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 8 / 20]
7. Prison Life
Without any bitterness, Reverend Moon served time in Danbury Federal Prison.
His positive attitude toward life in prison began to command respect and even admiration from the other prisoners. Some of them began to come to him for counseling and advice. One of them, Ed Farmer, wrote a letter about his experiences with Reverend Moon in Danbury.
Report by Senate Subcommittee
Conclusion of report by Senate subcommittee, chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch, on Reverend Moon's tax case.
We accused a newcomer to our shores of criminal and intentional wrongdoing for conduct commonly engaged in by a large percentage of our own religious leaders, namely, the holding of church funds in bank accounts in their own names. Catholic priests do it. Baptist ministers do it, and so did Sun Myung Moon.
No matter how we view it, it remains a fact that we charged a non-English-speaking alien with criminal tax evasion on the first tax returns he filed in this country. It appears that we didn't give him a fair chance to understand our laws.
We didn't seek a civil penalty as an initial means of redress. We didn't give him the benefit of any doubt. Rather, we took a novel theory of tax liability of less than $10,000 and turned it into a guilty verdict and eighteen months in a federal prison.
I do feel strongly, after my subcommittee has carefully and objectively reviewed this [Reverend Moon's tax] case from both sides, that injustice rather than justice has been served.
The Moon case sends a strong signal that if one's views are unpopular enough, this country will find a way not to tolerate, but to convict. I don't believe that you or I or anyone else, no matter how innocent, could realistically prevail against the combined forces of our Justice Department and judicial branch in a case such as Reverend Moon's.
In the meantime, protests were being made all around the nation over the injustice Reverend Moon was suffering. Many Christian leaders who never knew or cared about him began to realize that the government had made a serious assault on religious freedom.
A Senate subcommittee, chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch, conducted its own investigation into Reverend Moon's tax case and published its findings in a report which concluded that "injustice rather than justice has been served."
On August 20, 1985, Reverend Moon was freed after completing thirteen months of incarceration.
Upon his release, major Christian and civil rights leaders, including Reverend Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority and Reverend Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, held a press conference to decry the persecution and imprisonment of Reverend Moon and to welcome him back.