2009-04-26 06:14:15 UTC
Honesty In The U.C.
"Some months ago there was a thread about honesty in the UC, and this
is my somewhat tardy addition to that thread. Pardon my lengthy
~My wife once (several years ago) heard SMM say: "You must follow your
original mind". (This was in Japanese, to a group of Japanese
members. ) The meaning of this is not very clear, and it could be
translated several ways. At the time, it gave me hope that he was
encouraging us to be ethical. On reflection, it seems more like one of
those platitudes that can mean anything to anyone. Especially in Asia,
we hear the dictate "Absolute Faith, Absolute Obediance, Absolute
Love" like a mantra, but the emphasis seems most often to fall on
It's heartbreaking to see members struggling financially, often
seperated from spouses or children, berate THEMSELVES for not having
yet attained "Absolute Obediance". Perfection of obediance to TP/UC
often demands neglect of immediate family, which causes (naturally)
inner conflict and guilt. Most UC campaigns (marble vases, gold name
stamps, Holy wine candy, tea sets, etc.) demand deception; both of
prospective customers/ converts, and ultimately of the members
themselves. The latter is the saddest to me; to see good people I
consider noble in many ways, living in self-deception.
Basically, honesty (and ethics in general) is not emphasized in the
UC. Being a good member means being faithful and sacrificial, obediant
to leaders' directions. Members who are concerned with a concept of
honesty are not trusted.
One Korean leader I knew very well had a favorite saying whenever the
topic of honesty came up: "You don't feed steak to a baby". Lying and
decieving was not only permissible; it was actually for the good of
those being decieved.
The leader I respected most in the UC was an American, who had a
Jewish background. He once said in a speech to us: "don't do anything
immoral, illegal, or dishonest". He was basically shunned and driven
out of the movement by the other leaders, and is no longer active, or
at most, marginal, in the movement.
Last year I had a letter printed in a UC group newsletter, saying that
our movement was being dishonest and unethical, and that I could no
longer support it. Although several were asked to, no leaders
responded in print. Of the responding letters printed, one was
outraged that I would dare question the motives of the UC, the other
said "a little imperfect honesty is okay". One member phoned me to
give his support, saying; "You're right, but the dishonesty is so
obvious to all of us, and that's never going to change. So why did you
bother to write the letter?" His basic conclusion was: "SMM is the
mesiah, and he can do whatever he wants".
Remember, the concept of honesty shared by most Western people comes
from our Judeo-Christian heritage. Saving face and keeping position
are more important virtues in Oriental (and UC) culture. Having a
sense of honesty implies having a reference point of truth centered on
God, and that is simply incompatible with being centered on (obediant
to) SMM, or DP. A sense of honesty is not only not useful in the UC,
it is an obstacle to being an effective part of the movement. EVERY
member I know struggles with this, every... single... one. When my
desire for honesty and personal integrity became strong enough, I had
to seperate from the UC.
For those reading this who are still active in the UC movement, I
extend my heartfelt greetings, and an appeal. Think of someone who
takes off the muffler on his motorcycle and revs the engine while
coasting through a residential area at 3:30 AM (an almost nightly
occurance through the summer in Japan). By disrupting the sleep of
hundreds of families, he has incurred the anger of thousands. In
spiritual terms, he has burdened himself with a great indemnity to
pay. Decieving others does the same thing: it burdens oneself with a
spiritual debt that must be paid, and actually repels God. How can it
be God's work to trick people into salvation? Such a bad concept will
only produce bad fruit.
Conversely, God loves honesty and rejoices in it (Proverbs 11:1 etc.).
That is the direction to go, with all your heart and soul. Let me
conclude with a quote from a Jewish commentator who was instrumental
in clarifying the dilema for me.