As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen
"You Are My Spiritual Teacher"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
with No Denomination
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."
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.
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.
we had begged for food
to sustain ourselves,
we had a room in which to
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.
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
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."
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
I prayed in the midst
of continued opposition
and false accusations
with the thought that
I was planting seeds that
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)