The Dark Side of the Moon Family

New York Post/July 10, 1998
By Richard Johnson

The family of Korean cult leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the powerful Unification Church, has been riven by drug and alcohol abuse, greed, domestic strife and even violence, according to court documents newly come to light.

In a series of widely publicized mass weddings, the most recent just a month ago in Madison Square Garden, Moon, 78, exhorted his followers to live simply, keep God at the center of their marriage, never commit adultery, eschew divorce and maintain stable families. But these laudable aims contrast sharply with the tempestuous events inside Moon's own deeply divided New York household, as revealed in court papers examined by the Putnam Reporter Dispatch.

Moon has 13 children from his two marriages. His current wife is Hak Ja Han, who helped him establish his Unification Church. The children, known in Moonie circles as "The True Family," were brought up amid fantastic luxury in exquisite homes on Moon's two breathtaking estates, East Garden in Irvington and Belvedere in Tarrytown.

Mom and Dad Moon were absent much of the time and the children were raised by scores of servants who had to bow three times in their presence. Lavish amounts of money were spent on the kids. For example, when a daughter expressed an interest in horses, Moon had a $10 million equestrian center built for her in Britain. Each child was given a $9,000 a month allowance, which went to $40,000 a month when they married

Life in the lap of luxury does not seem to have been happy, however. According to the Putnam newspaper, a daughter, Sun Jin Moon, ran away from home to live in Greenwich Village, returning only when she discovered she had a serious illness. A second, Ye Jin Moon, decamped to Boston. Another, Un Jin Moon, abandoned her husband after an arranged marriage and now lives in Virginia.

She is battling her parents over control of her children. A son, Heung Jin Moon, died when he raced his car into a truck. He was 17.

But by far the most serious problem for Rev. Moon right now is Hyo Jin Moon, his eldest son, who is mired in a bitter divorce and personal bankruptcy. He has had two stays at a substance abuse center and he says in a deposition his only loves are "guns and music." He claims he rarely sees his father and when they do they barely speak.

Hyo Jin Moon admits in court documents he spent church funds on personal luxuries, including two Mercedes. He was driving one of them when he was arrested for DWI in 1992 and lost his license. He says he pocketed $400,000 intended for a music company that had been set up for him to run. His wife Hansook, is divorcing him claiming he abused her while she was pregnant.

Chris Corcoran, a spokesperson for Moon, did not return calls.

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