FAQ: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT REVEREND MOON AND UNIFICATIONISM
1. In the past Reverend Moon and his movement were persecuted worldwide. Why?
The activities of the Unification movement have made their impact on almost every area of culture: science, philosophy, religion, media, medicine, social service, etc. As a result of this and of the rapid growth of the movement, the movement went through a period of persecution worldwide, similar to what other new religious leaders and movements have faced in the past- the new was seen to be strange and threatening..
History shows that persecution is the normal course for new religious leaders. Jesus, for example was condemned as a “blasphemer” by the religious leaders of his time. The Roman historian Tacitus wrote “There is a group, hated for their abominations, called Christians”.
Reverend Moon does not regard persecution as a negative- true religious movements prosper and flourish under persecution.
2. There is less persecution of Reverend Moon and his movement today. Why?
Yes, today, the persecution is largely ending. The reason is simple. After 60 years, the many works of Reverend Moon and Unificationism are better known and appreciated by many.
A recent article in Newsweek magazine, the largest circulation news magazine in the United States confirms this fact. (September, 2006). According to the article “the Unification Church has now largely outgrown its image as a cult.” It also praises that those who joined the Reverend Moon’s Unification church and other new religious movements were “cultural innovators”,” trendsetters” and says that they “ distinguished themselves as what the sociologist Wade Clark Roof calls, in the title of his 1993 book, "A Generation of Seekers."
The article quotes Dean Hoge, a sociologist at Catholic University of America “To be sure, followers of the maharishi, or the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, or Hare Krishnas, Scientologists or the people who called themselves Jesus Freaks were a minority among the boomers. But they were the trendsetters," says Dean Hoge, a sociologist at Catholic University of America. "They were the cultural innovators, and they introduced new things to our culture which are still around."
3. What do scholars of religion say about the persecution of Reverend Moon?
A number of prominent scholars of religion have analyzed the persecution of Reverend Moon. In his article “Myths Sanctioning Religious Persecution." Professor Harvey Cox, a Harvard University religious scholar shows the stories in the media about the Unification Church are part of the typical genre of anti-religious literature. Essentially, these false myths purport to describe the religious group in the following manner: The group will deceive you ("heavenly deception"); it is dominated by a foreign influence (the Pope or the KCIA); the leader is a charlatan; and the group uses the technique of "the evil eye" to capture the mind and soul of its converts. The stereo types continue ad nauseum.
Another scholar of religion, Dr. Herbert Richardson, created a chart to show the parallels between the persecution of Reverend Moon and the historical persecution of Catholicism and Judaism. (From Herbert Richardson, ed., New Religions and Mental Health (New York and Toronto: the Edwin Mellen Press, 1980)
PARALLELS BETWEEN ANTI-CATHOLICISM, ANTI-SEMITISM AND ANTI-MOONISM ACCORDING TO RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR DR. HERBERT RICHARDSON:
The Pope is seeking to take over the world.
The Jews are seeking to take over the world. (The Protocols of the Elders of Zion)
Moon is seeking to take over the world.
Catholicism is not a true religion, but a political system
Judaism is not a religion, but a political system.
The Unification Church is not a church, but a political front group.
Catholics aren't loyal, Americans, but are really loyal to Rome, a foreign power.
Jews aren't loyal, Americans, but are really loyal to Israel
Moon teaches Americans to fight for Korea.
The Catholic Church exploits the poor in order to build rich churches and buy land.
Jews are really only after money.
Moon claims to be a prophet, but is really only after profit.
The priests enslave the minds of young people, inculcating irrational superstition.
Judaism is a legalistic, tribalistic system, ritualistic and anti-rational.
Moon brainwashes his converts.
Catholics control their young people's lives by teaching that sex is evil.
Jews control their young people's lives by making them feel guilty about marrying a non-Jew.
Moon controls young people's lives by making them remain chaste and then arranging their marriages.
Catholics justify lying by "mental reservation."
Jews always lie.
Moonies don't tell the truth, but practice "heavenly deception."
Catholics entice children, while too young to decide for themselves, to become nuns and priests.
Jews kidnap gentile children for vile purposes.
Moon entices the young to leave their families.
Catholics are swarthy(Latin) and have too many children.
Jews have crooked noses and are verminous.
Moonies have glazed eyes and are undernourished.
4. How can I understand Reverend Moon and his movement?
The only real way is to personally learn about his teachings and his works. This webpage is a good beginning.
In wondering about Reverend Moon, some thoughtful persons been guided by the advise of the Jewish leader Gamaliel regarding the new sect of Christianity to the Sanhedrin as reported in the New Testament in Acts 5:38-39 “Let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught. But if it is of God, ye cannot overthrow it: lest ye be found to fight against God.”
In fact, true religious movements prosper and flourish under persecution.
5. Was Reverend Moon imprisoned in the United States for tax evasion?
Yes- but in an an unprecedented outpouring of support for Reverend Moon, the case was protested as baseless and the result of religious persecution by mainstream religious organizations, legal scholars and a congressional inquiry by Senator Orin Hatch. Forty leading groups and individuals signed amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of Rev. Moon's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The outcry in support of Rev. Moon by the religious community and civil liberty organizations has rarely been seen in United States legal history. Read more about this travesty of United States justice here: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon by the United States government. ( link)
6. Was this Reverend Moon’s only imprisonment?
No. Reverend Moon has been jailed unjustly six times and endured torture three times. He was imprisoned twice in communist North Korea, twice by the Japanese imperial government that ruled Korea for 40 years and once by the South Korean government in the 1950’s. Other religious leaders imprisoned by secular authorities -- to name just a few -- are Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., St. Francis, Ignatius Loyola, George Fox and, of course, Jesus Christ. Those who know Rev. Moon see his ordeals as badges of honor conferred on a man of uncompromising faith.
9. How does the Unification Movement fund its activities? There are two major sources of funds: Donations from members just as any other religious organization and donations from businesses Reverend Moon has started worldwide including fishing, health foods and ship building
7. Many of the businesses founded by Reverend Moon have prospered. Is the "gospel of success" the "gospel" of the Unification movement? Has the Unification movement forgotten its humble beginning?
As far as riches go, the Unification Movement is far less wealthy than most religions and churches worldwide. Reverend Moon and his early followers literally endured starvation in an impoverished nation in order to build a Church foundation that could give service to all mankind in the future. Today, the important question is how is the money used? Its purpose is to serve the world: ten parts go to world service projects, three parts to interreligious activities, and one part (and only one part) goes to maintaining the movement. This standard compares favorably to other churches and religions.
8. What is the proper name for the Unification Church and the followers of Reverend Moon?
“Unificationist” is the proper name for a follower of Rev. Moon’s own faith community- the Unification Church- since 1992, now known as the Family Federation for World Peace. An older derogatory term “Moonie” has largely fallen out of use and is regarded by Unificationists as perjorative.