Hotspot Of Korea Churned Out A Cult Based On Strange Private Revelations
By Michael H. Brown
Every so often, spiritual forces seem to converge on an area. Such is the case recently with Korea.
There is the tense situation with North Korea, of course, while in South Korea came word just days ago of an attempt by the Raelian cult at cloning. A Korean woman is said to be pregnant.
Korea is also the homeland of "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon, whose cult, the Unification Church, last year ensnared an aging archbishop, Emmanuel Milingo of Zambia, and "married" him to a Korean woman at a highly publicized and scandalous mass "wedding" more than a year ago.
Reverend Moon is an interesting example of why we must be careful with private revelation. He also points up the fact that there are occult roots underlying many modern movements. I say this upon reading a book called The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin. In it Martin explains that Moon -- who owns one of America's largest pharmaceutical firms, as well as The Washington Times (a newspaper President Bush reads every day) -- was born on January 6, 1920, as Yong Myung Moon ("Shining Dragon Moon") and had a vision of an entity he believed was Jesus Christ at the age of 16. He also claims to have met Moses and Buddha.
"Shortly following the Second World War, Moon drifted from one 'pentecostal' group to another," notes Martin, citing another writer named Kwang-Yol Yoo. "From Yoo's history, it is no hidden fact that most of these groups had blended seances, spiritism, ancestral spirit guidance, and a host of occult practices with their untrained 'pentecostal Christian' faith. What one ends up with is spiritism practiced in the name of Christianity, something exercised by many cults and abhorred by all genuine Christians."
Moon likewise claimed to have encountered the devil, and to have conquered him. He has billed himself as "Lord of the Second Advent." His wedding to a wife named Hak Ja Han is viewed by followers as the fulfillment of the "marriage of the Lamb" in Revelation (21:9).
"To Unification members, this monumental event ushers in the 'New Age,' the Cosmic Era," notes Martin.
Indeed, Moon claims God appeared to him and says he "came to America primarily to declare the New Age and new truth... This is why God appeared to me and told me to go to America to speak the truth."
The Unification Church has 10,000 members in the U.S. and still claims three million worldwide -- with 900 worship centers in Korea (versus 55 in the U.S.). One estimate is that the "church" controls $10 billion worth of business. Meanwhile, in 1987 a Zimbabwean member claimed that Moon's oldest son, who died in an accident, began speaking through him as a medium. These spiritist utterances were soon heard at a Moon seminary in Barrytown, New York.
As I just mentioned, it was from Africa that the Catholic archbishop, Milingo, was also from. He was set loose from Moon's hold only after a meeting in which the Pope commanded the archbishop to return to the Church in the Name of Jesus (with a tone that seemed like an exorcism).
Right after, the archbishop did, and is now back in his native Zambia.
But what about the effect other private revelations have had? How else have they attacked the Church? What other cults are based on them?
And what next can we expect to come out of Korea?
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