Volume > Issue > An Inside Look at a Moonie Training Session

An Inside Look at a Moonie Training Session


By Thomas W. Case | January-February 1988
Thomas W. Case is a graduate student in Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. This is the second installment in a two-part series.

Ed. Note: The Unification Church is not often in the news these days. Why not? Are cults no longer thought of as cults, but rather as legitimate reli­gious groups? Hardly. The same things continue to happen in the Unification Church: psychological capture of well-meaning, idealistic, spiritually hun­gry young people; stripping of personality and capacity for judgment; inculcation of utter psycho­logical dependency on a leader who wraps himself in the flag of divinity; using up bodies and vacating minds. Perhaps we are just tired of hearing about it; perhaps we have become jaded. But there may be another reason the Moonies are no longer in the news. There may be a sort of conspiracy of silence about them.

Among many of the power-brokers of our country, the Moonies have become respectable. There are various reasons for this, but one phenom­enon is indicative of the whole. Funded by Japan­ese far-Right industrialists, the Rev. Moon started up a daily newspaper in 1982 in our nation’s capi­tal called The Washington Times. Six years later this paper still has a small circulation, but it has be­come an established partner in the political dia­logue “inside the beltway.” It is one of the few papers which is regularly excerpted for President Reagan’s daily news briefing book.

Upping God and country, The Washington Times has gathered to its op/ed pages, or at least to its favor, (1) anti-communists of whatever stripe; (2) pundits of the Old and New Right; (3) Chris­tians delighted to see God mentioned with appro­bation in a daily newspaper, but who seemingly glide over the fact that the Moonies are neo-gnostics who deny that Jesus Christ was the true Messi­ah; and (4) pro-family people who seem oblivious to the Moonies’ reputation for “brainwashing” America’s kids, separating them from their parents, prearranging mass weddings, and dictating when husband and wife (usually virtual strangers before the wedding) may have children.

The Rev. Moon is nothing if not shrewd. There is something about the very look of a daily newspaper emanating from the nerve center of the Western Alliance which suggests respectability, re­sponsibility, and power; in short, something to be taken very seriously. Right from the beginning of his “apostolate,” Moon has pandered to the powers-that-be. From the very start, he has cultivated dictators and presidents, military men and intelli­gence men, influential men and rich men. Here are a few of those he has supported or who have help­ed him along the way: Nobusuke Kishi, Japanese war criminal; Ryoichi Sasakawa, billionaire godfa­ther of the Japanese underworld, the Yakuza; Kim Chong Pit, founding director of the South Korean CIA; Ray Cline, former deputy director of the American CIA, an originator of the notorious World Anti-Communist League (so far to the right that even the John Birch Society has shunned it), and member of the executive advisory board of The World & I, a Moonie journal with a whopping $10 million annual budget; Alfredo Stroessner, dic­tator of Paraguay; Klaus Barbie, who needs no in­troduction; and Lt. Col. Oliver North (through the Contra fundraising activities of Moon’s right-hand man, Bo Hi Pak).

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