40 Years in America
Dr. Joseph Sheftick
David Kim and Father with American cartoonist, Al Capp
Al asked if Jesus had spoken to Father in Korean. "Yes," replied Father. "But with a slight Hebrew accent!"
I was guided by the spiritual world to join. I was in New York and I read a book called "The Gift of Prophecy" by Jeanne Dixon. She said a man named Joseph would work with Jesus when he returned. I thought it was me. I hoped to meet her to ask her about it but we never met.
I went to California and went to a psychic lady. In the reading she said it was time I got off my backside and start to work for God. She said my marriage was not blessed in heaven. I had been married in the Catholic Church. She said by the time I was 43 I would pay off my karma and would not need to come back to earth again. She said I would be lonely for seven years and would be married to a woman that I would love very much and that my first child would be a son.
She said I should move from Los Angeles to San Francisco. She said I should go to a UFO convention in Berkeley. I arranged to be there. I went to Reno to get a divorce, to dissolve my marriage since it wasnít blessed in heaven. This was in 1967. I went to Berkeley and I ended up just a few blocks from the center there. I was supposed to meet a psychic couple who did psychic surgery in the Philippines. I met them, but there was no rapport with them. Then I went into a meeting and met Dr. Neva Dell Hunter. She asked me what I was going to do for the rest of my life, which was an interesting question. I thought it was odd that she should care what I did since she didnít know me. I said I was interested in psychic surgery, and she said I should do something better with healing. I said, "What is that?" And she said, "You should learn how to do aura balancing."
I said, "What is it?" She said, "I donít have time to talk to you now. Come talk to me later." The previous psychic mentioned my karma. I thought Iíd better learn about my karma and I wanted someone to do a reading about my karma. I asked around at the convention as to who was the best person for that and it turned out to be Dr. Neva Dell Hunter. I went to see her and I taped my reading. I supposedly had a past life at the time of Jesus. She said that I met him at a well, and Jesus said something about scars on my throat. I was rude to him and unattentive -- I wasnít against him but I didnít approve of him. She said I was present at the cross as well. Of course it wasnít me, but it was probably an ancestor. She said that I was in a temple praying, and Jesus appeared to me and said, "Why donít you join with me?" So I accepted him, and then I went around praying and healing in his name. I felt bad when I heard that because I felt bad that I hadnít accepted him at first.
This woman told me that she was told by the spirit world in 1946 or 1947, to find 140 men to work with the new messiah. I was ecstatic because she said I was one of the people, and she had found 77 of them or so, so far. I joined with her for a while, but I wasnít too sure. She did karmic reading and I did healing. I wanted to meet some of the people in her group to find out if she was a kook or if she was a good person. We took care of some people there. One morning she invited me to listen to a tape with her. She asked me to sit down. I had been unloading manure in the backyard, so I thought it would be nice to take a rest! We were in Almagoro, N.M. I decided to sit down to rest and listen. There was a discussion about the fall of man on the tape. The discussion was over and then the people asked, "Is Sun Myung Moon the messiah, or not?" The man hemmed and hawed and said, "I canít tell you directly." I wanted to hear the answer, but the lady turned the tape off and wouldnít let me hear it. I said, "Why did you turn it off? Theyíre discussing whether heís the messiah or not," and she said, "Itís not that important." She wouldnít let me listen anymore. But I sneaked back in that night and listened to the tape, and got the address for the Unified Family, which was in Washington, D.C.
A couple of weeks later, in June, 1968, we went on a tour to Lansing, Michigan. I went to another ministerís house who was an astrologer and medium. I went to speak to her members and have dinner. None of her members could come, and she apologized because she said she could usually get 10 or 15 people to come. She said, "I donít know what to do," so we just decided to have dinner. She said there was nothing to see in Lansing, so we talked. She asked me when my birthday was. When she heard my birthday, she cried. She started doodling, and then she asked her daughter for some books and she said, "You have a sun and moon in a triune relationship or something." I said, "What does that mean?" and she said, "Iím not finished yet." She gave me a pamphlet called "Revelation for a New Age," by Dr. Anthony Brooke. I started thumbing through it and I came across a picture of Father, the same picture in the Divine Principle book. Then all of a sudden, he appeared and said, "I have a mission for you to do, but youíre not ready for it yet. I will prepare you for it." He appeared to the psychic woman. I looked at his eyes in the picture and saw his name, Sun Myung Moon, and I got down on my knees and cried through the whole episode. That night I prayed to God, "Is Sun Myung Moon the new messiah? Is he your son? What do I have to do with him? What does he have to do with me? When I go to sleep tonight, can you answer me in a dream or give me some sign?" I put his picture under my pillow, like Edgar Cayce put the Bible under his pillow to get messages. But nothing happened. I was dismayed. Nothing happened, no clue was given whether he was the messiah, or if he was Godís son. I asked people in the group if they had heard of him. No one knew anything. I thought, how could he be the messiah if no one has heard of him?
Then I had a reading done by an astrologer. I wanted to know if I was going to work with him or not. After she did my chart she said, "I canít do your future. This is the first time I have a blank trying to find someoneís future." I kept this experience to myself. So I went back to New Mexico.
Then Dr. Neva Dell Hunter had a dream that I had introduced her to the New Messiah. I said to myself, "Donít you ever forget that." She was in the guru position, and would never accept anything from me as a student. But then I said to her that I was going to leave her group. She said, "If you leave, I wonít introduce you to the messiah." So I was really stuck. What should I do? But I didnít think my meeting the messiah revolved around her. So I went to Los Angeles then to find the Unified Family. After hearing the tape, I had written to the Unified Family Headquarters. I asked, where is Sun Myung Moon? I want to meet him. I waited a whole month for an answer, and received a letter a month before my 33rd birthday. They told me he would be coming in 1969 from Korea. They said if I was interested in Reverend Moon, I should hear his teachings. They directed me to 429 South Virgil St. They said they couldnít see me the day I called. I wondered why they couldnít see me right away. They delayed me. They said to come the next day. They had a dilapidated house, with no furniture. Only a table and chairs. I wondered what kind of a messiah this was with such a run-down place. There were four or five people sitting around reading "Master Speaks" speeches. I looked over one girlís shoulder. It said something about Sun Myung Moon being the Messiah. I wanted to look at it but she said, "No, this is not for you." Then they said that they had to go out witnessing and that I should read the whole Divine
Principle book from cover to cover, from front to back. They told me to read the whole thing, and not to skip anything. Then they left me alone in the house while they went out to witness. I skipped to the back of the book and read the section about the Chosen Nation and the Messiah. I saw that the Second Coming was coming to Korea. And Sun Myung Moon was the messiah, so in my heart I accepted him as the messiah. Two days later I joined the church and moved into the center. It was better that way. If they had been trying to talk to me, I probably would have shrugged them off. I was unapproachable. I was looking for a teacher.
Once I got a massage and the masseuse said, "I am getting a vision of you standing over the earth. You have found the ultimate truth. I see you kneeling down in front of a king and queen sitting on a throne." It dawned on me later that it was a vision of me finding the truth and meeting Father and Mother. My cousin once told me that I had the mark of a chosen one on my forehead. All these things added up that I was supposed to be working with the messiah.
Father was supposed to come in 1969. I got all excited. The center director sent me out to get ice. I didnít want to miss him when they picked him up. I didnít want to go, but they told me I had to so that Father could have a cold drink. I went to the supermarket and I missed when they picked him up at the airport and he came into the house. Won Bok Choi, Young Oon Kim, Mr. Eu, Father and Mother, and some others. When they first came down the stairs, I looked at them and I saw tremendous power. It looked like God. Father shook hands with all the members. I thought when he saw me he would say, "Hi Joseph, Iím glad you made it." He said, "Hello," and I said, "Hello." I thought, what kind of messiah are you? You called me six months ago and now you donít recognize me? He just said hello to me and I said hello to him. Then later, when he was speaking, his eyes met mine and his eyes said, "I love you," and I said, "I love you too." I didnít need any physical confirmation after that.
He stayed a few days and then went to New York for the 13-couple blessing. Anthony Brooke thought Father would be the head of all the UFOs in the world. At one time they thought all the chosen people would be picked up in spaceships and saved so they wouldnít be caught up in the turmoil. Anthony Brooke didnít say Father was the messiah but he knew he had a mission. So on my 33rd birthday I joined.
Six months later I had some doubts about my accepting the Principle. I did a 3-day fast and went to the holy ground at the observatory at night. I determined I wasnít leaving the holy ground until I had an answer. I took the Bible and Divine Principle and a blanket. I cried and prayed, a loud prayer -- is Sun Myung Moon the messiah? Is the Divine Principle true? Iím tired of praying to emptiness, I want to see you. Moses prayed and you showed yourself to him, he saw the back of you. If I were you, and you were me, I would come and face you, man to man, and answer my questions. I donít want to see doves flying by or deer running up the slope. I donít want anything except you, to see you face to face. I cried, and prayed and I waited with my blanket.
Then I heard in my mind, "Joseph, have you read the New Testament?" I said, "Some of it." "Do you remember all the miracles Jesus did for the people? Did it help the faith of the people? Did you read the Old Testament? Did those miracles cause the people to believe in Moses? Did they believe because of the miracles? Why do you want a miracle? The only way you will get your answer if the Divine Principle is true is to live the Principle in your life. Make the Principle a living thing that no one can take from you. I really canít meet you man to man, face to face. I made the entire universe. But when you make your heart like mine, then our hearts will become one. Then you will know me as you desire to know me." I cried. I picked up my blanket and DP book and the Bible and went back to the center. I didnít look anymore from that time on for miracles. But I sought to make the Principle a part of my life.
I had been a chiropractor then. I thought God didnít want me to be a chiropractor anymore. The center director told me that God didnít want me to be a chiropractor anymore. I got a job as a cab driver and a security guard. I had to take lesser jobs. I couldnít get a real job. I was 33 years old with no family, and no roots. We gave all our paychecks to the Unified Family then.
Once Young Oon Kim came by and I took care of her. I took care of her neck and shoulders. I wanted to serve her. She said, "I prayed about you last night. I believe that you have the gift of healing. Have you ever thought of coming to D.C.? Would you like to use your gift for God?" I said, "Sure." She said to think about it. The center I was in was made up of people younger than me; they were 19 or 20. "If you come to D.C., you could do healings and make money for the church that way, like an evangelical healer." At the same time, a chiropractor I knew wanted me to take over his practice which earned about $50,000 a year. The center director was interested in my taking the chiropractic practice. So I did a 40-day prayer and fast. I went to the holy ground and I prayed, what should I do? The $50,000 a year would help the center. I could have a car, clothes and prestige.
If I went to Washington, D.C., I would be a healer. I was worried about making the right decision. The church leader wanted me to take the chiropractic practice. So during a church holiday the leader said to me, "What have you decided?" I said, "I thought I was leaning towards going to Washington." He said, "Theyíre just using you. Get out." He chased me out of the center. I said, "I havenít finished my fast yet." He said, "I donít care, get out." I had nowhere to go. So I went with one brother to Tempe, Arizona. He said, "You can come with me for two weeks." So I took a box of holy ground sand with me so I could stand in it and pray and finish the condition. I was in Arizona for a couple of weeks. When I got to D.C., Young Oon Kim wasnít there; she was in Korea. Philip Burley asked me why I had come, because I just showed up on the doorstep. I told him that Young Oon Kim asked me to come and do healing and make money for the church. He said, "We only teach the Principle. We donít do healing." I told him that she had invited me to come.
They had a meeting when she came back and she told me, "The Unification Church wonít support you in doing this. If this is what you want to do, you need to do it on your own." I didnít want to get involved in healing all kinds of sick people and then carry all the indemnity of people that I healed, so I ended up becoming the janitor for the church. I did cleaning and painting instead. We did a 3-day fast to protect Taiwan from Red China and keep Red China out of the UN. I was working with a brother named Thomas Cromwell. We wanted to improve the membership of the church. We were in the backyard of Upshur House. They had a big yellow school bus pulling up in the yard. Farley Jones was the president then and George someone came in and I said, "We should use the bus for evangelizing." I was thinking of John Wesley going from town to town on horseback. I told my idea to Young Oon Kim. I thought we could go from town to town teaching the Principle. So a couple of weeks later Young Oon Kim said, "You can have the bus." We took out all the seats except for six. We put a speakerís platform on top and painted it white. We had a port-a-potty, and a Coleman stove kind of thing. We put "Divine Principle" on the side. We got volunteers, Thomas Cromwell, and one of the sons of the Pumphreys. There were five people, and church members contributed about $300. This was December 16, 1971. We were waiting for Father to come. I wanted him to bless the bus team before we left. They wouldnít give him a visa, so he had to go to Canada from South America because they thought he was a communist.
I contacted Newsweek magazine to see if they would follow up and cover the story of the bus team. In the bus we had bunks for the sisters. There was a curtain, and the brothers slept in the front. The first place we went was to Richmond, VA. We set up at the YMCA so we could wash up and hold the meeting. Newsweek wanted to know what was special about us. And we told them that we believed the Messiah was here and so we were witnessing.
We fasted for three days at the state capitol. The police chief came by; there were news cameras. I met the governor then too. I told him I wanted to talk to him about the Divine Principle. The governor invited me to his office in the morning. We brought Miss Kimís book and witnessed to him about Father. We spent an hour. I called Miss Kim in Washington. She said Father wants you to come back. He came on December 18th, 1971. I said we wanted to stay a week to find spiritual children. We witnessed, fundraised and taught the Principle. Father said we could stay to witness, so we ended up bringing a girl back for a weekend workshop. We set the precedent for the IOWC. We got newspaper coverage, met the governor and did fasting to get spiritual children.
We returned to Washington. Father and Mother were in Upshur St. Father wanted to see the bus. He wanted the bus fenders painted another color besides black. He came inside and said, "Too fancy." I thought, "Youíre crazy." It was plain and bare metal, really cold. His idea was so send 70 of us together on teams. He was talking about the seven-city tour in America. We were worried about not having enough money, and the fact that he didnít speak English.
Farley Jones said to me one day, "Father wants to see George Washingtonís home. You can be the driver as long as you know how to get there." Then I realized I didnít know where it was. I said, "Farley, I havenít been there for a long time. Can you tell me how to get there?" So Farley showed me on the map. Father and Mother came out and Father said, "Are you a good driver?" I didnít know if I should say yes or no. I said, "I think I am."
David Kim, Young Whi Kim, True Parents and Miss Kim got in the car. I drove them, but I thought, "How do I do it?" Father was looking at all the cars as we drove along. Heíd say, "What kind of car is that? How much is that one?" Then David Kim said, "George Washingtonís house closes at 4 p.m. Itís quarter of four, you better get there." I prayed to God: I will never lie to your son again, meaning that I said I would bring them there when I really didnít know where it was.
At five minutes to four, I pulled up to the gate. I ran up and the guard was about to the shut the gate, and I said, "There are some important guests from Korea," so he let us in. Father asked me about the Potomac River. He said, "How deep is the water? What kind of fish are in there?" I said, "I donít know." He looked sad and said. "Can boats come up here?" He saw the wharf, but I didnít see any boats. He said, "How much is the property worth?" I said, "I donít know, Father." He was disgusted. He asked me so many questions and I didnít know anything. I determined the next time I drove him I would get to know the area so I could answer questions. Then I saw a ranger and I ran up to him. The park ranger told me how deep the river was, what kind of fish were in the river, if boats come up the river, and I asked him if he knew what the property was worth. As David Kim translated the answers to Father, he got a big smile on his face.
In the car, David Kim said, "Father and Mother have to go to the bathroom." I wondered, what kind of bathroom should I take him to? Should I take them to a hotel or what? I pulled into a Shell station and before the car stopped they jumped out. I was afraid of judgment if it was dirty. They came out smiling and I thought, gee, they must have been clean.
So then Farley Jones told me that Father wanted me to drive for them for three days. This was a whole new experience, being with him and taking care of him. When we got to New York, there was a one-family house with one bathroom. David Kim yelled out the window, "Sheftick, where are you? Father wants you!" I wondered what he wanted. Father was at a table and Lady Dr. Kim was sitting there and she had made him a meal. He was getting reports from various leaders. All the seats were taken. Lady Dr. Kim was pacing back and forth, the food was getting cold. He said, "Joseph, did you eat?" If I said yes, there was no place to eat. But if I said no, I wouldnít be telling the truth because I was hungry. I said I would never lie to him again, so I said no. I was amazed. He was really a father; he was interested if I had eaten. I learned how to eat with chopsticks. I copied whatever True Parents did; if they used chopsticks, then I did. If Father drank water, then I did.
Then Father said, "I am going to do a 7-City Tour, starting with New York. You find me the largest place you can find, you make the preparations." He wanted to speak at Madison Square Garden for three days in a row. I called them to make arrangements for that month. They said, youíre crazy you canít have it until next year. We tried Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. They finally had an auditorium for two days, then skip a day, and then we could have the 3rd day. Alice Tully Hall. So Father said yes. It was to be on February 1, 2, and 4. Father had several newspaper interviews and a TV interview with Al Capp. Father turned to him and said, "Do you mind if I sing a song?" And Al Capp said no, so then Father sang, Ari Rong. There were about 20 members in the studio. Around that time he planned the first science conference. It was planned for about 8-12 scientists. Once I appeared in front of Father in my bathrobe. I had been taking a shower and someone said that Father wanted to see me right away. My hair was wet, my face was half shaven and I was wearing a bathrobe. I said, "I have to go get dressed," but he said, "No, you have no time. Father wants to see you right now, you have to come right now." I knocked on the door and they said come in. Mrs. Choi, David Kim, Mr. Ishi and Young Whi Kim were there. Everyone got upset but Father and Mother. Father said to me, "Sit down." I was dripping wet and naked underneath my robe. He didnít say a word but he liked that I was obedient; he was happy to see that response. He asked for me to come and I came. That made history!
We went to Lincoln Center to sign the agreement. They could see me through a glass door. I gave them the money, and thought nothing of it. We had 77 people staying in a one-family home. We were sleeping in the hall, the bathroom, packed together. The members would invite people and they had to pay $12 or $20 to attend. For people to pay that much to hear a complete stranger who didnít speak English was difficult. We went out every day. Father was so concerned. He bought candy for us, and wanted to take the burden off everyone. He woke me up early one morning and wanted to go see the members. He was so concerned. He wondered who would emcee for him for the speech, so I volunteered to do it. I introduced him. About two hundred people came. I sat on the stage with him. Farley Jones was there too. The members were dismayed because it rained and so few people showed up.
I prayed to God, why couldnít you make sunshine? New Yorkers wonít come out in the rain. It cost about $40,000, and some complained that we spent all that money to do the speech.
"How much would God spend to have one son come back who was abducted by Satan?" Father said, "You donít put money value on it. You could spend $1 million to save a son." As we left New York to go to Philadelphia, he looked over his shoulder and said, "Satan, I am coming back."
Then I heard that the sister whom we had witnessed to on the bus team had been raped and murdered. Father said she was an offering and would go to a good place in the spiritual world. Then Father gave me money for a victory party for the members. We had pizza and ice cream in every city. It became a tradition. Finally he said, "Havenít we had enough pizza and ice cream?" So then we got Kentucky Fried Chicken!
We formed two more bus teams and got two used city buses. We didnít know they werenít cross-country, touring buses. It was all we could afford then. We loaded everyone up. Father flew to D.C. One of the buses broke down by Fredericksburg, and so we got the original bus back.
True Parents preparing for the next rally in Kansas City, during the Seven City Tour, 1971
We went cross-country with only one stop in St. Louis. I called the center and said, "We are stopping at your house to take showers." We made a long line with brothers and sisters taking turns. We needed to get something to eat. We drove day and night; it took four days. Then we went through Arizona and the members got to eat at a diner as kind of a treat. Then we were going to Denver but there was a big snow storm. One person there made bag lunches for everyone. But we had to get to LA to meet Father, so we didnít go to the center and they were upset because they were stuck with all the sandwiches. But we finally got to LA. Father saw a brother and sister sitting on a stone wall talking to each other. Father said, "Why are they sitting so close together? A boy and a girl should not talk so close together."
He was worried about them. He was disappointed to see that.
The speech in New York City was the first public speech Father had ever given. This was the first time he had ever spoken to anyone besides church members. Mr. Ishi in San Francisco told me, "Do you know what you did? You assisted in the first public speech. He will never let you go." He also did newspaper and TV interviews at that time.
Another time, Father restricted me for two years. Someone said I wasnít doing well. Someone made a false report about me. One day my wife and I came to lunch with Father, and Father accused me of things. I was the head of the fish company in Norfolk, Virginia, but he wouldnít listen to me. I tried to give my report, but he wouldnít listen to an explanation. I knew the person lied, it wasnít true. I couldnít say anything. Father said, "I donít want an explanation." I knew the leader lied, but I couldnít accuse him because he was a higher leader. The tension was so great. I couldnít say anything. I couldnít lie to him. I said nothing. Then someone broke the silence.
Father said to me, "Get out. Youíre no longer the president of the fish company. Donít use the title doctor." He said a lot of things.
I thought, we had worked together for so many years, and you wonít listen to me? I thought we needed a mediator. We went to Rev. Kwak. He said, "If itís true, accept the indemnity. If it is not true, that person will have to pay for it." I was so disturbed and hurt that Father would not listen to my side of the story. He didnít ask me if it was true.
Rev. Kwak said that God is a God of justice. It will work out. I liked this person who had spoken against me, but I couldnít figure out why he did this. Every time we had a meeting, Father picked me out and chastised me. I wondered why he picked on me all the time. Then he made me Secretary General of FLF. I was reinstated. But I didnít go to see him after that.
I went to a lunch meeting once, and Father gave people advice. He asked me, "Why didnít you come to see me when I appointed you as Secretary General of FLF?" At that point I was so low, I felt like a dead person. I was nobody for two years. Father said, "I came to see you since you didnít come to see me. I have been testing you for two years. You did not get bitter, you did not complain. All your indemnity has been paid." I looked at the person translating, and he was the one who had accused me. I thanked them in my heart, because that person was the one who allowed me to pay off all that indemnity. I was 43 years old then, so the psychicís prophecy from so long ago came true.