According to my experience of having been a member the Unification Church for 6 1/2 years and having then completed a master's degree in counseling psychology I feel that the above statement very much applies to former cult members. While you are in a cult, you don't realize it. It is only when you come out that you recognize the abuse and trauma you have experienced... and then people won't believe you. -
As a member of the Unification Church (i.e. its student branch CARP), I had many positive experiences and I learned many things, as one can do under any circumstances, with a positive attitude. However, like many others, I also had extremely negative and destructive experiences of psychological and physical abuse, exploitation, and trauma. Abuse, manipulation and exploitation which was and is justified and excused by the church, and which in my opinion depicts the cultic and destructive nature of this organization.
Sharing my experiences is a way for me to process them, as well as an attempt to help others, and I invite you to investigate with an open mind to form your own opinion. Many articles were written and published shortly after I left in 93 - with an anger common to those ...who have been "taken for a ride." So I apologize for any offensive tone you may encounter.What complicates matters...
...and makes the discernment of truth more difficult is that
A good example for this, in my opinion, is Mr. Steven Hassan, a former top leader of the UC, who now strongly opposes the church, and whom the organization has been trying to discredit and destroy ever since he left and began to share about his experiences. I have even seen propaganda materials taught in the church to discredit his work and that of the no longer existent "Cult Awareness Network." (The internal church publication was called "VOC - Victory over CAN," a replacement of the "Victory over Communism" slogan.)
People have various experiences and viewpoints regarding Mr. Moon and his Unification movement. Some speak of a nice, idealistic religious man - while others express allegations of deceit, mind abuse, family destruction and ruthless manipulation and exploitation. While the church claims, "We are different now!" many believe they are not, that there perhaps was a change in degree, but not in nature, and that the problem lies at the core.
The truth is for you to discern.
True, the organization has not yet produced dramatic incidents as others like the "Higher Source" movement in S. California or Aum Shinry Kyo ...but potential danger exists in any organization which indoctrinates its members to unquestioningly obey its leader as a godlike, infallible figure. I myself was driven to the verge of committing suicide by my leader who told me to jump off the Sears Tower because I had failed his directions...! I was ready to do it and I know others would be, too. -
"Who would think....?"
Mr. & Mrs. Sun Myung Moon - a "nice" couple. ...How looks can deceive. - How easily we tend to make the attribution error - to link attributes such as "looking nice" or "acting nice" to "being nice."
When seeing or meeting them most people indeed tend to think of them as charming, harmless, outgoing religious people. But who would think that they make thousands of followers all over the world doing slavetype labor (=working for free) for them and that they have those members believing in and worshiping them as perfect, infallible human beings, the "True Parents of mankind," the "Second Coming of Christ"? Who would think that they have them bow down three times to their own picture every Sunday morning at 5 a.m., pledging their lives in Korean and declaring that they are willing to die for them and the "Fatherland" (= Korea)?
Who would think that they expect to soon be ruling the whole world ...which will then be speaking Korean as the first language, and obeying their word as law? Who would think that Mr. Moon has founded and still leads hundreds of business, political, and educational organizations to serve his ends?
Who would think that he has George Bush, various celebrities and members of the media and academic society - knowingly or unknowingly - supporting his efforts ...often bribed with large sums of money?
"A humble man of God?"
What then does Mr. Moon, whom most expect to be a "humble man of God," think of himself?
On August 24, 1992, at the Little Angels Performing Arts Center in Seoul, Korea, Mr. Sun Myung Moon made the following statement during his inauguration address for his World Culture and Sports Festival:
In another speech he said:
Did you know that Mr. Moon claims to be the perfect, sinless savior of the world and that his goal is to establish his absolute authority in every aspect of private, social, political and economic life? What if he is not the Messiah? What if he is just another "false prophet," or another powerhungry demagogue and lunatic trying to take over the world? Would you want to follow him or support his organization?
As a member I used to think, "Either this is the truth - and all these (deceptive, abusive, manipulative) practices are justifiable - or this is the most incredible manipulation and lie EVER heard of." It took me 6 1/2 years to come to the conclusion that the latter is true. If you're still a member or supporter of the church - how long will it take you?
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