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The Unification Church, officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification but more commonly known as the Moonies, is a personality cult formed by and around "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon, a nutjob from South Korea who claimed he was the Second Coming of Jesus, and blamed the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunamis upon the Japanese people, claiming it was divine punishment for believing in "idols." Since April 2008, it has been led by its "officially anointed" chairman, Moon's 28-year-old son Hyung Jin Moon.
Moon and his wife were banned from entering Germany and other Western European countries in the Schengen agreement because it was felt he had a bad influence on young people. However, no sanction has been placed on the organization.
In 1971 Moon moved to the United States and began recruiting from among the counterculture in Berkeley and San Francisco, expanding to most U.S. cities by 1973. They were one of the main groups (along with the Children of God and Synanon) to prompt public concern over cults starting in the early 1970s. Moon would arrange the marriages of church members and hold mass wedding ceremonies, members lived together communally, and the stereotype of the typical Moonie became the brainwashed follower selling flowers in the airport. The Moonies have been repeatedly accused of splitting up families and pressuring Moonies to break ties with their family of origin. Sun Myung Moon finally died in September 2012. On the positive side of things (quite shocking huh?), the "Church" runs a seminary open to all faiths and has interfaith courses for non-Christian/Moonie students. 
Ironically (for his ex-hippie converts, at least), Moon himself was a hardcore wingnut who ran full page ads defending Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, started the blatantly partisan Washington Times newspaper, was a heavy promoter and funder of global warming denial and anti-environmentalist activity during the 1990s, and had close ties with the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Ashcroft gang. Moon was strongly in favor of conservative family values, which is ironic considering that he was a serial adulterer and "fornicator," once preached a doctrine based on promiscuity and has had three wives in succession, who gave birth to a total of 16 children.
The New York Times reported in 1997 that Moon "has been reaching out to conservative Christians in the United States in the last few years by emphasizing shared goals like support for sexual abstinence outside of marriage and opposition to homosexuality." Moon also appealed to the Second Amendment crowd. In March 1999, the Washington Post reported that "the messiah" owned the lucrative Kahr Arms Company through Saeilo, Inc. (the CEO/president/lead designer: Kook Jin "Justin" Moon).
Part of Moon's influence can be attributed to his being a very wealthy man - before coming to the U.S. he had built a successful media empire in Korea. His company, News World Communications, owns Segye Ilbo (World Daily) of Korea which is also known as Sekai Nippo in Japan.
For their U.S. media empire, see:
- The aforementioned Washington Times
- New World Encyclopedia
- United Press International (bought by the Moonies from ARA Group International, a group of Saudi investors, in 2000)
The "Church" is also heavily involved in business in the US and both Koreas. In particular they are apparently North America's major supplier to the sushi restaurant trade through the True World Group.
The church's total wealth is a secret, but its land holdings in South Korea were valued at more than $1 billion in 1990, according to a study by the Far Eastern Economic Review. The Unification Church's Tongil Group operates factories in both Koreas, and ranks 35th in size among South Korean conglomerates. 
It is estimated that the church scammed between $600 million and $1 billion of sacred relics to Japanese widows, to liberate their loved ones from hell. This liberation is accomplished by attending workshops conducted by the ghosts of Reverend Moon's mother-in-law, Dae Mo Nim and Moon's son, Heung Jin Moon (aka Heung Jin Nim). 
Roots of intelligent design
Famous intelligent design advocate Jonathan Wells is a member of the cult. In an unintentionally humorous speech, good ol' Jon revealed that he was assigned a task by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to get a "doctorate" in biology and "destroy Darwinism from within," which is probably why he keeps bullshitting all the time.
Daily Mail stopped clock
The longest libel case in Britain to that time concerned a 1978 article in the Daily Mail which strongly attacked the Moonies' tactics; nearly three years later a jury concluded that the article's claims were true, despite three quarters of the witnesses having defended the cult. This is an excellent example of a stopped clock, even if the Mail wasn't quite so blatant most of the time back then.
- Bad Moon Rising: How Rev. Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right and Built an American Kingdom, John Gorenfeld. ISBN 0979482232 ISBN 978-097948223
- National Network of Lawyers against the spiritual sales: the fight against Moonie fraud in Japan
- Where in Washington, D.C. is Sun Myung Moon? by John Gorenfeld
- Craig Maxim with his Moonie cup
- Robert Parry's six part series in The Consortium about the Dark Side of Rev. Moon
- Allen Tate Wood - author, exit counselor, and former chief political officer of the Moonies
- Perkel, Marc. "The Moonies are not your friend." Everything you wanted to know about Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church. 1 May 2008. perkel.com
- Not clear, if he meant Shinto or Japanese pop-culture idols called idoru
- The Federal Interior Ministry's 1995 immigration exclusion (refusal to issue a visitor's visa) continued in force against the founder of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon. The 1995 decision also placed Rev. and Mrs. Moon on the "Schengen" list, which bars their entry into many other European states, and was based on the government's characterization of Rev. Moon and his wife as leaders of a "cult" that endangers the personal and social development of young persons. The Unification Church was seeking to overturn the ban in the courts. 
- He won the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Economics for "bringing efficiency and steady growth to the mass-marriage industry".
- 'Moonies' founder Sun Myung Moon dies at 92
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- Fitrakis, Bob. "Dark Side of the Moon." The American Atheist 38.2 (2000). 1 May 2008. americanatheist.org
- Farragher, Thomas. "Moon arms factory: His father preaches peace, and he makes guns." Boston Globe 21 March 1999. 1 May 2008. rickross.com
- The most recently compiled list of Moonie media fronts (April 2007) can be viewed here.
- See the Wikipedia article on List of Unification Movement organizations#Businesses.
- The Times of London, 1 April 1981