On February 26, the Fourth Think Tank 2022 Forum for the reunification of North and South Korea was held which featured former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Appearing with him were former military leaders, former senior officials, and academics from the United States, South Korea and Japan. Afterwards, Secretary Esper took questions from the public of these nations, including students.
Think Tank 2022, which developed as an outgrowth of the eight Rallies of Hope for the reunification of North and South Korea that began in August 2020, is holding numerous such events throughout the world, focusing on leaders in government, religion, business, the academic world, women leaders, etc.
In my view, these Rallies of Hope and Think Tank forums are intended to provide the platform for Mother Hak Ja Han Moon to work for peace if she is able to visit North Korea, as she has stated she would like to undertake in the near future. Thereby, she hopes to build on the work for Korean reunification of her late husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, when they traveled together to Pyongyang and met with North Korean President Kim Il Sung in December 1991.
Let us look at platforms and the purpose of building them. First, we should recognize that this is a methodology that True Parents have used throughout their ministry. In the 1980s, Rev. Moon built a platform to prepare for his trip to Moscow, where in April 1990 he and Mrs. Moon met with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, accompanied by a large delegation of former heads of state and government.
Rev. Moon began constructing his platform with the Washington Times newspaper, which President Ronald Reagan is said to have read every day. He added leading academics in the field of Soviet studies through the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), which held a major conference in Geneva in 1985 titled “The End of the Soviet Empire.” He further built his platform with the World Media Association, which gathered journalists from major media outlets including the Soviet press agency, Novosti, and a delegation of former heads of state and government brought together under the Summit Council for World Peace and AULA. He extended his platform to the realm of sports, when he asked Unificationists to offer warm hospitality to the athletes from communist nations at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.
This was the broad platform by which Rev. Moon demonstrated both strength of conviction and solicitude for the communist world. Upon that platform, he was able to meet with President Gorbachev. Without such a powerful and distinguished platform, it is doubtful Rev. Moon could have met with Gorbachev, or even if they had met, for Gorbachev to treat him with commensurate respect.
The significance of that meeting was to open the gate for religion to return to the Soviet Union, as hundreds of Unificationist missionaries subsequently entered the country to teach the Principle. Protestant missionaries as well began evangelizing the Russian people. Russian Orthodox churches reopened and were rebuilt. Less than two years later, the Soviet Union collapsed and the center of worldwide communism was no more.
Rev. Moon’s meeting with President Gorbachev also paved the way for the resumption of Soviet relations with South Korea in June 1990. Thus, it became part of the platform upon which Rev. and Mrs. Moon could meet North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in December 1991. Yet another piece was the Unification Movement’s large investment at the time in China, where businesses founded by Rev. Moon were building a factory to produce automobiles.
At their meeting, Rev. Moon and President Kim embraced as brothers. This resulted in opening up North Korea to joint economic ventures with the Unification movement in tourism and automobile assembly, and additional meetings in Pyongyang with former senior U.S. officials brought through Rev. Moon’s American Freedom Coalition and delegations of former world leaders from the Summit Council. The meeting helped create the diplomatic environment for the signing of the December 1991 inter-Korean Basic Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonaggression, Cooperation and Family Exchanges.
However, Rev. Moon’s platform was not embraced by South Korean governments at the time. Although South Korean President Kim Dae Jung attended the 1999 celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Segye Times newspaper with Rev. Moon, President Kim undertook his “Sunshine Policy” towards North Korea on his own. He worked apart from South Korea’s NGO sector, including the Unification movement, despite the opening with the North that Rev. Moon had brought about. As a result, although the first inter-Korean summit took place between Kim Dae Jung and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il in June 2000, its impact was short-lived. In hindsight, we can perhaps say that although Rev. Moon had built a strong platform in the United States and the communist world, his platform in South Korea was inadequate.
Biblically speaking, platforming was the methodology that Jacob used to overcome the resentment of his brother Esau, so that his reunion with him would go well. Jacob labored for 21 years in Haran to create his platform: this was his wealth in sheep and cattle. When he was about to meet his brother, he first presented it to him:
From what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.” (Gen. 32:13-20)
By preparing this platform, Jacob wanted Esau to know that he had become a man of substance who should be treated with respect. Jacob was no longer that conniving younger brother who had skedaddled out of town right after deceiving his father to gain the blessing, being rightly afraid of his brother’s wrath. Now he was a successful man whom God had blessed with riches.
Remarking on the significance of this platform for Jacob, Rev. Moon said:
Through these gifts, Jacob wanted to make his elder brother think: “My brother is a fearful man. Indeed, God blessed him. It was my mistake that I sold my birthright so cheaply; hence I deserve to be less successful than my younger brother. So, when my brother comes, I should not reject him. I should rather welcome him.” In this way, Jacob could move Esau to recognize that God was with him, and to acknowledge that he was in the position of Abel.
This is the path we should walk; this is the tradition we should follow. It is a formula, applicable in any situation and in every age. (World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 455)
The full video of the Fourth Think Tank 2022 Forum on Feb. 26, 2022.
Clearly Rev. Moon followed this formula and built his own platform when preparing to meet President Gorbachev, and again when preparing to meet President Kim Il Sung. Mother Moon is following the same formula today.
The methodology of building platforms of support is a fundamental feature of messianic thought. God wanted to build a platform for Jesus through the ministry of John the Baptist. He had built a large following among the Israelites by his ministry of baptism in the wilderness. Then John met Jesus at the Jordan River, where through revelation he testified that Jesus was the Son of God (John 1:34). If John had then united with Jesus, his foundation of widespread support would have been the platform for Jesus to appear as the rightful Messiah to all Israel. But John failed to join with Jesus and contribute his following to that platform, which left Jesus to set out on a difficult path that ultimately led to the cross.
At the time of the Second Advent, God labored in advance to prepare a platform for him so that he would not meet the same fate. This platform is the democratic world that upholds freedom of religion:
God’s spiritual providence during the two thousand years since Jesus’ day has prepared a democratic social and legal environment which will protect Christ at the Second Advent. Jesus was killed after being branded a heretic by the Jews and a rebel by the Roman Empire. In contrast, even if Christ at the Second Advent is persecuted as a heretic, in the democratic society to which he will come, such accusations will not be sufficient grounds for him to be condemned to death. (Exposition of Divine Principle, pp. 282-83)
Not only that, democracy provides the space for Christ at the Second Advent to create a platform among the people for establishing the world of God’s sovereignty:
When the Messiah returns to societies under the rule of democratic governments well-nurtured by the Christian spirit, he will be able to establish God’s sovereignty upon the earth with the wholehearted support of the people. (EDP, p. 340)
In contrast to politicians who lead from above, the returning Christ will lead efforts to establish God’s sovereignty by the will of the people. Only the will of the people can overcome the egoism of politicians who put their own glory ahead of taking the hard steps required for peace. The will of the people needs to be cultivated by building a robust platform.
As a Unificationist, I would ascribe much of the failures of our past efforts for peace to the inadequacy of our platforms. Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s meeting with President Kim Il Sung in 1991 did not lead to Korean unification at that time because the Unification movement’s platform in South Korean society was too weak to attract the support of the Korean presidents.
Furthermore, lack of acceptance of the Unification movement within the highest circles of successive U.S. administrations resulted in Rev. Moon’s counsel regarding the former Soviet Union falling on deaf ears. After the USSR’s collapse, he would have had America invest in a major effort to help the Russian people rebuild their country and improve its institutions, as it did for Western Europe after World War II through the Marshall Plan. America’s failure to fully embrace and love the Russian people in the early 1990s is the reason that today the world has to deal with an angry and aggressive Russia that resents and distrusts the West.
It is in this light that we can understand the purpose of the Rallies of Hope and Think Tank 2022 forums. True Mother is working to rally leaders of all sectors of society: government, religion, education, business, the military, and ordinary citizens to build a broad-based platform for Korean reunification. She intends that this platform will be deep and wide enough for her to act freely and confidently when hopefully in the near future she will be able to visit North Korea. Having a platform that includes leaders from all sectors of society in Korea, the United States, Japan, and around the world, she will be better positioned to lead the world to begin taking concrete steps to knit together both Koreas into a unified and harmonious nation.♦
Dr. Andrew Wilson (UTS Class of 1978) is Professor of Scriptural Studies at Unification Theological Seminary. He edited World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts and World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon.
Thanks for this, Dr. Wilson. Very insightful and thought-provoking. Many of us wonder, “Where is all this going?” Thinking in terms of all these activities creating a “platform” is very helpful.
Thanks for your words. As a member of the Unification Movement since 1979, I am amazed what this Korean couple has done for God and the entire world. It’s the greatest privilege to be Rev. Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han’s contemporary and an eyewitness to such a storm-filled life. How did I have the good fortune to be born at such a crucial time in God’s providential history?
If memory serves me correctly (which could be faulty), the US was instrumental in the peaceful transition of the Eastern European bloc countries out of the Soviet sphere and into the EU and NATO. It seems speculative to me to suggest that the US should have somehow invested more and directly in Russia. If anybody missed their chance, I would say it was the leaders of Russia at the time. The UM did invest in Russia at that time. Hundreds, if not thousands of members served there, including my wife.
Rob Sayre and all,
In a recent documentary dealing with the breakup of the Soviet Union, one specific situation was mentioned, which in my view illustrates a mistake or misjudgment of the so-called West. In 1991, Gorbachev was invited to the G7 meeting in London. Bush 41 commented that “now Russia is no longer an enemy but has become a friend”. They were all big smiles, but when Gorbachev ask the G7 leaders for financial support (in the form of loans) to reform the Soviet economy, they declined and sent him home empty-handed.
Subsequently, Gorbachev and his team were unable to carry out the reforms they had intended, and soon after he was gone from power and others took over.
I believe Gorbachev would have been a very different partner for the West to deal with; to this, he seems an open-minded and globally thinking person. Had he continued as the leader of the Soviet Union, things might/would have probably turned out very different from what we see today.
Of course, we don’t know … it’s all “what-ifs.”
Interesting point. But I may not fully agree.
UK Prime Minister John Major had insisted that Mikhail Gorbachev should be invited to the G-7 in London in July 1991. The nice offer was already a sign of very good will, right after the context of the Cold War. Yet, it was premature and had not been coordinated among the G-7.
At that time, the political and economic situation of the Soviet Union was still uncertain.
Abel could have done better, sure. The Russian leaders were offered so much blind help on the other hand.
Putin now likes to play the role of the “humiliated and insulted”, as Dostoevsky would have said. And we forget how much help he received, how much generosity came, almost blindly.
Much of this help has been used by powerful oligarchs.
Putin has been in power for 23 years … He had three times more than needed to invest in the Eurasian dream. I am sure that, if he had established a genuine and selfless cooperation with Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and the Central Asian republics, the Eurasian community would be vibrant today. Its potential is so huge. You don’t need to confront anyone to develop your dream and vision. You just need to be positive.
To me, this is the story that could have taken place. Not only “if only Abel had done better …” but also, if only Cain had been wise enough to build better. Japan and Germany were asked to drastically change their ideology after World War II and they could build modern institutions.
Germany and Japan have offered so much to the Third World, the two nations rank among the most peaceful nations of the world.
Russian governance has remained what it has been: a rogue state toward Heaven, humankind and the Earth. Which other nation on this planet was able to create ghost states like Transnistria, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Donestk, Lugansk? How can this continue?
The operations in Ukraine almost look like the raid of a criminal organization, a kind of super mafia to control the Sea of Azov and make it the sole property of Russia. It seems that Putin has no clear war aims, he is just rabid to gain more land and resources. Our brother Putin is just good at bullying his opponents and other states. It is time to educate this man. He can repent and say sorry to the whole world.
Russia could go on with no repentance whatsoever for Marxism-Leninism and Stalinism. There were no Nuremberg trials for these people, who could die in their beds. Yesterday, Boris Romantschenko, a 96-year old Ukrainian who had survived the Holocaust in Nazi concentration camps, was killed in his apartment in Kharkiv by a Russian bomb.
Putin could have invested in creative projects. Instead, he has focused primarily on military build-up. What for? Is his “security” threatened by NATO? Surely not. Russia has nuclear weapons and can only be “threatened” by freedom, democracy and prosperity.
This would mean for Russia to become a normal country. Its blind insistance on remaining a superpower creates a major problem. At the present moment, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine makes it a potential vassal or client state for China.
Today, the much vilified Western world is opening once again its arms to refugees. Putin is good at driving them away, and we are good at offering them a better future in our environment. The so called decadent Western world remains the place for freedom, for charity, for humanitarianism.
I really believe that our movement in Europe has to prepare a powerful platform after this war is over, because peace will not come easily now.
About that time, in 1990, I was employed at the publishing company, Rodale Press, which published magazines such as Prevention, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Organic Gardening, and others. In 1990, the CEO, Bob Rodale, was working to establish a large organic farm and Russian language editions of Prevention and Organic Gardening. He was killed in Sept. 1990 in a car accident in Moscow. He also had plans to do the same thing in China and in Liberia. I did not know it at the time, but he had attended an Economic Development conference organized by Dr. Durst. So, there were things coming together that God was working through that maybe could have made a difference and would not have required government funding. The company was profitable and committed to these projects.
Dr. Wilson is offering to our worlwide community a remarkable essay. It is much more that yet another chronology of True Parents’ past efforts to bring a peaceful conclusion to the Cold War, which climaxed with the summits in Moscow with Gorbachev and Pyongyang with Kim Il Sung.
Dr. Wilson takes time to explain very deeply and yet very simply the building up of a platform on the family and tribal level (Jacob) and then on the world level (Jesus). While we too often speak in purely theological terms (foundation of faith / foundation of substance), Dr. Wilson explains many realistic factors involved in the building of a platform that we often forget.
The essay is very rich and well-documented, but remains easy to read and very captivating. It should be read and analyzed with great humility by our leaders and members. It is not just an opinion, but shows a very deep concern for the future of our activities.
I deeply appreciate the effort involved in the writing of this essay. At the same time, Dr. Wilson has the courage to assess that we could not build a platform powerful enough to change the course of history.
I feel that Dr. Wilson is not desperate, but very serious, concerned and preoccupied. He tells us that our limitless hope and longing for the reunification of our Fatherland needs to be thought in much more realistic terms now. We have to build a momentum so that world leaders and the public opinion can unite with our vision.
I would like to analyze briefly what I see as our five strong points and our five weaknesses right now. To be more precise, our platform is very strong in five areas and at the same time is threatened seriously in exactly the same areas.
1) We have the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, who have fulfilled the Ideal of Creation and have established God’s lineage. Our movement truly has the equivalent of nuclear power for world peace, if I may use this analogy. Our mystical foundation is of the highest quality. We have what no other group has, and this gift is for all mankind to be saved.
2) Spiritually, we are a very unique movement with a foundation that never existed in all human history. We have so may Blessed families who have gone through a course of heroism to establish God’s lineage and the tradition of True Love from the first 3 couples, 36, 72, 124 … all the way to millions of couples. This holy community is additionally headed by an “elite” of thousands of Cheonbo who have completed the 430 vertically and horizontally. We have the ballistic missiles to shoot true love to every corner of the world. Our spiritual technology is very strong.
3) The Unification movement has scriptures which are the deepest ever. We have a tradition of Hoon Dok Hae to guide us. So, we have a strong and dedicated army to use our weapons every day. Their ammunition is really good and efficient.
4) True Parents have built a global strategy and invented thousands of tested tactics to be good fighters. We have records of so many good practices that work and open doors. We have a whole academy of peace building.
5) True Parents gave us a legacy of victories. They were never defeated. Even in the most tragic moments of their life, True Parents kep the relationship with God so high and continued to love us so much.
I am absolutely convinced about these strong points. But I observe, within me, and within our movement, many factors which undermine this treasure. Because everybody surely has their own diagnosis and explanation of our pathologies, I shall not explain why we have terrible weaknesses in these five areas.
I believe that they are redeemable until 2027, if we take this task very seriously. There is now a very fearful momentum for us. Each one of us is on a really serious frontline, and I wonder if we understand this.
In conclusion, I again want to thank Dr. Wilson for this essay, one of the best pieces I have read recently.
I appreciate the 5 areas you point out. They are presented as strengths. But you leave out the “weaknesses”.
Could you continue with your assessment of the 5 areas’ inherent weaknesses?
With such powerful strengths, I am left wondering “What Happened?”
SMM may have set up platforms to succeed. However, in Dr. Wilson’s article, there is the suggestion of incompleteness.
If there is now to be a success with TM’s “platform,” wouldn’t it be wise to consider what may have gone wrong/been missing before?
Robin, I am grateful that you reopen the discussion on Dr. Wilson’s excellent essay and my own modest contributions. I would have expected much more discussion on this fundamental essay of Dr. Wilson, especially what should we do from now on. I am puzzled that so few people have showed interest so far. I am really sad about it.
Yes, I suggested that we have 5 very strong points, but I suggested that they may be our weaknesses at the same time. But I did not want to elaborate on that. Maybe, I should start doing it now, with great humility. I shall briefly cover only 3 points.
1) We have the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, who have fulfilled the Ideal of Creation and have established God’s lineage. Our mystical foundation is of the highest quality. We have what no other group has, and this gift is for all mankind to be saved.
It is true, and at the same time, there is some disenchantment in our mystical connection with Heavenly Parent and True Parents. We have seen that the ideal of the True Family was extremely difficult, even for the True Parents. Some of their own children have taken paths which created deep trouble. It is not easy to heal. I have no precise solution for that, I just hope that the problem will dissipate, but I am sure that it is blocking the future of our development and God’s hope placed in us.
2) Spiritually, we are a very unique movement with a foundation that never existed in all human history. We have so may Blessed families who have gone through a course of heroism to establish God’s lineage and the tradition of True Love from the first 3 couples, 36, 72, 124 … all the way to millions of couples. This holy community is additionally headed by an “elite” of thousands of Cheonbo who have completed the 430 vertically and horizontally.
Yes, there has been much heroism and incredible efforts to quickly reach out to the whole world and have much impact in many nations. But we have great difficulties bequeathing our legacy to the next generations. Our movement is becoming a movement of veterans, and we have not yet made a transition toward a new culture of “Cheon Il Guk building”. Myself, I have tried in Paris for 6 years (2010-2016), to work day and night with second generations, but the external results were not convincing. I overcame the sorrow, but could not offer much hope to Heaven.
3) The Unification movement has scriptures which are the deepest ever. We have a tradition of Hoon Dok Hae to guide us. So, we have a strong and dedicated army to use our weapons every day. Their ammunition is really good and efficient.
The problem that we face is that our movement is tempted either by dogmatism or by sheer empiricism, to speak like Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). We herald the Principle as the revealed word of God, but when we do so, we often fail to show practical applications.
As a result and put off by this dogmatism, many members still have some “creed” but mostly rely on self-help, personal development, other spiritualities, and whatever works. We are either too spiritual, or too humanistic, but cannot propose a Unificationist wisdom which really helps people, families, and communities grow very much. At the least, we don’t have the critical mass of people doing this. Honestly, when I compare our zeal to Jehovah Wintesses or the Church of Scientology, I can see that they are much more dynamict and growing than us.
There are so many “opinions” now in our movement. I was very impressed by the methodology used by IEF in the 1990s and 2000s in Russia and China. There was a corpus of teachings on character education, with a lot of research, case studies, practical applications. It was exactly the right balance between theory and practice.
Regarding world peace, I fail to see any curriculum of “peace studies”. I have tried to do much research, personally, in two fields of peace studies: one is city diplomacy, the other is parliamentary diplomacy.
Each field of study requires much energy. But I never saw any sign of interest for this in our movement, except if it was instrumental to bring VIPs to an event. Usually, peace movements work on real issues, not on name-dropping. But we have followed this path of bringing VIPs who always repeat the same stuff, which is,”there is no peace without development, and no development without peace.” I have often heard old men repeat the same mantra in our UPF meetings, with no women or young people on the panel, except if the topic was on women or on young people. I am not saying this in a cynical way, I just feel that God must worry about this more than me.
I would say that WFWP is doing better, and I enjoy working with our women on some issues, it is well-thought and very practical. I am not discouraged, I just hope that better times will come.
I appreciate your engagement and frankness.
My thoughts here are that I agree, in “building a robust platform”, the will of the people is needed, absolutely. The continuing strategy of the UM seems to be to invest major resources in the various leadership in politics, religion, and science. The conferences continue… but “only the will of the people” seems to have been overlooked or underated.
Chunbo and multiple Blessings are identified and exalted, but I have yet to hear of practical steps forward as a result. Back in 1997, there were huge Blessings that were supposed to usher in a world of unity. Does a case study exist which shows any transformation taking place as a result of those and other Blessings? i.e. beyond anecdotal feedback?
Dr Wilson says “I would ascribe much of the failures of our past efforts for peace to the inadequacy of our platforms.”
It seems, Laurent, that you too question the adequacy of the platforms from the “weaknesses” you describe.
Does the problem lie in the nature of the current platform design?
In the article, the “platforms” belong to the central persons Jacob, Jesus, SMM and now HJH. Dr Wilson describes the recent platforms of SMM as inadequate.
He also inserts the word “our”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines our:
“of or relating to us or ourselves or ourself, especially as possessors or possessor, agents or agent, or objects or object of an action
I am reminded of the many, many speeches, and the numerous recitations of pledges, to have the wider UM membership and possibly the many millions of Blessed couples to “own” the platforms.
As you suggest, even the best of efforts are falling short. This then brings to mind the adage by Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
Maybe it is time to re-evaluate and re-design the platform and how it is to be adopted.
What do you think, Laurent?
I am really grateful that you have given a new impetus to the discussion initiated by Dr. Wilson. His essay is deep and I wonder why so few people have answered so far.
At this stage of the discussion, I would suggest that Dr. Wilson return to the debate. I hope that he is not too busy. His essay is so important and deserves a very good discussion. Please, Dr. Wilson, come rejoin us in discussion.
Thank you for the article. There are several interesting points you make. In particular, I like the concept of platforming. It takes us down a different path of terminology. Father declared the end of restoration in 2004 and the completion of the Messianic mission in Foundation Day in 2013. If we take him at his word that means the foundations of faith and substance are no longer needed. The Cain-Abel dynamic behind history has come to an end. Platforming, then, is terminology that can transition us to the new dynamic we find ourselves in today. In the transition we still need a platform, but it is no longer a restorational foundation.
I also like your emphasis on the importance of democracy and the will of the people. Personally I feel that the conflicts we see in the world today are not Cain and Abel restoration, but birth pains. Birth pains arising from the struggle between a new manifestation of God emerging in the hearts and minds of the people, and the remnants of old authoritarian systems trying to maintain their centralized control.
Once again, thank you for this article. Do you think that CAUSA seminars could be added to the platform? As you know very well, the CAUSA worldview made the Soviets very angry — the Kremlin labeled TF “The Champion of Anti-Sovietism” (Izvestia, Jan. 28, 1984) — beside the wonderful job done in the US through education to clergy and civil society leaders.
Yes, the CAUSA movement was part of the platform that True Parents built for the “March on Moscow” to meet Pres. Gorbachev. Gorbachev understood that True Parents took communism deadly seriously and had a serious critique of its ideology, and yet at the same time, True Parents made efforts to embrace the communist athletes at the Seoul Olympics.
Gorbachev, I believe, also had his doubts about communist ideology. He was not a doctrinaire ideologue. He was looking for a brighter future for his nation. This also might have made True Parents’ platform attractive to him.
As Johann says, it would have been wonderful if he had more support from the West, especially economic support, to see through his programs of de-communization. Father gave so much of the treasure of the church to the mission in the CIS, but the US gave nothing. No funds for reconstruction, nothing except some businessmen who came with their carpetbags, looking for deals. And as I wrote, I think a reason for this was that our foundation for reaching the American political establishment was too weak.
With Laurent’s urging, I can only say this: I cannot but appreciate and honor all those who are investing their hearts and strength into supporting True Mother during her brief period of leadership of the movement. You remark that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over,” but I don’t think there are any shortcuts to hard work and repeated efforts. Yes, in hindsight, one can say that there are many things that the movement could have done better, but who really understands the context and situation that True Parents were in at the time?
I think one of the weaknesses of our platform was that Rev. Moon could not find many Western leaders with whom he could really trust and share his heart, mainly because so few of us made the effort to learn Korean. So he did not have a wide circle to give him advice and feedback about his activities. Yet despite this shortcoming, Rev. Moon gave it his all to the fight to subjugate Satan in the form of the Soviet Union, and he, along with others like President Reagan (whom we helped win in the 1980 election) succeeded by any historical reckoning.
I don’t have access to the meetings of the core leadership around Mother. But any reckoning of the context that she operates in must include the weakness that we still suffer from due to the schism, particularly the split with Hyun Jin Nim, who has considerable political skills and economic ability. Had he not separated from True Parents and gone his own way, there’s little doubt in my mind that he would have brought a lot of strength to True Mother’s efforts now. Mother’s stony path includes coping with the consequences of his departure, which impact her foundation in many ways. Still she perseveres, and I deeply respect her for that.
You speak of “the will of the people,” but what can a movement do that has never won widespread support, not in any deep and lasting way? Rev. Moon understood that weakness. I believe he knew that America as a Christian nation would never warm to him as long as Christianity stood against him, a situation that has hardly changed except around the edges such places as Pentecostalism. We could wish that his path were easier, but he is, after all, the Messiah and had to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. In that situation, I don’t believe he had much of a choice other than to build a platform among elite leaders, former presidents and so on, who had the ability to take his measure without being embroiled in the theological controversy that surrounded him.
Thank you very much, Dr. Wilson, for expressing your warm heart one more time, in this discussion, despite your busy schedule. You could add very valuable details which are precious food for thought. I appreciate your wisdom and also your filial piety toward True Parents. Again, I feel deeply sorry that your essay was not enough commented upon, maybe because it is quite challenging, but I am sure that more and more valuable discussions will come as well as creative ideas so that we can do better.