Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ancestor Liberation: A Twist on the "Spiritual Sales" Scam

The "Spiritual Sales" scam was a scam used by the Unification movement to swindle Japanese widows out of their life savings by pressuring them to spend tens of thousands of dollars on relics that allegedly had the power to free their deceased husbands and family members from eternal punishment. It is estimated that the church scammed between $600 million and $1 billion before the Japanese government cracked down on the practice.

Ancestor Liberation is a new twist on spiritual sales. The main difference is that this scam is aimed at church members. I have obtained Unification Church documents that indicate a particularly disturbing element of the practice. What is particularly bizarre is that the liberation of one's ancestors is accomplished by attending workshops conducted by dead people--namely, the channeled spirits of Reverend Moon's mother-in-law, Dae Mo Nim and Moon's son, Heung Jin Moon (aka Heung Jin Nim). I obtained an internal church memo written by FFWPU leaders Chang Shik Yang and Michael Jenkins announcing the preparation for an ancestor liberation tour by these deceased relatives of Moon.

I will write more about this phenomenon. One thing I noticed when reviewing the church documents relating to ancestor liberation is the similarly between this practice and the Church of Scientology's lucrative practice of clearing oneself of body thetans through the process of auditing. From a Unification Church memo on ancestor liberation:
Another situation is that due to the sins committed by our ancestors, those spirits who were wronged while on earth carry their resentment into the spirit world. Those resentful spirits drive us toward suffering and sickness in order to relieve their resentment. During the holy song sessions we have to liberate and pluck these resentful spirits out of our bodies. Liberation helps us to prevent many difficulties and hardships and protect our descendants from harm.

By ultimately liberating 210 generations, we can clean up and fix the fallen history of 6000 years since the Fall of Adam and Eve. This process of correcting history is needed to create a new order in the spirit world – which God has been longing for 6,000 years to see happen. It is our privilege to comfort God by accomplishing this.


John Gorenfeld said...

The pardoner's tale--all in keeping with the Middle Ages vibe of the Unification Church.

Polar Bear said...

I was a member of Moon's church from 1976 to 1986. During that era "ancestral liberation" was accomplished by a ceremony dispensed by a woman we knew as "Lady Dr. Kim", an elderly Korean. The ceremony did not cost money. However, since the early 1990s the Unification Church has increasingly become caught up in Dae Mo Nim's ancestral liberations which require a certain amount of money to be donated depending on how many generations of ancestors are to be liberated. People seeking ancestral liberation go to a place in Korea where they live in crowded, unsanitary conditions for several weeks. It is a bizarre departure for the Unification Church and the doctrines it formerly upheld.