Creating a World of Peace - The Thought and Works of Sun Myung Moon by Joon Ho Seuk
Volume 1 - The Life and Teachings of Reverend Sun Myung Moon [Part 7 / 20]
6. On Trial In America
Reverend Moon's appeal for a true Christian renewal of America was initially welcomed. However, this receptivity proved shallow when, in 1974, he urged Americans through rallies and newspaper statements to forgive the beleaguered Richard Nixon at the time of the Watergate scandal.
Virtually no one at the time was willing to side with a president on the verge of impeachment, but Reverend Moon foresaw the terrible consequences of undercutting the American presidency.
His appeal was met with scorn and he became an easy target for the now hostile media. Old allegations from Korea were dug up and, in this atmosphere of hysteria, the conversion experiences of his young followers were seen as clear evidence of brainwashing.
In 1981, a five-year IRS investigation produced an indictment against Reverend Moon. It charged him with evading income taxes nearly a decade earlier, as well as conspiracy to avoid those taxes. When the indictment was handed down, Reverend Moon was in Korea. Rejecting the advice of his lawyers, he immediately returned to the United States. He told his counsel: "I will not abandon my mission in America. That I will never do."
Upon arriving in New York for the Federal District Court arraignment he spoke only one sentence: "Your Honor, I am not guilty." Despite forty amicus briefs from mainline Christian leaders, legal associations, civil liberty groups and state governments, Reverend Moon was convicted and sentenced to spend eighteen months in a federal prison.
The US Justice Department wanted to negotiate with Reverend Moon's attorneys. On the condition that Reverend Moon depart for Korea and never come back to the United States, they said, the government would waive his prison sentence. He flatly refused. His comment was, "It must be God's will that I go to prison. There must be a providential reason why I must go this way."
Reverend Moon in Danbury Prison
Letter from Ed Farmer, former Danbury inmate.
I was fortunate. I only had to be in Danbury for three months. I knew I was going, and I knew Reverend Moon was there. They had it in the paper every other day. I was curious.
As it turned out, I was in the cubicle right next to Reverend Moon's, five feet away.
Reverend Moon has a very good sense of humor. It's hard for me to think of a person as being mean or brainwashing people with the sense of humor he has. He truly loves people. I mean, he likes being with them.
He likes being kidded, he likes being teased. I never saw a mean act on his part. He never asked for special treatment. He mopped floors, cleaned tables, and he helped other people when he was finished with his job.
When you'd be down in spirit, he'd come along, pat you on the back, and smile and laugh. He doesn't put on a face today, or put on generosity or kindness today and then not tomorrow. Reverend Moon is Reverend Moon, a very steady, ongoing force. I think that man could be happy wherever he went. He carries his religion with him. He doesn't need a book. Everyone feels it. It's very evident.
Reverend Moon has never complained about what the government did to him. He has never accused the government of a witch-hunt, mainly I think because he refuses to dignify it. I find it almost impossible to believe the stories that they spread about him, after having met him. That man would not do those things, it's impossible. My own personal belief is that it was a witch-hunt.