Pure Love Invasion

"One man, one wife; one love, one life!" That was just one of the chants which bounced off the Massena House in the first weekend in August when the buses, vans and cars of the Pure Love '97 tour rolled in to Barrytown. The 300-strong army of young members of the Pure Love Alliance was actually taking a breather from a very heavy schedule of marches and rallies all across America but UTS was treated to a full-scale "dress rehearsal" which fully explained how a relatively small number of people could capture so much attention.

With their PLA hats and shirts, colorful placards, boundless energy and a message which flies in the face of popular culture, they have brought out the media wherever they have been. At least two American talk show hosts have taken notice and major newspapers have reported positively, if quizzically, on their progress. Some have noted the contrast between this tour and the original "Summer of Love." The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported "Yesterday's sunny event, with youths wearing light gray "Pure Love" T-shirts and waving their hands back and forth to rock music, was a sharp contrast to the hippie youth Summer of Love in '67. While the flower-power gong of sexual liberation rang 30 years ago, yesterday's clarion call was one of individual discipline, restraint and responsibility." The Post Intelligencer spoke to Pure Love Alliance President, Robert Kittel (UTS Class of '93) who told the reporter, "We're trying to change the culture from one of greed and instant gratification to self-mastery, generosity, the ability to sacrifice and honor others."

Rodney Stark, professor of sociology and comparative religion at the University of Washington, praised the courage shown by the PLA members and told the Post Intelligencer that this tour represented a major cultural shift. "Abstinence is a view you couldn't express for a long time," he saidc"Virtue and virginity have become mentionable words; there has been a significant cultural change from the Summer of Love - no question."

In addition to Robert Kittel, several other UTS graduates are contributing to the success of the tour, notably Jin Hun Moon ('93), President of World CARP, who has been accompanied on tour by his two daughters. Larry Krishnek (also '93) travels ahead with the preparation team and he proudly pointed out his own 14 year old daughter who was already lamenting the approaching end of the tour. Young Jun Kim ('91), who is responsible for the education of the second generation in Korea, had just arrived in the US to participate in the latter stages of the tour. Mike Balcomb ('93) is responsible for the complicated logistical arrangements which keep the tour rolling.

Following their weekend at UTS, the tour members moved on to Albany on August 4th and if the extensive, positive TV coverage was any measure, their rally in the state capital was a great victory.