Saturday, October 30, 2004

Who IS driving the bus?

For easy reference, we suggest you open the notes page which corresponds to this post in a separate window. The corresponding notes for this post can be found by right clicking and opening a new window HERE.

Trooper: Let me see your identification.
Ben: You don't need to see his identification.
Trooper: We don't need to see his identification.
Ben: These are not the droids you're looking for.
Trooper: These are not the droids we're looking for.
Ben: He can go about his business.
Trooper: You can go about your business.
Ben: Move along.
Trooper: Move along. Move along.

George Lucas, Star Wars

About this “independence” at the Washington Times.

People say that the paper created from scratch by Sun Myung Moon in 1982, the Washington Times, is “independent” of Moon and his “church.” Everyone seems to instinctively know that the Washington Times’ independence from Moon is very important. Given his belief that he is the Messiah (1) and that the world, according to his plan, is destined to be governed by his organization, their instincts are quite well founded.

The official findings of the 1977-78 congressional investigation into Korean influence on our country, known as the Fraser Report, included the following:

Among the goals of the Moon Organization is the establishment of a worldwide government in which the separation of church and state would be abolished and which would be governed by Moon and his followers. (2)

The Washington Times has served Moon well in many areas, opening doors and gaining credibility for his organization. Moon has certainly received a lot of bang for the buck through his Washington Times project. Sporting losses of tens of millions annually and barely making it into the top 100 in circulation for any paper in the country, it still manages to be one of the most-quoted papers in the world. With Moon distanced behind the curtain, the cry of “independence” provides a rationalization for those who embrace the paper. It allows them to think that they are not following or promoting Moon’s stated goals.

However, Robert Parry, veteran investigative journalist, in his book Fooling America, How Washington Insiders Twist the Truth and Manufacture the Conventional Wisdom, (published in 1992) describes the Washington Times in this manner: While the (Washington) Post was tracking ever rightward during the 1980’s, the capital’s other daily paper was The Washington Times, a far-right journal financed and controlled by the Unification Church cult. The cult’s founder Sun-Yung Moon of South Korea, espoused a totalitarian rightist vision of the world’s future. His domination over the lives of his followers was so complete that he would select their spouses and preside over their weddings in bizarre mass ceremonies. Moon’s Organization covered the paper’s annual losses, estimated in the tens of millions of dollars. But the original sources for that money remained shrouded in secrecy. Though the cult had close ties South Korean intelligence, most of its money appeared to flow from rightist Japanese business interests.

Besides financing a virulent brand of right-wing journalism, The Washington Times and Moon’s cult had institutionalized a means of buying influence for its extremist points of view. Through conferences, contributions, and salaries, the Unification Church and its panoply of front groups put money in the pockets of right wing thinkers, conservative journalists and pro military political organizations. During the 1980’s, the Reagan White House often used The Washington Times as a billboard for its conservative strategies or as a weapon to attack administration critics.
(pgs. 118-119.)

And author/columnist Joe Conason, in an exchange with Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” musing about having a liberal equivalent to Moon, willing to spend huge sums of money on a newspaper: CONASON: It would have been good if somebody had decided to be like Reverend Moon and spend hundred of millions of dollars on the “Washington Times” where Tony Blankley works, which has never made any money. It loses — no, you said the free market, Chris. It’s not the free market. The free market isn't what supports the “Washington Times.” They can’t get any advertising or subscriptions. That is a propaganda operation that is paid for by Reverend Sun Moon. (3)

The Washington Times’ so-called “independence” from Moon, although untrue, obscures the larger point: the newspaper was a subsidy to right-wing politics and thus plays a role in molding our society. No doubt Moon’s money and front groups have played a role; Moon himself brags that he has “influenced America through the Washington Times and so many different activities.” (4)

If you read this report and the articles linked in the notes below, and do your own research, I think you will find that the Washington Times has served Moon’s real intentions, to give backbone to hard-right conservatism, driving our country right politically, thus creating a political climate for the theocrats within the Republican Party to flourish. A more theocratic government for the United States is always at the top of Moon’s list of things to do. His interim goal is to unite the world’s religions under his flag. The closer to theocracy any country is, the easier it will be for his group to manipulate those countries and through them, world events.

Moon’s type of theocracy has been described as “Godism,” (5) meaning that God will rule the world by speaking through Moon and his organization. This is how Moon described a step in his plan to theocratize our country, as cited in the Fraser Report:

“My dream is to organize a Christian political party including the Protestant denominations and Catholics and all the religious sects.” (6)

Moon also said in the 1970s that if he couldn’t find the people to accomplish his goals using current congressmen, he would make congressmen out of his members. (7) Turns out that wasn’t necessary, for as we shall see, he found a willing partner in the new right conservatism now in charge of the Republican Party. In addition to subsidizing this new conservatism with billions of dollars, Moon has also provided “vision” and “leadership” to their efforts. (8)

Representative Jim Leach (R- Iowa) expressed his concerns about Moon’s influence on the Republican Party as early as 1983, saying that Moon’s organization had “infiltrated the New Right and the party it (the New Right) wants to control, the Republican Party, and infiltrated the media as well.” (9)

The Washington Times gave Moon the keys to our political system. U.S. News & World Report stated that by 1989, the church (Unification) has established a network of affiliated organizations and connections in almost every conservative organization in Washington, including the Heritage Foundation, the largest of the conservative think tanks and an important source of government personnel during the Reagan administration. ... As the Washington Times has become the voice of capital conservatives, the Heritage Foundation has become far more tolerant of church ties. ....

“Most people are afraid to address the issue because they don’t want to publicize the extent of the church’s involvement,” says Amy Moritz of the Conservative National Center for Public Policy Research. Because almost all conservative organizations in Washington have some ties to the church, conservatives also fear repercussions if they expose the church’s role.

Reporting that Moon’s organization had “established a network of affiliated organizations and connections in almost every conservative organization in Washington, including the Heritage Foundation...” is quite a revelation given Moon’s stated goals and the authoritarian demands he makes on his followers. Moon’s recruits believe him to be the Messiah and that as such he speaks for God. Indeed, in 2003 Moon told his Workshop on Journalism and Media that, “If I say something, you must do it. If you don’t, that will be sin.” (11)

That’s a lot of power to wield over people. John F. Kennedy fought to show that he would not take instructions from his religious leader while performing his duties as a public servant. Kennedy believed in a strong wall between church and state. Moon teaches the opposite, going so far as to say that separation is the desire of the devil. (12) Moon doesn’t separate anything he does from his “religion;” political goals and his efforts to manipulate the world are one. Church and state, in his mind, should be one. As cited in the congressional investigation, Moon once told his group that they “cannot separate the political field from the religious.” (13)

It is easy to see why the leadership of the conservative movement has feared Moon’s influence being exposed within their operation all these years. Claiming to be the “family values” party while working closely with a group famous worldwide for breaking up families makes one look like something well beyond a hypocrite. The relationship not only calls into question conservatism’s real “values” but also exposes the movement’s lack of judgment in its quest for raw power. Bluntly stated, it shows that the new right’s support for the Constitution is quite fraudulent – they’ve given a seat at the table to a man whose sole intention is to wrench control of the world, a man Time magazine in 1976 quoted as saying, “I want to have new members under me who will be willing to obey me even though they may have to disobey their own parents and the Presidents of their own nations.” (14)

Moon supplies money, “leadership” and “vision” to the religious right.

Doug Wead has been a Bush family liaison to the fundamentalist movement and was the man who put together the Inaugural Prayer Luncheon honoring George W. Bush in January of 2001. During the luncheon, Moon spoke and received an award for his “work in support of traditional family values.”(15) Wead stated that the American Freedom Coalition (AFC) was one of the two most powerful conservative organizations in the country when fully active.

Here PBS’s FRONTLINE in 1992 describes a letter from the head of the AFC to Sun Myung Moon:

AFC President Robert Grant, writing to Reverend Moon, thanks him for investing heavily and “helping to bring the AFC into being.” Grant concludes by telling Moon, “Without your leadership, vision and the support of your devoted followers, the AFC would not exist.” (16)

Moon, through his fronts, supplied money, “vision” and “leadership” to the conservative movement we see blossoming around us today.

Moon believes he is here to save the entire world, including Christianity. His son Hyo Jin Moon put his father’s vision bluntly:“we must restore Christianity.” (17) For that restoration to happen, Sun Myung Moon believes he must lead Christians into accepting him and his organization. Moon does not expect everyone to become a member of his group, at least not yet. His first step is to gain acceptance as a legitimate participant in the political dialogue, so that he can operate more freely. The American Freedom Coalition played a role in Moon’s plan by gaining acceptance among conservatives, just as the Washington Times did. The AFC was started in 1987, two years before the Christian Coalition was founded. According to Christianity Today the head of the AFC, Robert Grant, explained why the organization, which “would not exist” without Moon, was created. Its purpose was to bring together not Christian groups, but “Christian Right” groups, the theocrats, for political power:

He (Robert Grant) emphasized that AFC is a political coalition formed because of the “inability of the ‘Christian Right’ to achieve its agenda” due to its “fragmentation and its failure to build coalitions with its philosophical allies from other communities for effective civic participation.” (18)

Moon describes what he is doing as “the natural subjugation of the American government and population.” (19) We are to go willingly, naturally. Moon doesn’t have to force it; the Christian right and the conservative movement have been bringing us all along as they have accepted Moon’s money and influence. Here is how Moon’s son, Hyo Jin Moon, put it while speaking to members of Moon’s organization in 1991:

We must make Christianity understand and help them be responsible through their own volition. That is why Father has picked these Christian people. It’s not because they are becoming subject over you, don’t look at it in the scheme of subject and object. We are in the course of restoration and we must restore Christianity. That means we must motivate them, just as God motivated Adam. God gave Adam a certain commandment, however, He did not manipulate Adam to perfect himself. No, that portion of Adam’s responsibility was crucial. There has to be a condition within the Christian community of fulfilling their own responsibility. It is our duty to motivate Christian people so that they can ultimately realize who Father is and support Father’s work. (20)

To reach his goals, Moon must move the country theocratic. With the Washington Times propping up right-wing politics, Moon has been busy picking up the naive religious right by the scruff of the neck and leading them to control of our government. Looking around our political landscape today, one can see that Moon’s efforts have been quite successful. Electing George W. Bush will obviously continue to speed up the process, but even if he is defeated in November of 2004, it won’t stop the direction we are heading – increasingly rightward and theocratic. Already, the party currently in control of all three branches of the United States government should rightfully be called The American Theocratic Party.

The Republican Party is controlled by theocrats.

The Republican Party would have you believe that they are the “big tent” party. In fact, the group with overwhelming control of Republican Party policies is a theocratic movement, nurtured over the years by Moon’s money and his fronts, such as CAUSA and the American Freedom Coalition mentioned above.

In October 2002, Republicans proposed and Congress voted on HR 2357, The House of Worship Political Speech Protection Act, which would have allowed churches to spend up to 20% of their collection plates on partisan politics and still remain tax exempt.

It isn’t hard to figure out which churches would take advantage of that bill. The Episcopal Church, USA and the Interfaith Alliance view HR 2357 and its latest incarnation before Congress, HR 235, as doing roughly the same thing. Commenting on HR 235, the Alliance said the “bill would turn the inner sanctuaries and pulpits of America’s houses of worship into partisan political rally halls.” (21)

These unnecessary bills over time would destroy any separation of church and state, something Moon says is “what Satan likes most.” (22) It’s hard to imagine a bill such as HR 2357 even being proposed 25 years ago. It certainly wouldn’t have received any significant support. The vote was in essence a vote to provide the funding for the theocratization of the American government.

Has Moon’s influence helped to make our country more theocratic?

Although defeated, 168 out of 214 Republicans in the House voted for HR 2357, the so-called House of Worship Political Speech Protection Act.

Here’s the link to the 2002 vote:

That’s 168 out of 214 Republican House members, a mind-boggling 78%, who voted for the theocratization of our government. The hard-line Republicans voted for this when in fact, the majority of the clergy in America do not want to see a situation where preachers are endorsing politicians from the pulpit, which is precisely where this type of legislation would lead. The Republican theocrats don’t care what the majority of the clergy think; they want to empower the small percentage who will use their church’s collection plates to support theocratic and extreme right-wing agendas.

Here’s the Interfaith Alliance, commenting on HR 235, the latest bill currently being proposed by the Republicans to make us a more theocratic nation. This legislation travels under the deceptive name, "Houses Of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act.” This bill is unwanted and unneeded by America’s clergy. In a recent Gallup/Interfaith Alliance Foundation poll, a full 77% of clergy were opposed to their fellow clergy endorsing political candidates. Another poll conducted by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that 70% of Americans feel that houses of worship should not come out in favor of one candidate over another during political elections. (23)

As the survey implies, most churches would not likely get involved in local elections, giving a huge advantage to, you guessed it, politically-driven, right-wing theocratic churches. The moderate-to-liberal churches would be forced in self-defense to participate in something they see as wrong.

Non-citizen Moon, by spending billions of agenda-driven dollars, has played a major role in bringing our country’s political system to where it is today. In my opinion, the religious right, which has effective control of the conservative movement, which in turn has effective control of and influence over the Republican Party and the Bush administration, has become Moon’s theocratic political army. They have become the soldiers in Moon’s “natural subjugation of the American government and population.” (24)

Although the press doesn’t report it, the Republican leadership no longer hides its theocratic desires. Not only do they propose and overwhelmingly support bills such as HR 2357 and its newest face, HR 235, but they have gone as far as to work with Moon’s organization to promote Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative. Bush’s initiative, as originally proposed, included direct payments to churches and backdoor deals to get around time honored regulations. “Moon Shadow,” an article by Rob Boston and published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, explored the Moon fronts used by the Bush administration to promote the funding of churches with taxpayer dollars. These actions amount to Bush literally using Moon, the grand theocrat, to help tear down the wall between church and state.

From the Americans United article:

To preview the (J.C.) Watts “faith-based” summit, Moon did a whirlwind tour of all 50 states in March and April, called the “We Will Stand Tour,” to discuss family issues and plug the Bush proposal. ...The “faith-based summit” itself was sponsored by Watts (R-Okla.), Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and other top congressional Republicans, but efforts to promote it at the grassroots level were turned over to a Moon organization.

While a number of Republican-aligned private organizations have promoted President George W. Bush’s religion funding scheme, only Moon won an official relationship with the Republican leadership to rally grassroots forces on behalf of the "faith-based” summit. This enhanced status enabled him to do grassroots political organizing and religious recruitment with the apparent blessing of Bush and his GOP allies in Congress.

Moon working with conservatives behind the scenes to influence our society politically is nothing new. It has been going strong ever since Moon was a guest at the Reagan-Bush inaugural in 1981 and he was welcomed into the conservative movement. Moon, the master of illusion, has been used by conservatives to fool America. Again from the Americans United article:

Frederick Clarkson, a journalist who has studied Moon and other far-right movements, notes that Moon specializes in the creation of “Astroturf organizations,” groups that appear to have grassroots power but that in reality speak mostly for Moon. Moon has used these groups to curry favor with Republicans for more than 30 years, Clarkson said, and is revving them up again to help the new Bush administration.

"Whenever the conservatives identify an issue as important to their agenda, Moon creates an Astroturf organization to create the appearance of grassroots support for these initiatives,” Clarkson said.

So you see, Moon’s molding and manipulation of the new conservatism in America has been going on under the radar for many years, with TV coverage of his activities non-existent. Television news refuses to tell the American public about the Unification Church leader’s goals and efforts, and as a result, few know who Moon is, let alone the daily influence he has on our political system and thus all our lives.

Moon has been working on America since he sent Bo Hi Pak, his long-time right-hand man, to America in the early 1960s to prepare the way. Carla Binion reported the following on information provided by Robert Roland, a witness before the Fraser Committee who dined with Pak in the early 1960s: 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.” (27)

In the 1980s, Moon’s lieutenant, Pak, made no secret of the group’s goal to manipulate our political system to meet their ends. U.S. News & World Report quoted Pak as he stated the Moon organization’s vision of our country’s future: “We are going to make it where no one can run for office in the United States without our permission.” (28)

In the January 1986 Mother Jones magazine, Carolyn Weaver wrote an article entitled “Unholy Alliance” in which she covered some of the growing ties between the Moon organization and the evangelical movement in America. Over the years, Moon has funded many on the right including Jerry Falwell (29), but Weaver reported an even odder contact for Pak’s efforts at laying a “firm foundation for Master” – none other than Left Behind author Tim LaHaye. LaHaye has received funding from Moon and has given Moon’s group a ringside seat to the religious right’s efforts. Here is an excerpt of a dictated letter uncovered by Weaver, from LaHaye to Bo Hi Pak, thanking Pak for his help, advising him of the right’s latest efforts and fishing for more Moon money:

Bo Hi, I am encouraged! Amid the bad signs I see today, I also detect a lot of good signs. The secretary of education, Don Regan, Ed Meese, Pat Buchanan and many others. Even physical ailments to three of the 76 (year old) flaming liberal Supreme Court justices. Bev was invited to the White House yesterday and was introduced to over 300 conservative leaders as “the president of the largest women’s organization in America - over twice as large as NOW”... and was extended a thunderous applause. ...

Once again, my friend, I am in your debt for your generous help to our work. You don’t know how timely it was! This move and reorganization of the whole ministry to free me for more time in Washington and ACTV
(American Coalition for Traditional Values) activities has been extremely expensive, much more so than I originally thought. But I see daylight down the road and feel it is all part of the Master’s plan. As soon as I can afford it, I plan to hire a PR firm to give more coverage for ACTV, get our message to the people. (30)

The Washington Timesfor its part has been a huge cog in Moon’s plans. It provided the push, the backbone to hard-right politics while Moon’s real agenda, a more theocratic United States, was pushed within the Republican Party. The problem is that Moon and all his followers could fall off the face of the earth tomorrow and it would not change the theocratic direction in which those empowered by Moon are taking our country.

Marching to Moonification

Likely knowing the value of an artfully-presented message, and undoubtedly skilled at public relations, here Moon instructs his followers to cultivate silence as they work to bring his vision to fruition.

“If the U.S. continues its corruption, and we find among the Senators and Congressmen no one really usable for our purpose, we can make Senators and Congressmen out of our members…I have met many famous, so-called famous, Senators and Congressmen; but to my eyes, they are nothing. They are weak and helpless. We will win the battle. This is our dream, our project. But shut your mouth tight.” (31)

Moon himself has given orders not to spill the beans as to how the organization often operates in the political arena. The Fraser Report found that: In 1974, while preparing his followers for a demonstration at the U.N. against withdrawal of troops from South Korea Moon said: “You must remember that you should not be saying anything in political terms. You must say, "We are not concerned about political things. We are not doing this for political reasons, but out of humanitarian motivation.” (32)

Often Moon has predicted dates by which he would control our country and the world. When one looks at his agenda and the new Republican Party’s control over our government and their efforts of late, one can see that he is correct. We are heading where he has wanted us to go all along. The Bush administration recently gave nearly half a million dollars to the Moon organization to teach our kids not to have sex. (33) I believe he had himself “crowned” recently on Capital Hill (34) because he knows he has accomplished what he intended. We are being “naturally” subjugated. We are going, with the help of what might best be called the ‘cult of conservatism,’ where Moon wants us to go.
Here is how Moon described his efforts in 1997:

The famous term “melting pot” is always used to describe America. However, Reverend Moon came to America over twenty-five years ago but he has not become Americanized at all. Rather he has caused America to become Moonized. (35)

Was Moon the only person involved in driving our country right? Of course not. But take for instance Richard Mellon Scaife, the person most point to as the main sugar daddy of the right; Scaife will have to go some to match Moon when it comes to spending targeted, agenda-driven dollars and creating front groups to promote his political goals. The Washington Post reported that Scaife has donated 600 million dollars to conservative causes over the past 40 years.(36) Moon spent a couple billion, at least, on the Washington Times alone - in 20 years. (37) For that matter, as noted in the U.S News & World Report article quoted above, the Heritage Foundation, one of Scaife’s biggest beneficiaries, was compromised by the Moon organization long ago.

To think Moon does anything not designed to reach his personal goals is ignoring who Moon is, what he says and his past actions. The Washington Times has not been stagnant the last 20 years. Moon may be rarely seen around the office today, but his impact on the paper is undeniable. Wes Pruden, the current man in charge at the Washington Times, is the appropriately right-wing person to run your paper if your goal is driving a country’s politics rightward. Pruden, described by Bo Hi Pak as “the soul and conscience in the newsroom,” (38) may be free as a bird, but in my opinion, to say he isn’t helping Moon’s agenda is ludicrous. Anyone who takes Moon’s money, works for his front groups, and speaks on his behalf can be seen as furthering Moon’s overall agenda. Even if it were just the credibility Pruden gives Moon by introducing him at functions, it still helps Moon move his ball down the field. Remember, Moon himself said this about his movement: “we cannot separate the political field from the religious.” (39)

The Washington Times is not a product of the free market of ideas. The paper has never reported a profit.(40) Moon himself admitted that he had spent a billion dollars on the paper by 1991.(41) Although most reports today estimate Moon’s subsidy to the Washington Times at around two billion dollars, (42) conservative Joseph Farah recently estimated the figure to be closer to four billion during an interview with journalist John Gorenfeld.(43) Pruden may have convinced himself that his views have been mainstreamed because of his talents. But in reality his ideas have been pumped into the political dialogue with the backing of the conservative’s number one sugar daddy, the man who led them out of the 40-year liberal wilderness, their political savior, Sun Myung Moon.

The former governor of Virginia, A. Linwood Holton, is a member of a group of Republicans who, as their name implies, are trying to get their party to “Come Back to the Mainstream.” According to an Associated Press report, the “problem lies with the ‘extremist element that controls the Republican party,’ Holton said, ‘which has polarized this country.’” (44)

Sun Myung Moon has had as much to do with the changes within the conservative movement, the Republican Party and the political landscape of the United States as any man alive and yet the broadcast media and most of the print media continue to keep the American public in the dark on the subject.

The money to influence America.

The Moon organization admits that much of the money for their operations in the United States has come from Japan.(45) Recently, this flow of cash has been slowed somewhat as the Japanese legal system has tried to protect its citizens from what some call Moon’s “swindling” followers (46) who engage in “spiritual sales,” the selling of ginseng, marble jars, small statues and other items with purported supernatural qualities.(47) In Japan the courts ruled that Moon’s “church” had perpetrated “unlawful acts” defrauding hundreds of millions of dollars from the citizens of Japan. In the very non-litigious Japan, there are now some 20,000 claims against the Moon organization totaling several hundred million dollars. (48) Japanese widows are among the more vulnerable people targeted by Moon’s followers. (49) For years critics have pondered the sources of Moon’s seemingly never ending flow of cash. Thanks to the Japanese legal system, and to former church members speaking out, we now know that much of Moon's money used to further his conservative agenda in America has come from fraudulent, high-pressure, intimidating sales tactics used on vulnerable widows and others in Japan. (50)

However, as much as Moon reaped from the practice of “spiritual sales” in Japan, that apparently was not the extent of his international dealings. In his forthcoming book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, Robert Parry, the former Associated Press and Newsweek journalist who exposed much of the Iran Contra affair and who is a long-time Moon watcher, explores the source of Moon’s money and alleged ties to organized crime. Writing for Consortium News, Parry notes that Limited investigations of Moon’s organization have revealed large sums of money flowing into the United States mostly from untraceable accounts in Japan, where Moon had close ties to yakuza gangster Ryoichi Sasakawa. Former Moon associates also have revealed major money flows from shadowy sources in South America, where Moon built relationships with right-wing elements associated with the cocaine trade, including the so-called Cocaine Coup government of Bolivia in the early 1980s. (51)

Many countries around the world do not open their arms and welcome Moon’s influence on their societies. Germany and the United Kingdom do not allow Moon to personally enter their countries. (52) In June of 2004, Moon’s “church” - which Honduran Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Rodriguez described as a “pernicious plague” (52) - was denied legal status in Chile because it found “the sect a danger to society and internal order.” One report from Chile said that, “The government says Moon’s doctrine ‘injures the political stability of the democratic system that governs the nation’ and promotes conflict among the legislative, executive and judicial branches.” (54)

Does that remind you of any country?