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1:38 PM RELS 225 2009-02-04: Moonies Attendance Announcements Review of last class Joining NRMs The Unification Church.

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Presentation on theme: "1:38 PM RELS 225 2009-02-04: Moonies Attendance Announcements Review of last class Joining NRMs The Unification Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 1:38 PM RELS : Moonies Attendance Announcements Review of last class Joining NRMs The Unification Church

2 1:38 PM Review Joining NRMs: Who and Why? Not: Gullible, Losers, Everyone One early theory: overlap between lack and offer Then: the 60’s NRMs: Glock’s Relative deprivation 1965 Lofland & Stark: Tensions, Religious orientation, Seeker; Encounter, Bonds-making, Bond-breaking, Interacting Who joins?: socially connected; no ideological alignment or other commitments Characteristics: Young, Middle-upper middle class, Higher educated, more secular religious backgrounds Barker: Respectable families, Overachievers, Disrupted at university Levine: normal psychopathology, Overacheivers, frustrated, Identify with parents, No adolescent romance. 90% left in 2 years.

3 1:38 PM Moonies Reverend Sun Myung Moon Most prominent Most persecuted Fast rise & decline in America, but still strong in Asia, South America, etc. Controversy Why? Beliefs seem somewhat normal. 8 reasons.

4 1:38 PM Controversy over Unification Church 1.Extremely aggressive recruitment Plunging into American public life (speak out) 2.Engaged in fundraising campaigns, occasionally a bit deceptive (as to who they are) 3.Mass weddings every couple of years 1000’s of people August 1995: 36,000 in various cities by satellite February 8, 1999: 12,000 4.Plunged right into American politics Supported conservatives (e.g., Nixon)

5 1:38 PM Controversy over Unification Church 5.Created a newspaper: “Washington Times” respectable, right-wing paper Bought journalists 6.Bought many businesses Drycleaning chain Shrimp vessels – Time magazine Bought towns – revitalized them 7.Moon lives a lavish lifestyle Jets, yachts Moon is a successful businessman (multi-millionaire) and a religious founder. Blurs religion and finance, religion & politics. 8.Convicted for tax evasion Spent time in jail NCC – 154 churches all wrote letters of protest against the enforcement of law.

6 1:38 PM Korea and America Moon doesn’t speak English. Korean. Christianity went to Korea. Presbyterians converted Moon’s parents. Korea is about ½ Christian; compare Japan 1%; China <10%. USA is the “promised land” with an instrumental role in religious future. Americans have wandered from the true Christian way.

7 1:38 PM Name “Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity” May 1, 1954 Now: “Family Federation for World Peace & Unification” Not displacing Christianity, but bringing the factions together.

8 1:38 PM Moon Born in 1920 in what is now North Korea Parents: conservative Presbyterians Easter 1936, had a religious dramatic revelation: Jesus gave him a mandate to complete my mission. (Jesus was establishing Kingdom of God on earth) Followed by many other revelations: Visions of Abraham, God, Buddha, Moses Struggled with Satanic & other temptations for 9 years. Married & divorced during this period Then, had a revelation: what he needed. Discovered the “Secret crime of Adam & Eve” His job is to reverse it.

9 1:38 PM Divine Principle 1945: Started his church end of World War 2 Communists in North Korea Arrested, tortured, imprisoned (very primitive; tiny hut for 4 years) 1950’s: Korean War UN won. He was liberated and went south. Gained a following 1954: Established Unification Church His interpretation of the Bible + new revelations 1 million followers there now. Missionaries to Japan – successful (June, 1958, Mr. Bong-choon Choi ) 1959: sent a missionary (U. professor woman) to U.S.; was successful. January 2, 1959, Miss Young-oon Kim

10 1:38 PM East-West misunderstanding 1970: Moon came to U.S.A. Early 1980’s: 20-25,000 members in US Eastern component comes through: Skill-in-means is employed Buddha says a wise teacher adapts teaching to context. Divine Principle comes in several levels: 1 – Kiddy 2-3 – undergrad? 4 – professor Creates an impression of secret teaching

11 1:38 PM Adam & Eve Genesis story – not much changed What went wrong with Adam & Eve? 1.God created them as brother & sister Until they have spiritually matured Only then are they to have the physical maturity to reproduce Then to populate the earth with godly children 2.But God assigns his chief angel Lucifer to watch his humans 3.Lucifer becomes jealous of God’s love for Eve 4.Lucifer spiritually seduces Eve. Premature spiritual maturity. 5.Eve seduces Adam physically.

12 1:38 PM Adam & Eve Therefore we need a new Adam & Eve as originally planned. Jesus (and Abraham and Moses before him) failed to complete it, so Moon must try. Jesus didn’t live long enough to take a wife & have children. Crucifixion only effected a partial corrective (he paid indemnity). The 3 rd Adam is supposed to come from the East, born after WWI. Moon didn’t overtly declare himself to be that 3 rd Adam until August 24, 1992 (with wife).

13 Beliefs Similar Revelation Biblical revelation by God God is a God of history Can read God through creation God is personal Loving father Had a plan for us Omniscient Omnipresent Omnipotent Transcends creation Different Revelation Revelation didn’t stop with the Bible. It continued: ongoing revelation God Transcendent, but hovers very close to earth Very concerned with human events. God not so much of intellect or of will / action, but of heart God was vulnerable & subject to betrayal. God grieves over his children.

14 Beliefs Similar Humanity Made in God’s image This changed with Fall not because of sex. God helps those who help themselves. God created humans, to love & be loved; to be free agents Adam & Eve were cursed, with suffering Different Humanity Intended to occupy a position higher than angels Perfection requires balance of mind-body. Balance shifted to physical nature. Absence of spiritual component: love. If we restored the balance, we would live in direct dominion of the world. (Now we live in indirect dominion.) Only with God’s assistance can we return to direct dominion; but we must do our part. The lord can only help those who help themselves. God is much more injured than we are. Our job is to alleviate God’s pain. i.e., establish the Kingdom of God on earth, the kingdom of love. Like Christ, we must pay indemnity. We must be willing to take on suffering now, to bring love back later.

15 Beliefs Similar Death & Afterlife Death is not to be feared When you die you go on to live Different Death & Afterlife A cycle of life is going on. Fall brought on spiritual death (loss of spirituality). Resurrection not bodily; was to resurrect God’s plan. Go in one of 3 mostly spiritual worlds (the further you are along the path) where life goes on much like here: High – followers of Moon Medium Low – most of us But to maintain a physical contact, a lower level dead person must connect with a living Moonie (like a guardian angel). This explains special powers & miracles.

16 1:38 PM Family Son (heir) died in a car accident Various churches claimed to connect to son. For 1 year, this Zairian man had a message against slackness & physically beating people. Wife 15 years younger, pushed to forefront. Groomed to take over. 3 rd son being cultivated.

17 1:38 PM Beliefs Ultimate End of Time Not apocalyptic, but progressive One we all see the light & find balance, the world will be more perfect & it will become paradise.

18 1:38 PM Beliefs The Good life & how to lead it. Highly prescriptive. Concerned with appearance Short hair, suits, ties. Modest. Before married, live in group communal home. Once married, move out on own, close to centre. Role of women traditional, subservient, conservative policy.

19 1:38 PM Central ethical points concern sexuality Absolute celibacy before marriage, & demonstrate it. Marriages are arranged (Moon himself used to arrange them) Interracial, to produce unification After marriage, 40 days celibate (upon church approval) Once married, dedicated primarily to God, so separated a lot. No objection to birth control. As many as you know you can fully love. Divorce: not supposed to happen. Mass marriage: why? $400 paid, but provided with fitted gown, tuxedo, photos, banquet, venues. No homosexuality

20 Homework For Monday: Read chapter 5 in Cults and New Religious Movements Write online assignment on Chapter 5 For Wednesday: Read Scientology, at Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance file “Scientology” (on Moodle) Write “Reading Quiz: Scientology”


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