Interview With Reverend Moon
From the book: Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church by Frederick Sontag
The Author’s Questions and the replies of Sun Myung Moon
Bo Hi Pak: Translator for Rev. Moon
Circumstances of this interview by Sontags report:
After much negotiation, this (the interview arrangement) was done, but it was also made quite clear that there would be no more such interviews; this would be the last. Thus, the occasion took on an added significance.
Officials would not show Moon the list of questions I had submitted in advance. He does not work that way, they said, and on reflection I think that is true. No one knew exactly how long the interview would last or how many of my questions I would be able to get over. As it turned out, we simply stayed at the lunch table and talked on until Moon sent out for dinner to be brought in, and then on even after the dishes were cleared away. Observers reported that Reverend Moon relaxed and spoke openly to me, as he does on few occasions I was told, and this was certainly my impression. The interview was a candid exchange beyond my ability to have predicted and evidently no one else could have predicted this either. I wished at the time that I were amore skilled interviewer or that I had had more questions prepared or that I had had time to review his answers more fully for the additional questions they raised. But given the uncertainties about the interview and my own lack of skill in such matters, it still added up to as open a response as I could have hoped for. “He revealed himself to you,” said one of the observers at the table, and so it seemed to me he did. Of course, Moon speaks in abstractions, as philosophers do, which makes it hard to pin him down to specifics.
Frederick Sontag: People inside the church have heard many of your words, but the average person outside really has never heard you speak on the controversial matters. I’ve discovered one reason why having your own words is so important. Something true may be said, but it is said in such a way that it’s interpreted differently by opposing sides. Many descriptions of the church are true, but they are put in away that completely changes the outsider’s understanding. This is why I’ve gone to such length to quote church members and non-church members in conversation. I hope this will be one virtue of my book. It allows the people to speak and to say what they want to in the way they would like to be interpreted.
Sun Myung Moon: Yes, what you say is so true. This is why I am deeply grateful that a scholar like you has taken the time to research in-depth both our movement and our critics alike and has tried to come up with an objective, fair appraisal. Most of the misunderstandings about your movement and me here in America are due to ignorance. So I am very happy to answer some of the questions you have.
As you probably know, I have given my life, my honor, my entire family, everything I have, into this movement. Unless I was certain I had something absolutely right, I wouldn’t have done that. I know there is something real on my side, so anybody who joins me will not be a loser. I am not working at random or just on a whim. Our movement has a deep spiritual origin. It came into being at this particular time by a mandate of God. I have a divine guiding light. Even though many people think I am just doing things my own way, there is no such thing as my own way.
In a way, I am gratified to have such all-out negative publicity, or to be negatively interpreted by the American public. This testifies to the newness of my revelation. Every religious pioneer, including Jesus Christ, was persecuted by his contemporaries. But once people understand me, their turn can be dramatic like Saint Paul’s. I knew from the beginning that when I came to America I would have to pass through tests and terrible tribulations. But the persecution and hostilities only make our members and me stronger. True religious movements prosper and flourish under tribulation.
Sontag: If you feel that God elected Korea for a special role in the development of religion today, could you say a little more about why you think Korea is the place chosen for God’s action in the present time?
Moon: Korea has several very unique characteristics. First of all, the Korean people are a homogeneous, united people. Second, they are very religious. They naturally have a deep religious understanding. Third, they understand suffering. Throughout history, the Korean people have gone through tremendous ordeals and hardship. Under these conditions the Korean people have developed an undying spirit of loyalty and dedication.
These are the most important characteristics for a people to be chosen by God because they match his own personality. Throughout history no one has suffered more than God. He has suffered because his own children fell away from him. Ever since the Fall, God has been working tirelessly for the restoration of mankind. People do not know this brokenhearted aspect of God. In order to really understand God’s suffering and to establish a rapport with him, the three characteristics I mentioned before are very important. The chosen people of Israel had these characteristics two thousand years ago. Today Korea has much in common with God’s heart. From their own experience of suffering and tragedy, Koreans can readily understand God’s sorrow and broken heart. They can readily respond to the call of God.
In this respect, we can also answer why God has chosen me as his instrument at this time of the Providence. The same things can be said about me. I have an unchanging will; I am deeply religious, and I, too, have been tested and strengthened by tribulations and hardships. When God revealed himself and his mission to me, I could readily understand his heart. I couldn’t help but weep. I determined then to give my life completely to ease his broken heart. It has been my honor and privilege since then to carry his sorrow on my shoulders. My every action is to liberate God from his sorrow.
Sontag: Could you say a little about the religious situation as you became aware of it in Korea when you started your mission?
Moon: Actually, the preparation of Korea as the birthplace for this new spiritual movement was very adequate back in 1945. For example, Christianity was flourishing. The depth of Christian faith in Korea was extraordinary at that time. Also, there were many spiritual groups who received prophecies about the coming of a new spiritual movement. They were groups that could have served well in the role of John the Baptist. But why didn’t these groups testify to us once the new movement had finally come?
There is always human responsibility involved. Two thousand years ago the people lacked the humility necessary to accept Jesus. This was again lacking in Korea. Acceptance was not there, simply because of arrogance. The existing churches rejected our new spiritual movement. I had to start from the role of John the Baptist in order to lay the initial foundation upon which I could construct my own mission.
Sontag: If you take traditional theology and measure the Divine Principle against it, it is heresy. There’s something new there. I wonder, without trying to appraise it, what you would say about the role of such new revelations from God. Do they represent a departure?
Moon: First of all, Christianity itself, in its development for two thousand years has departed considerably from the original will or dispensation of God. In two thousand years, Christianity has broken into hundreds of denominations; it has been divided by sectarianism. Because Christians have created their own barriers, they are blocking their own goals. This is the most important reason that God needs man to have an absolutely new and totally fresh outlook. God needs a new vision of life to be instilled in the minds of the people. Unless there is a fresh, new approach, God sees no way for his original, ultimate goal to be accomplished. The Divine Principle is that new revelation. The people who join this movement find a new vision and new spiritual power. These people have become the fundamental strength behind this new revolution for the permanent establishment of Christendom.
Second, and most important, our movement stresses the salvation of the world as the primary goal. Our personal salvation becomes secondary. We are willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the world and humanity. In contrast, many conventional churchgoers are concerned about their own places in heaven and their own eternal lives. Actually, the teaching of a sacrificial spirit is nothing new. This was the fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to the world to save the world, not to save himself. However, Christianity somehow lost the essential vigor and the very spirit of Jesus; his purpose has been turned around. I merely came to refresh the spirit of Jesus Christ. The concept is old, but somehow has dimmed. We are now revitalizing it, making it real. I always teach that the Unification Church itself is not a goal. I must serve as God’s instrument to bring about the salvation of the world. This is the only justification for the existence of the Unification Church. There are enough churches already, but the world still needs salvation.
The Unification Church is very aggressive in this vision. We venture where the sins are, in order to eliminate them. We tackle sin instead of shying away from it. For example, in the case of my Watergate statement, the wisest thing I could have done was to shy away from the situation. That was an unpopular cause. But instead of shying away from it, I plunged right in. Why? Because I know the religious leaders have to speak out on the fundamental issue of the day and try to pose solutions.
This is why the Unification Church acts upon many things that others cannot understand. We have a different outlook. We may not benefit by taking certain actions at a particular moment, but we look at everything from a worldwide, long-range point of view. We act for the sake of the nation, the world, and posterity. When I see that a certain goal must be obtained in order to benefit the future of mankind, then we commit ourselves to it, even though it is an unpopular move at the time and appears to be a sure loss. We suffer greatly because of it, but we still do it. It is adventurous and very bold. Even though we may look foolish sometimes in the eyes of man, as long as our action is righteous in the eyes of God we go ahead with it.
Sontag: You move into the centers of secular life and that creates controversy. But do you see a danger that, in attempting to work in these centers to bring the world back to God, you might yourself be trapped in the mess that you’re trying to clean up?
Moon: This is a religious movement; we do everything with religious conviction. Therefore, instead of being taken over by the situation and becoming victims of circumstance, we are bound to come out as winners even though we may have to pay a price. Under my leadership, the Unification Church often commits itself to impossible tasks rather than ordinary ones. But we will never leave a task undone or only half-way finished. I would like to win the reputation that once the Unification Church moves, it will fulfill and accomplish.
The beauty of our Washington Monument rally was that, while the leader was a man from Korea who belongs to the yellow race, people of all races, coming even from Europe, Africa, South America, India, were all working together there. God sees real beauty in the multicolor harmony of the truly international family we are striving to build.
Sontag: There is a significance to your city and state tours and the Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, and Washington Monument rallies. I think these are very little understood in the outside world. Could you say something about your view of the significance of these events?
Moon: I came to America primarily to declare the New Age and new truth. Whether the people accept me at once or not, it is my God-given duty to speak. This is why God appeared to me and told me to go to America to speak the truth. I hesitated because I didn’t even speak English, but still he commanded me to go. Through my cross-country tours I somewhat fulfilled this mission of declaration. During the Day of Hope tour, I visited all fifty states. These were not just evangelical meetings in the ordinary sense. They had great providential significance, great spiritual meaning.
I do not know how much insight or understanding you have about the spirit world, but it is so real in our movement. Our movement is not just a horizontal movement; it is vertical. Everything we do is reflected in the spirit world, and we reflect the spirit world as well; both worlds work together in our movement. From a horizontal point of view, perhaps there seems to be no meaning in certain of our actions. Sometimes we may seem to waste time, waste money and energy. But sometimes what we do here on earth helps in the spirit world. Also, we do certain things to set conditions so that the power of the spirit will pour down on the earth. The established churches or religious organizations in this country are generally declining, overwhelmed by secular thoughts, secular culture. But the Unification Church is different; we don’t feel any decline of spirit in our movement. We are pioneers; we are like a volcano erupting.
I am sure you have heard from some of my speeches after the Washington Monument rally that now the time has come for the entire spirit world to cooperate. It is ready to come down to assist our movement. As you know, on October 4, 1976, I declared the Day of the Victory of Heaven after the Washington Monument rally. A new era has dawned, and the barriers between religions in the spirit world have literally been broken down. Unity was formed and spirits are really assaulting the earth. This phenomenon is happening in various ways.
Sontag: How do you see your own role in relation to the role of Jesus?
Moon: One of my most important revelations is that Jesus Christ did not come to die. He came to this world to consummate his messianic mission given by God, which is the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Through his crucifixion, however, Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for the faithlessness of the world, and by his resurrection, he established spiritual salvation. This is the teaching of the Divine Principle. Complete salvation, which is physical as well as spiritual, was the ultimate purpose and intended goal of God for mankind at the time of Jesus. That mission was not totally accomplished. We must realize, however, that this was not because of any fault on the part of Jesus Christ. Rather it was because of the rejection by the people. This point is greatly misunderstood today. The Second Coming was predicted because the mission was not totally accomplished in the first. Therefore, a messianic crusade is destined to begin here on earth in order to consummate the will of God. The work of the Unification Church and my mission is to proclaim the coming of the Messianic Age.
From the Christian church’s point of view, my teaching, the new revelation, is not only extraordinary, but revolutionary. I can understand why Christians call us heretics. But most important, who will God call a heretic? From God’s point of view, my revelation is deeply orthodox. If the mission of Jesus Christ had been completely fulfilled in his time, then there would be no need for the birth of the Unification Church. My mission would not be needed.
Sontag: The goal of your church is to unite all churches and to produce the unified family. Yet in Korea and now here, you have built up such tension; you have begun by separating families and rousing the opposition of churches. Do you see that as an irony? How will you move to accomplish your goal?
Moon: It truly is an irony. However, from the spiritual point of view, a great blessing is coming to those families because their sons and daughters are working for this new messianic mission of the Unification Church. Furthermore, this is a heavenly emergency on a worldwide scale. When a national emergency comes, a soldier leaves his wife and children behind temporarily and goes out to defend his country. From God’s point of view, these children have been summoned for the greatest heavenly emergency and a most glorious mission. The incredible grievances and complaints come only because people do not see this spiritual aspect.
I have never divided families or broken homes. Actually, in many cases, I have restored families and united them in happiness. I have received numerous thank you letters from grateful parents. In some other cases, families are trying to blame me for damage that was done long before.
Whether someone joins our church or not is not a matter of age, or being a child or parent; it’s a matter of the magnetic power of the truth. Anybody who touches the truth has to be ignited. When you touch the most total, brilliant truth of all, you cannot settle for some semi-truth. The parent-child relationship is beautiful and full of love. However, let’s say a child tastes an even greater love than he is experiencing at home with his parents. Let’s say he experiences something far greater than his ordinary family relationships. The child then feels he must go to the source of that greater love in order to be spiritually satisfied.
When people detect this life force, they just cannot help but be drawn in by its magnetic strength. Spiritually speaking, God’s new truth has come as a source of life and light. Jesus Christ was the Prince of Peace, and he indeed came to bring true peace. Yet he said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.”
Do these words contradict Jesus as the Prince of Peace? No. We must understand that Jesus came for true, eternal peace. To establish such peace, a fundamental change in human life was necessary. A revolution of man was inevitable.
To attain this true peace, Jesus first sought to bring about a revolution of man. In this sense he came for war. He fully intended to bring about a fundamental change in man, in society, in the nation and the world. Because of this, when he taught he met with a violent reaction. Established societies always resist any major change. Jesus was persecuted and finally crucified.
Today our world still needs drastic change in order to become God-centered. I came to call for that change. The Divine Principle will bring about a revolution of man. The power of this truth is touching millions of human lives and is igniting hundreds of thousands of them. It will bring about the true, lasting unification of the family of man and the world. Yet, we are met with tension and resistance. If we look to the lesson of history, however, we can see that this is the normal, inevitable pattern for the pioneering days of any serious spiritual movement.
In Korea, in our pioneering days, many housewives came to our church. In early days there seemed to be more women members attracted to the truth. They are more religious, I guess. But they received tremendous persecution at home. Some husbands hated the fact that their wives went to church, so they took extreme measures to embarrass their wives. Sometimes they would cut their hair; they would shave it off so they couldn’t go outside because people would laugh. But these persons would still come to the church at midnight to pray and worship. They would put small handkerchiefs on to hide their heads and still come. Sometimes the scarves blew off, but they didn’t mind. They would just rather come to church even if humiliated. Some persons were deprived of all their clothes, but they came with rags. Amazing. The power that draws people to the source of life is amazing. Incredible. It is because of these in a way, crazy acts, that Reverend Moon was subjected to such unwarranted persecution in the early days. Those people were so drawn to the church. People would say, “Reverend Moon must be brainwashing them, giving some tonic or pills to make them crazy.” That kind of persecution came, not only here in America but in Korea, too.
Sontag: As you know, the training and conversion methods of your church are hotly debated. I wonder if you see anything that’s essentially different from other evangelical or monastic movements in the way that people are trained, in the way in which converts are brought to your church.
Moon: You have been in many centers of the Unification Church. You know as well as I what we are doing is a process of education. We talk to people and bring them to hear the Divine Principle. All we do is teach the Divine Principle. We have workshops, but what is a workshop? It is simply the teaching of the Divine Principle. Furthermore, no doors are locked and anyone can leave anytime from our centers. But people stay to hear the teaching. The proselytizing and witnessing methods basically are not new. They are not different from those of the conventional Christian churches. What is different is the truth that we have, the truth of the Divine Principle.
Another point I would like to make is that many people outside the church think that American youth are brought to me, and I hypnotize them somehow. Somehow I brainwash them and make them members. Actually, I have never even given one Divine Principle lecture to any newcomer. They never come to meet me until they have already become members. Sometimes they may come to the Sunday service and hear me speak, but that is all. Whether I am here or not doesn’t make the Unification Church win or lose members. There is the truth, the Divine Principle, and anybody can learn and teach the Principle. It awakens people to a deeper understanding of the work of God and a more fulfilling personal relationship with God.
Many members of the mobile fund-raising teams have never met me. The people learn the Principle, become strong members, and dedicate themselves to the cause. They do this not because of my personal influence or because I tell them they must do it or be cursed. Many people outside the church almost seem to think there is some high-powered gadget attached to the fund raisers which I control. It is nonsense.
Sontag: Outsiders seem to detect a sense of conspiracy about the church and its activities. Why does it arouse this suspicion about its activities?
Moon: You know the Unification Church does not have any secrets. Many people think it is surrounded by secrets, like some sort of super CIA-type operation. It’s amazingly ironic, because our operation is completely open. I do not have anything to hide. Too many times people will not come to the church and find out the truth for themselves. They are always welcome; we operate in the open. Then why does an atmosphere “shrouded with conspiracy” come about?
The truth is that our adversaries, those who feel threatened by me or the Unification Church, spread these rumors. The Christian churches are fearful. They feel their establishment will be taken over, their land and structures may be taken over; their young people may become members of the Unification Church. So, in fear of losing their young people they are very defensive. In order to defend themselves, the best thing, as has always been the case throughout history, is to paint the worst possible picture of their opponent’s doctrine and method of operation.
The amount of criticism and persecution our church and I have received in the last thirty years is so incredible that I have to be thankful to God that finally we are established and successful today. Without the power of God we would have been annihilated many times over.
Today, there are many people who feel threatened by me and feel they must somehow eliminate me. They feel I am such a menace to their prosperity, their future, and their children that they have gone to the extreme of saying, “We must do something to eliminate Reverend Moon and exterminate the Unification Church.” I have no animosity toward those who are trying to destroy me. My job, my God-given mission, is to liberate them from hate and fear, to give them light to guide them into eternal salvation. We want to lead them into being the beneficiaries of the ultimate blessing from God.
Sontag: Your control of property and money is a very controversial item concerning the church. I wonder if you would comment on how you see the control and use of wealth as necessary to the church’s program and how you view its control?
Moon: The holdings we have in New York and all over the world are part of the blessing from God. All material things were created by God as a blessing or a gift to his children. But because of the Fall of Man, men and women have not become God’s true sons and daughters. The time will come for God’s own children to be restored into God’s lineage, as direct heirs entitled to master and utilize all the things of creation for the glory of God. I do not condemn material things as satanic. The deciding factor is the man who controls them and uses them. If your motivation is absolutely God-centered, absolutely unselfish, then the material things are there or you to utilize for the benefit of humanity.
Let us for a moment examine what kind of property holdings we have. As you know, our church has acquired the old New Yorker Hotel on Eighth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street. This gigantic two-thousand-room hotel was lying dead in the midst of Manhattan. When I first looked inside it, I could not believe my eyes. It was a total wreck. It looked as though it had been bombed. It looked like Seoul after the Korean War. I could not understand how such a disaster area could be in the very heart of New York City.
We bought and are restoring this building into full life. We are presently using it as our movement’s World Mission Headquarters. The Kingdom of God is the kingdom of use. It’s like resurrecting a dead body and bringing it to the use of God. The New Yorker is typical of many of our real-estate purchases. We purchase dead, wasted property and restore it to full use for God and humanity. We purchased the defunct former Columbia University Club, gave it new life, and are now using it as our U.S. church headquarters. We also purchased the Manhattan Center. It used to be New York’s most famous opera house, but that once beautiful center was left to decay for several decades. Now our young people have been working to renovate it over a period of several months. It has become a main sanctuary for our church.
We have most recently purchased the old Tiffany Building. At one time it was a symbol of America s graciousness and opulence. This building has become our News World Newspaper Company headquarters. We also took over the decayed Lofts Candy Factory and are using it for our church publications department. We also took over the vacated Christian Brothers Seminary, which had been decaying for five years in Barrytown, and its 270 acres of land. We rebuilt it into our Unification Theological Seminary. We have bought several hundred acres of land in Tarrytown, New York, as the site for a future university. These kinds of purchases are where the bulk of our money has gone.
All in all, who will be the beneficiaries of these? Ultimately, the general public and, of course, our members and their children. We do it as our service to God and humanity. I should think New York City would welcome our improvements if for no other reason than that they beautify the city and raise the value of the neighborhoods. What we are doing is truly refreshing, and once the American people truly understand, they will welcome it.
Our movement has the vitality, energy, and determination necessary to restore the old pioneering spirit of America. We are not only striving to restore the dying Christian spirit and the founding spirit of this nation, but we are also in reality restoring dying buildings and wasted land into productivity and a kind of paradise.
New York’s Eighth Avenue could be called the Avenue of the Prostitutes. We want to restore Eighth Avenue into the Avenue of Heaven and Beauty. Our goal is one of restoration both spiritually and physically. As you might know, during our Yankee Stadium campaign we initiated the America-the-Beautiful program. Our young people, by the thousands, cleaned up the dirty streets of New York City every morning. We hope to make this a national program. Everyone must participate to make it work. Americans must be proud of the beautiful heritage and country which God has blessed them with.
Newspapers keep misrepresenting the situation by saying that I am getting rich. They don’t say it directly, but through nuance they imply that I am storing up wealth in a Swiss bank somewhere. Our people here with me know better. I own nothing personally. Our movement owns everything and properly manages and uses everything for the task of building the Kingdom here on earth.
There are many suspicions about the source of our funds nowadays. Some people think it comes from the Korean CIA, the Korean government, or any number of places. But the whole truth is that the money comes only from the efforts of the Unification Church members. This money is the result of the blood and sweat of those members. Sacrificial duty brought it. Our members are the first to laugh when anybody says our young people are becoming robots, that they are manipulated. They know what they are doing and why.
It’s my desire and goal to leave something here in America. I am not here permanently. Many people around the world come to America trying to get something. I am one man who came trying to give everything I have to America. Yet, I am more criticized.
Sontag: The political involvement of the church is highly controversial too. Would you comment on just how you see your own and the church’s relationship to political and secular authority?
Moon: Our movement is basically a spiritual and religious one. We are destined to change the world because our goal is not just spiritual but physical as well. It involves everybody. How shall we do it? Not by military takeover or violence, but through a process of education, particularly education of the leadership of nations. This is where the Unification Church and I get involved. We go out and witness about God not only to the multitude of people on the streets, but also to those people who could lead the country toward God. Our desire is to put new life into their hearts, that they might become God-centered leaders. This is our process for changing the world.
I do not think in terms of taking over the power or government of a nation. I am not ambitious to become a senator or the head of state of this or any other country. But as a messenger of God, my responsibility is to relay the message of God to the people who actually run the country and the society, to those who can actually influence the nation.
During the Watergate incident people said, “Oh, this is a political organization; they support Nixon. Their motivation is political. “However, what did we actually do? We organized the Prayer and Fast Committee for a national emergency, and we prayed and fasted a lot. Many members of the Unification Church fasted three days and even seven days consecutively for the nation. We prayed on the Capitol Building’s steps in an overnight vigil. We prayed in front of the White House and at the Lincoln Memorial, We prayed for congressmen, for senators, and for the President. I remember President Lincoln issued a proclamation to call the entire nation to confess its national sins and to pray for mercy and forgiveness during a time of emergency.
I felt that the Watergate was a national emergency. It was a moral crisis, a national sin. While American soldiers were dying in Vietnam, the people at home were deeply wounded internally and divided. They were losing faith in everything and couldn’t support those abroad. I felt that the healing grace needed could come only from God, and the power of prayer could invoke it. I wanted to call this nation to its knees in repentance. I hoped the President would issue a proclamation again, as Lincoln had, calling for national prayer. Our movement wanted to set an example, and we did. I wanted to awaken the conscience of America. Is this a political action?
If you read my Watergate statement, you will find it is a genuine sermon filled with the same spirit as the Sermon on the Mount: Forgive, love, unite. These three words truly express the essence of Christian teaching and are far from any political ambition.
Sontag: I wonder if you would say a little about the development of your own prayer life. It seems to me that the prayer life within the church is something unique, and many members comment that they learned to pray only within the church.
Moon: First of all, I believe that prayer is the most powerful thing. It can change the impossible into the possible. Secondly, in the Unification Church I emphasize prayer but prayer in a different manner. Don’t pray for yourself this is my teaching. Pray for your mission; pray for others; pray so that your prayer can reach God as a comforting word.
Sontag: The doctrine of True Parents, I think, is much misunderstood. I wonder if you would say something about the relationship between True Parents and one’s natural parents and the kind of obligation the child has to both.
Moon: Parents is the word used to designate a person’s father and mother, those who gave him life. Our concept of True Parents refers to the rebirth of an individual. The true you is spiritual. Our real selves are invisible, yet that is what was corrupted. Therefore all people are destined to be reborn. Ultimately God is the True Parent. But because God is spirit and invisible, he creates a central person or persons through whom mankind can receive God’s teaching and experience rebirth. These are the True Parents. This concept of True Parents does not disregard the natural parent at all.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, the work of God has been there organization of the human family. The human family stems from fallen Adam and Eve, and God cannot accept the family as it is. It must go through a reformation or rebirth process. This was the teaching of Jesus Christ even two thousand years ago. Therefore, we need God and God ordained True Parents. Your natural parents give you physical life and love you, and raise you with the best moral principles they can. True Parents give you spiritual life. The term Holy Father has been used for years to indicate a representative of God in church life. The concept True Parents should not, therefore, seem so strange.
Adam and Eve were supposed to be the True Parents of mankind in God’s plan. When they failed, God intended Jesus to be the True Parent of mankind. When he was crucified on the cross, God promised another messiah. He is coming to consummate the ideal of God-centered True Parents. He will generate a new family of God through restoring the family unit under God’s ideal. When we have True Parents of God, we can all become true brothers and sisters.
Sontag: Then after the spiritual rebirth, what becomes of the relation and obligation of the child to his natural parents?
Moon: His natural parents certainly remain his parents, and their family relationship will never change. After spiritual rebirth, however, one is related to the true family of God, and is responsible to restore his own natural parents, brothers, and sisters, and relatives to God’s family, too. This makes an eternal relationship with God possible for those you love most. The true family’s relationship is eternal, whereas an earthly family’s is only temporal. Therefore, one needs to make both relationships possible within his natural family, thereby bringing complete restoration to his family. Mankind’s ultimate fulfillment here on earth is to become true sons and daughters of God.
(Tea break. Ginseng tea is brought in.)
Sontag: One other benefit of my trip to Korea was that I learned to like ginseng tea. I didn’t like it before I went to Korea, but now I do. So I had a conversion experience in Korea!
Col. Pak: Even though Reverend Moon created the ginseng tea factory, he was not a believer in it at first. He had a conversion experience to ginseng too. He began to enjoy the honeyed ginseng root. Reverend Moon says by taking that honeyed ginseng root regularly, it gives tremendous energy and vitality.
Sontag: Is that the source of Reverend Moon’s vitality?
Col. Pak: Yes, God-given vitality and honeyed ginseng, that is a double guarantee now!
Moon: In the morning, for example, on a Sunday I speak for several hours. I take just one honeyed ginseng root in the morning, and I can talk until noon. I don’t feel any fatigue or hunger. It’s amazing. Particularly during middle-age, and I’m afraid we are both along there now, middle-age and above.
Neil Albert Salonen: When we were in Korea, some of the Japanese leaders of the ginseng tea trading company said, “Under Father’s direction we need two religions. We need Divine Principle for the spirit and ginseng tea for the body. We should have a ginseng tea religion!”
Sontag: I must warn Reverend Moon against laughing, because I talked to the psychiatrist in Boston who claims to be an expert on deprogramming. He told me that the sure sign a member is being deprogrammed successfully is that his sense of humor returns. So Reverend Moon mustn’t laugh too much or he will deprogram himself!
Sontag: As the church grows and spreads and becomes more successful and leaves its pioneering days, do you foresee a problem keeping your pioneering spirit alive?
Moon: Our pioneering spirit will continue and remain alive. Until God’s goal is reached, no one can really rest or relax. Just becoming a Christian is not our goal. My goal is the salvation of the world, and that’s not even the end of it. We must liberate even God and the entire spirit world. The Unification Church is probably the first movement to describe God as suffering. In this respect our goal is total liberation: liberation of the sorrow of God.
Partial success is not really success. Our goal is set so high that we can in no way easily relax or be contented. I could very well say to our members, “You know, I worked hard enough for thirty years. Don’t you think that’s long enough for me to retire and relax and have a little fun now?” However, this kind of thinking does not even come into my mind. Why? Because I am always in the forefront of the pioneering spirit to further the goal.
Actually, I don’t blame those people who call us heretics. We are indeed heretics in their eyes because the concept of our way of life is revolutionary: We are going to liberate God. We are going to liberate Jesus Christ. We are going to liberate them from sorrow, from broken-heartedness. Who in history has ever uttered such things? We not only say it, but we live it.
My concept of serving God is indeed revolutionary. God understands laughter, but more importantly, he understands sorrow and suffering. He has the aching heart of the parent when he looks down on suffering humanity. He wants the suffering to stop; as any parent. He wants happiness for his child. Let’s say Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God. I am saying: Let us not only liberate this human world from sin, but liberate also the broken heart of God, the sorrow of Jesus. Do you think Jesus will say, “God, that man is wrong; take him away. We don’t need his help. He is a blasphemer. I am the Truth, and I am the Life, and nobody can come to you but by me?” Would Jesus criticize me like that for trying to do his work?
No, even Jesus will say, “God, bless him. His work must be successful. The consummation of his work will be the consummation of my own mission. Therefore, his success is my success; his success is your success, God, please help him; please go down and inspire Reverend Moon and let him accomplish as much as he can in his lifetime.”
The concept of judgment in Christian churches is grossly wrong. God is love; he condemns no one. But people do reap the consequences of what they sow. People who sow a selfish life here on earth will reap hell thereafter. But this is not the result of the condemnation of God. One cannot reap heaven if he lives and acts against God. God is a God of love; by having humanity suffering in hell, his heart is aching. He cannot enjoy this. God’s desire is to ultimately liberate even hell.
Here in the world of flesh, we can leap ahead with great accomplishments through our actions. Our earthly life is a one-time opportunity. Let’s say you live one hundred years here on earth. This is your opportunity to lay the foundation for your eternal life. Compared to eternity your hundred years on earth are less than the flash of a second. You must invest this one hundred years for God and humanity. Don’t live just for yourself, for the moment. You will find much greater happiness if you give your one hundred years unselfishly for God; then God will reward you with eternity in heaven.
Sontag: What problems do you see for the church and this work when you are no longer alive to lead it? How will the members respond to your absence?
Moon: I have consummated my personal mission here on earth. Therefore, whether I remain here on earth or whether I am taken to the spirit world doesn’t make any difference. Our movement has laid a firm foundation. It exists here in the human level, but it is spiritually established; its root is God and the spirit world. On this foundation the movement will never fail. It will go on without me and the Kingdom of God shall become a reality here on earth.
Sontag: I want to know if you see any danger of the church drifting toward becoming just another church among many. What can happen is that people who are establishment-oriented gain control and then empire-ambition begins to dominate.
Moon: This is the fundamental difference between the existing churches and the Unification Church. Ours is not a denomination but a movement of unification. Therefore, this movement will not cease in its revolutionary zeal or its pioneering task until the ultimate goal of establishing the Kingdom of God here on earth is physically accomplished and God is able to take great comfort and joy after his six thousand biblical years of suffering.
We really could not become just an institutionalized established church. This is really a movement, and it will not settle down until the movement is no longer necessary.
Sontag: Do you feel that each of your projected stages has succeeded? Is there any notion in your mind to revise the program in the future, or has the movement really met each stage as you originally envisaged it? Will the timetable be revised?
Moon: No, no revision. Every timetable set has been obtained. I feel we have attained all the planned goals so far.
My coming to America was precisely on schedule; the next three and a half years’ work was precisely on schedule. Yankee Stadium was on schedule, and the Washington Monument rally was on schedule. Now, the two-year program which I started for 1977 and 1978 for total evangelism throughout the country is also on schedule.
Sontag: As I understand it, the original Divine Principle was oral in nature. The earliest disciples told me that they heard it in sermon form, and the disciples in Pusan said they were with you when the Principles were finally written down. In contrast to the very earliest writing, the present book is more elaborate, more detailed. Do you foresee the possibility again of any change, elaboration, addition, or subtraction of the present Divine Principle book? Is its form fixed now?
Moon: The expression of parts of the Principle here and there have been greatly experimented with. But from the very beginning to the end, the basic content of the revelation has never altered. For example, in “The Principles of Creation,” “The Fall of Man,” and “The Mission of Jesus,” the central ideas have never changed. I know there are difficulties in expressing certain concepts and ideas of our philosophy, so one of my projects, which will take a great deal of time and effort, is once again to standardize the Principle myself and leave it to history. This job remains to be done.
The Divine Principle is not the kind of truth that you have a conference about, and if people do not like it, you can change it. That will never happen. Also, there is a much greater area of truth yet to be revealed. I have already received the revelation, but I am purposely reserving certain truths to be revealed in future days.
Sontag: So you do feel that there will be future revelation, that revelation is not closed.
Moon: The Divine Principle is not a philosophy, not a theory; it is a principle. It is an unchanging truth of God. Once that truth is revealed, then that principle must be lived, acted upon. At least a foundation for its accomplishment must be laid. Then Satan cannot invade. When a person is completely united with the truth, then Satan cannot take him away from God. For instance, if God and Adam and Eve had been completely united with truth, then there would have been no room for Satan to infiltrate. Truth must become incarnate. It must be lived or fulfilled within a living person. Otherwise it can be taken away and misused by Satan. This is why I do not reveal truth until the conditions are all met or the truth is embodied to a certain point. In a way then, the Divine Principle, this new revelation, is the documentary of my life. It is my own life experience. The Divine Principle is in me, and I am in the Divine Principle.
Sontag: Many outside the church feel that every member is personally loyal to Reverend Moon as an individual, but when I talk to members, their statement and direction is always toward the Principle. Would you agree that the loyalty of the people is toward the Principle? The two are connected because you are the bringer of the Principle, the revealer, the source. Is that an accurate expression?
Moon: It is a very, very important question you ask. Many people say I am just a revealer of the truth, an instrument, but I also live it, embody it. Therefore, the only way people can understand me or my actions is through the Principle. Only through knowing and studying the Principle can they understand. This is why the more the members study the Principle, the more they understand me and the more loyal they become. The two are one and the same. But in our movement, no one yet understands God 100 percent.
Sontag: You are often accused of being authoritarian and even dictatorial and militaristic. What would you say about your own sense of authority and how you exercise it? How would you express your own authority in relationship to members?
Moon: Actually, anybody who really knows the Divine Principle would not take it that way. This is only the external appearance. After just one glance someone might say that I am authoritarian. But actually, let’s think about God. You could say God is a dictator. He has no congress to report to, and he is not elected. But nobody calls God a dictator because he is love. Love is stronger than any authority. So when outsiders look only at my authority, they may consider me a dictator. But they totally miss the point. I am a parent to the members. Parents love children, not govern them. God loves, not governs. In the Unification Church, if you miss that spiritual quality of love, God’s love, then you could describe the Unification Church as the worst kind of hell.
Sontag: Why do you think that most of the world, and surely the public press, miss the spiritual side of the church and also, particularly, the spiritual side of your nature?
Moon: They seem to deliberately refuse to see that side. That may be the major cause. It’s as though they have already drawn their conclusions and are only trying to pick out supportive evidence for their conclusions. However, the many people who come to know us closely see that there is a tremendous bond and tie of warmth and love in our church, and that it emanated from God through me. We are being attacked all the time, and yet we are always winning and gaining success. It’s an amazing principle, being attacked and yet gaining.
In the last year, 1976, the entire world took a position to oppose me. In every nation there was controversy. I wanted to expedite that controversy, so I sent out missionaries to 120 nations. Why7 I was putting up lightning rods in every nation so that they were exposed to world persecution. The greater the persecution, the faster the satanic world will lose power. This is heavenly strategy, but who understands this strategy? The day will come, however, when they will truly know the Unification Church and me. The day will come when the truth will be known and the message of love will be taught. On that day, their regret will be deep.
Sontag: You were talking about the way in which you receive attack. You don’t yourself attack, but the interesting thing is that people reverse this. Outside, people are very fearful because they think the movement will resort to a militaristic posture and that you will command your members to go out with guns. What do you say about condoning force or violence to attain your goals?
Moon: It’s been God’s principle never to attack first. God never attacks first. Evil and Satan always take initiative and try to destroy, but the heavenly side has the responsibility to defend itself. I preach our movement as essentially nonviolent and non-militaristic. Our movement has the greatest weapon if you use that word truth. We also have the greatest target: the human heart. Truth can change the human heart, and then that person is totally changed. Since his motivation is changed, every action and plan changes. That’s the basic way we plan to conquer this world of evil, by using the word. We are conquerors by love, conquerors by truth, but not by violence, not by weapons. Right now, with the threat of the Third World War, the question of whether there will truly be any hot war or not depends on human responsibility. But regardless of whether there is a war, the reality is that there is a confrontation between two worlds, one representing the side of Satan, the other representing the side of God. Communism is trying to take the world by force. But God will take the world by love. We must become the embodiment of this love.
Sontag: What the press protests so often is the use of deception by members in fundraising and the use of “front” organizations by the church. Would the church ever condone this, and what reason would there be to conceal the church’s activities?
Moon: I emphasize honesty, purity, and unselfishness as the principal code of our members. Honesty comes first, particularly between God and man. Our Principle teaches that man’s dishonesty brought about the separation between God and man. Even though our members may think they will invite more hostile persecution, I emphasize that they must present themselves as the ambassadors of God and tell people who they are first.
A member must say that he is a member of the Unification Church and that he is the follower of Sun Myung Moon. If he doesn’t have the courage to say it, he is not worthy of me. I tell them it’s wrong not to speak out for fear of bringing greater persecution to themselves, because that greater persecution will bring equally greater blessing. If they try to shy away from persecution, actually they are missing the whole blessing. Some local leaders may have tried to be expedient, but they didn’t have any bad motivation. I can understand why such things may have happened in the face of persecution, but I do not condone such action.
The term front organization is not our word; it is a word that the media use. We do have many organizations, but not “front” organizations. They each have legitimate purposes to serve humanity in various ways. We have the International Cultural Foundation; we have clinics, paramedical teams, businesses. We have the Professors World Peace Academy. Each organization exists because there are necessary projects to fulfill. Each one has its own distinct function. Our movement deals with the reality of the world. Ultimately, we want to serve all human needs. After all, our goal is the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. We are not shying away from the world. Our movement is a movement of action, not just of meditation.
Sontag: Reverend Moon, you are often accused of teaching one thing publicly and teaching some different, stronger doctrine to your followers in private. This is what many people suspect. What could be the basis for this? This is widely felt, I might say.
Moon: I am never afraid of speaking out in public. The words of God can have no compromise. All the prophets in history have spoken out boldly, and so do I. As a matter of fact, in public speeches, not only at Yankee Stadium or the Washington Monument, but at public speeches to the members (which anybody can come hear as you did), sometimes I speak with extraordinary candor. Sometimes I speak in the strongest terms in public. Why? Because I want it to register. I do not speak as a diplomat, smoothing over things. I do not speak as a politician to please people. What history will say about me is most important. I do not go after current popularity. Whether I become popular among the American people or not today is not important to me. I speak out as God dictates to me.
However, sometimes I do speak to the need of the people and at their level of perception, but there is nothing secret there. Jesus himself said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” Sometimes I cannot speak certain things to the members or even to the leaders because they simply won’t understand, not because I want to hide something from them. Each person’s depth of understanding of the Principle is always different. St. Paul also said that sometimes he had to feed converts “milk” rather than “solid food” because they were not spiritually ready. Anyone must adjust to the level of understanding of his listeners. The Unification Church has no need for a clandestine operation.
Our past record is good proof. What have I done in the last thirty years, or what has the Unification Church done in Korea, Japan, or the US? That is the proof. What we have done is to absolutely give ourselves to the service of others, the nation and humanity. Our primary job has been preaching the new truth and trying to win the peoples’ hearts for God. Have you ever heard that we have tried to overthrow any government or rob a bank?
Sontag: Oh, no, but a great deal of fear about you exists. People feel this way and the reasons are very difficult to get to.
Moon: Probably this feeling comes from our enormous amount of energy and success. Here in America, people have never heard of any man from the Orient suddenly becoming such a prominent or controversial figure. Just a few years ago America had never heard of Reverend Moon, but now Reverend Moon pops up everywhere. They hear of a great deal of wealth, growth, and expansion. People cannot imagine what absolute dedication can bring in terms of achievement. So eventually they come to the conclusion that there must be some kind of conspiracy. Otherwise, how could these things be humanly possible? But I tell you, every achievement has been built by sweat, tears, and hard work. You are an eyewitness to the unprecedented dedication of our church. When people come to know God, many impossible things become possible. Each day is a miracle in our church.
Sontag: One of the things that plagues the church now is the negative attitude developing in the country toward South Korea and President Park ‘s government. Of course, it is true that there are ministers and leaders who have been jailed by him because of their protests. Are you aware of this, and what is your view on this?
Moon: Many people suspect there must be a special tie between Park Chung Hee’s government and the Unification Church. That assumption is absolutely untrue. Furthermore, the government has given our church no special privileges. As a matter of fact, for many decades I have been undergoing trials and ordeals because of the government’s misunderstanding. The present government also initially gave a great deal of hardship to our church and is beginning to again. It is nonsense when people say there is a special tie between the Korean government and the Unification Church.
All we do is what our religious conscience dictates. We consider Communism the foe of mankind and the foe of God, so we take a strong posture in fighting against Communism, and we support a strong government against Communism. We do not support the North Korean takeover of South Korea. However, the government has not given any special privilege or consideration to us. There happens to be a common view on Communism between the Korean government and our religious conviction. I opposed Communism while in North Korea too. Because of my religious stand, the North Korean government put me in their worst prison camp for almost three years. Only God kept me alive.
During the Newsweek International interview I said that President Park does his job as the president of the country and I do my job as religious leader. It is true, however, that many of the political prisoners in South Korea are pastors and religious leaders. The Korean government in the past never deliberately or directly opposed or oppressed religious freedom, whether Christian, Buddhist, or Confucian. However, the Korean government strongly reacts to any menace or threat to overthrow the government. This is where the problem came in.
The Unification Church has no intention of overthrowing or harassing the government’s position. We are aloof from government policy. Still, there are many cases of government harassment of Unification Church. It is very difficult to get our leaders out of Korea for world missions, and it is often difficult for our organizations in Korea to get certain permits, and so forth. But as far as I am concerned, there is no direct religious persecution. If that existed in South Korea, I would immediately speak up against the Korean government. I will not tolerate that or gross violation of civil rights.
Sontag: Of course, that’s where the clouded issue comes. The religious men feel they’re protesting for civil liberties.
Moon: The amazing thing is the way they talk about civil rights. There are millions of civil rights being violated behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, et cetera, and the multi-millions of civil rights being violated in China. Billions of people’s civil rights are being grossly violated. Why do they not speak up against all these violations of civil rights? Why do they only try to magnify a few cases in Korea?
I do not condone any oppression of civil rights, but there should not be a dual standard. One principle and standard of righteousness should be applied to everybody, to every nation. Looking at this one standard, anybody who is truly concerned about human rights should inevitably become the absolute foe of Communism. Nothing in the history of mankind has violated more basic human rights than Communism. I am the foremost fighter for the preservation of human rights.
Therefore, we cannot condone a weakening of the South Korean government, thus making it vulnerable to North Korean invasion. The human rights of fifty million people are at stake. Any movement or campaign that works toward undermining the Korean government with its strong anti-Communist policy will inevitably invite the aggression of North Korea and the annihilation of the South Korean people. This would put 30 to 50 million people under Communist oppression in the name of “human rights.” We should not become the naive prey of Communism and turn over millions of innocent people to Communism.
It is a welcome relief that the Carter administration is speaking out strongly on human civil rights. I welcome that, but the Carter administration should develop one standard to apply all over the world. The same standards should apply to Korea and every other nation. Nowadays, because of the press, everything Korean is suffering. There is the exposé‚ of Korean bribery and influence buying and so forth. They even include President Park in a cloud of suspicion. I could never condone any illegal acts committed by the Korean government if there are any, but I have to ask why there is just accusation against Korea. Why isn’t there anything against Soviet Russia and the KGB? Why should Korea, the most friendly nation to the U.S. and one nation which is desperately trying to survive, become a scapegoat? My genuine concern is that this double standard might push Korea into becoming another Vietnam. Then who will be next? The U.S. indeed is not far down the line.
I have never met President Park, and President Park has never had personal feelings toward me. There are absolutely no friendly ties between the two of us. Yet in principle I support a strong government and defense, and an absolute anti-Communist policy.
Sontag: It is often said by religious critics of the church that the Principle does not stress the resurrection of Jesus as the central event for Christians and that this is the main issue in the charge of heresy against you. Would you comment on the significance of Jesus’ resurrection?
Moon: The Unification Church emphasizes the resurrection in a different light. The dispensation of God is a process of resurrection, so we look at resurrection as the process of restoration and salvation. We teach that the true resurrection of man is the resurrection of heart, the restoration of man’s complete relationship to God. God is looking forward to the resurrection of all humanity. It is indeed his goal and the greatest event that will happen in all history. I emphasize the resurrection of the entire world, every individual and nation, as the ultimate fulfillment of salvation.
Resurrection is synonymous to restoration. So the Unification Church seeks physical as well as spiritual restoration. The Kingdom of God on Earth is really the resurrected world. In that world, there is the resurrection of the individual, where full spiritual perfection is achieved for eternity, then resurrection of the family, resurrection of the society, tribe, nation, and world. We become resurrected as sons and daughters of God; we become transformed into children of God. It will be a glorious day when we all become resurrected and enter into His Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was, is, and will be permanently the source of the resurrection of life.
Sontag: I sense that life in the movement is changing in its form now, and it has changed at various points through its history. Do you see that there is change now coming to the life within the movement, in its structure, in its missions? Is there change going on and what future shape of the internal family is developing?
Moon: I do not expect to see any major change in the make up of our church, its structure, or the style of our life. I emphasize that our movement has always been centered upon families as the basic unit of heavenly society. The family emphasis is always the same. This means that more blessings in marriage will be given, more children will be born, more families will be created. Then we will become elevated from the present communal type of centers to family-oriented homes. The family will always be the basic unit of happiness and cornerstone of the Kingdom of God on earth and thereafter in heaven.
Sontag: But on the practical level, there might be more blessings, more marriage, more children, perhaps more individual family units, and everyone might not live in centers together as they do now. There might be some changes in the life-style, such as phasing out the mobile fund-raising teams — you can’t build a family while you’re doing that!
Moon: There will be a settlement. We don’t have that now, but gradually we will be moving into family settlements. We will have our own enterprises and businesses. In the future we will have many, many places where families can be productive, raise their children, and build schools to educate the children. We’ll get bigger. Our establishment will get bigger. I have a plan to establish ideal cities and villages in many places. We will have productive, working communities where our members will support themselves economically. The atmosphere will be different from the outside world. Money will not be the central purpose, but while establishing productive businesses, our members will fulfill their responsibility to God and service to others.
Sontag: One final question: I am an American and you are a Korean, and think many people don’t understand why you have come here. How do you see America?
Moon: In light of the dispensation, the U.S. is the model Christian nation and therefore in the position of the second Israel. America’s heritage is Christian. It should be the backbone of American strength. In the end, if America loses this heritage, it will lose its greatness and its true value. Backed by the Christian spirit, American democracy has survived and prospered. But if the Christian spirit is removed, America will become secular and barren. Divisions between gentile and Jew, black and white, rich and poor, will set in. Many potential crises will begin to erupt.
To make a long story short, God chose America as his final champion to serve as a builder of the Kingdom of God on earth. That’s America’s role. But America’s Christian spirit is its foundation, and unfortunately it is declining. A secular force has set in, and without some major spiritual change or reform, there will be no way America can fulfill her mission.
I came to America to fulfill several major missions. I came to revive the Christian spirit by igniting a new spiritual fervor with new spiritual truth. I came to start a Christian revolution in this country, which will bring back the heritage of this nation and will bring America back into a position to fulfill God’s assigned mission.
Also I came to restore American families and American youth through a great moral principle. The degradation of the moral standard through drug problems, moral crises, and family problems is bringing American youth into a helpless position. Unless some new, effective youth movement comes, America’s future is very dismal. This new spiritual revolution among American youth has been ignited. I brought the Unification Church with me to America. Starting from this movement here in America, by influencing this great nation first, God can move the rest of the world. That is why I came to America. I landed in Washington, D.C., on December 18, 1971. That’s the day the active movement really began. Our members wondered how I could ever have dreamed of doing so much in such a short time. I cannot help but be astonished myself. But who did this? Not Reverend Moon; God did it. Only with the power of God could a stranger like me, not even knowing the English language, come into this country and accomplish the work I have done. Only with the power of God was it possible. I have one hope. I am looking forward to the day that the American people will realize the true purpose of my coming to America. If America will realize why I came, what truth I am bringing, that will really be a day of hope in America. I did not come of my own will, and I did not bring my own message, but that of God. I came by his mandate and brought his words. Even though this movement started in Korea, Korea is not the central point; Japan is not going to be the central point. America is the central point for the entire success of the dispensation of God. Do you think that day will come?
Sontag: People have been blind before and rejected leaders. What reason do you have to feel that America will respond?
Moon: Even though the press and media are very important in terms of influence, in the long run the intellectual and academic communities, professors and students are more important. Therefore, I put a great deal of emphasis in this area. We have started a student movement and a professors’ movement, plus a new daily newspaper. Within a few years we need to gain the respect of American society, not because we want to be proud of ourselves but because we want to influence this people and nation in the direction of God. I am really committed to this.
My ultimate desire is to see this nation really come under God. Let it be one nation under God and cause the world to become one world under God. Because of ignorance and misunderstanding, America has mistreated me, but in my heart I have no hard feelings. I know why these situations develop, and I look at them as part of the plan of God. I came to make a declaration to America and to the world, and it needed to be spread quickly.
However, the thinking of the media is such that if no one had opposed me, they might have reported something like, “A religious man has come from Korea claiming to speak for God and he is trying to spread the message in America.” It would have been only one small paragraph somewhere on page 78. But once a few people decided to oppose me and began to spread vicious rumors, the press was interested. Terrible story after terrible story of accusation came out. Now, whether positively or negatively, America knows me, and it happened quickly. At least I have America’s attention. Now perhaps the people will be able to see the truth of God, the new revelation. The worst treatment America could give me is to ignore me, but she has not done that. Now I can show the truth.
My mission is a cosmic mission. My concern is for all of humanity, and not only this present world, but the world hereafter. My mission penetrates the past, present, and future, and encompasses all humanity.
Before I pass away, I must set the condition that the whole world, at one time or another, has had a chance to know, hear, and understand me. The message must be universally declared. This is the reason I myself must go all over the world and preach, and that is the same reason I sent out the Unification missionaries all over the world. This is heavenly strategy, but nobody understands it. Some think I am just a crazy man.
Many Unification Church members were prepared and destined to this calling. Others were just lucky; they happened to join and received great blessing. But they are all special. They responded to God’s call and have volunteered to give themselves to the task of cosmic restoration. This extraordinary opportunity will occur only once in history, and it is unfolding here m America right now. This is an emergency for God and mankind.
Today America is a microcosm of the world. America’s destiny will sway the destiny of the world and God’s providence. He definitely has a central mission that he is working to unfold in this country. When I spoke at the rally in Yankee Stadium, I stated, “If there is illness in your home, do you not need a doctor from outside? If your home catches on fire, do you not need fire fighters from outside? God has sent me to America in the role of a doctor, in the role of a firefighter.”
On September 18, 1976, at the Washington Monument I also proclaimed, “God summoned me to this country to proclaim God’s new revelation. And in particular, God called me to lead the young people of America, the leaders of tomorrow, back to God.”
I have not heard any American religious leader making such bold statements. How then could a man from Korea speak like that? I am not speaking from my ego or seeking self-glory. I know who God is and what his mandate is. Every word I spoke was truly prophetic. Some people do not understand, yet I have to speak. I am a Korean, yet in the sight of God I am a true American, representing the core of the American spirit. If this spirit prevails in this land, America will live and prosper.
Suppose God suddenly appeared here in America. What would he say? Would he say, “You Americans are doing perfectly well. I am deeply delighted; keep on doing what you are doing?” The answer is no! Deep down in our innermost hearts, we all know that America is in spiritual, moral trouble, and if we continue the present trend, America will not be able to avoid the wrath of God. We know it.
When I speak as a messenger of God, I must speak the truth. Somebody must take up God’s cause before it is too late. I came with a warning, a declaration to America. At the present time many people laugh at me. But history will never laugh at me, because I am not doing it. God is doing it. I am being used by God.
The spirit world is a labyrinth. That world is really a labyrinth. It is not humanly possible to find the proper path alone in the spirit world. You cannot find your destination unless you have a leader to guide you, unless someone paves the way. In that respect, Unification Church members are very, very fortunate people. Why? Our members have a spiritual light to lead the way, like a lantern before us.