Unification Church: Inside Moon's Unhappy Family

Church founder's ex-daughter-in-law pens grim tome about life on the inside.

Sun Myung Moon could take the Unification Church with him to his grave, says his former daughter-in-law. In her new book In the Shadow of the Moons (Little, Brown & Co.), Nansook Hong charges her 35-year-old ex-husband Hyo Jin with physical abuse, adultery, cocaine addiction, alcoholism, and neglect of their children. She accuses Sun Myung Moon of complicity in his son's behavior and charges that the 78-year-old founder of the New York-based Unification Church engaged in adultery himself, leading to an illegitimate child.

"Since his family is not anywhere near the ideal family, what does that say about Reverend Moon?" Hong asks. She fled the Moon "compound" in Irvington, New York, in 1995. Now living near Boston and divorced since last December, she has become the center of a recent media blitz about the Unification Church. Her book's damning profile of life at the top of the Moon empire has been defended by prominent ex-members Donna Collins and Un Jin Moon, Hyo Jin's sister. Collins's parents led the Canadian church, but she left six years ago at age 22. "Moon did not deliver on his promise of a utopia, either for his own family or the membership."

Unification leaders Tyler Hendricks and Chris Corcoran say the Hong book will not damage the faith of members. Corcoran, a public-relations spokesperson, says Hong's "full frontal attack" is "extreme." Hendricks, president of the U.S. church, says the book is "ideologically motivated" because of Hong's contacts with anticultists.

Both leaders acknowledge Hyo Jin's failures, although Corcoran says the son has a "brilliant philosophical and theological mind." Hendricks and Corcoran suggest Hong may have been partly to blame for the failed relationship. "Maybe she never figured out ...

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