By Joseph Sheftick
Dr. Joseph Sheftick, a practicing chiropractor, joined our church in the United States in 1968 at the age of 33. His early work for the movement included organizing a mobile witnessing team on a bus, which was likely the inspiration for True Father to initiate IOWC. Dr. Sheftick passed into the spirit world in 2012, one week before our True Father himself ascended. Two months after he joined our church, Dr. Sheftick wrote the following testimony for an issue of New Age Frontiers magazine, which was published in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Los Angeles, California
I have traveled a long and interesting journey to the Divine Principle. It was one that was not without joy and hope, nor without pain and suffering, frustration and loneliness.
It all started when I first read a book called Prophetess of the Potomac, the story of Jeanne Dixon. My attention was attracted to one of the chapters stating the possibilities of dangers and violence that could erupt during the “end of the world” and the coming of a new teacher, a Son of God. I became more and more involved with metaphysical studies as Catholicism did not command my obedience and devotion. There was something lacking—love, truth, something. I was obsessed with the desire to find myself, and in that pursuit I became selfish and self-centered. My life was a titanic struggle, both inner and outer. Within a few years my medical practice had dwindled, and my marriage was held together by the fear of separation rather than by the bonds of love. In August of 1966, I decided to move to California and start a new life.
While attending chiropractic college there, in order to meet the state’s requirement, I was introduced to the world of occult science by one of the graduating students. Again I thought to find the answers to my questions. Somehow I just could not become deeply involved; my heart and soul just would not go in to it. The search continued. Answers were given, but they did not quell the inner struggle; the battle raged on. The highest truth became my goal.
During a session with a numerologist, she mentioned that I would be in touch with the highest spiritual realms in April of 1968. It was also mentioned by the spirit world that the Light would shine on my soul, also in April, 1968, that it would make me aware of my mission in life. Well, during the month of April, I thought that nothing had transpired to substantiate that information. But later on, in June, I realized that it was in April that I had listened to a tape made by Gordon Ross in 1965, concerning the Divine Principle and Sun Myung Moon. I resolved that I would meet Sun Myung Moon, even if I had to go to Seoul.
My journey continued to Lansing, Michigan, where an incident occurred which I shall never forget. I had dinner at the home of a woman who was clairvoyant and clairaudient, and was given a book entitled Revelation for the New Age, by Anthony Brooke. [Editor’s note: Anthony Brooke was the Rajah of Sarawak (in East Malaysia) who supported various peace movements; he visited True Parents in Korea in the early 1960s.] I opened it and turned to a page with the picture of a man, and as I looked at the picture and name, Sun Myung Moon, I began to feel a presence close by and a radiance from the picture. I seemed to be engulfed. Tears rushed to my eyes and my heart cried out with recognition. The room was quiet and still; no one wanted to move. As the minister looked up, she said, “My gosh, Joseph, he is here in the room standing right behind you.”
I was still not fully cognizant of what all this meant, and I promised myself to find the truth. I would inquire of the spirit world and have them testify to the occurrence and meaning of Sun Myung Moon, and if that didn’t satisfy me, the I would go to Seoul, Korea, to meet him. As August 1968 approached I had the strong desire to return to California – why, I wasn’t sure.
Shortly after my arrival there, I wrote to Gordon Ross to ask for the address of the Los Angeles Center and whether Sun Myung Moon was planning to come to America. He answered my questions and directed me to Jon and Sandy Schuhart [early members of the church] in Los Angeles.
I called them immediately and was cordially invited to attend Sunday services, which I gladly accepted. I was warmly greeted by the Family, participated in their study group and shared breakfast with them. By the end of the week I had officially joined the Family. I knew in my heart that my long search had ended, that I was home in my Father’s warm embrace.