More of the article here at https://www.rawstory.com/rod-of-iron-ministries/With just over three weeks to go before the 2020 presidential election, former White House senior counselor Steve Bannon addressed a crowd gathered on the grounds of Kahr Arms/Tommy Gun Warehouse in Greeley, Pa. by video. He warned about a supposed Democratic conspiracy to steal the election from Donald Trump.
"What the left intends to do — and you're seeing it in Pennsylvania right now — use the courts, use social media, use the mainstream media to try to make sure Trump is not declared the winner that night," Bannon said. He went on to promise that the Trump forces would "win this thing," adding: "Pennsylvania is the key that picks the lock for a second Trump term."
Frank Scavo, a local Republican politician who had previously served on the Old Forge School Board in Lackawanna County, emceed the event. Following Bannon's remarks, Scavo reinforced the previous speaker's points.
"You heard Steve Bannon," Scavo said. "Now is our time, now is your time. Working the polls — all you're doing is making sure that it's going straight, that it's going according to plan. All you're doing is making sure that there aren't busloads of people which show up and just happen to vote."
Then, Scavo introduced the next speaker — a man dressed in a camouflage-patterned suit and tie and wearing a crown of bullets, with a gold-plated AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder. It was Pastor Hyung Jin "Sean" Moon, leader of World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, more commonly known as Rod of Iron Ministries. Alongside Kahr Arms, the gun manufacturer owned by older brother Kook-Jin "Justin" Moon, Rod of Iron Ministries hosts the "Freedom Festival," an annual celebration of firearms, military service and patriotism in the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania.
"Pastor Moon has the message," Scavo told the assembly. "He has the answers, and the answers are from above. Pastor Moon is the vessel that delivers the message, but it's up to us to deliver on what the word of God is."
Since 2017, Rod of Iron Ministries, an offshoot sect led by the youngest son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon that worships with AR-15s, has increasingly aligned itself with Donald Trump, while aggressively evangelizing to the pro-Second Amendment and anti-government flanks of the far right. Consistent with the teachings of the Unification Church from which it sprang, Rod of Iron Ministries considers Sun Myung Moon "as a returning Jesus," or "True Father." Believers call Sean Moon the "2nd King," although Rod of Iron is bitterly divided against other factions led by Hak Ja Han, the widow of Sun Myung Moon and Sean's mother, and his older brother Hyun Jin "Preston" Moon, which are also vying for recognition as heirs to the legacy of the cult's founder.
Among the groups involved in the insurrection, including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and loose configurations of Three Percenters, the role of Rod of Iron Ministries as a hub of organizing for the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol has been largely overlooked.
Following the 2020 election, Rod of Iron Ministries deployed its American members to a string of large rallies in Washington DC, Harrisburg, Pa. and Valdosta, Ga. in November and December that helped build momentum for the Jan. 6 insurrection, along with church members enlisted from Japan and South Korea who also fanned out across Pennsylvania for almost daily roadside rallies in support of Trump. As leader of Rod of Iron Ministries, Sean Moon promoted the big lie that the election was stolen from Trump, while issuing apocalyptic warnings to his followers to prepare for violent confrontation as President Biden's inauguration approached. They marched in paramilitary formation in DC, with members outfitted in tactical vests, helmets and protective glasses, while networking with other pro-Trump groups such as Vets for Trump and Phyllis Schlafly's Eagles, along with Pennsylvania political figures like Frank Scavo.
On Jan. 6, a video shared on Instagram by Sean Moon shows him and at least a dozen Rod of Iron Ministries members reacting to chemical spray from law enforcement officers on the plaza outside the Capitol, and Moon later led members onto the scaffolding on the west side of the building. One Rod of Iron Ministries associate, Robert Pickell, pushed against a line of Capitol police officers in riot gear outside the Columbus Doors as other rioters pelted the officers with projectiles and bashed out windows with flagpoles. In video reviewed by Raw Story, Pickell can be seen charging into the police line to the left of the entrance, as the doors open and another person yells, "They're in!" Pickell has not been charged, but Frank Scavo, who introduced Sean Moon at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival in October 2020, faces a charge of violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, among other felonies offenses.
'It's not even their country'
Beginning in mid-October, teams of Japanese and Korean believers chaperoned by Rod of Freedom Ministries member Ted O'Grady crisscrossed Pennsylvania, from the state capital in Harrisburg to State College and back east to Honesdale, holding almost daily roadside rallies in support of Donald Trump.
An update on the Facebook page for the Newfoundland Sanctuary Church — Rod of Iron Ministries' headquarters in rural Wayne County — indicated that the international visitors had initially planned to come for seven days in October to attend the Freedom Festival and a Trump fundraising dinner. But after Nov. 3, Sean Moon asked them to stay another 21 days to travel "all over Pennsylvania rallying with the message of the Trump landslide!" Later, Moon "asked them to extend their visit to 40 days because of the electoral emergency in the USA." The sect reported that more than 100 Japanese and Korean members "responded to the call of Heaven, going out to rally no matter what the weather."
The weekend after the election, the Japanese members — dubbed by O'Grady as the "Elite J-Team Warriors" — joined a pro-Trump rally in Harrisburg, and posed with state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a retired Army colonel and expert on hybrid warfare who has acknowledged being present outside the US Capitol on Jan. 6 and is currently a leading voice in the campaign to launch an "audit" of the 2020 election in Pennsylvania.
In a Nov. 12 sermon streamed over the internet, Sean Moon held up the Japanese visitors in positive contrast to his American followers, praising them for their fervor.
"We have to seriously train up our American folks," Moon said. "And just watching them, wow, they put the US to shame. Seriously, it's not even their country and they're out there three times a day, okay, doing the prayers for the country. You can't say, 'Well, they don't have jobs.' Hello. They gave up their jobs to come here."
The Moonies are supporting the right wing lunatic with their lunacy. All hail the Messiah Eugene Stoner and his blessed AR.