Murky Moonie Money
by James A. Haught
The following article is from Free
Inquiry magazine, Volume 18, Number 1.
The Unification Church, the so-called Moonie
sect, has a huge supply of mysterious cash, presumably from Asia - and part of it is going
to ex-President George Bush.
The Consortium for Independent Journalism,
an on-line Internet news service, says perhaps $1 million has been paid to Bush for public
appearances that lend his prestige to the cult.
For example, the Consortium says, Bush recently flew to Argentina to inaugurate a new
Hispanic Moonie newspaper, after Argentine President Carlos Menem refused to associate
with the sect. The Reverend Sun Myung Moon's religio-political empire, which supports
far-right causes, formerly backed military regimes in South America.
"Moon is one of the deepest pockets in right-wing circles," the Consortium
said. "His vast spending of billions of dollars in secretive Asian money to influence
U.S. politics - spanning nearly a quarter-century - has gone virtually unmentioned amid
the current controversy over Asian donations to U.S. politicians."
The news service says it's ironic that Moonie-owned Washington
Times vigorously supports the congressional probe into Asian gifts to the
Democratic Party, but never mentions the Asian cash funneled to Bush and other Republicans
by the church. It speculates that murky Moonie money will bankroll Bush's son, Texas
Governor George W. Bush, in a bid for the presidency in 2000.
Mystery and weirdness shroud the Unification
Church. "Master Moon" claims that Jesus appeared to him in his native Korea
and instructed him to save the world. The Consortium says Moon was charged three times in
Korea with having sex with young female followers to "purify" them, but the
cases fizzled. After he moved his operations to America, he was jailed for tax evasion.
In the 1980s, the Consortium says, Moon proclaimed that one of his sons, who was killed
in a car crash, "had come back to life in the body of a church member from
Zimbabwe." The African was given great power in the church and became a tyrant who
"compelled church leaders to stand before him and engage in humiliating
self-criticisms." It's alleged that during one such session, he savagely beat Washington Times publisher Bo Hi Pak.
Later, expatriate Washington Times editorialist William Cheshire wrote in
the San Diego Union-Tribune (April 9,
1989): "Where the Moonies are concerned, it seems clear, we are dealing with
something besides just an exotic cult. The Pak beating smacks strongly of Jonestown. And
with Moon lavishing hundreds of millions of dollars a year on newspapers, magazines, and
political action groups in this country and abroad, such occult and aggressive practices
give rise to secular apprehensions. If the `reincarnation' doesn't rock those conservative
shops that have been taking money from Moon, not even fire-breathing dragons would disturb
James A. Haught is a Senior Editor of Free