Articles In The Unification
News About Steve Hassan
Unification News for April 1997
Irresponsibility of Boston Globe
by Eugene Curtin-Omaha, NE
I do not know Peter Ross, but I admire him greatly for his thoughtful, reasoned, passionate response to the Boston Globe profile on Steve Hassan. [Feb. UNews] Quite obviously, the days are long gone when we as Unificationists stood amazed, dumbfounded and speechless as our faith was once more dragged through the mud by some know-nothing.
His account spurred some thoughts. First, let me get something out of the way. I am a professional journalist. I have worked for the same newspaper for eight years and am currently a senior writer. Certainly I do not work at the exalted level of the Boston Globe. On the other hand, the Nebraska Press Association has seen fit to confer about a dozen writing awards on me over the past eight years. In short, I know a little about the basic craft of journalism.
I know enough to recognize that Peter is mistaken when he assumes that journalists are always required to get the "other side" of a story. "Profile" is sometimes just a $10 word for "puff piece." Puff pieces have their place. When you write a profile of a parish priest who is retiring after 50 years in the ministry, you feel no obligation to track down parishioners who might feel he gave crummy advice in the confessional. When you write about a family whose triplets have all been accepted at Harvard, you feel no need to seek out neighbors who feel that the kids are insufferable snobs.
These are celebratory stories in which we are willing to overlook the warts in order to celebrate the greater picture. They are stories which recognize achievements, pursuits or milestones that are unimpeachably good. It does not astonish me that the Globe would choose to publish such a story.
What is deeply troubling is that the editors apparently chose as an unimpeachably good subject a man whose entire professional life revolves around denigrating religious faiths held dear by hundreds of thousands, indeed millions of fine, law-abiding Americans. I do not dispute that Hassan is newsworthy. If he lived in my community, I might well write about him, and I would most assuredly give him a fair shake. But it is inconceivable, given the controversial nature of his work, that I would fail to give equal consideration to his opponents. After all, it's only a matter of picking up the telephone.
My conclusion is that the Globe does not regard Hassan's work as controversial. That is the only legitimate reason for discarding the journalistic commandment to tell both sides. The Globe must believe that there is no other side. That is astonishing, given the number of reputable non-church experts both religious and secular who think Hassan is a paranoid fraud.
Two things, then. First, it shakes me that a major American newspaper like the Boston Globe values so lightly the religious sensibilities of Unificationists and others that it would regurgitate decades-old calumny. And regurgitate it with no significant opportunity for response. This does not bode well for the mental and even physical security of our children.
Second, what else is new? In the early part of the 19th century, Catholic churches in this country were burned to the ground and priests murdered. The Mormons were hounded into the desert. Jehovah's Witnesses were tossed into prison for refusing to salute the flag. The Boston Globe editors, for all their smug sophistication, are simply infected by a strain of religious bigotry that is as old as Salem. The bigots of old did not see a scared young kid fresh off the boat from Ireland tasked with preaching his faith in a foreign land. They saw only a papist infiltrator seeking to corrupt the minds of Protestant America.
Today's bigots don't see our families as positive entities struggling to raise our kids as God-loving patriots in a world awash with pornography, cynicism and violence. They see only "Moonie automatons" trying to take over the world. Human nature is slow to change.
So, sure, write to the Boston Globe editors and let them know that we know they're a scurrilous bunch of phonies. But more important, let us be about our Father's business. Let's work to raise children who love God and revere their country and who are entirely unimpressed with the hedonistic 20th century.
And then, 150 years from now, we can look down from our hopefully lofty perches at some academic researcher tracking the history of religious bigotry in the late 20th century. With some satisfaction we will watch him make photocopies of a particularly egregious piece of irresponsibility that appeared in the Boston Globe way back in 1997.
Articles From the October 1994 Unification News
Thank You Nightline
by Peter Ross-NYC
On October 5, the remains of almost fifty people were found in the smoldering ruins of several farmhouses in Cheiry and Granges-sur- Salvan in northern Switzerland. Two other people died in a home at Morin Heights, Quebec. All of the dead are reported to have been associated with an organization, the Order of the Solar Temple. Because of the tenuous religious nature of this group, the public did not have to wait before the quacks and "cult experts" jumped on the band-wagon. Incidents such as these are the grist for those who have chosen a career path as "ghost-busters."
It was surprising though that ABC News, and in particular Nightline, provided such charlatans with the runway to pout and strut their stuff. For Ted Koppel to entertain Cynthia Kisser, executive director of the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) and Steve Hassan, of Hassan Hassan, and more Hassan, as part of a panel to review the events in Switzerland was entirely misplaced and the result of some very poor research. Neither Kisser or Hassan added anything to the subject-at- hand or to the discussion between Koppel and a reporter from Canada on the Order of the Solar Temple. Kisser outlined how she would go about introducing Ted to her imagined "cult." She concluded her presentation with a dour lobbying effort for more funding and resources to be provided to her industry. Too bad the Clinton health care legislation failed to produce the goods Cynthia. Now you'll probably have to go back to work!
To the evident surprise of his host, Hassan took a significant detour from the topic at hand. Without solicitation, he embarked upon an attack on Mrs. Arianna Huffington (wife of Republican Senate candidate, Michael Huffington) for some prior association with a California-based self-improvement/spiritual group. With his hot-air balloon on a quick descent after Ted's rejoinder for clarification after a commercial break, Hassan hastened to salvage himself by referencing his fleeting association with the UC. (This in fact is the only item on Hassan's business card that garners him any attention from a gullible press). Confident that his awkward opener was now under the carpet, Hassan benevolently issued an advisory to Koppel's discriminating viewers: if you think you are not vulnerable to mind- control techniques, you are vulnerable. His concluding remarks were an attack on the Jehovah's Witnesses. All in a night's work for Steve! But more on him in next month's Unification News.
Articles From the April 1994 Unification News
All You Really Need to Know About AFF, CAN, and ICEP
by Peter Ross-NYC
The poet Edgar A. Guest wrote: Hate is that evil / State of mind / Which feeds the worst / In Humankind.
With this perspective in mind, one can begin to put into context the activities of organizations in America like the American Family Foundation (AFF), the International Cult Education Program (ICEP), and the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). What appear to be benign and sincere attempts to contribute to the welfare of society on the part of these organizations, deeper scrutiny reveals alternatively, enterprises entirely beset by the power of hatred. While those individuals publicly representing these organizations might in other social contexts appear as rational, sincere, and conscientious, yet in their public persona as representatives of these organizations, Herbert Rosedale, Marcia Rudin, and Cynthia Kisser, appear debilitated, blinded, and otherwise undermined as a result of their manifest hatred.
When a parent or relative of someone who joins a community or organization that they disapprove of calls an organization, like the Cult Awareness Network, the American Family Foundation, or the International Cult Education Program, for information they are deceived. Instead of receiving objective information, the parent/relative is forced to suffer pain and anguish as a result of the policy and practice of these organizations to disseminate disinformation.
For example, instead of receiving a copy of the Divine Principle, a biographical introduction to the Reverend Moon, and a list of the organizations and institutions that he has founded world-wide, along with informed criticisms of the Church, the caller is instead served up atrocity apostate tales, junk science, and a litany of unfounded allegations. Moreover, soon after the call, the parent in turn receives a call from a deprogrammer, a mercenary, who for a fee of up to $50,000 will kidnap the relative from the group and hold him/her against their will, until they recant their faith. Practicioners of this abusive activity now prefer the term exit counselor in lieu of the term deprogrammer.
The Unification Church has been informed by parents of members from America and various other countries, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, and South Africa, that they received these types of solicitations. This information has in turn been passed on to the Federal Bureau Investigation and United States prosecutors.
Galen Kelly, the infamous deprogrammer and former national security director for CAN is currently serving a seven and one quarter years sentence in a federal jail. Kelly was convicted in Federal Court in Alexandria, Virginia, for the 1992 kidnapping of a woman in an effort to sever her affiliation with her religious community.
However, Cynthia Kisser, Executive Director of CAN, has repeatedly stated in public that she and her organization do not engage in kidnappings.
"Kisser said that Kelly was not a member of her group and that the network was not involved in the alleged conspiracy. However the prosecutors said that he [Kelly] 2belonged to the group." The Washington Post (10/01/92). "Prosecutors said Kelly is part of the Cult Awareness Network, which court papers said uses kidnapping to 'deprogram' members of cults." Richmond Times-Dispatch (10/07/92).
"Cynthia Kisser, who is now the national director of CAN, assisted me on at least two kidnapping type deprogrammings involving members of The Way International. On one of these cases, where we had been holding the person against their will in the basement of a home in Wisconsin, she actually came and spent two days helping with the case. It was because of Kisser's involvement that we were able to complete the deporgramming. I specifically recall this case because the target had been struggling quite a bit." (Affidavit from Mark Blocksom, former CAN deprogrammer, July 1992.)
Early in his career as a moonophobe, Herbert Rosedale, President of the American Family Foundation, in an article published in The Times Herald Record, described a Unification retreat site as "a center which spreads physical and emotional disease among its members and infects the community with the results therefrom."
AFF's literature announcing Mr. Rosedale's appointment as President of AFF stated: "Mr. Rosedale has been, and will continue to be, an active advisor and resource for the Cult Awareness Network....He will also continue to be a bridge between [CAN] and AFF as we pursue our common purpose."
Marcia R. Rudin, is the Director of the International Cult Education Program, (and wife of A. James Rudin, national interreligious affairs director of the American Jewish Committee). ICEP defines itself as "a joint program of the American Family Foundation and the Cult Awareness Network. The national Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Association of College Unions-International (ACU-I) are ICEP participating organizations."
Ms. Rudin is also an employee of the American Family Foundation and sells CAN literature, books, and videos from her mid-town Manhattan residence in an apparent violation of local zoning laws.
In observing the activities of hostile apostates of the Unification Church like Steve Hassan and in listening to his self-promotional rhetoric, it is appropriate to recall another definition of hatred: "the coward's revenge for being intimidated." In addition to his self-promotional criticisms of the Unification Church, in 1989 Hassan stated at a CAN conference in Trenton, New Jersey, that "the Catholic Church is the biggest cult in America."
In his book, Combating Mind Control, Hassan states that he served as the national coordinator for a group called FOCUS which is "affiliated with the Cult Awareness Network." He has also admitted to having participated in involuntary deprogrammings. Hassan is a featured speaker at CAN conferences and routinely receives referrals from CAN.
AFF, CAN, and ICEP routinely work closely together, share the same literature, share the same funding sources, sponsor conferences together, share mailing lists, and otherwise conspire together in pursuit of their shared goals and aims.
These individuals and organizations have served as catalysts for the opposition to, among others, the work of the Reverend Moon in America and to the egregious misrepresentation of the Unification Church to the American public. They have pursued this endeavor through the exploitation of national tragedies like Jonestown, and more recently the government's actions against the Branch Davidians. They have systematically presented to the American people distilled images of the Unification Church and others, elicited from individuals who they themselves have so greedily "deprogrammed". They have intentionally and knowingly presented the theories of quacks and the proponents of junk science as tenable and legitimate, while refusing to disclose to the American public the refutations of those same theories by the established scientific and legal communities.
In the face of universal condemnation from the established religious community in this country they have tried to deny their own anti- religious agenda. They have accused the Unification Church, and others, of illegal and deceptive conduct, while they themselves have engaged in a conspiracy to deprive individuals of their civil rights and in a conspiracy to deceptively generate fear and hatred. In several instances, associates of these organizations have been convicted of crimes in pursuit of their agenda.
For further information about the identity and the activities of AFF, ICEP, and CAN contact: Law Offices of Peter D. Ross at (212) 682-0901.
Articles From the May 1994 Unification News
NBC Defames Carp And The Unification Church Of America
by Peter Ross-NYC
In November of 1993, NBC aired several programs which defamed the Unification Church of America and CARP. The following letter was submitted to NBC's lawyer by Peter Ross. attorney, who represents the Unification Church and CARP. In addition to this response the Unification Church has filed an official complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.
On Monday, November 8, 1993, and on Monday, November 15, 1993, NBC aired editions of the Today show which referenced the Unification Church of America ("the Church"). NBC also aired an edition of the Now program, which was essentially a re-run of the first Today show.
To date, your client has failed to consider the concerns of the Church with regard to these several programs. The failure of your client to respond to my request for a meeting to discuss these programs was very disappointing.
Therefore, please be advised that officials of the Unification Church have decided to retain counsel and to file suit in federal court against NBC and the producers of the Today show, together with Peter Heinrich, Cynthia Lilley, Patrick Ryan, Carol Giambalvo, Steve Hassan, and the Cult Awareness Network (CAN).
The cause of action is defamation of the Unification Church. Unification Church officials believe that these programs were maliciously produced in order to undermine the legitimate good standing of the Church as a bonafide religious organization, in order to adversely reflect upon the Church's honesty and integrity, and in order to impair the Church's ability to otherwise legitimately function as a bonafide charitable organization.
It is the opinion of Church officials that the elements necessary to establish a prima facie case have been met in these several shows.
A brief review of the origin and nature of these programs will explain the basis for the Church's decision.
Origin of the Today show:
The producers of the Today show became interested in Cathryn Mazer's brief association with the Unification Church after having been contacted by Cynthia Lilley and Peter Heinrich.
Cathryn had initially met the Unification Church in New York, through its student organization, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP). Despite her efforts to communicate her decision to associate with CARP, Peter Heinrich, her step-father, and Cynthia Lilley, her mother, sought to persuade Cathryn to end her association with CARP through a variety of tactics, which included among others, first, the threat of force and subsequently the threat of a negative media attack on the Church. It must be noted that Cathryn Mazer never joined CARP or the Unification Church.
Because of a fear and apprehension that she would be abducted and subjected to an involuntary deprogramming, Cathryn Mazer advised Cynthia Lilley, who was visiting New York, that she would file a complaint with the police and seek a court order of protection if Cynthia Lilley's threats continued. On behalf of Cathryn, I advised federal law enforcement agencies in New York of the threats that Cathryn had been subjected to. I have in my possession an affidavit drafted by Cathryn Mazer on September 14, 1993, outlining her concerns in this regard.
Having been so advised by Cathryn, Cynthia Lilley and Peter Heinrich ceased issuing threats of a forcible abduction and returned to California.
The basis for Cathryn's fear of being kidnapped arose from the fact that both Peter Heinrich and Cynthia Lilley stated that they had obtained information and counsel from individuals associated with the Cult Awareness Network("CAN"). In fact, the Today show of November 8, showed two active deprogrammers associated with CAN.
The term deprogramming refers to a process whereby individuals who are members of, or associated with certain religious groups are subjected to various involuntary procedures designed to strip them of their religious beliefs. It is more accurately described as faith-breaking.
The Reverend Dean Kelley, Counselor on Religious Liberty for the National Council of Churches, has stated: "Forcible deprogramming is the most serious stain on religious liberty facing this country in the latter half of the 20th. century."
NBC presented on both the Today show and the Now show, two active deprogrammers retained by Cynthia Lilley advising her how to attempt a deprogramming of Cathryn Mazer. One of these deprogrammers, Carol Giambalvo, had her own daughter involuntarily committed into a mental hospital in order to sever her association with the Hare Krishna religion. The other deprogrammer, Patrick Ryan, is a well know deprogrammer who charges thousands of dollars for his services and has been most active in targeting members of Transcendental Meditation. In addition, the Today show presented an interview with Steve Hassan, a long-time associate of CAN, who had arrived in the NBC studios after having just attended CAN's annual national conference in Minneapolis. All three, have been featured speakers at CAN conferences (see enclosed).
Several facts regarding the nature and identity of CAN are relevant:
1. CAN is an organization that has been implicated in the illegal kidnapping and forcible abduction of hundreds of individuals throughout the years.
2. The activities of CAN have been condemned by the majority of respected religious leaders, social scientists, and jurists throughout America (see enclosed).
3. The former national security director of CAN, Galen Kelly, has been convicted, and is currently serving a seven and one quarter year sentence in federal prison, for the kidnapping of a young woman in Virginia in 1992.
Federal prosecutors have at least one additional case pending against Galen Kelly here in New York which also further implicates associates of CAN.
4. CAN has been engaged in the practice of referring callers to hired kidnappers. Former deprogrammer and CAN member, Mark Blocksom, in an affidavit dated July 18, 1992, stated that he received 100 -200 referrals of deprogramming customers from CAN officers and directors. Cynthia Kisser, the executive director of CAN has admitted to referring inquirers to her office to deprogrammers, like Kelly and Blocksom. In return, the deprogrammers pay money for these referrals.
This information is a matter of public record, and was provided to the Today show and to your office prior to the airing of these programs. However, despite having received such notice, NBC elected to rely solely on sources that have been consistently hostile to, and prejudicial towards, the Unification Church.
The nature of the Today show:
The threat of kidnapping and abduction of Cathryn Mazer abated upon Cynthia Lilley's return to California. However, almost immediately, she and Peter Heinrich began to present the threat of a negative media attack on the Unification Church. This was communicated to Cathryn Mazer and also directly to representatives of the Church. Various elected officials, who were apprised of this prospect by Cynthia Lilley and Peter Heinrich, contacted the Church and cautioned Church officials of this imminent attack on the Church. In addition, I personally received a telephone call from an attorney in Washington, D.C., David Bardin, who made it clear to me that NBC was producing a report on the Unification Church that would be unfavorable in its treatment of the Church. Mr. Bardin serves as pro bono legal counsel for CAN in Washington, D.C.. In his phone conversation with me Mr. Bardin stated that "if Cathryn was in California there would be no story."
It thus became apparent that Peter Heinrich and Cynthia Lilley adopted this alternative measure to coerce Cathryn to terminate her association with the Unification Church and to extort from Church officials a decision to preclude Cathryn Mazer from associating with the Church. Rather than abducting Cathryn and forcing a deprogramming upon her as first intended, they sought instead to coerce Cathryn to expose herself to the same prospect by an alternative means. In order for them to do so, however, they needed the cooperation of a sympathetic and willing agent, which they found in Ms. Susan Friedman, the Today show producer and ultimately from NBC itself.
The purpose of the Today show was apparently two-fold: first, to intimidate the Church with the specter of unfavorable reportage to coerce Cathryn to return to California thereby exposing her to an abusive deprogramming, and secondly, to expose the Church to ridicule and hostility by airing a report which would present the Church in a defamatory manner. Both of these objectives were pursued through a conspiracy between Peter Heinrich, Cynthia Lilley, Steve Hassan, Carol Giambalvo, Patrick Ryan, CAN, Susan Friedman and NBC.
True to its design, the Today show of November 8, 1993, presented the Unification Church of America in a defamatory manner. The show maliciously reported that the Unification Church had intentionally restrained Cathryn Mazer against her will and that the Church had prevented her family from having access to her. This was entirely false. On the contrary, the intention of the Unification Church was at all times to insure Cathryn's personal safety and to support her in the exercise of her fundamental constitutional rights. In this regard, I will be pleased to submit a transcript of my final conversation with Cathryn before her eventual departure to LaGuardia airport to travel to Detroit to meet her family.
The following facts are evidence of a conspiracy by NBC and the Today show to defame the Unification Church:
1. Cathryn Mazer had maintained consistent and regular communications with her family, albeit under very difficult circumstances, throughout her brief sojourn with the Unification Church. Yet, the Today show attempted to depict a different and false account. 2. The Today show portrayed Cathryn as being in hiding or as otherwise evading her family. This was false. Cathryn had attempted to communicate with her family at all times and to apprise them of her activities. However she was apprehensive of the intentions of Peter Heinrich and Cynthia Lilley because of a real fear of being subjected to an abduction and an involuntary deprogramming.
3. The Today show never presented Cathryn Mazer's side of the story that she feared she would be the victim of an involuntary deprogramming (see enclosed affidavit of Cathryn Mazer).
4. The Unification Church was described by the Today show as a cult. This is a misrepresentation and mischaracterization of the Church. Neither the original academic meaning of the term "cult" nor the more sensational and pejorative meaning of the term appropriately applies to the Unification Church.
5. Despite being provided with a letter from the New York City Commission on Human Rights and statements from distinguished media organizations condemning the use of the term "Moonie" as pejorative and offensive, and despite the statement of Dr. James Baughman, President of the Unification Church of America on the November 11 show, NBC persisted in using the term "Moonie" to dehumanize and to disparage members of the Unification Church.
6. The producers of the Today show gave no opportunity to Church officials to appropriately address the issues raised in these shows.
7. The producers of the Today program did not inform, nor did they provide any opportunity for Church officials to appropriately respond to the surprise airing of the interview with an apostate member of the Church. At no time was it explained by the Today show that this individual had been the victim of a deprogramming. Nor was it explained how the producers of the Today program had been referred to this individual.
8. The Today show invited Dr. James Baughman to appear live at the very last moment. His statements were to be the only opportunity for the Unification Church to respond to the attacks made by NBC. However, he was not provided the opportunity to present his response due to the decision by NBC and the producer of the Today show to concurrently present Steve Hassan on the program.
Mr. Hassan is a deprogrammer who has received tens of thousands of dollars to deprogram members of new religious faiths. At a CAN conference in New Jersey in 1989, Mr. Hassan described the Catholic Church as "the biggest cult in America." As a highly paid deprogrammer Hassan has a clear financial stake in perpetuating the myth that members of new religious groups are held under mind control.
During his appearance on the Today show Mr. Hassan refused to allow Dr. Baughman the opportunity to speak. Please be advised that the Unification Church has been reliably informed that NBC paid Steve Hassan's expenses in coming to New York to appear on this show. Furthermore, Mr. Hassan has publicly boasted of his role on the program and has stated that he was told by NBC to persistently interrupt Dr. Baughman in order to prevent Dr. Baughman from speaking.
None of the other participants on this program were treated so unfairly or in such a hostile manner by NBC. 9. The Today show refused to provide any critical analysis of the role played by Carol Giambalvo and Patrick Ryan in relation to the activities of Peter Heinrich and Cynthia Lilley in their efforts to procure a deprogramming of Cathryn Mazer; nor did NBC provide any explanation of their long-time association with CAN. Rather, both of these individuals were ironically presented as benign "family advisors."
10. The Today show consulted exclusively with individuals who have a long association with CAN. There was no effort made to seek the opinion of impartial authorities or to interview any objective or informed critics of the Church. Nor was any apparent effort made to objectively investigate the practice of deprogramming.
11. Prior to the airing of the program, Susan Friedman, the producer of the Today show, denied having spoken with anyone from CAN and insisted that she was treating this story in a completely objective manner. However, there is no evidence that she consulted with any sources other than those hostile and prejudicial towards the Unification Church. In fact, when challenged to name a person that she had consulted with that was objective towards the Unification Church she named Anne Olander. Anne Olander is in fact the founder of the Chicago affiliate of CAN.
12. The November 15, edition of the Today show went so far as to juxtapose the Unification Church with the People's Temple in Jonestown. Such juxtaposition was more than reprehensible under the circumstances.
13. It is a fact that neither the threat of, nor the actual airing of, a defamation of the Unification Church affected the decisions of Church officials in their concern for the safety of Cathryn Mazer. Nevertheless, Ms. Cynthia Lilley has recently embarked upon a lecture tour and presented a different story. Her presentations in these various forums is a tale of how she used the media to terminate her daughter's association with the Unification Church (see enclosed materials).
While such a presentation impacts upon the professional and ethical standards followed in this regard by NBC and the producers of the Today program, Ms. Lilley has presented evidence of a prior conspiracy to engage in tortious conduct that has proved injurious to my client.
Based upon these facts, and those facts referenced in my prior correspondences with you, the Unification Church of America has determined to pursue a civil suit against the various parties comprising this specious assault. Several other reports aired in the past have caused Church officials to conclude that NBC has contrived a particular policy with regard to reports about the Church. It is apparent that the only way for the Church to insure that NBC alters its current agenda is to file suit.
Nevertheless, please be advised that Church officials are prepared to consider an alternative non litigious resolution to this matter. In so doing, please be advised that nothing in this letter is intended as, nor should be construed as, a waiver of any rights or remedies by the Church, and all such rights and remedies whether at equity or law, are expressly reserved.
Unification News for February 1997
Before the Boston Globe Published the Hassan Article
This is the correspondence Peter Ross had with the Boston Globe before the article was published.
TO: John Koch, The Boston Globe FROM: Peter D. Ross DATE: January 9, 1997
I appreciate that you called to confirm you are writing a profile on Steve Hassan-his life, his book, and his activities. You did tell me that the impetus to do so was because someone-and I assume it was Mr. Hassan himself or his publicist-sent you a copy of Mr. Hassan's book. I can reasonably deduce that Mr. Hassan's book was forwarded to you for this very purpose. I cannot entirely know the criteria by which you then deemed Mr. Hassan and his book worthy of mention in the Globe. However you stated that the issues raised in his book were factors as was the fact that Mr. Hassan has garnered a certain public notoriety through his appearances on national television. I appreciate your invitation to submit my perspective on Mr. Hassan for your reference and while you encouraged me to be "pithy" I will endeavor to do my best. In this regard, I thought it best to confine my comments to three areas: Mr. Hassan's theories about "mind control"; his illicit activities; and the nature of his association with the Unification Church.
Mr. Hassan is not an innovator or a new-thinker in propounding his theories about "mind control." Harvey Cox has stated that the allegation of brainwashing and mind control in this context is simply "a more psychologically acceptable way of expressing what was expressed previously in other ways. The brainwashing version of the evil eye myth holds that 'these people' are the victims of prophets, spell-binders, witches, or hypnotists." Hassan's theories are otherwise almost entirely derived from the work of two discredited scientists: psychologist Dr. Margaret Singer (University of California) and sociologist Dr. Richard Ofshe (University of California). Mr. Hassan also refers to Dr. Robert Lifton's book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. This work examined the techniques practiced by the Chinese Communists to politically indoctrinate their POW captives in an effort to alter their political beliefs. It is a real stretch to apply such theories to religious conversion.
The theories advanced by Drs. Singer, Ofshe, and Mr. Hassan have been consistently repudiated by the Federal Courts, the established scientific community in America, and the established religious community in America. Hassan's theories can best be characterized as "junk science."
* The Federal Court decision in U.S. v Fishman (San Francisco, 1990) not only repudiated the theories of "mind control" as advocated by Hassan and his ilk, but the court refused to recognize its proponents as acceptable expert witnesses.
* These same theories of "mind control" have been rejected by the American Sociological Society and the American Psychological Society as "negative value judgments in scientific garb." These pre-eminent organizations advocated this position in an amicus brief filed in Molko, Leal v HSA-UWC. Not only did these professional organizations reject the conclusions of their errant colleagues, they went further and stated that the very methodology relied upon to support such theories have "been repudiated by the scientific community."
* In a brief filed in the same case by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), Americans United For Separation of Church and State, The American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., and The Southern California Ecumenical Council, the religious community repudiated the notion of "mind control" as an "attempt to reduce conversion to a psychological pathology." These groups attacked the theories of mind control and brainwashing as "pejorative characterizations of religious conversion proffered in the guise of scientific objectivity."
It is interesting to note that when Steve Hassan gave a presentation on deprogramming and exit counseling to Russian scholars in Moscow a couple of years ago, these scholars noted that what he was advocating was what the KGB had tried to do to them for years!
Mr. Hassan was in the Church for only two years before being forced to sever his relationship with the Church by his family. There is no mention in his book of him ever making a clear decision to join or indeed to leave. At best, he was a mere trainee, someone who had a significant experience during a brief association.
* Mr. Hassan claims in his book and public utterances he was deceived, that he was never told he had unwittingly become involved with the Unification Church. This is not true. Rev. Wayne Miller, who until recently was the Director of the Manhattan Unification Church, taught Hassan his first introductory lectures on the Divine Principle. Wayne has signed an Affidavit stating that Hassan was told before his first lecture that what he was about to hear were the teachings of the Unification Church of the Reverend Moon.
*Mr. Hassan claims that he quickly rose to the ranks of being a top leader in the Church with ready access to the Founder. This is also false. He never ascended higher in the ranks of the Unification Church than a young trainee in a small Church center in Queens. The President of the American Unification Church at that time has previously made a sworn statement that Mr. Hassan was never an assistant director of the Unification Church at national headquarters or a director of the Church's student organization, CARP, at Queens College, nor did he hold any other official position.
* Mr. Hassan has used a series of personal notes, referred to as "Master Speaks," to ridicule and misrepresent the teachings of the Church and its Founder. Mr. Hassan has been repeatedly challenged by the Church for his intentional misrepresentation and mischaracterization of these materials. What Mr. Hassan refers to as literal and verbatim "translations" have been reviewed by linguistic experts and determined to be simultaneous paraphrases of what the "translator" believed Reverend Moon to have stated. Hardly definitive. Recently Mr. Hassan removed these materials from his Home Page when challenged by the Church.
* As a former associate of the Church, particularly one coerced to sever his affiliation, Mr. Hassan's public and inflammatory claims about his experience with the Church can most accurately be characterized as "apostate atrocity tales." Throughout the history of religious bigotry false, exaggerated, and incredulous stories have been disseminated to evoke fear, hysteria, and hatred of new and persecuted religious communities. Similar to many other victims of coercive faith-breaking, Hassan went on to become a self-proclaimed "expert" on the Unification Church. While many people join the Church everyday throughout the world and others leave for all sorts of reasons and get on with their lives, Mr. Hassan has make his apostasy a career and his primary source of income. Whatever the true nature of his inability to forget and leave the Church behind, he has no legitimate justification for a twenty-year vendetta against the Church. As the Eagles sing: "Get Over It!"
* Mr. Hassan's ill-will towards the Unification community is evident in his persistent use of the pejorative term "Moonies." This term was first coined by hostile detractors of the Church who knew full well the impact of the suffix "ie" and its informal, disrespectful, and derogatory register. After an effective effort to sensitize the public of its dehumanizing and harmful effects, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, ABC News, Nightline, Reuters, Oxford Publishing Company, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the New York Civil Rights Coalition among others, have all affirmed the pejorative and unacceptable use of this epithet. Though having been so notified, Mr. Hassan continues to perpetuate the term for his own designs.
Soon after his own coerced renunciation of the Unification Church, Mr. Hassan was an active participant in abusive and unlawful "deprogrammings." The Unification Church legal office has sworn statements from two Unificationists, both of whom incriminate Steve Hassan in their unlawful imprisonment and abusive attempted faith- breaking. One, is that of Arthur Roselle who has stated in his affidavit that he was kidnapped, beaten, held against his will, and treated like a prisoner of war at the hands of violent captors. Mr. Hassan was an active participant. In an attempt several years ago to clean up his past, Hassan asked Arthur Roselle to commit perjury and renounce his former affidavit. By doing so, he not only re-opened an otherwise dated incident, but he has increased his criminal culpability by soliciting another to commit perjury and by his attempts to obstruct justice. And why? So he can try and fool the public that he is a good guy, just trying to help people out.
In the words of John Sweeney, former president of Citizens Freedom Foundation (one of many defunct "anti-cult" groups) Steve Hassan "is really greedy." According to Sweeney, Hassan claims to be able to walk into a room and freeze a cult member by looking him/her in the eye and to then get the person to follow him! Hassan is happy to charge thousands for his work, according to Jeremiah Gutman, New York attorney and former president of the ACLU.
Does Television Legitimize?
For all of my statements above, I have clear and irrefutable evidence. And so perhaps you may ask, if all of this is so, why has Hassan appeared on such programs as Nightline ? Incidentally, on Nightline, he went off and unilaterally attacked Arianna Huffington for allegedly belonging to one of Steve's 2,500 cults (ask him to name them all!), spent time railing against Jehovah's Witnesses, and then in his usual chicken-little mode warned a shocked Ted Koppel that we are all vulnerable!! As we say in Ireland: "you can only bring Steve somewhere twice and the second time to apologize."
I do not believe that his 15 minutes of fame legitimizes him, his theories, or his activities. His public-speaking programs consistently attract the smallest of audiences. His appearances on radio, television, and in tabloid magazines, perhaps say more about the contemporary premium placed on entertainment by these media forms. It certainly should never be interpreted as a measure of the credibility and legitimacy of who Mr. Hassan is and what he does. For he is far too easy to caricature: a nattering nabob of negativism; a quack dispenser of snake oil; a jester who is animated by the click of a television light; a congenital liar who hasn't met a tool of false propaganda he couldn't use; and the chicken-little of those who feel that new religions are to be feared. But don't take my word for it. As
I mentioned, John, there are objective and eminent authorities who can also provide you with a less irreverent account of Mr. Hassan. I mention two:
1. Marvin Bordelon, Executive Director, American Conference on Religious Movements. Telephone: (301)770-2821.
2. Dr. Gordon Melton, Director, Institute of American Religion. Telephone: (805)967-2669
While I am satisfied that you use any of this material, either paraphrased or as a direct quote, I do ask for the opportunity to respond to any particular allegation Mr. Hassan may make about the Unification Church, its Founder and members, that is not covered in these materials.
Again, I can only wonder why it is you deem it fit to extend the imprimatur of The Boston Globe to further serve Mr. Hassan's penchant for self-promotion. I recognize that the debate about "cults" in religion raises many issues. None however are novel or unique and the lessons of history can assist in their resolution. The bonafide scholastic community has consistently refuted the rantings and ravings of hate-mongers who attempt to debase the dialogue. The religious community has been unequivocal in their condemnation of the activities of Hassan and his ilk. So too should the press critically examine the claims and objectives of sloganeers and night-riders, like Mr. Hassan, who serve no other objective than to undermine the democratic, constitutional and civic protections afforded religion.
TO: John Koch, The Boston Globe FROM: Peter D. Ross DATE: January 13, 1997
I want to remind you of my invitation to you to interview those who have suffered personal injury as a direct consequence of Steve Hassan's illicit activities. I was prompted to first make this suggestion by way of a voice-mail to you last Friday for two reasons:
1. Your statement to me that you have spoken with people in the Boston area who appreciate Mr. Hassan's work. Whatever their personal experience, it is fair to suggest that you speak with those who have a contrary personal experience.
2. Your characterization of some of my previously-submitted comments regarding Mr. Hassan as "ad hominem." I will not apologize for my comments nor indeed defend myself further by claiming moral justification - "he has spoken falsely about an entire community for twenty-plus years and therefore I can say such-and-such." No, my defense is the facts and a reasoned interpretation of those facts, for an "ad hominem attack" normally refers to an unbridled personal attack that is not otherwise grounded in reason. Mr. Hassan's personal and professional character deficiencies are manifested in his public utterances, published writings, and abusive activities. They are discernible to those who dare to exclaim that the emperor has no clothes!
Unification News for February 1997
Steve Hassan's War On Cults
Date: Tuesday, February 4, 1997 By John Koch, Globe Staff
Steve Hassan says that he was prepared to commit murder, "absolutely." Or, if necessary, take a bullet in his own body and die a glorious death.
Hassan was a follower of Sun Myung Moon, a true believer in the South Korean evangelist's Unification Church. He used to literally fall to his knees, kowtowing in Moon's presence.
It was the late 1970s, and the aspiring poet and English teacher had chucked his studies at Queens College in New York and become, in his words, "a Moonie." According to Hassan, he was favored by top Unification leaders for his discipline and zeal, his persuasive speaking style and success as a recruiter.
He was upwardly mobile in the church, and says he willingly broke laws to raise funds.
"I was told," says Hassan, "the world was controlled by Satan, and that God needed money, and that any way to get people to make donations would help them spiritually."
Hassan says that the Moonies made him what he is today and has been for 20 years.
He is an ardent enemy of groups like Moon's, a self-described cult fighter.
He calls groups like the Unification Church "destructive cults" in his 1988 book "Combating Cult Mind Control," which is still in print. The book has been translated into five languages and has sold more than 250,000 copies. In it, Hassan details the uses of deception in his own recruitment and other's and the mind-control techniques he says robbed him of the power of choice and turned him into a zealous automaton for more than two years. Then, after suffering a near-fatal-but, he says, fortunate-auto accident, Hassan was deprogrammed.
Now, working out of a spacious Cambridge office, Hassan dispenses information and counsel. A virtual one-man information center dedicated to exposing and debunking destructive cults, he is also a licensed mental health professional specializing in therapeutic interventions for cult victims and their families. He claims to have helped thousands of people break the psychological chains binding them to such "destructive cults" as the Unification Church, Transcendental Meditation, the Church of Scientology, est, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, the Boston Church of Christ and Victory Chapel.
In Hassan's lexicon, cult leaders are usually motivated by power and profit and, often, the sexual favors they inveigle from members.
Hassan, 42, is a dark-haired 6-footer who speaks in a raspy voice uncannily reminiscent of Dustin Hoffman's, and with his round-lensed glasses, he looks like an owlish version of the actor. There's a slight edge to his delivery-an urgency born perhaps when he was a compliantly ambitious Moonie and sharpened by his determination to help people undo the kind of harm he says was inflicted on him as a member of the cult.
Almost no one, he believes, is immune to the deceptive blandishments of one cult or another. A "hypnotic phenomenon" takes place, he says. "It's an induction into an altered state of function where powerful images and feelings are being elicited for the purposes of getting a person's compliance."
Hassan and his allies in the anti-cult movement, like the American Family Foundation, based in New York and Florida, are concerned that although cults are less visible now than in the `70s, they are proliferating dangerously.
"The number of cults and those affected by them are mushrooming," writes Marsha Rudin, director of the foundation's International Cult Education Program, in The Religious Observer. She estimates that there are as many as 3,000 groups worldwide and 3 million people who are or have been members. In a recent guest column in the AFF journal, The Cult Observer, Paul Martin, an associate of AFF, calls destructive cultism "the most under-studied, neglected and ignored mental health and social problem in the world" and estimates that 185,000 Americans join such groups every year. He writes that 25 percent of them will suffer "enduring, irreversible harm."
"The cults that were around then on street corners," Hassan says, "now have businesses and business offices, and people have ties and jackets. The [Hare] Krishnas, for example, don't have robes-they tend to dress up now, wear wigs, suits and ties. The Moonies have the Washington Times"-a daily paper in the nation's capital-"the University of Bridgeport and they're the largest waterfront owners in Gloucester."
Although the Unification Church has paid nearly $100 million to save the school from bankruptcy, a college accrediting agency last year found no evidence that the church controlled the university.
Not everyone agrees with Hassan, who has enough detractors to have made him think twice before setting up a permanent office. "For years I didn't have an office because I didn't want it to get bombed," he says. He carefully guards his home address, saying that, nonetheless, he has been followed and that his trash has been picked through, presumably by cult operatives.
"Some of the big groups are multibillion-dollar international conglomerates. It's a given if they wanted me dead, it would be a snap of the fingers. One of the reasons I want to keep a high profile," he says, is "for my survival-so that they'll think twice about hurting me. The stress is unbelievable."
The Church of Scientology is high on Hassan's list of actively destructive cults. "It's hard to pick what I want to say that's critical of this group because there's so much," he says. It exists, he says in essence, for unholy profit.
Asked for a comment on Hassan, the Boston branch of the Church of Scientology contacted its New York public affairs director, John Carmichael. "I've watched what Hassan does," Carmichael said on the telephone from New York, "and his mind control theories are the same rubbish that's been rejected by the courts. His theories are debunked. He's a pseudo-expert, a phony," who "preys on people's fears." Carmichael faxed the Globe more than 20 pages of documents including an affidavit from Arthur Roselle, stating Hassan had aided in kidnapping and imprisoning him in 1976 for the purposes of deprogramming him. "I flatly deny I ever kidnapped, abducted, coerced or hurt anyone in
any way," Hassan says. According to Hassan, with the cooperation of Roselle's parents and close friends, he counseled Roselle out of the Unification Church in 1976. And although Roselle later rejoined, "no charges have been filed against me by him or anybody else-ever," Hassan says. "This has been perpetuated around the world for 20 years and used to indoctrinate groups of cult members to fear me."
After Carmichael's call, the Globe received an unsolicited telephone call from Peter Ross, Carmichael's counterpart in the Unification Church. Two other people, saying Carmichael had contacted them, called to raise questions about Hassan's ideas on cults and mind control.
Ross was "surprised he [Hassan] is taken seriously," he said, laughing. "I try to restrain my Irish irreverence," he said on the telephone from California, "but with Steve, it's a difficult task."
Ross, also director of Unification Church legal affairs, wrote in a five-page memo to the Globe that "Hassan's theories can best be characterized as `junk science,' " and that he has been carrying on a "vendetta" against the church.
While his critics cast doubt on the concept of mind control, Hassan says that the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual "has a category that talks about brainwashing and cults, and it's just disinformation to say mind control is not an agreed-upon theory."
"There is ample evidence that you can indoctrinate people into belief systems: Cult groups do it all the time," said psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Alvin Poussaint when asked recently about the phenomenon of mind control. However, Poussaint prefers the term "brainwashing" to describe the "authoritarian indoctrination" that can radically alter and "control" human behavior. "There's such a thing as being brainwashed," he said, "without being incarcerated." Poussaint also said he knows of students in the Boston area who have been affected by religious cults.
Noelle Crosby believes a church identified by Hassan as a destructive cult drove her to a breakdown and ruined her young life. Crosby, 27, grew up as a sometime member of the Victory Chapel Christian Fellowship Church, then in South Dennis, Cape Cod. Now living west of Boston, she is struggling to reassemble her life in part through therapy with Hassan, a life she says was "shattered" by the church and its pastor, Paul Campo.
She permitted this reporter to audit her initial counseling session with Hassan, which included her mother, Nancy Crosby, also an ex- member of Victory Chapel. The church, part of a worldwide network, has been the subject of highly critical exposes, in the Cape Cod Times in 1995, and on Boston's WHDH-TV in 1992.
Noelle Crosby, who speaks thoughtfully about her past, describes a fearfully exposed and monitored existence. Her entire family-mother, brother and older sister-were members of the church, making it especially difficult and painful for her to follow her impulses to leave its authoritarian grip.
After her father died while she was in high school, Noelle says Campo told her, "Your father is burning in hell and so will you if you don't stop what you're doing." She says she was publicly rebuked before the congregation for "backsliding," and identified as filthy before God. She says feeling dirty in the eyes of the Lord and "no good" led inexorably to a nervous breakdown when she was 21.
She left the church twice by the time of her hospitalization; soon afterward, she was prohibited from returning because the church considered her a danger to other members, according to her mother. She
wasn't able to graduate with her high school class, and without the support of her family, which remained in the church longer than she did, Noelle says she "made a mess out of things." Breaking into tears, Noelle wonders "how to stop the mentality they [the church] instilled in me-[they] said my life would amount to nothing without the church. All my regrets!"
"God was turned into this mean, rigid thing," Noelle's mother says. "The control of your mind was the worst. You were a different person. I believed our whole purpose on the planet was to get people to be saved-and the only way to be saved was to come into Victory Chapel." Nancy Crosby, who says she was not making a lot of money at the time, was paying the church approximately $40 a week in tithes and was "always asked for money" in addition to that.
She left the church in 1991, after Noelle's final break with Victory Chapel. The mother says her own departure was prompted by Noelle's hospitalization, which was caused by "emotional and mental abuse" perpetrated by the church and Campo.
"Total trash and garbage," Campo said when he was contacted by phone at his home on Cape Cod, even before hearing specifically what the Crosbys told the Globe. "I'm not interested in talking to you guys. You're always anti-church. I'm not into responding," Campo said before ending the conversation.
"I walked in a pretty good person," Noelle says, referring to the church, "and I walked out a mess."
"Something serious happened to us," says her mother.
Hassan agrees. Something serious happened to him, too, as a member of the Unification Church, but by breaking away with the help of deprogramming and then studying the process of his own recovery, Hassan evolved a course of therapy to address cases like his own and Noelle's.
The 1976 automobile accident that hobbled Hassan also saved him, he believes. In his book, he writes that it, "began breaking the Moonies's hold over me. . . . First, I could sleep, eat, and rest. Second, I could finally see my family. My parents and my . . . sister Stephanie had been judged `satanic' by the Moonies, but I loved them and wanted to convert them. Third, I could slow down and think, being away from the group's constant reinforcement. Fourth, my parents decided to have me deprogrammed. Fifth, I had a cast on my right leg from my toes to my pelvis, so I couldn't move without crutches. I could neither fight nor run away."
Over the course of a contentious, often agonizing six days, during which Hassan briefly considered killing his father, a group of three ex-Moonies and a counselor convinced him he had been manipulated in much the same way Chinese Communists brainwashed citizens and dissidents in the 1940s and `50s. It took him a full year, Hassan says, to feel reintegrated into the world of normal society.
He characterizes his therapeutic method as family-centered. "I use the family and friends [of clients] to devise a set of interventions designed to get the person to agree to meet with me and former members for a period of time. The goal is to share information with them about mind control and to process their experience of how they met the group and, step by step, how they came to be converted, as well as to discuss key experiences in the group. Also, I help to de-phobitize them, because implanting phobias is one of the universal mind control techniques that these groups use on members to make them irrationally afraid of ever leaving the group or, in some cases, of even questioning the group."
In addition to such "exit counseling," Hassan works with ex-members of cults, like Noelle, to help them reconstruct a strong identity, an "alternate psychic reality" to the group mentality they adopted and to the sense of personal failure that, according to Hassan, plagues people in the wake of cult involvement.
Hassan believes Noelle's "prognosis is very good, but it's going to take a long time." Part of the problem for her and many others like her, he says, is that they have "been dealing with mental health professionals who are ignorant about cult mind-control issues." These clinicians "are often missing the obvious," he says. "To most therapists, the symptoms look like depression, suicidality, even schizophrenia. They don't have the training to understand this phenomenon, and most therapists don't even bother to ask, `Were you ever involved with a high-demand group of any kind that caused you emotional turmoil?' That one question could make all the difference in the world."
Boston University's chief religious officer, dean Robert Thornburg, considers cult activity on campus a serious problem. Groups including the Hare Krishnas and the Boston Church of Christ have practiced "duplicitous recruiting and destructive mind-control thought processes," he said in a phone conversation.
"You can look into the eyes of a 20-year-old and see a blank, vacant stare, like the whole personality has been squashed. For all practical purposes," he said, students like this in the grips of what he calls "destructive religious practices" are "zombies."
"I see it a lot," said Thornburg, who characterizes Hassan as "a very competent workman in the psychological aspects of mind control. Most therapists are useless because," he said, "they don't understand how anyone could be trapped in that foolishness."
Thornburg lauds Hassan for laying out his therapeutic program in his book and for "doing exactly what he says he does," he said. "He is about the only one I would trust as a referral" for this kind of counseling, he said.
Hassan's current projects include writing a book, more personal than the first, about his life as cult-member-turned-cult-antagonist, and pumping life into his Center for the Freedom of Mind. He calls the center, which has nonprofit status but, as yet, neither staff nor funding, a resource where families could get objective information about groups they suspect are exercising undue influence upon loved ones.
Hassan says the work he does exacts a "horrible" toll on his personal life, and while he remains firmly committed to it, he's not as "almost mindlessly" zealous as he admits he was when he began opposing the Unification Church two decades ago. "I've gotten to the point where I don't feel like I am the world's salvation, and I can't help everybody who calls me-I'm just a guy trying to make a contribution."
Hassan says the strain he feels has sources beyond the constant fear of reprisal. One is "dealing with people who are told to be afraid of me-they're told [that] by different cult groups, different charismatic figures who are threatened by being exposed." Another source of strain is "dealing with people who are incredibly traumatized and literally hysterical. "I've burned out hundreds of times in the last 20 years, to the point where I just want to crawl under a rock and become a waiter," Hassan says.
In fact, he's not about to retire or change professions.
For Hassan, mind control is "a phenomenon central to the issue of our survival as a species."
Unification News for February 1997
Letter to the Boston Globe
TO: Matthew V. Storin Editor, Boston Globe FROM: Peter D. Ross at (707)963-2713 RE: John Koch's article in today's Globe DATE: February 4, 1997
In our phone conversation earlier today I expressed my initial comments in response to the article attributed to John Koch in today's edition of the Globe. Since speaking with you I have also spoken with Mary Jane Wilkinson, Mr. Koch's editor, and Mark Jurkowitz, ombudsman at the Globe. I understand Mr. Jurkowitz continues to receive calls from Unificationists protesting this opprobrious article.
Before reviewing Mr. Koch's article on Steve Hassan, I would like to re-iterate that I am concerned that the Boston Globe elected to publish this article. When our cultural institutions perpetuate a culture of contempt and disdain for minorities, it gives license to those who are even less-discerning to engage in all manner of abuse. It is therefore with great seriousness that the Unification community apprehends the consequences of the editorial decision by your staff to publish this promotion of Steve Hassan. As I learned more from Mr. Koch about the nature of this article prior to publication, I grew increasingly apprehensive. While I expressed these same concerns to both Mr. Koch and Ms. Wilkinson, I was somewhat re-assured by both their assurances as to the Globe's professional standards of fairness and objectivity. Mr. Koch at one point took umbrage at even the suggestion that he would fall anyway short of his own reputable standards! Moreover, I was assured by the fact that a paper of the Globe's pre-eminence would maintain a level of integrity and professionalism in its reportage. After reading the article, I have been greatly disappointed and I must confess to a certain feeling of betrayal on all counts.
My particular complaints about this article are as follows:
1. The Globe's decision to use the term "Moonies."
Prior to publication, I informed both Mr. Koch and Ms. Wilkinson that the term "Moonies" is a pejorative and offensive reference to members of the Unification Church. In support of this fact I provided Mr. Koch with materials outlining the origins of this epithet. Moreover, I included a collection of letters from mainstream media and publishing organizations, and from New York-based human rights organizations, affirming both the pejorative nature and inherent abuse caused by use of this term. Prior to publication, I spoke with Mr. Koch about this matter and he informed me that it was an issue to be determined by his editors.
In my earlier conversations today, both you and Ms. Wilkinson confirmed that this was a matter duly considered and discussed at the Globe. Yet, in today's article not only was Mr. Hassan permitted to use this term without disclaimer, but the Globe used it while paraphrasing Mr. Hassan and directly in the head-line and elsewhere throughout the article. It is therefore conclusive that despite having been placed on notice, your editors decided that it was appropriate to freely perpetuate the use of this term in the Boston Globe. 2. The Globe's decision to present Mr. Hassan without any objective
The article cites a representative of the Church of Scientology and myself as being critical of Mr. Hassan. The nature of such comments are only to be expected. However, of other third parties cited in the article, all spoke favorably of Mr. Hassan's enterprise. Prior to publication, I had referred both Mr. Koch and Ms. Wilkinson to third parties who were very critical of Mr. Hassan's activities. But Mr. Koch apparently elected not to try and reach them for comment that might have un-balanced his obviously one-sided account.
Mr. Koch gave substantial opportunity for a former-member of Victory Chapel to comment on how Mr. Hassan had apparently helped her. Prior to publication, when Mr. Koch confirmed with me that he had spoken to people who appreciated how Mr. Hassan had helped them, I invited him to feature the comments of others who had a less favorable experience of Mr. Hassan's practices. But Mr. Koch never pursued this.
3. The Globe's decision to present Mr. Hassan's claims on face value.
Throughout the article Mr. Hassan - identified as "an ardent enemy of group's like Moon's" and hostile to duly incorporated religious institutions as being "destructive cults" - made false and preposterous claims. Despite his inherent bias and prejudice, Mr. Hassan's false claims were presented free of scrutiny as to their credibility, veracity, or indeed their relationship with reality. Few of his statements were treated to even a modicum of qualification. For example, I provided Mr. Koch with an account of Mr. Hassan's brief association with the Unification Church which disputes Mr. Hassan's own false claims. But no reference was made to this account. Mr. Hassan made false statements as to how he came in contact with the Church and how he was subjected to "mind -control techniques." These claims are also disputed by the Church but never referenced by Mr. Koch.
4. The Globe's decision to re-publish Mr. Hassan's inflammatory statements.
The Globe stated that while Mr. Hassan was in the Church he "was prepared to commit murder, 'absolutely.'" It also stated that Hassan "willingly broke laws to raise funds." Just two paragraphs later: "Hassan says that the Moonies made him what he is today and has been for 20 years." Hassan is described as having being "a compliantly ambitious Moonie." Further on, Hassan is quoted as saying, "For years I didn't have an office because I didn't want it to get bombed." On the heels of these false and inflammatory statements, Hassan is quoted, thusly: "Some of the big groups are multi-billion dollar international conglomerates. It's a given if they wanted me dead, it would be a snap of the fingers." Another reference cites Hassan as having considered murdering his father!
These inflammatory descriptions of violence, murder, and mayhem in this context inevitably engender fear and hostility towards the Unification Church. Such spurious innuendoes endanger the safety of a benign and peaceful religious community with no history of violence. The salacious use of these images is a manifestation of the most tawdry form of tabloid yellow journalism and has no place on the pages of the Globe.
5. The Globe's exclusive reliance upon individuals and organizations hostile to and prejudiced towards the Unification Church. In support of Mr. Hassan's claims and practices, Mr. Koch presents
organizations and individuals who as a matter of public record are prejudiced towards the Unification Church. These include Marcia Rudin of ICEP and Paul Martin of AFF. Both of these organizations are affiliated with the now-defunct Cult Awareness Network. Yet, Mr. Koch made no effort to solicit and include the perspectives of less tainted sources or more objective and informed authorities.
In addition to these 5 observations, Mr. Storin, I am attaching for your review all the memos I had sent to Mr. Koch and Ms. Wilkinson. I trust that the additional materials I mailed to Mr. Koch, which he has confirmed receiving, will also be made available to you.
My purpose in writing to you is to memorialize my contention that this article represents an unwarranted attack on the Unification Church. In light of all the surrounding circumstances and disturbing facts related to this article I can only deduce that Mr. Koch had every intention from the outset of presenting a promotional piece on behalf of Mr. Hassan, albeit at the expense of the Unification community. Indeed, Mr. Koch informed me that he had first become interested in this story upon recently receiving a copy of Mr. Hassan's 20-year-old book, presumably from the latter's publicist. I believe Mr. Koch never had any intention to contact the Unification Church in the process of completing his work-product. This is supported by Mr. Koch's published characterization of my efforts to reach him as an "unsolicited telephone call." However, of greater importance to me beyond Mr. Koch's discredited journalism is the fact that your editors authorized this piece for publication. From what I know, I can only conclude that this was a serious professional lapse on their behalf. But error or not, the consequences to the Unification Church and the Unification community are very real.
In an effort to mitigate the harm caused by the Globe's decision to publish this article I have two requests:
1. That the Globe publish an unequivocal editorial apology for its decision to use the term "Moonies." In this regard, there is ample reference material in the information I previously mailed to John Koch.
2. That you provide the Church with an appropriate forum in the Globe to respond to the specifics of this particular report. This could be done by means of an op-ed piece confined to a review of Mr. Hassan's false and disputed statements and claims.
While I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you this morning, I hope you will avail of this memo and conduct a serious review of this article. Mindful of how the Globe has perpetuated the worst, false, and stereotypical images of the Unification community, I appeal to you to display moral and professional courage and right an egregious wrong. I will call your office tomorrow to learn of your decision in response to my requests. In the meantime, I will fax a copy of this memo to Mark Jurkowitz.
Articles from the March 1997 Unification News
What The Boston Globe Did Not Want You To Know
Readers will recall from last month's UNEWS the free publicity the Boston Globe extended to Steve Hassan on February 4 of this year. We thank you all for your many letters to the various parties in Boston. Despite our protests the Globe "stands by" this prejudiced report. Yet, it was a report in which the Globe very selectively accounted for the integrity and credibility of Steve Hassan's activities. In this regard, we wanted to provide our readers with one more piece of information that the Globe did not want you to know:
In a decision dated March 28, 1996, Justice Christina Harms, a presiding judge in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, ruled that Steve Hassan's testimony could not be introduced on the basis of being expert testimony. After reviewing the decision of the federal judge in U.S. v. Fishman (see last month's UNEWS) Justice Harms ruled:
"The Court found in that case [Fishman] that the theories regarding brain washing, if you will, or mind control or cults that the experts wanted to testify to, were not generally accepted within the scientific community. And those experts, and in particular the expert, Doctor Singer, in the Fishman case, that expert had a Ph.D. in Psychology, something more than Mr. Hassan has. He has a Master's Degree.
I am persuaded by the findings and the reasoning in Fishman that similarly Mr. Hassan's views or theories published or as explained from the stand on what is a cult and what is not a cult and how mind control or thought control or brain washing or the like fit into that, is not sufficiently accepted within the applicable scientific community to constitute an area of expertise. And so to that extent, I reverse my ruling, I reconsider and I vacate my qualification of him as an expert in cult and mind control."
This decision is all the more remarkable when one recalls that it is the State of Massachusetts alone that licenses Steve Hassan to hold himself out as "a mental health professional," and Steve is only authorized to do so within the limited confines of Massachusetts. Why did the Globe not report this fact?
As reported elsewhere in this edition, in the intolerance and folly that follows the efforts of advocacy journalists and corrupt editors to impose their values upon their readers, censorship, the arch-enemy of a free press, runs buck naked around the editorial department.
Articles From the May 1995 Unification News
Utterances From The Promoters Of Paranoia
A dear friend recently sent UNews a copy of a news brief that appeared just last month in Agri News, a paper published in Texas:
Do You Know A Cultist?
The government definition of a cult, provided to Janet Reno by Cult Awareness Network, is as follows: "A cultist is one who has a strong belief in the Bible and the second coming of Christ; who frequently attends Bible studies; who contributes regularly to a Christian cause, who home schools his children; who has accumulated survival foods and has strong belief in the 2nd Amendment, and who distrusts big government." Abundant Wildlife, Issue 3.
In January of 1989, CAN's Executive Director, Cynthia Kisser, spoke to a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, of how CAN would treat Jesus: "if he were alive now, we'd take an interest in him because of the great controversy surrounding his fringe activities. ... We'd try to see if there was abuse, unethical behavior or deceptive practices. And I'd send whatever we could find to reporters."
During a recent appearance on Nightline, CAN associate, Steve Hassan, stated that the Jehovah's Witnesses were a "destructive cult." In 1989 at a CAN conference Hassan stated that "the Catholic Church is the biggest cult in America."
Herbert Rosedale, President of the American Family Foundation, once described a Unification Church retreat center in an article published in The Times Herald Record as: "a center which spreads physical and emotional disease among its members and infects the community with the results therefrom.
Unification News for February 1997
Attack on Religious Liberty
The season for religious liberty has once again come. It brings fresh hopes for greater religious acceptance and an end to the previous winter of oppression and persecution. The U.S. State Department's recently published annual report on human rights cited several countries for having committed violations of religious rights. Among others, China was cited for its persecution of Catholics while Germany was cited for having intimidated and harassed the Church of Scientology. The United Nations too has shown increasing concern over the plight of those who suffer because of their religious beliefs. The plague of church burnings in America has been halted. With the demise of the Cult Awareness Network, the American media has lost its agent provocateur for cyclically publishing accounts of those claiming to have spent months with aliens from outer space who did to them what was done to Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker (?) in Mars Attack.
But while religion can begin to bathe in ever-warming suns, religious bigotry takes more than a season of good-will to weed out and toss on the chaff pile. It knows no season and merely suspends activity until like a parasite, it finds its next host. Having returned from Brazil last fall with an exotic tick on board (just below my ever- disappearing navel), I know the concern for all the potential maladies one wee tick can wreak.
For older members of our community in America, the name Steve Hassan resonates with images of a tick. Like all parasites, the tick - or in this case Steve - has no life without the host. Waiting in the grass for a potential host to pass by, he affixes himself, gorges himself, then falls away bloated. And Steve's preferred host is a compliant journalist or a TV hostess. And so this month we want to bring to your attention a recent report published in the Boston Globe. Our purpose in doing so is not to draw more attention than is needed to the tick but to expose the conduct of the host.
Of concern here is the serious misconduct of Boston's pre-eminent daily newspaper. Of even greater concern is what was exposed of the Globe's propagation and perpetuation of a culture of contempt towards the Founder, our Church, and our entire community, by the most senior members of its editorial staff. To expose, protest, and redress this culture of contempt is the purpose for bringing this matter to your attention. It is one thing for the small-minded individual bigots of this world to vent their stuff. It is an entirely different matter when institutions of society - government, academia, religion, the theater, the media - grant license to such bigotry. Events of the past few years alone show us that our society does have troubled souls who need little or no provocation to react angrily and resentfully to their own bitter life experiences and wreak real and tragic harm to others in reprisal. We ourselves have witnessed the bombing of our Church center in France when the government conducted one of its witch hunts. We have seen the destruction of our Church center in Brazil after the media had incited the mob. We have seen the desecration of our most cherished rite - the Blessing - by government agents in the Philippines. Closer to home we have seen church property burned to the ground just a few hours from New York City when associates of groups like the American Family Foundation turned a zoning meeting into a three-ringed circus of malevolence. We have learned of a pregnant mother kicked and stomped in Manhattan while her assailant shouted "Moonie."
It is our obligation to protest when influential newspapers like the Boston Globe betray standards of responsible, fair and objective reportage and repeatedly subject our Church, our Founder, and our community to contempt thereby exposing us to foreseeable risk of harm.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote: "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Our task then is to do more than merely protest. We must educate with the truth those who are ignorant and afraid and we must strive to dispel reckless stupidity with reason and civility. Please carefully review these materials and responsibly support our endeavors. To restore does not mean to ignore.
Articles From the July 1994 Unification News
Sacrificing Bridgeport University on the Altar of Hatred
by Peter Ross
This was submitted to the Connecticut Post in response to a one-sided and egregious attack on the Church in an Op-Ed by Ken Dixon.
On April 14, 1994, the Connecticut Post published an op-ed piece by Ken Dixon under the offensive headline: MOM WARNS OF MOONIE PERVERSIONS. The mom in question was Ms. Cynthia Lilley of California who spoke of how she had used "media exposure" (specifically, NBC's Today show) to "rescue" her daughter (read: to subject her daughter to a crude and crass process called "faithbreaking") from "the cult" (specifically, the Unification Church).
However, Ms. Lilley's veracity is undermined by the facts of this unfortunate affair: 1) her daughter, Cathryn, never joined the Unification Church, although she had been studying its teachings; 2) as indicated by Cathryn's own affidavit, Ms. Lilley had threatened to forcibly terminate her daughter's association with the Church upon the advice of associates of the Cult Awareness Network; 3) Cathryn left the Church in New York entirely of her own accord. (This was so despite the efforts of Ms. Lilley and her wealthy and politically powerful friends to force Unification Church officials to send Cathryn back to California against her will or face the specter of a negative attack on the Church via a nationally broadcast NBC program). Only after Ms. Lilley turned Cathryn over to Steve Hassan did Cathryn finally terminate her association with the Unification Church.
Ken Dixon's account failed to mention that Ms. Lilley had been invited to speak at a dinner program hosted at the Congregation Rodeph Sholom on April 18. Other featured speakers were Michael Stratton, legal counsel for what is known as the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, and Ruth Steinkraus Cohen, Life Trustee of the University of Bridgeport. In their respective capacities, both Mr. Stratton and Ms. Cohen have been hostile opponents of the Professor's World Peace Academy's support for UB. Why would such a gathering be dined and wined at Congregation Rodeph Sholom?
The purpose of the Coalition is to end UB's involvement with the Professor's World Peace Academy, an international community of academics inspired by the vision of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. It is a matter of public record that the Coalition is supported by organizations whose representatives have perpetuated the most nefarious myths about the Unification community throughout the past twenty years. They are: the Cult Awareness Network (Cynthia Kisser), the International Cult Education Program (Marcia Rudin), and the American Family Foundation (Herbert Rosedale).
The theories and allegations disseminated by AFF, CAN, and ICEP have been discredited and repudiated by the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, the National Council of Churches, the American Baptist Churches in the USA, Americans United For Separation of Church and State, among others. Their activities have led to the prosecution and imprisonment of some of their associates for crimes committed in pursuit of their objectives. Their agenda was succinctly dismissed by Dr. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute of American Religion, in a paper presented before the American Academy of Religion in Washington, DC, in November of 1993, in which he stated: "Just as we would not call upon the Ku Klux Klan to offer expert testimony on African-Americans or the American Nazi Party to speak about Jews, so we should cease calling upon so-called "cult" experts, who have as their agenda the destruction of non conventional religions, to provide testimony and information about religious groups. "Cults" exist only in the same realm as "niggers" and "kikes," a realm of non-being. In my world, cults do not exist. Hence, anyone who purports to be a cult expert, is an expert about nothing at all."
Carol Giambalvo and Patrick Ryan are professional faithbreakers and were shown on the Today show counseling and advising Ms. Lilley about how to sever Cathryn's tenuous relationship with the Unification Church. They are both associates of CAN and frequently speak at CAN conferences. Steve Hassan is a long-time associate of CAN and retains a particular hostility towards the Unification Church as an apostate member. He himself was a victim of one of these faithbreaking sessions. Hassan was invited by NBC to participate in the Today show's contrived attack on the Church, with all expenses paid. He had come to NBC's studios in New York from Minneapolis where he had been a featured speaker at CAN's national conference! Ms. Lilley had also been a featured speaker at the same conference! Is it any wonder that Cathryn stated in her affidavit of September 14, that "none of my decisions or actions have merited the severity of [Ms. Lilley's] efforts to interfere with my faith."
The feeding frenzy engaged in by these organizations, in conjunction with the Coalition, against the PWPA's involvement with UB has been conducted in newspaper stories, through radio and television, in the courts and in more discreet forums like that of the dinner program hosted at the Congregation Rodeph Sholom. This particular event is a vignette into the intercourse between those organizations and individuals intent on grinding the same ax.
It is disturbing to all who value religious liberty that AFF, CAN, ICEP have sought legitimacy and credibility from the American public by claiming affiliation with well-respected educational and philanthropic organizations, such as, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and the UJA Federation. This raises a serious question: do the AJC, the ADL and the UJA endorse the hate- mongering and illegal activities of CAN, AFF, and ICEP? If not, I invite them to go on public record and say so. (I have previously written to the AJC about this matter but I have received no response). Should I, at best, anticipate an acknowledgment that while they disavow the tactics and activities of AFF, CAN and ICEP, they nevertheless agree with the "truths spoken" by Rosedale, Kisser, Rudin, Stratton, and Cohen, et al.?
In an op-ed piece entitled "On Black Anti-Semitism" (New York Times, 01/11/94) A. M. Rosenthal wrote of what he perceived to be an alarming increase in anti-Semitism in the reaction within the Afro-American community to the gutter utterances of Khalid Mohammed. Rosenthal was particularly concerned that current leaders within the black community have either actively incited anti-Semitism, or alternatively through silence, passively condoned it. This, he wrote, "puts at stake the moral credibility of black struggle against racism."
Based upon Mr. Rosenthal's criteria, the appearance of any endorsement of AFF, CAN, ICEP, and the Coalition, tends to compromise the moral credibility of the AJC, the ADL, and the UJA in fighting anti- Semitism.
When the University of Bridgeport faced imminent closure it was only the leadership of the PWPA who were courageous and bold enough to attempt to save the school. Was a modicum of appreciation and encouragement out of the question? The Coalition's outcry under the thin guise of legalisms has been nothing more than a 1990's version of "guess who's moving into the neighborhood." Moreover, it raises serious questions about the identity of those who would sacrifice a university on the altar of their hatred of the Unification community.
The people of Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut should demand full disclosure from the Coalition of Concerned Citizens as to their true "concerns." As for Ken Dixon, shame on you for your perverted journalism!
Articles from the August 1997 Unification News
Hassan and his Disinformation
by Kate Tsubata-Tokyo, Japan
This was written in repose to a plea over the WWW from the Chilean Church for help in dealing with Steve Hassan who is on a CAN speaking tour there.
Steve Hassan is a guy who joined in Queens, New York, for a period of about 6 weeks, as I remember. Since then, he has made a living accusing our movement, by any means possible. He wrote a book, not long ago, repeating many of the false allegations which he has constantly repeated during the past 20 years as his "ticket to fame."
He's a publicity hound. I met him in Boston, when he was trying to whip up anger towards our church there, in front of television cameras, in 1979. At that time, I confronted him, on camera, and demanded him to admit how much money he charges for a deprogramming. He refused to answer, because his dirty little secret is that this is a business for him. I told him "You joined the church for 6 weeks, and are using Rev. Moon to make money for yourself." He couldn't respond, because it was all totally true.
This is not a guy who can make it in life by contributing something positive to society, because he needs the dynamic of fear and power to make himself feel important. Unfortunately, his time has passed, as the Cult Awareness Network, and people like him, have been sued and bankrupted because of their illegal activities of kidnapping adults, holding them hostage, subjecting them to the same techniques they accuse the various religious organizations of using (isolation, coercion, sleep deprivation, emotional manipulation, and sexual temptation).
In the US, they are finished. Perhaps in other countries, they have not yet been exposed and regulated. The CAN group were advisors to US Attorney General Susan Reno on the Waco standoff, and their advice convinced Reno to order the FBI to storm the Branch Davidian's complex, causing the immolation of many unarmed, defenseless people, including children. That in turn led to other disasters like the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma by Timothy McVeigh. Scientologists have gotten CAN convicted in court, and fined, for their illegal activities, resulting in the complete turnover of all CAN materials and assets to key Scientologists.
For Hassan to style himself as the "expert" of a group that has so many actual crimes and loss of lives to its' credit is sort of like claiming credit for the Holocaust. You have to feel sorry for him. He's a sad guy, who thought his ticket to wealth and success lay in fomenting hate, and now, his arsenal has been spent, and his raucous cries of "lynch the so-and-so" don't work, because everyone else is turning from hate to love.
Regarding dealing with such comparisons as the Unification Movement to suicide cults, etc., I would be very matter of fact, and point out the actual record. While those groups sought to isolate from others, we go out and serve all others. While they glorified suicide, we teach that this is the worst thing one can ever do, because of the difficulty of restoring this from the spirit world. While they teach free sex, or sexual activity with the leader or leaders, we teach purity before marriage and absolute fidelity within marriage. While they focus on their small goals of gathering power, money or members, we have continually served those who do not belong to our movement, and have encouraged them to in turn, serve the greater community. (Science conference, World Media Conference, IRFF, Summit Council, Washington Times, home church, and now Family Federation for Unification and World Peace.)
Rev. and Mrs. Moon, in contrast to nearly every leader of powerful religious or charitable organizations, have a simple lifestyle, don't gather large amounts of material goods for themselves or their family, wear simple clothing, go to humble areas of the world and do physical hard work like fishing, and continually invest money, time, love and energy into things that help others, not themselves. Not even the Pope can stand up to that level of service and humility. What other religious man or woman has started boat building enterprises, machinery works, newspapers (well, a few here-Christian Science Monitor comes to mind), health food and herbal medicine companies, highway projects, etc.? Who else has entered the capitals of the worst dictatorships and anti-Christian countries and spoken directly about God to their top leaders? And who was the first one to give aid and help those countries, once they renounced the former system?
But even more intrinsic, who has worked tirelessly to bring all people, regardless of country or religion, back to the most central truth of our lives: that to be happy, we must be pure before marriage and faithful within marriage? Can any religion oppose this? No. Does it gain him a dime? No. Does it get him glory, members, political clout? Not so far. He's 77-it would be rather late for him to be building up to an eventual political career. Even if he was, marrying people or blessing them in their marriages seems like a detour, if anything, from a method of gaining power.
The positive side of all the attack he has endured is that no one group or church or country or race can say "he's ours." He never compromised his conscience to curry favor with the South Koreans or North Koreans, Japanese military or American government, though he served all of them with heart, work and money. Thus, they all jailed him, slandered him and treated him as the worst criminal. The communists attacked him-and he responded by loving them and lifting them out of their self-made nightmare. The Christians attacked and vilified him as the antichrist-and he loved them, served their churches and ministries, and uplifted them. Truthfully speaking, black people have the clearest conscience in regard to him, having more consistently been open and kind to Rev. Moon and his movement than any other group. Perhaps the white, Christian Americans have been the most prominent in their accusations and attacks. Yet, he has loved and served them more than any other group.
The facts are that in 77 years, no one has ever found one slightest speck of wrongdoing on his part, except the subjective interpretations of "he doesn't agree with me." It is because he won't succumb to bribery, seduction, drugs and alcohol, power-tripping, clique-based choices and other corruption that he has been rejected. Yet, he never rejected those same attackers. After being falsely accused, tried and convicted of trumped-up tax evasion charges in America, he went and shook hands with the prosecutor. He served the unjust and unearned jail sentence with love and service for all the other inmates, working side by side with them, honoring all the gag rules and uncomplainingly accepting the disrespect heaped on him. No one can maintain an act for 77 years, without letting the mask slip under pressure. He has endured concentration camp for 3 years, torture, starvation, poverty, death of his beloved children, massive persecution, assassination plots, betrayal-and yet, is smiling and cheerful, full of humor and compassion, free from bitterness or complaint. Even that is evidence of a character of great goodness.
Finally, the truest test is the test of time. If people had listened to Hitler and watched his actions in 1932, they could have foreseen World War II and the Holocaust. Though millions of Germans cheered for him in 1940, by 1946, he was the most reviled of all people, because time exposes each of us for what we are. Our thinking creates our actions, and our actions create our character, and our character creates our fate.
Jim Jones' thinking was hate filled, his actions were self-aggrandizing, and his character became ruthless and exploitative, culminating in a horrible fate for him and those who followed him. Same with all the false messiahs. Only one whose words are true, whose actions are loving, creates more and more goodness in the world through his or her existence. Ultimately, that is the kind of friend we want. That's the kind of defender we want at our side when we are in trouble. If Chile were being strangled by a dictatorship or an insurrection, who would they want to visit their leaders? A wimp, who won't tell them the truth? Or a man who will tell them even what they don't want to hear, but what is truly beneficial for the country? That is what the Russian people found, the people of the East Bloc, the people of North Korea, the people of Africa.
Rev. Moon has met with more than 100 world leaders, of many political and religious hues. But, he never changes his advice to any of them because of what they would like to hear. He tells each one "Love your wife. Be faithful in marriage. Teach your children purity. Be the moral educator of your nation, not just the leader. Educate the youth for purity and for leadership." Whether speaking to leaders in Washington or Burkina Faso, his message is the same.
Will Chile perish if it follows Rev. Moon's advice? Will marriages crumble if they follow his suggestions? Will the young people be stifled? Lose free will?
If people can't foresee that these things lead to goodness, they will just have to wait and observe the results over time. But then, when the realize the time they have wasted, they may have some feeling of regret over not having been part of the process.