Top critical review
Foundational Experience of Joining and Leaving the Unification Church
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2014
This seems at first glance to be a silly book filled with unsubstantiated claims about a vast number of things. The only reason that I bother to review it is to shed light on the relationship between Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism/Taoism, and modern science, which all reveal some aspect of deep truth, and attempt to share that truth with the world by inviting people to investigate for themselves through outreach activities that include books, seminars, and the Internet, as well as major departments of universities around the world.
Mr. Hassan returns frequently to his foundational experience of joining the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in 1974 without much critical examination of what led him to join in the first place. What lead him to be an idealistic young man intent on solving world problems? Certainly part of the cause for idealism in young people is the possibility that parents, family, religious upbringing and public school education did a good job in preparing them (and possibly Mr. Hassan) to search for high ideals and to live meaningful lives. Does he really expect anyone to believe that he needed to be brainwashed into pursuing higher ideals? I for one am not convinced that he was brainwashed by anything other than attending a lecture.
We read in Hassan's book that the Moonies trained him to look at people's faces and focus his gaze 3 inches behind their eyes. Really? In all the literature, books and talks that are online by and about Rev. Sun Myung Moon, there is no such technique taught or discussed or used. His claim is simply ridiculous. He then explains that he later learned after leaving the church that this eye gazing technique was used by Communists to gain control over peoples' minds. An immediate search on the Internet under "Communist Mind Control Techniques" did not validate this "factoid", although exhaustive searching might in fact validate it. But if it is true, then he should teach this technique to smokers who are trying to quit and obese people who are trying to lose weight. But why stop there? He should then use his technique that he supposedly learned in the Unification Church on all the criminals in all the prisons, and on all the folks in the Middle East who can't seem to get along, or even on both sides of Congress - the Democrats and the Republicans. He could also teach it to 3 year olds who are still wetting their diapers. I'm sure there are many other potential applications too numerous to mention.
Returning to Hasan's foundational experience of joining and leaving the Unification Church, which launched him on his life's path of forever claiming that he was a victim of insidious brainwashing techniques, it might be pointed out that the Divine Principle Book, which is a book about the Bible is the main teaching of the church and is completely online for anyone to read for free. Perhaps the most controversial part is chapter 2 on The Fall of Man, which explains how Eve was seduced by the angel Lucifer. In case you didn't know, the oldest official book of Kabbalah published around 1100, named The Book Bahir, was the subject of Gershom Scholem's 100 page doctoral thesis. In the last sections 98 - 100, we read about The Fall of Man and how the wicked angel Samael had sexual intercourse with Eve, who then realized that Adam was her true mate and seduced him in the same way that she had been seduced.
Mr. Hassan last I knew attends a Jewish temple at which the rabbi is a Kabbalist. There is nothing wrong with Kabbalah in my opinion. One religious scholar I know came back from a trip to Israel and reported that after talking with rabbis there, he is convinced that Kabbalah is the core of Judaism. Not all rabbis are partial to Kabbalah, however.
In conclusion Mr. Hassan needs to start being honest with the public about what he really believes and why he believes it, and to stop pretending that he was a victim of anything other than attending a lecture and responding to its message out of his own free will.