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When most churches move into an area, everyone knows it; after all, it's hard to miss steeples and stained glass windows.
But when Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church opened its Harvard Square headquarters on Brattle St. last January, there were no press release, and the sign on the door real "The Friends of the Earth."
Now, after months of trials, tribulations and press coverage, that sign is down and another discreetly reads "Unification Church," completing the path from covert to open recruitment of members that the church has traveled in other cities.
According to sources close to the church, Moon's group commonly opens its first office in a city under the name of a front organization and only begins using the official church name once the group's affiliation with Moon is made public.
Not only the name has changed at 38B Brattle, though. After recruitment problems moved the church to trim its operations in the Square last month, those activities will resume soon, Aiden Barry, Massachusetts director of the church, said last night.
Better success at enlisting supporters in the Boston Common has sparked renewed interest in recruiting in the Square and Cambridge Common out of the Brattle St. office, Barry said.
"Now the ball is rolling, we're happy with Boston," he said, adding that the church hopes to increase its Boston membership from under 300 to 1000 this summer and is looking for more dormitory space in which to house those additional members.
Archie C. Epps, III, dean of students, said last night he met with Barry last month and that Barry "give assurances there will be no recruiting on Harvard property."
"So long as the recruiting is outside the University grounds, the College will take no action," Epps said.
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