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Why I Joined Profile

Why I Joined

English, Religion, 2 seasons, 21 episodes, 20 hours, 35 minutes
You may know us as the Unification Church or the Moonies (a derogatory term, by the way). These are the firsthand stories of how our members joined this new religious movement and why they stayed.
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Shinghi Detlefsen: Death Is the Greatest Teacher

Today we’re joined by Shinghi Detlefsen. Born in Berkeley, California, Shinghi is the youngest son of George and Pat Detlefsen, who were Blessed in marriage at Madison Square Garden in 1982. He was raised in a Unificationist household, and like most second-generation Unificationists, he had to discover the value of that. Shinghi’s journey of spiritual discovery started when his father died in 2005 from Parkinson’s disease. Shinghi was just 15. His father’s death sent him on a path to discover his faith, his principles, and his purpose. After seven years of corporate life at Google and Amazon, Shinghi now works alongside his wife running Wholesome Story, a leading fertility and women's wellness supplement company. He has four wonderful children who are the greatest teachers in his life.
2/19/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 43 seconds
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Peggy Yujiri: No One Can Make Me Do Anything

Today we’re joined by Peggy Yujiri. Peggy grew up in a small college town near Philadelphia. She spent her junior year of college in Munich, Germany, and decided to finish her studies there. While there, she met and joined the Unification movement in 1974 after receiving a revelation from God.  Peggy returned to the U.S. in 1977 and Blessed in marriage to her husband from Japan in 1982. They then moved to Colorado, where their three children were born. They all inherited the tradition of receiving the Marriage Blessing. Peggy has served in various leadership positions in the Unification movement. She also returned to school to complete a degree in accounting and earned a CPA license in 2015. She and her husband continue to find ways to serve the greater community and their local church.
1/22/202457 minutes, 27 seconds
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Sandra Lowen: I Was Looking for the Messiah

Today we’re joined by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Scott Lowen. Dr. Lowen is a licensed clinical therapist with more than thirty years of experience and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing. She is an ordained minister and author of several novels, articles, poems, and musical compositions. Dr. Lowen became affiliated with the Family Federation through what was known as the Unified Family in November of 1966, moved by the Divine Principle. Just one year later, she was inspiring others with its teachings and became one of the earliest African-American members in the U.S. In 1972, she performed her original music with a choir on the initial Day of Hope tour.  Dr. Lowen attended the Marriage Blessing in 1975 and continued with the performing arts for several more years. She worked with Common Suffering, an organization set up by Mrs. Moon to bring awareness of religious persecution. She then returned to New York in 1985 as a lecturer of Apartheid and Economics. The Lowens have maintained a private therapy practice since 1992, specializing in couples, family, and group therapy, and have conducted marriage and other seminars throughout the United States. They have one adult son and two grandsons.
1/13/20241 hour, 10 minutes, 35 seconds
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Roland Platt: I Would Have Died Young

Today we’re joined by Roland Platt. Roland was born in Jersey, the British Channel Islands. After embarking on a spiritual journey at age 17 and traveling the world for five years in search of the truth, he met the Unification movement in December 1992 in San Francisco.  He had studied multiple religions and spiritual practices but knew instantly that this was what he had been seeking. His life took on a whole new meaning as he applied Divine Principle to his life and later received the Marriage Blessing, the main sacrament of the Unification Church. Roland found his true calling as the leader of a Unificationist youth missionary program, to which he has dedicated himself for over 20 years.  His passions are travel, being in the great outdoors, and impacting the next generation of Unificationists. His wife Dyzhit and he have four children and live in New York’s Hudson Valley.
1/9/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 51 seconds
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Adonia Hentrich: I Almost Walked Away

Today we’re joined by Adonia Hentrich. Adonia is a wife, mom to four kids, co-pastor of the Colorado Family Church, and founder of Heartland Academy Denver. She spent her early life in rural Missouri, learning about God by observing the world of nature. She dove deeper into her world of faith while attending a missionary gap year program, asking lots of hard questions, and even finding a few answers.  After marrying and having three of their children, Adonia and her husband decided to accept the call to pastor the Colorado Family Church. To an outside observer, this would perhaps look like a natural progression of life and faith, but this decision came on the heels of a very tumultuous time. Adonia was on the verge of giving up on this faith and leaving it all behind. The decision to stay and invest wholeheartedly has made all the difference for Adonia, her family, and her community.
12/31/202358 minutes, 19 seconds
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Bento Leal: Getting Kidnapped Strengthened My Faith

Today we’re joined by Bento Leal, a relationship skills trainer and author. Bento’s book, 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication in Love, Life, Work—Anywhere! is an Amazon bestseller in several categories and has sold more than 140,000 copies. He has taught communication skills to hundreds of couples and singles over the past 18 years in churches, family resource centers, county jails, and federal prisons. After being raised in a Catholic family, and then becoming agnostic during college, he was introduced to the Unification Church in Oakland, CA by a childhood friend. What he heard in the Divine Principle changed his life. He found an explanation of God and God’s Will that finally made sense. Since joining the Unification Church in 1973, Bento has had many church missions, including attending the Unification Theological Seminary and being state director in several states. He and his wife remain very active in their local church today.
12/25/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 59 seconds
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Maarten Meijer: Humbling My Intellectual Mind

Today we’re joined by Maarten Meijer. Maarten was born in the Netherlands. He was drawn to the spirituality of Albert Schweitzer and Leo Tolstoy at a young age. After an unprompted brush with Jesus around sixteen, he bounced from Zen Buddhism to the existentialism of Hesse, Nietzsche, and Camus. He hitchhiked around Europe searching for truth. After two years of disappointing biology study, he dropped out of university. Maarten then sailed a yacht across the Atlantic Ocean to America, where he joined the Unification Church in 1980. He was shocked by the power of the Divine Principle. He was state leader for the Unification Church in Oregon and Montana, and later church leader in Moscow, Russia. Maarten graduated from the Unification Theological Seminary in 1991. A move to Korea followed and Maarten has taught at Cheongshim International Academy for almost two decades. He has authored several books, among which What’s So Good About Korea, Maarten? which became popular amongst expatriates in South Korea. Maarten was blessed in marriage to his wife, Myra, in 1982. They have four children.
12/18/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ten-Seng Guh: A Flood of Love and Pain

Today we’re joined by Ten-Seng Guh, a second-generation Unificationist. Ten-Seng was born in Taiwan and emigrated to the U.S. with his family at the age of three, first living in the Bay Area, California, and later on in Queens, New York. He attended Binghamton University as an undergrad where he co-founded in 2005 a chapter of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles, a campus ministry of Family Federation. Their campus chapter focused on community service and promoting intercultural and interreligious harmony.  After graduating in 2006, he did missionary work for seven months, fundraising along the northeast coast of the U.S. He later received a Master of Science in Computer Science from Columbia University and has spent 17 years working with embedded software. He is currently a software engineering manager and resides in San Diego, California with his wife Lan-Kyoung, and their two children.
12/11/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 6 seconds
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Kaori Becker: Live What You Want to Be

Today we’re joined by Kaori Becker. Kaori has owned and operated two successful food businesses, and authored two books, Mochi Magic and Let Your Passion Pay the Bills. She co-owns The Mochi Shop in Columbus, Ohio, which sells mochi donuts, while her mom runs Kaori's first business in California, a cooking class called Kaori's Kitchen. Kaori is passionate about empowering others to start their own life-changing businesses that improve the world. Though Kaori struggled to understand the church she grew up in, the proof is in what her upbringing has produced for her life. Being taught and nurtured in the values of good character at a Unification Church school, loved and encouraged by aunties and uncles in her community, and the investment of older brothers and sisters at workshops and camps has shaped Kaori into who she is today. She wants to encourage those same values of responsibility, having a good character, purity, and love of family in her own two children.
12/4/202347 minutes, 5 seconds
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Larry Moffitt: Excuse My Religion

Today we’re joined by Larry Moffitt, Secretary General for North America of the Universal Peace Federation and Executive Director for The Washington Times Foundation. All his life, God has been knocking gently on Larry’s door. Somehow, he always knew there was a God who had a personality, ideas, and opinions. Starting in high school, he set out to find Him, or Her. He was open to God being female long before it was cool. During his first two years in high school, he began a nightly prayer: “God if you ever need me to do anything, please just ask and I’ll do it. Amen.” Nine years later, God did just that. In the Unification Church, he has had an eclectic career, from singing in a rock band called Sunburst to emceeing for every church holiday for five years. When Larry founded The News World team in 1976, it marked a fork in the road away from academia and theology and onto the path of communication and media that has marked his contribution to the Unification movement ever since. Larry attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a bachelor’s degree in radio, television, and film, with minors in journalism and photojournalism. He has a master’s degree in communication, obtained on a fellowship grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Larry has lived happily ever after with his wife Taeko and five children. His memoir Searching for San Viejo: Notes to My Younger Self is available on Amazon.
11/27/202353 minutes, 18 seconds