The Words of the Fefferman Family
My Name is Dan Graydon Fefferman. I am twenty-eight years old and have been a member of the Unification Church for eight years. I come from a culturally Jewish, religiously agnostic family. However, when I was 19 years old I had a personal experience with Jesus Christ. This began a series of life-changing events that culminated a year and a half later when I was invited to hear the teaching of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, which I believe is an important new message from God for all mankind. After joining the Church I moved into a center with other Church members and spent two years witnessing and teaching the Divine Principle while concluding my undergraduate studies in political science at the University of California at Berkeley.
After graduating, I joined the staff of the Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF), a non-profit educational organization working to advance the cause of freedom in the struggle against totalitarian Communism. Later, in 1974, I served as executive director of the National Prayer and Fast Committee, a nationwide religious crusade for prayer and repentance during the Watergate crisis. I am currently serving as the director of the Unification Church center in Chicago.
About three weeks ago. I received a subpoena from the House Subcommittee of International Organizations chaired by Congressman Don Fraser. The subcommittee is investigating the relationship between Korea and the United States.
On two separate occasions, Mr. Fraser's subcommittee required me to leave my work in Chicago and give lengthy testimony in Washington. D.C. My testimony lasted more than five hours. I attempted to be cooperative in explaining anything I knew about relationships between myself, the organizations with which I am associated, and the Korean government. However, Mr. Fraser persisted in asking questions about the internal business of my church and my personal and religious associations. I believed these questions to be an invasion of the privacy of myself and my associates. After consulting with counsel, my decision was to refuse to answer these questions.
I felt very strongly that the questions pressed by the Subcommittee constitute a government invasion of my religious and associational liberties. Because I believe so strongly that the State should not conduct inquisitions into any person's religious beliefs and associations. I was bound by my conscience and by principle to decline to answer. I did so to protect my own freedom, to protect the freedom of other members of the Unification Church, and ultimately to protect the freedom of all religious believers in our country.
I do not believe this is contempt of Congress. It is a conscientious stand for the freedoms granted by the Constitution of the United States. It is unfortunate indeed that the Subcommittee feels so threatened by my exercise of my First Amendment rights that it now seeks to jail me as a prisoner of conscience. (I would like here to point out that my decision is entirely my own. I do what I do because I believe it is right, not because the Unification Church has told me to do so.)
Also, according to the Washington Post and New York Post the chairman of the Subcommittee told the press that I refused to answer questions about links between the Korean CIA and the organizations with which I am associated. As I indicated before, this allegation is absolutely untrue. I answered every question which had anything to do with connections between myself, the organizations to which I belong, and the Korea government.
The questions I refused to answer had nothing at all to do with any "Korean connection." I challenged the Subcommittee chairman to demonstrate the pertinency of his questions. However, his response did not, in my view, supply any justification for an imposition on my First Amendment rights. I trust that the full House Committee on International Relations will not uphold the subcommittee's recommendation that I be cited for contempt.
The subcommittee's legitimate interest in the KCIA does not give it carte blanche to probe every aspect of the life of every member of the Unification Church. The subcommittee's action in seeking a contempt citation against me is easily comparable to the abuses of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy. Regardless of the outcome even if I have to go to jail I have no regrets. My refusal to cooperate with the subcommittee's inquisition is a matter of conscience and principle not based on anything I have to hide. I stand not on the Fifth, but on the First Amendment.