Posted by | September 2, 2012 17:18 | Filed under: Top Stories

Submitted by Cheston Catalano

The man who started a worldwide movement with his Unification Church died in Korea.

The church gained fame — and notoriety — in the 1970s and 1980s for holding mass weddings of thousands of followers, often from different countries, whom Moon matched up in a bid to build a multicultural religious world.

The church was accused of using devious recruitment tactics and duping followers out of money; parents of followers in the United States and elsewhere expressed worries that their children were brainwashed into joining. The church responded by saying that many other new religious movements faced similar accusations in their early stages.

In later years, the church adopted a lower profile and focused on building a business empire that included the Washington Times newspaper, the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, Bridgeport University in Connecticut, as well as a hotel and a fledgling automaker in North Korea. It acquired a ski resort, a professional soccer team and other businesses in South Korea, and a seafood distribution firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the U.S.

The Unification Church claims millions of members worldwide, though church defectors and other critics say the figure is no more than 100,000.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Cheston Catalano

Cheston Catalano is a Kentucky-based journalist whose work has been featured in the Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle. He is a long-time contributor to Liberaland.