As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 26
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 3: Internal Riches Through Struggles and Suffering
New Buds Grow on Scorched Branches, pg 96-98
New Buds Grow on Scorched Branches
The detectives of the Special Intelligence Section of the Office of Public Order who raided our church and took me into custody brought me to the Chung Bu Police Station. I was outraged to be charged with draft evasion but said nothing. I had a mouth to speak, but I was never given the chance to say a word.
Some saw my silence in the face of unjust treatment and called me “spineless.” I endured this sort of name-calling in silence as well, believing that this too must be a path that had been given to me. If this was the path I must follow to reach my objective, then there was nothing I could do about it. Because I followed such a clear path, I could not be defeated. The more I was attacked, the more care I took to act more honorably than anyone.
Once I made this decision in my heart, the police had no control over me. When the detective was writing his report, I was guiding him how to write it.
“Why don’t you include this content,” I would say. “And up here, you need to write it this way.” He did as I said. Each phrase that I told him to write was correct, but when the detective put them all together, he found that they led him to the opposite conclusion from what he had intended. He became angry and tore up the report.
On July 13, 1955, on the sixth day of incarceration in Chung Bu Police Station, I was placed in prison once again. This time, it was the Seodaemun Prison in Seoul. I was shackled, but I was neither ashamed nor sorrowful. Life in prison was no obstacle for me. It might have served as a motivation to stimulate a heart of great anger, but it never blocked my path. For me, it was a way to gather additional capital for my future activities. I overcame life in prison by telling myself, “I am not someone to die in prison. I cannot die. This is only a springboard for me to take a great leap towards the world of liberation.”
It is the rule in the world, and the law of heaven, that that which is evil will fall and that which is good will rise up. Even if I must go into a dung heap, I will not fail if I maintain a pure heart. As I was being led away in shackles, some women passed by, looked at me askance, and twisted their faces in disapproval. They exuded the feeling that I was grotesque even to look at, because they believed I was the leader of a sex cult. But I was neither afraid nor ashamed. Even if filthy words were used to harass me and our church, I would not be shaken.
Of course, I had normal feelings. Outwardly, I maintained my dignity, but there were many times when I felt stifled and sorrowful to the marrow of my bones. Each time I felt my heart weaken, I endured by telling myself, “I am not someone to just die in prison. I will stand again. I am certain of this.” I redoubled my determination, saying, “I am taking all the pain into myself. I am carrying the entire burden for our church.”
One could easily expect that my imprisonment would mean the end of our church, with all members going their separate ways. Instead, members came to visit me every day. In some cases, they even fought over who would come to see me first. Visitations were allowed only after 8 a.m., but members would line up and wait outside the prison gate from early in the morning. The more people cursed me, and the more bitter my situation became, the more people would line up to visit me, encourage me, and shed tears for me.
I did not even greet them with great emotion. In fact, I would rebuff them, saying things like: “Why do you come and make such a fuss?” Still, they followed me in tears. This was their expression of faith and love. They were not attached to me because I knew how to speak smoothly or eloquently. They liked me because they knew about the love that lay deep in my heart. Our members recognized my true heart. I will never be able to forget the ones who followed me even as I was forced to stand shackled in court. I will always remember their expressions as they sobbed to see me sitting at the defendant’s table.
The guards at the prison were amazed. “How does this man make those people become so crazy?” they wondered when they saw our members flock to the prison. “He is not their husband, and none of them is his wife. He’s not their son. How can they be so devoted to him?”
In at least one case, a guard commented, “We heard that Moon was a dictator and exploited people, but it is so clear that this is not true.” This guard became a member and followed our way.
Finally, after I was three months in bondage, the court found me not guilty, and I was released. On the day of my release, the chief warden and all the prison section chiefs gave me a formal sendoff. Within three months, all became part of our Unification family. The reason their hearts turned towards me was simple. Once they could see me up close, they realized I was not at all the person portrayed by the rumors they’d heard. As it turned out, the false rumors circulating in society actually helped our evangelical efforts.
When I had been led away by the police, all media and society had made a huge fuss. But when I was found not guilty and released, they were silent. The only report on my not-guilty verdict and release was a three-line story in an inconspicuous corner of the newspaper that read, “Reverend Moon not guilty, released.” The vile rumors that had put the whole country in an uproar had all been false, but this information was completely buried. Our members protested, saying, “Reverend Moon, this is unjust. It makes us so angry; we can’t stand it.” They wept in front of me, but I remained silent and quieted them.
I never forgot the pain I experienced when harassed and subjected to all those false accusations. I endured, even when so many people stood against me, that I felt like there was no place left for me to stand in all of Korea. The sorrow I felt from this time has remained with me in a corner of my heart.