Moon’s first wife, Seon-gil Choi, and Pastor Deok-jin Kim interviewed
updated October 9, 2020
(Her name, 崔先吉 can also be written Sun-kil Choi, Sun Kil Choi or Choi Sun-kil but that is not so accurate.)
The testimonies of Moon’s first wife, Mrs. Seon-gil Choi,
and Pastor Deok-jin Kim [who wrote 19 of the church ‘Holy Songs’].
from the Japanese magazine 週刊ポスト Shūkan Post “Weekly Post”
October 8, 1993
Report by journalist Takeshi Oobayashi 大林高士
最初の妻 崔先吉女史 が告白！ 「文鮮明教祖の性の祕密」
Testimony of first wife, Mrs Seon-gil Choi!
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his sex secrets
We meet a further important witness in the “Pikareum” controversy
What do newcomers [outside Korea] know about the Unification Church?
The memoir, written as an act of atonement by the 80 year old Pastor Deok-jin Kim
金徳振, who knew the early days of the Unification Church very well, described his own experiences with the “blood exchange ritual” [pikareum] without reservation. The memoir represented his journey to seek out the roots of the UC and those of his former teacher, Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Regarding Moon’s first wife, Mrs. Seon-gil Choi 催先吉, in recent years she lived alone in a house near the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, where the mass wedding was held last year [in 1992]. Here is her testimony.
❖ Photo added:
Sun Myung Moon: “One week before my marriage, my father-in-law (Choi’s father) suddenly passed away. So my marriage got delayed and took place on May 4, 1944. May is glorious spring, but on that day it poured with rain. My marriage was officiated by Rev. Ho-bin Lee of the Jesus Church. … We started family in Heuksukdong.” (from a speech given in 2009)
Describing the process of the pikareum ritual, Mrs. Choi said that, “Women who had had a sexual relationship with Sun Myung Moon, would then select another man and have a sexual relationship with him. The man, in turn, would then have a relationship with another woman, who would then share a relationship with another man; and, so on and so forth. In other words, the act was carried on as a kind of relay.”
Pastor Deok-jin Kim, a former aide to Rev. Moon during the time he was in the UC (or, The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity), handed me his memoirs which described the reality of the “blood exchange ritual” [pikareum], practiced in the early days of the UC (See the section in the previous issue of this magazine.) He also made a stark confession about his personal experience of this ritual: “As a delinquent womanizer, I (Pastor Kim), took advantage of this opportunity. I carefully chose the beautiful female adherents, six of them in Seoul, and four in Jinju, and had physical relationships with them. I was a sex maniac.”
❖ Photo added:
Further, Pastor Kim confessed to me, “In addition to these ten ladies, I had sexual relations with six other female members of the church.” He also stated that Rev. Moon himself must have had sexual relations with more than 100 women.
Speaking out against the astonishing testimony of this former aide to Rev. Moon, Unification Church officials are objecting as follows: “In the UC, a ritual such as a “blood exchange ritual” has never existed in theory or in practice. Rev. Moon never had sexual relationships with many unspecified women. What Pastor Deok-jin Kim wrote in his testimony has no foundation in fact and is totally false.”
– UC Public Relations Department.
Pastor Kim, after reading the objection by the UC in Japan, spoke firmly as follows, “What do the Japanese newcomers to the church know? In 1970, Mr. Hyo-won Eu 劉孝元, who was one of the major leaders [and the first president of the UC in Korea] died in a hospital in Seoul. I happened to meet him by chance in the hallway of that hospital one week before he passed away, and spoke with him in his hospital room. It was a hot day. We talked about Sun Myung Moon and shed tears together.”
“After Mr. Hyo-won Eu’s passing, his younger brother and younger sister left the Unification Church because Hyo-won Eu had told them the real story of Sun Myung Moon. I am not lying, or trying to deceive anyone in my testimony.”
❖ Text and photo added:
It was Hyo-won Eu’s cousins, not brother and sister, who left shortly after Eu Hyo-won’s death. Hyo-min Eu 劉孝敏 left in 1972 and his sister, Shin-hee Eu 劉信姫, may have left before him. Hyo-won Eu’s actual brother, Hyo-yeong Eu 劉孝永, left in 1992 after he was replaced at the church business he was running. He was president of Il-shin Stone Co. Ltd. Moon gave the business to his own relative, Moon Seong-yong, who had had no relationship with the company. See The Tragedy of the Six Marys, chapter 6.
Accordingly, what the UC has to say, and, what Pastor Kim has to say regarding the pikareum “blood exchange ritual” are in direct opposition to each other. What is the real truth?
Furthermore, there was this following passage in Pastor Kim’s memoirs, “When I left the UC and enrolled in the “Korean Reformed Church Seminary,” I wrote an article for a newspaper which I titled, “The True Nature of the Unification Church” along with my close friend Kyung-rae Kim 金景来.
A few days later, one gentle woman visited me and pleaded in tears, “Please take this opportunity to tell the members of the Unification Church throughout the world that Sun Myung Moon was never the messiah!”
This woman was in fact the first wife of Sun Myung Moon, Mrs. Seon-gil Choi. According to Pastor Kim, she seemed to be overcome with passion, and she spoke as follows: “After I was married to Mr. Moon, until I gave birth to my son, to my embarrassment I was asked to have sexual intercourse with him more than ten times every night. His energy was that of a serpent, or even much more powerful than a serpent.”
(From the memoirs of Pastor Kim.)
According to the people who knew Mrs. Choi well, she was a chaste and strong-minded woman while she was the first wife of Mr. Moon. Mr. ‘A,’ a former leader of the UC, admitted that he had made Mrs. Choi divorce Mr. Moon. “I made her accept the divorce. She lashed out at Moon who had physical relationships with women, one after another. She became so upset that she went after him, throwing things, breaking the UC sign [outside a church building], and more besides.
❖ Three photos with captions added. The photos are from the Korean book, An Unofficial History of the Unification Church, and were taken by Hyo-min Eu. He explained the story behind the photos.
▲ Seon-gil Choi caught Moon doing a pikareum sex ritual with two followers. She went home and got the baseball bat which Moon kept there. She damaged the building and broke the HSA-UWC church signboard.
▲ Seon-gil Choi fought because she could not accept his pikareum sex rituals which went against her strongly held Presbyterian beliefs. Moon had been excommunicated from the Presbyterian Church in 1948. At that time he was jailed for bigamy with Chong-hwa Kim, a married woman with three children, while he was still married to Seon-gil Choi. She eventually divorced him on January 8, 1957.
▲ Here is a photo from the early 1960s where Moon is holding a heavy stick. There are many reports that he used such a stick on members. He mentions the use of baseball bats in a number of speeches and authorized Rev Kwak to beat members with one.
Since I was serving as a secretary to Rev. Moon at that time, I just wondered what kind of woman she was. But, looking back on it now, I wonder if she had become mentally disturbed because of Moon’s unusual relationship with women. Now I feel sympathetic towards her.”
Mr. ‘B,’ whom I met in Seoul and who was very familiar with the internal affairs of the early UC, told me, “Mrs. Choi was a thoughtful and kind woman, unlike the commonly held image she had in the church as a strong-minded woman. In Korea, a cheating spouse can be severely punished, but she never sent Moon to prison. After all [he did], she protected him. If it had been my wife, that wouldn’t have been the case.”
An interview with Mrs. Choi about her arranged marriage to Founder Sun Myung Moon when he was 25.
I met Mrs. Seon-gil Choi, the former life partner of Sun Myung Moon, at a relaxing coffee shop in Seoul. As I waited, an old woman with gray hair appeared in front of me. At first she kept a stone-like expression on her face, but as time went by, she began to speak more and more. She seemed to understand some Japanese and began to smile at my jokes. I stated, “I heard that Sun Myung Moon’s first wife had died.” In response, with a somewhat lonely expression on her face, Mrs. Choi said, “I was told by my friend that I was reported to be both in the USA and in Japan.”
Mrs. Choi now lives alone in a house close to the Seoul Olympic Stadium, where a mass wedding was held by the UC last year. She has no family members. Her son, Sung-jin 文聖進, 47, born out of her marriage to Sun Myung Moon, has been with his father since their long ago divorce [in 1957], and has never visited her house, she told me.
Mr. ‘A’ told me, “She has been receiving 400,000 won (about 50,000 Japanese yen) each month. From this year, the amount she has been receiving, from some official in the UC, has been increased to one million won per month. She seems to have been living on it. She has been getting by with that money every month; she may not even want that support money. When I was shown her bank passbook, and saw how little money she had been withdrawing from it, I felt a lump in my throat.”
As we sat in the coffee shop, I asked her what she thought about Sun Myung Moon. She answered, “When I recall the situation at that time, I still feel my head starting to pound, and I feel I may go crazy.”
Despite her unpleasant memories she responded to my questions, one by one, with sincerity. She shared about her first encounter with Sun Myung Moon, and about his relationships with many other women.
She even revealed the interesting story of how those around Moon have misrepresented his academic record as a “graduate from Waseda University” to encourage her to marry him.
Mrs. Seon-gil Choi was born into a wealthy farmer’s family in Jeong-ju, now in North Korea, in 1924. She was 21 when World War II ended. It was around that time that she was presented with an opportunity for a formal introduction to a prospective marriage partner, the 25 year old Sun Myung Moon. He was from the town of Jeong-Ju, the same as her. He was said to be “a graduate from Waseda University.” She related, “A matchmaker arranged the meeting with Moon. There he told me that he had graduated from Waseda University. Also, I had a favorable impression of his appearance, unlike that of now.”
At that time in Korea, it was said that any Korean who had graduated from Waseda University was considered to be among the very elite. According to the brief biography of Sun Myung Moon in the literature of the UC of Japan, it was written that he had been “admitted to the School of Electrical Engineering in the Department of Science and Engineering, at Waseda University.” However, since 1974 his academic record had been reported to have been a fraud.
❖ Added image and explanation:
His name is written in the Japanese style, 江本龍明 Ryumei Emoto. Below his name is his birthday, January 6, 1920 (9th year of Taisho). Moon’s date of graduation is given as September 30, 1943 (18th year of Showa). This may have been the graduation date for Waseda University, but it appears not to be the date of Moon’s actual graduation from the Technical High School, which has been given as September 18th. The fake certificate was made on October 18, 1977 (52nd year of Showa).
There is no signature. The name at the end of the certificate is Mr Murai Sukenaka, 村井 資長. He was a president of Waseda University, but he was strongly opposed the Unification Church and CARP.
Mr Murai gave an interview about the Unification Church to a Japanese magazine.
This certificate was published in a CARP document about “The history of the Unification Church and the life of Sun Myung Moon 1920-1990” as well as in the book, 聖所を歩く Walking to the Sanctuary / Holy Place. LINK
In response to the claims of fraudulent records, the UC defended the records by saying, “We held an inquiry in Seoul and found that he graduated from an Electrical Engineering course at the Waseda High School of Engineering. It was a simple error on the side of Japan, and Sun Myung Moon should not be blamed.”
However, in our interview, Mrs. Choi testified clearly about her matchmaking meeting with Moon, “He deceived me by saying that he had graduated from Waseda University.” Mrs. Choi found the truth about Moon’s “academic record” many years after her divorce from him. In other words, her testimony proves that what the UC of Japan claimed to be a “simple mistake” was actually proclaimed as the truth by Moon’s followers from the time of his youth, and for a long time after that.
Moon stayed in Mrs. Choi’s parents’ home for the three days following their matchmaking. I replied, “Of course, and from that first night on?” To my rather rude question, she nodded. Mr. ‘A,’ who was with me, said rather disgustedly, “In Korea, there could be no ruder thing than that! What an arrogant person he is!”
Married on March 1, 1945, Mrs Choi gave birth in 1946 to Sung-jin – Moon’s first son. Her “happiness” at the birth must have lasted only for a very short time.
❖ Photo added:
“The truth about the decision to divorce”
I asked Mrs. Choi, “Well, after all, what was the reason for your decision to divorce?” Mrs Choi replied clearly to my question, “My husband made relationships one after another by deceiving those women. I kept thinking that I couldn’t bear such a life any longer – so this was the reason for my divorce.”
After breaking up with Mrs. Choi, Moon was married to his current wife Hak Ja Han, who was 18 years old, on March 16, 1960. Between the divorce from Mrs Choi and the marriage with Miss Han, one testimony says Moon had another woman with whom he had a child. [The child was born in Tokyo on August 17, 1955, which was 16 months before their divorce.] “The woman’s name was Myung-hee Kim 金明熙 (registered name). The name of her child with Moon was Hee-jin 文喜進, later changed to Hee-son. It is said he died as a youth in an accident.” (I was told this by a UC insider whom I met in Seoul.) [On August 1, 1969 Hee-jin Moon was traveling alone by train. He leaned out of it as it approached Maepo station in Chungbuk Province. The train was still traveling at some speed. His head was hit by a track-side post, and he died. He was nearly 14 years old.]
On the other hand, Mrs. Choi has been earning a bare living in Seoul for over 40 years, since her divorce from Moon. During this period the UC, which began very humbly, has developed rapidly. The family of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han own big mansions in New York and in Seoul, and have been enjoying a prosperous life. By comparison, Mrs. Choi, who must have seen Moon’s proud appearances in the newspapers and on TV, has not enjoyed such a blessed life. Recently, in fact, she became the victim of trouble – a young man in her neighborhood harassed her, slapped her face and broke her window. Listening to her story I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her current and never-easy environment.
The mass weddings of the UC started in 1960. The first one (36 couples) and the second one (72 couples) are called “The Holy Weddings” and are distinguished from the subsequent mass weddings.
I asked Mr. Hyo-min Eu, who is now out of the UC, and who was one of the original 36 couples married in the second Holy Wedding, to read Pastor Kim’s memoir in its entirety. After reading it, he returned it to me without a word. There were no objections from him at all. [The first 36 couples were married in three ceremonies during 1960 and 1961. Mr. Hyo-min Eu was a 72 couple. He was promoted to the 36 couples to replace one who had left the UC.]
(As mentioned in the previous issue of this magazine, Hyo-min Eu is the younger [cousin] of Hyo-won Eu, said to have been the author of the “Divine Principle” book of the Unification Church. Also, Mrs Shin-hee Eu, one of the women who had a pikareum ceremony with Pastor Kim, is the younger sister of [Hyo-min Eu]. [Hyo-min Eu] is one of those who know the details of the early days of the UC.)
I approached the UC once again with my findings from the interviews I’d done so far. On page 42, I’ve posted their “rebuttal” for your reference.
The UC is still shrouded in a lot of mystery. What really happened at the root of this organization? I have heard that one clue to resolving the mystery lies within the incident at the Ewha Women’s University.
In 1950, in the midst of the Korean War, Sun Myung Moon fled south to Busan [from North Korea] with Won-pil Kim 金元弼 and others [Chung-hwa Pak 朴正華]. Here he started the enterprise of the UC. He moved to Seoul in 1954. In July 1955 he was arrested as the result of an incident at the Ewha Womens University 梨花女子大學校.
According to the “Dong-A Ilbo” newspaper, at that time the charge against Moon was “illegal confinement of female adherents, and evasion of military service.” (Later ‘proved’ innocent.) [Moon was sentenced to two years in jail.]
July 6, 1955 동아일보 東亞日報 Dong-a Ilbo (East Asia Daily News, a major newspaper)
邪敎與否(사교여부)는『노 | 탓취』
“No Touch” Policy on whether the Religion is a Cult
Moon, the Leader of the Unification of Christianity Church, has been Arrested and Charged with False Imprisonment.
… In addition it has been established that he falsely imprisoned Ms. Moon Young Il (not her real name, a 22-year-old Yonsei University student) for three days and forced her to adopt his new religion.
[Her name was Choi Soon-shil.]
Three arguments of rebuttal by the UC of Japan
1.) With regard to the one million won paid monthly from the UC officials to Mrs. Choi: “As our corporation in Japan, we are not in a position to answer.”
2.) With regard to Sun Myung Moon’s “academic record fraud”: “We are not sure about what an intermediary has described as the educational record of Sun Myung Moon. He is a graduate of the Waseda High School of Electrical Engineering, affiliated with Waseda University.”
3.) With regard to Mrs. Choi’s testimony about Sun Myung Moon’s relationship with women: “In response to our inquiry for validation, she replied as follows: “Because I knew so many people have tried to take advantage of me, I have been trying not to meet people who wanted to talk about Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Even if I did meet them, I wouldn’t speak to them about him.” Even recently, Mr. Hyo-min Eu brought a Japanese person and asked her to verify her home town. They also asked her where they should visit to find out more about her childhood – but they never raised any topics regarding Rev. Sun Myung Moon.”
If Mr. Hyo-min Eu and the Japanese said that they learned about Rev. Sun Myung Moon from Mrs. Choi, it is not based on the truth, and is nothing but their own fabrication. Mr. Hyo-min Eu was once loved by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, but he left the UC, and is standing in a position against the church, and is the person who has been trying to defame Rev. Sun Myung Moon by repeatedly making irresponsible statements.
The fabrication of rumors of scandal around the founder of our association, labeling us as a “licentious and evil religion,” misleading public opinion by prejudice, and prejudgment, are all conventional means of religious oppression in the name of freedom of speech. Your two articles defaming Rev. Sun Myung Moon are prime examples of this.
– from the Unification Church Public Relations Department.
Robert Boettcher, Gifts of Deceit – Sun Myung Moon, Tong-sun Park and the Korean Scandal (1980)
“Rumors reached the American Embassy that Moon was a ritual womanizer. Reportedly, young girls underwent sexual initiation into his cult; he would thus purge them of the Satanic spirits that inhabited Eve and lead them to the Divine Principle. He was jailed for three months in 1955 by South Korean authorities on charges reported by newspapers and government agencies as draft evasion, forgery, ‘pseudo-religion,’ and false imprisonment of a university coed compelled to adopt his religion.” (page 35)
William J Petersen, Those Curious New Cults (1975)
“According to the Rev. Won-Il Chei, a leading Presbyterian minister in Seoul, “If we believe those who have gone into the group and come out, they say that one has to receive Sun Myung Moon’s blood to receive salvation. That blood is ordinarily received by three periods of sexual intercourse. But this fact they themselves keep absolutely secret.”
A Japanese book, The Madness in Japan by Arao Arai, charges that Moon used to teach that “in order to purify oneself of the Satanic blood we inherited and in order to go to heaven after death, humans must have intercourse with those who have God’s blessings. This is what they call the ritual of blood-sharing or ritual of holy spirit exchange.””