The leader of a controversial religious sect that worships with AR-15s has been taking notes from the niche but growing music subgenre dubbed “MAGA Rap.”
Pastor Hyung-Jin “Sean” Moon, the flamboyant figurehead of the Rod of Iron Ministries (also known as The Sanctuary Church) has a YouTube channel where he’s spinning his far-right sermons into rap videos. (YouTube removed the channel shortly after VICE News reached out for comment).
Moon’s rap name is “King Bullethead,” and like others in the genre, he’s looking to spread far-right ideological positions through questionable rhymes and low-budget, bombastic music videos, often while taking aim at the LGBTQ community.
In “Eggplant Emoji,” Moon appears in a rural setting, clad in camouflage, wearing reflective Oakley-esque sunglasses, a crown of gold bullets balanced atop his bald head. He wears skeleton gloves and waves around a gold-plated AR-15.
A group of heavily-armed church members dressed in patriotic colors stand behind Moon, as he fast-raps about how children are being brainwashed into joining the LGBTQ community and praises conservative women who discriminate against trans women. “They got no shlong, ding dong, hot dog, johnny eggplant emoji/ they got no thang swinging between their legs and making them horny,” he raps. “Conservative women knows that only God can make ‘em man and women/ Love Jesus, family, guns, USA they be lovin’.”
In “Big MAGA 20,” Moon appears at the same desk where he usually delivers his rambling hours-long sermons (these days, they’re uploaded to Rumble since the church was kicked off YouTube years ago for spreading election and COVID-19 disinformation).
“They can’t stop us so they silence, censor and act like Communists,” he raps. “Politicians lie to get their power and form their little cliques/Politics is a combination of the words ‘poly’ and ‘ticks’/‘Poly’ means more than one, a few, a group of cliques, and ticks are parasites that suck your blood until the very last drip.”
Moon’s church, which imagines the “Rod of Iron” in the Bible’s Book of Revelations as a modern-day AR-15 and Jesus Christ as a manufacturer of assault weapons, is an example of an extremist group that, despite being somewhat insular and fringe, operates in lockstep with the broader far-right and GOP when it comes to fighting the culture war du jour.
Moon started his church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, in 2017, with the help of his elder brother, the CEO of a gun manufacturing company called Kahr Arms. It was a spinoff from the Unification Church, an accused global cult founded and led by his late father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, whose devoted adherents became known as “Moonies.” It was famous for holding mass weddings featuring thousands of couples.
Like his father, Hyung-Jin Moon has sought to fuse spirituality with right-wing politics, preaching a form of Christian nationalism that has increasingly crept into the GOP and pews nationwide. In his theological framework, anything he considers “unchristian” or progressive is dubbed “political satanism,” an evil force that’s working counter to the holy mission to restore God’s kingdom.
In late 2020, fighting “political satanism” meant contesting the results of the presidential election. Moon and other senior members of the church were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 (though there’s no evidence to suggest they went inside).
But today, the current “Satanic panic,” which has led far-right militants to target drag shows and family-friendly pride events nationwide, appears to be massively influential on Moon’s burgeoning rap career. The far right has coalesced around false narratives that claim exposing children to anything vaguely LGBTQ is tantamount to grooming, and that the LGBTQ community are pursuing a secret satanic agenda to brainwash children.
Moon labels many of his tracks targeting the LGBTQ community as “Comedy” despite his dehumanizing, apocalyptic lyrics (for some reason, he also tags far-right commentator Matt Walsh, a leader in the current attack on LGBTQ culture and rights).
“Stonewall gay riots began a movement, to take Christian morals down and make us the U.S. of Gays,” Moon raps in one track called “Rainbow Ishtar.” “If we don’t turn, we’re gonna burn/If we keep pissing God off, we’ll be food for the worms/The rainbow is for promise, not pride for the pervs.”
Another six-minute song called “Fruit Ninja,” Moon raps, “Did you hear about this group called LGTBQ/You may have heard them in your school or even your church pew/They are telling our kids they can switch to any gender/Taking hormones slicing organs like they’re playing Fruit Ninja.”
Other tracks promote a grab bag of other far-right conspiracy theories. “Suddenly Dead” promotes the widely debunked claim that people who received the COVID-19 vaccine have been dropping dead. “Red Eye Patriot” promotes the baseless “Fedsurrection” conspiracy, which claims undercover federal agents were behind Jan. 6 with the goal of smearing Trump supporters. “They call us conspiracy theorists and domestic terrorists/They did the sedition and blamed it on you and me,” Moon raps.
Moon launched his King Bullethead channel on YouTube in Dec. 2022, and he promises new music videos every Friday, uploaded under the banner “Guns, God, MAGA.”
The fact he hopes to maintain a presence on YouTube offers some insight into Moon’s goals, which may include further expanding his reach into mainstream MAGA circles and broadening his appeal beyond his dedicated cadre of followers, many of whom he siphoned away from his late father’s congregation.
The church also hosts an annual “Freedom Festival” on his brother’s Kahr Arms property in Pennsylvania. Recent speakers have included an array of fringe GOP candidates, gun-world influencers, and even some former Trump-orbit personalities, such as Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.
While Moon may be enjoying his reach on YouTube for now, he has a long way to go if he wants to compete with some of the biggest MAGA rappers in the game. He currently has just 1,000 subscribers, and some videos have only broken 3,000 views, compared to the 50,000 subscribers enjoyed by others in the genre.
What’s more, it appears YouTube has recently started to take action against the King Bullethead channel by flagging some of his more incendiary videos for removal. As a result, he’s started redirecting followers and subscribers towards his Rumble channel.