Who are these people?
On the Crazy Scale, one to ten, how crazy is it that we had framed pictures of complete strangers in my childhood apartment and none of our ACTUAL family? Seven maybe?
It wasn’t an abduction that dragged me into the cult of personality of Reverend Moon, but my own mother who dragged me with her to those Moonie gatherings held at their New Yorker Hotel headquarters. This was way back in the early eighties when people still viewed the Unification Church as a reputable church and movement, before allegations of brainwashing (in the Name of God) and illegalities with tax and banking laws really made it into the mainstream media. Of which Moon tried to influence and coerce by starting his Washington Times.
I found these framed pics while cleaning out the Old Ladies’ apartment up there in the Bronx. This is the apartment they moved into after leaving the Manhattan apartment of my childhood, and where they decided to start a collection of every thing of least usefulness, finally reaching an asthma-inducing fever pitch of dust and mites by the time I got in there.
Reverend Moon played a good joke on Americans (because it wasn’t enough to fuck with his own countrymen), assessing their weak link and using this weakness to fulfill his lifelong dream of world domination. He preyed on America’s aimless and spiritually downtrodden young men and women who were psychotically happy to abdicate their free will in return for security and sense of purpose. He went after the children like any good sociopath would, starting with his own.
At the age of three, you could have easily lead me into your cult with the promise of a corn dog, just wave that sausage on a stick in front of my fat little face and I would have followed you to Kathmandu. Or into the New Yorker Hotel.
My mother must have waved something even better in front of my face to get me to sit for hours in a sad, defunct ballroom listening to how Reverend Moon’s Divine Principles would save us:
- Not getting solicitation permits, violating state or township codes for solicitation
- Selling by misrepresentation
- Forging of personal checks
- Avoiding payment of traffic violations, parking tickets
- Cash donations not recorded
- Misuse of land, health and zoning permits
- No respect for private property in the selling of members’ property without their knowledge or approval
- Signing retainer agreements for attorneys without signers being allowed to meet with such attorneys
- Evasion of truth on witness stands in courts of laws
- Renting motel facilities for one person, then sneaking many more into the room
Actually, these are not “official” Divine Principles, but a list of things witnessed by a young woman who left the church after four years of indoctrination (Martin & Caul, 1992). These “deeds” certainly give new meaning to the term “Divine”. Especially entertaining is the “sneaking many more” people into a motel room because that is essentially what the Reverend was doing back in the day with his Moonies in that 2,500-room hotel of his.
Here’s a recipe for red-hot chili oil that will clear your head of any mumbo-jumbo. It would be great in soondubu jigae (순두부찌게) or as a condiment:
Red Hot Chile Oil
red-hot chile flakes (Korean or Mexican)
safflower or peanut oil
How much oil you make depends on how quickly you’ll use it. I don’t like it sitting around forever so I usually make about 1/2 cup at a time unless a recipe calls for a whole lot: 1/2 cup oil: 1 1/2 tablespoon chile flakes.
1. Heat the oil in small sauce pan or skillet until you start to see smoke and then add the chile.
2. Remove from heat and pour in a dry glass jar once the oil is cooled. Keep in a cool place.
3. You can strain the flakes out of the oil after a few days if you wish.