Global takeover conspiracy theories. Christian pastors and local sheriffs still pissed that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. And the head of a group that even the reserved Facebook censors labeled a “violent social militia.” Few Americans are even aware that the gun company Kahr and a rural Pennsylvania doomsday church—both run by the same ultra-rich Korean family—hold an annual “Freedom Festival” that attracts gun enthusiasts and the type of people who attach “Don’t Tread on Me” flags to the back of their trucks. But in the wake of the failed Jan. 6 insurrection, the event’s amalgamation of sovereign citizens and alt-truthers has taken on a new meaning. And now, it’s even got an all-star lineup. This year’s top speakers include Steve Bannon, once the chief strategist for President Trump, Dana Loesch, the former aggressively vocal National Rifle Association spokeswoman who made millions while achieving celebrity status in the gun industry, and a smattering of alt-right figures known for championing Trump and the Second Amendment. Ryan Busse, a former gun industry executive turned self-described whistleblower, told The Daily Beast that the presence of such high-profile speakers lends a dangerous credibility to the armed American fringe that is increasingly angry, vocal, and demanding of government policies that cater to their politics. “It’s going to send a message across the country that this is normal, that this is OK. This is American fascism being developed right before our eyes,” Busse said. “This is like 1936 Germany in a symposium.” “The one that concerns me the most is Dana Loesch,” Busse added. “She's treated by gun consumers like royalty and here she is legitimizing this insanity. That scares me.” As Busse said, it wasn’t the first “doomsday cult” in the world. “But it's the first one that a former spokesperson for the NRA is speaking at.” (Neither Bannon nor Loesch responded to requests for comment.) The free festival’s itinerary includes live music, firearms training, a “machine gun shoot,” and a “patriotic fireworks display.” They also plan to auction off guns to raise money for the NRA and Gun Owners of America, which touts itself as being “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Pennsylvania.” The weekend festival is taking place in Greeley, Pennsylvania, near the company headquarters of Kahr Firearms Group, a relatively small manufacturer that makes semi-automatic handguns. Kahr is run by a family commonly derided as “the Moonies” because of its more famous legacy: a Christianity-based religious movement started in the 1950s by the patriarch, Sun Myung Moon. The elder Moon founded “The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification,” claiming to be a messiah and eventually moving to the United States. While Sun Myung Moon became a prominent figure in the American conservative movement—founding The Washington Times newspaper—one of his sons, Justin Moon, founded the Kahr gun company in 1995. And another son, Hyung Jin Sean Moon, inherited an offshoot of the church that goes by the “World Peace and Unification Sanctuary” and warns about “the End of Times.” With the patriarch now deceased, his sons have largely merged their worlds. The reverend son now refers to his church with a more militant name—Rod of Iron Ministries—an allusion to his unification of disparate ideas: faith and guns. And churchgoers wear metal crowns on their heads, signifying individuals’ ultimate sovereign authority over themselves. They also carry semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s, fashioning their guns like pious medieval knights would a sword. They are, as the church itself has called them, “the accouterments of the nation of Cheon Il Guk,” so much so that Rev. Moon wears a crown of actual bullets and carries a gold-plated semi-automatic rifle. “ It’s what I fear: anything that will gin up people to buy more guns, hate people more, and vote for people like Trump. It’s all of that on steroids. ” — Ryan Busse, former gun industry executive The church’s “rod of iron” theme is a direct reference to a Jesus Christ quote in the Bible’s apocalyptic final book of Revelation, in which Jesus foretells his eventual return to Earth: “Hold fast what you have ’til I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron.’” In this case, Moon has interpreted that to literally mean the barrel of a rifle. As he laid out in a February . . . read the full article here.