When it comes to cult practices, there’s no telling what might happen. From bizarre ceremonies to questionable rituals, there’s a good reason why cults have the terrible reputation that they have worldwide.
But when a child is born as the result of one of these bizarre rituals it means that an innocent soul is now involved, but completely against their will and without their consent. This brother and sister duo knew all about cults, thanks to their parents…
Kate and Elijah were born just a few years apart. Growing up, they were closer than your average brother and sister, but that was for good reason. After all, they had been born into not the most common of circumstances and had to be there 24/7 to support each other.
From a young age, the two kids had a special bond, one that was unique and out of the ordinary. You see, the way their parents had met was unconventional and that made for an extra special relationship between Kate and Elijah…
The Unification Church, also known as the “Moonies” is a Christian inspired worldwide movement, often referred to as a “cult.” Inspired by its founder Sun Myung Moon (hence the Moonies) this Korean man was known as a spiritual leader, but much more than that.
As well as professing to be a spiritual leader (read cult leader) Moon also fancied himself as a bit of an entrepreneur, as well as an activist, and a peace advocate, apparently. Moon’s operation, which is a global one of many years, includes numerous businesses, news media outlets, and political activism. Kate and Elijah came from this cult…
Having been indoctrinated into the Moonies from a young age, Elijah was reticent to name the cult specifically, “I will say that this was a very big movement. It wasn’t just like 100 people and a small little weird group. It was definitely weird but it was a large movement, thousands of people. It was at its height in the eighties.” He said.
Seekers of Truth
When Kate and Elijah’s parents were in their twenties they were very bright people and were considered to be intellectuals. However, according to Elijah, they were also seekers of truth, and that’s why they joined the movement, unaware it was a cult…
In Elijah’s words, “Especially in their early years in college, they were seeking answers like a lot of us are, and they were very passionate about that.” That passion led them to the Unification Church and their lives, as well as those of their offspring, changed forever.
Harmony On Earth
Initially, Elijah explained, his parents had the best of intentions when they joined the movement, “I think that especially in the beginning, it was presented as a way to bring together all religions and spiritualities to create a harmonious family on this Earth, and a progressive system for promoting world peace, pretty much,” he added.
Kate explains that her dad was from California and her mom was from Boston but that they were both recruited by the Moonies at a gathering. They were “love bombed” by other members there and brought into the church as part of the movement.
While neither of the kids wanted to judge their parents for the decisions they made all those years ago, they know that they had the best of intentions. However, things started going wrong for them when Moon tried to enforce the belief that he was, in fact, God, as well as the new messiah…
A large part of this movement is the mass wedding ceremonies which they perform, sometimes with 1000 couples at the same time, joined in matrimony simultaneously. “Our parents were actually matched,” Kate said, “Blindly, had never met, did not know each other at all. The wedding ceremonies, the matching ceremonies were huge, like thousands of followers in one room.”
It may seem bizarre to anyone reading this, and it is, but men would stand on one side of the room and women on the other. Then Moon, the cult leader, would walk down the aisle and pair men and women who had never even met before. Minutes later and they would be married for life…
Estranged From Family
Part of the cult movement’s strategy was to alienate new members from their families as quickly and quietly as possible so that they couldn’t be influenced to leave. The mother was even disowned by her own family after she became a Moonie, while the couple spent their time raising money for the Church.
Both Kate and Elijah have disturbing memories of the community gatherings which they had to attend as kids. “I just remember that we would do honorings and ceremonies with altars of the leaders and we would say prayers and sing some songs, and we would go to community gatherings,” Elijah said…
Kate was told by her parents that she was to be matched with a husband later in life when she was only five years old. “Even at the age of five or six years old, I was such a strong, free, independent spirit, I would look up at them and say, “no I’m not,”‘ she said.
It was only a matter of time before Kate and Elijah’s parents got divorced and left the cult. They had never been compatible and were simply put together by a delusional man who did not have their best interests at heart. Fortunately, their relationship with their parents improved markedly after they left the Moonies…
“We both really believe that spirituality is a very important part of being alive, being connected to other people, community, some kind of faith, is really essential I feel, for a balanced progressive life,” Elijah said, although he also thinks that that kind of spiritual connection can only be achieved by a personal faith in God.
True To Yourself
Kate also offered advice regarding her view on spirituality saying, “Ultimately you have to trust that you’re on your own journey and your own path and it’s perfect in whatever way that is, whatever you choose to believe, whatever you get into or don’t get into….Always keep a sense of yourself.”
Kate and Elijah appear to be remarkably mature, and seem to have a healthy understanding of what happened with their parents all those years ago, “They were seeking answers,” said Elijah, adding, “They got involved in this movement which on the surface level had positive things to day. It was painted as promoting world peace.” Years later and the parents would regret their decision to join the cult.
Kate and Elijah are philosophical now about where they come from. Having seen what cult life is like close up, they have managed to forge their own spiritual path, one full of positivity, generosity and happiness. The fact that they are now closer than ever and closer with their parents and extended family than ever before is a bonus they weren’t expecting.