Memoirs of a Unification Church Photographer

Owens Front Cover

By Ken Owens

Ken OwensI had been asked by many friends, and my wife in particular, to write a book about my years in the Unification Church, founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and my 33 years of experiences photographing True Parents. Somehow, the day I celebrated my 65th birthday, something suddenly urged me to get it done. I had written a few short testimonies, but the book was to be more in-depth, incorporating experiences, articles I’d written, dreams, a revelation, and a vision I received from God.

There are many hundreds of elders, and brothers and sisters, who had been with True Parents far longer than I, are far more deserving than I, and who have had many more cherished, intimate moments with them. That I was able to have some moments with True Parents was a great blessing.

Here are just a few of the experiences I had with True Parents.

The first time I ever saw True Parents was in Hawaii in 1974

I had just returned from my second tour of duty in Vietnam and participated in trying to keep the 1973 Yom Kippur War from becoming World War III. When I arrived back in Honolulu, everything changed from a quiet center in an apartment building to a house behind Waikiki Beach, where everything was centered upon True Parents’ arrival for a major speech. To top it off, Rev. Ken Sudo was about to arrive with his International One World Crusade team of French and German members to witness to people to come to the banquet.

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On the Internal Meaning of Lineage

By Andrew Lausberg

75995_459821110372_999357_nIn the teachings of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, lineage comes up time and time again. Lineage is cited as a significant element in a number of ways: the need to restore humanity, originally of God’s lineage, from Satan’s lineage back to God’s lineage; the significance of lineage in terms of a person being chosen by God for providential work; the significance of lineage in terms of what kind of sin needs to be resolved on earth; etc.

Despite the prominence of lineage as a concept in Rev. Moon’s teaching, there is surprisingly little extrapolation on the topic. He frequently used all sorts of real world and theoretical examples to illustrate his understanding of how God’s creation works. Concepts such as internal and external, vertical and horizontal are pivotal to illustrating the ideas he is dealing with. The Principle itself goes into the idea of “spherical movement” of living beings. How then does lineage fit into this conceptual framework?

In many cases, Father Moon discusses different dimensions. Consider the eight-stages of restoration. He describes eight horizontal stages: individual → family → clan → ethnic group → nation → world → cosmos → God; and eight vertical stages: servant of servants → servant → adopted child → stepchild (or illegitimate child) → true child → mother → father → God. We can understand that these two dimensions as interacting or interfacing like an x and y axis. At any given point in time, a person may be at one of the horizontal levels, such as at the level of nation. By this, we mean that the person is dealing with issues that impact on a national level of existence.

Likewise, at any given point, a person may be at a vertical stage of restoration or growth, such as the stage of adopted son. We mean that the person is dealing with issues that impact or are related to a quality of relationship typified as that of an adopted child and his or her adopted parent. One axis deals with dimensions of human existence embodied in larger or smaller social groupings, the other deals with dimensions of relationships of heart — equated with “internal dimensions.”

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King Sejong and Unificationism


By Amanda Hokanson

AmandaHKing Sejong[1] is one of the greatest leaders in all Korean history. He is often referred to as one of the most outstanding exemplars for those in the Korean business world. I am descended from him on my Korean side with the surname Yi (李) of Jeonju (全州). King Sejong became a recognized figure because his leadership style aligned with universal principles, which also happen to coincide with our beliefs. I argue that his character and values were also similar to Reverend Moon’s.

King Sejong was born on the tenth day of the fourth month in 1397, by the lunar calendar.[2] He was the grandchild of King Taejo of Joseon[3] who established the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897), which arose after the fall of Goryeo (918–1392). King Sejong ascended the throne at the age of 21 as the fourth king of Joseon (r. 1418–1450) after his father, King Taejong of Joseon. At the time of his ascension, Joseon was still unstable. It was a new dynasty in dire need of a leader with a strong heart and mind in addition to skill. As history has shown, King Sejong more than lived up to what had been expected of him. He played a major role in stabilizing Joseon and is recognized for his exceptional leadership.

His leadership inspired some of the greatest scientific and cultural advancements of his time, including applying advanced arithmetic to farming and calendar development; producing astronomical charts and 347 books of musical scores; as well as developing the Korean alphabet.[4] All this was achieved during the 32 years of his reign.

If we parallel parts of King Sejong’s era with ours, we realize that we too are striving to establish a new nation: Cheon Il Guk. That is our ultimate goal. Thus, if we draw out some common basic principles, we may be able to discover that we can learn something from history.

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Applied Unificationism’s Third “Blog-iversary”


The Applied Unificationism (AU) Blog launched three years ago on May 1, 2013. Its host, Unification Theological Seminary, aimed to create a site where worthy ideas applying Unificationism to all aspects of society could be regularly discussed among members and friends of the FFWPU and related organizations. We have also sought to make it a place where the future of the Family Federation and its work may be thoughtfully discussed. We post new articles several times a month.

To date, the AU Blog has received over 155,000 page views from 191 countries and territories, with 575 email followers, published 180 articles and posted over 1,450 comments. Our posts are regularly referred from Facebook, Google Search, email discussion groups, and the UTS Alumni site, among others. Our active Twitter feed is @UTS_AU_Blog and our Facebook page links to every article posted.

The AU Blog provides a responsible forum where Unificationists worldwide can discuss social, political, economic, and cultural, as well as theological and governance issues, from a Unification perspective.

Some articles have generated a large number of site hits, in several cases over 1,700 in a day. Our top article in the past year was “The Only-Begotten Daughter” by Dr. Andrew Wilson. Article contributors include UTS faculty (current, former, full-time, and adjunct) and a growing broad range of writers from around the world. Some authors are UTS graduates but many are not.

We post occasional film and book reviews, and have also published several collections of poetry. We especially encourage submissions from second generation Unificationists. As always, we welcome new op-ed/commentary submissions of 1,200-1,800 words (see our guidelines). To submit an article or review for consideration by the AU Blog, email the Managing Editor, Dr. Mark Barry.

If you haven’t already done so, please “Follow” the AU Blog by signing up on our home page to receive an email each time we post something new. We look forward to your continuing engagement with the AU Blog in its fourth year of operation.

Dr. Mark P. Barry
Managing Editor, Applied Unificationism

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