The Words of Sun Myung Moon from 1985
Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Rev. Adam H. Wood
36 Castle Creek Rd.
Binghamton, NY 10390
Dear Reverend Wood:
My sincere Christian greetings to you from Danbury, Connecticut. This may be the first time you've ever received a letter from a minister in jail; therefore, it may take all the forbearance you can muster to even finish reading what I have to say when you realize this letter is from Sun Myung Moon.
As you may be aware, I was incarcerated here last July 20th for allegedly trying to deprive the U.S. government, by the government's own computations, of less than $7,500 in taxes.
I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. The Unification Church has brought millions of dollars into the United States from other countries for charitable projects. We have no reason to deprive the IRS of such a small sum of money -- not for any reason.
In 1972 when God called me to come to America to start our ministry here, our members chose -- because we were just beginning -- to place international church funds in a bank account under the name of their pastor, Reverend Sun Myung Moon. I was to assume responsibility as a trustee of these church funds.
This is a procedure and practice at least as old as John Wesley... and is still being practiced today by leading Catholic bishops and other esteemed members of the clergy. We went out of our way to conduct our affairs as good Christians should. I did in fact pay income tax on all of the funds that were withdrawn for my own living expenses. But this common procedure of church practice evidently made us vulnerable to the secular forces in the IRS who decided it was time to "get Moon."
They set a dangerous precedent in church-state relations in this beloved land by insisting that I personally owed income taxes on the interest that our church's funds had accrued in the years that the funds were held under my name. Rather than giving me the chance to explain or even pay what taxes I allegedly owed, the IRS decided to make an example of me because of the controversial nature of our church.
By forcing me to accept a trial by jury instead of a judge -- a jury that had been barraged with anti-Moon disinformation from the media and who were not prepared to understand the complexities of this tax case -- the Justice Department knew full well that they would have little chance of losing this historic case. Furthermore, the trial judge aggravated the situation by instructing the jury not to give primary consideration to the fact that I was a minister. They decided this matter simply as a secular tax case. In the opinion of many knowledgeable sources, this was grossly wrong!
By working in this way, the IRS has succeeded in getting around the restraints placed on them by the First Amendment in the Constitution. And they have set a dangerous precedent that may have placed the freedom of every religious group in the United States in serious danger.
If they can place the leader of a new and controversial church into prison for conducting the financial affairs of his church with the same time-honored procedures used by older and well-established groups, then the day is not too far distant when they can do it to the leaders of other religious movements -- including yours. We must not allow this to happen.
Now this brings me to the purpose for writing to you. I don't know what you've heard or read about me, or what preconceived opinions you may hold about Sun Myung Moon and the Unification movement.
If your mind is closed and you believe that I am a sinister Korean "crook" who came to convert Americans, to "brainwash" young people in America into becoming religious "zombies," that I reject Jesus Christ as being the true Savior, or that I am out to destroy traditional Christianity... if you believe these things and don't want to hear what I have to say, then there's nothing I can do but love you in spite of these false assumptions and continue to pray for you and this beloved America.
But if you are a pastor who is willing to show Christian compassion, I feel we can build upon the precious things we share and believe in common... and work together to raise up the standard of morality and justice in America and drive back the forces of communism that are trying to eradicate faith in God from this planet.
I don't have room in this letter to tell you all that we in the Unification movement believe, but recently the church sent you a gift of videotapes and literature that spells out in great detail the beliefs of our movement. I assume these materials did reach you or will in the very near future.
If you have had time to review them, I believe you can see that we are not what our adversaries have represented us to be and that we share many of the same beliefs that you cherish.
If you haven't had time to view the videotapes and read the literature, I pray that you will take the time to do so. I think you will find that we in the Unification movement are sincerely Christ-loving, patriotic, and family-oriented people who desire the fellowship of all, like yourself.
We are not out to change anyone's personal religious views. We feel our primary calling is: 1) to promote love and unity in the Body of Christ around the world, 2) to restore the family, and 3) to counteract atheistic materialism with a God-centered viewpoint. We want to lay to rest once and for all the cruel and malicious rumors that have caused our members to suffer much the same persecution that some other groups have faced in the past.
Writing to you from prison like this reminds me of the great Apostle Paul -- who wrote much of the New Testament while in prison for his faith and was often misunderstood. I have felt the presence of God in a mighty way while here. And I now understand more deeply the words that Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12-13:
I know both how to be made low, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
You see, pastor, after my encounter with Jesus Christ on a mountain in Korea when I was a teenager, I had to face nearly three years in a communist death camp -- a ghastly place where few escaped with their lives. As a minister, I was able to lead many dying Koreans to realize the compassionate heart of God and Jesus and to be a comfort to these suffering people.
My faith in Christ sustained me through that horrible ordeal until I was rescued by United Nations soldiers and that faith still sustains me today. I know the time will come when God will totally exonerate me, and I have tried to be a model prisoner while serving out my sentence in this prison.
But until that day of exoneration comes, I ask that you pray with me and that you speak out for and defend religious freedom for all God- loving people in America. For if God-denying secular forces are given free reign, all religions will have their blood-bought freedoms eroded away. And the vacuum of faithlessness and immorality that will ensue will ultimately lead to communism.
It always has... and always will.
So as one who has survived through the experience of living under the ruthless, godless system called communism, I feel I have been given a mandate by our Creator to help strengthen religious faith in America, so that ultimately America can rescue the hundreds of millions of innocent men, women, and children that are enslaved by the Marxist-Leninist atheistic system of communism.
I am eternally grateful to the many religious groups and others who filed amicus briefs with the courts on my behalf. It is because of this great outpouring of support by so many religious groups who do not necessarily know what the Unification Church believes, that God has directed us to share our beliefs with you through videotapes and books.
Whether you agree with us or not on every single point of doctrine really doesn't matter. What really matters is that we better try to understand each other's positions and that we work together in cooperation to hind a God-centered America.
In fact, Reverend Wood, could I pray with you right now as your brother in Christ? It would be such an honor for me.
Almighty God, I thank You today for the ministry of Reverend Wood. I pray You will bless him and his congregants -- giving them great effectiveness against the forces of darkness as they labor there in Binghamton.
I pray, dear God, that You will lead Reverend Wood to realize that we in the Unification Church want only to work together with him in the fight for religious liberty for all people, as well as for an ultimate victory of our God-honoring beliefs over the godless system of communism that is threatening the very survival of our Judeo- Christian heritage--a heritage that we all love very much.
Lord, please forgive those who have unjustly incarcerated me here in Danbury prison. And You know, Father, that I would be willing to pay whatever price is necessary to wake up America and bring to her a spiritual revival.
Please quicken the heart of Reverend Wood, and empower him with your Holy Spirit, and make him your champion. Thank You again, Heavenly Father, for your goodness, your greatness, and your boundless love.
In Jesus' Precious Name, Amen
Thank you again, Reverend Wood, for taking the time to read this letter. May God bless you abundantly, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
PS I have asked my staff to enclose with this letter a form that is very important to me. I truly want to know your opinions on the materials we sent you. And, most of all, we want to know that you are praying for religious freedom for people of all faiths. Would you please return this form to me in the postage-paid envelope my staff has also enclosed?
If you should have any constructive criticism of our materials, or a word of encouragement, please feel free to express yourself. We really value your opinions and your comments, and everything you say will be brought to my personal attention.
If our material did not reach you, just mark the appropriate box and my staff will send you a set immediately.