The Words of the Owens Family

Madison Square Garden Testimony

Ken Owens
September 1974

Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han - March 28, 2012

This MSG testimony was written a couple of weeks after I returned to my ship in Pearl Harbor. I was still in the navy at the time.

Well, it all started way back when, on the 2nd of September 1974, Carmela Achohito and I, on leave from my ship in Pearl Harbor, flew to Los Angeles, landing at about 7 pm. The moon was just rising with the color of brilliant orange. Actually, it's very beautiful in a sense. But, there's just one thing wrong. Normally, the moon would seem white because of the rays of the sun bouncing off of it. But, when you have miles upon miles, and tons upon tons of smog in the way, the Moon will be of an orange color, and you're not breathing fresh air anymore. You're inhaling all of these polluted elements, which should not be there in the first place. So, you cough a lot. Also, all this polluted junk invades the eyes, and you are constantly having your eyes bathed in tears. It's not a good place to be if you want to live longer than the age of two. But, there have been some specimens that somehow have a longer life span than the normal inhabitants.

The church center where we stayed at, and where Keith Chow and Debbie Nanod were, used to be a motel lot with six cabins and a six-car garage. Now, it's just a cozy church center with 15 people, with Phillip Schanker leading and singing us all the way, and using it as a base of operations to conquer Los Angeles in a heavenly way. Keith and Debbie were in great spirits and happy we arrived. Keith, in fact, met us at the airport.

For the next three days, the three of us sold candy to raise enough money for future expenses. Keith had to stay behind since he was still getting over pneumonia. He painted one of the offices while we were gone. We usually went to shopping centers and chased after people most of the day.

The strangest and most disturbing incident I had was the first night of selling. At about 7:15 pm, I walked up to this lady in her car, from behind like a crazy fool and I got an instant reaction from her. She turned toward the store, screamed her head off, not literally, started the engine and was revving it up something fierce. So, I calmly and innocently walked away from the car, letting her know that I didn't want to harm her and that I too was scared to death. I walked to a gas station and waited over an hour for the police to come. But, they never did. I wonder why she didn't blow her horn like other normal people do? Strange!

The next day, two of us stayed in the parking lot all day. Now, this wasn't bad except that we were in San Fernando Valley, smog everywhere, the sun beating down on us, bringing the temperature up to 102 degrees (just a smidge hot) and I didn't have a hat. Believe me, I was mighty glad when night came. So, as you can see, it wasn't all peaches and sauerkraut being in Los Angeles.

On Friday, the 6th, we got two Dodge vans together, and 16 of us started our journey to another smoggy city on the other side of the country. At 12 o'clock Noon, we headed toward the desert area west of the city.

Rolling through the hot, sandy hills and plains of Death Valley, we come to beautiful, downtown Needles, California. This majestic and tranquil little desert community has, more often than not, set the daily temperatures as the highest in all the land. I lived in the desert for two years, but it gets pretty cotton-picking hot here.

As we leave this majestic place in this land-locked beach, we bid farewell to this sauna-bath of Southern California.

As the miles roll by: we sing, eat, drive, study and sleep.

Ah, it's night, and we arrive into exciting Flagstaff, Arizona. A family member from Phoenix is here, and we bring her along on our journey.

During the night, we cross into New Mexico, and at 9am, arrive in Albuquerque to freshen up and prepare our breakfast.

We're off by 10 pm, eating a hearty meal of granola and 2-day old hard-boiled eggs, which fall apart when we peal them. The tall, rolling hills begin to stretch out to form mesas with a reddish tint to liven up the beauty of the desert land. You cannot imagine the beauty, the color, the loneliness, and yet, you almost feel at home here. A desert can be exhilarating and utterly mysterious. It's just fantastic.

Moving on, the mesas get fewer and fewer and soon we're driving across the rolling plains of the Texas Panhandle and come to a city called Amarillo. The people here are just about the sweetest, hot-diggity-dangedest bunch of people in the whole wide cotton-pickin' world. One gas attendant chased us all over town to return our gas cap that we forgot. We sold most of our stock of candy here. The people are friendly, courteous, and we really wanted to stay so we could be with them longer. The people of Amarillo will forever be in our hearts. They're just something else.

Leaving Amarillo about nine at night, we continue our trek through the unseen plains of the panhandle of Texas and into Oklahoma, reaching Oklahoma City about 4 am. An hour later we stop to have a short Sunday Service.

We lined up in two sections, five rows of three's. We bowed three times, said the Children's Pledge, prayed in unison, and Diana Swank (future Webber) closed with a prayer. Then, we sang "Shining Fatherland" while looking east. It was extremely moving. From where I was standing, far left of the second row, the dark blue sky filled with stars, and small trees rising above the scattered mist along the horizon, with our leader in the foreground, in front of the group, all of us looking, feeling, experiencing, and loving Heavenly Father externally, within ourselves and with each other.

Now on the Will Rogers Turnpike, the plains turn into green hills and trees, scattered farms with barns built in the 19th Century still in use, swiftly go by our sightseeing eyes. The air is clean, the sky is clear and everything in green, green, green.

As we see the last few feet of the turnpike, we enter the hills of Missouri. At about 3pm, we arrive in St. Louis. And again, smog enters our journey. Here, we sell some candy in a suburb called Webster Groves. The first house I go to had a heavy feeling to it. It was a church of Mysticism. As I left, some words were painted on the side of the house that read "witches live here." For the rest of the time there, the atmosphere was really heavy and a bad feeling all around. Hardly anyone smiled, not even the children.

A few hours later, we cross the Mississippi River into Illinois.

As the day rambles on, the two vans pass mile after mile of rolling farmland. As we breathe the fresh air, cattle graze lazily near the roadside caring only how good the grass is.

We come to Springfield, Lincoln's final resting place. But, we move on, rushing to get to our destination.

It's 11:30 pm, half an hour before midnight. Most of us in the second van are asleep, when suddenly our left rear tire blows. We slowly reach the side of the road as the first van moves steadily onwards, unaware of our plight. A big, flatbed truck stops in front of our van, and gives us his help in replacing the blown tire. We give him our thanks as he speeds on his own journey.

Now, we wait till Midnight, hoping the first van had noticed that we weren't with them. But, they do not come.

By putting into action a pre-arranged plan in case of an emergency such as this, we eventually unite with number one van in Indianapolis, 45 miles away. After refueling and exchange greetings, we continue our trek into the blackness of an Indiana night.

It's now 6:30 am, Monday morning, as we enter the town of New Philadelphia, Ohio. There, we freshen up at the home of one of the team member's relatives. Also, we sell the rest of the candies that we brought, repair the blown tire and make more food that will last us until New York.

We're off again by 3am, heading for Dubois, Pennsylvania where we will meet with five other vans from California and Utah.

Five hours later, we arrive in this small Pennsylvania town and we meet two vans from California. We all eat dinner at good old American McDonald's!

At 11:30 in the evening, we are able to enter a YMCA and have some recreation before we start our work in the Big City: pool, ping-pong and basketball. I, myself, participated in the basketball game. Since, we didn't have tennis shoes, we played without any shoes or socks.

Before I had to leave the game, my feet not only developed many fine blisters, but when I made my only basket of the night, I rammed my big right toe into a stage near the basket. I sprained it pretty good. At about 1:30 am, we all went back to the vans to get some much needed sleep.

I was the first one up at 7 am. It was a sight to see. Three new vans were parked near us. It was densely foggy, and it was COLD. I woke practically everyone up and guess where we ate breakfast? That's a right, good old McDonald's.

At 10:30 am, the caravan of seven vehicles started out into the fog, trying to keep in touch and not losing each other.

At about 2:30 pm, we ate lunch at a rest stop. We sang, prayed and ate together. The police came by and told us not to make too much noise. And we didn't, until we left saying three cheers quietly scrambled for the vans. We drove for the next five hours through the endless sea of green hills of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

At Eight O'clock, on the night of September 10th, we crossed the George Washington Bridge and entered Manhattan Island. And guess who drove us in, Keith himself. After driving in the wide-open spaces of Hawaii, he's the one to first experience the quagmire, the tension, the stupidity and the craziness of New York and its drivers. And to top it off, he became an official driver to one of the vans and rove around New York for the week we were there.

As soon as we got onto the island, we already were in a traffic jam. We were just dumb-founded at everything: the old buildings, planted trees, the atmosphere and the people.

But, what really amazed us was that we found our posters for the event on a street corner billboard. It was three rows high and about twenty across, so about sixty of our posters that read "Sept. 18th Could be your Re-birthday" were on one street corner.

As we continued on, we saw dozens, hundreds, literally thousands of three feet high posters, row upon rows, strewn all over the city. Wherever there was a billboard or a construction site, there our posters were, staring at all the people going by.

Our two vans stopped in front of the Taft Hotel on 51st and 7th Avenue. Within four minutes, not only were 17 people out of the vans, but all of our luggage, both inside and on top of the vans, were on the sidewalk, ready to venture forth into the hotel.

By Ten O'clock, we were all snug in our rooms, a little hungry perhaps, but ready to sleep without anything moving underneath us. And did we sleep in the big, comfortable beds that went with the rooms? Utter nonsense? Really! Why sleep in a soft bed when we got our trusty-dusty sleeping bags and a floor to get our sleep?

Rrinnggg, "What time is it?" Eee-gads, its 4:30 am! We all got dressed in fifteen minutes to get ready to go to St. Michael's Church on 34th Street to hear Father speak.

Dozens of vans pull up to the church, and hundreds of family members assemble inside. There is loud, beautiful singing. Then, Father talks to us, giving us inspiration and some of the reason why Madison Square Garden is so important to Heavenly Father, True Parents and the world. If we fill the Madison Square Garden, it would be one of the most victorious events in world history. We begin to feel honored to participate in this great event. Sixty to seventy people are then chosen to go straight to Philadelphia to start on the "Day of Hope" event there. Traudl Stempfl is one of those chosen.

After Father spoke, we piled into our vans and headed for our assigned areas. Our group of eleven landed on Lexington Avenue, between 58th and 71st Streets. The Upper East Side of Manhattan is a very wealthy neighborhood: a lot of businesses and a Catholic school were between 65th and 66th Streets.

I stayed at the corner of the church, 65th and Lexington, most of the day. It was utterly amazing. I would say that about 99 per cent of the people we met knew about Rev. Moon and September 18th, from little old ladies to school kids, businessmen, housewives, secretaries, street cleaners, vendors, delivery boys, policemen, women traffic cops, shoppers, hair stylists, girls in very high elevator shoes, priests, nuns, visitors to the city, and, of course, us. This would be our territory for 8 days. Out there by 7am in the morning, we would first go to the front of a library, with a revolving circular disk standing on its side in front. We would sing some songs, pray for success, and charge bravely forward into the streets, passing out flyers and tickets as we go.

Most of the people wouldn't take the flyers because they would be sick of seeing us at every corner. They would always see these well-dressed, smiling young people at a corner, and they'd probably say to themselves: "Oh no, here we go again!" Some of them would walk by smiling; some wouldn't give any kind of expression at all; others would look away, mostly at the sky, as they walked by; some would give us dirty looks; some say impolite words (even by some old ladies); threaten us; tell us to go back home and live normal lives like they do' tell us that we are being misguided' and many times, people would walk in the middle of the street, risking their lives with speeding taxis, and go to the other side just so we wouldn't bother them for the hundred-upteenth time. And several people would just go flakey. After being stopped so many times, they would start giving strange looks on their faces, as if they had never seen us before. Then, they would go off screaming "Rev. Moon, Rev. Moon!" to other people, as if questioning them who Rev. Moon is.

Then, there would always be those who would say that they were going to the event, and would always smile whenever approached. Some, after being approached so many times, would stop and ask questions.

You really find a lot about people this way. But, they were more than just people to us. We really felt love for them, because we were actually helping every one of them, even though they didn't know it, no matter who there were. Those who smiled, threatened, ignored and hated us, we loved them. It may sound crazy to love total strangers, be we did just that, because we knew how they are living, what was effecting their lives, and that they will soon feel exactly as we do. That, they too, will soon feel Heavenly Father coming into their hearts and they would start to feel for other people as we do. They would soon see that we really are brothers and sisters, and God is our Father. And that, indeed: war, hatred, jealousy, greed, selfishness, bigotry and everything that is against God's Will, will soon be vanished. They soon will discover that the ideal world will become a reality in their own lifetimes. It is within their grasp, and they don't even know it. But, they will. They will soon feel, for the first time in their hearts, true love for God, True Parents, the world, their nation, their society, their family and lastly, their original selves. This is why we stayed on the streets for the fifteen hours a day, because we're feeling God's heart and we wanted to show this to the people of New York. What I'm trying to say is that Heavenly Father, True Parents, Unification Church, Divine Principle, everything is true, all true.

All day long, I stopped in front of people, with a big smile and very humbly asking them if they were going to Madison Square Garden. I had a lot of rejections, some took the flyers I had, and very few people would stop and talk. This went on pretty much all day and into the night. Then, at about 8:30 pm, the best experience of the day occurred, outside of seeing Rev. Moon, of course.

I stopped a group of people, a man and two women, in front of a drug store at 65th and Lexington. The man was really curious about what we were doing. There was a good reason why he was. He was a journalist for CBS's 60 Minutes named Mike Wallace. I knew who he was, but I didn't let him know that I knew. I told them that we were a Christian group who had the belief that the ideal world can be realized very soon with the Lord of the Second Advent, and that Madison Square Garden was an important step in the realization of his Second Coming. I also told him that members from over forty countries, a total of about 4,000, were in New York just for the event, and that all the other family members around the world were working for, raising money for and praying for the success of Madison Square Garden. Not only that, but I told him that I was on leave from the Navy, coming to New York from Hawaii just for this event. He seemed more curious now, since he was a former World War Two submariner himself, and I gave him my address in town, and also my ship's address. Before, he didn't intend to go or have anything to say about us. But, whatever I said to him or the way I acted or both, he decided to go to Madison Square Garden.

I knew he was an important contact, so I contacted our PR people the next morning. A few days later, I was told that he not only was going to go, but also planned to film it and do an interview with Father. So, I feel I have contributed much to the entire Eight City Tour because of this one person. I am very happy that I was able to not only meet Mike Wallace, but also persuade him to go and become really interested in the movement.

Ta-daa, It's 5:30 am! Everybody up! Scramble, scramble, bump-grind! Where's the toothpaste? I don't know, look in the TV set! Bump, zonk, 6:30, downstairs! Scramble, scramble to the elevators! The doors open, yeeah! Charge for the rotating doors. Swing, swish, and bammm; it's COLD. Scramble, scramble back inside.

Each morning, we would line up in front of the hotel, in different teams of 12 people per team. We'd get the flyers, our lunches and walk over fifteen blocks to a corner where we would spend the rest of the day. At about 1:30-2:00 pm, we'd eat our lunch, talk about the morning's experiences and wonder what was going to happen the rest of the day.

At 8:30 at night, we all join up and eat at a McDonald's, Burger King, or a small hot sandwich snack-bar called Charlie's Corner. By Ten O'clock, we'd be back at the hotel, where all the teams would gather for a meeting to find out what happened during the day. We'd sing, learn of each other's experiences and whatever news overall about the upcoming event. Then, we would all sing one last song, pray and say good night.

Now there's one thing about New York City you have to be aware of: whatever you do, never, ever ride in a taxi in New York. They are professional, skilled, fearless maniacs who do not have any set speed limit. There could be cars, trucks, people, buildings, trees, cows, bicycles, horse-carriages and motorized street cleaners all over the place, and the cab drivers would find some way to get through or around, over or under them. I even saw one cab drive the entire length of sidewalk on the west side of 45th Street. They may have scars of past battles, but they still venture forth with undaunted and unwavering courage to overcome its foe. In other words, whenever you see a cab, anywhere, stay out of its way. Taxis fear nothing, not even the foot and a half deep potholes that numerously mark every few feet of road space. I would ride in one only on the condition that it was a life and death situation, and that I would be able to survive the trip. Other than that, I see nothing wrong with them.

Early Sunday morning, with darkness still covering the city, we all line up in front of the hotel, ready to pile into the vans that will take us to Saint Michael's Church.

After entering the vehicles and are on our way, each group of people conducts a short service to Heavenly Father for everything that he has given us, and rededicating ourselves to Him, True Parents and the world to bring about God's goal of the Kingdom of Heaven.

At 5:15 am, as the blackness of the night starts to break up into a dark blue, we arrive at the church and race to get inside. As everyone enters, the sisters go to the left and the brothers to the right. All Blessed Couples present sit in the front of the stage.

With True Parents arriving in about 30 minutes, we all start singing to bring up a spiritually happy atmosphere.

As we sing, I begin to sense a feeling that I've never felt before. I feel love and brotherhood towards all of these people who came from all parts of the world. I never met most of them, but I do know them. We are all alike, with one purpose, desire, will and ambition. And, that is to accomplish God's plan, to make Heavenly Father and his children happy. I begin to feel for all of those people who don't know what is going to happen because of our efforts. I begin to feel a love for our True Parents that I've never experienced before. I feel that they are really happy and anxious for the success of Madison Square Garden.

As we continue to sing, the spiritual atmosphere rises, the voices become harmonious. The songs are beautiful, serious and meaningful. And, I begin to choke and I can't continue on singing. I take several deep breaths, look at all those around me and those on the stage, and I try to sing again, but choking soon afterward. My eyes begin to water. For the first time in ten years, I'm on the verge of tears. But, I hold them back smiling, and I begin to feel God's heart as I begin to sing again. I am happy being here, because I am one of Father's followers who is in this city to help change history. This is the happiest and the most serious moment for our True Parents. I am deeply honored, just as everyone else here. It is 5:50 in the morning.

They're here! Father and Mother have arrived, and the atmosphere zooms to a higher level. They walk down the aisle and onto the stage. Mother is beginning to show that she is bearing a child. A hush of wind is heard throughout the church. Father and Colonel Bo Hi Pak begin speaking.

For two and a half hours, Father talks to us, inspires us, make us laugh, tells us the importance of Madison Square Garden and how we should act as God's children. We are relaxed, yet our eyes and ears are glued to the two men on the stage. It is kind of hard to imagine that one of those two men is the long awaited Messiah. A few minutes after eight o'clock, the pastor of St. Michael's walks to the front, onto the stage and talks to Father, who is in the middle of speaking. Then, the pastor walks off the stage and out of sight. We are in awe and smile because the man doesn't know to whom he was really talking to. So, Father starts speaking again, but a few minutes later, an organ starts playing, and the pastor tells us that we overstayed our time by forty-five minutes and that we must keep our end of the agreement by leaving, now! Mr. Kim, the president of the international movement of the church, tries to get one more minute to introduce some leaders of the Korean and Japanese churches, but the pastor is insistent. So, President Kim says alright, asks all of us to rise and say three Manseis, and we immediately part, clapping happily.

As everyone gathers outside, our team forms across the street and we go to the subway to head back to Lexington Avenue.

Being Sunday, it is not very busy and many stores are closed. But, some are open, and people slowly emerge later in the day. My partner, David Lowe, and I start at 66th Street and Lexington and we just ask the people if they have any questions about Rev. Moon. Some people do and some don't.

As the day crawls on, David and I begin to have a happy time asking people and our spirits are high. During this day, I talk to more people than I have in the past four days. All in all, it is a good day. Monday certainly will be much busier.

By 7:30 the next morning, we are all about in the streets again, passing out literature and still asking people if they have any questions.

By Eleven O'clock, we boarded our van and went to Wall Street where members of the church were having a rally. Hundreds of our people were on the steps of the Federal Hall Memorial Building, singing and waving signs. In front of the George Washington Statue, in the middle of the steps, was the platform where our speakers talked to the crowd. Then, most of the teams, including mine, mingled among the spectators, trying to make the rally as lively as possible. We blocked Wall Street for several hours. Traffic was at a standstill. It was a complete success. Among the speakers were: two Catholic ministers, one from Southeast Asia and the other from Ireland; Rev. Paul Werner, who is in charge of our region of California and Hawaii; a German sister, Ann Marie Manke, who was raised in Canada and was in Honolulu for the Day of Hope in April and whose bright red sunburn was healed by now; and the regional director of New York area, who spoke about his experience before coming into the family. It was good publicity for Madison Square Garden. After the rally, we all went back to hit the streets for six more hours.

The next day, we pounded the streets hard because it was the last full day for passing out leaflets, for tomorrow is September 18th. It could be one of the greatest days in history, or one of the worst. It's just a matter of hours away.

Some of the team members stayed on Lexington Avenue, while the rest of us went to Plaza Square near Central park. This is one of the landmarks of New York City and also where the horse carriages are if you wish to ride around the park for ten dollars (remember, this is 1974).

For most of the day, my partner, Bill Mitchell, and I stayed and talked to people. Some wouldn't want to talk with us, but those who did were good people and we were able to persuade a few to go to the event the next night. I talked to one couple who really cared about young people and tried to convince me that I should work for a particular cause, like in a hospital or something, and to beware of people like Rev. Moon. I told them that we were helping the needy causes, but in a more important way that affected all causes, all people and all nations. It was hard to convince them of this, but they are a really fine couple. They will soon find out.

I talked to a hippie in a way that seemed I was kind of on his level of thinking. After all, I did live on the same street as the singing group "Jefferson Airplane." We got really together on many things and we learned many things. But, basically we agreed that God is all around us and in us, and that there will be no need of churches and religions because we would be in God and God in us. We would feel him, be able to talk to him like I would talk to you. It was a good talk and I felt really high afterwards.

Then, I met this girl, a teacher, who just came back from Hawaii. She was really curious about Rev. Moon and the movement and was going to go and hear him speak. Then, an old man walked up to us to listen, and began to tell her that she shouldn't listen to me. He said that I was following a quack, a fraud who only wanted people's money. He based his information on government reports because he said he was a "G" man, and he knew the real truth and was trying to protect her. After he left, we both smiled and I said that I wasn't going to say anything since he wasn't there to defend himself, just to go to the rally and judge for herself. She said that she was going to go anyway and that the old man didn't change her mind at all. I later learned that the FBI had done an investigation on Rev. Moon and found that he was clean in all respects. So, I feel the old man had just read an article in the New York Times and was passing himself off as a "G" man. All in all, it was a good day, and we all turned in after our nightly meeting.

It's September 18th, possibly the greatest day in modern history. All the teams line up by 6 am. We get new flyers that say: "Today is September 18th, Will you be there?" And we are at our posts within the hour.

Some people pass out the new flyers at subway exit and others stand a block apart, on the corners. My partner, Mathew Morrison, and I walked on one side of the street for about six blocks. We just walk back and forth passing out flyers. All morning we did this, and thousands of flyers are handed out. At about One O'clock, we gather and catch the subway for Madison Square Garden.

Now, for those who have never ridden one of these beauties of transportation, I shall etch a picture of one such vehicle into your memory bank for future reference. As you go down some stairs, you come to this booth. There, you pay for a token that permits you access to an area of platforms where you can board these city trains. It is relatively quiet and big with dark gaping holes to the sides. Then, hark, a noise! It must be, it's got to be, yes! Then you cover your ears, and if the situation warrants, your dress too, and you wait for it to stop. A long silver beauty, which is covered with various, unrecognizable graffiti, sits a few seconds before opening its sliding doors, dumping people out and letting people in. Then, its doors close as quickly as they opened, and slowly speeds off for the next stop. Gaining speed, the wind gets-a-breezing and you wish you could cover your ears hard enough. The car is moving in every direction, you pray you don't get sick until you can reach the proper facilities for such happenings. As you occupy one car, you lazily glance to the car ahead of you and discover, with much fear of heat failure, that it is jumping all over the track and the people don't seem to mind. You could get sick just watching it bounce in every direction. Then, the train begins to slow down, and you walk to the doors, much happier at the thought that you will be on dry, steady cement in a minute or two. And then, the big cavern lights up your destination. The train stops, the doors open and you hurry out before you get stuck inside, since the doors are timed and all. With the journey finished, you suddenly discover you still have to get to the street. But, that's easy, since all you have to do is follow the crowd. The scene reminds you of a movie you once saw about cattle being herded somewhere to be disinfected or something. And, that's what if feels like to travel on a railroad under New York City.

We arrived at Madison Square Garden at about 1:35 pm. We had about an hour to wait, so we went to, well you know, for lunch. After we ate, we crossed the street and went to the front of the humongous arena. There were already hundreds of family members waiting in lines before entering.

Beneath the Garden is the entrance to Pennsylvania Station. Most of the teams were lined up in the area adjacent to the entrance. We stood outside for about two and a half hours, so that the other members could get to the Garden, and for final preparations inside. During this time, most of the members were looking for old friends and finding some. There were people from all fifty states and from many countries: Japan, Korea, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, England, Canada and more!

I saw several members from Mr. Sudo's team. They are the ones who helped prepare for the "Day of Hope' Banquet in Honolulu last April. I saw Traudl Stempl, the German sister who stayed with us for a month. And, I saw Bill Miho, whom we gave to Rev. Sudo's team as a gift, and he eventually found Keith. So, they talked for a long time.

There were also two naval officers that weren't from the US Navy. In fact, it turned out that they are part of Father' navy. He has a forty-eight foot boat in which he takes VIP's out to go fishing. One of the officers had been a fisherman up in Alaska, but he was never in the regular navy.

Then, the "opposition" started to arrive. First, came the guy who had poster-boards all over him saying "Husband power" and "Wives must OBEY husbands." There were also street preachers who were trying to keep people from going in. But, they didn't know that they were preaching to family members. And, some were passing out literature to "Read your Bible and forget Rev Moon." Then, the family members began to sing in order to drown out the street preachers. It was a peaceful battle with singing covering the speeches.

A little after Five O'clock, those who were security guards began to file into the building. And guess who two of the security guards were? Yep, one Keith Chow and one Ken Owens.

Before we entered, we saw Bruce Brown in one of the lines. It was good to seem him again. He looked thinner than before he left Hawaii. It was strange, but during the trip, it was the sisters who gained weight and the brothers who lost it. Can't figure that one out.

After the security guards filed in, we had a short meeting on what to look for. We were chosen into two man teams and placed in different areas of the building. We were told that we had to look out for people who came for the sole purpose of killing Father. If we spotted such a person, we were to notify the official security guard at once. But, we had to remember that that security guard wasn't about to sacrifice his life for someone he didn't know. So, in a since, we were the first line of defense, and if it came down to where we had to sacrifice our lives, we would to it. Our main job was to do just that and not even listen to what is happening on stage. We would always find that out later. And, being a military man, I took those directions literally.

My partner, Mathew Morrison, and I were at section 23, behind the stage. We had a signal, that in case of danger, we could inform another team, and we were all set to give our lives for Father. I had actually convinced myself that I was expendable, and that I would do all I could to stop a potential assassination.

At 6 pm, the people began running into the Garden, trying to get the best seats possible. The security guards were looking for possible suspects, mainly, if a person seems too nervous and trying to hide something. The usherettes, who were family members, tried to sit these people as best they could. At about twenty minutes to seven, one of these girls told me about a girl sitting near the gate. The person was completely out of her mind and there was no way of knowing what she might do. We didn't think she would be dangerous, but she could be a distraction. We tried our best to persuade her to leave. But, decided in the end that a brother in the family would sit next to her and keep an eye on her throughout the night. It turned out that she was really quiet and did a lot of clapping.

As it approached Seven O'clock, we could see that every seat in the house was going to be filled, and our worries about success were over. But, the job of protecting True Parents had just begun, and it was going to be a very long and interesting night.

A marching band came out onto the stage and they played to live-in up the atmosphere and make it a happy one.

At 7 pm, the lights went out, the searchlight lit up the side podium. A lady announcer came onstage and welcomed everyone, and hoped that everyone would have a happy experience.

First, the entertainment would begin. A combo group, consisting of five or six instrumentalists and a girl singer did several songs. They were quite good and the audience clapped loudly.

Then, the Korean Folk Ballet came on. These were just girls, ranging from fourteen to seventeen, and most of them had never danced before joining the ballet. They were a smash hit. The audience loved them.

During this whole time, and until the talk had concluded, I steadfastly watched the audience for potential troublemakers. Being in the Navy taught me many things. One was that if I was told to do something, I followed it to the letter. I glued myself to that audience, and scarcely at the stage. The New Hope Singers next appeared onstage. They sang some hymns and family songs. They were great and got a loud reception from the people.

Then, the moment came when Rev. Moon and Colonel Pak arrived on stage to begin the two and a half hour talk. This is when all the security guards really began to work, because anything might happen.

Father began by welcoming everyone and hoped that they would learn to begin to work for God's Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

The next thing he said surprised everyone, even family members. He said; "Anyone who opposes me, please stand up!" There was silence. No one stood up.

But, after he began to speak again, a heckler rose up in the center of the ground level seats and was forcibly removed from the premises.

This made the atmosphere very low and people began to get very nervous. So, Father requested to the audience that he sing a song. He sang a Korean lullaby. The audience was very moved by his singing and the atmosphere rose up again.

Then, he began speaking once more, with Col. Pak interpreting.

Father said that he had received a message from God in 1970 to come to America and help save this beautiful land. That he was going to reveal part of that message tonight.

He talked about how God's heart was broken because of the Fall. God has been grieving for man all these years and how God has been trying to bring his children back to Him.

He said that the Bible is a code-book, full of symbolism that should not be taken completely literally. That we must interpret the Bible the way the writers wanted it to be interpreted.

He discussed the failure of Adam and Eve and how it was Lucifer who seduced Eve by fornication. That it was Lucifer's idea for the Fall, not God's.

He spoke of how God had prepared the Jews for four thousand years to receive and accept the Messiah. And, how the Jews failed miserable by rejecting Jesus and killing him.

Father talked of what Jesus' mission was. He was to eventually take a bride and start a family, and then a world full of perfected individuals. Jesus was to live and obtain the Kingdom of Heaven and not be crucified as many wrongly believe.

He argued that John the Baptist had the greatest mission of all the previous prophets because he was the living witness to Jesus and to tell the people that Jesus was the Messiah and to unite around him. Instead, John failed in his mission by not following Jesus and that was the main cause of why the Jews rejected Jesus.

He revealed that the Christians must not blindly follow the Bible literally, but to interpret it correctly and be prepared for the Second Messiah.

The role of the Christians today is not to make the same mistake that the Jews made, but to unite around the Second Messiah when he does come, not reject him. We must prevent another crucifixion from occurring and delaying for another two thousand years the Kingdom of Heaven.

Father spoke for two and a half hours, from 7:30 till about 10 pm.

Twice during the speech, hecklers had their say and both were in my general area behind the stage. The first heckler was about 40 yards away from me, and some commotion developed, but it was quelled very quickly.

The second heckler happened to be in my section and I quickly ran up the steps to where she was heckling herself. I moved towards her to within about ten feet and I put my finger to my lips and happily went "shhh!" It took ten seconds and an official security guard to get her quiet.

She erupted again minutes later, but was told by the security guard to either keep quiet or leave. She remained quiet after that. What was strange about her, though, was that she was wearing dark sunglasses inside. Strange!

By the time Father finished, he was given a standing ovation as he left the stage. He had come to deliver a message from God to the people of New York, and he had done just that.

My job was finished because he had left and there was no need to look at the people anymore. Everything had gone according to plan. So, I enjoyed the rest of the show in which the New Hope Singers and the Korean Folk Ballet performed again.

All the family members were happy, because they had worked so hard. The rally was a success.

On the Sunday before, Father said that he not only wanted Madison Square Garden filled, but he also wanted thousands of people outside to have a riot, to break glass and everything, trying to get in, and he would pay for all the damage. Believe it or not, while he was speaking at the rally, there were indeed thousands outside rioting, trying to get in. The glass doors to Penn Station were cracked, all of them.

After the rally, our team gathered under the flagpoles on 7th Avenue. The street preachers were still working, even at 11:00 at night. Family members began to sing again, loudly to drown out the speakers, who had bullhorns to magnify their words. We couldn't hear them because of the singing.

Hundreds of people were still in front of the huge arena. Lights from the street lamps and buildings lighting up much of the area. Sidewalks littered with handbills. Street preachers still preaching, people from the hotels across the way watching everything far below, cars rolling by and passengers in the buses trying to figure out what was happening, and hundreds of well-dressed young people singing harmoniously into the night. What a way to end a very successful evening.

But, that was not the end.

Our team and another, one in which Debbie Nanod was in, took the subway back to the hotel. Once there, we put on some old clothes and gathered for a meeting of all the teams.

Once we were assembled, we were told how True Parents were overjoyed at the success of Madison Square Garden and that we must now fulfill one of Father's promises to the city of New York.

In order for New York to know about Rev. Moon and Madison Square Garden, we put up over three hundred thousand posters all over Manhattan. There were many gripes from the citizens and legal action was being taken to stop it. So, Rev. Moon promised the people of New York that as soon as the rally at Madison Square Garden was over, every family member would go throughout the city, at night, while everyone was sleeping, and take down every poster that exists.

This is why we were in our old clothes, because we were going to do just that.

All through the night, thousands of members stormed through New York, taking every one of these posters down. The police saw us doing this and were utterly shocked. Passersby walked on in disbelief. A television news team came and photographed us as we worked, peeling the posters down with scrapers, water and fingernails, and using the vans and ourselves as ladders. We were doing this for the people of New York. They'll be in shock once they notice there aren't any posters staring at them in the morning. It took us all night till seven in the morning, to complete the job. It had been a long and glorious night.

But, now, we must leave. Our work is done. We have been successful and have won a great battle.

We all packed and got ready to leave for Belvedere to hear Father and onward to our home states to resume work.

But, I must say farewell to all my new friends and companions, for I must return early, not being able to make the journey with them, for my ship in Pearl Harbor awaits me.

Everyone bids goodbye to old and newfound friends alike. Tears are shed, laughter is heard and love is felt. But, no matter where your are from, where you are going, whatever your mission, difficult or not, it is plain to see that we will always be a unified family, always together in love centered on Heavenly Father and True Parents.

Well, this is what I witnessed, the event leading up to and including Madison Square Garden. I learned many things in these eighteen days.

I began to feel more for people and how urgent it is to bring them into the family. The more you work within the family, the closer you come to God. You become more aware of God, the world, the nation, the society, your family and yourself. And you begin to see your Original Self coming out and have a desire to attain fully your True Self. Then, this desire spreads to where you want to help others to attain their true selves and by helping others, you'll be able to grow, too. Through this, you discover that it's all to help Heavenly Father bring his children back. That is the main reason why we do this, because He is our Father. He is our primary concern, above everything else, nothing else matters. His happiness is our first goal. And we are achieving that goal by serving his son. So, please try to study the Divine Principle, pray and work hard. By doing these three things and helping other people, you will become a true child of God.

In their beloved names! 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library