Honesty In The U.C.
- Born in early 1950's.
- Joined the Unification Church in 1974, in California.
- Worked at various missions, including mobile fundraising, in California, New York, and Texas.
- Was blessed to a Japanese sister in Korea in 1982.
- Moved to Japan in 1991.
- Separated finally from the church in 1999.
- Living currently in Japan with wife and one child.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Craig's Note: The following article originally appeared on ARU, and is republished here with the premission of Isshi.
Honesty In The U.C.
"Some months ago there was a thread about honesty in the UC, and this is
my somewhat tardy addition to that thread. Pardon my lengthy post."
~My wife once (several years ago) heard SMM say: "You must follow your
original mind". (This was in Japanese, to a group of Japanese members. )
The meaning of this is not very clear, and it could be translated
several ways. At the time, it gave me hope that he was encouraging us to
be ethical. On reflection, it seems more like one of those platitudes
that can mean anything to anyone. Especially in Asia, we hear the
dictate "Absolute Faith, Absolute Obediance, Absolute Love" like a
mantra, but the emphasis seems most often to fall on "Absolute
It's heartbreaking to see members struggling financially, often
seperated from spouses or children, berate THEMSELVES for not having yet
attained "Absolute Obediance". Perfection of obediance to TP/UC often
demands neglect of immediate family, which causes (naturally) inner
conflict and guilt. Most UC campaigns (marble vases, gold name stamps,
Holy wine candy, tea sets, etc.) demand deception; both of prospective
customers/ converts, and ultimately of the members themselves. The
latter is the saddest to me; to see good people I consider noble in
many ways, living in self-deception.
Basically, honesty (and ethics in general) is not emphasized in the UC.
Being a good member means being faithful and sacrificial, obediant to
leaders' directions. Members who are concerned with a concept of
honesty are not trusted.
One Korean leader I knew very well had a favorite saying whenever the
topic of honesty came up: "You don't feed steak to a baby". Lying and
decieving was not only permissible; it was actually for the good of
those being decieved.
The leader I respected most in the UC was an American, who had a Jewish
background. He once said in a speech to us: "don't do anything immoral,
illegal, or dishonest". He was basically shunned and driven out of the
movement by the other leaders, and is no longer active, or at most,
marginal, in the movement.
Last year I had a letter printed in a UC group newsletter, saying that
our movement was being dishonest and unethical, and that I could no
longer support it. Although several were asked to, no leaders responded
in print. Of the responding letters printed, one was outraged that I
would dare question the motives of the UC, the other said "a little
imperfect honesty is okay". One member phoned me to give his support,
saying; "You're right, but the dishonesty is so obvious to all of us,
and that's never going to change. So why did you bother to write the
letter?" His basic conclusion was: "SMM is the mesiah, and he can do
whatever he wants".
Remember, the concept of honesty shared by most Western people comes
from our Judeo-Christian heritage. Saving face and keeping position are
more important virtues in Oriental (and UC) culture. Having a sense of
honesty implies having a reference point of truth centered on God, and
that is simply incompatible with being centered on (obediant to) SMM, or
DP. A sense of honesty is not only not useful in the UC, it is an
obstacle to being an effective part of the movement. EVERY member I
know struggles with this, every... single... one. When my desire for
honesty and personal integrity became strong enough, I had to seperate
from the UC.
For those reading this who are still active in the UC movement, I
extend my heartfelt greetings, and an appeal. Think of someone who
takes off the muffler on his motorcycle and revs the engine while
coasting through a residential area at 3:30 AM (an almost nightly
occurance through the summer in Japan). By disrupting the sleep of
hundreds of families, he has incurred the anger of thousands. In
spiritual terms, he has burdened himself with a great indemnity to pay.
Decieving others does the same thing: it burdens oneself with a
spiritual debt that must be paid, and actually repels God. How can it be
God's work to trick people into salvation? Such a bad concept will only
produce bad fruit.
Conversely, God loves honesty and rejoices in it (Proverbs 11:1 etc.).
That is the direction to go, with all your heart and soul. Let me
conclude with a quote from a Jewish commentator who was instrumental in
clarifying the dilema for me.
This is ethical monotheism:
There is a God.
God's primary demand is ethics.
God without ethics leads to religous evil.
Ethics without God produces secular evil.
Dennis Prager -Ultimate Issues 1991
© 2000 Isshi