I was fifteen or so years old. That was back in the old days, before everyone who was 15 was world-wise and even world weary. I was a bit world wise for my age, though, as I was living on my own and was fully supporting myself with a couple of paying jobs.

Waling home from work one day, a pretty young woman approached me, as though she was asking for directions. She was foreign and her English was poor, but I eventually came to understand that she wanted me to come over to her house later that evening for dinner. She promised a nice dinner, and she promised more. She was using words like “satisfaction” and “pleasure,” embedded in sentences that I otherwise could not understand.

A fifteen year old boy’s dreams come true … Or maybe not.

She gave me a piece of paper with her phone number on it. I took it, and continued on my way, and never called her and never went to her house because I was not as stupid as I apparently looked, and was rather suspicious. A few days later I met another woman with a very similar act, this time giving me a flower and her phone number. A couple of weeks later, it happened again. And again. And again.

But by third or fourth time, I knew what was going on. These young Asian women … soon to be augmented by young Asian men … and eventually augmented by young non-Asian women and men … were all Moonies.

And eventually, we all learned the chant: “Money for Moonies is Money for Loonies.” Yes, I and my ilk disdained them knowing their scam for what it was. But apparently not everyone got that.

Indeed, Reverend Sun Myung Moon is today one of the richest people in the world. And he comes to mind today because of word of his recent appearance with President George Bush at the Presidential Library.

Now, stop laughing … seriously … there really is going to be a President George Bush library. It must be, like, comic books and stuff, right? But that is beside the point.

The point is that Rick Casey is asking this question: Why are we (or more exactly, why is the press) going gaga over undesirable associations between a politician and a questionable (but really, essentially, mainstream) man of the cloth such as Reverend Wright, but the front page of the New York Times and the top story on MSNBC is not about the Moon-Bush hookup? Why?

Why is it OK that the man who said, “(God) is living in me and I am the incarnation of Himself. The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world.” is in bed with the sitting president of the United States? Does it matter that Moon has given one million dollars to the Bush Library? Secretly?

(Man, that is going to buy a LOT of comic books….)

But don’t take my word for it. Check out Rick Casey’s piece: At least Obama has quit Wright. Read it and weep.

Comments

  1. #1 streamfinder
    May 19, 2008

    Yes, politics and money make strange bedfellows. It wouldn’t be the first time a sitting President made some really weird associations. But Obama was associated with Wright long before he was a presidential candidate or senator, and that is what makes it important.

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    May 19, 2008

    Hey, now. No hating on comic books. The rest of it, sure, just not comic books.

  3. #3 Anne Gilbert
    May 19, 2008

    Jeez. What happened to the days(which I remember very well, because my daughter was about 4 years old then, and one day we encountered them)when people were screaming about the “Moonie cult” taking their kids away? Oh, sorry. I guess that was the Hare Krishnas. I remember them, too. But then, the Hzre Krishna people don’t hide behind politicians, that I know of.
    Anne G

  4. #4 arby
    May 19, 2008

    You do know this is about Bush the Elder, doncha? It doesn’t sound like you do. “Sitting President”? And steamfinder: the Moon/Bush association, money connection, whatever, goes waaaay back. It’s not hard to find out about it, well, unless you limit yourself to the New York Times or network news. rb

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    May 19, 2008

    Well, that would explain the library. He reads.

  6. #6 Elizabeth
    May 19, 2008

    I still remember the depression that came over Gloucester, Mass when everyone there realized that the Moonies had bought the town.

  7. #7 Joel_m
    May 19, 2008

    Haven’t the Moon-followers faded away by now? I had not heard of them in years. I had assumed they just fizzled.

  8. #8 Elizabeth
    May 19, 2008

    By the way is the commenting machine ever going to start working properly again on Scienceblogs?

  9. #9 arby
    May 19, 2008

    They haven’t fizzled, but they have moved on from trying to entice young Lad(en)s. It turns out, for instance, if you eat sushi in the US, there is a good chance you are supporting the good Reverend, or so I’ve read on the webs. Fishing boats, restaurants, fishy transport and such. I guess that’s where the Gloucester thing comes in? I hadn’t known about that. Which brand of fish fingers should I avoid? rb

  10. #10 arby
    May 19, 2008

    They haven’t fizzled, but they have moved on from trying to entice young Lad(en)s. It turns out, for instance, if you eat sushi in the US, there is a good chance you are supporting the good Reverend, or so I’ve read on the webs. Fishing boats, restaurants, fishy transport and such. I guess that’s where the Gloucester thing comes in? I hadn’t known about that. Which brand of fish fingers should I avoid? rb

  11. #11 arby
    May 19, 2008

    I didn’t post that twiced! Got a server error and hit refresh. Is that an example of what you mean Elizabeth?

  12. #12 Nomen Nescio
    May 19, 2008

    there really is going to be a President George Bush library. It must be, like, comic books and stuff, right?

    three words: “my pet goat”.

  13. #13 Chris H
    May 20, 2008

    Don’t insult comic books! :) Some of them are even serious literary masterpieces, like the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman!

    (But I agree with everything else you said, and love the blog. I’ve been reading it for a while. I’ve never been approached by anyone offering satisfaction (if I was, it would turn out to be a duelling “offer”), but I’m 16, so I’ve got all the time in the world ;)

    ~Chris, UK.

    PS: The wink closes the brackets…

  14. #14 Daryl McCullough
    May 25, 2008

    Ah, when I was a student, I was approached by almost every evangelizing religious group. Often I was offered a free meal in exchange for giving a listen to what they had to say. I took many of them up on it. I chatted about the Problem of Evil with the Campus Crusade for Christ, I argued about whether Buddhists and Moslems were going to Hell with Jed Smock (a travelling hell-fire-and-brimstone preacher who frequented college campuses). My favorite was the Krishnas; I got a delicious Indian meal from them in exchange for agreeing to watch a movie about Vrindavan (where Krishna supposedly spent his boyhood).

    But the Moonies scared me. I didn’t want to be alone with any of them, not even the gorgeous young woman with a fetching British accent who was trying to entice me to give them a try.

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