Monday, October 12, 2009

AP: Sun Myung Moon Turning Over Unification Movement to Sons

Here is the Associated Press story:
SEOUL, South Korea - The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, now approaching 90 and still one of the world's most controversial religious figures, is handing over day-to-day control of his Unification Church to three U.S.-educated sons.

There are some changes afoot in fundraising and boosting membership, the sons say. But Moon — who will preside over another series of his trademark mass weddings on Wednesday — remains in charge as the church's self-proclaimed "Messiah."
Read the full story.


Kenneth Gordon Neufeld said...

In many ways, the Unification movement will continue to be controlled by Moon until his death, even if he gives his sons nominal control. In fact, Moon once claimed in one of his speeches to members that he would continue to control the church even after his death by a form of spiritual revelation. This may be compared to the way Kim Il-Sung is still called the "Great Leader" of North Korea even 15 years after his death, his son having never opted to adopt that title, preferring to remain "Dear Leader". But the practical significance of giving these titles to his sons is that Moon is wrenching control of the church away from the men of his own generation who have followed him since the founding of the movement and is handing it over to a new generation. Those men, who are as old or even older than Moon, are in no position to argue with Moon if he wants to hand it over to his sons, because doctrinally Moon's offspring are considered the "True Children". Look for the influence of the so-called "36 Blessed Couples" who were with Moon from near the beginning to dwindle in the aftermath of these changes.

Grai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grai said...


this article has depressed me!

it seems to have gained the impression that the sons mean the UC will continue after Moons death

what do you think the chances are that it will collapse when Moon dies?

I hate the idea of another membership drive ensnaring people and ruining so many lives again like the 70's and 80's (including me)

Kenneth Gordon Neufeld said...

Grai, the Unification movement will continue after Moon's death but it will become more and more splintered by factions between the sons and therefore, it is unlikely to be as influential as it was in the 1970s. Most cult-like movements that survive the death of the original prophet or leader gradually transform into more moderate organizations that still have a few cult-like rituals and beliefs but are otherwise harmless, such as the Mormon church. However, we have the example of the Church of Scientology to show that a cult-like organization that survives the death of its leader can continue to be destructive and extreme if another person seizes control of the cult apparatus, as did David Miscavage with Scientology. So the question is, will one of Moon's sons seize control of the whole church and push out the others and then run it the way his father did? If that happens, the Unification movement will continue and will still be dangerous. If, however, none of Moon's sons gains absolute control over the cult, and there are schisms, then the Unification movement will decline into obscurity, leaving only a small membership of relatively harmless people with eccentric beliefs. Let's hope the latter occurs. You should tell readers of this blog more about your own experiences in the Moon movement and why you feel it ruined your life. Thanks for sharing your comments.