The Words of the Park Family

Interview of John Park, director of W.R.I.S.T.

Angelika Selle
April 1987

Some of the engineers looking at electronic test equipment with True Parents in July 1985, soon after Father was released from prison.

John Park was born in Korea but lived in many different countries as a result of his father's involvement in the diplomatic service. He studied ceramics, biology, systems engineering, and industrial engineering, as well as international business administration. He joined the Unification Church in 1974 in Albany, New York.

His work experience ranges from biomedical high technology, laboratory research, systems and distribution engineering, manufacturing, organization, and finances and administration.

In 1984 Father asked a number of blessed couples to do research in the field of electronics. This was the actual beginning of our company. On March 21, 1984, Father officially founded an institute and named it the World Research Institute for Science and Technology (W.R.I.S.T.).

You may know that Father has said he must restore four major areas in his lifetime: ideology, economy, art and culture, and science and technology. In the scientific and technological field, Father has inspired various companies and organizations throughout the world. W.R.I.S.T. is the research and development arm of the science and technology area.

At present W.R.I.S.T. has 14 members working here in the United States and 9 members in Europe. There is also a sister group in Japan that has about 250 people concentrating in the areas of computer hardware and software. Because of their sophisticated levels of technology, they're gaining a good reputation in Japan.

Incredible Vision

Father was already talking about his desire for an organization like W.R.I.S.T. in 1951 when he was living in his shack in Pusan. He was also talking about an international highway that would link Japan and Korea to the whole of Europe. How could his few followers at that time comprehend his incredible vision for the future? They were religious pioneers, and it was hard for them to have such a big view. Only now do we know what Father was talking about at that time and understand the tremendous scope of the messianic dispensation.

W.R.I.S.T.'s major objective is developing new, practical methods of high technology while at the same time advancing in theoretical science. This quote from the Principle is quite appropriate in describing our vision for W.R.I.S.T.

Regardless of how pure and sinless the men of this [ideal] society might be, if they had to live in an undeveloped civilization similar to that of primitive people, this would not be the kind of Kingdom of Heaven both God and man have long awaited. Since God blessed man to be the dominator of all things, men of perfected individuality should have subdued the natural world through highly developed science and established an extremely pleasant social environment on earth. This would be the place where the ideal of creation would be realized. It would be nothing other than the Kingdom of God on earth. (Divine Principle, p. 102)

When we realize that so much of Father's concern is in restoring science and technology, what does this actually mean? The fundamental key to the restoration of this area is that professional scientists and engineers must become men and women centered on God, living a pure and truthful life. This purity must extend into their research.

Father gave us a motto for W.R.I.S.T.: "Truth and Sincerity." In science and technology we are dealing with truth. There is no evil in science itself; human beings can only make it evil by using it for selfish purposes. Sincerity means that we have to be individuals of integrity in order to deal with the truth. Our desire, therefore, is to work with a pure and sincere heart in order to set an example for the people of the future. Those people should come to know that in the past, which is today, there was a group of scientists who worked with the Messiah and who gave their lives -- not for money -- but for bringing truth and knowledge into the world. This is what is meant by sincerity.

True Father visits the W.R.I.S.T. institute in August 1983. John Park is on the left.

Restoring the Past and Future

Besides trying to become true individuals, W.R.I.S.T. members have two additional tasks to fulfill: We have to restore the failures of the scientists and engineers of the past and at the same time lay a foundation for the future. In trying to restore the past, we have to change within ourselves the attitudes that scientists have traditionally had when working with others. There have always been tensions between theoretically-oriented people and practically-minded people. The same is true at W.R.I.S.T. We have a brilliant and highly trained staff; but many times there are problems in communication because one person's mind may be theoretical while another's is geared toward making things work. I bring this up because this is a central point of restoration.

Another crucial challenge for scientists is to strive to develop a universal mind and not remain limited to one particular discipline of study. Sometimes scientists are stubborn. Many who think they are broad-minded really are not. At W.R.I.S.T. we have scientists with in biochemistry, experimental physics, theoretical physics, and various other types of physics, as well as many engineers.

Each person tends to deal with problems from his own angle. Frequently ideas conflict with each other, because neither side knows the answer. Usually the person who has the most sound explanation of the problem is the one who wins the argument for the moment. However, only when more substantial facts come out to verify it does his statement prevail. We don't just go through elaborate explanations of a problem; we have to subject our theories to rigorous testing to justify our hypotheses.

We all know that more and more people are dying of cancer every day and that our water and air are polluted with chemicals. Whole species of animals have been exterminated. How can these things happen, with science and technology supposedly at their peak? In my opinion, it is because scientists, engineers, and technicians do not understand the true purpose and meaning behind science and technology. If they did their research with the clear understanding that God is the first scientist and the first engineer, that He has a purpose behind all of His creation, and that all things were meant to exist together in total harmony, then we would not have the deplorable situation that exists today.

A Pure Heart Is Needed

Many scientists' search for truth begins out of curiosity. Sometimes they get so involved in their research that eating or sleeping doesn't matter to them. Because of their sacrifice and dedication they may make incredible discoveries and come up with great inventions, but, as I mentioned before, if they forget the original purpose of man, their research can lead to disaster.

When ignorance of the truth is multiplied by many scientists who are manipulating the environment, then you have results that are harmful to mankind, causing such things as pollution and cancer. Cancer, we believe, has become uncontrollable because of an incomplete understanding of science and technology and its inappropriate application.

Our work here is hard, but the members are excited to be so involved. Why? Because we are dealing with truth. There is no evil to be found in electrons or neutrons. But unless you can maintain the same degree of purity as the objects you are dealing with, it is difficult for the objects to respond or have a good give and take with you. Smooth give and take between the researcher and the substance of the research is absolutely necessary. If we can discover the truth with the purest heart, we will be able to have the most advanced technology without pollution.

So far, W.R.I.S.T. has published four major papers that have been accepted by the best journals in the world. Scientists from 20 different nations -- including the Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria -- have written to us, mainly asking for information on our discoveries in the area of physics. As you know, physics deals with the nature of matter and what it does. Some of our research involves analyzing the movements of the atomic structures of solids under certain temperatures. We were able to come up with better explanations than were previously published. At present we are in communication with over 60 scientists worldwide working in the field of physics.

Breakthroughs in Research

Recently, our institute developed a unique marine navigation computer. In a way, I felt it was a miracle for our members to come up with this particular device, especially since many of them had finished their education quite a while ago. They had spent the last 10 years or so doing missionary work and needed to catch up with the latest technology in a short time. But miraculously, God was able to work through them, and despite all the difficulties and limitations, we were able to give birth to this new invention, which represents a significant breakthrough in modern technology. I am very proud of the work they did on this.

It is vital, of course, for us to continually educate ourselves. For that reason we have advisors -- well-known university professors with whom we communicate on an ongoing basis. They keep us in touch with what is happening in the academic world.

We also receive tremendous support from True Parents and other leaders who share Father's vision. They help invisibly by encouraging us all the time.

Another one of our current projects deals with the area of the spiritual world. We are researching how spirit men and physical men communicate with each other. What medium do they use? Is there spiritual matter, spiritual substance? What do the spirits do when they go to the spirit world? We are trying to understand mathematically how the spirit world interrelates with the physical world on a molecular level. The Principle teaches that the two worlds do overlap and interrelate. Based on that truth, we have come up with various theoretical propositions.

In our research, the way we come up with answers is not merely an intellectual process, as many people may think. In fact, our members sometimes spend more hours in prayer than in actually analyzing the problem from a technological point of view. In this respect, our members are spiritually-oriented. When you are intensely concentrating on something, having no other thoughts in your mind but the matter at hand, you can actually get in touch with spirit men who are also interested in the same thing.

Artificial Intelligence

Except for one scientist in Finland, all our work in Europe is being done in West Germany. One of their areas of research is in the field of artificial intelligence. This means trying to mimic the human thought process with computer software. One of the working tools of artificial intelligence is called "the expert system:

The expert system can be explained like this. Say a certain pilot knows how to operate an airplane very well -- he's an expert at it. First you analyze this pilot's thinking process. For example, if he sees an airplane suddenly coming from the left, what is the first thing he does? Then you enter the blueprint of his entire decision-making process into a computer. From that you create a robotic airplane without a pilot. You have this pilot's thinking process in the machine, so you can fly the airplane unmanned! When an object comes from the left side, the computer thinks exactly like the expert pilot and takes the appropriate action. This is called "the expert system." Of course, it will take a while for these techniques of artificial intelligence to be applied. Man's mind is so great that we really can't come close to duplicating it yet.

One other important purpose of W.R.I.S.T. is to act as a "bank" of high technology, with contributions from America, Europe, Japan, and Korea. This combined knowledge can be disseminated throughout the world, especially to underdeveloped nations, which need newer technology to improve their economic standards and quality of life.

We cannot have the Kingdom of Heaven on earth if our neighbors are poor. We need to give them dignity, self-respect, and self-confidence as men and women, as children of God. We are trying our best at W.R.I.S.T. to provide the technology for an ideal society, and together with a God- centered ideology, culture, and economy, we will be able to create a world that will truly "be nothing other than the Kingdom of God on earth." 

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