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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

The Dark Side of Moon

page 14

The Dark Side of Moon

Moonists symbol

There was a good deal of debate recently when a club named the Victoria University Association for the Research of Principles tried to affiliate to the Students' Association.

Many questions were directed at whether the club had any links with the Unification Church, a group commonly known as the "Moonists".

The club spokesmen denied any formal connection, although they admitted to their joining with the Unification Church for a march through Wellington the previous week to protest about the "Communist menace". (The march, was so popular that it managed to attract six people).

Who's Moon?

Who are the Moonists? They are members of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, a religion founded by a 55 year old Korean preacher San Myung Moon. Having arrived in south Korea in 1950 claiming to be the victim of communist torture in the north and the receiver of visitations from Christ, Moon founded there his new religion which has since spread worldwide.

An estimated one million members give Moon their undivided devotion in the belief that he is the new messiah. American membership, according to Moonist sources, has grown from 5 people in 1961 to an estimated 7,000 core members - those who live and work fulltime for the church - and 20,000 associate members.

Moon's principal evangelist and former south Korean military attache in Washington, Colonel Bo Hi Pak, says that 'our movement is more important than Martin Luther's 95 Theses. The Rev Moon's spiritual revolution will have a thousand times greater impact than the Christian Reformation.'

How Moon Makes Millions

The overall worth of the Unification Church in the United States is about $35 million. Moon's private residence in Tarrytown, New York, cost the church $625,000. Here his converts are indoctrinated. According to one such British student, they find themselves in a prisoner of war camp, being watched over by 16 stone goons and imprisoned by barbed wire and locked gates. They were told that if they accepted Moon's teachings they would become part of a world wide force of supermen able to save decadent and communist Britain

Col Pak lives in a more modest $115,000 home in Fairfax County, Virginia, which doubles as the headquarters of his personal real estate business and a branch of the church.

While some of Moon's money comes from the profits of his south Korean holdings (estimated at $15 million), most of it is raised by church members. In return for no wages and spartan room and board, many Moonists work long hours in church enterprises. In the United States these include a printing company, petrol stations, restaurants and a business consulting firm. Last year two New Zealand Moonists turned to burglary in order to keep up their payments to the church.

A Supporter of Fascism

The most disgusting aspect of Moonism is the support Moon gives to fascism in south Korea. The south Korean people have been reduced to utter poverty. They work ten hours a day, six days a week for about 35 cents a day in the factories. They suffer large-scale unemployment. Inflation has meant that for most working class families rice takes more than half their income. Worst of all, the south Korean people have been stripped of all their democratic rights Any kind of protest against Pak's fascism is met with armed repression, torture and death.

Moon takes an active part in this repression as early as 1962, Prime Minister Kim Jong Pil, then head of the Korean CIA, assured the first small group of American Moonists of his full - but secret - support at a meeting in a South Francisco hotel. Moon's machine tool factory supplies the south Korean army with parts for M-16 rifles.

During the recent anti-communist rallies in south Korea, in which Moon's organisations took a leading role, youths were paid to slit open their stomachs and write anti-communist slogans in their own blood. The rallies were staged by the Pak regime as part of its lying propaganda campaign to show that north Korea was about to invade the south.

One of Moon s training centres, located just outside Seoul, gives anticommunist training courses to hundreds of south Korean military officers and civil servants each year. In these courses, paid for by the Pak regime, they learn that Satan governs north Korea, and that the economic and political domination of south Korea, mainly by the United States and Japan, is part of a divine plan.

Moons Backer was a War Criminal

Amongst Moon's foreign backers is Sasagawi Ryoichi, founder and head of the World Karate Association. Now one of Japan's leading financiers, Ryoichi was a leading advocate of imperial expansion in the 1930's and an architect of Japan's wartime strategy. After the war he was jailed as a war criminal. Ryoichi admits openly that he helped fund the anti-Sukarno coup in Indonesia in 1965 in which between 500,000 to one million people were butchered by Suharto's forces. Many tens of thousands still remain in concentration camps, subjected to inhuman torture.

Photo of a man holding up a banner written in blood

Paid to write in their own blood.

If the Moonists confined themselves to their nonsensical religious ideas, they would do little harm - Moon's irrational theology would appeal only to a tiny minority. However, the Unification Church's energies are directed against communism, which Moon regards as the embodiment of Satan on earth. One of the local Moonists stated on TV1 that 'the Unification Church is education against communism.'

Moon himself was an active supporter of US aggression in Indochina. Recently his local converts demonstrated in Wellington's streets against New Zealand re recognition of the governments of liberated Cambodia and Vietnam.

Moon's success shows that the combination of big business, fascism, anticommunism and pseudo-Christianity is a powerful one. Within a very short space of time he has built his church into a multimillion dollar international enterprise in this he has been aided by blind anti-communism produced by the Cold War amongst some of the youth.