Hey! My City Councilman is a Moonie! How About Yours?

Billings Ward 1 Councilman Mike Yakawich

Billings Ward 1 Councilman Mike Yakawich


Well, one of them anyway. Ward 1 Councilman Mike Yakawich is a bona fide card-carrying member of the Unification Church, better known as the “Moonies,” in honor of their founder and savior, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

My other Ward 1 councilman, Brent Cromley, is probably a Lutheran or a Catholic or a Baptist or something. Meh.

Mr. Cromley voted for the recent Non Discrimination Ordinance in Billings. Mr. Yakawich voted against it.

This strikes me as odd, since Pastor Mike belongs to a controversial sect who believe they are a persecuted minority.

Originally called the “Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity,” the cult’s church’s present formal name is the “Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.”

Moonies became notorious in the 1970s and 1980s through their odd public behaviors, which including clouds of teenagers aggressively panhandling. In addition there mass weddings, where thousands of complete strangers were assigned a life partner after they were “celestially chosen” for each other by the Rev. Moon, that is.

Moon became notorious for how he made money: By exploiting children, many of them homeless, in the US and Europe, but especially in Asia.

Moonies believes Jesus Christ was a nice guy but a failure. He failed to get himself a wife and have a family. Instead he got himself crucified to forgive everybody’s sins. What a loser.

Luckily, members of the Unification Church believe Father Moon is the second coming of Christ.

After all, like Jesus on the cross he suffered too. And not some measly three days on the cross, but 13 months in the federal pokey for tax evasion.

It seems odd that someone who belongs to such a controversial cult church should have the stones to throw at others people’s lifestyles.  But this is Billings and we don’t discriminate?

More importantly, we should discriminate between good and bad.

About Little Big Town MT

I have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people who like Fox News.
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  1. tamijo ruether-affor

    Are you KIDDING me? Where the heck have you been the last 31 years? (probably California, as no one who is a NATIVE MONTANAN could be so prejudice, arrogant and TOTALLY stupid as to attack one of the most sincere, trustworthy, and genuinely AWESOME man and family I have ever had the pleasure to know). Really? Why don’t you get out and help change Billings and Montana ONE SIXTY-FOURTH as much as he has, then you just might have something to talk about besides this kind of CRAP. Grow up, learn your facts, and do something POSITIVE, rather than spew garbage. Just for your information, his resume has been an open book, never hidden, and well known before you reared your hate filled head. Wow. Bet you don’t have the guts to post this…

  2. Please stop YELLING.

    No, I am not a native Montanan. So what? So why should I not have the same freedom of speech as anyone else? I have, however, lived for more than 45 years in Montana.

    What in my article is garbage? Or even incorrect? Please tell me where I am factually wrong because I do not see where you do this. If I anywhere misrepresented the beliefs of the Unification Church, please show me. I did not dwell on the criminal history of the Unification Church, like how its founder, Sun Myung-Moon, went to prison under President Ronald Reagan for being a common tax cheat. “Where your money is, there shall be your heart also,” was said in the Bible, not by me.

    If Councilman Yakawich has been an “open book” about being a Moonie, what’s the problem? As far as his service to the community, he serves on the city council and a suicide prevention board. Those are good things. I don’t say I know that he is a bad guy. I only state that he voted against the 2014 non-discrimination ordinance and is a member of a cult. I mean church.

    On the other hand, I live in Ward One, which he’s supposed to represent and I haven’t seen much change in the last few years. Why doesn’t he try to get us some more street lights along King Avenue East, or Jackson Street?

    So you’re as wrong in your thesis as in your conclusion.

    • tamijo ruether-affor

      Oh, where to start…

      In Montana, people are measured by their ACTIONS, not by how much an outsider picks and chooses part and parcel of another’s life to define them. Why didn’t you discuss Mr Yakawich’s service as Chair of the South Side Task Force (is it because you don’t participate in that fine group?), or his Founding of the March against Drugs and Violence (17th Year)? (have you even heard of, or participated in that amazing community gathering?), or the fact that he has raised 4 Eagle Scouts who also follow their Father’s footsteps of service? (Ever participated or raised children who achieved that status?), Or how about his and his family’s faithful work with the Elderly and Disadvantaged IN WARD ONE and throughout the City of Billings? (How many times have you brought music, laughter, cookies and love to your neighbors in the past year, let alone faithfully in the last 36 years?) Yep, I was wrong and stole 5 years from his Resume. I have seen Mr Yakawich, Mrs Yakawich and all 5 of his children in the neighborhood picking up trash, mowing elderly folks lawns, bringing fresh vegetables and home cooked meals to house bound neighbors since the day they arrived in Billings (from his home in another MONTANA city), Where were you? Yes, Suicide Prevention, Ecumenical Services to bring people of Faith together, Disposal of prescription drugs, supporting the South Park, mural artist EACH AND EVERY DAY with food and drink, on and on…bet you a dollar you were no where around for any of this…heck, make it a thousand!!!

      Who are you to decide the Unification Church is a “cult”? As a Catholic, I could state all other churches are “cults”, having left the “True Church” themselves, but I am neither ignorant, nor narrow minded.

      This is Mr Yakawich’s first (of hopefully many) term in office. In the article linked by your post, Mr Yakawich stated he was responding to his constituent’s wishes. Did YOU contact him to state your opinion? Have you contacted him about your concern for more lighting on King Avenue or Jackson Street? You were probably too happily engaged in attempting to attack a good man (anonymously of course “Mr G”) using “facts” that do not apply to Mr Yakawich, if only you had spent a few moments to speak to him, instead of regurgitating mainstream media propaganda. Yes, America is a wonderful place (an EXCEPTIONAL place) that allows us to engage in Free Speech, even if it means attacking a decent and honorable man for trying to make it a better place for ALL.

    • tamijo ruether-affor

      On another note, you DID “dwell on the “criminal behavior” of the Unification Church (!?!?!) TWICE. Prove the church exploited homeless children (really?) What about “matched couples”? Half the world’s population engages in Parental input into their children’s marriages…Ever heard or commented on Match.Com, et, al where THOUSANDS of people who have never met have an opportunity to meet like minded people? I looked up “common tax cheat” and found his case to be a very complex IRS case where Reverend Moon was NOT directly accused of cheating on his personal taxes, but failed as an organization to correctly report income into the “proper” categories…look up the friend of court letters filed in support of Reverend Moon’s position…you will be surprised at the high level and status of those individuals, including Harvard Law Professors, the National Council of Churches, Congressman and Senators (just to name a few) who stood with him and alleged discriminatory movement on the part of the IRS. Check your “facts”, “Mr G”…

      Are you, or have you ever been a member of his church? If not, how do you know “what they believe?”.

      And what the heck does ones religion have to do with a vote on the city council? Ever heard of the separation of church and state?

      Wow, really?

    • tamijo ruether-affor

      “Judge not, lest you be judged.” I didn’t say this, it too is in the Bible.

  3. Typical ‘moonie’ Yaka is.

  4. I wouldn’t demonize someone for being a member of any religious sect no matter what the core beliefs are. The proof is in their actions. (Deed not Creed.)

    His vote against the NDO is a black mark in my book, but honestly, that is all I know about the dude. If he is as active in his neighborhood as Tamijo says, that is a good thing, as a human being. In that case I would be inclinded to support Yakawich.

    But a good human being does not always make a good policy maker. A failure to have empathy for those who are not in your immediate circle is a serious problem for someone seeking my vote.

    • Little Big Town MT

      What if someone else’s religion required that they kill unbelievers? That’s one heck of a core belief. And aren’t all core beliefs a call to action? I recognize tolerance as a virtue, but it’s no less a virtue than using your intellect. If what someone believes is stupid, it means they must become a stupid person. For example, Scientology is a cult invented by a tax-dodging science fiction writer, not a church. That’s not demonizing, that’s recorded fact. Likewise, I have known and investigated the Unification Church for more than thirty years and I find their origin story not only ridiculous, but deceptive. I have no evidence that Mr. Yakawich is a bad guy. Everyone has a right to their religion, no matter how laughable it is. But among a free people, questions are equal in virtue to belief. ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’

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