Donald Trump Controversy: Trump and Pompeo Attended a ‘Moonies’ Event Amid Japan Controversy
Donald Trump Controversy: Former US President Trump and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo spoke at a Unification Church-sponsored event in Seoul, South Korea.
Formed in the 1950s by South Korean self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon, the Unification Church is notorious for its close ties to conservative politicians around the world. Its adherents are commonly referred to as “Moonies” in popular culture.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Sun Myung Moon’s passing, a conference associated with the church was held in Seoul on August 12. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former CIA director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both spoke at the event.
Both Pompeo and Gingrich, in their respective statements, echoed the church’s views on the importance of religious liberty and the dangers of communism. The death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put the controversial religious organization, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, in the spotlight.
The murderer confessed to the police that he had planned the killing because he was angry at Abe and the church he was associated with. Ex-members frequently use the term “cult” to describe it.
According to the Japanese news agency NTV News 24, former president Donald Trump taped a video message that was aired at the meeting. Trump honored Reverend Moon’s widow Hak Ja Han, who currently serves as a church leader, and said that Abe was a “dear friend and a great guy” in his remarks.
Senior Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many former US diplomats and generals were also scheduled to appear.
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Dr. Steven Hassan, a cult analyst, and ex-Moonian claims that the mutual hate of communism and the church’s huge riches and influence is to blame for the ties between right-wing politicians and the group.
The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper, is part of Moon’s media empire, which is worth billions of dollars.
“When you consider that Pompeo ran both the CIA and the State Department, his representation of them doesn’t surprise me in the least. It’s safe to assume he made a tidy sum. I have no doubt that Trump made a fortune, “When asked by Insider how much money they might have to pay their speaker, Hassan made a wild guess. Certainly, they don’t think Moon was the Messiah.
After facing criticism for speaking at a church-sponsored event in the 1990s, former President George H.W. Bush gave away his speaking fee of roughly $80,000, as reported by The Washington Post.
Insider asked Trump, Pompeo, and Gingrich representatives about their participation in the conference and the compensation they received; however, they did not respond.
Hassan calls the group a “dangerous, destructive cult,” adding that former members have filed lawsuits and charged that they were brainwashed. The church has responded negatively to the claims by insisting that its followers joined voluntarily.
The church became famous for its mass weddings, and its adherents claim to number in the hundreds of thousands.
The Universal Peace Federation, an organization with ties to the Moonies that was in charge of planning the Seoul meeting that took place last week, declined to comment when contacted by Insider.
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Other Republican officials have attended their events for decades (including Trump, who virtually spoke at one of their events last year). The church in Japan is having to face some brutal realities, and this meeting couldn’t come at a better time.
Assailant Tetsuya Yamagami told authorities that he blamed his mother’s bankruptcy and the subsequent ruin of his family on the money she gave to the church.
He held Abe responsible for the organization’s success because he himself had spoken at a church-sponsored event last year and his family had long been involved with the church.
A member of the Japanese congregation, the church confirmed that Yamagami’s mother was a part of it but would not comment on her philanthropic activities.
After Abe was assassinated, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan’s ruling party, began questioning its historic links to the church. Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, has reshuffled the cabinet to get rid of ministers who were involved in it.
The church in Japan has accused the media of being biased because of their reporting on the LDP’s ties to the religious establishment.
To Insider, Hassan praised Japan’s efforts to reevaluate its ties with the group but questioned why their American counterparts were not taking similar steps.
“This cult is based on strict authoritarianism. There’s managing one’s emotions, as well as one’s actions, knowledge, and thoughts. And many of the children of these mass marriages are now leaving the Moonie movement and discussing their experiences. This is very awful.”