A Letter From Phillip Schanker
Dear (name omitted),
I appreciate your letter, and do understand your disappointment. It is precisely for this reason, the potential loss of trust of our membership, and the need for accountability from leadership, that I offered my resignation. It was also because of my own broken heart, feeling of betrayal and bitterness having been so close to this situation, and my failure to pierce through the deception and protect True Parents and our movement from this. I did not offer my resignation because I covered anything up or participated in any conspiracy. Let me tell you why I am still operating at the BFM, for now:
1. Hyung Jin Nim did not want to accept my resignation, and at first did not like that I offered it. I urged him to listen to the membership on the tour, and respond to their needs for cleansing and restoration of trust, and then decide.
2. As a result of the tour, the three people closest to In Jin Nim’s inner circle were asked to resign. This is for good reason. I have been told that my name did not come up publicly, and when it was mentioned in one-on-one conversations, the predominant perception of the membership was one of trust, and numerous people urged that I remain. In the meantime, the Emails I have received from membership have been about 20 to 1 to urge me not to resign, telling me not to abandon the community and the 2nd gen, saying that my departure would disappoint and demoralize our young people, etc. I say this not out of any pride, but to let you know what has been reported as the “perception” of the majority . If you and others feel differently, please be sure to convey this to Michael Balcomb, or to Hyung Jin Nim directly.
3. The BFM has been a bit separate from the LLM, and I neither traveled with In Jin Nim nor met with her more than once every 1 or 2 months. I certainly had no awareness of her personal life, which she kept very private. When Patricia Lorentzen brought her accusation to me back in December, 2009, I took it very seriously, confronted her husband as she asked me to, and reported upward as I promised her. Because she had no proof, and I learned that they had been separated for 9 years, and there was much fighting and accusation back and forth between them, I had to approach the situation objectively, which I explained to her. Also according to the Principle, I should not go above In Jin Nim without at least confronting her with the information, which I made sure of before reporting to True Mother or Hyung Jin Nim. I did this of course knowing that she might fire me for it.
Unfortunately, when In Jin Nim’s husband came to me, thanking me for being honest and trying to protect True Family and our movement, assuring me that this was a misunderstanding, that he trusted his wife, and that the wives of the men she works with easily became jealous and created false rumors, I believed him as her husband. When he told me that True Parents had already received a report about this, and described a meeting with In Jin Nim in detail, I believed that my responsibility was completed. I had no idea that Jin Sung would be covering for his wife, lying, etc. I failed to see through this, but I did not ignore or hide some obvious relationship, and I never acted to save my position or job. I wrote 3 letters to Patricia, and reported the results to her through her spiritual mother. In the meantime, I learned additional details that cast doubt on her story. When she asked me for legal information about Ben for her divorce, I was asked by HQ not to get in the middle of their legal battle. However, I should have communicated with her more clearly. I ultimately failed her, but not through any intentional cover-up.
I knew In Jin Nim’s marriage was on the rocks, and tried to advise and counsel both she and her husband. I was never given their trust. We knew we were working with the wounded, painful situation of a True Child, but believed she was trying to make a healthier church for our 2nd Generation. I appreciated her support for us to create a healthy matching process, train more than 100 advisors, improve the Blessing education for our children, etc. I chose to believe in Father’s daughter, and never dreamed that she would betray our membership’s trust as she did. Still, I am more than willing to step down if trust in me has been lost as well.
I reminded Mike Balcomb that some may wonder why I am sending out letters, but he reminded me that Hyung Jin Nim had asked us all to keep important programs moving forward, and continue working while HQ is being reorganized carefully, step-by-step. He told me to sign it, and reported the consensus that members had expressed to him about me. At least when I signed, I removed any title such as “Director,” and mentioned only the department. I am sorry if my signing the MEMO seems hypocritical to you.
Still, Hyung Jin Nim may ultimately ask me to step down, and even if I am asked to continue, I do not plan at this point to remain very long, only to support Mother, Hyung Jin Nim and our HQ for a smooth and clear transition.
I did not write this to justify myself, but to hopefully satisfy you that Hyung Jin Nim and Dr. Balcomb are considering very carefully who should be here and who should not, and are listening to the members. Once again, if you doubt me, or are dissatisfied with the process, make your perception and preference known to the decision-makers. I am not here for position or pay, and have demonstrated that in many situations in recent years. I am only here to help build a healthier community, and am not sure I can even do it anymore. It is hard for you to know the reality of how HQ operates, and what motivates the people here to sacrifice as they do. But I think if you knew the facts in detail, what I knew and what actions I took, you might not be so quick to conclude that any company would have fired me in a similar situation.
I hope this either helps you resolve your concern or encourages you to express it to the leadership above me. Again, thank you for your honest letter.