Bush Family in the House of Moon


Richard Moore

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Bush Family in the House of Moon
By Bill Berkowitz
Thu Apr 19, 2007 at 03:01:31 PM EST

George H.W. Bush to speak at the Rev. Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times' 
25th anniversary celebration in mid-May

When former President George H.W. Bush takes the stage to deliver the keynote 
address in honor of the 25th anniversary of the ultra-conservative Washington 
Times newspaper in mid-May, it will not be the first time he has spoken in 
support of one of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's enterprises.

And whatever fee Bush will realize from his appearance, it is only one aspect of
what author Kevin Philips has termed Moon's "close" relationship with the Bush 

While the elder Bush -- and other family members -- have benefited both 
financially and politically from this relationship with Moon, the head of the 
Unification Church has a more varied agenda in mind, one that might include a 
pardon from current President George W. Bush.

(In the 1980s, Moon served a 13-month sentence in jail for tax evasion. Not 
wanting "convicted felon" as part of his legacy, he is hoping for a pardon 
before Bush leaves office.)

From Koreagate to Bush 43

The Bush family/Moon relationship dates back "to the overlap between Bush's 
one-year tenure as CIA director (1976) and the arrival of in Washington of Moon,
whose Unification Church was widely reported to be a front group for the South 
Korean Central Intelligence Agency [KCIA]," Phillips wrote in his bestselling 
book "American Dynasty -- Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in 
the House of Bush."

During a time when the activities of the KCIA were the subject of a U.S. 
congressional investigation -- dubbed Koreagate -- Phillips pointed out that 
"within Washington councils, Bush was a powerful voice against any unnecessary 
crackdown on the U.S. activities of allied intelligence services."

"One of George H.W. Bush's first tasks as director of the CIA was managing the 
'Koreagate' scandal, in which the government of South Korea and its intelligence
agents had waged espionage against the U.S, government," Fred Clarkson, a 
co-founder of Talk2Action and the author of "Eternal Hostility: The Struggle 
Between Theocracy and Democracy" -- which includes a chapter on the Moon 
organization -- told me in an e-mail exchange.

"Some of those agents were leading members of Moon's Unification church. Some 
members managed to infiltrate Congressional staffs -- primarily Democrats," he 

After the founding of Moon's Washington Times in the early 1980s, the newspaper 
consistently supported the Ronald Reagan-Bush team in its version of the events 
surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal. According to Clarkson, "the Moon 
organization was part of the private supply lines to the Nicaraguan contras, The
Washington Times was given special access and provided consistently flattering 
coverage and the newspaper also set up a special fund for private funding of the

In 1996, the relationship became decidedly financial when the former president 
traveled to Latin America to help Moon launch Tiempos del Mundo (Times of the 
World). At the time Bush called Moon's flagship U.S. publication, the Washington
Times, "an independent voice" and assured the crowd that "Tiempos del Mundo... 
[will be] the same thing." According to published reports Bush received at least
100,000 dollars for his participation in that event.

More recently, Moon's Washington Times Foundation funneled a million dollars to 
Bush's presidential library through the Houston, Texas-based Greater Houston 
Community Foundation.

Moon has also contributed to the financial wellbeing of other Bush family 
members. In 2005, Neil Bush, the former president's son and current president's 
brother, accompanied Moon on a few legs of the reverend's "World Peace King 
Bridge-Tunnel" tour, showing up at his side in the Philippines and Taiwan.

Late last year, Business Week reported Neil Bush's Ignite! Inc. -- an 
educational software company featuring what it calls "curriculum on wheels," or 
COWs -- received a million dollars from "a foundation linked to the 
controversial Reverend Sun Myung Moon... for a COWs research project in 
Washington-area schools."

But perhaps the most tangible aspect of the close relationship between the Bush 
family and Rev. Moon is the unbending support the Washington Times has given to 
George W. Bush since he announced he was running for the presidency. In recent 
years, the newspaper's editorial and opinion pages have consistently supported 
the president's "war on terror" and war in Iraq.

In the House of Moon

"The Rev. Moon is a monster in the laboratory of conservative politics; no one 
wants to think about him, yet in order to ensure his continued support they must
periodically feed his appetite for tribute," John Gorenfeld, an investigative 
reporter and a longtime chronicler of Moon's activities, said in an e-mail. "One
of Moon's paybacks at Times-sponsored events is to have his picture taken and 
rub shoulders with the politically powerful and well-connected."

"Besides the gift of the support of the Washington Times, Bush and his son have 
accepted large amounts of money from Moon's church," said Gorenfeld, the author 
of a forthcoming book about the Rev. Moon and U.S. politics.

"In the Clinton years, George and Barbara Bush toured Japan with Moon, as well 
as Argentina. He is believed to have taken over a million dollars. More 
recently, a Moon company funneled 250,000 dollars to the fund for George W. 
Bush's inauguration."

Moon's enterprises extend far beyond the Unification Church, says Steve Hassan, 
an expert on cults and a licensed mental health counselor who was once a leader 
in the Moon organization.

"There are a number of business and political fronts; it's a 
multi-billion-dollar international conglomerate headed by a demagogue who claims
that he's the greatest guy in history, who wants to abolish democracy, end or 
destroy the United Nations and set up a theocracy for his heirs to rule," Hassan
told me in a telephone interview.

When the elder Bush takes to the podium next month, it would be surprising if 
the close relationship between the Bush family and Moon is scrutinized by the 
mainstream media, since it has been basically ignored or glossed over for 
decades, Hassan insists.

"It infuriates me, as one who has been in the group and often heard Moon say 
that he wanted to destroy democracy and take over the world, that the mainstream
media has not gotten this story right," he said. "While they have talked about 
corporate lobbying, they've neglected to discuss the lobbying and political 
influence of cults. Moon has been basically mainstreamed."

Hassan also noted that Moon's operation in the U.S., which began with the 
"street recruiting" of members -- especially in university towns -- has shifted 
to lavish dinners and awards ceremonies where Moon is able to hobnob with 
powerful political figures and later claim their allegiance.

"Having George H.W. Bush come and speak at the Washington Times anniversary 
event is definitely a coup," Hassan pointed out.

"That George H.W. Bush has such a long term alliance with the theocratic Rev. 
Moon, who for all of his flag waving is on record as hating American 
constitutional democracy, is disturbing and will no doubt come to be seen as a 
defining aspect of Bush's political career, before, during and since his 
presidency," Fred Clarkson added.

"Bush's headlining the Washington Times' 25th anniversary event couldn't be more
appropriate, since the Rev. Moon and Bush's fortunes, political and otherwise 
have been closely intertwined for decades."

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