The Words of the Hendricks Family
Death of Young Jin Nim
November 2, 1999
[The following is a response to the article from NBC's Reno Nevada station, KRNV.]
To: Regional directors, State Leaders, Brothers and Sisters
Fm: Tyler Hendricks Greetings from National Headquarters.
Many of you may be aware that a tragic event in the life of the True Family recently took place. I believe that this event brings us to tears and deep self-reflection.
This afternoon, Rev. Peter Kim at East Garden sent to the headquarters offices in Seoul and New York the following statement regarding the Seung-Hwa of Young Jin Nim, for distribution to church members worldwide. We are presently developing a statement for the media based upon this communication.
Regarding the Seung-Hwa of Moon Young Jin Nim:
Moon Young Jin Nim, the sixth son of True Parents, passed into spirit world at 9:30 p.m. on October 27, 1999. Young Jin Nim was known for his deep heart of filial piety toward his parents and his sharp intellect. In his academic studies, he demonstrated an intellectual level approaching that of a genius, and consistently ranked among the highest achievers in the schools he attended.
After completing two years of study at Columbia University, Young Jin Nim informed his parents of his desire to pursue an advanced course in the field of hotel management. He then traveled to the western part of the United States, which is the location of the University of Las Vegas, with its highly regarded hotel management program. During this process, Young Jin Nim stayed briefly at a hotel in Reno, Nevada. During this stay, he accidentally fell from the balcony of his room, and lost his physical life.
Young Jin Nim's Seung-Hwa Ceremony was held at 10 a.m., October 30, He was born on June 30, 1978 in New York, and spent his entire life studying in U.S. schools. At the young age of 21, he set out to accomplish some great task for Heaven and True Parents. That course has now led to this tragic accident and his Seung-Hwa.
At this great turning point in the Providence, True Parents have placed their trust in us - even though we are not qualified and lack the proper preparation. They have afforded us the grace and blessing of liberating the entire spirit world and physical world. Young Jin Nim has gone now as the historic indemnity offering for the fruition of such blessing. Now is a time for us all to repent and reflect deeply, offer our prayers for Young Jin Nim, who has become an offering for our own inadequacies and inability, and make our determination to fulfill the path of the providence in his place.
[Article from NBC's Reno Nevada station, KRNV]
Son of Unification Church Leader Dies
RENO, Nevada, Nov. 2 – The son of Unification church leader Reverend Sun Myung Moon leaped to his death from the 17th floor of Harrah’s last week.
Reno police say Younjin Phillip Moon, 21, checked into Harrah’s Hotel last Wednesday morning and spent much of the day inside. But sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday, he took his own life. Authorities say Moon apparently jumped from the 17th floor of Harrah’s and landed on the skywalk. He died instantly from multiple injuries and blunt force trauma. Younjin Moon was one of Reverend Moon’s 13 children. Reverend Moon tells followers he and his children are "sinless" and that he is ten times greater than Jesus Christ. Reverend Moon has many followers and also many critics. Steven Hassan, a former member of the church commonly called "Moonies," is an outspoken critic of Reverend Moon. He says Reverend Moon is a master of propaganda and deceit but says he feels only sorrow for the family after the suicide of Moon’s son. "I feel tremendously sad and great pity for all victims of his delusions of grandeur. It must be tremendously tough to be a child of his," says Steven Hassan. Hassan also says that the church doesn’t publicly condone suicide but he says some followers have said that the church does teach that suicide is preferable to betraying Reverend Moon.
Younjin Moon had been traveling around the country and was in Reno no more than a day before committing suicide.
[The next day, November 4, 1999, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published the following article by Joe Schoenmann.]
Moon's son dies in fall from hotel
The Moonies' founder loses his 21-year-old son in what family members and friends say wasn't a suicide.
The son of controversial religious leader the Rev. Sun Myung Moon fell to his death from a Reno hotel room window, and the young man's family doesn't believe it was suicide.
Las Vegas resident Young Jin Moon, 21, son of the founder of the Unification Church, had every reason to live, said the Rev. Phillip Schanker, a vice president with Moon's Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
He was about to enroll in college, was two years married and, on the night of his death, appeared to be making plans that "showed he had direction."
"It doesn't fit the character of the young man that I knew," said Schanker from his home in Washington, D.C. "He was not despondent or despairing. He was a bright kid. He was having a rocky time getting along with his wife, which was fairly normal. I and many others are not convinced."
Although the Washoe County coroner's office ruled the Oct. 28 death a suicide, the Reno Police Department is conducting a full investigation, said Deputy Chief Jim Weston.
"We don't have much at this point," Weston admitted Wednesday. Toxicology tests will be conducted, he also said, to see if Moon was under the influence of any drugs at the time of death.
"There's no sign of foul play," Weston said, adding that no note was found. "And there doesn't seem to be anything in his background, or some motivating factor for suicide."
Moon's body was found around 9 a.m., lying on an overhang of Harrah's in downtown Reno. Weston said Moon had checked into a 17th floor room of the hotel the day before. Police think Moon fell from the window around 9:30 the night before.
Moon was buried with a private service Saturday in Sierra Memorial Gardens in Reno. Schanker said a much larger public ceremony is being planned by the Rev. Moon.
Young Jin Moon, Schanker said, did not play a key role in the church.
"He was not a public figure, not someone who everybody knew really well," said Schanker. "He didn't stand on stage like his brothers or give speeches. In an internal sense, there was a respect and love and support for all the children in the family. But I wouldn't say he was an active leader."
Even so, his Sept. 6, 1997, wedding to Hwa Jung Yoo, then 20, in New York City drew congratulations from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and Washington Mayor Marion Barry. According to the Unification News, an organization newsletter, the younger Moon's wedding "set the stage for the blessing of 3.6 million couples worldwide" that occurred in November 1997.
The Rev. Moon founded the church in Korea in 1954 with the belief that Jesus Christ was supposed to marry but was prevented from doing so by his death. The church's Divine Principle holds that Moon was sent from the East to be the Messiah and correct Jesus' mistakes.
Schanker said the church, whose members are sometimes called "Moonies," numbers more than 45,000 in the United States and several hundred thousand worldwide.
Announcing that the age of traditional religion was at an end, the Rev. Moon officially dissolved the Unification Church in 1996 to focus on the offshoot Family Federation. At the same time, he holds the reins of a robust business empire that reportedly controls more than $300 million in various enterprises in Washington, D.C., including the Washington Times newspaper.
Young Jin Moon, Moon's sixth son, was born in 1978, 24 years after his father founded the church and seven years after he moved to the United States.
Schanker said the young man had wanted to study hotel management in Nevada and was exploring which campus he would attend. He already had completed two years of study in East Asian civilizations at Columbia University. And while his parents wanted him to attend Cornell University, Schanker said, he "felt Las Vegas was the place because of the preponderance of hotels."
Schanker said the Rev. Moon lost two other sons, one in a 1984 car accident and the other in a train accident "back in the early days of the movement."
Schanker said the 79-year-old Moon has "maintained incredible strength" in light of this latest tragedy.
"I was with him last Friday and Saturday," he said. "We felt felt something was up, but it's kind of his character not to show weakness or shed tears in a public way."
Schanker said several people were meeting Wednesday night "to pray together and reflect and try to go through it and understand
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