The following cults make no claim at all to be forms of Christianity.
The proper name for this cult is The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification
of Christianity, or Unification Church for short. Its nickname
relates to its founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon (pictured below and opposite, with his
wife), a Korean, who established the group in 1954.
Although it calls itself a church, the cult is not Christian at all. Moon had a Christian
background but was led astray by visions unrelated to the truth of the Bible. He
came to see himself as the new messiah, but was more than once accused of immoral
practices. Certainly he made a lot of money from his weapon-manufacturing business.
In 1957 he published his religious views in Divine Principle.
The cult expanded during the 1970s, especially in America, but now seems to be on
the wane. In 1982 Moon served an eighteen-month prison sentence in the USA, along
with a stiff fine, for tax evasion.
The appeal of the Moonies has been particularly to young people, who are drawn away
from their parents and brainwashed into making money for the cult.
The Unification Church uses the Bible only in order to draw Christians to itself.
It believes that, once the Christian church is absorbed, the Bible can be dispensed
with, because Moon's Divine Principle is a book of far superior spiritual value.
Similarly, Moon regards himself as superior to Jesus Christ.
Not surprisingly in the light of this, the cult's doctrines are anti-Christian. God
is not personal. Jesus was just another man, though sinless. He was to have taken
a bride in the place of Eve and to have produced perfect children. But he failed,
being crucified before he could marry. The Holy Spirit is female. Jesus will not
personally return as he is already here in the person of the Rev. Moon, whose influence
will unify all things, so that everyone will eventually be saved.
Lafayette Ron Hubbard (pictured), the founder of The Church of Scientology, was born
in Nebraska, USA, in 1911. He spent time in the Far East, where he explored both
Asian religion and the workings of the human mind.
Recovering from a period of ill-health, he published what he saw as the reasons for
his recovery in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which dealt with
the subconscious. His views caught on and the Church of Scientology, formed in 1952,
grew rapidly. It appealed to young people, especially wealthy young people, and the
cult itself became extremely wealthy.
It is now well-established that Hubbard was a conscious fraud, a drug addict and
a dabbler in the occult. His writings were produced, not out of years of study, as
he claimed, but as the result of drug-induced trances. He died in California in 1976,
yet millions continue to be deceived by his writings.
God, in Scientology, is whoever you want him to be. Jesus is rarely mentioned, though
acknowledged as a great teacher. The Bible is just one of many records of man's search
after the truth. The only final authority is Hubbard and his writings.
Human beings are trapped in material bodies and need to be released to achieve their
original god-like state. Scientology practitioners are available to help people achieve
this, charging extortionate fees. Salvation consists in overcoming the psychological
problems ('engrams') that get in the way of this fulfilment.