They Were Deceived! But by Whom?
Her name was Elaine. She was raised in the heart of the Bible
Belt – Birmingham, Alabama. She was a cute, diminutive, 21 year
old college student at Auburn. She had a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ and had been involved in a campus Christian
She was planning to take a summer vacation in California. Before
leaving that summer of 1976, she and her father discussed the
lure of cults. But Elaine told her sister not to worry, she
would never join one. Elaine knew better!
While in California visiting Berkeley University campus, Elaine
was approached by two young men who showed interest in her
college major, horticulture. The two men, who were clean-cut and
looked like “normal college students,” said that they lived with
a group of students at Community Creative Projects (CCP) just off
campus. They invited Elaine to an afternoon dinner. The two
agreed to provide Elaine with needed transportation. They also
told her that Creative Community Projects was a non-
denominational community where college students could live
together and bring out the best in each other.
Before accepting their invitation Elaine asked specifically, “Who
funds your organization? Or what larger organization is behind
Creative Community Projects?”
“There’s nothing behind it… It’s just non-denominational… an
independent group,” they said.
Elaine asked again, “Are you sure you don’t have something to do
with Rev. Moon or the Hare Krishnas or something similar to
They answered, “No, we don’t. We don’t have anything to do with
an organization like that. If you’ll come over to the house for
dinner, you can check it out for yourself and see what we are
After coming to the CCP house, Elaine noted nothing unusual about
the students of the books in the house library. So she agreed to
attend a three-day weekend workshop with her new friends. That
three-day workshop led to another of seven days which in turn led
to a three-week stay — all of this before Elaine learned that
Community Creative Projects was a Moonie organization.
Next came a forty-day commitment and later a year’s commitment to
the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World
Christianity — or the Moonies!
(Elaine was interviewed in “Video Dynamics Presents Chris Elkins
Discussing the Unification Church — The Moonies,” 1980, Sessions
5 and 6).
Just a few years after Elaine’s experience, along came David
Malko, a law school graduate of Temple University, and Tracy
Leal, a college sophomore. David was approached at a bus stop in
San Francisco by two members of CCP and was invited to a dinner.
David asked if the two had a “religious connection.” Their
David attended the dinner where he accepted an invitation to go
to the CCP farm in Booneville. While there, David asked CCP
group member Bethie Rubenstein if CCP had any association with a
“religious organization.” She responded, “No.”
On a separate occasion, Tracy, while waiting to change buses in
San Francisco, was approached by two CCP members who invited her
to eat with them. Tracy asked them “if they were part of a
religious group, and she did not want to get involved with them
if they were.”
Their response was that the people in their group “all came from
different religious backgrounds.” Tracy accepted their
invitation. Likewise, Tracy was invited to the farm. On her
second day at Booneville, she asked the farm co-director “whether
the group was part of a religious organization, and specifically
whether they were Moonies.
He denied they were Moonies; he claimed that they were a type of
Christian group. After two days at the farm, Tracy went “for a
two-week seminar at Camp K.” At the end of this seminar, she
asked again if the organization was “part of the Moonies.” She
was assured that it was not. A short time later she was told
that “they did follow some of the teachings of Rev. Moon,” (Molko
v. Holy Spirit Assn. – 49 Cal. 3d 1102, 1103, 1105, 1106).
Both David and Tracy joined the Moonies and later, after leaving
the group, brought a court action against the Unification Church.
Although in the lower courts the two ran into problems by trying
to sue the Moonies, in 1988 the California Supreme Court finally
ruled 6-1 that the two had a right to “sue [the Unification
Church] for allegedly deceptive recruitment practices,” (The Los
Angeles Daily Journal, 26 October 1988, p.1).
The California Supreme Court noted: “The church concedes for
pleading purposes its members knowingly misrepresented the
Church’s identity to Molko and Leal. It further concedes the
misrepresentations were made with the intent to induce Milko and
Leal to associate with Church recruiters and later to continue
participating in Church activities…” (Molko v. Holy Spirit
Assn., 46 Cal. 3d. 1108).
Yet, the Unification Church denied that these misrepresentations
caused Molko and Leal “psychological and financial damage as a
result of… involvement” in the church (Ibid).
Dr. James Baughman, President of the Unification Church of
America, spoke in Nashville. He said: “…Jesus said that the
truth will also set you free… Why are many of our younger
people not in churches?… In some of our churches… there is
confusion about the very values and ethics and virtues that are
talked about in this book [the Bible]… If you are going to
call yourself a Christian, you should act like one. Because your
actions are going to speak louder. And if you don’t do that,
then you should close your mouth… Also, I don’t like the word
‘Moonie’…(taken from a taped copy of the address).
A rose is a rose! And unless the unethical recruitment practices
and false Unification doctrines are changed, apparently neither
will the term “Moonie”!
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