In part III I told of my personal experiences witnessing a “CAUSA” conference. It purported to be an “alternative to Marxism,” non-Unification Church event. However, it was obviously operated and controlled by Unification Church and nearly all speakers praised Rev. Moon and Unification Church. When its organizers discovered they had invited an “enemy,” they took steps to immediately isolate and deport me back to Detroit. Two years later, I had an unexpected encounter with Tim LaHaye on the subject.
It was February 7, 1986. I left Washington, D.C. for speaking engagements in Colorado Springs. I did not see Tim LaHaye again while in Washington. I was scheduled to speak in Monument, Colorado and thereafter for a Colorado Eagle Forum Friday-Saturday conference. From there I was taken to Denver for a busy and intense schedule that would span the next two weeks.
Monday, February 10th, I was taken by the Committee to Furrs Cafeteria. We obtained our food and had just seated. Suddenly we heard, “Paging Wanda Leonard. Paging Wanda Leonard.” We were fearful that there was an emergency with her husband and/or children. Wanda answered the page. She then summoned me. She said, “Tim LaHaye is on the phone. He said, “This is the Rev. Tim LaHaye calling from Washington, D.C. “ she said, “yes,.” He said, “I understand you had a certain woman named Constance Cumbey speak at your conference.” Wanda said “yes.” He then said, “I understand she quoted from a sleazy left wing magazine.” Wanda said, “well, Tim, Constance is here. I think you should speak with her yourself.”
“Fine, put her on,” said Tim LaHaye.
I told Wanda, “Wanda, I am not about to debate with Tim LaHaye on Furrs Cafeteria’s only phone, located by their cash register, at the height of their rush hour -- especially when my own lunch is getting cold. He’ll have to call me later."
After lunch I had a cordial meeting with the pastor of a large Presbyterian church in Colorado Springs. Then we hurried to Wanda Leonard’s house for the 3:30 telephone conference she had scheduled between Dr. LaHaye and myself.
The phone rang. Wanda answered it and then handed it to me. Tim LaHaye started by apologizing for not getting back to me in Washington, D.C. the week before. Then he abruptly said, “You said that I was part of the New Age Movement.” I was startled. “I said no such thing,” I replied.
He next said, “well, you quoted from a sleazy left wing magazine. He was obviously referring to Carolyn Weaver’s important article, "The Moonies and the Christian Right" that had recently appeared in Mother Jones Magazine.
I said, “well, Tim, was it true?” He repeated, “it’s a sleazy left wing magazine.” I said, “Tim, I don’t care if it was the Moscow Journal. Was it true? Did she make it all up?”
He did not answer. I then told him of the experience I had with the Unification Church group, CAUSA and the admission they had made to me combined with the clear pronouncements that Rev. Moon was “the Lord of the Second Advent.” He didn’t want to hear, but I finished the story. I then said, “Tim, there were clear biblical warnings about going to Egypt for help against Assyria.”
“I never went to Egypt,” said Tim LaHaye. “No, you went to Rev. Moon and Bo Hi Pak. That’s even worse." I told Tim LaHaye that in my opinion God did not need twenty five cents worth of Unification Church money to build his Kingdom.”
I was amazed at what Tim LaHaye said next. He said, “I never took any money from Bo Hi Pak or Unification Church.” “Oh?,” I replied.
He said, “the liberal controlled Washington Post refused to give ACTV [American Coalition for Traditional Values] any publicity. So I contacted Bo Hi Pak who arranged for a series of stories to appear in the Washington Times. I was writing to thank him for those stories."
I said, “Tim, would you seriously like that explanation presented to a jury?” He was silent. I note for the record that that the context of the letter was clearly financial. Moreover, it appeared to be priming the pump for more Unification Church contributions.
I said, “Tim, if you only knew how many people have contacted me about their churches being ruined because their ministers accepted invitations for Korean trips and came back changed.”
“I knew that was happening,” said Tim LaHaye. “That’s why I resigned from Coalition for Religious Freedom.” “Yes, but you didn’t resign from ACTV, you didn’t resign from Family Life Seminars,” I replied.
Tim then said that he had been involved in Coalition for Religious Freedom for religious liberty issues. I told him that it was my understanding that Rev. Moon’s prosecution had nothing to do with religious liberty issues whatsoever. It was a tax fraud case, pure and simple. Rev. Moon had produced some allegedly 15 year old affidavits to prove that he had been holding property in trust from Unification Church members. The IRS had done their standard watermark testing and discovered that the documents were very new ones.
Tim then said, “look, we’re both on the same side. You call it the New Age Movement. I call it secular humanism – it’s the same thing.”
I said, “well, Tim, I have an idea. Since we both agree that Unification Church is bad and we both agree they have been using your name unfairly to their advantage, why don’t you publicly denounce them? That way, they won’t be able to use your name to advantage anymore.”
Tim LaHaye literally snarled, “I’ll be the judge of that!” Then he slammed the telephone down without saying goodbye. I never spoke with him again.
A few weeks later, I was speaking in the Seattle area. Angie Schiermeyer, my West Coast coordinator answered a ringing telephone. On the other end was the Washington Concerned Women of America coordinator. She told Angie she had just returned from a CWA leadership conference, held, as I recall, in Houston. All fifty state coordinators were there. She said Beverly LaHaye instructed them that nobody should “give Constance Cumbey a platform.” When they questioned why, she reportedly said that I had called the LaHayes New Agers in my latest book (none of my books have ever mentioned the LaHayes) and I had attacked a dear friend of theirs (referring to Pat Robertson whom I had critiqued for among other things, promoting Jeremy Rifkin’s New Age agenda and telling his viewers that when the Bible said ‘every eye shall behold him,’ it mean ‘on television.’
I, Constance Cumbey, was the new enemy!
Per Angie, the coordinator said that until Beverly LaHaye had given her directive, they didn’t even know my second book was out – several of them had immediately thereafter rushed to local bookstores to buy it.
Encouragingly, however, over the years some courageously resisted Unification Church lures and pressures.
A Minnesota conservative activist James Racer was moved to write a pamphlet warning about the dangers of networking with Unification Church. He was urge to silence (as I so often was) by those who said he would damage the conservative cause by speaking. Here is what Racer so cogently presented:
"Many conservatives would rather not have this information made public, fearing that it will "damage the movement." I suggest that no one needs to fear the truth. If the conservative movement is based on fraud and deception, which it would be if this truth is stifled, then it deserves to be damaged.
"...Moon has, in the AFC, a tremendous vehicle to assist his political movement in the USA. Combining the thousands of black church leaders trained through various Moon-linked organizations with the new-found political power and savvy of the so-called New Right Christian activists, many who would be attracted to Christian Voice, would have a profound impact on America and the world.
"What Moon adds to this political formula which has been missing in almost all concentrated conservative organizing efforts is millions of dollars and hundreds of committed 'volunteers,' the true believers and followers of Moon... Regardless of what Dr. [Robert] Grant, Bob Wilson, Richard Ichord, Dr. Ralph Abernathy, Richard Viguerie, Gary Jarmin, Dan Peterson, or any of the other hundreds of officers and leaders involved in AFC believe, the documentation I received after my resignation provided to me that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon has a plan for America, and that his plan includes the American Freedom Coalition.”
Equally disturbing as Tim LaHaye’s apparent compromise was Jerry Falwell’s. Jerry Falwell would speak at the 1987 CAUSA program, 4 years after my own encounter as a keynote speaker for CAUSA. If he ever uttered a word against the New Age Movement, I never heard of it. Perhaps others did. Again the lure for him was obviously money. Moon had reportedly bailed his university out of a financial crisis.
What could have been persuasive voices against religious apostasy and the New Age Movement, including one of its more odious expressions in the form of Rev. Moon who claimed to be “the Lord of the Second Advent” had been either muted or silenced.
Next Week: Part V of this expanding series. Will include “the twelve” involved with Abraham (Abram) Vereide and Marian Johnson in the formative years of Fellowship Foundation. Included in the discussion will be Frank Laubach, Norman Grubb, and Glenn Clark of Camps Farthest Out.” Was it Christianity, or was it badly disguised theosophy? The influence of Frank Buchman and MRA (Moral Rearmament Movement).