The Words of the Aum Family

Testimonies Of Early Pusan Members -- From Schoolmate to Disciple

Duk Moon Aum
June 1982

Father and I were students in the same year at Waseda University in Tokyo, but Father's major was engineering and my major was architecture. There were many Korean students in Japan at that time, and I was president of the Korean students in Tokyo. Father was very quiet; he never spoke loudly, went to coffee shops, drank, or mixed with other students. When I became president of the Korean students, I organized a student meeting, and for the first time Father stood up, spoke and sang loudly. This was how I began to know Father.

In those days, Korean students had to be very careful, because Japanese secret police were very concerned about the ideology of Korean students, knowing that sometimes deep inside, they were hostile to authority or, because of being idealistically motivated, were internally interested in Communist ideology. Occasionally, instead of speaking, they would express their heart through singing.

Sometimes I visited Father's boarding house, where he and two other Korean students lived. Father was always very studious, and when I went to his room I saw Japanese, Korean and English Bibles on his desk; many passages were underlined and the margins were filled with many notes. On Sundays I never found Father home, because he always went to a Christian church, no matter how bad the weather was that day. Later on, I found out that he was like a leader in the Korean church. Still, Father never asked me to go to church with him and never spoke to me about the Bible, so I didn't know much about that aspect of him.

Our university program was intended to last three years, but because of the war situation, it had to be condensed into two years and six months. We were quickly graduated and had to return to Korea (this was around 1943). The evening before we left, I visited Father and spent the night with him. Our conversation lasted the whole night long.

I am the oldest son of my parents, and I realized that when I returned to Korea, my father would want me to get married. Since I knew that Father was a leader in the Korean church in Japan and that he would know many young women who attended church, I asked him to introduce me to some young woman of his acquaintance. Father looked through some photographs and picked out one woman, and we corresponded for about one year. Just as I thought, when I got home, my father urged me to marry. I explained to him that I was already writing to someone, but my father said that the combination of characters was not so good, and he was angry at me for not being loyal to him. He had chosen another girl and asked me to meet her. But when he told me her age, I felt she was too young, for if the Japanese police would come and take me away (as sometimes happened to young men at that time), it would be difficult for a very young wife to take care of my family. I wanted a more mature woman, someone closer to my age, whom I could ask to take care of things in case I had to be absent.

Still, my father pressured me to meet the girl he had chosen. So my father and I went together to the girl's house. When we returned, Father and the woman with whom I had been corresponding were waiting at my home to meet with me. So I had to take them aside and explain with apologies that my father insisted that I marry another girl. Still, Father came to my wedding and gave us a blessing message, praying that we would have many children.

The next time I met Father was in Pusan, at the end of January, 1951. I am almost sure it was January 30.

I had been working as an architect on construction projects in Pusan before the Korean War broke out. With the coming of the war, however, everyone lost his job. Still, because I was an architect, I was soon able to find another job, working for a hospital, doing a type of construction work. It was winter time. Winters in Pusan are not usually very severe, but that year it was very cold.

Father Comes To Live With Me

That January afternoon, I met a young man who seemed familiar, but his external appearance was shabby and I had the impression that he was a beggar. But still, he looked at me as though he were acquainted with me. Then I recognized him. As students, we had talked with each other in familiar terms, calling each other by name. "Moon!" I called out and greeted him. I found out that because he had just escaped from North Korea, he was dressed in this fashion.

I asked him when he had arrived and what he was doing. But he just smiled at me. Then I asked where he was staying.

"I just arrived yesterday, so I don't have a place to stay," he answered.

I invited him to my house. He hesitated because he didn't want to be a burden to me. If times had been normal, he would not have hesitated, but conditions were so confused in those days. Even though he had nothing to eat or wear, still he hesitated.

But I insisted. "Don't worry; come and stay with us."

"I will accept your offer and stay for three days," Father answered.

"For as long as you wish, you can stay with us," I repeated.

This was how I brought Father to my house.

It was drizzling that day and Father's clothes were wet. He was dressed like a beggar, so I gave him my best clothes, my only good suit.

Even though Pusan is at the southern tip of Korea, it still gets cold at night; the thermometer going down to 27 or 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, our rooms had heating system. Therefore, I suggested that we go out for a drink. I loved to drink, ever since my student days. In Korea, when people drink, they sit around a table with a fire and eat fish barbecued on it. I knew that Father didn't drink, but I told Father that he could accompany me and eat some sweets or fish. But he said he would rather not go to such a place, so we didn't go.

We ate dinner at my home, and during the meal, Father told us about North Korea and how he had returned with Mr. Won Pil Kim and Mr. Chong Hwa Pak. Mr. Pak had stayed in Kyung-ju, but Father and Mr. Kim went on together to Pusan. As soon as they arrived, Mr. Kim began working in a restaurant, so he was not with Father when I met him. Therefore, assuming that Father was alone, I didn't invite Mr. Kim to join us.

My wife started to wash Father's clothes and mend them, and Father and I began to talk. "Since you were reading the Bible so faithfully during our student days in Japan," I began, "let's talk about Christianity."

"That's not a bad idea," Father replied. Then he started to speak. I had never heard the kinds of things Father began to relate to me, and as I listened to him, I felt an unusual power coming from my stomach.

My father was a very devout Buddhist and he used to beat me whenever I went to a Christian church. Being such a loyal Buddhist, my father considered it very important to worship one's ancestors, but the Christian churches never talked about one's ancestors. Although I had never studied Christianity, sometimes when I was riding on a train or walking along a street, I had heard some Christian missionaries speak. These passing encounters had never attracted me to stop and hear more; but as I listened to the contents of Father's speech that night I thought to myself, "If this is the essence of Christianity, I wouldn't mind being a Christian."

No doubts entered my mind as I listened to Father speak; rather, I accepted everything completely. I had been close to Father since our student days, and I knew him to be very sincere, totally honest, and very studious and diligent. Therefore, I had no trouble believing what he said. Besides, his talk was so wonderful. In other words, knowing Father's character had prepared me to believe what he told me. Also, I had trusted Father so much that I had once asked him to choose a mate for me.

One day, two days, three days, four days, Father talked to me about Principle, and I felt myself changing spiritually. It seemed like I was walking on the clouds -- it was a totally new experience. I couldn't hold it all inside myself, so I had to share it with somebody. It seemed selfish to keep this wonderful message all to myself.

My View Of Father Changes

The first time I heard Father speak about Principle, I thought his explanation was similar to that given by the established Christian churches, and I accepted it because I respected Father. But gradually, as I listened more to Father, I no longer joked with him or called out to him, "Hey, Moon," as I would to my regular friends. Although I was young, still I had gained a certain position and was a successful architect. However, I began to recognize that Father was an unusual person, and I started to have many dreams and revelations about him. The dreams showed me how unique and special he was. So my wife and I decided to call Father, "San sang nim" or Teacher. I told Father, "You are not my friend -- you are a saint, a philosopher, a hero. Therefore, I am going to call you teacher." Father answered, "If you think that way, you can call me as you like."

I gave Father my silver spoon and chopsticks, and I used my wife's utensils. I gave Father the best of everything I had. As I lived together with Father, I often saw his uniqueness. Once my wife fell down the stairs and lost consciousness. Father picked her up and placed her on the floor and started to pray. Because she was unconscious, I wanted to take her to the hospital, but Father prayed very strongly and his face was so intense that, witnessing this prayer, I deeply felt that Father A as not a usual person. I stayed beside him, and my wife regained consciousness without the aid of medicine. Father was silent.

This was the first thing that happened to us after we started calling him Teacher. Living with Father transformed out lives. I felt that Father was very close to God and had some special connection with Him. If we had had a tape recorder then, I would have recorded everything for history.

At that time, Father's only disciples in Pusan were Mr. Won Pil Kim and an older lady, Mrs. Oak. Mr. Kim was just 23 or 24 years old, and he seemed very young to me. In those days, we had no book containing the Principle, and we did not know its exact contents. We learned by asking Father questions and listening to his answers.

I felt I had a mission to help Father. I couldn't leave Father to do the work alone; somebody had to protect him, and Mr. Kim was too young. Also, I was a professor and I had a good position on the board of directors of the association of architects, as well as many friends with whom I used to go drinking. So I called my friends together and tried to tell them what Father had shared with me. However, they didn't understand so well, and I began to feel that Father had some wonderful ability to convince people; an ability which I lacked. Also, I was unable to give a good, logical explanation of the Principle, so my friends couldn't understand me. They thought that I must have gone crazy and began to criticize me.

Persecution Begins

Furthermore, my landlady was a very nasty woman; she seemed to me like the witch in the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with a harsh voice and an unkind character. This landlady disliked Father, so she asked me to tell him to leave. Upon thinking it over, she realized that I might not want to tell him the message, since he was my friend, so she said she herself would ask him to leave. However, every available room in Pusan was occupied by refugees. All houses were filled, and people were sleeping in the gates and every possible place. So Father ended up remaining with us.

On Sunday, Mr. Kim and Mrs. Oak came over to our place for Sunday service, the first Sunday service held in Pusan. Those present were Father, Mr. Won Pil Kim, Mrs. Oak, my wife and I.

The landlady also hated Mr. Kim. Because of his job in the restaurant, he had to wear rubber shoes; but since he had no shoes, his feet were always wet. When he took off his shoes, he left wet footprints wherever he walked. Although my wife cleaned and dried the floor behind him whenever he came to visit us, the landlady still hated him.

The landlord's sixtieth birthday was coming up, and they wanted to hold a big celebration for him, using the second floor rooms where we were staying. So the landlady asked us to clear away all our belongings and stack them along one side. Finally, she asked us all to move out. We had no choice but to leave -- Father, my wife and I, and our two children (who were around two and three years old). We had nowhere to go.

Finally we found a house in which we could rent two rooms. So in one room, my wife and our two children stayed, and in the other room, Father and I stayed. Later, Mr. Kim came and joined Father and me in the second room. Within one week, however, persecution came anew, and we had to leave. I had to change my job. I would go out witnessing, but no one paid heed. Internally, I felt great peace and happiness, even though other people thought I was crazy.

My wife had beautiful clothes, which she sold to buy rice, and that was how we survived. When we moved to another house, our new landlord said it it was strange for a wife to live with her children, apart from her husband, so he made us move out. I received so much persecution from outside that I sent my wife and children off to Masan (a town along the coast, about 30 miles west of Pusan). I gave them my name card, because I was well known, and told them to look for a place there to live.

That left us three men together. Then the landlord asked me what kind of man I was to let my beautiful wife go away! The three of us would often stay up all night talking, and eventually the landlord made us move out as well.

After this, I slept in a car owned by an acquaintance of mine who was president of a company, and Father and Mr. Kim stayed in a very cheap dormitory for homeless workers. Theirs was a very dirty place, and the workers made a lot of noise when they came back drunk at night.

I felt so sorry that Father had to live in these circumstances. All the good locations to live were already taken, so we looked for a place where we could build our own house. The only places left were the high hills on the outskirts of Pusan. In Pam Il Dong we finally found a site. We used stone and clay for the foundation, and found wood and bought cardboard left over from grocery stores for the walls. We made a little window and covered the roof with paper. The house was barely big enough for three men to stay in.

Around September, the house was completed. To other people, it looked very poor, but to us it seemed to be a palace, because we had been pushed around for so long by so many other people, being forced to move from one place to another. For a dining table, we used an apple crate, and we ate our meals outside the house because it was too cramped inside. But we were so happy. In our eyes, that but was like a palace.

As you know, Father likes to ask other people to sing. In those days, he constantly asked me to sing. After dinner, we always went to a rock, from which we could see the city below. All around us it was dark, but in the distance we could see the bright lights of the city and of the American ships in the harbor. There Father would ask me to sing. I was young, 32 years old, and I had a very good voice then. I would sing Italian folk songs, opera music, etc., until 12:00 or 1:00 at night. Then we would return to our hut, about 50 meters away.

We had only one mat to sleep on. Father and I slept on the sides, with our heads facing the same direction, and Mr. Kim slept in the middle between us, with his head in the opposite direction.

From that small hut, we later moved into another house, which we rented. It had a floor, heating system and kitchen. To us the little hut had felt like a palace, so the new house was like a palace of palaces. Witnessing started in earnest during this period.

I feel that not only I but each individual exists to participate in the building of the heavenly kingdom. I always told Father, "I will be a responsible person. I will be the architect of the kingdom of heaven."

Father always spoke to me of truth, beauty and goodness, and during the night spirit world taught me more concretely about the concrete truth, concrete beauty and concrete goodness of the kingdom of heaven. Truth is truth without adornment; it is the core of science. Beauty is the shape of the structure. Beauty does not exist just for itself, but also must serve some function. This is the highest realm of science. Therefore, beauty and truth can never be separated. In dreams I was taught how nature is the model of all things and the highest expression of science.

On the basis of Father's teachings and the revelations I received from Heavenly Father, I studied more about architecture. Truly nature is the model of all beauty, and no matter how profoundly people study science, they can never surpass nature. Nature and goodness are complementary, and every relationship is a form of give and take action.

We must not neglect anything that Father teaches. Some people have a great capacity to receive, while others' capacity is smaller, but whatever our capacity may be, we have to receive everything we are capable of. Principle is wonderful. But even a good medicine, if taken in excess, can become poison. Therefore, Father doesn't explain everything at once, but leads us step by step in our understanding of truth. If we become too intoxicated, we might lose everything.

Because of Father, I am an architect today. I know I exist for the building of the kingdom of heaven, not for myself. That is why Heavenly Father led me to study architecture. Therefore, I am truly grateful to Heavenly Father and True Parents. 

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