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How Did Donald Trump Observe The 20th Anniversary of 9/11?

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COMMENT: In numer­ous pro­grams, we have not­ed that the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church–found­ed by Rev­erend Sun Myung Moon–may very well be an exten­sion of the Japan­ese Patri­ot­ic and Nation­al­ist Soci­eties around the world and down through the decades.

” . . . . In the past Hyung Jin ‘Sean’ Moon, the son of the Moons, cam­paigned for Mr Trump and attend­ed the US Capi­tol insur­rec­tion on 6 Jan­u­ary. . . .”

Ear­li­er in the year, for­mer Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and for­mer CIA direc­tor and State Depart­ment chief Mike Pom­peo gave talks to the same group.

” . . . . the the­ol­o­gy pushed by the Moons and their devo­tees chal­lenges the basic Chris­tian­i­ty embraced by so many con­ser­v­a­tives. The Moons’ claim to be the mes­si­ahs, of course, runs counter to main­stream Chris­tian­i­ty. And one Uni­fi­ca­tion tenet pro­mot­ed by a senior per­son in the move­ment is that Chris­tian­i­ty is essen­tial­ly over. . . .” 

1.  “Trump gives vir­tu­al speech to event linked to con­tro­ver­sial reli­gious ‘cult’ on 9/11 anniver­sary” by Alex Wood­ward
The Inde­pen­dent; 09/13/2021

For­mer pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has appeared in a vir­tu­al address for a con­tro­ver­sial reli­gious move­ment that aired on the 20th anniver­sary of the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks.

In the video, Mr Trump appears to float against a vir­tu­al back­drop of clouds as he prais­es the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church, a move­ment that has long court­ed Repub­li­can offi­cials as part of an appar­ent pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign, and been dubbed a cult.

The event was organ­ised by Hak Ja Han Moon, wid­ow of Uni­fi­ca­tion Church founder Sun Myung Moon, who claimed to be the mes­si­ah. With­in the move­ment, the Moons are con­sid­ered the “true father” and “truth moth­er” to humankind.

Fol­low­ers are part of a sprawl­ing busi­ness and polit­i­cal enter­prise to pro­mote its goals, which include the uni­fi­ca­tion of North and South Korea into a sin­gle Chris­t­ian state.

Mr Trump appeared at the “Ral­ly of Hope Think Tank” event spon­sored by the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion, a group co-found­ed by the Moons in 2005 and aligned with the Uni­fi­ca­tion move­ment.

In his remarks, the for­mer pres­i­dent praised the move­ment and the late Moon.

“What they have achieved on the penin­su­la is just amaz­ing,” Mr Trump said of the move­ment. “In just a few decades, the inspi­ra­tion that they have caused for the entire plan­et is unbe­liev­able, and I con­grat­u­late you again and again. … Their exam­ple reminds all of us who strive for peace and a bet­ter future, that we should nev­er give up and nev­er, ever lose hope.

In his remarks, he also appeared to take cred­it for peace on the Kore­an penin­su­la.

“Look­ing back today, it’s easy to for­get how dan­ger­ous the sit­u­a­tion was when I was elect­ed,” he said. “Mis­siles were fly­ing, nuclear weapons were being test­ed, and pow­er­ful threats were being issued every sin­gle day … Under my lead­er­ship, the Unit­ed States adopt­ed a pol­i­cy of unprece­dent­ed strength.”

He also praised the Moons for cre­at­ing the con­ser­v­a­tive news out­let The Wash­ing­ton Times, which Mr Trump called “an orga­ni­za­tion for which I have tremen­dous respect and admi­ra­tion”.

The event, which coin­cid­ed with the 20th anniver­sary of the 9/11 ter­ror attacks, aimed to “pro­mote and facil­i­tate peace, dia­logue, medi­a­tion, and the strength­en­ing of the ecosys­tem of peace in the Asia Pacif­ic region,” accord­ing to organ­is­ers.

In her address, Ms Moon claimed that “a new cul­ture of the Pacif­ic Rim civ­i­liza­tion will expand through­out Asia and around the world” fol­low­ing uni­fi­ca­tion, which can­not be a “sec­u­lar nation that can only focus on human inter­ests.”

“It must become a nation that attends God as the heav­en­ly par­ent,” she said. “Not just polit­i­cal lead­ers.”

The move­ment – which began in South Korea in 1954 before mov­ing to the US in 1971 – is known for its mass wed­ding cer­e­monies and ties to right-wing groups.

Steve Has­san, a for­mer mem­ber of the move­ment and author of The Cult of Trump, said the for­mer president’s appear­ance is “pret­ty out­ra­geous, even for Trump”.

The movement’s his­to­ry and affil­i­a­tions “are well doc­u­ment­ed,” he said. “There is no ambi­gu­i­ty here.”

Crit­ic Jim Stew­art­son of the The Thinkin Project warned that the group’s appar­ent stag­ing of a glob­al peace event is “hard to over­state how deeply harm­ful and decep­tive this is”.

“This is being pitched by a who’s who of estab­lish­ment extrem­ists as some sort of peace mis­sion to uni­fy Korea,” he said. “In real­i­ty it’s dan­ger­ous pro­pa­gan­da white­wash­ing a dan­ger­ous cult.”

Mr Trump is not the only GOP fig­ure with ties to the move­ment.

For­mer Repub­li­can House Speak­er Newt Gin­grich also appeared on video at the event. For­mer vice pres­i­dent Mike Pence and for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo have also appeared at Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion events.

In May, Mr Pence claimed that Think Tank 2022 is “bring­ing the wis­dom of lead­ers in gov­ern­ment, busi­ness, reli­gion, civ­il soci­ety, ” accord­ing to Moth­er Jones.

Mr Pom­peo, who was intro­duced as a “devout Chris­t­ian,” boast­ed about Mr Trump’s rela­tion­ship with North Kore­an leader Kim Jong Un.

In the past Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, the son of the Moons, cam­paigned for Mr Trump and attend­ed the US Capi­tol insur­rec­tion on 6 Jan­u­ary.

Okay everyone.“Moonies,” the author­i­tar­i­an CULT I was a part of, lat­er escaped and have been speak­ing out against for the last 45+ years is trending.If you want a crash course on this cult & their ties to the mod­ern GOP, read these blogs of mine. They will catch you up. ??— Steven Has­san, PhD (@CultExpert) Sep­tem­ber 12, 2021

Mr Trump did not appear at any for­mal 9/11 memo­r­i­al ser­vices on Sat­ur­day.

He vis­it­ed a New York Police Depart­ment precinct near his Man­hat­tan build­ing, Trump Tow­er, where he took pho­tos with offi­cers and hint­ed at a run for the White House in 2024.

He lat­er attend­ed an Evan­gel­i­cal Chris­t­ian con­cert in Wash­ing­ton DC. The two-day “Let Us Wor­ship” con­cert is part of an ongo­ing protest of Covid health guide­lines.

On Sat­ur­day night, the for­mer pres­i­dent gave ring­side com­men­tary at a box­ing event in Flori­da.


2.  “Pence and Pom­peo Head­lined an Event Mount­ed by a Group That Says the “Chris­t­ian Era Has End­ed”” by David Corn; Moth­er Jones; 05/20/2021

On May 8, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo head­lined a vir­tu­al ral­ly orga­nized by an off­shoot of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church, a con­tro­ver­sial reli­gious move­ment known for hold­ing mass wed­dings of its adher­ents and that has been accused of being a cult. Though Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tives have long made com­mon cause with the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church, the head of the out­fit that pulled togeth­er this event declared not too long ago that the “Chris­t­ian era has ended”—which means Pence and Pom­peo, whose self-pro­fessed reli­gious devo­tion is a promi­nent part of their respec­tive polit­i­cal pro­files, were (know­ing­ly or not) col­lab­o­rat­ing with and bol­ster­ing a group that says it is sup­plant­i­ng the Chris­tian­i­ty they embrace.

The event—called the “Ral­ly of Hope”—was host­ed by Hak Ja Han Moon, the head of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church (whose mem­bers con­sid­er her and her late hus­band, Sun Myung Moon, the mes­si­ahs), and spon­sored by the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion, a group co-found­ed by the Moons in 2005 and affil­i­at­ed with the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church (which now refers to itself as the Uni­fi­ca­tion move­ment). Accord­ing to the UPF, the gath­er­ing, put on before a social­ly dis­tanced audi­ence and sup­pos­ed­ly streamed to 1 mil­lion peo­ple in 194 nations, was held to launch a project called Think Tank 2022, which aims to reuni­fy the Kore­an Penin­su­la.

The UPF says this new out­fit is a “glob­al mul­ti-sec­tor net­work of more than 2,000 experts” in busi­ness, acad­e­mia, and oth­er fields, though Think Tank 2022 does not yet have much (or any) online pres­ence. Still, Hak Ja Han Moon was able to draw an impres­sive amount of star pow­er for this kick-off, with the event fea­tur­ing speech­es from Pence, Pom­peo, for­mer House Speak­er Newt Gin­grich, for­mer Defense Sec­re­tary Mark Esper, past UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Ban Ki Moon, for­mer Repub­lic of Korea Prime Min­is­ter Chung Sye-Kyun, and Zanz­ibar Pres­i­dent Hus­sein Ali Mwinyi. Also among the speak­ers were Jonathan Fal­well, a pas­tor at Thomas Road Bap­tist Church in Vir­ginia and a son of Jer­ry Fal­well, the founder of the Moral Major­i­ty. Anoth­er fea­tured par­tic­i­pant was Hun Sen, the dic­ta­to­r­i­al, long­time leader of Cam­bo­dia, who has amassed a hor­rif­ic human rights record.

The three-hour-long event was a cel­e­bra­tion of both Moons, with Hak Ja Han Moon referred to as the “moth­er of Peace” and “Heav­en­ly Par­ent.” Dur­ing his video­taped speech, Pence claimed that Think Tank 2022 is “bring­ing the wis­dom of lead­ers in gov­ern­ment, busi­ness, reli­gion, civ­il soci­ety” and that thanks to this new endeav­or, “the dream of peace­ful coop­er­a­tion and uni­ty will be clos­er to real­i­ty than ever before.” (Pence spoke at a pre­vi­ous and sim­i­lar Ral­ly of Hope in March.) Pom­peo, who was intro­duced as a “devout Chris­t­ian,” hailed for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s assort­ed engage­ments with Kim Jong Un, the tyran­ni­cal and mur­der­ous leader of North Korea. “We tried some­thing dif­fer­ent,” Pom­peo said. (For­eign pol­i­cy spe­cial­ists have tend­ed to note Trump’s over­ly pal­sy over­tures to Kim yield­ed no true progress.) Gin­grich praised the Moons, the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion, Think Tank 2022, and the Wash­ing­ton Times, the con­ser­v­a­tive paper Sun Myung Moon found­ed. Esper not­ed that Hak Ja Han Moon has been “work­ing to help strength­en America’s role in the world.” He didn’t elab­o­rate on what he meant by that.

The ral­ly end­ed with a cer­e­mo­ny that was staged to look like an offi­cial act. A col­or guard bran­dish­ing the flags of nations from around the world marched about. Then Hak Ja Han Moon came out to “receive” the “his­toric res­o­lu­tion” estab­lish­ing Think Tank 2022. She signed this doc­u­ment and then struck a gong to declare the project launched.

It’s unclear what Think Tank 2022 is actu­al­ly doing. The group does not seem to have a web­site. A week after the ral­ly, the project was not men­tioned on the home page of the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion. Moth­er Jones sent Lar­ry Mof­fitt, a spokesper­son for UPF, an email with a list of ques­tions regard­ing Think Tank 2022—who are its 2,000 experts, who is run­ning this oper­a­tion, how much fund­ing does it have? The email also asked if Pence, Pom­peo, Esper, Gin­grich, and the oth­er speak­ers at the Ral­ly for Hope were paid for their par­tic­i­pa­tion. Reached by phone, Mof­fitt said he would look at that email “and get back to you.” He did not.

The Uni­fi­ca­tion move­ment has long sought to cul­ti­vate allies among Wash­ing­ton power­bro­kers, par­tic­u­lar­ly on the right. That was pre­sum­ably one moti­va­tion for Sun Myung Moon in 1982 to estab­lish the Wash­ing­ton Times, which has long been a mouth­piece for Repub­li­cans and con­ser­v­a­tives. In 2004, he man­aged to hold a bizarre crown­ing cer­e­mo­ny for him­self and his wife with­in a Sen­ate office build­ing, dur­ing which he declared in Kore­an that he was the Mes­si­ah. (Pres­i­dents and kings, he said, had ”declared to all heav­en and earth that Rev­erend Sun Myung Moon is none oth­er than humanity’s Sav­ior, Mes­si­ah, Return­ing Lord and True Par­ent.”) Some mem­bers of Con­gress who attend­ed the event—which was spon­sored by the Wash­ing­ton Times Foundation—insisted they had been duped.

The rela­tion­ship between the right and the Uni­fi­ca­tion move­ment has long been curi­ous. Much of it has like­ly been influ­enced by the Wash­ing­ton Times and its stand­ing as a depend­able con­ser­v­a­tive out­let. But the the­ol­o­gy pushed by the Moons and their devo­tees chal­lenges the basic Chris­tian­i­ty embraced by so many con­ser­v­a­tives. The Moons’ claim to be the mes­si­ahs, of course, runs counter to main­stream Chris­tian­i­ty. And one Uni­fi­ca­tion tenet pro­mot­ed by a senior per­son in the move­ment is that Chris­tian­i­ty is essen­tial­ly over.

In a 2017 video, Michael Jenk­ins, a main play­er in the Uni­fi­ca­tion movement’s cos­mos of non­prof­its and busi­ness­es, said, “The Chris­t­ian era has end­ed.” Jenk­ins is the pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion, which host­ed the Ral­ly for Hope and cre­at­ed Think Tank 2022. He is also pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton Times Foun­da­tion. (Accord­ing to its lat­est tax fil­ing, that foun­da­tion raised $242,303 in 2019 and only hand­ed out $2,595 in con­tri­bu­tions. It spent $256,005 on salaries and oth­er admin­is­tra­tive expens­es, includ­ing $93,400 in salary for Mof­fitt, the UPF spokesper­son, who is also the vice pres­i­dent of the foun­da­tion.)

This video record­ed Jenk­ins giv­ing a talk at a Uni­fi­ca­tion Church in Colum­bus, Ohio, in which he quot­ed “Mother”—Hak Ja Han Moon—saying “Chris­tian­i­ty failed.” He not­ed that she had pro­claimed, “the New Tes­ta­ment era is over. The Chris­t­ian era has con­clud­ed.” He sug­gest­ed that the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church is in the process of replac­ing Chris­tian­i­ty. Con­se­quent­ly, Pence and Pom­peo con­tributed their celebri­ty to an effort mount­ed by a move­ment that appears to con­sid­er Chris­tian­i­ty kaput. (The video was orig­i­nal­ly obtained by War­ren Throck­mor­ton, a pro­fes­sor at Grove City Col­lege in Penn­syl­va­nia who writes a blog that cov­ers reli­gious issues.)

Pence’s and Pompeo’s appear­ances at the ral­ly were much appre­ci­at­ed by the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion, which released a cel­e­bra­to­ry press release not­ing that “world-class lead­ers” had “affirmed and enhanced the con­cept of Think Tank 2022.” But if one goal was to gar­ner media atten­tion in the Unit­ed States for this ven­ture through the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Pence, Pom­peo, Gin­grich, and oth­ers, the Uni­ver­sal Peace Fed­er­a­tion fell short. It seems the only major Amer­i­can media out­let that cov­ered the event was the Wash­ing­ton Times.






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