I always have a block when I want to talk about my life with the Unification Church where I was a member for a long time. Now that I am one of their outcasts since I left the group, “Judas Iscariote” portrayed in the bible the one who betrayed the Messiah. I wonder how people will receive my ideas about the U.C. Would my perspective be too much for them? Part of me has been so involved in Sun Myung Moon’s teaching that sometimes I am overwhelmed with fears and guilt; on the other hand, when I am able to convey more about it to others, I have a sense of liberation.
I was about 19, going to a job interview in my native country of France, when someone stopped me on the street: “Do you believe in God?” ask a nice looking young man with short hair and wearing a white shirt with a tie. “Of course I do”, I answered sincerely. “And what is the purpose of life?” the young man asked again. He invited me to a lecture. I was curious and went with my twin sister. He talked about how God’s purpose for man was to become perfect as an individual, in total unity with God, to then married a women who was one with God and to create a family where everyone was one with God and living in perfect harmony. My sister and I had gone through a difficult time, our parents were divorced and there was certainly no perfect harmony in our midst. Even though I was raised catholic, U.C. seems to answer more questions about God’s existence and purpose in the world, and they had a real and clear plan of how to create an ideal family. I was invited to a workshop explaining more detail about the ideology of the U.C. By the end of the month I followed my sister and we both became members of the group.
The ideology of the Unification Church is based on the book called “The Divine Principle”, revealed to S.M.Moon by God. It explain how God intended to create a perfect world where Adam and Eve see and talk to angels. But a mistake happened: Eve was tempted by Lucifer and had a sexual relationship with him before her maturity. She then tempted Adam and they fell from the Garden of Eden by having sex before their maturity. The consequences were that men and women became separated from God and so therefore, God worked in history throughout Jesus Christ to reconnect with his children, but that attempt failed because of Jesus’ crucifixion. With the death of Jesus, a new plan had to be made and it is S.M.Moon that God chooses to be the second Messiah. This theory is well explained with what U.C. call “The parallel of history”, showing similar events happening 1000 years before Jesus’ life and 1000 years before S.M.M. ‘s life. The conclusion is that S.M.M. is the Messiah who is coming back today to recreate a new world of peace.
S.M.M. proclaims that if we change our blood lineage from our family to his family, we will inherit the “True Children” qualifications lost in the Garden of Eden. By the change of blood lineage, he means that we have to be matched and married in a mass wedding by him and participate in the “wine ceremony” which consist of drinking in a cup that symbolize his blood. My sister and I were brought to the U.S. and we were match and wed in Madison Square Garden in 1982 with 2200 other couples just like us. In order to be matched by Rev. Moon, everyone had to do a 7 day fast with only water, then finish a minimum of 3 years of chastity doing missionary work, which consisted of witnessing to other people in order to find 3 more adepts or to raise money for the U.C., accomplishing certain monetary goals.
Our life as missionaries was extremely strict and challenging. We slept very little, 4 to 5 hours a night, on the floor, Japanese style. Men and women were separated and treated each other only as brother and sister. No smoking or drinking was ever allowed. We practically never were permitted to visit our relatives as they now belonged to the outside Evil world. We always carried “holy salt”, salt that had been blessed by S.M.M. or his close disciple, and everything we bought including food and clothes had to be holy salted to be purified from evil elements. We constantly did what was called “condition” whether it was a 3 day fast or special prayer from midnight to 4 a.m. or a cold shower in the middle of the winter. This was how we made our spirit strong over our body and were able to accomplish high goals like making $200 a regular week day selling flowers or sometimes $1000 on a weekend.
After being there for a while, I didn’t question too much, after all the people I was with either came from Jesuit seminary, graduated from well known universities, I thought they knew so much more that I did. It was a difficult life but I became tough and I was a full time missionary for 12 years.
Until 1995, my faith in the group was still pretty strong until rumors soon became reality. Headlines of newspapers showed that Yo Jin Moon, the eldest of S.M.Moon was a drug addict, an alcoholic, was beating his wife and children and was now serving 30 days in jail after a restraining order against him by his wife Nan Sook. I found out from that time that there had been a lot of corruption, especially in the Moon’s family and amongst top leaders of the UC. We of course were never told and if we had any suspicions, the leader called “central figure” would explain to us with the book of Divine Principle how our attitude was “Cain like”. That we should not repeat the mistake Cain (us) made by killing Abel (leaders of UC). That restoration of fallen mankind based on the Divine Principle was that Cain loved Abel. In other words, for whatever doubt we had or for whatever unexpected unconventional or immoral situation that came along, there was always an answer in the D.P. I started realizing “the end justifies the means” mentality of UC was wrong and even dangerous.
The person I had been wed to, Allan, was the Connecticut State Leader and had been involved in buying the University of Bridgeport by the “World Peace Academy”: one of Moon’s front organizations that is mainly composed of professors from around the world. If you knew Allan or any of the Unification Church leaders, you would be attracted to them right away. They are very charismatic, intelligent and handsome, but there is one thing you do not see and that I learned by being a member for so long; I know what is inside, I know the deep frightening truth that lies beneath those angel eyes. I was able to leave the group without being contaminated by the corruption mostly based on power and money.
But my fight was a very hard one, because I had to leave my husband, one of the extremely controlling leaders and the UC, a cult who knows how to frighten people with menace of spiritual punishment. This is why I know beneath the charismatic, educated U.C. leaders lie a calculated agenda and the ultimate goal is for everyone to bow down to S.M.Moon and do everything he wants at any cost. Still I wonder sometimes if SMM started his church with an honest godly motivation but then became overcome by the temptation of power and misuse of money. His ideology seems to have some sense but the contradiction of his family standards of living makes him a monster of hypocrisy.