Sa Gil-ja on the 1955 Ewha Sex Scandal

Sa Gil-ja (36 couple) on the 1955 Ewha Woman’s University Sex Scandal. She was one of the students involved.

Sa Gil-ja (also known as Gil Ja Sa Eu) was one of the very first three couples of the 36 couples. She was the wife of Eu Hyo-won who helped to write the 1957 Divine Principle. She gave this testimony on April 12, 1986.

“In 1955 Ewha [Woman’s] University and Yonsei University started heavy persecution. Because of this the Korean government, all established churches, and all educated people started to persecute the Unification Church. People even wanted the government to stop the movement, to wipe it out. At that time we could not reach any high-level or educated people, so Father sent us out to the countryside to educate these poor farmers’ children.

“We couldn’t say we were from the Unification Church because of our bad reputation, but we could teach them basic things, such as how to read and write Korean or Chinese or English. Through this they became connected to us and some of these young people eventually joined. They went to 7-day workshop, 21-day workshop, and 40-day workshop. Then they left their parents and their farms and became pioneers for the church.

“Of course, their parents were very angry with them because they needed their children to do the farm labor. The children more or less escaped from their families. As pioneers they were very poor, so sometimes they would try to go back to their parents and beg them for a little rice or some money, in order to be able to continue their mission on the front line. But often their parents wouldn’t give them anything.”

Naked dancers join the Unification Church by Sa Gil-ja

from her 1980 testimony, pages 26-30

The naked dancers were the group that Han Hak Ja’s mother, Hong Soon-ae, entered.

“Both the [Ewha Woman’s University] dormitory and the school tried very hard to stop us from going to [the Unification] church [in the spring of 1955]. One underclass student took a small wash basin, a towel and soap, and lied to the guard at the school gate that she was going to the public bath. She brought her wash basin all the way to the church. Among the three hundred fifty students in the dormitory, more than a hundred went and heard Divine Principle.
Finally the decisive day came. A teaching assistant sent by the Dean of Students came to the dormitory and said, “I want all of you who are going to the Unification Church to gather immediately!” When we had gathered she handed out a questionnaire with ten questions on it, The questions began:
1. Who witnessed to you?
2. Since when have you been going?
3. What is your impression?
4. Do you intend to continue going regardless of any punitive measures that the school might take?
There were more. Some students tore up the questionnaire and ran off. Others became so afraid that they began crying. Still others were simply wondering what to do. We knew that, just prior to that, five professors had been told to submit their resignations, and we had been expecting some measures to be taken against us students as well.
To the question about my impression, I simply answered, “I am happy and grateful.” I wrote, “I will continue to go regardless of the consequences,” and left.
The next day, fourteen of us were called to the office of the Dean of Students. The Dean told us, “The Unification Church is heresy, and they dance around in the nude. You mustn’t go there.”
We answered, “We haven’t even danced fully clothed, much less nude. If we wanted to dance, we would go to a dance hall. Why should we go to church to dance?”
But she said, “That’s not true. You don’t know, because you’re not in very deeply yet. If you keep going they will make you take off your clothes and dance.”
“We never experienced anything like this. In our country the freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution. People from many denominations and religions are students at this school. Why do you say that only students in the Unification Church cannot attend? This truth is the truth that will resolve Communism and bring about world peace. Dean, we would like for you to go there and point out to us what is wrong with it.”
Although we answered this way, the Dean maintained her position that we would have to choose between our school and our church. I should explain one thing here. At the time when people said we danced in the nude, I thought they were referring to the spiritual phenomena in our church whereby sometimes peoples’ bodies shook, or we would wave our hands in the air, or we would slap our thighs in time with the hymns. I found out later, however, that there had been a spiritual group in North Korea which really had danced in the nude.
They followed a spiritual woman whom they believed to be the new Lord. They believed that when this woman prayed over them they could escape from the bond of sin and receive perfect salvation and that like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they would return to the state where they did not have to feel ashamed of their nakedness. To express their gratitude and joy, they once danced in the nude as they sang hymns. They were arrested by the police, and whipped severely. They were finally released after paying a high fine.
This woman who was called the new Lord had been a fervent Christian. No matter how much she prayed, however, she couldn’t find the root of her sin. She kept praying, “Lord, tell me the root of sin.” Then she received these revelations,
“The root of sin is not a fruit but an illicit sexual relationship”
“I bore the cross because you committed murder. Repent for this.” “When I come again I will come in a physical body, like the first time, and I will come to Korea.”
The lord gave her such important revelations as these which had never been told before to the established churches. From this time she testified to many ministers, but they all called her a heretic and threw her out. Finally she began holding worship services in her home with people who would follow her.
Because she would testify to the revelations given to her by Jesus, they began to call her “the New Lord” and their group “The Holy Lord Church.” She was beaten severely by her husband, a non-Christian.
She was persecuted by the established churches, and tortured by the police. Although she led a life of suffering, she was never defeated but gave much spiritual hope and strength to the Korean Christians, who were suffering under the oppression of Japanese rule. This is the group that Mother’s mother, grandmother Hong, entered.
She led a life of faith under this woman and prepared to be received by Father. When the woman died, her last words to her children were that the Lord would come to a place where there would be much persecution, and that they would have to risk their lives to follow him.
Following the Ewha University incident, Father was taken into custody on July 4 [1955], and the whole world seemed to be ridiculing the Unification Church. During that period the family of this woman noticed an article in a newspaper concerning the doctrine of the Unification Church. The teachings concerning original sin, the crucifixion, and the coming of the Second Advent matched their own revelations.
They forced their way through the ridicule and criticism, and decided that the place where there is this much criticism must have the truth. The entire family joined, and continues to be active in our church today. All my questions concerning this group were resolved for the first time when I heard everything from the daughter of the woman who had been called “the New Lord.”
The university and the established churches thought that we danced in the nude, because they saw that some of the important points of the Divine Principle were similar to the teachings of the Holy Lord Church, and they thought that this church had come south and was now operating in Seoul. Once they believed that men and women were dancing in the nude, they could let their imaginations run wild. In this way people who knew little of our church were constantly misunderstanding and criticizing our church. More than anyone else, the ministers of the established churches took advantage of these rumors.”

Sa Gil-ja and Eu Hyo-won are the couple in the middle.

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