leadership decisions….in Europe

Recently in our movement in Europe there has been a lot of discussion about leadership decisions. There has been a sense that we lack clear processes that can help to keep us all out of trouble.

Today we heard that the director of our movement here in Europe will be moving on to a new post in Japan. At the same time a new person has been appointed to fill the vacant position here in Europe. I am looking forward to thanking Rev Song for all the v good experiences I have had working with him. I have had many, all be it one or two difficult ones too. I am also looking forward to find out about the vision the new Rev An has for Europe now he has the top job in our European movement.

Of course I have seen the World mission department emails before when they report about other leadership changes, but this time, perhaps becasue it was regarding the place where I live, it struck me at how minimalist the email was. Nothing was said about the reasons why Rev Song had been asked to move from his job in Europe and take on a role in Japan, and nothing was said about why Rev An was chosen to replace him here. (this in stark contrast to the v lengthy memo explaining the most recent name change for our international movement…from UC back to FFWPU)

Surely Rev An must have been chosen for a reason, for certain abilities or strengthens that he possesses? Is it assumed that the local membership aren’t interested in who represents them. Are leaders meant to represent the membership?

It did also cross my mind that this would have been an opportunity to open the gate to a wider group of potential candidates for this all important post. How is the decision made? who is consulted? what is the process? Is there one? ….Don’t you wonder?

Another thing came to my mind: that this might have been a moment to entertain the possibility of actually having a European take a shot at the job. Of course not just because they are European, but because they might also be qualified. The movement in Europe has not grown for 25 years or so in terms of committed church membership, and through all that time the top leadership has always been from South East Asia. Was the following discussed: that if one of the main goals of our movement is to be successful at evangelising and sharing the message of the Principle, it might help to have someone who gets the local culture, and can communicate to the values that count for Europeans?

Most successful evangelists have always managed to bridge the cultural gap between the believer and the non believer. They have not waited for people to cross the ravine and join them, but have bravely gone over and made themselves culturally relevant. They have known how to communicate their message effectively and resonate with their audience. Surely a European might be worth trying out since the recent continental directors in Europe have struggled to over come this challenge of cultural communication. When will we realise that people are not going to join our movement if we only offer them Confucianist culture?

But going back to the process. It seems that we currently only change things when they go seriously wrong. In the USA it took a major and very damaging scandal for an element of democracy or representative leadership to be introduced into our movement’s culture. Just months after that taking place across the Atlantic, there is a change in Europe, but no consultation with the local leadership of what would be a good way of finding the best person to replace the departing Rev Song.

In the conference call I was on when the news was announced, it was met by a silence …as many things often are on conference calls, and then we moved on to another agenda point.

It just feels a bit weird.

I have heard Rev An is a good man, which is good news. And I am sure he has lots of good qualities, as do lots of people I know. But being responsible for a movement with thousands of members across a continent?  you would hope that there was a transparent process, some explanation, even a concern that the european membership will really care about this change, what with them being owners of their movement, and thus a sense that we better report to them fully. You would hope there was a job description or a set of criteria that we all were aware of. Otherwise like with most jobs where things are vague, people start shooting in the dark, and they rarely hit the target.

It could possibly be argued that whoever you put into a leadership role at a senior level in this movement is almost bound to not really succeed because they are not given an effective structure to work with in. And in that sense I write all of this because I want to support those who lead us to be very successful in fulfilling God’s will for Europe.

But here is the reality check. Better not to start grumbling to one another if we don’t have the balls to do something about it. We can carry on letting things ‘happen’ to us, or we can remember what our teaching says about being owners of God’s will, and request constructively that leadership decisions are given a process, that the process engages the membership, and that the voice of the membership is heard, so that the membership are actually in a position to also be responsible and work together meaningfully with who ever ends up taking on the heavy mantle of leadership.

If True Parents are who you believe them to be, wouldn’t you write to True Mother, our founder’s wife, (or at least the World mission department which sends out communication on her behalf) to say that we need to be more involved as Europeans in what goes on over here in terms of how we are lead? If when you pray you can and are meant to say what you feel to God, then wouldn’t it also be good to be honest with True Parents?

It is better than doing nothing and not caring. I just want to ask the different national leaders in Europe to also consider how they can responsibly respond to this new change, in light of the last 20 years of relative stagnation.

Recently in our local church we had our AGM and we proposed setting up a church council. I almost made the mistake of setting up the electoral system myself, but then realised that as the pastor I shouldn’t be making those decisions subjectively and unilaterally. We set up a standing committee to research and propose the best format for managing the process.

Why don’t the national leaders take this opportunity to suggest something to our new European director, regarding the setting up of a structure and process, similar to the one that has recently been established in the USA, but with its own European character? National leaders and others in positions of authority – Take this moment to introduce a new dynamic into our movement here that might engage the intelligent, and creative membership that we have.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”

William Shakespeare. 

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About simoncooper

working at 43LG church community in West London

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69 Responses to leadership decisions….in Europe

  1. Profile photo of Jeff Bateman
    Jeff January 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Simon to address one point. You may remember that pres. Song mentioned some time ago and on a number of occasions that Father had asked him to visit Japan. Rev. Han has been here in Europe for some 7-8 months. So this promotion for Pres. Song has been on the cards for some time. I will miss them both.
    I think the other points you mention are good – everything takes time and a process. Lets move forward together.

  2. Profile photo of simoncooper
    simoncooper January 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    sure Jeff, Rev Song visited Japan, and one might therefore make assumptions about that. But why do we have to rely on such things, when anyway only a v few people know about his visits to Japan out of the 1000s of UC members in Europe. Why can’t there be a clear explanation about why decisions are made, or is it a test of people’s faith: to believe that all things that happen in the UC must be of God’s will, without asking why that might be the case…

    If there are some good reasons why these decisions have been taken, then it would only be natural to share them in an effective way with the membership of the organisation, so that they can understand the rational and purposes and hopes of those who make them.

    The fact that someone has been working in Europe for 8 months doesn’t really qualify them necessarily to lead the whole of the European movement. It’s not as if it is a simple job… But probably you are correct he was chosen because he is the only other Korean working in Europe. That will be what people conclude. And along with that they will conclude various other things.

    If there were other reasons why he was chosen it would be good to know what they are. If anyone else knows of any I would be interested to know them. I think our teaching says something about people not being able to find fulfilment through ignorance but having a natural desire to find the truth and acquiring knowledge….let me know if you remember the passage.

    But it seems sometimes that in practice it is implied that ignorance is bliss.

    • Jim Rigney February 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      HI, just jumping in here.
      I think that we need to look at things from another point of view.
      1. Rather than asking is “x” qualified to lead, we perhaps we should ask if “U” is qualified to follow.
      2. “U” should have the 4 position foundation engraved on our bones, and also should understand well the good give and take action and the definition of “love” in 1st Corinthians 13..
      3. “x” is coming because of a decision of the top of the heirarchry system.
      4. We believe that the top is next to True Parents. who is toped only by Heavenly Parents.
      5. With out a doubt, “x” has heart, and that is what made him move toward “u1” and “u2″ and ….”u to the nth..”
      6. “x” should be able to lead the “Us” and “I” but only if “Us” and “I” have a heart as well.
      7. There are many “Us” our there who doubt, and accuse and spread this to the other “Us.” That is not what “true love” is supposed to be doing.
      8. Unity is our goal and it is via give and take action centered on Love.

      THe cells of the body have no idea what the hand is doing. They just follow the hand where ever it goes. They support the hand, and are the foundation for the hand, and without them there would be no hand. The hand is directed by the central nervous system. Our conscience should be the director of our mind, and the motivating factor in our actions. GOd is our conscience, True Parents teachings should be in our mind, and our body should follow. Other wise we would not be exhibiting Faith in God or True Parents.
      The system we should all be involved in is the original system that was desined in God’s mind before He created. No one seems to know that system yet. It is discussed in Father’s teaching materials. Father calls it the Blueprint for the ideal of creation. We need to develope the Theory of Logos. Father’s words have the elements of that theory.
      God Bless us all.

      • Profile photo of simoncooper
        simoncooper February 11, 2013 at 9:23 am #

        Dear Jim, my main point was not necessarily to focus on ‘who’ is qualified to lead but more the process of ‘how’ leadership is found and decided upon, and how we are all made aware of that process. The problem with reducing this conversation to the issue of heart and making assumptions about people’s hearts is that there is then no objective base on which to discuss.
        I also felt your analogy relating to the human body and the cells was incomplete and as a result a little unclear. If you are saying that the membership of our movement is unable to ever have any understanding of what the leadership is doing, but should nevertheless support it, there is a bit of contradiction there, as the Principle and True father teaches that nothing can grow or develop out of ignorance.

  3. Peter Stephens January 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    The new leaders number one qualification and the only one that matters is that he is Korean. We have zero control over who leads us. We never have. On the one hand I don’t like this but on the other hand Rev An has been appointed as head of the providence in Europe and as much as I don’t like it the way that’s done I have to accept that True Mother/Parents/Family are the central figures in the providence and for good or ill effect they have authority from God to direct it as best as they can.
    So I see Rev An was appointed by True Mother ( I heard he is very close to Mother) to lead the providence in Europe and the ‘official’ church is within that authority. It’s up to each member and the members as a group if they want to work within that structure or go off and try to save the world individually or as an individual in another group or as individuals in a newly formed group.
    If it were any other organization I would have done one of the latters’ years ago but our case is different.
    Ideally Korean leaders should impart True Parents heart to us and be humble enough to know they they suck at organization (just look at the abysmal membership levels in Korea after sixty years of their management). Recognizing their significant inadequacies they should find Abels’ in each field and give them authority to do things well rather than impose their ill fitting plans and styles on the European church.
    I value very highly the heart of Koreans and value very little their organizational ability in Korea and way way less in a culture that is not their own. So I think we can remain loyal to the appointments but there is no sin in organizing a strong deputation to that leader and the top leadership with a plan and philosophy of a better way to do things. I suggest a form of synthesis where the Korean leader gives the overall vision and heart from the Father position and the Europeans have authority of the finesse of the implementation in the mother position. The mother is guided by the Father a family where the Father doesn’t listen and adjust because of the Mothers protestations is a dysfunctional family.
    If we want change in practice and spirit then we need to study the mothers power. We need to use our beauty and heart to win our new leader over and to prevail in showing him a more enlightened way than the usual autocratic, top down, dictatorial implementation of vision.
    After all, you accepted True Parent’s matching of a spouse and learned how to work within the results of that surrender of choice. We can do the same with Rev An. The alternative is just not an option.

  4. Samuel Read January 23, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Great post Simon, with a lot of relevant and important points. I hope we can start to think about them seriously as a European movement. Loving the Shakespeare too 🙂

  5. Stephen January 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Totally with you here Simon. We maybe a lost an opportunity to make the radical change that is needed. Invited Rev. An to our house some 2 months ago. Wanted to understand his vision. I wish I had found some new ideas in him. But maybe he is more effective with actions than with words.

    As to getting things to change, the only way might be if all the national representatives grouped together and asked for a new form of leadership selection. Personally, I don’t see individuals as having any power to change the situation.

    Thanks for speaking openly about this topic.

  6. Youngil January 24, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    Hi Simon hyung,

    I think there is such a thing as taking democracy too far. I think we sometimes forget Father wasn’t really a fan of Democracy… Yes, I agree we should be more transparent in how and why leadership changes are made, but at the same time the providence is fluid and sometimes requires rapid change. Father always did this, and Mother is carrying on his tradition. They are qualified because they are closest to True Parents and have been following them the longest.

    A quick Google search shows that Rev. An was a regional leader in the states as far back as 1999. He was then asked to go to UTS, so I am assuming he also has a UTS degree.
    http://www.tparents.org/library/unification/Talks/Hendrcks/Hendricks-990628.htm

    A little biography when announcing the change would be nice, but we’re still working out kinks in our processes. To be honest, I work for a large company and when they make major changes we all get an email that is just about as short and non-descriptive…

    I think that wasn’t your main point, though, since I am reading into your message that you would like the process to be more democratic… and I’m not sure more democracy is necessarily going to be helpful. I don’t think the ideal world will be a more democratic one, since democracy tends to lead to a de-valuing of experience and wisdom. President Song had his short-comings, as do we all, but at the same time he was sincere and committed to doing God’s will, and his heart was always to make True Parent’s happy. I haven’t met a Western member yet who I think would be able to attend True Parent’s with the same heart (let me know if you have).

    The role of the continental leader is to represent True Parent’s here in Europe and to be the bridge between us and True Parents. They need to be able to report directly to True Parents and understand their heart. Not speaking Korean is a serious obstacle to this, and not having the same cultural background is also difficult. With the urgency of the providential timeline, Mother needs continental leaders she can speak to deeply and sincerely.

    Anyway, just some thoughts. After having lived in Korea, I do believe there is something in the Korean culture that is more heartistic, and I think as Westerners we should aim to learn this. Yes, Korean leaders make their mistakes, but at the end of the day it always comes back to the heart of each individual person and our ability to relate to each other as family, and I think the Koreans have an upper hand.

    • Profile photo of simoncooper
      simoncooper January 25, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Hi Youngil
      we don’t have any democracy, so the concern about having more doesn’t stand up. See my response to Tim Read for more points on democracy. On ‘heart’ and what flows from it, which is ‘love’, to say that one nationality is essentially more qualified to love is a dangerous place to go. Firstly it is a belief that can lead to an abuse of love, but also it devalues the heart and and love according to cultural background.

      But I am glad you raised it as a point, because unless we analyse this point and come to some clarity on it then we will remain quite backward as a movement.

      Your point about people needing to speak Korean:
      Language is about communication and culture, and if you insist that only one language is good enough in terms of understanding God’s will you will limit the extent to which people can understand God. It’s like when in the middle ages people were prevented from reading the bible in their own language and essentially told what to believe.

      Sure it would be good for people to understand TM in her own language, but is it essential? What would be the benefits of having someone who speaks another language in that inner circle of leadership? If there were any benefits would they out weigh the fact that there Korean was not perfect?

      …anyway more to say, but late for the doctor.

    • Colin T January 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      >A little biography when announcing the change would be nice, but we’re still working out kinks in our processes. To be honest, I work for a large company and when they make major changes we all get an email that is just about as short and non-descriptive…

      I would beg to take issue with the above claim. The proclamation under discussion not only failed to offer any autobiographical details. It also failed to express any gratitude to any of those standing down or being reappointed for their loyalty and commitment, or to mention any of their accomplishments. Not only that, the whole thing was anonymous, stamped with a dojang and sent out in the name of “Unification Church World Mission Headquarters”, whatever that means. So we have not been told why these decisions have been made nor by whom. I have worked in several companies of various sizes in my life and I have never in my experience seen such a disdainful and uninformative form of communication about new appointments.

      Furthermore, this is not simply “a kink in our process.” It is something endemic which I have been objecting to in FFWPU communications at a European level for several years now. My criticisms have been acknowledged by the European Office, yet I seldom see much improvement. Undoubtedly this is because this is the form of communication which the European Office themselves receive from UCWMHQ. Are my objections being relayed back to UCWMHQ so that this “kink” in the process can be rectified? When they are, I can perhaps accept we are “working [things] out”.

      May I suggest that in future, if anyone feels as I do about the way in which communication is made, that they take it up with those issuing the communication. Only if we hold our leaders to a higher standard on such matters can we expect improvements.

    • Theana February 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      A democracy would undermine the authority of the leaders, which is one of the reasons , I believe, we have not seen it. Democracy as a majority can raise issue’s in the movement that need to be addressed , as Simon has pointed out the “leadership decisions”. Democracy can be destructive when the minority takes hold, like we are seeing with the passing of the gay marriage law.

      To address one point made, one’s qualification needed to become a leader should not be based on our level of loyalty or length of service to the movement, but our understanding of principle and understanding of Gods providence.
      We absolutely need more democracy.

      The movement should be a “member – centred movement” not a “leader centred movement” the authority of the leadership has created many problems in the past and that is why it is so important that the decision of a new leader should be a demorcratic one , not one made soley by the hierarchy at the top.

      I completely agree with Simons point on a “Confucianist culture” we need to bring the focus back on Principle, and the truth.
      I believe that the western members are very heartistic and have given up everything for Gods providence and are now struggling to cope and come to terms with the current situation of the “True children” .

      “Absolute power corrupts Absolutely”

      Do not glorify or worship leadership but find the God within yourself.

  7. Diana January 24, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Well said Simon.
    I would love to see a leadership structure where there is real give and take between the levels of heirarchy within our movement. Seems to me that the Eurpean leader is mainly a conduit for directions and news from Korea to us, not really a representative of the membership in Europe. How about having a leadership team including a Korean and a European or two working together? I think that would give rise to much better understanding amongst our extended Family.

  8. Robin Graham January 24, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    In honor of Simon…..

    A poem by one of the Grahams. James Graham of Montrose, from back in the 17Century

    He either fears his fate too much
    Or his deserts are small
    Who dares not put it to the touch
    To win or lose it all

    Good front line leadership Simon. Have no fear.

  9. Karl-Christian Hausmann January 24, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Thanks Simon,

    you hit the point. I have very similar thoughts. I am more than ready to write a letter to TM or the WMHQ about the process of this appointment. I am not sure though whether we will get an answer at this stage of development of our movement. But it is almost a duty to try it, rather than to be silent and accept it. I cannot tolerate it any longer that the number one criterium for becoming a CD is to have korean nationality. I will limit the utterance of my opinion here to these few sentences, since I am by far not as polite and diplomatic as you have been in your post.

  10. N January 24, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    +1 on the commendations to Simon.
    I will pass on the blogpost to my national leadership and hope they do.. something useful with it…

  11. Lisa Janssen January 24, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Though Simon has surely a point here to consider (and take action), I cannot understand why such Church-intern topics always need to be publicly exposed on Facebook! I wonder if this can do much good – wheter inside or outside our community.

    • Lisa Janssen February 13, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      I don’t know how to delete my earlier post…especially when reading the reactions on Simons statement, I would no longer agree with them.
      Basically I would like to say: let us not forget that all misery began with the 4 aspects of fallen nature; esp. not taking God’s viewpoint and leaving one’s God given position. …
      Lot more to say about this, but I’m too busy now with all the upcoming events to get into discussion.

      • Colin T February 16, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

        Hi Lisa, your candidness in reversing your previous position is to be commended. I think a further point is worth making in your defence: it was easy for people to draw the conclusion that this discussion was being “taken public” prematurely precisely because it wasn’t! The discussion had been lumbering on, mainly in private, since last summer. And almost nothing has changed as a consequence. If any comment is to be made about Simon’s timing in raising the public profile of this issue, it is his forbearance that should be mentioned for holding off for over half a year!

  12. Lisa Janssen January 24, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    even though Simon got some point here, I don’t understand why we should discuss such Church intern topics publicy on facebook! Who is it going to help….?

  13. Profile photo of Timothy Read
    Tim Read January 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Yeah … interesting points Simon. There are a few issues here –
    How our top leaders are appointed/dismissed.

    How our other leaders are appointed/dismissed.

    If they are appointed what should the qualification be for the appointer, and how do we, and they, know they are qualified?

    Should people all be appointed/dismissed – or elected in and out?

    If there are appointments should the rest of us be informed as to the reason for the appointment. (Your point, and a very good one at that).

    If there should be a change in this system, who should make this change happen – the membership or the top leadership? – and how?

    I think its great we’re having this debate – but some people are not aware that there is even any point in it.

    Here are some quotes from True Father – in the last one I’m throwing the cat amongst the pigeons – in the interests of good debate, of course…

    Democracy has always worked to make each nation a better place for its citizens to live in; witness such countries as Denmark and England. They tried to do that in a material way and were able to succeed somewhat without really looking toward God. Those nations seemed to be progressing, but today we know that those countries have come to a standstill. We see every day that America also is floundering without direction. This is the result that comes when man tries to work by himself, without God. (PARENTS’ DAY AND THIS AGE April 5, 1981)

    Which should play the subjective role, religion or democracy? The world of democracy should follow the direction of religion. (CREATION OF THE FATHERLAND
    January 1, 1984, Midnight )

    Can you imagine that the Messiah or God Himself could be elected by popular vote? Would God be a Republican or a Democrat? Or perhaps we should say, “We don’t need an absolute God. We just need to follow the democratic system.”
    The road of love is not the road of popular elections. Voting is, in a way, a selfish act because people usually vote for their own desires and goals. (ROAD TOWARD THE IDEAL September 7, 1986)

    That’s the point, isn’t it – people “usually vote for their own desires and goals” I guess God can use it *if* we are mature enough. And if we aren’t…?

    • Pock, A. January 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Dear Simon,

      I personally feel that True Mother trusts the Europeans to a high degree that they will move forward to realize God´s Will – no matter which new Continental Director she sends to us as our representative. Europeans have shown that they are able to think and act righteously, sometimes independently but always in the right direction.

      The real issue is how we can motivate each one of our families to connect or re-connect to the DP and finding their individual way to serve God`s providence locally, build a loving community, attracting new people and additionally help the world providence as much as we can as a continental movement – which I think we do already by letting Pres. Song go to his new post in Japan.

      Japan is very important to support Korea, which by 2020 should become a re-united national territory for Cheon Il Guk, with a government and political parties, people and religions supporting God´s central providence. Japan needs to open up and welcome True Mother – and I reckon that True Parents trust Pres. Song to at least bring the right attitude and expertise into this important case (having had the experience to overcome the Schengen issue with the joined efforts of all European brothers and sisters). But I admit that I´m just guessing …

      Yes a little longer explanation for that major leadership change would have been helpful to make sense of it all – but perhaps there is no longer explanation available from the World Mission HQ because they did´nt get any from True Parents.

      When Rev. An came to Europe 7 + month ago, True Father was still on earth – so perhaps it was him who choose to send Rev. An … because of his practical experiences and deep knowledge and personal attachement with communist and atheistic movements and their reasoning – which is surely helpful to withstand lingering threats of new atheistic elites coming out of our universities leading our countries in the future – which in my opinion is a more powerful threat to the world and peoples hearts and minds than a painfully slow growing Unification movement.

      Perhaps one of Rev. An´s main big issues to address together with our European membership is the danger of new atheism in Europe and finding ways to propose a well articulated God centered counter ideology through the Divine Principle and its applications and influence our nations future leaders.

      So in short I trust TP to make the right decisions even though my intellect begs for more explanations about such changes. I trust TP because I strongly feel that when they look at continental leadership issues they have something bigger in mind – coherences and providential requirements which we just can not yet digest or understand – I believe that also TP sometimes don´t know if they have made the right decisions, but doing their best to meet those complex requirements.

    • Profile photo of simoncooper
      simoncooper January 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Tim, I think that it also says in the Divine Principle that a democratic society is a foundation for the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Does that mean that once the Messiah comes democracy is redundant, and should be dismantled? In the old testament after going into Canaan when they had the judges the Israelites managed well with out a king for many years. They worked together, and shared responsibility as best they could. When they eventually asked for a king God’s reply was essentially a warning. I am not anti monarchy (which is essentially the culture in the UC) but it needs to be responsible, and accountable to people for it to be credible.

      Father said all those things you quote as he said many others. Of course it is good to be weary of power pandering to the popular culture or opinion of the day, but at the same time if one rights off public opinion completely then where is the hope or belief in people’s ability to be responsive to God.

      The ‘we know best, because we have been appointed by God’ attitude is normally pretty disastrous. True Father actually tended to spend quite a lot of time listening to people (and of course listening to God), and that is why people listened to him.

      But for those with out divine ears, there needs to be processes and procedures that put limits on people’s power.

    • Graham Simon January 26, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      I think you just answered your own question Tim when you say: ‘That’s the point, isn’t it – people “usually vote for their own desires and goals” I guess God can use it *if* we are mature enough. And if we aren’t…?’

      If everyone was spiritually mature, pretty much any system of governance would work. But we’re not — and that includes Korean ‘leaders’ too,

      I can imagine nothing worse than dictatorship run by people who are not mature. North Korea is a prime example. Do any of our members want to live there? Hands up please.

      To quote Winston Churchill: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

    • Profile photo of William Haines
      William Haines January 26, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Tim,

      I don’t think Father really understood democracy because it was so alien to his own formative experiences. In the birth place of modern democracy – Britain – God, religion and Christianity has always played an important role. They are by no means mutually incompatible. People should be educated and guided and have their conscience formed by studying the Word of God. On that basis they will naturally vote for the person they consider to be the best candidate for their constituency and country. That is what it means ‘the world of democracy following religion.’ The countries that really came to a standstill were dictatorships, absolute monarchies, totalitarian regimes and of course feudalism. Korea itself had come to a more or less complete standstill – spiritually, socially and economically – until it had democracy and freedom more or less imposed on it.

      Anyway, it isn’t so much about a CD being elected as there being a consultative process of some sort.

      And at the end of the day the messiah is elected. If people don’t recognise him as the messiah he isn’t. And Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter replied, “The son of the living God.”

  14. Profile photo of Matthew Huish
    Matthew Huish January 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Today in my MA class we discussed ministry & mission, and it’s different to what I expected. It’s mostly about ordained ministers, and the “authorised” ministries. The lay minister/ministries create tension.

    The biggest tension acknowledged is that between SPIRIT (as in the the autonomous actions of those led by the spirit, or those people who *think* the spirit is leading them) and INSTITUTION (which strives to ensure there is law & order & correct practice, but also tends to be slow and in the way of progress).

    The more I reflect on our movement, the more Catholic it seems, it least from an ecclesiological perspective.

    My understanding of the Christian church is that it is built on the eschatological expectation of Christ’s return, and serves to prepare people for that event. AFTER Christ returns (the position in which we currently find ourselves) what is the purpose of the church? The universal change of lineage is one answer I would offer. But now I’m digressing from the points you make, Simon.

    In the Catholic tradition positions are authorised from above frequently. During today’s class we noted how Jesus didn’t appoint people necessarily on their past qualifications, but rather on their closeness or proximity – in heart – to him. Or because of something he could see in them that others couldn’t at the time. I think True Parents are often the same. And as the King & Queen of Peace, I guess they have that authority to appoint. Perhaps a different question, then, is what is the role and expectations of the continental director? Is it to instruct & guide? Or to make important strategic decisions? Or is it to serve humbly? Or convey & interpret True Parents’ messages to us (who don’t speak Korean)?

    Maybe at next week’s handover, we can ask that question: “What can we expect from you and what do you expect from us?” Creating that accountability from the outset might be helpful.

    Meandering ramble over.

  15. Dominic Zoehrer January 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Guess as long as we don’t understand TP in their native language, we’ll have to put up with ‘Koreans’ as CDs…

    I agree with Simon and Tim that it would be helpful to receive some information on WHY and HOW decisions have been made or should be made. In this concrete case I see some wisdom in the process – in so far that Pres. Song has been prepared already months ago when TF asked him to go Japan and report about UPF-activities in Europe, Rev. Ahn has been touring around Europe for a while and as IW had the chance to listen to frank opinions of people from “the base”.

    If I ask myself, ‘what would I think or do differently depending on the CD at “top”?’, it wouldn’t be much (for a simple Moonie “at the base” at least): My Original Mind would still be my everyday boss (beside my wife).

    ‘Spirit’ vs ‘Institution’: This is a fascinating research area, also in Comparative Religion and the History of Religions. It lies at the heart of the Reformation(s)…. If I understand TF’s last words about Tribal Messiahship right and combine it with essential elements of Freedom Society, my conclusion is: I’m not waiting for my CD to tell me what to do, I will focus on fulfilling the promises that I gave to God & TP…

    We use a term called the “institutionalisation of charisma”: It always becomes relevant when the leader or founder of a new religious movement passes on. An open question remains for us: How do we combine a de facto “constitutional monarchy” with a “freedom society”? – assuming they are compatible.

  16. Profile photo of Dejan Perhat
    Dejan Perhat January 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Very good points Simon.
    Thank you for starting this discussion.
    Personally, I would like to see in Europe the level of democracy HYN started in USA where members could freely choose local and district leadership in elections.
    In this way American members could choose the best leaders between them, people they can trust completely.
    What about us in Europe?
    How much are our leaders respected and trusted by the members?
    Can we improve providence in European church if we allow our members to freely choose local and national leaders?
    Leaders they can trust and have confidence?
    I think this is the right question for us, how to choose the best people for leadership in Europe?
    Can we start election process like USA church?

    Concerning new Continental director for Europe, i don’t know him personally but as we can see, in American church they also didn’t have free election for new Continental director or national leaders, just for district and local leaders.
    Continental director, in my opinion, should be the bridge between us and True Parents, someone who know TP personally, have deep relationship with them and can convey ideal and hearth of TP to us.
    So, it’s the right way that new CD is chosen by TP directly, because they know the best who can represent them in the best possible way in Europe, their hearth and love.
    But, it will be really great if we can start real changes in European church by free elections, like American church just started.
    I hope to see this very soon.

  17. Graham Simon January 26, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    Consider this. Power is the ability to make reality conform with one’s will. Leaders may possess personal (spiritual) power by virtue of their direct connection to the Supreme Being or they may exercise power by virtue of a position they hold within an organisation.

    Father had enormous spiritual power. So too did some of Father’s early disciples. Members in the seventies and eighties who came into contact with such spiritual giants as Won Pil Kim, Byung Ho Kim, Onni Durst and Reverend Sudo could not fail to sense their connection to something greater than themselves. Testimonies of their early years in the Unification Church regularly moved listeners to tears. They themselves were living proof of the transformative power of the Messiah and the Divine Principle.

    Sadly, those days are past. IMHO, few Korean leaders in our movement today — just a couple come to mind — exude such presence. Only when we accept that we are living in a different reality, can we start to fashion new and appropriate management structures. Would-be leaders need to be visibly accountable to Heavenly Father. Failing that, they need to be visibly accountable to the people over whom they wish to exercise authority.

  18. markus January 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    you made some very important points, simon.

    I do not believe that our church can be successful in the future if it doesn’t adapt. times change and people change. if we want to reach them as a movement so must we…

    I do believe that it would make a significant difference if we had a european CD for the membership! furthermore I wouldn’t call it democracy since this term is very narrow, but I do think that a culture of feedback, open and transparent communication and the consideration and integration of peoples’ input is most fundamental to any successful organisation.

  19. Profile photo of Peter Stephenson
    Peter Stephenson January 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    I want to give my thoughts on this issue.

    One part of me doesn’t like the fact that we are not consulted at all on who our leader is and that the leaders ‘must’ be Korean. Looking at the abysmal management of the Korean movement over the last sixty years would tell us that they are eminently unqualified to lead their own people let alone people of a culture on the other side of the world. I also don’t like the way the leader is just appointed with a curt announcement. That is my immediate reaction.

    Then I look at it from a different angle and I understand differently. True Parents have responsibility for the providence and ultimately whether it goes well or badly is their responsibility. They reach out across the world with their chosen representatives and methods of influencing the world and and the assets and organisational structure is under their authority. The membership however is free to work to further God’s providence within that structure or apart from it. We could all break away if we wished. We could break away and worship in other churches or together as a group. Breaking away doesn’t imply heresy at all. If I and a hundred other members set up our own group and did things our own way but worked diligently to implement True Parents vision for the world I don’t believe God would reject the fruits of that work. For example, Peter Graham does excellent work in this way. The European President and even True Mother has zero authority over Peter’s projects. Yet Peter is in no way a heretic or splinter. In fact he is a credit to True Parents. I have heard countless stories of such independent minded and motivated members finding their own ways to implement True Parent’s vision and of True Father being absolutely delighted upon learning of it.

    What I’m saying is that we have and have always had total autonomy over our personal and even collective activity as a faith community. The whole European movement could take one step sideways (of course leaving all the assets behind) and continue as is with our own chosen leader. However, we do not have right as a collection of people over certain assets or organisational offices and activities and nor do we have a ‘right’ over the appointment of major leaders of the Unification movement because that movement is not our movement but rather a movement of True Parents that we choose to contribute to. Otherwise True Mother would become nothing more than a figurehead. I do believe that would improve things organizationally but at the cost of the heartistic strands that connect back to True Family.

    Having said that I also don’t think we need to be drones. If we passionately disagree with the way things are being done then the choices are not to either buckle down and accept it or reject it. There is a third way. To understand this we have to look at the soft power of the mother in a family (ok, sometimes not so soft). A strong father can be the leader in a family but when he is being hard headed and foolish and sometimes refusing to consider ideas that are obviously wiser than his own, his wife may utilise her beauty, her love, her patience and charm and win him over in many ways other than just obstinately demanding her way.

    In the same way we can honour the appointments True Mother has made yet consider our new European leader, Rev An, to be the Father figure whereas the European national leaders should be the Mother figures. They should use their (assumed) wisdom and intimate understanding of the rest of the family members to guide the Father figure to the wisest course. This can be done while still honouring and respecting him.

    Of course, the problem of leaders who make a virtue out of playing the super submissive wife remains. Actually a super submissive wife is selfish and negligent as she must sometimes assert her motherly authority and protect the rest of the family members from the occasional and inevitable error of the Fathers ways. If the leaders fail in this then the process moves down one level and those leaders, now themselves in the Father position to the elders of the church in the mother position, must be prevailed upon to be more responsible and observe their duty to their flock and not only to their own leader. And again if the elders fail in this they in turn become a Father figure as the rank and file members win them over to wiser ways. If the members fail in this then . . . . . that is where we are and have been to date. So, we can not expect an improved situation to be generated from the top down but rather from the grass roots upwards. But nor should the implementation of this solution be masculine in nature but rather feminine.

    So whether you are the lifeblood of our movement in the membership or a leader on some level do not be either a drone or a rebel but instead do everything that is both in your power and Principled to guide things to a more enlightened arrangement. It will take much more energy than either being a drone or a rebel but the fruits will be correspondingly rewarding.

    True Father said that ‘vertically’ younger members are Abel and older members are Cain (and horizontally older members are Abel and younger members are Cain). As we have learned from the Divine Principle lectures of William Haines, Abel should have won over the heart of Cain by using a more feminine approach of soft power. If there is a more enlightened way to operate (if not structure) our European movement then it is up to us to vertically be good Abels and win our leader over to such enlightenment. This DOES NOT entail wagging our tails in demure submission whenever a leader barks an order but nor does it entail snarling in defiance. Koreans are not averse to a case passionately made. Throw in love and logic and persistence and it can be done.

    Decide what culture you want and let’s win our leaders over to the vision.

  20. Ron Chandler January 27, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Those are extremely relevant points you raise Simon. I see you still have the confidence to speak from conscience rather than to suppress its quiet voice in order to maintain favour and protect ones position and mission, well done.

    The mission I had for most of my church life was Saeilo and HWH, the machine tool mission that Father invested so much heart, prayers and money in. Working close to the leading players I witnessed first hand how it was destroyed in most parts by the leaders’ disunity. Quite simply they couldn’t stand to be in the same room as each other with each trying to dominate the others and lead the group. Each had a direct, open and very close relationship with True Parents. The point; Having a heartistic and close relationship with True Parents and speaking the same language doesn’t of itself guarantee that ones mission will be successful no matter how providentially important it is. Speaking Korean also does not guarantee a deep understanding of True Parents heart and desire nor does it guarantee a higher understanding of principle.

    What’s left of Saeilo now? Not much, Germany where it all started in this part of the world is the only place left in Europe that has a Saeilo machine tool business and although I believe they have a profitable and viable business are staffed now with quite ageing first generation members. Gradually as members leave they are being replaced with people from outside who apart from requiring higher salaries will dilute the culture and meaning of Saeilo as time goes by. What will happen to it in 20 years time I’m not sure but I don’t see any second or third generation volunteering to learn the trade or inherit its foundation.

    And that for me is the main point. Reverend and Mrs Song’s leadership mistake from my point of view (and this of course must be viewed along with their victories) was the inability to create a heartistic and close relationship with our second generation. As such they didn’t know where they were at, could not inspire them and without much thought made decisions directly concerning them that as time went on made the connection between the second generation and our church more distant rather than closer. I still see many who are disillusioned and preferring to go their own way and pursue a career/life outside our church community because they don’t like what they see inside. And why is this point so important? It is because most of us first generation are reaching retirement age and the spirit world is getting closer and closer for us. Now is the time to hand over and if we continue to fight for position and the continuation of a personal concept of what is principled or not then I fear there will be no one to hand over to. It is I believe that serious and I welcome Simon’s recent request for a second generation member to join the finance committee.

    I wish the new leader all the best but we shouldn’t think he is qualified just because of his nationality. The process of handing over was just plain wrong especially in light of the ongoing leadership problems and Reverend Song should have made sure the handover was done in a much better more open way and will I fear in no way make the restoration of those mistakes any easier to restore. Our new CD is starting with a back-pack full of difficulties and I believe his success or lack of it will be more to do with how our NL’s support him and whether they continue to just follow or stand strong for what their conscience tells them and truly represent those they profess to lead. The fact we are having this dialogue now and some of the other posts indicates that all is not well.

    For me I saw the European leaders meeting of October the 14th in Vienna as the starting point to resolving these important problems of leadership. It is clear now that it was never intended to result in any solution but merely to appease various groups for the result after just 4 hours of being allowed to discuss this important issue was ……… yep, we need another meeting! The problem was that a meeting was not scheduled, an action plan not implemented and that second meeting never took place and was never actually intended to take place. We have not moved forward and from what I see nothing has changed. The sadness however, is not for me or any of the first generation. We are a tough bunch and will survive quite happily. The sadness is for the general second generation and the generation that by and large is being lost. We first generation need to step aside now not tomorrow and stop being the obstacle to our own children. They are more creative, better educated, have more energy, are more pure, have a stronger spiritual heritage and are just plain better than their parents which is how it should be.

    I suggest that it is they who are given the front seats at important meetings and not left to stand at the back as mere observers. I suggest it is they who are mentored and start working closely with our current leaders. I suggest that money be spent on them to support and encourage. And I suggest that those who still have the energy and desire to help our second generation be lifted up and not continually kicked in the balls and made to feel guilty and abandoned.

    So, Simon, where do we take it from here? Will it be just another airing of points of view and die off once the thread has peaked or will those in the position to lead us (NL’s) take it upon themselves to participate in leading rather than just following our newly chosen CD as recent history has shown?

    Henry Ford a long time ago said “you always get what you’ve always got if you always do what you’ve always done” or words along those lines. Pretty much explains the European Family Federation for World peace and Unification I would say. I look forward to seeing something new within our church and hope that Foundation Day has meaning beyond just forgiveness and a new beginning on an individual level. I hope with all my heart that we can move on as brothers and sisters and not be expected to continue to fulfil the position of children who are not allowed to have a view of our own so that the CD can fulfil their parental position for that has been the dictate that has coloured the recent past.

    And one last thing. I doubt that in Korea they are dealing with politicians who wish to enshrine social decline in to law as Mr. Cameron and the other party leaders are doing here in the UK right now. And so for our church leaders in Korea I doubt if there is any real awareness as to what is happening here politically and so there will be no mandate to get involved. Yet right now in the UK we are standing at a pivotal moment when politicians are about to change something they have no right to meddle with. Redefining marriage and all the consequences of such a bad law will impact in a really bad way everything which we stand for i.e. a family centred society. Yet because of our inward focus and being driven by people who are not aware of what is going on here then the FFWPU is silent on the subject with only lone individuals taking up the challenge and trying to do something about it. Surely as the “unification” church we should be working to bring all other religions in to a deeper understanding of the dire consequences this new law will bring about. In many ways here is an ideal chance for our church to do something really positive for this country and its people.

    Unity is not something we should strive directly for. It is something that naturally comes about when there is a common purpose. It is something that happens indirectly. Perhaps what we need more than discussions about leadership is a common purpose to bring us closer together. I suggest redefining marriage and bringing in to law the destruction of the family is something that could unite us much more than political discussions on how we should be led. Is there an NL willing to bring this up at the next leaders meeting or will old habits kick in and just follow someone who probably thinks that being gay is a state of happiness!

    • Profile photo of Matthew Huish
      Matthew Huish January 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      I feel compelled to speak up in support of what Ron Chandler stated about our current government’s plans to redefine marriage. The name of one of our main institutional organisations is the FAMILY federation for world peace & unification, and yet our movement in the UK is remaining fairly silent in the debate (with the exception, at least in my knowledge, of the indefatigable John O’Neill). Rather than waiting for a providential bandwagon to jump on – without detracting from the urgent importance of those bandwagons – it would also be nice to see some spontaneous, conscience-led campaigns which tackled local issues with as much energy & mobilisation of resources as do the aforementioned wagons. In this respect I envy the leading Christian organisations in Britain at the moment, who are pursuing the construction of Cheon Il Guk in some ways a lot better than the Unificationists are. What moves me most of all is that they often do so without the need to announce their faith origin to do so, whereas some of the work we do tends to be done more for show than out of love for God or humanity.

      I’m reading through the book of Jeremiah at the moment and I’m feeling a bit like the nation of Judah which has been so faithless that God feels compelled to allow Babylon to destroy it, in order to rekindle the fire of faith in the hearts of the people so that they return to God and rebuild the nation he intended. Through the attack of the Cain-type side, God wants the Abel-type side to wake up and remember what it is that they ought to have been doing.

      • Profile photo of Steve Buckley
        Steve Buckley March 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

        I believe Abel-Cain is a misnomer or deception for someone to finally declare that they are Abel and everyone should obey them as I put my finger down my throat to be sick.

    • Profile photo of Steve Buckley
      Steve Buckley March 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      There is an old adage: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Unification church or Unification movement is ‘broke’ in a spiritual way, so now is the time to discuss. As individuals collectively. Without preemptive position or authority.

  21. T. Kanno January 27, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    My two cents:

    A wise man once said we should be the change we want to see. If we want to see a more democratic system in our church then we need to demand it. I can’t recall any time in history where democracy was benevolently given to the people by the existing power structure. Why not get a collection of signatures asking for a vote on who our next continental director will be? I would sign that.

    Mother said she wanted 2nd gen to take positions of responsibility. I could recommend a european 2nd gen member who in my mind is fully qualified and speaks Korean, German and English. From what I understand he is also looking for a job at the moment.

  22. Profile photo of George Macdonald
    George Macdonald January 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Blessed, are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted

    Blessed are the meek ,for they shall inherit the earth

    Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for what is right, for they shall be filled

    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy

    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God

    Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called sons of God

    Blessed are those that are persecuted in the cause of right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

    Blessed are you when people persecute you and abuse you, in the name of True Parents

    Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven, as it was for the prophets persecuted before you

    In your prayers remember your Father knows what your needs are before you ask him

    Our Father, who art in heaven,

    Hallowed be thy Name.

    Thy Kingdom come.

    Thy will be done on earth,

    As it is in heaven.

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    And forgive us our debts,

    As we forgive our debtors.

    And lead us not into temptation,

    But deliver us from evil.

  23. Colin T January 28, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    To my mind discussion of “democracy” misses the main point in the present context. Democracy is a political system whose purpose is to decide who will have the power to govern over the people who vote for them (or not). It is not a principle which can be defended in and of itself (hence the Churchill quote). But it is important in the political sphere insofar as it helps to ensure accountability of those who govern to those who are submitting to their government. The important principle is therefore the accountability. Also important in well-functioning democracies is transparency. If we don’t have freedom of information and expression, it is difficult to hold leaders to account (consider Russia’s so-called democracy).

    In less political contexts, such as church governance, democracy at different levels may or may not be helpful. For example, in the Church of Scotland decisions are taken by majority vote by the Kirk Session, to whom the minister of the Church is responsible. The Kirk Session has the power to appoint new elders to their number from the congregation, but the congregation does not have a direct say in this. Likewise in the Catholic Church the Pope is appointed by the vote of Cardinals who are not themselves elected.

    What is important is not the degree or the nature of the democracy, but the extent to which it facilitates the implementation of the principles of accountability and transparency. If we have the latter, we can expect good governance; otherwise, the best we can expect is benign dictatorship, and that only for a while. So I ask the question: is the basis on which Continental Directors and national leaders in FFWPU are appointed transparent? And to whom are they ultimately responsible? If the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is the people whom they are appointed to lead, there is a basis to expect good governance going forward.

    Otherwise we need to consider how more transparency and accountability can be built in to our governance structures. I applaud Simon for his efforts to implement this within his congregation and I wish him well in that. I would suggest that in this Simon is empowered by a confidence that the policies he is pursuing are in line with the expectations of his congregation. I would have confidence in Simon, from the position that he has taken in relation to his congregation and on this blog, that were he asked by leaders above him to do something which he saw as harmful to his congregation, he would resist it. That is what I mean by accountability (in the same way as an MP would be expected to speak out in parliament against any proposal put forward even by her own party which was seen as damaging to the interests of the voters in her constituency). I would like it to be the case that the same could be said of other leaders at the national and European levels. But the evidence from the events Ron describes suggest there is little basis for such confidence. Nor is there a basis for expecting that things will improve, unless a new approach is adopted. As Ron suggests, we have a choice. We can sit on the sidelines and repeat the tired old arguments justifying the appointment of unaccountable leaders on the basis of a system of patronage and qualifications of race and language. Or we can complain about it every now and then, while not expecting much to change anyway. Or we can demand more transparency and accountability and propose specific changes which help to enshrine them in the church’s governance structures. In the end, as they say, you get the leaders you deserve.

    • Profile photo of Steve Buckley
      Steve Buckley March 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      Jesus said He came to serve and ransom His life for others. So, no other person should be a leader or want to be a leader unless they can copy Jesus.

  24. Profile photo of Nigel Barrett
    Nigel January 28, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Continental Directors are primarily representatives of True Parents — they are the ones that True Parents trust to represent them. Talk of democracy in this instance in not relevant. The recent elections in the US did not include the national leader nor the continental director so that precedent would only relate to the elections at the local level. How we relate to True Parents’ representatives is another matter.

    • Colin T January 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      What is at issue here is a top-down system of patronage versus a bottom-up system of representation. Healthy structures typically have elements of both. In the UK we have the royal family and parliament. Within parliament we have the Lords and the Commons. Within charities we have patrons and sponsors (the latter vote with their money). In corporations we have the board and the trades union(s) (and shareholders). It is an ongoing debate where the lines of power should best be drawn between the competing interests.

      So there is nothing wrong with patronage as such. The real issue is the checks and balances put in place to ensure that those appointed under a system of patronage do not exceed or abuse their authority. If they do, they can cause damage to the organisation, its members, its reputation and their own reputation. Consider the example of Dennis Orme and the Daily Mail court case. The history of FFWPU is replete with examples of almost every one of the Moon family who was given executive office misusing authority in such a way and doing such damage. Even Father Moon himself going to prison in the US was a consequence of his being allowed to use money for private purposes which lawyers should have informed him could only be used for properly charitable purposes. The important point here: no bad intention is necessary for the damage to be done.

      In the UK we are very fortunate that FFWPU was established as a charitable foundation with trustees who have a final say in decisions about use of assets and funds, including salaries and remuneration. (This status also allows us to claim a substantial amount of GiftAid money back from the government.) Law prevents anyone enjoying the benefits of patronage from occupying the position of trustee so many of the kinds of thing which have gone wrong in the US and Korea recently would be unlikely to go wrong here. We also have a Finance Committee, an independent body which acts with the authority of the trustees and oversees the budget. This system has helped ensure, for example, that all the properties owned by FFWPU UK either serve to advance the charity’s work (e.g. by hosting services and meetings), or make a significant profit (or both). I understand that one of the the reasons the UK was seen by the European Office as an attractive destination despite our geographically remote location was because of the foundation built in the UK on the back of our system of checks and balances. Furthermore the European Office is currently integrated as a branch of FFWPU UK, so subject to the same constraints as the rest of the UK charity.

      So, in a sense, we already have much of the infrastructure in place to construct a system of checks and balances here in the UK. The question to be decided is how we want to make it work for us. To extend Nigel’s thought, we need to decide how we relate to True Parents’ representatives, but also how we want them to relate to us.

  25. Giuseppe Calì January 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Hi Simon. I appreciated your comment. I don’t know if you are aware already that, at the last meeting in London, Dieter Schmitd and myself, proposed Pres. Song to have elections for the European 2nd gen, in order to fix the situation. Pres. Song not only listened but mentioned to consider seriuosly this proposal. He said also that he will ask WMD to have election in Europe in the same shape than USA. I was really happy about it because I consider this the way to convey a real sense of ownership to the Blessed Central Families. I don’t know what will happen in Korea at the seminar we will have but I really intend to support this idea.

    • Colin T January 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      My preferred approach would be for us in Britain to go ahead with setting up our own system of accountability. The idea of Koreans giving the Brits instructions on how to set up elections is frankly laughable.

  26. Avo January 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi Simon!

    I just want to make some comments. If True Parents appoint somebody to CD position, then they do it with God´s authority and will take responsibility for that. Surely anyone who are appointed must take it very seriously, to understand that spiritual lives of millions of people depend on his words and actions. They should clearly understand that they live for the sake of others and do it humbly (from God´s perspective). Surely CD have its strengts and weaknesses, this where members should help him grow and change. (Challenge him and not just blindly follow).

    • Angel Stefanov February 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      agree

  27. Emanuel January 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Hi Simon,
    nice one.
    Concerning your quote (always has been one of my favorite ones 🙂
    It refers to the battle against Great Britain. Julius Cesar had underestimated the sea and the missed the flood, so the lost a lot of battle ships…
    Anyhow, my point is, even the Romans had a working democracy and that was 2000 years ago 😉

  28. Profile photo of joannahartl
    Joanna Hartl January 30, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    ……Father has been drumming it into us to learn to speak Korean, so if someone had mastered it by now, they would be able to be considered eligible as Continental Leaders….it brings to mind…Hamish and Chantal and most of their family all speak Korean…….

    • Colin T February 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

      Interesting that (what remains on earth of) the True Parents instructed Dr. Song that he should communicate with Japanese members in his new mission not in Korean or Japanese, but in English!

  29. Profile photo of George Macdonald
    George Macdonald January 31, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    WHIT?

    I have never in my 36 years ever thought about questioning who was elected leader, those that are in subject position, oh no siree. WHIT?
    Surely we all adopt the stance of filial piety,

    Simon you speak of Europe and Japan like they are 2 different places, may I remind you
    that we are global citizens, so from that stand point your post has no value, also some of the replies reek of xenophobia.

    Ask yourself this, if you were a child slave in one of the British mines in Africa, would you question the blessings that Rev An was bringing to you?

    It’s not about Confucianist culture, oh no siree, it’s about treating others as you would have them treat you, nothing more, nothing less.
    I mean, where would any of us be , if we didn’t have love.

    You say ‘ Is it assumed that the local membership aren’t interested in who represents them.’
    WHIT? I love Hamish, and I never elected him or had any say in his election, don’t you get it?

    quote Simon
    ‘ It did also cross my mind that this would have been an opportunity to open the gate to a wider group of potential candidates for this all important post.’

    Who? someone that you like?
    Well this is called populism.

    Populism can be defined as an ideology political philosophy or type of discourse
    Generally, a common theme compares “the people” against “the elite”,
    and urges social and political system changes.

    It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members
    of various political or social movements (a form of mobilization that is essentially devoid of theory).

    It is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as “political ideas and activities that are intended to represent ordinary people’s needs and wishes”.
    It can be understood as any political discourse
    that appeals to the general mass of the population, to the “people” as such, regardless of
    class distinctions and political partisanship: “a folksy appeal to the ‘average guy’ or some
    allegedly general will.”

    This is in opposition to statism, which holds that a small group
    of professional politicians know better than the people of a state and should make
    decisions on behalf of them.

    Just look at Greece ,they got free stuff ,now they’re at the mercy of their masters
    losing their control to europe’ because of free stuff they were given
    which puts them in the position of europe owns them
    they’re the slaves of the european dictatorship,
    their masters through populist ideals.

    quote
    Europe has not grown for 25 years

    And? So are you saying this is the fault of the leadership over the last 25 years?
    We are all messiahs

    Now I was extremely fortunate to spend time with a South East Asian called, Won Pil Kim.
    He hadn’t been elected by any democratic vote, he always, and I mean always, made sure that I was comfortable, he made extreme effort to speak in english to make sure that I was happy, and I was meant to look after him, there was no competition, I was way out of my depth, all I recieved was pure love.

    If you want to bridge the cultural gap between the believer and the non believer, then start living for others,it’s no big deal.

    Democracy?

    Aristotle said

    Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.

  30. Kenta February 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    There is a whole section in World Scripture II which talks about leadership. Within that there is a sub-section about democracy, which both criticises and promotes democracy, saying we need a form of democracy which is based upon love and relationships, democracy is based upon each individual, but we need a system that is based upon each relationship between individuals.

    The passage I want to quote from, however, is from Righteous Leadership, a few pages before. True Father talks about the two biggest problems for good governance, the first being misuse of public money.

    “The second problem is personnel management—to change people’s positions unfairly and arbitrarily. Democracies and other regimes as well divide into and perpetuate factions—ruling and opposition parties, and their leaders grant position and status based upon party loyalty. This causes tremendous damage. Experienced and capable people who were settled into their jobs are crushed and removed—or at least blocked from rising higher so they can offer greater service. Left out of favor, they flounder about and cannot improve their status. Such misuse of politics will have to disappear. A new management system must be instituted that provides equal opportunity to all and rewards people fairly based on their merit. Once again, this requires that public money is distributed fairly and equitably.”(324:253-54, June 24, 2000)

    My understanding is that we need to create a management system that provides equal opportunity to all and rewards people fairly based on their merit.

    Three points.

    1. We need to have faith in each others understanding of the principle and the events that have happened around each other. So leadership knows things we don’t, and we knot things they don’t.

    2. More communication and freedom of information. Trust we can handle the truth.

    3. Centre our decisions on the Principle and True Father’s words. So far in this discussion there have been more direct quotes from the Bible and William Shakespear than True Father.

  31. Profile photo of Peter Stephenson
    Peter Stephenson February 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    It seems this article has been sourced by the anti UC site http://howwelldoyouknowyourmoon.tumblr.com as evidence that the European UC is possibly ‘breaking away’ from the main UC.

    • Profile photo of simoncooper
      simoncooper February 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      Thanks Peter, but I guess as it is with americans sometimes they are maybe a bit out of touch with matters beyond their shores 😉 The UC in Europe can handle a conversation with out needing to break away from the rest of the movement. This blog was meant as a sincere exploration of what might be a good conversation for our movement. Governance is a challenge for any organisation and we would be kidding ourselves if we thought we had it all worked out.

      I also believe all the comments on the blog are generally helpful developments on the theme. When will we be comfortable with the fact that questioning or thinking does not make us apostates. It seems that’s what HWDYKYM seems to think…

      If they read my other blogs they will see that I am committed in my faith and also v grateful to our movement for all that it has brought to my life. I think constructive criticism or an honest expression of ones feelings is one of the best compliments you can give someone sometimes. It shows you believe they are big enough to take it.

      • Chris Davies February 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        Hi Simon,

        Do you think that this comment from HWDYKYM has any basis in truth?

        “I know each national church lives in its own little bubble, in effect creating its own version of the Unification society and cherry picking which headquarters’ directions to implement. Each country also seems to hold onto its own view of the ‘messiah’, effectively editing out anything that does not conform to this ideal”

        I confess that it has been my observation over 35 years also. It has been essential for the UC’s survival , probably. It is also why I think that ‘Unification’ is a vain, but happily actually unnecessary hope.

        • Profile photo of Matthew Huish
          Matthew Huish February 13, 2013 at 10:21 am #

          That’s an interesting point raised by Chris Davies. I think the challenge of any faith community is to translate their religious culture into a language which is comprehensible within another alien culture. When Christianity started as a Jewish sect, it took someone like St Paul to translate the Hebraic culture into something that Gentiles could access. Similarly, when European Jesuit missionaries went to China (followed by Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary), they realised that they needed to learn the Chinese culture in order to evangelise effectively.

          If the Unification Church culture, with its origins in Korea, is to spread effectively to all corners of the world, it needs to be translated into the native cultures it discovers, and become relevant for those cultures. By that I don’t imply that there must be any watering down or changing of meaning, but then this is the challenge that a serious missionary must conquer to be an effective mediator between the tradition passed on vertically to us (which I see as analogous to the Foundation of Faith) and the horizontal transmission of that culture to others (analogous to the Foundation of Substance). Where significant deviation from the original culture has occurred, I’d say the FoFaith was insufficient; where there have been poor results in the spreading of the culture, I’d say the FoSubstance was insufficient.

          Some further reading:

          “Clashing Symbols”, M P Gallagher SJ, 2003, DLT, London
          “The Death of Christian Britain”, C G Brown, 2009, Routledge, Abingdon
          “Lost Icons”, R Williams, 2000, T&T Clark, Edinburgh

  32. Thomas Schellen February 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Dear Peter, Dear Simon, all contributors to this thread,

    First, to establish my strangeness: Al Hamdullilah for this debate and how great it was that HWDKYM posted the link!

    I monitor a number of pro and con sites but not all of them, and would have missed out on reading Simon’s thoughts if HWDKYM did not post the alert that Peter referred to. I very rarely find anything worth to note on that site but this was a good lead.

    From where I sit in Beirut, there is nothing to be feared from openness in discussing the future of this noble but so very challenged providential enterprise to restore the world.

    From familial perfection and tribal alignment to sovereignty on national scale anywhere, we are so far behind our targets on all levels of kingdom building and the movement’s real and alleged troubles are so transparent to anyone who cares to look that I can hardly image how an honest debate could make anything worse.

    With working in the vineyard having been my chosen occupation for a mere 36 years and around 60 percent of that time spent outside of Europe, my own reflections on the topic may not be relevant in the context of your current continental leadership case. But I trust you will indulge me if I make two comments.

    1) I found it liberating when Korean leadership came onto the continental scene in the early 1980s. There was in my memory a positive change from the era of national misunderstandings and leadership quagmires that were common in the years up to 1980.

    That is not to say that the Korean leadership module has worked – and in my view there were many items that did not work at all – but it represented a tangible step forward at the time. In the same sense, another step forward seems a compelling need for Europe and the structure anywhere today but this now must be a step in context of global progress for the providence. I propose it will be best if nationality is not tied into the European debate as either a positive or negative qualifier.

    2) The question of democratization of processes and the topic of wholesale reformation have both been making the rounds in global and local discussions that I am aware of. What I can offer from my reflections on both issues is that I see great risks and very limited reward scenarios linked to either proposed approach.

    I have come to the view that an emotional deescalation might be of benefit and that the issue of leadership and initiative in the Unification community could perhaps be profitably examined under the umbrella of the owner-agent dilemma (or principal-agent dilemma).

    Two core problems in this relationship are asymmetry of information (agents know more than the owner of the providence) and counterproductive incentives for people in the agent position (leaders).

    Continental leaders and many other functional leaders have counter-incentives to truthfulness, for example, because they have too much to loose if they report realities as they perceive them, either in upward or downward direction on their verticals.

    In another common scenario, a leader who depends on a status as agent of salvation or divine acceptance and relies on this inter-mediation role as sole source of authority, acceptance, and economic sustenance, may be incentivized against emphasizing the direct interaction of client (believer) and owner of heart (God, founder) – and this agent will even be equally incentivized against supporting or encouraging direct interaction between the principal of restorative responsibility (Cain-position believer) and the client of fulfilled restoration work (God).

    If I were to be correct in this analysis, the area where change is needed is indeed governance and more specifically the incentive structure related to proper governance with some questions to ask about the real-life application of the Heavenly Victory that is the removal of the need for middlemen or middle-women for salvation and the replacing of the pastoral intermediary by the institution of marital messiahship.

    As my musings on this topic are somewhat extensive and I have already given in to the urge to go on more than I intended, I will cut my thread here by saying that I will be very interested to learn from any of you ladies and gentlemen who have looked at the performance of Unificationism from the perspective of a management or economic analyst.

  33. Ginger Nicholls February 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    How to bring success to the UM in GB and Europe? May I share from testimony?

    Nepal and the Philippines currently have two of the most victorious UM foundations in the world. How was it achieved? By applying the principle of restoration through indemnity, Cain/Abel unity, unity and respect among NM’s and NL (referring to Nepal) and hard work/sacrifice of members, on the foundation of TP’s blood, sweat and tears. The Korean CD (RL) was absolutely essential.
    Members in Nepal and the Philippines have strong unity among themselves and work very sacrificially, partly due to cultural norms. In Nepal there are also Philippine, Thai, Japanese and western members. The Nepalese members are also steadfast at making spiritual conditions and regularly attend HDH and prayer in centers through the winter without proper heating.
    Despite the things members in Nepal don’t like about their national leader (or didn’t like in the past), the majority still respect and unite with him. Despite the disagreements he had with national messiahs (mainly our couple since we were around the most), and the times we shouted at him, he still respected and united with us when we were leading. When my husband stepped back to encourage his growth and leadership, he respected us as his elders and tried to include us. Despite the things we didn’t like about him, we still respected and united with him. When we didn’t like his position as N.L. becoming all powerful, we asked the Korean CD to allow us to form a committee that the NL would be subject of but also responsible to.
    Despite the challenges we had among the NM’s, we learned to overcome and love each other as DMN had instructed us to do in order to bring God’s blessing to the nation. Despite the difficulties we had with our first Korean CD, who were very close to TP’s, (feelings shared by all our NM’s), we still respected and united with them. It doesn’t mean we never challenged them but sometimes it meant suffering in silence.
    After 8 years of NM mission, my husband and I couldn’t break through in heart with the Korean CD and that, together with various other reasons, almost caused my husband to lose his faith and I felt bitter for the first time in my life of faith. We returned to England in 2004, however, we prayed, researched Father’s words with help from Nikolaus Butl and received friendship and encouragement from NM Bruno Klotz. We found a new determination to go back to Nepal in 2008 and work with our Korean CD. Within a few months, the CD was changed after more than 20 years in the Asian region.
    A new Korean CD arrived and this time, I initiated a relationship from the beginning and pursued it every chance I had. There were still barriers to overcome, and heartistic indemnity to be paid, but we began to relate to each other as brothers and sisters.
    Our experience over 15 years as NM to Nepal was that, when indemnity is paid, and unity is made, God’s blessing comes to the nation. The path to maturing in love is one of restoration and indemnity on all sides. It is a painful course and one that requires humility. We are grateful for the leadership and example of Dr. Yong and his wife in Asia.

  34. Charles Kamins February 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Simon et al :

    I’d like to add a note of caution to those commentators calling for an election “as in America” of local representative councils.

    It is important to recall that these “elections” were called immediately after the scandal provoked by the national Pastor’s abrupt resignation. It was transparent to anyone paying attention that the first intent was to cool the flames of the Hottentots angered and embarrassed by the disgraceful behavior of the national leadership team.

    International President Hyung Jin Moon had just completed a three week listening tour of UC’s largest communities to allow members to blow off steam. He spent up to eight hours per location in 12 different cities without once mentioning the idea of holding elections. The election was announced immediately upon his return to New York. Perhaps he got the idea during the tour or perhaps he didn’t want to steal the thunder of anguished members who needed to vent. If the election had been preplanned, he evidently didn’t want to talk about it when he was visiting church communities.

    Once the elections were announced, Americans were given a truncated deadline such that there was no opportunity to allow candidates to introduce themselves or campaign for the offices. In fact, campaigning was strictly forbidden. All votes had to be submitted and tallied within a week of the announcement.

    To call this “democracy” is misleading. At the time of the “election” nobody knew who the candidates were. We were simply asked to name people we thought would be good for positions that were entirely unknown and whose responsibilities, to this day, remain undefined. Voting was restricted to those whose families tithe thus disenfranchising a large portion of the 2nd generation. These rules were applied with varying degrees of absoluteness in the different districts.

    Consequently, the election turned into something of a popularity contest with winning candidates first qualification being that they had the most name recognition. Only a tiny fraction of the open seats were filled by 2nd generation. I suspect that in a few cases those elected may have been those willing to “bend the rules” and organize sub rosa campaigns.

    Local councils first responsibility was to choose Regional Pastors. In 10 out of 12 cases, the councils returned the incumbents to office. Their second order of business was to elect a representative to a national council. In the months that have passed since then, members in my district have received a flurry of emailed surveys whose main subject is along the lines of “What do we do now?”

    To date the National Council has met once, forming a number of committees and drafting a proposed charter. The National Council, as far as I can tell, has an advisory role while the Draft Charter proposes four subcommittees: Church Growth, Identity and Positioning, Polity and Blessed Families virtually guaranteeing plenty of time spent “brainstorming.” The term of these first councils is one year so if they hurry they’ll have time to plan a National Convention (not kidding) before they have to adjourn.

    The local elections succeeded in changing the national dialog away from corruption at the highest levels to the future of our local communities. That may be a good thing after all, who wants to dwell on mistakes of the past? Ironically, local chapters now have responsibility for our own affairs in a way identical to how it was before the elections with the difference of a new council available to deliver the occasional emailed survey and choose the weekly sermon. Legal authority for the movement in America remains vested in the HSA-UWC Board of Directors, as it ever has been, 7 Koreans and 2 Americans, whose members are selected by unknown persons and whose activities and composition remain to this day unknown.

    In her first speech after Father’s ascension, True Mother reported in anguish that 99% of the 2nd gen. in Korea are inactive. (what she actually said was that there were only 100 2nd gen. members available for public missions) out of 20,000. That’s actually much less than 1 percent.

    Our movement is facing a crisis of fatal magnitude. If these figures are true and persist, our movement HAS NO FUTURE. In 20 years, there won’t be a 1st generation anymore. That’s how much time there is to turn this around and it’s clear to me that the solution is not going to come from the top. The “owners of Cheon Il Guk” need to step up now or forever hold your peace.

    I hope European brothers and sisters can avoid the mistakes made in America and propose genuine solutions because failure to do so will result in a failed providence. We all know how easily that can happen.

    • Profile photo of simoncooper
      simoncooper February 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Dear Charles, many thanks for giving an account of how things happened in the US. I came to the conclusion that the real possibilities for our movement to evolve, like with most things in life, will be on the local, micro level, rather than on the macro. We have a board of trustees in the UK for our movement. We will be publishing something soon I believe about how they function.

      • Colin T February 17, 2013 at 12:24 am #

        I would add as a footnote to Charles’ very informative comments the observation that democracy in and of itself is not enough to guarantee legitimacy. The transparency and fairness of the democratic process and of the institutions it establishes are additional requirements. That is why I think it is better that church communities and national church organisations in Europe initiate this process for themselves (as I understand Simon is doing in the Central London congregation) through a consultative process, rather than waiting for a decree from on high. Charles’ comments illustrate the limitations of the latter approach.

  35. Angel Stefanov February 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Yeah, yeah! Lets vote, lets vote!… But who can vote? Ups… Who is qualified to vote for Continental director?

    What about vote for regional leaders? Who can vote? And NLs, Community leaders?….

    In DP there are described two types of Democracy: Cain and Abel type. Which one we can apply?

    “Nevertheless, because of the Fall, today’s democracies in fact bear more of a likeness to the body of a sick or injured person.” DP

    • Colin T February 17, 2013 at 12:33 am #

      Defining the electoral system is only a problem when you think top down. Instead each congregation could be allowed to make its own vote on the rules which will determine who its congregants are, and how its vote will be conducted. For votes on the national level, representatives of each congregation could organise a conference to agree a principle for determining the weight each congregation’s vote should be given in a national vote. Job done! Each congregation or national church organisation could then refine its approach as it sees fit, subject, for example, to endorsement by a 2/3 majority.

  36. Frans B. de Jong February 10, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    William Haines, you stated that `regimes` or cultures came to a standstill until democracy appeared. In some cases this may be true, but in Korea the real and fast progress came during the leadership of the rather `undemocratic` pres. Park Jong Il. After having lived in Korea for quite some time, I have seen that many Koreans have the unique gift of being prepared to take on authoirity as well as a feeling for responsibility, and a good set of healthy ethics. For these reasons I believe Koreans in the top are very essential.
    HOWEVER, local members should never tire though of requesting, praying for (or contributing) more clearity, explanation and openess from (to) their (Korean) leaders, but the success of this, like in all cultures but perhaps more so with Koreans, depends on the level of heart we have worked on builiding in the relatioship. It is amazing to notice how much `democracy` suddenly may arise.

    • Colin T February 17, 2013 at 12:48 am #

      Hi Frans,

      I can only say Korea must have changed a great deal from when I lived and worked there for 7 years in the ’90s. 😉 Usually when a rebel group of Koreans takes on the group in authority, mayhem ensues. I wouldn’t say Korean rebels demonstrated any particular gift for successfully challenging authority. I would say they tended to be good at turning authoritarian once in power; that’s a trait that goes back for thousands of years of Korean history, although to be fair it’s one probably manifest in most countries’ history.

  37. Chris Davies February 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Hi All,

    I think Simon’s done a great job in raising this question and the range of the debate here does you credit, except for Jim Rigney whose p.o.v. exemplifies everything that critics of the movement cite as the stereotypical brainwashed Moonie worldview and has been responsible for the many abuses in the UC. To me it seems obvious that the rate of attrition that Mrs Moon bewails and Charles Kamin so starkly highlights is irreversible and that there probably will not be an international organisation as we have known or rather imagined it to be within a very few years. That means that thinkers like Simon and William H. and practical activists like Peter Graham are needed to come into their own on the local level to be able to make the best impact they can and fulfil the innate traits that attracted them to seek a somewhat altruistic lifestyle in the first place. People in the larger world are coming to see very clearly the massive corruption and deception in institutions they placed their faith in (governments, royalty and religions to name but three) and are realising that they’ve been ‘had’. Unificationists are also part of this ‘zeitgeist’. Someone in the thread spoke of the ‘microcosm’ and I personally think this is the way all society needs to go. Back to the grass roots. In that sense I think that Unity is good but Unification is not. Can you see the distinction I am making? I sincerely wish all the good people I know in the movement will have the courage to make it what God hoped it would be. Take care.

    • Chris Davies February 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      This thread reminds me of when I was a member and how many conversations we used to have that started off with “You know, the trouble with the church is…..”. Does that ring a bell with anyone? I say this with affection and I’ve often used it to defend against criticism that we were all brainwashed sheep. Members are autonomous but sadly, as mentioned in other comments, that autonomy is usually only expressed in non UC activities. Little inside the church actually seems to change.

    • Colin T February 17, 2013 at 12:51 am #

      > In that sense I think that Unity is good but Unification is not

      Unhappily, Korean language translates both these as the same word “Tongil”.

  38. Profile photo of George Macdonald
    George Macdonald February 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    @ Chris Davis
    you leave Jim Rigney alone, you hear? I know you’ve washed your hands of any responsibility
    but and I quote

    Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    So if Jim is into math and finds a solution through math, then so beit.
    What part of Jims post, gets your goat up?
    Was it
    quote
    True Parents teachings should be in our mind, and our body should follow. Other wise we would not be exhibiting Faith in God or True Parents.?

    Maybe you should read Jims web page to understand his post
    http://newcosmicspring.org/

    Now, CHRIS DAVIS, I know your primary purpose is to destroy the True Parents and Gods kingdom on earth, this you have exhibited on many blogs.

    Autonomy? the laddie wants autonomy !

    So will peace in the world ever be a reality?

    CHRIS DAVIS, may I remind you of the fallen world

    Life in britain devalues day by day

    There are no rich people in the world and there are no poor people.
    There are just people.
    The rich may have lots of pieces of green paper that many pretend are worth something
    or their presumed riches may be even more abstract numbers on hard drives at banks and the poor may not.

    Do you think that someone with more green pieces of paper
    experiences a greater euphoria in their senses?

    propaganda
    These “rich” claim they own land
    and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim.

    propaganda

    there is no right or wrong only your attitude towards it.

    A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper.
    Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with.
    These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world
    being owned by the lie
    Think about it our happiest memories are from childhood
    when we had nothing
    but
    from birth on
    we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life,
    e.g. the school system ie Tom Sawyer,Janet and John etc
    hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals,
    hate women, hate children, hate our bodies,
    hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves.

    Hence we have a whole industry built on this belief
    eg women told that they’re ugly unless they buy beauty products
    If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes.
    If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes,and our bodies
    to be poisoned

    Love does not mean being a pacifist ,to bring about a world of peace
    we must realize what’s offered to us
    why it is, how it is
    forget your philosophies and just look at the here and now
    not the past or tomorrow but now

    No God will save you or bring about your peace

    So will peace in the world ever be a reality?
    From birth on and probably from conception,
    but I’m not sure how I’d prove this
    we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world,
    hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies,
    hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves.
    If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes.
    If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes and our bodies to be poisoned.
    no one however great is exempt from this,except one
    and he is Sun Myung Moon.

    Life in britain devalues day by day

    So CHRIS DAVIES unless you can tell us any different and show us a better way.

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