The Korean background of the Moon church

Updated December 16, 2020


1. The Korean background of the Unification Church (see below)

2. Seoul Church of the Nazarene letter on Unification Church teachings reveals secret doctrines

3. Yong-do Lee, an influential Korean charismatic religious leader

4. The Cheong Kam Nok prophecy in the Divine Principle has nothing to do with Sun Myung Moon

5. Notes from the book by Ung Kyu Pak (Millennialism in the Korean Protestant Church – Asian Thought and Culture, 2005),

6. Notes from the book by Ig-Jin Kim (History and theology of Korean pentecostalism, 2003),
Notes from In Soo Kim, PhD (History of Christianity in Korea, 2011) and others.

Note: All photographs and graphics are added material.


The Korean background of the Unification Church (later known as the FFWPU), founded by Sun Myung Moon

by Young-Bok Chun

田 永褔. Secretary of the Evangelical Department of the General Assembly of the Korean Church in Japan. The article is compiled by the NCC Study Center, based on a presentation about the Unification Church by the Reverend Chun on Nov. 10, 1975, arranged by the Kyoto Christian Council.

Yong-do Lee 李韻道 is on the right, next to him is Seung-geul Park 朴承傑. Behind them is Ho-bin Lee 李浩彬 who Sun Myung Moon 文鮮明 asked to officiate at his marriage to Choi Seon-gil 催先吉. Choi’s mother, who was a fundamentalist Presbyterian, disapproved of Moon’s religious beliefs.

Let me first clarify my own standpoint in the present discussion about the Unification Church. Last year several Korean church leaders issued a statement which clearly denounced the Unification Church as a non-Christian movement. Later the National Christian Council of Japan also presented its view on the movement, but it merely pointed out which parts of The Divine Principle differed from its own understanding of Christianity, and abstained from claiming that the movement was not Christian. I myself find this vague attitude somewhat unreasonable and basically agree with the Korean church leaders: The Unification Church should not be characterized as a Christian sect.

One has to admit that the Bible is an important part of its teaching; but Islam also recognizes and quotes the Bible and regards Moses and Jesus as great prophets. However, no one would claim that Islam is Christianity. Several of the new religions of Japan stress that their teaching is basically in harmony with Christianity, and often refer to the Bible, but none of them want to call their teaching Christian. The Unification Church claims that it is a Christian church founded on the Bible, but the Bible is interpreted through its holy scripture, The Divine Principle, which is the real basis of its teaching. I have had quite a lot of contact with members and leaders of the Unification Church, but the more I inquire and study their scriptures, the more I am convinced that it is quite unreasonable to call it a Christian sect.

Seen against the background of its origin and development in Korea, it is more correct to call it Moon-ism than Christianity. For it is a movement based on the founder, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon himself. In order to understand the Unification Church, one needs to see it in the light of the general Korean religious background and specific developments in some Christian sects. I will briefly indicate four points: the yin-yang philosophy, the prophetic scripture called Cheong Kam Nok 鄭鑑錄, the ecstatic movements which advocated the “restoration of Eden,” and finally some sects which practised sexual rites as part of the establishment of the coming kingdom of God.

1. It is natural to point out the yin-yang philosophy as an important background for Moon’s thinking. In many popular forms this idea has penetrated the religious life of Korea. Even the Korean national flag has the traditional symbol of the “Great Origin,” which expresses the dual nature of the universe. The influence of this yin-yang philosophy is so obvious in Moon’s teaching that it is sufficient just to mention it here. The basic idea of the dual nature of God and the harmonious unification of male and female forces, man and woman included, reflects nothing but traditional yin-yang philosophy.

2. Another important factor which has influenced the Unification Church and several other new religious movements in Korea is the old scripture called Cheong Kam Nok (see below). It conveys both an indigenous form of the yin-yang philosophy, and also a sort of Messianic idea. It is a prophetic scripture and describes the apocalyptic catastrophies in a manner similar to the Biblical Apocalypse. In Cheong Kam Nok there is a prophecy that in the end period “the true man” will appear from the “Southern Ocean,” which is nothing but Korea itself. Moon’s understanding of himself is linked to this tradition. In his teaching there is a strong conviction that he himself is the elected prophet.

3. The idea of the “return to Eden” is another dominant factor in Moon’s thinking. This is not developed by Moon himself, but was one of the central ideas in several Christian movements in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

It is said that Moon was 16 years old when he received the revelation that he was the prophet raised up by God. At that time (1936) there were several ecstatic and messianic movements in Korea, and especially a Methodist pastor called Yong-do Lee seems to have influenced Moon. I often went to these meetings when I was young. The pastor was an enthusiastic and eloquent preacher and advocated a peculiar interpretation of the Bible. During the meetings he used to roll up a newspaper and go around saying, “Satan, get out! Satan, get out!” while the congregation was praying in a state of ecstatic shaking.

This movement advocated the so-called “restoration of the original state” before the fall of Adam and Eve. The congregation was dancing around and crying for the return of Eden. And when the pastor cried, “Adam and Eve were naked before the fall! Take off your clothes!” the men turned to the women and stripped off their clothes, and they danced around naked.

❖ Additional material:

Mr. Yong-do Lee 李龍道  was born on April 6, 1901 and died in October 1933.

Testimony of one of the first Ewha Woman’s University student to join:
“My name is Mrs. Chung-won Kang and my husband is Rev. [Jae-suk] Lee who is President of Super Denomination in Korea. I joined the Unification Church in 1954 in Seoul.

After their expulsion from Ewha Womans University, the students managed to meet President Hwal-lan ‘Helen’ Kim on May 23, 1955. She stood by her decision. This picture was taken on campus after the meeting.
(Top from left)  Myung-jin Seo, Gye-soon Lee, Gil-ja Sa, Saeng-ryeon Chi, Young-sook Park, Chung-won Kang and Dae-hwa Chong.

“[After 14 of us were expelled] we went to see Dr. Helen Kim, the Dean of Ewha Womans University, but she refused to talk with us saying that we had curtains over our eyes. She said we had gone crazy.

Because we followed Father [Sun Myung Moon] so fervently people at school and in society began to spread many lies and to oppose us. They spread rumors such as that we had electrical systems and that we danced in the nude. These were completely incredible to any intelligent person. The rumors about dancing in the nude came from people confusing us with another spiritual group which had danced like this thinking that their original sin had been forgiven and that they no longer had to feel shameful about their bodies. [Many members from the naked dancing group joined the Unification Church.]

After that incident [the arrest of Father on July 4, 1955] we were always followed by the police, we were ridiculed by society and we had been expelled from school.”

▲ Cartoon about Sun Myung Moon from the ChoongAng Ilbo – Central Daily newspaper, August 3, 1955.

“Unification Church leader and a pilgrimage to adultery”

Text at the top of the cartoon: 「愚婦X文教主 = 所謂 陰陽심판」

“Foolish X Reverend Moon, the so-called Yin-Yang referee”

lower right corner text: 社会戯評 = Social commentary cartoon

[Yin-Yang is an allusion to male-female.]

Gil Ja Sa (also in the above photo of Ewha students; the wife of Hyo-won Eu who wrote the 1957 Divine Principle)

When numerous students and several professors became Unification Church members, they were given an ultimatum: Leave the Unification Church or leave Ewha Womans University.

Mrs. Gil Ja Eu wrote: “… fourteen of us were called to the office of the dean of students. The dean told us, ‘The Unification Church is heresy, and they dance around in the nude. You mustn’t go there.’ We answered, ‘We haven’t even danced fully clothed, much less nude. If we wanted to dance, we would go to a dance hall. Why should we go to church to dance?’ But she said, ‘That’s not true. You don’t know because you’re not in very deeply yet. If you keep going, they will make you take your clothes off and dance.’”
(from ‘My Testimony’ by Gil Ja Sa Eu, page 27 – an essay in the Unification Theological Seminary Library, Barrytown, New York.)

end of additional information

Mr. Lee’s doctor had predicted that he would die of tuberculosis within a short time, but he continued his evangelistic work for more than ten years and had a considerable impact on the churches in Korea. Moon came to him in 1936 [Note: Young Do Lee died in 1933 – Moon joined the Jesus Church, founded on the teachings of Lee, in 1936] and was deeply influenced by him and other charismatic leaders. The movement was suppressed and the leaders were scattered [Lee was branded a heretic], but Moon, who was a member of the group, brought with him the idea of the return to Eden.

Sun Myung Moon, standing in front of the nearest window, outside the Jesus Church founded by Yong-do Lee. Moon began attending this church in Myungsudae soon after arriving in Seoul in 1938.

4. Finally I have to mention Moon’s relation to some sects [Baek-moon Kim’s was one of them] in which sexual rites were practised as a means to create a new mankind. At the age of 25 Moon engaged in this movement which practised the so-called “sharing of blood,” pi kareum (in Korean, in Japanese it is chiwake 血分け). These were rites of sexual intercourse between men and women. The idea was that the children who were going to be born through the “mixing of blood” would be without sin. Because of this “violation of social order” [and bigamy] Moon was arrested in 1948 and sentenced to five years of imprisonment. He himself claims that a miracle occurred at that time: all the blood was extracted from his body, but he did not die. He was released during the Korean war [in October 1950], arrested again in 1955 for the same reason, but was later released.

When it was discovered that several female members of Korean churches had been to Moon’s center to receive pi kareum, an increasing number of people started to protest against this movement as a heretical religion. However, Moon did not at this time draw so much attention as another much more influential movement called Chun Do Kwan 伝道館, led by a presbyter called Tae-seon Park 朴泰善. This sect had installed separate rooms in the basement of the churches in which men and women had sexual intercourse. These rites drew a large number of people to the movement.

In 1954 Moon’s movement was established as a separate organization called The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity [or the Unification Church for short. In 1996 Moon renamed it The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.] In a later stage the political and anti-communist aspect of the movement has been more and more emphasized.

In 1958 the movement was introduced in Japan. [On May 27, Sang Ik Choi, aka Papasan Choi, went to Japan.] While the practise of pi kareum has been one of the central problems for the movement in Korea, the Unification Church in Japan seems to be extremely strict in sexual matters and it is difficult to trace any practice of sexual rites. But the idea of bearing children without sin is still central.

In 1960 Moon remarried, and called it “The Wedding of the Lamb.” This year was proclaimed as the beginning of the new age, cheong ki won nyon 天紀元年, “The First Year of the Heavenly Era.” All marriages had hitherto been the results of sinful relations, and in many cases people who were already married had to leave their spouses in order to marry according to Moon’s will. Now marriage between the perfect men and women who were willing to follow Moon’s command would initiate the new holy family and their children would be without sin. The mass-wedding ceremonies of the Unification Church are to be understood in this context.

It is often said that Moon himself has never declared himself as the Messiah. However, in 1968 he proclaimed that he was the Messiah, and later, when Korean pastors questioned whether Moon was regarded as the Messiah or not, a spokesman of the movement said that the one who should answer this question was not himself, but God. He himself, however, was convinced that Moon was raised by God to be the coming Messiah. If God had not recognized him, he said, he would not believe in him either.

Compared to Japanese Christians their Korean brothers have a much stronger sense of the uniqueness of Christ as the sole basis for salvation, and I find it strange that Japanese Christians do not take a much firmer stand against the Unification Church.

In 1960 the 40 year-old Sun Myung Moon married the 17 year-old Hak Ja Han who was then called the “Mother of the Universe”.

Moon claimed authority through his “meeting with Jesus”

The church of Sun Myung Moon is unequivocally not Christian

Korean Taoism and Shamanism by Yu Chai-shin
(page 112)

It should also be noted that those new religions which found their origins in Christianity seem as well to have been greatly influenced by Taoistic-Shamanism. For example, the Rev. Yongdo Yi’s [Yong-do Lee] Christ-centered mysticism, which was characterised by erotic elements, seems to have been influenced by the Yin-yang principles so prominent in Taoism, and the same principles also seem to have influenced Pak Taeseon’s “Evangelical Hall Movement”, and Moon Song-myong’s Unification Church movement. For example, Pak’s curing of sickness and driving out of devils by the laying on of hands show Christian influence, while the practice of using water for the curing of illness is a direct influence of Chinese Taoism. Moon’s Unification Church seems to have been influenced by the Yin-yang principle for sexual relations, which in turn was an influence from Yi Yongdo [1901-1933]. When Moon conducts communal marriages, he puts on a “dipper crown”, borrowing symbolism from both Taoism and Shamanism.   LINK

Sun Myung Moon wearing a “dipper crown” with seven stars at a mass wedding.

The Big Dipper, (the tail of the Great Bear or Ursa Major) is referred to in Religious Taoism as the Seven Stars or the Bushel constellation. The cluster of stars commands a pre-eminent place in Taoist ritual symbology because it is believed to be the locus of yin and yang forces and therefore the controller of all order in the universe. A dipperful is a measure for dry grain, hence the alternate name for the cluster of seven stars as the Bushel Constellation
In Eastern Asia, these stars compose the Northern Dipper. They are colloquially named “The Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper” (Korean: 북두칠성(北斗七星), Bukdu chilseong).
Daoists believe that this star constellation is the seat of the celestial bureaucracy of the gods.
The Seven Stars Constellation is also said to be the chariot of the Heavenly Emperor.

The Life of Sun Myung Moon – the Messiah of a Perverted Sex Religion (1991)
by Ryo Hagiwara. page 70

Kim Baek-moon talked about “sexual union with God.” He defined this “sexual union” ritual as the ceremony for atonement and he called it the “physical ceremony” [pikareum]. He was Sun Myung Moon’s teacher, and he advocated the spread of this ceremony as a religious practise. Likewise, Moon’s bizarre “theory of restoration” teaching was a completely secondhand use of Kim Baek-moon’s restoration principles.

Sun Myung Moon was first arrested by the security police on August 11, 1946. He was detained for three months at the Daedong police station [in Pyongyang]. The charge was for causing social disorder, for alleged sexual immorality.
On February 22, 1948 Sun Myung Moon was arrested for a second time by the 内務省 Ministry of the Interior [not 内務署 the Interior Department] for his coerced marriage with a housewife, Mrs Kim Chong-hwa. On April 27 he was sentenced to five years in Heungnam prison. (page 70)
[Mrs Kim was also jailed for 10 or 12 months. When she was released, she completely rejected Moon. She was so grateful to her husband who took her back.]

The Unification Church proclaims itself to be Christian, but where on earth can you find a Christian church which defines as an important ritual the number of times and positions to be taken for the first times of sexual intercourse? The Unification Church knowingly misrepresents itself as Christian to lure innocent young men and women – who do not know about these things – to join. They then become firmly tied to Sun Myung Moon through these sex rituals. It is evident that the Unification Church is a religious group whose core doctrine is “manipulation of people through sex.”


Seoul Church of the Nazarene letter on UC teachings reveals secret doctrines

The following doctrinal statement [was] filed with the Korean Government by Moon’s Unification Association:

1) The one creator is the only God and father.

2) The only son, Jesus, is mankind’s savior.

3) The Second Advent of Jesus is in Korea.

4) Mankind shall become one united family centered around the event of the Second Coming.

5) Ultimate salvation rests upon the elimination of Hell and evil while establishing good and the Kingdom of Heaven.

The letter additionally states that the group also secretly observes such other beliefs and practices as the following:

1) Founder Moon is the Second Advent Jesus.

2) A believer receives a spiritual body by participating in a ceremony known as blood cleansing which is for women to have sexual intercourse with Moon and for men to have intercourse with such a woman. This idea of blood cleansing comes from the teaching that Eve committed immorality with the Serpent and she passes on to all of us serpent blood.

3) Secretly observed doctrines are Holy covenant and are of more value than the Bible.

4) Members who have experienced blood cleansing can produce sinless generation [children].

5) Founder Moon is sinless.

Moon’s theology for his pikareum sex rituals with all the 36 wives

How “God’s Day” was established on January 1, 1968

統一教会問題と私、及びその未来 – 西川 勝氏

Sang Ik Choi, aka Papasan Choi, information

Top Japanese leader, Yoshikazu Soejima, interviewed


Yong-do Lee (1901-1933)

The first Korean revivalist who made a life-long impression on Miss Young-oon Kim was Rev. Lee Yong-do. In 1955 Miss Kim felt encouraged by the spirit of Rev Lee to join the Unification Church. Sun Myung Moon was also influenced by Rev Lee, and attended his church, but unlike Miss Kim, he never met Rev Lee. There is further information about Young-oon Kim and Rev. Yong-do Lee HERE.

Yong-do Lee wrote at least one book: The Theory of Love. His diaries have been published in ten volumes.

Yong-do Lee 李龍道 is also known as Yong-do Yi and Yong Do Rhee.

Moon joined the Jesus Church, founded by Mr. Lee, perhaps as early as 1932 together with the rest of his family when they all converted to Christianity at that time. Several sources have reported that Moon’s family never joined the Presbyterian church, but they joined the Jesus Church of Mr. Lee. When Moon moved to Seoul he started to attend the Jesus Church branch in Myungsudae. Moon was married to his first wife by a pastor from the Jesus Church. Moon never stated that he met Mr. Lee in person, but he has made many references to him. There is no record of Moon being connected with the Presbyterian Church besides the fact that it excommunicated him in 1948.

from Sun Myung Moon’s Life part 8

Moon’s words about Mr. Lee Yong-do:

“Pastor Lee Yong-do. The movement in the west [of Korea] transferred to Mrs. Heo Ho-bin and the movement in the east [of Korea] came under Mr. Lee Yong-do. Baek Nam-ju had been the Adam-figure, but because of Baek’s failure in fulfilling his responsibility, Pastor Lee came onstage. Pastor Lee’s church was somewhat different from Mrs. Lee’s. Originally, they were united. For a while, they cooperated, but then they separated. What did Pastor Lee do? He established the Jesus Church.

Mrs. Heo Ho-bin was director of the Central Theological Seminary. In 1930, Pastor Lee Yong-do appeared in Korea with fire like that of Elijah.

People who listened to him speak felt overwhelmed by Heaven. God’s grace poured out of him like water. Why did heavenly grace flow from him? Just as the people of Israel had to achieve oneness with Judaism in order to oppose Rome, Christianity had to carry Korea in order to drive away Japan and establish Heaven’s authority. That battle remained. God bestowed energetic fire on him in order that he might work out a way for all branches of Korean Christianity to become one. Only if all of Korean Christianity had united would they have completely avoided being compelled to practice Shintoism, Japanese traditional worship. If everyone had been completely united and fought against the Japanese, the Japanese would not have been able to carry out armed aggression. Why? Because those united people would have been in the position to claim Adam’s authority.

Pastor Lee Yong-do’s death

The established churches of the day opposed those who had special missions. Representative among those who opposed them was Kim Rin-see (1894-1964). He opposed Pastor Lee in writing. He stirred the entire nation against him. Heaven sent Lee Yong-do as a messenger in order to unite all Christians, yet Kim Rin-see did such a thing. Of course, many Christian leaders were behind him.

Pastor Lee Yong-do started the Jesus Church in Pyongyang. He died in 1933. Do you know how old he was at that time? He was just thirty-three years old. He lived as long as Jesus did. Without God’s help, it would have been impossible for Pastor Lee, who was so young, to cause such a cyclone in the Christian community in Korea.

There were two kinds of spiritual movements, one internal and the other external. Two churches, the “Inside the Belly” Church and the Jesus Church, both of which had been receiving teachings from Heaven, should have united. Toward that end, the group from the west traveled to meet the group in the east. Nevertheless, they failed to unite, so God had to establish a new movement. He needed pioneers in a new field, which is why God wanted to have another new person who would follow His directions. This person was from the Kim clan. [reference to Baek-moon Kim?]

The women who mourned Lee Yong-do

Here are some interesting facts. When a spiritual person dies, some people pray for the person. Mr. Lee died alone in Wonsan, but at the very moment of his death, God chose women in faraway places and told them to offer special prayers. Rival Christians may have said it was a good thing and danced in joy at this death, but many put on white garments and prayed for him for three days.

You have to understand that because of God’s hidden will in relation to the providence, He did not want to abandon His nation or His people. Thanks to those women who prayed with all their heart behind the scenes, God’s providence could continue through successive generations.

I looked at many people in the spiritual churches, which is why I am well aware of their activities. I also know many things about the work of Mrs. Gil Son-ju and Pastor Lee Yong-do. I clearly understand what kind of mission they had in those days. When the period of their responsibility was over, there had to be someone who could take over the mission.”

“In three stages, women had to prepare the heavenly providence. Why? Because Eve fell first, God had to call women first so they would be aware of how the Lord would come. Three generations had to prepare those providential activities. In those days, there was great confusion. As you know, going from Mrs. Kim Seong-do to Mrs. Heo Ho-bin and on from there, covered three generations. Thus, the course passing through Mrs. Kim Seong-do, Mrs. Heo Ho-bin and Pak Nopa* – the lady who claimed to be the wife of Jehovah – followed the women’s work. Pastors Baek Nam-juLee Yong-do and Kim Baek-moon led the work being done by the men.”

*Pak Nopa is another name for Pak Wol-yong “the wife of Jehovah.” Moon referred to her many times in his Malssum speeches. Choe Joong-Hyun wrote a PhD thesis in 1993: “Sources give us four different given names of this old woman: Unnae (Malssum 33:134). Ullyong (Ok Se-hyun 1984:320-321), Ullo (Chong Deuk-eun 1958:5), and Wolyong (Tahk Myeong-hwan 1979:56). But here we choose to use “Wolyong” which sounds more natural and familiar as a female Korean name than the other three.”

from Sun Myung Moon’s Life part 9
Moon’s words about Kim Baek-moon:

“Kim Baek-moon and the Israel Jesus Church
Kim Baek-moon (1917-1990) was one of the three main successors to Rev. Lee Yong-do. He led an exemplary life of faith. This group had the status of a John the Baptist group. He heard the voice of God telling him to make a religious retreat. He heard the voice of God telling him to prepare for the returning Lord.

Kim Baek-moon and I were in the position of Cain and Abel, respectively; John the Baptist and Jesus. That’s why we hear the name Kim Baek-moon. Some people say that Rev. Moon was Kim Baek-moon’s disciple. What would I gain from that? He was a Christian, and according to his Christology, Jesus was God. He didn’t know the fundamental Principle. However, when it came to being spiritually attuned, he was on the highest level of faith among the Christians of the time. Because Kim Baek-moon was close to Dr. Syngman Rhee, Kim was a John the Baptist figure. God’s will could have been realized at that time. But it didn’t work out.

The Christian Council of Korea
from Overview of Protestant Churches in Korea:
6. Mystic Spirituality (1930 – 1940)

In the 1930s, changes had arisen on the surface in churches, caused by signs of separation in Presbyterian churches and frustration caused by shrine worship, etc. People began to seek different forms of spirituality. Christians’ commitment to social participation turned to mysticism and pessimism.

… Another example is the mysticism led by Lee Yong-Do. The arising of such faith was inevitable for Korean churches in the 1930s. Lee said that no other spirituality could exist except for the desperate love for Christ. In this sense, his faith can be defined as the “mysticism of the suffering Christ.” With his faith, Lee experienced the joy of forgetting worldly things, which led him away from the world. In order to express such an ecstatic sense of unity with God, Lee used sensual words such as bedroom, embrace, kiss, etc. However, he couldn’t forget Christ’s suffering on the cross. So, his faith was always related with lamentation for Christ. The despair and frustration of the Korean people might have reflected on this faith.

Another example is the mystic spirituality led by Baek Nam-Ju. Park Gye-Ju, a writer, once joined him. Baek’s belief is that God and Christ exist in a person, and the person becomes divine. If Lee Yong-Do hadn’t met them, he might not have ended his life so miserably.

Hwang Gook-Joo is another figure. Hwang had made improper remarks that his head was replaced by Jesus. In the darkest period, Korean churches had been in confusion related with cults.

Kuk-ju Hwang (Hwang Gook-Joo) was famous for his ‘orgies’. Researchers into Korean pikareum generally come to the conclusion that he was the man who started this pseudo-Christian sexual intercourse rite in Korea.

There is also this reference in Rev Joseph Chang Hyung Yoo’s A Reformed Doctrine of Sanctification for the Korean Context (Ph.D. thesis submitted to the Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.) February 2007. Page 423: “Cf. Dong-Ju Lee, “Why do we call the Unification a Heresy?,” Ministry and Theology no. 70 (April, 1995), p.209.  In 1957 Dr Sa-Hun Shin disclosed the lineage of a circle of Pigarm [pikareum]. Moon’s Pigarm was traced to Deuk-Eun Jung [Chong], who was a disciple of Kuk-Ju Hwang. Ibid, p. 208.”

See chart below for more information about Kuk-ju Hwang.

“The Moonies: Government Files Trace Church from Sex Cult to Korean CIA” by James Coates   Chicago Tribune, Monday, March 27, 1978  LINK

Ewha Womans University sex scandal as told in the 1955 newspapers

Change of Blood Lineage through Ritual Sex in the Unification Church by Kirsti L. Nevalainen

The Moons’ God is not the God of Judeo-Christianity


Shamanism is at the heart of Sun Myung Moon’s church

Sun Myung Moon – Emperor, and God

FFWPU Holy Grounds and the Shamanic Guardians of the Five Directions

Shamanism: The Spirit World of Korea
Any understanding of the so-called New Religions of Korea would be difficult without some knowledge of shamanistic influences upon them.

Chart of religious groups whose ideas Sun Myung Moon borrowed

Kim Seong-do and the roots of the Divine Principle

Hwang Gook-joo and his orgies

Chong Deuk-eun – Great Holy Mother who did pikareum

Park Tae-seon – another Korean Pikareum Messiah

Kim Baek-moon and “sexual union with God”

Newsweek on the many Korean messiahs of the 1970s


The Cheong Kam Nok prophecy in the Divine Principle has nothing to do with Sun Myung Moon

Cheong Kam Nok / Jeong Gam Nok / Chong Gam Nok / Chong Kam Nok

Fact: “Cheong-Kam-Nok 鄭鑑錄 means: ‘The record of Cheong Kam’

The earliest written evidence of a document called Cheong-Kam-Nok dates from 1785, but it is known that ideas from it were circulating at the time of Cheong Yorip’s plot of 1589. Other plans from the time of Prince Kwanghae onwards had a similar background. Some historians believe that the predictions contained in Cheong-Kam-Nok were symptomatic of widespread distress at the state of the government in mid-Chosŏn. No manuscript or early printed edition has survived: only rough manuscript versions appear to have circulated before the 20th century. The core section tells of Cheong Kam, a supposed ancestor of the Cheong clans, talking with a supposed ancestor of the Yi in the Diamond Mountains and predicting that after some centuries of Yi rule in Hanyang (Seoul), the crown would pass to a Cheong dynasty, set up on Kyeryong-san in South Chungchong province. The Cheong dynasty would be followed in due time by a Cho dynasty, then Pom, Wang and other dynasties, all with different capitals. In the version printed in 1923, other elements of a similar prophetic kind have been added.”

Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary (1999)
by Keith Pratt and Richard Rutt

1. The crown will pass to a Cheong dynasty, then Cho, Pom and Wang. In Korea the family blood-line is crucial. It cannot be changed. Moon is not on the list. The prophecy is about a man named Cheong, descended from Cheong Mong Joo, the most famous scholar in the ancient Koryŏ dynasty. The family name of Cheong is repeated many times.

2. The language of the book is ambiguous and can be interpreted in many ways, but it is clear about the Cheong lineage.

3. When the Cheong-Kam-Nok was printed for the first time in 1923, other material was added. It has mixed sources.

4. “Cheong Do Ryung”  means “Cheong – adorable young man of noble descent”. ref scholar Kyuk Am Yu Rok and others. Compare this translation of “Cheong Do Ryung” with the Divine Principle translation below.

5. 鄭 can be written as Cheong / Chong / Chung / Jeong


Divine Principle (1996)  pp.404-05 and World Scripture II (2007) page 552

3.3.4 Messianic Prophecies
“The Korean people have long cherished a messianic hope, nurtured by the clear testimonies of their prophets. The First Israel believed in the testimonies of its prophets that the Messiah would come as their king, establish the Kingdom and bring them salvation. The Second Israel was able to endure an arduous path of faith due in part to their hope in the return of Christ. Similarly, the Korean people, the Third Israel, have believed in the prophecy that the Righteous King will appear and found a glorious and everlasting kingdom in their land. Clinging to this hope, they found the strength to endure their afflictions. This messianic idea among the Korean people was revealed through the Chonggamnok, a book of prophecy written in the fourteenth century at the beginning of the Yi dynasty.

Because this prophecy foretold that a new king would emerge, the ruling class tried to suppress it. The Japanese colonial regime tried to stamp out this notion by burning the book and oppressing its believers. After Christianity became widely accepted, the idea was ridiculed as superstition. Nevertheless, this messianic hope still lives on, deeply ingrained in the soul of the Korean people. The hoped-for Righteous King foretold in the Chonggamnok has the appellation Cheongdoryong (the one who comes with the true Word of God). In fact, this is a Korean prophecy of the Christ who is to return to Korea. Even before the introduction of Christianity to Korea, God had revealed through the Chonggamnok that the Messiah would come to that land. Today, scholars affirm that many passages of this book of prophecy coincide with the prophecies in the Bible.

Furthermore, among the faithful of every religion in Korea are those who have received revelations that the founders of their religions will return to Korea. We learned through our study of the progress of cultural spheres that all religions are converging toward one religion. God’s desire is for Christianity of the Last Days to become this final religion which can assume the responsibility of completing the goals of the many religions in history. The returning Christ, who comes as the center of Christianity, will attain the purposes which the founders of religions strove to accomplish. Therefore, with respect to his mission, Christ at his return may be regarded as the second coming of the founder of every religion. When the second comings of the founders of the various religions appear in Korea in fulfillment of the diverse revelations, they will not come as different individuals. One person, Christ at the Second Advent, will come as the fulfillment of all these revelations. The Lord whose coming has been revealed to believers in various religions, including the Maitreya Buddha in Buddhism, the True Man in Confucianism, the returning Ch’oe Su-un who founded the religion of Ch’ondogyo, and the coming of Cheongdoryong in the Chonggamnok, will be none other than Christ at the Second Advent.”

The Words of David S. C. Kim from May 1, 1984
“It was during the first week of February 1954 that I accepted Father as the Messiah, come, as prophesied in the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible; as the Second Coming of the founders of major religions in other non-Christian sacred books; and as the Righteous Man (Chung Do-Ryung) in the so-called Chung-Gam-Rok, a prophetic book written during the Lee Dynasty in modern Korean history.”

As a Korean, David S. C. Kim would know very clearly that 鄭 is the family name Cheong / Chung and that the prophecy had nothing to do with anyone from the Moon clan.

He was deceiving all the non-Korean UC members. Koreans could understand the real meaning of 鄭.

Here are some examples of 鄭 :
鄭達玉  Cheong Dal-ok, the wife of 金元弼 Kim Won-pil.
鄭大和  Cheong Dae-hwa, the wife of 金榮輝 Kim Young-hwi.


“Yong-do Lee’s self-identification with Jesus himself” by Pak

Millennialism in the Korean Protestant Church (Asian Thought and Culture)
by Ung Kyu Pak   ISBN: 978-0820452692
Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Inc; 1 edition (30 Nov 2005)

“Yong-do Lee regarded the spirit and the physical body as mutually independent and in conflict. With these two realities in one being, man is in constant inner conflict, According to his understanding of the Fall, man lost life, became evil, and became a child of darkness, as a result of his tenacity for attachment to the physical. Since then, the world has been divided between the powers of spirit and of matter, and life has become a battleground. Human pain and suffering spring from that battle. Man’s life is divided between life in the spirit and life in the flesh. Even Lee’s anti-Western sentiments sprang from that dualism, with the West representing the material, and the East the spiritual.

Thus, salvation to Lee is the victory of spirit over flesh. To live in the spirit, one must die to the flesh.

Lee expressed this mystical union with Christ in nuptial terms: “The Lord is my husband, and I am his wife. O Lord! allow me an opportunity of the intimate fellowship of love in our bedroom.“ He declared that “in order to seek Christ’s love, come to the inside, which is the ‘holy of holies of love’ where you embrace him and praise your love.“ There is also a sacramental mysticism in his thought: “You, being obsessed by Jesus, eat him and drink him, and are no longer a this-worldly human being.”

From this mystic union, Lee developed the idea of an “exchange of life,” which was possible through “the bloody connection with Christ.” This idea gave rise to fringe movements, especially in the 1930s and after the Korean War of 1950-53. Being, absorbed in the immediate presence of Christ through mystic union, Lee did disregard the Scripture and historic Christianity. His placing of experience above canonical revelation put him close to cultic leaders, while isolated him from church leaders. Hyuk Namkung, moderator of Pyongyang Presbytery, sent a letter of warning to each churches in the presbytery, saying: “Yong-Do Lee and his movement is a sort of mysticism that puts more emphasis on religious experience above objective religious norms. … Even he claimed that there can he an extra-revelation beyond the Scripture.” Hyung-Nong Park also criticized Lee‘s overemphasis on religious emotion and experience.

Without discerning the work of God, Lee once knelt down before one of the cultic leaders, Myung-Wha Yu, and said to her, “O Lord!” He regarded her religious admonitions as the words of Christ.

Also, his dualistic division between spirit and flesh blinded him to the theological problems of the cultic leaders and their resulting behavior. His disregard of the flesh led him to disregard their immoral behavior which was carried out under the name of religion.

Lee expressed his longing for Jesus in terms of the marital relationship. “Thou art the groom. I am Thy bride. Grant me a moment of loving communion with Thee in Thy chamber.“ The love of God that is experienced in this communion is so powerful that there is no place where it cannot reach. God looks on the inner man, and bears the same love toward high and low, foreigner and national, child and adult, even his enemies. Therefore, for man to dislike or disdain the prostitute, the beggar, the illiterate, or the child, is to be ignorant of God’s love. By this understanding of love derived from communion with God, Lee extended his love to everyone. For him, the love that is experienced in communion with God produced that Christian humility which welcomes a beggar as the Lord and the child as a prophet. Even in his fellowship with cultic leaders, there could be no hesitation, because of his unlimited love.

Lee believed that in this mystical communion, and in a similar moment in the Eucharist, the blood of Jesus Christ is infused into the believer. This mystical experience of blood-infusion and union finally became elevated into a self-identification with Jesus himself:
I have been cursed all day long. My eyes are drawn in tears. l shed tears that the people should have shed. My heart is pained. I lament and beat my breast, for I bear the painful hearts of people. My blood runs dry and my flesh has been torn for the people. O my fellow Koreans, drink from my blood and eat my flesh. I came for you. Drink and eat and have everlasting life, for my blood and flesh enrich you.

The Hwanghoe and Pyongyang Presbyteries passed resolutions in 1931 prohibiting their churches from sponsoring Lee’s revival meetings. In 1932, the Seoul District of the Korean Methodist Church, to which Lee belonged, appointed a commission to investigate him. Lee’s extreme mysticism led him to an association with cultic leaders…

From this moment on, Lee’s martyr complex began to manifest itself. “Who is the man who would play the role of Jesus Christ in Korea today? Where is he?” he asked, and then continued in his diary: “Weep and cry, saintly men and women. Where is the Gethsemane that awaits my tears and blood?” Here he came to the point of complete self-identification with Jesus.

At one revival meeting in 1927, Myung-Wha Yu, who was a coworker with Han, claimed that Jesus Christ personally infused her and she began to prophesy to her followers to have saintly children for God. With this extreme group, Yong-Do Lee did not clearly disassociate himself; indeed, he once knelt down before Yoo, in order to receive her words as the Lord’s words. When this group, facing severe criticism from established church leaders and Japanese authorities, asked to organize a religious sect, Lee cooperated with them. Although he only reluctantly consented to the plan for a new organization, Chosun Jesu Kyohae (the Korean Jesus Church), it was organized under his name, and he regarded it as his own cross to bear. The ultimate goal of this Jesus Church was deification. “Deification thus means that man’s entire life becomes Jesus’ life. The ultimate goal of this mystical life is to let Jesus live in man’s life and to let man live in Jesus.”

“Yong-do Lee’s idea of an interchanging spirit-body, which brought forth mixed-adultery…”

▲ 白南柱氏 (右端) と李韻道牧師 (右から2人目) 、 1930年ごろの平壌にて
Mr. Paek Nam-joo 白南柱 (right) and Mr. Lee Yong-do 李韻道 (second from right) in Pyongyang 平壌 circa 1930.

From the left, the remaining three are: Park Seung-geul 朴承傑 (in black) and Lee Ho-bin 李浩彬 who frequently worked together; and the woman standing in the center may well be Yoo Myung-hwa ( 劉明花, the Goddess of Wonsan 元山 who claimed to be the incarnation of Jesus after a spiritual experience around 1927). Lee Ho-bin was the leader of the Jesus Church and he was asked by Moon to officiate at his marriage to Choi Seon-gil. According to Michael Breen, in November 1943 Lee Ho-bin traveled by train from Pyongyang to officiate.

When he was about 17, Kim Baek-moon 金百文 joined a church affiliated with Paek Nam-joo and Lee Yong-do in Northeast Korea. It was called the Israel Monastery – Kim used the same name for his own church near Seoul. In November 1945 Moon joined Kim Baek-moon’s Israel Monastery for six months.

“The Hwanghae Presbytery of Presbyterian Church issued a prohibition order under the charge that Yong-do Lee disturbed Jaeryeong Church, corresponded frequently with female believers, prayed with the lights off, offended other Christian workers…”
     History of Christianity in Korea (2011) by In Soo Kim, PhD.


History and theology of Korean pentecostalism

by Ig-Jin Kim (2003)   ISBN 90 239 1536 4

“Today [in 2003], there are about 92 Christian sectarian groups in Korea. The total of followers amounts to 180,000. Almost 35 persons fancy themselves to be the re-incarnated Jesus or Jesus at His second coming and 12 claim to be god. Heretics originate either from rationalism (liberalism) or from mysticism. Rationalistic heretics are generally beyond discussion because they pose as theologians while mystical heretics do become an issue.

… Korean heretics mixed the teaching of the Bible with traditional Eastern thought, and then produced their own structures which are expressed through shamanistic spirituality. Koreans, who were familiar with shamanism, were vulnerable to such syncretism. Having pursued mystical trance without thorough-going repentance and theological discretion, Korean mystical heretics were entrapped in the snare of the cunning dark power. All such problems display a syncretistic religious climate in Korea discussed in previous chapter.

… Here, we are concerned about the view that Yong-do Yi  [Yong-do Lee] (1901-1933) was the root of the Korean heretical movement. Yeong-gwan Park writes, “Mr. Yong-do Yi fell from insane mysticism to the idea of an interchanging spirit-body, which brought forth mixed-adultery. … Baek-mun Kim followed his principle … Seon-myeong Moon [Sun Myung Moon] and Tae-seon Park [The Olive Tree Movement] imitated Kim’s principle.”80

… We find Yong-do Lee’s spirituality that can be compared to the spiritual performance of Korean shamans. Thus he kindled the shamanistic spirituality of Koreans, and Korean Christians were enraptured over his ministry for several years.

… They also engaged in the new type of revival movement introduced by Yong-do Yi. The position of the Methodist Reverend Yong-do Yi in the Korean Church still remains an unsolved theological problem. However, it is clear that his ministry shook and awakened the Korean churches. In spite of the ministries of Seon-ju Kil and Ik-du Kim (1874-1950), and regardless of the evangelization efforts and the increase in the number of believers in general, the Korean Church in the period of 1920-1930 was “like a baby that has to walk through the storm alone.” We have already observed the reasons for this. In a word, the spiritual atmosphere of the Korean churches at that time was seized with stagnation and uneasiness. …

Yong-do Yi had taken up a special position. When he was a theological student in 1927, he wrote in his diary as follows (February 9):
The Korean Church must have a revival. It does not have prayer, personal evangelization, enthusiasm, love, courage, gratitude, praise, cooperation, Bible study, a truth-seeking heart, service, and family prayer. It has chattering, gossiping, criticism, only thinking of money-gathering, idleness, arguing and conflict, cowardice, fear, complaint, uneasiness, worry, dissolution, greed, selfishness, and anxiety in the family.

… He criticized the Korean churches where fundamentalism reigned, also attacking professional revivalists, lifeless Western churches, and the sense of superiority of missionaries. His revival method was centered on prayer and experience that was different from Seon-ju Kil and Ik-du Kim, who concentrated on Bible teaching. He used to say that real Christians should be “crazy” for Jesus and die for Him. When he prayed he often sank into self-effacement and prayed for several hours. He did not prepare his sermons because he only preached when God gave messages to him. We find Yong-do Lee’s spirituality that can be compared to the spiritual performance of Korean shamans. …

Through his mystistic faith-revival-movement … he opened a new horizon in the Korean churches: from the traditional fundamentalist evangelicalism of the missionaries to a form of experiential and indigenized Christianity. Consequently, his spirituality and revival method were more successful in touching the shamanistic spirituality of the Koreans than the previous fundamentalism. At the same time, it contained the dangerous element of falling into heretical spiritualism.

His influence on Korean churches, regardless of right or wrong, may be formulated as follows. First, he introduced a new type of revival meeting in Korean churches, which was followed by most revivalists after the 1945 liberation. It was prayer-centered and experiential. Second, he brought about a “prayer boom” all over the land. Third, he awoke Korean churches from idleness and factionalism. Fourth, many young people entered the ministry through his service. Fifth, he influenced Koreans to form an indigenized Korean church. Just before his death (October 1933), Jesus Church was organized by those who followed him. Sixth, his faith represented the form of the suffering Korean Church underwent under Japanese imperialism: Christian martyrs under Japanese persecution were influenced by him. Most of all, from the point of view of “prayer boom” and experiences in God, he contributed to the preparation of a spiritual legacy for Sunbogeum pentecostalism in the future.

… The main mystical heretics in Korea have their origin in the 1930s. Under Japanese oppression and ecclesiastical lukewarmness, there not only arose Yong-do Yi’s spiritual revival meetings, but also moral perfectionist (Mr. Guk-ju Hwang) and counterfeit prophecies (Mrs. Myeong-hwa Yu, Mr. Jun-myeong Han, and Mr. Nam-ju Paek). Especially, Guk-ju Hwang and Nam-ju Paek fell into religious adultery, which implies the typical analogy between religious trance and sexual ecstasy. Such activities were suppressed until the end of the Korean War (1953), but then, they broke out. The Unification Church of Seon-myeong Moon [Sun Myung Moon] (1920-2012), which was organized in 1954, and the Revival Society of Jesus Evangelization of Korea [Olive Tree Movement] by Tae-seon Park (1917-1990), which was organized in 1955, are the best examples.

Here, we are concerned about the view that Yong-do Yi was the root of the Korean heretical movement. Yeong-gwan Park writes, “Mr. Yong-do Yi fell from insane mysticism to the idea of an interchanging spirit-body, which brought forth mixed-adultery.”80 But, most scholars and especially Jong-Ho Byeon, who devoted his life to vindicating Yong-Do Yi’s ministry, denied that his mysticism became the direct root of Korean heretics. Today we know that he had nothing to do with promoting the principle of mixed-adultery, which originated from Guk-ju Hwang and Nam-ju Paek. Nevertheless, Yong-do Yi made the mistake of having fellowship with those who had been excommunicated, which was why he was also rejected by the church. His heart and intention were too good to do any harm, but he lost the balance of his God-given-reason. He was a man deceived, but not deceiving.(Kyong Bae Min) Yet, he might have deserved indirectly to be called the father of Korean mystical heretics.

80  Yeong Gwan Park, The Two and Four Major Cults, Seoul, 1976, pp.30-36, 130-133; idem, A Historical Christian Faith in the Korean Church, Seoul, 1981, pp.78-86. Park also writes, “Yong-do Yi developed a system of insane mysticism … Baek-mun Kim followed his principle … Seon-myeong Moon [Sun Myung Moon] and Tae-seon Park imitated Kim’s principle.”… Other Pentecostal Congregations (1935-1939)
The trained Korean leaders, Park, Heoh, and Bae, pioneered more congregations. In 1935, Heoh set up Yeonhijang (…) congregation at Buk-Ahyeon-Dong. Seon-myeong Moon [Sun Myung Moon], a representative of Korean hereticism, was said to have once belonged to this Yeonhijang congregation in his teens. Around that time, Seong-san Park started Heukseokdong (…) congregation at Heukseok-dong across the River Han. It had about 30 adult members, and was a branch of Seobingo congregation. These four congregations (Seobingo, Suchangdong, Yeonhijang, and Heukseokdong) were the most important congregations of Choseon Pentecostal denomination before the Second World War…”

Reference: The Complete Collection of Yi Yong-do (CCYY), 
edited by Jong-ho Byeon, 10 vols. Seoul, 1993

Kim Won-pil: In June/July 1946 “Father first visited all the famous holy mountains in North Korea … and meeting the many faithful people who also prayed there. I met him soon after he returned to Pyongyang from this journey, one month after he arrived in North Korea.” (Kim testimony October 14, 1979)

Other reports claim that Moon met Paek Nam-joo in about 1944.

Also from the Japanese Religions booklet:

The Unification Church: Christian Church or Political Movement?
.   Wi Jo Kang (1976)

Fear and Loathing at Cheongpyeong   NEW