Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Devil

The spirits were out in the world that year. Sun Myung Moon had been releasing them as he spread his Divine Principle throughout Italy, Germany, Belgium and Holland.

By 1969, two years after my father and I had returned to America, the spirits were spread across the Atlantic, gathered wherever people gathered, like undulating waves of fervor, frothing up ecstatic joy among five hundred thousand worshipers of love, hallucinations and the throb of music in Woodstock, New York. Moving west to California, the spirits churned up ecstatic violence among Charles Manson and his worshipers; offering up the blood of humans to the spirits.

That same year Sun Myung Moon performed the sacred rite of marriage for the first non-Korean followers of his unification movement. Forty-three couples were joined together in unholy matrimony, to worship and serve the “True Father;” but also to serve the spirits he had brought with him. To serve evil. Among those special chosen was my erstwhile mother, who was already one of the Inner Circle, those who would lead and organize the “Unificationizing” of the United States.

The spirits frightened the teachers at my school, where I had successfully completed the second grade, and was beginning to feel some confidence as a third grader. The teachers spoke often of hell, of what horrors it held, the screaming, the gnashing of teeth, and I imagined teeth bursting in an explosion of tiny pebbles from the heat and the flames of hell. But the terrors of hell were nothing compared to the Devil. Here was evil at its most concentrated, the distillation of perfidy, of wickedness at its worst. We must resist the devil, for he drags the unsuspecting to hell, he fills them with his terrible spirit and causes them to do evil, even to become evil.

I had grown quite fed up with all of this frightened talk. The hand wringing and rounded eyes, the finger wagging and trembling voices. “Where is this devil?” I asked. I was no stranger to evil and its horrors. I was almost certain I had seen a picture of the devil himself in our living room in Italy. “Does he have black hair? Does he have a big shiny forehead? Does he smile like this?” I squinted my eyes and put on my most malignant, evil smile, frightening in its insincerity, the angel of darkness concealed in light.

The teacher could not answer me at first. Then she explained that the devil was a spirit, he was invisible, we could not see him, which is why he was so dangerous. “Well, is he visible in hell?” I was wondering to myself where that picture of him had been taken. Yes, the teacher slowly nodded; yes, very likely he was visible in hell.

I decided to put an end to all this terror. After I confirmed that heaven was “up there” and hell was “down there,” I began to dig a hole in the playground at every recess. Soon the other children began to help me. “We are going to dig to hell, and we are going to kill the devil.” It was a simple, yet powerful plan, for nearly all the children became as passionate and committed as I was, without reservation, to remove evil from our world.

Only the teachers were troubled. They questioned me in tremulous voices. Was I not growing tired of this project? Would I not like to play with the other children? My scorn for the ineffectiveness of grownups only increased. It was no wonder the devil and his evil were loose everywhere. Like my mother, they were weak, impressionable, held under his dark power even from so far away. But I would protect them before the devil arrived in Mount Vernon, New York. I would do the simple, practical thing and kill him myself.

Unfortunately, my father grew concerned that my school was not a good place for me, and had me transferred to another school where all the playgrounds were pavement.

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  1. I wanted to comment on your more recent article that mentioned the devil- the one where in hindsight you felt perhaps what you thought was God speaking to you was really the devil or a minyan. But I just had to read this one first. Fascinating. I am so proud of your little girl self for expecting that something COULD BE DONE about the problem of the devil. Yeay!
    Anyway, about the voice you heard as a young woman; I do not know if it was the Lord or another; but He would have known what your response was before He communicated to you in such a way, so it would not be the rash truncating of a relationship that one might think.
    Your story reminded me of my own history - but in contast. I married a man by means of a church wedding while in an unmarried relationship with him. During our one premarriage counselling session with the preacher, the preacher, a white-haired man, asked if there were anything unusual about the wedding that he needed to know about. I know at that time that he was vaguely refering to an established unmarried relationship, but I did not say anything about it. That incident of compromise was representative of my life before and since. I continue to have trouble being honest with people- even when that is what I most want to do. The truth sometimes seems so complicated. anyway, I wrote a short story and posted it on my blog, , under the title "HOW MANY" about what I could have done instead.

  2. Thank you Joan!

    Actually, I do know that it was the Lord speaking to me as a young woman, but there are those who insist that the Lord never speaks to people these days, that all of that sort of thing went away with the last apostle.

    I don't agree. I know God speaks to His own in every way imaginable. He was drawing me back to Himself, and part of that was to break off the relationship with the man to whose house I was headed. I should never have been in a relationship with him in the first place, and our relationship was not healthy for either of us.

    It was the right thing to do, to turn around and throw myself down before the Lord in utter repentance and to determine, one by one, to make right what I couls, and to excise from my life those things that were so wrong. It didn't happen in a day, and truthfully, I think this process happens until the day we "go to glory."

    Telling the truth is really hard, especially when the environment is harsh on those who admit to the truth and only rewards those who make everything look good. We Christians have unfortunately created that kind of environment for ourselves, typically.

    Grace and peace to you sister


Thank you for sharing your thoughts