The Washington Post has recently reported that Moon is personally trying to buy the Washington Times back from Unification Church International (UCI), after having turned it over to his son, Hyun-jin Moon in 2006. Sun Myung Moon, through his loyal agent Doug Joo, has made an agreement to purchase the paper in a deal expected to be finalized within a month.

The self ordained “reverend” Moon is now ninety years old, and has in recent years been turning direct control over his organization to his children. However, schismatic infighting appears to be taking place between the elder Moon’s sons over who were given control of pieces of their father’s vast empire. Hyun-jin has reportedly distanced himself and the Virginia-based Unification Church International (UCI), along with its finances, from the Moon’s South Korean headquarters. Moon’s Unification Movement is reportedly one of the largest private property owner in the world.

Moon’s youngest son, Hyung-jin, was appointed temporal leader and International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (which has many entities, including the Unification Church, and dubbed in the seventies “the Moonies”). Eldest son Hyun-jin manages international operations for UCI. UCI is the parent company under which many of the Moon organization’s projects and business ventures operate. A third son, Kook-jin, oversees the organization’s South Korean and Japanese activities, through their Tongil Foundation.

The Moon organization owns United Press International, as well as the conservative Washington Times. Its founding editorial page editor, William Cheshire, resigned his position in 1987, charging that Unification Church executives controlled the Times’ editorial policy. Moon himself said in a 1991 speech, “Literally nine hundred million to one billion dollars has been spent to activate and run the Washington Times.” It has been estimated that at least another billion has been spent on the Times since then. One has to ask, why spend this kind of money on an unprofitable newspaper, if not for political influence?

Korean billionaire Sun Myung Moon has stated, “When it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. So, we cannot separate the political field from the religious.” (MASTER SPEAKS 5/17/73- from The Truth about Sun Myung Moon.

As crazy as this sounds, he has indeed amassed a huge fortune and powerful political influence. I should know, because I was involved as an American leader in this cult in the mid-seventies. I was deprogrammed after falling asleep at the wheel of Moonie fundraising van and was deprogrammed by my family’s team of former members. I have been following the Moon organization and counseling victims of this and other groups for over thirty years.

Moon was convicted in 1982 of income tax fraud and conspiracy, and served thirteen months of an eighteen-month sentence. Over the years, he has built an enormous multinational business conglomerate, announced he was the Messiah, and crowned himself the “King of Peace” on Capitol Hill. All largely unnoticed by the American public.

During the time of the “Koreagate” scandal in 1976-1977, the Fraser Committee found that the National Intelligence Service of South Korea (KCIA), had, among other things, been using the Unification Church as a political tool in its various anti-communist activities. The KCIA’s general goal was to influence the domestic and foreign politics and policies of the United States. Eighty-one pages of the 447-page Fraser Report (pages 311-392) deals specifically with the Moon organization. The term “KCIA” occurs sixty-eight times within those eighty-one pages.

Congressional investigators examined the operations of the Unification Movement while looking into the activities of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) during the time George Bush Sr. was director of the CIA. Moon’s friendship with the Bush family goes back at least two decades. The Unification Church has also been the subject of extensive (and largely negative) media exposure over the years. It is therefore amazing to me that this group has not only survived, but has thrived, and seems to actually be growing in wealth and power.

The first time Sun Myung Moon publicly and openly referred to himself as “…the Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah” was in 1992. On July 4, 2002, the Family Federation released a statement entitled “A Cloud of Witnesses: The Saints’ Testimonies to the True Parents.” In it, Jesus Christ (supposedly from the spirit world and on behalf of representatives of the five major world religions) announced that “We resolve and proclaim that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the Savior, Messiah, Second Coming and True Parent of all Humanity.” Later, on September 3, 2003, the Washington Times ran a two-page ad claiming thirty-six deceased former United States presidents had accepted Sun Myung Moon as the Messiah, and each made a brief statement from the spirit world endorsing him as such. Then, on March 23, 2004, Sun Myung Moon was crowned “The King of Peace” in a ceremony that was held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. It was reported that there were a total of eighty-one Congresspersons who attended the Moon coronation, which was organized by a Moon front group called “Ambassadors for Peace.”

It is strange indeed that this man, Sun Myung Moon, convicted felon and billionaire, has boldly declared himself to be the Messiah, the Second Coming of Christ, and super-ordinate to God. I am concerned that most Americans do not realize just how wealthy and politically influential the Moon organization has grown to be over the last three decades, and the incredible lengths to which it has gone in order for its goals to be realized.

What will become of the Moon organization once its founder dies? Only time will tell but I unfortunately predict that it will continue and possibly thrive if people ignore this potential threat to democracy. November 18th, 1978, congressman Leo Ryan was assassinated and over nine hundred Americans were killed by Jim Jones, who claimed to be Jesus and had his followers trained to mindlessly follow in strict obedience. I believe we must always remember the tragedy at Jonestown and the sign on the main pavilion that read “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Steven Hassan

About the Author: 

Steven Hassan M.Ed. LMHC, NCC has helped thousands of individuals and families recover from undue influence (mind control). With over 40 years of experience, he is sought after as one of the foremost authorities on undue influence and controlling groups and individuals. Steve understands the subject from a unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional. Steven Hassan has published 4 books about cults. His first book, which came out in 1988 under the title Combatting Cult Mind Control, was updated and re-released in 2015 as Combating Cult Mind Control. Chapter 2, My life in the Unification Church has been placed for free on this web site. This book is available as an audiobook as well as on kindle.

Steven is the Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a coaching, consulting, and training organization dedicated to supporting individuals to have the freedom to think clearly and to freely consider how they want to live their lives.  Steven pioneered a breakthrough method called the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA), an effective and legal alternative for families to help cult members.  The SIA teaches family and friends how to strategically influence the individual involved in the cult.

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