Unification Church of the United States
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The Unification Church of the United States, sometimes colloquially referred to as the "Moonies", is a religious movement in the United States of America. It began in the 1950s and 1960s when missionaries from Japan and South Korea were sent to the United States by the international Unification movement's founder and leader Sun Myung Moon. It expanded in the 1970s and then became involved in controversy due to its theology, its political activism, and the lifestyle of its members. Since then it has been involved in many areas of American society and has established businesses, news media, projects in education and the arts as well as taking part in political and social activism, and has itself gone through substantial changes.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s missionaries from the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) of South Korea and Japan came to the United States. Among them were Young Oon Kim, Sang Ik-Choi, Bo Hi Pak, David S. C. Kim, and Yun Soo Lim. Missionary work took place in Washington D.C., New York, Oregon, and California. The Unification Church first came to public notice in the United States after sociology student John Lofland studied Young Oon Kim's group and published his findings as a doctoral thesis entitled: The World Savers: A Field Study of Cult Processes, which was published in 1966 in book form by Prentice-Hall as Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith. This book is considered to be one of the most important and widely cited studies of the process of religious conversion, and one of the first modern sociological studies of a new religious movement.
In 1965 Moon visited the United States and established what he called "holy grounds" in each of the 48 contiguous states. By 1971 the Unification Church of the United States had about 500 members. By the end of the 1970s it had expanded to about 5,000 members, with most of them being in their early 20s. In the 1980s and 1990s membership remained at about the same number. Scholars have attributed the Unification Church's relative success in the United States, as compared to other Western nations, to its support of patriotism and capitalist values, and to its multi-racial membership. Some commentators have also noted that this period of Unification Church growth in the United States took place just as the "hippie" era of the late 1960s and early 1970s was ending, when many American young people were looking for a sense of higher purpose or community in their lives. Among the converts were many who had been active in leftist causes.
In 1971 Moon decided to move to the United States. He then asked church members to help him in a series of outreach campaigns in which he spoke to public audiences in all 50 states, ending with a 1976 rally in Washington D.C. in which he spoke on the grounds of the Washington Monument to around 300,000 people. During this time many church members left school and careers to devote their full-time to church work. "Mobile fundraising teams" (often called MFT) were set up to raise money for church projects, sometimes giving candy or flowers in exchange for donations. Members considered fund raising to be a source of both spiritual and practical training for future activities.
Moon also brought members from Europe and Japan to work in the United States. Church buildings were purchased around the nation. In New York State the Belvedere Estate, the Unification Theological Seminary, and the New Yorker Hotel were purchased. The national headquarters of the church was established in New York City. In Washington D.C. the church purchased a church building from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in Seattle the historic Rolland Denny mansion.
Moon had long been an advocate for anti-communism. He was born in what is now North Korea and had been imprisoned by the North Korean communist government during the Korean War, and believed that the defeat of communism by democracy was a necessary step in the Divine Providence to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
In 1974 Moon asked church members to support President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal when Nixon was being pressured to resign his office. Church members prayed and fasted in support of Nixon for three days in front of the United States Capitol, under the motto: "Forgive, Love and Unite." On February 1, 1974 Nixon publicly thanked them for their support and officially received Moon. This brought the church into widespread public and media attention.
The Unification Church of the United States sponsored other anti-communist activities during the 1970s and 1980s, including the multi-national organization CAUSA International. In 1982 Moon founded the conservative newspaper The Washington Times, in Washington D.C., as part of News World Communications, an international news media conglomerate which also publishes newspapers in South Korea, Japan, and South America. Although never a financial success, the Times was well-read in conservative and anti-communist circles and was credited by President Ronald Reagan with helping to win the Cold War.
In 1983 church members publicly protested against the Soviet Union over its shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007. In 1984, church member Dan Fefferman founded the International Coalition for Religious Freedom in Virginia, which is active in protesting what it considers to be threats to religious freedom by governmental agencies. In 1986 conservative author William Rusher wrote: "The members the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, now almost universally referred to as 'Moonies,' constitute a fascinating problem for outsiders--and perhaps above all for conservatives, because they are so unabashedly anti-Communist and pro-American."
Criticism, opposition, and controversy
The Unification Church of the United States was met with widespread criticism beginning in the early 1970s. The main points of criticism were the church's unorthodox theology, especially the belief that Moon is the second coming of Christ; the church's political involvement; and the extreme lifestyle of most members, which involved full-time dedication to church activities often at the neglect of family, school, and career. During this time, hundreds of parents of members used the services of deprogrammers to remove their children from church membership and the activities of the church were widely reported in the media, most often in a negative light. In 1975 Steven Hassan left the church and later became an outspoken critic. He is the author of two books on his experiences and on his theories concerning cults and mind control. The political activities of the church were opposed by some leftists. In 1976 members of the Youth International Party staged a marijuana "smoke-in" in the middle of a UC sponsored rally in Washington D.C.
In 1976 church president Neil Albert Salonen met with Senator Bob Dole to defend the Unification Church against charges made by its critics, including parents of some members. In 1977, church member Jonathan Wells, who later became well known as the author of the popular Intelligent Design book Icons of Evolution, defended Unification Church theology against what he said were unfair criticisms by the National Council of Churches. That same year Frederick Sontag, a professor of philosophy at Pomona College and a minister in the United Church of Christ, published Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church which gave an overview of the church and urged Christians to take it more seriously. In an interview with UPI Sontag compared the Unification Church with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said that he expected its practices to conform more to mainstream American society as its members become more mature. He added that he did not want to be considered an apologist for the church but a close look at its theology is important: "They raise some incredibly interesting issues."
In 1978 and 1979, the church's support for the South Korean government was investigated by a Congressional subcommittee led by Democratic Representative Donald M. Fraser of Minnesota. (see also: Koreagate, Fraser Committee) In 1982 the United States Supreme Court struck down a Minnesota law which had imposed registration and reporting requirements on those religions that receive more than half of their contributions from nonmembers as being contrary to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution's protection of religious freedom and prohibition of state establishment of religion. The law was seen as especially targeting the Unification Church.
In 1982, Moon was convicted in United States federal court of willfully filing false Federal income tax returns and conspiracy. In 1984 and 1985, while he was serving his sentence in Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, Connecticut, American Unification Church members launched a public-relations campaign claiming that the charges against him were unjust and politically motivated. Booklets, letters and videotapes were mailed to approximately 300,000 Christian leaders. Many signed petitions protesting the government's case. Among the American Christian leaders who spoke out in defense of Moon were conservative Jerry Falwell, head of Moral Majority, and liberal Joseph Lowery, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Michael Tori, a professor at Marist College (Poughkeepsie, New York) suggested that Moon's conviction helped the Unification Church gain more acceptance in mainstream American society, since it showed that he was financially accountable to the government and the public.
Changes in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s
On July 1, 1982 a large number of the members of the Unification Church of the United States were married by Rev. and Mrs. Moon in a Blessing ceremony (sometimes called a "mass wedding") in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The total number of couples who took part was 2075, some coming from other countries. Soon after other American members were married in ceremonies in South Korea. Most who took part were matched with their future spouses by Moon. Many couples were international or interracial. Before this most American church members had been single and living celibately.
Moon's practice of matching couples was very unusual in both Christian tradition and in modern Western culture and attracted much attention and controversy. Thousands of couples have been placed in marriages by religious leaders with people they had barely met, since Moon taught that romantic love led to sexual promiscuity. Their mass arranged marriage events have gained international public attention. Critics have stated that some of these marriages end in divorce, which is discouraged by the church.
Also in the 1980s Moon instructed church members to take part in a program called "Home Church" in which they reached out to neighbors and community members through public service. Unification Church business interests, which had begun in the 1960s, expanded in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s (decade). Church owned businesses in the United States include media and entertainment, fishing and sea food distribution, hotels and real estate, and many others. Many church members found employment in church owned businesses while others pursued careers outside of the church community. Also expanding were church sponsored interdenominational and cultural projects.
In 1984 Eileen Barker, a British sociologist specializing in religious topics, published The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? which disputed much of the negative characterization of church members by the news media. In 1991 Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon by investigative journalist Carlton Sherwood criticized the federal government's prosecution of Moon in the 1980s.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moon made anti-communism much less of a priority for church members. In that year Moon announced that members should return to their hometowns in order to undertake apostolic work there. Massimo Introvigne, who has studied the Unification Church and other new religious movements, has said that this confirms that full-time membership is no longer considered crucial to church members. In 1997 Dr. Sontag commented: "There's no question their numbers are way down. The older members complain to me that they have a lot of captains but no foot soldiers." While Barker reported that Unificationists had undergone a transformation in their world view from millennialism to utopianism.
On May 1, 1994 (the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) in Seoul, South Korea), Moon declared that the era of the HSA-UWC had ended and inaugurated a new organization: the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). The FFWPU would include members of various religious organizations working toward common goals, especially on issues of sexual morality and reconciliation between people of different religions, nations, and races. The FFWPU co-sponsored the Million Family March in 2000, the Global Peace Festival in the late 2000s (decade), and blessing ceremonies in which thousands of married couples of different faith backgrounds were given the marriage blessing previously given only to HSA-UWC members.
In 2009 Sun Myung Moon's daughter In Jin Moon became president of the FFWPU of the United States. She worked to modernise FFWPU's worship style in an effort to involve younger members. In 2014 FFWPU sponsored a 43-day bus tour of the United States for its members which included visits to each of Moon's original holy grounds. In 2015 it opened a conference center in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2016 a study sponsored by the Unification Theological Seminary found that American FFWPU members were divided in their choices in the 2016 United States presidential election, with the largest bloc supporting Senator Bernie Sanders. In 2018 The New York Times, which had previously been critical of the church, reported on the transitions taking place within its customs.
In 2001 the United States Army, in a handbook for chaplains, reported that "the Unification Church emphasizes the responsibility of citizenship but sets no official rules as to military service." It added that members have no restrictions on diet, uniform appearance, medical treatment, or other factors which might conflict with military requirements.
The Unification Church of the United States has introduced a number of neologisms into the English language, directly or indirectly. These include the derogatory term "Moonie", a special use of the word "indemnity", and the expressions "doomsday cult", "love bombing", and "crazy for God"—the last coined by Moon himself.
The word "Moonie" was first used by the American news media in the 1970s when Sun Myung Moon moved to the United States and came to public notice. It became prevalent and was used by both critics of the Unification movement and movement members themselves. In 1982, a report sponsored in part by Auburn University noted: "In informal interviews with U.C. members have indicated that they do not consider the term 'Moonie' derogatory."
In the 1970s and early 1980s, the word "Moonie" was used by Unification movement members both within the movement and in public as a self-designation, and "as a badge of honor". Members could be seen on subways in New York wearing T-shirts that read: "I'm a Moonie and I love it". Religious scholar Anson Shupe notes that "on many occasions," he heard "David Kim, President of the Unification Theological Seminary, refer to 'Moonie theology,' the 'Moonie lifestyle,' and so forth matter-of-factly".
The principal aide to Moon, Bo Hi Pak, was quoted by Carlton Sherwood in his book Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon as declaring to the United States Congress: "I am a proud Korean – a proud 'Moonie' – and a dedicated anti-Communist and I intend to remain so the rest of my life." Moon himself declared: "In two and a half years the word 'Moonie' shall become an honorable name and we will have demonstrations and victory celebrations from coast to coast."
In the 1995 book America's Alternative Religions, published by the State University of New York Press, Baker wrote: "Although they prefer to be called Unificationists, they are referred to in the media and popularly known as 'Moonies'." In the same book, sociologists Anson Shupe and David Bromley, both noted for their studies of new religious movements, also use the word "Moonies" to refer to members of the Unification Church. In his 1998 book Religion, Mobilization, and Social Action, Shupe notes that Barker, Bromley, and he himself had used the term in other publications, "and meant no offense".
In a 1996 article for The Independent about a talk former Prime Minister Edward Heath gave at a Unification movement-sponsored conference, Andrew Brown commented: "The term 'Moonie' has entered the language as meaning a brainwashed, bright-eyed zombie." Brown also quoted William Shaw, a broadcaster who was presenting the Cult Fiction series on BBC Radio Five Live: "Most Moonies embrace a morality which would make them acceptable in the most genteel Anglican social circle."
In his 2000 book Mystics and Messiahs, Philip Jenkins likens the term to "smear words such as Shaker, Methodist, Mormon". Jenkins mentions use of the word in book titles including Life among the Moonies and Escape from the Moonies, and comments: "These titles further illustrate how the derogatory term 'Moonie' became a standard for members of this denomination, in a way that would have been inconceivable for any of the insulting epithets that could be applied to, say, Catholics or Jews."
In 2010, National Public Radio, in a story on "second generation" members, reported that they "bristle at the term 'Moonie'", while USA Today reported on "the folks who follow Rev. Sun Myung Moon (also known, to their dislike, as the Moonies)."
Response by church members
In 1984, The Washington Post noted, "Members of the Unification Church resent references to them as 'Moonies'", and quoted one church member who said, "Even in quotation marks, it's derogatory". In 1985, the president of the Unification Church of the United States, Mose Durst, said: "In one year, we moved from being a pariah to being part of the mainstream. People recognized that Reverend Moon was abused for his religious beliefs and they rallied around. You rarely hear the word 'Moonie' anymore. We're 'Unificationists.'" In 1987, civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy, who was also the vice president of the Unification Church-affiliated American Freedom Coalition and served on boards of directors for two other related organizations, equated the word "Moonie" with the word "nigger".
In 1989, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that members preferred to be called "Unificationists." The Washington Post reported that "Unification Church members are being advised no longer to accept the designation of 'Moonie,' and to declare any such nomenclature as indicative of a prejudiced view of the church." In 1989, the Chicago Tribune was picketed after referring to members as Moonies. Moon directed minister and civil rights leader James Bevel to form a protest by religious officials against the Chicago Tribune because of the newspaper's use of the word. Bevel handed out fliers at the protest which said: "Are the Moonies our new niggers?"
In 1990, a position paper sent from the Unification movement to The Fresno Bee said: "We will fight gratuitous use of the 'Moonie' or 'cult' pejoratives. We will call journalists on every instance of unprofessional reporting. We intend to stop distortions plagiarized from file clippings which propagate from story to story like a computer virus." In 1992, Michael Jenkins (who later became president of the Unification Church of the United States) commented: "Why, after so many years, should we now be taking such a stand to eliminate the term 'Moonie?' For me, it is a sign that the American Unification Church has come of age. We can no longer allow our founder, our members, and allies to be dehumanized and unfairly discriminated against. ... We are now entering a period of our history where our Church development and family orientation are strong enough that we can turn our attention toward ending the widespread misunderstanding about our founder and the Unification movement."
In 1992, Unification movement member Kristopher Esplin told Reuters what is normally done if the word is seen in media sources: "If it's printed in newspapers, we will respond, write to the editor, that sort of thing." On an October 6, 1994 broadcast of Nightline, host Ted Koppel stated: "On last night's program ...I used the term 'Moonies'. This is a label which members of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church find demeaning and offensive, and I'd like to apologize for its use."
In its entry on "Unification Church", the 2002 edition of The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage advised: "Unification Church is appropriate in all references to the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, which was founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Do not use the disparaging Moonie(s)". Reuters, in its handbook for journalists, says: "'Moonie' is a pejorative term for members of the Unification Church. We should not use it in copy and avoid it when possible in direct quotations."
- A History of the Unification Church in America, 1959–1974: Emergence of a National Movement, Michael L. Mickler, 1987, New York: Garland, ISBN 0-8153-1138-9.
- Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America: African diaspora traditions and other American innovations, Volume 5 of Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, W. Michael Ashcraft, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 ISBN 0-275-98717-5, ISBN 978-0-275-98717-6, page 180
- Exploring New Religions, Issues in contemporary religion, George D. Chryssides, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001 ISBN 0-8264-5959-5, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6 page 1
- Conversion Archived 2012-01-21 at the Wayback Machine, Unification Church Archived 2012-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, Encyclopedia of Religion and Society, Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Hartford Seminary
- Church finds ‘holy ground’ in Sin City, Las Vegas Review Journal, June 25, 2014
- Melton, J. Gordon & Moore, Robert L. The Cult Experience: Responding to the New Religious Pluralism. New York: The Pilgrim Press (1984 [3rd printing; 1st printing 1982]); pg. 8. "...audiences are surprised to learn that the Unification Church has less than 5,000 members in the U.S., because the press often gives the impression of far larger numbers." Melton is a leading expert on new religious movements.
- Finke, Roger & Stark, Rodney. The Churching of America, 1776–1990. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press (1992; 3rd printing 1997); pg. 241. "...after more than thirty years of missionizing, it is estimated that there have never been more than 5,000 followers of the Unification Church... in the United States, some of whom are from abroad."
- The Market for Martyrs, Laurence Iannaccone, George Mason University, 2006, "One of the most comprehensive and influential studies was The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? by Eileen Barker (1984). Barker could find no evidence that Moonie recruits were ever kidnapped, confined, or coerced. Participants at Moonie retreats were not deprived of sleep; the lectures were not "trance-inducing"; and there was not much chanting, no drugs or alcohol, and little that could be termed "frenzy" or "ecstatic" experience. People were free to leave, and leave they did. Barker's extensive enumerations showed that among the recruits who went so far as to attend two-day retreats (claimed to be the Moonie's most effective means of "brainwashing"), fewer than 25% joined the group formore than a week and only 5% remained full-time members one year later. And, of course, most contacts dropped out before attending a retreat. Of all those who visited a Moonie centre at least once, not one in two-hundred remained in the movement two years later. With failure rates exceeding 99.5%, it comes as no surprise that full-time Moonie membership in the U.S. never exceeded a few thousand. And this was one of the most successful New Religious Movements of the era!"
- Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe (Google eBook), James T. Richardson, page 57
- New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America, Mary Farrell Bednarowski, Indiana University Press, 1989, pages 101-105
- Introvigne, Massimo, 2000, The Unification Church Studies in Contemporary Religion, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, ISBN 1-56085-145-7, excerpt Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine page 12
- Korean Moon: Waxing of Waning?, Leo Sandon Jr., Theology Today, Vol 35, No 2, July 1978, "Thousands of young American adults (probably 3,000-5,000) have joined the Unification Church. Many of these members are attractive, well-educated graduates from some of our finest colleges and universities. Their membership in the movement should remind us that for the young adult (18–25 years of age) conversion has a highly ideological and vocational dimension."
- Moon at Twilight Archived 2001-04-11 at the Wayback Machine, The New Yorker September 14, 1998, "David Bromley, a professor of sociology and religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has co-written a book about the Unification Church, believes that the bulk of Moon's remaining followers were recruited in the seventies, when both the establishment and the counterculture were falling apart. Bromley says that the sense of joining a close, purposeful community was crucial, and that it is no coincidence that church members refer to each other as "brother" and "sister" or that Moon is called Father."
- Irving Louis Horowitz, Science, Sin, and Society: The Politics of Reverend Moon and the Unification Church Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine, 1980, MIT Press
- Finding and Seeking; Born in affluence, the baby-boomers were driven to ask Big Questions about fulfillment and the meaning of life. How their legacy has changed us., Jerry Adler & Julie Scelfo, Newsweek, September 18, 2006
- In 1980, Craig Sheffer, before becoming a Hollywood actor, under some inconvenient circumstances in his life, "slept under the marble staircase in Grand Central Terminal for weeks while living off Unification Church spaghetti dinners." Up and coming Craig Sheffer off the streets into the movies, New York Times, October 10, 1992
- From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era, Stephen A. Kent, Syracuse University Press, 2001, page 116
- Introvigne 2000 pages 13–16
- Moon-struck, Time, October 15, 1973, "The core members—most in their 20s, many of them converts from other spiritual, psychological or political trips—display a dogged devotion that makes even Jehovah's Witnesses look like backsliders. They are enthusiastic capitalists who rise at dawn to hit the streets with wares to exchange for "donations": flowers, votive light candles, even peanuts. Last year, when Master Moon moved his international headquarters to Tarrytown, N.Y., members sold candles across the U.S. for seven weeks to meet the down payment of $300,000 on an $850,000 estate."
- Miller, David Oran, My Rocky Road, 2020, ISBN 9798623729828, page 42
- Friends Forever gather to remember the Washington Ward, Deseret News, November 27, 2011
- A Seattle jewel shines again, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 22, 2007
- Architect Data Base
- Wakin, Daniel J. (2012-09-02). "Rev. Sun Myung Moon, 92, Unification Church Founder, Dies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- Woo, Elaine (2012-09-03). "Sun Myung Moon dies at 92; led controversial Unification Church". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- Brown, Emma (2012-09-04). "Sun Myung Moon dies at 92; Washington Times owner led the Unification Church". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
-  Divine Principle, Introduction. "Nonetheless, one final and inescapable conflict remains before us, the war between democracy and communism. Although each side has equipped itself with fearsome weapons and is pitted against the other in readiness for battle, the core of their conflict is internal and ideological. Which side will triumph in this final ideological conflict? Anyone who believes in the reality of God will surely answer that democracy will win."
- Beyond the Dark Side of the Moonies, Andrew Brown, The Independent, November 2, 1995, "The Moonies were - and remain - intent on halting communism. Moon founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in Korea in 1954. The first missionaries were sent out in the Fifties, but only after Moon moved to the US in the Seventies did the movement start to become visible in the West. Moon's followers believe he is the Messiah who can lead the way to establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. Their beliefs are set out in the Divine Principle, which contains interpretations of the Old and New Testaments with further revelations from Moon himself. Devotees believe God's victory over Satan requires the defeat of atheistic communism. To this end they have sponsored large numbers of conferences for journalists, theologians, academics, politicians and anyone else they think might contribute to establishing a God-centred world."
- Introvigne, 2000 page 16
- Introvigne, 2000, page 18
- Sun Myung Moon's Followers Recruit Christians to Assist in Battle Against Communism Christianity Today June 15, 1985
- Gorenfeld, John, Dear Leader's Paper Moon Archived 2008-09-18 at the Wayback Machine The American Prospect 2005-09-19 "The American people know the truth. You, my friends at The Washington Times, have told it to them. It wasn't always the popular thing to do. But you were a loud and powerful voice. Like me, you arrived in Washington at the beginning of the most momentous decade of the century. Together, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. And -- oh, yes -- we won the Cold War." -Reagan, 1997
-  San Francisco Chronicle September 3, 1983 "For a second day, the Soviet Consulate in Pacific Heights was the scene of emotional protests against the shooting down of a Korean Air Lines jumbo jet. About 300 people held demonstration yesterday morning. Among them were members of the Unification Church, or "Moonies," whose founder is the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial South Korean who has melded a fierce anti-communism into his ideology. Eldridge Cleaver, the onetime black radical who recently has had ties with the Moonies, spoke at the rally. Many pickets carried signs accusing the Soviet Union of murdering the 269 passengers and crew aboard the airliner. In another development, San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli filed a $109 billion lawsuit against the Soviet Union on behalf of the 269 victims."
- Ribadeneira, Diego (August 21, 1999). "Ire at school Star of David ruling unites ACLU, Pat Robertson". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. p. B2.
- Review of The Making of a Moonie, William Rusher, National Review, December 19, 1986.
- Introvigne, 2000, pages 16–17
- "Steven Hassan Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era, Stephen A. Kent, Syracuse University Press, 2001, page 168
- Dole meeting with Moon aide called cordial, Lawrence Journal-World, February 24, 1976
- New Hope for Dialogue with National Council of Churches of Christ, Chris Antal, February, 2000
- Frederick E. Sontag dies at 84; Pomona College philosophy professor, Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2009
- Who is this Pied Piper of Religion?, St. Petersburg Times, February 4, 1978
- Sontag, Frederick, Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church, (Abingdon Press, 1977; Korean translation, Pacific Publishing Company, 1981; Japanese translation, Tuttle-Mori Agency, Inc., 1977; German translation, SINUS-Verlag, Krefeld, 1981) ISBN 0-687-40622-6"
- Moon: an objective look at his theology, Boca Raton News, 1977-11-25
- Introvigne, 2000. page 17
- A crumbling wall between CHURCH and STATE?, Christian Science Monitor, June 2, 1982
- Equal rights for Moonies, Time, May 3, 1982
- Why Are Pastors Flying to Moon? Christianity Today August 1, 2001.
- Introvigne, 2000, pages 23–25
- Church urges Christian unity: Valley seminary open since 1975 Poughkeepsie Journal, 2003-12-11"Michael Tori, a professor in Marist College's religious studies program, said the Unification Church has gained more acceptance in mainstream society for several reasons. One reason was Rev. Moon's indictment in the early 1980s for tax evasion. The indictment showed Moon was financially accountable to the government and to the public, Tori said. Another reason the church has gained greater acceptance is that it has taken on several universally accepted causes such as the importance of family values in society and the formation of the Interreligious and International Peace Council. The church has also given financial support to institutions such as the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut and made acquisitions such as the purchase of the Washington Times."
- Introvigne, 2000, pages 47–48
- The men and women entered a large room, where Moon began matching couples by pointing at them."NY Daily News "In the Unification tradition, romantic liaisons are forbidden until the members are deemed by Mr. Moon to be spiritually ready to be matched at a huge gathering where he points future spouses out to one another. His followers believe that his decisions are based on his ability to discern their suitability and see their future descendants. Many are matched with people of other races and nationalities, in keeping with Mr. Moon's ideal of unifying all races and nations in the Unification Church. Though some couples are matched immediately before the mass wedding ceremonies, which are held every two or three years, most have long engagements during which they are typically posted in different cities or even continents, and get to know one another through letters."NY Times "Many were personally matched by Moon, who taught that romantic love led to sexual promiscuity, mismatched couples and dysfunctional societies. Moon's preference for cross-cultural marriages also meant that couples often shared no common language."Manchester Guardian "Moon's death Sept. 2 and funeral Saturday signaled the end of the random pairings that helped make Moon's Unification Church famous — and infamous — a generation ago." Washington Post "Many of the couples who married at mass weddings were hand-picked by Moon from photos. It led to some strange pairs such as a 71-year-old African Catholic archbishop who wed a 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist. In 1988 Moon entered the Guinness Book of Records when he married 6,516 identically dressed couples at Seoul's Olympic Stadium. Moonie newly-weds were forbidden to sleep together for 40 days to prove their marriage was on a higher plane. They then had to consummate their marriage in a three-day ritual with the sexual positions stipulated by their leader."Daily Mirror
- "Thousands marry in first Moonie wedding since founder's death". Independent. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Henneberger, Melinda (22 December 1992). "A Look at Life After Mass Marriage; For 2,075 Couples (Give or Take 200), 10 Years Together, Thanks to Sun Myung Moon". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Patrick Hickey Tahoe Boy: A journey back home John, Maryland, Seven Locks Press (May 15, 2009) ISBN 0-9822293-6-4 ISBN 978-0-9822293-6-1 pages 163-168
- Riverfront developer's origins are tied to Moon[permanent dead link] Richmond Times-Dispatch January 11, 2008
- Sushi and Rev. Moon Chicago Tribune 2006-4-11
- Here at the New Yorker New York Times, November 18, 2007
- A Church in Flux Is Flush With Cash Washington Post 1997-11-23,
- Rev. Moon raising his profile Christian Science Monitor 2001-04-19
- Despite controversy, Moon and his church moving into mainstream Archived 2008-07-25 at the Wayback Machine Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2006. "Derided as a cult in the 1970s and '80s that aggressively recruited young people to sell flowers in airports, the church changed its emphasis a decade ago to forming alliances with other faiths around issues such as abstinence and resistance to gay marriage."
- Barker, Eileen, The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? (1984) Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK ISBN 0-631-13246-5.
- NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS - SOME PROBLEMS OF DEFINITION George Chryssides, Diskus, 1997.
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- Review, J. Isamu Yamamoto and Paul Carden, Christian Research Institute Journal, Fall 1992, page 32
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- The Unification Church: Studies in Contemporary Religion Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine Massimo Introvigne, Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-145-7
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- The Coming Deliverer: Millennial Themes in World Religions, Editors: Fiona Bowie, Christopher Deacy Publisher: University of Wales Press, 1997 Original from the University of Virginia Digitized Jun 24, 2008 ISBN 0708313388, 9780708313381
- Introvigne, 2000, pages 47–52
- Thousands rally at million family march - racially and religiously diverse gathering, Christian Century, 2000-11-1
- Unification Church Woos A Second Generation, National Public Radio, June 23, 2010
- New luxury Vegas meeting venue isn't on the Strip, Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 5, 2015
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- The New York Times, 09/18/2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/fashion/weddings/unification-parents-are-primary-matchmakers-for-their-children.html
- Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for Chaplains, By U. S. Department of the Army, Published by The Minerva Group, Inc., 2001, ISBN 0-89875-607-3, ISBN 978-0-89875-607-4, pages 1–41 to 1-47. Google books listing
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- Daske, D. and Ashcraft, W. 2005, New Religious Movements, New York: New York University Press, ISBN 0-8147-0702-5 "To restart the process toward perfection, God has sent messiahs to earth who could restore the true state of humanity's relationship with God. Before that can happen, however, humans must perform good deeds that cancel the bad effects of sin. Unificationists call this "indemnity". Showing love and devotion to one's fellow humans, especially within families, helps pay this indemnity." p142
- Yamamoto, J. 1995, Unification Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Press, ISBN 0-310-70381-6 "The doctrine of indemnity. Indemnity is that which people do to restore themselves to God's kingdom. Young Oon Kim describes it this way: 'We atone for our sins through specific acts of penance.' Kwang-Yol Yoo, a Unification teacher, even goes so far as to say that by following the Divine Principle, 'man's perfection must be accomplished by his own effort without God's help.' God does most of the work, but people must still do their part in order to achieve God's plan of salvation: 'Five percent is only to say that man's responsibility is extremely small compared to God's.' "p35 "The doctrine of indemnity is not biblical. 'In simple language.' states Ruth Tucker, 'indemnity is salvation by works.' Bob Larson makes a distinction between Moon's doctrine and biblical theology, saying, 'Moon's doctrine of sinless perfection by "indemnity [forgiveness of sin by works on Moon's behalf], which can apply even to deceased ancestors, is a denial of the salvation by grace offering through Jesus Christ.' 'Farewell,' said John Calvin. 'to the dream of those who think up a righteousness flowing together out of faith and works.'" p40
- Tingle, D. and Fordyce, R. 1979, The Phases and Faces of the Moon: A Critical Examination of the Unification Church and Its Principles, Hicksville, New York: Exposition Press p53-55 "In short, indemnity is anything you want to make it, since you establish the conditions. The zeal and enthusiasm of the Unification Church members is not so much based on love for God as it is compulsion to indemnify one's own sins."
- THE POWER OF THE PRINCIPLE: WHENCE IT CAME; WHERE IT WENT Richard Quebedeaux, "Rev. Moon calls such a mode of living, such a lifestyle, "restoration through indemnity." With indemnity viewed as a persistent pattern of behavior, not as a mere doctrine to be affirmed or a rational list of rules, God's ideal for human relationships is "restored" through restitution. Restitution-in the sense of a "natural law"-assuages resentment, because it is the means by which the powerful and enfranchised give the people who feel downtrodden and powerless what they believe is rightly theirs. Indemnity means that "I'm here for you."
- Exposition of the Divine Principle 1996 Translation
- Exploring the climate of doom Archived 2012-04-23 at the Wayback Machine, Rich Lowry, 2009-12-19 'The phrase "doomsday cult" entered our collective vocabulary after John Lofland published his 1966 study, "Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith." Lofland wrote about the Unification Church.'
- Richardson, James T. (2004). Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe. Springer. ISBN 0-306-47887-0. p. 479
- Crazy for God
- "The Way of God's Will Chapter 3. Leaders, "We leaders should leave the tradition that we have become crazy for God."". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- PacNews staff (February 17, 2006). "Church leaders unite against Moonies". PacNews. Pacific Island News Agency Service.
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- Reid, P. Nelson; Paul D. Starr (November 1982). "The Social Impact of Unification Church Investments in Bayou La Batre, Alabama; A Socio-Ecologic Study Prepared for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium" (PDF). Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. www.masgc.org. p. 21, Footnote: 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-16. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
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- Zagoria, Sam (September 19, 1984). "Journalism's Three Sins". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. p. A26.
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