We bet you would be really surprised to learn that Sun Myung Moon, the founder of both the Unification Church and the Washington Times, was a bit of a sybaritic horndog when he wasn’t busy preaching about the sanctity of marriage and family values, and also giving huge checks to conservative causes. Actually, we don’t thing you would be surprised at all, because you are worldweary cynics who pretty much expect that anyone screaming about chastity is probably either rutting like a crazed weasel in heat, or desperately trying to repress the impulse to do so. Good call!
And so we point you to Mariah Blake’s article in Mother Jones, all about how the great culty gazillionaire was also the father of a secret Love Child (love child! Never meant to beeee), one Sam Park of Phoenix, whom Moon handed off to be raised by Washington Times editor Bo Hi Pak and his wife. The story of Park and his mother, Annie Choi, is totally like something out of a Regency-period novel, except maybe for the part where, in the early days of his Biblical sex cult, Moon (allegedly)
kept a stable of a half-dozen concubines, known as the Six Marys, and inducted her into the group when she was 17. Sometimes, she adds, he would assemble them all in a circle and take turns mounting them [in "purifying" sexual rites]
We definitely would have remembered if there was something like that in Jane Austen.
So what happened was that in Korea, Moon really wanted to marry two ladies, just like Jacob in the Bible, and make “the world’s first sin-free children,” because he really believed it, and he’d convinced Annie Choi’s mother to let him marry her two daughters for this sacred service to the world. Unfortunately, the older of the two sisters he chose chickened out and ran away, but Moon continued sexing Annie Choi until some point after he got himself married to a different 17-year-old, with whom he was going to make a “prototype of the perfect family.” Because prophets and messiahs get to do what they want, after all. And of course, all this time he’s proclaiming unmarried sexing the Worst. Possible. Thing. He just chose not to share any personal examples with the class.
So Moon comes to the USA to get his church going here in the early ’60s, and Choi goes and gets herself pregnant with his child somehow (she says they were married secretly before leaving Korea, so bigamy, totes not cheating), and Moon tells her to hide her pregnancy while his buddy Bo Hi Pak and his wife act like they’re expecting a child, right down to Mrs. Pak “stuff[ing] her midsection with an expanding mound of cloth diapers to mimic pregnancy.” Baby gets borned, Pak takes off to Virginia with the boy, and Choi is set up in an apartment in DC to stay quietly hidden while the Paks raise Sam as their own child. Choi was OK with this for a while, because, hey, Messiah’s son, gotta do your duty and all.
Moon businesses and religion keep growing, much of the operations overseen by Pak, and eventually when Sam is 13, Choi tells him she’s his mom, much tears and reunification (get it?), and eventually Moon’s kids figure out he’s their half-brother, though everyone still acts in public as if Sam is one of the Paks’ kids. Moon never acknowledged him, being busy with running a cult, being Ronald Reagan’s biggest fan, and fighting communism everywhere, plus becoming a huge family values Republican when there wasn’t as much money to be made in anti-communism anymore.
There’s a lot more, but it all mostly adds up to “Sun Myung Moon was an even bigger dick than you already thought,” especially when you get to the part about how the Moon family screwed Choi and Park out of the hush money they were promised. Stay in school, kids, and don’t mess around with religion. That shit is dangerous.Related