The Words of the Hokanson Family

With Father on the Boat - Interview of Allan Hokanson

Tyler Hendricks
August 2, 1983

Allan has been captain of Father's boat New Hope for ten years. He was born in Seattle, Washington. Prior to joining the Unification Church of Germany in 1972, he obtained a degree in oceanography from the University of Washington and was a commercial fisherman. Allan returned to the U.S. in 1973 with the German One World Crusade team, and Father chose him to pilot the New Hope in July of 1974. He presently holds a Master's License from the U.S. Coast Guard. Father told him to obtain the "Master's Unlimited" license to command any vessel on the ocean, and to teach at our future Maritime Academy "when I'm sixty." This interview was conducted by Tyler Hendricks, aboard the New Hope on August 2, 1983.

Question: How many years have you been fishing with Father?

Answer: This is the tenth season. Father fishes mostly during the summertime; during the rest of the time I do mostly commercial fishing.

Question: Do you feel that Father's interest in the ocean began when he came to America, or does it go back further than that?

Answer: Father laid the original foundation for Ocean Church sometime between 1954 and 1960. At that time Father asked the Korean membership to build two boats, which they used for fishing for two years. One of those boats was lost in a storm, and the other is now at Chung Pyung Lake, I believe.

From the first time I went fishing with Father the whole course of development of the ocean seemed clear to him. He was interested in all aspects of the ocean and fishing. He was always taking out guests and members; he never went fishing for himself or by himself. He wanted from the start to provide others opportunities to experience the ocean.

Question: Why does he take people to the ocean, rather than, say, the mountains or desert?

Answer: He took people to the mountains in Korea many times, but in America it's more the ocean. The ocean has the purest, clearest atmosphere. Perhaps Father can perceive something most easily about people when on the ocean.... But to answer questions about Father is to be prepared for anything.

Question: You have spent as much or more time at close quarters with Father as any western member of the church. We know that Father sees people in your position as conduits to the rest of the membership. What would you, in that position, want to pass on to the rest of us?

Answer: The most important thing to understand is Father's heart. Father is successful because he is the best Father. Every child believes that his or her father is the greatest, can do anything. If we can develop this fatherly heart and position in our missions, then the response and respect of members will be automatic. Other people will naturally want to support us and we will have success.

Question: What can you tell us about the different aspects of Father you have seen?

Answer: The more Father loves someone the harder he is on them. Right now he is hardest on Hyun Jin Nim (the elder of Father's two sons who are tuna fishing this summer; the younger here is Kook Jin Nim). Father's moods shift. He may yell at someone one minute, and the next minute buy them ice cream and joke around with them. His anger quickly passes. He is not dominated by his feelings; they don't linger. He is very natural and responsive to each situation as it arises.

It is like on a sports team. It's when the coach isn't yelling at you that you're in trouble. The coach takes the most interest in whoever is doing well. He's concerned with you, interested directly in your work. Then he may push, or criticize, to help you grow. On the other hand, sometimes when I've known I've done something wrong, Father has taken me to a movie. It would make a strong impression on me.

You never know when you'll encounter True Parents. One time Father and Mother went down to look at Bayou La Batre, and we were having lunch in a McDonald's in Pascagoula, Mississippi. In walked an MFT fundraiser. Was she ever shocked! Who could expect to meet True Parents while fundraising Pascagoula, Mississippi? They bought her lunch and gave a big donation. You never know when you'll meet True Parents.

Question: Over the years of being close with Father, do you feel you've changed greatly?

Answer: I change very slowly. Father picks people not because of the qualities they have at that moment, but because of their potential to accomplish a goal. In our working toward that goal we develop the qualities latent within us, which Father sees from the start. When I was picked as Father's captain I was not a great captain.

But I had potential, and I've improved, and I will improve more as I keep working at it.

Question: It seems to me right now that IOWC is where Father is placing the most energy. A few months ago, it was Ocean Church; he stated that all Unification Church members were Ocean Church; he even stated that all should spend two weeks a year with Ocean Church. The different missions are like Father's different children. Does the father love his different children differently? No... each and every one is the most important.

Question: But doesn't Father have a special affection for the fishing way of life, and for fishermen?

Answer: When Father began fishing he said he wanted to set the standard of loving the ocean more than anyone else had ever loved it. Whoever loves something has the right to possess it, has ownership and dominion. Father wants to win victory on the ocean as well as on land. He has made conditions to resurrect all those who have died at sea. He understands the life of the fisherman, his hardships. Also Mother, who is always waiting onshore for Father to arrive safely home, understands and can connect with all wives of fishermen who have been in the same situation.

Question: What is the average member going to gain from two weeks with Ocean Church?

Answer: The members can take a look at themselves, at their relationships with others, at their relationships with God and the creation.

They have a chance to understand Divine Principle through experience as well as through books and lectures. Members can learn to deal with an unfamiliar environment, to encounter new situations, new challenges, new problems. They will have to put out hard effort under difficult circumstances, to focus their minds toward a single goal -- catching fish -- focus all day, maybe for many days, even without having any results. They'll learn to concentrate on one purpose, concentrate on one purpose, one unchanging mission.

I stress especially the relationships between captain and crew, and between the crew members. In most other missions members deal with members only a few hours a day; the rest of the time they are working with the public. When fishing you are dealing with members twenty four hours a day, having little contact with the general public. Therefore it is very intense, because all are sharing the same goal, all can see the difficulties clearly, and all are forced to deal with them and with each other in those circumstances. You can't separate from other members -- you have to unite.

Question: How do you see Ocean Church as fitting into the providence?

Answer: The goal of Ocean Church is to bring people to God, and to restore all things to God. To do that we have to be where the people and things are. The oceans are the bloodstream of the earth. Most goods are shipped via the oceans, and the oceans are a major source of food. There are many people to be reached through oceanic activity.

The oceans have never been developed fully, because such development is difficult and expensive. But as the world's population grows, we need more food and more materials. The ocean is the greatest potential source of these commodities. If we, centered on Father, can develop abilities to accomplish these practical goals, with a business sense and a heart to serve mankind, we can be successful. Ocean Church serves to cultivate that heart. Internally, Ocean Church is to bring the ocean-working people to God in this new dispensation.

Further, work on the ocean has a great effect upon one's character. This is the reality behind Ocean Challenge. Instead of a 21-day workshop, say, Ocean Challenge can be an educational vehicle which will put members in the situation where they must live Divine Principle, rather than listening to how or what they should be doing.

Question: Where do you see the Principle in ocean-going work?

All: Obviously we can see the Principle of Creation. You are dealing intimately with the creation -- loving, understanding, working with it. This is the third blessing, the blessing of true dominion. Also, on a boat you learn how to deal with each other, the meaning of the four position foundations, subject object relations, love. A boat is a microcosm of the world. If the Principled way can be established on a boat, it can be expanded to a city, a nation, the world. A boat is a restricted environment; it is very intense. You confront nature and each other face-to-face. That's why the Bible says, "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the • Lord, and his wonders in the deep." (Ps. 107:23-24) On the ocean you really feel every aspect of God, through the creation. Many fishermen's wives are not faithful. We can set up wives' associations, for example, to help preserve families.

Take another example. Seamen and fishermen generally have difficulties and temptations because there is no one fulfilling the mother position on board. By Principle there should be this mother position, to reduce the fisherman's desire for fallen love. The wife of the captain should take the crew-mother portion, so there are true parents for each boat. At present the crew members receive only masculine, fatherly love, therefore their existence on board is distorted. We can rectify this. It is common that on a successful boat the captain treats the crew as his own family. On such boats the crews remain consistent, year after year. On others they change month by month. Application of family relationships, then, is another example of how Principle can re-envision ocean life.

Ocean Church offers Unification members an opportunity to expand their hearts. Expand into the world of fishermen, to understand that unique realm of heart. Even a small amount of fishing can take you a long way. Father doesn't want all Ocean Church members necessarily to become commercial fishermen. But still you can apply that fishermen's heart to many aspects of life.

Question: Then what is the "fisherman's heart"?

Answer: It is extremely independent, and often very rough. His mannerisms, his manners, his word for it. One of our members might say, "Boy, it's pretty slow today," whereas the fisherman is likely to spew out a series of curses more pungent than a three-days-dead mackerel, and mean the same thing. But often he is a very good family man -- he might not look that way, but he may take very good care of his family. He may sound as if he's ready to kill the captain of the next boat, but the next minute, if it gets in trouble, he'll sacrifice himself to help.

He fishes because he likes it, not because he wants to get rich. Very few fishermen get rich. Because they are working in a very hostile environment, in an isolated environment.

No one can master the ocean; the best we can do is work with it. Most fishermen have strong faith in God. Beyond that, each must rely upon his own abilities for his survival every day. Therefore he becomes self-reliant, independent. His faith keeps him going. He must trust himself, and trust that God will bring him home safely.

The Unification members that I like on my boats are those whom other leaders think are too independent- minded. They think for themselves. They're difficult to deal with, true, but they seem to make the best fishermen. Once they're united, the bonds are lasting and strong. The strengths of the different, independent members combine to make a first-class crew.

Question: On that tantalizing note we'll close the interview.

Thank you. Allan and good fishing 

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