When the Moonies were in the airgun business
When the Moonies were in the airgun business.
Moon started two gun factories. Hyo-min Eu designed one gun, and Moon stole the patent for it.
Is that Mr. Hashimoto?
The Yeohwa Shotgun and Air Rifle Co., was producing guns in February 1969, or before that. The gun factory at Sutaek-ri was built in 1966.
Mr Ishii is kneeling in the middle at the front with these Japanese members. Photo taken at the factory in Korea. The guns were mainly sold in Japan.
Moon’s words from 1969:
National defense and the rifle business
The air rifle business helped me pioneer and take the lead for the sake of God's will...
Korea's heart is besieged by three enemies. In the future we must protect the nation and its people by establishing the correct ideological perspective. Therefore, we should be responsible for an ideology promoting national and Asian defense.
Looking at Korea's actual situation, surrounded by enemies on three sides, protecting the nation by establishing a proper ideological perspective is imperative. Judging from the nation's situation, the time will surely come when the Republic of Korea will regard the defense industry as important. For the past ten years, I have been preparing for that. The time has come. Since the government announced it will strengthen the nation's military, people are busy building factories here and there.
We are producing air guns that look the same as the M1 rifle and sending some to the Blue House. We must begin producing rifles to be used for training in middle and high schools and also rifles of a new type. That is why I have instructed that this year's production goal be accomplished no matter how difficult it is to achieve.
Bold sales plans
This year we sent 2,500 guns to Japan. I instructed our agents to spread throughout Japan and do as I say. I told them, "Without a doubt this can be accomplished. Be confident. Selling them won't be difficult. If you are confident you can succeed."
This year we also sent five hundred guns to the United States. Yet, our missionaries there, Bong Choon Choi [Sang Ik "Papasan" Choi] and Young Oon Kim, objected and asked me to please not send the guns.
I said, "What do you mean, please don't send them? If you don't do it, I will do it even if it means going there myself. Please just do as I ask." If I tell them that we sent 15,000 guns to Japan, members in the United States would say, Oh my!
If I told them that we had sold 50,000 or 100,000 guns in Japan, the American members would feel compelled to sell even more than that. I went around the United States and investigated. America is a golden market; it is virgin soil. There are unlimited resources there, which is why it is possible to sell more than these numbers.
In the future, we must go out to the world. By the end of this year, or at the latest, next April, we will have missions in forty nations. You may not be aware of this, but missionaries have already gone out to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Greece and other locations. If I tell them where I had designated holy grounds during my world tour, they will go there. We have missions in many nations in Africa. In the future, within three or four years at the latest, we will have missions in 360 foreign locations. I will send missionaries to those unknown nations, nations that are not registered with the United Nations. How will I send them? They cannot take money. They can take our air rifles with them.
Allen Tate Wood: 1970
“From [Seoul] we drove two and a half hours out to Moon’s training center. This was also where Moon had his air-rifle factory, as well as a plant producing steel rods. The steel rods were apparently put to industrial uses. The air-guns were, as we would see, models of a military rifle – in effect a trainer. Moon also owned a shotgun factory, which was elsewhere in Korea. This gun was marketed commercially under the name of Tong-Il, which means unification in Korean. Elsa Reiner had told me that when Moon had come to the United States in 1969 he had proposed marketing this gun from door to door. She had been one of those who had protested vigorously. Moon had been furious at first, had taken their resistance as a kind of betrayal. But at last he had come to understand that even in gun-loving America, the door-to-door marketing of a shotgun by a religious sect would have been regarded as peculiar by some and sinister by others.”
‘Moonstruck, a memoir of my life in a cult’ page 114
Michael L Mickler:
Following the February, 1969, missionary conference, Rev. Moon spoke of selling a sports air gun in the United States. Invented by a Korean church member and manufactured at the movement’s Sootaek-Ri factory [built in 1966] compound outside Seoul, the suggestion was controversial. Both Miss Kim and Mr. Choi, whose groups were self-supporting, expressed concern about the effects of gun sales on their public image. On the other hand, David Kim’s group, with less to lose, was more supportive. While Mr. Kim’s position on the sports air gun had not drawn him any closer to Miss Kim, it did create an initial chink in his relationship with Mr. Choi.
If David Kim’s position on marketing a sports air gun created an initial chink in his relationship with Mr. Choi, his enthusiastic support of the church’s anti-Communist movement drew him closer to Miss Kim’s group.
A History of the Unification Church in America, 1959-1974
(Cults & Nonconventional Religious Groups)
by Michael L Mickler
Hardcover: 226 pages Publisher: Garland Publishing Inc (1 Nov 1993)
Buying Sun Myung Moon's Yewha BBB air rifles
Robert Beeman March 10, 2004
The Yewha airguns were an especially strange chapter in the history of Beeman Precision Airguns. In the early 1970's, when our business was still based in our home, we had a fellow, who claimed to be a representative of the Unification Church (AKA as "Moonies" – after their leader, the Rev. Moon, of Korea) come to our home and show us the air rifle (which I later renamed as the "Dynamite" in such places as our Gun Digest copy) and give us an interesting set of sample Yewha air rifles. (Dynamite, Volcanic, two variations of a double-action revolving rifle, a FWB 300 copy, and a bolt action match rifle with a spitting image FWB match sight.) All these designs were multi-stroke pump pneumatics featuring a pump-rod-at-the-muzzle action -- the better ones had special locking foot pedals. He explained that the BBB (Dynamite) was a .25 caliber air shotgun/rifle that was very popular in Korea where civilians are forbidden to have firearms. He showed us color photos of obscenely huge piles of Chinese ring-necked pheasants killed by Korean shooting club members with this model and said that it also could be used with a .25 caliber lead ball to kill deer. We agreed to buy 50 of the Dynamites at $35 each complete with Yewha marked case, ammo belt, and packages of shot cases and wads. He commented that he had 300 more of the Dynamites in a local warehouse, but as our operation was still very small at that stage, we felt well supplied with 50. As a parting joke, I said, "well, if you ever want to sell the rest of your guns for $10 each, let us know!" At that time, I didn't know about the vast differences that can exist between the Oriental and Occidental perceptions of humor.
About eight months later, at night in a driving rainstorm, we answered our doorbell to find a different, completely soaked, young Korean man, standing humbly on our doormat – looking for all the world like a drowned rat. We stared at him, wondering who and what he was -- and he said "OKAY"! We, of course, wanted to know "okay, what?" After a bit of language barrier delay, we learned that he had the 300 remaining Yewha airguns in a truck outside and wanted the "promised" $10 cash for each of them right now! Needless to say, we did some hard and fast running around to come up with $3000 cash! After the cash transfer, more disciples promptly unloaded all of the hardwood cases of the rifles into our living room and then disappeared into the night!
We, of course, had some super sales of Yewhas in our newsletters for a while, but we never did have the chance to buy inventory of the other Yewha rifle models. They did not even bill us for the samples nor ask us for their return!
The final strange twist came about a year later. A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle appeared at our doorstep and wanted to know if we had anything to say before his newspaper exposed us as a front for Reverend Moon's Unification Church! We were stunned and invited him in to tell us what the hell he was talking about! He claimed that his sister had been taken in and "brainwashed" by that church and that he was trying to break "this cult's" local organization and to "free" his sister. He said that he "knew" that we were members of this "evil conspiracy" because we were selling airguns made by the church and that he had discovered copies of our catalogs on the floor of a San Francisco printing press which had just been raided for using "slave labor" from the church. Seems that, quite unknown to us, our catalog printer had sub-contracted our catalog printing job out to an underground printer with incredibly low rates –reportedly using unpaid subjects of the church as labor. We wouldn't let the reporter out of our house until we convinced him that these were coincidences that did NOT prove that we had anything to do with the weird doings of any cult!