The initial reaction of Americans to me was cold beyond description. They cynically questioned how a religious leader from an insignificant country called Korea that had barely survived hunger and war could dare call on Americans to repent.
It was not just Americans who opposed me. The reaction from the Japanese Red Army, in league with international Communists, was particularly strong. They were even caught by the FBI trying to sneak into the workshop center in Boston, where I often stayed. There were so many attempts to harm me that my children could not attend school without the presence of bodyguards. Because of the continued threats on my life, I spoke from behind bullet-proof glass for a period.
In spite of such opposition, the lecture series by the small-eyed man from the Orient gathered more and more interest. People began to listen to the teachings that were completely different from what they heard until then. The content of the lectures dealing with the fundamental principles of the universe and seeking to reawaken the founding spirit of America was a breath of fresh air for Americans who had fallen into the hell of immorality and sloth.
Americans experienced a revolution of consciousness through my lectures. Young people began to follow me, calling me "Father Moon" or "Reverend Moon," and cutting their shoulder-length hair and their scruffy beards. When appearances change, minds also change. So God began to enter into the hearts of young people immersed in alcohol and drugs.
The lectures were attended by a variety of young people, transcending denominations. When I would interrupt my sermons to ask, "Are there any Presbyterians here?", many young people would wave their hands, saying "Here. Here." If I asked, "Are there any Catholics?" hands would go up again. When I asked, "How about Southern Baptists?" many people would again answer "Me. Me."
"Why do you come to hear me, instead of going to hear a sermon in your own religion?" I asked. "Go home and go to your own church to hear God's word."
More and more people began gathering, and even the leaders of Presbyterian and Baptist Churches came, bringing with them the young people of their churches. As time went on "Reverend Moon" became an icon representing a revolution of consciousness in American society.
I taught American young people how to endure difficulty. I thoroughly taught them the basic principle that a person must be able to control himself before he can control the universe.
"Do you want to bear the cross of pain," I asked them. "No one wants to go the way of the cross. Your heart may want to go that way, but your body says 'No!' Just because something is pleasing to the eye doesn't mean it is good for the heart. There are many things that look good, but an examination of their Inner aspect shows them to be evil. If you catch yourself seeking only after things pleasing to the eye and trying following that path, you must immediately stop yourself and say 'You rascal!" Also, if you feel the desire to eat only things pleasing to the mouth, you must scold your body, saying 'You rascal/ and block yourself. Young people are attracted to the opposite sex, aren't you? In this case, too, you must make a strong stand against such urges. If a person cannot control himself, he cannot do anything in this world. Consider that if you break down, the universe will break down".
I was teaching them the motto that I had followed as a young man, which was "Before seeking to dominate the universe, first perfect your 5 ability to dominate yourself." I stood in the midst of a materialistic civilization and talked about matters of the mind and heart. The mind cannot be seen with the eye or held in the hand. Yet, we clearly are ruled by our minds. Without our minds, we are nothing. I talked about true love. I said that true freedom can be enjoyed only when we have a dear understanding of ourselves based on a foundation of true love and are able to exercise self-control.
I also awoke them to the value of labor. Labor is not suffering, but creation. The reason a person can work all his life and be happy is that labor is connected to God's world. The labor that people perform is nothing more than taking things that God created and shaping them in different ways. If you think that you are making something to give to God as a memento, then labor is not something to think of in a negative way. Many American young people were so steeped in the affluent lives provided to them by their materialistic civilization that they had forgotten the joy of working. So I taught them to work with joy.
I also awoke in them the joy of loving nature. The young people were caught up in the immoral culture of the cities and enslaved in selfish lives, so I talked to them about the preciousness of nature. Nature is given to us by God. God speaks to us through nature. It is a sin to destroy nature for the sake of a moment ofenjoyment or an insignificant amount of money. The nature that we destroy eventually will make its way back to us in the form of poison, and make life difficult for our dependents. We need to go back to nature, and listen to what nature tells us. I told the young people of America that when we open our hearts and listen to what nature is saying we can hear the word of God that is conveyed to us through nature.