Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Latest News News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World
Deep dive into the Unification Church

Photo Credit: Reuters


 


The Unification Church is under scrutiny again in Japanese media as investigations proceed on the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Japanese Communist Party also launched a probe for possible connections between the church and lawmakers. To understand the impact of this, we must know how it all started. 


 


The Unification Church is a mixture of Christianity and Confucianism like the Shakers of 19th century America. In 1958 the late Sun Myung Moon created this religion in South Korea. According to Moon, Korea is “Adam” while Japan is “Eve”. Moon now must bring salvation to humanity because Eve led humans to fall from the graces of Heaven by having sexual relations with Satan.


 


It came to Japan in 1958 before the United States in the 1970s. 


 


Following Moon’s death in 2012, his widow Hak Ja Han took over as his successor for a new organization, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Their daughter, In Jin Moon, leads the U.S. branch. One of their sons, Hyung Jin, runs a different faction known as the Rod of Iron Ministries.


 


The group is known for marrying millions of couples in mass ceremonies at a stadium, who are often strangers before it takes place while running other various companies and assisting nonprofit groups. 


 



Photo Credit: Yahoo


 


Steve Hassan, former Moonie, cult expert, and author of The Cult of Trump, said, “They’re not street recruiting anymore, though they have increased their internet presence.” For decades, he helped members leave through his resource center, Freedom of Mind.


 


In the U.S., memberships in the 1990s declined to leave only the business empire. One is the Washington Times. The purposes are to ensure members are employed, gain influence, and support the group’s spiritual and political agenda. 


 


Ron Paquette, a high-ranking ex-member, said, “The idea was that we’d be like Disney, controlling all kinds of media, working on behalf of God.”


 


Paquette had access to financial records for U.S. operations during his time there. He believes any activities are for prestige to gain credibility rather than profit. 


 


In 1978 the U.S. congress investigated Moon’s organization. They concluded the church and the other organizations under it are considered one international organization “where money is freely moved” amongst themselves. Former members said they only paid in cash. One recounted they returned from an overseas trip with $10,000 in their pocket. Where it comes from is a closely guarded secret as not even former high-ranking members failed to find out to satisfy their curiosity. Their Korean and American companies lost money over time as well. 


 


Which raises the question: Where does this funding come from then?


 


The answer is Japan. Estimating as much as 70 percent of the Church’s wealth comes from spiritual sales of ginseng products, small stone pagodas, artwork, and personal seals for paperwork. Hassan added this includes scanning obituaries, knocking on people’s doors, and telling them to donate to the church to help their loved ones in the afterlife. 


 


The church claimed in 2009 that it would change its aggressive donation practices. There were efforts to strip it of its legal status in Japan in 2010. Kook Jin, known as the “True Son” of Moon, denied the church pressured the Japanese people to make such large donations.


 


However, the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales (NNLASS) said at a news conference beginning in July 2022 that these practices continue even to this day. They added many members resulting in bankruptcy. Families and ex-members claimed to give up 331 million yen ($2,418,760). In previous years damages totaled 5.1 billion yen ($37,368,7600), according to the lawyers. 


 


Recently, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, the suspect in the assassin of Shinzo Abe, told police the Unification Church was the cause of his mother’s bankruptcy. Tomihiro Tanaka, the head of the Japanese branch, confirmed that Yamagami’s mother was a member. Yamagami’s uncle mentioned how his sister donated 100 million yen ($732,115) to the church. According to investigators, Yamagami blamed Abe and his grandfather for letting the group into the country.


 


A member of the NNLASS group, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, said, “Yamagami’s act, which took the life of former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe is nothing, but barbaric and never be forgiven for whatever reason.”


 


Recently Kwak Chung-hwan, former chairman of the Unification Church, held a press conference. He said Abe’s grandfather and father were close to Moon in response to a question regarding the relationship between the Liberal Democratic Party and the church. Both Moon and these men held anti-communist views. Kwak left in 2009 but feels responsible for the attack. 


 


Abe also appeared as a guest speaker for a Rally of Hope alongside others before his untimely death. In the clip, he thanks the Moons for their efforts to peacefully bring the Korean peninsula together. World leaders, celebrities, and influential people as paid guest speakers at Unification’s events are a last-standing tradition. Former President Bush and Trump have also spoken for the church for thousands of dollars. 


 


Larry Zilliox, a long-time researcher, said, “They’ll pay for anybody who will give them legitimacy.”


 


From the church’s standpoint, doing this will attract the people who can help with their local businesses. Thus they can continue running a global religious conglomerate. 


 


Investigators have yet to determine more links between Abe and the church.


 


The Unification Church has a long history of marrying strangers, operating businesses in various parts of the world, class action lawsuits, and charity work. Their goal of peacefully unifying everyone under their church may have good intentions, but their donation practices hurt many of their followers, including Japanese citizens. As investigations continue for Abe’s assailant, the fate of this organization remains uncertain. 


 


Edited By: Whitney Edna Ibe


 


 


The Unification Church is under scrutiny again in Japanese media as investigations proceed on the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Japanese Communist Party also launched a probe for possible connections between the church and lawmakers. To understand the impact of this, we must know how it all started. 


 


The Unification Church is a mixture of Christianity and Confucianism like the Shakers of 19th century America. In 1958 the late Sun Myung Moon created this religion in South Korea. According to Moon, Korea is “Adam” while Japan is “Eve”. Moon now must bring salvation to humanity because Eve led humans to fall from the graces of Heaven by having sexual relations with Satan.


 


It came to Japan in 1958 before the United States in the 1970s. 


 


Following Moon’s death in 2012, his widow Hak Ja Han took over as his successor for a new organization, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Their daughter, In Jin Moon, leads the U.S. branch. One of their sons, Hyung Jin, runs a different faction known as the Rod of Iron Ministries.


 


The group is known for marrying millions of couples in mass ceremonies at a stadium, who are often strangers before it takes place while running other various companies and assisting nonprofit groups. 


 


Steve Hassan, former Moonie, cult expert, and author of The Cult of Trump, said, “They’re not street recruiting anymore, though they have increased their internet presence.” For decades, he helped members leave through his resource center, Freedom of Mind.


 


In the U.S., memberships in the 1990s declined to leave only the business empire. One is the Washington Times. The purposes are to ensure members are employed, gain influence, and support the group’s spiritual and political agenda. 


 


Ron Paquette, a high-ranking ex-member, said, “The idea was that we’d be like Disney, controlling all kinds of media, working on behalf of God.”


 


Paquette had access to financial records for U.S. operations during his time there. He believes any activities are for prestige to gain credibility rather than profit. 


 


In 1978 the U.S. congress investigated Moon’s organization. They concluded the church and the other organizations under it are considered one international organization “where money is freely moved” amongst themselves. Former members said they only paid in cash. One recounted they returned from an overseas trip with $10,000 in their pocket. Where it comes from is a closely guarded secret as not even former high-ranking members failed to find out to satisfy their curiosity. Their Korean and American companies lost money over time as well. 


 


Which raises the question: Where does this funding come from then?


 


The answer is Japan. Estimating as much as 70 percent of the Church’s wealth comes from spiritual sales of ginseng products, small stone pagodas, artwork, and personal seals for paperwork. Hassan added this includes scanning obituaries, knocking on people’s doors, and telling them to donate to the church to help their loved ones in the afterlife. 


 


The church claimed in 2009 that it would change its aggressive donation practices. There were efforts to strip it of its legal status in Japan in 2010. Kook Jin, known as the “True Son” of Moon, denied the church pressured the Japanese people to make such large donations.


 


However, the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales (NNLASS) said at a news conference beginning in July 2022 that these practices continue even to this day. They added many members resulting in bankruptcy. Families and ex-members claimed to give up 331 million yen ($2,418,760). In previous years damages totaled 5.1 billion yen ($37,368,7600), according to the lawyers. 


 


Recently, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, the suspect in the assassin of Shinzo Abe, told police the Unification Church was the cause of his mother’s bankruptcy. Tomihiro Tanaka, the head of the Japanese branch, confirmed that Yamagami’s mother was a member. Yamagami’s uncle mentioned how his sister donated 100 million yen ($732,115) to the church. According to investigators, Yamagami blamed Abe and his grandfather for letting the group into the country.


 


A member of the NNLASS group, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, said, “Yamagami’s act, which took the life of former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe is nothing, but barbaric and never be forgiven for whatever reason.”


 


Recently Kwak Chung-hwan, former chairman of the Unification Church, held a press conference. He said Abe’s grandfather and father were close to Moon in response to a question regarding the relationship between the Liberal Democratic Party and the church. Both Moon and these men held anti-communist views. Kwak left in 2009 but feels responsible for the attack. 


 


Abe also appeared as a guest speaker for a Rally of Hope alongside others before his untimely death. In the clip, he thanks the Moons for their efforts to peacefully bring the Korean peninsula together. World leaders, celebrities, and influential people as paid guest speakers at Unification’s events are a last-standing tradition. Former President Bush and Trump have also spoken for the church for thousands of dollars. 


 


Larry Zilliox, a long-time researcher, said, “They’ll pay for anybody who will give them legitimacy.”


 


From the church’s standpoint, doing this will attract the people who can help with their local businesses. Thus they can continue running a global religious conglomerate. 


 


Investigators have yet to determine more links between Abe and the church.


 


The Unification Church has a long history of marrying strangers, operating businesses in various parts of the world, class action lawsuits, and charity work. Their goal of peacefully unifying everyone under their church may have good intentions, but their donation practices hurt many of their followers, including Japanese citizens. As investigations continue for Abe’s assailant, the fate of this organization remains uncertain. 


 


Edited By: Whitney Edna Ibe


Share This Post On

Tags: Japan United States Shinzo Abe Unification Church Korea Sun Myung Moon



0 comments

Leave a comment


You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in
TheSocialTalks was founded in 2020 as an alternative to mainstream media which is fraught with misinformation, disinformation and propaganda. We have a strong dedication to publishing authentic news that abides by the principles and ethics of journalism. We are a not-for-profit organisation driven by a passion for truth and justice in society.

Our team of journalists and editors from all over the world work relentlessly to deliver real stories affecting our society. To keep our operations running, we depend on support in the form of donations. Kindly spare a minute to donate to support our writers and our cause. Your financial support goes a long way in running our operations and publishing real news and stories about issues affecting us. It also helps us to expand our organisation, making our news accessible to more everyone and deepening our impact on the media.

Support fearless and fair journalism today.


Related