Cohen: IHF has “no religious affiliations”

Richard Cohen has issued a statement regarding his International Healing Foundation and religious affiliations.


I have a copy of what appears to be the IHF Articles of Incorporation supplied by a former board member. I hope to verify them soon. They begin this way:

Section 2 – Beliefs: Essential Beliefs of IHF

1. God, our Higher Power, is the center of the process of healing restoration. Without the power of God’s truth and love, true and lasting healing is not possible.

2. God created men and women to 1) fruitful – achieve individual maturity, 2) multiply – establish God-centered families; and 3) take dominion over creation with true love.

They continue in a generally religious manner. If these are current policy, it appears that IHF is indeed religious, but not sectarian.

Mr. Cohen’s website statement above is similar to a statement he issued in 2000 when this issue came up. Prior to 2000, the IHF was listed as a Moon Front Group. Compiled by Larry Zilliox and endorsed by cult expert and ex-Unification church member, Steve Hassan, the list is very long and actually referenced on a Unification church website. The list is also featured on Rick Ross’s website. The IHF is still on the list but also includes the following statements from Richard Cohen regarding the Unification Church.

International Healing Foundation P.O. Box 901, Bowie, MD 20718-0901 Phone (301) 3… Richard Cohen, Director. Mr. Cohen is author of the book “Coming Out Straight,” which is about “a successful treatment plan for transitioning from homosexual to heterosexual.” Within this book Cohen tells of his “own story of coming out straight [and] about [his] spiritual journey from Jew to Christian to moonie and back to Christian” again. Richard Cohen advised (Feb. 13, 2000) that his “foundation was never a project of the Unification Church [and that he] left the Unification church in 1995…[and] joined a local Christian church two years ago.”

In a recent statement (Feb. 16, 2000) Richard Cohen concluded, “I DO NOT believe Rev. Moon is the messiah…[nor that] Rev. and Mrs. Moon are ‘true parents’ or serve as role models. I under no uncertain terms, support ANY activity or program of the Unification Church.”

Recent questions regarding the IHF and the UC must be seen in the context of persistent concerns raised by cult experts and observers since the IHF was initially listed as a group with Moon connections. I believe the questions are fair in light of clear evidence of UC involvement by IHF staff and board members not long after these denials were issued. See my prior posts here and here.

It is also worth noting that the Unification Church is actually not an entity at present but, in 1997, was absorbed into an entity Rev. Moon set up called The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Read this internal communication which addressed the confusion experienced by those in the movement about the change from church to family federation. It would be possible to claim one is not a member of the Unification Church and still be involved with the Unificationist movement or Family Church federation. On this point, Sun Myung Moon declared in 1997:

Therefore we can build the Kingdom of God here. As Unification Church Blessed couples, if we truly fulfill the role of tribal messiahs, there is an automatic extension. That is why we can truly restore this world into the Kingdom of God. For this purpose, Father took down the HSA-UWC sign and placed a new sign: The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

In a history of the Unification Movement, there is a reasonably candid description of this change, referring to Moon’s requirement for a change of name and focus. Church leader Damian Anderson comments further about the name change here.

Another aspect of the Unification Movement that creates confusion is the similar sound of Unification theology to traditional Christian doctrines. Read this 2001 note regarding Christ from US Unification leader Michael Jenkins:

Statement Concerning Incorrect Presentation of Unification Teaching on Jesus Christ

To: National Desk

Contact: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification,


Email: [email protected]

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ — The following is a statement by Rev. Michael Jenkins, President, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, USA, concerning the incorrect presentation of Unification Teaching on Jesus Christ:

The Associated Press has recently reported incorrectly the beliefs concerning Jesus and the faith of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (formerly the Unification Church founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon).

An August 14th article entitled “Vatican:Archbishop Giving Up Wife” states incorrectly, “For instance, Moon’s followers regard Moon as the messiah who is completing the salvation Jesus Christ failed to accomplish.”

The church affirms Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and that his mission was successful in bringing salvation through the blood atonement. Because of the rejection of the chosen people to receive Jesus, the promised Kingdom of God did not come at that time but was prolonged until Jesus return. This prolongation was not a failure on Jesus part but of that of the people who God had prepared to receive Him.

The Unification teaching doesn’t associate the lack of the faith of the people to receive Jesus with any failure on Jesus’ part. Their rejection caused a prolongation of his mission and calls for His return.

Unification teaching affirms Jesus as Lord and Savior. In a recent publication of Rev. Moon’s teaching, The Life and Mission of Jesus Christ (HSA Publications, 2001), Rev. Moon has stated, “…Jesus is the only begotten Son of God…. That is why He is the Savior. Therefore it is only through Jesus that we can be connected to the lineage of God.”

Concerning the title of “Messiah” the Unification teaching affirms the biblical concept of the Hebrew term for “Messiah” , Messias meaning “anointed one”. Unification teaching affirms that Rev. Moon has received the anointing of Jesus and stands in a messianic role as “True Parents.” Unification teaching also affirms that the “anointing” or messianic role is also conveyed to other pastors and leaders who, if called by God, take up the cross and follow Jesus

Now I must hasten to add that much of what I have written here may have no relevance to Mr. Cohen’s IHF. By this point, I am developing some interest in understanding the Moon organizations. I am trying to understand how this organization operates to try to make sense of the statements of Mr. Cohen and Mrs. Wiemann and what I read on the Unificationist websites involving them (much of which is fast disappearing as someone is altering most of the websites). Again, readers must decide what if anything is relevant or important.

9 thoughts on “Cohen: IHF has “no religious affiliations””

  1. As a former 18 year member of the Unification Church. I left it in 1992. I knew Richard Cohen. Worked with him directly at The World Mission Center..(New Yorker Hotel), The Manhattan Center,(adjoins The New Yorker), Belvedere, etc, etc. I didn’t like him then..(he was a leading .. mouthpiece, for Rev. Moon.) and I DON’T.. Trust his claim that he is .. “FREE” of Moonism.

    His.. Habit.. of saying he didn’t say.. or write something.. Which.. he did.. or to try twisting it around by saying he didn’t mean.. such and such.. as.. shown in his televised appearance on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW. Is Classic Mind Twisting.. attempt! Keep people.. off balance.., they won’t be out rightly.. turned off by him., or his views… by not allowing them.. to KNOW.. what “he” really thinks. He clearly, follows the Classic Moonie.. Poor Victim that no one.. is giving a fair chance to… syndrome! SO NO.. I DO NOT.. Trust.. Mr. Cohen. But.. I do.. Trust and Admire.. the work that Steve Hassan has been and is still doing.

  2. QUACK! QUACK! Cohen is pulling one of his regular and very predictable routines of victimittis again. Anyone who has been at one of Richard Cohen’s seminars, therapy, etc knows that his way and manner of speaking, praying, lecturing, etc. is very much like rev. moon. The founding documents for IHF have plenty of moon like statements about God, higher power, etc. His “aunt Hilde” has her name scattered through several moon websties, as does his son Jarish Cohen, son of Richard (see earlier post) who was the “Contact Organizer” for his father’s Summer Healing Seminar, June 11-12, 2005 near the Baltimore/Washington Airport. So the family and staff are part and parcel of IHF without a doubt. In this posting Jarish Cohen is referred to as “….It (the seminar) is being organized by a Blessed member of our Second Generation now studying at UPenn, and will be led by his father (Richard), who is a nationally known author, licensed counselor (licensed by what organization and/or state? by his own admission he is not licensed by anyone)… achieve a loving and strong Blessed Family.” The parens are mine. This means that Richard Cohen and son Jarish Cohen, as Rev. Phillip Schanker, Vice President for Education of moon’s organization, states is a moonie and a member of moon’s church because both he and his son are Blessed members and Blessed Family and you can’t be Blessed (capitalized) unless you are a card carrying member of moon’s organization. So, we find Jarish Cohen noted at several other moon locations as well as Jessica Cohen, also a child of Richard. So, here we have Richard Cohen, trooping out his family (wife and other child Alfie included) on the cover of his book and other promotional items as well and spread all over the moon organization. What ethical therapist uses his family in this way to promote his services? None that I know of. So here we have Cohen playing the victim role to divert attention away from the real point of discussion, is he or isn’t he (including his son, daughter and staff member Hilde) a card carrying moonie?. Cohen himself opened himself up, as well as his staff and family to be questioned about all of this by using his staff and family to promote his organization, so they are in fact part and parcel of IHF and subject to scrutiny as well. So, keep your eye on the ball folks, don’t be fooled and mislead in another direction (an old moonie tactic Cohen knows all too well) by Cohen’s diversions. Anyone with a half a brain can easily figure out that he and his family and staff member are up to their neck in moon. So, let Cohen protest all he wants, it doesn’t really matter any more because by now, everyone knows who and what he is.

  3. Maybe I missed it but I don’t think you linked to Larry Zilliox’s actual list which is the one to use. Others copied it years ago and posted it around the net but the one housed at Steve Hassan’s site is the one to go by and is updated a few times a year.

    I suggest you only use the one found here.

    That statement from Jenkins, all I can say is that I have never seen more horsedroppings in one place in all my life. The moonies have played this game for years mainly in the USA where they want to attract Christians into the Moon web. When someone in the press calls them on what is obvious what they believe – namely that Moon and his followers believe him to be THE Messiah, THE Lord of the Second Advent, THE Second Coming – they run some spinner out and act like “Oh, no he means blah blah blah blah.”

    He may have said that about getting to God through Jesus’ “lineage” once for the cameras but Moon has said many, many times that it is only through “True Parents” lineage that we can make it. You have to drink his Holy Wine or have your marriage blessed by him or his organization.

    There are many, many examples of Moon saying Jesus failed.

    Jesus couldn’t even make it into heaven without Moon’s help. His people recently had a ceremony in Israel where, through Moon, Jesus was made the King of the Jews, yes, Moon let Jesus complete part of His mission.

    Moon married Jesus to a Korean woman to allow Jesus to get into Heaven. They teach that Jesus serves Moon’s dead son in heaven. Moon believes he is a 1000 times greater than anyone history.

    quoting Moon’s daughter in-law.

    “I was taught in Sunday school that the Reverend Moon had been chosen by God to complete Jesus’ mission to restore the Garden of Eden. The Reverend Moon was the Second Coming.”

    “The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth had not been opened to mankind. It is the Reverend Moon’s role as Lord of the Second Advent to complete the work Jesus left undone. The Reverend Moon’s.”

    “The Reverend Moon’s hubris culminated later that year [1985] in a secret ceremony in which he actually crowned himself and Hak Ja Han Moon as Emperor and Empress of the Universe. The Reverend Moon was aware enough of how an act of such monumental egotism would be received by the world that he banned photographs from being taken at the actual ceremony. Since there was no authority higher than the Reverend Moon, the Messiah had to crown himself Emperor of the Universe.”

    “Sun Myung Moon actually had matched Jesus to an elderly Korean woman. Because the Unification Church teaches that only married couples can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus himself needed the intervention of the Reverend Moon to move through those gates.”

    “As members of the church, they knew of my marriage to Hyo Jin Moon, but they must have assumed it had not been consummated. That was not such a foolish assumption, I realize now. The age of consent in New York State is seventeen. Hyo Jin could have been arrested for statutory rape. That summer the Moons decided I could not return to Irvington High School. They worried that public school officials could get too curious about the cause of my extended leave of absence, that there would be rumors about the baby. I was still below the age of consent in New York when she was conceived. They did not need their son accused of child abuse or even rape.”

    anywho, Moon made it official in 1992:

    “In early July, I spoke in five cities around Korea at rallies held by the Women’s Federation for World Peace. There, I declared that my wife, WFWP President Hak Ja Han Moon, and I are the True Parents of all humanity. I declared that we are the Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah.” [Sun Myung Moon – Aug. 24, 1992 Little Angels Performing Arts Center, Seoul, Korea ]

    He actually believes when all is said and done, God will realize he(Moon) is greater than God.

    Now, with the advent of the True Parents on this Earth we all have to follow the perfected Adam’s family. We cannot enter the Kingdom of God without True Parents’ grace. We have to follow in their footsteps.

    The time has come when, wherever Reverend Moon appears, God will be there all the time. Whatever Reverend Moon may say, that will be God’s message. …

    Within this world there is no individual whom God loves more than Reverend Moon. There is no one else who knows God more than Reverend Moon. …

    In the Last Days, when God looks down and sees Reverend Moon bestowing blessing upon millions of people in place of God then He will say that Father is even greater than God. [Sun Myung Moon – True Parents’ Day is my True Son’s Day – April 18, 1996 ]

    They don’t just say Jesus failed – they teach it to their second generation in games.

    The next activity had us laying firewood logs on top of each other to reach a certain height, which represented the foundation for the messiah to come. At our first success Takamitsu just pushed them over and informed us that Jesus failed and we have to start all over again. Later we went to a large field where the staff had hidden small scraps of paper with our names on them, representing how hard it was for True Parents to find the principle.

    [Unification News for April 2005

    Children’s Workshop and Youth Workshop in Winston Salem, NC – By Rev. Mike Lamson

    From March 18-20, 2005 ]

    this BBC documentary is pretty good though they get a few things wrong. I don’t think they paraded Moon’s dead son around when they married him to Moon’s aide’s daughter. Also, they give George Bush 43 way too much slack – 43 has shilled for Moon on three continents. Anything he claims he doesn’t know about Moon is, after years of shilling for Moon, willful..

    go here for the BBC documentary, “Emperor of the Universe.”.

  4. I just wanted to say that I saw Richard Cohen on The Daily Show a few years ago. This was before I had heard of Reparative Therapy.

    Holding therapy?


    In a weird way I feel sorry for him. He might mean well but he is obviously misguided.

  5. Ah – okay. Thank you. I have a poor opinion of him and did not read the whole thing. Lessons, lessons, lessons…

  6. DId I get that right, Dr T? Have you gone from being Switzerland to a gay sympathizer (and self-appointed social critic)?

  7. Mary – IHF was first incorporated in Washington state and then again in MD as a non-profit. I think if you read down further on his page, you see more about the expulsion from the ACA.

  8. Technically – how is IHF incorporated?? Is it a non-profit? Can he then call it a secular organization (even though there are tremendous relgious directions of the corp?)

    And he doesn’t mention being expelled from any organization. He mentions touching therapy to be administered by parents, mentors etc… but clearly does this himself with clients?? (again – not mentioned)

    He asserts that he IHF has no link to UC – and yet, the UC has links to him???

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