Sun Myung Moon
- 1 Background
- 2 Related SourceWatch Resources
- 3 External links
Sun Myung Moon was born in 1920 in rural Korea. His official biography states that at the age of 16, Jesus appeared to Moon and asked him to continue the work he had started 2000 years earlier. In 1945, Moon released a book of his organized teachings entitled The Divine Principle and in the ensuing years began to lay the ground work for his Unification Church which he officially founded in 1954.  In the early 1970s, Moon began a concerted effort to bring his teachings to America.  Since that time, the Unification Church has grown exponentially worldwide, and is now a financially powerful organization.
Ownership of the Washington Times
In 2002, Arnaud de Borchgrave, now Editor at Large for United Press International, wrote that Moon decided that after the collapse of the Washington Star there remained a need for a conservative paper to challenge the Washington Post. Moon, he said, "concluded that the lack of a robust second newspaper in Washington would jeopardize President Ronald Reagan's efforts to roll back the Soviet empire and roll up communism. Anti-anti-communism had become fashionable in the dominant liberal media culture, a trend Moon felt would jeopardize not only U.S. security, but the security of his own country where 37,000 U.S. soldiers stood guard against the possibility of another invasion of South Korea by a still aggressive North Korea."
"Moon disclosed in May 1992 that he had invested 'close to $1 billion' since the paper's founding in 1982. He said he wanted to make the newspaper 'an instrument to save America and the world'", Allan Freedman reported in the Columbia Journalism Review.
However, according to Freedman "he does not sit on the board of the paper's parent company, News World Communications. Each member of the board, however, is a member of Moon's Unification Church," he wrote.
The Unification Church's website also lists a number of other "Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Projects" including The Sekai Nippo (Newspaper in Tokyo), Insight Magazine, The Middle East Times (Cairo), Tiempos del Mundo and the World Media Conference. . In 2000, News World Communications bought the floundering United Press International.
Writing in October 2000 in Salon, Frederick Clarkson noted that Moon often cultivated close relationships with key conservative figures and was a generous sponsor." The former President Bush (sometimes accompanied by former first lady Barbara Bush) spoke at a series of Moon-sponsored events in Japan, Argentina and the U.S. after he left the White House. Estimates of how much the couple received for these appearances run between $1 million and $10 million," he wrote. Though the net appears to have been purged of photos of the Bushes with Moon, here's one of the Bushes with Mrs. Moon and Moon's long time right hand man Bo Hi Pak.
Nor were the Bush's the only beneficiaries. "Former Reagan Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp earned $52,000 from Moon-affiliated groups in the year before becoming Bob Dole's GOP running mate in 1996," he wrote.
Unorthodox beliefs and pronouncements
- During a sermon, Rev. Moon asked any Jews present to raise their hands. When they did, he told them to repent for having killed Jesus and went on to explain that it was as an indemnity for this that 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust. 
- Moon referred to gays as "dung-eating dogs" and stated that they will be "eliminated" by God. 
Ceremony in a Senate office building
In March 2004, Moon convened an extarordinary ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, ostensibly as an awards ceremony for 'peace ambassadors', in front of several dozens members of Congress and over two hundred other guests. In a speech after the awards were presented Moon pronounced "I am God's ambassador, sent to earth with His full authority. I am sent to accomplish His command to save the world's six billion people, restoring them to Heaven with the original goodness in which they were created."
"The five great saints and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even Communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin, who committed all manner of barbarity and murders on earth, and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons. Emperors, kings and presidents who enjoyed opulence and power on earth, and even journalists who had worldwide fame, have now placed themselves at the forefront of the column of the true love revolution," he said. 
"They have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent. This resolution has been announced on every corner of the globe," he said. 
Moon's extraordinary announcement that he was the humanity's saviour went unreported, other than in the Washington Times. In June 2004, Salon writer, John Gorenfield, reported the event and that some members of Congress claimed that they did not know the "Moonie nature of the group or that they did not know the event would evolve into a messianic coronation". Its invitation, however, listed Moon's Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace as event's primary sponsor.
While most of the attending members of Congress denied previous knowledge of the specifics of the ceremony, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) both spoke and donned white gloves to assist in placing a crown on Moon's head. 
Reps. Curt Weldon and Elijah Cummings also gave speeches. Weldon's office initially denied even his attendance, but was forced to change its stance when a photo surfaced showing Weldon onstage standing beside a picture of himself pinning a small lapel pin onto Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi. 
- Watch the Moon-approved video of the event here.
The following members of Congress were confirmed to have attended the ceremony:
- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)
- Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)
- Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.)
- Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.)
- Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Penn.)
The following members of Congress were not at the event, but were listed as Congressional Co-Chairs or members of the Host Committee on the event invitation (though many claim no knowledge of their positions):
- Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.)
- Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah)
- Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.)
- Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.)
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
While he did not personally attend the ceremony, on April 16, 2004, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y) signed a statement written on official congressional stationary that recognized Moon and his wife as "True Parents" and "King of Peace." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
Speeches and Statements by Rev. Moon
- Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, "Declaring the Era of the Peace Kingdom: Address to the United States Congress", March 23, 2004.
Websites about Rev. Moon
- John Gorenfeld, Where in Washington, D.C. is Sun Myung Moon?.
Series of Articles
- A series of articles on Moon and the Unification Church - mostly during the 1990's - by investigative reporter Robert Parry - are available at consortiumnews.com and freedomofmind.com.
About the Washington Times
- Allan Freedman, "Washington's Other Paper:Is the time right for the Times?", Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1995.
- Arnaud de Borchgrave, "Celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Washington Times", Unification News for June 2002.
About Rev. Moon and his Unification Church
- Frederick Clarkson, "Million Moon March", Salon, October 09, 2000.
- Bill Berkowitz, "The Reverend Moon's Comeback", AlterNet, March 13, 2001.
About Rev. Moon's political influence
- Bob Fitrakis, "Dark side of the Moon," Columbus Alive (americanatheist.org) February 24, 2000; concludes "It's the shadowy network around the Moonies that the elder Bush could have called in to bail out his son's campaign in South Carolina. Make no mistake, George W. of Texas is little more than a frontman for the restoration of his father's unsavory connections, who hide behind the veil of national security to avoid accountability."
- Wayne Madsen, "Moon Shadow:The Rev, Bush & North Korea", CounterPunch, January 14, 2003.
- John Gorenfeld, "Hail to the Moon king", Salon, June 21, 2004. "The deeply weird coronation of Rev. Sun Myung Moon in a Senate office building -- crown, robes, the works -- is no longer one of Washington's best-kept secrets."
- James Kirchick, "Lawmakers attend Moon 'coronation' in Dirksen," The Hill, June 22, 2004.
- Charles Babington and Alan Cooperman, "The Rev. Moon Honored at Hill Reception," Washington Post, June 23, 2004.
- Robert Parry, "Money, Media & the Mess in America, consortiumnews.com, January 28, 2005.
- Julian Borger, "Moonie leader 'crowned' in Senate," Guardian Unlimited (UK), June 24, 2004.
- Robert Parry, "The GOP's $3 Billion Propaganda Organ," consortiumnews.com, December 27, 2006: "The American Right achieved its political dominance in Washington over the past quarter century with the help of more than $3 billion spent by Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon on a daily propaganda organ, the Washington Times, according to a 21-year veteran of the newspaper."
- Bill Berkowitz, "Bush Family in the House of Moon," Talk To Action, April 19, 2007. re George H.W. Bush