Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Hooking George Bush
By Robert Parry
...As opening day ticked closer for Moon's Tiempos del Mundo, leading South American newspapers were busy recounting unsavory chapters of Moon's history, including his links with South Korea's feared intelligence service and with violent anti-communist organizations that some commentaries said bordered on neo-fascist.
Indeed, in the early 1980s, amid widespread human rights abuses, Moon had used friendships with the military dictators in Argentina and Uruguay to invest in those two countries. Moon was such a pal of the Argentine generals that he garnered an honorary award for siding with Argentina's junta in the Falklands War. [UPI, Nov. 16, 1984]
...Bush lavished praise on Moon and his journalistic enterprises. "I want to salute Reverend Moon, who is the founder of Tiempos del Mundo," Bush declared.
...But Bush's boosterism was just what Moon needed in South America. "The day after," the Unification News observed, "the press did a 180-degree about-turn once they realized that the event had the support of a U.S. president." With Bush's help, Moon had gained another beachhead for his worldwide business-religious-political-media empire.
...Throughout these public appearances, Bush's office has refused to divulge how much Moon-affiliated organizations have paid the ex-president. But estimates of Bush's fee for the Buenos Aires appearance alone ran between $100,000 and $500,000. Sources close to the Unification Church have put the total Bush-Moon package in the millions, with one source telling The Consortium that Bush stood to make as much as $10 million.
...Still, the Bush-Moon alliance is not strictly about money -- and it did not start in Bush's post-presidency. It dates back at least to the start of the Reagan-Bush era -- when Moon was a VIP guest at the first Reagan-Bush inauguration -- and it could extend into the next century as the ex-president works to shore up conservative support for his eldest son, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who is expected to run for the White House in 2000.
...Sources close to Bush say the ex-president has worked hard to pull well-to-do conservatives and their money behind his son's candidacy. Without doubt, Moon is one of the deepest pockets in right-wing circles, having financed important conservative activists from both the Religious Right, such as the Rev. Jerry Falwell, and Inside-the-Beltway right-wing professionals.
...In similar remarks to followers on Aug. 4, 1996, Moon vowed that the church's eventual dominance over the United States would be followed by the liquidation of American individualism. "Americans who continue to maintain their privacy and extreme individualism are foolish people," Moon declared. "The world will reject Americans who continue to be so foolish. Once you have this great power of love, which is big enough to swallow entire America, there may be some individuals who complain inside your stomach. However, they will be digested."
...Moon's criticism of Jesus also unsettled Stacey. "In the church, it's very anti-Jesus," Stacey said. "Jesus failed miserably. He died a lonely death. Reverend Moon is the hero that comes and saves pathetic Jesus. Reverend Moon is better than God. ...
...Despite growing disaffection among many longtime followers and other problems, Moon's empire still prospers financially, backed by vast sources of mysterious wealth. "It's a multi-billion-dollar international conglomerate," noted Steve Hassan, a former church leader who has written a book about religious cults, entitled Combatting Cult Mind Control. At his Internet site, Hassan has a 31-page list of organizations connected to the Unification Church, many secretively.
"Here's a man [Moon] who says he wants to take over the world, where all religions will be abolished except Unificationism, all languages will be abolished except Korean, all governments will be abolished except his one-world theocracy," Hassan said in an interview. "Yet he's wined and dined very powerful people and convinced them that he's benign."
This post has been edited by Hannibal: 11 January 2005 - 11:41 PM