Yes, my children do not want me to lecture them, nor to expose them or compromise our relationship, or exploit my connections.
I strive to protect them and their integrity and privacy. Yet I know that controversial decision I took forty years ago today, to leave my singles apartment and move into the Unificationist commune, in Melbourne’s Albert Park, could not have been more correct. Yes, I did give up a promising nursing career.
I left my first single private apartment, which I had finally found after searching so desperately. And forty days later, I left the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where I had embarked on a promising nursing career, risen to become the Student Nurse Representative of the community of seventy-two students.
I joined the Unification Church, where they taught me the “Divine Principle” which I felt answered all of my fundamental questions about life and its meaning. I also thought, these people are just so naïve and incompetent, where can this lead to? They also taught a fascinating theology with a disturbing conclusion, which I could not readily embrace.
Years later I had to confront the rumours and allegations of brain-washing, coercion, sleep-depravation and even sexual misconduct.
It was my experience with a newspaper journalist from the Sunday Observer, in Melbourne, probably in the late nineteen seventies, that showed me how manipulated our concepts and thought processes are.
I probably still have my diaries from that time, so one day I may get around to transcribing them. I think her name was Joy something or Joyce. In any case, I believed her as I handed over a stack of books and she said she would look at them and return them to us. I told her my story about joining the Unification Church. But her story about me on the front page of the Sunday Observer, had nothing to do with the truth or the stories I had shared with her! I was horrified and hurt about the references to my mother, who had suffered enough when I sacrificed my nursing career to join this religious group. “Why can’t you do this in the Catholic church?” was her repetitive plee.
Even as I told her of the Unificationist view, that Jesus was meant to marry, she confided that she often thought that the local priest was somewhat limited by his exclusion from the marital relationship. How can the priest guide married couples, when he is not allowed to get married himself?
These same questions, I could later ask my younger brother, who became a Catholic priest and engaged in marriage guidance counselling.
My reflections continue….