Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 188

Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 7: True Parents’ Course of Suffering and Victory
Chapter 2: The Ehwa University and Yonsei University Incident and Suffering in Seodaemun
Section 2: Seodaemun Prison, Wild rumors
Section 2: Seodaemun Prison, Paragraph 09

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Section 2. Seodaemun Prison

Wild rumors

The expulsion of students and dismissal of professors from Ehwa Womans University and Yonsei University caused True Father's suffering to continue. Christian organizations responded to the spiritual enthusiasm that was taking place in the Unification Church by spreading all kinds of wild rumors. On July 4, 1955, True Father was arrested on charges of avoiding the draft and thus violating the military service law. Subsequently, four of his disciples were also arrested.

1  Many sectors of society opposed the Unification Church. Government offices, schools, religious groups and families all turned against our church. We were persecuted not because I was an evil person or because the Unification Church was an evil church. Rather, it was based on rumors that Christian leaders contrived by accusing us of all sorts of evils and wrongdoing as have been seen throughout history. As a result of these rumors, Christians began to hate us. 

I was educating people with the words of the Principle; that is why whoever came to the church had spiritual experiences. If they did not come back, the spirit world gave them a hard time. This would become a serious problem for them. When intelligent people listened to the Principle, they were bound to join the Unification Church. That is why, in order to stop us, Christians began taking all kinds of terrible measures against us.

2  Christians raised the issue of the heretical groups in the history of Christianity and said we were like those groups. They threw every sort of accusation against us. Because this continued for about ten years, the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCLA) investigated us. They spent 40 days investigating the rumors that had accumulated over ten years and concluded, "There is nothing there." But they did not make a public announcement about it. They did not say, "Moon of the Unification Church has done nothing wrong, and all the rumors you have been believing are lies." When I was declared not guilty after my trial, the newspapers devoted only a few lines to it. 

How could the negative image that was established nationwide be changed? Even though our church did public relations work to change public opinion, everyone still opposed us. Finally there were legal proceedings, and based on the investigative report from the police, we made an announcement that the Unification Church is not the kind of place that people think. They still did not believe us. Although the police confirmed it, people said, "The Unification Church has bribed the police!"

3  There was a woman, a devoted mother and wife. She was so close to her husband that she thought that without him she would die. But after she joined the Unification Church, her life changed. Instead of going back to her house at 5:00 p.m. to prepare dinner, she would stay and listen to my teachings late into the night. In those days I often spoke until 4:00 a.m., regardless of how many members were with me. I was sleeping just two hours a night on average. 

Naturally, problems arose within her family. Her husband asked her not to go to the church, but still she came, saying, "No matter what, I will go." This kind of family dispute was a good reason for Christian ministers to oppose me. From their point of view, I was causing their best members to go astray. Hence, many of them gathered and organized to oppose our church. As a result, I was falsely accused of all kinds of wrongdoings. However, I thought to myself, "Go ahead, put all the blame on me," and I did not make excuses. 

After the court found me not guilty and I was released from Seodaemun Prison, I did not hear any Christian ministers say that I was found innocent of the rumors and that they must have been false.

4  Unification Church members were persecuted severely, especially the women. It is because when they left home to go to the market, they ended up going to the church in spite of themselves, which led their husbands to jump to all sorts of wrong conclusions. These incidents were common in the early days of our church. If you understand spiritual phenomena, there is nothing mysterious about them. Yet the rumor spread that I controlled our members by some kind of electrical device that I had secretly implanted in them.

Actually, even people in the secular world use hypnotism to exercise mind control on people. How much more powerful are the spiritual experiences that people have when they connect to the Spirit of God! There was nothing unusual about what these women believers did, coming to the church with a heart yearning for the Word of God. Do you have any idea how great the power of prayer is? If you pray, you can have such experiences.

5  Around the time of the Ehwa Womans University and Yonsei University incident, five cabinet ministers tried to knock me down and obliterate the Unification Church. Since they could find no fault in me, they tried to convict me of evading military service. They accused me of lying about my age, that I claimed I was two years older than my real age. However, despite a thorough investigation, the court could not produce any evidence, and I was found not guilty.

6  We held a 60-day witnessing campaign at Ehwa Womans University and Yonsei University, and many students and professors joined. The two universities were in an uproar, and their administrations felt so threatened that they had to do something about this situation. So they made allegations against me. They called me a heretic and hurled all kinds of false accusations at me. But no matter how much the prosecutors investigated me on those charges, they could find nothing criminal. 

The university authorities accused me of being anti-family, and that I practiced sexual immorality, but the prosecutors could not find any evidence to support those charges. Therefore, they arrested me on the charge that I evaded military service. Did I evade military service? I had short hair during the Korean War, so they thought I belonged to the North Korean People’s Army. Even though I was willing to join the South Korean army, I was classified as Third Class, which exempted me from military service. Hence I was not able to join the army. In the end, no matter how much the prosecutors tried to make a case against me, they could not find me guilty of any of the charges. That is why I was acquitted after three months.

However, most people did not learn that I was declared innocent. Christian ministers did not inform their members that the court had acquitted me. The newspaper reports about it were very brief. Our church leaders suggested, "Let's make a statement about the Seodaemun incident and the groundless allegations against the Unification Church." Yet to me, the allegations were not the issue, and my imprisonment was not the issue. The issue to me was that the Republic of Korea had betrayed me. It would do no good to regard Korea as my enemy and fight back. Rather, in order to restore Korea, we would have to move on to the world level and then return to Korea. This was the path of restoration through indemnity that lay before us.


Life in Seodaemun Prison

In Seodaemun Prison, True Father was assigned number 390. Four disciples were imprisoned with him: Kim Won-pil, Eu Hyo-won, Eu Hyo-young and Eu Hyo-min. So many people visited Father in prison that it must have broken the record for the number of visitors. He encouraged all the church family members who visited him, telling them, "Do not waver." By his heart and way of life, Father earned the respect of the guards, the warden and the other inmates.

7  I was imprisoned in Seodaemun Prison in 1955. Many rumors were circulating about me as the leader of the Unification Church. So as I entered the prison in shackles, the manager of my cell block glared at me angrily and shouted that he would punish me. I said to myself, "Wait and see. Within one month, I will win you over." 

In the beginning, I was watched and treated as if I were a monkey in a zoo. I thought, "Do as you please! Unlike you, I am not a good-for-nothing!" Within one week, I won the hearts of the guards. People began calling me "Teacher," even in the prison. When I was released, the warden of the prison came out and called me "Teacher Moon."

8  When I entered Seodaemun Prison, the manager of my cell block belittled me. I was quite upset with his behavior, but I determined to win him over before my departure from the facility. A few days later when he came to my cell, I greeted him cheerfully, "Good morning!" Sometimes he silently walked by my cell, and I thought, "You are just passing by, but you will come back." Then, just as I expected, he actually did. 

One day he came to me and told me that on a certain morning he was eating rice cakes, and one got stuck in his throat. Why do you think he choked? It was because his ancestors caused it to happen to him, knowing that if their descendant kept on mistreating me, they and that descendant would be in trouble. Not only that, he was eating the rice cake by himself, and his ancestors wanted him to change his ways. After I explained all this to him, his attitude changed. He started to call me "Teacher," and he also ran errands for me. 

Even the warden came to respect me. On the day of my release, he brought me a cantaloupe, a watermelon, and other seasonal fruits. He shared personal stories with me that he had not revealed even to his own siblings. He testified about me to the prison officers and guards. Do you think he testified to me because I witnessed to him? I never witnessed to him directly, yet I knew how to witness to him.

9  I know the yearning heart you had when you came to see me in Seodaemun Prison, as if nothing else in your fife mattered. History will remember your names. Someday in the future I will reward all the family members who came to visit me in prison. So treasure your visitor's pass and keep it safe. Any of you who has one should regard it as a family heirloom. And when you marry, keep it close to your bosom. 

When I left the prison, all the guards and even the warden came to see me off. Some of those guards later joined the church. In this way, despite the enemies I faced, I pioneered the path of heaven. In order to become Abel, we must unite with God at all costs. Therefore, whatever the suffering on your path, you should never think that you are walking that path alone. God chooses as Abel those who will not rest until they win over those who accuse them. 

True religions start from prison. A new history can begin from the worst place, if in that place you have more hope and a greater vision than anyone else. Then Satan's world cannot accuse you or interfere with you, even when you are later elevated or promoted. That is why in prison you can make a new start that connects you to a new world. In prison we can experience the heart of God and become one with Him.

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