Talking With Members of the Unification Church

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
If Sun Myung Moon is sinless, perfect, one body with God and deity, then his claim to speak

God’s words are understandable. But if Moon really speaks God’s words why has he also
spoken almost nothing but error concerning the Bible and Jesus’ teachings?


If Sun Myung Moon is sinless, perfect, one body with God and deity, then his claim to speak
God’s words are understandable. But if Moon really speaks God’s words why has he also
spoken almost nothing but error concerning the Bible and Jesus’ teachings?[1] It should be
clear by now that it is not God who is inspiring Moon, but the spirit world, and that
members need to be warned about the advisability of listening to the spirits.

The Divine Principle is “the Word of God.” Master Speaks lectures are “the Word of God.”
Nearly everything Moon speaks is “the Word of God.” Typical of Unification Church [UC]
publications are the following statements:

I speak out as God dictates to me.[2]

Rev. Sun Myung Moon seldom uses a text in his speeches…. He speaks entirely in the
spirit of God.[3]

You must trust my teaching, my words 100 percent because they are not my own.
They are God’s words.[4]

We must have sympathy for the average Unification Church member who, trapped in a cult,
will suffer personal consequences of which he or she is initially unaware. Clearly, much of
the information we have written (see our Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions, for
example) can be used to point out the discrepancy between Moon’s claims and the reality of
how he lives his life and what he teaches. How could such a man possibly be Jesus Christ
returned as the Lord of the Second Advent and the most perfect expression of God ever? Is
there any way to rationalize the absolute discrepancy between Moon’s divine claims and
his all too human failures?

Indeed, rejecting biblical teaching and the facts of history, Moon claimed that Jesus had
failed in His mission. He declared this entirely on the advice of some unknown spirits who
had given him revelations and possessed him. On what logical or historical precedent can
those possessed by spirits be trusted? But he also claimed, and promised, he would succeed
as the Lord of the Second Advent. Moon, however, was the one who failed miserably to
achieve his stated goals: he never converted Korea, he never converted America, he never
subjected the spirit world to himself and he never had sinless children. So why should any
disciple believe his claim to be the Lord of the Second Advent? How can a UC member
logically choose to believe in Moon, who failed at so much, over Jesus Christ, who failed at
nothing? Did Moon resurrect from the dead in proof of his claims, as Jesus did?

Any given UC member may be coming from any given perspective personally—an excited
new recruit, a devoted worker, a burned out disillusioned shell of one’s former self.
Regardless of where a given member is at personally, one should never minimize the
importance either of evangelism or pre-evangelism. In addition, just as Jesus warned that,
when someone does not understand the Gospel, Satan comes and takes away the seed that
was sown in his heart (Matt. 13:19), it is imperative to be certain that the UC member hear
and understand the good news. If necessary, one can stress the consequence of Moon’s
rejection of Jesus and the Bible generally. “If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to
be, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). “There is a judge for the one who rejects
me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the
last day” (John 12:48). Besides warning members of the dangers of occult involvement, one
can certainly warn them of the dangers of eternal judgment. Clearly, if they are wrong and
Christianity is true, then they will lose everything, including their soul. So on what objective
historical basis do they make their claim for believing in the truth of Moon’s revelations?

As is true for cults generally, working with a UC member takes time, understanding and
patience. Be prepared to encounter “heavenly deception” and other forms of manipulation.
When you do, ask them if lying and moral compromise are the marks of a godly man or
woman? Moon says, “You must be able to manipulate those people”[5] because “Father can
manipulate the world.”[6] So why are Moon followers exempted from being manipulated by
Moon? If Moon so freely manipulates others, indeed the whole world, how does the UC
disciple gain an assurance that he or she is not part of the program? If lying spirits have
been speaking through Moon and influencing him all along, could it be otherwise?

Thus, after having carefully documented Moon’s involvement in spiritism, one may then
point out the biblical prohibitions against spiritism in Deuteronomy 18:9-12. One could
mention that it is impossible for a UC member to be certain that the spirits Moon (or
perhaps the member) converses with are themselves telling the truth. How do they know,
objectively, that Moon has not been deceived by lying spirits? Indeed, aren’t Moon’s
teachings exactly what one would expect from lying spirits? What else could be the origin
for teachings that reject God and Christ, pervert the Bible, ruin the family, deny morality
and destroy so many lives?

Or, one might read a quote from The Way of the World. The January-February, 1977 issue
(pages 45-49) lists 12 “theological affirmations” of official Unification Church beliefs. Of
number 10, “The Bible,” it declares: “Truth is unique eternal and unchanging, so any new
messages from God will be in conformity with the Bible.”[7] Is Divine Principle and the Master
Speaks “in conformity” with Deuteronomy 18:9-12? Is Moon’s theology in general “in
conformity to biblical theology? Not at all.

Another point to mention is that there have been scores of other books allegedly authored
by “God” or “Jesus” from the spirit world, and many other people, like Moon, have claimed
that Jesus talked with them and gave them vital teachings. However, these books and
teachings have contradicted part or all of Moon’s teachings. Who, then, is right? Members
may say that these are false revelations, and that they came from evil spirits impersonating
Jesus. But how can they be certain that Moon is not in the same category? Other people are
just as sincere and certain in their claims as Moon is. This point may especially be brought
home in light of Ken Sudo’s admissions in The 120 Day Training Manual:

Even Satan can come in the name of Jesus. So if a spirit may say “I’m Jesus,” don’t
believe so easily. Don’t believe until you can check if it is good or not. Sometimes a
spirit comes as if he is spirit of Father himself, even through a spiritual person,
spiritual brother or sister, and members who don’t know anything are amazed. We
had so many experiences like this and most of them are false. In the name of Jesus,
Moses, Abraham, Mother Mary, and even in the name of Father himself, Satan
beguiled us and made us rebel against the providence of God. Spiritual phenomena
isn’t so easy to understand.[8]

Even the spiritual world is a fallen world. Therefore you cannot rely on [the]
spiritual world.[9]

The problem, of course, is that the origin of Moon’s teachings is the very fallen spiritual
world spoken of! Again, how can the UC members possibly know that Moon’s revelations
are authentic if UC leaders admit that Satan impersonates Jesus and that even they have
been deceived on multiple occasions? Where is the objective standard by which to judge
the revelations? Their “answer” to this is certainly self-serving, but hardly a guarantee
against deception: “One important direction of evil spirits is to lead people to rebel against

One may also enumerate the potential dangers of UC membership—mental, physical and
spiritual. Is joining the Unification Church worth the risk of physical or psychological
breakdown or suicide, or perhaps demon possession? For example, Moon relates one story
about a psychic healer. A friend requested her to pray for her critically ill son. A [spirit]
voice came to the healer and asked her if she would pay any price to heal the boy. She said
yes. Three days later the boy was healed. Almost immediately “the healer’s only son died.
He had been very healthy. The healer was so shocked that she lost her mind. She became
insane.”[11] Eventually her dead son appeared to her and told her of all his “blessings” in the
spirit world because she had healed the boy! Moon uses this as an example of how
everything turns out rosy when we obey the voice of a spirit. Biblically, the truth of what
happened is far different. Regardless, are spirits who do such a thing the kind of spirits that
members wish to trust?

Further, what are Moon’s legitimate credentials for being “Lord” and “Master”? Did he fulfill
historic prophecy, or predict his own resurrection from the dead, or perform outstanding
miracles, as the “failure” Jesus did? How many disciples really know Moon or have spent
even more than a few minutes with him? Should one literally entrust one’s life and soul to a
stranger? How is it possible for the claims of Moon to be so discordant from his actions?
And does any UC member really believe he can meet the requirements demanded of him by
Moon, without which one loses everything? Isn’t freedom from unceasing guilt and effort
far better? Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you
rest” (Matt. 11:28). Would one not prefer a secure relationship and a truly sovereign God
(Rom. 8:28-38) as opposed to the insecurities of life with Moon? Would one not desire the
complete assurance of all sins forgiven and the joy of knowing one has eternal life (Col.
2:13; 1 John 5:13)? Indeed, who can deny that the member who leaves now is in good

UC leaders themselves have admitted that thousands of disciples have left. Even twenty
years ago they confessed:

In the Unification Church, many have joined and many have left, and few remain. We
have lost many, many brothers and sisters. They believed Father was the Messiah;
they received the Divine Principle. They made deep determination to sacrifice their
entire lives, yet many left because we couldn’t raise these members enough…. We
have killed more than we have saved. It is very true.[12]

Today it is far worse: tens of thousands have now left. Moon himself has failed in his own
role as Lord of the Second Advent. Therefore, everything is lost anyway. So why remain a

Years ago, however, Moon was right about a few things. He confessed: “Any man who says
that he is the source of life and love cannot be trusted, not even Reverend Moon.”[13] “Even I
cannot be trusted 100 percent because of the innate nature of human weaknesses.”[14] Who,
then, can one trust 100 percent?

Moon once claimed, “My words will prove to be true. Otherwise there is no God.”[15]
However time and again his words have not proven true. They consistently contradict
God’s word, and Moon has failed in his promises. So why should he be trusted at all? Has
Moon now concluded that there is no God? Will he realize that listening to the spirit world
at the beginning was the source of his troubles?

There is only one God who can be trusted 100 percent—the God of the Bible. He will never
fail anyone who trusts in Him: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
The only really important thing in life is to come to know Him. As Jesus said, “Now this is
eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have
sent…. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:3, 17).


I have paid a great amount of indemnity, and because of this I have the right to forgive another’s sin. (Master Speaks (MS-3) March-April, 1965, p. 16) Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone? (Mark 2:7)
Jesus was a man, not God Himself. (Moon, Christianity in Crisis, p. 27) Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. (Titus 2:13 NAS)
Jesus… failed in fulfilling His mission on the earth. (Master Speaks, December 26, 1971, p. 2) I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. (John 17:4)
We … must realize that Jesus did not come to die on the cross. (Divine Principle, p. 143) And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25-26 NAS)
Do not believe in the Christ upon the cross…. The cross is the symbol of Satan’s victory. (Master Speaks, No. 4 (2), p. 6) It was for this very reason I came to this hour. (John 12:27)

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2)



  1. Master Speaks, December 26, 1971, p. 2; cf. Sun Myung Moon, Christianity in Crisis (Washington, D.C., HSAUWC,
    1973), p. 107.
  2. Frederick Sontag, Sun Myung Moon—and the Unification Church (Nashville: Abingdon/Parthenon Press,
    1977), p. 151.
  3. Moon, Christianity in Crisis, p. vii.
  4. Master Speaks, January 2, 1977, in Sontag, p. 125.
  5. Master Speaks, May 20, 1973, p. 6, “Relationship Between Men and Women,” second 100-day training
    session, cited by Jack Sparks, The Mind Benders (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1977), p. 140.
  6. Ibid., p. 116.
  7. The Way of the World, January-February 1977, p. 49. “…”and will illuminate it more deeply.” This is the “out,”
    but it cannot cover the force of the statement. A deeper illumination is possible with some Scriptures, but it
    will not contradict something God has said elsewhere. The true interpretation of a Scripture must be in
    harmony with every Scripture.
  8. Ken Sudo, The 120 Day Training Manual (Barrytown, NY: International Unification Church Training Center,
    n.d.), p. 142, emphasis added.
  9. Ibid., p. 141.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Master Speaks, 3, p. 15.
  12. Sudo, The 120 Day Training Manual, p. 362.
  13. Master Speaks, August 1, 1976, in Sontag, p. 124.
  14. Master Speaks, January 2, 1977, Sontag, p. 125.
  15. Master Speaks, 378R, p. 5.

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