The Words of the Poor Family
How Unification Church Rumors Spread
For every complex problem, there is an answer which is short, simple, and wrong. [H. L. Mencken]
Fear and Ignorance
Some people hear dreadful things about the Unification Church, so in good conscience they wish to warn others to steer clear of such "dangerous" people. People like this may be naive, but they have no bad motivation.
A lot of people believe in different things than the Unification Church teaches. Communists, especially in the founding days of the church, were dismayed by the church's strong anti-communist teaching and sought to discredit the church to dissuade people from discovering the errors in communist thought.
Many Christian churches disagree with the Unification Church teaching on the Second Coming. While the Unification Church teaches that the Messiah will be born on earth as a man, many other Christian churches strongly oppose this teaching. Since experience has shown that people join the Unification Church in proportion to how many lectures the church gives on its teachings, proponents of differing theologies sought to dissuade people from hearing Unification theology. In the famous Ehwa Women's University incident, a dean of students and a dozen professors and students were dismissed for joining the Unification Church, because the university president was afraid that more women from the university would join. The pretext for the dismissals was the false rumor that the Unification Church conducted orgies. One university official went to investigate this rumor, wearing seven petticoats so that if she were forced into the alleged sex rituals, she would have time to scream for help. After finding the rumors groundless, she listened to the teachings of the Unification Church and joined. University officials, in panic, dismissed her in an attempt to discredit her.
Some people have an axe to grind against the Unification Church. They will pass on stories which they know are untrue, because they are deliberately trying to damage the church's reputation. Evangelists whose theology radically differs from Unification theology sometimes stoop to this practice, figuring the best defense against losing members is to paint the worst possible picture of their "opponents". Journalists looking for an interesting story may be eager to trumpet the more sensational rumors, improving their circulation while tarnishing the image of the Unification Church. Worse are those politicians like Rep. Donald Fraser who would make "exposing" the Unification Church a plank in their campaign platform at taxpayers' expense. But the hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who earn a living as professional rumor-mongers and faith-breakers, the self-described "deprogrammers" who have exploited legal pretexts to detain Unification Church members against their will and browbeat them until they recanted their faith.
Evangelists Who Break the Ten Commandments
The Bible says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." The irony of evangelists' disobeying this Commandment in the name of advancing the Gospel is shocking. To spread false rumors knowingly is forbidden to believers of the Gospel, unless this writer's interpretation of the Bible is mistaken. Preachers who lie about the practices or teachings of the Unification Church also run the risk of damaging their own reputations when their lies are uncovered, not to mention the effect on their immortal souls.
Journalists Who Abuse the Freedom of the Press
Benjamin Franklin said that freedom of the press gives an author the right to disparage a person's reputation, but that the person also has the right to give such an author a punch in the nose! Although they may deserve such treatment, it's not for us to judge, so Unification Church members must endure the cheap shots journalists have been taking at them. If newspaper and magazine writers, as well as radio and television commentators, will investigate the rumors, they will discover their origin: planted by unscrupulous people to malign the Unification Church. Yet in callous disregard of the harm their articles and broadcasts do, they rarely check these outlandish claims and sometimes even deliberately ignore evidence that refutes them.
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