The Words of the Inoue Family
Rev. Moon's Spending Habits
December 13, 1998
I don't know the facts here, but if the figure we are talking about is really hundreds of thousands of dollars - 400,000 for example - we would then be finding the True Family, which has roughly 40 members to be living on $10,000 a year per person. I know blessed families with more than that.
If it is two or three times more, that is not into the realm of extravagance by any stretch of the term in the economy of the world today.
I have been to dinner at East Garden and I have also been to dinner in truly rich households. At East Garden, we were waited on at table by the various sisters on the staff who put on neat skirts and blouses to serve double duty as dining room staff. This is not the way it is done in rich expensive homes.
I was told someone from Hannam-dong that when Father went with a group of roughly 40 leaders to Cheju-do, only one kitchen sister went along to cook for all of them, because Father did not want to spend the money for another air ticket to take two.
My clear impression is that he is pretty careful how he uses money in his everyday life. One thing that it is crucial to understand is how any typical Korean parent with any sort of financial means will pour out money to educate their children. For example, the Kirov Academy of Ballet that we operate in Washington is about $16,000 a year for room and board and tuition. Several Korean students attend there.
At one point I suggested that we might establish a supplementary program in Korea for qualified students who could not afford the fees in Washington. However, I discovered that keeping a girl in ballet study in Korea, combined with the cost of school, extra tutors for both Academics and Ballet, finally costs more.
And there is tremendous societal pressure here to make your kids excel. From what I have heard, Father has also wanted/expected this from his children. I think that as a Korean parent, he would not allow himself to expect that from them without providing them with the means normally expected necessary to achieve it.
A very small percentage of Korean college student work their way through school. And an even smaller percentage of high-school students have part-time jobs to make spending money. These things are normally paid for by the parents here. The take tremendous joy in being able to provide their children the chance to put all their energy into their studies until they are 22 (or some times 25 or 30 if they go to graduate school or med school).
Korean parents also do as much as they can to set their newly married children up in housekeeping. They buy the furniture, rent or buy the house for them, buy them cars -- to whatever extent their finances will allow. The other side of the coin is that when the parents retire, the children (oldest son especially) is expected to take care of the parents.
Take this very, very strong social attitude and multiply it by Father's thirteen children, and compound it by any guilt feelings (or you may want to call it desire to compensate) he may have due to the small amount of time he has been able to spend with them and the very simple beginnings of the family in the early days of the church. This will soon lead you to very legitimate ways to use a good bit of money. (And the other issues that Scott mentioned regarding safety and security for a high-profile family are not negligible.)
Another factor that should not be overlooked is that Father would probably view money invested in the development and care of his children as an investment in the future leaders of the movement. And I must return to the royal family analogy that I used several months ago. The family at the head of a movement is put into a spotlight and has a certain, not necessarily fun, responsibility to look good.
Look at old family pictures of the True Family, and look at the more recent ones. There is a big difference in the clothes. If you want to project success, you need to use the later version. Take Hillary Clinton for example too, and Janet Reno. When Clintons took office, Hilary dressed and did her hair much more simply (and Janet Reno still does). But if you are going to send Hilary to have her picture taken with the Prime Minister of Israel, which way do you want her dressed to represent your country? When the True Family dresses up, it is to represent the church, not because they *don't want to be caught dead* wearing ordinary clothes. Father's investment in clothes for them is also very important.
Well. These are some of my thoughts. I offer them for your consideration. I have to get off to work.
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