Reading Robert Spencer’s PJ Media article of July 1th, “Chattanooga Shooter Marinated in Self-Pity Over ‘Islamophobia,’” and Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs article, “Chattanooga Jihadi’s Anti-American Diary: Wanted to be a Suicide Martyr for Islam” of July 20th, I was struck by the similarities between the empty vessel that was Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez and the average Moonie.
A Moonie is a member of the Unification Church of the United States, a religious or cult-like movement that was imported to the U.S. from South Korea by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012). Here is some background on Moon and his religion.
When he was 15 years old [in 1935], at Easter, he believes that Jesus Christ appeared to him in a vision, charging him with the responsibility of completing the work in the world that Jesus had started. During his adult life he has had trouble with legal authorities, having been arrested for practicing capitalism (a crime in North Korea), charged (but not convicted) in South Korea of other activities, and convicted of tax evasion in the United States. During 1948, the Presbyterian Church of Korea felt that his views were incompatible with traditional Christianity; they excommunicated him.
If you thought Islam had a bizarre and utterly irrational set of tenets, try on the Unification Church’s for size.
While many of the beliefs of the Unification Church are identical to those of other conservative Christian groups, there are some major differences:
They view God as a single being with “perfect intellect, emotion and will.” They reject the traditional Christian concept of the Trinity. God contains within himself positive (male) and negative (female) aspects, which are in perfect harmony with each other.
This is basically Islam’s Allah but without the transgendering. The Moonie God can also know everything, and be able to do anything, any time. It’s the old omniscience vs. omnipotence card trick. However, I don’t recall in my Islamic readings that Allah was said to possess an intellect, perfect or imperfect. After all, if you can know everything, and do anything, at any time, you really don’t need an intellect, do you? That is, you don’t need to think. You don’t need to posit an argument for why everyone should bow and scrape to you. You just say, “Fear me, or else you’ burn in hell forever and ever. Fear me, and obey me, and I'll reward you with 72 raisins and all the Kickapoo juice you want forever and ever.”
The Holy Spirit is the feminine counterpart to God. She is not a person, but is a form of energy that is derived from God.
In Christianity the Holy Ghost is represented by a white dove. Which is just a glorified pigeon.
There’s some folderol about Eve first having an affair with Lucifer, and then a roll in the hay with Adam – before they were even married! Both episodes with the skank Eve contributed to the physical and spiritual fall of mankind. The Unification Church puts much stress on celibacy until the marrying age. Teenage sex is a non-no.
There are other bizarre tenets, but the chief one is that Jesus was executed before he could complete his work and before he got married. When he returns at the End of Days, he will reign over an earth that is Paradise and he will marry.
God's original intent was for Jesus Christ to form a perfect marriage in order to redeem humanity, and undo the harm perpetrated by Adam and Eve. Since Jesus was executed before accomplishing his mission, it will be up to a third Adam in the present day to form this perfect marriage and complete Jesus' task.
Like Islam, sex and women have important roles in Moonie-ism. Women are still second-class citizens in Moonie-ism, but they aren’t the natural subjects of beatings, rape, polygamy, and the whole “walk behind me” tradition to be found in Islam. Also, in Moonie-ism female garb isn’t prescribed. Bikinis may be optional.
Finally, the Unification Church has its own version of the Thirteenth Imam, the one who’s supposed to herald the End of Days and send everyone rushing to queue up for a trip to Paradise or Hell.
They believe that the third Adam was born in Korea between 1917 and 1930. (The first Adam was the individual described in Genesis; the second Adam is Jesus). The third Adam will be recognized as the second coming of Christ, the perfect man. He will marry the perfect woman, and will become the "true spiritual parents of humankind". Many members of the Unification Church regard Rev. Moon and his second (and current) wife Hak Ja Han as these parents.
This puts Moon in the running as being Moonie-ism’s own “prophet Mohammad,” as well. I have no idea whom the Moonies regard now as the Third Adam since the original Moon died from pneumonia in 2012. The thrust of this column is that, like Islam, Moonie-ism requires a certain degree of selflessness in an individual to join the movement, together with a level of gullibility that hovers near clinically defined imbecility.
One chief difference between Moonie-ism and Islam is that most Muslims are born into their religious environment and so their minds are “captured” by the ideology before they can even begin to think about whether or not it makes any sense. Still, they choose to remain “captured.” Being born into an insane religion and ideology and not thinking about it doesn’t let the average, Friday-go-to-prayers Muslim and convenience store operator off the hook for passively accepting the same ideology in whose name his more obsessed and activist brothers kill and destroy. “Moderate” Muslims come a dime a dozen. But then so did “moderate” Nazis and “moderate” Communists and “moderate” Shintoists All three of the latter creeds produced brutal armies of adherents.
The Moonies have not. Muslims can coast along quietly in their creed and make a show of clucking their tongues publicly at the depredations of their rampaging religious brethren. Moonies can also stand at the sidelines when the latest child abuse scandal brings down some Catholic clerics.
But they don’t form armies or wear suicide vests or march on cities or villages or invade editorial offices and slaughter the staff.
Most Moonies, however, choose to become Moonies. They’re not mentally enfeebled. Dysfunctional in terms of their epistemology and metaphysics, yes. They make that choice in their teens or early adulthood after living in the real world and perhaps even after having attained a level of financial success (the Rev. Moon required converts to sign over their wealth to him or to the church.) Converting to Moonie-ism required an abject surrender of one’s self and one’s livelihood. They are looking for something “greater” than themselves (thanks to the ubiquitous morality of altruism in the culture) to “belong” to.
More importantly for Moonies is the desire to belong to a religion that is basically counter-culture. They convince themselves that all the established churches (and perhaps even Judaism) are weak institutions corrupted by the hand of Satan. The Moonie wants to believe he “belongs” to a purer manifestation of Christ’s teachings. That makes him exceptional. It gives him a sense of self, counterfeit though it may be. And he’s not supposed to feel proud about it. Pride is not a virtue in Moonie-ism just as it isn’t in Islam, except if you’ve beheaded an infidel or raped a Yazidi.
One can almost forgive Muslims for being what they are, abject servants of Allah’s will. Muslims are taught to be selfless from day one. Moonies, thinking they’re not altruistic enough, want to be more selfless than they already may be. Muslims are taught from childhood on that they are nothing here on earth but instruments of Allah’s grand plan. Selflessness and service to the Umma (the global Muslim “community”) is a core virtue.
I think many Americans who today convert to Islam would have converted to the Unification Church in its heyday. As with Islam, Moonie-ism doesn’t require much thought to be devout and staying the righteous path to God’s or Allah’s good graces. All it requires is an unquestioning capacity for belief in any old wives’ tale or Tales from the Crypt or the benevolent episodes from the riotous life of Mohammad, together with a companion capacity for unreserved obedience.
Moonies have been known to be de-programmed and released from captivity from Moonie-ism. De-programmers intervene and bring them to their senses. As Steven Hassan, a former leader in the Unification Church said in a Guardian article – and this substantiates the charge that Moonie-ism required individuals to become committed and selfless:
Within three months I was a cult leader. I got very deeply involved, and I got to the point where I was being told to think about what country I wanted to run when we took over the world.
I was with the Moonies for two-and-a-half years. I worked 21 hours a day, seven days a week – in prayer for between one and three hours. Then I would spend the rest of the day doing PR or lectures for the group, recruiting and fundraising. Everyone on my team was told they had to raise a minimum of $100 a day, otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to sleep, and as a good leader, if they couldn't sleep, then I couldn't either. When I crashed a van into the back of a tractor trailer, I had gone three days without sleep.
Hassan said in his Guardian article that “people don't knowingly join cults.” Oh, but they do, if the cult fits their particular brand of selflessness.
The only means of salvation of a Moonie must be initiated by parents, relatives or friends. It means sessions of de-programming. Randall Watters has some interesting information on how to rescue a Moonie from the clutches of the Unification Church.
Can Muslims be de-programmed? Not in the usual sense. Many of the most outspoken critics of Islam have been ex-Muslims: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Walid Shoebat, Bosch Fawstin, Salman Rushdie, and dozens of others. But such de-programming has been largely self-initiated when an individual allows his rationality to delve into the “mysteries” and “internal contradictions” of Islam. His rational faculties were not so much corroded by mysticism as crippled. Being merely crippled, the individual was able to get back up on his feet and take action.
But your average, non-thinking Muslim has been psychologically immunized against reason. He has zero tolerance for it and doesn’t even know it. The irrational, he’s been told by Islam, is in the natural order of things. If Allah isn’t merciful or allows awful things to happen, that’s in the way of his “grand plan” which is incomprehensible to mere mortals burdened with reason and the evidence of their senses. Christian apologists also cite a similar indemnification and disclaimer for God when it comes to explaining tidal waves that wipe out thousands, erupting volcanoes that wipe out whole towns, and ISIS wiping out whole towns of Christians in the Middle East.
Islam and Moonie-ism have no use for a complete man, only for human maquettes like Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.