Sun Myung Moon's Speeches from 2004

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! 

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