en thousand kilometers from their homeland, a large group of young people from Belarus are studying in prestigious Korean universities. This seems like a dream to me, having been born and raised in the Soviet Union. If I add that all this has come about through the efforts of one person, and that this is but a tiny bit of all the good works being done by this person, then one may truly call it a miracle. Who is this person?
To dominate people is the simplest thing of all, and it often leads people astray. We may state that the desire to rule has spawned a plethora of popular and amusing legends, and the legacy of this is not easy to shake off.
Even I have personally experienced this. At the time of my birth, the communist regime had ruled Belarus for seventeen years. In that time, through repression, terror and mass ideological propaganda by the Bolsheviks, the regime had fundamentally changed the mentality of the better part of the population, inculcating in them the new Soviet system of values, guidelines for life and social mores. The ubiquitous propaganda and lies, an obligatory component of education at all levels, instilled the "moral code of the builders of the communist state." The vast majority, including myself, never dreamed that in fact it consisted of a selection of ancient religious precepts, since we all were convinced that religion was the opiate of the masses and brought people nothing but grief and suffering.
When I was just six years old and began to be aware of all that had transpired, the incendiary bombs of the German fascists starting falling on my native Minsk. All that remained of the great city were a few brick buildings and humble wooden shacks on the outskirts. The Bolsheviks and communists were battling foreign invaders, enemies who had obliterated my beloved hometown and killed most of my kinfolk. Thus, it was totally logical to regard them as champions of a righteous cause, struggling against fascism for the sake of freedom and justice, and to me it seemed honorable to support these people in their endeavors.
During the war and the Nazi occupation, hardly anyone realized that the communist system being installed by the Bolsheviks in actuality differed little from the monstrous fascism. The evil of the fascists was patent with each step they took; but the repressions of the Bolsheviks were explained away by propaganda as the struggle for a resplendent future against the enemies of the people and the capitalists encircling us who were eager to enslave and exploit us. I even thought that my father being exiled to Siberia for no reason whatsoever was an unfortunate mistake by a righteous regime.
Several generations of my fellow countrymen were brought up on the atheistic ideology, and many even to this day continue to believe in the dazzling future of communism and in the absurd communist tenet "From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs." It is difficult to awaken such people from their dreams.
No small number of the older generation still sincerely believe in the communist ideal. For them, to repudiate their Soviet past would mean betraying themselves and giving up the very ideals taught by their kindergarten teachers and their university professors, not to speak of the mass media which had always been under strict censorship.
I may be faulted for the fact that, as I became aware of what the past had been all about, I did not commence at once to battle against this blatant evil. Along with most of my colleagues, I continued to work in a single-minded way, since my profession, physics, is not ideological in nature and is needed equally by all politicians regardless of their orientation. It was only later, as I conclusively came to terms with the perverted nature of the Soviet "humanistic education" and began to understand more and more clearly what is what and who is who, that I entered into politics.
Things went my way. I became acquainted with truly interesting people. They were not—as were the majority of my colleagues, professors in the physics department of universities—merely correctly interpreting the events of the past. These people could wield a substantial influence upon the world situation and even act to change it. These were presidents and heads of state of worldwide repute, along with their ministers and advisers.
Recalling all the distinguished people with whom I have crossed paths of destiny—figures such as Edward Heath and Francois Mitterrand, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, Helmut Kohl and Bill Clinton, George Bush, Sr., and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, presidents and prime ministers of the former Soviet republics, and many religious figures in the public eye—I would not be overstating to say that the most singularly interesting, impressive and intriguing of all has been Dr. Sun Myung Moon. Furthermore, I can assert that this same basic attitude in regard to Dr. Moon is held by the majority of politicians and religious leaders whom I have had the opportunity to meet.
Dr. Moon has been persecuted, imprisoned and restricted in his freedom to travel. He miraculously escaped death in a North Korean concentration camp. He was not broken by these experiences. To the contrary, he became a tough, thoughtful and wise warrior against dictators and despotism, renouncing all primitive, vengeful methods of confrontation.
Possessed of phenomenal patience and persistence, Dr. Moon was able to brilliantly clear away or surmount obstacles in his path and transform many of his opponents into his allies. His conviction in the rightness of his views and his wealth of experience in working with people of all different races and nationalities, without regard to their social class, have enabled him to meet with as loathsome a dictator as Kim Il Sung and to work out a means for nudging the deadlock into direct dialogue between the governments of North and South Korea. I have been observing all this, which is not at all easy to believe, for a good many years.
The life of Dr. Moon is a prime example of service in the interest of the highest altruistic ideals. The constant support of his faithful and devoted wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and their wonderful family has helped him to stay true to his ideals. However, we ought not to downplay his profound benevolence and capacity to meet the incessant demands presented both in the sphere of human relations as well as his entrepreneurial concerns. Both factors receive much attention from Dr. and Mrs. Moon.
It is good to see him with his children and grandchildren and to hear the testimony of his closest aide, Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, about how a North Korean refugee who had lost everything eventually became the renowned Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon of worldwide fame. In spite of deprivation and the heavy burdens placed on their shoulders, Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han have come to stand as the foremost example for couples and families the world over. These two people are one in their quest. Mrs. Moon herself is totally dedicated to achieving the same ideal for which her husband is striving—the creation of a world of love, freedom and goodness, with no more armed conflicts and wars.
Dr. Sun Myung Moon embodies the best qualities of the Korean people, above all, the traditional thirst of Koreans for education, and indeed not only to receive an education, but to constantly upgrade and perfect it. Many have upheld such mottos as "Study, Study, Study," but generally they were either spellbound by an ideology or were calling people to study in a realm far removed from the human realm. Dr. Moon has made it possible to attain and perfect an education through a comprehensive curriculum on all levels ranging from childhood to adulthood—an education free from compulsory dogmatic or ideological content and encompassing a range of professions in the sciences, culture and the arts.
In each concrete case, he has achieved a rare degree of completion as the sponsor, manager, professor and architect of curriculum programs, project planning, and even architectural design and construction of the physical facilities. He combines an ability to select talented people with the gift of inspiring them to attain fulfillment as they work to put substance to their dreams. In such an environment—where the most wonderful modern technological facilities are combined with wonderful professors brought together from all around the world—one would not dare to do evil; one could not help but devote his or her full time and effort to study.
Therefore, it makes complete sense that he is being welcomed with admiration worldwide. He has built institutions to advance knowledge, encourage creativity and restore health. His efforts reached the pinnacle of perfection in the museum and Peace Palace at Cheong Pyeong, which is breathtaking in its beauty and grandeur; virtually overnight it has become the destination of tens of thousands of pilgrims.
History knows numerous people who have contributed their thoughts on how to save this world from the plethora of plagues troubling its inhabitants. Fyodor Dostoevsky gave the most concise answer of all: "Beauty shall save the world." At first thought, this was just a catchphrase without deeper significance. But I was wrong. All of the activities of Dr. Sun Myung Moon may be summed up as beauty of thoughts, beauty of deeds, beauty of action, and beauty of concrete results.