Skooter reporting 09/03/12
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah and well-known for conducting mass weddings involving thousands of couples, died Monday at a church-owned hospital near his home in Gapyeong County, northeast of Seoul, two weeks after being hospitalized with pneumonia, Unification church spokesman Ahn Ho-yeul said. He was 92.
Rev. Moon was as good at attracting dollars as he was at drawing converts. His Unification Church asserts 3 million followers, but ex-members and critics believed the number is less than 100,000. The vastness of his business empire aside from his church, he ventures in several countries from hospitals, newspapers to cars and sushi, including professional sports teams and a ballet troupe.
Flags flew at half-mass Monday at a Unification Church in Seoul. Followers thronged into the building, some sobbing, wiping away tears. Moon’s body was transferred to the church’s gigantic white palace on Mount Cheonseong overlooking the lakes and wooded forests of Gapyeong County. His burial will be held on Sept. 15 after a 13-day mourning period.
Moon was born in a rural part of what is now North Korea.