Dec. 31st, 1995
P.O. Box 390256
Cambridge, MA 02139
An Open Letter to
Mr. and Mrs. George Bush
10000 Memorial Drive; Suite 100
Houston, TX 77024
Dear Sir, Dear Madam.
This letter is in regards to my concern about your involvement with one of Mr. Sun Myung Moon's organizations, the Women's Federation for World Peace, and what your public appearances are supporting behind the scenes.
It is helpful for one to know briefly the facts of my involvement in C.A.R.P./ Unification Church in order to make an informed decision regarding the group for one's own self.
My name is Joshua Brenner and I joined C.A.R.P./ The Unification Church (1990) when I was 19 years old and was a core member for 4. 5 years until I left in February 1995.
How and why I joined
A representative on the street approached me and after I answered a survey for the "international student group" I proceeded up to their office inside of an upscale modern office building. I was shown a glossy brochure of the groups projects/activities (most were old and out of date projects that currently did not exist at the time, but they gave me the impression of legitimacy).
After rapport was established with me, I disclosed personal information with these "international people." Following a lot of information gathering about me, the leader formed a strategy to use via the "introduction lecture" to undermine my strengths and to use my weaknesses and beliefs in order to have me attend their seminar retreat. This "intro" was a personalized lecture about philosophy/religion/family/world peace, which concluded with an invitation to a 2 day retreat on Long Island which I accepted.
The 2 day retreat latter was extended into a 7 day, then 21 and 40 day commitment. It was geared towards and concluded with having me commit to joining the group full-time.
My experience in the group
I was offered guidance that was geared to my own concerns about family and spirituality. Later, however, the group's leaders would use those concerns against me, suggesting that if I left the group it was because I was irresponsible and unable to make a commitment to "God's will" and to their alleged "true" way of life.
When I wished to speak to my mother I was told to be wary because she might cause me to loose condition (introduce "bad karma") or because she could cause me to be invaded by Satan. Eventually I was discouraged from forming personal ties even to people within the group because I was told I would only be "wasting time" and "multiplying evil" by "relating horizontally" (rather than "vertically" with my leader or "Father" Moon).
I spent the next 4 years fundraising/soliciting and recruiting
In teams we traveled in vans (usually sleeping in them-often with 10 to 12 people) deliberately breaking countless numbers of soliciting laws and local town ordinances as we fundraised. At that time I raised money for the group on the East Coast in Harlem, the Bronx, and the ghettos of Philadelphia as well as neighborhoods, towns and cities of all types of economic classes across the country. Eventually I traveled to Russia to find new recruits and fundraise.
Leaders adapted an explanation of the activities according to the doctrine and their metaphors. All of our activities were given a spiritual meaning. We had special prayer and fasting conditions to ensure the success of our "True Mother of Human Kind "(Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon) in her Women's Federation for World Peace projects and her speech on Capital Hill in Washington (which occurred in the early nineties).
I worked hard: Frequently I worked 14 to 16 hour days with little sleep. With sincerity, team work, goal achievement through difficult times, fasting, cold showers, prayers, singing, and some well timed humor from leaders, I worked. These experiences produced what I felt to be a religious ("conversion") experience.
Over $ 200,000 tax free money was personally raised by me during my involvement (I was told it was to support seminars for family values for college, high school teachers, and students in the Commonweath of Independent States, Russia).
Though I was a full time core member working for the group, I was not permitted or aided in any way (though I requested many times) to pay back my government school loan installments, which has accumulated interest putting me in debt of approximately $10,000.
I had no clear individual rights in C.A.R.P./Unification Church. There was no official policy or contract concerning my individual rights such as workers compensation, health insurance, annual health care, stipends, etc. In other words, I did not receive ANY benefits for my efforts, neither pay nor in any other form of compensation.
Towards the end of my experience in the group (May 1994-Jan.1995), when I was recruiting members and fundraising in Saint Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, I became discouraged due to observing elder married "blessed" church couples who were the leaders in Russia (and who were supposed to be close to perfection), unable to solve conflicts among themselves.
Why I left the group
In February 1995, finally, after 4.5 years, I took time to find out objective information about my group (C.A.R.P./The Unification Church). After giving some thought to a past history and practices which I could not defend, and which I considered unethical (eg: 1992 PBS Front Line documentary; "The Resurrection of Rev. Moon"), and after hearing testimonies from former members concerning experiences with manipulative practices of other manipulative and unethical groups that very much resembled my own, I decided to leave.
After leaving to freely investigate these matters further, I have no desire to return to any of Mr. Moon's organizations.
It is helpful for the general public to know briefly the facts of my involvement in the group so they can make an informed decision for themselves.
Now / present day
I am studying comparative religions and I am saving money in order to pursue my individual right to an education at college. Also, I feel lucky to be free to pursue in America my goal to really help contribute to not only my own family, but also to America's unique and diverse pluralistic society in the future. Perhaps such a vision is what has empowered men to pursue the office of President of the United States and one's own realization of the "American Dream" (the realization of the "American Dream," I mean, in the context of a modern realization done according to the best of one's own ability).
Mr. and Mrs. Bush, a personal note
Please do not lend legitimacy to any of Mr. Moon's organizations by making public appearances at Moon affiliated events. Young people will see you supporting Mr. and Mrs. Moon and will feel comfortable to become involved with any one of his numerous organizations. In my opinion (formed after being a 4. 5 year full-time member of Mr. Moon's C.A.R.P. and Unification Church), all of your past accomplishments and your reputation will be exploited by the structure of the Moon organization and used so Moon can achieve the influence he wants. Religiously speaking: since Sun Myung Moon really believes that he is the Messiah/the 2nd coming of Christ, he considers himself above the laws of the United States of America, and he will use his influence any way he decides is necessary.
With friendly regards,
E-mail me your response
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