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SERIES: Sects Sell – The Moonies

Launched in January 2019, Sects Sell is my weekly opportunity to explore a cult and experiment with a mid-century-ish, retro style of advertisement. New pieces are posted every Friday on this page and on Instagram – follow this and other work at @bridgetmakesstuff.

Ad Inspo:

My inspo for this morphed quite a bit over the process of this piece and was something totally different at the end. I started out with a very cliche “misused quotation mark” ad page, but ended at 1960s-ish album cover. Which isn’t technically an ad, but whatever. It’s week 3 of this brand new series. I do what I want.

The hallmarks I pulled from said album covers:

  • Heavy shading – this is a hallmark of the mid-century modern style
  • Ebullient font – I love these dweeby, gameshow sitcom letters so much
  • Clear misunderstanding of the human form –
The weird bodies are specifically inspired by a dude named Alexander Girard, who was mostly a textile man, but also illustrated a book called Color in the early 1970s. This style of human body is clearly reflect in the cover illustration, which is called Girls.
Because it’s got girls, I assume. Here is one dope spread from the same book:


The hallmarks I pulled from anachronistic sources:

  • The Goonies title font

Cult Inspo

Revisiting the Moonies after a bit away from them was honestly a bit of a letdown. People refer to them by this very interesting and mysterious name, but when the lights come on, it turns out that’s just a dudes name and this is regular, old-fashioned, misogynistic, patriarchal, paternalistic, Christians-based cult, just like America.

ANYWAY, the real name was Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, or HSA-UWC. Then they renamed it to Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, or FFWPU. Then I assume everyone in the world realized they didn’t know what tf an acronym is for and they were too busy doing weird versions of sacraments to learn. So we call them the Moonies now.

The group was founded in Korea and in 1971, Mr. Moon moved to the US and spoke at Madison Square Garden and on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Apparently he spoke to 300,000 people, which is more people than have every shown up to hear Trump speak. AYOOOO! SHE’S GETTING POLITICAL!

The church got real big in the early 70s and then in the mid-70s anti-cult folks started talking about the church and in 1982, Moon when to jail for tax fraud. Isn’t it always the way? Shortly after that, he told everyone to go home and be missionaries there instead of bothering him and, I assume, took a nap.

Purportedly (by them) the group is all about science, but they recently sent an author out into the world to publish a book questioning evolution, which was super fucking established when they were all “Science is dope” in the 70s.

The thing you probably know about them is that they were all about that sweet, sweet mass wedding-slash-blessing-ceremony. BUT! they also invented a new kind of funeral and then said they wouldn’t do it for poor people.

They had one a couple years ago and the photos are on Buzzfeed and they are IN.SANE.

Add classist and hypocritical to the list of adjectives from up top!

Tell me what you think!