New Buds Grow on Scorched Branches

The detectives of the Special Intelligence Section of the Office of Public Order who raided our church and taken me into custody took me to the Chung Bu Police Station. I was outraged that I was being charged with evading the draft, but I said nothing as I was being taken away. I had a mouth to speak, but I was never given the opportunity to speak. Some saw how I remained silent even while being treated unjustly and called me "spineless." I endured such name-calling in silence as well, thinking that this must also be a path that had been given to me follow. If this was the path that I must follow in order to reach the objective given to me, then there was nothing I could do about it This was the reason for my life, so I could not be defeated. The more I was attacked, the more care I took to act more honorably than anyone.

Once I made this decision in my heart, the police had no control over me. When the detective was writing his report, I was teaching him how to write it "Why don't you include this content," I would say. "And up here, you need to write this way."

He did as I said. Each phrase that I told him to write was correct, but when the detective put them all together, he found that they led him to the opposite conclusion from what he had intended. So the police would become angry and tear up the report.

On July 13,1955, on the sixth day of being held at the Chung Bu Police Station, I was again placed in a prison. This time, it was the Seodaemun Prison in Seoul. I was shackled, but I was neither ashamed nor sorrowful. Life in prison was no obstacle on the path that I was following. It might serve as a motivation to stimulate a heart of great anger, but it could not be a trap to make me fail. For me, it was actually a way to gather additional capital for my future activities. I overcame life in prison by telling myself, "I am not someone to die in prison. I cannot die. This | is only a springboard for me to take a great leap toward the world of liberation."

It is the rule in the world, and the law of Heaven, that that which is evil will fall and that which is good will rise up. Even if I must go into a dung heap, I will not fail if I maintain a pure heart. As I was being led away in shackles, some women passing by the scene looked at me askance and twisted their faces in disapproval. They seemed to feel that I was grotesque even to look at, because they considered me to be the leader of a sex cult. I was neither afraid nor ashamed, however. Even if filthy words were used to harass me and our church, I was would not be shaken.

Of course, I had normal feelings. Outwardly, I maintained my dignity, but there were many times when I felt stifled and sorrowful to the marrow of my bones. Each time I felt my heart weaken, I endured by telling myself, "I am not someone will just die in prison. I will stand again. I am certain of this." I redoubled my determination by saying, "I am taking all the pain into myself. I am carrying all the baggage for our church."

It would be easy to expect that my imprisonment would mean the end of our church, with members all going their separate ways. Instead, members came to visit me every day. In some cases, they even fought with each other over who would come to see me first. Visitations were allowed only after 8 a.m., but members would line up outside the prison gate from early in the morning and wait. The more that people cursed me, and the more alone my situation became, the more people would line to visit me, to encourage me and to shed tears for me.

I did noteven greet them with great emotion. In fact, I would rebuff them, saying things like: "Why do you come and make such a fuss?" Still, they would follow me in tears. This was their expression of faith and love. They didn't like me because I knew how to speak smoothly or eloquently. They liked me, because they knew about the love that lay deep in my heart Our members recognized my true heart. Even if I should die, I will never be able to forget the members who followed after me even when I was shackled and forced to stand in court. I always remember their expressions as they sobbed to see me sitting at the defendant's table.

The guards at the prison were amazed. "How does this man make those people become so crazy," they wondered, as they saw our members flocking to the prison. "He's not their husband, and they're not his wife. He's not their son. How can they be so devoted to him?"

In at least one case, a guard thought to himself, "We heard that Moon was a dictator, and exploited people, but it looks like that wasn't the case." He joined our church.

Ultimately, after being held three months in the prison, a court found me not guilty and I was released. On the day of my release the chief warden and all the section chiefs of the prison gave me a formal send off. After three months, they had all become our members. The reason their hearts turned toward me was simple. Once they had a chance to observe me up close, they realized I was not at all the person portrayed by the rumors that they had heard. The false rumors circulating in the society at large had actually been a help in our evangelical efforts.

When I was led away by the police, all the media and society made a huge fuss. When I was found not guilty and released, however, they were all silent. The only report on my not guilty verdict and release was a three line story in an inconspicuous corner of the newspaper that read, "Rev. Moon not guilty, released." The vile rumors that had put the whole country in an uproar had all been false, but this information was completely buried. Our members protested, saying, "Rev. Moon, this is unjust It makes us so angry, we can't stand it" They wept in front me, but I remained silent and quieted them.

I never forgot the pain that I experienced when I was subjected to all those false accusations and harassed. I endured, even when a great many people stood against me and it seemed that there would not be a place for me to stand in all Korea. The sorrow that I felt then, however, has remained with me in a corner of my heart. I might be a tree that is buffeted by the wind and rain and scorched by fire, but I would never be a tree that burns and dies. Even a branch that has been scorched will have new buds when the spring comes. If I continue on my way with strong conviction, the day will surely come when the world will understand the value of what I do.