Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 177
Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 7: True Parents’ Course of Suffering and Victory
Chapter 1: Suffering and Victory during the Japanese Occupation and in Communist North Korea
Section 2: The Oaedong Detention Center, Background
Section 2: The Oaedong Detention Center, Paragraph 10
Section 2. The Oaedong Detention Center
After the Christian leaders whom God had prepared in South Korea failed to accept him, True Father went to North Korea to prepare a new foundation. He arrived in Pyongyang on June 6, 1946. His evangelical meetings were filled with spirit and grace, and many believers crowded into the hall. Then anonymous reports from Christian leaders jealous of his success reached the communist authorities, who readily accepted them because they had a policy to suppress religions. This resulted in him being imprisoned at the Daedong Detention Center on August 11, two months after his arrival in Pyongyang. The allegations against True Father were that he was a spy for the South Korean government and that he was disrupting the social order. Around that time, leaders of the Inside the Womb Church, including Rev. Heo Ho-bin, were also imprisoned at the Daedong Detention Center.
1 When I went to Pyongyang and struggled to conduct my ministry under the communist regime, I was 26 years old. If you compare that time with the present, your circumstances are much better. In those days, over 70 Christian pastors united to oppose me. I had to face persecution from those ministers, who had submitted to the rule of the communists in North Korea by forming an organization called the North Chosun Christian Alliance that was under the auspices of the Communist Party.
My teachings had such power that we could recruit even core members from any church that we had contact with. At that time, I was living in Gyeongchang-ri, Pyongyang, and a rumor spread among the churches, "If you go to Gyeongchang-ri, there is a handsome young man who is a heretic. Once you listen to him, you will fall into his clutches." This rumor circulated widely, saying that people should not go there, especially women.
2 I went to North Korea, which was ruled by the Communist Party. While I was spreading God's Word, the communists arrested and imprisoned me on suspicion of being an informer for South Korean President Syngman Rhee, simply because I had come from South Korea. However, even after a lengthy investigation, they were unable to find any proof that I was spying for the South. So instead, they accused me of being a shaman who disrupted society and used that as the reason to imprison me.
In prison, I was beaten innumerable times. I was brutally tortured and treated with contempt. I walked such a path to come this far. I experienced many extreme situations. Still, they were necessary in the process of realizing a world of hope, and I think of them now as precious memories.
3 Satan used individuals to attack me and caused families to hate me. He looked for ways to make even the government kill me. Just as Satan killed Jesus, he tried to kill me by every possible means. He mobilized everyone on every level to oppose me.
The North Korean communists used their power to put me in prison. Among their groundless charges, the North Korean government accused me of being a spy for the Syngman Rhee administration in the South. They said things like, "You are a spy sent by the South to plunder our country." They imprisoned me with the intention to kill me. At that time, if I had said, "This is too difficult to endure; I no longer care whether it is for the Will of God. I give up," that would have been the end. However, I resolved, "I must not perish even if the world crumbles. As long as the world remains intact, I must remain intact. No matter how severely they torture me, even if my limbs are torn apart, I will fight for God's Will in His name."
4 The communists in Pyongyang arrested me, shackled me and dragged me into prison. During the time of Japanese rule as well, the Japanese police had forced me into prison. Although I was going to prison, my heart was brimming with hope. You might ask why. It was because heaven promised me that I would meet someone special in prison. The spirit world had made an arrangement that I would meet someone there. Hence, I went to prison with a joyful heart in order to meet that person. Because I was eager to meet that particular person in prison, going to prison was for me an occasion of new hope.
5 Rev. Heo Ho-bin of the Inside the Womb Church walked the way of faith throughout her life, wholeheartedly offering sincere devotion. If you look at her personal history, the path she walked was beyond your wildest imagination. She held fast to her faith even under extreme oppression by the communists, who treated people of faith as their enemies. I cannot illustrate the indescribable torture she had to go through. I heard that they beat her so severely that it tore holes through her thin clothes, which were made of the light ramie that Koreans usually wear in the hot summer. She lost consciousness dozens of times. Her younger brother could not bear the torture and died. Approximately 40 leaders of her church were imprisoned and cruelly tortured. I was also imprisoned because the communists considered me in the same category.
6 Because the Principle of Restoration is fulfilled through indemnity, it was not possible for me to visit in person the spiritual groups that were prepared and waiting for me. One reason Jesus died was that he could not receive his Bride. That was because the conditions for Jesus to meet his Bride had not been prepared. That is what led to the death of Jesus. Therefore, at the Second Advent of the Lord, God prepared groups whose role was to find a Bride for him. If Rev. Heo Ho-bin, the leader of one such group, had prayed to God to know where the Lord was, God would have revealed that place to her. Accordingly, I was waiting for the time her group would come to me. I could not go to them.
During that period, I came to know a woman who was like Anna, the old prophetess in the Bible. She did her spiritual work either on heaven's side or in the midway position. When she was not on heaven's side, she was in the midway position. After I met that woman, who was very elderly, I sent her as my messenger to Rev. Heo. I told her, "Tell Rev. Heo to pray about who I am." However, Rev. Heo was hoping for a colossal sign from God, and to her the young man described by this messenger did not seem special enough. She was not expecting the Lord to be a simple young man. Also, this elderly woman messenger was not someone with a big name, but just an ordinary person. Hence, Rev. Heo, unable to realize that this messenger had such an important mission, sent her back. After that, I sent another messenger, this time a young woman, but again Rev. Heo did not respond.
Around that time, Rev. Heo gathered the leaders of her group in one place and described a revelation she had received that said, "Just as Chunhyang (the heroine of a Korean folktale) met her husband when she was in prison, you will meet the Lord in prison."
7 At the same time that I was waiting to meet Rev. Heo Ho-bin in Pyongyang, the communists were tightening their control over North Korea. They learned that Rev. Heo's group had collected a lot of donations, and that they had prepared special clothes and bought a nice house. Accordingly, they charged the leaders of this group with being pseudo religious swindlers and threw them into prison. At that time, I too suffered persecution because they thought I was doing similar activities. In reality, I had no relationship with that group, but that is what the communists accused me of. The communists imprisoned me, and I happened to share a cell with a man who was a leader under Rev. Heo. My imprisonment began on August 11, 1946. Rev. Heo and the other leaders of her group suffered severe torture. The communists intended to annihilate all religions.
Torture and release
True Father was subjected to very cruel torture at the Daedong Detention Center. His captors inflicted extreme measures, such as not allowing him to sleep for one week and beating him mercilessly with a club. After 103 days, on November 21, 1946, True Father was released in a condition near death. His followers brought his body to a room, where he vomited so much blood that it filled a washbasin, and then he lapsed into a coma. His disciples discussed what they would do in case of his death. But miraculously, he recovered. After that, he moved to another meeting hall and continued to spread his teachings.
8 The communists inflicted on me the most severe torture, sleep deprivation. They did not let me sleep for an entire week. While suffering through that torment, I remember thinking, "Let's see who wins, you or me," and took it as a game. Normally, after suffering a week without sleep people divulge everything they know. But I was able to get some sleep because I had learned how to sleep with my eyes open. I studied how to do it. Even now when I feel sleepy, I use that method. Also, after I was beaten and felt extreme pain throughout my body, I learned how to exercise in order to lessen the pain and heal the bruises. Today, when I am tired or in pain, I use these same exercises. Even now, I manage my strenuous life while sleeping an average of one hour per day.
9 When I was doing my pioneer mission in Pyongyang, I was visited by wives of many pastors and church elders. This led about 70 pastors to anonymously inform on me to the police, and I was imprisoned. Even agents from the Soviet Union interrogated and tortured me, because they suspected I was a spy from the South. They put me in a room with red walls and forced me to stay awake for a week. If a person is not allowed to sleep for even three days, that person will lose his mind. They placed me alone on a white cushion in a room enclosed by four red walls and for three days, then for one week, they would not let me sleep. I said to myself, "Do you think I will not be able to sleep?" So, I trained myself to sleep with my eyes open. That is why rumors arose that I was a shaman and a magician, and that I did miracles like those in the Bible. They assigned someone to watch me all the time.
10 I am physically strong and agile. I could engage in any sport and was sure to be among the top three competitors in any athletic event. I am a man with that kind of capability. Yet in prison, I was subjected to so many beatings. Twelve people surrounded me and beat me from every direction, north, south, east and west. I was subjected to all kinds of torture, but I received them without saying a word.
While they were torturing me, I endured, thinking, "Come on you guys, hit me!" When a man beat me with a club, I said to myself, "Come on and hit me!" I am not so gutless that I would ask them, "Please, spare me." When they tortured me by tying me up cross-legged, I thought, "You will break before I will." I was beaten in the face so much that half my teeth broke. In those suffering and humiliating conditions I shed sweat, I screamed, I bled, and I shed tears. Many others endured these things, but who could match the purpose for which I endured them?
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