the media might show us the way forward

The media, if we engage with it properly, might show us the way forward and help us reach our goal of sharing the gospel.

We don’t always like what journalists say about our unification movement and Rev Moon. It’s frustrating. But despite the media’s often limited ability to research in greater depth, they nevertheless play a vital role in keeping everyone as upfront and and honest as possible. Eventually, we, like everyone else in society, have to learn to communicate in a language that everyone can relate to. One day, when we ‘get it’, it will help us to spread the good news that we have. We will have arrived, it will be real.

But there is some big road trip for us to get through first.

So here’s my verdict on the last week from a media perspective: We have had some pretty awful press in the last 7 days, but also there have been some good articles which have been objective and balanced. The radio and TV content has been generally much better. Especially I have found that the best opportunities are when doing live interviews or discussions, because it avoids too much editing.

Point one, in life if you have detractors and critics try to meet with them where possible. That is what Jacob did in the end with his brother, and things worked out for them.

Another thing I feel we should learn to be, is more honest about how we really feel. That resonates with people. We always know when someone is being candid with us and it helps to build trust and even empathy.

I know a lot of people were not happy with William Haines’ interview on the radio 4 Sunday program. I would agree he could have been less despondent, but he had his reasons. I should have made more effort to prep him a bit more too. But what he actually said about the Principle and True Father was v powerful and convincing. And although we might not like to hear it on the airwaves, when he said ‘not many people have joined for the last 25 years’ he is putting something out there in the public domain, which as a community and especially as an organisation we need to come to terms with and address, possibly with a radical debate. That would be good for our health to face up to that reality.

Anyhow, several people have asked me to send out some links to the different interviews etc, so please find below a list of links to some of the different stories that I was involved in organising over the last week or so.

Would love to hear what you have to say about it all.

A Guardian piece which was the result of a 40 minute telephone interview with the journalist about how I met the movement and my wife. see picture above:

to the right of the article you can see a link to another story ‘i was a moonie cult leader’ which in the hard copy paper version appeared along side my story. It is by Steven Hassan who I once spent three days with in a room at SOAS being told why I should leave the movement.

An article by the Independent religious correspondent was fair. he also took the time to come to 43LG and spend 40 minutes talking.


Here is the interview William Haines did. (the item begins 12mins 50secs in) What do you think, or what would you have said?

Here is the radio interview on the Today program, my first chance to talk with John Humphreys. I thought he did a good job with the interview. he put some provocative questions, but let me answer, didn’t interrupt, and didn’t try to have the last word. Good journalism.

Of course the big question is how do we shift the agenda away from having to defend.

Here is an interview on BBC world service at 3am in the morning. The hard bit was trying to get back to sleep after:

Here is the BBC breaking news item with Robert Piggot who I have had a chance to meet and speak to regularly over the last 8 months. He has always been v kind and respectful when ever we have spoken together on the phone or had the chance to meet.

The cut away footage is a bit dated and misleading to say the least with the dollars being exchanged through car windows. It looks more like what I did before I joined the movement. but again the footage raises the question what have we been doing to grab media attention in the last 20 odd years and generate new footage?

Here is the SKY news interview. I had a Snicker in the taxi they picked me up in. I said to myself if I eat this now, the sugar should kick in round about the time I do the interview live.

So, Probably that is enough links for one post. I hope if you are a Unificationist you will go away and think deeply about all of this. The media is a kind of reflection of how we are perceived by society, and in that sense it helps to inform us and provide us with another reality beyond our own perception of who we are.

If you are not a Unificationist, or if you are a journalist, you might think what is the missing link? Where are the missing pieces of the jigsaw. As I said to a close relative who doesn’t like any religions at all and was happy to see a particularly harsh article in the Mail, you got to use your rationale brain to see there is more to this story than has been narrated to us so far, and that’s hard sometimes for people on both sides of the fence to accept.

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About simoncooper

working at 43LG church community in West London


9 Responses to the media might show us the way forward

  1. Profile photo of William Haines
    William Haines September 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    Yes, I wasn’t feeling very happy that afternoon. I had just heard the rather shocking news about In Jin Moon. It took the wind out of my sails in a way I haven’t experienced before. Not just what she had done but the fact that she had done it while being the church president, speaking from the pulpit and the church leadership in the US had covered it up and were justifying it. You will be glad though that I decided not to break the story to you and the world at 7am on a Sunday morning. So that is why I mentioned the word disappointed several times. And I guess I am not the only one who feels that way am I? About 300 families after nearly 50 years of missionary work in the UK. Is that something to feel proud of? But as I said, Father is a great man, he had an amazing vision and the Principle is true and is head and shoulders above what anyone else has to offer. So where did we go wrong?

    • Patrick Hanna September 12, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      I liked and appreciated Uncle William’s interview – particularly under the difficult circumstances it makes more sense. Firstly, it was different – and it was authentic, and most importantly, where you talked about the Principle and Father it was clear, reassuring and unwavering. Also, to show a bit of honesty – rather than trying to convince that everything is fine shows a secure faith and might challenge concepts of who a Unificationist is to listeners, so the interview was without the defensive tone they often take. Also, we cannot but be affected by news we hear – especially such disappointing and disturbing news – so I think it is wise and fair to factor that in.

      With the wide range of media contribution, have any of the parents at school recognised you yet?

    • Profile photo of George Macdonald
      George September 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

      Yes, I wasn’t feeling very happy that afternoon. I had just heard the rather shocking news about In Jin Moon. It took the wind out of my sails in a way I haven’t experienced before.

      I find this news disturbing aswell, but I’m reminded of the words
      “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
      If In Jin is to be condemned then she can come to my home and stay with me
      and my family.

      Not just what she had done but the fact that she had done it while being the church president, speaking from the pulpit and the church leadership in the US had covered it up and were justifying it.

      A LARGE-HEARTED ATTITUDE OF FORGIVENESS to those who have done us wrong is advocated in all the scriptures. Forgiveness is at the heart of Jesus’ message; indeed according to The Lord’s Prayer it is incumbent
      upon the Christian to forgive. God is most forgiving.
      It states in the Qur’an that people who seek to draw near
      to God should likewise be full of forgiveness.
      Forgiving is natural to a parent; therefore if we can take a parental
      heart towards others, akin to the heart of God our Father, we can forgive them. While it may be difficult to forgive people who do us grave injustice or injury, it is far preferable to holding a grudge, which would only fester and poison the spirit.

      Yet how can we forgive? Forgiveness is not a natural thing. It will not do to simply forget a wrong or sweep it under the rug. Such easy or ritualistic forgiveness is phony and can mask deeper feelings of lasting resentment.
      As theologian Paul Tillich wrote, “Forgiving presupposes remembering. And it creates a forgetting not in the natural way we forget yesterday’s weather, but in the way of the great ‘in spite of’ that says: I forget
      although I remember.” Father Moon teaches that we need to find a positive reason to forgive, a reason to make a new beginning in relating to that person in spite of the painful memory of previous wrongs. Thus he explores
      the reasons why God forgives us, and searches for that point of weakness and pathos in the wrongdoer that can evoke the heart of compassion.

      You will be glad though that I decided not to break the story to you and the world at 7am on a Sunday morning. So that is why I mentioned the word disappointed several times. And I guess I am not the only one who feels that way am I?

      Do you really think In Jin’s failure justifies the failure of the Unification movement
      in the UK?
      Glad? You can shout it from the highest roof top, she is my sister
      and my inspiration.
      Satan attacks Fathers children more than most, please pray for them.

      I am Geordie MacDonald,I have been given the opportunity to be the messiah by the messiah but I live in hell,for me Hyo Jin’s video Canaan Station says it all
      but then he’s seen as being a junkie loser,the unforgiven,the one that’s best forgotten,
      Well not for me,he is and always will be my brother,I don’t even concieve forgiveness for him, in his time here on earth he was part of the greatest battle ever fought on earth,he was Joshua at the crumbling of the Berlin wall.
      I Geordie MacDonald stand with the True Parents and their children.

      About 300 families after nearly 50 years of missionary work in the UK. Is that something to feel proud of?………
      So where did we go wrong?

      By not knowing vertical love.
      To love North Korea more than to love our family,

      ‘for God so loved the world’

      then we must love the world to become God like

    • Paul Kelly October 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

      I read the statement from Dr Jin Sun Park regarding his shortcomings and read the statement of In Jin. I do not feel badly concerning In Jin-she is a victim of circumstance. It seems Kook Jin has a similar thing-(it seems to me that Kook Jin needs to be more prayerful in his relations and needs to contemplate reconciliation with all of Fathers offspring). Mother has taken swift correct action, that is now being followed. I have read the 3 letters to the Japanese members by Kwon Jin (after googling him) I am impressed by the way Hyung Jin is conducting himself-his U tube clip visiting N Korea /birthplace of Mother and Father (though asking for money of American members in this time is inappropriate)
      Hyung Jin commented that there is no reference to how government should be ordered in DP as raised by the N Koreans-Bahaullah founder of the Bahai faith revealed how the world should be ordered politically and economically for the next 144,000 years.-A subject for Dialogue with the Bahai’s?
      Where did we go wrong? The Life of Father is not easy to understand and humans do not love enough or have enough intellect. Everyone makes many many mistakes,through weakness,ignorance-only time will reveal the truth-I feel this time till 13 Jan 2013 is important for genuine unity through all this upheaval for the Moon offspring, UM and the world.

  2. david September 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi, speaking as an outsider, with no involvement with your movement, I found Willaim Haines honesty and sincerity in his interview very refreshing and thought provoking. Im sure many of the listeners will have reflected on the similar disapointments and disillusionments they have experienced with their own faiths and empathised with the soul searching and doubts expressed so openly. Certainly no one could accuse him of sounding like a “Brainwashed Moonie”!

  3. Profile photo of William Haines
    William Haines September 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Thank you David. Of course some, from both side of the ‘fence’, would like me to sound like one.

  4. Profile photo of George Macdonald
    George Macdonald September 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm #


    Of course the big question is how do we shift the agenda away from having to defend.

    Sometimes the best form of defense is attack.
    For what it’s worth, I would have handled this interview as follows.

    John: Sun Myung Moounn the founder of the moonies , the Unification Church……….I’m joined on the line by Geordie Macdonald…………………good morning to you,what happens now?

    Geordie: Good morning John, how is your search coming along in finding the God you knew as a child? Are you aware that the Reuters news agency considered the term ‘moonie’ derogatory but as this is not Reuters but the BBC I understand your prejudice.
    We will carry on building the kindom of heaven on earth under the guidance from Sun Myung Moons wife and youngest son.

    John: But the movement is effectively going to split now, isn’t it?

    Geordie: Split from what? Where did you get that information from John? Google UPF and follow the links to see the work that is being done to bring about a world of peace, there are many amongst us, that have a mind full of big ideas images and distorted facts.

    John: What is the faith?

    Geordie: It’s not a faith, it’s a fact, that to bring about world peace we must treat others as we would have them treat ourselves.There has been no founded critique of the divine principle, the revelation that was recieved by Sun Myung Moon, not one, John, and if you ever come across it,I would be interested to read it, you see the thing is John, Reverend Moon can’t help it if he’s right, his revelation came directly from God.

    John: and a lot of people would say where it went in the end was it developed into a brainwashing cult, made mister Moon incredibly rich, split families and was a force for bad rather than good.

    A lot of people? who are those people you speak of John? Brainwashing? What does that mean John? Surely you and the BBC are the brainwashers in the UK, where you don’t tell people how to think but you tell people what to think about, so if your going to talk about brainwashing John, shouldn’t you sort out your own house first?
    As for mister Moons riches John, you obviously haven’t done your homework on mister Moons businesses, do I air a touch of jealousy from your sources John?
    As for splitting families, well I’ve just been in a legal battle to secure my brother-inlaws future, both my parents and my 5 siblings think that reverend Moon is a great man and has been a force for good all his life, so as I said John who are those people you speak of John?

    John: You sued the Daily Mail.


    John, do you think the British media has a duty to tell the truth? and if it does, then why doesn’t it?

  5. Profile photo of Timothy Read
    Tim Read October 12, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Thanks for compiling those Simon. Maybe there could be an ‘In the Media’ page? … it might put people off – but reports like the one in the Daily Mail, or Steve Hasan’s do need to have their background’s explained. What does anyone think?

    • Profile photo of William Haines
      William Haines October 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

      I agree. Good idea.

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