The Dysfunctional Messiah?

"In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family"/Little Brown & Company, 1998

Excerpted from the book by Nansook Hong

"I was a battered woman, but I was also part of a religious cult. I am in the process of trying to understand the decisions I did and did not make over the course of fourteen years."

"The practical effect of blind faith is isolation. I was surrounded by people who believed as I did. Everything in my life-from my duty to prostrate myself before Mother and Father in greeting each morning to my duty to accept the divinity of my transparently flawed husband-reinforced that isolation."

"My children had been my sole source of joy in the cloistered, poisonous world of the True Family. I had to flee for their sake, as well as my own."

"I had been trained all my life never to question, not to doubt."

"Much has been written about the coercion and brainwashing that takes place in the Unification Church. What I experienced was conditioning. You are isolated among like-minded people. You are bombarded with messages elevating obedience above critical thinking. Your belief system is reinforced at every turn. You become invested in those beliefs the longer you are associated with the church. After ten years, after twenty years, who would want to admit, even to herself, that her beliefs were built on sand?"

The Unification Church and its Beliefs

"The church claims to have fifty thousand members in the United States, but I would put the number of active members at no more than a few thousand in the United States and no more than a few hundred in England. The church claims to have 460,000 members in Japan, but critics say the figure is closer to 30,000, and that only 10,000 of those are active members."

"This perfect couple [the Moons], the True Parents, produced the first True Family by having children born free of original sin. The rest of humankind can become part of this sinless legacy only by receiving the marriage Blessing from the Unification Church."

"The history of man has been a search for parents. The day people meet their True Parents is their greatest day because, until then, everyone is like an orphan living in an orphanage."

"I was taught in Sunday school that the Reverend Moon had been chosen by God to complete Jesus' mission to restore the Garden of Eden. The Reverend Moon was the Second Coming."

"The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth had not been opened to mankind. It is the Reverend Moon's role as Lord of the Second Advent to complete the work Jesus left undone. The Reverend Moon's."

"The Reverend Moon's hubris culminated later that year [1985] in a secret ceremony in which he actually crowned himself and Hak Ja Han Moon as Emperor and Empress of the Universe. The Reverend Moon was aware enough of how an act of such monumental egotism would be received by the world that he banned photographs from being taken at the actual ceremony. Since there was no authority higher than the Reverend Moon, the Messiah had to crown himself Emperor of the Universe."

"The Reverend Moon teaches that Korean is the universal language of the Kingdom of Heaven. He has written that 'English is spoken only in the colonies of the Kingdom of Heaven'!"

"I was confused by the failure of the Reverend and Mrs. Moon to teach their own children [Korean] what I had been taught was the language of God."

"The evil at the heart of the Unification Church is the hypocrisy and deceit of the Moons, a family that is all too human in its incredible level of dysfunction. To continue to promote the myth that the Moons are spiritually superior to the idealistic young people who are drawn to the church is a shameful deceit."

"Heung Jin, [Moon's son killed in car accident] Father said, was already teaching those in the spirit world the Divine Principle. Jesus himself was so impressed by Heung Jin that he had stepped down from his position and proclaimed the son of Sun Myung Moon the King of Heaven. Father explained that Heung Jin's status was that of a regent. He would sit on the throne of Heaven until the arrival of the Messiah, Sun Myung Moon."

"Almost immediately, videotapes began arriving at East Garden from around the world. Unification Church members in various states of entrancement were pronouncing themselves the medium through which Heung Jin spoke from the spirit world. But all praised True Parents and reinforced Father's revelation that Jesus had bowed down to Heung Jin in Heaven."

"Young Whi Kim, a church theologian, wrote of one such medium. 'They all refer to Heung Jin Nim as the new Christ. They also call him the Youth-King of Heaven. He is the King of Heaven in the spirit world. Jesus is working with him and always accompanies him. Jesus himself says that Heung Jin Nim is the new Christ. He is the center of the spirit world now. This means he is in a higher position than Jesus.'"

"In 1987 the Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak went to investigate reports that Heung Jin had taken over the body of a Zimbabwean man and was speaking through him. The Reverend Kwak returned to East Garden professing certainty that the possession was real. The African presented himself to the Reverend Kwak as the physical embodiment of Heung Jin's spirit. The Reverend Kwak had asked him what it was like to enter the spirit world. The Black Heung Jin said that upon entering the Kingdom of Heaven, he immediately became all knowing. Without even meeting the man who claimed to be possessed by the spirit of his dead child, Sun Myung Moon authorized the Black Heung Jin to travel the world, preaching and hearing the confessions of Unification Church members who had gone astray.

He went to Europe, to Korea, to Japan, everywhere administering beatings to those who had violated church teachings by using alcohol and drugs or engaging in premarital or extramarital sex. Reverend Moon was using the Black Heung Jin for his own ends, just as he had used the American civil liberties community before him. No one outside the True Family was immune from the beatings. The Black Heung Jin was a passing phenomenon in the Unification Church. Soon the mistresses he acquired were so numerous and the beatings he administered so severe that members began to complain. He beat Bo Hi Pak-a man in his sixties-so badly that he was hospitalized for a week in Georgetown Hospital. Sun Myung Moon simply announced that Heung Jin's spirit had left the Zimbabwean's body and ascended into Heaven. The Zimbabwean was not quite so ready to get off the gravy train. At last sighting, he had established a breakaway cult in Africa with himself in the role of Messiah. In many ways, Hyo Jin's abusive behavior was a natural response to the environment of coercion and control in the Moon household and the Unification Church."

Sun Myung Moon

"Sun Myung Moon himself was banned from Britain in 1995 because the Home Office, which is in charge of immigration, declared his presence was 'not conducive to the public good.'"

"I now knew that God would never have chosen Sun Myung Moon or his son to be his agents on earth."

"Accepting the Reverend Moon for the fraud I now know him to be was a slow and painful process."

"Gambling is strictly prohibited by the Unification Church. Betting of any kind is seen as a social ill that undermines the family and contributes to the moral decline of civilization. Why was Sun Myung Moon, the Lord of the Second Advent, the divine successor to the man who threw the money changers out of the temple, spending hours at the blackjack table? The Reverend Moon was eager to explain our presence in a place I had been taught was a den of sin. As the Lord of the Second Advent, he said, it was his duty to mingle with sinners in order to save them. He had to understand their sin in order to dissuade them from it. Peter Kim sat there for him and placed the bets as the Reverend Moon instructed from his position behind Peter Kim's shoulder. 'So you see, I am not actually gambling, myself,' he told me. Even at age fifteen, even from the mouth of the Messiah, I recognized a rationalization when I heard one."

"As Sun Myung Moon struck her over and over again, his daughter told me, he insisted he was hitting her out of love. It was not her first beating at Father's hands. She said she wished she had the courage to go to the police and have Sun Myung Moon arrested for child abuse."

"The Messiah is seventy-eight years old. His claims of divinity notwithstanding, even Sun Myung Moon cannot live forever. When he dies there is every possibility that the Reverend Moon will take the Unification Church with him to his grave. The Unification Church is a classic example of what psychologists call a cult of personality. His sons are already locked in a battle for control of his business empire. That struggle will only intensify when the Unification Church itself is up for grabs. Reverend Moon implies that the True Mother will rule when he ascends into Heaven."

Mrs. Moon

"Mother-who spent so much time at chic clothing emporiums that her youngest son once answered, 'She shops,' when his schoolteacher asked him to describe his mother's lifework?"

"Gambling is strictly prohibited by the Unification Church. Betting of any kind is seen as a social ill that undermines the family and contributes to the moral decline of civilization. Why, then, was Hak Ja Han Moon, the Mother of the True Family, cradling a cup of coins and feverishly inserting them one after another into a slot machine?"

"Mrs. Moon, who had not finished high school before she married Sun Myung Moon, was uncomfortable around well-educated and pretty women like my mother. She insisted on being introduced in public as Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, but the title was an honorary one."

Hyo Jin Moon

"Later Hyo Jin [Rev. Moon's eldest son] would offer a religious justification for beating half senseless a woman seven months pregnant: he was teaching me to be humble in the presence of the son of the Messiah."

"I would take the only thing holy about this marriage, my children, and leave behind the man who beat me and the false Messiah who let him."

"The eldest son-who smokes, drives drunk, abuses drugs, and engaged in premarital and extramarital sex, in violation of church doctrine?"

"Hyo Jin never came home before midnight and demanded sex when he did. More often than not, he was drunk when he stumbled up the stairs of Cottage House, reeking of tequila and stale cigarettes. I would pretend to be asleep, hoping he would leave me alone, but he rarely did. I was there to serve his needs; my own did not matter."

"He would rouse himself, shower, and then return to Manhattan to make the rounds of his favorite nightclubs, lounges, and Korean bars. At nineteen, Hyo Jin had no trouble being served in the Korean-owned establishments he frequented. He often took his younger brother Heung Jin, then fifteen, and his sister In Jin, sixteen, with him on his late-night drinking jaunts."

"I could guess why he was in Harlem; that's where he scored cocaine. He was not on the corner when I arrived so I drove around the area. I finally found him wandering several blocks away. He was drunk and incoherent. When I located the Audi, I was amazed that he had walked away uninjured. The car was a total loss."

"At 4:00 one morning, I was awakened by a call from the New York City police. Hyo Jin had been arrested for driving while intoxicated. We were expected at a birthday celebration that morning for one of the Moon children. The Moons took no action against their wayward son. The criminal justice system fined him, suspended his license, and ordered him to perform community service, but his parents did nothing to stem his drinking and driving."

By 1993 Hyo Jin's use of cocaine was constant. He locked himself in our master bedroom suite for days on end [and] spent [an] entire week snorting cocaine and watching pornographic video. 'I'm calling the police,' I warned, but he just slapped the phone out of my hand. 'How dare you try to call the police on me?' he shouted. 'They have no authority here. Do you think I'm afraid of the police? Me? The son of the Messiah?'"

"Manhattan Center became the fuel that powered Hyo Jin's moral collapse. It was a source of ready cash to finance his cocaine habit, his growing arsenal of guns, and his nightly drinking binges. He would order his inner circle to accompany him to Korean bars in Queens, where he cavorted openly with "hostesses" and drank himself senseless."

"His verbal abuse of me had grown from obscenity-laden insults to threats of physical harm. He would open the gun case he kept in our bedroom and stroke one of his high-powered rifles. "Do you know what I could do to you with this?" he would ask. He kept a machine gun, a gift from True Parents, under our bed."

"I tried to flush [Hyo Jin's] cocaine down the toilet, spilling some on the bathroom floor in the process. He pushed me to the floor and made me sweep up what white powder I could retrieve. He smashed his fist into my face, bloodying my nose. He wiped my blood on his hand and then licked it off. "Tastes good." He laughed. 'This is fun.' I was seven months pregnant at the time. While he punched me, I used my hands to shield my tummy. 'I'll kill this baby,' Hyo Jin screamed and I could see he meant it.

"As strong as [Hyo Jin's] contempt was for me, it did not approximate his hatred of his Father. He loathed and loved Sun Myung Moon in equal measure. He mocked him in front of me and in front of his associates at Manhattan Center as a senile old fool who should know his time to leave; he denounced him as an uncaring father who had never had time for his children."

"[Hyo Jin] grew up believing that there were no consequences for his misdeeds, and his parents, and the church hierarchy, did nothing to disabuse him of that notion."

"I was very calm as [Hyo Jin] described his betrayal of our family. 'Well, maybe I kissed her," he conceded. 'Maybe we had oral sex.' His rationalizations got more strained the more impropriety he was willing to admit. 'I did penetrate her, but I didn't ejaculate so it doesn't count,' he said, before finally confessing: 'I did ejaculate, but it doesn't matter because she is on the pill.' I wondered if this guy even knew how pathetic he sounded. 'She's not the only one. All the women in the church want me. I'll fuck the prettiest girl I can find. I'll show you.' I was numb. This was the man who claimed to be the son of the Messiah, a man who had stood up at a church service a few years before and preached about the sacredness of the Blessing."

"Hyo Jin only laughed later when I confronted him about the pornographic films. He liked sexual variety, he said pointedly, in his life as well as in his entertainment."

"When I would ask him what he did when he stayed out all night, he told me that it was impudent of me to question the son of the Messiah. Within weeks of our marriage, painful blisters began to appear in my genital area. Hyo Jin Moon had given me herpes. It was years before my gynecologist told me explicitly that I suffered from a sexually transmitted disease. I needed to know, she said, because in the age of AIDS, Hyo Jin's adulterous behavior was not just a risk to his soul. It was a risk to my life."

"Continuing the pattern that had defined his life, Hyo Jin refused to take responsibility for his adultery, the single worst sin in the Unification Church. He told me, as I later learned he had told Annie and his inner circle, that the church's sexual prohibitions did not apply to him."

"[Hyo Jin] once forced me to stand naked at the foot of his bed while he mocked me. I begged him not to beat me anymore. He gave me a choice. I could be hit or spit upon. I think he enjoyed the humiliation he inflicted by spitting at me even more than he had enjoyed hitting me."

"In a telephone conversation that she recorded, Hyo Jin told Madelene to meet him at the corner of 125th Street and Riverside Drive in Harlem with enough money for him to score some crack cocaine. The next day Madelene drove Hyo Jin to the airport for his trip to a drug treatment program at the Hazelden Clinic in West Palm Beach, Florida. He lasted at Hazelden only a few days before doctors asker) him to leave, citing his lack of cooperation. The Moons sent him next to California to the Betty Ford Clinic, where he remained for more than a month in their detoxification program."

"[A social worker's] report in early December [recommended to the court] that no visitation should be allowed between Hyo Jin and the children until Hyo Jin had demonstrated that he had been free of drugs and alcohol for a two-month period. [The social worker later] granted supervised visits with the children that spring. Hyo Jin saw his children only twice before the man who insisted he had changed forever failed a drug test. Visits were suspended until Hyo Jin could prove to the court's satisfaction that he was no longer abusing drugs or alcohol. That day still has not come."

"Our divorce case had produced enough paper to make a stack of legal documents two feet high. It had dragged on for two and one-half years. Sun Myung Moon had displayed more willingness to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawyers than to guarantee the future security of his grandchildren. So much for family values. I did not oppose supervised visitation by Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han Moon, but I was skeptical that they were sincere in this demand. In the two and one-half years that had passed since we fled East Garden, they had not written or called their grandchildren once. They had not remembered them at Christmas or on their birthdays. They had displayed the same indifference to them, as had their son. With the flick of a judge's pen, the nightmare that was my marriage to the abusive son of a false Messiah was over at last."

Family Values

"This family is the Holy Family? It is a myth that can be sustained only from a distance."

"I would learn that the rules did not apply to the Moon family. All had sex immediately after the Blessing, if they had not already had sex before."

"Father had been unfaithful [Hyo Jin] claimed. I went to Mrs. Moon with these claims. She was both furious and tearful. No one knows the pain of a straying husband like True Mother, she assured me. I was stunned. We had all heard rumors for years about Sun Myung Moon's affairs and the children he sired out of wedlock, but here was True Mother confirming the truth of those stories. 'What Father did was in God's plan.' His infidelity was part of her course to suffer to become the True Mother. Mrs. Moon told Father what Hyo Jin was claiming and the Reverend Moon summoned me to his room. What happened in his past was 'providential,' Father reiterated. It has nothing to do with Hyo Jin. I was embarrassed to be hearing this admission from him directly. I was also confused. If Hak Ja Han Moon was the True Mother, if he had found the perfect partner on earth, how could be justify his infidelity theologically? I did not ask, of course, but I left that room with a new understanding of the relationship between the Reverend and Mrs. Moon. It was no wonder she wielded so much influence; he was indebted to her for not exposing him all these years. She had made her peace with his faithlessness and betrayal. Perhaps all the money, the world travel, the public adulation, was compensation enough for her. The boy had been born of an affair between the Reverend Moon and a church member was an open secret among the thirty-six Blessed Couples. It was not a romantic liaison, my mother had explained to me. It was a 'providential' union, ordained by God, but one that the secular world would not understand. The Reverend Moon has never acknowledged his paternity publicly, but by the late 1980s, the boy and the second generation of Moons were told the truth."

"We drove to a smoky Korean nightclub bar. It was obvious that the Moon children were regular customers; all the hostesses greeted them affectionately. A waitress brought Hyo Jin a bottle of Gold Tequila and a box of Marlboro Lights. In Jin and Heung Jin drank right along with him, while I sipped a glass of Coca-Cola. All of my childhood I had been taught that members of the Unification Church do not go to bars, that followers of Sun Myung Moon do not drink alcohol or use tobacco. How could I be sitting in this place with the True Children of the Reverend Moon while they engaged in the very behavior that Father traveled the globe denouncing?"

"They must obey. 'If you beat your children from your temper, it is a sin,' the Reverend Moon has said. 'But if they do not obey you, you can bring them by force. It will be good for them, after all. If they do not obey you, you can even strike them.'"

"I saw Sun Myung Moon slap his children to silence them. Of course, his slaps only made them cry more."

"As Sun Myung Moon struck her over and over again, his daughter told me, he insisted he was hitting her out of love. It was not her first beating at Father's hands. She said she wished she had the courage to go to the police and have Sun Myung Moon arrested for child abuse."

"Hyo Jin [Moon's eldest son] never disguised his contempt for Father and Mother. He seemed to consider them as little more than convenient sources of cash."

"I had seen no evidence that either the Reverend Moon or Mrs. Moon tried to exercise any control over their children's wild behavior."

"Sun Myung Moon taught his children that they were little princes and princesses and they acted accordingly. It was embarrassing to watch and amazing to see how accepting the staff was of the verbal abuse meted out by the Moon children. Like me, they believed the True Family was faultless."

"No sooner was a baby born to True Mother and True Father than it was assigned a church sister who acted as nanny and nursemaid. During my fourteen years in East Garden, I never saw the Reverend or Mrs. Moon wipe a nose or play a game with any of their children."

"The Reverend Moon had a theological explanation for the kind of parental neglect he and Mrs. Moon exercised and that I had endured in my own childhood as the daughter of two of his original disciples: the Messiah came first."

"The True Family treated the staff like indentured servants. The kitchen sisters and baby-sitters slept six to a room in the attic. They were given a small stipend but no real salary. The situation was little better for security guards, gardeners, and handymen who took care of the Moon properties. The Moons' attitude was that church members were privileged to live in such close proximity to the True Family. In exchange for that honor, they were ordered around by even the smallest of the Moons: 'Bring me this'. 'Get me that'. 'Pick up my clothes'. 'Make my bed.'"

"As much as anything about my new life in the True Family, the antipathy between the Moon children and their parents stunned me. Early on, I was disabused of the idea that this was a warm and loving family. If they had reached a state of spiritual perfection, it was often hard to detect in their daily interactions with one another."

"The Pledge Service was held in the study adjacent to the bedroom of the Reverend and Mrs. Moon. I was amazed at those services to realize that the Moon children did not know the words to the [Unification Church] Pledge that I had been reciting from memory since I was seven years old."

"The older Moon children sought to distance themselves from the True Family. Most took a perverse pleasure in ignoring every tenet of their religion. The Moons paid scant attention."

The Moons and Money

"Father [Rev. Moon]-demonstrated contempt for civil law every time he accepted a paper bag full of untraceable, undeclared cash collected from true believers?"

"There was no question inside the church that the Reverend Moon used his religious tax exemption as a tool for financial gain in the business world."

"Personally, the Moons had an almost physical aversion to paying taxes. Lawyers for the church spent most of their time trying to figure out how to avoid them. That's why the True Family Trust fund was based not in a U.S. bank but in an account in Liechtenstein."

"No matter what the lawyers said in court, no one internally disputed that the Reverend Moon commingled church and business funds. No one had any problem with it. How often had I heard church advisers discuss funneling church funds into his business enterprises and political causes because his religious, business, and political goals are the same: world dominance for the Unification Church. It was U.S. tax laws that were wrong, not Sun Myung Moon. Man's law was secondary to the Messiah's mission."

"Much of the money raised to do God's work was squandered on Sun Myung Moon's white elephant: the twenty-four-million-dollar personal residence and church conference center that he built on the grounds of East Garden. The foyer and the bathrooms boasted imported Italian marble. The thick oak doors were carved with Korean flowers. There was a ballroom on the first floor and bedrooms for the Moons' many small children on the second floor, down the hall from their parents' lavish suite of private rooms. One of the two dining rooms had its own pond and waterfall. The kitchen was equipped with six pizza ovens. There was a third-floor game room and closets for Mrs. Moon's clothes the size of a conventional bedroom. There was a dentist's office and a turret that housed the office of Sun Myung Moon's secretary, Peter Kim. The building was a monument to excess and nonsense. A bowling alley was located, not in the basement, but on the third floor, right above Sun Myung Moon's bedroom."

"On a child's birthday or a church holiday, Japanese and other church leaders would come to the compound with thousands of dollars in "donations" for the True Family. The cash went straight into the safe in Mrs. Moon's bedroom closet."

"Why did he have to handle all that money? The answer was clear enough to anyone inside the church: the Unification Church was a cash operation. I watched Japanese church leaders arrive at regular intervals at East Garden with paper bags full of money, which the Reverend Moon would either pocket or distribute to the heads of various church-owned business enterprises at his breakfast table. The Japanese had no trouble bringing the cash into the United States; they would tell customs agents that they were in America to gamble at Atlantic City."

"In addition, many businesses run by the church were cash operations, including several Japanese restaurants in New York City. I saw deliveries of cash from church headquarters that went directly into the wall safe in Mrs. Moon's closet. From here, on any given day, she might distribute five thousand dollars to the kitchen staff for food or five hundred dollars to a child who had just won a game of hopscotch."

"In the mid-1980s, money deposited in the True Family Trust was wired to Hyo Jin, and the other adult Moon children' every month. Hyo Jin received about seven thousand dollars a month, deposited directly into the joint checking account we had established at First Fidelity Bank in Tarrytown."

"Hyo Jin would go to Mother regularly for large sums of cash. She never said no, as far as I could tell. He stashed his money in the closet of our bedroom, dipping into his cash reserves whenever he headed out to the bars."

"[Mrs. Moon] returned from her closet safe with a Gucci handbag. It contained a hundred thousand dollars in cash. This was "seed money" for our family's future, she told me. I should invest it wisely, perhaps in gold. Later, she said, she would give us another three hundred thousand dollars. Was she bribing me? I was advised to store it in a safe deposit box in a bank in Tarrytown. Had I deposited it in a savings account we would have to do the unthinkable: pay taxes on it. The safe deposit box was a mistake, of course. It provided Hyo Jin with ready access to cash. He used the money that was earmarked for our children's future to buy a thirty-thousand-dollar gold-plated gun for Father and motorcycles for himself and his brothers."

"Japan was fertile fund-raising ground for a messianic leader like Sun Myung Moon. Eager young Unification Church members found elderly people anxious to ensure that their loved ones came to a peaceful rest in the spirit world. To that end, they fleeced thousands of people out of millions of dollars for religious vases, prayer beads, and religious pictures to guarantee that their deceased family members entered the Kingdom of Heaven. A small jade pagoda could sell for as much as fifty thousand dollars. Wealthy widows were conned into donating all of their assets to the Unification Church to guarantee that their loved ones would not languish in hell with Satan. Church members waited on Mrs. Moon. Church leaders brought her stacks of money. Japan's economy was booming. The country was fast becoming the source of most of Sun Myung Moon's money. In the mid-l98Os church officials claimed the Unification Church was pulling in four hundred million dollars a year through fund raising in Japan alone. The Reverend Moon used that money for his personal comfort and to invest in businesses in the United States and around the world."

"I was given twenty thousand dollars in two packs of crisp new bills. I hid them beneath the tray in my makeup case. I knew that smuggling was illegal, but I believed the followers of Sun Myung Moon answered to higher laws. It was my duty to serve without question. I did what I was told, worrying more that I might lose the money than that I might be arrested."

"Employees at Manhattan Center were all members of the Unification Church, even though Manhattan Center Studios claims to be an independent corporation with no overt connection to the church. Money flowed in and out of Manhattan Center in what could generously be described as a liberal and informal fashion. Church funds, channeled to Manhattan Center from True Mother, were recorded on the books as 'TM.'"

[Hyo Jin, Moon's eldest son,] used Manhattan Center money as if it were his own and had his own paycheck deposited into a joint account with Rob Schwartz, his financial adviser at the company. Manhattan Center was there to serve his every whim. The casualness with which Hyo Jin mingled his personal funds and church money and business accounts would have intrigued the Internal Revenue Service.

"A group of Japanese members of the Unification Church was touring the United States. On a visit to Manhattan Center, they made a personal 'donation' to Hyo Jin of four hundred thousand dollars in cash. He kept some of the money and used the rest for pet projects at Manhattan Center. He never reported the gift on his tax return or paid a dime of taxes on the money."

"In February 1994 Hyo Jin carried a Bloomingdale's shopping bag into Manhattan Center containing six hundred thousand dollars in cash. I had helped him count out the money earlier in the day in our bedroom."

"[Hyo Jin] had skimmed off four hundred thousand dollars for himself of the one million dollars Father had given him to finance Manhattan Center projects."

"The Unification Church's biggest challenge in the years ahead will be holding on to Japan as the financial engine that runs this moneymaking machine. For decades Japan has been Sun Myung Moon's strongest base of support and most reliable source of cash. However, fund-raising efforts there have begun to stall in the last few years in the wake of public complaints, lawsuits, and government scrutiny of church operations. The church claims to have 460,000 members in Japan, but critics say the figure is closer to 30,000, and that only 10,000 of those are active members."

"Plenty of people are bothered by the Unification Church in Japan, however. Hundreds have sued; charging they were cheated out of their life savings by Unification Church members who promised that Sun Myung Moon's intercession could save a deceased loved one from the fires of hell. Government consumer protection officials in Japan say they have received nearly twenty thousand complaints about the Unification Church since 1987. The church already has paid out millions to settle many of the lawsuits involving the sale of vases, icons, and paintings said to have supernatural powers."

"The Washington Times headquarters looks like a more profitable operation than it is. The paper continues to lose money sixteen years after the first press run. It is subsidized by the profits of the Reverend Moon's other business holdings and, increasingly, by 'donations' from Japanese members. At a dinner celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Washington Times in 1992, the Reverend Moon said he had invested close to a billion dollars in the paper in its first decade in order to make it "an instrument to save America and the world."

Moon and Marriage

"Sun Myung Moon actually had matched Jesus to an elderly Korean woman. Because the Unification Church teaches that only married couples can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus himself needed the intervention of the Reverend Moon to move through those gates."

"As members of the church, they knew of my marriage to Hyo Jin Moon, but they must have assumed it had not been consummated. That was not such a foolish assumption, I realize now. The age of consent in New York State is seventeen. Hyo Jin could have been arrested for statutory rape. That summer the Moons decided I could not return to Irvington High School. They worried that public school officials could get too curious about the cause of my extended leave of absence, that there would be rumors about the baby. I was still below the age of consent in New York when she was conceived. They did not need their son accused of child abuse or even rape."

"One theological problem with the deification of Heung Jin Moon was that Sun Myung Moon teaches that the Kingdom of Heaven is attainable only by married couples, not by single individuals. Father dealt with that expeditiously. Less than two months after Heung Jin died, a wedding ceremony was held in which Sun Myung Moon joined his dead son in marriage to Hoon Sook Pak, the daughter of Bo Hi Pak, one of his original disciples. Hoon Sook's brother, Jin Sung Pak, was married on the same day to In Jin Moon. The joint wedding on February 20, 1984 can only be described as bizarre. A beautiful young woman, she was twenty-one, an aspiring ballerina. The Reverend Moon would found the Universal Ballet Company in Korea to highlight her talent under the stage name Julia Moon. My husband, Hyo Jin, stood in for his dead brother next to the bride. He repeated the vows that Heung Jin was not able to recite. This ceremony would have seemed strange, indeed, to anyone outside the Unification Church, but the Reverend Moon frequently joined the living with the dead in matrimony."

"A few years after their Holy Wedding, Julia Moon and the long-dead Heung Jin Moon would become parents. She did not actually give birth, of course. Heung Jin's younger brother Hyun Jin and his wife simply gave Julia their newborn son, Shin Chul, to raise as her own."

"I remember one sermon at a 5:00 A.M. family Pledge Service when Father said wives should be struck now and then to keep them humble. "You wives who have been slapped or hit by your husband, raise your hands," he once instructed at a Sunday sermon at Belvedere. 'Sometimes you may be struck because of your lips. The body's first criminal is the lips those two thin lips!'"

Moon's Influence

"Reverend Moon and church leaders regrouped. In the last few years, they have orchestrated a remarkably successful campaign to win respectability and wield political influence. As usual, they have succeeded by deceitful means. The Unification Church has launched dozens of civic organizations around the world dedicated to women's rights, world peace, and family values that have made impressive inroads into mainstream society."

"Sun Myung Moon sponsored an international conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to restore traditional family values. The irony was almost too rich. Hyo Jin Moon could not attend the two-day symposium in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum to hear speakers such as former presidents Gerald Ford and George Bush, former British prime minister Edward Heath, former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias, and Republican presidential hopeful Jack Kemp."

"The Women's Federation for World Peace, the Family Federation for World Peace, the International Cultural Foundation, the Professors World Peace Academy, the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy, the Summit Council for World Peace, the American Constitution Committee, and dozens of other organizations present themselves as nonpartisan, nondenominational groups. All of them are funded by Sun Myung Moon. Some of the biggest celebrities in the United States have been seduced by exorbitant speaking fees to participate in programs sponsored by these groups without ever knowing their affiliation with the Moonies. Gerald Ford, the former president; Barbara Walters, the television journalist; Christopher Reeve, the actor; Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Coretta Scott King, the civil rights leader; and Bill Cosby, the comedian, have all spoken at functions sponsored by the Women's Federation for World Peace."

"Perhaps the worst offenders have been former president George Bush and Barbara Bush. They do know the relationship between the Reverend Moon and these groups, and yet they were reportedly paid more than a million dollars in 1995 to address six rallies in Japan sponsored by the Women's Federation for World Peace. The former president is not naive. Certainly George Bush knows that when he hails Sun Myung Moon as 'a visionary,' as he did in a speech in Buenos Aires in 1996, he is legitimizing the work of a man who uses manipulation and deceit to recruit cheap labor to work to finance his lavish lifestyle. President Bush was paid to attend a party with the Reverend Moon in Buenos Aires to launch Tiempos del Mundo, or the Times of the World, an eighty-page weekly Spanish-language tabloid newspaper distributed to seventeen countries in South America."

"[When Rev. Moon was released from prison after serving 18 months for tax fraud conviction] he was released to the cheers of his new friends in the religious community. Both the Reverend Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority and the Reverend Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference called on President Ronald Reagan to grant Father a full pardon. Two thousand clergymen, including Falwell, Lowery, and other well-known religious leaders, held a 'God and Freedom Banquet' in his honor in Washington, D.C."

"Shaw Divinity School in Raleigh, North Carolina, awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Father while he was imprisoned. Joseph Page, the vice president of the school, insisted that the Unification Church's thirty thousand-dollar contribution to Shaw Divinity School had "absolutely not" influenced the board of trustees to honor the Reverend Moon."

"Hyo Jin [Moon's eldest son] retained law firms in New York and Massachusetts, including the Manhattan firm of Levy, Gutman, Goldberg and Kaplan. Gutman was Jeremiah S. Gutman, the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the man who had championed Sun Myung Moon's cause when he was convicted of tax evasion in 1982."

"What influence the Reverend Moon does not wield through his political connections, he exercises through his financial investments in real estate, banking, and media. In Latin America alone, those holdings are valued at hundreds of millions of dollars."

"Reverend Moon rescued the University of Bridgeport from bankruptcy, providing the Unification Church with a legitimate academic institution from which to mount its efforts to save the world. The Professors World Peace Academy, a Moonie front, has spent more than a hundred million dollars to keep the Connecticut university afloat. In the end, professors' fears about the influence of the Moons on academic freedom were overwhelmed by their desire to save their jobs. Trustees were willing to overlook the real source of the bailout to save their school, blithely accepting Sun Myung Moon's assurances that the Unification Church itself would have no contact with the university."

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