Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Rev. Moon dead at 92
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon — self-proclaimed "Messiah" and founder of the Unification Church and the Washington Times — died on Monday in South Korea. The church gained fame — and notoriety — by marrying thousands of followers in mass ceremonies presided over by Moon himself. Moon will also be remembered for accusations of brainwashing, political intrigue, and his enormous wealth. The church's holdings include the Washington Times newspaper, the New Yorker Hotel, and a seafood distribution firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the U.S.
Moon was the last surviving charismatic leader of the wave of movements that spread throughout California and the rest of the West in the 1970s and ’80s – other examples included L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, David Berg’s Children of God and Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna movement.
In the case of Moon’s Unification Church, hordes of young, well-educated hippies left college and their comfortable middle-class homes to work up to 18 hours a day on the streets, selling flowers or candy and urging others to follow a Korean who declared that he was the messiah.
The basic beliefs are to be found in the “Divine Principle,” which describes how the Fall took place when, in the Garden of Eden, the Archangel Lucifer – who had been asked to look after Adam and Eve until they were mature enough to marry – had seduced Eve into a spiritual, sexual relationship.
According to Moon, Eve later had a sexual relationship with Adam. As a result of this Lucifer-centered (rather than God-centered) union, their children were tainted with “Fallen Nature,” the Unification equivalent of original sin.
According to the “Divine Principle,” the whole of history is interpreted as God’s attempt to restore the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Jesus was meant to get married but was killed before that was possible. Moon, with his marriage to his second (or third) wife in 1960, is said to have laid the necessary foundation for restoring the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, with the mass blessings playing a role in purifying the blood lineage of the participants.