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Unification Church

Mooniesoffer olive branch to former cult leader who died in Bedford, UK

Former MoonieDennis Orme gives tribute to his beloved wife Doris and her work as a spiritualpioneer and as a “restored Eve.” “Doris Orme traveled the world organizing the Unification Church, criticized for itsbrutal pre-marriage ceremonies, sex rituals and its tyrannous former leader Rev Moon.” The Ormes left the churchafter a public fallout with Rev Moon. They returned to Mr. Orme’s hometownBedford in 2014. Doris Orme passed away in Bedford Hospital after a long battlewith Alzheimer’s. She published GodSpeaks to Doris, which contains “seventy revelations from 1993–2006,including a warning to the US that if they live by the sword they will ‘die bythe sword’ and criticizing America’s involvement with Iraq.” (Bedfordshire On Sunday, 06/04/16) [IT7.3 2016]

Threethousand couples from 62 countries tie the knot in South Korea

On February 20, 2016, 3,000 couples from 62 countries, plus12,000 couples who participated via the Internet, were married in South Korea.The Unification Church conducted theceremony. The church’s leader, Sun MyungMoon, who passed away in 2012, had done mass weddings since the early1960s. His wife, Hak Ja Han Moon,coordinated the recent large ceremony. Newlyweds numbered about 1,000, while2,000 sought to rededicate their marriages and families to God. (In-Depth-Economic Times, Reuters, 02/20/16) [IT 7.2 2016]

UnificationChurch couples wed in mass ceremony

On March 3, 2015,3,800 Unification Church members took part in a mass wedding ceremonyat the South Korean headquarters of the church in Gapyeong, outside Seoul. Thismass wedding is the most recent of the many that the Unification Church hasperformed since the 1960s, many in sports stadiums. About 800 of theparticipants were newly married, and the rest renewed their vows. In pastyears, Sun Myung Moon, founder of the church, had matched thecouples. Since Moon’s death, parents have performed much of thematchmaking.  Participants must swear underoath that they are virgins and must not have sexual relations for the first 40days of marriage. (Economic Times, 3/3/15) [IT 6.3 2015]

Approximately twenty-five hundred identically dressed Unification Church couples, many of mixed nationality who had met only days earlier, were married in Gapyeong, South Korea in February. This was only the second mass marriage since the death of the church’s founder, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Traditionally, the Rev. Moon matched the couples; now, the parents choose. (Independent Online, 2/12/14) [IT 5.2]
Twenty-five thousand people from more than 70 countries attended a memorial near Seoul marking the first anniversary of the death of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. Moon’s wife spoke at the event, but his oldest living son, Moon Hyun-Jin, his fourth son, Moon Kook-jin, and his seventh son, Moon Hying-jin, were absent. Hyun-jin did not attend his father’s funeral last year because he was involved in a legal dispute with the church over business-related issues. The absence of Kook-jin and Hyung-jin is drawing keen attention as they were known as business and religious heirs of the late founder. Both remained in the United States after Kook-jin stepped down as Tongil Group chairman and Hyung-jin gave up his position as Korea regional chairman of the Unification Church. (Global Post, 8/23/13) [IT 5.1 2014] 

The Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a family-values crusader who inveighed against “free sex,” was himself a philanderer with at least one illegitimate son. Sam Park, now 47, lives in Arizona, having been raised by Bo Hi Pak, the founding president and publisher of Moon’s Washington Times. Park’s mother, Annie Choi, an early Moon follower when he was building his church in Korea, says that Moon kept a number of young women in religious thrall so that he could purify them through sex. Moreover, it is clear from a consideration of the lives of Moon’s many children that his family lived far from the ideal he preached. (Mother Jones, 12/9/13) [IT 5.1 2014] 
The late Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s utopian community-eco resort—he saw it as a model for the world on 1.5 million acres in the remote Pantanal wetlands of Paraguay—has not thrived. Despite massive dormitory buildings, guesthouses, an Olympic-size swimming pool, sheds for mechanical repairs, fully stocked fish farms, and more, only 10 people, including the visitors’ Japanese host, who is a church missionary, now live here. All of the other Unification Church ‘Messiahs’ who helped build the community have returned to Japan. One dedicated resident, who has a wife and family back in Japan, said he came to Paraguay because life in the city as an English translator was meaningless. “We’re risking our lives for this cause,” he said. “That is doing something worthwhile. We have continued to stick with this.” The death of Rev. Moon has not affected this man’s resolve to keep working toward the model sketched by Moon, nor have the consequent squabbles among Moon’s heirs diminished his dedication. “It’s been a hard year,” the host says. “A lot of things have died because they were three months under water.” (Outside, 2/20/13) [IT 4.3 2013] 
David Keene, former president of the National Rifle Association, has become the opinion editor of [the Unification Church-owned] Washington Times. The newspaper also recently hired as a weekly columnist Ben Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital who in March equated same-sex marriage, bestiality, and pedophilia. (DCist, 7/15/13) [IT 4.3 2013] 
In February 2013, the Universal Peace Federation (Unification Church) organized a “World Interfaith Harmony Week” in the Vienna International Center. Thus, this week, an event created and supported by the UN has been co-opted. [IT 4.3 2013] 
Some 3,500 identically dressed couples from 70 countries were married in a Unification Church mass wedding in a stadium at the church’s world headquarters in Gapyeong, near Seoul. The late Sun Myung Moon’s widow, Hak Ja Han, 70, officiated. Parents are now tending to make the matches, but 400 of the latest to be married had chosen to be paired by Hak Ja Han only a few days before the ceremony. “Yeah, I was pretty nervous,” said Jin [sic] Davidson, 21, a student from the United States, whose Australian father and Japanese mother were matched by Sun Myung Moon. “Then, all of a sudden, she popped up in front of me,” referring to Kotona Shimizu, also 21. “We struggle a little to communicate right now, as I speak no Japanese at all, and she only speaks a little English, but we see it as an exciting challenge and proof of our faith.” (Agence France-Presse, 2/17/13) [IT 4.2 2013] 
Sookyeong Kim Sebold, a former bookkeeper for the Unification Church-affiliated Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, has been convicted of embezzling more than $800,000 from the nonprofit and failing to report it as income on her tax returns. She was sentenced to 2 years in prison and ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service $133,000 in restitution. Sebold used much of the money for personal expenses, including casino gambling. The defense argued that she used the money for day trading and blackjack in order to support the foundation, and not for her personal benefit. (Washington Examiner, 3/2/13) [IT 4.2 2013] 
North Korea’s Pyeonghwa Motors Corp., a car manufacturer jointly owned by the Unification Church and the North Korean government, is closing. The company, which assembled cars from knockdown kits imported from China and Italy, has rarely been profitable. (Wall Street Journal, 11/27/12) [IT 4.1 2013] 
According to Unification Church president Hyng Jin Moon, speaking at a Bay Area town meeting, ex-gay maverick Richard Cohen is a member of his church. Cohen, whose “gay cure” techniques range from beating pillows with a tennis racquet to cradling his male patients like babies, admits to having been a member but has denied repeatedly that he is now affiliated with the church. (Ex-Gay Watch, 10/31/12) [IT 4.1 2013] 
The mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Bill Finch, remains hostile to the Unification Church (UC) 20 years after it bought the University of Bridgeport (UB) out of bankruptcy. “It’s just sad,” says Christopher Shays, a Bridgeport resident and former Republican congressman who delivered the university’s 1997 commencement address. “It’s personal and counter productive for the good of Bridgeport.” Finch avoids the campus and leaves official relations with the university to subordinates. A UB spokesman said, “We would be in an even better place than we are [if the mayor endorsed the university]. We can do it [develop] without him, but having the mayor as your advocate is by far better.” Following the recent death of UC leader Sun Myung Moon, the mayor seems to be softening his approach to the university. (Danbury News Times, 11/23/12) [IT 4.1 2013] 
Sookyeong Kim Sebold, a former bookkeeper for the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation (KCFF), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting cultural exchange through sponsorship of the Universal Ballet Company (founded by Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church), has been convicted of embezzling more than $800,000 from KCFF and failing to report the income on her tax returns. (Connection Newspapers, 12/17/12) [IT 4.1 2013] 
There are reports of family rifts in the wake of Unification Church (UC) leader Sun Myung Moon’s death. Even earlier, son Preston Moon came into conflict with his mother, Hak Ja Han, the late leader’s wife, over her use of funds taken from a business he ran and given to her charity. Preston is no longer in charge of any church operation. Another Moon son, Kim Heung-soo, who teaches the history of Christianity at Mokwon University, believes that his father’s death might expose more family schisms, and that “internal discord will deepen.” A professor of religion at Busan Presbyterian University—who says that the UC is not a religious organization but rather a corporation made up of people with similar religious beliefs—thinks that the church will likely survive its founder. Key to the church’s future is US-born, Harvard-educated Rev. Hyung-jin-Moon, 33, the son who succeeded Sun Myung Moon as church leader several years ago; he is more fluent in English than Korean and gives his sermons in English, which are designed to appeal to the next generation of followers. Older brother Kook-jin Moon (Justin) heads Tongil Group, the church’s business arm. (USA Today, 9/3/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 
The Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon were “the most notorious public face of a cult scare” that included “the mythology of the time that such groups found converts by deploying secret psychological techniques that instilled instant obedience.” Although many lives were destroyed, the cult problem was much smaller than the media, religious leaders, or the government suggested. And the low cult retention rate suggests their ability to brainwash was limited. The media obsession with cults pushed more benign developments in the world of religion to the back of public consciousness. (Wall Street Journal, 9/6/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 
Those who do not believe in religion tend to have seen Sun Myung Moon as “a kook who took advantage of stupid, poor, or otherwise vulnerable people. Believers [in religion], on the other hand, “prefer to reduce their opponents [like Moon] by way of idolatry, sin, or deception by demonic forces.” But “I must take Moon seriously, as if he were, well, an actual human being who tried to pursue happiness and avoid suffering, and who probably succeeded and failed at both in equal measure.” (Religion Dispatches, 9/5/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 
The death of Reverend Sun Myung Moon hopefully ends one of the strangest chapters in the United States “security industrial complex” history [sic]… He was ultimately a front in the United States for friends in the CIA like George Herbert Walker Bush. “[Moon’s] shadowy, cultish, right wing network” rescued George W. Bush in South Carolina in 2000 by spreading Moonies, “his Zombi-like followers,” throughout the state. Among other close connections between Moon, the first president Bush, and US politics over the decades [noted here], the 1997 investigation of the Unification Church, led by Congressman Donald Fraser, revealed that Moon’s church was a creation of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency and aimed to help influence US foreign policy. (Scoop, 9/5/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 
Lovin’ Life Ministries was founded in the United States in 2009 as a ministry of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, more widely known as the Unification Church, which is now headed in America by In Jin Moon, daughter of founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. When a reporter visited in May, the Lovin’ Life congregation in Philadelphia consisted of nearly forty people—children, teenagers, and adults—seated in a chapel watching a sermon broadcast from church headquarters in New York. The atmosphere for growing up and living as a Unificationist has changed dramatically since the 1970s, when the “first generation” joined the movement. University of Pennsylvania religious studies professor Stephen Dunning, who taught the course “Understanding the Cult Controversy,” says conflict arose when families felt “they were being robbed of their children and their children believed their families were being irrational and not letting them choose their religion the way they wanted to.” (Daily Pennsylvanian, 5/10/12) [IT 3.2 2012] 
Russian Justice Ministry expert Alexander Dworkin has expressed concern that the Universal Peace Federation, an arm of the Unification Church (UC), plans to hold a conference in the Federation Council premises. Russian senator Aslambek Aslakhanov, a retired major general who received the UC’s Universal Peace Federation Peace Ambassador title, supports the conference. (Interfax-Religion, 4/5/12) [IT 3.1 2012] 
There is a multi-faceted conflict, involving lawsuits, among sons of Unification Church (UC) leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Hyun Jin Moon controls the Washington Times and develops world peace programs based on an interreligious message delivered internationally. Hyung Jin Moon is more concerned with pro­moting church doctrine and consoli­dating the church itself. In July 2010, the Rev. Moon declared: “Hyun Jin is the successor and anybody else is considered a heretic and destroyer.” A third son, Kook Jin Moon, who handles the business side of the church, is currently at odds with Hyun Jin over, among other matters, a massive real estate development in Seoul. (Chosen Monthly, 1/23/11) [IT 2.2 2011] 
Ninety-one-year old Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who continues to say that he is the second coming of Christ and that he will redeem the world by creating a global govern­ment, visited Britain in May as part of a three-week European tour, his sec­ond visit to the UK since the Home Office lifted its ban in 2005. His wife, Hak Ja Han, will visit the House of Commons at the invitation of MP David Anderson and Labor peer Lord King. Recently, the church has been involved in legal battles and subject to investigations in Brazil and Japan, where followers were arrested for allegedly selling expensive personal seals after telling potential buyers they’d suffer if they didn’t purchase the talismans. The church says evangelical Christian groups in Japan have kidnapped thousands of UC supporters to prevent them from converting. Many observers now believe that Moon’s American-educated businessman son Hyun Jin, is the son that Moon needs to refash­ion the UC’s public image. “He’s the acceptable face of the Moonies,” says an observer, who adds that this has infuriated the eldest of Moon’s sons. (Independent, 5/12/11) [IT 2.2 2011] 
Unification Church leader the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and a group of Washington Times executives fired by Moon’s eldest son, Preston Moon, have purchased the ailing newspaper for $1. Circulation of 87,000 in 2008 has been halved, and half the newsroom has been laid off, thanks to the cutoff of an annual $35 million subsidy from the church following the estrangement of Preston from his father and brothers. A former Times editor said, “The most important thing they [the new owners] can do is bring back credibility to the newsroom.” (Washington Post, 11/3/10) [IT 2.1 2011] 
Rev. Moon blessed 7,200 South Korean and foreign couples in early October at the second Unification Church mass wedding of the year. The ceremony was broadcast live on the internet and via satellite TV to 194 countries, according to church officials. (Associated Press, 10/9/10) [IT 2.1 2011] 
A group of adult children whose parents were married in mass Unification Church (UC) weddings in the 1980s gathered for their weekly youth group meeting in Bowie, MD, in January, and they discussed going mainstream. David Moffat, 24, a junior at the University of Maryland, said: “Our parent’s generation was much more all-out. . .You could say they were fighting a war. Our generation is more focused on happiness and prosperity, going to college, getting jobs. It’s important to be part of the culture. If you’re above the culture, you can’t change the world.” The group noted that parents can now look for suitable spouses for their children among the children of other members, rather than rely solely on founder Sun Myun Moon’s choices. David Moffat’s sister, Kathy Mehlman, even married out of the UC. This initially troubled her family, but they’ve now accepted her decision and she attends special events at the church. [IT 1.1 2010] 
The discussion in Bowie comes at a time of flux in the UC and uncertainty about its future. The church estimates that there are 21,000 active members in the U.S. and 7,500 blessed children—those born of the Moon-sanctified marriages—many of whom live in the Washington area, the hub of UC businesses and lobbyists. Some of the children are following their parents’ example, others haven’t attended a UC worship service in years. Sociologist Amanda van Eck says that coming out of isolation will help Unficationism survive, but former member Michele Burton, a 23-year-old D.C. public school teacher, says that while there is “a gravitational pull toward appearing normal . . . you can’t be normal in this movement. You’re going to be different.” [IT 1.1 2010]

Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon has published an autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, which has drawn congratulations, according to the church-owned Washington Times, from Sen. Joseph Lieberman, former secretary of state Alexander Haig, and former president George H W Bush.[csr 8.3 2009) 

A group of adult children whose parents were married in mass Unification Church (UC) weddings in the 1980s gathered for their weekly youth group meeting in Bowie, MD, in January, and they discussed going mainstream. David Moffat, 24, a junior at the University of Maryland, said: “Our parent’s generation was much more all-out. . .You could say they were fighting a war. Our generation is more focused on happiness and prosperity, going to college, getting jobs. It’s important to be part of the culture. If you’re above the culture, you can’t change the world.” The group noted that parents can now look for suitable spouses for their children among the children of other members, rather than rely solely on founder Sun Myun Moon’s choices. David Moffat’s sister, Karthy Mehlman, even married out of the UC. This initially troubled her family, but they’ve now accepted her decision and she attends special events at the church.[csr 8.3 2009) 

Unification Church (UC) leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon turned 90 on January 31, and the occasion was celebrated in Seoul and then in New York, where more than 3,000 religious, diplomatic, and community leaders attended. They included the former president of Uruguay and the Rev. Joseph Lowrey, president emeritus of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who told Moon: ”Your ministerial labors have established the highest standards which all can apply in their ministry.” . . . Missionaries of the church’s Family Federation for World Peace and Unification are proselytizing on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica (CA), “but it’s not so easy to approach people these days,” says missionary Karina Chaves. ”People in general have harsh feelings toward organized religion and that’s understandable,” added Linda Gomez, a 27-year-old, originally from New York, who joined the federation six years ago after a missionary spoke to her on the promenade. At that time, Chaves found most intriguing a question her proselytizer asked: “How can we build lasting relations or have true love?” Today, members “are some of my closest friends,” she says. If passersby are interested, the missionaries take them to a UC study center to watch videos and learn more about the organization. [csr 8.1, 2009) 

Myung Jin Moon, the Harvard-trained successor to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon as leader of the Unification Church, says he wants to take the church beyond its Protestant, evangelical base, increase democratic elections for leaders, and strengthen its presence in South Korea. He also asserted that he prefers mass weddings of hundreds, rather than of thousands. But these ceremonies “continue to be an important part of the tradition,” he said, adding that the church does not bless the marriage of same sex couples. “The unification tradition is a little more conservative on that issue. We have a whole group of younger leadership and we don’t want to exclude anybody from our tradition. These are things that have to be worked out and discussed. . . I love other religions,” he said in a recent interview. “That is what I have focused on in my studies. . . I have studied major world religions, and what I have noticed is that in the age of the founder, the founder is always, somehow, not accepted into the mainstream of religiosity. I believe that pattern also exists in the development of Unificationism.” [csr 8.1, 2009) 

K. Gordon Neufeld, author of Heartbreak and Rage: Ten Years Under Sun Myung Moon, briefly reviews his involvement in the Unification Church in the March, 2008 issue of First Things, and concludes that despite some headlines made by Moon in recent years, the organization is moribund and fading away. “Moon’s movement never exceeded five thousand core members in the United States, and what remains are mostly families born to those weary parents who once pounded the streets so tirelessly selling Moon’s wares.” [csr 7.2 2008) 

Zambian Roman Catholic priest Luciano Mbwe, who is associated with excommunicated Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, announced in December the formation of the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia. Mbewe said his church would allow priests to marry, thus joining Milingo’s campaign to end clerical celibacy. Milingo’s “Married Priests Now” organization has received financial backing and moral support in his effort from the Unification Church. [csr 7.1 2008) 

Britain’s International Development Minister, Shahid Malik, cancelled his planned July appearance as chair of an event run by the Universal Peace Federation, a Unification Church organization. Church founder Sun Myung Moon is no longer banned from entering Britain. [csr 8.1, 2009) 

Justin Moon, a son of Unification Church (UC) leader The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, has built Kahr Arms into one of America’s top privately owned handgun manufacturers — he designs most of the company’s guns — and observers say this makes it seem likely that he will succeed his father as leader of the church and its business empire. Justin, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, obsessed with guns and shooting, and a strong advocate for carrying personal side arms as protection, is also chairman of the UC-linked Tongil Group, which manufacturers M16s and anti-aircraft guns in South Korea. Says Steve Hassan, a former UC member and counselor to ex-cult members, “Kahr arms is a part of [The Rev.] Moon’s plan for taking over the world.” Former UC member Gordon Neufeld maintains that Moon believes guns will play a role in saving the world during a period of great crisis. [csr 6.3 2007] 

A tribunal with oversight of border police in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state has ruled that a 1995 ban on entry of Unification Church (UC) leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, 87, is illegal. The tribunal, to which the case was referred by Germany’s constitutional court, ruled that Moon could only be barred if he posed a threat to national security or public safety, and it found that he did not. The German government had argued that the UC, which claims 1,300 members and 10,000 “sympathizers,” is a cult that exploits the psychological instability of many young people, and that Moon’s right-wing politics are contrary to the constitution’s commitment to social security with free markets. [csr 6.2 2007] 

Excommunicated Zambian Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is reportedly in Seoul, South Korea, studying the theology of Unification Church leader Sun Myun Moon, who married the controversial prelate to a Korean woman in 2001. A source said, “The reason why we have been mum regarding his visit here is so as not to stoke the anger of Catholics.” Milingo has been campaigning for the Vatican to allow priests to marry. . . Reverend Kevin Thompson, San Francisco Bay area leader of the Unification Church, has been sentenced to a year in prison for running the world’s largest baby leopard shark poaching ring. Evidence in the case suggests that Moon, who heads the international seafood firm True World, knew of and approved of the illegal operation. [csr 6.1 2007] 

The Unification Church (UC) has been ordered by the Tokyo District Court to pay over $2 million to a woman who said the UC made her feel insecure and frightened her, forced her to donate money and purchase expensive products from the church, and threatened her by saying her “family line” would fall and she would “fall into hell.” . . . Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez, of Honduras, has rejected an “ambassador of peace” award because the sponsoring organization is connected to the UC. The award was to have been presented at an elaborate ceremony at a hotel in the capital. . . The American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) is a growing and potent alliance between Sun Myung Moon’s church and black religious leaders around the country. Dozens of Chicago-area ministers join thousands of others nationally at monthly prayer breakfasts, according to organizers, where the participating clergy refer to Moon and his wife as Father and Mother, and many have taken expenses-paid trips to attend Moon-sponsored events in Korea, Japan, and Europe. Gifts to clergy include $12,000 wristwatches. Moon’s outreach among these largely Baptist and Pentecostal clergy is successful despite his claim that he is the Second Coming, here to complete Jesus’ mission. One minister says, “No [to Moon’s claim], I already have a messiah, that’s Jesus Christ. I don’t need another messiah. But I do need a friend.” Moon, who has officiated at many interracial weddings, has said, “Little by little, the color of black people will gradually become lighter” until a single, “all yellow” race is produced in an age in which Asian culture and people will become dominant. “If I could live under the hard, oppressive rule of the white man,” says D.C.-based pastor Bishop C. Phillip Johnson, “certainly I have no problem with the Koreans. If God so chooses to raise them up to be the lead and to bring about real, true religious and racial harmony, then I have no problem with following him.” Some members of the Chicago branch of the ACLC (which claims 1,200 members) refer to Moon’s Divine Principles to inspire their sermons. Many local African-American pastors are shocked that some of their brethren associate with Moon and his “anti-Christian” theology.[csr 5.3 2006] 

Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who advocates a reconciliation of married priests with the Roman Catholic Church, finds support from George Augustus Stallings, founder and archbishop of the African American Catholic Congregation. Both Milingo and Stallings married Unification Church members in the same ceremony a number of years ago. Milingo renounced his marriage under pressure from the Vatican but is now reportedly thinking of reuniting with his former wife. . . Milingo was noted for faith healing and exorcisms when he was leader of Zambia’s Roman Catholics and for including elements of traditional culture in the liturgy, including drumming and dancing. He also translated the mass into local languages.[csr 5.3 2006] 

The UC, having persuaded nearly 10,000 Nepalese — including 500 young people — to take part in its ”campaign for world self-help,” organized in July two large ceremonies at which UC leader Sun Myung Moon encouraged Nepalese to embrace his ideology. The former Speaker of the Nepal House of Representatives was chairman of the program’s organizing committee. . . Meanwhile, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the leader’s wife, was scheduled to arrive in Jamaica in early August to promote the church’s Universal Peace Federation. . . National leaders and public figures appeared at a ceremony welcoming the UC and Mrs. Moon to Kyrgyzstan, shocking many observers, who see this as a breach of church-state separation. Critics say gaining friends in high places will facilitate UC operations in the country. The UC currently has 200 young followers living in a multi-story building in the capital, Bishkek. The church is helping them gain work and life skills, according to UC representatives. [csr 5.3 2006] 

Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who married a Korean woman in a Unification Church mass wedding, has publicly stated he will continue his campaign for optional priestly celibacy despite strong appeals from the Vatican to cease his campaign or face “canonical suspension.” He says he traveled to Korea earlier this year “to join the many Catholics and Catholic married priests who are in the Unification movement.” . . . Milingo, excommunicated in September for consecrating four married men as bishops of the breakaway African-American [sic] Congregation, said, “We do not accept this excommunication and lovingly return it to his Holiness, our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, to . . . withdraw it and join us in recalling married priests to service once again.” Milingo recently held a conference of his Married Priests Now! Organization in New York attended by 100 married priests as well as by representatives of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, a UC affiliate. [csr 5.3 2006] 

Former British Home Secretary Michael Howard says he stands by his 1995 decision to refuse Unification Church leader The Rev. Sun Myung Moon entry into the country. He did so because he felt that the UC leader’s presence would not be conducive to the public good — he cited the church’s recruiting practices and its effects on families. A judge overruled him, saying that Howard should have given Moon a chance to argue in favor of admission. [csr 5.2 2006] 

The Chicago Tribune of April 12, 2006, reviewing the current status of the Unification Church in the U.S., notes that the church held a mass wedding ceremony for 4,600 couples on August 1, 2005, in Cheonan, South Korea.[csr 5.2 2006] 

The New York State Education Department has approved the Unification Church’s Unification Theological Seminary application to offer the doctorate degree at its Barrytown campus, in Red Hook. The degree will, according to the church, provide students with “the opportunity to enhance and expand their ministerial skills.”[csr 5.2 2006] 

Unification Church (UC) minister Kevin Thompson — recently indicted for selling $1.2 million worth of protected baby leopard sharks with a street value of over $1.2 million — take young people onto the church’s boat, deploy the fishing equipment, and start talking about God and committing oneself to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. “In the context of our church, we try to use boats as a training place for young people,” Thompson explained. The Unification Church is a major player in the U.S. domestic fishing industry, particularly in the sushi trade, but it is not known whether Thompson’s operation — which sold the sharks to wholesale pet dealers, who shipped them around the world — was undertaken with the church’s knowledge. 

Amidst negative popular reactions to the visit to Vanuatu by Unification Church (UC) leader Sun Myung Moon, a local young adult came forward to say that his experience with the UC’s Inter-Religious International Federation for World Peace, which promised him computer and business skills training, turned out to be church teachings. “And because they are very influential, they managed to convince us to be part of their activities that aimed to go up to a higher spiritual realm.” He said many Vanuatu youths are now in Australia selling chocolates to raise money for the group. . . Moon visited Barbados in December while on his whirlwind 100-nation 100-day mission to inaugurate his Universal Peace Federation. [csr 5.1 2006] 

Unification Church leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon is still courting the leaders of African American churches, as indicated by the presence of a number of prominent black clergy at a presentation he made before 2,000 followers in San Francisco, in February, where he promoted his $200 billion Peace King Tunnel across the Bering Straight between Alaska and Russia. . . A San Leandro, CA, Unification Church minister, the Rev. Kevin Thompson, 48, has been indicted on charges of poaching and smuggling protected California leopard sharks from San Francisco Bay. Thompson and the church are said to own at least one boat used in the scheme. There is an international aquarium market for the sharks.[csr 5.1 2006] 

Having begun with a small operation in Chicago, in 1980, the Unification Church (UC) is now dominating the American sushi market and supplying much of the raw fish Americans eat. The Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s True World Group has managed to integrate virtually every facet of the highly competitive seafood industry, building fleets of boats, running dozens of distribution centers, and supplying most of the nations’ estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants. . . . The Rev. Moon and the UC have effectively worked their way back into the political establishment, a success symbolized by the participation of members of Congress in a 2004 Dirkson Senate Office Building ceremony staged by the church to honor Moon. “It’s been here for a generation,” said J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, in California. “The concerns about it have just sort of drifted away,” he added. . . . Critics accuse the UC of using two Brazilian soccer teams it controls, in Sao Paulo and Campo Grande, as recruiting tools. The teams offer access to education and sports to youth from vulnerable, deprived communities.[csr 5.1 2006] 

New Tarrytown Church Proposed 
The Unification Church (UC) proposes to build a new house of worship, accommodating up to 600 congregants, in Tarrytown, NY, even as it sells off significant parts of its property in Westchester County [the site of the church’s theological seminary]. The town is concerned that the building may add to traffic congestion [but it made no reference to the issue of member indoctrination, prominent in the 1970s, when the UC first came to the area]. (Len Maniace, Journal News, Internet, 8/11/05) [csr 4.3 2005] 

Ex-Uganda President Breaks with Moon 
Former Uganda president Godfrey Binaisa has ordered his Japanese wife — they were married by Unification Church (UC) Leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon via satellite link in 2004—to leave their home following his refusal to accept her request that he convert to the church and donate 150 acres of his land to it. Binaisa, who says he was being coerced to join the UC, reportedly gave $30,000 to Tomoko Yamamoto for transportation and resettlement costs from Kampala to Columbus, OH. (Jude Etyang, New Vision, Uganda, Internet, 7/28/05) [csr 4.3 2005] 

U. of Bridgeport Reaccredited 
The University of Bridgeport, which the Unification Church purchased more than a decade ago, has been reaccredited for five years by the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education. Board member William Bevaqua said he was glad the University no longer depended on the Professor’s World Peace Academy, a church-connected organization through which it financed the university. “There were some suggestions,” Bevaqua said, “that there would be an attempt to influence curriculum and student mindset at the time. That obviously never materialized.” He also noted that the university is gaining support from the Bridgeport community. University president Neil Salonen says enrollment is up and the institution is operating in the black, thanks in part to donations from alumni. (Linda Conner Lambeck, Connecticut Post, Internet, 6/16/05) [csr 4.2 2005] 

Moon Graduates Involved in Federal “Faith-based” Funding 
Four “operatives” of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church (UC) are prominently involved in “faith-based” programs funded by the federal government. Unification Theological Seminary graduate Josephine Hauer, recently hired as a “marriage specialist” with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, led a “Certified Marriage Education Training Seminar” for pastors and social workers in San Francisco, in October, assisted by the Rev. Bento Leal, another Moon seminary graduate who is minister of a Unification Church congregation in San Leandro. Hauer was previously director of marriage education at the University of Bridgeport, which is run by a Moon-affiliated organization. [csr 4.1 2005] 

Hauer refused to speak about her ties to the UC, saying: “I’m a professional. I don’t talk about my religion or my politics. The assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services said: “We don’t ask people’s religious affiliation before we hire them. But if someone uses federal funds to proselytize, that would be a violation.”[csr 4.1 2005] 

Another Moon seminary graduate, Richard Panzer, heads Free Teens USA, an after-school program in New Jersey that promotes abstinence until marriage. Free Teens has received a $475,000 grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.[csr 4.1 2005] 

In addition, longtime Moon political operative David Caprara is running the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service, which includes AmeriCorps Vista. It disbursed $61 million in 2003. (Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle, Internet, 10/3/04) [csr 4.1 2005] 

Moon Church Accused of Narcotics Operations 
A Paraguayan politician says that the two chief interests of the Unification Church [UC] in the country are “control of the largest fresh water drinking source in the world and control of the narcotics business.” Sen. Domingo Laino points to the church’s purchase of large areas on both sides of the Paraguay-Brazil border and the “takeover” of a number of towns in the region. [csr 4.1 2005] 

Moon-Linked Tourism Raises Israeli Concern 
Israelis involved in counter-missionary work are concerned that a Unification Church program has brought in some 10,000 pilgrims and tourists from 190 countries — at a time when visitor numbers are diminished due to the Middle East conflict. They are concerned because the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace was created by a man whose church allegedly “brainwashes its members into giving up their lives, disconnecting ties with family members, and proselytizing for Rev. Moon.” (Gail Lichtman, Jerusalem Post, 2/6/05)[csr 4.1 2005] 

Senator Says Moon Organization Deceived Him 
Sen. John Warner says he was deceived by an organization associated with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church when his office arranged for a ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building at which Moon declared himself the Messiah. The request for use of a room was made by the Washington Times Foundation and its government liaison, Gary Jarmin, and by Christian Voice, which Jarmin chairs. The Moon organization owns the Washington Times, and Christian Voice has long been linked to Moon. Jarmin said there was never any attempt to deceive. (Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, Internet, 7/24/04) [csr 3.3 2004] 

Moon-style Marriage for Former Uganda President 
Former president of Uganda Godfrey Binaisa, 84, has married a wife chosen by the Unification Church whom he has never seen. He has, however, spoken a number of times on the phone with the 58-year-old Korean woman, who lives in the U.S. (Anastasia Ivanova, Cultology.blogspot.com, Internet, 8/5/04) [csr 3.3 2004] 

Orphan Assistance 
The International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) [an arm of the Unification Church] has established a “long-distance adoption system” for Zambian orphans. The organization’s director in charge of HIV/AIDS prevention and “character education” in Zambia, Adamson Musonda, said the orphans would be placed with American families until they complete their educations. He added that IIFWP has built a community school for orphans in Zambia. (Times of Zambia, Internet, 4/29/04) [csr 3.3 2004] 

Chile Denies Legal Status 
The Chilean government has denied legal status to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, saying the organization “injures the political stability of the democratic system that governs the nation” and promotes conflict among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. In Chile for 28 years, the church has been accused of human rights violations and questionable financial dealings. A government legal advisor said the church is “profoundly anticommunist and xenophobic, with a marked Nazi inspiration.” (EFE News Service via Country Watch, Internet, 6/7/04) [csr 3.3 2004] 

U.S. House Member Helps Crown Moon 
Illinois Republican Congressman Danny K. Davis helped present a crown that was then placed on the head of Unification Church leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon — symbolizing that he and his wife are the “true parents” of mankind — during a March banquet mounted by the church at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Davis explained: “I was attempting to provide an accolade to the Rev. Moon and his wife for promoting visions of world peace,” as well as for their “visions of family structure. . . It had nothing to do with religion. I am a practicing Baptist.”[csr 3.3 2004] 

The church claims that numerous House members and Senators were involved in the event, but calls to their offices found that all but Davis want nothing further to do with the Rev. Moon or his “cult-like” church. A source says some legislators attended the banquet without knowing its sponsorship. “There was a mass exodus from the event as soon as folks realized that it was a Rev. Moon event.” (Lee Penn, The Christian Challenge, Internet, 6/15/04) [csr 3.3 2004] 

Finally Accepted in Gloucester
After 25 years in Gloucester, MA, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church is accepted. Now, few people talk about the church, its businesses, or its members. “The fear of recruitment of our kids never materialized, and members of the church seem to have assimilated well into the community,” says Mayor John Bell. The church core in town consists of 11 families, and half the adults work for the church-owned True World Foods, which owns, among other businesses, two marinas and one of the areas largest lobster wholesale plants.[csr 3.3 2004] 

Member Joseph Kelley, 42, says: “We’re not as close-knit as we should be. It’s not as tight as when everyone was single. Everybody’s working; we’ve got families; we’re doing different things.” [csr 3.3 2004] 

Former member Steven Hassan, who has written widely on the Unification Church, believes Moon did not recruit locally because of the bad publicity generated by his extensive property purchases in town. (Steven Rosenberg, Boston Globe, Internet, 6/27/04) [csr 3.3 2004]

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