Dispatches from the Creation Wars

More on the Falwell-Moon Connection

I’ve written before about the connection between Jerry Falwell and Reverend Moon, particularly that Moon gave $3.5 million to Falwell to bail out Liberty University from impending bankruptcy in 1995. Now comes an article by Robert Parry that shows that the connection goes even deeper than I knew. Contrary to the claims of some of Falwell’s defenders, who have claimed that Falwell didn’t know the money came from Moon because he had given it to foundation controlled by Dan Reber and Jimmy Thomas rather than to Falwell directly, Parry shows evidence that Falwell had actively solicited the money from Moon:

The full public record strongly suggests that Falwell solicited Moon’s help in bailing out Liberty University. In a lawsuit on file in the Circuit Court of Bedford County — a community in southwestern Virginia — two of Reber’s former business associates alleged that Reber and Falwell flew to South Korea on Jan. 9, 1994, on a seven-day “secret trip” to meet “with representatives of the Unification Church.”

The court document states that Reber and Falwell were accompanied to South Korea by Ronald S. Godwin, who had been executive director of Falwell’s Moral Majority before signing on as vice president of Moon’s Washington Times.

According to Bedford County court records, Reber, Falwell and Godwin also had discussions at Liberty University in 1993 with Dong Moon Joo, one of Moon’s right-hand men and president of The Washington Times.

Reber settled the suit in question quickly, so these allegations didn’t show up in court. Parry also points to the vast amounts of money that Moon has been spreading around, particularly among social conservatives, who share his desire to impose a narrow moral code on us all:

Still, despite his controversial remarks, Moon continues to buy friends on the American right — as well as among African-American religious figures — by spreading around vast sums of money. The totals are estimated in the billions of dollars, with much of it targeted on political infrastructure: direct-mail operations, video services for campaign ads, professional operatives and right-wing media outlets.

Through The Washington Times and its affiliated publications — Insight magazine and The World & I — Moon has not only showcased conservative opinions, but he has created seemingly legitimate conduits to funnel money to individuals and companies he seeks to influence. In the early 1980s, for instance, The Washington Times hired the New Right’s direct-mail whiz Richard Viguerie to conduct a pricy direct-mail subscription drive. The business boosted Viguerie’s profit margin.

Another element of Moon’s strategy is to approach a conservative leader when he’s financially down. Moon quietly infuses money and gains the leader’s gratitude. Again, Viguerie is an example of that tactic. When he fell on hard times in the late 1980s, Moon directed more business his way and had a corporation run by Moon’s lieutenant, Bo Hi Pak, buy one of Viguerie’s properties for $10 million.

He also points to major Moon donations to now-prominent conservative spokesmen like Grover Nordquist. Go read the whole thing.

Comments

  1. #1 Reed A. Cartwright
    October 18, 2004

    Ed, where does Moon get his money? Is it only from tithes and investements?

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    October 18, 2004

    Reed-

    Moon has an amazingly diversified financial empire now, but investigators say that there are two primary sources that started it all – money from his followers, of course, and sales of religious relics in Japan. His people have for decades been shaking down the aged in Japan, selling them religious relics with promises of cures and going to heaven, at exorbitant prices. There is also some evidence to suggest that he has ties to the Yakuza in Japan. But today, he has his hands in virtually everything. The list of businesses he owns worldwide is astonishing.

  3. #3 Matthew Phillips
    October 18, 2004

    Religious conviction flies out the window when financial profit is involved. The fact that Moon is a cultist? Irrelevant; he has the green.

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