by Danny Harth
My name is Danny Harth and this is my story. I am a survivor of the Unification Church. Which points are relevant before, during, or after my life as a member of the Unification Church? To me all! They intertwine, one event leading to the next. Like dominoes lined up and falling in place. To save boredom and time for you though, I am only going to share some of the situations, which stand out in my mind. These are the stories that aren t shared by the witnessing Moonies. Especially when they are witnessing to the new sap that happens across their path.
I am going to give you a glimpse into my life and mind, having survived my experience as a Moonie. Survived, is the key word here. Some members have not survived, so I should try to remain truly grateful. Some have died from sleeping while driving; others died at the hands of criminals while witnessing or fundraising. Medical attention, as well as natural causes, is another way some have kicked the bucket. The UC is famous for neglecting their member s health.
I am going to start this story in my teen life. I was a teenage alcoholic and drug addict. A party animal from the late 60 s. I started drinking in the spring of 1968 at 12 years old barreling headfirst into drugs that summer. This continued at a progressively insane speed, like most addictions do. Rarely does an addict notice his/her world crumbling around him. I am no exception. Around 1973, I fell in love with a beautiful girl. Yes, totally in love. Young, dumb and full of wisdom, yeah that s the ticket. While attempting to win this girl s devoted heart, I stopped drinking and using. Early summer of 1973 was when I began my long journey of sobriety, without recovery, by holding on to the promise of love. Anything for a kiss and willing to die for more.
While in love and sober I began to go the Community Collage path. It was there that I was introduced to communal life style. I found books on various spiritual communities located all across North America. That is where I got a really bright idea, which eventually lead into my lifelong trap within the Unification Church s grasp, becoming an Apostle wannabe .
The girl dumped me, which is so typical of my life as a Romeo. With the exception of my loving beautiful wife, I have always been the dumpee and never the dumper. Broken hearted, like a dumb teenager, I decided to leave, hitchhike, and visit various communes and Zen Temples. I could not join the foreign legion because it did not exist anymore, otherwise I probably would have. I did the next best thing and planned to become another Siddhartha or St. Francis. That would show that girl what a big mistake it was to dump me. I was off to learn from the wisest, oldest, drugged out psychotic hippie I could find.
After traveling around a little, and changing my mind about going to a Zen Temple, the haircut is what helped me come to my senses. I decided to see some sights. I then visited a cultish Pentecostal Christian commune in Morro Bay, California. Talk about insane. I didn t last longer than a weekend there. I tried to find my long lost love, quite unsuccessful I might add. I must have figured she would be walking down the rural roads of Highway 1. Starving and filthy, I decided to come home to Riverside, California via bus, through LA. No one in their right mind hitchhikes through LA. Not that I have ever been in my right mind.
It was while changing busses in downtown LA that a lovely Dutch girl approached me. Her name was Hetti Canton. After a sincere attempt by me to invite Hetti to laze around the beach and escape for the evening, I succumbed to her wishes. I went to my first UC meeting.
After listening to the introductory lecture of the Divine Principle (DP), I left the LA Center and went home. I left them with their mouths wide open, scratching their heads and other parts of their bodies. At home, the profound ability of fitting the square piece of DP to fit into a round hole began to work on my mind. I rested the whole weekend and first thing Monday morning, I showed up at the front door of the Center in Riverside. It was a new Center, which lasted a very short time a record short time.
The members were all in shock and disbelief, due to me just showing up. Me, ready to go to the Camp Muzumdar in the San Bernardino Mountains was too much for them. They believed I was a secret spy of destruction. I sat through their scrutiny and waited for them to call Hetti, to confirm my bizarre story. After this, they finally began to relax. I wish I would have really known why they were so paranoid, maybe I would have high tailed it to the hills. I had never heard of the Moonies before. Lack of education was my dilemma. They sent me to the camp, where I had the time of my life. It was so campy, so summer campish, so Brady Bunch and Happy Days combined. I thought it was so real, when it was more like a fantasy with The Children of the Corn.
Having grown up in a financially disadvantaged family, I had never been to a summer camp or at least one that was like this summer camp. I was easily overwhelmed by the group singing and the entertainment during and after dinner. Deep friends appeared out of the woodwork. I began to fall in love with some of the girls at the blink of an eye. The girls would get some dirt in their eyes, blink, and I would be in love again.
While at the camp I stayed for the typical 3, 7, and then the 21-day workshops. All those DP points seemed to fit like a glove, for a highly educated teen like me. They covered so many, if not all, the questions I had about life. They appeared so perfect and original. Little did I know that they were neither original nor perfect. Many people I encounter on various UC e-mail sites argue that the DP is still the truth. With close investigation, as well as good research, one can find many flaws and mistakes throughout the whole Aquarian DP.
From the camp, I was sent to the Riverside Center. It was my choice, I wanted to save all my friends and family. Like Paul the Apostle, I wanted others to follow the new Christ, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I wanted to save my family and friends, I wanted to be a hero to them. A famous hero, that would go down in history for all of eternity. No small dreams for this young lad.
Instead, I ended up alienating all my family, friends, and even my high school teachers. Friendships that would never mend and be the same again. Even I wonder about some of my family relationships, though they have improved a lot. My parents on the other hand, have perfected the art of unconditional love.
During this time, my grandfather became very sick, stayed in a hospital and eventually died. He was hospitalized 5 blocks from the Center, before his death. I was told to stop seeing him, to do God s work and that I would see him in heaven for eternity. That control over me as a new slave of the UC was so typical of power minded Central Figures (CF). When he died, I was not allowed to go to the funeral. He was of Satan s family and my True Parents (Rev. Moon and his wife) would take me to heaven. Eventually, my family and ancestors would also be saved by SMM. I secretly weeped deeply about this because to do so in the open would be an admission of faithlessness. I loved that old man.
From Riverside, shortly after Gramps death, I was sent to the Hollywood Center. It was a few blocks away from the famous Hollywood Blvd., a witnessing Mecca filled with runaways, wanderers, hookers, homosexuals and many other religious groups. In Hollywood, I became very close to a sister. She was my new love. We were good friends, and we would witness and pal around and have a great time. The CF for the Center saw we were getting too friendly for UC standards so she came up with a brilliant idea MFT! It would make a man out of me. I was sent to the Pasadena Center to fundraise on their Mobile Fundraising Team (MFT).
In the Pasadena MFT, I went around for a few months learning how to fundraise, how to approach strangers in shopping center parking lots, and how to ask for change if they didn t want the silly product. Then the MFT took me to Texas to milk the Texans with $20 granariums. Shortly after this, they sent me to the best of the best fundraisers. I was sent to fundraise on Fathers Special Task Force MFT. The kamikaze fundraisers, the Green Berets of MFT ers. The ultimate in slavery. I would go down in history as ONE OF THEM . Little did I know what it was ultimately going to really cost me physically, mentally, and spiritually.
To do this many of us were flown to N.Y. where we went to a huge house across the street from Belevedere. It was given a name, like all the other property that the UC and Rev. Sun Myung Moon (SMM) owns. I can t remember it s silly name but it was a gorgeous classic mansion, overwhelmingly beautiful and radiating big bucks.
There we endured many more lectures and trained in the secrets of fundraising. Then I was sent to the Philadelphia Center. I thought the friendships I made would last for eternity. As P.T. Barnum once said, A Sucker is Born Every Minute , or was that W.C. Fields? There they began to train me, by working me to death, on how to fundraise. I began my training as a spiritual Jedi, (under the guise of the MFT), heavenly warrior, Green Beret for the UC and the pocket book of SMM. It was like that other saying, To be all you can be .
I remember the first time I played soccer. It was on a Sunday, in the front yard of the MFT Center in Philly. Pure fun. I was a goalie and gave my all. Playing for God s Providence coupled with the joy of just having a day off. Days off, no matter how few in-between they were, always were the most enjoyable times. While on the MFT we would get token days off. We would go to real nice restaurants and eat or go to the movies. Just relax but remember we would work 7 days a week, from morning to night, and real late on Friday and Saturdays. Doing bar hoping fundraising from 10 PM to 2 AM. So token days off with an expensive restaurant and a token movie were really nothing. To us it was something, but in reality, it was a token nothing.
I was then put on a team with a Captain from the insane Berkeley Family. His name was Tom Philips. After slaving away for sometime, we were sent to the Georgia area to fundraise. Our Commander was Mr. Simba; he died of stomach cancer or intestinal cancer later.
While I fundraised parts of Georgia, Tom told me to have no more contact with my evil, sinful, descendants of Satan family. No more weekly letters to mom, no telephone calls too. That was a heart breaking time for me, I really love my parents deeply. My mom was also heart broken, I use to send her weekly letters telling her of all the wonderful sites I had seen, now nothing. No warning, no see you in several months, just nothing. This gave her time to talk to friends and be a living example of how the UC and SMM take kids away from families. Tom must have been a public relations person for the DMV in his past life.
On a Sunday, I broke a financial record not only my personal fundraising record. I also broke the team s record and earned the highest amount for the whole districts area for that day. I was the top 3 in the nation on that interesting day. It was over $300 for that shortened day. Sundays were most always shortened fundraising days, we would start at 11 AM instead of 6 AM, and finish by 9 PM instead of 10 PM.
This $300 record brought a lot of new attention to me. Attention that was brought to the Head Honcho of the MFT, Mr. Kamiyama. When there was a gathering of all teams, for a weekend of lectures and games, I was singled out and put onto a top fundraising team. My new team Captain was Mr. Tsijumura. We were sent to So. Florida, Tampa to the Keys. As a group, we broke all kinds of records, we had several of the best fundraisers in the whole UC on our team. I was just a want-a-be. Someone had to be low man and by-golly I made sure I was always that man. Held the record for being low man the most on that team, damn proud of it too!
Several times I was award with prizes only reserved for the top MFT ers in the world. Autographed pictures of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and his family. OHH, AHH, so cool, so special, so cheap. I also have acquired autographs from Bo Hi Pak, Kamiyama, Sudo, and the Great Hyo Jin Moon. This was done by groveling and ass kissing at special events dedicated to inspire the troops to earn MORE MONEY!
Mr. Tsijumura was an interesting character, he was real nice one minute, then yelling at us or me at the top of his lungs the next minute. Psychologists today, call it stark raving lunacy. I just thought it was natural for CF s and maybe even a prerequisite for the position of power. It didn t matter if it was a private or public place when the yelling began, didn t matter who saw or what we felt, this was war and he was a Sargent Snorkle want-a-be, while I was Beetle Bailey. He would practice karate with me on occasion. It started out in the shopping center parking lots, then advanced to places that are more private. His reasoning was to teach me self-defense, whether I had asked for it or not. I still have no idea what made him think of this, I had never asked. It was fun at first, then the 6 3â�³, 250 pounds of Japanese muscle started to get rougher and rougher. The fun was gone quick. He would corner me, sometimes in a bathroom stall and pulverize me. He would brutalize my shins by kicking the same spots repeatedly. At the same time, he would be slugging me all over. He would get all angry and controlling but God forbid if I ever got angry. Remember he was my Central Figure, my Abel, my way to God through chain of command, or so I believed. He was an abusive ass.
My last beating was the worst; he beat the hell out of me in a bathroom stall, while he let other members watch on. It was very painful physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I was left on the floor, next to a toilet, to recuperate. After he had been on top of me cornered, slugging, hitting, kicking and beating the life out of me. In his childhood, he must have been the class bully. Maybe SMM has a special training course in abuse for MFT Captains? More abusive means more promotions.
Shortly after that, Tsijumura replaced Simba as a Commander of that area s MFT, he then began to pick my captains. I had one real good captain, Jeff Schaefer, but that was cut short. He must have noticed Jeff and I getting along and that HAD to change! Then I had the Captain from Hell, Joe Smith. We use to be the best of friends, while fundraising, then he was promoted and I was put on his team. Life in absolute hell. If you ever wonder if a person is your real friend, let that person become your boss or fundraising Captain, you will see why some people say, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely!
Around the same time as this, pain was screaming throughout my legs. Pains from the karate kicks, sleeping in vans, and carrying boxes by my side. Chiropractic and Neurological problems would become lifelong bedfellows. Pain that has ruled me, throughout my life. I have spent a small fortune to my Chiropractor and Neurologists, even caved into the wishes of the local witch doctor. Should have sought damages in the form of a lawsuit but the Statue of Limitations have expired by the time I realized that suing SMM would not be suing Christ. That is another story, which maybe will be talked about when I write my second story, Prodigal Son Returns.
Tsijumura s answer to this pain was so profound, I wondered why I hadn t thought of it. It was not to get medical attention. It was, get the kid a wheelchair , this way I could continue to Gods work. Got to do Gods work until I drop, if I want to go down in history as a hero. The wheelchair was a real moneymaker; it would rely on pity and the good will of people who saw a cripple asking for money for God s work! It didn t matter of the cost, for you and me. Regardless of what I felt or thought, in pain or conscience, it was all in the name of God s Will Be Done. I was forced to act totally crippled and could not get up and walk around or I would surely pay the price by public scrutiny. Roll around for money, bathroom breaks, and lunch. Going across the parking lot, in-between cars, and avoiding being hit at all costs by surprised drivers. I got pretty good on the thing, it s a pity it didn t recline and have a TV with a drink holder. Maybe then, I would have lasted longer than I did.
After doing this for a good period of time, I gave up, I demanded medical attention. I was sick and tired and it was very hard to wheel from one shopping center to the next shopping center. I told this to Joe Smith, whom loved to just yell at me. How dare I demand anything, don t I want to go to Heaven? Yada, Yada, Yada. Heck no, I did all this because I wanted to go to Hell, didn t he know?
I then told him I was just going to leave the UC, bring me home to the Center and I would just leave. I needed to pack my signed pictures mind you, they may protect me from evil doings and they may have power like the Shroud of Jesus?
His logic for this problem was simple. He yelled at me, then he slugged me and pulled me off the chair and pushed me into the van. All this with the team mother just sitting by watching with those lovely Japanese judgmental eyes. He then got into the van and yelled more, as loud as he could. I argued with him so he punched me twice, punches in the chest and stomach and then he slapped me hard across the face. He laughed at me, while I sat and cried. I wept like a little baby, I was crushed inside and I dare not hit him back. If I knew then what I know now, while he was doing this, I would have reverted to my criminal ways. The ways that helped me survive incarceration and all my many drug dealings. What was a little more jail time on my rap sheet? But then that is neither here nor there; I didn t know any better, back then.
He then took me to the Center, where I became the scum of the Earth. My great friends disappeared into the woodwork. Tsijumura let me have it verbally, emotionally, and socially. He would ostracize me from all doings and everyone else. I would become the leper of the MFT; I m surprised they didn t send me to a leper colony or at least a bad MFT er colony.
Why did I take it? The same reason why I put up with the bull in the first place. I believed that Rev. Sun Myung Moon was the new Messiah. I believed he would change the world and I would see it happening in the next few years. I wanted so much to be the hero of my family, by going down in history like Paul the Apostle. I wanted so much for this to work. To do otherwise, I would have to admit I had made a mistake in the first place. I neither had the resources, or the knowledge, to know I had been taken in the first place. Like I said earlier, Lack of education was my dilemma!
I was sent to the headquarters, the New York Center. The New Yorker Hotel was not purchased yet. The Director of the Manhattan Center was Dr. Bergman. A very nice man, no complaints about this person. He had a real radical Chapter 2 lecture. One that has probable caused many sexual hang-ups in many members. He was the one that began my medical journey that set me on the path of healing.
There, I became the Director of Transportation and I was a driver for the next couple of CF of the 4 West 43rd. Street Center, Mr. Sawada and Rev. Sudo. Before me leaving for a medical sabbatical, which meant I would go home and my parents would fork out the dollars for medical treatment, Mr. Sawada left his mark with me.
Mr. Sawada s mark: began while we were in a French Restaurant in Manhattan. While ordering our food, I was questioning the waiter about the alcohol content in the food. I wanted food with NO alcohol. I still had not had a drink or drug, since I was 17 years old. I wanted to keep that solemn promise I had made to God. A promise I made before joining the UC. In the middle of my questioning, Sawada butted in, and started to lecture me. He reminded me I had not had anything to drink for almost 5 years. I was now working for the Second Christ and destined for a life in Heaven. Why was I scared of alcohol anymore? He then told me, You are cured by now, go ahead and order anything, I insist. The DP and SMM will protect you, and guide you the way. Tell that one to Hyo Jin.
Since I had no real Alcoholics Anonymous knowledge and it all sounded so right and so true, I said OK. I went ahead and ate, drank with them and thought all was merry.
Then I went home for about 7 months of medical healing. Top with my first drink destined to learn the truth in the AA saying, One is to many, and a thousand is never enough!
Should I share about my experience with a counseling appointment I had with Lady Dr. Kim? Where her advice for me with raging hormones was to pray and stroke the lizard at the same time. That was one real sound advice I just couldn t follow. It just seemed too bizarre now if a sister could help me that would be different.
Maybe in my next story, Coming Back, and Being Rejected for the Matching and Blessing, and Surviving Cruel Remarks, or something along this line, I can dwell into this advice by Lady Dr. Kim.
Thank you, oh great wanderer. And remember the Truth will set you free, like it has for me. If only I could get over the anger and regret part.
To anyone who has read my story, thank you for your time. It does me a world of good to just share the truth.
Danny Harth firstname.lastname@example.org
1: name changed to protect identity.