Royal pastor worried about door-to-door 'fraud'

Member of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's church misrepresented self when selling jewelry, pastor alleges

Columbia Basin Herald/December 23, 2003
By Erik Olson

When a man came selling jewelry for a popular abstinence-advocacy group at a board meeting last week for the Royal City Church of the Nazarene, Pastor Tim Snyder saw no problem at first.

The man, who called himself Louie, told the board members that the proceeds for the items would go to True Love Waits, a pro-abstinence known well to churches throughout the country. So three board members bought an item, which cost $20 a piece.

The man told Snyder he was with the Holy Spiritual Association, the pastor said, which made him suspicious.

So Snyder called Royal City Police Chief Darin Smith, who told him he was selling the items not for True Love Waits but for the Unification Church, a world-wide faith that subscribes to the teachings of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and, according to many of its critics, believes that man is the true savior.

"If he would have said, 'I'm selling this for the Unification Church,' nobody would have bought it," Snyder said.

Smith told the Herald he only heard of one other complaint of a door-to-door salesman selling the merchandise. When Royal police spoke with that man, he identified himself as being with the Unification Church, Smith said.

Because the men (about four were riding in a van) were selling items door-to-door for a nonprofit group, Smith said they broke no laws within the city. But if they misrepresented themselves, the scenario changes, he said.

"If they were representing themselves as this (True Love Waits) organization, I would consider this as a fraud," Smith said.

Snyder said he thinks the man named Louie did not tell Nazarene church leaders that he was with the Unification Church because that group is known within Christian circles as a "cult."

According to its Web site,, followers of the Unification Church (sometimes called Moonies) believe in the eventual unification of all world religions into one belief system.

The church has been criticized for operating under more 1,000 front organizations, including the conservative newspaper the Washington Times, and that Moon's true belief is that he is the new messiah.

A phone call to the Holy Spirit Association in New York, and umbrella organization of the Unification Church, was not immediately returned.

A posting on states that Moon believes Jesus Christ is the savior, and Moon is the fulfillment of Jesus' appearance on Earth.

True Love Waits is an abstinence-advocacy group for teenagers, according to its Web site No mention of the Unification Church is made on the site.

Snyder said the Unification Church member selling the items should have been more upfront about who he represented.

"It's a fraud. They're committing a fraud," Snyder said.

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