Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 17 - Twentieth-Century Crucifixion: Maneuvered Into Prison [Part 1/6]
Tax Trial: Conspiracy to Exile Reverend Moon
In 1984, a large blot was left on the history of the United States. America was a country that had for many years prided itself on being the home of religious liberty and the protector of religious faiths. Yet in that year, it threw into prison the one person who had come to save it, and this it justified with a trite, unconvincing "tax evasion" charge.
In my opinion, America thus committed the same mistake that the leadership in Israel did two thousand years ago when Jesus was crucified. Jesus had come to bring life to all humankind. But for the Israelite nation and Judaism, Jesus was too great to digest, and in the end he died. In the same way, the United States, despite the fact that it was the prime superpower of the twentieth century, was unable to digest a religious leader from South Korea, namely Reverend Moon. In the end it sent him to prison.
The government's initial intention, however, was not to send the Unification Church leader to prison but to expel him. In the process, it wanted to get rid of the Unification Church and all its related organizations. The government thought that if it threatened to throw him into prison, Reverend Moon would get scared and flee the country, promising never to set foot there again. This was a huge miscalculation and shows just how much they misunderstand the man whom God had sent to the United States.
When the government handed down the indictment, Reverend Moon was in South Korea. Although he was a permanent resident of the United States, he was not a U.S. citizen. There was no extradition treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States, so as long as he was in Korea, he would never have to appear in a U.S. courtroom. Neither would he face any punishment if he failed to respond to a subpoena.
As soon as he heard about the indictment, however, Reverend Moon booked a flight back to America, much to their surprise. As soon as he got back, he made an appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Justice Department officials were astonished.
Later, after the jury returned a verdict of guilty, the, Justice Department offered a deal.
`We don't really want to see Reverend Moon go to prison," said an official. "How would it be if he just left for his home country and signed a promise not to return to the United States? If you do that, the government will accept his petition and won't push the matter any further." Reverend Moon flatly rejected the proposal.
Why did he do that? A speech he made at that time explains his thinking:
Isn't God the one who sent me to America? If I forsake America and leave, God will also abandon her. How could I allow that? How could I abandon the mission given to me just to secure the comfort of my own physical body? Over the hill of Calvary, beyond the suffering of the cross, I see hope, and I see it with certainty. The purpose for which I came to America will be fulfilled by my struggle in prison. Just see what happens! By my going into prison, races will become one, religions will become one, and America will awaken to her mission under God. I am more filled with hope now than at any other time in my life. My prayers of gratitude to Heaven have never been fuller than now.
True enough, on the day that Reverend Moon left the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut (August 20, 1985), a multi-racial, multi-denominational gathering of some seventeen hundred American religious leaders and clergy convened a rally in Washington, D.C., called the God and Freedom Banquet, to welcome him.
This spectacle was a complete realization of the dream Reverend Moon had previously described and hoped for. All races and religions represented in America were present, as were all denominations of American Christianity. Leaders from all of these groups united and celebrated Reverend Moon's release from prison almost as if it had been their own day of liberation. They welcomed Reverend Moon as a hero who had fought and been victorious for religious freedom and the revival of America's founding spirit.
The Pentecostal evangelist Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, who was a compatriot of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and is now chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, gave a congratulatory address. More than once, he was moved with emotion as he shouted out, "God works in mysterious ways!"
Indeed, these words are the best way to express all the victories of Reverend Moon. Since he had first arrived in America, he shed his tears, sweat, and blood day and night for thirteen years, and yet American Christianity remained aloof and cold in their response. Even his cry for an end to racial discrimination had elicited no rejoinder from the black community. Likewise, he had poured out effort and manpower and financial resources for the sake of religious unity, but America's religious community returned nothing but a cold shoulder.
Yet when they saw Reverend Moon undergo the hardships of prison life all alone, they recognized his heroic struggle, his solitary and sacrificial fight, and all the barriers collapsed at once. Black, white, and yellow became a brotherhood of men. The multi-denominational, multi-colored Christian community of America experienced a general revival, with Reverend Moon as the axis. All of America's religious traditions began a movement for religious unity centering on the Unification Church leader. This is what the God and Freedom Banquet symbolized.
From the start, Reverend Moon saw that hope and victory were not far off, and he went joyfully and courageously behind bars.
Thus, the result was exactly the opposite of what the U.S. government had expected (and imagined). They thought that Reverend Moon and the Unification Church would be exiled from the United States. But in reality, Reverend Moon became a hero of the American religious community, and the Unification Church received unprecedented understanding and acceptance, thus truly establishing America as its home base.
In this chapter, I would like to describe Reverend Moon's courtroom struggle and the huge impact it generated. I have no desire or intention to write about the complex and intricate logic of the law related to the court case. Rather, I would like to write about, as far as I saw and felt it, what the course of events in the court case and the time of Reverend Moon's incarceration in Danbury Correctional Institute reveals about his character and thought, about the passion and love he carries for saving the United States and the world.
As I said in the beginning, this book does not aim to be nor can it be described as a history of the Unification Church or of the work of Reverend Moon. Rather, this book seeks to be a testimony to "taste and touch" Reverend Moon -- his character, his thought, his true love -- as experienced by someone who had the unique opportunity to be so close to him, perhaps as close as anyone else in history.
I will start by describing the circumstances of Reverend Moon's being put in prison. Fortunately for me, this trial was covered in detail by a well-known commentator on diplomatic affairs, Kiyoshi Nasu, who lives in New York. Mr. Nasu wrote an excellent commentary on the trial, Okjungci Kuseju (Son Bon Publishing, 1985), and I have referred to this work several times in developing my account of these events.
Moreover, American journalist Carlton Sherwood wrote Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon (Regnery Gateway, 1991), exposing in detail the abuses and irregularities committed by the government during the trial. The book, written a considerable time after the actual events, provides extensive evidence in the form of internal memos, undisclosed documents, and so forth.
The cover of Inquisition, by Pulitzer prize-winning author Carlton Sherwood.
Mr. Sherwood is a highly regarded journalist, having won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Peabody Award. He originally made his name exposing corruption by Catholic priests and other religious leaders and has contributed to both newspaper and television. When he came to work at the Washington Times in 1984, he viewed it as a golden opportunity and began collecting data with the intention of exposing the "corruption" behind Reverend Moon and the Unification Church. Mr. Sherwood found no trace of the corruption he expected, however. Instead, he was completely astounded when he discovered numerous abuses of justice by the government in driving forward the Moon trial. The book he wrote as a result of his investigations created quite a sensation in the American media and religious community. I have therefore referred to his book also in writing this chapter.
Senator Dole Sends a Letter to the IRS
The conspiracy to expunge Reverend Moon from the United States began with an epistle by Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, then a member of the Senate Finance Committee, on January 9, 1976. The letter was sent to Mr. Donald Alexander, an official of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In this letter, Dole stated that "a large number of my constituents have contacted me about the Unification Church headed by Mr. Sun Myung Moon. Their questions and statements raise doubts in my mind about the tax-exempt status of that organization." He followed up with a list outlining three specific issues.
I. It appears that the young people of the Unification Church are subject to mind control. While entry into the church appears voluntary, it seems that they lose the ability to decide whether to continue in the church or not and even lose any ability to decide to leave the church.
Evidence suggests that the Unification Church is not engaged in religious activity but rather is collecting funds in order to develop political activities.
Mr. Moon uses donations collected by the church for personal uses and lives in luxury in a huge mansion.
The upshot of the letter was a request for an audit, based on the assertion that there was some question as to the validity of the Unification Church's tax-exempt status in light of the above-mentioned items.
Just one month after Dole sent this missive to the IRS, a carefully organized event was held attacking the Unification Church. The event, known as "A Day of Affirmation and Protest," was the kickoff point for all of the denunciations and direct attacks on our church that later became so famous. About three hundred people opposed to the Unification Church gathered together and one-sidedly repeated slander after slander. I myself attended the event that day, but our church was not even given a chance to present its viewpoint or respond to the defamations.
Concerning this kind of open and virulent attack on the Unification Church, Rep. George Hanson, member of the House Committee on Banking, Financial subcommittee, scathingly criticizes Dole's motives in his book Pestering Our Citizenry: Violence by the IRS and Federal Government.
The thing about this letter that does not quite seem right is that it was sent to an official of the IRS. No one would contact the State Department or the IRS if there was a kidnapping in their neighborhood. Naturally, you would send a letter to the law enforcement agencies.
Asking the IRS to investigate a church when the facts are not even certain, and the grounds are no more than rumor (related to kidnapping and brainwashing), is tantamount to taking a step into dangerous territory that is both traditionally and also constitutionally prohibited. Church affairs do not even fall under the jurisdiction of the IRS.
In the Bible it says to return to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.
Indeed, Dole's intention was not to learn the truth. If he were actually worried about brainwashing or kidnapping by the Unification Church, he should have written a letter to the government department in charge of such matters. But he sent this letter to the IRS. From these facts we can only presume that the letter is a product of some design by the Kansas senator, who wanted to smother the church's activities by mobilizing the IRS and having them strip the Unification Church of its tax-exempt status.
But the IRS official who received this letter could not simply receive a request from a senator -- a member of the Senate Finance Committee, no less -- and do nothing. Sure enough, shortly afterward, two IRS representatives were sent to the Unification Church headquarters in New York. There they requisitioned and monopolized an entire office for their activities, investigating the status and operations of our church finances for nearly two years (1976-78). Even after all that time, they did not turn up a single irregularity or illegal action.
Indictment: Not Recommended but Approved
Concurrently, the left-leaning liberal faction of the Democrat Party, led by Congressman Donald Fraser of the House Committee on International Relations, was doing its best to destroy the Unification Church by trying to paint us as cohorts of the Korean CIA. So we now had the Criminal Enforcement Section of the justice Department's Tax Division also jumping into the fray. It dispatched Ralph Belter, a specialist in tax-related crimes. Mr. Belter carried out a detailed investigation, but he couldn't find any infringement of the law and came to the conclusion that there were no grounds for issuing an indictment.
Mr. Belter gave this report to his superior, Edward Vellines, assistant chief of the Tax Division. Mr. Vellines, after examining Belter's report, also concluded that there were "no grounds for indictment." Next, Mr. Vellines handed his report to his superior, Stanley Crisa, head of the entire Tax Division. When Mr. Crisa made an extensive review of the investigation results, he came to an identical conclusion. This conclusion was the one submitted to acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gilbert Andrews, responsible for the Tax Division.
Mr. Andrews had no special expertise in the field of tax crime, and should have accepted the reports of the Tax Division's experts at face value. But surprisingly, he did not. He broke with accepted practice to overturn the "no grounds for indictment" recommendation and decided that the department must go ahead and indict Reverend Moon.
The facts suggest nothing other than political motives. The decision to overturn the recommendation of three tax crime experts from the Department of justice was not just an exception to standard practice but was unprecedented. How could this have happened?
In fact, there was an office already investigating Reverend Moon's tax affairs prior to and apart from the investigation by the criminal section of the Justice Department. This was the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, the branch of the Justice Department that had jurisdiction over the area in which Reverend Moon resided. An ambitious young federal prosecutor named Martin Flumenbaum, assigned to this office, was waiting zealously for an opportunity to indict Reverend Moon on some charge or other. When the time came, he went after his prey like a hungry wolf.
Flumenbaum had graduated from Harvard Law School at the top of his class and wanted earnestly to rise to the top. After working at a famous law firm in Manhattan, Flumenbaum secured a position as an assistant U.S. attorney at the most notable of the Justice Department's district offices, New York's Southern District. Appointed by President Carter's Democratic administration, he had invested more than two years of his term at this office obstinately and determinedly investigating Reverend Moon and the Unification Church. If he could indict a bigwig like Reverend Moon and succeed in the prosecution, he would be able to achieve fame overnight and change the course of his career in the most favorable way.
To investigate whether there was sufficient evidence to indict Reverend Moon concerning his tax affairs; Flumenbaum convened a federal grand jury in New York in June 1980.
The grand jury is a unique American institution. It is ordinarily composed of either sixteen or twenty-three jurors. A prosecutor calls the defendant or witnesses before the jury to give sworn testimony. The jurors then deliberate the evidence and deliver a decision as to whether the defendant should be indicted. In July 1980, Takeru Kamiyama, special assistant to Reverend Moon on financial matters (currently honorary president of the Unification Church of Japan), testified before this grand jury.
Flumenbaum forcefully pushed for indictment of both Reverend Moon and Mr. Kamiyama. The reason was, among other things, that "evidence" had been discovered indicating that Mr. Kamiyama had committed perjury when testifying to the New York grand jury and had submitted false documents (related to finances) to the Justice Department to obstruct the government's investigation. Of course, both items were fabrications.
Why did he do it? It is easy to imagine that Flumenbaum was quite irritated that his investigations had yielded not a single trace of any wrongdoing by Reverend Moon. His "one last desperate card to play" (Inquisition, 114) was the craftily prepared snare of "Kamiyama's perjury" and "false documents." Flumenbaum visited the Justice Department in Washington and, using this material, sought to persuade Deputy Assistant Attorney General Andrews to initiate indictment proceedings. Apparently he succeeded.
According to Justice Department regulations, a federal grand jury can only issue an indictment for a criminal tax case after approval by the assistant attorney general in charge of the Tax Division. There is a simple reason for this regulation. Indictments for tax evasion are liable to being employed for political purposes. In some cases, an ambitious prosecutor will target an unpopular public figure with the intention of advancing his or her career. As this regulation indicates, the higher levels of the Justice Department have the responsibility to curb reckless or dubious activities (illegalities) by prosecutors.
After Flumenbaum made numerous trips to see Andrews in Washington, Andrews caved in and rejected the justice Department's recommendation against indictment. Finally, he issued the indictment against Reverend Moon.
The Department of Justice Submits to Political Pressure
Why did the leading ranks of the Justice Department accept Flumenbaum's maneuvering? Mr. Sherwood, in Inquisition, puts the pieces of the puzzle together as follows.
First, these events took place during the handover period between the Carter and Reagan administrations, and the new Republican appointees of the Department of Justice were afraid of receiving too much attention from the media.
What could he scarier than the suggestion by some source that the Republicans were going easy on Moon -- a man who had gotten his first political press notices defending an about to be impeached Richard Nixon?
Moon meant Watergate, and a bright and shiny new administration was not about to have that dug up so soon. (Inquisition, 115)
Second, most Carter administration officials were retiring or moving into the private sector, and higher officials did not wish to be seen as fulfilling their last duties half-heartedly.
Prudently, those at Justice who were about to join the private sector did not want to leave a poison cloud behind. None of the outgoing officials wished to appear soft on tax evaders -- the public hates tax cheats; so does the press -- especially when the alleged deadbeats happen to be the leaders of one of America's most controversial new religions. (Inquisition, 116-17)
Third, heavy pressure was coming from every direction to have Reverend Moon expelled from the United States, and the highly placed Justice officials simply caved in to that pressure. The clerks inside the Justice Department were convinced that Reverend Moon should not he indicted, so there was a good deal of discontent about the decision made by the top. Sherwood describes a conversation between personnel who worked at the Justice Department during that time:
That was for openers. For the next couple of hours my two prosecutor friends spun out one amazing story after another concerning the details of the case against Moon and how the Justice Department, after years of receiving complaints and huge amounts of political pressure all aimed at running the Reverend Sun Myung Moon out of the country, had ended up being coerced into prosecuting, over the repeated oral and written objections of the department's most experienced criminal attorneys. (Inquisition, 117)
The thinking of the directorship of the Justice Department was: A green light for the prosecution did not mean that Moon would be railroaded into jail. The chances were in the real world that the Korean and his entourage would flee the country. Anyone in his right mind would do just that, knowing full well that the United States does not normally go through the difficult legal and diplomatic tangle of extraditing someone, anyone, on mere tax evasion charges.
In short, Moon could skip and that would be that. No harm done. (Inquisition, 117)
Thus the Department of justice, against a backdrop of "all kinds of dissatisfaction and political pressure," took the first step toward kicking Reverend Moon out of the country.
On September 21, 1981, the justice Department notified the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York that it was turning over the case to them for the indictment of Reverend Moon and Mr. Kamiyama.
Observing the above-mentioned flow of events, it becomes clear that, over a period stretching from the 1970s to the 1980s, several government organs, including Congress, the IRS, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, made a concerted effort to trap the Reverend Moon. If one incorporates the Fraser Commission attacks on the Unification Church (described in chapter 13), the reality becomes clearer still.
During the Carter administration, which lasted from January 1977 to January 1981, Reverend Moon was vehement in his criticism of President Carter, and the president's closest aides detested Reverend Moon; he was the proverbial thorn in their side. It is not hard to imagine that the center of all this immense political pressure, the hidden axis of the machinations to expel Reverend Moon, was in fact to be found within the Carter administration itself.
There is, however, an even more fundamental cause for the persecution of Reverend Moon, and it lies in the underlying fabric at the foundation of American society. It is an unseen "black hand" that saw the existence of Reverend Moon and the growth of the Unification Church as nothing more than a threat.
There is an attitude at the very base of American society that directly contradicts the spirit of the Founding Fathers. That trend is embodied in the ideology of white superiority, often referred to as the "WASP syndrome." The W stands for white and signifies white supremacist thought. AS stands for Anglo-Saxon, indicating the ethnic group whose ancestors came from Britain, signifying racial discriminatory tendencies. P stands for Protestant and signifies religious discrimination. Thus, the WASP syndrome means that the United States belongs to the white race; the Anglo-Saxon descendants, with their roots in the British Isles, are the masters; and Protestantism is the preferred religion. In short, it is a deeply rooted form of white supremacy.
Reverend Moon challenged this social trend head-on. He is, of course, Oriental. His ancestors do not come from Britain; Reverend Moon was born in the Far East, in Korea. And on top of that, he was the founder of the Unification Church, a religion that Protestants had denounced as heresy. When they put all these things together, the WASPs saw Reverend Moon as extremely "un-American." And at the base of their consciousness, the WASPs feared that he might represent a force that could threaten the "true Americans."
But there was another, even more ferocious, force that was decidedly anti-Unification Church. This was none other than the leftist forces rooted in communism; communism had skillfully and circumspectly danced its merry way into the liberalist trend moving through American society.
In the end, Congressman Fraser, who attacked Reverend Moon so obstinately in the guise of the Fraser Commission, was actually fingered as "an influential agent" of the Soviet Union by the Polish intelligence officer Janusz Hochanski, a communist who later defected to the United States. As a congressman, Fraser whipped up anti-Korean sentiment and sought to destroy U.S.-South Korean relations, hopefully turning the Korean peninsula into a second Vietnam. In its final report (dated October 31, 1978), the Fraser Commission adamantly asserted the need for (and recommended) investigation of the Unification Church by numerous government organizations.
After Fraser lost his Senate bid, Mr. Robert Boettcher, a man with the same ideological leanings as Fraser, took over the mantle of head investigator for the Fraser Commission. Boettcher used his large network of contacts and became the axis for attacks on the Unification Church, carrying out his schemes in the Justice Department as well as in the New York grand jury proceedings. Heaven was not indifferent to all of this, however. Boettcher, ringleader and prime mover of attacks against the Unification Church, ended up taking his own life by leaping from the seventeenth story of an apartment building.
This was the reality of the United States at that time. These kinds of forces had infiltrated all parts of U.S. society, from the White House and the Congress to each department of the government and the liberal media as well. In regard to Reverend Moon, the Carter White House, the WASP sector, and the leftist forces all had an identical purpose: the expulsion of Reverend Moon from the United States.
Carlton Sherwood says the following:
The truth, I found, was quite simple: the Unification Church, its leaders and followers were and continue to he the victims of the worst kind of religious prejudice and racial bigotry this country has witnessed in over a century. Moreover, virtually every institution we as Americans hold sacred -- the Congress, the courts, law enforcement agencies, the press, even the U.S. Constitution itself -- was prostituted in a malicious, oftentimes brutal manner, as part of a determined effort to wipe out this small but expanding religious movement. (Inquisition, 24-25)
Mr. Sherwood, as a neutral observer, had carried out an investigation based on actual proof, on the facts. Perhaps that is why the shock he received was so great.
The Reverend Sun Myung Moon does have one characteristic no other contemporary religious figure can come close to matching: he and his followers have been more thoroughly investigated in the past by more government agencies than just about anyone else. Only a select few serial killers, members of the legendary Cosa Nostra, and perhaps the U.S. Communist party have received anything approaching the tender, loving care with which Sun Myung Moon has been treated over the years....
Records show that, at one time or another, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of State, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, plus several dozen Senate, congressional, and state investigative committees and hundreds of federal and local law enforcement officials, have all poked, prodded, probed, pried, bugged, and generally kept books on Moon and the Unification Church. (Inquisition, 27-28)
With such overwhelmingly hostile forces arrayed before him, Reverend Moon was surrounded and attacked on every side.