The Moonies are coming, the Moonies are coming! Correction: the Moonies are firmly seated among the powerful in Washington, D.C., and energetically attempting to increase their influence.
Saying “Moonies” violates the politically correct rules, because they are a legally recognized church in this country. The long form of their title is The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, the Unification Church, for short. When I first encountered them in Santa Monica, they said they knew a way to end religious strife. They didn’t say then their plan was to just convince everyone that their leader, Sun Myung Moon, was the Messiah, returned to complete the work Jesus started.
I knew there was something weird about them, but I was young and adventurous, and I went along for the ride. Their offices featured U.S. maps with large black arrows targeting New York and California, and I heard their leaders say once they controlled those two states they could run this whole country.
They had purchased an old resort in the mountains above San Bernadino and were running their version of church camp. Bible classes were followed by lessons from the Divine Principle, which was the founder’s new revelation. I was startled, when they first mentioned that John the Baptist occupied the lowest realm of hell, because he denied Christ. I didn’t remember that from the Bible.
Less surprising was their big secret that Moon was the Messiah, because it was obvious from the beginning they believed that.
I saw many young people fall for their wiles, sign on the solid line and adjourn to the boiler room. A boiler room is a telemarketing room with lots of desks, chairs and telephones. Here, the kids, who signed on the solid line were urged to call their friends and relatives. Some called their parents to ask for their inheritances, while others collected debts from friends or attempted to get loans. Of course, all funds received went straight into the church’s coffers.
My natural curiosity has led me to investigate many groups and their beliefs, but I have never been one to drink the kool-aid. Some groups are almost comic in their silly assertions and uniforms. There is nothing amusing about Moon and his followers, because they are as fervent in their conversion efforts as any missionary you ever met. Some of them are true and gentle believers, but some of them are frightening in their zeal.
Moon was born in 1920 in North Korea and was imprisoned there in the ’50s. Some critics say his minions employ brainwashing techniques he learned from his captors.
There was some furor about teens being hidden from their parents and possibly held against their will in church dormitories in the ’80s, and then came the tax evasion charges, which resulted in an 18 month prison sentence for the reverend. Shortly after his release, he left the country for a time.
He’s back, and he still claims to be the Messiah. In fact, earlier this year he renewed that claim in a The Dirksen Senate Office Building, which Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican, arranged for his use. A Democratic representative from Illinois carried a crown on a pillow to the Rev. Moon and his wife. Several other congressman were present, as the couple crowned themselves the king and queen of peace. Moon gave a speech in which he reminded everyone he was “… humanity’s savior, Messiah, returning Lord and true parent.”
Some of you think I must be making this stuff up, but I assure you it is true and has been reported by several newspapers on the east coast. Photos of the event, which took place on March 13, are available, and congressman can be seen hobnobbing with the Messiah (sic).
His followers have made Sun Myung Moon a very rich man. He is one of the largest real estate owners in the world. He bought UPI, which was once the second largest news organization in the world, and he launched his own newspaper, the Washington Times. That paper claims to be objective, but Unification Church propaganda creeps in occasionally. The paper also produces very friendly reporting on the activities of the church’s many front groups. Former president George H.W. Bush once said the paper “… brings sanity to Washington, D.C.” He also praised Moon as “the man with a vision.”
Years ago, Nixon also praised Moon. Because he was an ardent anti-Communist, Nixon considered him an ally. Photos of Nixon and Moon are prominently featured among many of Moon with famous people seen in most Unification offices. Even almost-forgotten Dan Quayle posed with the reverend.
Moon and his church have created hundreds of front groups to spread their message and lobby for legislative action they support. Senator Warner’s office said they had no idea they were serving Moon’s interests when they allowed The Christian Voice of Alexandria to reserve the Senate room. The sponsorship of the Washington Times should have tipped them off.
Denials also came from the office of the congressman, who carried the coronation crown up to Moon. The congressman had no idea what was taking place, but he didn’t want to rudely leave the event with over 300 influential people in attendance. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported he received at least $5000, in political donations, from the Family Federation for World Peace and the Pure Love Alliance. Both are Moon front groups, and the latter has actually been paid to teach sexual abstinence in public schools.
A resolution introduced in the Senate by Trent Lott in 1993 was carefully worded as an effort to restore God to the center of families and our society. It called for establishing a “True Parents Day” and was advanced by the National Parents Day Coalition, another front. Moon and his wife claim to be the true parents of humanity. A year after that resolution failed, Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana put forward a similar bill.
How many front groups are there? When I did a computer search, I came up with over 1,200 organizations. Many are in Asia, but hundreds operate in the U.S. Some masquerade as health organizations, educational groups, research projects and non-profit charities, but all work to spread Moon’s message and recruit for his church. The names sound harmless: World Scripture Project, International Religious Foundation, American Freedom Coalition, Youth for an Ethical Society, Council for the World’s Religions, World Medical Health Foundation, and the list goes on and on.
When the Bush administration launched their faith based initiative, these people were hired to organize the kick-off event. Does that mean they are first in line for the federal funds to be given to faith based groups for their charity work?
One thing is certain: They are attempting to influence our government in every way they can.