Use of the Term 'Moonies' Pejorative

TO THE EDITORS OF THE CRIMSON:

I would like to respond to your article, "`Moonies Cult Visits Cambridge,"' (Crimson, November 8) concerning the speech I gave at Harvard entitled "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age."

You are incorrect in stating that the Unification Church employs "brainwashing and kidnapping techniques." How convenient it is to label me, and those who share my beliefs, as brainwashed, thereby stripping away the value and dignity of the right to freedom of religion, and justifying your total disregard for us as individuals capable of making our own decisions.

The scientific and religious communities have overwhelmingly rejected charges of brainwashing as lacking merit. In a brief filed with the California Court of Appeals in 1987 (Molko v. HSA-UWC), both the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association characterized the allegation of brainwashing by the Unification Church as "simply a negative value judgment in scientific garb."

In another brief filed in the same case by the National Council of Churches (and other organizations representing more than 100 million Christians in America) it was stated: "the accusations of brainwashing leveled against the Unification Church would indict nearly all religions, because at its core, the theory implicates religious faith itself."

The cult hysteria notwithstanding, you will find that the majority of members of the Unification Church are married, have children, live in their own homes and are productive members of society. Most members of the Church are college educated and are involved in traditional professions as doctors, lawyers, publishers and businessmen, to name a few. Indeed, many members of the Church even attend or have attended--and excelled at--Harvard.

The only "unusual" characteristics that may set Unificationists apart from society-at-large is that we, in order to give more than just lip service to our cherished family values, generally don't smoke, drink, use drugs or engage in premarital or extramarital sex.

Do you realize that use of the word "Moonie" is pejorative and highly offensive? The term was coined by critics of the Church to demean its members as the words "hymie," "nigger" or "chink" are used to dehumanize other segments of our society. The correct reference to a member of the Unification Church is "Unificationist."

As a professor and former Harvard Law School student myself, I would like to think that The Crimson has the moral and intellectual integrity to be able to rise above common bigotry and to evaluate fairly and objectively the ideas of those who venture to Harvard's hallowed halls.

Our society is in serious trouble if, at a prestigious university like Harvard, the ideas of someone are dismissed and ridiculed simply on the basis of the color of their skin or the religion they espouse. Jin Sung Park Moon, Esq.   Son-in-law of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon