Moon with Ewha students and professors in May 1956 at the one year reunion.
The Ewha University scandal of 1955 and Moon’s arrest in July in Seoul, with some context.
A: MEDIA REPORTS
Kyonghyang-sinmun, July 5th 1955
“Ministry of Culture and Education recognizes the Unification Church as a sagyo (wicked religion) while the Unification Church denies it.”
Seoul-sinmun, July 6th 1955
Moon “Misleading women into fornication through eloquence”.
Dong A Ilbo, July 6th 1955
“According to the investigative reports, he did not follow military conscription procedure and also overstated his age at 43 rather than 36. [The reports said] it was found that he illegally imprisoned [a 22-year-old female student] for three days and forced her to adopt the new religion.”
Seoul-sinmun, July 7th 1955
“Four married women were violated” by Moon or Unificationists.
Dong A Ilbo, July 14th 1955
“Evidence of some seven incidents of adultery with female adherents has come to light” but that prosecution could not proceed unless husbands filed complaints. Five followers of Moon were also reported to have been arrested. (Quoted by Robert Boettcher in “Gifts of Deceit” on page 353.)
Segae newspaper, March 18th 1957, May 13th 1957 and May 20th 1957
Articles alleged Moon to have had ‘orgies’ with 70 female students.
Robert B. Boettcher and Gordon L. Freedman, “Gifts of Deceit”
“Rumors reached the American Embassy that Moon was a ritual womanizer. Reportedly, young girls underwent sexual initiation into his cult; he would thus purge them of the Satanic spirits that inhabited Eve and lead them to the Divine Principle. He was jailed for three months in 1955 by South Korean authorities on charges reported by newspapers and government agencies as draft evasion, forgery, “pseudo-religion,” and false imprisonment of a university coed compelled to adopt his religion.”
“A third jailing in 1955 reportedly was for ‘causing social disorder’ and having bad morals stemming from ritual sex with women in his church.” (published 1975 or earlier)
Newsweek June 14th 1976
“In 1948, Moon was arrested in North Korea for what his followers say were his religious and anti-Communist activities; his opponents maintain he was jailed for practicing ritual sex. … Seven years later, after he had fled south during the Korean War and founded his Uniﬁcation Church, Moon once again ran afoul of the authorities. According to the Rev. John E.W. Kim, a Presbyterian pastor whose church was near Moon’s church in Pusan at the time, ‘Part of Moon’s theology was that women converts could only be purified by sleeping with him.’”
B: ACCOUNTS BY UNIFICATIONISTS
Besides Moon, UC leaders Hyo-won Eu, Won-pil Kim, Hyo-young Eu, Hyo-min Eu and Sung-shil Choi were all imprisoned—Hyo-won Eu listed them in his diary. Kwang-yol Yoo, Young-oon Kim, Gil Ja Sa Eu and Won-pok Choi all witnessed the events and wrote sanitized accounts about the scandal.
Mrs. Gil Ja Sa Eu (one of the Ewha students, who was later married to Hyo-won Eu) wrote: “… fourteen of us were called to the office of the Dean of Students [at Ewha University]. The Dean told us, ‘The Unification Church is heresy, and they dance around in the nude. You mustn’t go there.’ We answered, ‘We haven’t even danced fully clothed, much less nude. If we wanted to dance, we would go to a dance hall. Why should we go to church to dance?’ But she said, ‘That’s not true. You don’t know because you’re not in very deeply yet. If you keep going, they will make you take your clothes off and dance.’ (from ‘My Testimony’—an essay in the UTS Library)
Kwang-yol Yoo (Joined in December 1954. He wrote about UC history): Later we learned that the top university staff and the top government officials, they were all in the same Christian power group and had all decided to completely destroy the Unification Church. … Everything bad that could be imagined was attributed to the Unification Church. For instance, in our church there was no basement, but people said in our church men and women stood around naked in the basement. … Some rumors said that when you went to Uniﬁcation Church they took off your clothes.
In July Father was arrested and about that time two students from Yonsei University were dismissed, including Mr. Fong. But in the meantime there were many investigations by the police. The top police officials came to the church to investigate …
It was Monday, July 4, 1955. On that day policemen came… Father went to the police station with Mr. Eu, the late president of the Korean association, and Miss [Young-oon] Kim.
Hyo-won Eu: “We were interrogated for evading the draft and for illegally confining people.”
Kwang-yol Yoo: Then the next morning when they saw the newspaper, there were big headlines that Mr. Moon of the Uniﬁcation Church was arrested. That was the topic of discussion in all society at that time.
Hyo-won Eu: “we all went to a tea house. We bought all the newspapers. The story in the papers was very dirty…
Kwang-yol Yoo: The church became like a funeral home. The next day Mr. Won-pil Kim was arrested. And the next day Mr. Eu’s own brother, and Mr. Eu’s cousin – two Mr. Eu’s – were arrested at the police station. One week later Mr. Eu himself was arrested. And so five top association officials were arrested.
When we went to see Father we always shook hands at first. Then the jail guard warned us not to shake hands. He said it’s a regulation that a prisoner cannot shake hands with outside people because they fear that they might exchange some secret message while they are shaking hands. But when we went to see Father, we always took something to bribe the guard, many times like a pack of cigarettes. But Korean Christians don’t smoke and sometimes they won’t even touch tobacco. So it was our first time to do such a thing. When we gave a pack of cigarettes, the guard at first refused. I did not know what to do with the refused cigarette box, but Father grabbed it and gave it to the guard, almost threw it at him.
Hyo-won Eu: “July 10th: Investigator Oh and Chief Investigator Kim came to arrest me. … When I got there, Hyo-min [Eu] and Hyo-yung [Eu] were there, being investigated.
July 13th: With 30 other prisoners, we were sent to the West Gate prison. Some time after midnight, we arrived at Building 6, Ward 9, Cell 380.”
July 29th 1955: So finally 22 days passed since our arrest, and we were brought to trial. The first trial was at 10:00 at the local courtroom in Seoul, courtroom 4. The judge was Hak No Yoon. He was actually the chief judge. In the afternoon session, Judge Se Yong Kang gave the following sentence: ‘Teacher [Moon], 2 years; Hyo-won [Eu], 2 years; the other members 1 year each.’”
Kwang-yol Yoo: So at the end of the defense, all the charges were dropped except those of not going to the army.
The above quotes are from: Father’s Life by Kwang-yol Yoo (Talk given on August 28, 1974 at Upshur House, Washington, D.C. From New Hope News 1975), and Excerpts from the Diary of Mr. Hyo-won Eu from 1955 (From Tong-il Segye, July 1980).
Robert W. Roland (He testified to the Fraser Committee investigation of Moon and the UC in 1978):
“Moon was eventually charged and jailed but was ultimately released when the young girls, in their misplaced shame, refused to testify publicly. …”
C: FURTHER ACCOUNTS FROM UNIFICATIONISTS
Young-oon Kim: “Two women teachers from Ewha University had studied Divine Principle, and one of them introduced it to me. Then she began attracting many students to it as well. Since I, their teacher, had already accepted Divine Principle, they felt it must be true. Having no predetermined theology of their own, they were quite open to new teachings. They spread the message among their fellow students and brought them to our lectures. Most of them lived in dormitories, and rumors of our work spread quickly. School authorities began to wonder if this were an unhealthy, fanatical movement. Worse, if it continued to spread quickly it would be impossible to control. So they began to put pressure on the faculty and students. Ewha’s President, Helen Kim, said to me: ‘Do you really have to throw yourself into this movement? Can’t you just study it in a detached and objective way, like other movements?’”
Won-pok Choi: “I was exposed to our Church as Dean of Students at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. At that time, many brilliant students from the campus would go to a very strange group of Christians. The rumor was spreading; the school was very watchful. Dr. Young-oon Kim was sent from her department and I from mine to save the girls from “falling prey to that hated group.” Dr. Kim, a graduate from three theological seminaries, gave strong debate. A theological battle was fought; after a certain time she yielded and accepted. At that time she had an unknown sickness which no doctor could define. When she would come to the Church, the sickness would be gone. But when she doubted, it came back with acute pain, as if it were a warning signal against her negativity.
Fourteen people joined the movement. All fourteen received the gifts of speaking in tongues or prophecy. We went through great tribulation. The school branded us as heretics. It gave us the alternative: if you want to belong to the Church, then you must leave school. The Korean Constitution grants religious freedom. At the school there were daughters of sorcerers and daughters of atheists, but we were branded as heretics… I can so vividly recollect all that took place in those days. As you can well imagine, negative parents filed a court case. We were under government investigation; the established churches called us heretics out of sheer jealousy and the Education Ministry branded us as a dangerous religious cult. And Father was sought for arrest.
… I was a collected, reasonable woman. I never believed in anything until it came to me as my own personal experience. Having attended missionary schools, I took the sermons as words of discipline and moral teaching because I had no personal experience with God. And I never had meaningful dreams. But after joining the movement I had dream after dream. If I didn’t understand it, it would come in succession until I did.”
Won-pil Kim: “New people thought that Mr. Eu was the teacher, or the greatest master. They had no idea that Father was the master. For one thing, Mr. Eu was six years older than Father, and moreover, Father dressed very casually without a necktie, and he seemed to be just an ordinary member. But after attending lectures for one or two days, guests could observe Mr. Eu’s attitude toward Father and recognize that Father was greater than Mr. Eu.
University students were coming and listening to lectures. The professors who came and listened to lectures were highly respected by the students, some of them being excellent professors and quite famous. One teacher who had been seeking for truth in Christianity, and communism, was unable to find any of the answers he sought, then he came to hear Principle. He was so deeply moved by the lecture. Sitting beside him during the lecture, I could observe his attitude; he was so joyful that he kept hitting his leg! Until that time, he had never had any spiritual experiences, but while hearing Principle, he began to feel a burning fire, like electricity, entering his head and spreading even to his fingers. Even though it was a spiritual experience, his fingers were actually burned.
One Christian who never had any spiritual experiences in the Christian church was lifted up by a strong spiritual force while listening to Principle and carried for some distance! These were the kinds of phenomena that were occurring at that time.
There were professors and students from Ewha University coming to our church and joining. Ewha was a Methodist-run university and the largest women’s university in Korea. Women students usually stayed in the dormitories, and in order to come to the church, they would have to make some excuse, such as going to the public bath. Mrs. Won-bok Choi, Miss Young-oon Kim, and Mrs. Yoon joined the family from those days. Many women who became wives of the 36 blessed couples joined at that time.
… The church had begun in Pyongyang, went down to Pusan, and then to Seoul. Rumors followed this same route, from Pyongyang, to Pusan, to Seoul. Rumor that our church was a church that practiced fornication or adultery spread through these cities. … Rumor said that there were three different kinds of doors in the Unification Church: when you went through the first door you had to take off your jacket; upon entering the second door you had to take off more; and after passing through the third door you took off all your clothes and then committed adultery or fornication.
… In 1955, on July 4, Father was taken to jail. Four members, including myself, were put in jail with Father. … Father was taken to jail first, and the next day I was put into jail, and later the other members were arrested and then placed in the cell next to mine. … Later when we were transferred into Seodaemun Prison, we were placed in separate cells and were not permitted to talk to each other. … Each cell had a tiny window, and through this I could see Father and Mr. Eu, maybe 60 feet away. The window was high, so if I just stood up, I couldn’t really see Father, so I would climb on top of the toilet. Prison toilets are not like toilets now; rather it was just a round ceramic container, sitting on the floor. There was a cover, a square which fit over the top, so it was this cover I could stand on and see Father through the iron bars of the window.
After about three months, on October 4, Father was declared innocent and set free, along with the other three members. But I was sentenced and I had to continue my prison life alone. Father really worried about me, and he himself came to visit me in prison. He saw my situation in prison, and after that I received a really great blessing: one month after his visit, I was set free. It was on December 25, 1955.”
Young-oon Kim: “When a group of professors and students at Ewha Women’s University became followers of Reverend Moon, they were ordered either to leave the movement or be expelled from school. Since this act aroused venomous press criticism as a violation of religious freedom, the opposition began spreading vicious rumors that the new church was guilty of sexual immoralities. … In South Korea, Unification members were denounced by the established churches. Reverend Moon was condemned by some Presbyterians as a heretic.” (from her book “Unification Theology” 1980)
D: NON-UNIFICATIONIST COMMENTS
In 1955 Moon was still married to Sun-kil Choi, and he had a son with her called Sung-Jin. Adultery was then a criminal offense in Korea for which offenders were jailed. Sun-kil Choi could have had Moon jailed for adultery, but she did not. They divorced on January 8th 1957 and NOT before Myung-hee Kim gave birth to Moon’s son, Hee-jin Moon on August 17th 1955. The Unification Church has frequently given earlier dates for Moon’s divorce to counter the valid claims that Moon was an adulterer.
Jong-ok Kim: “I was a student at Ewha. Professor Han spoke to us about the Unification doctrines. She had become an enthusiastic believer. … At night we lit candles in the girls’ dorm and danced around them and discussed the church. … When Moon was finally arrested there was turmoil in the Unification Church. … Ten years later I heard Professor Han’s story. When she joined she had given all her money to Moon. Later she had got disillusioned because the promises she was given were all broken. She left the Church. Soon after she died in poverty. … I have vivid memories of those times.”
J Isamu Yamamoto, “The Puppet Master – an Inquiry into Sun Myung Moon and the UC”
Later, on July 4th, 1955, in Seoul the police imprisoned Moon and his chief members for three months. His indictment was initially draft dodging but later changed to “communal sex.” Most of his followers were men who had left their wives and were part of the new Unification community. Students and professors were expelled from their universities because of engaging in what were called “the scandalous rites of the Unification Church.” The charges were dropped, however, and Moon claims to have been persecuted because of the success of his church. His critics say that he was released because of his health which seems to have been in poor condition at the time.
What were the “rites” which caused so much controversy concerning the early days of the movement? Moon’s critics say that he gleaned ideas from Nam-joo Paek whose Theological Mountain at Wonsan he had visited prior to 1945. One of the more important ideas was “pikarume” or blood separation, a secret initiation rite. It is said that the female members of the Unification Church had to have intercourse with Moon in order to be purified. Later, intercourse between husbands and wives would purify the male members. Thereafter their offspring would be pure.
Moon’s married life is also controversial. Koreans refer to it as confusing and strange. Moon claims that he has only married once since his first wife, who failed to become the perfect wife. Others state that he has been married four times. His first wife was Sun Kil Choi, who bore him a son. His second marriage to a Miss Kim [Chong-hwa Kim in Pyongyang] is referred to by some Koreans as an arranged marriage. His third wife, Myung Hee Kim, supposedly bore him another son [Hee-jin Moon]. His fourth (or second) wife is Hak Ja Han, an eighteen year old high-school graduate at the time of their wedding in March of 1960.
James Bjornstad, “Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church”
“Following this, while still residing in North Korea [in 1948], Rev. Moon was sent to jail. His followers say that it was because of his anti-communism, while others say it was for bigamy and adultery.
… In 1955, he was arrested and placed in jail again, this time in South Korea. The government charged him with draft evasion and later with adultery and promiscuity. His followers explain how the moral charges occurred by stating that in the early years of the church, meetings were held in the homes of his followers, most of whom were women. Because the meetings would go until the early hours of the morning, rumors began to develop and spread that these were affairs.
On the other side, Rev. Won Il Chei, a leading Presbyterian minister in Seoul, says, ‘If we believe those who have gone into this group and come out, they say that one has to receive Sun Myung Moon’s blood to receive salvation. That blood is ordinarily received by three periods of sexual intercourse.’”
Robert W. Roland (He testified to the U.S. Fraser Committee in 1978): “Maria Pak was a woman of renown in 1945 Seoul by virtue of her marriage to the Vice President, and her position at Ewha Women’s College. She was also a close associate of Dr. Sa Hun Shin of Seoul National University (SNU). Both Maria and Dr. Shin were already aware of Moon’s reputation as one entranced by young women. Much like our own Bill Clinton, Moon likewise had trouble keeping his zipper zipped. Subsequently, scandals broke regarding Moon’s relationships with some of the wives of Ewha and Seoul National Universities’ professors, plus young students. …”
“According to SNU PhD, Dr. Sa-hun Shin, Moon was released from prison because the Korean women were too embarrassed to wash their dirty linen in open court. Meanwhile, Moon had already impregnated a young Miss M.H. Kim, but wisely had sent her off to Japan to give birth. During the next few years, Moon managed to stay out of any trouble with the law, but managed to becoming something of a laughing stock around Seoul among everyone, including the Christian establishments. Years later, I would sit in the office of Dr. Shin and hear a woman of that era tell of her sexual encounter with Moon, and I will never forget her answer when I asked her why she had sex with Moon? ‘Because I thought he was God!’”
Robert Parry: “1950s – Other allegations, including a woman who said she was disowned by her husband after having a child from Moon, and was left alone to raise the child herself without even any support from Moon.” http://www.reocities.com/craigmaxim/m-1a.html
David G Bromley, PhD and Anson D Shupe, PhD, “Moonies in America”
“The frequent charge of anti-UM spokesmen has been that Moon was repeatedly in trouble for sexual hijinks, specifically for his alleged ritual of pikarume (“cleansing of the blood”) in which Moon purportedly performed intercourse with each female initiate to purify her of the pollution she had inherited from Eve. The Korean National Council of Churches, representing various mainline Christian denominations, condemned the movement and refused it membership.”
Eileen Barker, PhD “The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice?” (1984) pp. 42 and 265
“But the following year Moon was imprisoned again. The Unificationists say that this was on a trumped-up charge of draft evasion, but it has also been reported that he was charged with ‘injuring public morals’, or, according to another account, that ‘his indictment was initially draft dodging but was later changed to adultery and promiscuity.’ Similar rumors (which persist to this day in Korea)31 alleged that he was engaging in ritual sexual practices. … The Unification Church, however, persists in its assertion that Moon was never arrested on sexual charges.
Note 31 In conversations with scores of non-Unificationist Koreans the first information I have been given about the Unification Church has, in almost every instance, been that Moon engages (or has engaged) in immoral sexual practices with his followers.”
Frederick Sontag, PhD “Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church” (1977) pp. 87-88 and 97
He travelled to Korea in September 1976 to research the UC.
“I spent one day interviewing people outside the church through contacts I had made before leaving America. These varied from impartial ‘old Korea hands’ to bitter fearful, and hostile opponents who talked darkly of reprisals. … Interview with a non-church member: “At that time real bad rumors were going around about this Moon.” …
It is fascinating to see Sun Myung Moon receive intense devotion and love from his followers and at the same time draw derision bordering on hatred from those outside. In Korea, one even senses a fear, like one induced by the Mafia, among the opposition, and in this country the outspoken opponents speak of death threats.”
Comments of a Professor Kim (female) from Ewha University in Seoul who was teaching there at the time. (This is not Young-oon Kim from Ewha who joined the UC.)
Professor Kim said that the Moon and Unification Church sex scandal at the university was a huge problem, and that the reputation of the university was damaged for some years. A lot of young female students from Ewha were involved in the scandal. Professor Kim felt that their participation was not entirely for religious reasons. It was partly for the excitement, and partly because they were young people who were just being rebellious. Many of the families of the students were quite wealthy, and they were very deeply embarrassed because of their daughters involvement. The parents forced their daughters not to give any evidence in court, so that no shame would be brought to their families. For this reason the charges against Moon could not be proved, and so he was released after about 100 days. This was an incredible scandal for Korea at the time. It was known about all over the country. It was in all the newspapers. The Ewha University staff and the families involved all just wanted the scandal to end as quickly as possible.
Chong-hwa Pak (who wrote the Tragedy of the Six Marys after leaving the UC):
“The female member Lee Sung-hwa was imprisoned on [July] 18th. … Lee Sung-hwa, who confessed to group sex activities, was also released because of her father’s efforts. On July 29th, 1955, five men were indicted for evasion of military service… The purpose of the investigation had been to prove that group sex activities had been going on. However, the women who had been involved in the group sex did not have the courage to confess to it, and their husbands felt ashamed to admit it. So in the end Moon was released, but it was true that they had had sex with Moon.” [Note that the July 29th date corresponds exactly with Hyo-won Eu.]
One of the Ewha students who joined the UC in 1955 became the mother of Sam Park in 1966. She is in the May 1956 photo with Moon outside the Chongpa-dong church in Seoul. Moon has been acknowledged to be the father by his own daughter, Un-jin Moon. Rev Jin-hun Yong of the Unification Church Education Department has spoken about Moon’s extra-marital relationships. Nan-sook Hongwrites about Sam being approximately the same age as In-Jin Moon on pages 138-139 in her book,In The Shadow Of The Moons: My Life In The Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Family.
Un-jin Moon confirms about Sam Park at 8mins 40secs:
Jin-hun Yong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PsCl3-qcnk
Shin-hee Eu’s testimony on national TV of sex with Moon at 5mins:
Myung-hee Kim’s story:
United States Congressional investigation of the Unification Church
Chicago Tribune Exposes Moon’s Sexual Rituals
Moon’s Other Gospel and Immorality
Dan Fefferman on Pikareum