Moonie founder dies and leaves a controversial life behind
The Moonie founder, Sun Myung Moon, died at the age of 92 years on a Monday morning at a hospital near him home in Gapyeong. This was reported in the BBC article called “Moonies founder Sun Myung Moon dies at 92” on September.2,2012 by an unknown author. Moon was born in 1920 in Pyongan province (now North Korea). The Moonies are a new Religious movement that sparked in 1954 along with the creation of the formally known “Family Federation for World Peace and Unification Church” but is now called the Unification church. This new religious movement started when Moon claimed that at age fifteen Jesus told him three times to set up a God’s kingdom on Earth. This Church is largely known for the mass weddings that occur. Whether or not the Unification church and the Moonies are a legitimate religion is unknown, but one thing that the world does know is that both Moon and the church are controversial. At one point in his life, Moon was sent to jail in the US for eleven months because he was charged with tax evasion in 1982. And although Moon claimed to “have millions of follower in the US” he was accused of brainwashing them (and the rest of his followers all around the world) in 1960s and 1970s simply because he wanted to break up families. Moon had lived a wealthy life; he owned numerous properties, ran many businesses in South Korea and also founded the Washington Times. In addition Moon had been thrown out his home country, North Korea, and fled to the United States of America but then he met with Kim Il-sung to pay his respects to Kim Jong-Il therefore forging his ties with North Korea. It is quite evident after reading this article that no matter how much controversy there is over Moon, he was an accomplished man.
This article correlates with the Religious studies 341 class- New Religious Movements- because it demonstrates a new Religious movement and how it is interpreted by others. We also had one full class devoted to learning about the “Moonies” and watched many videos about them. A video that we watched in class, “The fifth Estate”, is an example of being a bad journalist, because the reporter of this film let his own views of the Unification church impact the way he interviewed and even reported his findings. I believe that this movie was taking stereotypes of the Moonies and really stretching them out. For instance, in the movie the reporter stated that there was a guard dog on the bridge that kept people from leaving, but after having a first-hand experience, this so called guard dog was actually a pet that just rolled around all day. Another example where the reporter let his views on Moonies get into the way of his reporting was when the reporter told them to use hidden cameras for a couple of hours, but then later on criticised the Moonies for doing such an act. It is quite evident that the reporter did not give a fair report about the Moonies because he let his own views interfere therefore it is propaganda.
I am not saying that I agree with the Moonies and believe they are indeed a religious movement, but I have come to my conclusion with facts, not propaganda. I do not agree with a lot of the acts of the Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon for many reasons. One of these reasons is because of the mass marriage ceremonies. Moon was considered as a “True Father” by the Moonies. In a recent ceremony in March 2013, he had brought together over 23,000 follower and they “met their spouses for the first time at the events” (This is in an article from the National Post – http://bit.ly/1vMf9I5). I do not think that people should be randomly married to another individual for the sake of marriage. I think that one should look into personality and work, and this cannot be achieved by one man for 23,000 people. I also do not think that this is a new Religious movement because Moon believes that “through his sexual relationships, he has claimed that he can cleanse the dirty blood of humankind” (this is from an article from the PRAVDA– http://bit.ly/1AI1K4m). I find this to be absolutely ridiculous, first off, how does intercourse cleanse blood? In addition Moon was “involved in many sex scandals, and was blamed for being unethical”. From my point of view, Moon used his power and his followers for his own personal reasons and it worked. His followers believe that he is a Messiah so they will do whatever Moon wants them to do (even if it means getting married to a stranger). The last reason why I am not on board with the Moonies is in 2003 he used a sermon to condone the Holocaust simply because “it was the Jews’ payment for killing Jesus”. I strongly disagree with Moon and this statement for multiple reasons. Firstly, it was not just the Jewish people that died, anyone who was not a part of the Aryan race, or heterosexual, was put into concentration camps or killed.
Therefore I do not agree with the Unification Church or Sun Myung Moon. This movement has demonstrated to have close ties with the Religious studies 341 class and I am glad that we learnt about this new religious movement.