The Words The Kwak Family

Introductory Seminar to the Unification Movement (ISUM) in Czechoslovakia

Chung Hwan Kwak
February 25, 1990
To ISUM Participants

On behalf of Rev. and Mrs. Moon I wish to thank each of you for your participation in this conference. I hope that you have been stimulated and enlightened.

This evening I would like to share with you some information about the Unification Church lifestyle, based on my own personal experience. I have followed Rev. Moon for 32 years. When I joined the Unification Church I was a third year law student. Since that time, I have been fortunate to stay close to Rev. Moon. I lived with Rev. Moon many years and on many occasions shared the same meal table with him and his family. So I understand him not only by his official teachings and principle but through my personal relationship with him.

Usually Rev. Moon shares with disciples or close leaders every day at a breakfast meeting -- sometimes 5 or 6, sometimes 10 or more. Generally, he never shares his mealtimes with only his family. Until 1980, he always had guests or disciples at meals, not his children. According to his principles and understanding of God's heart, God first loved the Cain figure and later the Abel figure. So his first love throughout his life has been his disciples. So we who have leader positions in the Unification Church have always felt sorry for his children, because we had a close relationship with Rev. Moon in their place.

Reverend Moon's Vision

From my own impression and experience, I am amazed by Rev. Moon's broad vision and his teachings centering on God's principles and also by his teaching philosophy. No matter how lofty or how incredible his vision, his ideas can always be seen in their ongoing progress. Rev. Moon is not only a teacher, but has always guided us directly by practicing his ideas in their entirety. He has already started so many programs and activities in his own lifetime. No matter how difficult or serious it might be, if he thinks something is God's ideal or God's Will, then he wants to realize it immediately.

Another side of my own experience: God and spirit world have amazingly supported and assisted him. As early followers, we never doubted the existence of spiritual world and how closely God works with Rev. Moon. We literally had no reason to question this kind of thing because in his sermon, his worship and his daily schedule, we plainly saw how spiritual world and God closely worked with his activities. I'm not sure whether you distinguished scholars have already had this kind of experience. How I can explain? Please understand that spiritual world exists. The world of existence is not the physical world alone.

For example, he started the Unification Movement by himself. He was the only person. Can you imagine how he organized and gathered his followers? One by one or door to door? Through visiting or street witnessing? No. Most of the earlier followers in the 1950s in Korea joined the Unification Church not by his direct witnessing, but through feeling a spiritual power. Please remember that the country of Korea at that time was really a miserable place. During the Korean War, there was no food; everybody suffered. Rev. Moon himself was in a miserable refugee position. He had no house and even his external dress was that of a beggar. Given that kind of situation, how could people follow? Once again, without spiritual world assistance, we early members could not have believed him. There was tremendous persecution. Thus, to follow the way of the Unification Movement was very difficult. Yet with such serious conditions, we still joined and followed him, making our daily schedules with excitement. Many people viewed us as crazy and we had a very bad image. Although we could not explain it to others, every one of the early members had strong internal convictions based on plenty of evidence.

Heart of God and Jesus

Rev. Moon's teachings, sermons and prayers were so deep. For the first 15 years of his church leadership, the main theme of every Sunday sermon concerned the heart of Jesus Christ or the Heart of God. He explained and interpreted the Bible's content, and his sermons were very profound and incredible. Crying, he explained God's Heart and Jesus Christ's unknown heart. Please research the Bible. Actually Jesus' 33-year lifetime was very short, especially when you consider that he had only three years of public ministry. According to his spiritual communication and experience with God and Jesus Christ, Rev. Moon explained Jesus' heart, his motivation, how Jesus taught his disciples and Israel, and what was Jesus' purpose.

Rev. Moon advocated his living principles to all of his followers in the early time through three main points.

First, in order to take full advantage of the clock every day, he trained us to get along with less sleep. He never ordered us, but stayed with us every evening and taught us, usually until 2 a.m.

We almost never slept before 1 a.m., sometimes even a.m., and always our daily schedule began with early morning prayer meetings. It was very hard for me and other followers as well, who were so sleepy.

Teaching a Heavenly Lifestyle

Once, Reverend Moon told church leaders that when he received his revelation from God and Jesus Christ at the age of 16 of his special mission, he was deeply concerned about how he could fulfill it in view of the limitations of his physical life. He could not ask God to extend his physical life, but time was too short for the achievement of this mission.

Through his meditation and prayer he came to the conclusion that he must reduce his sleeping and relaxation time. He felt he had to concentrate all his waking hours on the fulfillment of God's Will. He never asked or discussed this with any other person. He just determined before he was 20 years old, that he would reduce his daily sleep time to less than three hours. From then on, his average sleeping time every day is less than three hours. So he taught us that God expected righteous people to do an amazing mission and concentrate their whole life on fulfilling this mission.

He also trained us by teaching every evening. Sometimes he asked for testimonies, sometimes he asked about some special spiritual experience, sometimes he lectured or read Principle. He covered different topics every night. So it was really tough training. But I must confess to you, even though we received his training directly, our standard is still far below his standard.

Secondly, he taught us to control our physical appetite for food, so we had many fasting conditions; some were for 7 days or more. Worldwide Unification members generally have had the experience of 7-day fasting. He taught us that the way of the righteous person or believer is not an easy way. There are many challenges or temptations. According to his teaching, our fundamental desires or temptations are related to the material realm and personal desire. We have to learn how to overcome this material temptation. Food temptation is the minimum temptation; if we can control and overcome that temptation, then we can contain our own material temptation more easily. I never fasted even one meal before joining the church. But according to his guidance we tried, and we did it. For me fasting is much easier than sleeping less. Many times I fasted 7 days or 10 days with my longest fast being 21 days. Our fasting is not the kind where there is only resting. We continue to live the same schedule. When we are leading the church and guiding members, fasting is not an easy condition. But this is a very good experience.

Controlling Sexual Desire

Thirdly, he trained us to take control of our physical or sexual desires as a key to overcoming the fallen natures. As you heard in the Fall of Man lecture, our interpretation of the Bible is that original sin is related to false sexual relations. Before joining the church, younger Unification Church members had different kinds of lifestyles. However, once they join the Unification Church and fully understand the Fall of Man, then they must never repeat those false sexual relationships. This is the most important living principle for Unification Church members -- how to control sexual desires.

In other words, Heavenly Father doesn't like false relationships. According to Principle, God gave man and woman the freedom of sexual relationship. This is a different stage from the animals. Heavenly Father gave a lot of freedom to mankind which automatically infers that man has his own responsibility to maintain sexual relationships. True freedom has to relate with responsibility. So God gave us the feeling of love so we would maintain and exactly follow His order of love.

Because of this principle, Unification Church members clearly understand that the most important love is vertical love. It is like the parent-child relationship -- a very precious relationship. The representative of the horizontal love relationship is the husband-wife love relationship. There's only one relationship in front of God. Centering on this one pure spouse relationship, we have our own next generation. We believe this to be God's original purpose and tradition. So in the Unification Church, the younger generation has a very pure moral standard. This means we want to be married under God's blessing, not by our own motivation. Originally God wanted to bless Adam and Eve in an eternal spouse relationship. We never say "marriage" in Unification Church terminology; instead, we use the word "Blessing". So in the Unification Church, the meaning of Blessing is God-centered marriage. All of the Unification Church younger generation want to be married in a Blessing conducted by Rev. Moon. But Rev. Moon has a busy schedule; even if he blessed one couple every day, that would only be 365 couples per year. So we arrange a Blessing ceremony once every few years. Automatically this means it will be a mass marriage.

Other people spread rumors that the Unification Church only likes mass marriages. But our Unification Church members have a completely different concept. It doesn't matter if it is 36 couples or 8000 couples -- all candidates have the conviction in front of God that they are individually receiving God's Blessing. Of course if Unification Church members don't want this kind of Blessing, who can order them? It is impossible. A parent cannot urge his children into marriage. In the Unification Church it is according to their own decision. If they want marriage with a person not under Rev. Moon's Blessing, they can do that. But if they want to receive Reverend Moon's prayer and church celebration, there is a condition. The most important condition before marriage is for them to first vow to God that if they receive this Blessing they will never divorce, not only in the physical world, but also in the eternal spiritual world.

I myself received this Blessing according to Rev. Moon's matching and his prayer. I started my family and am so proud. My family tradition is really thanks to Rev. Moon. Because of my mission, I do not always stay at home but do a lot of itinerary work. While visiting many places, I am not always with my wife. Sometimes I am away weeks even months. My record is five years separation. But my wife never doubted me or my personal life, and I never doubted my wife. Also I have six children who are now in the United States. They saw their parents' lifestyle. As you know the surrounding conditions are not easy for young kids in present societies. But I am so proud that of my six children, four are already blessed, following their own parents' tradition. All of them have a pure and high moral standard in front of God. It is our Unification Church family tradition and a very, very serious commitment.

There are many levels among Unification Church leaders. What happens if some fail to keep this high moral standard? Unfortunately, because of the environment of some members, they have failed in a few cases. Of course, compared with normal outside societies, the percentage is very low. If leaders make a mistake, they can never again expect to hold a high position. It is this serious because it relates to original sin and is the most important fundamental condition for individual character. Our commitment is not because of someone checking, but because of the living God. Understanding God's Principle is the reason we are strongly committed on this point.

According to Rev. Moon's idea, the future world is one world under God, one family tradition, far beyond skin color, nationality or cultural tradition. So in the Unification Church Blessing, there are many cases of international or interracial marriage, according to the decision of the individual.

Use of Money

Maybe you wonder about the financial situation of the Unification Church. In the beginning, we lived from donations. When we had donations, we shared. When there was no donation we fasted. So those in the church who were concerned about this situation advised and asked Rev. Moon to start some business to provide the financial foundation for the movement. But in the early times he always said no. It is his belief that God created all things for all mankind. If man achieves a certain level of personality, then naturally, all things will follow such a godly man. This is his belief. If man who has not yet reached this level seeks material things or money it is against God's natural law.

The present worldwide financial foundation of the Unification Movement is the result of only 17 or 18 years. Rev. Moon always stressed, and we totally believe, that the present Unification Church financial foundation is a result of God's blessing, not our own effort. He always emphasizes that the goal for any business is to spend the profit for God's will. He teaches all church members who are businessmen that if they spend the money for God's purpose then God's blessings will continue. So no matter how small or how big our budget, Rev. Moon has always taught us to divide it one, three, ten. One unit is for the maintenance of the Unification Church. Three times that unit is spent for interdenominational and inter-religious activities. And ten times that unit is spent for social projects.

Generally there are many rumors about Rev. Moon around the world. Many people think that he is tremendously right-wing, anti-communist, a businessman, or a politician. They give him many kinds of titles. But in my 32 years of association with him, his main mission is to serve and attend God. No matter what the circumstances may be, he is committed to God's Will. There is no night or day where God's desire or God's Will is exempted. God has an ideal for all mankind and an original vision of the earth which we must fulfill. This is God's Will. This is a very important point.

Many churches and believers pray to God centering on their own desires, with their own agony or their own purpose as the main content of their prayer. But please listen carefully to the content of Unification Church prayers. Because we received and learned Rev. Moon's tradition and his teaching, we never ask God anything centering on our own difficulty or for our own benefit. We would be so ashamed. Our original mind so clearly teaches us that in front of God, our all-loving Parent, we must first confess that our dedication is not enough, that we have not yet fulfilled our responsibilities. For this reason, we cannot ask, "Oh God, protect me. Oh, God, take care of my children. Oh God, bless me or my family." We never pray like this. Our prayer is always in Rev. Moon's tradition of focusing on God's Will, God's purpose and God's expectation. We pray to understand our mission and to determine what our responsibility is in order to fulfill the Will of God. This is Unification Church tradition.

Rev. Moon has taught us that God does not have a narrow mind and that His love is broad. People often have conflicts with each other which create many kinds of separations and divisions. But God's love always unites and brings people together.

Please look carefully at Unification Church members: we are not at the perfection stage and are far below Rev. Moon's standard, but humbly I mention to you that Unification Church members never have a narrow mind. To Unification Church members, there are no differences among people. Therefore, we can accept and communicate with anyone. There are no racial, national, historical, traditional, cultural or economic barriers. At the minimum, you can find this. Second, even though Unification Church members have their own concerns or projects, minimally, we try to serve and love someone daily. We always try to do something for others', although we may not be perfect.

Unification Church members' average age is younger than in most other churches. Rev. Moon's teaching is something which is effective in influencing young men and women. If religion has no power to influence the younger generation, then where will we find religion's role in the future?

Really study the Unification Movement and if you find something different, useful or meaningful, please support and guide us. We need your assistance and young Unification Church members need your guidance. In closing, I would like to ask that if you have had a meaningful experience at this conference, please invite other professors or leaders to come to our next conference. On behalf of Rev. and Mrs. Moon I thank you and may God bless you.

Comments On ISUM
Dr. Thomas Walsh:
Director of the International Religious Foundation

Professor Sontag and Rev. Kwak speak to East European Teaching through Sun Myung Moon's Example

Our most recent ISUM was held from February 22-26 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Prague is a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage, similar to Budapest or Vienna. These three cities were the three capitals of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The communists usually do little building or developing when they take over a city, but they did build one thing here, and that was the beautiful hotel that hosted the ISUM. But it was for the exclusive use of Party members until recently.

We were the first group to use that facility since the opening up of Czechoslovakia. About 150 participants came from all the East European countries -- Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and the Soviet Union. Dr. Frederick Sontag was the moderator and our members gave the Divine Principle lectures. There were professor respondents after the lectures, and questions and answers from the floor. Dr. Rubenstein spoke on "The Vision of Rev. Moon and the Role of Professors," which was much appreciated by the participants. Mr. Neil Salonen gave an overview of the activities of the Unification Movement, and Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak gave the closing address about Father's life.

It was exciting to be in Eastern Europe as it is opening up. It is a kind of a honeymoon time, though, because after the excitement of a revolution things like inflation, jobs and other difficulties must be dealt with. Nonetheless, there is enthusiasm, excitement and universal rejection of the communism, Stalinism and Leninism that the country was subjected to for 40 years.

The most exciting thing was to meet our members there. I met brothers and sisters who were 10 and 20-year members. Many of them have spent time in prison for witnessing to True Parents. These are members who have been on the front line, with very little support. Some of the original missionaries, before going to Czechoslovakia, told their families that they had left the Unification Church, so they would not be traced. They had to operate totally underground, not even being able to share about their beliefs to their intimate family. I was very inspired and moved by their sacrifices.

There were many Austrian members there. They initially went to this country when Peter Koch, the former Austrian national leader, received a strong inspiration in the late sixties to send members to work in East European countries.

Rev. Kwak gave a morning talk to members after pledge and spoke about Father's prediction of the end of communism, which was proclaimed at the 1985 PWPA conference, even though everyone advised him strongly against it. Now people recognize Father's special perception of the future.

I want to explain why the ISUM in Eastern Europe is so significant. Rev. Kwak explained that Abel has a great responsibility. Jacob won Esau through offering a combination of material wealth and love. The most important, however, was the internal condition of heart. The Western world is now giving to the East, but without heart, love or truth. People are going there opportunistically. Father is giving all he can, with members even borrowing money, to give to the Cain world -- China, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. If Abel fails he will be killed by Cain. The Abel world should give unconditionally to the Cain world with a heart of love. The unity of Cain and Abel is the condition for the Messiah to come.

Father is investing everything in this effort. So even if we are personally sacrificing because of reallocation of resources to Eastern Europe, we must realize that Father is working within a much larger context.

Mr. Salonen gave a fine talk to the professors, using the parable of the loaves and the fishes. In John 6:1-13, it says that Jesus converted five loaves and two fishes into enough to feed the multitude. The analysis that Mr. Salonen gives is that the little boy who came to Jesus and gave everything he had was the catalyst to ignite the heart of giving in everyone else. People had food in their clothing for the trek back home, but they also began to give and a great multiplication occurred. He related that to Father, who is now investing in the communist countries. This is not for material gain, but to save the world. We don't have the resources of Western governments or huge corporations, so Father is like the little boy in the parable who is giving absolutely at this time to be a catalyst to inspire Western countries to give to countries emerging from under communism.

Dr. Gordon Anderson:
Secretary General of the International Cultural Foundation

The ISUM in Prague was similar to that in Warsaw, except that we had twice as many participants. PWPA in Czechoslovakia was legalized 10 days before the conference so they acted as the official hosts for this ISUM. We first met the President and Vice President of PWPA Czechoslovakia through the PWPA meeting in Hungary last October, so things have been moving very quickly in regards to establishing PWPA.

I feel the Warsaw, Prague, and upcoming ISUM in Romania, April 4-8, are a spiritual condition for the success and protection of the World Media Conference in Moscow. It is more unstable in Romania. Party members are still running the country, because Ceausescu did not provide an education or skills training for anyone who wasn't a Party member. Either Party members have to change, or they will be kicked out, leaving no one to govern Romania. It is a very delicate situation. We would like to give a new vision to intellectuals and leaders in Romania through the ISUM. We can be a catalyst for furthering positive reforms in that country.

Please pray for our members and projects in Eastern Europe. ''We must reach people in these countries before others with self-interests do. Please pray especially for the World Media Conference. On the foundation of the unity of the Cain and Abel countries, the worldwide foundation for the Messiah to come is established; this is the significance of the Moscow rally.

Dr. Andrew Wilson:
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at UTS

I stayed on in Czechoslovakia for another four days after the ISUM, and was the main speaker of a lecture tour.

At this time we have a tremendous opportunity to give a message to these thirsty people. I have never seen a situation where there was more openness to the Principle than during this lecture tour. Think about how hard it is to bring people to a lecture in New York. Then think that to prepare for the speech at Charles University in Prague, there were only two members in Prague putting up some posters and an announcement in a local newspaper, and 50 people attended.

The title of my speech was "How to Unify the World." Most people were genuinely interested. Although some people weren't interested in the religious point of view and left in the middle, those who stayed were fascinated and didn't want to leave at the end of the speech. They all filled out their names and addresses, so they are a group who can be recontacted for future seminars by the Czech family. I spoke at Charles University in the philosophy auditorium where Marxism was taught. It is very symbolic that we are using all these facilities that were formerly dedicated to Marxism. Likewise, Rev. Kwan's speech to ISUM professors was on the anniversary of the communist revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1948.

We travelled by car from Prague to Brno, which is the third largest city in Czechoslovakia. There we have a much larger foundation, and I was the guest of a Czech member who is a lecturer at one of the colleges there. He is a close friend of the leader of the student movement there. The students were the first ones out in the streets. Our members in Czechoslovakia had no hesitation, when the revolution started, in putting themselves right out on the front line. In the first days nobody was sure if the protests would be successful or not; it was risky to be out on the streets. Our members were doing many conditions at the time. The Brno family did a condition of circling the city seven times in order to try to keep things peaceful. And the events of those days were indeed incredibly non-violent.

The spirit of the Czechs is very highly developed, perhaps because of their intellectual heritage. They were spontaneously non-violent in their revolution. They didn't have to be coached or trained to be non-violent. Even though some of these students were badly beaten, they never struck back. They understood that they won the spiritual victory over the police because of their attitude. So in my speech, when I explained about Cain and Abel and loving the former communists, they could understand.

In Brno, 150 people attended the lecture, given at the university auditorium. I spoke for about two hours, and at the end of the lecture I received a two minute ovation! The Principle is so great, and people are so thirsty for truth there. We had dinner with the student leader friend of our member, and then met the next morning with the deans and sub-deans of his faculty to talk about our member's idea for a new department of culture and religion. The student leader completely supports this idea. It used to be a requirement that all students study a certain number of courses of Marxist-Leninist doctrine, but that department has now been deleted. Administrators and professors are looking for what to put in its place.

We went down to Bratislava the next day, and this time we were at a hall on the outskirts of town. Still 100 people came. It was also a great success. The last day, we travelled up to a small town in the north called Opava. Another one of our members, Rostilav Cuhel, is a close friend of a professor who lives there who attended the ISUM in Prague. This professor is in charge of a committee which is organizing a new university in this city of Opava, and he organized my speech, because we had no members there. On the day I spoke, several Ministry of Education officials came to meet with this organizing committee. They all came to my speech and sat in the front row.

The speech went very well -- we had headphones for simultaneous translation. Two hundred people attended. This time it was mostly older people, whereas in the other cities it was mostly students. I spoke for about one and a half hours, and there was a half hour of questions and answers afterwards. People were sincerely interested and asked good questions. On that foundation, the officials from the capital were quite impressed, and one of them said by the response to my speech he saw there was a hunger in this area for a university. So we were able to support this professor's project and he was very pleased.

It was an exciting tour, and if any of you have roots in Eastern Europe, please connect your foundation of family and friends to the church members and the new providence that is developing there. I am very grateful that I could go and I can only praise God for opening up the people in this part of the world in such a wonderful way. 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library