Sun Myung Moon

Friday, September 07, 2012


This week, Sun Myung Moon, media tycoon and spiritual leader of the Unification Church, died at the age of 92. In this interview from 2008, Bob talks John Gorenfeld, author of Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right and Built an American Kingdom about Moon's newspaper The Washington Times.

Strange Names - Broken Mirror


Josh Gorenfeld

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [10]

Brian Birmingham

"During the time of the "Koreagate" scandal in 1976-1977, the Fraser Committee found that the National Intelligence Service of South Korea (KCIA), had, among other things, been using the Unification Church as a political tool in its various anti-communist activities. The KCIA's general goal was to influence the domestic and foreign politics and policies of the United States. Eighty-one pages of the 447-page Fraser Report (pages 311-392) deals specifically with the Moon organization. The term "KCIA" occurs sixty-eight times within those eighty-one pages." Source:

Please also see:

Sep. 19 2012 12:39 PM
Michelle Williams

I got a book from a supporter at Psu a couple of years ago. I had a vague idea he was some sort of peace leader. The woman said just to email with my thoughts. I thought oh wow, how selfless. At first the story was remarkable. I was ultimately put off by the slow emergence of bragging & the message that a particular brand of patriarchal monotheism is the answer to all of our problems, rather than something that either perpetuates or keeps them at bay, depending on the person. If only we could give some on-the-fence~more moderate-leaning people religion & just give the most out of touch the minimum needed dose of soma or prozac or something to keep them from violating each other too egregiously. Try to remember; violence that does anything other than stop greater violence is just vile-nce. Oh dear.

Sep. 18 2012 11:59 PM
Chris Osborn from Yong Pyong Resort, South Korea

Andrewm, he didn't aquire the Washington Times, he founded it. My Mom worked for the Times in accounting and my dad as a science editor for the affiliated World&I magazine.

I just attended his funeral on Saturday and I'm headed back home to my family in Norway tomorrow. It was so amazing to see so many thousands of ym brother's and sisters from all around the world come together to honor the life of our True Father and to hear our loving True Mother's (Hak Ja Han) guidance on how to move forward from here.

Sep. 17 2012 12:37 PM
David Payer from Des Moines, Iowa, USA

I enjoy your program that comes to me on Sunday mornings via WOI. You often cover topics not spoken of elsewhere and you provide an insight on the process of news gathering itself.

That is why I felt some real disappointment with a news topic I have some familiarity with: Rev. Moon's news empire.

I'm a 40 year member of the Unification Church and one of the people married with 2075 of my friends at Madison Square Garden in 1982 :)

I've watched the work of Rev. Moon to create newspapers in New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Buenos Aires (and a weekly in most other Latin American countries) plus more. I participated in sales of some of the products and I consider the current president of the Washington Times a personal friend.

Your choice of John Gorenfeld as an 'expert' on Rev. Moon and the media shows you approached the topic with a clear intent of showing one viewpoint. While it is true that John Gorenfeld got his 15 minutes of fame from the coronation story (happy to talk about that one with you) he has more often joined the ranks of conspiratorialists who focus on the 'powers that be' who are overtaking the world. Rev. Moon was an easy target for him.

Please consider a new examination of this 'empire' of news gathering organizations. There is another perspective of their goals and accomplishments. I for one know from personal experience that I get a good balance of information by listening to NPR and then reading the Washington Times.

Best wishes for your ongoing improvement as a public radio program.

David Payer
'edited by me'

Sep. 10 2012 05:56 PM
Sarah Jackson-Lee from Albany NY

Not interesting then or now. Whiny interviewee.

Sep. 10 2012 12:58 AM

Oh, and to "listener", yes it's true the Democratic Party in San Francisco was bamboozled by Rev. Jones, but that ended once he moved his operation to Guyana. Your little missive is a weak attempt to rationalize Rev. Moon's misdeeds and the Republican Party that coddled him by false equivalencies. Both parties were wrong to support both men, so it doesn't let your beloved GOP off the hook.

Sep. 09 2012 05:46 PM

Thanks for this segment on the evil Rev. Moon. I have experience on this topic, having done activism against his organization in the past. Rev. Moon first allied himself with the Republican right during Richard Nixon's Watergate battle. While Nixon tried to fight off impeachment, Rev. Moon organized rallies in support of Nixon until his resignation. Thereafter, Rev. Moon bought influence in Congress, to support his armament manufacturing and dealing in Korea. Later, he served jail time in the U.S. Many years later, he acquired the Washington Times, notoriously biased and loose with the facts since his ownership. Thanks for this segment exposing more of his misdeeds.

Sep. 09 2012 05:43 PM
John O'Connor from Kansas

Why are you talking about Jim Jones when the photo isn't him?

Yes, Jones was very misguided in his philosophy. But the spiritual leader
in this photo is a competely different person and totally different philosophy.

May God Bless you.

Sep. 09 2012 11:31 AM
Tom Roche

@listener: 'Didn't one of the worst political scandals in US history involve the Marxist Jim Jones and the People's Temple?'

No. But feel free to present actual evidence to the contrary.

'Didn't it have a "cynical" relationship with the "enormously grateful" Democratic Party in the 1970's from California to Washington DC?'

Again, no. But don't let lack of facts get in the way of spreading your false balance--stand tall, anonymous commenter!

Sep. 08 2012 03:02 PM

Didn't one of the worst political scandals in US history involve the Marxist Jim Jones and the People's Temple?
Didn't it have a "cynical" relationship with the "enormously grateful" Democratic Party in the 1970's from California to Washington DC?
Were they willing to work with that guy? Was that "one of the more dazzling acts of con artistry or public relations in modern day history" that went beyond unseemly and ended with historically disastrous results?
Was this a catastrophic seduction of the religious, radical and establishment left and why is it not remembered in those terms today? Is Jim Jones part Democratic Party history and "an influence peddler of mythic proportion" with that party and if not, why not?

Sep. 08 2012 09:44 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.