Steps Toward Springtime
This week in history, March 19-25:
- Satan surrenders to True Parents (March 21, 1999)
- Bo Hi Pak begins his testimony before the Fraser Committee (March 22, 1978)
- Dr. Sang Hun Lee ascends (March 22, 1997)
- The Cheongshim World Peace Center is dedicated (March 22, 2012)
- The Martial Arts Federation for World Peace is founded (March 23-27, 1997)
- The Crown of Peace Ceremony is held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building (March 23, 2004)
- The Universal Ballet Academy is dedicated (March 24, 1989)
- The first Holy Marriage Blessing is held at the Cheongshim World Peace Center (March 24, 2012)
- Dr. Martin Porter ascends (March 24, 2013)
- Aewon Bank is established (March 25, 1994)
March 21, 1999
Satan’s Surrender to True Parents
In Unification tradition, March 21, 1999, is remembered as the day on which Satan surrendered to True Parents. True Father later stated, “In March 1999 Satan surrendered. Because of True Parents Satan could surrender. God could not make Satan surrender. That would violate the Principle. Man gave Satan his power, and only man can make Satan surrender.” On March 21, 1999, Young Soon Kim, who channeled Dr. Sang Hun Lee’s messages from the spirit world, published three letters of apology from Lucifer to God, True Parents and humankind. These were subsequently included in a volume, Lucifer, A Criminal against Humanity. True Parents are understood to have achieved this in the wilds of the Pantanal region of South America. This was an important step toward the Coronation Ceremony for the Kingship of God and declaration of Cheon Il Guk.
March 22, 1978
Bo Hi Pak Begins Testimony before the Fraser Committee
Bo Hi Pak prays prior to testifying before the House Subcommittee on International Organizations.
In 1976, the U.S. House Subcommittee on International Organizations, chaired by Rep. Donald Fraser (D-Minnesota) began an investigation into Korean-American Relations and, in particular, the activities of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) in the United States. In 1977, their investigation intensified in the wake of Korean influence-buying on Capitol Hill, referred to as Koreagate. The Subcommittee was determined to establish a link between the KCIA and the church, the Subcommittee leaked several confidential, unevaluated intelligence documents which led to press reports that the church “was founded by the Director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency … as a political tool in 1961.” However, this allegation was patently false as the Subcommittee’s final report indicated.
The Subcommittee subpoenaed Col. Bo Hi Pak for testimony on several occasions, but may have not been entirely prepared for his responses. In his initial appearance on March 22, 1978, Col. Pak complained bitterly that the Subcommittee was “ostensibly pursuing a probe of the KCIA” but had “given the impression to the world through the press that the United States Congress is investigating the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Myung Moon.” In his second appearance, Col. Pak escalated his rhetoric, stating his belief that the Chairman was “being used as an instrument of the devil.” In his third appearance, Col. Pak charged that Congressman Fraser was “an agent of influence on the Hill for the Soviet Union.” Col. Pak’s testimony was later published in a volume entitled Truth is My Sword. For its part, the Subcommittee recommended that a U.S. government inter-agency task force investigate the Unification Church. No interagency task force was created, and Congressman Fraser lost in his bid to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate. Nevertheless, his Subcommittee perpetuated a climate of suspicion and hostility in relation to True Father and the Unification Church.
March 22, 1997
Dr. Sang Hun Lee Ascends
Dr. Sang Hun Lee, author of the Unification Thought (UT) and Victory over Communism (VOC) texts, passed away in Seoul, Korea, on March 22, 1997, at the age of 84. Dr. Lee, a former medical doctor, met the Unification movement in 1956 and was among the 36 couples who were blessed in 1961. In 1973, Dr. Lee published a philosophical application of Divine Principle titled Unification Thought. This was followed by Explaining Unification Thought (1981), Fundamentals of Unification Thought (1991), and Essentials of Unification Thought (1992). Dr. Lee also authored Communism: A Critique and Counterproposal (1973) and The End of Communism (1985). True Father described these works, along with Divine Principle, as “pillars” of Unificationism. For all of his intellectual acumen, Dr. Lee was bothered by his inability to clearly answer questions about the spirit world. He devoted himself to a study of the topic and, after his wife’s death in 1989, published excerpts of their correspondence as communicated through Young Soon Kim. He expressed his intention of publishing a complete doctrine of the spirit world but had not done so at the time of his passing. However, afterward Young Soon Kim published an influential volume of Dr. Lee’s messages from the spirit world titled Life in the Spirit World and on Earth (1998). Dr. Lee played a major role in subsequent spirit world messages including A Cloud of Witnesses: The Saints’ Testimonies to the True Parents (2002).
March 22, 2012
Cheongshim World Peace Center Dedicated
Cheongshim World Peace Center, a massive arena designed to hold 25,000 people near the Unification movement’s Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center, opened on the 53rd True Parent’s Day, March 22, 2012. This completed construction of the largest and most sophisticated multipurpose cultural center in South Korea, eight times larger than the Sejong Performing Arts Center and twice as large as the Olympic Gymnastics Hall. The highlight of the dedication was a performance of the “Crown of Glory,” a musical based on the life of True Parents. Performed by 60 actresses and actors with support of 150 staff and 60 orchestra performers, the script was developed with help from the research team from Cheong Shim Graduate School of Theology. A mammoth moving and rotating stage with 3D video supported the production. However, True Father emphasized the importance of the arena as a Blessing venue. He noted, “From now, we don’t have to use the Seoul Olympic Stadium; but can use this place to give birth to hundreds of thousands of blessed families here.”
March 23-27, 1997
Martial Arts Federation for World Peace Founded
Four hundred leading martial artists, including Grand Masters and masters from the main martial arts schools in 83 nations attended the inaugural convention of the Martial Arts Federation for World Peace (MAFWP) at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. from March 23-27, 1997. The purpose of the convention and federation was to foster cooperation among the martial art disciplines to provide moral leadership, inspire a moral and spiritual renewal among the world’s young people, and support the establishment of world peace through the development of inner peace. True Father spoke three times at the convention and emphasized “the goal of absolute mind-body unity.” The convention included plenary sessions, breakout meetings, an organizing session, and a public exhibition of martial arts in the Hilton Grand Ballroom attended by 1,500 people including the mayor of Washington, D.C. After being established, the Martial Arts Federation went on to set up chapters in about 40 different nations.
March 23, 2004
Crown of Peace Ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building
True Father inscribes calligraphy at the ceremony.
The Unification movement conducted six “crown of peace” ceremonies from late 2003 until early 2005. The first of these was the coronation of Jesus as “King of Peace” in Jerusalem as part of the Middle East Peace Initiative on December 22, 2003. Most of the coronations did not generate controversy or significant notice outside of the movement, with the exception of the event at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23, 2004. The program was elaborately prepared. Building on contacts established over the years through The Washington Times, the host committee included six congressional co-chairs and a partial listing of the invitational committee included three additional congressmen, as well as one current and one retired U.S. senator, four state senators, a former ambassador. Ninety-one Ambassador for Peace awardees represented all 50 states. There was a reconciliation ceremony between the three Abrahamic faiths, and one representative each from Jewish, Islamic and Christian traditions were given national-level awards. Several congressmen and ambassadors were given global level leadership awards. All of this served as a backdrop to True Parent’s crown of peace award which included royal regalia. Following the brief ceremony, True Father delivered a keynote address on “Declaring the Era of the Peace Kingdom.” In an unscripted moment, a Jewish rabbi, inspired by the “miracle” of Jews, Christians and Muslims coming together in reconciliation, came to the microphone and blew a shofar (ram’s horn) signifying the coming of the Messiah.
The awards banquet was a closed event. However, postings on Unification web sites, including a 20-minute video, were picked up by independent bloggers and eventually the mainstream media. On June 23, three months after the event, the Washington Post published a front page article on the banquet. The New York Times reported on the ceremony the same day, noting, “Capitol Hill was in full-blown backpedaling mode, as lawmakers … struggled to explain themselves.” Unification movement representatives responded forcefully, charging that media accounts were “filled with misrepresentations, distortions and outright falsehoods.” In an official statement, the Interreligous and International Federation for World Peace called for “fair and frank consideration by an unbiased media” of questions raised by the “crown of peace” awards ceremony “before subscribing to the ‘witch hunt’ that this issue has become.”
March 24, 1989
Universal Ballet Academy Dedicated
True Parents conducted a brief dedication ceremony in the chapel of the newly completed Universal Ballet Academy building in Northeast Washington, D.C. on March 24, 1989. The four story structure was restored and expanded by a Washington-based architectural firm. A new addition was constructed to house four large dance studios, equipped with mirrors and barres. Dormitory facilities (32 rooms), locker rooms, and a dining area were also built. Altogether, the Academy was built to house more than 60 boarding students in its dorms, with an additional 100 students in daytime classes. As patrons of the arts, True Parents had launched several dance institutions previously—including the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul, Korea, where students are trained at an early age in the fine and performing arts. The Academy hired Oleg Vinogradov to head the school. For the previous 13 years, he was director of the Soviet Union’s famous Kirov Ballet, the alma mater of Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
March 24, 2012
First Holy Marriage Blessing at the Cheongshim World Peace Center
Two days after its formal dedication, Cheongshim World Peace Center served as the venue for a major Holy Marriage Blessing. Officially, the “Blessing Ceremony in the Era to Open the Gates to the Victory, Liberation, and Completion of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind” convened more than 20,000 Unificationists from 54 countries. More than 2,500 couples participated as newlyweds and 1,100 couples participated to “re-affirm” their marital vows. Approximately 100 countries broadcast the ceremony live by satellite while another 92 held their own marriage-Blessing ceremonies with previously-recorded materials. Due to the impressive venue and the participation of attractive, young Unificationists, the Blessing sparked widespread interest. News outlets from some 100 countries covered the event. The BBC aired a largely supportive special in Britain, titled “Married to the Moonies,” which followed three British youth and their partners as they prepared for and participated in the Blessing. A variation of the BBC version, titled “Getting Married to the Moonies,” aired in the United States. It followed three American youths and their partners.
March 24, 2013
Dr. Martin Porter Ascends
On Sunday, March 24, 2013, Dr. Martin Porter, a pioneer of the Unification movement in the West, passed away. Dr. Porter was born in Hampshire, the United Kingdom, in 1942 and met the Unification movement in Rome in 1965. He was blessed in marriage by our True Parents in Europe in 1969 as part of the 43 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing that was celebrated in Essen, Germany. One of the earliest Unificationists in Europe, Dr. Porter served for many years as president of the Unification movement in Italy, from 1967 to 1977. In 1973, he moved to the United States to do evangelical work, including leading a One World Crusade team during True Parents’ Day of Hope speaking tours in 1973 and 1974. Subsequently, Dr. Porter served as the president of the Canadian Unification movement from June 1, 1977 to August 31, 1983. He later was asked to lead a shipbuilding enterprise, Master Marine and IOE Fishing Operations in Bayou la Batre, Alabama.
March 25, 1994
Aewon (Garden of Love) Bank Established
True Parents established Aewon (Garden of Love) Bank on March 25, 1994, and it was given official approval by the city of Seoul on April 12. It was founded in order to realize True Parents’ vision of true love with special focus on the underprivileged and handicapped. According to Aewon’s statement of purpose: “A bank is where money is deposited. The Aewon Bank is where we deposit our love, service, and charity, however they may be expressed, for the sake of others, so that charity and true love will bring hope, courage and joy to the lives of our neighbors.” Aewon has developed cultural welfare projects such as Dream Seed Lesson, Dream Seed Concert and Performance Delivery Service. As part of the Dream Seed Lesson, volunteers teach music, art and theater to underprivileged or handicapped children. Then those children take part in a Dream Seed Concert. Volunteers with Performance Delivery Service stage performances on location for people who live in the countryside or are handicapped. The Aewon organization also hosts North Korean art exhibitions and sends books to North Korea. Its volunteers help out in local soup kitchens and assist the elderly.
This Week in History briefly lists significant events in the history of the Unification Church, the lives of the Founders, and world events that are momentous to Unificationists. Most items are marked according to the solar calendar. Items marked “H.C.” correspond to the Cheon-gi or Heavenly Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar. This installment covers the week of March 19–25.