Turning Points in God’s Work
This week in history, October 8-14:
- The Belvedere Estate is purchased (October 10, 1972)
- True Father initiates The News World (October 10, 1976)
- CARP confronts massive leftist demonstration in West Germany (October 10, 1981)
- The Double-Ten Day is proclaimed (Ssang-ship Jeol) (October 10, 1999)
- The “10.14” Holy Blessing Ceremony is held (October 10, 2010)
- True Father is released from Heungnam Labor Camp (October 14, 1950)
- The 6,000-Couple Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony is held (October 14, 1982)
- National Parents’ Day is signed into law (October 14, 1994)
- The Cosmic Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony is held (October 14, 2009)
October 10, 1972
Belvedere Estate Purchased
In 1972, True Father directed Unificationists in the United States to find a large property in New York suitable for use as an international training center. The assignment was given to New York center director Philip Burley, who found Belvedere three days after it had been put on the market. Situated on the Hudson River thirty miles north of New York City in Tarrytown, the twenty-two-acre estate was described in a brochure sent to True Father in Korea, and he said to buy it.
The Maryland church center had had success selling its own manufactured candles, and it was decided to try that as a national effort to raise money for the large down payment. For seven weeks nearly every member in every state abandoned all other activities in order to sell candles.
With Anchor Hocking six-ounce brandy snifters and Amoco paraffin piled floor to ceiling, the College Park/Upper Marlboro centers reached peak production of 1,700 dozen candles a week, or about 250 dozen (3,000 candles) a day. A similar factory with a rotating crew was set up in the Denver center garage, and a third factory was operated by the Berkeley, California, center. “Express candle vans” delivered “still warm” candles, and “mobile fundraising teams” were formed for the first time. As a result of the total mobilization and fundraising innovations, the down payment was made. At 1:00 p.m. on October 10, 1972, the caretaker of Belvedere received a call from the seller saying that, from that moment, “Belvedere is in new hands.” Later that day a group of Unificationists arrived to explore the house and grounds. Dr. Young Oon Kim asked them, “How can you describe a miracle? … Now you have seen Belvedere. Is it better than your dreams?”
October 10, 1976
True Father Initiated The News World
True Father initiated The News World on October 10, 1976, shortly after the Washington Monument rally, when he assembled a dozen or so Unificationists with journalism degrees and “set the deadline” for producing the first issue of a new daily newspaper in New York City “at December 31, 1976, the last day of the Bicentennial year.”
October 10, 1981
CARP Confronts Massive Leftist Demonstration in West Germany
The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) spearheaded the Unificationist opposition to communism on college campuses from the 1960s. In the early 1980, US CARP launched an organized assault on Marxist-Leninist doctrines under the leadership of Rev. Chong Goo “Tiger” Park. Prior to this, a Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) had assaulted CARP members on a California campus. This was the first of innumerable confrontations between CARP and leftist campus groups over the next several years. Many of the most memorable encounters occurred in traditionally liberal or radical campus settings, such as the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
In what was one of CARP’s most memorable confrontations, “Tiger” Park led a counterdemonstration of 130 CARP members against a 250,000-strong anti-nuclear armament rally in Bonn, Germany, on October 10, 1981, barely escaping after being pursued by attackers wielding sticks, pipes and chains. This was the kickoff to a decade of activism. CARP developed a revolutionary, activist élan of its own replete with practiced chants, burnings of Soviet leaders in effigy, hard-driving rock bands with names such as Blue Tuna and Prime Force, and touring martial arts groups (these were especially helpful in protecting podiums from assaults). All this became part of the lore and allure of CARP during the Cold War era.
October 10, 1999
Proclamation of Double-Ten Day (Ssang-ship Jeol)
True Father proclaimed in 1999: “The number ten, representing the month of October and the date of October 10, 1999, signifies a new start centered upon God, and the number ten of the tenth day signifies a new start centered upon the earth. That is why I have proclaimed October 10 as Ee-Ship Jeol (Ssang-ship Jeol, Double-Ten Day).” (Excerpt from the old Cheon Seong Gyeong 304-152, 1999.10.10) –The full speech, “Proclamation of Double-Ten Day (Ssang-ship Jeol),” can be read here.
October 10, 2010
“10.14” Holy Blessing Ceremony
The month of October has a special meaning as the “month of liberation” in Unification history, as True Father was liberated from Heung Nam labor camp (10.14.50) and Seodaemun Prison (10.4.55) during the month. True Parents conducted the first “Cosmic Blessing Ceremony” on October 14, 2009, on the campus of Sun Moon University. On October 10, 2010, they extended the previous year’s Holy Blessing in conducting the “10.14 Blessing Ceremony Based on the Completion of the Settlement of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind,” this time with more than 30,000 brides and bridegrooms and their congratulators attending on the lawn of Sun Moon University. A special feature of the Blessing this time was that people born into the Unification Church were given the freedom to select their spouse by themselves in front of True Parents.
October 14, 1950
True Father Released from Heungnam Labor Camp
The work and storage room at the Heungnam Labor Camp.
True Father’s ministry in Pyongyang ended on February 22, 1948, when he was arrested for a second time by North Korean officials. He was tried on April 7 and sentenced to five years of hard labor. On May 20, True Father was transferred from prison in Pyongyang to a labor camp in Heungnam, an industrial city on the east coast of North Korea. There he endured a hellish existence until liberated by advancing UN forces on October 14, 1950.
Men working at the Heungnam Labor Camp.
True Father’s liberation by UN forces was by no means assured. As bombing of the Heungnam industrial complex became more intense, guards began executing prisoners, calling out their numbers starting with those having the longest sentences. In his autobiography, True Father notes, “The night before my scheduled execution the bombs fell like rain in the monsoon season … so intense that it seemed all of Heungnam had been turned into a sea of fire. The high walls around the prison began to fall and the guards ran for their lives. Finally, the gate of the prison that had kept us in that place opened. At around two o’clock in the morning of the next day, I walked calmly out of Heungnam Prison with dignity.”
October 14, 1982
6,000-Couple Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony
True Parents sprinkle holy water over the couples at the 6000-couple Holy Marriage Blessing.
True Parents blessed 6,000 couples in Chamshil Gymnasium in Seoul on October 14, 1982. The precise number of couples blessed was 5,837, as True Father noted in his Blessing prayer. The 6,000-Couple Blessing is linked with the 2,075-Couple Blessing conducted by True Parents on July 1, 1982, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They are referred to jointly as the 8,000-Couple Holy Blessing. Both included significant numbers of international couples. The 6,000-Couple Holy Blessing, convened on 20 days’ notice, included participants from 84 nations. True Father noted that the Blessing surmounted the 6,000 years of providential history and signified an “advance into the realm of liberation.”
October 14, 1994
National Parents’ Day Signed into Law
President Clinton with Parent of the Year honorees in 1995
Parent’s Day was established as a U.S. holiday in 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed a congressional resolution into law (36 U.S.C. § 135) for “recognizing, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.” The resolution, passed unanimously by the House and Senate, was signed by Speaker of the House Thomas Foley and President pro Tempore of the Senate Robert Byrd. The establishment of Parents’ Day on the fourth Sunday of every July was the result of a bipartisan, multiracial and interfaith coalition of religious, civic and elected leaders who recognized the need to promote responsible parenting in our society and to uplift ideal parental role models, especially for our nation’s children. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss) made the original resolution on July 27, 1993, the day before True Mother delivered her “True Parents and the Completed Testament Age” address on Capitol Hill.
October 14, 2009
Cosmic Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony
The first “Cosmic Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony” was held magnificently at the open space in front of the main building of Sun Moon University in Asan in Korea’s Chungnam province, with True Parents as the officiators on October 14, 2009. Some 25,000 participants gathered as representatives of Korea and the world. For those who could not come there, the ceremony was broadcast simultaneously to 192 nations via satellite and the Internet. The ceremony was unique in that it was the first time that new couples and already established blessed couples received the Blessing together. Previously couples had received the Blessing on the church and worldwide levels. True Father explained that this was the third and final cosmic-level Blessing. The Blessing was also significant as it included large numbers of young Unificationists in a public venue. The participation of attractive young people attracted substantial media coverage that continued in subsequent Blessings.
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 October 8-14.