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Note: This piece was originally written in August 1995 and intended as a Perspectives column for the Tico Times, a Costa Rican weekly. It is copyright Harry S. Pariser, 1995. Contact me with regard to printing or reproducing this article in any form.

The Power of Persuasion: Reverend Moon


Harry S. Pariser

In recent weeks, articles and letters in The Tico Times have focused attention on Reverend Moon's visit to San José. However, Reverend Moon's true background has not been exposed, and I would like to shed some light on this disturbing movement.

The "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon is the leader of one of the world's most insidious and influential cults--one with an estimated $10 billion in business assets worldwide. His church controls The Washington Times ( America's capital's second largest daily newspaper), Paragon Publishers of New York, the University of Bridgeport,the Christian Bernard jewelery chain, Happy World toy and clothing outlets, and China's Panda Motors. He also sponsors such bogus right-wing organizations as the "World Media Association" and the "International Cultural Foundation" which seek to lend legitimacy to this cult. He has hoodwinked a number of none-too-erudite politicians, scholars, and religious leaders worldwide into lending their name to his support. One, suprisingly, is none other than Rodrigo and Estrella Carazo Odio, Costa Rica's former president and first lady, who were listed as members of the "International Host Committee" who welcomed Moon during his 1993 world tour. They were in the company of such personages as Donald Reid-Cabral--the right-wing, CIA-payrolled "interim" president of the Dominican Republic who was named to that post after a US-instigated coup overthrew democratically elected president Juan Bosch in 1963.

The appeal of the man is mystifying to outsiders. Short and balding, he resembles nothing so much as an overcooked dumpling. His rhetorical performance is singularly undistinguished. He reads from his 14-page prepared speech in heavily accented English with little emotion. Yet, he believes himself to be the "messiah" and expects others to swallow this yarn.

According to Unification theology, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden before they could procreate and produce the "good family." Instead, they "became false parents based on false and self-centered love with Satan." Christ was murdered before he too could marry and procreate. However, Moon and his wife are the first "true parents" and have not only produced 13 of their own offspring (thereby making a robust contribution to the population explosion) but have also have sponsored mass weddings in stadiums worldwide for tens of thousands of their followers at a go. These followers are expected to reserve their sex for procreation and to channel that energy into proselytizing, selling flowers, and working as slave labor in Moonie enterprises.

How does he garner all of this support? Cult expert Margaret Singer, author of the new book Cults in Our Midst, maintains that the Moonies practice what she calls "love bombing," a technique in which "you tell potential recruits that you're the most open and loving and sensitive person they've ever met. You attend to their every need and engage in a lot of nonsexual touching and hugging and stroking. It's a form of pyschological seduction. "

This process is well documented in a number of books including Moonstruck by Allen Tate Wood, Escape From the Moonies by Susan and Anne Swattan, Moonwebs by Josh Freed, and Crazy for God by Christopher Edwards. There have also been a large number of books written by scholars exposing the movement for what it is. Although the Right Reverend preaches "love," his basic premise is that of intolerance: Abhorrence of sexuality including extreme homophobia, anti-communism (linked with the "Cain-type world" and "Satan"), and surrender of thought and individual judgment to the new "messiah," Sun Myung Moon.

In closing however, I would like to give the self-proclaimed "Messiah of the Second Coming" an opportunity to defend himself in his own words: "If I and the Christian churches had become one, the heavenly kingdom would have already been established on earth as well as in heaven...Instead of uniting with me, however, these religious leaders became jealous of the growing number of my followers...After World War II...the time was right for the Second Coming. However..I was expelled into the wilderness...Thus, the Cold War began..It was God's Will that the Messiah of the Second Coming should unite the two hostile blocks. That is why I mobilized my church... For decades, I have been completely misunderstood...Moreover, the media have mocked me as a monster who brainwashed the young for self-benefit. Can anyone disagree when I say that Reverend Moon is the most persecuted religious leader in the world? My heart is broken when I think of how God has suffered to see His messengers rejected time and time again. ...The truth which God has revealed to me is contained in the Divine Principle....Russian classrooms where our members are teaching "Godism" or "Head-wing Ideology" are overflowing....Already, we have sent thousands of Tribal Messiah missionaries around the world. Soon, the original ideal of the family will be achieved worldwide..."

A frightening prospect indeed!

Harry S. Pariser is the author of numerous travel guides and has long been fascinated by religious cults and other totalitarian movements.

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This page last updated: Tue, Sep 11, 2007

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