Because the oldest kids born from that highly publicized union are still teenagers, the church cannot yet say how many will keep the Moonie faith "The real test comes when they are in college and out on their own," Leal said.

Among the tested will be Christopher Barker, born in Manhattan to Moonie parents in 1983.

During the 1970s, his father, Garry, who had grown up in the Catholic Church and attended parochial school, joined the Moonies and started a coffeehouse, Aladdin's, on College Avenue in Oakland. They had great New York cheesecake and served it up with a dose of Unification Church theology.

Barker and Durst were part of "the Oakland family," which produced some of Moon's most zealous proselytizers and fund-raisers.

Recruits harvested from the streets of San Francisco or the University of California at Berkeley campus were whisked up to an isolated church compound in Mendocino County for days of "love-bombing" and alleged "brainwashing."

It was the height of the cult wars of the 1970s, a battle over religious liberty and personal freedom that would see its horrific crescendo in the South American jungle with the murder-suicide in 1978 of 914 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones.

Christopher Barker's mother, Renate, was approached by Moonie missionaries on the street in Munich in 1971, when she was 20 years old. Three days later, Renate joined the Unification Church. "My mother was very upset," Renate recalled. "She thought I'd been drugged or something. My parents tried to kidnap me, but I was very dedicated."

What attracted her to Moon?

"I was always very religious," she said. "I'd studied the Bible and Oriental philosophy, but I looked at people who went to church, and their lives didn't change. It didn't have an impact on their lives."

Renate came to the United States in 1973 with 70 other European missionaries. Their mission was simple--to save the world. "Rev. Moon felt America was so important to the whole world, we thought that if we saved America, we would save the world."

Moon matched Renate and Barker in 1979, but they communicated only through letters for the next three years. They were married in Moon's mass marriage ceremony of 1982. Today, they live in Hayward with their three children, Christopher, 17; Amalia, 15; and John, 11.

During a recent Sunday service, the family stood outside the Moonie church in San Leandro. Christopher was asked what it was like to be a "blessed child."

"My understanding is we were born without original sin, since they were matched by the True Father," he replied. "We are the culmination of all that work, and it's up to us to carry on what they want us to do."

Part of that legacy is no sex before marriage and agreeing to a union arranged by the Rev. Moon. His sister is saving herself for that day.

"You are waiting for that one person, and not wasting your love on other people," Amalia said. "We believe in total fidelity in your marriage, so you're not comparing them with other boyfriends you've had before."

Her older brother also has vowed to stay chaste until he marries. "Dating is kind of like practicing for divorce," he said. "When you're done with that person, and when problems come up, you dump them and go on to someone else."

Both teenagers attended the Unification Church's Principled Academy through the eighth grade, and are students at Bishop O'Dowd, a Catholic high school in Oakland.

"I haven't told anyone there that I'm a Unificationist, or a Moonie," Christopher said. "My friends can see I'm not a normal teenager who has girlfriends and everything."

Renate Barker said she and her husband have learned lessons from the child-rearing mistakes of early Moonie parents.

"In those days, the thought was that the children would just automatically turn out good, just by God talking to them or something. We thought we didn't really have to take care of them. It was naive."

Garry says only time will tell if the Unification Church is a forgotten cult, or a "religious movement with legs."

"All religions start out like this," he said. "The proof is going to be three, four, or five generations from now. When Rev. Moon dies, nobody knows what will happen. That will be the big test."


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