Unification Church / Tongil
When you are young, traveling on your own and perhaps without much confidence in yourself and your future, a lot of things may happen. It may happen in any part of the world.
You may be contacted by young people, who are carrying out a survey. They will ask to hear your views on various issues, and listen in a friendly and sympathetic manner. The interview with these likeable persons of your own age gives you a feeling of being taken seriously. They say they come from a Christian student organization, called CARP. It is an abbreviation of Collegiate Association for Research of Principles, which may sound very normal. Gradually you become curious. You don't know, however, that CARP is a "front" organization, recruiting disciples for the Unification Church. When the CARP representatives invite you to an evening party, including dinner and entertainment, you readily accept. During the evening you receive yet another offer, this time concerning a seminar taking place in a camp nearby. Once again you agree; surely, there can be no harm in joining them to see what is going on.
It turns out to be just great! The participants are young people from many different countries, and the days are taken up with sports, singing, games, discussions, and lessons, all spiced with picnics and films. The discussions seem to be interesting and profound and opening up for a new approach to life.
In the beginning, of course, you are a bit suspicious, because you have heard so much about all kinds of sects and cults and new religious movements not revealing their true identity at once. However, gradually, your mind is put at ease because it all seems very innocent, and everything is conducted in an apparently Christian atmosphere.
So you decide to stay in the camp - at first for a few more days and then for yet another couple of weeks. You may have a lump in your throat, and your mind is not at ease, because you feel you ought to be on your way back to your family and friends. Perhaps there is a sweetheart back home, as well as studies to be taken care of. Yet all the time someone is convincing you in a friendly yet persistent manner that it would be better to stay a little longer.
All new things have a strong attraction. The new, very loving and caring friends belong to a movement trying to unite all the different religions of the world - nothing less! In this movement, Christianity plays quite a new part in history. In the beginning it sounds rather idealistic and reasonable, but gradually you learn about one Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and read his book "The Divine Principles", watch him on films featuring his numerous collaborators, religious leaders and scientists from all over the world who attend conferences and seminars held by the movement.
Little by little, you realize that something very big is about to happen in the world. You feel you must be part of this. For, after all, this is something you always wished for: lots of people jointly striving towards a better world. At any rate, that is how it is presented to you.
Having had a fine time in the camp, you volunteer for a team, giving all your money for this great and important work done by the movement. You may be lucky to join a fishing crew working for the movement, because it deals a lot in fishing and fish processing - all of it unpaid and only for the benefit of the movement - completely unselfish devotion to the cause!
On the other hand, you may be a member of a fund-raising team, driving about in a van selling flowers or various souvenirs or simply begging for money on highways and byways. You work around the clock, getting just a few hours sleep, eating very little and hardly ever getting an opportunity to relax. Actually, you don't have to do it - you merely feel you are deserting the others if you're not doing your best. You're tired all the time, and as time goes on, not able to think for yourself. You're almost hypnotized by the task and by the acceptance and approval from the others.
Sometimes, if you have the time to think, e.g. if you wake up in the middle of the night among your sleeping friends, everything may seem strange and unreal to you. You cannot see a way to leave. If one of your teammates wants to go home, you yourself lend a hand in persuading him or her to stay. You may even take part in chasing a runaway, tracking him down and subjecting him to pressure to get back on "the chain gang".
You send letters home, it's true, and perhaps you'll call your family as well. But you're silent on "the issue" and express yourself vaguely, in order not to cause your family any alarm, but also not to alarm yourself. You iron everything out, especially your Christian doubts. If you have a Christian background, then much of what the movement claims in its ideology does not seem right, although your friends try to dispell your doubts.
Sun Myung Moon
Rev. Moon's role as the new Messiah, "the Lord of the Second Advent" seems strange to you in the beginning, but you can't rule out things like that in advance, can you? If you had a relationship before comíng into the movement, gradually it fades into insignificance as you realize that marriage is the central aspect of the Unification Church - Restoration. It is therefore very important for you to be matched with a partner chosen by Rev. Moon or his colleagues.
Eventually, Rev. Moon and his wife become "the true parents", slowly thrusting your parents at home into the background. Everything else turns into shadows, while your reality becomes "the United Family" or "Unification Church" as this religion is called. The name "Unification Church" gives the movement the appearance of a Christian church. Its full name is "Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity".
The Unification Church is actually quite a small movement, though it claims to have three million members in more than 120 countries. The actual membership of the Unification Church is more like 300,000. One way it has of giving an impression of being a large movement is by holding mass weddings which attract media interest.
Once you've made your decision to join, the rest is easy. You're led to a place where you actually did not want to go, but in the end that's what you think you want - if it makes any sense at all to talk about "wanting" at this advanced stage. So you go with the flow and you're quite content with that. After all, the followers are in process of winning the entire world for Rev. Moon and his "Divine Principles", but at the same time they may be losing their souls.
Sex plays a strange as well as decisive part in the doctrine of salvation of the Unification Church. According to Rev. Moon, the "Trinity" does not consist of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, but of man, woman, and God. Originally, Adam and Eve were supposed to form a "triad" together with God, but Eve was tempted by the snake, i.e., Satan, with whom she had intercourse. That caused the spiritual fall. Later on, she had illicit intercourse with Adam, causing the physical fall.
Therefore, a physical as well as a spiritual salvation was called for, and that is why Jesus was born. However, Jesus' mission did not succeed because the disciples betrayed him. The idea was that Jesus should have married and thus instituted marriage, or salvation. However, he did so in Heaven, where he married the Holy Spirit and thereby guaranteed the spiritual salvation.
However, physical salvation was not accomplished. Therefore, we now need a new Messiah, the Lord of the Second Advent, who is able to constitute the triad at the physical level just as Jesus did at the spiritual level. Rev. Moon calls himself the new Messiah and claims to have contracted a "marriage of the Lamb" with his present (and third) wife, Hak Ja Han, in 1960.
Young people, of course, spend much of their time and energy finding a spouse, then marry and have children. They do not have to do that in the Unification Church, because here Rev. Moon plays the part of the matchmaker. In fact, this is the essential element in his followers' salvation: these arranged marriages are the entrance to "the holy family".
Rev. Moon selects the couples. Only in a few exceptional cases does he respect the choice of partners made prior to joining the Unification Church. After the selection, the couples are allowed a short time of reflection, and if they agree to the match, they then bow to Rev. Moon as a sign of acceptance.
Having married, they may be sent to any part of the world, disregarding the question of children that need to be taken care of. All the followers are totally occupied with the great goals of the movement, which leaves no time to cultivate a private life.
The actual wedding is combined with a holy wine ceremony where hundreds of married couples drink wine mixed with Rev. Moon's own blood (sacrament-imitation), and sprinkled with water (baptism-imitation). The last part of the wedding is the ceremony of atonement where the Devil is beaten out of the body. This is accomplished when the couples beat each other three times with a stick. Afterwards, often after a long period, a three day ceremony starts as a compulsory introduction to marriage and marital relations. All this means that they are adopted into Rev. Moon’s family, and they and their children will share the so-called sinlessness of his family.
The Unification Church has many front organizations with a humanistic and cultural flavour attached to them, such as: The International Cultural Foundation, The International Conference on the Unity of Science, and Professors' World Peace Academy. They are all supposed to serve and encourage the cause of the Unification Church and to increase its respectability around the world.
Furthermore, Rev. Moon uses these organizations to influence political life and turn public opinion in a conservative direction. The Unification Church cooperates with all kinds of political groups including several other new religious movements and sects (e.g. the Mormons and Scientology). This cooperation has but one prerequisite: the parents must be anti-communists. Rev. Moon's profound hatred of communism certainly has a plausible explanation. In his native country (Korea), he was imprisoned by the communists for a while and was tortured by them. But this does not entitle him to use his followers in a violent agitation against persons who see political dangers not only to the left but also to the right. After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, new mission fields have been opened to the Unification Church, and they are now making effective use of them. Rev. Moon is seen together with top leaders from Eastern Europe, and his huge financial resources are used as a door-opener. Due to ignorance and positive feelings towards everything that comes from the West, he has been very successful.
The following quotations are taken from speeches given by Rev. Moon, and the contents have been gathered under the collective title of "Master Speaks". These texts are not available to the public, although they are used as devotional writings in the Unification Church.
"Christians are all adopted children, not true children of God. Jesus and the Lord of the Second Advent are God's true sons. They are in Abel's position. The adopted children are in Cain's position. Adopted children still have the right to receive the inheritance if they take the right procedure". (Master Speaks 2, page 9.)
"Until our mission with the Christian church is over, we must quote the Bible and use it to explain the Divine Principle. After we receive the inheritance of the Christian church, we will be free to teach without the Bible". (Master Speaks 7, page 1.)
"As Christians we prayed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. Now we should pray in the name of the True Parents". (Master Speaks 3, page 2.)(The course of events described in the introductory passages of this page are based on true accounts of young people who experienced a similar recruitment method by the Unification Church).