Steps Toward Springtime
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This week in history, March 16-22:
- True Father begins a speaking tour of U.S. Korean communities (March 17, 1990)
- Unificationists are released from a Thai prison (March 17, 1993)
- True Father proclaims the Pacific Rim Era (March 17, 2007)
- Hyo Jin Moon ascends to the Spirit World (March 17, 2009)
- Arthur Ford has a sitting with True Father (March 18, 1965)
- The first Legacy of Peace ceremony is held (March 18, 2010)
- 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)
MARCH 17, 1990
True Father Begins Speaking Tour of U.S. Korean Communities
True Parents receive flowers at the San Francisco public speech to the Korean community on March 18, 1990.
True Father launched his first U.S. speaking tour since the 1970s, addressing Korean communities in five U.S. cities, beginning in San Francisco on March 17, 1990. The other cities were Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York, and True Father said the five cities represented the 50 states of America. True Father spoke on the topic “True Unification and One World.” The events were promoted as “Welcoming True Parents Rallies.” They served to introduce True Parents’ activities and thought to Koreans in America and to familiarize the Korean community with the term “True Parents.” True Father had conducted “Welcoming True Parents” rallies in five Korean cities the previous month. These rallies were part of the lead-up to the Moscow Rally in April 1990 and True Parents’ declaration of their roles on the worldwide level.
MARCH 17, 1993
Unificationists Released from Thai Prison
Dr. Lek’s wife Vipa at the women’s prison where she endured separation from her husband and the other Unificationists.
On June 26, 1991, eight leaders of the Unification Church in Thailand, including the national leader, Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, were arrested and jailed under charges of treason. “Crime Suppression Police” subsequently invaded Unification Church centers nationwide. The action was taken under the auspices of Thai army generals who had declared martial law and who were influenced by newspaper attacks on the church. Treason was understood to mean subversion against the monarchy or nation, and its penalty was life imprisonment or execution. After three months, the case was filed and no bail was allowed. The eight leaders were imprisoned for 21 months, until March 17, 1993, when the king of Thailand took unprecedented action to relieve the top dictatorial general of his duties as head of Thailand, replacing him with a prime minister who formulated a constitutional system. An era of tyranny ended, and friends of the Unification Church of Thailand successfully demanded bail for the eight leaders who were released. However, the case continued for another eight years, until September 1, 2001, when the Thai Supreme Court acquitted the eight of all charges.
MARCH 17, 2007
True Father Proclaims the Pacific Rim Era
True Father declared 2007 to be a “Great Jubilee Year” in God’s providence. The major reason for this was the beginning of “The Pacific Rim Era.” In a March 17 speech titled “A Providential View of the Pacific Rim Era in Light of God’s Will—The United States and the Future Direction of the United Nations and the World,” delivered before 700 Unificationist leaders and Ambassadors for Peace on the grounds of “Hawaii King Garden,” a church-owned property on the island of Kona, he stated:
The development of human civilization has completed a circuit of the entire globe and has arrived at the Pacific sphere. Human history has come to a point in time in the providence at which it should reach completion and fruition through the Pacific Rim region. No force can impede the providence now. Though there were both victories and defeats … in the era before heaven, nothing could prevent the rise of the Pacific Rim Era. Herein lies the reason that Heaven declared this a jubilee year.
True Father drew together themes that had been prominent in his thought for some time, including his identity as “the True Parent of humankind,” the fruition of human civilization “in the Pacific Rim region, centered on the Korean Peninsula,” oceans as “the resource on which humanity’s future depends,” the responsibility of the United States “to bring harmony and oneness among the world’s 6.5 billion people and to expedite the creation of a peaceful, ideal world,” the significance of international and cross-cultural Marriage Blessings, and the necessity of “an ‘Abel-type’ counterpart to the United Nations.” He also proclaimed, “The oceanic era that has begun represents the women’s era.”
True Father delivered the Pacific Rim speech in a “New Civilization” tour covering 24 cities in Korea during April and early May of 2007. True Mother delivered the same speech in 10 Japanese cities from May 2 to 11. The American portion of the tour continued through May and June. Unificationists subsequently held “New Civilization” rallies in their respective nations.
MARCH 17, 2009
Hyo Jin Moon Ascends
World Seong Hwa Ceremony honors Hyo Jin Moon.
Hyo Jin Moon, the eldest son of True Parents, died of a heart attack at 9:46 a.m. on March 17 in Seoul, Korea. He was born there on December 3, 1962, but grew up in the United States. For many years he ran Manhattan Center Studios, a state-of-the-art multimedia facility in New York City that was favored by leading musicians and orchestras both for recording and televised events. He worked for 10 years (1985-94) as the first president of the World Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (World CARP). One of the defining moments of his presidency was the 4th World CARP Convention in Berlin in 1987. Hyo Jin Nim led 1,000 students on a memorable march to the Berlin Wall, where he delivered a stirring speech, calling on Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to be a righteous man and tear down the wall.
Hyo Jin Moon was the first son of True Parents.
He was an intensely passionate singer and lead guitarist who produced over a dozen CDs and a catalog of thousands of compositions. True Parents held a world-level Seonghwa Ceremony and wrote a special calligraphy translated as “He will open and liberate the deepest heaven and turn it into a flower garden as the lord who opens the gates of loyalty and filial piety.” He left his wife, Yun Ah Choi, and four children, as well as five children from a previous marriage.
MARCH 18, 1965
Arthur Ford Sitting
Arthur Ford (1896-1971) was one of America’s best-known psychics, famous for his sittings with the widow of escape artist Harry Houdini as well as for founding the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship (SFF). He had become aware of True Father through Charles Brooke, the former rajah of Sarawak and himself the leader of an English metaphysical group, who met an early Unificationist missionary and traveled to Korea to meet True Father, whom he regarded as the “earth form of limitless love.” On March 18, 1965, Ford had a sitting with True Father, accompanied by Col. Bo Hi Pak and others, during True Father’s first world tour. Ford later included “The Sun Myung Moon Sittings” in his work Unknown But Known (1968). During the sitting, Ford’s communicator, Fletcher, stated, “It is not easy for me to get down to the level of Ford. Great power in the form of light—if you were to see the light that surrounds you—most of you would be blinded by it. … In another setting I would insist that my instrument and the rest of you should take off your shoes. But spiritually you can create the humility that will enable you to know that you are in the presence of truth-Incarnate and Discarnate. … Sun Myung Moon is the one I have been talking about.” True Father was viewed with interest by New Age leaders during the late 1960s. However, with the emergence of the Unification Church as an increasingly well-defined and controversial movement during the 1970s, New Age and spiritualist groups generally ignored or criticized the church.
MARCH 18, 2010
First Legacy of Peace Ceremony
Gen. Alexander Haig, who as a young officer in the U.S. Army participated in the U.N. military attack on North Korea’s Heungnam labor camp in October 1950 which freed True Father after nearly three years of confinement, passed away on February 20, 2010. Gen. Haig, who was the U.S. secretary of state in 1981 and 1982 under President Ronald Reagan, was a supporter of The Washington Times and participated in Unificationist-organized events. True Father asked church leaders to attend his funeral services and to place a large gift of flowers at Arlington National Cemetery. A few days later, top church leaders hosted a private memorial dinner at the Sheraton National Hotel attended by General Haig’s son, Alexander P. Haig, who thanked the Unification Church and True Father for their support. True Father subsequently directed the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) to hold a larger, more public event at the United Nations. Held on March 18, 2010, the “Memorial Festival of Ascension and Unity,” convened in the United Nations Secretariat Building, also honored more than 100 UN personnel killed in a recent Haiti earthquake as well as Rodrigo Carazo, the former president of Costa Rica, who died the previous December, and other peace advocates. The event was highly successful and gave birth to “Legacy of Peace” events elsewhere in the United States and throughout the world. In addition to honoring the recently deceased, the events provided a platform for communicating church views on eternal life and the Marriage Blessing as an instrument of peace.
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.”
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 16–22.