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The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, preaches before a diverse audience Wednesday at the Zion Methodist Church in North Las Vegas. Moon came to the valley as part of his 51-city national tour touting traditional family values and the end to racism and religious denominationalism.
Photo by K.M. Cannon.


Thursday, April 12, 2001
Copyright Las Vegas Review-Journal

CONTROVERSIAL MESSAGE: Moon speaks at church

Leader's speech features sexually explicit references

By RYAN OLIVER
REVIEW-JOURNAL

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon told a racially diverse crowd of about 600 people at a North Las Vegas church that only people who have children and who are blessed in his lineage will be allowed to enter heaven.

Wednesday's event was billed in press materials as a stand against violence in a community that has suffered a slew of recent gang-related homicides, but that message was overshadowed largely by Moon's detailed descriptions of "love organs" and his own unique theology.

Moon, the founder of the Unification Church and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, spoke at the Zion Methodist Church as part of a 51-city blitz that began in February and ends Monday in Washington, D.C. His tour has largely focused on cities' black communities.

Moon has forged an alliance with a number of urban black churches and the Nation of Islam, who support his positions on traditional family values and breaking down the walls of denomination and race.

"What impresses me so much about Rev. Moon is that he's truly on the battlefield for our Lord," said Zion Methodist Pastor William Bennett. "He's truly got a gift from God to bring people together."

Some members of the audience, which was largely composed of black Christians and Muslims, didn't feel the same way as they walked out during the speech.

One woman yelled that Moon was a liar when he said people needed the blessing of his lineage to enter heaven, because he is free from original sin.

"Jesus has to be reborn in this world," said the 81-year-old Moon, who claims God told him at the age of 16 to continue Jesus Christ's work.

Speaking through an interpreter, the Korean-born religious leader told the audience that homosexuals, childless couples and people's misuse of their "love organs" are destroying society.

"The head of (the male) love organ is shaped exactly like a poisonous rattlesnake," he said. "And just like a rattlesnake, it's always looking for a hole.

"If you misuse your love organ, you destroy your life, your nation, your world."

Moon added that 70 percent of divorces are the fault of the woman, primarily because they believe ownership of their love organ is for themselves and not under the hand of their husband.

Moon, often referred to as a cult leader, acknowledged he and his views have come under considerable criticism.

Moon founded the Unification Church in Korea in 1954 and brought it to the United States when he moved here in 1971. Moon spent 13 months in prison for tax evasion in the 1980s, then created the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification in the late 1990s to broaden his reach. Estimates of the size of his worldwide congregation, known as "Moonies," vary and are disputed by his critics.

Moon currently holds the reins of a robust business empire that controls various enterprises in Washington, D.C., including the Washington Times newspaper.

In 1999, Moon's 21-year-old son, Las Vegas resident Young Jin Moon, fell to his death from the 17th floor of the Harrah's hotel in Reno. The fall was ruled a suicide, but a spokesman for the family said at the time they did not believe it was a suicide.


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