23. THE FULL MOON STORY

Many people believe that the Unification Church, sometimes referred to as the "Moonies," is a small cult that uses brainwashing techniques to convert young people to their religion, but few are aware of the international cope of the organization and its political and economic influence here in the United States.

Its founder, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, established the organization in South Korea after fleeing North Korea in the '50s on morals charges. It became institutionalized under the repressive Park regime of which Moon was a strong supporter. Moon came to the United States in 1973 to establish a Unification Church in every state and also rallied to the support of President Richard Nixon.

Today critics say the Unification Church is a very large and powerful covert political machine which has strategically established outposts throughout the world and uses the U.S. as its base. With the many ties the church has with the Korean CIA, allegations that it was founded by the KCIA are being explored.

Moon's interpreter, Bo Hi Pak, whose name also is linked with the KCIA, was recently indicated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for trying to gain secret control of a Washington, D.C. bank. He was charged with a similar operation involving Tongsun Park of "Koreagate" fame.

The Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF), one of the church's known front groups, was said to have been established to influence Congress on national security matters. Senator Strom Thurmand was an American delegate to the World Anti-Communist League, a pseudonym for the FLF, which was sponsored by the Unification Church.

One covert front group for the church was recently exposed. It was a seemingly innocuous carpet cleaning firm which won jobs cleaning the carpets for FBI offices and several top security U.S. Army bases by charging incredibly low rates.

Aside from the millions in his personal fortune, Moon is also said to own or control an eleven million dollar budget, an $8 million mansion in Westchester, 300 acres in New York alone, a $1.2 million university
club in New York, all Korean ginseng products, business interests with titanium and shotguns, and machine shops in Korea that manufacture parts that fit M-16 rifles.

The paucity of reliable information reported by the mass media about the vastness and conspiratorial nature of the Unification Church qualifies this story for nomination as one of the "best censored" stories of 1979.

SOURCES:

New a May 1976, "A Look at Sun Myung Moon's Appeal, Power and Tactics of Conversion;" San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 7 and Oct. 29, 1979; The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 1979.