by Bill Taylor
Craig had requested some testimonies of ex-members for his web page. This is what I said... NOTE: This post is reprinted from the newsgroup: alt.religion.unification
~I was a member of the Unification Church for 11 years. I also lived in Korea after that for five years which gives me some further insight into the religion. My experience in the church was quite positive. There was a lot of adventure, travel, and a wide variety of people. However, I donıt mean to apologize for the organization; there was a high level of abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and control. For example, several of my co-workers died in the normal course of church life due to gross neglect.
Sun Myung Moon
~Sun Myung Moon (SMM) is indeed a powerful yet emotionally scarred man. He has generated a multi-million dollar a month income which he has absolute discretion over. It takes a very high level of subservience and loyalty to be able to say that this money is used for anything other than his own pleasure and whims. SMM claims that his uniqueness as a religious leader is that he brings results in the physical realm rather than just bringing spiritual results. If you look, the results just arenıt there.
~He has also generated a corps of loyal followers who consider him to be greater even than God--literally. Doctrinally, they believe that he has greater love and power than God. This puts him in the unique position where he is divinely allowed to be dishonest and abusive; whatever he desires IS the highest purpose in the universe--the ends justify the means. Interestingly, none of his dozen plus children are members of his church.
~As for me, I was interested in doing religious work from a young age. I found the movement to be exciting, idealistic, and willing to accept all of my energies. In the earlier days, it was a gathering place for undefined dreams. People joined with the thought that the organization would improve the world--any dream was welcome. Over time, the Japanese took over the leadership. They brought the harshness. Most of the dreams remain undefined after 50 years but what is clear is that improving the world includes alliance with right-wing politics. The kingdom of heaven on earthı which the church claims to be building remains undefined. It is still just a carrot. For example, SMM has said that he wants to destroy democracy yet he also says that he doesnıt know what kind of system would be better.
My "Course" In The Church
~For those of you who know the church, I will describe my course. I joined in Maine in 1974 and did witnessing on a local college campus for several months. After that, I went to Boston and then joined MFT for 8 1/2 years. I worked from Newfoundland, Canada to Chicago to Miami and most points in between. I was matched to a Mexican-American woman who hated whites. We moved briefly to Denver. I joined IOWC on the East Coast. I led minister work in Tupelo, Mississippi, and then Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In 1985 I asked permission to leave because I felt bored; I was not interested in the minister work nor in the Republican politics. I went to college in Seoul where I had a minimal relationship with the church. For a while, I lived in SMMıs old house with one of the leading UC ministers.
A "New" Truth?
~When I left, I was surprised to find out how much I had been controlled. It took a long time to work out that most of the doctrine is inaccurate. It is interesting that now it has been documented that at least the majority of the doctrine was borrowed, even the part about the messiah coming from Korea. SMM never did many of the things he said he did. He borrowed stories from other people. For example, the fall of manı doctrine already existed as part of the doctrine of a church that SMM was a member of. He did nothing but plagiarize it even though he claims that this is his ultimate theological and spiritual triumph.
~I find it unfortunate that people are still controlled by this movement. They donıt even recognize that they are controlled. Yet, here is a simple test. Their doctrine says that freedom can only exist when accompanied by free action. If the members are free, why arenıt they openly expressing their message and taking on projects that make a difference in the world? If they donıt even have the freedom to express something they profess to believe in, how could they possibly have any freedom to deal with doubts? After 50 years, why arenıt there members in prominent public places or doing significant things that would make a difference in the world? It is because they are trapped in a machine that is truly designed only for the benefit of one man. They are not involved in doing anything that contributes to the world community. If you think that they are, ask for the results.
A "True" Father?
~SMM has declared that Jesus is weak and ineffective, that God is unable to express unconditional love, and that he is far superior to both of them. SMM himself said that he is the product of 7 generations of a specially prepared lineage and that he himself is the only sinless person in the world. He told his mother that she represented Satan and left home at a young age. He claims to be the model parent for the world. He also claims that a model parent should not be involved in raising his own children. He recently bragged that he had not spoken to his oldest son, who lives at his house, for even 30 minutes in the past 2 years. SMM has no personal friends or colleagues; he does not have the ability for normal personal human interaction. I find it interesting that he is truly being exposed and that his empire is declining at such a rapid rate. I didnıt expect him to fail quite so miserably.
What Is Ahead?
~So, I still think that my experience with the church allowed me some very interesting opportunities which I am pleased with. I am now offended by the degree of self-serving dishonesty and control held over the members. The church is truly dying; even the children refuse to follow. There really is little threat to anyone except the current membership. I think the greatest contribution that we can make to these people is for us to begin to prepare for the ultimate breakup of the organization. They will not be cared for when SMM passes on. There will also be the emotional shock to deal with when the truly selfish motives and projects are exposed after his death.
İ 1999 Bill Taylor