Some Concerns about the Unification Church – Part 2 | John Ankerberg Show

Some Concerns about the Unification Church – Part 2

By: John Ankerberg Show
By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
The Unification Church [UC] represents a microcosm of many of the characteristics of new

religions and cults. In this three-part article we will mention only a few of many areas of
concern: UC teachings on the family, morality, the risk of psychological damage and their
liberal theological approach.


Sun Myung Moon claims that he emphasizes the importance of morality both for himself
and for his church. “I emphasize honesty, purity, and unselfishness as the principal code of
our members. Honesty comes first, particularly between God and man.”[1] “Among the
people of conscience, the highest people are the members of the Unification Church.”[2]

In fact, the morality seen within the Unification Church is less than pure. Honesty is not
particularly emphasized. Former members routinely speak of deceiving the public in order
to gain funds and for other reasons. This is quaintly termed “heavenly deception.” Even
Moon himself does not provide the proper moral example, saying “In restoring man from
evil sovereignty we must cheat.”[3] In an extremely convenient rationalization to excuse the
Lord of the Second Advent, we are told, “He is sinless, but in order to pay for the sin that
man has committed he must live like a sinner.”[4] Perhaps this was why in October, 1981, a
federal grand jury in Manhattan “indicted the Korean for tax evasion and conspiracy.”[5] He
has also served two jail terms in Korea.[6]

One can also see how Moon’s teachings could be morally misused by the over-zealous members. A former member notes, “You always had to see things from God’s standpoint,
and the only representative of God you had was your superior. Whether he’s right or
wrong, you follow his orders. If he’s made mistakes in his command, then he’s the one that has to pay for it and not you. So you follow without question.”[7] Or consider statements like
these by Moon. “I am transcendent of family boundaries, national boundaries and
everything else in the Satanic world.”[8] “God has his own morality, His own mode of
conduct, the heavenly morality.”[9] “We are the first ones to restore this earth. So there is no
tradition. For us there is no style. We don’t have any culture. We have to make a new one.
From now, we have to make new customs, new tradition, new culture, new life, a new way
of living, new morality, new laws. Are you ready?”[10]

Moon’s creation of new laws and a new morality is clearly evident. In the new world “the
definition of sin will be different.”[11] For example, “Stealing will not exist in the new world. If
one has a necessity he can take it from another person. You pray and just take it. It is not
stealing.”[12] One is tempted to suggest the New World has already arrived. “One former
member reported, ‘I was told to use my “fallen nature” to get money…. I was exploited. And
I did do deceitful things.’”[13] And what of statements like the following? “Love itself is
neutral, and is neither good nor evil.”[14] “Evil is not something entirely different from love.
Evil is the misuse of love…. Good and evil started from one point—love.”[15] And what kind of
moral indoctrination comes through statements like the following, from a Master Speaks
publication, which uses the hypothetical example of people being trampled to death on the
way into Madison Square Garden to hear Moon? We are asked:

Would you rather have so many people killed and in that way grant that success be
yours, or just have fewer people in a calmer atmosphere? Which is your choice?
(More!) Then would that mean you would like to have people killed? (Yes! No!) Then
you are not good people. In our concept, the definition of good and evil is different
from ordinary ones.[16]

Moon says, “We do not encourage murder,”[17] but one can only wonder about that
wonderful New Age with its heavenly dictatorship and its willingness to sacrifice lives for
the cause and for Moon’s secret teachings. Even now he says of anyone who does not wish to live with his God, “If there is anyone who would answer negatively, he must die.”[18] The
UC position seems pretty clear:

Would you kill your children for Father [Moon]? one man was asked. “Yes,” he
replied without hesitation.[19]

Those members who are absolutely truly committed would stop at nothing to do
what he said, to do what he asked…. I just came out directly and asked this guy—I
said—if, Moon told you to kill your parents, that this was going to forward the
kingdom of heaven here on earth, would you do it…. And he looked at me directly in
the eye and without flinching said—yes.[20]

Many have said they could easily kill if they were told by the church to kill.[21]

The leader even implied that my life would be threatened if I left.[22]

(This last quotation probably refers to Moon’s view that heavenly or “natural” forces will
coalesce to destroy his enemies or backsliders.[23] Naturally, it is not safe to be either.)

Other moral failings can be seen in the following:

A Moonie sentenced to 10-18 years for armed robbery he claims was instigated by
the church.[24]

Moon reportedly offered the National Council of Churches $50,000 if they would
accept him as a member.[25]

One time I disagreed with the leaders. I told them, “You don’t even treat people like
human beings” and I was told that “The Divine Principle” doesn’t refer to human

In my opinion, the Moon organization is a pseudo-religious political cult whose
existence depends on the deceit and fraud it employs to recruit and raise funds.[27]

Less than 7% of $1 million of Children’s Relief Fund went to help children.[28]

Harvard University refused to rent rooms to CARP on the grounds that CARP had
sought permission deceptively (claiming no affiliation with the Unification Church) and had ignored a previous order not to solicit students in dorms.[29]

Perhaps this “morality” is why we find the following in a publisher’s blurb of Nansook
Hong’s In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Family. Hong
became the child bride of Moon’s eldest son and heir. Remember, Moon promised that he
would produce sinless offspring. But Hong called the estate she lived at, East Garden in
New York City, “my personal prison for fourteen years,” noting that if she had it to do over
again today, “I would escape… and leave behind the man who beat me and the false Messiah
who let him, men so flawed that now I know that God would never have chosen Sun Myung
Moon or his son to be his agents on earth.” She alleges that her husband “treated [her]
either as a toy for his sexual pleasure or as an outlet for his violent rages,” and that Moon is
a “fraud.”[30] She also claims that Moon had several adulterous affairs and that her husband
used cocaine, watched pornography and threatened to kill her unborn child. The
Washington Post, also commenting upon her, states: “Hyo Jin Moon, 34, is embroiled in a
contentious divorce in which his former wife, Nan Sook, has accused him of beating her and
‘secreting himself in the master bedroom, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days,
drinking alcohol, using cocaine and watching pornographic films,’ according to a 1995
affidavit she filed in Massachusetts.” The church of course denies all this.


  1. Official interview in Frederick Sontag, Sun Myung Moon—and the Unification Church (Nashville:
    Abingdon/Parthenon Press, 1977), p. 150.
  2. Master Speaks, December 26, 1971, p. 6.
  3. From the Master Speaks reported in Time, June 14, 1976, p. 49.
  4. Ken Sudo, The 120 Day Training Manual (Barrytown, NY: International Unification Church Training Center,
    n.d.), p. 94.
  5. Time, October 26, 1981, p. 24.
  6. The Washington Post, November 23, 1997.
  7. Ronald Enroth, Youth Brainwashing and the Extremist Cults (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977), p. 104.
  8. Master Speaks, 319, January 19, 1973, p. 7.
  9. Master Speaks, December 12, 1971, p. 4.
  10. Master Speaks, December 29, 1971, p. 7.
  11. Master Speaks, 4 (2), p. 4.
  12. Master Speaks, 2, p. 14.
  13. Special Report, The Unification Church: Its Activities and Practices, Unofficial Transcript Government Panel,
    Citizens Appearing; Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senate Caucus Room, Washington, D.C., February 18,
    1976, Part 1, p. 24.
  14. Master Speaks, 4 (2), p. 5.
  15. Master Speaks, 5, p. 1.
  16. Master Speaks, 430, p. 9. Apparently the “No” answer of some in the audience necessitated the response
    that they were not good people. They should have no qualms about sacrificing others for the cause.
  17. Master Speaks, 3, p. 13.
  18. Master Speaks, January 11, 1972, p. 2.
  19. San Francisco Magazine, July, 1976, p. 41.
  20. Transcript of “ABC News Close-Up”: “New Religions: Holiness or Heresy?” broadcast September 2, 1976, p.
  21. The Christian Century, September 24, 1975, p. 813.
  22. Newsweek, June 14, 1976, p. 47.
  23. Master Speaks, at True Parent’s Birthday, February 16, 1975.
  24. KNXFM radio, San Diego, news report, April 14, 1977.
  25. The Catholic News, February 24, 1977, p. 6.
  26. The Wichita Eagle, July 14, 1975.
  27. Steven Hassan, former CARP director, former assistant director of two U.C. centers, former lecturer, former
    fundraising team captain, at press conference, Rayburn Bldg., Washington, D.C., November 15, 1979.
  28. Steven Hassan, quoted in CFF-IS, June 1, 1980, p. 10 (Citizens Freedom Foundation in Southern California).
  29. The Advisor, December 1979, p. 8, col. 3.
  30. Website review at, “About the Book.”

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John Ankerberg Show

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