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Sun Myung Moon
Hangul 문선명
Revised Romanization Mun Seon-myeong
McCune–Reischauer Mun Sŏnmyŏng

Sun Myung Moon (born January 6, 1920) is the Korean founder and leader of the worldwide Unification Church. He is also the founder of many other organizations and projects involved in political, cultural, artistic, mass-media, educational, public service, and other activities. One of the best-known of these is the conservative Washington Times newspaper.[1] He is famous for holding blessing ceremonies, often referred to as "mass weddings".

Moon has said, and it is believed by many Unification Church members, that he is the Messiah and the Second Coming of Christ and is fulfilling Jesus' unfinished mission.[2][3] He has been among the most controversial modern religious leaders, both for his religious beliefs and for his social and political activism.[4]


Early biography

He was born in 1920 in northern Korea and named Yong Myung Moon (later changed to Sun Myung Moon). His birthday was recorded as January 6 by the lunar calendar (February 25, 1920 according to the Gregorian Calendar). [1]


Life in Korea

Moon was born in Sangsa-ri (上思里, lit. "high-thought village"), Deogun-myon, Jeongju-gun, North P'yŏng'an Province[5] (now in North Korea; Korea was then under Japanese rule). His father, Kyung-yoo Moon, was a scholar, while his mother, Kyung-gye Kim, was an active woman. They had six sons and seven daughters, of which Sun Myung Moon was the second son. When he was a child, Moon was heavily affected by his elder brother Yong-Su Moon's deep faith. The family went into bankruptcy when the elder brother of Sun Myung's grandfather, Rev. Yunguk Moon, gave most of the money belonging to the family to an independence movement from Japan. [6] In 2009, the Yonhap News Agency reported that Moon had plans to establish a sacred sanctuary at his birthplace.[7]

In the Moon family, there was a tradition in the form of a superstitous belief that held that if the second son was to receive a Western-style education, he would die early. As a result of this, Sun Myung received a Confucian-style education when he was a child and did not receive his first Western-style education until he was 14 years old.[8] The Moon family held traditional Confucianist beliefs, but converted to Christianity and joined the Presbyterian Church when he was around 10 years old. Moon taught Sunday school for the church.[9] On April 17, 1935, when he was 16 (in Korean age reckoning), Moon says he had a vision or revelation of Jesus while praying atop a small mountain. He says that Jesus asked him to complete the unfinished task of establishing God's kingdom on Earth and bring peace to the world. When he was 19 (in Korean age reckoning), Moon criticized Japanese rule over Korea and Japanese education at the graduation ceremony speech, which made himself a focus of police.[10]

Moon's high school years were spent at a boys' boarding school in Seoul, and later in Japan, where he studied electrical engineering. During this time he studied the Bible and developed his own interpretation of it. After the end of World War II he returned to Korea and began preaching his message.[9]

Moon was arrested in 1946 by North Korean officials. The church states that the charges stemmed from the jealousy and resentment of other church pastors after parishioners stopped tithing to their old churches upon joining Moon's congregation. Police beat him and nearly killed him, but a teenage disciple named Won Pil Kim nursed him back to health.

Moon was arrested again and was given a five-year sentence in 1948 to the Hŭngnam labor camp, where prisoners were routinely worked to death on short rations. Moon credits his survival to God's protection over his life and his habit of saving half his meager water ration for washing the toxic chemicals off of his skin after long days of work, bagging and loading chemical fertilizer with his bare hands. After serving 34 months of his sentence, he was released in 1950 when UN troops advanced on the camp and the guards fled.

The beginnings of the church's official teachings, the Divine Principle, first saw written form as Wolli Wonbon in 1946. (The second, expanded version, Wolli Hesol, or Explanation of the Divine Principle, was not published until 1957; for a more complete account, see Divine Principle.) Sun Myung Moon preached in northern Korea after the end of World War II and was imprisoned by the regime in North Korea in 1946. He was released from prison, along with many other North Koreans, with the advance of American and United Nations forces during the Korean War and built his first church from mud and cardboard boxes as a refugee in Pusan.[11]

In 1954, he founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Seoul (also known as the Unification Church).[12] The Unification Church expanded rapidly in South Korea and by the end of 1955 had 30 church centers throughout the nation. In 1958, Moon sent missionaries to Japan, and in 1959, to the United States of America. In 1975, Moon sent out missionaries to 120 countries around the world.[11]

Marriages and children

In November 1943, Moon married Sun Kil Choi. Their son, Sung Jin Moon, was born in 1946. They divorced in 1953 soon after Moon's release from prison in North Korea. Choi and Sung Jin Moon are now both members of the Unification Church.[13] Sung Jin Moon married in 1973 and now has three children.[14]

Moon was still legally married to Choi when he began a relationship with his second (common law) wife Myung Hee Kim, who gave birth to a son named Hee Jin Moon (who was killed in a train accident). The church does not regard this as infidelity, because Sun Kil Choi had already left her husband by that time. Korean divorce law in the 1950s made legal divorce difficult and drawn out, so much so that when Myung Hee Kim became pregnant she was sent to Japan to avoid legal complications for Moon.[15]

Moon married his third wife, Hak Ja Han,[16] on April 11, 1960, soon after she turned 17 years old, in a ceremony called the Holy Marriage. Han, called Mother or True Mother by followers, and her husband together are referred to as the True Parents by members of the Unification Church.

Hak Ja Han gave birth to 14 children; her second daughter died in infancy. The family is known in the church as the True Family and the children as the True Children. Shortly after their marriage, they presided over a Blessing Ceremony for 36 couples, the first of many such ceremonies.

Nansook Hong, the former wife of Hyo Jin Moon, Sun Myung Moon's eldest son, said in her 1998 book In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family that both Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han told her about Moon's extramarital affairs (which she said he called "providential affairs"), including one that resulted in the birth of a boy raised by a church leader, named by Sun Myung Moon's daughter Un Jin Moon on the news show 60 Minutes.[17]

Name and titles

Korean name
Hangul 문용명
Hanja 文龍明
Revised Romanization Mun Yong-myeong
McCune–Reischauer Mun Yongmyŏng

In 1953, Moon changed his name from Mun Yong Myong to Mun Son-myong (which he spelled "Moon Sun Myung"). In a speech Moon explained that the hanja for moon (문, 文), his surname, means "word" or "literature" in Korean. The character sun (선, 鮮), composed of "fish" and "lamb" (symbols of Christianity), means "fresh." The character myung (명, 明), composed of "sun" and "moon", (which was part of his given name), means "bright." Together, sun-myung means "make clear." So the full name can be taken to mean "the word made clear." Moon concluded by saying, "My name is prophetic." [18]

In the English-speaking world, Moon is often referred to as Reverend Moon by Unification Church members, the general public, and the media. Unification Church members most often call Moon Father or True Father. He is also sometimes called Father Moon, mostly by some non-members involved with Unificationist projects. Similar titles are used for his wife: Mother, True Mother, or Mother Moon. Dr. Moon has also occasionally been used because Moon received an honorary doctorate from the Shaw Divinity School of Shaw University.

Basic teachings

Moon's main teachings are contained in the book Divine Principle (retranslated in 1996 as Discourse on Divine Principle[19]).


Move to the U.S.

In 1971 Moon moved to the United States, which he had first visited in 1965. He remained a citizen of the Republic of Korea and maintained a residence in South Korea.[20]

Support for Nixon

In 1974 Moon supported President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.[3] Church members prayed and fasted in support of Nixon for three days in front of the United States Capitol, under the motto: "Forgive, Love and Unite." On February 1, 1974 Nixon publicly thanked them for their support and officially received Moon. This brought Moon and the Unification Church into widespread public and media attention in the United States.[21]

Public speeches

In the 1970s Moon, who had seldom spoken to the general public before, gave a series of public speeches to audiences in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. The largest were a rally in 1975 against North Korean aggression in Seoul and a speech at an event organized by the Unification Church in Washington D.C. that also featured fireworks and music. The United States Park Police estimated an attendance of 50,000 at this event.[13][22]

United States congressional investigation

In 1977 and 1978, a subcommittee of the United States Congress led by Congressman Donald M. Fraser conducted an investigation of South Korea – United States relations and produced a report that included 81 pages about Moon and what the subcommittee termed "the Moon Organization."[23] The Fraser committee found that the KCIA decided to use the Unification Church as a political tool within the United States and that some Unification Church members worked as volunteers in Congressional offices. Together they founded the Korean Cultural Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization which acted as a propaganda campaign for the Republic of Korea.[24] The committee also investigated possible KCIA influence on the Unification Church's campaign in support of Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.[25] Robert Boettcher, the staff director of the committee, in his book Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsun Park, and the Korean Scandal (published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980) reported what he described as financial corruption.[26]


Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han

U.S. tax case

In 1982 Moon was convicted by the U.S. government for filing false federal income tax returns and conspiracy. His conviction was upheld on appeal in a split decision. He was given a prison sentence and spent 18 months in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. Many individuals, organizations and religious figures protested the charges, saying that they were unjust and threatened freedom of religion and free speech. Based on this case, reporter Carlton Sherwood wrote the book Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

Support for Ronald Reagan

In 1980 Moon indirectly supported the campaign of Ronald Reagan for President. He asked the church-owned New York newspaper News World to print a headline saying "Reagan Landslide" on the day of the election, before the outcome was known.[27]

Death and "return" of second son

The second son of Hak Ja Han and Moon, Heung-Jin Moon, died on January 2, 1984, from injuries suffered in a car crash in December 1983. The "return of Heung Jin Moon" allegedly occurred via Heung Jin Moon's embodiment in the body of Cleopas Kundioni,[28] a Zimbabwean member of the Unification Church.

Kundioni's name was not known to most church members at the time, but he met with Sun Myung Moon and members of the True Family, who apparently accepted the "Black Heung Jin Nim" (also known as "Second Self Heung Jin Nim")[29] as a temporary union of the spirit of Heung Jin Moon with the mind and body of Kundioni,[30][31][32]

"Sun Myung Moon authorized the Black Heung Jin to travel the world, preaching and hearing the confessions of Unification Church members who had gone astray."[32]

Longtime president of the Korean Unification Church Young Whi Kim wrote: "They all refer to Heung Jin Nim as the new Christ. They also call him the Youth-King of Heaven. He is the King of Heaven in the spirit world. Jesus is working with him and always accompanies him. Jesus himself says that Heung Jin Nim is the new Christ. He is the center of the spirit world now. This means he is in a higher position than Jesus."[33]

Nansook Hong, former daughter-in-law of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, and author of In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family, summarizes the Black Heung Jin Nim episode:

In 1987 the Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak went to investigate reports that Heung Jin had taken over the body of a Zimbabwean man and was speaking through him.... The Zimbabwean...could not be the reincarnated son of Sun Myung Moon. In addition, the Unification Church rejects the theory of reincarnation. Instead, the African presented himself to the Reverend Kwak as the physical embodiment of Heung Jin's spirit.... Without even meeting the man who claimed to be possessed by the spirit of his dead child, Sun Myung Moon authorized the Black Heung Jin to travel the world, preaching and hearing the confessions of Unification Church members who had gone astray.

He went to Europe, to Korea, to Japan, everywhere administering beatings to those who had violated church teachings by using alcohol and drugs or engaging in premarital or extramarital sex.... No one outside the True Family was immune from the beatings.... The Black Heung Jin was a passing phenomenon in the Unification Church. Soon the mistresses he acquired were so numerous and the beatings he administered so severe that members began to complain.... He beat Bo Hi Pak - a man in his sixties - so badly that he was hospitalized for a week in Georgetown Hospital.[34]

Several views of the phenomenon have emerged. Members generally believed that the channeling was legitimate at first, pointing to the endorsement by Rev. Moon. Some critics do not believe there ever was genuine channeling.[35]

Some fault Rev. Moon for knowingly letting the violence continue over an extended period. Hong writes:

Sun Myung Moon seemed to take pleasure in the reports that filtered back to East Garden of the beatings being administered by the Black Heung Jin. He would laugh raucously if someone out of favor had been dealt an especially hard blow. No one outside the True Family was immune from the beatings. Leaders around the world tried to use their influence to be exempted from the Black Heung Jin's confessional. My own father appealed in vain to the Reverend Kwak to avoid having to attend such a session.[35]

Founding The Washington Times

In Washington, Moon found common ground with strongly anti-Communist leaders of the 1980s, including Reagan. Using Unification Church funds in 1982, Moon, Bo Hi Pak, and other church leaders founded The Washington Times. By 1991, Moon said he spent about $1 billion on the paper[36] (by 2002 roughly $1.7 billion),[37] which he called "the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world".[38]

Opposition to the Soviet Union

In 1976, Moon told church members that one day he would organize "a great rally for God in the Soviet Capital." In 1980 Moon founded the anti-communist organization CAUSA International. In August 1985 the Professors World Peace Academy, an organization founded by Moon, sponsored a conference in Geneva to debate the theme "The situation in the world after the fall of the communist empire." Moon suggested the topic. In August 1987 the Unification Church student association CARP led a reported 300 demonstrators in Berlin calling for communist leaders to bring down the Berlin Wall.[13][39]


Visit to the Soviet Union

In April 1990 Moon visited the Soviet Union and met with President Mikhail Gorbachev. Moon expressed support for the political and economic transformations under way in the Soviet Union. At the same time the Unification Church was expanding into formerly communist nations.[40] Massimo Introvigne, who has studied the Unification Church and other new religious movements, has said that after the disestablishment of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moon has made anti-communism much less of a priority.[13]

Relationship with George H. W. Bush

In the mid-1990s, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush accepted millions of dollars from Moon's Women’s Federation for World Peace to speak on Moon's behalf around the world, a fact[11] that Moon and the Unification Church have widely publicised, particularly in efforts to improve the image of the Unification Church outside the US. While discussing one of Bush's trips (a 1995 tour of Japan), Bo Hi Pak said:

"Then George and Barbara Bush went to Fukuoka, the capital of Kyushu. The people of Kyushu were flabbergasted at Father and Mother's power to tell a U.S. president what to do and plan his schedule. Incredible. This completely changed the attitude of the Japanese government and media toward the Unification community."[41]

Daughter-in-law's book questions role as "True Parent"

When the Moons' eldest son Hyo Jin Moon was 19 years old, Sun Myung Moon picked a 15-year-old wife for him, Nansook Hong, with whom he had five children.[42] In 1998 Hong published a book about her experiences in the Moon family, In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family (ISBN 0-316-34816-3), which the New Yorker Magazine called Moon's "most damaging scandal".[2] The "tell-all memoir"[2] openly challenges Moon and his wife's role in church teachings as "True Parents". According to Hong, and later confirmed by his public confessions and his own statements in a court deposition on November 15, 1996,[43] Hyo Jin Moon had repeated problems with substance abuse, pornography, infidelity, violence and run-ins with the law. A few years later, Hong left the Moon estate with her children, subsequently publishing the book and appearing in several interviews, including 60 Minutes.[44] She told TIME Magazine: "Rev. Moon has been proclaiming that he has established his ideal family, and fulfilled his mission, and when I pinpointed that his family is just as dysfunctional as any other family - or more than most - then I think his theology falls apart."[45] For some Unification Church members, this book was a revealing portrait of the way Sun Myung Moon and his wife had raised their children, and caused a great deal of soul-searching.[46]

Son's death

On October 27, 1999 the Moons' sixth son, Young Jin, fell to his death from the 17th floor of a Reno, Nevada hotel. Police reports and the coroner officially recorded the death as a suicide. Moon has said that he does not believe it was suicide.[47][48]


In 2000 Moon joined Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in sponsoring the Million Family March in Washington D.C., a follow-up event to the Million Man March held in 1995.[49]

In January 2001 Moon sponsored President George W. Bush's Inaugural Prayer Luncheon for Unity and Renewal.[50]

In 2001 Moon presided over the wedding of now-excommunicated Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and Maria Sung, a Korean acupuncturist. This attracted worldwide media attention. Milingo later founded the controversial organization Married Priests Now.[51][52]

In 2003 Moon sponsored the first Peace Cup international club football tournament.[53][54][55]

Schengen ban

Between 2002 and 2006, Moon and his wife were banned from entry into Germany and the other 14 Schengen treaty countries. The Netherlands and a few other Schengen states let Moon and his wife enter their countries in 2005.[56]


In 2004, at a March 23 ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington D.C. Moon crowned himself with what was called the "Crown of Peace." [57] United States Representative Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) carried a pillow holding the ornate crown which Moon "snatched up".[58] Other law makers who attended included Senator Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) , as well as former Representative Walter Fauntroy (D-D.C.) . Key organizers of the event included George Augustus Stallings, Jr., a controversial former Roman Catholic priest who had been married by Moon, and Michael Jenkins, the president of the American Unification Church at that time.[57]

Moon delivered a long speech in which he stated that he was

sent to Earth . . . to save the world's six billion people.... Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.[57]

On June 27, 2004 the New York Times editorial board criticized the ceremony and the participation of congressional members.[58] The Associated Press reported that "Many of the congressional members in attendance have said they felt misled into making an appearance that later was used to promote Moon's Unification Church."[59] Some stated that they didn't expect a coronation but thought the awards dinner was only to honor activists from their home states as Ambassadors for Peace.[60]

120-city world speaking tour

On September 12, 2005, at the age of 85, Moon inaugurated the Universal Peace Federation with a 120-city world speaking tour.[61] At each city, Moon delivered his speech titled "God's Ideal Family - the Model for World Peace".


In April 2008, Moon appointed his youngest son Hyung Jin Moon to be the new leader of the Unification Church and the worldwide Unification Movement, saying, "I hope everyone helps him so that he may fulfill his duty as the successor of the True Parents."[62]

Helicopter crash

On July 19, 2008, Moon, his wife, and 14 others were slightly injured when their Sikorsky S-92 helicopter crashed during an emergency landing and burst into flames in Gapyeong.[63][64] Moon and all 15 others were treated at the nearby church-affiliated Cheongshim Hospital.[65] Experts from the United States National Transportation Safety Board, the United States Federal Aviation Administration, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, and General Electric assisted the South Korean government in its investigation of the crash.[66][67]


In 2009, Moon's autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen (Korean: 평화를 사랑하는 세계인으로)[68], was published by Gimm-Young Publishers in South Korea. An English translation was expected to be published in the United States later that year.[69][70]

Criticism and controversies

Moon is known as the "True Father," his wife as the "True Mother," (together as the "True Parents"), and their children as the "True Children" (collectively as the "True Family").[71] In her 1998 book In the Shadow of the Moons, Nansook Hong, ex-wife of Sun Myung Moon's eldest son Hyo Jin Moon, (who lived with the Moon family for 15 years) says the leader and his family live a "lavish" lifestyle and that Sun Myung Moon is treated like a god.

Journalist Peter Maass, in an article in The New Yorker, wrote:

A little before dawn one day last April, a chauffeur-driven Mercedes sedan entered the grounds of an estate in Tarrytown, New York, and stopped in front of a brick carriage house that had been converted into a meeting room. An elderly passenger in a business suit got out of the car and, with his wife a few steps behind him, walked inside, where some hundred and fifty people were singing hymns. The singing stopped when the couple entered and made their way through the room. The worshippers shuffled aside, bowing their heads. Once the man and his wife were seated, everyone bowed again, this time dropping to their knees and touching their foreheads to the floor.
There are, certainly, differing degrees of devotion among Moon's followers; the fact that they bow at the right moment or shout "Mansei!" in unison doesn't mean they believe everything Moon says, or do precisely what he commands. Even on important issues, like Moon's claiming to be the messiah, there are church members whom I met, including a close aide to Moon, who demur. A religious leader whom they respect and whose theology they believe, yes; the messiah, perhaps not.[72]

Abuse of money

Critics contrast Moon's "opulent" personal lifestyle with that of church members who are asked to sacrifice both in their careers and in donating most of what little they have.[73] The Moon family situation is described as one of "luxury and privilege"[74] and as "lavish".[75]

Home for the True Family was a guarded 18-acre (73,000 m2) mini-castle in Irvington, New York, a tiny suburb located along a sweep of the Hudson River. Named East Garden, after Eden, the estate included two smaller houses and a three-story brick mansion with 12 bedrooms, seven baths, a bowling alley, and a dining room equipped with a waterfall and pond. There were other castles and mansions too — in South Korea, Germany, Scotland, England — and few expenses were spared. The children had tutors from Japan, purebred horses, motorbikes, sports cars, and first-class vacations with blank-check spending. "The kids got whatever they wanted," says Donna Collins, who grew up in the church. "At one point, the Moon kids were each getting $40,000 or $50,000 a month for allowance. They had wads of cash. I remember once in London where [one of Justin’s sisters] spent like $2,000 a day; I saw a drawer filled with Rolexes and diamonds."[74]

Moon owns or sponsors major business enterprises, including The Washington Times, the United Press International, and Pyeonghwa Motors.[76] A small sampling of other operations include computers and religious icons in Japan, seafood in Alaska, weapons and ginseng in Korea, huge tracts of land in South America, a recording studio and travel agency in Manhattan, a horse farm in Texas and a golf course in California.[77]

In a 1992 letter to The New York Times, author Richard Quebedeaux, who had taken part in several Unification Church projects, criticized Moon's financial judgement by saying, "Mr. Moon may well be a good religious leader with high ideals, but he has also shown himself to be a poor businessman."[78]


In 1994 the New York Times reported that, "outside investigators and onetime insiders … give a picture of a theocratic powerhouse that is pouring foreign fortunes into conservative causes in the United States."[79] In 2004 the Times criticized Moon's coronation in Washington DC, which was attended by several United States elected officals, as a possible violation of the principle of separation of church and state.[80]

Church role in munitions manufacturing

Church-related businesses engaged in munitions manufacturing in South Korea during the 1960s, as reported by the Fraser Committee a United States Congressional committee which investigated the Unification Church and its relationship with the government of South Korea in 1978. According to the same report, Unification Church owned Tongil Group, then South Korea's 35th largest industrial conglomerate[81], which was involved in weapons manufacture and "is an important defense contractor in Korea. It is involved in the production of M-16 rifles, antiaircraft guns, and other weapons." In fact, as South Korea is technically still at war with North Korea, all large manufacturers are required by law to accept military contracts, as Tongil Group was obligated to do under mandatory South Korean law.

Moon's fourth son, Kook Jin "Justin" Moon founded Kahr Arms, a small-arms company based in Blauvelt, New York with a factory in Worcester, Massachusetts.[82][83]

According to the Washington Post, "Some former members and gun industry critics perceive a contradiction between the church's teachings and its corporate involvement in marketing weapons promoted for their concealability and lethality."[84]

Comments on homosexuality

In 1997 gay rights advocates criticized Moon based on comments he made in a speech to church members, in which he said: "What is the meaning of lesbians and homosexuals? That is the place where all different kinds of dung collect. We have to end that behavior. When this kind of dirty relationship is taking place between human beings, God cannot be happy," and referred to gay people as "dung-eating dogs."[85][86] He also said in 2007 that "free sex and homosexuality both are the madness of the lowest of the human race," and that God detests such behavior, while Satan lauds it.[87]

Jews and the Holocaust

Other controversies arose over Moon's statements about the Holocaust being (in part) "indemnity" (restitution) paid by the Jews, a consequence of Jewish leaders not supporting Jesus, which contributed to his murder by the Roman government.[88][89]

Allegations of sex rituals

In the early years of the Unification Church in South Korea, opponents of the church made unproven claims that Moon led his congregation as a sex cult. The church has vehemently rejected the claims, and a former member, South Korean pastor Sa Hun Shim, was convicted of criminal libel for publishing the allegation, in 1989, when a Seoul court held that this persistent rumor was without basis.[90]

In 1955, Moon himself had been arrested and acquitted of charges that the church calls fabricated.[91] And in 1960, in what Moon calls the "climax of persecution,"[92] fourteen students and two professors were dismissed from Ehwa Women's University in Seoul on the grounds that their participation in the faith was immoral.[93]

Rumors of polyamory made it into early U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and FBI reports monitoring the church. The intelligence cables claimed Moon conducted sex rituals among six married female disciples (the "Six Marys") to prepare the way for the virgin who would marry Moon and become the "True Mother." Conservative journalist Carlton Sherwood has argued that the claims were invented by Christian missionaries. An FBI field report alleged that Moon's rites involved "having a nude women in a darkened room with MUN[sic] while he recited a long prayer and caressed their bodies. . . . At these meetings, MUN prepared special food and drink, and gathered his nude congregation into a darkened room where they all prayed for twenty-four hours."[94]

In 1993, an early disciple of Moon, Chung Hwa Pak, in his book "Tragedy of the Six Marys," released in Japan as "Roku Maria no Higeki", charged that Moon practiced during the church's early years sex rituals with, among others, six married female disciples ("the six Marys"). Pak subsequently rejoined the church and recanted, publishing a 1995 confession, "The Apostate," in which he said he had lied about Moon out of jealousy.[95][96]Nansook Hong, Moon's estranged daughter-in-law, has said that she believes the sex claims are true, writing: "I've always wondered what the price was of that retraction."[97]


  1. ^ AROUND THE NATION; Sun Myung Moon Paper Appears in Washington from The New York Times
  2. ^ a b c Moon At Twilight: Amid scandal, the Unification Church has a strange new mission, Peter Maass New Yorker Magazine, September 14, 1998. "Moon sees the essence of his own mission as completing the one given to Jesus--establishing a "true family" untouched by Satan while teaching all people to lead a God-centered life under his spiritual leadership."..."Although Moon often predicts in his sermons that a breakthrough is near, Moffitt realizes that Moon may not come to be seen as the messiah in his lifetime."
  3. ^ a b Unifying or Dividing? Sun Myung Moon and the Origins of the Unification Church, by George D. Chryssides, University of Wolverhampton, U.K. A paper presented at the CESNUR 2003 Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania.
  4. ^ Sun Myung Moon in Congressional Record (1976) from Wikisource
  5. ^ Reverend Sun Myung Moon brthplace, Wikimapia
  6. ^ "The traditions and family environment of the Moon clan from Nampyeong". True Parents' Life Course, Volume 1. Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Historical Committee. Seonghwa Publications. 1999. pp. 29-45. (Publication in Korean): Nampyeong Mun ssi gamun-eui jeontong-gwa gajeong-hwan'gyeong. Chambumonim Saeng'ae-Nojeong 1-gweon. Segye Pyeonghwa Tongil Gajeong Yeonhap, Yeoksa Pyeonchan Uiwonhoe. Seonghwa Chulpansa. 1999. pp. 29-45. 남평문씨 가문의 전통과 가정환경 《참부모님 생애노정 1권》. 세계평화통일가정연합 역사편찬위원회. 성화출판사. 1999. pp. 29-45.
  7. ^ Pyeonghwa Motors upbeat about N. Korea's market potential, Yonhap News Agency, July 22, 2009
  8. ^ "The first education and entrance to the Christian faith". True Parents' Life Course, Volume 1. Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Historical Committee. Seonghwa Publications. 1999. pp. 29–45. (Publication in Korean): Chogi Hakseup-gwa Shinang Ip-mun. Chambumonim Saeng'ae-Nojeong 1-gweon. Segye Pyeonghwa Tongil Gajeong Yeonhap, Yeoksa Pyeonchan Uiwonhoe. Seonghwa Chulpansa. 1999. pp. 29-45. 초기학습과 신앙입문 《참부모님 생애노정 1권》. 세계평화통일가정연합 역사편찬위원회. 성화출판사. 1999.
  9. ^ a b Unification Church: Mass Moonie Marriage in the US, BBC News, Saturday, November 29, 1997.
  10. ^ "The first education and entrance to the Christian faith". True Parents' Life Course, Volume 1. Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, Historical Committee. Seonghwa Publications. 1999. pp. 29-45. (Publication in Korean): Chogi Hakseup-gwa Shinang Ip-mun. Chambumonim Saeng'ae-Nojeong 1-gweon. Segye Pyeonghwa Tongil Gajeong Yeonhap, Yeoksa Pyeonchan Uiwonhoe. Seonghwa Chulpansa. 1999. pp. 29-45. 초기학습과 신앙입문 《참부모님 생애노정 1권》. 세계평화통일가정연합 역사편찬위원회. 성화출판사. 1999.
  11. ^ a b c Introvigne, 2000
  12. ^ excerpt The Unification Church Studies in Contemporary Religion, Massimo Introvigne, 2000, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, ISBN 1-56085-145-7
  13. ^ a b c d The Unification Church: Studies in Contemporary Religion Massimo Introvigne, Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-145-7
  14. ^ Sung Jin Nim's Family Kathryn Coman, 2008
  15. ^ Hee Jin Moon and Myung Hee Kim, Unification Sermons and Talks, Dan Fefferman, December 25, 1998.
  16. ^ Normally, in relaying Moon's biography to members, his second wife, (common-law wife) Myung Hee Kim, is counted as the second wife and Hak Ja Han is counted as the third wife.
  17. ^ Nansook Hong interviews on local and national news, including 60 Minutes, where Moon's illegitimate son mentioned by name (without being asked to name him) by his daughter Un Jin Moon.
  18. ^ "Reverend Sun Myung Moon Speaks on The Necessity for the Day of Victory of Love". January 15, 1984. Retrieved 2006-08-09. 
  19. ^ Exposition of the Divine Principle, HSA-UWC, 1996,which was codified by Hyo-Won Eu, who was President of the Korean Church in the early days.
  20. ^ "Image of Moon's arrival" (JPG). Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  21. ^ Intovigne, 2000
  22. ^ "Moon Festival Draws 50,000 to Monument", Washington Post, September 19, 1976.
  23. ^ Investigation of Korean-American Relations; Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives.
  24. ^ Spiritual warfare: the politics of the Christian right, Sara Diamond, 1989, Pluto Press, Page 58
  25. ^ Ex-aide of Moon Faces Citation for Contempt, Associated Press, Eugene Register-Guard, August 5, 1977
  26. ^ Boettcher, Robert (1980). Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsun Park, and the Korean Scandal. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. pp. 168–177, 339-341, 345-348. ISBN 0030445760. 
  27. ^ ‘Messiah’ by Bo Hi Pak
  28. ^ "Black Heung Jin (Cleopas Kundioni)". 1998-09-02. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  29. ^ Eileen Barker, in America's Alternative Religions, edited by Timothy Miller, SUNY Press, 1995, ISBN 0-7914-2397-2, page 225
  30. ^ James A. Beverley (2004), "Spirit Revelation and the Unification Church" in Controversial New Religions, James R. Lewis & Jesper Aagaard Petersen, ed. Oxford University Press USA, p. 47-48. ISBN 0-19-515683-8
  31. ^ "Everyone in the household embraced him and called him [Heung Jin]." Hong(1998) p. 152
  32. ^ a b Hong(1998) p. 151
  33. ^ Hong(1998)
  34. ^ Hong(1998) pages 150-153
  35. ^ a b Hong(1998) p. 152
  36. ^ "Literally nine hundred million to one billion dollars has been spent to activate and run the Washington Times" -Sun Myung Moon, "True Family and True Universe centering on True Love", Founder's Address, 15th Anniversary of The Washington Times, June 16, 1997, Washington, DC.
  37. ^ "As of this year, Moon and his businesses have plowed about $1.7 billion into subsidizing the Times, say current and former employees." "Moon Speech Raises Old Ghosts as the Times Turns 20", by Frank Ahrens, Washington Post, May 23, 2002.
  38. ^ Chinni, Dante (2002). "The Other Paper: The Washington Times's role". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  39. ^ "Protest Groups Clash Near Wall", The Associated Press, August 8, 1987.
  40. ^ EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; New Flock for Moon Church: The Changing Soviet Student from The New York Times
  41. ^ Truth is My Sword, Volume II by Bo Hi Pak, Chapter 60: Give and Take of Love. New York, NY.
  42. ^ In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family (ISBN 0-316-34816-3).
  43. ^ Boston Globe December 20, 1997
  44. ^ Nansook Hong interviews on local and national news, including 60 Minutes, where Moon's illegitimate son was confirmed by name by his daughter Un Jin Moon.
  45. ^ Life with the Moons: A conversation with Nansook Hong, former daughter-in-law of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, TIME Magazine, October 13, 1998.
  46. ^ In a review of the book, Marcia Rudin writes that due to Nansook Hong's position within the Moon family, her story cannot simply be dismissed by cult apologists as an atrocity tale. Rudin went on to state that: "The compelling credibility of this book demands that Nansook's story be paid attention to. Many Unification Church members are paying it attention, for, according to Nansook and others, the first-hand testimony delivered through this book has already caused many Unification Church members to leave the group." Book Review, Marcia Rudin, Cultic Studies Journal, Volume 16, Number 1, 1999.
  47. ^ LAS VEGAS RJ:NEWS: Moon's son dies in fall from hotel
  48. ^ Apologetics research resources on religious cults and sects - Religion Items in the News - November 11, 1999 (Vol. 3, Issue 132)
  49. ^ Million Family March reaches out to all
  50. ^ Why Are Pastors Flying to Moon?Christianity Today August 1, 2001
  51. ^ Let’s marry, rebel bishop tells priests, The Standard (Nairobi, Kenya), June 26, 2009
  52. ^ A Marriage Made in Heaven?, Washington Post, March 11, 2007
  53. ^ "Peace Cup (South Korea)". RSSSF. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  54. ^ Korean influence: PSV's Hiddink hoping to win Peace CupSports Illustrated July 21, 2003
  55. ^ South Korea to host global peace cup in JulySports Illustrated May 6, 2003
  56. ^ Report released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. State Dept.
  57. ^ a b c Babington, Charles; Alan Cooperman (June 23 2004). "The Rev. Moon Honored at Hill Reception - Lawmakers Say They Were Misled". Washington Post: A01. 
  58. ^ a b "Lawmakers Scurry From the Light". New York Times. 2004-06-27. 
  59. ^ Bartlett defends role in Moon coronation 07/03/2004, MD PA WV Herald-Mail.
  60. ^ John Gorenfeld, "Moon Over Washington: Why are some of the capital’s most influential power players hanging out with a bizarre Korean billionaire who claims to be the Messiah?", The Gadflyer, June 9, 2004
  61. ^ "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification of U.S.A.". Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  62. ^ Son of Moonies founder takes over as church leader The Guardian, 2008-04-28
  63. ^, Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon released from hospital after helicopter crash
  64. ^ Account of crash by the Moons' youngest son
  65. ^ Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, 15 others injured in helicopter crash Herald Tribune, July 19, 2008
  66. ^, Unification Church founder released from hospital
  67. ^ NTSB Sends Team To Investigate Korean S-92A Downing Aero-News Network, July 21, 2008
  68. ^ "네이버 책 :: 네이버는 책을 사랑합니다". Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  69. ^ "Rev. Moon shares his life in words" by Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times, October 1, 2009. (Published on the web October 2, 2009.)]
  70. ^ "WTimes, Bushes Hail Rev. Moon" by Robert Parry, Consortium News, ‎Oct 2, 2009‎.
  71. ^ "Money, Guns, and God" by Christopher S. Stewart, Conde Nast Portfolio, October 2007.
  72. ^ Moon at Twilight, The New Yorker September 14, 1998.
  73. ^ These criticisms have been repeated hundreds of times in media reports. One such example is "Cults, Deprogrammers, and the Necessity Defense", Michigan Law Review, Vol. 80, No. 2 (Dec., 1981), pp. 271-311
  74. ^ a b "Money, Guns, and God" by Christopher S. Stewart, Conde Nast Portfolio, October 2007
  75. ^ Hong, Nansook. (1998). In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family. Little, Brown. (ISBN 0-316-34816-3).
  76. ^ "The church, which owns Pyonghwa and such companies as the Tongil Group, The Washington Times, and UPI news service...." Cited in Moon’s Dance, by Rory O'Connor, AlterNet, April 20, 2005.
  77. ^ A Church in Flux Is Flush With Cash, by Marc Fisher and Jeff Leen, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, November 23, 1997.
  78. ^ Richard Quebedeaux Moon Church a Stranger to Academic Freedom; A Temporary Bailout?, The New York Times, 1992-06-13
  79. ^ GOODMAN, WALTER, "Review/Television; Sun Myung Moon Changes Robes", New York Times, January 21, 1992, 
  80. ^ The New York Times > Washington > A Crowning at the Capital Creates a Stir
  81. ^ Reverend Moon's Group Wants to Talk Investment : Seoul Nods At Church's Foray North, International Herald Tribune, 1998-05-02
  82. ^ Farragher, Thomas (March 21, 1999). "Moon arms factory: His father preaches peace, and he makes guns". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  83. ^ Kahr Arms: The Company (click on "Research & Development" link in sidebar), Kahr Arms, accessed 2006-08-19.
  84. ^ "I see an irony, if not hypocrisy, that someone who professes peace and says he's completing Jesus's work also manufactures for profit an implement with no purpose other than killing people," said Tom Diaz, author of "Making a Killing," a new book critical of the firearms industry. "What's the message, turn the other cheek, or lock and load?" Church's Pistol Firm Exploits a Niche, By John Mintz, Washington Post Staff Writer; Wednesday, March 10, 1999; Page A1
  85. ^ Media Watch from Windy City Times 2004-07-07
  87. ^ The Value and Significance of the Family Pledge from, 2007-06-13
  88. ^ "Stephen, for example, burned with indignation over the ignorance and disbelief of the Jewish leaders, and he condemned their actions, calling them murderers and rebels (Acts 7:51-53). Christians since then have commonly shared the same feelings as the disciples of Jesus' day. If Jesus' death had been the foreordained outcome for the fulfillment of God's Will, then it might have been natural for the disciples to grieve over his death, but they would not have been so bitterly resentful over it, nor so angry at those Jewish leaders who caused it." Exposition of the Divine Principle, HSA-UWC, 1996 (ISBN 0-910621-80-2).
  89. ^ Moon said: "By killing one man, Jesus, the Jewish people had to suffer for 2000 years. Countless numbers of people have been slaughtered. During the Second World War, 6 million people were slaughtered to cleanse all the sins of the Jewish people from the time of Jesus." MASTER SPEAKS (no official translation was done), 2/14/74
  90. ^ Seoul District Criminal Court, case 79 ko dan 3372
  91. ^ Carlton Sherwood, Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon (Regnery Press, 1991), 38, 41
  92. ^ "Victory of the Day of Love," Moon speech, 1977,
  93. ^ Carlton, ibid.
  94. ^ ibid.
  95. ^ From the Unification Church to the Unification Movement, 1994-1999: Five Years of Dramatic Changes by Massimo Introvigne, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). An expanded version of this paper is part of Massimo Introvigne’s book The Unification Church, published in the series "Studies in Contemporary Religion" by Signature Books. "The Hong book also revived earlier controversies associated with the late Chung Hwa Pak, one of Rev. Moon's first disciples, who had caused considerable controversy by confirming accusations of sexual immorality in the Rev. Moon’s early career in a text widely circulated by critics (and later published in Japanese) called The Tragedy of the Six Marys. Park, who had left the Unification Church, claimed that Rev. Moon practiced during the church's early years sex rituals with, among others, six married female disciples ("the six Marys") who were to have prepared the way for the virgin who would marry him and become the True Mother. The church vehemently denied the allegations, and was able to rely on earlier Korean court rulings where critics who made similar accusations had been found guilty of defamation and libel. Park eventually returned to the fold and, shortly before dying, recanted all the accusations in a second text he authored in 1995, called The Apostate."
  96. ^ A speech made by Pak titled "Retraction of The Tragedy of the Six Marys" can be found at
  97. ^ In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family, p27

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