As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen

The Autobiography








"You Are My Spiritual Teacher"


(Page 110)


After crossing the Imjin River, we taveled by way of

 Seoul, Wonju, and Kyungju to Busan.

We arrived finally on January 27, 1951.

Busan was filled with refugees from the North.

It felt like the whole country had gathered there.

Any accommodation fit to live in was filled already.

Our tiny place had barely enough room to sit.

Our only option was to go into the woods at night,

keeping warm as best we could, and then

return to the city by day to look for food.


My hair,  

which was kept short during my prison time,

had now grown back. 

My trousers mended from the inside

with cotton from a sleeping quilt,

had become threadbare.

My clothes were saturated so fully with an old grime 

that raindrops in heavy rain were not absorbed

into the cloth but simply rolled off.


Almost nothing was left of the soles of my shoes,

although the upper part was mostly still there.

I might as well have been walking barefoot.

The fact was simply that was the lowest of the low,

a beggar among beggars.  There was no work to be had,

 and we had no money in our pockets.

The only way we could eat was to beg.


Yet even while begging for food,

I maintained my dignity.


(Page 111)


If someone refused to help,

I would say in a clear and confident voice,

"Listen.  If you do not help people who are like us

who are in need, you will have great difficulty

if you hope to receive blessings in the future!"

People would give when faced with such thoughts.

We took the food we gathered this way to a flat area

where we all could sit together.

Dozens of people like us ate in such places.

We had nothing and even had to beg for food,

but a warm friendship always flowed among us .


Once in the middle of a day like this,

suddenly I heard someone shout,

"Look here!  How long has it been!"


I turned to see standing before me Duk Mun Eom,

a friend from my days in Japan.

Duk Mun Eom had become my friend for life back then

after having been so moved by a patriotic song I sang.

Today he is one of Korea's most prominent architects,

having designed the Sejong Cultural Center

and the Lotte Hotel.


"Let's go," he said,

as he embraced me in my wretched clothes,

"Let's go to my home."


By that time, Duk Mun Eom had married.

He lived together with his family in a single room.

To make room for me,

he hung a quilt down the middle of that room,

dividing it, with one side for me.  On the other

he slept with his wife and two young children.


"Now," he said, "tell me about your life lately.

I always wondered where you were

and what you might be doing. 

We were close friends," he said, "but you have always

been more than a friend to me.

Did you know that I always held you in great respect?"


Up to that point, I had never shared my heart candidly

with any of my friends.  In Japan, I went so far

as to hide the fact that I often read the Bible.

If someone came into my room when I was reading,

I would quickly put the Bible away.

But in the house of Duk Mun Eom,

 I shared my story for the first time.

I spoke throughout the night.

I told him of my encounter with God,

crossing the 38th parallel, starting a church,

and surviving Heungnam Prison.


(Page 112)


My story took a full three days to tell.

When I finished, Duk Mun Eom stood

and knelt down before me in a full ceremonial bow.


"What are you doing?" I asked in shock and surprise.

I grabbed his hand and tried to stop him,

but it was no use.  I could not.


"From this moment on," said Duk Mun Eom,

"you are my great spiritual teacher.

This bow is my greeting to you as my teacher,

so please accept it."


He has been with me ever since, both as my friend

and as my disciple.  Soon after this,

I found a job on Pier 4 in Busan harbor. 

I worked only at night.  With my pay, I bought

bean porridge at Choryang Station.  The hot porridge

was sold with a rag wrapped around the container

to keep it hot.  I always held the porridge container

against my body for more than an hour before eating it.

This helped to warm my body, which froze

from working throughout the long, cold night.


I found lodging in a shelter for laborers

located in Choryang neighborhood.

My room was so small

that I could not lie down, even diagonally,

without my feet pressing against the wall.

But this was the room where I sharpened a pencil

and solemnly wrote the first draft of Wolli Wonbon

(the original version of the Divine Principle).

I was financially destitute,

but this was of no importance to me.

Even living in a slum,

there is nothing a determined soul cannot do.

All we need is the will.


Won Pil Kim had just turned twenty.

He did all sorts of jobs.

He worked in a restaurant and brought home

the scorched rice that couldn't be served to customers. 

We ate this together.  Because of his gift for drawing,

he soon got a job with the U.S. military as a painter.


Eventually, he and I climbed up to Beomnetgol

in Beomil-Dong and built a house.


(Page 113)


Because this area was near a cemetary,

there was nothing nearby except a rocky ravine.

We had no land we could call our own,

so we leveled a section of the steep slope

and built a home there.  We didn't even have a shovel!

We borrowed a small shovel from someone's kitchen and

 returned it before the owner realized it was missing.

Won Pil Kim and I broke rocks, dug the earth,

and carried up gravel.  We mixed mud and straw

to make bricks, then stacked them up to make the walls.

We got some empty ration boxes from an American base,

flattened them out, and used them as the roof.

We laid down a sheet of black plastic for the floor.


Even simple huts are built better than this.

Ours was built against a boulder,

so a big piece of rock stuck up in the middle of the room.

Our only possessions were the small desk

that sat behind that rock and Won Pil Kim's easel.

When it rained,

a spring would bubble up inside our room. 

How romantic to hear the sound of the water

flowing beneath uswhere we sat!

In the morning, after sleeping in this unheated room

with a leaking roof and water still flowing below,

we would arise with runny noses.  Even so,

we still were happy for our small space

where we could lie down and put our minds at ease.

The surroundings were miserable, but

we were filled with hope

from living on the path of God's will.


Each morning,

when Won Pil Kim went to work at the American base,

I accompanied him to the bottom of the hill. 

When he returned home in the evening,

I went out to welcome him home. 

The remainder of my time I spent

writing the W o l l i   W o n b o n. 

Our room always had plenty of sharpened pencils.

Even when there was no rice in the rice jar,

we always had pencils.


Won Pil Kim

helped in many ways, both materially and spiritually.

  Through this I could concentrate on my writing.

Even when exhausted from a full day's work,

he followed me around, looking for ways to help.

I was getting so little sleep those days that

I could fall asleep anywhere.

Sometimes I even fell asleep on the toilet.

Won Pil Kim followed me to the toilet

to make sure I was all right.


(Page 114)


But that was not all.  He wanted so much

to contribute even a little to the book I was writing.

He began to draw portraits for American soldiers,

and in this way he earned money to keep me supplied

with pencils.  At the time, it was popular

among American soldiers to have a portrait drawn

of their wife or girlfriend before returning to America.

Won Pil Kim glued sheets of silk on wooden frames,

painted the portraits, and sold them

for four dollars each.


I felt grateful for his dedication.  I sat beside him

when he painted and did all I could to help him.

While he was away at his job on the American base,

I would put the glue on the silk,

cut the wood for frames, and put them together.

Before he came home, I washed his brushes

and bought the paint he needed.

After coming home, he would take a 4B pencil

and draw the portrait.  At first, he was drawing

only one or two, but soon word of his work spread.

He became so well-known among the soldiers

that he was drawing twenty and thirty at a time.

It got to where our home was filled with portraits,

and we had trouble finding room to sleep at night.


As the workload increased,

I started to do more than just help on the sidelines. 

Won Pil drew outlines of the faces, and I colored

the lips and clothing.  From the money

we earned together, we bought pencils and drawing

 materials and spent the rest for witnessing.

  It is important to record God's words in writing,

but even more important to tell people about His will.




The Crazy, Handsome Man

by the Well


(Page 115)


When we built the mud-walled house and began

the church in Beomnetgol, there were only three people

to hear me preach.  For me, however, I was not

talking to just those people.  I thought to myself,

"Though they cannot be seen,

I am preaching to thousands, even tens of thousands."

I envisioned as I preached that all humanity

was in attendance. These three people sat before me

while I conveyed the words of the Principle

in a loud, booming voice.


There was a well in front of our house.

Soon a rumor began to spread among those

who came to take water from that well 

that a crazy man lived in the house with mud wall.

They fetched their water and peered into

this ramshackle mud house to see a man

in wretched clothing speaking like he was shouting

commands to the whole world.

It is only natural that people began to

whisper among themselves.  I preached that

heaven and earth would be turned upside down

and Korea would unite the world.


Rumors about me soon spread beyond those using the well

to those at the bottom of the hill.

Perhaps these rumors are what brought people

coming out of curiousity to see the crazy man

living next to the well.  


(Page 116)


Among these curious ones were students

from a nearby seminary as well as

a group of professors from the prestigious

Ewha Womans University.

The rumors also became embellished to say that

I was a handsome man with good stature,

so middle-aged women began to climb the hill

to see me as a way to pass the time.


On the day I finished writing Wolli Wonbon,

I put my pencil down and prayed,

"The moment has come for me to evangelize.

Please send me the saints to whom I may give witness."

After this, I went out to the well.

It was May 10, late spring.  I was wearing

traditional Korean trousers, with cotton lining

and an old jacket, sweating in the heat. 

I caught sight of a young woman

wiping the sweat from her brow as she struggled

up the hill toward the well.


I spoke to her saying, "God has been giving you

tremendous love for the past seven years."

She jumped backward in surprise.

It had been seven years since she decided

to dedicate her life to God.


"My name is Hyun Shil Kang," she said.

I am an evangelist at the Beom Cheon Church that sits

in the neighborhood at the bottom of this hill.

I heard there is a crazy man living here,

so I have come here to witness to him."


This is how she greeted me.  I invited her into our house.

She looked around the squalid room,

making plain how very strange she found it.

Eventually, her eyes settled on my desk,

"Why do you have so many pencils?" she asked.


"Until this morning," I replied "I was writing a book

that reveals the principles of the universe. 

I think God has sent you here

so that you can learn about these principles from me."


"What?" she demanded, "I am here

because I heard there is a crazy man living here

who needs to be witnessed to."  


(Page 117)


I handed her a cushion to sit on,

and sat down as well.  The spring water

made a trickling soundas it flowed beneath us.


"In the future Korea will play its role

at the pinnacle of the world," I said.  "People

will regret that they could not be born as Koreans." 

She clearly thought I was speaking nonsense.


"Just as Elijah appeared

in the person of John the Baptist," I continued.

"Jesus will come in the flesh to Korea."


 This made her angry.  "I'm sure Jesus  

will have better places to come than a place

so wretched as Korea." she retorted.


Then she said, "Have you ever read the Book

of Revelation?  I have ...


I interrupted her mid-sentence, saying,

"You want to say you have studied at the 

Goryo Theological Seminary?"


"How did you know that?" she demanded.


"Do you think I would have waited for you

without knowing even that about you?

You said you came here to witness to me.

Please, then, teach me."


Hyun Shil Kang was clearly knowledgeable in theology.

She quoted Bible texts to me one after another

in an effort to attack my views.

She continued to challenge me strongly

as I kept responding to each of her challenges

with answers in a clear, strong voice.

Our debate continued so long

that it began to grow dark, so

I stood up and cooked dinner.  The only thing we had

besides rice was some overripe kimchi.  (Kimchi is

cabbage fermented often with red peppers or

with other ingredients, very common to Korean cuisine.)

Nevertheless, we sat there

with the sound of water trickling below,

and shared this food before resuming our debate.


(Page 118)


She came back the next day and the day after that,

each time to continue our debate.

In the end she chose to devote her life

to the principle I teach.


Later that year on a windy November day,

my wife showed up at the door of the Beomnetgol hut.

There standing with her was a seven-year-old boy,

my son, who was born the year I left home.

I had left that day simply to go pick up some rice

but went to Pyongyang instead.  The years had passed,

and now he had grown into a young boy.

I could not bring myself to look him in the eye.

Nor could I reach out to stroke his face

and embrace him in joy.  I just stood there

like a stone statue speechless.


My wife did not have to say a word.  I felt the pain

and suffering this poor mother and child

had to experience in the midst of war.

Even before this visit, I knew where they were living

and what their situation was, but I was not

yet to the point where I could take care of my family.

I knew this, and I had asked her several times,

just as before our marriage,

"Please trust me and wait just a little longer."


When the time was right, I planned to go get them.

But in this situation, as they stood in the door,

the right time had not yet come.

The hut, our church, was small and shabby.

A number of members ate there and lived there

to study God's Word.

I could not bring my family there.


My wife took a look around the hut,

expressed great disappointment, and turned to leave.

She and my son set off back down the steep path.




A Church

with No Denomination


(Page 119)


Koreans have a saying that a person

insulted by others lives a long time.

If I were to live in proportion to the number

of insults I've received,

I could live another hundred years, so you could say

that my stomach is the most full of anyone's. 

People from the established churches

who had opposed me and thrown stones at me

when I started a church in Pyongyang,

resumed their persecution this time in Busan.

Even before we had properly begun our church,

they set out to give us trouble.

Words like 'heretic' and 'pseudo'

were placed in front of my name so often

that they seemed to become part of my name.

Indeed, the name  S u n  M y u n g  M o o n  came to be

synonymous with heresy and pseudo religion.

It's hard to even hear my name mentioned

without these words.


By 1953 the persecution became extreme.

We closed the hut in Busan and moved

first to Daeguand then to Seoul.

In May of the following year, we rented a house

in Seoul's Bukhak Dong neighborhood,

located near Jangchoongdan Park, and

hung out a sign that read

"Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity."


(Page 120)


We chose this name to signify that

we belonged to no denomination, and we certainly

had no plans to create a new one.

World Christianity refers to all Christianity wordwide

and both past and present.

Unification reveals our purpose of oneness,

and Holy Spirit is used to denote harmony

between the physical and spiritual worlds

built on the love

of the father-son relationship at the center.

Our name is meant to say,

"The spiritual world centering on God, is with us."


In particular, unification represents

my purpose to bring about God's ideal world.

Unification is not union.

Union is when two things come together.

Unification is when two become one.

"Unification Church" became our commonly known name later,

but it was given to us by others.  In the beginning

university students referred to us as "the Seoul Church."


I do not like using the word kyohoi

in its common usage to mean church.  But I like

its meaning from the original Chinese characters.

Kyo means "to teach" and hoi means "gathering".

The Korean word means, literally, "gathering for teaching."

The word for religion, jongkyo,

is composed of two Chinese characters

meaning "central" and "teaching," respectively.


When the word church means a gathering where spiritual

fundamentals are taught, it has a good meaning. 

But the meaning of the word kyohoi  does not provide

any reason for people to share with each other.

People in general do not

use the word kyohoi with that meaning.


I did not want to place ourselves in this

separatist type of category.  My hope

was for the rise of a church without a denomination.

True religion tries to save the nation, even

if it must sacrifice its own religious body to do so.

It tries to save the world even at the cost

of sacrificing its nation; and

it tries to save humanity, even if this means

sacrificing the world.


(Page 121)


By this understanding, there can never be a time

when the denomination takes precedence.


It was necessary to hang out a church sign,

but in my heart I was ready to take it down

at any time.

As soon as a person hangs a sign that says, "church,"

he is making a distinction between church and not church.

Taking something that is one and dividing it into two

is not right.  This was not my dream.

It is not the path I chose to travel.

If I need to take down that sign to save the nation

or the world, I am ready to do so at any time.


Our sign hung near the front entrance.

It would have looked better if we had

hung it someplace high, but the eaves on the house

came down very low, giving us no good spot

to place the sign.  In the end, we hung it about

as high as the height of a child. 

In fact, some children in the neighborhood

took down our sign, played with it and broke it in two.

Because of its historical significance,

we could not throw it away.

We attached the two pieces back together with wire

and nailed it more securely to the front.

Perhaps because our sign

was treated with such disrepect, our church also

received humiliating treatment beyond description.


The eaves were so low that people had to

duck their heads in order to pass through the entrance.

The room was about eight feet square, and

it was so cramped that when six of us would pray

we might bump foreheads with each other.

People in the neighborhood laughed at our sign. 

They made fun of us, asking

what kind of world unification we dreamt of

in that tiny little house that

"you have to crawl to get into."

They didn't try to find out why

we had chosen such a name. 

They simply looked at us as if we were crazy.



did not bother us, however.

In Busan,

we had begged for food 

to sustain ourselves,

and now

we had a room in which to

hold services.


(Page 122)


We had nothing to fear.  For a suit, I took a pair

of U.S. Army fatiques and dyed them black.

I wore these with black leather shoes.

Even if others sought to belittle us,

in our hearts we were more dignified than anyone.


People who attended called one another shikku,

or family member.  We were intoxicated with love.

Anyone who came there could see what I was doing

and hear what I was saying.

We were connected by an invisible cord of love

that let us communicate with God.

A woman would be at home preparing rice and suddenly

run off to the church.  Someone else would say

she was going to change into a new dress and then

run off the the church in her old dress

with holes in it.  If a woman's in-laws

shaved her head to keep herfrom going to the church,

she would come with her bald head.


As our members increased, we began to evangelize

on university campuses.  In the 1950's,

university students were highly regarded

 as intellectuals in Korean society. 

We began by working near the gates

of Ewha Womans University and Yonsei University. 

Soon a sizable number of students

were spending time at our church.


Professor Yoon Young Yang, who tought music at Ewha,

and Professor Choong Hwa Han,

who was the dormitory master, came to our church.

Many students also came, but they did not come

just one or two at a time.  Dozens came and

their numbers grew in geometric progression.

This surprised the established churches

and us as well.


Within two months after we began

our campus evangelical work,

our congregation exploded in size, primarily

with students from Ewha and Yonsei. 

The rate of growth was incredible.

It was as if a spring breeze had blown through

and changed the hearts of the students all in a moment.

Dozens of Ewha students packed up their belongings

and moved out of the dormitory.


(Page 123)


This happened on a single day.

If someone tried to stop them, they would say,  Why? 

Why are you trying to stop me?  If you want to stop me,

 you'll have to kill me, kill me!"  They even

came out by climbing the walls around the building.

I tried to stop them but it was no use.

They did not want to be in their clean school:

they wanted to be in our little church

that smelled of dirty feet. 

There was nothing anyone could do about it.


Finally, Dean Hwal Ran Kim (Helen Kim)

sent Professor Young Oon Kim

of the Department of Religious Social Welfare

 to our church.  Professor Kim had studied theology

in Canada and was a theologian in whom

Ewha held great hope for the future.

Dean Kim chose Professor Kim because her specialty

was theology, and she assumed

she could develop a definite critique of our theology

that could be used

to finally stop this influx of students.

But a week after meeting me,

this special representative, Professor Kim,

joined our church and became

one of our most enthusiastic members.

This gave us even more credibility

among the other professors and students at Ewha.

Our membership numbers snowballed.


The situation grew out of control, and

established churches resumed their accusations

that we were steeling their members.

This seemed unfair to me.  I never told anyone

to listen to my sermons or attend our church.

If I chased people out the front door,

they would come in the back. If I locked the doors,

they would climb over the fence. 

I was powerless to stop them. 

The people most perplexed by this were

the administrators of Yonsei and Ewha,

who in turn were supported by Christian Foundations.

They could not stand by and do nothing

as their students and faculty went swarming

to some other religious group.




Two Universities Expel

Students and Professors


(Page 124)


Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University

were embroiled in crisis and finally chose a measure

that had never been used before and

has never been used since.

Ewha fired five professors, including

Professor Young Oon Kim, and expelled fourteen students.

The expelled students included five

in the graduating class.  Yonsei also

fired one professor and expelled two students.


The school chaplain of Ewha tried

advising the students, "You can attend that church

after you graduate.  That way no harm will come

to the school."  But it was of no use.

It had the opposite affect.


The expelled students protested vehemently.

"There are many aetheists in our school,"

they said.  "And we even have the children of

traditional shamans attending our school.

"How can the school justify expelling us,

and following the hypocrisy of this double standard?"


The school, however, stood fast.

It simply repeated its position:

"We are a private school and a Christian school.

We have the right to expel any student we choose."


When the media got word of the incident,

One newspaper carried an editorial titled,

"Expulsion is Wrong in a Country

with Religious Freedom."


(Page 125)


This situation soon became a topic for debate

among the general public.


Ewha since it was supported by a Christian foundaton

in Canada, was concerned that its support

would be cut off if it became known that

large numbers of its students

attended a church declared to be heretical.

In those days, Ewha held chapel three days a week,

took attendance, and

submitted these attendance records

to mission headquarters.


After the students were expelled

and the professors fired, public opinion

began to turn in our favor.

Ewha, in an effort to counter this trend,

began a campaign of false rumors too vile to repeat.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case,

the more vile the rumor, the more

people revel in believing and repeating it as true.

These false rumors began to feed on themselves,

and soon they took on a life of their own.

Our church suffered from this for more than a year.


I did not want the problem

to grow out of control like this.

I did not want to cause problems.

I tried to convince the students and professors

to lead simple, quiet lives of faith.

I explained that there was no need

for them to leave the dormitories

and cause such public trouble.

But they were adamant.  "Why do you tell us

not to come here?" they asked.

"We wish to receive the same grace as everyone else." 

In the end, they were forced to leave their schools.

I was not comfortable with this.


After being forced from their schools,

the students went as a group to a prayer hall

on Mount Samgak on the outskirts of Seoul.

They went to seek comfort for their wounded hearts.

They had been kicked out of their schools,

their families were angry with them,

and their friends no longer wished to meet them.

They had no place to go.  They fasted

and spent their entire time praying with such

emotion that their eyes filled with tears

and their nose ran. 

Soon, some began to speak in tongues.


(Page 126)


It is true that God appears when we are on the edge

of despair and desperation.

The students who were expelled from their schools

and cast out by their families and society

found God in the prayer hall on Mount Samgak.


I went to Mount Samgak and gave food and comfort

to the students who had become emaciated from fasting.


"It is bad enough that you've been unjustly expelled,"

I expained.  "Please do not fast also.

If your conscience is clear over what you have done,

then being insulted for it is not dishonorable. 

Do not be discouraged but wait for your time.


Five of those students who were seniors

later transferred into Sook-myung Women's University.

But the damage was already done.


This incident played a decisive role

and was the turning point in gaining me

a profoundly negative reputation.

Newspaper reports began to read as if

all the evil acts committed by various religions

were done by us.  People who at first reacted

to the rumors with, "Could it be true?"

now began to say, "It's true."


It hurt to be subjected to such unfair treatment.

The injustice was so intense that it made me angry.

I wanted to shout out in rebuttal,

but I did not speak out or attempt to fight.

We had too much else to accomplish

and had no time to waste in fighting.


I believed that such misunderstandings and hatred

would dissolve with time and that we should not

use our energy to be overly concerned about them. 

I pretended not to hear people say,

"Sun Myung Moon should be struck by lightning,"

or the Christian ministers who prayed for my death.


But instead of dying down, the rumors

grew ever more outrageous with each passing day.

It felt as if the whole world had united

in pointing fingers of accusation at me.

Even in the heat of the Heungnam fertilizer factory,

I refused to let others see even my shins, yet now

rumors had it that I danced naked in our church.

Soon people who came to our church for the first time

looked at me with eyes that seemed to say,

"Are you the one who takes off his clothes and dances?"


I knew better than anyone that it would take time

for such misunderstandings to go away,

so I never tried to argue with them,

saying, "I'm not like that."

We cannot know someone without meeting the person,

yet there were so many who did not hesitate

to curse me without ever having met me.

I knew it was useless to battle against such people,

so I endured in silence.


The Yonsei-Ewha incident forced our church

to the brink of destruction.

The image of "pseudo-religion," or "cult,"

became inseparably identified with my name,

and all established churches joined together

to call for the government to prosecute me.


On July 4, 1955, the police raided our church

and took me and four members---

Won  Pil  Kim,   Hyo  Young  Eu,

Hyo  Min   Eu,  and  Hyo  Won   Eu---

into custody.  Ministers and elders

of the established churches joined hands

with secular authorities in writing letters

calling for our church to be closed.

These four members, who had been with me

from the beginning, were forced

to stay in prison with me.


The matter did not end there.

The police investigated my background

and came up with a charge of draft evasion.

But this, too, was egregious.

By the time I escaped the North Korean death camp

to head south, I was already beyond the age

of complusory military service.

Still they charged me with draft evasion.




New Buds Grow

on Scorched Branches


(Page 128)


The detectives of the Special Intelligence Section

of the Office of Public Order who raided our church

and took me into custody

brought me to the Chung Bu Police Station.

I was outraged to be charged with draft evasion

but said nothing.  I had a mouth to speak, but

I was never given the chance to say a word.


Some saw my silence in the face of

such unjust treatment and called me "spineless."

I endured this sort of name-calling in silence as well,

believing that this too must be a path

that has been given to me.

If this is the path I must follow to reach my objective,

then there was nothing I could do about it.

Because I followed such a clear path,

I could not be defeated.  The more I was attacked,

the more care I took to act more honorably than anyone.


Once I made this decision in my heart,

the police had no control over me.

When the detective was writing his report,

I was guiding him how to write it.


"Why don't you include this content," I would say.

"And up here, you need to write it this way." 

He did as I said. 

Each phrase that I told him to write was correct,

but when the detective put them all together,

he found that they led him to the opposite conclusion

from what he had intended. 

He became angry and tore up the report.


On July 13, 1955,

on the sixth day of incarceration

in Chung Bu Police Station,

I was placed in prison once again.  This time,

it was the Seodaemun Prison in Seoul.

I was shackled, but

I was neither ashamed nor sorrowful.

Life in prison was no obstacle for me.

It might serve as a motivation to stimulate

a heart of great anger, but it was never

an obstacle in my path.  For me, it was a way

to gather additional capital for my future activities.

I overcame life in prison by telling myself,

"I am not someone to die in prison.  I cannot die.

This is only a springboard for me

to take a great leap toward the world of liberaton."


It is the rule in the world, and the law of heaven,

that that which is evil will fall and

that which is good will rise up.  Even if

I must go into a dung heap, I will not fail

if I maintain a pure heart.

As I was being led away in shackles,

some women passed by, looked at me askance,

and twisted their faces in disapproval.

They exuded the feeling that I was grotesque

even to look at, because they believed

I was the leader of a sex cult.

But I was neither afraid nor ashamed.

Even if filthy words were used to harass me

and our church, I would not be shaken.


Of course, I had normal feelings.

Outwardly, I maintained my dignity,

but there were many times

when I felt stifled and sorrowful

to the marrow of my bones.

Each time I felt my heart weaken,

I endured by telling myself, "I am not

someone to just die in prison.

I will stand again.  I am certain of this."

I redoubled my determination, saying, "I am taking

all the pain into myself.

I am carrying the entire burden for our church."


One could easily expect that my imprisonment

would mean the end of our church, with all members

going their separate ways.  Instead, members

came to visit me every day.  In some cases, they even

 fought over who would come to see me first.

Visitations were allowed only after 8 a.m.,

but members would line up and wait

outside the prison gate from early in the morning.

The more people cursed me, and

the more isolated my situation became,

the more people would line up to visit me,

encourage me, and shed tears for me.


I did not even greet them with great emotion.

In fact, I would rebuff them, saying things like,

"Why do you come and make such a fuss?"

Still, they followed me in tears.

This was their expression of faith and love.

They were not attached to me because I knew

how to speak smoothly or eloquently.

They liked me because they knew about the love

that lay deepin my heart.

Our members recognized my true heart.

Even if I should die, I will never be able to forget

the members who followed me even as I was forced

to stand shackled in court.

I always remember their expressions as they sobbed

to see me sitting at the defendant's table.


The guards at the prison were amazed.

"How does this man make those people become so crazy?"

they wondered when they saw our members

flock to the prison.  "He is not their husband,

and they are not his wife.  He's not their son.

How can they be so devoted to him?"


In at least one case,

a guard commented, "We heard

that Moon was a dictator

and exploited people, but

it is so clear that this is not true."

This guard became a member

and followed our way.


Finally, after I was three months in bondage,

the court found me not guilty and I was released.

On the day of my release, the chief warden

and all the prison section chiefs

gave me a formal sendoff.  Within three months,

all became part of our Unification family.

The reason their hearts turned toward me was simple.

Once they could see me up close,

they realized I was not at all the person portrayed

by the rumors they'd heard.  As it turned out,

the false rumors circulating in society

actually helped our evangelical efforts.


(Page 131)


When I had been led away by the police,

all media and society had made a huge fuss.

But when I was found not guilty and released,

they were silent.

The only report on my not guilty verdict

and release was a three-line story

in an inconspicuous corner of the newspaper

that read, "Reverend Moon not guilty, released."

The vile rumors that had put the whole country

in an uproar had all been false,

but this information was completely buried.

Our members protested, saying "Reverend Moon,

this is unjust.  It makes us angry, we can't stand it."

They wept in front of me, but I remained silent

and quieted them.


I never forgot the pain I experienced

when harassed and subjected

to all those false accusations.

I endured, even when so many people

stood against me that I felt like

there was no inch left

for me to stand in all of Korea.

The sorrow I felt from this time

has remained with me in a corner of my heart.


I might be a tree that is buffeted

by the wind and rain and scorched by fire,

but I would never be a tree that burns and dies.

Even a branch that has been scorched

will have new buds when the spring comes.

If I continue on my way with humility

and strong convictions, the day will surely come

when the world will understand the value of what I do.




We Are Trained

by Our Wounds


(Page 132)


People rejected the new expression of truth

I preached, calling it heresy.

Jesus, born in the land of Judaism,

likewise was accused of heresy

and was thus crucified.

By comparison, my persecution was not nearly

as painful or unjust.

I could endure any amount of pain placed on my body.

The charge of heresy against our church, however,

was most unjust and more difficult for me.


Some theologians

who studied our church in its early days

described our teachings as original and systematic. 

Some were prepared to accept them. 

This means that the magnitude

of the heresy controversy surrounding our church

was based on more than just theology. 

It had more to do with issues of power.


Most of our members had

attended other churches before joining our church. 

This was a big reason our church

was treated as an enemy by established churches.

When Professor Yoon  Young  Yang, one of

the Ewha professors, joined our church she

was taken to the police station to be interrogated.

There she discoverd

that some eighty Christian ministers had written

letters to the authorities critizing our church.

It was not the case that we had done something wrong.

Rather, we were seen as posing a threat

to the power of certain people and institutions.


(Page 133)


It was their vague feelings of fear

 and their extreme factionalism that drove them

 in their efforts to suppress our church.


People from many religious groups

were attracted to our church and its new teachings.

I would say to our members, "Why did you come here?

Go back to your churches" and almost threaten them

as I tried to chase them away.

But they would soon return.  The people

who flocked to see me would not listen to anyone.

They wouldn't listen to their teachers or their parents.

They wanted to hear me speak.

I wasn't paying them or feeding them, but

they believed in what I taught and kept coming to me. 


The reason was that I opened a way for them

to resolve their frustrations.

Before I knew the truth, I, too, was frustrated.

I was frustrated when I looked up to heaven

and when I looked at people around me.

That is why I could understand the frustrations

of the people who came to our church.

They had questions about life,

and they could not find answers.

The word of God I conveyed

answered their questions with clarity.

Young people who sought me out found answers

in the words I spoke.  They wanted to come

to my church and join me on my spiritual journey,

no matter how difficult it might be.


I am the person who finds the way and opens it.

I guide people along the path to heal broken families

and rebuild the society, nation and world

so that we can finally return to God.

People who come to me, understand this.

They want to go with me in search of God.

How can people find fault with this?

All we were doing was going in search of God,

and for this we were subjected to all manner

of persecution and criticism.


Unfortunately, during the period

when our church was involved in the heresy controversy,

my wife made matters even more difficult for me.

After our meeting in Busan, she and her relatives

began to demand that either I quit the church

immediately and start life with her and our son

or else give her a divorce.


(Page 134)


They even came to Seodaemun Prison

to put the divorce papers before me,

demanding I place my stamp on them. 

I know how important marriage is in the effort

to establish God's peaceful world,

so I endured their demands in silence.


She also subjected members of our church

to horrible abuse.  Personally I could endure.

I did not mind

her insults and wreckless treatment of me, but

it was difficult for me to stand by and watch

her offensive behaviour toward our members.

She stormed into our church at all hours

to curse our members, destroy church property,

and take items that belonged to the church.

She even threw water containing human feces at members.

When she came, it was impossible for us

to hold worship services.

In the end, as soon as I came out of Seodaemun Prison,

I acceded to the demands of her family

and placed my stamp on the divorce document.

I was pushed into a divorce against my own principles.


When I think of my former wife today,

my heart goes out to her.  The influence

of her own family which was strongly Christian,

and the leadership of Korea's established churches

had much to do withher behaving the way she did.

She was so clear and firm in her commitment

before we married.  The way she changed gives us

a lesson on how much we need to fear the power

of social prejudice and established concepts.


I experienced both the sorrow of divorce

and the pain of being branded a heretic.

But I did not bend.

These were things I had to endure on my path

to redeem the original sin of humanity,

the things I had to endure

to move forward on the path toward God's Kingdom.

It is darkest before the dawn.

I overcame the darkness by clinging to God

and praying to Him.

Other than the fleeting moments

that I would spend in sleep,

all my available time was spent in prayer.




A Sincere Heart

Is Most Important


(Page 135)


I reemerged in the world after three months,

having been found not guilty.

I realized more than ever that I owed

a tremendous debt to God.  To repay this debt,

I searched for a place

where our church could begin again from the beginning.

I did not, however, pray by saying,

"God, build us a church."  I never complained about,

or felt ashamed of, the small and humble

church building we were using up until that time.

I was grateful to have a place to pray.

I never wished for a large or comfortable space.


Nevertheless, we needed a place

where our members could gather and offer services,

so we took out a loan of two million won

and purchsed a house in poor repair

on the hillside in Cheongpa-Dong.


It was one of many houses categorized then

as "enemy property," meaning that it had been vacant

since being abandoned by Japanese who left Korea

at the time of our nation's liberation. 

It was a small house

with only about sixty-five square meters

(seven hundred square feet) of floor space.

It was at the end of a long and narrow alleyway.

Approaching the house

was like going through a long, dark tunnel.

All the pillars and walk were covered with dirt,

which made us wonder what had been going on there

before we arrived. 

I worked with the young peopleof our church

for four days with a lye solution

to scrub off all the dirt.


(Page 136)


After our move to the Cheongpa-Dong church,

I could hardly sleep.  I would sit

on the floor of the main bedroom crouched over

in prayer until three or four in the morning.

I might take a nap until five, but then

I would get up and start the day's activities.

I continued this lifestyle for seven years.

Even though I was getting only one or two hours

of sleep a day, I never felt sleepy during the day.

My eyes shone brightly, like the morning star.

I never felt tired.  

My mind was so full of things to do

that I did not even want to waste time eating.

 Instead of having people

take time to set a table

for my meals,

I ate on the floor

and crouched over my food

to eat it.

"Pour out your dedication!

Pour it out,

even if you are sleepy!

Pour it out until you are


I kept repeating these phrases

to myself. 

I prayed in the midst

of continued opposition

and false accusations

with the thought that

I was planting seeds that

would someday

reap a beautiful harvest.

If the harvest

could not be reaped in Korea,

then I was confident that it

would be reaped

elsewhere in the world.


A year after my release from prison,

our church had four hundred members.  As I prayed,

I would call out their names one by one. 

There faces would pass through my mind

even before I called their names.

Some would be crying some laughing.

In my prayers, I could tell how each person was doing,

including whether they were suffering from illness.


Sometimes, as I called out their names in prayer,

I would get an inspiration that a particular person

would come to the church that day.

The person would come, without fail.

When I would go to someone who had appeared sick to me

in my prayer and ask, "Are you sick?"

the person would confirm it.  Members were amazed

that I would know

without being told that they were sick.


(Page 137)


Each time they asked, "How do you do that?"

I would answer with a simple smile.


Something similar happened as we were preparing

for a Holy Blessing Ceremony.  Before the ceremony,

I asked every bride and groom candidate

whether they had maintained their chastity.

When I asked one particular groom candidate,

he answered in a loud voice that he had remained pure.

I asked him a second time, and he again

assured me he had.  I asked him a third time,

and again he gave the same answer.


I looked at him straight in the eye and said,

"You did your military service in

Hwacheon, Kangwon Province, didn't you?"  This time

he answered "Yes" in a voice filled with fear.


"You received some time off, and as you were coming

to Seoul you stopped at at inn, didn't you?

And that night you had illicit sex with a woman

wearing a red skirt.  I know exactly what you did.

Why do you lie?"  I became angry at the man

and chased him out of the Blessing ceremony venue.

If a person keeps his heart's eyes open,

he can see even what is hidden.


Some were attracted to our church

more because of such paranormal phenomena

than because of the teachings.  Many people think

that spiritual powers are most important.

The phenomena often called miracles, however,

tend to confuse people in the society at large.

A faith that relies on unexplained or miraculous

occurrences is not a healthy faith.

All sin must be restored through redemption.

It cannot be done by relying on spiritual powers.

As our church began to mature,

I stopped talking to members about the things

that I was seeing with my heart's eyes.


Membership continued to grow.

Whether I faced dozens of people or hundreds,

I acted the same way, as if there were only one,

I would listen whenever a person wanted to

tell me about his or her personal situation.


(Page 138)


Whether it was an old woman or a young man,

I would listen with dedication,

as if this were the only person I had to deal with.

Each member would say,

"No one in Korea listens to what I have to say

as well as Reverend Moon."

A grandmother might start by

telling me how she got married and eventually tell me

about her husband's illnesses.


I enjoy listening to other people

talk about themselves.  When people open up to me

and talk about themselves, I don't even realize

the passing of time. I listen to them

for ten, even twenty, hours.

People who want to talk have a sense of urgency.

They are looking for solutions to their problems.

So I feel that I need to listen to them

with my full dedication.

That is the way to love their life

and repay the debt that I owe for my life.

The most important thing

is to think of life as precious.  In the same way

that I listened with sincerity

to what others had to say, I also shared with them

my sincere heart with fervor, and

I would pray for them in tears.


How often I prayed with tears through the night!

Tears saturated the floor boards where I prayed,

with no chance to dry.


Later, while I was in the United States,

I received word that church members

were planning to remodel the Cheongpa-Dong church.

With great urgency I sent a telegram telling them

to stop work on the church building immediately.

Yes, this church embodies an irrecoverable period

in my personal history, but more important than that,

it testifies directly to the history of our church.

No matter how wonderfully

it might have been refurbished, what good

could come of it if our history were destroyed?

What matters is not some beautiful exterior

but the secret life of tears that dwells

within that building.

It may not be up to a certain standard, but

it embodies a tradition, and therein lies its value.

People who cannot respect their own tradition

are destined to fail.


(Page 139)


There is history carved into the pillars

of the Cheongpa-Dong Church.

When I look at a particular pillar,

I am reminded of a time when I clung to that pillar

and wept over a particular matter.

To see that pillar where I wept makes me weep again.

To see a door frame that is a little crooked

reminds me of the past.

Now, though, the old floor boards are all gone.

The floor boards where I bent over in prayer

and shed so many tears are gone,

and the traces of those tears are also gone.

What I need are the memories of that pain.

It doesn't matter if the exterior style 

or appearance is old.

Much time has passed, and now

we have many churches that are well-built.

But for me, I would rather go to the small house

on the hill in Cheongpa-Dong and pray.

I feel more comfortable there.


I have lived my entire life praying and preaching,

but even now I tremble

when I stand before a group of people.

This is because to stand in such a position

and speak about public matters can mean that

many lives will be saved or that many will be lost.

It is a matter of utmost importance to me

that I can lead the people who hear my words

onto the path of life.

These are the moments when I draw a clear line

on the crossroads between life and death.


Even now, I do not organize my sermons in advance.

I am concerned that doing so might allow

my own private objectives to enter into the content.

With such preparation I might be able to show off

how much knowledge I have stored in my head

but not pour out my earnest and passionate heart.

During this time, before I appeared in public,

I always offered my dedication

by spending at least ten hours in prayer.

This is the way I set my roots down deeply.

Even if the leaves on a mighty tree

are a little bug-eaten, the tree remains healthy

if its roots are deep.

My words may be a little awkward at times,

but everything will be all right

so long as a sincere heart is there.


(Page 140)


In the early time of our church

I wore an old U.S. military jacket

and fatigues dyed black and preached with such fervor

that I dripped with sweat and tears.

Not a day went by without my weeping outloud.

My heart would fill with emotion, and tears

would pour from my eyes and stream down my face.

Those were times

my spirit seemed on the verge of leaving my body.

I felt as though I were on the verge of death.

My clothes were soaked with sweat,

and beads of sweat rolled down from my head.


In the days of the Cheongpa-Dong church,

everyone went through difficult times,

but Hyo Won Eu endured particular difficulty.

He suffered an illness in his lungs,

and although it was difficult for him,

still he lectured our church's teachings

eighteen hours a day

for three years and eight months.

We could not afford to eat well.

We ate barley instead of rice,

and sustained ourselves with two meals a day.

Our only side dish was raw kimchi

that was left to ferment for only one night.


Hyo Won Eu liked to eat small salted shrimp.

He placed a container of these small shrimp

in one corner of the room, and once in a while

he would go over with a pair of chopsticks

and eat a few.  That was how he endured

through those difficult days.

It pained my heart to see Hyo Won Eu

lying exhausted on the floor, hungry and tired.

I wanted to give him salted conch, but

this was much too expensive for us in those days.

It still pains me to think of how hard he worked,

trying to record my words

that flowed like a waterfall, even as he was ill.


Aided by the hard work and sacrifice of members,

the church grew steadily.

The Sunghwa Students Association was formed

for middle and high school students.

They were inspired to take the lunches

their mothers prepared for them and give them up

so our pioneer missionaries could eat.

On their own initiative, the students created a list

to take turns providing their lunches in this way.


(Page 141)


The evangelist who had to eat the lunch of the student

knew that the student would be missing lunch that day

and going hungry, so they would eat the lunch in tears.

The student's expression of dedication

was even more impressive than the lunch itself,

and we all redoubled our determination

to accomplish the will of God,

even if we had to sacrifice our lives.


Though times were difficult, we sent missionaries out

to many parts of the country.

Despite the members' humble desire,

the cascade of vile rumors

made it difficult for them to feel open

to say they were from the Unificaton Church.

They would go into neighborhoods and clean streets

and help out in homes that needed it.  In the evenings,

our missionaries would hold literacy classes

and tell people about the Word of God.

They would serve people in this way

for several months and build up trust. 

As a result, our church continued to grow.

I have not forgotten the members who,

though they wanted very much to go to college,

chose instead to remain with me

and dedicate themselves to the work of the church.



(End of Chapter Three)

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