Victim to Victor: Confessions of a Wrong-way Moonie
Christopher McKeon was a lost soul when he was introduced to the religious philosophy that would alter his path in life. He was nursing an injury incurred while serving in the United States Coast Guard. He was a lapsed Catholic when he met Ginny and discovered the Unification Church. Despite initial skepticism, Chris took to his newfound religion with fervor. He read the church’s works and the idea of the “Divine Principle” preached by church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon stood out to him. Despite initial stumbles in his early years, he believed his membership in the church would be a fresh start.
Chris’ early years in the church revolved around study, worship and pushing the church’s name to the public while fundraising. His time in the church would be fraught with conflict due to an inherent racism present in the church’s hierarchy along with Chris’ inquisitive nature. His desire to pierce the opacity of church doctrine marked him as an agitator, despite his devoutness and service to the church.
The frustrations endured at the church were often equally matched by the career turmoil and romantic woes that dominated much of Chris’ time in the Church. The amount of time and effort needed to become a standing member of the Unification Church left a scant amount of time. However, living in church housing and taking coursework required an ample amount of funds. A balance between career and faith would be precarious to the point of madness. Chris’ attempts to find love only further caused him headaches as the church had strict rules in relationship to “pairings.” When Chris strayed from this, the consequences would be severe.
Two decades on, Chris would be at a crossroads in every part of his life and his membership of the church was at the nexus of his crisis.
Christopher McKeon’s story is a poignant voyage of self-discovery where a path to higher spiritual enlightenment is beset by ill-fated relationships, broken friendships and the backbiting nature of various followers and leaders of the Unification Church. While dispelling rumors of the church being a cult, McKeon reveals the enigmatic bureaucracy that often stifles a devotee’s growth in the church. He points out the positives that brought him to embrace the religion and the negatives that can prove alienating.
One of the qualities that stands out in McKeon’s narrative is his resolve among an array of adverse life events. The reader may not hold his beliefs or his strong faith, but his willingness to divine more from life and to keep his world together is something many can identify with. At its core, McKeon’s book will prove inspiring to more than a few.
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