Resources for covering Unification Church leader Moon’s death

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church and supporter of conservative causes who founded The Washington Times newspaper, died on Sept. 3, 2012, in South Korea. He was 92.

Moon was a strident anti-communist known as much for the mass weddings over which he presided as for his unorthodox teachings. 

He was a self-proclaimed messiah and “True Parent” of the world who told others that Jesus had appeared to him on a mountaintop in 1936 and that his mission was to complete Jesus’ work on Earth. Moon taught that Jesus had died without fathering children and so Moon’s mission was to unite humankind in a single sinless family.

Critics called him a cult leader and his theology heretical.

Resources

National sources

  • Michael Breen

    Michael Breen is the founder of a public relations firm in South Korea. He calls himself a lapsed member of the Unification Church and is the author of Sun Myung Moon: The Early Years 1920-53.

  • David Bromley

    David Bromley is a sociology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. An expert in New Religious Movements, he co-authored “Moonies” in America: Cult, Church and Crusade, a history of the Unification Church in the United States.

  • Steven Hassan

    Steven Hassan is a former member of Moon’s movement. He has since written several books about cult experiences, including Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs. Hassan lives in the Boston area.

  • John Lofland

    John Lofland is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Davis, and author of Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization and Maintenance of Faith, which stemmed from research among the Unification Church’s U.S. members in the 1960s.

Related source guides