“We have snakes in the newsroom.”
May 11, 2010 9:04 AM   Subscribe

I always wondered what fueled the bizarre cult of personality, and why it was able to operate with seeming impunity for so long. Fascinating stuff; thanks. Let's hope there are no Miscavidges to carry this thing on once the leader goes.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:26 AM on May 11, 2010

Here's the entire original series by Bob Parry

Forget anything you thought you knew about Moon. Yes, he is a religious crank. But that's more of a cover than an explanation of what he's been up to and who he got his start fronting for. Short answer: money laundering for Japanese war criminals, rightists and yakuza. Particularly Rioichi Sasakawa, Yoshio Kodama and Kakuei Tanaka.

It's a complex mess, but Moon came to the US about the time Richard Nixon was hitting the skids. Some have deduced that Moon's arrival as a Japanese rightist agent was partly to discharge the obligation Tanaka and his cronies owed him due to the transfer of the M-fund (a political slush fund created by the occupation from seized war booty) from US control to the Liberal Democratic Party and Tanaka.

It's a vague mess, but the origins of Moon in Japan (which is his true power base, not Korea) cast more light on the whole tangled tale than his activities in the US.

More from John Goernfeld.
posted by warbaby at 9:58 AM on May 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

Let's not forget their ownership of the University of Bridgeport, alma mater of would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shazad!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:58 AM on May 11, 2010

The Rick A. Ross Institute's Internet archive of information about cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements has an extensive section on the Unification Church, though no section specifically about drug trading. Seems they'll need to update their site.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:07 AM on May 11, 2010

Here's more on the Nixon/M-Fund business. The Seagraves's tales about hidden gold needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt, but the underlying history is pretty straight.

And I forgot Nobosuke Kishi, who was imprisoned as a Class A War criminal with Sasakawa and Kodama, but released when the run up to the Korean War began.
posted by warbaby at 10:11 AM on May 11, 2010

Rick Ross is great for cult news/info.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:12 AM on May 11, 2010

Moon Bush
posted by hortense at 10:24 AM on May 11, 2010

Great title. It sounds like a punchline to a great joke. Like "What are the three best things about being a journalist in Washington, DC?"

Or a triple bill at a punk show.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:12 AM on May 11, 2010

Wiki site is a bit off: the Moon organization, claiming it is not involved in the University, but in fact part of the deal to get the school is that over 50% of the Board of Trustees must copnsist of Church members. That the terror guy went to that school for two degrees is only because getting into the school does not require very much academically and they welcome foreign students--he had student visa and somehow managed to get worker visa after graduation
posted by Postroad at 11:21 AM on May 11, 2010

I have skimmed the post, and seemed not have seen a very central fact:
Rev Moon is a convicted tax felon and served time.

In fact, he tried to get a pardon from--Bush--and had close ties to him, as did Sen Dole, who got money for speaking in S. Am.
on Bush and the Moon connection:

posted by Postroad at 11:29 AM on May 11, 2010

oh forgot: here is good summing up by fired guy suing Moon and Church and tells of what is taking place at the paper and in the Moon empire:

posted by Postroad at 11:38 AM on May 11, 2010

OK, that sushi thing is a real bummer. But I imagine there are probably equally evil people profiting when I eat a burger or drink a beer, right?
posted by chaff at 5:09 PM on May 11, 2010

Sadly, chaff, yes. Carl Karcher, for example (of Carl's Jr. fame) was significant supporter of conservative, anti-gay and anti-choice politics.

There was (is?) a Carl's Jr. on campus at USC and a number of my professors refused to eat there because their patronage would support the guy.
posted by darkstar at 8:36 PM on May 11, 2010

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