||Danbury and CAUSA
In 1981 Moon became the first foreigner in United States history to be indicted for alleged irregularities in the very first Income Tax Statement he had ever submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Reverend Moon, who had provided hundreds of millions of dollars by then for education, media, and humanitarian projects in the United States, was indicted for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to evade payment of $7300 in income taxes over a three-year period.
At the age of sixty-four, Moon willingly began an eighteen-month prison sentence in a federal corrections institution in Danbury, Connecticut. I say "willingly" here because, when indicted in July 1981, Reverend Moon was in Korea. No extradition treaty existed at that time between Korea and the United States. Nevertheless, Moon elected to return to the United States to stand trial. After his conviction, he was again granted permission to return to Korea for a Unification Church-related Conference. From a legal perspective, Moon could have chosen simply to remain in Korea with impunity. However, he chose instead to face prison, which allowed him to remain in America and fulfill the mission that he felt that God had given him.
On July 20, 1984, just prior to leaving for prison, he met with his followers and reassured them that "something good" was going to result from his time in Danbury. Indeed, during his trial and his subsequent imprisonment, tens of thousands of America's Christian ministers publicly came forward to stand in solidarity with Reverend Moon. Amicus Curiae briefs were filed on Moon's behalf by the National Council of Churches, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Catholic League of Religious and Civil Rights, the National Bar Association, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the American Baptist Church (U.S.A.), the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.), and more than fifteen other religious, civic, and government organizations. These defenses of Reverend Moon saw the Justice Department's prosecution and conviction of him as a violation of justice and as a threat to religious freedom in the United States. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on the Constitution, wrote very critically of the implicit bias in the government's decision to prosecute Moon:
|I do feel strongly after my subcommittee has carefully reviewed Reverend Moon's tax case from both sides that injustice rather than justice has been served. I do not believe that you or I or anyone else, no matter how innocent, could realistically prevail against the combined forces of the Justice Department and the judicial branch in a case such as Reverend Moon's.
Consider the following. The three Justice Department attor-neys who initially undertook a review of a possible criminal action against Reverend Moon unanimously agreed independently of each other that there was no case. According to a Justice Department review, Reverend Moon's tax liability, even if the government's case could be proven was a mere $7,300 for the three year period. I have been advised that the Justice Department's own guidelines state that criminal tax cases will not be brought if the alleged tax deficiency is lessthan $2,500 per yearfor three years that makes $7,500. Yet he was indicted for $7,300.
Reverend Moon felt appreciative of the support that he received during this trying period; however, he asked sympathizers to look beyond his circumstance and, for a time, even beyond the whittling away of religious freedom in America. He encouraged those disturbed by the handling of his case to attend a CAUSA seminar on Marxism in order to learn more about communism's intellectual and social underpinnings. Due to its militant atheism, Moon maintained that communism constituted a more serious and imminent threat to religious freedom than what he faced in the United States. By attending a CAUSA seminar, he explained, American ministers could see more clearly why communism's continued expansion should concern religious leaders.
Between 1984 and 1986 more than 70,000 ministers responded to Reverend Moon's request and attended CAUSA seminars. During and in the years following his imprisonment in Danbury, CAUSA International and CAUSA USA conducted scores of major regional conferences and hundreds of local CAUSA programs. In 1985 the CAUSA Ministerial Alliance (CMA) was created to reach out to members of the clergy. CAUSA also conducted conferences for Spanish-speaking leaders living in the United States. In 1984 CAUSA USA oversaw a signature campaign where some ten million Americans signed petitions in support of that organization's guiding principles, including the affirmation of the existence of God and a statement of opposition to Marxism-Leninism because of its atheism.
In the meantime, Reverend Moon dutifully served his 18 month prison term in Danbury. Although many of the inmates were initially fearful of him and his unique "brainwashing" skills, they changed their minds as they came to know "the man" and the life he led. When the American pornographic magazine Hustler wrote an article filled with the usual hearsay about Reverend Moon, one of the inmates at Danbury chose a letter to Hustler's editors as the venue to reflect on his experience with Moon:
|I am both an avid reader of Hustler and an inmate at Danbury prison. I was rather amused however by the article on my fellow inmate, Reverend Moon. It seems to me and to a lot of my fellow inmates, that if the article was meant to portray Reverend Moon in a bad light, it missed the mark by miles. Lastly let me say this. I work side by side with Reverend Moon in the kitchen and have seen him do all that has been asked of him without complaint. I wish I could say the same of all the other inmates here, including washing the toilets and mopping floors. He never put on any airs and is just one of the guys. I have my visit on the same day as Reverend Moon and see him to be a devoted husband and loving father. Maybe this country would not be in the bad shape it is in today if we had more men like Reverend Moon around.
The period that Moon spent in Danbury did not just affect the inmates who surrounded him. Numerous individuals from all walks of life chose, during this time, to assume a more public association with Moon and the organizations that he created. Dr. Ralph Abernathy and Dr. James Bevel, two of the key aids to Dr. Martin Luther King, became involved with CAUSA USA and later the American Freedom Coalition.
Ambassador Phillip Sanchez, who had served as Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) under President Nixon and later served as U.S. Ambassador to Colombia and to Honduras, became the President of CAUSA USA. His wisdom, his love of country, his remarkable spontaneity and his sense of humor made him a perfect host and Master of Ceremonies for the scores of CAUSA USA Seminars conducted between 1984 and 1992. Dr. Ronald Godwin, a key aid to the Reverend Jerry Falwell, assumed a major role in the Washington Times Corporation during this period and Mr. Arnaud de Borchgrave, former Newsweek Senior Editor, assumed the role of Editor-in-Chief at the Washington Times. Inspired by clergymen and loyal citizens, hundreds of State legislators also began to attend CAUSA Conferences in 1985.
Many of these legislators would later serve as members of the Advisory Committee of the American Leadership Conference. Speakers at American Leadership Conferences would include Paul Laxalt, Jack Kemp, Geraldine Ferraro, Albert Gore, Eugene McCarthy, Charles Grassley, Jeremiah Denton, and many other prominent American leaders.
If the Washington Times and CAUSA still had critics, it is also clear that they had begun to make their way into the American mainstream by the mid-1980s. Supportive, neutral, or in profound disagreement, major American players begun to grapple with the reality that organizations and institutions founded by Moon were becoming a part of the American religious, philosophical, and sociopolitical landscape. They thus needed to be taken seriously. The Building of a Media Network Policies pursued by Ronald Reagan in his efforts to end the Cold War stalemate met opposition and derision in the establishment media, especially when such policies could be viewed as grounds for rekindling hostilities. President Reagan's effort to follow through on Carter's commitment to deploy ground-launched cruise missiles and Pershing II intermediate range missiles in Western Europe resulted in a storm of protests in the media and in Leftist movements in the United States and in Europe. Reagan's advocacy of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was derisively described as "star wars" in the press and criticized for destabilizing the delicate balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union. Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" met with decided opposition, as did his support of the Nicaraguan contras.
Recognizing the bias in America's mainstream press, Moon began his media efforts in the United States in 19764 through creating a small English language daily newspaper in New York, known first as the News World and later renamed The New York City Tribune. The News World provided the springboard for the eventual creation of the Washington Times in 1982. The print media network created by Moon, especially the Washington Times, provided a new perspective on international politics. Articles in the Times helped to validate the Reagan Doctrine, which stressed that authoritarian governments, whether Left or Right, had to move toward democratic reform. The Reagan administration tied continuing U.S. foreign aid to a requirement that said governments demonstrably commit themselves to a democratic trajectory.
Of the media projects undertaken by Reverend Moon in the United States including The New York City Tribune (1976), New York's Spanish language newspaper Noticias del Mundo (1980), The Washington Times (1982), and Insight Magazine (1985), the founding of The Washington Times had the greatest significance. The Times broke key news stories on Soviet bloc operations that were initially disregarded by the establishment media. It has been said that The Washington Times brought to the front pages what newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post chose to bury on back pages.5 The Times highlighted Soviet, Cuban, and Sandinista human rights violations, did expansive features on the public relations and lobbying activities of left-leaning organizations such as the Christic Institute and the Institute for Policy Studies.
It frequently reported on the Soviets' nuclear build-up and theirsizeable military and logistic aid to national liberation movements in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Coverage by the Times of Nicaragua, Mikhail Gorbachev's 1987 visit to Washington, and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) had special pertinence.
The Washington Times' investigations and reportage lent credence to executive and legislative efforts to support the Nicaraguan Resistance in their efforts to derail that country's move into the Soviet-Cuban sphere of influence. For example, from April 8 to 12, 1985, just prior to a crucial Congressional vote on providing support to the Nicaraguan contras, the Times ran a five-part exposé on how Leftist grassroots networks were pressuring the U.S. Congress to abandon the freedom fighters.6 When on April 24, 1985 the U.S. Congress voted down a bill to provide $14,000,000 in humanitarian aid to the Nicaraguan resistance, dealing a major geopolitical setback to the Reagan administration, The Washington Times took the U.S. Congress to task, announcing on May 6, 1985 its establishment of an infrastructure to seek private humanitarian funding for the contras.7
The Times also announced its decision to provide the first $100,000 seed money for the project. Co-chaired by Jeane Kirkpatrick, William Simon, Midge Decter and Michael Novak, the Times-initiated Nicaraguan Freedom Fund became national newsmuch to the discomfiture of those members of Congress who thought that they had successfully ended U.S. support of the Nicaraguan Resistance.8 In its news coverage, the Times contrasted the Congressional negative vote with Sandinista President Daniel Ortega's trip following the vote to Moscow on April 28-29, 1985. The purpose of Ortega's visit, the Times revealed, was to secure additional Soviet military aid. The Times also reported on new shipments of Soviet military supplies to Nicaragua.9 The Times' strong focus continued. The Congress reversed its position in June of the same year, resulting in a new $27,000,000 commitment of humanitarian assistance to the Nicaraguan Resistance.10 The June vote marked the turning point for Resistance proponents. From that point, the U.S. Congress regularly supported humanitarian aid for those opposing Sandinista rule.
American aid to the Contras, as well as the provision of Stinger missiles to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, which The Washington Times also strongly supported, were decisive factors in the eventual wearingdown of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and in the Soviet decision to abandon Afghanistan.