Sunday, May 29, 2005

Moonie Mania (repost)

I promised some friends at a dinner party tonight that I would repost my article on Moonie Mania from January 9 on the blog. It appears below.

Okay, I've been poking around in cyberspace to explore this Bush and Sun Myung Moon business. It is fascinating. Moon is the Sam Walton of self-proclaimed messiahs. We're talking loaded! No wonder Bush and right-wingers all over creation treat him like an ATM. All I can say is the Moonies must have sold a gazillion flowers back in the 70s.

So the recent info I got was from an article by John Gorenfeld who tracks Moonie business. Thanks to John Avarosis at Americablog for the tip. Gorenfeld follows Moon pretty closely and all of the political and religious suckups who tow or dance close to his line. Some of the documented events are truly bizarre, like the crowning of Moon in one of the Senate buildings back in 2004. The event was attended by a lot of Hill folk who later denied being there. Unfortunately, cameras on duty don't lie. And by the way, a simple google search of Sun Myung Moon and Bush will keep you busy reading for hours on the subject.

If you don't want to wade through the mounds of what seems to be a preface to the apocalypse (let's just say Jesus is coming soon, but just to ask Tim Lahaye to revise his Left Behind series*), go to this Washington Times article for an account of a bizarre Moon-sponsered event. Bush Sr. sent a videotaped greeting, Bush Jr. wrote a letter that was read to the crowd, and Bob Dole rolled in for the main event. BTW, Moon owns the Washington Times. I won't make a big deal out of that, since a lot of big money people who influence politics own major news outlets (Ted Turner=CNN, Roger Ailes=Fox), but just so you know. It is also important to note that a few democrats also support Moon (Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL presented the crown the coronation ceremony I mentioned!), though none with profiles as high as the president and former president. And Moon hates Clinton.

By and large it is the right, and especialy the religious right, who take Moon's money. In the admittedly mild interest of fairness, I looked for any shred of defense from the right regarding its connection with Moon. The only thing I could find, and curiosity had me searching pretty hard in the end, was from the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, right up there with the Wash. Times in terms of its conservative bent. Here.

In the end, is unapologetic adulation for Moon from people like George Bush, Sr. that big a deal? Say what you will about ethically sound contribution sources, but the fact that the more scary brand of conservativism has a fathoms deep money source is probably nothing the democrats don't also wish they had. Moon is likely viewed by many on the right as a deluded and generous donor who hopes to gain credibility and influence through their acceptance of his donations. While they may laugh off Moon's ultimate goals as they take his money, he uses the photo ops and quotes from people like Bush, Dole, Falwell, etc., (often reprinted in his Washington Times) to recruit scores of emotionally vulnerable folks into his pseudo-messianic efforts to control the world. Crowns, robes, world domination-- 21st century baroque camp at its finest. Too bad Moon's hurting people.

But none of that matters to people like Bush and Falwell. They just keep living by their "I got mine" philosophy and forget the effect of their actions on everyone else. What is truly strange is that the ground level supporters of the conservative right don't seem to have a problem with Moon's many-tentacled connection to their leaders (though there are a few websites even further to the right of Falwell who are hopping mad about it). One of my more conservative commenters recently warned me to beware of the political Koolaid I drink. For my younger readers he was referring to the Jim Jones cult mass-suicide where everyone drank poison Koolaid (Jim Jones was a Hoosier by the way. We're so proud). From what I can gather observing cult caution is good advice for both sides of the aisle.

*Wait! Jesus can't have Lahaye do the rewrites! He and his wife accept money from Moon, too (read down to section 6)!


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