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Posts for October, 2012

Unification Church (a.k.a. “Moonies”) President Touts Church Ties To Ex-Gay Leader

Jim Burroway

October 30th, 2012

Warren Throckmorton discovered a video which appears to link Richard Cohen, head of the International Healing Foundation, with the Unification Church founded by Sun Myung Moon. The church, whose members are known as “Moonies,” is now headed by Moon’s son, Hyung Jin Moon.  On October 7, 2012, the younger Moon was holding a town hall meeting at the Unification Bay Area Family Church where he fielded a question on homosexuality:

Richard Cohen is a member in our movement who has worked on this tremendously, the whole issue. Even as you mentioned, you said that people are gay through no fault of their own. But of course this is debatable; that’s an assumption. Richard Cohen actually debates that assumption. He’s actually an expert on this issue and so maybe we can connect you to him, Richard Cohen. If you could, give your contact information to Dr. Grubb, we will try to connect you to Richard Cohen. I think in our movement he is probably the foremost expert on that whole issue, and hopefully he can contribute and helping us with programs in the future as well.

Cohen has claimed that he left the Unification Church in the 1990s. He had been a member of thee Unification Church for twenty years, and he acknowledged that his marriage was arranged by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon himself.  In 2007, the Freedom of Mind Network, a cult-watch organization, had listed Cohen’s group as a Moon Cultural and Social Front. Cohen called the charge a “slander.”  (Cohen’s International Healing Foundation is no longer listed.)

Cohen had once played a prominent role in the ex-gay movement. In addition to authoring books in which he claims to be an expert on the subject, Cohen founded the horribly mis-named Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX). He fell out of favor in 2005 when he accomplished the rather remarkable feat of embarrassing the entire ex-gay movement by demonstrating his unorthodox “holding” technique for “curing” gay people with CNN’s Paula Zahn. He compounded that embarrassment by appearing on The Daily Show six months later to demonstrate those same techniques. More recently, Cohen has tried, unsuccesfully, to rebrand his organization as a gay supportive group as a cover for his continuing stealth ex-gay activities.

Cohen was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association in 2002 for multiple ethical violations.

Speaking of Fair Weather Friends…

Jim Burroway

November 9th, 2007

We already mentioned Joseph Nicolosi and Rigina Griggs, whose organizations once pretended they never heard of Richard Cohen last March when the world was laughing at his appearance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Now that it looks like the coast is clear, Nicolosi and Griggs back out of the closet and endorsing his latest book, Gay Children, Straight Parents.

Sun Myung Moon and his wifeMore questions are arising as to whether Cohen himself may be a fair weather friend to Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, known colloquially as the “Moonies.” He had been a member of thee Unification Church for twenty years, and his marriage is an arranged marriage that he said was suggested by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon himself. Cohen says that he left the Unification Church in 1995 and now professes to be a Christian.

But more recently, Cohen’s organization, the International Healing Foundation, was listed by the Freedom Of the Mind Center, a cult awareness web site, as a Moon Cultural and Social Front. Cohen denied the charge, calling it a “slander.” But questions about his links continue to pile up. Warren Throckmorton has been compiling a rather exhaustive dossier on the question.

What do you think? Moonie, or just Loonie?

See also:
From Buggery To Huggery: Richard Cohen Has A Plan For Your Family