The Words of the Pak Family
Cochairmen of the Committee to Implement True Parents' Declaration (left to right) Young Hwi Kim, Bo Hi Pak and Joon Ho Seuk
The Rally of the Global Membership to Resolve that True Parents' Declaration Be Implemented was held in Cheon Bok Gung's Grand Sanctuary on Monday, July 4. It was a mass meeting to reaffirm allegiance to True Parents, to inspire members to rebuff attempts by those connected with UCI from drawing loyalty and support away from the church (toward their own activities and agenda) and a call for those involved with UCI to repent and return to the fold.
In some countries, this may be less of an issue, but UCI has made a focused effort in Korea to seduce members away from the church. A miniature newspaper from UCI sporadically arrives at my home. Apparently, someone provided them with a copy of the address list for the entire Korean church membership. One of my children has been contacted by friends who are involved with UCI. She has received phone calls, mass-distribution text messages, e-mail and personal approaches to her Facebook page. Twice she received printed invitations to a banquet by mail. One of these was followed by a phone call from one of her former youth leaders, beseeching her to attend. You don't have to do anything, he said, just come and enjoy a meal worth W70,000 per plate.
At one point she e-mailed one of the Kwak family, a central player in UCI. She told me about it the next day and said that he'd sent a long response. She appreciated that he'd taken time over it. I've never asked her if she is aware of UCI's active online chat rooms, discussion groups and web pages. (Why should I add fuel to the fire?)
A girl who had moved away from our neighborhood a few years ago, now a young woman, called to invite my daughter to work in Nepal. She spoke enthusiastically about helping the poor, doing something good for the Nepalese, but she was at a loss for words -- suddenly nervous as if exposed -- when my daughter asked if this was being done under Hyun Jin nim. They met later for dinner, where the women spoke to her about working with the Nepal Global Peace Festival.
They were among the hundreds of second-generation members whose hearts Hyun Jin nim captured during the years when he would visit, speak to and direct the activities of our second generation in Korea. My daughter maintains affection and respect for her friends and the elder second-generation members who are now with UCI. I believe she hasn't become involved mainly because she doesn't want to displease her parents, is busy with other things and is experiencing religious fatigue to some degree.
I sometimes see the father of the young woman who worked for the Nepal GPF. He's a loyal, deep-hearted church member. I feel for her parents, and I realize that the division that has occurred in his family could happen to any of us. I believe the rally was an indication that Korean members are concerned about how the division in the church is affecting True Parents and their family, and I was happy to take part in it.
I had heard that UCI had a permit for ten people to picket the event. I didn't see them but my wife, who came from the church office she volunteers at, was approached by one, who gave her pages printed from one of their sites. The first part of it asserted that Father is being manipulated by lying people who are not reporting to him honestly about UCI. It claimed that the rally is not the Divine Principle way because Cain can never speak against a True Child and that the rally contradicts the true love culture, which is the essence of True Parents' philosophy of peace. As True Parents want to move forward toward 2013, those involved in this rally were moving backward, it said. Part one ended with an excerpt from a letter from Dr. Martin Luther King to some of his followers. Those he wrote to were in jail. They had been arrested for demonstrating for their civil rights. King told them not to stop protesting, even in prison. He told them that if they stopped protesting, if they became silent, they would be worse people than the bigots that had been oppressing them. UCI used this anecdote as a general call for rebellion within our church. They called neutrality or indecision a sin, and they encouraged members to stand up and protest.
Part two was a transcript of a Japanese leader explaining that he doesn't agree with how Kook Jin nim has dealt with a Korean Unificationist leader. Kook Jin nim is a lightning rod absorbing continual attacks by UCI supporters. His relationship with the Korean leader was an issue unrelated to UCI. In fact, the Korean leader UCI was supposedly sympathetic toward would shortly take the stage at the rally, where UCI behavior was being condemned.
UCI leaders raise glorious emotional images and try to conjure a Promethean spirit of the underdog that has the people's true interests at heart. Theirs are specious arguments, however. As I see it, their views could only be based on the false premise of Father being feeble-minded and manipulated by others, something he forcefully and repeatedly demonstrates he is not. The rally proper
Mr. Jong Gwan Kim, the director of the Korean church's planning office, introduced the event, explaining that at a recent meeting, a committee to implement True Parents May 25 declaration was formed. This committee is jointly headed by Rev. Young Hwi Kim, three-time Korean church president; Dr. Bo Hi Pak, president of the Korean Cultural Foundation; and Dr. Joon Ho Seuk, president of the Korean church. The rally, which about two thousand members from the Seoul area attended, was the committee's first active step forward.
The event reflected the solemnity involved in taking a stand against a group that includes a member of True Parents family. Everyone bowed to True Parents and then sang the Cheon II Guk anthem. Dr. Sun-jo Hwang, president of UPF -- Korea prayed, and Dr. Joon Ho Seuk read out True Parents' Declaration.
The main speaker, Dr. Bo Hi Pak, then approached the podium. After a brief testimony of how he met the church and how much he values the Messiah, Dr. Pak named disobedience to True Parents as UCI's primary sin in this whole affair. "The people who have committed this wrongdoing," he said, "are Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak and his family, and those acting in concert with them." To disobedience, Dr. Pak added "usurping assets" and "blinding church members and causing disunity within the church" as their major transgressions. He then indicated that to lend legitimacy to their "separation from the providence, they have established the third son of True Parents, Hyun Jin Moon, as their leader."
It was Dr. Pak, acting on Father's instructions, who founded Unification Church International (UCI) in 1977 as an umbrella business foundation meant to support the church. "UCI," Father told him at the time, "will be the place where we accumulate the funds and assets necessary for our world mission work." Dr. Pak would go on to say, "Where is UCI now? The family of Chung Hwan Kwak and their cohort, with Hyun Jin nim as their leader, have usurped it. They have claimed it as their private property without permission from True Father. Now, most of its assets are being squandered in the most absurd places." Dr. Pak concluded his address by appealing to "our members that are caught in the trap of UCI," saying, "Please return to us. How did you lose your way? Come back while the gates of the kingdom of heaven remain open. Do not put off this resolution until tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come."
Mr. Kyung Deuk Yoo and Mrs. Hye Geen Song alternated in reading the four parts of the oath while facing True Parents' chairs.
It fell to Mr. Sung-il Cho, senior director of the World Mission Headquarters, to detail the Unification Movement's struggle with UCI. Clearly, he did not enjoy the task. Faced with having to express the bad news, he apologized to God and True Parents and added, "I have great fear in my heart."
Mr. Cho was allotted only twenty-five minutes to speak; he could not cover every incident involving UCI. With some digressions, I will briefly summarize some of the information in the English translation of Mr. Cho's script and slide presentation for the rally.
An early sign of trouble with UCI occurred at the end of 2008 when a UCI representative helped facilitate the transfer of land belonging to HSA-UWC Paraguay to the possession of four for-profit companies. Church representatives are attempting to invalidate those transactions.
In January 2009, True Parents held the Coronation of the Authority of the Liberation of God, the King of Kings three times. This is widely seen as the ceremony through which Father announced his heir. At each of the three events, in the midst of many other sacred ceremonial acts, Hyung Jin nim and Yeon-ah nim, in crowns and majestic robes, slowly proceeded up an aisle directly behind True Parents, who were similarly dressed. At each coronation, Father prayed especially for this couple. I attended the second coronation on January 31 in Korea, at which Hyun Jin nim and Jun Sook nim sat onstage with other True Family members.
After the coronation, the current leaders of UCI initiated the first set of changes that would result in their taking control over the UCI board of directors. Chung Hwan Kwak resigned and has since tried to fade into the background. His resigning created an opportunity for Hyun Jin nim to persuade the board to add two new directors that are loyal to him. Right after this meeting, Hyun Jin nim compelled two other directors to resign. Substantive changes had never before been made to the UCI board without consulting True Parents.
On March 8, 2009, in front of four hundred members, Father instructed Hyun Jin nim, face-to-face, to relinquish all his positions, to remain with True Parents and to learn from Father. Hyun Jin nim has not done this.
On June 1, in Korea, Father appointed a Korean elder, Kihoon Kim, to replace Hyun Jin nim as UCI chairman. Bishop Kim, as he is known, later went to meet Hyun Jin nim, who rejected Bishop Kim's appointment.
On August 2, 2009, Douglas Joo and Peter Kim were dismissed from the UCI board of directors, leaving only Hyun Jin nim, Richard Perea and Michael Sommer. On September 10, Hyun Jin nim visited True Parents and verbally agreed to restore the UCI board of directors that Father had approved. He said he would, but he has not done so.
On April 4, 2010, Chung Hwan Kwak's son, Jin Man Kwak, and his son-in-law Young-jun Kim were added to the UCI board. Including his other son-in-law, Hyun Jin nim, Chung Hwan Kwak's family members are a majority on the board. (Another son, Jin Hyo Kwak, is not on the UCI board but had replaced Sun Jin nim when she was fired from the board of directors of a UCI-controlled hotel in Seoul. He is also exerting influence over the Gimpo Aviation Complex in Korea, a project that seemed especially dear to Father's heart when he spoke about it in October 2007.)
On the same day, UCI bylaws were changed to no longer include supporting churches and the name Father chose for the organization was reduced to just the initials U, C and I. A clause also states that they could dissolve UCI and transfer its holdings to a foreign foundation of a similar nature. People worry that this was done in preparation to take what was donated to Father and the church and to pass it to the Global Peace Festival Foundation.
At a publication party, in early June, Hyun Jin nim told the audience that UCI's assets do not belong to True Parents or the Unification Church. He said that they belong to God and proclaimed that he is using them for God's will.
As Mr. Cho put it, "the first asset UCI took away from True Parents after taking control of the board was the Washington Times." Mr. Cho did not go into each excruciating stage of the Washington Times' near death experience, but he clarified that it had not cost one dollar to get the daily back, as slyly reported by the sellers. The initial deal required that all the paper's debts be paid in exchange for the newspaper alone.
The sale did not include the Washington Times Building. That was repurchased recently for an additional $4 million. Mr. Cho reminded the audience of what Father said in his recently concluded European tour speech, "The Washington Times, which had been taken from my hands through trickery by communists,' has now been taken back. If this isn't a miracle, I don't know what is."
Atlantic Video Inc. (AVI), a UCI asset, was a television production company that True Parents founded in 1984. In June 1985, construction finished on their first makeshift studio and they began operations. From the beginning, AVI created programs for professional television networks. In 1987, a large tract of land was purchased in Washington DC and a new building was begun. Three years later, True Parents, Hyo Jin nim and In Jin nim cut the ribbon on the eight-story Washington Television Center; which housed AVI and other companies. At that time, Father gave AVI the motto, Electronic Wave, Heart Wave, Heavenly Wave, Unified World. Along with their commercial work, AVI filmed milestone events in the life of the Messiah. They recorded, for example, True Father testifying to a U.S. Senate committee hearing on religious persecution in the United States and his historic meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev.
In March 2009, 34 of AVI's 63 staff members were fired. On December 2, 2010, it was announced that UCI had sold the Washington Television Center for $113 million. On dates I could not ascertain, UCI sold the American Life cable television station, which has eleven million subscribers, for a mere $2 million and a house True Parents often stayed at while in the Washington DC area for $850,000. In May 2011, UCI sold the Sheraton National Hotel in Washington DC for $56,400,000. On the day Father arrived in Spain during his recent tour of Europe, news reached him that UCI is now offering for sale the airplane, of which they have denied True Father the use, and that Japanese members had struggled to purchase. They had donated the plane to Unification Church International in 2000, in commemoration of Father's eightieth birthday, for Father to use in his mission.
Years ago, I toured a Smithsonian Museum warehouse and saw the jet John F. Kennedy flew in while president. I understand that in the business world companies are sold without sentimentality, but I would think Father is such a significant figure that we would preserve for future generations the plane he toured in and a house he used in an important period in his providential course. Apparently, UCI prefers cash.
After Mr. Cho's presentation, Mrs. Lan Young Moon, president of WFWP International, read out an explanation of the Significance of Announcing the Resolution and Oath of the Global Membership on the Occasion of True Parents' Declaration, which mainly described True Parents heart in preparing their declaration. Two Korean members, Mr. Keung Deuk Yoo, president of the Youth Federation, and Mrs. Hye Geen Song, a second-generation member, who recently became a grandmother, then read out the resolution that Mrs. Moon had introduced. The resolution concluded by stating, "With full awareness of the current circumstances, all blessed families, brothers and sisters of the world who uphold God's will, solemnly resolve and pledge to fulfill the path of True Parents' children and our providential responsibility." To this, the assembled members added our loudly voiced agreement to the points of the resolution.
I was surprised when I heard that Father had described the leaders of UCI, those who had taken away the Washington Times, as "communists." Even the Chinese government is rarely referred to as communist nowadays. I wondered why Father had used the word.
Many people have the feeling that the struggle True Parents and the church are going through with UCI is the last battle before reaching Cheon II Guk. While reading the Divine Principle at Hoon Dok Hae, it dawned on me that Father had used "communists" to confirm that for us. Broadly speaking "communists" are those we face in a final internal struggle so desperate and chaotic that it is compared to the frenzied violence and mayhem of the First and Second World Wars. (The Divine Principle calls it the Third World War.) It's a confrontation that evidently did not end with the death of Josef Stalin, whom we are told was idolized as a perfect human being and who was the antitype of Christ at the Second Advent. It also did not end with the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. If it had ended, we would see the promised result, the unification of the world based on one truth.
Father's referring to those who took the Washington Times as communists indicates to me that UCI represents unfinished business in that confrontation. The Principle describes the clash as inevitable. It has to happen to set the worldwide indemnity condition to restore God's three great blessings and to restore God's sovereignty at the completion stage. It is also necessary in order for people on God's side to overcome Jesus' third temptation. Readers naturally can draw their own conclusions, but these times seem to me remarkably reminiscent of the biblical story of the third temptation, which portrays a struggle for supremacy in Jesus' heart between love and loyalty on the one hand and power and possessions on the other. The devil, in recognition of Jesus' value, took him up to the peak of a high mountain, where he could see all there was to see, all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and said, Look! All this could be yours.
Though UCI (formerly Unification Church International) is an American entity, the initials tend to be used in Korea to refer to those working with Hyun Jin nim and Chung Hwan Kwak's family in activities alienated from, or subversive to, our church and its goals. I use UCI in the same sense in this article.