Surprisingly, a number of a number of ministers of established churches in America attended the Washington Monument Rally, and brought many members of their congregations with them. They had determined that my message transcended denominations and that I was inspiring young people. I had been calling on people to transcend differences of denomination and religion, and those words were realized at this rally. The Washington Monument Rally was a miracle. The record of300,000 people at that rally has not been surpassed to this day.
Good is often followed by the bad. Some in America drew mustaches on posters carrying my photograph, in an apparent attempt to associate me with Hitlec They called me "anti-semitic" and claimed that I persecuted Jews. As the number of young people following me and in the number of ministers who wanted to learn the Principle increased dramatically, Americas established churches also began to persecute me. America's traditional churches began putting pressure on me. Also, leftists in America reacted against my position that it was America's responsibility to stop the spread of Communism in the world, and began to look for ways to curb my activities.
As I grew more popular, all different kinds of misgivings and doubts began to be raised about me. Things that previously had not been an issue suddenly came pressing down upon me as serious problems. Conservatives said I was too liberal and that my teachings would break down traditional values. One thing in particular, they were unhappy about the new understanding of the cross that I was teaching.
Jesus came as the Messiah, and it was not God's predestined will that he should be crucified. With the execution of Jesus, God's plan for humanity to be able to live in a world of peace went awry. If Israel had received Jesus as the Messiah at that time, he would have brought about a world of peace in which the cultures and religions of the East and West would have become one with each other. Jesus, however, died on the cross, and God's work of complete spiritual and physical salvation was delayed until after the Second Coming. This understanding of the cross that I put forward brought a great deal of opposition. The established churches and the Jewish community both came to regard me as their enemy. They tried a number of ways to have me removed from America, each for their own different reasons.
Ultimately, I was imprisoned once again. All I did was to reestablish the morality of an America that had fallen into degradation and restored it to be a country that was in line with God's will, but I was accused of not paying my taxes. I was well past my sixtieth birthday at the time.
During the first year that I was in America, money received as donations from around the world was placed in a bank account in New York It was common at the time to hold the accounts of religious groups in the name of the leader of the particular group. The funds that were in this account for three years produced interest income, and I was indicted on a charge of not paying taxes on this income. Ultimately, I was placed in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut.
On the day before reporting to the Danbury prison, I held my final gathering of members at the Belvedere training center in Tarrytown, New York. The members filled the property and shed tears as they prayed for me. Thousands of people who had followed me gathered in Belvedere that day. i raised my voice and told them not to lose heart. "i am innocent," i said. "i have done nothing wrong."
"I can see the bright light of hope rising from beyond Danbury," i told them. "Don't cry for me, but cry for America. Love America and pray for America."
I stood before the young people immersed in sadness and held up my fists as a sign of hope.
The statement that i made prior to entering the prison caused a great stir among religious people. An "Common Suffering Movement" was initiated, and there was a wave of prayers to support me.
On the day that i went to prison, i had nothing to fear. i am accustomed to life in jail. This was not the case with the people around me, however. They were concerned that some people strongly opposed to me would do something to end my life. i headed to prison with my head held high.