by Ingo Michehl - Sept. 28th, 1993
Dear brothers & sisters!
I commend you for your zeal and your hard work for God, trying to do God's will. I have been a CARP member for 6 1/2 years. I joined because I value and desire to follow the truth, as I believe you do, too. This is also the very reason why I write to you now. The truth is eternal and unchangeable as God Himself. Any movement or teaching that is true will never have to fear critical examination - because it has nothing to hide. Since I always asked myself whether I was in line with the truth, wanting to build my life on a foundation of true principles, as perhaps you do, too. Therefore I`d like to ask you to consider and pray about my reflections and realizations. Jesus never told his disciples not to think and question. The apostle Paul taught accordingly:
'Test everything. Keep the good.' [1 Thess 5:21]
I joined CARP in October 1986, as I came from Germany to travel the States and to think about what I wanted to do with my life. As I attended the workshop in Macaama Hills, I was very inspired by the explanation of truth, the 'positive spirit' of love, enthusiasm and idealism that I encountered, by the vision of a world of True Love under God. No one had to push me to stay. I joined because I wanted to work for God, His providence, the Kingdom of God on earth. I did not want to hurt Him again by betraying Him, like John the Baptist, who, according to the Divine Principle (DP) failed his mission and was the main reason for Jesus to be crucified, for God's providence and God's suffering to be prolonged. I was grieved about the tragic mistake of Jesus crucifixion, and I wanted to liberate His suffering heart.
Little did I realize, however, how narrow the way of argumentation was - and how far it strayed from the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. I did not have any foundation in the bible, and the teaching of the DP seemed so complete and perfect in itself, that I did not really question its validity. I accepted the interpretation with its given bible quotes as logical, without critically cross-referencing it against the bible. I didn't realize that I was throwing overboard all principles of critical thinking, the importance of considering another viewpoint. And, more importantly, I did not realize I was being deprived of the opportunity to do so by the isolation of the workshop situation - as well as in later mission work. In school we had learned about 'rhetorical manipulation', ways to manipulate an individual's thoughts and actions through one-sided information, omitting critical information (such as Rev. Moon's claim that he is the Messiah), or by depicting opposing viewpoints in a bad light. And what more effective way would be there to shun criticism than to condemn it as satanic attack or temptation. 'Satan wants to destroy you and your family, your country, your world. Go ahead and leave - with satan.' This technique is called `Reverse Psychology`- telling somebody to do something that is equal to `spiritual suicide`, unloading the responsibility of the no-choice-decision on him.
Being an intellectual, educated individual, I did not think it possible to be manipulated without noticing it. 'Come on, do you really think it's possible to be brainwashed against your will?' Well, there is a difference between 'brainwashing' and mind control. 'Brainwashing' is a violent method that was used by the Chinese Communists to make prisoners betray their country etc. Mind control, however, is a set of very subtle psychological methods used by certain groups to manipulate an individual to make desired decisions and to change his identity, his system of values and frames of reference, in order to conform to the group. Four major aspects of mind control are behavior control, thought control, emotion control and information control. If the behavior of an individual is changed, his thoughts and emotions will also change to minimize the conflict of these essential components of his identity - to maintain sanity.
Why are communists and fascists willing to die for their ideals? Is it not because they have been indoctrinated with a single flow of information, a single frame of reference for building their world view, their ethics of right and wrong? And does the Unfication Movement not claim to be the perfect substitute for communism? Perhaps that is the reason for Gorbachow, when he was still in power, to allow Rev. Moon to take over the 'religious education' of his country, to take over the indoctrination of his people in other words. Religious education in itself is not bad at all - only if it strays so far from the liberating message of the bible, intended to manipulate and control people, as the DP is! Does our holy and righteous God need to manipulate and lie to people to meet His ends? Does the end really justify the means?
Let me give you an example of manipulation: Suppose you believed some unseen enemy wanted to poison you. You would not be free to eat out in a restaurant any more, because you'd be afraid to be poisoned.
Eating in a restaurant would simply not be a valid choice for you. Inflicting fear is an effective way of limiting an individual's scope of free choices and thus controlling him or her. So if you accept that satan is trying to invade you, to destroy your eternal spiritual life, using especially those closest to you, those you love and trust, that fear will eliminate your option to freely see your family, won't it. It will also guarantee that you depend solely on the group for emotional and spiritual support - and that you fear for your spiritual life when you have doubts or merely consider the option of ever leaving the group. Read Acts, Galatians, Colossians and the other books of the NT, and you may recognize that that type of dependency on something else besides Christ, in whom alone we have true freedom, is exactly against what the apostles fought. The 'Judaizers' taught the gentiles who had become Christians that they had to be circumcised and to follow Jewish laws in order to be saved. Paul's letter to the Galatians is a good example of his fighting against this perversion of the gospel:
'I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!' [Gal 1:6-8]
'But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.' [Acts 3:18]
'This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge.' [Acts 2:2]
'So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people, and he will appear a
second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.'
'Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.' [Acts 4:12]
Rev. Moon teaches that Jesus could not fulfill his mission because the people rejected him, and that we have to believe in him as the 'True Parent' and Second Coming of Christ to be completely saved. If we don't, God's suffering, our suffering, and the suffering of the world will be prolonged. Rev. Moon even claims that he has had to suffer and pay for our sins for 40 years, because the people did not believe in him as the Messiah. That is clear perversion of the gospel.
I really believed, as perhaps you do now, that I was following Jesus who had returned through Rev. Moon. However, when I started speaking, praying and studying with a humble, sincere Christian student at University of Illinois Chicago, whom I was trying to convert, I came to realize that the teachings of Rev. Moon as well as the practices of the Unification Movement clearly contradict Jesus' words and the message of the bible. As I was selling flowers for the church on a street corner on May 9th, 93, God opened my eyes to the scriptures and to the fact, that I had been deceived. I realized that the DP is not the truth, and that Rev. Moon is not the Messiah! (Mt 24:39)
I rededicated my life to Jesus as my only Lord and savior [Acts 4:12], asked Him to forgive my sins, to come into my heart and to change me from the inside out. I dedicated my life to him alone and decided that I would not allow this whole situation to destroy me or my faith in Him.
I asked Him to help me and thanked Him, as suddenly I felt as if an invisible hand above my head, which had induced fear and guilt into me, was swept away. It was as if a ban had been broken, and I was filled with such joy and excitement that I could only praise God and sing songs to Him all day long. The next day, Mother's Day, I prayed that I could sell out by 4 p.m., so that I could finish up my last responsibility and leave the church. Sure enough, a Christian brother stopped by and helped me sell out the $ 1,400 worth of flowers I had left by 4 p.m. sharp! I have felt so free and joyful since I left, and God has blessed me so much, it's incredible. Even my health, which had been very bad due to lack of sleep, over-exhaustion and a collapsed lung my Central Figure, Mr. Tetsuo Yoshizumi, had given me by pushing me against a wall, has improved greatly. Apart from back problems I got from 2 1/2 years MFT (fundraising), I'm doing fine. I'm not passing out any more. When you're sick, your CF tells you 'You're being invaded by satan! Repent!' - and makes you feel guilty to even want to go to the doctor. Would Jesus have done something like that? Well, I'm free at last. Thank you, Jesus! You, too, my friend, can be free! You can leave without being destroyed! Ask Jesus into your heart as your only Lord and Savior today! Ask Him to lead you, to open your eyes to the truth of scripture, to show you if there is a conflict between DP and the Bible. If there is - which authority will you hold to?
'You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus! Do you wish to be enslaved all over again?' [Gal 3:26, 4:8,9]
- If you have questions or comments, or if you need help, please write to me: firstname.lastname@example.org, Ingo Michehl, PO Box 390256, Cambridge, MA 02139
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