A Harvard professor has asked the International Cultural Foundation (ICF) which was founded by Sun Myung Moon, the head of the Unification Church, to remove his name from a list of American advisors of the foundation-sponsored Fifth International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences.
Seymour S. Kety, professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, said in a letter to John Eccles, chairman of the conference, and to Michael Y. Warder, secretary-general of the ICF, he was withdrawing his name because being listed implied his support of the ICF.
Kety said last week from his summer home on Martha's Vineyard that he was not ready to support the ICF in the wake of "serious" charges concerning the Unification Church and Moon although he was unsure of the truth of the accusations.
The allegations include the use of mind control and brainwashing by the Unification Church and Moon's followers and connections between the church, the South Korean CIA and the repressive regime of Park Chung Hee.
The ICF is not officially tied to the Church but it is connected through Moon's sponsorship and also occupies the same New York address.
Kety said he agreed to be an American advisor at the request of Eccles, a Nobel Laureate and Kety's close friend, who originally wanted him to chair a session of the conference, which is scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend in Washington, D.C.
The topic of the conference, "Science and Absolute Values," is another reason he agreed to participate, Kety said. He said that the possible existence of absolute truth and goodness is important since many people believe that ends justify means, rather than the Judaeo-Christian belief that some things are morally forbidden.
Kety added he attended the last ICF conference and liked the openess and "excellent philosophical discussions." But, he said, this "chewing the fat isn't exactly my dish of tea."
Ted Agres, a spokesman for ICF, said ast night he did not know if any other cholars had withdrawn from the conference