Tag Archives: Sun Myung Moon

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?

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Moon over Britain

The forthcoming  visit of Sun Myung Moon to Britain hasn’t been widely announced. In fact, there is no mention of it in any of the newspapers. This is odd because, Moon, who was previously banned from entering Britain was permitted to enter 5 years ago by the Nu Labour government. The ban was lifted in the face of opposition from all sides of the Commons.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that he had wanted to exclude Mr Moon but “there was not a good enough reason”.

But the Home Office said: “We keep exclusions under review. The Unification Church in the UK is extremely small and any visit by its founder is considered unlikely to pose any threat to the public order of this country.”

Moonies are also a regular visitors to the House of Lords. The Unification Church may claim to have a small membership in Britain but there is a list of Moonie front groups that are as long as your arm. Indeed, on such front group, the Universal Peace Federation, has announced the visit. Billed as “The Founders Tour of Europe 2011”, the details of where the rally is due to be held is not mentioned anywhere on the site. Presumably this is a closely guarded secret that is only known to Moonies. Even a Google news search reveals nothing.

A blog written on 24 April that appeared on the Moonie site “Family Fireplace” says,

As Father arrives in Europe next week and then in May visits us in the UK he will be fighting for our freedom. He will be encouraging us to take up the challenge to live a life with no shadows, where we can fully and freely experience the grace of God in all that we do.

“Fighting for our freedom”? How does Moon intend to do that?

So why all the secrecy? Moreover, why haven’t any of the national newspapers picked this up? Is it because there is no longer any mileage out of Moon?

The last British newspaper to carry any news about Moon was the Telegraph (also the home to Moonie Nile Gardiner), which reported on a helicopter crash in which Moon was involved. Its a sympathetic piece that contains this nugget,

A South Korean transport ministry official said investigators recovered a cockpit recording device to help determine the cause of the crash.

A group of aviation experts from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will participate in a joint investigation, he said.

Why did the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board feel the need to get involved in an accident that happened in another country? It doesn’t make sense. The BBC article makes no mention of it.

Moon, who calls himself the Messiah and the ‘True Father’, arrives in Britain on Wednesday.

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Nile Gardiner – visionary?

It shows you how long Nile Gardiner has been living in the States. He seems to have completely forgotten how the British political system works and, instead, conflates the US system with the British system. This is from a blog that he wrote for the Torygraph in May of  last year.

As I wrote in my op-ed piece earlier today, Nick Clegg is the first major party leader to run for Prime Minister on an anti-British ticket. He is filled with a self-loathing for his nation and its institutions, which came across in spades in his response to The Times letter.

First, no one “runs for Prime Minister” in this country. The leader of the party with the largest number of votes becomes the Prime Minister. Second, how is Nick Clegg “anti-British”?  While I have no love for Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats, this rant is quite bizarre and seems to come from the same wellspring as his Moonie faith. It’s the same kind of rant that he normally reserves for Barack Obama.

Gardiner spent the entire 10 days during the coalition negotiations fretting about a possible Labour-Lib Dem coalition. Little did he realise that the Lib Dems would hop into bed with the Tories – even I knew they would and I am not a well-paid political hack who writes third-rate articles for right wing magazines.

Here’s a taste of his paranoia.

Shamelessly, Gordon Brown is threatening to stay on as Prime Minister as late as September, despite overwhelmingly losing last week’s general election. In the meantime, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, according to Gordon’s grand plan, will stitch up a “progressive” government that will also include the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Once this government is formed, Brown will ask Labour to hold a leadership contest, with David Miliband as the likely front-runner to succeed him.

Simple arithmetic meant that a coalition between the Lib Dems and Labour wasn’t going to happen.  A Tory minority government would have easily collapsed. Gardiner persisted.

It is frankly the sort of farcical development one expects in Khartoum or Caracas, and not in one of the world’s greatest democracies

Khartoum? Caracas? Is he off his trolley? The short answer to that is “Yes, he is”. He chooses Khartoum simply because it is the capital of Sudan, a country that has long been associated with Islamism (remember ‘Chinese’ Gordon and the Mahdi Revolt?) and Caracas because it is the capital of Venezuela and it is where the US right’s Number One bogeyman, Hugo Chavez is in power.

On the very same day, Gardiner, presumably unable to sleep and sick with worry over the prospect of a Lib-Lab coalition,  wrote this blog. The headline screams “David Cameron should say no to a coalition with the Lib Dems”.

It is simply an illusion to believe the Liberals share with the Conservatives some kind of common vision for dealing with the massive debt crisis and saving Britain from a financial meltdown. They are, even more than Labour, the party of Big Government and endless state intervention, and are the enemies of free enterprise. Their socialist-style solutions will strangle the markets, force wealth out of the country, and scare away much needed investment. It is worth remembering Clegg’s pledge in the third televised debate to heavily tax banking profits and restrict bonuses in the financial services sector, the surest way to kill the City and end Britain’s supremacy as a centre of global finance.

“Socialist-style solutions”? In Britain? Gardiner is not a man of vision. Let’s put it this way, he’d never cut it as a seaside clairvoyant. The Petulengro family must be mightily relieved to hear this. But notice how he stirs up the paranoia, which he serves up with lashings of bile and hyperbole. That line “kill the City and end Britain’s supremacy as a centre of global finance” is meant to appeal to our collective sense of reason but quite honestly, I couldn’t care less if the banks pulled out of London. The British economy has recently been built on the daft products that have been dreamt up by City numbskulls looking for new ways to extend their greed. Those aren’t real products like ships or steel girders; they’re purely imagined.

Here he is on the Mellon Scaife-owned Newsmax Channel giving his ‘expert’ opinion.

His analysis is, again, wanting. A Conservative minority government? Is he serious?

In September, Gardiner made an almighty great cock up over prisoner’s voting rights as this blog points out. I quite like this quote,

The problem with Nile Gardiner is that he is a hypocrite. For a so-called expert dealing with the US led alliance against rogue states, not to see when the UK is itself a rogue state in Europe shows that he is either blind or as daft as George Bush and that he has the morals of Tony Blair going into an illegal war with Iraq and claiming he did what he believed to be right!

By the way, the Bush family was very close to Moon.

In 2008, this blog by Paul Waugh appeared in the Evening Standard. It’s about the former Labour minister Shahid Malik who was tricked into meeting with the Universal Peace Federation, a Unification Church front group. This is the most important bit,

Rev Moon was considered so dangerous that Michael Howard banned him from coming into the country in the Nineties. His views on Jews and homosexuals leave a lot to be desired to, it appears.

It was Michael, now Lord Howard, who was Home Secretary under John Major who issued the ban. Even though the Moon is banned from the UK, the Universal Peace Federation is allowed to continue its work here.

In October 2010, the baby-faced one was chuffed with Liam Fox, of whom he gushed,

Liam Fox is that rare politician of tremendous principle, who unfailingly places country before political self-interest. He believes strongly in the greatness of Britain as a nation, and that its continuing role as a global power depends upon her ability to project military force, including a capacity to fight alongside the UK’s closest ally, the United States.

It’s almost as if he’s writing about the US here and not the UK. What’s he trying to tell us? The headline says it all “Liam Fox is the Churchill of the coalition”. You see how he summoned up the ghost of Churchill, just as Thatcher had done in the 1980’s? This offers us a window into his thoughts. He uses Churchill as a mantra or a magical incantation that is intended to cast all demons aside – as though he were a shaman.  Trouble is, it is ineffective and makes him look desperate. His idol, Thatcher, tried to use the same trick and it blew up in her face.

Gardiner is an obsessive and a scaremonger. He’s also failed to tell us whether or not he is still a member of the Unification Church. However, it is unlikely that he’s left because Moonies don’t often leave the ‘church’ of their own accord.

Here is a quick look at what the Unification Church is and what it does,

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Touchy Gardiner tries to remove all references to his connection with the Moonies

Gardiner - is he ashamed of his Moonie connections?

Nile Gardiner seems a little sensitive about his past. So much so, that he’s removed any reference of his connection to the Unification Church from his Wikipedia entry. He’s even managed to get the owners of this website to close the page of a book on which he is quoted as having cleaned up anti-Moon graffiti from the campus before Moon’s visit to Yale. No matter.  People like Gardiner leave trails on the Internet and he can’t close down all the sites that mention his connection to the Moonies.

I found this interesting article, from the ‘horse’s mouth’ so-to-speak, which I am going to quote for posterity.

One of the Unificationist graduate students in history at Yale, Nile Gardiner, and a Christian friend, took mops and buckets and proceeded to clean it all off. This of course started allegations concerning free speech, and many articles in the Yale newspapers covered this. They became quiet famous in the Yale conservative circles as “The Moppers.” Literally cleaning up Yale!

In spite of Gardiner’s attempts to expunge all Moonie references from the Internet, the above quote actually comes from the Unification Church. I’d like to see how long that stays on the Web before he orders it to be removed. At any rate, there is no way I’ll be taking it down – even if he tries to put pressure on me.

Without a sympathetic president in the White House, the Moonies – through Gardiner – have been fighting a rearguard action to smear Obama. There isn’t a week that goes by where Gardiner isn’t attacking Obama on his blog or in his columns. Sometimes the attacks on Obama look rather personal. This is from a conservative blog in the States called “The Last Tradition”. Here’s one of the more hackneyed distortions,

Barack Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, and has made apologising for his country into an art form. In a speech to the United Nations last September he stated that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.” It is difficult to see how a US president who holds these views and does not even accept America’s greatness in history can actually lead the world’s only superpower with force and conviction.

Sometimes, when I look at stuff like this, it’s as if I’m reading something that was written in the 19th century. To be honest, I don’t even know if Gardiner is a US citizen. As far as I know, he’s still British. So why does he get so aeriated about the US and its standing as a world superpower? Is it because he’s nostalgic for empire and is vicariously living the experience of empire (and by extension, classical liberalism) by banging the drum for US imperialism and Pax Americana?

Gardiner’s silence on his connection with the Moonies is strange. In purely psychoanalytical terms, it is this silence that says everything.

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Who is Nile Gardiner?

I realize that many people reading this blog will have never heard of him, but the baby-faced Mr Gardiner likes to think that he’s one of the most important people on the planet. Gardiner, a former policy advisor to Thatcher, is the director of the (surprise, surprise) Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom (sic). By default he is also a member of The Heritage Foundation where he makes a point of telling us that he has a “PhD”. If his blogs in the Telegraph are anything to go by, it’s difficult to see exactly how this man was awarded a PhD in the first place…unless it was in Moonie Studies.

Here’s a snippet from his profile

His key areas of specialization include: the Anglo-American “special relationship,” the United Nations, post-war Iraq , and the role of Great Britain and Europe in the U.S.-led alliance against international terrorism and “rogue states,” including Iran . He was recently named one of the 50 most influential Britons in the United States by the London Daily Telegraph .

Ah, the “special relationship”. The “Transatlantic bruderschaft“.

Gardiner is stuck in the Obama-bashing groove, as most of his blogs tend to be about Obama and how this horrible “leftist” will drag the US down the path of ‘socialism’. I’m not a huge fan of Obama but I know bullshit when I see it and Obama is no socialist.  Here’s a snippet from Gardiner’s latest offering.

The president’s refusal to reverse the Big Government approach that has been the hallmark of the first two years of his administration might be playing well to a shrinking liberal audience but isn’t being well received in Middle America. There is no real sign that the president has a clear plan for creating jobs and revitalising the economy, other than the tired old formula of spending more taxpayers’ money, a failed strategy which clearly didn’t succeed in 2009 and 2010.

This is the sort of thing he produces for Fox News .

Here he is in the Telegraph defending Fox News while taking a swipe at Obama at the same time.

The White House’s extraordinary assault on the Fox News Channel will end in tears – and not for Rupert Murdoch, Fox’s owner. The Obama administration has embarked on a high-risk strategy of shooting the messenger, in effect blaming its plummeting poll ratings on alleged political bias at the number one 24-hour cable news network. As Anita Dunn, the Mao-quoting White House communications director put it in aninterview with The New York Times:

“Mao-quoting”? Hold on, there’s more!

Fox News has succeeded spectacularly in racing ahead of its rivals in the cable news market, notably CNN and MSNBC. Its evening shows – such as the O’Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck and Hannity – pull in several million viewers compared to just hundreds of thousands on Fox’s competitors. Fox offers a highly opinionated, fast-paced and entertaining brand of political debate that includes all sides of the political aisle. The top hosts may be largely conservative (though not necessarily Republican), but the guests frequently are not, creating an adversarial and combative arena that until recently was a rarity in American news coverage.

Fox “includes all sides of political aisle”? What dear Nile doesn’t mention is how the the ‘other side’ is routinely used for target practice by the likes of Hannity and O’Reilly. Fox News, as we all know, is neither fair nor balanced and should be sued on the grounds of false advertising.

Here’s Gardiner being interviewed by former blogger, Iain Dale

I noticed on his recent blog for the Telegraph that someone had made a comment about his association with Sun Myung Moon. The comment was removed. What is Mr Gardiner so afraid of? Is he ashamed of his association with the ‘Reverend’ Moon?

The Unification Church (Moonies) provided the funds to set up the Washington Times, which was St Ronnie’s favourite newspaper.  And yes, Gardiner has written for the Washington Times too.

Here is a list of Moonie front groups. It’s a pretty long list.

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