Archive for June, 2004

"True parents" in the Unification Church and in UBF

June 23, 2004

If you visit some of the links about Moon in my June 17 entry, you see the words “True Parents” a lot. Moon, his wife (his 2nd or 3rd wife IIRC) and their followers constantly and insistently declare that the Moons are the “True Parents” of humanity. I have no doubt that the Moons are the “True Parents” of the humanity within their wacked but strangely influential cult.

So, who are your “true parents” in UBF? Well, according to a certain UBF defender (or rather, UBF critic attacker) whose pseudonym is impossible to remember, your “true parents” are your UBF leaders. Read his essay, and it’s impossible not to draw that conclusion. How might this play out in real life? A female member of Chicago UBF has in the past expressed that she respects Sarah Barry more than her own mother and that Samuel Lee “earned the right to be her true father.” And there’s also the obvious example of everyone in UBF being made to call Barry, “Mother” Barry.

From the perspective of a UBF 2ndgen, who are your “true parents” when your biological parents defer almost all important decisions regarding your future to their own “true parents” (their leader), when they allow their “true parents” to dictate what you will be named, what you will look like (surgically altered or not), whom you will marry? Who do you think has the final say on who a suitable “marriage candidate” for you is, even in “today’s UBF”? It’s certainly not you. But is it your parents? Or is it Mark Yoon in consultation with Sarah Barry and John Jun?

"If I had been in your shoes…"

June 21, 2004

On more than one occasion, someone in UBF has said something to the effect, “If I had been in your shoes, I would have left UBF, too” or “If those things had happened to me, I would have left UBF for sure, too.” Let me make something clear. I didn’t leave UBF primarily because of what had happened to me, because of abuses I had suffered. I had learned to “live with” the abuses almost like an abused wife; I had learned to just “cope.” I left primarily because of abuses that others had unjustly suffered for which there was zero acknowledgment or apologies from UBF.

"Moon holds coronation at Capitol"

June 18, 2004

There’s a report about the kinds of things that are made possible by the general ignorance about the cult problem. Also see this and that article.

Moon has gotten a lot of mileage by appealing to social and religious conservatives in the US, both with money and by co-opting the message of “family values”, “christian values” and “world peace.” (*) The Wheaton College student newspaper editor has even done an internship at the Washington Times, owned by Moon.

Moon parades around the Capitol, UBF holds a conference at Wheaton College, UBF holds large conferences at major universities: all made possible by ignorance, lack of information and the deceptive face that cults like to present.

(*) It’s funn to hear UBF USA leaders also go on about America’s Christian roots, about school prayer, about “In God We Trust”, about America being the “City on a Hill” because it fits into the UBF “vision” and catchphrase of KOP & HN. (They are strangely mum about abortion, though. Hm.) Easier to talk about America’s problems than their own.

Also, from the blog of the freelance journalist who covered this Moon coronation:

(Add the love of baseball bat “training” to arranged marriages on the list of things that the Unification Church and UBF have had in common)

Capitol’s King of Peace wants to whale on you with a baseball bat (not the original article, but similar)

As James posts in the comments section, still no baseball team in Washington. But in 1997, future UPI wire service president Chung Kwak was given standing orders to hit slacker Unification Church members with a baseball bat. The man recently coronated in the Senate offices as the King of Peace declared:

How much easier it is for you compared to True Father’s course. You have absolutely no excuse. […] (Applause) Father wants Reverend Kwak to keep a baseball bat in his hand all the time and if he sees anyone neglecting their mission in this regard then he can freely use it. Particularly those who are sleeping and hiding, Reverend Kwak’s baseball bat will fall upon you at any time. Father is ordering all of us to make our absolute commitment to Reverend Kwak to accomplish the 3.6 million couples Blessing this year.

Reverend Moon has been talking about hitting people with baseball bats for some time now. In 1976 he said:

I will never retire. The only thing you can do to stop me is to leave no work for me to do. Do you think that if you do, I would hit you with a baseball bat and tell you to go away, stop blocking my way? Suppose I were to hit you with the baseball bat to stop you, bloodying your ear and breaking a bone or two, yet still you insisted on doing more work for Father.

In 1980:

A great champion would say, “Thank you Father! Next time you bring your baseball bat to hit me, I will be ready.”

In 1987 he imagined what would happen if Satan came along and tried to steal Moon’s act:

You have a relationship with True Father, but suppose Satan comes along with a thick baseball bat made of iron.

From the 1998 Gates of True Love” speech:

What if Father tries to beat you out of the Unification Church with a baseball bat? Will you leave?

There’s really nothing funny about this violent false Messiah, just as there’s nothing funny about the violence that Samuel Lee perpetrated, instigated and ordered while he was leading UBF.

One thing I remember clearly: In the early 90s, I was there one Sunday during Lee’s lengthy announcements when he said that he had learned some “good” things from Sun Myung Moon.

"Waco sect survives, waits"

June 18, 2004

I saw this article about the Koresh cult a couple of days ago and was not surprised.

Some highlights from the article:

Koresh, whose real name was Vernon Howell, arrived in Waco in 1981 as a 22-year-old high school dropout, drawn to a small community of Seventh-day Adventist believers who called themselves Branch Davidians. It wasn’t long before the smooth-talking Bible expert seduced the group’s 60-year-old leader and displaced her as the group’s reigning prophet.

Eventually he asserted the God-given right to take the underage teenage daughters of his followers as wives, while commanding everyone else in the commune to remain celibate. He justified his licentiousness by explaining that God had directed him to embody the most devilish human behavior as a test of his followers’ faith.

“According to man’s law today, what David did was statutory rape,” said Tom Cook, a Waco hairstylist who joined the Davidians after Koresh died and who maintains the group’s Web site. “But as God states in the Bible, a woman is of marrying age at her first blood issue. It’s all in your frame of mind. People can say it’s illegal, but it’s God’s word.

But far more of the Branch Davidians were like Doyle, who had joined the group in 1957 and became convinced that Koresh was the messiah.

“The people who were here were not hicks, they were not stupid,” said Doyle, 63. “Some of them had letters after their names, graduate degrees.

Despite the terrible price he and his family paid, Doyle says he refuses to entertain any doubts about Koresh or the certainty of his resurrection.

“If it was all a deception, and yet we were convinced it was right, then how can we ever know the difference between good and evil, and right and wrong?” Doyle asked. “If I was misled by God, then how would I ever believe anything ever again?”

What is an "American?"

June 8, 2004

I heard this snippet from a speech given by the recently departed President Ronald Reagan: (this is from memory)

You may leave America and live in France for the rest of your life, but you will never be a Frenchman. Similarly, you may go to live in Japan, but you will never be Japanese. But you can come to the United States of America from anywhere in the world and become an American.

That in UBF (and even in the former “Reformed UBF” to some extent), this great concept of what it is to be an American was never understood, reveals much of why UBF’s unique brand of institutional racism exists. To focus on “Americans” aka “North Americans” aka “White Americans” is to totally misunderstand what this great nation is about. To focus on those “precious white American sheep” is to make your own 2nd generation Korean children (those burgeoning Americans themselves) second class citizens in your own home, as the story of this former UBF 2ndgen reveals. The Americans are everywhere; UBF just doesn’t see them.

The "cultural differences" rationalization

June 3, 2004

More than once I have heard abuses at the hands of Korean UBF leaders, even physical violence, being justified by saying that the allegations of abuse were due to a “cultural difference” or “cultural misunderstanding.” Strangely, I’ve heard these kinds of rationalizations from “American” members of UBF, not Koreans. One instance was a blog entry by Patrick Chan who has since left a UBF chapter on the West Coast. Some of the comments that I and others left on Patrick’s blog regarding this “cultural difference/understanding” excuse:

[comment by me]

… the vast majority of those who attempted to reform UBF (3 times) were “1st generation” Koreans, born and raised in Korea and steeped in Korean culture. They and I will tell you that the reform issues had to do with morals and ethics from a biblical point of view, not culture.

[comment by exUBFSoul]

2. Cultural Differences

The director of UBF, Sarah Barry, is not Korean.

UBF is a shepherding church and countless Shepherding/Discipling movement churches in AMERICA suffered from identical problems. The ICC is an AMERICAN church with identical problems. Different churches, different cultures, same system, and same problems. The logical conclusion is that the system is the problem.

If the problem were merely cultural it wouldn’t exist in Korea or among 1st generation Korean members but James Kim and the early reformers are 1st generation Koreans. The same pattern of abuse exists in Korea (one Korean shepherdess testified that she was coerced to have an abortion).

The aforementioned facts prove conclusively that the UBF problem of shepherds abusing their sheep is a problem that is independent of Korean culture.

[comment by me, acknowledging that culture does play a part, but not in the way that UBF people say it does]

Patrick, thanks for the opportunity to comment (again). There is indeed overlap between the views of 1st generation Koreans who tried to reform UBF (and have since moved on) and those who now vigorously oppose UBF. They and we saw many of the same problems in UBF, moral problems that go WAY beyond causing a guy to split up with his girlfriend. But I would be remiss in stating that culture had no part in how the 1st generation Korean would-be reformers reacted to the problems they saw in UBF vs. how someone like me has reacted to the same problems.

That very 1st generation Korean, James Kim, wrote an open letter to Samuel Lee in 1989 pointing out the fact that Samuel Lee had ordered several UBF women to get abortions. But in the same letter, Mr. Kim suggested that Samuel Lee be given a fixed and very substantial salary so that Lee could relinquish his sole and absolute control of the UBF offering treasury. Think about it: Mr. Kim is outraged that Lee could abuse his authority in such ways without any moral restraint and order women to abort their babies and expect to be obeyed, but incredibly, he basically suggests that Lee continue in his office as the Director of UBF and get a raise! Where Mr. Kim suggested a raise in salary, I would have suggested at least a resignation in disgrace for Lee. That’s where the cultural difference comes in. Mr. Kim and I, from different cultural backgrounds, both agree that the things Lee did were morally reprehensible, unbiblical, ungodly, wrong, etc., but our cultural differences do tend to color our different ideas about what to do about UBF’s problems. That’s part of why CMI, which is largely run by 1st generation Koreans, no longer has any association with anti-UBF activities.