois had recently won a provincial election in Quebec and was promoting the separation of the country. It was therefore decided to hold a Rally for Canadian Unity at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on December 28, 1977. Although much effort was made, cold weather kept the people inside as only a handful of people attended. The Toronto Star reported:
Only about 20 people, most of them reporters, gathered in the freezing winds and -9 Celsius (16F) temperatures to hear members of the Unification Church of Canada make their pleas for unity.34
Besides musical performances, Rev. Porter made the principal call for unity saying: "Let our hearts burn with the desire for Canadian unity ... Canada is one nation and our future is together."35 Although the weather might have dissuaded the general public from attending, Unificationists determined to hold another rally in warmer conditions. Thus, preparations began for a larger meeting which was held in a warmer season.
Although Martin Porter originally formulated the idea for the summer festival in the fall of 1977, it was not until early spring 1978 that work for the festival began in earnest. Besides VOC activities and the monthly publication (World Peace and Freedom Monthly), an effort which served as a prelude to the festival was the formation of the Committee in Support of Peter Worthington. Worthington, a well known Canadian journalist, who was then editor of the Toronto Sun, had been charged by the Trudeau government with violating the Official Secrets Act for publishing an article which dealt with KGB activity in Canada.36 Beginning in April 1978 regular Rallies in support of Worthington were organized and held in Toronto. Involvement in this effort provided the organizers, who were mostly Unificationists, with the opportunity to make valuable contacts. Many of these contacts contributed to the success of the Celebrate Canada Festival held on June 24, at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.
The rally was designed to call attention to the issue of Canadian unity as stated in a form letter sent by CUFF to Members of Federal and Provincial Parliament:
The purpose of the Festival is to reaffirm our faith in and demonstrate our love for Canada. Even though Confederation is beset with many problems, we are still convinced that it is the foundation upon which to evolve creative solutions to our problems.37
In a manner similar to the February 1977 "International Rally for World Freedom," endorsements were sought from political, religious and business leaders. In turn proclamations and letters of appreciation were received from Queen Elizabeth II (Queen of Canada), Jules Leger, then Governor General of Canada, then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, representatives from seventeen foreign embassies and high commissions, the premiers of most Canadian provinces as well as mayors of cities throughout Canada, including then Mayor of Toronto, David Crombie, a long list of members of parliaments, the senate, prominent cultural and business leaders and numerous distinguished citizens.38
Unlike the December 1977 meeting the weather was warm and co-operative. The program consisted of a parade, entertainment by numerous bands, native, ethnic and folk singers as well as guest speakers which included members of parliament, city alderman, ethnic community leaders, and Martin Porter.
The event was well attended. According to some estimates a total of 21,000 people attended the gathering throughout the day.39 The media, on the other hand reported that about 4,000 people "sang and danced for unity at Nathan Phillips Square."40 The event was, nonetheless, seen as a great success by Unificationists and in their view represented a great leap forward in the ideological battle they were engaged in.
In June 1978, on Daniel Stringer's recommendation, the World Peace and Freedom Monthly was renamed Our Canada.41 The first issue appeared on July 1. The publisher was Alan Wilding while John Potjewyd and Stoyan Tadin served as editor and art director, respectively. Martin Porter said the following concerning the Our Canada:
Alan seemed to understand the heart and nature of Canadians which helped serve in his mission, perhaps more than others before him. Further to this, he soon reached out to other ethnic newspapers and became the leader in that area. These activities were very much in line with Father's request (August 1977) of making a movement of "captive nation groups." This became important work to fight communism, supporting the Polish Solidarity movement, Cambodians, Vietnamese, and others. In fact 5 anti-communist papers were published at our facility as well as deep contacts into the political and ethnic leaders in Ontario.42
Billed as an "independent newspaper" Our Canada continued as a monthly publication for six years until the spring of 1984. Working alongside CUFF activities, the monthly newspaper provided news and information not commonly found in Canadian newspapers. It focused heavily on ideological issues and sought to counter leftist and Marxist views. It also served as a vehicle to help facilitate meetings of conservative and anti-communist groups alike. By the end of 1979 Our Canada had a circulation of 40,000 copies, 21,000 of which were sold directly or through subscriptions, while the rest were distributed free of charge across Canada. When the Quebec referendum for separation from Canada was held in 1980, Our Canada was published also in the French language to make a plea for Canadian unity.
When the 4th anniversary dinner of the publication was held at the Westbury Hotel in Toronto in January, 1982 it was a proud day for Wilding and his team. In attendance were Member of Parliament Jesse Flis, Senator Stanley Haidaz, Toronto alderman Chris Korwin Kozynski and over forty invited guests. The paper was instrumental in making many influential contacts but was discontinued due to financial difficulties and the changing priorities of later Unificationist leadership.
3. Financial Activities
No doubt, a constant concern for Unificationists was the raising of funds. With the range of activities becoming more complex, money was needed not only for the upkeep of membership but to service the expanding real estate portfolio and those projects which could not justifiably be funded by charitable funds. Several avenues were explored.
Mobile Fundraising Teams
Fund-raising remained the main source of income for the church. During the Porter period it became a more disciplined activity as some members participated in this activity on a more consistent basis. Accordingly, two mobile fundraising teams constantly traveled throughout Canada raising funds for the church. In the spring of 1978 the first full-time Mobile Fundraising Team (MFT) was created. The team which consisted of between seven to ten members basically covered every major city, town and village in Canada raising funds for the church through offering a wide variety of products such as candy, chocolate, peanut brittle, cookies, candles, nuts and later pictures and toys. Wesley Ramage, who was a team captain for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, described a typical day on MFT:
We would rise between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. and after cleaning ourselves we would have a half-hour prayer meeting which consisted of prayer, a scriptural reading, usually from Rev. Moon's speeches and a brief talk. After breakfast and product preparation we would depart in our van for our destinations. When we weren't in an area with a church center nearby we usually stayed in motels or campgrounds during the summer. Between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. the members of the team would get dropped off either in the downtown sector of the city or town, the industrial area, or near a shopping plaza. The members would visit every shop, office or business in their area asking for donations. After picking up the members for supper at about 5:00 p.m. I would then drop them off in a housing area where the members, including myself, would fund-raise till 9:00 p.m. Afterwards everyone would be picked up and we would head for where we were staying. Fridays and Saturdays we would stay out longer as we raised funds in bars, restaurants and whatever was open till about midnight.43
By the summer of 1978 two fund-raising teams toured the country. One team, led by Wesley, traveled throughout the Western sector of the country, while the other, led by Denis Desjardins, did Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. The teams usually consisted of the newest members of the church. Indeed after several months of educational training, members were usually encouraged to join the MFT for a period that usually lasted up to three years and longer. It was seen as an important part of their spiritual training and formation as members.
Besides providing the necessary funds for the operation of the church, fundraising was seen as being theologically significant. Therefore Unificationists saw fund-raising as having both an internal and external purpose. The external purpose was, as mentioned, to pay the bills while the internal purpose was for the purpose of spiritual restoration. This was in accordance with Rev. Moon's teachings which in his words stated:
We are here to restore all the things of creation back to God and in order to do that we restore money by using it for God.44
In a direct reference to fundraising Rev. Moon noted:
Your fundraising is not only for the purpose of paying the bills for the Church, but for the purpose of restoring your own dominion over creation.45
Words such as the above by Rev. Moon, formed an important basis for the understanding that members of the MFT had while they raised funds. Nevertheless, a substantial amount of money was raised through fund-raising. Not only did the MFT raise money, but each individual church center regularly raised funds for their own sustenance and the activities of their local church centers. Intensive fund-raising drives were done on a need basis but especially during the weeks prior to Christmas. To the public's surprise, the church also kept relatively good records of their income and expenses as reporter Michael Prentice noted in an article about a then new Canadian law requiring charities to file a public record of their finances:
If you've ever wondered how your favorite charity spends donations, now you can browse through its tax return to find out... The Moonies, the controversial church led by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, was among the first religious organizations in Canada to comply fully with the new system of public accountability... The Moonies in Toronto are listed under the name "The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity." Their tax return shows they raised $397,147.38 in 1977, paid nothing in salaries and spent $411,423.44.46
As the church grew so did its income. The following year income through fundraising stood at $606,872. By 1982 income had increased to $752,941.47 Along with increased income came increased expenditures and liabilities. The church also increased its real estate holdings quite substantially during the period from 1977 till 1983.
Real Estate Purchases
As mentioned, Porter was not impressed with the physical appearance of the church centers when he arrived in 1977. With a vision to improve the image of the church and also as a result of increased revenue possibilities which came primarily from fund-raising activities, an impressive real estate portfolio was acquired by the church. Besides the first purchase of a house at 80 Admiral Road in Toronto in August 1977, the 95 acre Clearstone Lodge was purchased in Spring 1978 for $270,000, then in August a building on Avenue du Musee in Montreal was purchased for $110,000. This was followed by the purchase of a yet larger building in Toronto to replace the Admiral Road center. For $330,000 the church purchased a 40 room former home for the aged at 87 Bellevue Ave. in 1979 which served as the headquarters of the church until the early 1990s. More purchases were made in 1983; a $250,000 building on Danforth Avenue in Toronto and later a 228 acre farm in Baltimore, Ontario.48
None of these properties were paid in full at purchase of course. The church carried several heavy mortgages into the mid 1980s which caused considerable strain on the church's financial and human resources. For most of the members of the young church, however, this was all seen as increasing progress of the church.
Hanida, Printing Business, and Deer Breeding Farm
In an attempt to increase and diversify income sources, several efforts were made to establish business enterprises. Due to his experience with Ginseng and a cosmetics line developed by members of the church in Italy, Porter encouraged the establishment of a ginseng and cosmetics store in Toronto. Thus in early 1978 the "Hanida Ginseng Cosmetics" store opened in Toronto's exclusive Yorkville district. A number of Unificationists worked at the store at different times, one of them was Mubina Jaffer. The store sold ginseng tea and a line of cosmetics for men and women developed by members of the Unification Church in Italy. By the early 1980s the store was discontinued however, due to financial loss.
Another business enterprise that began in the late 1970s was a printing shop; a natural outgrowth of Our Canada publications. This provided the necessary income to subsidize the newspaper, which ran at a deficit most of the time. It also provided the church with a reliable printer for a number of projects. As with the cosmetics store the printing operation also fell on hard financial times by the early 1980s.
Of all the business activities initiated by Unificationists in Canada, the one that consistently survived and expanded was the deer breeding operation. The idea to breed deer originated with Rev. Moon who encouraged Martin Porter to research the industry in 1977. Having very little, if any, knowledge about deer breeding, Porter took great interest in an industry which at the time was still in its infancy in Canada. Porter noted how he first began.
I had to go on a crash course on how to understand animals having had no previous experience. I visited many zoos in Canada and wild life parks speaking extensively to the employees who dealt with deer ... It would be remiss of me not to mention at the outset certain people I worked with who made this activity possible. People like Roberto Peroni, Richard Gallant, Mark Hebert, Wes Ramage, Steve Barton, Peter Hume and others who did much of the back breaking work to develop and maintain this activity.49
By 1983 Porter had made a name for himself in the deer breeding business. One wildlife dealer who agreed to be interviewed by the press on condition of anonymity said the following about Porter:
...he has the finest heard of elk, not only in Canada, but in all of North America. He's picked each one out individually... He seems to have a background in almost anything. He has more knowledge about tranquilizers, drugs, putting animals down, than our vets and me put together. He's an amazing man. I respect him ... zoos from all over North America will just be pounding his door to get some of them [elk]. They are rare.50
Initially the project was introduced as a means for the church to explore new sources of income. Assuming that since Roman Catholic monks sold such things as cheese and brandy to support their monasteries, it was concluded that a religious organization such as the Unification Church could breed deer. Although officials at Revenue Canada originally accepted the operation of the farm as a church related business, it encountered complications in the late 1980s.
Initially, the primary interest was to raise them as breeding stock to provide other interested farmers or zoos with animals. The first red deer was purchased and transported to the Clearstone property in September 1978. The farm stocked three types of deer; red deer, sika deer and wapiti (Canadian elk). It was not until the mid-1980s that deer antler was sold to interested oriental customers, primarily from Korea.
Velvet is the term used to describe the growing antler that is still covered by a velvety skin and not yet completely hardened bone. Deer shed their old antler and regrow a new set every year. Antler is famous in the Orient as a medicinal ingredient. It is described as a body and blood tonic and is generally used in a mixture with many different herbs to provide cures for a multitude of illnesses.51 Along with ginseng root, deer antler is one of the basic ingredients in traditional oriental medicine. It has also been said that it is used to treat impotent men. Therefore, there is speculation that it is also used as an aphrodisiac.
A number of Unificationists worked on the farm over the years such as Eugene Curtin, Steven Barton, Peter Hume and others, but primarily Wes Ramage and Mark Hebert worked on the farm the most. Mark Hebert, who worked on the farm most consistently over the years, eventually gained a reputation for being an expert in the area of deer farming throughout North America. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Clearstone Breeding Farms had a reputation as not only having the best elk herds, but also as being one of the largest elk breeding operations in North America.
According to Mark Hebert, Clearstone Breeding Farms started acquiring elk in 1979 (red deer had been acquired earlier) and started increasing the herd with additions from western Canada throughout the early 1980s. Through careful selection and due to natural reproduction the herd grew to some 500 elk by 1990.52 Initially the only income was made through selling livestock to other interested breeders and zoos. In the mid-1980s several Korean merchants began purchasing the antler. The farm still continues to operate although it has not yet succeeded in providing the church with a substantial alternative source of income.
The media did not hesitate in attacking this activity. Indeed, everything Unificationists were involved in was viewed suspiciously by the press. Numerous articles appeared declaring, for example, that Alberta elk breeders had inadvertently helped the "Moonies" create a major elk breeding operation in Ontario.53 Everything members of the Unification Church were involved in, privately or otherwise was attacked. In the view of Unificationists this was seen as outright slander and persecution. For non-members it was seen as a moral crusade to stamp out an evil element in society that was causing people much pain. This leads us to a discussion of the opposition the church encountered in Canada during this period.
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