Over the Moon

Local ministers are concerned that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon planned to include Detroit in a national tour he’s touting as an attempt to build bridges with other religious groups. According to press reports, the Rev. Moon was scheduled to appear at the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit today.

Moon is founder of the controversial Unification Church and owner of the right-wing Washington Times newspaper as well as the United Press International wire service. Many Christians are concerned that Moon’s followers believe he is the new messiah who, like the Blues Brothers, is acting on a mission from God.

Moon and his cultlike organization were much in the news during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Remember all the references to Moonies, and how distraught family members, fearing their loved ones had been brainwashed into submission, were hiring specialists to kidnap and “deprogram” them? During the past decade, however, the American public hasn’t been hearing much about the church and its leader. That he’s now making a resurgence comes as no surprise to those familiar with the fine work of investigative journalist Robert Parry.

A former Newsweek correspondent who did groundbreaking work from Central America on the Iran-Contra scandal, Parry is among the few reporters who paid attention to the close ties between the Rev. Moon and the Bush family. In his online publication www.consortiumnews.com, Parry reported in October of last year: “Besides making alleged payments to North Korea’s communist leaders, the 80-year-old founder of the South Korean-based Unification Church has funneled large sums of money, possibly millions of dollars as well, to former President George H.W. Bush.

“One well-placed former leader of Moon’s Unification Church told me that the total earmarked for former President Bush was $10 million. The father of the Republican nominee has declined to say how much Moon’s organization actually paid him for speeches and other services in Asia, the United States and South America.”

Parry went on to report poppy Bush’s admiration for Moon, quoting a 1996 speech in Argentina where the former president praised the church leader as “the man with the vision.”

At times, according to Parry, that vision has included a rather dim view of the United States, including speeches in which Moon described this country as “Satan’s harvest” and claims that American women descended from a “line of prostitutes.”

As far back as 1997, Parry was predicting that Moon could play a role in helping elect Bush the younger. True to form, the Washington Times repeatedly savaged the Gore campaign last year while Gore fought G.W. Bush for the presidency.

And now Moon’s public profile is again waxing in this country. Is that because he once again has a special friend in the White House, or is it simply God’s will? News Hits, always skeptical, thinks the phenomenon of this old Moon rising anew is something more than just one hell of a coincidence.

News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. He can be reached at