The Unification Church — aka, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification founded by Sun Myung Moon in 1954 in Korea, and attracted attention in the U.S. when Moon began establishing churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Berkeley.
Members of the religious organization came to be commonly known as "Moonies" — following Moon's beliefs known as the Divine Principle., including his penchant for marrying members en masse. According to the organization, "Unificationists believe that Reverend and Mrs. Moon have succeeded in becoming the first True Parents, having established a God-centered family and lineage."
The Unification Church quickly came under fire for its high-pressure recruiting tactics, which some former members claim included brainwashing. Its "secret teachings" along with testimonies from ex-Moonies, has led to the argument that the Unification Church is, in fact, a cult group. The Unification Church denies these claims, stating that it is a Christian movement.
The billboards set up at the entrance to campus advertised seminars and evening programs at the Bay Area Family Church in San Leandro. "We create community networks of couples committed to each other," a flyer read. "The Family Federation calls all couples to rededicate their marriage in the love of God."
Are you a member of the Unification Church? Have you experienced Rev. Moon's teachings? Share your story in the comments.