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August 16, 2012, 03:06:45 PM
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Offline Peter

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The Death of Rev. Moon
« on: August 16, 2012, 03:06:45 PM »
Rev Moon was hospitalized a few days ago and members are praying and fasting for his recovery. Pass the donuts please.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Unification Church founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon is being treated in an intensive-care unit at a hospital in Seoul for pneumonia.

The Rev. Joshua Cotter, vice president of the Unification Church USA, says Moon entered the hospital on Aug. 13 and is in critical condition. He says church members are praying and fasting for his quick recovery.

A memo sent to church officials early Wednesday says the 93-year-old Moon ‘‘was pushing his limits in carrying out his schedule’’ when he fell ill. It says his wife and children are by his bedside.

Moon founded the Unification Church in Seoul in 1954. The church gained fame starting in the 1970s for holding mass weddings.

Its business empire includes The Washington Times newspaper and the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan.

September 03, 2012, 09:28:57 PM
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Offline Peter

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Re: The Death of Rev. Moon
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 09:28:57 PM »
I can't help but think if there had been no Moon, there would have been no JMS.
Well he's gone now and all we can hope for is that his corrupt empire will decay and crumble.
Lots of articles out there on this, I like this one because Prof. Tark is interviewed below - he's one of the good guys.

Unification Church Founder Moon Sun-myung Dies at 92

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One of the most prominent and controversial Koreans in the world has died. The Unification Church says its founder, Moon Sun-myung, succumbed to complications from pneumonia on Monday at the age of 92, in a church-run hospital east of Seoul.  

Moon leaves behind not only an apocalyptic religious movement, but a global empire possibly still worth billions of dollars. Its businesses are involved in publishing, education, real estate, the hospitality industry, health care and even gun-manufacturing. A church-controlled seafood conglomerate is believed to supply most of the fish for sushi eaten in America.

Moon was born in 1920 in what is now North Korea. He started his church in 1954. His followers became known as "Moonies" with the church gaining a reputation as a cult with deceptive tactics in recruiting followers and maintaining tight control over their lives.

The group gained notoriety for mass weddings where couples, who had never met, were married to other church followers selected by its founder, who presided over the ceremonies in a robe and with a crown atop his head.

Honorary research fellow in contemporary religion at Britain's University of Birmingham, George Chryssides, says Moon and his church were shunned by established Christian organizations.

"Within mainstream Christianity there is an absolute rejection that anyone should produce new scriptures or claim to be a new messiah. It is certainly something that does not go down well in religious circles," he said.

Professor Tark Ji-il, who teaches religion at Busan Presbyterian University, contends that in the Unification Church's theology the ultimate goal was to establish a heavenly kingdom on the Korean Peninsula with Moon as king. Tark said this did not deviate since the church was established and its vast business activities were focused on this goal.

Japan was once considered to be a primary source of the church's wealth, in part derived from persuasive door-to-door peddling of religious icons. But there were more nebulous allegations there from late 1960s when numerous Japanese ultra-nationalists and gangsters joined the church.

Over the years Moon sought to influence politics in both South Korea and the United States. In the 1970s he was the target of U.S. government investigations.

In 1982, Moon was convicted of tax fraud and spent 13 months in a U.S. federal prison. He denied allegations his attempts to influence lawmakers were done in collusion with South Korea's intelligence agency, an allegation raised during a subsequent congressional investigation.

Even though he once was an ardent anti-communist, Moon later put ideology aside to do business with Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea, where he had once been imprisoned in the late 1940s.

Chryssides, author of "The Advent of Sun Myung Moon: The Origins, Beliefs and Practices of the Unification Church," predicts money, rather than theology, will be Moon's lasting legacy. "It is also something that will keep his organization going in whatever form the new leadership sees fit," he said.

Leadership roles in the church's sprawling empire in recent years have been split among several of Moon's children. Some of the businesses have struggled amid reports of infighting among the heirs. It is unclear if the family-run empire will be able to remain intact without its charismatic founder who regarded himself as the Messiah.

Professor Tark, who is also editor-in-chief of South Korea's Contemporary Religion magazine is skeptical. Tark said the conflict among Moon's sons over financial assets is becoming serious. He notes media accounts of it referring to the in-fighting as "the rebellion of princes."

Moon officially handed over the presidency of the church to his youngest son, Hyung-jin, also known as Sean. But Chryssides says Moon's widow, Han Hak-ja, retains a critical position within the church.

"Theologically she is the Messiah, as well. In Unification thoughts, there is not just one messiah there are the two -- there's the male and the female. So what role she is going to have is not at all clear. And I think anything could happen," he said.

Professor Jo Eung-tae, in the unification theology department at the church's Sun Moon University in Asan expects the children to remain subordinate to their mother.

Jo says, overall, Han will now lead the entire church while her children will have their own roles with the youngest son responsible for religious activities.

Moon was quoted in his teachings predicting "a big commotion" after his death, but promised he would continue to lead his church from the spirit world.

August 26, 2013, 11:13:11 AM
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Offline Peter

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Re: The Death of Rev. Moon
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 11:13:11 AM »
A year on:

Faithfuls mourn loss of Unification Church founder

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GAPYEONG, South Korea, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- Tens of thousands of followers of the Unification Church gathered at its Seoul compound on Friday to mark the first anniversary of its founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon's death.

About 25,000 people from 70 countries took part in the memorial ceremony that was broadcast live worldwide on the Internet from the CheongShim Peace World Center, a church-owned sports and cultural center, in Gapyeong, 60 kilometers east of Seoul.

The self-claimed messiah died at the age of 92 on Sept. 3, 2012, due to complications from pneumonia.

"Let's march after march until we can build a heaven of freedom, peace and reunification on earth beyond Asia, taking over Rev. Moon's long-held cherish for inter-Korean reunification," Han Hak-ja, Moon's widow who now heads the church, said during the ceremony.

Venerable Seongta, chief Buddhist monk of the Bulguk Temple in the southeastern city of Gyeongju, said in his speech during the ceremony that the reverend lived a life of sacrifice, dedicating his entire life to making a peaceful world for the mankind.

"Such words as peace activist, philosopher, educator and messiah are not enough to describe him," Seongta said.

Meanwhile, the late founder's third and oldest living son, Moon Hyun-jin, the fourth son Moon Kook-jin and Moon Hyung-jin, the seventh, were all absent from the ceremony.

The Hyun-jin did not attend his father's funeral last year either as he was in a legal dispute with the church over various business-related issues.

But the absence of Kook-jin and Hyung-jin is drawing keen attention as they were known as business and religious heirs of the late founder amid media reports that Han seized power after Rev. Moon passed away.

Both of the sons were reportedly staying in the United States after stepping down as Tongil Group chairman and the Korea regional chairman of the Unification Church, respectively.

Prior to the memorial ceremony, the church unveiled some 120 items of late Moon's belongings, photos and the church's scripture written by the late founder in various exhibitions that were held for a week from Saturday to mark the death anniversary.

Also unveiled was a pair of Pungsan dogs of a mixed breed with wolf found in North Korea that the country's leader Kim Jong-un allegedly sent as a present to the family in February.

Kim named the dogs respectively as "Jeongju" and "Anju" after the hometowns of late Moon and his wife, according to the church.

The late Moon was born in 1920 in Jongju, North Pyongan Province in North Korea and founded the Unification Church in 1954, one year after the Korean War ended in an armistice.

The church, officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, now claims some 3 million followers in 194 countries.

It gained international attention for conducting mass weddings among followers, with one ceremony marrying some 30,000 couples.