Article – Bob Fitrakis
The death of Reverend Sun Myung Moon hopefully ends one of the strangest chapters in U.S. security industrial complex history. The self-proclaimed “Messiah” who owned dozens of businesses including Kahr Arms, and who once claimed to have presided over …
Reverend Moon: Cult leader, CIA asset, and Bush family friend is dead
September 4, 2012
The death of Reverend Sun Myung Moon hopefully ends one of the strangest chapters in U.S. security industrial complex history. The self-proclaimed “Messiah” who owned dozens of businesses including Kahr Arms, and who once claimed to have presided over Jesus’ wedding posthumously in order to get the Christian savior into heaven, was ultimately a front in the United States for friends in the CIA like George Herbert Walker Bush.
Moon founded the Washington Times newspaper in 1982 and the Washington Post went out of its way to avoid any mention of the “the dark side of the Moon” upon his death Monday, September 3, 2012 at age 92. When George W. Bush faltered in New Hampshire in early 2000, it was Moon’s shadowy cultish right-wing network that came to its rescue in South Carolina. Moon’s forces helped turn a certain primary defeat into a double-digit victory by spreading Moonies, his zombie-like followers, throughout the state. As the Washington Post reported, “An array of conservative groups have come to reinforce Bush’s message with phone banks, radio ads, and mailings of their own.”
Meanwhile, Moon’s Washington Times ran the headline “Bush scoffs at assertion he moved too far right.” The bizarre, almost unbelievable political alliance between the Bush family and Rev. Moon is one of the dirty little secrets of CIA involvement in U.S. domestic politics.
To understand the historical significance of Rev. Moon and his Moonies, one must start with Ryoichi Sasakawa, identified in a 1992 Frontline investigative report as the key money source behind Moon’s far-flung world religious/business empire. Sasakawa bragged to Time magazine that he was “the world’s richest fascist.”
In the 1930s, Sasakawa was one of Japan’s leading fascists. He organized a private army of 1500 men equipped with 20 war planes. His followers were Japan’s version of Mussolini’s Black Shirts. Sasakawa was a key figure in leading Japan into World War II and was an “uncondemned Class-A war criminal.” Following WW II, he was captured and imprisoned for war crimes. According to U.S. documents, Sasakawa was suddenly freed with another accused war criminal, Yoshio Kodama, a prominent figure in Japan’s organized crime syndicate, the Yakuza. They were freed in 1948, one year after the National Security Act established the CIA as the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In January 1995, Japan’s KYODO News Service uncovered documents establishing that Kodama’s release coincided with an agreement he had made with U.S. military intelligence two months earlier to serve as an informant. Declassified documents link Kodama’s release to the CIA.
During WW II, Kodama activities, according to the U.S. Army counterintelligence records consisted of “systematically looting China of its raw materials” and dealing in heroin, guns, tungsten, gold, industrial diamonds and radium. Both Sasakawa’s and Kodama’s CIA ties are a reoccurring theme in their relationship with Rev. Moon.
In 1997, Congressman Donald Fraser launched an investigation into Moon’s cult. The 444-page Congressional report alleged Moonie involvement with bribery, bank fraud, illegal kickbacks, and arms sales. The report revealed that Moon’s 20,000-member Unification Church was a creation of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). The Moonies were working with KCIA Director Kim Chong Phil as a political instrument to influence U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. CIA was the agency primarily responsible for founding the KCIA after WW II. The Moon organization has denied any link with the U.S. intelligence agencies or the Korean government.
Moon, who is Korean, and his two fascist Japanese buddies Kodama and Sasakawa, worked together in the early 1960s to form the Asian People’s Anti-Communist League with the aid of KCIA agents. The League allegedly used Japanese organized crime money and financial support from Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. The League concentrated its efforts on uniting fascist and right-wing militarists into an anti-Communist force throughout Asia.
In 1964, League funds established Moon’s Freedom Center in the United States. Kodama served as a chief advisor to the Moon’s subsidiary Win Over Communism, an organization that served as a conduit to protect Moon’s South Korean financial investments. Sasakawa acted as Win Over Communism’s Chair.
In 1966, the League merged with another fascist organization, the Anti-Bolshevik Block of Nations. The merger begat the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). Later, in the 1980s, the retired U.S. Major General John Singlaub emerged from the shadows of the League to become caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal. As Chairman of the WACL, Singlaub enlisted soldiers of fortune and other paramilitary groups to support the Contra cause in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas.
Moon’s Freedom Center served as the headquarters for the League in the U.S. During the Iran-Contra hearings, the League was described as a “multi-national network of Nazi war criminals, Latin American death squad leaders, North American racists, and anti-Semites and fascist politicians from every continent.”
Working with the KCIA, Moon made his first trip to the U.S. in 1965 and shockingly obtained an audience with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both “Ike” and former President Harry S. Truman lent their names to letterhead of the Moon-created Korean Cultural Freedom Foundation. In 1969, Moon and Sasakawa jointly formed the Freedom Leadership Foundation, a pro-Vietnam War organization that lobbied the U.S. government.
In the 1970s, Moon earned notoriety in the so-called Koreagate scandal. Female followers of the Unification Church were accused of entertaining and horizontally lobbying U.S. Congressmen while keeping confidential files on those they “lobbied” at a Washington Hilton Hotel suite rented by the Moonies. The U.S. Senate held hearings concerning Moon’s “programmatic bribery of U.S. officials, journalists, and others as part of an operation by the KCIA to influence the course of U.S. foreign policy.” The Fraser report documented that Moon was “paid by the KCIA to stage demonstrations at the United Nations and run pro-South Korean propaganda campaigns.” The Congressional investigator for the Fraser report said, “We determine that their (Moonies’) primary interest, at least in the U.S. at that time, was not religion at all but was political, it was an attempt to gain power, influence and authority.”
After Ronald Reagan’s presidential victory in 1980, Moon’s political influence increased dramatically. Vice President George Bush, former CIA director, invited Moon as his guest to the Reagan inauguration. Bush and Moon shared unsavory links to South American underworld figures. In 1980, according to the investigative magazine I.F., the Moon organization collaborated with a right-wing military coup in Bolivia that established the region’s first narco-state.
Moon’s credentials soared in conservative circles. In 1982, with the inception of the propaganda tabloid the Washington Times. Vice President Bush immediately saw the value of forging an alliance with the politically powerful Moon organization, an alliance that Moon claims made Bush president. One former-Moonie website claims that during the 1988 Bush-Dukakis battle, Rev. Moon threatened his followers that they would be moved out of the United States if the evil Dukakis won.
Moon himself lacked clean hands. Moon was convicted of income tax evasion in 1982 and spent a year in a U.S. jail. Also in 1982, the Moon organization based at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio helped elect John Kasich, now Ohio’s governor, to the U.S. Congress in 12th district. During the Gulf War, the Moonie-sponsored American Freedom Coalition organized “support the troops” rallies throughout the country.
The Frontline documentary identified the Washington Times as the most costly piece in Moon’s propaganda arsenal, with losses estimated as high as $800 million. Still, the documentary asserts that his old friend Sasakawa’s virtual monopoly over the Japanese speedboat gambling industry allowed money to continuously flow into U.S. coffers.
The Bush-Moonie connection caused considerable controversy in September 1995 when the former President announced he would be spending nearly a week in Japan on behalf of a Moonie front organization, the Women’s Federation for World Peace, founded and led by Moon’s wife.
Bush downplayed accusations of Moonie brain-washing and coercion. The New York Times noted that Bush’s presence “is seen by some as lending the group [Moonies] legitimacy.”
Long-time Moonie member S.P. Simmonds wrote an editorial for the Portland Press Herald noting that Bushes “didn’t need the reported million dollars paid by Moon and were well aware of the Church’s history.” Other news sources placed the figure for the former President’s presence at $10 million. Bush shared the podium with Moon’s wife and addressed a crowd of 50,000 in the Tokyo dome. Bush told the faithful “Reverend and Mrs. Moon are engaged in the most important activities in the world today.”
The following year, Moon bankrolled a series of “family values” conferences from Oakland to Washington D.C. The San Francisco Chronicle reported, “In Washington, Moon opened his checkbook to such Republican Party mainstays as former President Gerald Ford and George Bush, GOP presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed.”
Purdue University Professor of Sociology Anson Shupe, a long-time Moon-watcher, said, “The man accused of being the biggest brainwasher in America has moved into mainstream Republican Americana.”
Moon proclaimed at his family values conferences that he was only one who knew “all the secrets of God.” One of them, according to the Chronicle was that “the husband is the owner of his wife’s sex organs and vice versa.”
“President Ford, President Bush, who attended the inaugural World Convention of the Family Federation for World Peace” and all you distinguished guests are famous, but there’s something that you do know now,” the Chronicle quoted Moon as saying. “Is there anyone here who dislikes sexual organs? . . . Until now you may not have thought it virtuous to value the sexual organs, but from now, you must value them.”
In November 1996, Bush the Elder arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, amid controversy over a newly-created Spanish language Moon weekly newspaper called Tiempos del Mundo. Bush smoothed things over as the principle speaker at the paper’s inaugural dinner on November 23rd.
The former president then traveled with Moon to neighboring Uruguay to help him open a Montevideo seminary to train 4200 young Japanese women to spread the word of the Unification Church across Latin America. The young Japanese seminarians were later accused of laundering $80 million through a Uruguayan bank, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The Times also reported that when Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University faced bankruptcy, Moon bailed it out with millions of dollars of loans and grants.
In 1997 the New York Times wrote that Moon “has been reaching out to conservative Christians in this country in the last few years by emphasizing shared goals like support for sexual abstinence outside of marriage and opposition to homosexuality.” Moon also appealed to Second Amendment advocates. In March 1999, the Washington Post reported that the cult leader owned the lucrative Kahr Arms company through Saeilo Inc.
It’s the shadowy network around the Moonies and the CIA that helped propel both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush into the presidency. Recently the “Messiah’s” newspaper has spent most of its time attacking President Obama.
Besides the Washington Times, the Unification Church had business holdings including the United Press International (UPI). Moon was often shown in the mainstream media presiding over mass marriages of his followers. More importantly was his marriage of convenience to the CIA and the Bush family. His corruption of American politics lives on.