Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NYC Vintage Image Of The Day: Blind Leading The Blind? 1974

In 1958, Sun Myung Moon founded the Unification Church in South Korea. In 1971, he had moved to the U.S. to begin mission work in Washington, New York and San Francisco and by 1973, the church had several thousand members in all 50 states, often characterized by their free-flowing robes, shaved heads and offers to "buy a flower," including the disciple above, in New York in 1974.
Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han.

"Moonies" were considered a cult, because of high-pressure recruitment methods and the belief that the church separated disenfranchised, vulnerable young people from their families through brainwashing or mind control. One scholar wrote, "It is a ready-made doctrine for impatient young people and all those for whom the pursuit of the complex has become a tiresome and fruitless venture."

One former Moonie explained the recruitment drive: "Creativity is frowned upon, conformity is stressed. All day you are bombarded by ideas and concepts. There is little relaxation, so your resistance is low. You are taught that everyone not in the movement is under the influence of Satan and you should mistrust them."

Moonie doctrine is summarized in the textbook Divine Principle and include belief that the Rev. Moon himself was recognized by Christ as the second coming of the messiah.

In 1982, the tax-exempt Moon established the highly conservative Washington Times newspaper in Washington. President George W. Bush said it was the first paper he read every morning.