Sunday, December 11, 2005

George W. Bush and The Moonies

The National Examiner/January 9, 2001 By Tom Kuncl

President-Elect George W. Bush has a strong personal and financial connection with the cult-like Moonie church, say sources. Critics say the Moonie church opposes Christianity and the American way.

In fact, the Bush family may have received as much as $10 million from the Moonies in recent years. Rev. Sun Myung Moon considers himself a personal friend of our new president, according to newspaper reports.

The incoming chief executive’s own father – former President George H. Bush – has been courted by the Rev. Moon’s Unification Church since he became vice president in the Reagan administration, says a report by investigative journalist and Newsweek correspondent Robert Parry.

Rev. Moon, now 80, was even a VIP guest at the Reagan-Bush inauguration.

The mega-wealthy South Korea-based church remained an unwavering supporter of the elder Bush’s presidency, especially in the Moonie-owned Washington Times newspaper, Parry says.
“The 15-year-old Washington Times doesn’t rank among the Top 100 U.S. dailies in terms of circulation,” writes columnist Norman Solomon.

“Yet, financied by the Unification Church’s deep pockets, it wields enormous influence in the nation’s capital. Elevating innuendo to ‘news’, the paper excels at smearing liberals and centrists.”

This influence, writes Parry, “could extend into the next century as the ex-president works to shore up convervative support for his eldest son.” The Times endorsed Bush in his election race against Al Gore.

“Sources close to Bush say the ex-president has worked hard to pull well-to-do conservatives and their money behind their son’s candidacy. Moon is one of the deepest pockets in right-wing circles, having financed important conservative activists from both the religious right, such as Jerry Falwell, and Inside-the-Beltway right-wing professionals.”

When the elder Bush was defeated after one term, says Solomon, the Unification Church in essence handed the ex-president a so-called “golden parachute” – business slang for chief executives’ usually hefty severance packages.

Solomon quoted a spokesman for the elder Bush as saying: “President Bush has no relationship with Rev. Moon or the Unification Church.” But, Solomon wrote: “The facts tell a very different story.”

Parry confirms that the elder Bush could have become a wealthy man merely from the checks for speaking at many high-profile Moonie events on three continents, including the launch of a church-owned newspaper in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Estimates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos Aires appearance alone ran between $100,000 and $500,000,” wrote Parry. “Sources close to the Unification Church have put the total Bush-Moon package in the millions, with one source [estimating] that Bush stood to make as much as $10 million.” Bush has consistently refused to answer if or how much he has been paid by Moon.

Shockingly, if the Bush family is accepting all this cash, it’s coming from a man who has given speeches calling America “the kingdom of Satan” and vowing “the liquidation of American individualism.”

John Stacey, a former Moonie, says: “It’s very anti-Jesus. Moon says: ‘Jesus failed miserably. He died a lonely death. Rev. Moon is the hero that comes and saves Jesus.’ That’s why I left.”
As President-elect George W. Bush prepares to occupy the Oval Office, critics claim the elder Bush’s activities create a clear conflict of interest.

The elder Bush has a “public persona as the happy World War II veteran who is letting the American people see him jumping out of airplanes and being a good family man,” says historian Douglas Brinkley of the University of Louisiana. “And the covert persona is going around giving talks with people like Rev. Moon.”

Meanwhile, the incoming president has admitted that while his father won’t have a formal title in his administration, “of course, I will seek his advice.”

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.

Moonies knee-deep in faith-based funds Pushing celibacy, marriage counseling under Bush plan – Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion WriterSunday, October 3, 2004

President Bush has some new troops in his crusade to promote “healthy marriage” and teen celibacy with federal funds — followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial Korean evangelist and self-proclaimed new world messiah.

At least four longtime operatives of Moon’s Unification Church are on the federal payroll or getting government grants in the administration’s Healthy Marriage Initiative and other “faith-based” programs.

Two of those Moon associates were in Oakland last week leading dozens of local pastors and social workers enrolled in a “Certified Marriage Education Training Seminar” at the Holiday Inn next to the Coliseum.

In some ways, Moon is an unlikely ally for President Bush’s crusade to promote traditional family values.

The 85-year-old Korean is perhaps best known for presiding over mass marriage ceremonies for devotees whose unions are arranged by Moon or other church leaders. After marriage, Unification Church couples are given detailed instructions for their honeymoon, right down to the sexual positions they are supposed to assume during their first three conjugal couplings.
According to Unification Church teachings, the children born from these marriages are “blessed children,” who, unlike the rest of humanity, are born without original sin.

At the Oakland seminar, Josephine Hauer, a graduate of the Rev. Moon’s Unification Theological Seminary in New York and a newly hired “marriage specialist” with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, worked the crowd of ministers and church workers packed into a stuffy room.

“Family is a good thing,” said Hauer, holding a cordless microphone in one hand and her PowerPoint remote in the other. “I want to make this a marriage culture again — a healthy marriage culture.”

As Hauer spoke, the Rev. Bento Leal, another graduate of the seminary and the associate minister at the Bay Area Family Church, a Unification Church congregation in San Leandro, checked a list of names at the door.

Before her new federal job, Hauer was the director of marriage education at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. That school was taken over in 1992 by the Professors World Peace Academy, a Moon-affiliated group, and its current president, Neil Salonen, is a former president of the Unification Church in America.

After less than three days, attendees of the Sept. 23-25 seminar in Oakland were awarded a “Certified Marriage Education Professional Document of Completion,” issued by Moon’s University of Bridgeport.

“Sixteen hours of training won’t make you the best marriage educator,” Hauer told her students. “But it takes all kinds of work to save marriage — people to run the sound system, write the press releases.”

During a seminar break, Hauer declined to answer any questions about her ties to the Unification Church.

“I’m a professional. I don’t talk about my religion or my politics,” she said. “My religion is not an issue.”

Bush administration officials agreed.

“We don’t ask people’s religious affiliation before we hire them,” said Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services.

“But if someone uses federal funds to proselytize, that would be a violation,” Horn said. “It doesn’t matter whether they are Baptist, Presbyterian, Jewish, or even members of the Unification Church.”

Last week’s crash course on marriage education was sponsored by the California State Healthy Marriage Initiative, an organization founded two years ago by the Rev. Dion Evans, pastor of Chosen Vessels Christian Church in Oakland.

Last month, Evans and his partners won a $366,179 grant from the Bush administration’s Compassion Capital Fund — part of the latest $45 million in social service contracts given to churches and community groups from the program this year.

“For four years, I did this work with no government funds,” said Evans, adding that he has not yet received his first check from the Compassion Capital Fund. Evans said he partnered with the University of Bridgeport because “acknowledgement from a university gives them (seminar participants) support.”

“We had to settle for the University of Bridgeport,” he said. “This is the last time we will be using them.”

Critics say the Oakland program shows how difficult it is to give money to religious organizations while maintaining separation of church and state.

“Moon has been a big backer of the faith-based initiative,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “But it’s beyond belief that you can have the University of Bridgeport issuing marriage education certificates and claim that is secular.”

Lynn said the Oakland program also shows how “there is virtually no monitoring of where this money is going.”

“Money goes out and nobody knows how it’s used and nobody knows what it’s for,” he said.

Following the money from the federal government to the streets of Oakland is not easy.

The organization that actually received the federal grant is the Institute for Contemporary Studies, a conservative think tank in Oakland and one of Evans’ key partners in the California Healthy Marriage Initiative. That partnership comes through another recently founded organization, the Bay Area Inner City Leadership Alliance.

It was founded by the Rev. Walter L. Humphrey, the pastor of Moriah Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in Oakland, and Robert Hawkins Jr., president of the Institute for Contemporary Studies. Board members include Evans and Leal, the Unification Church minister. Leal said the Institute for Contemporary Studies, not the Unification Church, applied for the federal funding for the marriage education training.

“Unificationism is my own faith,” Leal said. “This just gives me a chance to work with clergy who are also interested in this issue.”

Hawkins, the director of the Institute for Contemporary Studies, said Moon’s teachings were not part of the marriage education program.

“Bento (Leal) has never proselytized, and I didn’t know Josie (Hauer) was a Moonie,” he said. “I just looked at her curriculum and thought it was good. ”

Hawkins said the project is designed to give pastors of smaller inner city churches new skills for “marriage and family strengthening.” He added, “It’s an experiment. You have to start somewhere.”

Moon has also partnered with the Bush administration in support of the Korean evangelist’s strong teachings against premarital sex.

Free Teens USA, an after-school program in New Jersey promoting abstinence until marriage, has been given $475,000 by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, another part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Free Teens is led by Richard Panzer, another alumnus of Unification Theological Seminary. Panzer was also a leader in the American Constitution Committee, one of many political organizations affiliated with Moon.

Panzer insists that his program is “devoid of any religious content.”

“I am a Unificationist, but I am also a professional,” he said. “The purpose of Free Teens is not to bring young people to any one religious faith. ”

Another longtime political operative in Moon front groups, David Caprara, now directs the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service. That agency runs, among other things, AmeriCorps Vista, which works with community organizations in low-income neighborhoods, and has emerged as a key player in Bush’s faith-based initiative, handing out $61 million to faith-based organizations in fiscal year 2003.

Caprara is the former president of the American Family Coalition, a “grassroots leadership alliance” funded by the Washington Times Foundation and founded by Moon in 1984. Caprara declined to comment on his Unification Church ties, referring questions to his press secretary, Sandy Scott.

“We don’t inquire about employee’s personal religious beliefs,” Scott said. “What inspires David’s work is a dedication to fighting poverty.”

During the 1970s, Moon’s Unification Church was widely accused of deceptively recruiting and “brainwashing” idealistic converts on street corners and college campuses across the nation.
In 1982, Moon made headlines around the world when he presided over a mass marriage ceremony involving 2,075 couples in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Late that decade, Moon spent a year in federal prison after being convicted of income tax evasion.

For the past three decades, his controversial sect has struggled to make the leap from “cult” to “religion,” to win credibility among political and religious leaders in the United States and around the world.

Through such publications as the Washington Times, a church-financed, conservative daily newspaper in the nation’s capital, and through alliances with priests and pastors across the theological spectrum, Moon and company have spent a fortune courting the opinion-makers of church and state.

Moon showed an early interest in the Bush administration’s faith-based initiative. In the spring of 2001, the American Leadership Conference, a project of the Caprara’s American Family Coalition and Washington Times Foundation, sponsored a “Faith-Based Initiative Summit,” a conference that was transmitted via satellite to 40 gatherings in churches and hotel meeting rooms across the country.

That summit came just months after one of President Bush’s strongest supporters in the Christian Right, TV evangelist Pat Robertson, warned that religious cults would soon be eligible for federal funds.

In the Feb. 20, 2001, broadcast of his “700 Club” television show, Robertson said the president’s faith-based initiative “could be a real Pandora’s box.”

“What seems to be such a great initiative can rise up to bite the organizations as well as the federal government,” said Robertson, who expressed particular concern about federal money going to the Church of Scientology, the Hare Krishas and “the Moonies.”

Robertson and Bush have since come to a meeting of minds on the president’s faith-based initiative.

Another of the 145 recipients in the most recent outlay of the Compassion Capital Fund was Robertson’s charity, Operation Blessing International, which got $500,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services.

E-mail Don Lattin at dlattin@sfchronicle.com.
Page A – URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi file=/c/a/2004/10/03/MNG4M936HP1.DTL
©2005 San Francisco Chronicle

Neil Bush Meets the Messiah

By John Gorenfeld, AlterNetPosted on December 5, 2005, Printed on December 11, 2005http://www.alternet.org/story/29054/

“Those who stray from the heavenly way,” the owner of the flagship Republican newspaper the Washington Times admonished an audience in Taipei on Friday, “will be punished.”

This “heavenly way,” the Rev. Sun Myung Moon explained, demands a 51-mile underwater highway spanning Alaska and Russia. Sitting in the front row: Neil Bush, the brother of the president of the United States.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the South Korean giant of the religious right who owns the Washington Times, is on a 100-city speaking tour to promote his $200 billion “Peace King Tunnel” dream. As he describes it, the tunnel would be both a monument to his magnificence, and a totem to his prophecy of a unified Planet Earth. In this vision, the United Nations would be reinvented as an instrument of God’s plan, and democracy and sexual freedom would crumble in the face of this faith-based glory.

The name Peace King Tunnel would allude to the title of authority to which Moon, 86, lays claim, and to which U.S. congressmen paid respect on Capitol Hill in last year’s controversial “Crown of Peace” coronation ritual.

Moon’s lobbying campaign is “ambitious and diffuse,” as the D.C. newspaper The Hill reported last year, and the sheer range of guests revealed just how many Pacific Rim political leaders the Times owner has won over, including Filipino and Taiwanese politicians. And the head of the Arizona GOP attended a recent stop in San Francisco. But perhaps the most surprising VIP to tag along is Neil Bush, George H.W. Bush’s youngest and most wayward son, who made both the Philippines and Taiwan legs of the journey, according to reports in newspapers from those countries and statements from Moon’s Family Federation.

While Neil Bush and Moon’s church couldn’t be reached for comment on the tunnel or his speaking fees, a brochure from Moon’s Family Federation underscores that the project is “God’s fervent desire,” dwarfing such past wonders as the Chunnel and heralding a “new era of automobile travel.”

Moon, reviled in the 1980s as the leader of a group that separated young recruits from their families, says he is the Messiah. His far-flung business empire includes the UPI wire service, Washington, D.C. television studios, a gun factory, and enormous swaths of real estate, and he donates millions to conservative politics. In 1989, U.S. News & World Report linked his group to the Heritage Foundation and other conservative organizations. “Because almost all conservative organizations in Washington have some ties to [Moon’s] church,” wrote reporter John Judis, “conservatives … fear repercussions if they expose the church’s role.”

The billionaire Moon has never been one to pander to the Sierra Club, having subsidized the anti-environmental “wise use” movement. Likewise, his group anticipates an anti-tunnel backlash by those who “demand the preservation of the polar region’s ecosystem and the protection of polar bears and seals,” and proposes an aggressive media strategy: “[P]ublic opinion polls must be carried out all over the world and it is absolutely essential that a public relations campaign to educate environmental groups, concerned organizations and residents near the proposed construction sites be carried out as well.” (Moon has said in the past that Caucasians are descended from polar bears.)

In addition to the Taipei report, the Bush brother also surfaced in an article last week from the Manila Times, which placed him at a similar dinner in Manila attended by Washington Times president Dong Moon Joo and respected Filipino House Speaker Jose de Venecia. (It’s unclear if Bush attended an intermediate stop in the Solomon Islands.) According to the Manila Times piece, Venecia proposed Moon’s idea for a trans-religious council to President Bush in a 2003 meeting; President Bush was said to have called it “a brilliant idea.”

The Taiwan paper similarly revealed high-powered support for Moon, describing Republic of China Vice President Annette Lu as listening “rapt” to his speech.

In the United States, Moon’s end-of-democracy vision has been honored on the floor of Congress. According to the Congressional Record, on June 19, 2003, Democrat Danny K. Davis joined Republican Curt Weldon in recognizing Moon’s “effort to create an international council of religious leaders … this body will provide a direct link between international leaders and the various religious peoples in their constituencies,” Davis said. “We are grateful to … the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung [Moon] for promoting the vision of world peace, and we commend their work.”

Davis later took part in Moon’s March 23, 2004 Capitol Hill ceremony in which he was brought a gold crown and royal robe to coronate him Peace King. The sponsor of the event was the Virginia Republican Senator John Warner, who later told the Washington Post he’d been “deceived” into hosting the event, a charge that organizers rejected, saying the ritual was taken out of context.

While Moon’s proposal has been deliberated by politicians around the world as a mere religious council, church promotional materials make clear that it’s intended to forge “God’s fatherland,” and not just idle talk. A video from his group stresses that the U.N. will give way to a “Peace United Nations,” as Moon terms it, with fantastical reverberations.

“Like a candle that burns down, sacrificing itself to give light to the world, the light of wisdom and hope will shine from the headquarters of world governance — the “Peace United Nations” — into all realms of life,” a narrator says in a Family Federation video (available here via BitTorrent). “This light will radiate beyond the high barrier separating nations and will illuminate the road to peace, the path to the fulfillment of humanity’s hopes — and dreams …” Moon has frequently gone on the record against Western-style democracy and individualism, calling them results of the fall of Adam. “There are three guiding principles for the world to choose from: democracy, Communism and Godism,” he said in a 1987 sermon. “It is clear that democracy as the United States knows and practices it cannot be the model for the world.” “Individualism,” he also said at the speech — entitled “I Will Follow With Gratitude And Obedience” — “is what God hates most and what Satan likes best.”

Neil isn’t the only Bush to attend Moon events. In 1996, his father, President George H.W. Bush, traveled to Buenos Aires with the Reverend in one of several such fundraising expeditions. “The 41st president, who told Argentine president Carlos Menem that he had joined Moon in Buenos Aires for the money, had actually known the Korean reasonably well for decades,” writes former top GOP strategist Kevin Phillips in his book “American Dynasty.” “Their relationship went back to the overlap between Bush’s one-year tenure as CIA director (1976) and the arrival in Washington of Moon, whose Unification Church was widely reported to be a front group for the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency.” Moon and his aides have called such claims bogus, saying his accusers were controlled by “Satan” to distract from his campaign to destroy communism.

Reverend Moon is the latest in a line of unusual partners for Neil Bush in recent years, including the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and fugitive Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who has been promoting the younger Bush’s educational software company, Ignite!, according to the Washington Post.

A messy divorce case in 2003 exposed his dalliances with prostitutes in Asia. Moon’s group didn’t return e-mails asking how this bore upon Neil Bush’s contributions to last week’s events, whose central theme was “Ideal Families.”

John Gorenfeld is a freelance writer in San Francisco. He has a blog focused on Rev. Moon and his church: I Approve This Messiah.
© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/29054/

Posted by Jim Craven (Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi) at 8:05 AM


About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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