Sun Myung Moon with Hak Ja Han Moon during 1972 trip to Britain, before he was banned from visiting the country and 18 years before I heard of him

Since Reverend Moon’s death last month, I have learned that the “True Family” held even more secrets than I imagined.  Although I parted ways with the Unification Church many years ago, I am still intrigued by the Church's myths. Public figures are entitled to protect their secrets. But when they espouse the values of purity and eternal monogamy between couples, people can’t help but be curious to hear that these people don’t live by the values they require of others.  The Unification Church's explanation is that when Reverend Moon's family members don't follow the rules of their own theology, it is either because of God’s will or because the church membership has failed to support them adequately.

There are sites that specialize in exposing the secrets of the Unification Church, such as How Well do you Know Your Moon, and Frequently Asked Questions to Share, but—unless I speak to those involved—I'll leave the commentary to those who have. There was a recent (three hours long) question and answer session with Hyung Jin Moon, the new leader of the Church in which many of the allegations were discussed.

Reverend Hyung Jin Moon at the Hammerstein Ballroom in September

I learned about the secrecy of the Church early on.  In the week prior to joining the Unification Church, while studying their theology in the Principle Study Center in London, the identity of the organization was not revealed to me until after I decided to join.  When I went out raising funds for the church, I was asked never to mention the Unification Church and instead say I was raising money for “relief work.”  I didn't always follow this advice, and in one of my reckless moments, I went up to Janet Street Porter in Heathrow Airport and asked if she would like to give me some money for the Moonies.

“No, I would not,” was her disgusted reply.

When I started witnessing for the Unification Church, I was told never to mention the organization until necessary.  My first student of the theology, a towering young Scotsman, insisted on knowing who we were.  When I told him, he ripped the front pages out of our guest book and stormed away, copper hair flaring in the cold sunlight.

We all have secrets.  In writing my memoir, Holy Candy, I decided what to disclose simply by thinking about how it would feel to say something.  If it felt bad, I didn’t do it.  If it felt like relief, I went ahead.  Sharing a secret can make one feel more detached from it, as if it were part of a story that one no longer has to be a part of.

Picture of my wedding at Seoul Olympic Stadium

Making stories of our lives closes certain chapters, making space for the new.  The epic tale of Reverend Moon’s life—at least in the physical realm—has come to an end, but the tales that will be spun from his empire continue to evolve.  I look forward to learning what the next episode will be in the life of the Unification Church that he created.

Of Course... But Maybe

This week I participated in a Simply Healed healing session. And of course it is great to go into one’s past and resolve inner wounds.   But maybe it would be just as healing to go out and have a laugh with one’s friends.  Or would it?

Louis C.K. ended this Monday's gig at New York City Center with several “Of course… but maybe” ideas.  For example: Of course the Make a Wish foundation is great.  But maybe we shouldn’t waste memories on a kid who will die in a week.  Take a kid who will have a long and sh@#ty life and let him go to see the Yankees with Lady Gaga.

Although I laughed along with Louis C.K.’s jokes about being old, out of shape and pissed off by other people, I left with a slightly hollow feeling.  Having my Simply Healed session, however, made me feel a bit like nyan cat, flying in the sky leaving a rainbow trail.

“It’s a fusion of different types of energy healing,” Jen explained over the phone.  “This involves your chakras, your aura and your meridians, among other energy centers.  It releases energy blocks, allowing positive energy to take their place. My higher self is communicating with your higher self.”

I have been to spiritualists, psychics, psychologists, psychiatrists, channelers, kinesiologists, a hypnotist and now an energy healer. As much as I love what they do, I can’t help but see the ridiculous side of it.  Healers have told me to wear crystals (I couldn’t be bothered), bury a test tube of my blood outside the White House (which I did with a group of Unification Church members) and drink my husband’s urine (I drank my own as a compromise).  After a lifetime of healing, I’m still working at it.

Jen started by giving her impression of me: “When I look at you, I see a mop,” she said.  “Claim your energy field as your own.”

“Think of nature and belonging and centeredness,” she continued. “You are using buckshot instead of a rifle.  Your heart can beat in time with the rest of humanity.  It doesn’t have to beat 110 times faster than everything else.”

Looking at my chakras, Jen noted my powerful spiritual chakra.  “It’s like a big, purple umbrella,” she said.  Then Jen went through my stages of life, from birth on. "Remembering” being born was the high point.  “It was a magical feeling,” she said.  “I feel like I was really happy to be born,” I said. 

As Jen went through my life stages, I watched the progression from unfortunate to traumatic and enjoyed her frequent reminders to “Let it go,” or “Make peace with that.” 

Jen is a dedicated practitioner of her craft.  She lost track of time and I had to encourage her to conclude.

“Come back into yourself,” she said.  “Embrace yourself and embrace others.  Let it come to you.   Be rather than do.  Summon up the positive.”

Of course having a laugh is good.  But maybe being happy first makes the laughter even sweeter.

For more information, visit or email Jen directly at