MAGA-loving 'Church of the AR-15' purchasing massive Tennessee retreat for 'training center': report
Church officials hold their AR-15-style rifles while people attend a blessing ceremony with their AR-15-style rifles at the Sanctuary Church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

According to a report from Vice, a pro-Donald Trump religious sect has purchased 130 acres on a mountaintop in Tennessee which they intend to turn into a "training center."

MAGA-loving 'Church of the AR-15' purchasing massive Tennessee retreat for 'training center'

The Rod of Iron Ministries, which worships with AR-15's, is led by Pastor Hyung Jin "Sean" Moon, the son of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who passed away in September of 2012.

As Vice reports, the younger Moon is attempting to extend his influence into the "heartland" and the purchase of the property will provide him with a base of operations for his outreach efforts.

The report of the compound purchase follows a similar property purchase made in May in Texas.

Vice's Tess Owen's reports, "The younger Moon, who also goes by 'The Second King,' split from the main church amid a dramatic falling-out with his mother about who, between the two of them, was the rightful heir to his father's empire," before adding, "In 2017, Moon founded his church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, siphoning off hundreds of followers from the main congregation who were willing to make the seemingly radical leap of incorporating high-powered rifles into their spiritual life."

According to the report, the younger Moon described the Tennessee property as a future "spiritual retreat' along the lines of one his father created in Cheongpyeong.

"As soon as I was in the vicinity of this property, I immediately felt Cheongpyeong," he claimed during an interview. "As this spiritual download was happening, and we could feel the presence of Cheongpyeong, we just knew that of all the Tennessee lands that we've seen, this is the one that we must get to reclaim and have as a spiritual retreat."

During a recent sermon, he claimed the retreat would allow followers to shed the "satanic" influence of his mother, with whom he is still feuding, while boasting to his followers, "This is going to be a very, very important mission. Many, many, many busloads of people are going to come to pray there and do ancestor liberation there."

Reporting that the property appears to be a parcel close to Knoxville that recently sold for $460,000 and contains " ...a pond, at least one run-down building with a green roof, and graves of Confederate and Union soldiers," Vice's Owen's noted that Moon is currently taking applications where "members are asked to stipulate how many generations of ancestors they'd like to liberate."

"Under the original church, members were required to pay a specific amount for every generation they hoped to liberate. Moon's form has a donation section where people can choose how much they want to give for ancestor liberation and whether they'd prefer to pay via PayPal, check, wire, or cash," she added.

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