Steven Hassan is a leading expert on cults and the author on three books on issues relating to undue influence and the destructive cult experience. He was a member of the Moon movement back in the 1970s. He has a unique perspective on Moon and his organization and also has current information and insight into the present state of the organization – most of which has not been covered in western media. He lives in the Boston area and isavailable for interviews. 617-396-4638 - firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a big American story here. From the very beginning, Moon targeted America, proselytized heavily in the U.S., and has extensive holdings here including the Washington Times, UPI, and the New Yorker Hotel. In the U.S. and globally, he and his companies have major investments in arms manufacturing, fishing, boating, ginseng, real estate, etc.. In his own country, Moon is routinely referred to as a cult leader by the media and not a respected religious figure. Moon has been doing business with North Korea in recent years, investing many millions of dollars.
A convicted felon, he served 13 months in jail for conspiracy to evade federal income tax. But nonetheless, Moon was a religious tyrant and business mogul with perhaps billions of dollars in assets. No one outside of his innermost circles knows the actual extent of his empire.
For decades he has influenced American politics, lobbying Washington and has put well over $2 billion dollars (some reports are up to $4 billion) underwriting the Washington Times which has never been in the black in over 25 years. One source estimated Moon paid former President George Bush $10 million dollars to give speeches in the U.S., Asia and South America praising Moon and his organization. You may remember Moon’s bizarre 2004 “coronation ceremony” in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, attended by perhaps a dozen members of Congress (the Unification church claimed that 81 congressmen attended, but they grossly exaggerate everything, so that number must be taken with a huge dose of skepticism).
In the U.S., it has been eight years since Moon received any significant media attention except for the occasional photographs of his signature mass arranged weddings, (many of these marriages fall apart). During this time, his organization, now mostly run by his many children, has been continuing in Japan (the focus of the largest consumer fraud scam in its history), Korea and the U.S.. Within the Moon group there has been active infighting between his sons, lawsuits and controversies. Hyo Jin Moon, eldest son was accused by his ex-wife Nansook Hong on 60 Minutes (and in her book, In the Shadow of the Moons Little Brown, 1998) of wife-beating, drug abuse and prostitution. He died prematurely of heart condition. One of Moon’s sons committed suicide by jumping out a hotel window in Nevada.
The church still claims millions of members but this is highly inflated and not credible. In the U.S. there might be less than 10,000 members and in Korea probably under 50,000. At one point the group claimed 6-7 million members. More recently the number has been put at 3 million. But in reality it could be less than a million people.
The Moon group has a long history of deceptive marketing and there are literally hundreds of front organizations that can be examined on my web site, freedomofmind.com. One of its primary deceptions is that it is a Christian organization, when it is absolutely not. They teach that Jesus failed in his mission, should never gone to the cross, was only spiritually resurrected, and was supposed to get married and have children and then march on Rome and take over the world. Moon also preached that Jews brought the holocaust on themselves, gays are “dung-eating dogs,” and the U.S. Constitution should be scrapped and he should be put in charge.
The big question is what will happen to both his church and his business empire when he is gone?
Steve Hassan has unique experience and is available for interviews and to help provide background information. His latest book, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs just came out in July, and shares his approach to assisting people leave authoritarian control of all kinds. Over the last three decades, he hashelped thousands of people and has experience with all kinds of all kinds of totalistic groups. He has worked with the media for 36 years and appeared on 60 Minutes, Dateline,Today show, many CNN shows including Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan most recently on Holmes/Cruise Scientology story.
Steven Alan Hassan M.Ed. LMHC, NCC
Freedom of Mind Resource Center Inc.
716 Beacon St. #590443
Newton MA. 02459
617 396-4638 - email@example.com
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