The teachings of the Divine Principle are used as a means of controlling people.
On initially hearing Moon’s Divine Principle many may have felt a tremendous feeling of joy and hope for personal growth – and that a new dawn for mankind was being ushered in. World peace seemed a tangible possibility. The DP is presented as the new Bible for the Completed Testament Age.
However, accepting the DP also implies accepting responsibility for the ‘providence of restoration.’ Gradually more and more sacrifice is demanded from believers.
Sixty years after the first DP book was published in 1957, the goals of personal perfection, ideal families and global peace have proved unattainable. Why?
The Divine Principle is not what it appears to be. The DP is offered as a gift, but accepting it may result in the surrender of a person’s soul to a foreign power. Troy was destroyed when the Trojans accepted the gift of a wooden horse. The enemy soldiers inside snuck out at night and opened the gates. The enemy army rushed in and took over the city.
Reading the DP, a Unification Church / Family Federation for World Peace member may think they are entering into a covenant with the messiah, who is offering salvation. Sun Myung Moon promoted himself as the messiah in the Divine Principle. He gave himself the title of ‘True Father’ and ‘True Parent’ and claimed to be a representative of God. Followers may see him as having a portion of responsibility, or a duty of care, towards them. However, it is evident that Moon did not take responsibility for his legitimate children, or his illegitimate children, let alone his trusting followers.
The DP evolved into a clever construction.
Wolli Wonbon was an early version of the DP written by Moon himself in two notebooks in Busan in 1952. A few copies were hand copied and distributed. It was largely a synthesis of the work of a number of leaders of small religious groups that pre-dated Moon – Lee Yong-do, Kim Song-do, Baek Nam-ju, Chong Duk-eun and Kim Baek-moon, etc. However, Moon is given all the credit for the ‘revelations’ contained in the DP.
In Wolli Wonbon Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. This was confirmed in 2012 by Dr Andrew Wilson, a UC theologian at the Unification Theological Seminary. A Sanctuary Church leader recently commented about this major revelation concerning, Wolli Wonbon the foundational version of the DP: “I would think the probable reason was that, in consultation with Eu Hyo-won, Father decided that this was not something that would help Christians to accept him.”
Between 1952 and 1957 Moon changed that DP plot line, saying Jesus failed because he did not marry! The first DP book was published in 1957.
The Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus narrative has massive implications for the entire Unification Theology that was later put together. Wolli Wonbon, long kept hidden, reveals the lie.
The purpose of the Divine Principle is not to educate, but to manipulate. This is done through the emotions.
The DP, together with the choreographed ‘love bombing’ of recruiters, knocks down defenses and opens gates which allow other forces to enter and subvert, ultimately putting a Korean man on the throne of the heart of the new recruit.
How does the DP work on a person’s emotions to subvert them?
The ‘Sin and Fallen Nature’ model in the DP is based on the story of Adam, Eve and Lucifer and the ‘fall of man’. According to Moon, everyone is full of sin (Divine Principle, 2004, page 72).
In the DP four types of sin are described.
First is the original sin … It is ingrained in people’s lineage and is the root of all sin.
Second is hereditary sin. This sin is inherited from ancestors on account of their connection through lineage.
Third is collective sin. This is the sin for which each person is responsible as a member of a group, even though they neither committed the sin themselves nor inherited it from family ancestors.
Fourth is individual sin, which is what an individual may have committed.
Listeners to the DP may begin to feel that they have a problem and will be more receptive to the next part.
According to the DP, these were Lucifer’s wrong behaviors that led to the Fall of Man:
The ‘Four Fallen Natures’
1. Failure to see from God’s point of view
2. Leaving proper position
3. Reversal of Dominion
4. Multiplication of Sin
This is how these four concepts are used to control members. The following is implied. It is not stated directly:
1. Failure to see from God’s point of view – Man, because he is ‘fallen’ does not see things from God’s viewpoint. A follower of Moon must accept ‘God’s viewpoint’, even when it makes no sense. (‘I am a thinker,’ Moon explained, ‘I am your brain.’) If a member thinks something is not right, it is because they do not understand. (Moon is different to other men. Moon lives by different rules because he is one with God.) Members must crush (subjugate) any doubts they may have to reverse Lucifer’s failure.
2. Leaving proper position – Members must keep the position assigned to them by God, who works through Moon, His central figure on earth in this age. If they leave their position, they will make a condition for Satan to invade. They must fulfill the responsibilities they have been given, no matter what the cost. Besides the individual level, Moon has also assigned positions to nations, e.g. Korea, Japan and the USA as Adam, Eve and the Archangel (who should have served Adam and Eve), etc. Members from each nation must fulfill their responsibilities for the ‘providence of restoration’ without question or complaint. Neither individuals nor nations should leave their positions, or fail, or they will delay the providence and cause further pain to God.
3. Reversal of Dominion – Man’s sin involved a reversal of dominion – failing to obey a superior. This is a heinous offense in the Unification Church, and even thinking critically of a superior will incur God’s displeasure. They must not repeat the negative feelings of the archangel. Even if a member has greater abilities, and can see their leader is making mistakes, they must dutifully obey and accept that God put them in these positions for a purpose, no doubt to overcome sinful nature. Members are reminded that Cain killed Abel, and that any ‘Cain-type thoughts’ should be subjugated.
4. Multiplication of Sin – Any negative or critical thoughts should be kept to oneself and never spread to anyone else (see Reversal of Dominion). The fall involved multiplication of sin; Eve was seduced, then in turn she seduced Adam. So no two people can be allowed to establish close relationships. Members must fear multiplying sin. If two members spend too much time together – being horizontal – it should be reported to a leader (central figure). Prevention of horizontal attachments is a good reason to keep moving members around. (Belonging to Moon’s church can be a lonely experience.) All attachments and loyalty should only be to Moon as the ‘True Parent.’
One underlying purpose is to get followers to doubt their own judgement, through fear of possible ‘archangelic behavior’.
Sun Myung Moon’s authority
Moon claimed authority as the bringer of the new ‘truth’ – the Divine Principle. The DP and other UC teachings present a very high demand theology. It is also very hierarchical and position-conscious, reflecting its Korean Confucian roots.
However, the ideas contained in the DP were not Moon’s. He was a thief of the ideas, therefore he has no right to claim any authority as author of the DP.
For many Unificationists ‘Jesus passed on his mission to Sun Myung Moon at Easter’ is a pillar of their faith. It is another way that Moon claimed authority – by inheriting it from Jesus. However, there are so many contractions in Moon’s own tellings of his own story that his words are not credible. The ‘meeting Jesus’ legend is addressed HERE.
Moon asserted that he had authority over his followers and he assigned them positions in his ‘providential’ drama. Of course, in reality Moon did not have that authority. However, if a recruit sees other members, perhaps similar to themselves, being dutiful followers, there is a natural impetus for the recruit to conform and to accept Moon’s authority over their lives.
The requirement to recruit
In earlier years it was hard for a member to receive the ‘Blessing’ of Marriage – the ONLY way to free themselves from the original sin which was caused by the wrong sexual intercourse in the Garden of Eden.
Candidates for the ‘Blessing’ of Marriage were supposed to find three spiritual children (new members) first. These three spiritual children were necessary as ‘protective archangels.’ Members were warned that they may not be allowed to consummate their marriages, or could have difficulty in their marriages, if they did not find three protective archangels. They also had to pay large ‘Blessing’ fees which which boosted Moon’s funds.
The ‘Blessing’ rules have now been relaxed.
In reality the Divine Principle exists to recruit and retain members; to grab them through their emotions – by-passing logic and critical thinking.
The Divine Principle hooks into each person’s deepest ideals, hopes and aspirations – and fears about each person’s destiny in any possible afterlife (DP: The Principle of Creation);
fears and possible feelings of guilt or shame about sex (DP: The Fall of Man);
natural feelings of empathy and sympathy for the suffering of Jesus and God (DP: The Mission of Jesus).
Through the parallels of history (DP: The History of Restoration) the significance of various ‘central figures’ is emphasized; in Moon’s narrative they are given responsibilities that they themselves may never have known anything about. However, listeners may feel shame and possibly anger or indignation about these historical figures who, according to Moon, ‘failed their missions’ and ‘prolonged the providence’ causing further grief to God.
A pattern of failures of ‘central figures of history’ is presented. John the Baptist’s failure to support Jesus is one example, and his lack of support is given as the main reason Jesus had to go the way of the cross. God was let down so many times throughout history.
Humans look for patterns and causes of events. It is embedded in human DNA. And it is what every human does from infancy. The Divine Principle is full of patterns and explanations which can at first hearing sound plausible.
The conclusion of the DP points to Sun Myung Moon as the new messiah. The implication of all the patterns leading up to that conclusion is that the many failures of history should not be repeated by those privileged to be alive at this unique time in history, and through ancestral merit, be able to hear the precious DP.
Moon claimed to be the only person in history who understood God’s heart, and who could ease God’s pain.
Moon had a narrative about his own incomprehensibly suffering life, and the difficult path he trod for ‘seven years’, ‘nine years’ (the length of time varies in other accounts) to discover the truth of the DP. Members are made to feel indebted to Moon and are drawn through natural empathy to support him in his noble cause.
Finally dedication, loyalty and commitment at this special time is encouraged to build an ideal world.
Recruits or members who waver or have doubts about what is happening to them, or who want a little time to reflect, are reminded of the urgency of the present moment in history. Some are told of the terrible things that have happened to those who turned their back on ‘God’s new truth’ – disease and accidents could happen to the person or to a loved one. God’s protection may be withdrawn from the unfaithful. Fears and phobias are implanted in minds already thrown off balance by so many stirred up emotions.
Pre-existing understandings of the self and one’s place in the world may be rocked to the core.
If a person tries to resist God’s ‘providence’ they might be made to feel selfish and uncaring. The trap is closing.
Group dynamics are important. There are usually many group bonding exercises such as sports, games and the writing and performing of sketches.
Singing and music touches the emotions. This promotes the solidification of newly experienced emotions. The songs are carefully chosen – ideals, love, loss of ideals, suffering, determination, visions of an ideal, companionship, teamwork, etc, are presented. Music experienced with others bonds each to the group.
Emotions transcend time and space and can endure for lifetimes, overriding logic.
Responsibility for God’s ‘providence’ looms large. A narrative has been woven with a place for each person in Moon’s drama. Recruits are ‘special’ and have been ‘prepared and chosen by God’. Moon’s providence appears to be real and not a fiction like Harry Potter.
Everyone needs to belong to a group or ‘tribe’. The fear of rejection is primal. No one wants to feel rejected by sincere and dedicated new companions in the ‘great cause’. Fear of losing the new ‘safe haven’ found in the ‘Unification family’ can be very powerful.
The Divine Principle is psychologically very manipulative. It is crafted to lock members into Moon’s system.
The DP might appear coherent within itself. However, it is based on an unsubstantiated unorthodox interpretation of Genesis in the Bible. The ‘Fall’ is an allegorical cautionary tale. Historically the Biblical Adam and Eve probably never existed as literal people.
The DP parallels of history are a stretch too far. A huge number of historical events or people can be linked in different ways to fit numbers deemed significant in the Bible.
It is very difficult to prove such a thing as original sin exits. Did Jesus talk about original sin? How is it transmitted through thousands of generations to each person. It has been shown that Moon was not a ‘sinless’ messiah. His widow, Hak Ja Han, stated as much in 2016. There is no Moon family sinless lineage that must be grafted on to; and Moon does not have any authority from God over anyone, except the authority that a person may – or may not – surrender to him, perhaps after being seduced by the Divine Principle.
Moon was not managing a ‘providence’ on behalf of God, though he claimed to be. Moon knew exactly what he was doing: using charm, stirring hope and freedom from suffering, using narrative sales pitches (speeches), injecting fears and cutting members social bonds to friends and family. Then Moon used perpetual urgency to keep members busy striving to fulfill usually unattainable goals. And then came responsibility:
Divine Principle 1996 (page 187)
The History of the Providence of Restoration and I
As an individual, each one of us is a product of the history of the providence of restoration. Hence, the person who is to accomplish the purpose of history is none other than I, myself I must take up the cross of history and accept responsibility to fulfill its calling. To this end, I must fulfill in my lifetime (horizontally), through my efforts, the indemnity conditions which have accumulated through the long course of the providence of restoration (vertically). Only by doing this can I stand proudly as the fruit of history, the one whom God has eagerly sought throughout His providence. In other words, I must restore through indemnity, during my own generation, all the unaccomplished missions of past prophets and saints who were called in their time to carry the cross of restoration. Otherwise, I cannot become the individual who completes the purpose of the providence of restoration. To become such an historical victor, I must understand clearly the Heart of God when He worked with past prophets and saints, the original purpose for which God called them, and the details of the providential missions which He entrusted to them.
Yet there is no one among fallen humanity who can become such an historical victor by his efforts alone. For this reason, we must understand all these things through Christ at the Second Advent, who comes to fulfill the providence of restoration. Moreover, when we believe in him, become one with him, and attend him in his work, we can stand in the position of having fulfilled horizontally with him the vertical indemnity conditions in the history of the providence of restoration.
The path which all past saints walked as they strove to fulfill God’s providential Will is the very path we must walk again today. Beyond that, we must continue on to the end of the path, even walking trails they left untrodden. Therefore, fallen people can never find the path that leads to life without understanding the particulars of the providence of restoration. Herein lies the reason why we must study the Principle of Restoration in detail.
Moon frequently told the members they had failed, causing God extended pain and Moon himself, or his family, more suffering. When his children died, the members were directly or indirectly blamed. Self-esteem was continually eroded.
Sleep deprivation added to the stress which diminished each member’s ability to think clearly.
While in the UC, a member’s value was not determined by themselves, but by Moon.
Recruits became his willing slaves. Moon benefited at their cost.
No human being has ever been, or will ever be, perfect. That is another illusion Moon and the DP use to diminish members.
After being in Moon’s church members are usually more alienated from society, probably more alienated from themselves, and have often lost faith in any God.
Can former members embrace themselves just as they are, and embrace their natural sexuality, free from Moon-induced phobias or shame? Sexual identity is an important part of each person’s identity, and should perhaps be celebrated – in a respectful way.
Moon diminished everyone. By the time a follower realizes this, years of their life may have passed.
Moon ultimately had no answers to the complex challenges of life and society.
Members might discover they are better human beings than ‘messiah’ Sun Myung Moon ever was.
And followers might learn more about what it means to be human from the fiction of Harry Potter than from the fiction of the Divine Principle.
Indemnity is a Moon Trap
“When I was a Moonie I didn’t feel free, I felt burdened beyond endurance by indemnity. Indemnity is anti God because it is anti unconditional love. Indemnity says you must pay for salvation, yours and everyone else’s, including dead people’s salvation. Indemnity totally and completely ignores God’s unconditional love and mercy which is given freely from profound unconditional parental love.”
Linda Feher – LINK
Sun Myung Moon used the concept of indemnity to ensnare followers by making them feel a burden of responsibility for his “providence of restoration” – and guilt for their own sins, those of their ancestors, and those of their nations. Moon judged most nations to have failed to support him, or live up to a responsibility that he had assigned. According to Moon, the Christians failed (to acknowledge or support him), and so did many other groups of people.
Whoever the member is, they will be responsible for some failure or other. The way out which Moon offered only benefited him: work hard for the “providence”; liberate your ancestors for money – and years of dedication to his drama; accept whoever Moon matches you to. If your marriage is difficult, it is because you are paying indemnity for some past sin or ancestral crime.
Christian commentators have criticized the concept of indemnity as being contrary to the Christian doctrine of salvation by faith. Radio and television evangelist Bob Larson said, “Moon’s doctrine of sinless perfection by ‘indemnity’, which can apply even to deceased ancestors, is a denial of the salvation by grace offering through Jesus Christ.” Christian historian Ruth Tucker said: “In simple language indemnity is salvation by works.” Donald Tingle and Richard Fordyce, ministers with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who debated two Unification Church theologians in 1977, wrote:
“In short, indemnity is anything you want to make it, since you establish the conditions. The zeal and enthusiasm of the Unification Church members is not so much based on love for God as it is compulsion to indemnify one’s own sins.”
The Unification Church has also been criticized for saying that the First World War, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Cold War served as indemnity conditions to prepare the world for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Indemnity, in the context of Unification Church beliefs, is a part of the process by which human beings and the world are restored to God’s ideal. The concept of indemnity is explained at the start of the second half of the Divine Principle, “Introduction to Restoration”:
“What, then, is the meaning of restoration through indemnity? When someone has lost his original position or state, he must make some condition to be restored to it. The making of such conditions of restitution is called indemnity. For example, to recover lost reputation, position or health, one must make the necessary effort or pay the due price. Suppose two people who once loved each other come to be on bad terms; they must make some condition of reconciliation before the love they previously enjoyed can be revived. In like manner, it is necessary for human beings who have fallen from God’s grace into corruption to fulfill some condition before they can be restored to their true standing. We call this process of restoring the original position and state through making conditions restoration through indemnity, and we call the condition made a condition of indemnity. God’s work to restore people to their true, unfallen state by having them fulfill indemnity conditions is called the providence of restoration through indemnity.”
The Divine Principle goes on to explain three types of indemnity conditions. Equal conditions of indemnity pay back the full value of what was lost. The biblical verse “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (Exod. 21:23-24) is quoted as an example of an equal indemnity condition. Lesser conditions of indemnity provide a benefit greater than the price that is paid. Faith, baptism, and holy communion are mentioned as examples of lesser indemnity conditions. Greater conditions of indemnity come about when a person fails in a lesser condition. In that case a greater price must be paid to make up for the earlier failure. Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac (Gen. 22:1-18) and the Israelite’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness under Moses (Num. 14:34) are mentioned as examples of greater indemnity conditions. The DP then explains that an indemnity condition must reverse the course by which the mistake or loss came about. Jesus’ statement that God had forsaken him (Matt. 27:46) and Christianity’s history of martyrdom are mentioned as examples of this. The DP then states that human beings, not God or the angels, are the ones responsible for making indemnity conditions.
Sun Myung Moon
April 15, 1979 at Belvedere:
“In our Unification Church faith the most beautiful word is ‘indemnity’; through indemnity we can pay the debt of sin. You say to God, “God, there is no one else who could stand such a burden of indemnity. This price of death, I am willing to accept it, since You have chosen me. I can accept it with gratitude to You.” When you compare the time you spend without the person you loved [who has died] with the millions of years your generations will live, your payment of indemnity is small in comparison to the blessing God will give you and your descendants. If you are truly grateful from the depth of your heart—expressing, “God, I will accept and digest this challenge, so I will be ready for the next”—then, God will feel that He has really found an extraordinary child. He will say, “How wonderful my child is!” and His blessing will automatically be yours. Your attitude will decide the amount of blessing.
If an extraordinary grief or tragedy hits you, are you ready to thank God and ask what is next? It is natural that you say you are grateful when good things happen to you and then curse God when unpleasant things happen. With knowledge of indemnity there should be nothing you cannot bear. …”
Régis Dericquebourg made a significant contribution to a 2017 two-day conference held by FVG, May 29-30, 2017:
“The Life and Legacy of Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Movements in Scholarly Perspective.”
The proceedings (text of the book) have been published here:
A search for “Moon’s theology of recreation-restitution” will take you to an important section of the article written by Régis Dericquebourg.
The book is called:
Acta Comparanda SUBSIDIA VI: May 29-30, 2017,
“The Life and Legacy of Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Movements in Scholarly Perspective.”