The Unification Church and shamanism
At its heart the UC is not Christian; but it uses a Christian signboard.
▲ She was known as Nonsan Halmeoni ( = Grandmother from Nonsan 논산 할머니 ). Her real name was Lee Baek-im 李白任, 이백임. She is sitting in the center, wearing a hanbok with a white top. She was born in 1909 and joined the UC in 1972. Sun Myung Moon asked her to do nationwide ancestor liberation tours in Korea – which she did in the mid 1970s. Here she is pictured with members at the 청주 통일교회 Cheongju Unification Church in September 1973. Moon incorporated some of her shaman practices into the UC.
Daemo-nim’s (Kim Hyo-nam’s) words from August 31, 2014:
“Those of you here as older members, you know how Lee Baek-im [Nonsan Halmeoni] did liberation (in the past). She would sit down, call them, and liberate them.”
Just as Moon stole his theology from others (and got followers such as Eu Hyo-won and Kim Young-oon to systematize it), Moon borrowed shaman rituals and ceremonies from Nonsan Halmeoni and others.
Link to information in Korean about Nonsan Halmeoni.
Shaman ceremonies in Korea are known as ‘kut’.
Kim Myung-hui – 430 couple UC member who left and wrote a book:
The Identity of Sun Myung Moon
“In 1973, at a resort house at Cheongpyeong in Kyeonggi-do, church leader Moon held an ancestor exorcism rite (kut) with the 36 Couples witnessing team members at the end of their 3-year witnessing course [which Moon had sent them out to do] in 1970.
At that time, they performed a shaman ceremony bow (on their knees) and carried out an exorcism (kut) under the direction of ‘grandmother’ Lee Baek-im of Nonsan (Nonsan Halmeoni), offering sacrificial rites to heaven with unstrained rice wine (makkolli), a pig’s head, rice cakes, and so on, on an ancestor memorial offering table.
At that time, ‘grandmother’ Lee Baek-im was 67 years old and was originally an adherent of Daejong-gyo. She came to know Sun Myung Moon in 1973, and was warmly received in the Unification Church as an authority on spiritual matters as a medium. Whenever the Unification Church performed any ritual ceremony, she always performed the role of leader of the ceremony each time. However, she died of cancer in September 1979.
Church leader Moon explained that performing a formal deep bow, and leading the ceremony with two women, in the positions of Leah and Rachel, on either side of him in front of the ritual offering table, was a ceremony to the liberate spirit world.”
▲ There is a pig’s head on the altar, in front of the black object. In the Bible the pig is known as a dirty animal. Shaman ceremonies like this, performed by the Moons and Mrs Choi, contradict Christian beliefs. Choi Won-pok, who was known as second mother, is on Moon’s left; Hak Ja Han is on his right. Moon put the two women in the positions of Leah and Rachel, the two wives of Jacob, since he claimed to be restoring ‘Jacob’s course’. The ceremony above may be to liberate or mobilize spirits, or it may be to ask for many children, since pigs have many piglets and, in Korea, represent prosperity.
▲ Here the two wives can clearly be identified. Choi Won-pok is on Moon’s left and Hak Ja Han is on his right. This photo was taken on January 1, 1968 on the occasion of the establishment of ‘God’s Day’ when other shaman ceremonies were performed. They involved six women in two trinities. One trinity was led by Choi Won-pok and the other by Hak Ja Han. LINK
Kim Myung-hui: “The old lady from Nonsan (Nonsan Halmeoni) was a famous authority on spiritual matters and a medium to the extent that every Unification Church member knew who she was and participated in this kind of ceremony while she was touring all the companies controlled by the Unification Church.
This kind of exorcism is exactly the same as that of a Korean shamanic exorcism (kut). Therefore, considering that the Unification Church holds this kind of secret ceremony under the signboard of Christianity, we can know that the Unification Church is not like Christianity, but only has a Christian facade.
Within the Unification Church, other than those ancestor exorcism rites (kut), there are many functions having bowing ceremonies in front of a ritual offering table. Especially, believers perform formal full bows to church leader Moon.”
대종교 Daejong-gyo or Taejong-kyo, the “religion of the Divine Progenitor” or “great ancestral religion”
Sun Myung Moon’s words:
“The person that I want to introduce to you is Nonsan Halmeoni (the grandmother from Nonsan). You have to understand that this grandmother has suffered tremendously. Why did I raise her up? Now is the time when the physical world and the spiritual world are to come together and intersect. We are entering such a time. The spirit world has to come down to the earth to perform the liberation ceremony and the physical world has to rise up to the world in heaven to secure its foundation. We have entered such a time of intersection.
Neither Christians nor regular followers of a religion understand the concept, Liberation of the Ancestors. When you observe the ceremony, it may seem like some shamanistic ritual, and it does not feel comfortable. Superstitious aspects can be found in it. However, originally, religion cannot stand without some kind of superstition. Jesus? That is also a superstition. In a large sense, it is a superstition. It is a superstition with a great significance, to which elaboration can be provided and a clear perspective of purpose can be added. Jesus had performed many superstitious acts. Walking on the water, and so forth. How can you believe all that? They are incomprehensible.” (75-249)
“The thing about resolving the wishes of the ancestors and so forth, when you observe them all is like some noisy shamanistic ritual. I know that very well. I understand very well that aspect. The spirit world has to go through such a process. Only after it is crossed over several times … For this reason, the ancestor who appeared first … In the first hour Satan enters and in the second hour good ancestors come in. One hour is taken up by the evil spirits and another hour by the good spirits. You have to separate these. You have to ward off evil spirits with evil spirits.” (75-255)
Kim Young-hwi – joined the UC in the 1950s; one of the 36 couples
May 1, 1996 at East Garden:
“Evil spirits not only cling to the body’s surface, but they can attach themselves to every cell…
In the early days of our church in Korea there was a grandmother called Nonsan Halmeoni. She was liberating spirits and sending them to spirit world, But at that time, after she sent spirits away they immediately came back, because there was no place in the spirit world to accommodate them. The wife of Mr. Hong, the regional leader in Chicago, had been working with Nonsan Halmeoni. Suddenly last year Mrs. Hong became paralyzed. She could not speak and had many kinds of difficulties; her daughter also had troubles. She was suffering not because of herself, but because of the spirits who had entered her when she was working with Nonsan Halmeoni, Because of that she became paralyzed and had so many difficulties; her family also suffered because of the work of evil spirits.
Daemo-nim found this out and said that because there were so many evil spirits in her she could not be restored in just one or two months, but it would take many months. Therefore, Daemo-nim recommended that Mrs. Hong come to live at Cheong Pyeong so that from time to time Daemo-nim could chase out some of the spirits. There were so many that she could not do it at one time, From this you can understand how dreadful it is to have evil spirits inside you. If you do not take the evil spirits away from your physical body you will get into trouble. Furthermore, the reason we change our minds so often is because of the work of evil spirits.
… Now Cheong Pyeong has become the first restored garden of Eden. It is the place God, True Parents, Heung Jin Nim and Daemo-nim can control. Therefore, Satan can no longer have power over anyone who comes to that place.”
Today’s World – August 1996, pages 19-24
▲ The whole idea of the infamous ‘Spiritual Sales’ by the Unification Church of Japan was based on exploiting the Japanese people’s concerns or fears for their departed loved ones or ancestors. Unification Church members would tell potential customers that their ancestors were suffering in hell. They would then be offered marble pagodas, vases or statues of Buddha, etc. which were all manufactured by the UC in Korea. They were sold for huge prices. LINK
Nan-sook Hong and the Buddha Lady who helped the Moons to match her to their son, Hyo Jin Moon.
from pages 70-72, 101 and 109-111 of In The Shadow Of The Moons: My Life In The Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Family. (1998) ISBN 0-316-34816-3
Nan-sook Hong: “I had never been to the Rev. Moon’s private residence. It was an enormous house with an elaborate front gate that led to a large courtyard. A sister led me to an ornate dining room. My mother was already there. Three chairs were lined up on either side of the rectangular dining table. The Rev. Moon sat at the head; Mrs. Moon sat to his right. Beside her sat a woman I did not recognize. Next to her was Mrs. Kim Young-hwi. My mother was seated opposite Mrs. Moon. My mother smiled and gestured for me to sit beside her. I kept my eyes downcast, focusing on the patterns of light and shadow cast by the large crystal chandelier on the white linen tablecloth.
My head remained bowed as the kitchen sisters served course after course of the dinner meal. I was too scared to eat the rice or soup or kimchi or seafood or meat. I moved the food around my plate and prayed no one would take notice of me.
It struck me that Mrs. Moon seemed to be in very good spirits. There was a lot of laughter, but I did not focus on the conversation until I suddenly realized they were talking about me. The woman at the table whom I had not recognized was staring at me. She was commenting on my forehead and the shape of my head. She was delighted that my hair had been pulled back for the performance at school. It gave her the opportunity to examine my ears more closely. I could feel my face flush as she cataloged the positive characteristics of my ears: earlobes that were long and fat, a shape that was well proportioned. All this meant longevity and good fortune. …
“So that’s it,” I thought. “I’m being matched.” The Reverend Moon asked me no questions. He made no attempt to engage me in conversation, to determine what I was like. He already knew enough. The unfamiliar woman at dinner, it turned out, was a Buddhist spiritualist, a fortune-teller, who assured the Reverend Moon that I would make a perfect match for Hyo Jin. The woman whom I came to think of as the Buddha Lady was not a member of the Unification Church. It never occurred to me or my parents to ask why the Reverend Moon needed to consult a Buddhist fortune-teller for advice if he was the Lord of the Second Advent, in regular, direct communication with God.
As much as anything about my new life in the True Family, the antipathy between the Moon children and their parents stunned me. Early on, I was disabused of the idea that this was a warm and loving family. …
One morning soon after Hyo Jin’s return, I came to greet True Parents at their breakfast table. I was surprised to see that they had been joined by the Buddha Lady, the Buddhist fortune-teller who had blessed my match to Hyo Jin the previous fall in Seoul. Mrs. Moon urged her to tell us what the future held for Hyo Jin and me. “Nan-sook is a winged white horse. Hyo Jin is a tiger. This is a good match,” she said. “Nan-sook will have a difficult time in life but her fortune is very good. Hyo Jin’s fortune is tied to hers. He can be great only if he sits on Nan-sook’s back and together they fly.”
Mrs. Moon was so pleased by the Buddha Lady’s optimistic forecast that she went out and bought me a diamond-and-emerald ring – the fortune-teller had told her that green was my lucky color. A few days later the Buddha Lady came to see me secretly at Cottage House. “Please remember me when you are a very powerful woman,” she said. “Remember the good fortune I saw ahead for you.”
What lay ahead for me was nothing like what the Buddha Lady foresaw. Hyo Jin was furious that his parents had interfered in his love life, but he was also a realist. He was in no position to follow his lover to California. He had no money, no job, no high school diploma, no means of support besides his parents. In the end, Hyo Jin was all talk. True love paled next to the prospect of being cut off from Father’s money.
Hyo Jin and this girlfriend would continue to correspond for years. He often left her love letters out in the open for me to find. When Hyo Jin learned that she had moved in with a new lover in Los Angeles in 1984, he was so distraught that he shaved his head.”
Kim Myung-hui: “Leader Moon liked fortunetellers. He was close to an old man called Myung-Hak Lee who served as a professional fortuneteller in Insa-dong, Jonno-gu in the early 1960s.
Mr. Lee provided fortunetelling services for the Blessed Families of the Unification Church (couples who took part in the marriage ceremonies officiated by leader Moon). Following the fortuneteller’s advice, leader Moon matched the 36 couples and the 72 couples. Elder Song was the person who ran the errand of fortunetelling.
Leader Moon carried out the matching ceremonies of bonding the men and women together according to the fortuneteller’s judgments. He made matches if fortuneteller Lee said they were good together, or vice versa. Those blind believers did not understand that they were not matched by leader Moon, who was said to know everything about them, but rather they were matched by the fortuneteller.
We can hardly understand the spiritual abuse of leader Moon of the Unification Church, which says it serves God and pursues His will. He is a master of deception because he advertises that even Satanic outsiders testify to the decisions made by leader Moon in the Unification Church.
Why have many blessed families left and divorced after the choices and matching by the famous fortuneteller and the Lord of the Second Advent?”
The Identity of Sun Myung Moon by Kim Myung-hui (published in 1987)
▲ On February 20, 1984, Moon married his dead son, Heung-jin, to the daughter of Pak Bo Hi. Hoon-sook can be seen holding a photo of her ‘husband’. The idea of marrying two dead people together – or even a dead person to a living person – is rooted in Korean shamanism.