Why won’t Congress and the television news media investigate the relationship between the Bush family and Sun Myung Moon?
by Carla Binion
Online Journal/February 22, 2001
The following essay explains why the story is newsworthy. While TV talking heads hammer the public hour after hour with repetitious chatter about Clinton’s pardons and gossipy allegations of “theft” of White House goods, the far more serious Bush/Moon story remains invisible to TV audiences.
In order to unravel the mystery, let’s look at Moon’s history and stated agenda and explore the Bush family’s activities related to Moon. First, here is evidence that Moon is openly anti-American and anti-democratic, with an agenda that includes undermining American democracy and individualism. These are only some of the reasons why a deeper investigation into the Moon/Bush alliance is worthwhile:
(1) Frederick Clarkson (Eternal Hostility, Common Courage Press, 1997) reports that Moon has stated his goal is the “subjugation of the American government and population.” (Clarkson’s source: John Judis, “Rev. Moon’s Rising Political Influence: His Empire Is Spending Big Money To Try To Win Favor With Conservatives,” U. S. News and World Report, March 27, 1989.)
(2) According to the same U. S. News article, Moon also said, “History will make the position of Rev. Moon clear,” and that “his enemies, the American people and government will bow down before him.”
(3) Clarkson reports that Moon has also said, “The entire world is our goal . . . Absolute obedience to the Father [Moon]-that one thing will bring certain victory . . . People here in America have to recognize the ability and power of Reverend Moon.” (Excerpt from New Hope News, November 25, 1974, Reprinted in Frederick Miller’s “Confusion at the Fronts, Part three,” True Light Educational Ministry, 1996.)
(4) On May 1, 1997, Moon told a group of followers that “the country that represents Satan’s harvest is America.” (Unification News, June 1997.)
(5) In the 1970s, Moon was investigated by a congressional committee headed by then‑U. S. Representative Donald Fraser (D‑MN). Robert Boettcher was staff director of the Fraser committee. Boettcher’s interviews with former Moonies revealed that Moon was “appalled” by American individualism and considered moving to Germany “where people were trained in totalism.” (Robert Boettcher, “Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsun Park and the Korean Scandal,” Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980)
(6) Boettcher writes that according to former Unification church members, Moon’s program to “instill discipline” included showing “Nazi films on organizing Hitler Youth.”
Moon’s anti-American, anti-democratic rantings might seem harmless if expressed by an individual with no political clout. However, the wealthy, influential Moon has worked successfully to gain a power base among conservative Republicans.
In an effort to gain political influence, Moon has worked his tentacles into the news media. Frederick Clarkson writes that since its founding the newspaper the Washington Times “has been owned, controlled and bankrolled” by Moon.
Former Washington Times editorial page editor William Cheshire resigned because of alleged editorial interference from Moon’s officials.
According to Clarkson, Cheshire also said he believes the Washington Times is operating in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Passed in the 1930s, the Foreign Agents Registration Act “requires entities whose activities are controlled by foreign governments and corporations to make financial and other forms of disclosure to the Justice Department.”
Clarkson says the Act was originally passed “to expose covert Nazi funding of German-American newspapers.”
George H. W. Bush is one of the most politically powerful defenders of Moon and the Washington Times. Bush was CIA director when the Fraser committee investigated Moon, and he is well aware of Moon’s stated agenda and modus operandi. At the time of the congressional investigation, Bush handled sensitive matters on U. S. relations with Korea and the political figures involved.
According to a Reuters report, (“Bush Praises Moon as ‘Man of Vision,’ ” November 25, 1996) when Moon held a banquet in Buenos Aires celebrating his new “Spanish-language newspaper for the whole of Latin America,” his guest at the event, George H. W. Bush, praised Moon’s “respect for editorial independence.”
Bush’s speech “was full of praise” for Moon’s Washington Times, according to Reuters. The report also says Bush described Moon as “the man with the vision.” Reuters said Bush later traveled with Moon to neighboring Uruguay “to help him inaugurate a seminary in the capital, Montevideo. to train 4,200 young Japanese women to spread the word of his Church of Unification across Latin America.”
“I want to salute Reverend Moon who is the founder of the Washington Times and of the new paper here,” Bush said. According to Reuters, the Washington Post reported that Bush was paid $100,000 for his Buenos Aires appearance.
Journalist Robert Parry reported in Consortium News (“Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Buying the Right”) that part of Moon’s strategy for gaining political influence is to approach conservative leaders when they need money. “Moon quietly infuses money and gains the leader’s gratitude,” writes Parry.
For example, when conservative direct mail entrepreneur Richard Viguerie was having financial trouble in the late 1980s, “Moon directed more business his way and had a corporation run by Moon’s lieutenant, Bo Hi Pak, buy one of Viguerie’s properties for $10 million,” according to Parry. (Orange County Register, Dec. 21, 1987; Washington Post, Oct. 15, 1989.)
Viguerie, who helped raise money for the New Right in the 1970s and 1980s, survived financially thanks to Moon. Parry writes that when Oliver North ran for the Senate in Virginia in 1994, “his principal direct-mail contractor was Viguerie’s company, according to Federal Election Commission records.”
Moderate Republicans have complained about the Republican-Moon alliance. For example, according to Parry, in 1983, Representative Jim Leach of Iowa said the Unification Church has “infiltrated the New Right and the party it [the New Right] wants to control, the Republican Party, and infiltrated the media as well.”
Leach, then-chairman of the GOP’s moderate Ripon Society, said the New Right had entered “an alliance of expediency” with Moon’s church. Parry reports that Leach “released a study which alleged that the College Republican National Committee ‘solicited and received’ money from Moon’s Unification Church in 1981.”
In order to gain power, Moon has also aligned himself with organizations further to the right than the New Right Republicans, among them the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). The WACL, according to Frederick Clarkson, is “an international alliance of conservative, fascist and Nazi groups, governments and individuals.”
The head of the Unification Church in Japan was a member of the WACL board of directors. Clarkson says “the Japanese section of WACL, Shokyo Rengo, was founded in 1968 as an alliance between top Unification Church officials and leaders of the Yakuza (Japanese organized crime), notably Yoshio Kodama.”
Clarkson writes that “under the leadership of retired U. S. Army General John K. Singlaub,” WACL helped provide money and weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras “particularly after Congress cut off CIA-channeled funding to the Contras in 1984.” Moon’s front group CAUSA was one of the first groups to give the Contras “humanitarian aid.” (Clarkson’s source: Jon Lee Anderson and Scott Anderson, “Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis and Latin American Death Squads have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League,” Dodd, Mead and Company, 1986.)
Clarkson says that in a November 15, 1979, press statement, former WACL youth leader Allen Tate Wood said that before the scandal investigated by the Fraser committee broke, Moon ordered him to “win the power centers” of the U. S. for him, starting with academia.
In the press statement, Wood also said Moon told him “part of our strategy in the U. S. must be to make friends in the FBI, the CIA and police forces, the military and business community . . . as a means of entering the political arena, influencing foreign policy, and ultimately establishing absolute dominion over the American people.”
Representative Donald Fraser said that when members of Moon’s organization objected to his political aims, “They were told it was Master’s expressed desire to begin political work in the United States. Thereafter a member’s objection to political activities was considered infidelity to Master and was like being disobedient to God.” (Fraser Report, p. 320.)
Fraser committee staff director Robert Boettcher writes about Moon’s history. In his early climb to power, says Boettcher, Moon wanted to have loyal cultists inside the Korean government, where “they could sway powerful persons and become influential themselves.” Moon wanted his followers to portray the Unification Church as a “useful political tool for the government” while hiding Moon’s power goals.
Moon’s early followers included army officers close to Kim Jon Pil, the founding director of the Korean CIA. Kim Jong Pil knew that Moon had ambitions to build influence in Korea and in other countries. He gave Moon slack, because he decided Moon might be of use to the Korean government.
One early Moon follower, Bo Hi Pak, was assigned to the Embassy in Washington in 1961. Boettcher says Pak’s home on North Utah Street in Arlington, Virginia, was a Moonie recruiting center. Pak established the Unification Church in Virginia in 1963.
Pak cultivated the friendship of an airline pilot, Robert Roland, and his wife, but did not tell them of his association with Moon. Boettcher learned that when Roland asked about Pak’s duties as assistant military attache, Pak said he “was responsible for liaison between South Koreans and American intelligence agencies, which often required his visiting the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) located at Fort Meade, Maryland.”
Roland said that after dinner one evening, Pak revealed “step by step how the destiny of mankind was in the hands of a Korean named Moon.” When Roland asked what his aim was in Washington, Pak said, “I must lay a firm foundation for Master by making influential political and social contacts.”
In 1964, Bo Hi Pak came up with an idea to create a Moon American-based foundation. According to Boettcher, Pak wanted the foundation to hide its identifcation with the Unification Church, while encouraging Americans to contribute money.
“Unknowingly they would be serving Moon,” says Boettcher, “but in the long run [according to Pak’s plan] they would be rewarded by Moon’s establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.” The foundation conceived by Pak was given the name the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation (KCFF).
The KCFF hid its affiliation with Moon, as planned. The money the foundation raised helped increase Moon’s power in America. Bo Hi Pak, through a friend, persuaded retired Admiral Arleigh Burke to become president of the KCFF.
In order to create the illusion of respectability for the KCFF, Pak included Burke’s name on the foundation’s letterhead. The KCFF letterhead included other impressive names, such as former Presidents Truman and Eisenhower as honorary presidents; and as “directors and advisers”: Richard Nixon, George Meany, Perle Mesta, Senator Hugh Scott, Senator Homer Capehart, General Matthew Ridgway, and Congressman Clement Zablocki.
Burke resigned his KCFF position in 1965, after Robert Roland sent him information about Moon’s relationship with Pak. Burke also distrusted Pak’s stories about where the KCFF’s money was going, but Pak continued to use Burke’s name in lobbying for the foundation.
Moon founded a front group, the Little Angels, in 1962. The Little Angels were a troupe of young girls who opened political doors by traveling as ambassadors of good will for Moon, performing traditional Korean songs and dances.
Moon seized every chance to be photographed with influential people. In 1965, Bo Hi Pak arranged for him to meet Dwight D. Eisenhower at a Gettysburg photo-op. Boettcher says Moon commented that the meeting with Eisenhower opened doors “to further recognition by national and international leaders.”
Moon brought the Little Angels along to “charm the Eisenhowers.” On other occasions, the girls’ troupe also performed for Queen Elizabeth, and at a United Nations performance attended by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.
Moon’s decades of courting influential American leaders in order to gain political power in this country have been fruitful. Reporter Joe Conason said that at a Washington gathering celebrating the George W. Bush inauguration, at a “prayer luncheon” held in the Hyatt hotel ballroom on Capitol Hill on 1/19/01, Moon received an award for his “work in support of traditional family values.” The featured speaker was John Ashcroft. (Conason, The New York Observer, February 12, 2001.)
Tuesday (2/20/01), a C‑Span moderator said Rev. Moon plans to promote his abstinence program in schools with the help of George W. Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative program. How might that work? Frederick Clarkson points out that Moon has been trying to get his tentacles into U. S. schools to promote his rightwing views for many years.
The World Medical Health Foundation (WMHF) is Moon Front group. WMHF chief, Dr. William Bergman, once-director of Moon’s Unification church, produced a slide program for schools called “The Private Plague: AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases & a Strategy for our Youth at Risk.” Bergman’s program teaches that these diseases have roots in the “civil rights movement” which allegedly led to “moral relativism.” (Clarkson’s source: The Private Plague slide program manual, p. 23.)
Will Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative program assist Moon in his efforts to teach your children that the civil rights movement led to moral relativism, which then led to sexually transmitted diseases?
Some Republicans have accepted Moon as part of their “family values” movement. For the Religious Right, the family values issue means support for the traditional nuclear family. However, Moon teaches recruits to abandon their biological families and to accept Moon and his wife as their “True Parents” and the Unification Church as their “True Family.”
Clarkson writes that a 1994 congressional resolution sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R‑IN), Senator Trent Lott (R‑MI), and Senator Orrin Hatch (R‑UT) supporting Parents Day turned out to be a Moon initiated effort “in which the ‘True Parents; behind the resolution were quietly celebrated,” a fact possibly hidden from the congressmen. (Clarkson’s source: Lisa Gray, “Honor Thy Parents,” Washington City Paper, September, 1995; and Robert Boston, “Unholy Matrimony,” Church and State, October, 1996.)
Moon claims, says Clarkson, that he and his wife “are the True Parents of all humanity . . . we are the Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah.” (Sun Myung Moon, “Leaders Building World Peace,” Unification News, September, 1992.)
Clarkson says Moon has often used George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush as a “warm-up act” at his “family values” rallies. When Bush gave a series of speeches at events sponsored by Moon’s wife’s organization, the World Federation for World Peace (WFWP), he claimed he did not know Moon was involved. Instead, Bush praised the WFWP for its “great emphasis on family.”
Bush also said, “Until I see something about the Women’s Federation that troubles me, I will contin
ue to encourage them.” (Clarkson’s sources: Peter McGill et al, “Ed Schreyer and the Moonies, Maclean’s, October 23, 1995; Andrew Pollock, “Bush Host in Japan Tied to Rev. Moon,” The New York Times, September 4, 1995.)
Here are a few items that might discourage Bush from supporting Moon’s kind of family values. Robert Boettcher’s investigation for the Fraser committee revealed that Moon teaches recruits that Satan works through their biological parents, and that they must accept their True Parents, Rev. Moon and his wife, and reject their “flesh” parents.
A central tenet taught to Moon recruits is “Heavenly Deception.” Recruits, says Botettcher, are told the “non-Moon world is evil. It must be lied to so it can help Moon take over. Then it can become good under Moon’s control.” According to Boettcher, “Moon teaches that lying is necessary when one is doing God’s work, whether selling flowers in the street or testifying under oath.”
Boettcher reports that an aspect of another Moon tenet, the Divine Principle, is the idea that Jesus’ love was weak and that he failed as a leader, because he was unable to motivate his disciples to kill for him or to die in his place. Moon claims he is taking up where Jesus left off, and, says Boettcher, Moon “sees Christian churches as furthering Satan’s cause by rejecting him [Moon].”
The Fraser Report of October 31,1978, revealed that Moon had been involved in lawbreaking in addition to expressing anti-American sentiments and using questionable recruiting and indoctrination practices. Boettcher writes that Fraser found Moon violated laws on “banking, immigration, taxes, currency control, charity fraud, arms export control, and foreign agents registration.” However, according to Boettcher, Moon thinks his religious beliefs entitle him to break the law.
Frederick Clarkson points out that the Washington Post has reported that Moon has been the subject of over 300 lawsuits in Japan, ranging from former Moonies claiming “they were brainwashed into slave-like devotion,” to members saying they were “duped into paying exorbitant prices for vases, prayer beads or other religious objects.” (Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, “Once-Generous Japanese Become Disenchanted with Moon’s Church,” the Washington Post, August 4, 1996.)
Newspapers have done a reasonably good job investigating Moon’s dark side, but television news has blacked out the story. Because most Americans get their news from television, most people do not know the nature of Moon’s political work in the U. S. or the extent of his involvement with the Bush family.
On the rare occasion Moon is mentioned on television news programs, the focus is on superficialities, such as Moon’s mass weddings. Fox Network’s Paula Zahn once interviewed a Moon supporter who said the mass weddings were not coerced. At the interview’s end, Zahn thanked the Moon apologist for “setting the record straight.”
The Moon story is about more than a megalomaniacal tyrant and his isolated followers. It is also about the fact that since George W. Bush took power, Moon benefits from Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives program. Moon also gains prestige and political influence when he is honored by Bush supporters, such as John Ashcroft and others who attended the January 19 “prayer luncheon.”
Thanks to the Bush family and their imposed “dynasty,” today Moon has more power to undermine American democracy and individualism. He has more power to work to “subjugate the American government and population.” He has more power to try to make “his enemies, the American people and government bow down before him.”
Thanks to his association with Bush, Moon now has more power to encourage “people here in America recognize the ability and power of Reverend Moon.” He has more power to convince people that “the country that represents Satan’s harvest is America.” He has more power to lure recruits and have them “trained in totalism” and to “instill discipline” by showing his trainers “Nazi films on organizing Hitler Youth.”
Moon has been able to infiltrate and gain a power base in the U. S. primarily because of one thing: secrecy. His history includes hiding his real intentions behind front groups and deceptive “advertising,” whether hawking for donations, luring unsuspecting recruits or currying favor with politicians. The story of Moon and his support by the Bush family would be common knowledge among all Americans if the TV news media would simply report the facts.
If everyone reading this article would write and call TV networks, newspapers and members of Congress today, asking for a probe into Moon and his influence on the Bush family and certain Republican Party members, maybe collectively we would touch a national nerve. Surely not every TV journalist and member of Congress is too cowardly to touch this story.