Unification Church: An Apology
An encyclopedia under the heading "cult" says that is "the term
commonly used for a new religious group devoted to a living leader
and committed to a fixed set of teachings and practices." By this
definition the Roman Catholic Church is a cult because it follows the
Pope. It goes to say, ""Traditionally, the term cult referred to any
form of worship... or even a group pursing common goals. Many groups
accepted as religions today were once classified as cults.
Christianity began as a cult within Judaism and developed into an
established religion. Other groups that began as cults and developed
into organized churches include the Quaker, Mormons, Christian
Scientists, Methodists, Jehovah Witnesses, and Seventh-day
But the term has now a pejorative connotation: "Since the 1960s, publicity about cults has altered the meaning of the term. Today, the term is applied to groups that follow a living leader who promotes new and unorthodox doctrines and practices. Some leaders demand that members live apart form everyday society in communities called communes. Leaders claim that they possess exclusive religious truth, and they command absolute obedience and allegiance from their followers. Some cults require that members contribute all their possessions to the group."
The Unification Church is one of the most famous and now a household word for many people because of the intense lifestyle of fundraising long hours a day and leaving college and jobs to be on mobile fundraising teams called MFT in the church. Everyone in the 60s and 70s lived in socialist communes and denied anything personal. There were many abuses then. In the excitement of finding the truth they pushed people too hard and many left. Even though there had been intensive witnessing, most who came left. Some of them told horror stories of working hard and never being appreciated and lying to Americans in fundraising. Parents started kidnaping members using force and paying large fees to so-called deprogrammers. Like Satan, they corrupt language, for they were really programmers using violence and tactics of brainwashing that they accused the church of. Many other groups were attacked as well. Out of the thousands of small groups in America, a few of course were evil, as statistically a few of any group anywhere is evil.
We read, "Probably the most notorious United States cult of the
late 1900s was the People's Temple, a group led by Jim Jones, a
Protestant clergyman. Hundreds of his followers moved into a rural
commune called Jonestown in the South American country of Guyana.
They lived under Jones's absolute rule. In 1978, cult leaders killed
a U.S. congressman and three journalists investigating activities in
Jonestown. Jones then ordered his followers to commit suicide,
resulting in the deaths of over 900 people." This is horrible and
Rev. Moon would never ask anyone to commit suicide or do as some are
afraid that cults will do, use violence against other. Rev. Moon is
not a right wing militant nut who advocates the use of violence. he
does teach a nation should have a strong defense and he is
anti-communist and anti anything that initiates violence, but the
Divine Principle is a teaching of never initiating violence as Cain
did and it teaches to love one's enemy. Rev. Moon has loved his
enemies countless times. He has been attacked, literally and in
print, and he has always returned love. America and former members
and any other country or group need not fear members. But the church
has sometimes defended itself in court or in print.
We read, "Another notorious cult was the Branch Davidians, led by self-proclaimed prophet named David Koresh. In 1993, a 51-day confrontation between the cult and federal forces near Waco, Texas ended with the" death of over 80 cult members, including Koresh." The UC is not amassing weapons as they were. There have been some members abused sexually and emotionally as has happened in every group in the world, even mainline Christian churches. But the vast majority of the UC as well as other established churches is made up of law abiding, patriotic and moral people who have the right to worship as they please.
We read, "The Unification Church, led by its Korean founder, the evangelist Sun Myung Moon, is an adaptation of Christianity. Its members ... believe in a cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil, represented by international communism." What they don't say is that evil is also represented by immorality and any group or nation that does not honor freedom of religion like America does. "The Unification Church has been aggressive in seeking conversions. Like many other cults popular in the 1970s, however, they began to adopt a more moderate tone in the 1980s."
This is true. The church has mellowed since most of the young members joined when they were single in the 70s and in the 80s got married and started family life. Now they live like everyone else and very few fundraise anymore. Those that do fundraise are probably not driven as hard as the gruelling MFT was in the 1970s and I'm sure that fundraisers today do not do it for years. They are probably young people who end up getting jobs or going to college and live like the average person. There are few, if any, communes anymore. Older members have jobs or built businesses. They do not take young people out of college. In fact they have one of their own. They bought the University of Bridgeport. Rev. Moon has other colleges and seminaries throughout the world. He is deeply committed to education. Rev. Moon and his church are not pacifists but most American aren't either. The people to fear are those who use violence like deprogrammers and those who try to enact un-American legislation against freedom of religion. The media has never accepted the church and been irresponsible in reporting on the church but has been so slanted and liberal and against traditional values that Rev. Moon inspired the creation of the Washington Times - a prestigious newspaper in Washington D.C to counter the Washington Post. The UC is a peaceful movement that although has its share of mean, stupid members and some who have written books when leaving the church saying how it was a nightmare. They should see that in experimenting in building a new movement there has been mistakes, but the motivation was pure and well-meaning. Rev. Moon has shown time and again patience and love for America, the world and all people and fought against racism, immorality and ignorance his whole life. He has given hundreds of millions of dollars for relief to starving countries.