My Life In The Moonies
~I was only 12 years old when my mother fell in love with a man named Ron Hagberg. He became my mother's third husband and my third "father". He was a mysterious man with a fierce intensity. He appeared to be someone with a lot of "secrets". A drifter without a past. At least none reaching further than the last All Night Diner and bottomless cup of coffee. It would later become all too obvious why the past was better left behind.
~My mother had sought out abusive relationships all her life, this one would be only slightly different. It would be worse! It would be worse because this drifter, who was abusive to my mother, had darker secrets still. Though he seemed to be alone when my mother met him, he wasn't. There was someone with him. Night and day. Always present wherever he went, whatever he did. It was Sun Myung Moon. Oh, he wasn't there in person, but he was there none the less. Because years before, in the turbulent sixties, someone had convinced my step father that he wouldn't have to wait until some distant time in the future for the second coming of Jesus, he was living on Earth right now. Not a conquering hero, riding on a white horse and coming on the clouds of Heaven, but a short fat Korean flying coach on KAL.
~I was confronted with Moon's shadow every day of my life for many years, little did I know that I would one day be face to face with him. That my mother and I would serenade him. That after my mother would separate from my step father, Moon would choose her next husband for her and marry her to him. That we would be accepted into the very heart of his empire, becoming his personal guests on many occasions in his various mansions throughout the world. That we would so trust this man who called himself and his wife "The Lord of the Second Advent", that I would allow myself to be separated at their instruction from my ex-wife so that Moon could, if he chose, marry us to other people whom he would select. That my mother would so trust him that even after the first husband he gave her became a failure, causing her to divorce and forcing her into bankruptcy, she would allow him to select another husband for her who was the very man of violence and abuse that she had left years earlier, stating that she would never again have anything to do with him. That is the hold, the desperately evil grip that Rev. Moon has on many people. Including my step-father who first introduced us to Moon's teachings in 1978, though he himself had left the Moonies 10 years before!
~I can tell you that in 1978 at 12 years of age, I was wanting a father figure, not a maniacal "messiah" from the orient to separate me from the family I loved so dearly. Or from the God my grandmother had taught me to love. But I got all those things and more. Call it "The Moonie Buffet". All you can eat for the one low price of your very life!
~To this day, I am uncertain as to how my step-father was introduced to the Moonies. What I know is that he was one of the earliest converts into Moon's religion in America. After the life he lived in Vietnam, as a Marine, he might have been ready for any religion that came down the pike, to help make sense of it all. It may be my family's enduring misfortune, that he found Moon's first. America, in the late sixties and early seventies was a ripe breeding ground for cults and other religions looking for disciples willing to sacrifice all to expand their doctrines and influence in the world. And lucky for them, American youth didn't have much they had to sacrifice to follow them. Many had already "dropped out" of society and it wasn't a huge leap for the "flower children" to go from walking the streets "giving" away flowers, to "selling" them for gurus and messiahs who were migrating enmass to the good ole' U.S. of A. . Yes, they came and planted, and they grew. Nourished by the apathy of a disfranchised youth, grown in the rich soil of religious freedom and watered by the wealth of a nation who donates first and asks questions later. What a boon to those who are aspiring to be millionaires overnight! What an opportunity! If it hadn't existed, some enterprising hustler would have created it.
~It was in this environment that my step-father first encountered the Divine Principle. It was the teaching of Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, or Moonies. It hadn't yet been printed in English, but that didn't stop the early members of this cult from speaking it, and singing it and lecturing it and wearing it in to the chalkboards, if not their own minds as well. After my step-father met my mother, he would do the same for us. Lecture after grueling lecture. Hours upon hours with no end in sight. I was learning about things I had never heard before. Positivity, negativity, subject - object relationships, God's dual nature of masculinity and femininity. That the original sin was a sexual relationship between Eve and Lucifer? That's what he told us, and I believed what he told me, though the Christians in my school ate me alive when it came to "proving" to them with the Bible where this sexual relationship was to be found. Only much later in life would I discover that it was to be found not in the Bible, but only in Moon's firtile imagination.
~Still, it would be ingrained into my mind over and over again. I may have believed that all this intensive study was a creation of my step-father. But later in life when I would become a full time "missionary" for this "church", I would learn a whole new vocabulary, beginning with these words : "Forty", "Day", "Training". That's right. 40 days straight of Moon, Moon and more Moon.
~My step father trained us for months on end, giving us no clue at all where this "new truth" had come from. For a long while he never mentioned Rev. Moon, or that he was the "new" messiah, or that he had been a disciple of Moon. Then one day, when we were watching the news on TV there was a disturbing story. Even at that young age, it disturbed me very much. It was about a cult who was buying up property and turned the followers into slaves to enrich the leader. This leader, this horrible leader who came here from another country and took young people from their families. I saw the desperate families. Wondering where their children were. I didn't know much about this man named Moon, but I knew that I didn't like anyone who took children away from their family! I turned around and said to my step-father "Why doesn't someone put that guy in jail ?" Everyone was looking at me funny. It was then that I learned that this "criminal" to my young eyes, was really the messiah. It was from he that this new teaching "The Divine Principle" originated. Looking back, I realise how true a child's first impressions can often be. If only I could have heeded that warning. But I didn't, and soon would find myself in the same predicament as those whose stories had been portrayed by the media that day, for it would soon be me who was taken from his family, converted into a human ATM Bank Machine where Moon could make withdrawals at will.
Meeting The Unification Church
~My mother had been an aspiring singer (still is) , my step father had become her "manager" and took me out of school at 14 years of age , we travelled the country , singing in bars , hotels , conventions , resorts , you name it , we sang it! My mother has a voice that is comparable to a Barbara Streisand or Whitney Houston. She honestly sings that well. Traveling the road was a fast paced and difficult life , she had been offered at least two record contracts , and a personal offer from Ted Turner (You know , TBS) to sing on a cruise ship he had at that time. My step-father found a reason to reject them all , and we would instead be rich one week , poor the next. After these dissapointments and with his violence , I just left one night with the clothes on my back and nothing else. My mother would later barely escape a fire in one of the hotels she was singing at and they would lose all they had. She eventually separated from my step father and joined the Unification Church alone , having been indoctrinated for so long. By this time , I had been married and was in a short separation from my ex-wife. It was at this weak point in my life that someone from the Unification Church would get my mother to work on me , to join the cult. After getting quite a few hard sells on joining , I eventually agreed to go to a 40 day training in New York. My wife and I had reunited before this and they said that we could join the church as a married couple.
~I was hesitant to go to the 40 day training because it meant I would have to leave my job at the Willard Hotel in Wash. , DC. I had worked hard to get into this elite hotel and had left a good job at the Jefferson Hotel to do so. The Church leader pushed me to quit my job and said not to worry , that the Church would take care of us. With that assurance , my wife and I quit our jobs , gave the Church our possesions , including a car we had just paid off. They sold the car immediately and kept the money as a "donation". But something strange happened. After my ex-wife and I became full time missionaries for the Moonies , they immediately separated us , telling me to move to another state and making her stay in Wash. DC. They began telling us , independantly of one another that we should be prepared for Moon to divorce us , that he would possibly divorce us and marry us to strangers who he would choose for us! This seemed very strange , but after all the indoctrinations , after giving them all we possesed and having no money or possesions , we had no where to go and just began accepting whatever they told us.
~ Eventually , her parents found out that their daughter was going to be divorced from her husband for no better reason than Moon wanting to marry her to someone he would choose. This was bizzare and they wouldn't accept it. They paid someone to councel her out of the cult not long after and she escaped from the group , leaving me alone there in the process. I was shocked by what had happened but had been trained to believe that this was just satan's attack and that I must remain loyal to the man we called "True Father" , Sun Myung Moon. I remained for another two years in the cult before being able to get out myself , but by this time , Moon had taken my mother , my possesions , my car , my job , my future , my wife , my hopes and even any sense of reality I had before joining . Like a black hole , he just sucked it all up for himself. This man who called himself my "True" father , but who was a different person in private than in public. Soon I would see for myself Moon's "true" colors and know him for what he is and what he isn't !
Meeting Sun Myung Moon
~By the time my ex-wife had left the cult , it had been discovered that my mother and I sang well and learned to sing in other languages easily by the Church leaders and Moon himself. I was suddenly taken off the streets selling flowers for Moon and began singing for him. They dressed us up in Traditional Korean clothes and had us performing Korean songs for guests that Moon paid to come to America from Korea to see his empire , beginning with the Washington Times Newspaper and then to Manhattan Center Recording Studios in New York and many other of Moon's businesses and organisations. The people who came were not Church members and Moon was simply trying to get them to become positive toward him so that when they went back to Korea , they would see him as a man of power , who even gets Americans to do whatever he wants. It was very successful , and the guests were very impressed and even moved to tears by our performances.
~An example of this is one Japanese Church member who sang with us for these guests. She sang in Korean as we all did , but her song was about the Japanese Occupation of Korea and the suffering of the Koreans under the Japanese. She would explain how she never knew the meaning of the song until after singing it one day a Korean man came and asked her if she knew , he then explained the meaning to her , she said she was shocked to learn what the song meant , especially since she herself was from Japan, and When she finished the song , she would tell them that even though she is only a small , humble Japanese member of the Unification Church , she wants to apologize on behalf of the entire nation of Japan for the cruelty the Koreans endured. With tears , the guests would give her a standing ovation and begin to see Moon differently. What they didn't know was that the person who gave this "personal testimony" about "learning" the meaning of this Korean song , had been imported from the Unification Church in Japan to sing and give this "testimony". You see , there was another Japanese singer before that and I believe that it may have been her true story , but when she could no longer sing for these shows that Moon put on , the Church simply imported a replacement and had her give this same testimony as if it was her own! That is an example of the lies that go on in this so-called church for achieving the result they want. They won't let people or truth or anything else stand in the way of their goals.
PART-2 MOON'S DRUG ADDICTED SON