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April 26, 2007

Moonstruck

Why is this not even remotely surprising?

When former President George H.W. Bush takes the stage to deliver the keynote address in honour of the 25th anniversary of the ultra-conservative Washington Times news-
paper in mid-May, it will not be the first time he has spoken in support of one of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s enterprises.
And whatever fee Bush will realise from his appear-
ance is only one aspect of what author Kevin Philips has termed Moon’s “close” relationship with the Bush family.
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 includes a pardon from current President George W. Bush.
(In the 1980s, Moon served a 13-month sentence in jail for tax evasion. He doesn’t want to be a considered a convicted felon and is hoping for a pardon before Bush leaves office.)
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.”
… 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.
“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, told IPS. “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.”
… 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 scrutinised 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.”

One small step for Moon, one giant leap backwards for mankind.

Posted by Stephen at 12:02 AM in Media | Politics | Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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