The Reverend Sun Myung Moon has died of pneumonia, a natural cause, at the age of 92. This may be a bit shocking for church members, who might have gotten the impression that no such thing was possible. I know I’m surprised, given that many of the adults in my childhood life told me that he was the Anti-Christ. If I remember correctly, his demise story goes a bit differently.

Among the many assets in Moon’s billion dollar business empire (financed by the faithful who gave all their worldly possessions and incomes to Moon’s church) is the not so venerable Washington Times. There you can find the official and sanitized version of Moon’s life in this obit.

For a more measured obit, rife with understatement, this one from the UK’s Telegraph is good. I particularly like this paragraph:

Moon, a South Korean multi-millionaire businessman, discovered his vocation as the “second Messiah” in 1936, when he claimed to have met Jesus Christ on a Korean hillside, recognising Him from His picture. Jesus informed Moon that He had been unable to complete His mission on earth due to unforeseen circumstances, so Moon (Jesus went on) had been chosen to succeed Him and to establish the Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.

Which Jesus picture do you suppose it was? This European one:

Or this Korean one:

As for the alleged interruption of Jesus’ mission on earth, it reminds me of this classic:

Let it never be said that Moon, who taught “a hybrid of Christianity, Confucianism, Shamanism and anti-communism,” was afraid of syncretism or worried by contradictions.

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