[ot] cult influence and power, 1988-2018
Undiscussed Groomed for Male Slavery, One Victim of Many
gmkarl+brainwashingandfuckingupthehackerslaves at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 08:05:05 PDT 2022
Chapter 1–My Work as a Cult Expert
Finally, a chance to relax, forget about work, and enjoy some
social time with my friends. Maybe meet some new people at this party.
“Hi. Nice to meet you.” (I just hope no one asks me to talk about work.)
The question: “So, what do you do?” (Oh no, not again!)
The dodge: “I’m self-employed.”
“Doing what?” (No escape.)
“I’m a cult expert.” (Here come the 50 questions.)
“Oh, really? That’s interesting. How did you get into that? Can
you tell me why…?”
Since February 1974, I have been involved with the problems caused
by destructive cults. That was when I was recruited into the “One
World Crusade,” one of hundreds of front groups of the Unification
Church, also known as the Moonies. After two and a half years as a
member of that cult, I was deprogrammed after I fell asleep while
driving a fundraising van, and smashed into a tractor trailer truck at
80 miles an hour.
Ever since then, I have been actively involved in fighting
destructive cults. I have become a professionally trained therapist
and fly anywhere my help is genuinely needed. My phone rings at all
hours of the day. My clients are people who, for one reason or
another, have been damaged emotionally, socially, and sometimes even
physically, by their involvement with destructive cults. I help these
people recover and start their lives over. My approach enables them to
make this transition in a way that avoids the trauma associated with
the often-illegal abduction method Ted Patrick called deprogramming.
My work is intensive, totally involving me with a person and their
family, sometimes for days at a time. My approach is legal and
respectful. Usually, I am able to assist a person in making a dramatic
recovery, accessing and reclaiming their authentic identity, or, at
least, understanding that they have a better life ahead of them if
they decide to leave the group. Only a handful of people in the world
work with members of destructive cults. This book reveals most of the
significant aspects of my approach to this unusual profession.
This is work and a way of life that I never imagined. I undertook
it because I thought I could help people. Having seen how destructive
cults deliberately undermine basic human rights, I also became an
activist. I am especially concerned with everyone’s right to know
about how destructive cults recruit, keep control of and exploit
highly talented, productive people.
My life as a cult expert often makes me feel as though I’m in the
middle of a war zone. All kinds of incredible cases and media
situations come my way and I do the best I can to help. Even though I
try to manage the number of active cases and see only a reasonable
number of clients each week, unexpected emergencies sometimes command
my attention. Here is one such story:
I came home late one Friday evening after a night out with friends
and checked my phone messages. There were four calls, all from the
same family in Minnesota. “Call us any time—day or night—please,” said
a woman’s voice. “Our son Bruce has gotten involved with the Moonies.
He’s going on a three-week workshop with them in Pennsylvania on
Monday. He’s a doctoral student in physics at MIT. Please call us
I called right away and talked with the mother and father for
about an hour. They had heard that their son had become a member of an
organization called the Collegiate Association for the Research of
Principles (C.A.R.P.) They had done some investigation and discovered
that C.A.R.P. was the international student-recruiting arm of the
Unification Church. I had started a branch of C.A.R.P. on the
Queens College campus, so I knew all about it. We agreed there was no
time to lose.
After some discussion, we decided on a course of action. They
would take a 6:45 a.m. flight to Boston, the next day. They would go
to their son’s apartment, take him out to a restaurant, and assess his
situation. Their success or failure would depend on Bruce’s close
relationship to them, and on how far the Moonies had already
indoctrinated him. Had they gotten to the point where they could make
him reject his family as “satanic?” His mother and father assured me
they would be able to talk to their son. I wasn’t so sure, but agreed
it would be well worth the attempt. From my experience with the
Moonies, I felt that if Bruce went to the three-week indoctrination,
he would most very likely drop out of school and become a full-time
The next step would be for the parents to persuade Bruce to talk
to me. I was worried about whether they could. The Moonies do a very
thorough job of convincing people that former members are satanic and
that even being in their presence could be dangerous. I mentally
reviewed the possibilities. There were a number of ways things could
go badly: Bruce could refuse to meet with me, or meet with me and walk
away before we had enough time. He could later tell the Moonies his
parents asked him to meet with me, in which case he might be whisked
away and given deep phobias about Satan working through his family. He
would have come to believe what I believed while I was a Moonie. I was
programmed to fear my family and cut off personal contact for over a
year. For the moment, then, all I could do was wait.
The next morning I was interviewed for a television show on cults,
something I do frequently all over the country. After the taping, I
canceled all my appointments for the day. Bruce’s parents called from
the Boston airport. They were about to leave for their son’s house. We
reviewed our strategy one more time. I crossed my fingers.
Two hours later the phone rang. They had managed to bring Bruce to
a Chinese restaurant not far from my house. Bruce had agreed to meet
me. I grabbed whatever I thought I might need to show him—file
folders, photocopies of articles, and books—and threw them into the
car and drove to the restaurant.
When I arrived and met the family, the parents’ faces were full of
worry and concern. Bruce tried to smile at first and shook my hand.
But it was clear to me that he was thinking, “Can I trust this guy?
Who is he?”
I sat down in the booth with them. I asked Bruce about himself and
why he thought his parents were so concerned that they flew from
Minneapolis. Within an hour, after asking him enough questions to get
a good handle on his state of mind, I decided to “go for it.”
“Did they tell you about pledge service yet?” I asked.
He shook his head and looked surprised. “What’s that?”
“Oh, that’s a very important ceremony members do every Sunday
morning, on the first day of every month, and on four holy days the
group observes,” I started. “Members bow three times with their face
touching the floor before an altar with Sun Myung Moon’s picture on it
and recite a six-point pledge to be faithful to God, to Moon, and to
At that moment I knew Bruce would be all right. I could see that
he was not yet fully under the group’s mind control. I thought he
would respond well to hearing more information about the group’s
leader, multimillionaire Korean industrialist Sun Myung Moon. I began
telling him facts about the Moonies unrelated to mind control—Moon’s
felony tax fraud conviction; the Congressional report on the Moonies’
connections to the Korean CIA; and their suspected illegal activities.
“You know, I’ve been looking for someone like you for a few
months,” Bruce said after hearing me out. “I went to the priest at MIT
to ask him for information. He didn’t know anything.”
Bruce was still thinking for himself, but in my opinion, he had
been on the verge of being inducted into the cult. The three-day and
seven-day workshops he’d been through had set him up for the 21-day
program. When I was a member, it was common practice after this latter
program to ask recruits to donate their bank accounts, move into the
Moonie house, and become full time members.
Bruce and I spent the next couple of days going over more
information, watching videotapes, and talking about mind control and
destructive cults. Much to his parents’ relief, he finally announced
he wasn’t going to the workshop. He spent a lot of time photocopying
stacks of documents and wanted to try to talk to the other students
being recruited at MIT. He went back to the priest and told him about
his close call. A week later the priest called to see if I would
conduct a briefing session for college administrators.
That case was an easy one with a happy ending. The family had been
quick to spot their son’s personality changes, discover that C.A.R.P.
was a front for the Moonies, and locate me. Their fast action enabled
them to help their son easily and quickly.
The phone calls I receive are usually variations of the same plea
for help. A son or daughter, sister or brother, husband or wife,
mother or father, boyfriend or girlfriend is in trouble. Sometimes he
or she is just being recruited; other times the call is about someone
who has been in a cult for many years.
It is relatively easy to deal with someone not yet fully
indoctrinated, like Bruce. Most people who call me, though, have had a
longer-term problem. Some cases can be resolved quickly; others
require a slower, more methodical approach. Emergencies like Bruce’s
are tricky because there is little or no time to prepare. Nonetheless,
I have learned that fast action is often necessary. If someone is
being worked on in a mind control environment, sometimes even a few
hours can be crucial.
For some unknown reason, the calls for help seem to come in waves;
only a few a day for a while, then suddenly ten or fifteen calls.
Although I have traveled overseas to help people in cults, I spend
most of my time traveling all over the United States and Canada. More
than once in my travels, I have found myself on a train or plane
sitting next to a dissatisfied member of a destructive cult. During
the encounter, I have discovered that the person wanted more
information about how to change his or her life. I freely offer this
information. These “mini-interventions” can help plant a seed or
actually turn on a “light bulb” of awareness—enabling the person to
reclaim his or her personal autonomy.
My work entails two parts: counseling individuals and alerting the
public to the cult phenomenon. I believe that sensitizing the public
to the problem of mind control—or undue influence—is the best way to
counter the growth of these groups. It is fairly easy to advise people
about what to watch out for. It is much harder and far more
complicated to help someone leave a cult. That’s why the best way to
deal with this problem and damage done to people in destructive cults
is to “inoculate” people through education about cult mind
control—particularly helping people learn how undue influence works.
People’s resistance is higher when they are aware of the danger. To
this end, I give lectures and seminars and appear on television and
radio shows wherever possible. And I write books such as this one.
Cults: A Nightmare Reality
Had someone told me when I was in high school that I would one day
become a cult expert, I would have thought the idea bizarre. I wanted
to be a poet and writer. I thought I might like to teach creative
writing and possibly become an English professor. If that person had
added that my clients would be people who had been systematically lied
to, physically abused, separated from their families and friends, and
forced into servitude, I would have accused them of borrowing images
from George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Orwell depicted a world where “thought police” maintain complete
control over people’s mental and emotional lives, and where it is a
crime to act or think independently, or even to fall in love.
Unfortunately, such places do exist right now, all over the world.
They are mind control cults.
In these groups, basic respect for the individual is secondary to
the leader’s whims and ideology. People are manipulated and coerced to
think, feel, and behave in a single “right way.” Individuals become
totally dependent on the group and lose the ability to act or think on
their own. They are typically exploited for the sake of the group’s
economic or political ends.
I realize that this entire field is fraught with controversy, and
I invite readers to consider that some people object to the word
“cult” and some deny the reality of mind control. They are entitled to
their opinions. But whatever we may call these things, they are real
and often play decisive and, too often, destructive roles in people’s
lives. I have lived it and I see it all the time. Throughout this
book, we will delve more deeply into these issues and determine what
is or is not a cult. But for our immediate purposes: I define any
group that uses unethical mind control to pursue its ends—whether
religious, political, or commercial—as a destructive cult.
The popular view of cults is that they prey on the disaffected and
the vulnerable—losers, loners, outcasts, and people who simply don’t
fit in. But the truth is very different. In fact, most cult recruits
are normal people with ordinary backgrounds—and many are highly
The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four was a far cry from the typically
middle class American world of my childhood. I grew up in a
conservative religious family in Flushing, Queens, New York, the
youngest of three children and the only son. I vividly remember
helping my father in his hardware store in Ozone Park. My mother, a
junior high school art teacher, raised me in a warm, loving,
unconditionally supportive way. Compared to many families, mine was
boringly normal. My parents didn’t smoke, drink, gamble or have
affairs. We lived in a humble attached row house near Union Turnpike,
across the street from St. John’s University, for my entire childhood.
My folks remained married for over sixty-five years.
I look back on my childhood and remember myself as an introvert,
not a joiner. While I always had a few close friends, I preferred
reading books to going to parties. The only groups I really belonged
to were a basketball team and a sixth grade chorus. I was an
extra-honors student and was able to skip eighth grade. I graduated
high school when I turned seventeen and turned my father down when he
asked me if I wanted to take over his hardware business.
I decided to pursue a liberal arts education at Queens College,
which is where I first encountered the cult recruiters who conned me
out of my dreams—and out of my faith—and turned me into a disciple of
Sun Myung Moon, one of the most notorious cult leaders of our time.
Collectively, we were known as “the Moonies.” We were as proud to call
ourselves Moonies as the cult leader was that his followers had
adopted the societal nickname.
Before we get any farther into our story, let me say since I was a
member, the Moon organization waged a successful public relations
campaign, culminating in 1989 claiming that the term “Moonie” is one
of religious and racial bigotry. It has since fallen into general
disuse. So much so, that when I speak to college classes, few have
even heard of the Moonies. But I remember when we wore tee shirts in
the style of “I Love New York”—but emblazoned with the slogan: “I’m a
Moonie and I Love It!”
Even though others no longer use the term, I still do and I want
to explain why. I recognize that hateful people can turn any term into
an epithet. This is especially so for members of religious, racial and
other minorities—as those of us who identify as Muslim or Jewish can
attest. I experienced such abuse when I was a Moonie, and there is no
excuse for anyone to be treated in this way. But when I was a Moonie,
Sun Myung Moon and his empire embraced the term—but only much later
decided that it was inconvenient—and used the PR campaign as a
bludgeon against critics, particularly reporters. To me, the Moon
organization will always be The Moonies, although I understand that
other people may choose other terms, and undoubtedly for the best of
motives. I hope they will extend the same courtesy to me. Either way,
I will not be silenced.
Who Are The Moonies?
The Unification Church (whose formal name is The Holy Spirit
Association for the Unification of World Christianity) was once one of
the wealthiest, most influential, most visible, and most destructive
cults operating in the United States. The organization was completely
dominated by its absolute leader, Sun Myung Moon, a Korean-born
businessman. In 1982, Moon was convicted of felony tax fraud and
served 13 months in the federal penitentiary in Danbury,
During the 1970s, the Moonies were a well-known feature of most
American cities, especially college towns. They stood on street
corners selling flowers, candy, puppets, and other small items. They
also actively recruited young people from colleges and universities.
Generally clean-cut, courteous, and persistent, they proliferated for
years, gaining unfavorable media attention almost everywhere.
As far as the media were concerned, the Unification Church and its
followers faded away in the 1980s. The truth is that the Moon
organization became more sophisticated, expanding its many religious,
political, cultural, and business front groups. Because the
Unification Church keeps its vital statistics secret, there have never
been any reliable figures of church membership in the United States.
Church officials have claimed to have 30,000 members here (and some
3,000,000 in the world), but the numbers are undoubtedly much lower.
There are probably some 4,000 Americans and another 4,000 foreigners
(many married to American members) working for the cult in the United
Another aspect of the Unification Church, still insufficiently
recognized, is that members justify the use of deception to recruit
people. When I was a Moonie recruiter, we also used psychological
pressure to convince members to turn over all their personal wealth
and possessions to the church.
Members are subjected to workshops that thoroughly indoctrinate
them in church beliefs, and typically undergo a conversion
experience in which they surrender to the group. As a result, they
become totally dependent upon the group for financial and emotional
support, and lose the ability to act independently of it. Under these
conditions, members are required to work long hours; exist on little
sleep; eat boring junk food, sometimes for weeks on end; and endure
numerous hardships for the sake of their “spiritual growth.” They are
discouraged from forming close relationships with members of the
opposite sex and may be married only under arrangements made by
Sun Myung Moon himself or his proxy. They are sometimes asked to
participate in political demonstrations and other activities which aid
causes, candidates, and public office holders supported by the Moon
organization. If they snap from the pressure and begin to
challenge their leaders’ authority or otherwise fall out of line, they
are accused of being influenced by Satan and are subjected to even
greater pressure in the form of re-indoctrination.
I know these things are true. I was a leader in the Moon cult.
What Is Mind Control?
There are many different forms of mind control. Most people think
of brainwashing almost as soon as they hear the term. But that is only
one specific form. Mind control is any system of influence that
disrupts an individual’s authentic identity and replaces it with a
false, new one.
In most cases, that new identity is one the person would strongly
reject, if they had been asked for their informed consent. That’s why
I also use the term undue influence—“undue” because these practices
violate personal boundaries and human integrity, as well as ethics
and, often, the law.
That said, not all of the techniques used in mind control are
inherently bad or unethical. The intent, the methods used, and the end
result need to be part of the evaluation. They span a continuum from
entirely ethical to grossly unethical. It is fine to use hypnosis to
stop smoking, for example—but it must be used ethically, to empower
the person, not for manipulative, exploitive ends. The locus of
control of one’s mind and body should always remain within the adult
individual, _never_ with an external authority.
Today, many mind control techniques exist that are far more
sophisticated than the brainwashing techniques used in the Chinese
thought reform camps and the Korean War. Some involve subtle forms of
hypnosis or suggestion; others are overt, and are implemented in
highly rigid and controlled social environments.
In this book, I discuss many groups I characterize as destructive
cults that use mind control techniques. When I identify an
organization in this way it is only after thorough research and close
examination. I would never slap unfair labels on unpopular or
controversial groups. Any designation I may give them is well earned.
For example, I have no qualms about referring to the Unification
Church as a _destructive cult_. The group’s record speaks for
itself. Of course, members of this and many other groups would
likely be offended and deny that destructive mind control is
happening. It is also true, however, that although many people
sincerely believe that they had a fair choice in joining—and always
have a fair choice about leaving—that is, sadly, too often a delusion
created by the cult itself.
The Many Faces Of The Unification Church
How did this group start out?
One of the best summaries is in the Fraser Report, published on
October 31, 1978 by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on
International Organizations of the Committee on International
Relations. Chaired by Rep. Donald Fraser, a Democrat from Minnesota,
the committee unearthed many astounding and previously unreported
facts about what they called the “Moon organization,” out of a
recognition that it was not just one, but many moving parts working
towards common ends, under the direction of Sun Myung Moon. Among the
investigation’s findings was the Unification Church’s intimate
involvement with the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). The
investigation revealed that the Unification Church was not merely a
body of believers but also a political organization with an active
political agenda. Here is what the Fraser Report documented:
In the late 1950s, Moon’s message was favorably received by four
young, English-speaking Korean Army officers, all of whom were later
to provide important contacts with the post-1961 Korean government.
One was Bo Hi Pak, who had joined the ROK (Republic of Korea) army in
1950. Han Sang Keuk…became a personal assistant to Kim Jong Pil, the
architect of the 1961 coup and founder of the KCIA. Kim Sang In
retired from the ROK army in May, 1961, joined the KCIA and became an
interpreter for Kim Jong Pil until 1966. At that time, [Kim Sang In]
returned to his position as KCIA officer, later to become the KCIA’s
chief of station in Mexico City. He was a close friend of Bo Hi Pak
and a supporter of the Unification Church. The fourth, Han Sang Kil,
was a military attaché at the ROK embassy in Washington in the late
1960s. Executive branch reports also link him to the KCIA. On leaving
the service of the ROK government, Han became Moon’s personal
secretary and tutor to his children.
Immediately after the coup, Kim Jong Pil founded the KCIA and
supervised the building of a political base for the new regime. A
February 1963 unevaluated CIA report stated that Kim Jong Pil had
“organized” the Unification Church while he was KCIA director and has
been using the Unification Church as a “political tool.”
Journalist Frederick Clarkson, who has written widely about the
politics of the Moon organization, adds these insights:
Though the Fraser Report noted that “organized” is not to be
confused with “founded,” since the Unification Church was “founded” in
1954, the Fraser Report goes on to state that “…there was a great deal
of independent corroboration for the suggestion in this and later
intelligence reports that Kim Jong Pil and the Moon organization had a
mutually supportive relationship, as well as for the statement that
Kim used the Unification Church for political purposes.”
It is remarkable that in the 1970s, and thereafter, so many people
were deeply involved with the Moon organization, blindly believing the
stories they were told by leaders, knowing almost nothing about its
real history. Certainly, if I had learned that the Moon organization,
as Congressional investigators called it, was connected with the KCIA,
or that in 1967 Moon had forged an organizational link with Yoshi
Kodama, a leader of the Yakuza, the Japanese organized crime
network, I would have never become involved. 
While the story of the Unification Church’s theology is too
involved to detail here, the most important feature of it is the
Church’s position that Sun Myung Moon was the new Messiah and that his
mission was to establish a new “kingdom” on Earth (he actually died in
2012). Yet, many ex-members, like me, have observed that Moon’s vision
of _that_ kingdom was distinctly Korean. During my two-and-a-half-year
period in the church, I understood that the highest positions of
membership (closest to Moon) were available only to Koreans, with the
Japanese coming in second. American members, myself included, were on
the third rung of the ladder. Members of the Unification Church
believe, as I did, that their donations of time, money, and effort are
“saving the world.” What they do not realize is that they are the
victims of mind control.
It is impossible to gain a full picture of Moon and his influence
in the United States by only looking at the Unification Church,
although there is plenty there to see. Moon and his colleagues
developed a complex organization that—even today—embraces both
business and non-profit organizations in his native Korea, in the
United States, and in many other countries, on every continent. The
Moon organization comprises enterprises ranging from ginseng
exportation to the manufacture of M-16 rifles. In the United
States, perhaps the most visible Moon controlled entity is _The
Washington Times_—a newspaper which has enjoyed considerable influence
both in Washington and internationally. Former President Ronald
Reagan said it was his favorite newspaper and that he read it every
day. When the _Times_ celebrated its 25th anniversary in
2007—former President George H.W. Bush was the headliner. Han Sang
Keuk and Bo Hi Pak have both been top executives of the Times. It is
reported that the Moon group spent some $2 billion on a newspaper that
has never returned a profit.
Until recent years, a thread running through all of Moon’s myriad
organizations was anti-Communism. To put it simply, the Moonies
believed that Christians and the citizens of the non-Communist world
were locked in a mortal struggle with the satanic forces of
materialistic Communism. To the extent that America and other
countries did not fight Communism, they would grow weak and fall. The
world’s only salvation lay in Moon and in the establishment of a
divine theocracy, so God could rule the world through him and his
This may seem a bit absurd to Americans today, now that Communism
is limited to North Korea and Cuba (though it understandably seems
less absurd to South Koreans). It is also true that Moon’s
organizations have moved significantly away from their anti-communist
stance over the past two decades. The fall of the U.S.S.R. and the
adoption of capitalism by China were major factors behind
this—although, interestingly, Moon claimed to his followers that _he_
was the reason Communism fell apart. The Moon empire went on to invest
millions in enterprises in China and North Korea, two countries he had
previously deemed deeply satanic.
Had it not been for the Congressional Subcommittee Investigation
and the work of Rep. Donald Fraser, Moon would very likely have
increased his power. I was glad to give Fraser’s investigators my
collection of _Master Speaks_, a set of internal, unedited Moon
speeches. These documents were available only to Unification Church
leaders and were submitted as evidence in the investigation. The
report of the Fraser investigation quoted from a 1973 speech, in which
Moon declared, “When it comes to our age, we must have an automatic
theocracy to rule the world. So we cannot separate the political field
from the religious…Separation between religion and politics is what
Satan likes most.”
True believers still believe that the world’s only salvation lay
in devotedly following Moon’s wife, Hak Ja Han and her sons, and in
the establishment of a divine theocracy. They actually believe what
they have been told: that Sun Myung Moon is working in the “spirit
world” with his wife and heirs so that God can rule the world through
him and his minions.
Moon’s belief in the necessary fusion of religion and politics
underscores his organization’s involvement in a wide variety of
extreme right-wing groups. While there have been many such
involvements over the years, his political arm in the 1980s was an
organization known as CAUSA, which was founded in 1980 after a
tour of Latin America by Moon’s right-hand man, Bo Hi Pak. The
organization spread to every continent in the ensuing years and was
very active in the United States, providing seminars for people in
leadership positions. “The general thrust of CAUSA,” Frederick
Clarkson wrote at the time, “is anti-communist education from a
historical perspective. The CAUSA antidote to communism is ‘Godism,’
which is simply the Unification Church philosophy without Moonist
Through the late 1980s, the Moon empire continued to expand its
power and influence. Moon attempted to buy legitimacy, lending and
giving millions of dollars to conservative causes in the U.S.
But it’s hard to gain legitimacy when you’re making big profits
from selling schlock while doing “spiritual sales.” A major newspaper
investigation in 1987 reported that “door-to-door Moonie salesmen (in
Japan) using illegal high-pressure sales tactics bilked buyers of
their cheaply-made religious artifacts, charms and talismans out of at
least $1 billion by defrauding over 33,000 victims.” 
The victims were predominantly “women who have had an accidental
death or fatal illness in the family, are widowed or divorced, or have
had a miscarriage.” They allegedly at times paid more than $100,000
for urns, pagodas, and other charms that would, Moonie salesmen
persuaded them, “ward off the evil spirits affecting them.”
It seems probable that much of this money was funneled to the
United States to underwrite the famously unprofitable _Washington
Times_. The paper sought to be a conservative flagship newspaper. And
while it is debatable if it achieves this end, the _Washington Times_
has never been just a newspaper. It has enabled Moon’s organizations
unusual access to the power brokers of American politics, and
influenced people and even governments around the world.
In addition to the Church and the _Washington Times_, Moon started
a number of think tanks and organizations over the years, to engage
the culture in every possible sphere, staging scientific, academic,
religious, media and legal conferences and cultural interchange
programs—which have served to build its network for power.
The empire that Moon built is gridlocked by lawsuits, among
members of Moon’s large, extended family and between the family and
outsiders. It will take years to sort through the legal claims and
power struggles. But the myriad entities of the Moon empire live on.
Currently the empire’s primary organization is the Universal Peace
Federation (UPF). Here are a few of the Moon empire’s current projects
and institutions that are just the tip of the iceberg of its
involvement in American public life: The UPF owns the University of
Bridgeport, a private university in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and has
used it to facilitate recruiting some people into the group by
offering them a scholarship to come to study in the U.S. The Moon
empire has substantial holdings in the fishing industry on the east
and west coasts, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, especially the fish
used in sushi, such as shrimp. Kahr Arms, a handgun manufacturer, is
also part of the Moon network. Kahr’s corporate headquarters is
located in Blauvelt, New York, while production and assembly
operations are located in Worcester, Massachusetts. For up-to-date
information on the Unification Church and many other Moon family
organizations, see my website[, freedomofmind.com].
• • •
The Unification Church is a destructive cult _par excellence_.
However, many other groups in this country also espouse strange
doctrines and have members who engage in practices which, to many
people, might seem downright bizarre. Are all these groups
Not by any means. The United States of America has always been a
land where freedom of thought and tolerance of differing beliefs have
flourished under the protection of the First Amendment of the
As difficult as it may be to believe, in recent decades we have
seen the rise of organizations in our society that systematically
violate the rights of their members, subject them to many kinds of
abuse, and actively diminish their capacity to think and act as
responsible adults. People who stay in these organizations suffer not
only damage to their self-esteem, but to their whole sense of identity
and their connection with the outside world. In some cases they
completely lose contact with family and friends for long periods of
time. If they leave, those born into destructive groups are often
shunned as evil and as “unbelievers” or “apostates”. Often, they are
vilified and lies are told about them to members to keep them
“faithful” and afraid to speak with defectors to hear their side of
the story. Family members and friends are typically ordered to reject
them and often have no contact with them.
The damage from living in a cult may not be readily apparent to
family members or friends or even—in the early stages—to someone
casually meeting such a person for the first time. But many forms of
violence, from the gross to the very subtle, are the inevitable
result. Some members of destructive cults suffer physical abuse during
their involvement, in the form of beatings or rape, while others
simply suffer the abuse of long hours of grueling, monotonous work—15
to 18 hours a day, year in and year out. In essence, they become
slaves with few or no resources, personal or financial. They become
trapped in the group, which does everything it can to keep them, as
long as they are productive. When they fall sick or are no longer an
asset, they are often kicked out. Nowhere is this more evident today
than human trafficking.
Many mind control groups appear, on the surface, to be respectable
associations. Their members talk convincingly about how they exerted
their own free will in deciding to become involved. Many are very
intelligent and seem to be happy. This may seem like a contradiction.
It is also important to recognize that there are different kinds
of cults and they often operate quite differently. Different cults
appeal to the many different human impulses: such as desire to belong;
to improve oneself and others; to understand the meaning and purpose
of life. Religious cults are the most well known. They often have a
charismatic leader and operate with religious dogma. Political cults,
often in the news, are organized around a simplistic political theory,
sometimes with a religious cloak. Psychotherapy/educational cults,
which have enjoyed great popularity, purport to give the participant
“insight” and “enlightenment.” Commercial cults play on people’s
desires to make money. They typically promise riches but actually
enslave people, and compel them to turn money over to the group. None
of these destructive cults deliver what they promise and glittering
dreams eventually turn out to be paths to psychological enslavement.
Destructive cults do many kinds of damage to their members. I will
illustrate this with several case histories, including my own. It is
not easy to recover from the damage done by membership in a
destructive cult, but it is possible. With the right help, almost
everyone can recover. My experience proves that some definite steps
can be taken to learn how to help anyone return to a normal productive
life after taking the exit to freedom.
I believe that people want to be free. They want to read what they
want to read, and they want to form their own opinions. They want
honesty and do not like being lied to or exploited. They want
trustworthy leaders who are responsible and accountable. They want
people they can look up to, and who provide good role models. They
want love and respect.
In my experience, many people eventually walk away from cults,
even those who have spent their entire lives inside one. They crave
the freedom to be themselves.
Chapter 1 Endnotes
1. Report of the Subcommittee on International Relations, U.S.
House of Representatives, Oct 31, 1978 (also known as Fraser Report),
2. Fraser Report, 316.
3. Steve Kemperman, Lord of the Second Advent (Ventura,
California: Regal Books, 1982), 13.
4. Gary Scharff, “Autobiography of a Former Moonie,” Cultic
Studies Journal (Vol. 2, No. 2, 1986), 252.
5. Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle for
Theocracy and Democracy, Common Courage Press, 1997. 65-66.
6. Moon’s original name is Yung Myung Moon, which means “Thy
Shining Dragon.” Cited in “Honor Thy Father Moon,” Psychology Today
7. “Jury Finds Rev. Moon Guilty of Conspiracy To Evade Income
Tax,” The Wall Street Journal (May 19, 1982). Lyda Phillips (UPI),
“Rev. Moon free after year in prison for tax evasion,” The Boston
Globe (July 5, 1985).
8. Frank Greve, in “Seeking Influence, Rev. Moon Spends Big on
New Right,” Philadelphia Inquirer (Dec 20, 1987), states the numbers
to be even lower.
9. Sun Myung Moon, “On Witnessing,” Master Speaks, (January 3,
1972). James and Marcia Rudin, Prison or Paradise, (Fortress Press,
1980), 25. Robert Boettcher, Gifts of Deceit–Sun Myung Moon, Tongsun
Park and the Korean Scandal (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980),
175-176.Gary Scharff, “Autobiography of a Former Moonie,” Cultic
Studies Journal (Vol. 2, No. 2, 1986), 252.
10. Michael Warder, “Bribemasters,” Chronicles, June 1988. Gary
Scharff, “Autobiography of a Former Moonie,” Cultic Studies Journal
(Vol. 2, No. 2, 1986). Douglas Lenz, “Twenty-two Months as a Moonie,”
Lutheran Church of America Partners, February 1982. Barbara Dole,
“Former Member’s Story,” The Advisor, Feb/March 1981. Michael Lisman,
statement about his membership, 1981.
11. Sun Myung Moon, “Completion of Our Responsibility,” Master
Speaks (October 28, 1974, 8.
12. Sun Myung Moon, “Relationship Between Men and Women,” Master
Speaks, (May 20, 1973).
13. Sun Myung Moon, “Moon Tells How He Regulates Sex,” San Jose
Mercury, (May 27, 1982).
14. Fraser Report, 338-348. Fred Clarkson, “The New Righteous
Plan a Third Party,” The Washington Herald, (February 8, 1988).
15. Laura Knickerbocker, “Mind Control: How The Cults Work,”
Harper’s Bazaar, (May 1980).
16. Fraser Report, 311-390.
17. Fraser Report, 354.
18. Fred Clarkson, “Moon’s Law: God is Phasing Out Democracy,”
Covert Action Information Bulletin, (Spring 1987).
19. Ibid., 36.
20. See Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle
Between Theocracy and Democracy, Common Courage Press, 1997; Jon Lee
Anderson and Scott Anderson, Inside the League: The Shocking Expose
of how Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have
Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League, Dodd Mead, 1986; David
E. Kaplan, Alec Dubro, Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld,
(University of California Press, 1986).
21. Douglas Lenz, “Twenty-two Months as a Moonie,” (Lutheran
Church of America Partners, February 1982), 13-15. Josh Freed,
Moonwebs, (Dorset Publishing, Inc., 1980), 191.
22. Fraser Report, 326, 366.
23. (UPI) “Ousted Editor Says Church Controls Washington Times,”
The Boston Globe, (July 18, 1984).
24. Fred Clarkson, “Behind the Times: Who Pulls the Strings at
Washington’s #2 Daily,” Extra!, (Aug/Sept 1987).
25. James Ridgeway, “Bush Sr. To Celebrate Rev. Sun Myung
Moon—Again: Ex-president’s keynote speech at Washington Times bash
this month is latest link between Bush and Unification Church
founder,” Mother Jones magazine, (April 29, 2007).
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