The death of Moon and the eerie silence of Nile Gardiner

Moon: he thought he ruled the world

So the founder and leader of the Unification Church – otherwise known as the Moonies – has died. Believing himself to have divine appointment, Sun Myung Moon was born in 1920 in what is now North Korea. He founded his business empire  (because that’s what it is) in 1954 after allegedly speaking to Christ on a hillside in 1936. The religious philosophy of the movement he founded is a mish-mash of Christianity, Confuscism, shamanism and anti-communism, the latter perhaps being the most crucial tenet in the Moonies ideology.  As a committed anti-communist, Moon, or the True Father as he styled himself, was comfortable with many of the world’s most repressive regimes.

Of course, that isn’t something that the Moonies like to talk about.  The Washington Times , which was founded with Moon’s money, was St Ronnie’s favourite newspaper and is 100% dedicated to the cause. It offers us this panegyric,

The legacy of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon will forever be tied to the fight to defeat communism, a cause to which he devoted much of his life’s work and, in the process, earned a place in history as a contributor to the end of the Cold War.

It’s as gushing and fawning as a good panegyric ought to be. Ben Wolfgang, for it is he who penned this tripe, quoteth the True Father,

“Finally, in 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down and on Christmas Eve 1991, the Soviet empire collapsed after having held the world in fear for 74 years. I thank God that the free world prevailed in this historic struggle, which truly was an ideological battle over acknowledging God or not,” he said in 2002, speaking at a banquet celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Washington Times, which he founded.

For Moon, the Cold War was simply a war between good and evil, which was echoed in Reagan’s infamous phrase the “Evil Empire”, perhaps indicating the close proximity of Moon to the White House. Wolfgang tells us that the leaders of the ‘free’ world sought guidance from Moon and paid tribute to his contributions to the collapse of the USSR. Reagan, Thatcher, Pinochet (yes) and Brazil’s exceptionally dodgy Carlos Menem were counted as his friends.

The tendrils of the Unification Church run very deep and are spread very wide. They have global business interests that manufactures a range of goods and are adept, or so they think, at avoiding tax. In 1982, Moon’s magic couldn’t prevent him from being locked up for 18 months for tax evasion. 18 months and it wasn’t in some horrible penetentiary that you see on programmes on Channel 5 either. Still, you can’t keep a good man down and the great and the good of the American Right and a variety of religious groups rallied and fought to free Moon. Once released, he was back up on his feet, jet-setting around the globe and being photographed with all the right people. While the numbers of followers fell, his political influence never waned.

In the mid-1990s Moon moved his base to a remote location in the no man’s land between Paraguay and Bolivia, having purchased land there some time in the early 1980s. Paraguay was once ruled by the bloodthirsty Alfredo Strößner, Pinochet’s pal in Operation Condor . Strößner was overthrown in a coup in 1989. He died in Brazil in 2006 having been Menem’s  guest for most of that time. I found this interesting article in The Tablet, a Catholic organ no less! The writer talks of a visit to Puerto Casado in northwest Paraguay.

I asked many questions about that fascinating moment in the Reverend Moon?s history. It was one of six imprisonments, they told me, in various countries, and the excuse for this pure political persecution, they told me, had been that Mr Kamiyama had brought $2 million into the United States and opened an account in the name of Reverend Moon. I should have put in the name of the Church. It was a small mistake, he said. As a result Reverend Moon was accused of evading $7,000 in taxes. Mr Kamiyama confided: I don?t like politicians. They are very complicated. They change their minds very quickly.

What do you believe the real reason was? I asked them. Mr Sano had no doubt: the Moonies had been trying to urge President Carter to be strong in standing up against Communism, so the Democratic Party did not like their movement. Carter had not been supporting the South American governments that had been most determined in making a stand against the influx of Communism in countries like Nicaragua, Chile and Paraguay. Carter had dithered, talking about human rights abuses, but, said Mr Sano, if we have to attack it is the Communist governments we must attack, for they are violating far more human rights.

It was the only moment my blood almost froze amid all that warmth. It confirmed the reports I had received that the Moonies had been linked with the most repressive of the South American dictatorships. A book they gave me to read,The Fruits of True Love: the lifework of Revd Sun Myung Moon, provided further corroboration. God chose the United States to stand up to Communism, I read, and to this end the Moonies founded Causa International, which visited such like-minded campaigners as Pinochet in Chile, Rios Montt in Guatemala and Stroessner in Paraguay.

Moon handed over control of the Unification Church to his son, Hyung Jin Moon in 2009.  Moon Jr has reportedly made a visit to North Korea in the last couple of days.

Nile Gardiner: he’s a bit like Gen. Jack D. Ripper

The Moonie that is best known to The Cat is Nile Gardiner, the deeply paranoid, anti-Europe, anti-communist, anti-equality Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom and member of Mitt ‘The Mannequin’ Romney’s foreign policy team (heaven help us!). The baby-faced one’s been noticeably tight-lipped on the subject of the True Father’s passing and, indeed, his membership of the church. Maybe he’s in mourning  but then he found the time to write this typically Dagenham (it’s beyond Barking) piece in Wednesday’s Telegraph that linked to his article in the, er, Washington Times.

Without Communism (because it is big ‘C’ communism we’re talking about here) as the big evil, Gardiner’s focus has turned to the European Union and all its ‘liberal’ values. He hates effete and ‘socialist’ Europe and he hates the suave and metropolitan Obama. Well, you have to someone to hate? Don’t you?

Moon was a delusional man whose religion was a front for a multitude of business and political interests and in that sense, he was more the CEO and chairman of a multinational corporation than a religious leader. Perhaps this is what the likes of Reagan and Thatcher loved about him: his entrepreneurship.  The televangelists loved him too. “Jesus” they would argue, “was a capitalist”. I’m only surprised their Jesus industries haven’t started producing posters of a gun-toting, cigar-munching Christ. Maybe I shouldn’t be giving them ideas?



Filed under cults, Ideologies, Religion, Society & culture

6 responses to “The death of Moon and the eerie silence of Nile Gardiner

  1. Richard Barlow

    For the record, Sun Myung Moon had communist friends in his youth, when the Japanese colonialists were the enemy. I think he identified with strong autocrats of whatever stripe. He positioned himself on the right during the Cold War, but later embraced Gorbachev and even Kim Il Sung. His movement is a combination of religion and business, with the businesses supporting the religious and socio-political goals. His leadership style was charismatic, but he was also a dynast. In typical Korean chaebol fashion his children are now fighting over the assets, worth billions of dollars, while his widow attempts to maintain the church side of the organisation and the faith of the members. The fallout is hardening into all-out schism, with the eldest living son leading the breakaway group, having taken control of up to half of the businesses, worth billions of dollars. He is standing in direct opposition to his mother, and is involved in several major lawsuits against the loyalist faction, which itself has internal tensions and personality issues. The future of the Moon movement is uncertain, but the lawyers on all sides are doing well, while the members look on incredulously.
    Fact check: Carlos Menem was President of Argentina, not Brazil. And he was a post-junta populist rather than an autocrat (although Moon, through his close aide Col. Bo Hi Pak, had maintained close ties with the generals).
    Submitted by an ex-member & former missionary to South America

  2. Hyun Ja

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat a load of ridiculousness.
    “a mish-mash of Christianity, Confuscism, shamanism and anti-communism”?
    You clearly have not studied his teachings at all. I hope you find a new hobby that isn’t pathetically lashing out at people who have dedicated their lives to something great. Maybe one that involves helping people? Oh! Or you could actually read the bible and learn about the worlds spiritual heritage!

    Submitted by a 2nd Generation! ❤

    • Why would I (or anyone else for that matter) want to study his ‘teaching’? Do you deny he was an anti-communist? How are you or anyone associated with the Moonie Industries doing anything that could be considered “great”? Would it be the case that you’re incapable of thinking for yourself let alone critically? How do Moonies actually “help” anyone? Hmmm? Why would I want to spend my days reading some book that has no relevance to my life or, indeed, the world? The problem with you religious (and in your case, cultists) types is that you’re too arrogant to deal with dissenting or diverging points of view. You’re too intolerant and are only capable of viewing the world through the distorted lens given to you by your cult leaders. Do yourself a favour and try not to make such a cult of yourself next time.

      • Steib

        Wow. Talk about intolerance and arrogance. This entire paragraph by buddyhell comes off as intolerant and arrogant and close-minded.

      • “Arrogant and close-minded”(sic)? Why? Because I don’t approve or agree with Moon or his followers? Just what I’d expect from a Moonie.

        I’d say it’s the Unification ‘Church’ that’s closed-minded.

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