The Words of the Eby Family
US vs. Sun Myung Moon, et. al.
October 12, 2001
For what my testimony may be worth: I was part of a group of people who did a great deal of work on this case, analyzing the testimony and evidence at great length and in great detail. (We were Unification graduate students at the time.) We were able to show that in no case was there any diversion of public money into any private use. To be sure, that public money was in accounts in Sun Myung Moon's name, and thus there was the appearance of impropriety. For that, the stupidity or arrogance of Unification Movement leaders (possibly including Sun Myung Moon) is to blame. But this is not an unknown practice for American religious leaders, especially the leaders of small churches. This is why so many black church leaders rallied to Sun Myung Moon's side at that time -- he was doing nothing different from what they were doing in terms of their finances and bank accounts, although the size may have been considerably larger in his case.
What that case was really about, in my opinion, was the government's determination to get Sun Myung Moon for something, and their turning to the tax laws and tax evasion as a means to that end. The judge himself said as much during the trial -- he had himself been a former prosecutor, and had used that means to get people who he thought were guilty of greater crimes, but against whom there was not sufficient evidence for prosecution and conviction. This was the way the government finally succeeded against Al Capone and a large number of other mob figures, for example.
If you remember, then-senator (later presidential candidate in 1996) Bob Dole of Kansas had held Senate hearings about the Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon, at which only opponents were allowed to testify. One of the things that Sen. Dole said at the time was that the tax laws could be used to get the Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon if no other means were available. Given his power and prominence, it is reasonable to conclude that either Sen. Dole suggested to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service -- the U.S. Government's tax collecting and tax-prosecuting arm) that they go after the Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon, or that, as a result of what Dole had unleashed, they decided on their own to do this.
My own opinion is that mainly two things were behind this: One was/is resentment by some religious groups, religious leaders, and parents (mainly Jewish and Protestant, but also, to a much lesser extent, Catholic) against Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church because of the Unification Church's heterodoxy and its success in recruiting "their" children (note the implied notion that parents own their children -- a bogus idea)into this new religion ("cult" to them), and thus "taking away" their children from them. The second is fund raising. Because the Unification Church had done so much fund raising throughout the entire country in those years, many people, especially businesses, had been approached dozens and maybe even hundreds of times by Unification Church fundraisers. People grew tired and resentful of this. Also, there was the suspicion that this money was going to line the pockets of high Unification Church officials and afford them a lavish lifestyle. Again, I did not see evidence that this was indeed the case, but that was the view many people held then and many hold to this day.
So, I do not think there was any good evidence at all to support the government's case. I also think that the government's motivation was wrong and ignoble, and that the people behind the government's case were wrong and had base motives.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents