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Sun Myung Moon
(1920 – 2012)
Have we all just missed a very important man in history?
Father Moon’s teachings can offer us a blueprint for lasting world peace
“The teacher closest to you is none other than your own conscience … God dwells there … learn to listen to your conscience” (SMM)
MaPa is a new name for God that does not need a religion
Family Life is EVERYTHING
– protect and preserve it in all its forms because God’s Love dwells there
Parentalism – the only ideology to transform our world
Let God walk the earth through you – get ready for 2020!
I will first of all state that the contents of this website are entirely from my own personal assessment and experience, borne out of my involvement since 16th June 1976*, and should not be imputed as official Unificationist doctrine or in any way infer that some of the terms and expressions used by me have met with the express agreement or approval of the Unification Movement (UM). To some extent, I have been given free rein to write as I see fit, mindful that I would not wish to bring the UM or its founder, Sun Myung Moon (SMM), into any form of disrepute, intentional or otherwise.
(* This is the day when I first met with a person witnessing on the main street in Dublin, O’Connell Street, and later went that evening to hear lectures on their teaching, called Divine Principle)
Thank you and may you be blessed in all kinds of ways for opening up this website. Hopefully, as you read further, you will come to realise that, perhaps yes, God may well be working in ‘mysterious ways’ at this present time of conflict and global uncertainty, and what appears to be an ever-darkening world around us. Current mainstream beliefs and ideologies are not providing the answers – is it, therefore, not time for us to see what other alternatives are out there, such as what the UM may have to offer?
‘The more you persevere and the more you go through difficulties ... the more you realize later that you are going deeper and deeper into Gods heart’ - SMM
Index/Page contents (subject to continuous updating)
1. Home Page – the page you are now on, setting out some of the broader points. I am trying not to make this page over-long and these are broad-stroke points I am putting across. More detail can be seen in other headings (word count: about 9.5K)
2. Spiritual Reflections – some expanded thoughts on the concepts written in the Home Page (word count: 27.2K)
3. Photo Gallery – a range of photos of Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han
4. Father Moon’s Words – a selection of quotes plus a couple of sample speeches (word count: 4.8K)
5. Biblical Reflections – some thoughts on biblical content to do with the life of Jesus, the Fall of Man, etc. (word count: 14.9K)
6. UM Links & News – some of this is older content but I have tried to bring the website links up to date + at the bottom, under ‘personal entries’ there are also some random articles, written some time ago for light relief reading perhaps, about my fondness for the BBC, the wonders of ‘oil-pulling’, and the Irish sitcom ‘Father Ted’ – with probably more to follow if the mood takes me! (word count: 3.3K)
I’m afraid I make no real apologies for the basic layout/presentation of this website. It is intended for people to read through, and may take several hours of your time to do so, rather than scroll around with a mouse looking for bite-size bits of information or glossy videos, photos etc. In any case, as an older citizen approaching his sixties, I can’t pretend to know how to make this website more presentable.
(I would advise, when opening up any website links, that you right-click with your mouse and open it under a new tab in order not to be taken away from the page you are on.)
The website content continually goes through a lot of changes, sometimes on a monthly basis with some things taken out and new points put in, so may I respectfully suggest you keep this site address in your ‘favourites’ in order to revisit it every now and again.
As I grow older, and hopefully more wiser, then I am more humbled by how little I may actually know. Some things I thought I understood, I have now set aside. Being a more ‘liberal Moonie’, if such is possible, then I have had to reflect not just on how I view Father Moon but also on how others, hostile to him, view him. The reader may be rewarded or may discount much of the contents here. That is your prerogative to decide but since so many are now asking what he was all about then this is my attempt to explain some of his legacy after he passed away in September 2012. He will either become a footnote in history or one of the most important figures in history. I do hope posterity will be kinder to him than in these more recent times. If there is any personal legacy I myself wish to leave, it is that others will extract from my writings some seedlings or kernals of truth I have planted, run with it and hopefully take it to a higher level.
Readers will note, as they read further here, that I have come to an inescapable truism. It is that I am looking less kindly on organised religion as a means to understand this ‘Intelligent Design’ that we call ‘God’. If pressed, I fully predict organised religion to progressively diminish in importance as we go further into this 21st Century, and that will be no bad thing. In its place, a heightened sense of our individual worth will increase and with it a movement towards both individual and collective spirituality. This is not just about increased personal enlightenment but also a harnessing of our collective will to act, with like-minded people, and ensure lasting world peace. I believe the world is heading this way, even if it is no easy thing to prioritise our spirituality in an increasingly materialist environment around us. Material advantages we in the West have been blessed with should not be our master but need to be harnessed in order to provide true equality and opportunity for all.
At the outset, I suppose I should set out my beliefs as the following:
1. That there is a Divine One that the Abrahamic faiths (Christians, Jews and Muslims) refer to as God
2. That God is our Heavenly Parent and we are His/Her Children. God has dual characteristics of male and female and therefore we can refer to God as both our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Mother. This does not refer to two Gods (dualism) but to one God having both characteristics of male and female.
3. That God’s Holy Spirit dwells mostly within the family unit and that the Face of God reflects ideally in the faces of parents who provide unconditional love to their children. The reciprocation of love among and between grandparents, parents, children, siblings and the extended family is the bedrock of a civil and harmonious society.
4. That Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, are the living embodiment of God walking the earth. After 52 years of marriage until his death in 2012, and with 14 children between them, their life has been utterly devoted to one of service and love to God and mankind. Spiritually, they are my True Parents in reconnecting me back to my Heavenly Parent. In effect, they are primus inter pares (‘first among equals’) in that we are all exhorted to become True Parents, not just to our past ancestors and future descendents but to all those we are in contact with on a daily basis. It is our capacity to give and receive unconditional parental love that we take with us beyond the grave to the next world.
Finally, what I would respectfully advise is that you give yourself enough time, away from everyday distractions, in order to concentrate on the important messages being communicated here.
Shoot the messenger (if you really must) but don’t shoot the message
It is my contention that Sun Myung Moon (or Father Moon as I prefer to refer to him as) has been an unjustly derided figure, mainly because of non-evidence-based hysteria trumped up by some within media and religious circles, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, that he brainwashed his followers into blind submission. Thankfully, much of that sort of sensationalist reporting and lazy journalism is less prevalent now than in the past and religious, academic, media and political leaders are, behind the scenes it has to be said, taking our message more seriously.
(Through our numerous scientific, religious, media and political conferences, held around the world since the early 1970s, many such leaders in their field have welcomed our outreach efforts in uniting the various disciplines towards a common goal for world peace.)
Though I am now retired, as a successful lecturer in law, local trade union leader, school Chair of Governors and noted singer/songwriter*, I cannot reconcile such unfounded allegations against Moon with the public service activities that I have been inspired with, as well as seen of his followers. If any of the allegations were true then we would have folded up a long time ago. We are no more than following our mantra of ‘service first to others’.
(* I was recently asked by one reader about putting up a link to my songs – here it is: https://soundcloud.com/terence-malley/ - he said he’d like to hear the songs while reading this content, though not sure if that will be a help or a hindrance when trying to concentrate on some of the challenging content you are about to read. The music will certainly not be to everyone’s taste but it may help identify something behind the person writing to you now.)
Spend any amount of time with a follower and you will come away thinking that you have met with a well-adjusted, grounded and positive-thinking person that any nation would be glad to have as one of its citizens. Those I have met are just regular people holding down normal jobs. Most, if not all, are unpretentious and unassuming and can willingly engage in day to day conversations about sports, news events and TV shows they watched. However, beyond the norm, you will also find a strong sense of purpose and steely determination to carry on Father Moon’s legacy. They have a spiritual richness that no money can buy.
Yes, in the 1970s and 1980s, when his teachings started to gain some foothold in the West, many young followers, such as myself at the time, may have been perhaps over-zealous in our outreach and alienated quite a number of people at the time, including our own families. It probably didn’t also help that we seemed to cut ourselves off from society, move away from home and put in our lot full-time to spread his message*. All this led to mistrust and fear as to our motives and the allegation that we were all being brainwashed against our will. This narrative also allowed, at that time, for perhaps a wilfully negative portrayal by many in religious, academic, political and media circles in wishing for our early demise.
(* In my case, I left the UM as a full-time member in 1986 and re-entered the world of work and independent living. Most others have done the same around this period in order to provide for their families. In fact, since the mid-1980s only a small percentage of members are employed full-time in administration, outreach and pastoral,care. The rest of us are out there holding down regular jobs, paying our taxes and household bills, and trying to be positive members of society in areas that we feel called to contribute to.)
With the benefit of hindsight, then yes I am sure we might now have done many things differently but that should not detract from the well-intentioned efforts we were trying to make at the time. Most of us were all young, naïve and perhaps more than a little too gung-ho in those early days of our outreach efforts, such as from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. The UM has matured and, hopefully now, giving less cause for concern as to our motives and beliefs.
If you examine the workings of any spiritual movement when they initially started out, no matter what world religion you look at, then you will see a similar story being played out: of mistrust, hostility and opposition before their worth was finally recognised. For example, it took over 300 years, after suffering tremendous persecution and hostility, before Christians became recognised as an official religion. We believe the same recognition will eventually happen with Father Moon’s legacy of teachings to us, hopefully a lot sooner than this.
Suspicion, fear and controversy will always greet any new idea, none more so than if it is religious based. For now, unfortunately, what I will say is that if you type in Father Moon’s name or the word ‘Moonie’ then you will be deluged with a plethora of negative articles and opinions about him being a ‘charlatan’, ‘megalomaniacal dictator’ or other such nonsense. I have read most of them but my own direct experience of over 40 years has convinced me otherwise. Whether you wish to engage any further with reading is entirely your call to make. Those who do so will, hopefully, be rewarded with a more positive insight into this much misunderstood man and his teachings.
(I would prefer to describe myself as a 'Unificationist' rather than as a 'Moonie' because the latter has unkindly been used as a derogatory term of abuse, especially in the past. However, since 'Moonie' is the term that many refer to us as then I am not fazed or put off in using it as well. In any case, we should consider that the term 'Christians' was once used as a similarly derogatory term to describe those ‘crazy’ early followers of Jesus Christ. Moon once jokingly said that a better term might be ‘Sunnies’ since the sun is a giver of light, whereas the moon is a reflector of light – I’m happier to be called a Sunnie then!)
A common criticism is the allegation that the UM accumulated vast wealth, through its fundraising and various business ventures, which went straight to Moon while his followers lived in various stages of penury and hardship. Under other headings, I will write more on all of this in time because I don’t want this Home Page to be over-long. For now, here’s my response:
1. Such wealth has been exaggerated with as many failed businesses as successful ones.
2. We were well looked after, albeit living frugally because we wished to concentrate more on our spiritual growth than material possessions. How we lived was more out of choice than having it imposed on us.
3. Father Moon himself lived very modestly, with all income placed under charitable trust on behalf of the UM. He liked nothing better than to watch football and deep-sea fish in his spare time. Any large house he lived in was not so much for his benefit but more to protect him from the numerous death threats he was receiving, with high walls and 24 hour security required. Such houses accommodated not just his own large family, but many followers and their families.
4. Under the 80/20 rule, I would suggest that 80% of our income was spent on our outreach programme of altruistic causes, relief charities, conferences, events and faith-based organisations, while 20% went on covering our own overheads and living expenses.
5. On the other hand, I recognise a lot of money was wasted on some dubious ventures, such as newspaper acquisitions, but these were more down to others’ mismanagement than to Moon himself. I guess our hearts were in the right place, even if we were perhaps naïve in what we could achieve with such ventures.
6. Father Moon’s family have also come in for some criticism. I believe it’s not been much different to any large family where you are bound to have some dysfunctions, with one or two perhaps going off the rails. It’s all the more remarkable that they have managed to keep it together what with all the pressures they lived under. Their parents were off a lot of the time travelling to conferences etc. and their upbringing was highly challenging for any child to grow up in.
Since his death in Sept 2012, his wife of 52 years, Hak Ja Han (Mother Moon) and who bore 14 of his children, has taken over the stewardship of the movement. Together, we refer to them as our spiritual ‘True Parents’ because they have given spiritual ‘rebirth’ to followers and who now come under the direct dominion of God, rather than as ‘fallen’ people (from the biblical ‘Fall of Man’). I would hasten to add that this honorific title of True Parents should in no way be seen as supplanting the important role of our own biological parents. We offer Father and Mother Moon utmost love and respect, perhaps in a similar way that British citizens might regard their king or queen. I see them as a personal manifestation of God walking the earth, something we should all aspire to do as well. In that sense, we see them as ‘first among equals’ (primus inter pares) because we are all exhorted by them to become ‘True Parents’ within our own family and within the wider society.
Another common criticism is that we ‘hero-worshipped’ Moon at the expense of our better judgement. Believing that he was the Lord of the Second Advent, the successor to Jesus, then that would likely be true, especially in our idealistic youth of the 1970s and 1980s when we believed he could ‘do no wrong’. Two things come to mind here. The first is that I think he never encouraged it – he often said we should focus on the message and not on the messenger. His focus was on revealing God’s Heart and Love to us. The second is that, through the (controversial) mass marriage blessings, he and his wife acted as the conduit for God to claim us back to His lineage and away from the ‘fallen world’, where the biblical ‘Satan’ has claimed us as his children. Therefore, he was more than just a messenger or prophet from God and that is perhaps why we chose to revere them more than we would a president or king.
(I appreciate that the mere mention of the word ‘Satan’, let alone ‘God, will have turned many people off wishing to read further. My target audience here are, after all, largely atheists, secularists and agnostics and so why should I alienate them with terms such as this. Such people are those I tend to surround myself with daily, and who I count as among my closest friends. At the outset, I have expressed strong reservations about the religious experience in favour of the spiritual one, so why should I revert to religious terminology like this?
I ask you respectfully to bear with me because the Christian religious narrative does inform on our understanding of this ‘good Vs evil’ dynamic that lies within our conscience. As Unificationists, we did start off in a very religious vein but in more recent years many of us have extracted from that a greater move towards the spiritual dimensions of life and our relationship with this Intelligent Design.)
However, instead of this word ‘hero-worshipping’ I would prefer the word ‘love-bombing’. We recognised that True Parents were often physically and emotionally drained from the spiritual demands of their worldwide mission. When they came to speak to us, we were like ‘spiritual children’ wishing to give our ‘spiritual parents’ the best of everything and a desire to take the burden away from them. We were extremely attentive and prayerful in their presence, knowing that these actions would uplift them with good vitality elements to carry on their work. They gratefully felt our love for them because I don’t for a moment think they wanted us to ‘hero-worship’ them.
I am not for a moment wishing to skirt over the various allegations made, especially against Father Moon’s ‘mistakes’ – whatever you might see from browsing the anti-UM websites out there. Many, if not most, of these have been created by former or ex-members who have a particular viewpoint, borne out of some bitter experiences they might have had during their time in the movement. Rather than move on with their lives, they almost daily post up as much negativity towards Moon and the UM as they can find. I am sure they have some legitimate grievances because those earlier years of the UM in the West, such as 1970s and 1980s, were very intense and challenging for most of us.
We were young and often verbally, and perhaps emotionally also, stepping on each other’s toes in our efforts to get our messianic message/mission out to the world as quickly as possible. Mistakes were made along the way and some of us had the misfortune to have been led by ‘mini-Hitler’ elders of the movement who often pushed us out to do some impossible tasks. Quite a few former members got burned out and left the UM. Some just got on with their lives while others felt strong resentment and perhaps sought to legitimate their decision by throwing as much dirt at the UM in books, blogs or the social media in the hope that some of it will stick.
(I myself left for a few years in the late 1980s, just to gather myself for a while. I decided that full-time missionary work was not for me and got myself educated in law. Taking a back seat like that has actually helped in reassessing the UM and, especially, True Parents’ spiritual status. Perhaps a number of disaffected ex-members could have avoided this spiral of resentment by not committing themselves full-time in the way they did. With the benefit of hindsight, I think many of us would have coped better if we knew then what we know now. However, when you are young then you tend to just throw yourself headlong into the idealism of the moment without having the emotional intelligence to deal with what comes your way - such is life, I suppose.)
To an extent, I can see how our detractors would view actions of some of those in leadership positions as either bordering on or being outright examples of hypocrisy, exploitation, corruption, nepotism etc. Father Moon himself said that he felt his movement was being infiltrated by negative forces hell-bent on sabotaging his work. I’m not sure how valid that is but, at the time, I did sometimes wonder whether everyone was on the same page as the rest of us. I suspect that some dodgy practices probably did occur, especially where there was little transparency or accountability in financial transactions. In those intense early years, there was a fair amount of bullying and intimidation going on from some in leadership positions - hence, a lot of ex-members do understandably feel resentment, which is a shame.
Father Moon himself may have made mistakes and I intend to deal with that on a different heading because there is a lot to deal with there. What I will say is that, even though I see him as a deeply spiritual man of God, he also had his flaws like all of us. In fact, it is his human frailties that affectionately draw me more to him, rather than seeing him as some sort of perfect, demi-god who can ‘do no wrong’. My understanding of Jesus is not much different to how I view Father Moon, and the Christian world does need to get away from its image of Jesus as some perfect, ‘walking on water’ human. It’s time our religious beliefs grew up and became more realistic and tangible than heretofore – it is what God wants and it is what our conscience wants.
To some extent, the New Testament writings in the Bible present a very sanitised view of Jesus that may not be borne out by what we may know of his public and private life, especially that which is unrecorded up until the age of 30 – why is that? Yes, he was the ‘Son of God’ but he was also the ‘Son of Man’ – their flawed character does not, in my opinion, detract from the greatness of their humanity and messianic zeal. Father Moon has spoken at times of his mistakes but I believe his motivation was his being at oneness with the heart of God. That is my definition of perfection and spiritual maturity – to be at one with the Heart of the Creator. Both he and Jesus are very human to me and all the more closer do I feel to them, despite these flaws in their character traits. I would find it extremely challenging to even walk a day in their shoes because of the pressures they must have felt under in trying to fulfil their Messianic tasks.
The Book of Genesis in the Bible tells us that God’s commandment to our first human ancestors, Adam and Eve, was to ‘be fruitful, multiply and have dominion’. Being ‘fruitful’ meant achieving individual maturity in the eyes of God in this parent child relationship. ‘Multiply’ arises where a couple, who have individually achieved direct communion with God, then come together in holy matrimony and produce children as a God-centered family. ‘Have dominion’, the third blessing, is all that should then follow from the first two blessings – maintain good stewardship of all plant and animal life around you so that the world is left in a better place than when you first came into it.
We are now very lucky to have Mother Moon still alive among us and her spiritual status as the first ‘only begotten daughter’ of God means that women of the world have a wonderful role model to follow. For the first time in human history, women of the world can feel more empowered and enfranchised as equal partners to their male counterparts. As equal partners, each is allowed to play to their individual strengths and bring harmony to the family home. Women will play an increasingly significant role in healing the wounds within society, more than men could possibly do. Women are at the centre of family life, anywhere you look around the world. Surely, the Messiah must also come from among women and I can think of no one better qualified in this divine mission than Mother Moon, who has loyally stood by her husband’s side for over 52 years and bore 14 of his children.
The ‘Photo Gallery’ heading shows many, many photos of Father and Mother Moon together during these years and which clearly show them united in love and in common purpose. We are indeed so lucky to be living at this most important time in human history where their combined symbolic and substantial victories have allowed for God’s Homeland to be established on the earth. God truly can now walk the earth through us and with us!
The UM has grown up a lot in recent years. Early members, such as myself, have grown up, not just in age but also in life experience, and perhaps now understand better how the world ‘works’, so to speak. With Father Moon’s death, the world’s media may think we must have folded up and gone our separate ways. He came like a hurricane and turned so many things upside down, as a Messiah is wont to do. However, the other half of the Messiah, Mother Moon who is now in her mid-70s, is carrying on her husband’s providential mission. In fact, it is through her that we are coming to understand more the female characteristics of God.
She is proclaiming this time as the ‘Age of Women’ and her teachings are helping to empower women in bringing lasting peace to the world. To some extent, this is a quieter revolution taking place, which is why we are no longer hitting the media headlines as when her husband was alive. The spirit world of our ancestors is slowly being released to come among us and we will see incredible phenomena occurring in the years leading up to the year 2020. The battle lines are now being drawn between examples of tremendous goodness and tremendous evil – sitting on the fence will no longer be an option. The time is coming for stark choices to make – do we stay with our self-centered, God of Evil lineage or take a leap of faith and substance and come back under the God of Love’s lineage?
Another common criticism is that some activities and organisations that Moon set up seemed more politically-driven than faith-based. This is something that most Western people could not comprehend as to why he was adopting such a strong anti-communist stance. However, this should be considered in the context of his own direct experience of living under the horrors of ‘Godless Communism’ in North Korea in the early 1950s, when he suffered its extremes of torture and hard-labour prison camps. More important to him than his own personal experience was the suppression of religious freedom, as well as many other rights and freedoms that we are used to, and take for granted, here in the West.
This should also be understood in the context of the Cold War era from the 1950s to the 1980s. He perceived the unholy alliance of militant atheism and socialism as a ‘soft underbelly’ of communism and its politicians as pursuing an agenda that could very easily, in time, have pushed Western societies towards similar scenarios as existed under Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China. It was argued by right-wing politicians and organisations he supported that so-called ‘soft communism’ can very easily degenerate into an out of control beast once markets crumble and notions of liberal democracy and civil liberties go out the window. He was desperate for the West not to go down that road, having seen at first-hand what it can do to the human spirit when belief in God is so strongly denied to its people. I am mindful of Korea being probably the most divided country in the world, with the extremes of communist North Korea being closer to hell on earth just as South Korea represents liberal democracy, prosperity and individual freedoms.
(In the West, much of this is past history even if this tension still exists in other parts of the world where liberal democracy and civil liberties have been suppressed. Some of what we did was, in hindsight perhaps, unnecessarily alarmist and again, was often more down to individual followers taking such action than Moon himself. Also, just because politicians profess a belief in God does not make them a good person to support and I have expressed concern at the strange bedfellows the UM sometimes aligned itself with, in its determination to defeat the Godless ideology of communism. Again, I believe that was in the past and less prevalent now as the UM more concentrates on spreading its spiritual teachings. If pressed on my politics, it is as a Centrist because I see merits in both Left and Right-wing persuasions and, I suppose, a happy medium needs to be achieved between both.)
As with any large organisation with an over-abundance of smaller operations it had to run, mistakes and errors of judgement did happen. Father Moon left most of these in the hands of others, and yet some of their questionable leadership and stewardship practices at the time fell back on him. A case in point was him having to serve 13 months of an 18 month sentence in a US prison for tax evasion in 1985. This relates to relatively small amounts of undeclared income when the UM was just starting out in the early 1970s in the US. Basically, he failed to pay about $7500 in taxes on income in his account. It goes without saying that probably most of us would get a reprimand or fine for such but not so for someone whose controversial image provided an opportunity for especially harsh treatment. It still remains a gross miscarriage of justice and I respectfully refer you to what has been written about this case in Wikipedia:
In time, the truth will come out about how grossly maligned and misrepresented this man had become. What it has, unfortunately, done is to deter and deny many people from looking seriously at his teachings and developing a much closer relationship with God. With the world the way it is crying out for new hope and direction, surely now is the time for us all to re-evaluate whatever scepticism and hostility we may have harboured towards this very important man in history. Our future descendents depend on us all to get this right, turn on our inquiring, and not cynical, minds and seriously consider if there is any truth in what I am writing. Let’s avoid the temptation to sleep-walk through life and blindly accept perceived wisdoms as handed down to us from the media, as well as social media. For what it’s worth, I have absolutely no doubt that God is working through Father Moon and the UM at this time. At the time of Jesus, wouldn’t we be kicking ourselves if we had gone along with the Sadducees and Pharisees and the baying mob calling for his death? This may seem a different time to 2000 years ago but in many ways it is just the same when it comes to the human condition.
Readers will have noticed that I am referring to the Unification Movement rather than the Unification Church, and for good reason. The word ‘church’ is far too restrictive in its scope and outreach, and I blame the media for keeping that moniker current when we no longer use it. Our official title is ‘Family Federation for World Peace and Unification’ (FFWPU) but I find that also a bit of a mouthful, which is why many of us prefer the UM title. We are far more than just another Christian sect and our teachings can easily be embraced by all world mainstream faiths, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam etc. However, we are even more than that, which is why I am emphasing the spiritual dimension to our teachings, rather than the perhaps more limiting religious one. Some fellow-Unificationists may disagree with the stance I am taking, in emphasing these spiritual benefits over religious ones, but the purpose of my website is mainly to reach out to those for whom religion is anathema to them and who, if they saw me on a street with my banner, would rather cross the road and avoid me!
(Please be sure of one thing - there is a spirit world after we pass on from here. It does not just end here, although it does for our physical bodies. Our ancestors and loved ones are waiting to meet with us and it is our spirit bodies that we take with us. However, spiritual growth in the next life is far more challenging and demanding than the spiritual growth we can obtain here on earth, so we should consider this while we are still alive. Even the worst of tyrants and bad people are capable of eventual redemption in the spirit world, although their progress will be both long and slow. As with any parent, God will eventually claim all of us in the next life. However, it is this life we live now that is precious in developing this spirit body we have because that is what we take with us into the spirit world.)
Basically, what I am saying is that Unification teaching can be embraced by everyone of faith or of no faith, as long as you accept the principle that we are not just physical beings but also spiritual beings. We are not trying to get people to abandon or leave their faith or humanist beliefs, rather we wish to enhance their existing beliefs, as many have testified to have happened once they attended our lectures/workshops. As a spiritual movement, rather than as a religious church, our aim is not to convert people to become ‘Moonies’ but to proclaim both the deeply loving and yet deeply suffering heart of God.
That is why you do not need to be religious to get into all of this – spiritually-attuned yes, but not religious. In time, the need for formalised religion will come to an end once we have achieved oneness with God. Religion will eventually be replaced with a spiritual movement that will still allow for the great buzz of collective celebration and fellowship but not be hampered by any hierarchical observance and compliance, which can so often stunt spiritual growth, even if unintended. Religious belief is a means to an end – once we have achieved that end, perhaps by the next (or 22nd) Century, then we will instinctively know the right way of living with each other. If God is no longer religious, because of the great successes of our True Parents, then why should any of us be?!
I was born in Dublin in 1957 but since 1978 have spent most of my time here in London. Using my mother’s maiden name, I have adopted the pseudonym of Terence Malley for these spiritual writings. I should mention at the outset that my wife is not a Unificationist, even though she likes the members and is happy to help out with the catering at events. My, at present (March 2016), 16 year old son is being raised a Catholic as I do not see my Catholic faith as being incompatible with being a Unificationist and we attend both Catholic Mass and Unification Movement (UM) events as they come up.
(He can make up his own mind when he is older what belief or non-belief he wishes to follow but for now, at least, his Catholic faith is giving him some moral compass.
In fact, my Unificationist beliefs have made me a stronger Catholic because both extol the virtues of the family as the foundation stone for a stable, harmonious society.
Because of my wife's respect for my beliefs, we did attend a marriage blessing ceremony presided over by Sun Myung Moon (SMM) back in October 1997. I never tried to impose my beliefs on her and she has left me free to pursue my own path. In many ways, and without her realising it, she has become a living embodiment of all I have looked for in a wife and I thank her for that.)
Most friends and acquaintances I know, including any past students of mine, would rarely describe me as religious in any shape or form, believing as I do that one’s beliefs are a private matter. Also, with my occasional fondness for Guinness and Baileys on ice, then I may not fit whatever stereotype people have of a certain lifestyle I am expected to adopt. I would perhaps go further and say that I’m probably a walking contradiction to some of the things I am writing here, but then, I could counter that if I didn’t have the devil on my back then how would I recognise goodness when I see it?!
I also don’t believe God is religious – highly spiritual, yes, but not some judgemental religious fundamentalist that makes people so uncomfortable about wishing to connect with this Source of Life or Intelligent Design, that we call ‘God’. I appreciate this is a contentious view to take but I hope it becomes less controversial as you read further. Be that as it may about my own religious credentials, I do feel compelled to set up this website and try and give an alternative view to how most people tend to view Moon, his teachings and his followers.
This website is mainly intended to reach out to the secularist, the agnostic and the atheist i.e. the kind of people I either tended to be surrounded by at work or who I count as among my closest friends. I expect this to be a bit of an uphill task, not least in asking people to disengage from any entrenched scepticism and cynicism they may have formed about the spiritual experience and its value to the human condition.
However, even if some of my target audience are prepared to consider the source/origins to this spirituality, there is then the additional task of asking them to be more open-minded about what the Unification Movement, and its founder Sun Myung Moon, have to offer in taking this spirituality to a higher level, as well in addressing key problems facing our world. I have no ‘hidden agenda’ in setting up this website other than to give witness to my own faith and beliefs, informed as they are by my being a follower of Moon since 1976 as well as my beliefs from being born a Catholic.
Notwithstanding the seeming contradiction of extolling the virtues of spirituality over religion, it is the former which can more readily appeal to those who might dismiss the latter as mere superstition. Just as we have physical senses of sight, touch, smell etc. so also do we have spiritual senses that inhabit our conscience and/or soul, chief of which is our capacity both to give and to receive love.
It is these spiritual senses which have inspired both religious believers and humanists to achieve great humanitarian actions for the benefit of others. Understanding where these higher order attributes and skills come from is what I hope to get across here – we are not just random atoms and particles, destined to live an unknown quantity of years and then that’s it. There is a clear purpose to our life, which I hope to show through introducing the concept of ‘Parentalism’, a potential ideology to end all other ideologies and which can be understood and embraced by people from all walks and levels of life.
The present problem with religion is that it is often viewed as an end in itself, rather than as a means to an end. Invigorating as it can be for like-minded people to gather together in collective celebration of having a common religious belief, but if that is its only end purpose then too easily it can diminish in its spiritual returns. Worse still is when hierarchical structures and dogmatism take control and then you have divided beliefs and communities, and the kind of turmoil that has afflicted most of human history, not least than at present. You will gather from this that while I have the utmost respect for religious belief, it is to spiritual belief that I am trying to promote here. Religious belief can, unfortunately, be very divisive because of the vast range of options available, but I believe spiritual beliefs can transcend all of this, through the concept of 'parentalism’.
What are our basic beliefs?
Although Father Moon’s teachings and sermons are contained in so many volumes that they were named by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest of its kind, his core message could be summarised with the following:
1. In both male and female form, God is our spiritual parent, just as the Face of God should be seen in our parents (even if the reality has not always been that way from our upbringing. Many family experiences may have ranged from the mildly dysfunctional to the downright abusive but that should not detract from the possibility of something far greater being achievable, where God-centered families can be the standard behaviour model to others.)
2. Let us not be spiritual orphans to each other anymore but realise that God dwells uniquely within each one of us. (Would we really think selfishly or mistreat each other if we embraced this concept of brotherly and sisterly love? Think of the ‘sea-change’ in our relations with each other and the possibilities for lasting peace and mutual prosperity. This is not some ‘wishy-washy’ ideal – the content of the UM’s ‘Principle of Creation’ lectures should make that more of a tangible reality for us.)
3. Let God now walk the earth through you and only then will you understand what true happiness is. (As an example, think of a childhood memory when you walked with your parents, hand in hand, towards a park playground and you’ll get a sense of what I’m trying to get across here. ‘Walking with God’ should really be no different to us reliving that wonderful experience, no matter what our age.)
We are all the spiritual sons and daughters of God and, therefore, as spiritual brothers and sisters to each other then this behoves us to work together to secure a final and lasting world order of peace, love and fellowship. Think of God (or MaPa – a term I came up with as a non-religious alternative) as the best Father and Mother you could have and you will get a sense of how wonderful life could be.
(Try chanting ‘MaPa’ (‘Ma’ for mother, ‘Pa’ for father) quietly to yourself as a form of prayer to God and an inner peace and insight will come to you. It is a word that could be universally said in any language and yet encompasses this parental love of our creator. Even atheists, who probably have an aversion to the word ‘God’ could embrace this concept of a parental force, like some guardian angel, that they can call on in times of need.)
However, at present, it is the disconnect from God/MaPa that not only causes us to behave in stupid, selfish and highly destructive ways but also causes God to suffer unspeakable sadness because we cannot enjoy the deep parental and healing love that only He/She can bring to us. As our Heavenly Parent, we view the two as one i.e. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. We profess neither patriarchal nor matriarchal beliefs in our family life, but rather a harmonisation of equal value in each. Men and women are of equal standing, where each is allowed to perform to their strengths. A family that allows for such a dynamic is a harmonious family of love and prosperity that children, and the wider society, can benefit from.
God is the unified dual aspects of masculinity and femininity. As a parent and creator, God is our subject partner, so we can call God "He”. He created us and His creation, not just humans but animals, have masculinity and femininity in ‘His image’, as the Bible declares. Therefore when we unite as parents and have children, we as a couple are in the subject position to our children. Within God is harmonised Original Masculinity and Original Femininity. Therefore, we can call on God interchangeably as either ‘Heavenly Father’ or ‘Heavenly Mother’, depending on whether we wish to address the feminine or masculine side of God to our situation. This teaching alone is revolutionary in scope to what other doctrines teach. At this time, it might get us into trouble with religious orthodoxy but I think this teaching makes valid and perfect sense, to even those who don’t have any religious belief. That’s why I believe our teachings will ‘win out’ in the end when everyone calms down about what we are about.
Though he has now passed away, at the age of 92 back in September 2012, I believe posterity will come to recognise Father Moon’s great legacy and importance to God’s providential world history. Whether that happens in 10, 20 or 100 years from now, it will happen. He has successfully carried on the mantle of messiahship that Jesus bestowed on him back in 1936, on Easter Sunday, when just 16. From very humble beginnings, and after going through torture, imprisonment and near death experiences in his early ministry, he built his movement up to achieve great things.
If one were to study the Parallels of History, contained in the UM’s ‘Divine Principle’ texts, then there is a direct correlation in biblical events occurring from the 2000 years leading up to Jesus’ time and the 2000 years since then – all now pointing to the return or Second Coming of Christ. That Second Coming is not just one man (Father Moon) but also one woman (Mother Moon). In fact, Mother Moon’s presence provides a great inspiration for women around the world. We see around us now that this is indeed the ‘Age of Woman’, as women take on greater roles and responsibilities in public life. Too often, it has historically been men who have messed up in handling power and duty of care to others – I believe lasting world peace in so many areas of conflict can be accomplished more effectively by women’s voices being brought to the forefront than men’s voices at this moment in time.
If there is anything I wish to get across, it is that not only are Father and Mother Moon warm and lovable parent figures but that God is this way as well, with both male and female characteristics. Each of us is a unique individual expression of God, and that is why, as with any parent, God loves each of us uniquely. As spiritual brothers and sisters to each other, we should therefore seek to love each other uniquely and both enjoy and celebrate the differences between each of us. Think of the great changes that could happen if we all embraced these simple and, I would suggest, self-evident concepts.
We should not view God as some detached entity that just looks down at us, passing judgement on everything we do or say. To some extent, the misuse and misinterpretations by mainstream faith leaders, even if unintended, have got in the way of us understanding this relationship to God, and that now needs to change. Not to do so would be a great shame because we are seriously missing out on enjoying more the beauty and wonder of life and for God to now walk the earth with and through us. The only key to happiness is to let our spiritual or heavenly parent come alive through us, giving unconditional love to those around us. This is a challenging concept to grasp with our current mindset but will become gradually more and more effortless with each succeeding generation in the future.
The concept of ‘True Love’ is actually learning to develop the same level of unconditional love that normally good parents have towards their children. Instinctively, we love our own children unconditionally – now we need to think of loving our neighbours, our friends, the old lady walking dishevelled in the street, the tramp, the drunkard – you name it. Can we truly get to a stage where God’s love flows through us such that we can love everyone we meet on the street in the same way as if we were their own biological parents? That is an extremely challenging task for any of us to undertake at this stage in our spiritual development, but it does not mean we shouldn’t try to let God work through us in this way. The more we think and act in this way, the more that the Holy Spirit and our ancestors will come down among us and change people from evil, self-centered actions to positive, selfless actions. We plant the seeds now and then our succeeding descendents will find it easier to behave this way.
(The world is currently going through dramatic changes, with what seems like a biblical ‘End Days’ scenario, such that some people are predicting an Armageddon world conflict and suffering. I don’t like scare-mongering about the choices we face, but even non-religious people are talking about a need to stand back and to redefine our relationships with each other.)
Consider this point for a moment – if I were an atheist, then what is there for me to look forward to after this life? I have no control in when I am born and no control in when I die. I have no proof that God exists but then I can’t see the electricity that turns on a light bulb. It’s just the law of cause and effect. So even if all I have written has proved to be a fairy story after I die, at least it’s a more comforting story to cling on to rather than the thought of my body being reduced to bones, six feet under soil, and then nothing.
Even on earth, as an atheist it’s also perhaps depressing to think that I have to rely on the good will of others to get by, when the truth of the matter is that can often be in short supply. This is by no means an attempt to belittle the belief system of atheists because many have done great works out of a genuine love of humanity, often far more than many religious people have done. Rather, it is an attempt to reach out with a big hand of friendship and understanding that we know where you are coming from, and now we have something special to offer you for the rest of your journey through life.
(I should also acknowledge that many of the advancements of our age have been just as equally attributable to humanitarian ideals as they have to religious ideals. Humanists may not thank me for saying it but I believe many are closer to God in the quality of their outreach and service to others than perhaps some of those inspired by religious belief. There are already many good people out there doing great things for mankind – how much better could things be if more were inspired to do likewise?)
Parentalism is a concept of spreading unconditional love, just as any parent would wish for their child. It is the highest form of love and goes beyond any other form of love, such as the conjugal love between two people which can often be transient and short-lived. Compare that with the love parents have for their children – it never dies no matter the age or circumstance. Science might prescribe for our physical origins through evolution but it cannot explain our capacity for higher order skills and emotions, chief of which is unconditional, parental love. Where else would these higher order skills come from except from God? Your ability to love, as well as your capacity to receive love, is what you will take with you to the next life in the spirit world – nothing else such as fame or fortune or whatever you might strive to achieve in the physical world.
We have all experienced levels of unconditional parental love, either from our parents or from others around us, especially in our early years. Some may have been raised in state homes or by foster parents and will hopefully have experienced a quasi-parental love. Similar quasi-parental love existed from friends, neighbours, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers – the list could be endless. That’s why this concept of ‘parentalism’ should not be alien to us – we are all capable of both giving and receiving parental love in all its many varieties and manifestations.
Think of God as being the best parents you could wish for and you will get a sense of what we are all now missing out on. In an ideal world, the Face of God would be your parents, even if the reality for many of us has not always been that way. If you can accept this concept, then turn it on its head and you get an insight into the tremendous sadness that God feels, and has felt throughout human history, in not being able to connect with us in this way. This is a central message of UM theology and its theme runs very often throughout Father Moon’s speeches – that of unrequited parental love. Consider what that must be like for any parent to see their children suffer needlessly and they seemingly can’t do anything about it. We don’t need to live like ‘spiritual orphans’ anymore, otherwise we will just continue this ‘wandering in the wilderness’, without a ‘home’ and just living for basic survival.
Through Father Moon’s ‘Divine Principle’ theology and especially its section called ‘The Principle of Creation’, we can learn of this parental love from God to us as His/Her children. This provides a blueprint for lasting world peace in recognising that we are all equal under the one God and as spiritual brothers and sisters to each other then all manner of solutions will arise for putting an end to racism, inequality and social injustice. After all, in any nuclear family, would brothers and sisters really tolerate any of these negative features of modern life within their own family? Why should it, therefore, be any different with this concept of One World Family under God? This is not some vague notion – just listening to our UM lectures will hopefully make this premise more of a logical reality to all.
(While Christianity extols the principle of this parental force of love from God, most other religions contain similar features of the importance of successful family living as a bed-rock to a harmonious society. While I reiterate that there is nothing principally wrong with mainstream faiths, per se, Moon’s teachings are taking things to a higher level because God seems no longer able to reach out to us through institutionalised, older belief systems.)
Perhaps because of my Catholic upbringing, I prefer the reference to ‘Father Moon’ rather than Rev Moon, Dr Moon, Mr Moon or other such title. Spiritually, he and his wife – Mother Moon - have given birth to me and therefore I view them in no less regard than I do the great love and sacrifice that I have received from my own physical/biological parents. This is not a case of my having to choose – both sets of parents are equally valued for the different roles they have played in my life. The allegation, therefore, of ‘splitting up families’ etc. is one I would totally refute.
In essence, it is only by returning to our Original Self and performing good Karma actions, rather than bad, that the spirit world of our ancestors will come down and inspire us to achieve great things, not for our sake, but for the sake of mankind. This is your chance to not only make a difference to your own life but also to others around you.
What I also would say, at this point, is that you don’t have to become a ‘Moonie’ to take on board his message and teachings. This website was not created as some sort of recruitment method to hook in an unsuspecting public. The essence of our movement is not to convert people to our faith or get them to leave their existing faith. That was a misconception that mainstream faiths had about us in the past, which may have explained some of the reasons for their opposition to us. Thankfully, most have moved away from that now, as can be seen when so many leaders from different faiths attend our events. A lot of them testify to the fact that Moon’s message and teachings have actually enhanced their understanding of their own particular belief.
What the Unification Movement is about, is to communicate how God is working today in trying to converge the various world faiths to receive that one unifying message – that we are His Children, not his slaves or servants or adopted sons and daughters, but that we are made in the ‘image of God’ (as Jesus said) and that God is a parental force or being that wishes no more than to be among us as no different to any parent wishing to be among their children.
(I suppose other mainstream faiths teach something similar but the theology and teaching to make that a reality has been passed by Jesus directly to Father Moon, and only after he went through a tremendous foundation of faith in his earlier life.)
Hindsight may be a wonderful thing to have but it is not much use to us if we keep repeating the same mistakes and not learning from them. Too often, we get great spiritual insights about the meaning of life and our own role in that understanding but too easily we then forget them, caught up as we are in the mundane and the vernacular. That is why individually we cannot reach ‘nirvana’ on our own. We need the collective strength of like-minded souls to both inspire and sustain us. Just as we would have wished for that to happen within our own family life when we were growing up, with parents and siblings sharing common values and aspirations, so also on a macro-cosmic level we now need the collective strength of a One World Family under God to get us out of the mess we are in.
When I refer to the new ideology of ‘Parentalism’, (more detail given in my Spiritual Reflections heading) then I would hope this is a concept that all manner of the world’s population can latch on to, from the wealthiest to the poorest. However, even if you are non-religious, you still need to connect with your spiritual self to move forward on this. It will not happen if you let your functioning, ‘temporal self’ suppress the spiritual self that lies deep within you.
Whether we like it or not, we are inexorably heading towards the need for a one-world government system and a one-world belief system. Moon’s teachings provides for such a blueprint – a one world family under God. How long that takes depends on whether we embrace the challenge of his teachings or dismiss it all as hocus pocus nonsense.
(Standing on a street corner with my banner may seem like some biblical ‘voice crying out in the wilderness’ – we all have choices to make with our lives and I have chosen mine. Some may get this message while others may mock and ridicule – so be it.)
Another important statement to make is that there is not much difference between what we might wish to experience as an ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ world and what may already be around us or what some people may already be experiencing within their family and society. Make no mistake – while we might see examples of tremendous evil around us, we might also have seen inspiring examples of goodness and love. There is no ‘magic wand’ involved here in getting people to change their focus and perception. Our present ‘Kingdom of Evil’ could very readily transform itself into a ‘Kingdom of Love’ with a few simple tweaks to the imagination, so let’s not get ourselves too bogged down in the detail here about what an ideal world can actually be or how hard it will be to achieve it collectively. We’ll know it when we see it and many of us will have seen or experienced elements of it already in our lives.
Also, the concept of ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ is no more than what our conscience reminds us – in time, that will manifest into a default position of ‘do no evil’. Once this is practiced within our family environment, then we can be optimistic that each new generation that comes in the future will adopt this as the default position for creating an ideal environment in a wider inclusive society.
(It will be a struggle for us at times now as we grapple between selfish and selfless actions, but effortless for our descendents in the future.)
The Kingdom of Love is what could be deemed as bringing the kingdom of heaven on to the earth. All the various mechanisms (such as recent technological, scientific and medical advances) are now in place for great things to happen within our own lifetime. Our future descendants will thank us for doing our bit now to make this more of a reality for them in the future. The oft-quoted saying that ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ is so relevant now – awful things are happening around us from the various news stories we see. The God of Evil is having his ‘last hurrah’ because the God of Love is now reclaiming what was taken and lost way back in the biblical Garden of Eden.
The year 2020 will be a significant date in God’s dispensational history but I’m afraid not before more evil has manifested itself, in ways we perhaps might not expect. Father and Mother Moon’s great foundation of faith, unconditional love and self-sacrifice has paved the way for good actions to prevail over evil actions. Some of the things he did may seem incomprehensible to the outside observer but I believe posterity will judge him differently. Moon’s actions in his lifetime have not only been symbolic, but also substantive, conditions to separate this world from the God of Evil and return it to the God of Love.
(That is why, despite some of the awful mess we still see around us, this is actually a great time in dispensational history to be alive. The spiritually symbolic victories that have been achieved will bear fruit, perhaps not in my lifetime but certainly for my son to witness and be a part of himself. To some extent, this website has been created with him in mind – he does not know much about this inner world of mine because of his youth. In time, when he is old enough, he can hopefully take this legacy I am leaving him to a higher level than I can do now.)
Parentalism is the new ideology to end all other ideologies and which can be understood by people in all walks of life, from the mud-hut shanty townships to the palatial mansions. It involves seeing yourself as a spiritual parent to others around you, no matter what age you or they are. Only then, will we see this present Kingdom of Evil transform itself into a Kingdom of Love.
Here are some of Father Moon’s profound words (more are on a separate heading):
‘Before children, even the most cynical people throw down their usual masks and become capable of feeling the purity and love which all human beings seek’
‘Our ultimate responsibility is to build world peace, but global peace begins in the family. Harmony, peace and happiness within the family begin with a relationship to the Creator, one of children to parent. Thus, the solution to world peace is to rebind the relationship between the Creator and each family’.
If you wish to make contact then the Unification Movement have a main London base at 43 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NA where they run Saturday workshops from 11am to 5pm (cost is £10 including lunch) as well as weekend workshops at our lovely venue in Chistlehurst, South London (about £80 to £100 for a weekend stay which includes food, lodging and workshop fees). Please, however, first contact 020 7723 0721 to arrange availability.
If you don’t want to attend UM workshops, although I recommend them for the collective participation and retreat-like experience it can provide, then just go online to SMM’s official website (see heading ‘UM Links & News’), watch and listen to the various video links to his lectures, and reflect on them in the quiet and comfort of your own home. However, please switch on your ‘spiritual self’, rather than your ‘physical self’, beforehand and set aside some spare time away from normal distractions, so that you can be more receptive and attentive to what is coming across.
Please come on board to help us achieve our goals by 2020, which is a very significant date in dispensational history. We do need your individual God-given skills in order to spread the message of Father Moon far and wide – God is relying on you now to play your part in achieving lasting world peace. This is not a time to be merely an observer on the world stage and leave it to others to do the hard work. Thank you for reading this far - keep this leaflet of these photos of our founder and his wife in your wallet as I believe they provide spiritual protection from the negative forces around us.
What to do now?
Thanks to the great foundation work of our spiritual True Parents – again, this title is not intended to supplant the value or role of our own biological parents – the time for religion to imbue us with a sense of guilt, indemnity, trial and tribulation is now at an end. Moon’s teachings have restored religion to be a life-affirming, joyful and positive experience. All that is now required of you is to take the following three steps:
1. Take yourself away from all distractions that surround you. Go to a quiet and peaceful room in your home or to any holy place such as a church, synagogue or temple.
2. Read through and reflect on the contents of this Home Page and reflect on the pictures of Father and Mother Moon.
3. Cry quietly from within or with silent tears to beg for God’s love to come down.
Once you have successfully made a connection, then you will instinctively know what to do with the rest of your life. Nobody else needs to get involved at this stage – it is just you and God now being as one. All manner of enlightenment will come to you for you to be a messiah or parent of love to others. Each one of us will respond differently to this experience because none of our lives have been the same when growing up and in relating to this world. Lastly, please take this message to a higher level than I can!
Finally, please spend about 15 minutes looking at this rare footage from 1960 when our True Parents conducted the Marriage of the Lamb. It also shows some other activities among the early Korean disciples at this time - https://vimeo.com/19025421
You can also browse the hundreds of video files on Vimeo, which include lectures as well - https://vimeo.com/tongil/videos
Here is a link to a recent article from a Nepal newspaper, that provides some insight to the political outreach programme:
God bless you for reading through to the end of this Home Page