Ex-gay maverick Richard Cohen is a member of the Unification Church, according to the leader of the religious group better known as the Moonies.

Church president Hyung Jin Moon made the claim at a Bay Area town hall meeting earlier this month:

Richard Cohen is a member in our movement who has worked on this tremendously, the whole issue [of homosexuality]. Even as you mentioned, you said that people are gay through no fault of their own. But of course this is debatable; that’s an assumption. Richard Cohen actually debates that assumption. He’s actually an expert on this issue and so maybe we can connect you to him, Richard Cohen. If you could, give your contact information to Dr. Grubb, we will try to connect you to Richard Cohen. I think in our movement he is probably the foremost expert on that whole issue, and hopefully he can contribute and helping us with programs in the future as well.

Although Cohen has admitted to having been a member in the past, he has repeatedly denied having an ongoing affiliation with the Unification Church. Hyung Jin Moon’s statement now casts doubt on the denials.

If the claim is true, it is one more embarrassment for the beleaguered Cohen, whose outlandish methods have seen him held up to ridicule by the media. (His “gay cure” techniques range from beating pillows with a tennis racket to cradling his male patients like babies.)

It is also an embarrassment for his few remaining supporters in Christian circles, who undoubtedly would not be happy to associate with a group denounced widely as a cult. They include the Catholic ex-gay organization Courage (not to be confused with the LGBT-affirming British organization of the same name), who have referred members to Cohen and promoted him in their resources.

(Hat-tip: Warren Throckmorton)

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