Sun Myung Moon's Lost Eco-Utopia
1935: Moon, the son of Presbyterian farmers in South Korea, is 15 when he claims a miraculous experience: Christ visited him on a mountainside and asked him to establish God's kingdom on Earth.
1950: After three years of forced labor in a North Korean prison camp, Moon is liberated by United Nations forces. The experience will fuel a lifelong crusade against Communism.
1954: Establishes the Unification Church in Seoul. Within a year, 30 churches spring up around the country.
1958: Missionaries are sent to Japan and the United States.
1963: Founds the Tongil Group, a South Korean manufacturing conglomerate. Moon's business holdings will expand to include pharmaceuticals, herbal teas, ships, sushi, guns, publishing, and automobiles. The church will repeatedly deny charges that its commercial empire is underwritten by cult followers who turn over their assets and work for free.
1972: Moon bases his operations in the United States, with headquarters in New York. He begins holding mass rallies in places like Yankee Stadium.
1976: Time magazine quotes Moon saying, "I will conquer and subjugate the world." Dismisses acusations that he brainwashes followers as "nonsense."
1981: Finances Inchon, an epic $42 million box-office flop about the Korean War starring Laurence Olivier as General Douglas MacArthur.