Former White House adviser Steve Bannon made a virtual appearance earlier this month at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival in Pennsylvania, The Trace’s Champe Barton reported Thursday. The Rod of Iron rally was organized by two sons of the late Sun Myung Moon, a messianic Korean religious leader who founded and bankrolled the right-wing Washington Times newspaper. Bannon delivered a message seemingly meant to incite the several thousand attendees:
“What the left intends to do — and you’re seeing it in Pennsylvania right now,” Bannon told the crowd. “Use the courts, use social media, use the mainstream media to try to make sure Trump is not declared the winner that night.” He said falsely that “uncertifiable” mail-in ballots would be used to “steal the presidency” away from Trump. “Look we’re going to win this thing,” he said. “Pennsylvania is the key that picks the lock for a second Trump term.”
The group is continuing to promote Trump. A group of South Korean and Japanese members of the Moons’ Rod of Iron Ministries—based in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles south of Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton—showed up outside an early-voting location in Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. Researcher Erin Gallagher called attention to Rod of Iron’s Pennsylvania activities in a Twitter thread Friday.
Tom Dunkel profiled Rod of Iron Ministries and the affiliated Sanctuary Church for the Washington Post Magazine in 2018, complete with photos of worshipers reverently carrying assault rifles. Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, who says the 9/11 attacks were a “false flag,” had decided that a passage in the New Testament book of Revelation referring to the returning Christ ruling the Earth with “a rod of iron” was a reference to an AR-15. Pastor Sean’s sermon denounced the Democratic Party, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Pope Francis—who he called “a socialist, communist devil.”
Shortly before the 2016 election, Pastor Sean’s brother Kook-Jin “Justin” Moon called Hillary Clinton the “Fallen Eve” and Donald Trump an “Adam-type figure.” In Dunkel’s story, Justin sounds like a QAnon believer, saying there are “a lot of pedophiles in the Democratic Party” and they “realize that Trump is coming to get them. Literally. Round them up and put them in prison and execute them.”
Rod of Iron Ministries offers training to “equip 2nd Amendment Christians with the tools and training that enable Patriots to grow closer to God while defending America’s founding principles.” The two brothers happen to own a gun manufacturer.
According to the ministry’s website, Sean hosts a three-hour YouTube broadcast six days a week offering “spiritual guidance and political and social commentary from a biblical viewpoint.”
The website also includes a link to “The Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk.”
The preamble to the constitution explains that “Cheon Il Guk, The Kingdom of God (and/or Heaven), a sovereign and actual nation does not yet exist in this world, but is the long awaited culmination of the End of Time as prophesied in the Biblical Scripture.” It continues:
This Constitution is not an ecclesiastical Constitution of a church or religious body, but is a Constitution for a real and sovereign, future nation, being the literal fruit of God’s Providence. All history longs and awaits this future Kingdom of God.
At the end of the preamble, Hyung Jin Moon asserts a kingly and messianic role inherited from his father:
Now as I, Hyung Jin Moon, take my rightful place as King of the Second Kingship of the Kingdom of God, Cheon Il Guk, as the Crowned Successor and Representative Body of the Cosmic True Parents of Heaven and Earth and full Inheritor of the Kingship of God, with all the authority endowed in me by my Father, Sun Myung Moon—The True Father, Messiah, Lord at the Second Advent and King of Kings, hereby declare the following Immutable and Unchangeable, “Constitution of Cheon Il Guk,” that shall NEVER be abridged or added-to, in their enumerations.”
The “Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk” borrows the structure of the U.S. Constitution, adapting the Bill of Rights, before the inclusion of sections explaining the authority of the king and the first “principle” focused on maintaining a “pure lineage” of God:
The Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk
We the People of the United States of Cheon Il Guk (CIG), in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish in Heavenly Father’s name this Constitution for the United States of CIG.
Principle I: Maintain the Pure Lineage of God
The division of the sexes being ordained by God where man is the subject partner and woman is the object partner, congress shall pass no law that contradicts this divine edict. Faithful marriage between a man and a woman being the ideal of God’s creation, the government of CIG will pass no law which interferes with or contradicts this Divine Law. The fruit of faithful marriage being the conception of children, congress shall pass no law which permits the injury to all persons born or unborn. Sexual abstinence before marriage being the ideal condition for newlyweds, congress shall pass no law supporting or giving aid to alternative life styles.