Son of Unification church leader dies

MSNBC News, Nov 1, 1999

RENO, Nevada, Nov. 1 The son of Unification church leader Reverend Sun Myung Moon leaped to his death from the 17th floor of Harrah's last week. Reno police say Younjin Phillip Moon, 21, checked into Harrah's Hotel last Wednesday morning and spent much of the day inside. But sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday, he took his own life. Authorities say Moon apparently jumped from the 17th floor of Harrah's and landed on the skywalk. He died instantly from multiple injuries and blunt force trauma.

Younjin Moon was one of Reverend Moon's 13 children. Reverend Moon tells followers he and his children are "sinless" and that he is ten times greater than Jesus Christ. Reverend Moon has many followers and also many critics.

Steven Hassan, a former member of the church commonly called "Moonies," is an outspoken critic of Reverend Moon. He says Reverend Moon is a master of propaganda and deceit but says he feels only sorrow for the family after the suicide of Moon's son. "I feel tremendously sad and great pity for all victims of his delusions of grandeur. It must be tremendously tough to be a child of his," says Steven Hassan. Hassan also says that the church doesn't publicly condone suicide but he says some followers have said that the church does teach that suicide is preferable to betraying Reverend Moon.

Younjin Moon had been traveling around the country and was in Reno no more than a day before committing suicide.

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