Monday, December 5, 2011

Gullibility (Drinking the Kool-Aid): "Exposing a False Prophet"

gullible (adjective): easily tricked or deceived.

About ten minutes into his rambling speech, the anger within me boiled over to the point where I could not longer remain seated. Jumping to my feet, I  pointed at the man behind the podium and looking around the auditorium, yelled: "This man is a false prophet! He's a liar and a deceiver! Don't listen to him! I then proceeded to quote John 14:6 where Jesus says "I am the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father except by me."  It was then that the police came and carried me out of the ballroom.

Rev. Moon's 32-city tour began in Portland, Maine
with Burlington,Vermont as his 2nd stop.
I begin a 4-post series on gullibility. My next post will be a confession to having been gullible and being deceived as well as having exposed you to this deception in a recent blog.

Today, however, I want to take you back to February 1974 when Rev. Moon, founder of the Unification Church came to Burlington, Vermont as part of his first tour of America.

As you will see in some of these news clippings, Rev. Moon and his followers, known as "Moonies" were received in New England with open arms. Moon received state proclamations from most New England states as well as a letter of welcome from President Nixon which was read at every stop. Rev. Moon wanted those in his audience to know that he had the endorsement of their political leaders, and was highly regarded by those in the seats of power--so how for a second could you even think to question his integrity or message? Well, what if he's lying? Duh? What if he's hoping that we were gullible enough to buy what he's selling.

And what was Rev. Moon selling? Just the fact that he was the Messiah, come to earth--that Jesus had failed in his initial attempt to redeem mankind and that Rev. Moon and his wife were the True Parents who would now bring us back to the Garden of Eden and complete the unfinished work of Christ, which he had failed to do on the cross. This was at the core of his message but sorry to say, most of those giving Moon their seal of approval had no way of knowing this information because they had not read his manifest, the Divine Principle of Rev. Moon. Still, they evidenced a gullibility in wanting to believe that he was well-intentioned. Because many did not know the Scriptures, they had no way of testing his message. My friends and I came to the conclusion almost from the outset that he was a false prophet. We were on to him, so to speak while he was pulling the wool over everyone's eyes, and some Americans were drinking his kool-aid.

About 3 months before Rev. Moon came to Burlington, Vermont in Feb. 1974, there were huge posters plastered all over the city: "Rev Moon: The New Future of Christianity." At the time, I was living in a Christian commune on College St. in downtown Burlington, Upon seeing these posters, my first thought was: "How can Christianity be new? Why is a "new future" needed for Christianity?" In other words, I was suspicious from the start because I knew that the finished work was done by Jesus on the cross. Period.

We had several talks with Jeffrey Tallakson, the leader of the Unification Church in Burlington, Vermont. Jeffrey was from Berkeley, CA., and he was very bright and presented such well-reasoned arguments for why Rev. Moon was needed in America as a great moral leader. Jeffrey claimed to be a Christian, converted to Christ while at U.C. Berkeley, but when he met up with Rev. Moon and the Unification Church and really listened to Moon's message, he believed that Moon was sent by God to continue the work of Christ here on earth. But those of us who lived at His Church commune weren't buying Jeffrey's persuasive, reasoned arguments.

A few days before Rev. Moon was to make his grand appearance in Burlington at the Ramada Inn, we asked Jeffrey if we could borrow Moon's Divine Principle manual, which was basically under lock and key and not to be seen by the unwashed masses of Vermont. We feigned a keen interest in Moon and acted as thought we were starting to come around to seeing the "light." Jeffrey let us borrow the Divine Principle for one day. That night, myself and another brother, Bob Hatfield, who was way smarter than I, stayed up all night in our basement reading this secret manual. In a sense, we were trying to "decode" Moon's message, and get the inside "dope" on who he really was and what he was teaching his followers. About halfway into the book, Moon proclaimed himself to be the Messiah who had come to finish the work that Jesus left undone. He basically said that Jesus' death on the cross was not the will of God and it kept Jesus from starting the perfect family and bringing peace and salvation to the earth. 

We immediately created a half-sheet flyer which read: Rev. Moon--False Truth, False Hope, False Prophet. Then we had two columns: One which read: Rev. Moon says (followed by several of his outrageous statements which we had copied from the Divine Principle) and the other column, Jesus says which countered every statement of Rev. Moon. We had the flyers printed at a local copy shop. Those were the days when it was cheaper to print several hundred flyers on a printing press than a copy machine, and you had to do typesetting, paste-up and have "camera-ready" artwork.

Our actions to alert everyone are mentioned in paragraphs 2 & 8 in the Burlington Free Press.
We then organized a meeting with about 40 people associated with our commune, some lived in the community, some were students at the Univ. of Vermont. Word was out that we might be planning something and the Unification Church had alerted the police to be on the lookout for any  "trouble-makers" especially those "Jesus Freaks" from His Church. We planned for everyone in our group to attend Rev. Moon's rally, and to stagger our arrival, and show up as couples, individuals, groups of 3 or 4. We varied our dress and our arrival times. The only constant was that there was one of us seated on the end of the row on the aisle seat.

About ten minutes into Rev. Moon's speech, we stood up and quietly passed out the flyers in each row so that the audience could compare what Moon was saying with the scripture from the Bible. Shortly after that, different ones in our group stood up to quote scripture and warn those in attendance that this man was a liar and a false prophet. This had not been planned. It was totally spontaneous, and finally, I found myself standing to declare Moon as a false prophet and warn everyone not to listen to him but instead read the flyer and compare what Moon was saying to the words of Jesus. Then the Burlington Police came and carried me and others out of the auditorium. We were not arrested, but we were told that we had to remain outside at the entrance of the Ramada Inn. It was here that we encountered resistance from other Christian students who told us that what we had done was shameful and a reproach to Christ and we hadn't done it "in love." These Christians told us that we were not being good witnesses for Christ by standing up and interrupting Rev. Moon and calling him names like "false prophet, liar, deceiver!" These naive Christian students kept saying, "Where's the love?" I told them you don't show love to a false prophet or deceiver. We were showing love to all the people in attendance by trying to warn them and trying to awaken them to the truth--I thought to myself that this is the last place that I expected opposition, coming from my own brothers and sisters, from other believers?!!

Many Christians in Burlington and New England were beguiled by Rev. Moon. In time, their eyes would be opened to the words of our warning, and they would finally realize that he was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and his goal was to supplant Christianity with the Unification Church. From that time forward, Rev. Moon has sought respectability in America by purchasing various businesses including fishing and canning operations in New England, the Washington Times newspaper, United Press International, etc. He held forums and retreats where he would invite influential leaders and politicians to attend, with all expenses paid. Many would attend and would be used as part of his propaganda machine to declare to the world that he was accepted by those who were "in the know" and that you should accept him as well. But we know better. On this one, we were not drinking the kool-aid. We were not gullible.

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