Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 116
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 3: The Mission of Religion in Achieving God’s Ideal
Speech 6: In the Hope that You Will Participate in the Unification Movement, pg 401-404
The IRS indictment is an abuse of power
I will share something about my historic trial. When Unification Church missionaries began to arrive in this nation, they set up a bank account to receive donations from their countries. Following a time-honored American tradition, the members asked me to manage this fund on behalf of the church. I handled it transparently and did not in any way try to hide it. In fact, we deposited the money in a major bank in New York. No evidence suggests that the account was anything other than a church fund used for church purposes.
Despite this, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began to make strenuous efforts to indict me. Caving to pressure from the public and even from Congress, it launched a large-scale investigation. In the end, after spending millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money, the IRS indicted me for not paying taxes on the interest that the account earned. In fact, I did pay personal income tax on the portion of the account that I withdrew for my family expenses, but the American government ignored this. According to the government, the total amount of tax I failed to pay was between seven thousand and fourteen thousand dollars. Now, as I said, the custom of a religious leader trusted to handle church funds personally is an old and honored one. Many churches, from Catholic to independent storefront churches, follow this custom. What happened here was that the government indicted a religious leader whom it decided was unpopular.
If I were to expose all the abuses of governmental power employed to persecute me, there would be no end to it. The people on the side of goodness and justice are aware of this abuse of power and despite the fact that the Unification Church is controversial, they mounted an unprecedented protest against my indictment and the guilty verdict. More than forty organizations supported the petition I submitted to the Supreme Court as “Friends of the Court.” Eminent organizations and individuals submitted sixteen briefs expressing serious concerns about the government’s abuse of power to attack religion.
The Friends of the Court that supported my petition include the National Council of Churches, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the Presbyterian Churches of the USA, the American Baptist Church, the National Evangelical Association, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the American Association of Christian Schools, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Christian Legal Society, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others. These diverse and eminent organizations spoke with one voice that if the IRS is allowed to prosecute a minority church today, the freedom of all religions will be threatened tomorrow. I am praying hard that the IRS’s abuse of power against me and my church will gain the attention of the American people, who love justice and freedom. And I request you to be a part of this holy endeavor to revive this great nation and return it to its Christian founding principles.
We fully realize the importance of the United States and the urgency of renewing Christianity and traditional values, and the Unification Church movement is contributing toward this goal. Through projects such as the International Religious Foundation, the New Ecumenical Research Association, and conferences on “God: The Contemporary Discussion,” we are bringing together theologians and clergy from all religions in order to promote and further a shared understanding of God and each other.
In addition, we are also bringing God’s voice into the academic world. The International Cultural Foundation supports annual meetings on the unity of the sciences and absolute values. We involve scholars in organizations such as the Professors World Peace Academy, Paragon House Publishers, and the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy in Washington, D.C. The religious ideal is manifested best in serving those in need, and we have begun enterprises such as the International Relief Friendship Foundation and Project Volunteer. For the work of saving all people from the ideology of totalitarianism, we have founded organizations such as the International Federation for Victory over Communism, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles, and CAUSA (Confederation of Associations for the Unity of the Societies of the Americas). In order to establish a standard of responsibility for the mass media, we have founded the World Media Association and News World Communications. The latter publishes several newspapers. Among them, we established The Washington Times to present alternative proposals with respect to national policies. This enterprise alone cost more than $100 million.
Innumerable projects to benefit the United States
These projects require hard work and sacrifice given through the love of my church members, including the offering of financial resources. We have invested billions of dollars in the United States. We did so because this nation is going to determine the fate of the world. In terms of my movement, the United States is a recipient, not a provider of funding. We are working with the conviction that if the United States is lost, the world is lost. God can depend on this nation and no other. Understanding the scope of my work, can you possibly believe that I came to the United States to defraud the government of a few thousand dollars in taxes?
I hope you and your congregations will henceforth participate in the Unification movement. It is a joint effort to achieve the Will of God on earth. I, too, am aware that the faith and practice of the Unification Church have led to misunderstandings and misconceptions. I earnestly hope that the upstanding people of the United States will hold constructive conversations with us in this Unification movement. Surely we all desire understanding and cooperation. I cannot explain everything about the faith of the Unification movement in this letter, so I have asked the church leaders to send you videotapes and printed material detailing our beliefs and practices. If you have not received this gift yet, you will, in the near future.
I hope you will take the time to evaluate this gift and to deliberate on my words. Our fundamental mission is to bring the entire world to love and unite in Christ, to restore the family, and to overcome atheism with a viewpoint centered on God. If you are serious about these ideals, I believe you will benefit from what we are sending you.
Thank you so much for reading this letter and for considering my words attentively. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what I have said, I pray with all my heart that we will love and respect one another and join hands to serve the Lord. May the blessings of God be forever with you.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon February, 1985