40 Years in America

Ideological Armament

Dr. Bo Hi Pak speaks with ministers at a CAUSA Ministerial Alliance in 1984.

Apart from being typed as a Korean evangelist and industrialist, Rev. Moon was often described as a fervent anti-Communist in the popular press. While there were several important differences between his approach and that of reactionary "right-wing" activists, the label was not entirely unwarranted.

A forcefully expressed opposition to atheistic communism figured prominently in Rev. Moonís speeches and activities. This also had been the case from the beginnings of the movement in America. It ran through Col. Bo Hi Pakís early efforts to set up Radio of Free Asia, Rev. Moonís meetings with former President Eisenhower and various U.S. elected officials, the establishment of the Freedom Leadership Foundation, the movementís National Prayer and Fast for the Watergate Crisis, Rev. Moonís Bicentennial speeches at Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument, CARPís campus activities, and the pages of The Washington Times. Certainly, communists of various hues viewed the movement as a threat and opposed Rev. Moon. There were efforts by members of the International Workers Party, Trotskyite and Marxist militants, and Yippies to disrupt his speeches in the U.S. In 1978, the Japanese Communist Party called upon its members to "isolate and annihilate" the movement and characterized its efforts to "stamp-out" the churchís anti-Communist work as a "Historical War for Justice." And by the early 1980s, Rev. Moon had attracted the attention of media, commentators, and leadership within the Soviet bloc.

In addition to typing him as an anti-Communist, there were persistent efforts to depict Rev. Moon as a tool of the KCIA, a stooge of American capitalists, and a fascist warmonger. These depictions were flawed and unfair, but perhaps to be expected. Nevertheless, they hindered the movementís work and lay behind a U.S. congressional investigation of charges that the movement was an agent of influence for the Republic of Korea. Although exonerated, the movement was not discriminating in its choice of anti-communist "fellow travelers" and had to disassociate itself from unsavory allies on several occasions.

For example, Rev. Moon was a supporter of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL)ís 1970 meeting in Tokyo, Japan and provided substantial financial backing. However, by 1974 at WACLís Mexico City gathering, it became obvious that the organization was anti-Semitic, and the movement withdrew its contingent. The movement had a similar experience during the 1980s with the French National Front Party leader La Pen with whom it also disassociated. Likewise, some of the movementís contacts with Latin American leaders during the early 1980s read like a dictatorsí hall of fame: Augusto Pinochet of Chile; Rios Montt of Guatemala; Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay, and various Argentine junta leaders. Some of the these associations were counterproductive, causing the movement to backtrack and costing it later support, even among mainstream conservatives and certainly among moderates and liberals. Still, given communist inroads during the late 1970s, particularly in the Americas, it may have strategically necessary to cast a wide anti-communist net.

In any event, Rev. Moon had little chance of being regarded as "politically correct" regardless of his associations. In fact, cold war polemics were such that simply supporting a conservative, anti-communist American President such as Ronald Reagan was sufficient to certify oneís fascist credentials in the eyes of the eraís self-styled progressives. Given these realities, the movement evidenced a remarkable ability to reach and "ideologically arm" a wide variety of audiences during the early 1980s, including a large number of Black clergy who were by no means traditional anti-communists. In order to understand how this was possible, it is necessary to consider the movementís message, its mode of presentation, and the particular context of the time.

As already suggested, there were several important differences between the movementís message and that of reactionary, right-wing anti-communists. One difference was that the movement actually had a message. In the case of many reactionary anti-communists, there might be slogans but little more in the way of specific content. South Korea, for example, which as a consequence of its unresolved 1950-53 conflict was probably was the most virulently anti-communist society in the world, prohibited the publication of Marxist texts into the 1970s for fear that it might influence its citizenry. Though the Unification movement originated there, it maintained that communist doctrines needed to be understood and positively refuted. In other words, it understood the fundamental conflict was "a conflict of ideas -- a conflict of ideology." Unification texts went into great detail, probing Marxís labor theory of value, theory of surplus value, laws of economic movement, dialectical materialism, the materialist view of history, and so on, offering positive refutations.

A second difference between the movementís message and that of reactionary anti-communists was that it did "not seek to preserve the status quo." Rev. Moon decried selfishness as an "equally vicious evil" and proclaimed that he was bringing a philosophy that "like a two-edged sword...can cut through the falseness of communism, and...through spiritual and social corruption." In this respect, movement presentations offered a critique of "confusion in the Western system of values" in addition to its critique of Marxist-Leninist ideology. Its internationalism and racial inclusiveness also were more akin to the Left than to the Right. A third difference between the movementís message and more reactionary forms of anti-communism was its evangelical and conversionist thrust. In other words, the movement did not preach solely to the already converted. It expected to convince even the most hardened Marxists. This was the rationale behind its planned "March on Moscow" as well as its outreach to Black clergy and others who were less than traditional anti-communists.

The movement invested heavily in its effort to ideologically arm the West, and its presentations were increasingly sophisticated. Initially, it recruited and trained a group of Unification Theological Seminary graduates and seminarians to develop educational programs. However, as was the case in the movementís outreach to scientists, theologians and journalists, their efforts were soon supplemented by specialists who helped organize conferences, edit journals, and develop new plans. The movement also prepared a headquarters in the Manhattan Tiffany Building, which, in addition to a main hall with seating for 200, had 22 offices. Included among these were libraries for research, an institute, and multi-media rooms for the preparation of lecture slides and diagrams.

The same conference-networking techniques were utilized that had been successful in other fields of endeavor, with the addition of high-tech visual and technical equipment. The high-tech effect may have been to offset and energize heavily philosophical elaborations of the Marxist dialectic and economic theories. In presentations, the movement utilized theatre-sized screens and as many as eighteen computer-controlled slide projectors to dramatic effect. In addition to its message and mode of presentation, social and political circumstances enhanced the movementís ability to reach and ideologically arm a wide variety of audiences after 1980. The threat of further communist inroads into the Americas following the fall of Nicaragua to the Sandanistas in 1979 was one of the most important of these circumstances. Rev. Moon took this situation seriously enough to cancel his sixtieth-birthday celebration, an auspicious occasion in the Orient. He instead sent Col. Bo Hi Pak, who was to serve as master of ceremonies for the celebration, to Latin America with instructions to establish contacts and offer movement resources in educating young people, the military, and civic leaders so as to avoid a fate similar to Nicaragua. After establishing a number of high-level contacts, Rev. Moon set up CAUSA

International, from the Latin word for "cause," which became the movementís major ideological affiliate during the 1980s. Bolivia was the first country to express interest, and in December 1980, CAUSA U.S.-based lecturers traveled to a tiny hamlet in the mountains of Bolivia to lecture to forty-five students who previously had been indoctrinated in Marxist theory. The overwhelming success of that program led to seminars in Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. In December 1980, CAUSA was approached by the government of Bolivia to conduct seminars for 10,000 college freshmen. In 1982, CAUSA held its first seminar in Peru; a regional seminar in Acapulco, Mexico for representatives of Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Guatemala and Columbia; and its first Pan-American convention in Montvideo, Uruguay where the movement began to invest heavily, purchasing a bank, hotel and daily newspaper. In 1983, CAUSA educated several thousand Honduran union leaders, teachers and government officials. The movement also undertook social service projects under CAUSA World Services. In 1984, CAUSA supported the founding of the Association for Unity of Latin America (AULA), which sought to revive the ideals of Simon Bolivar.

Two circumstances facilitated CAUSAís advance in the United States. Ronald Reaganís ascendancy was the first of these. While Reaganís characterization of the Soviet Union as the "evil empire" and judgment that Marxism will end up on the "ash heap of history" did not exactly make anti-communism fashionable, his philosophy had affinities to the CAUSA position and stimulated interest in its programs. The U.S. governmentís prosecution and eventual jailing of Rev. Moon on tax-evasion charges in 1984, ironically, was a second circumstance that advanced CAUSA USAís work. His case, more than any other movement initiative, provoked a sympathetic reaction among American clergy who objected to his treatment. A number of rallies for religious freedom were held and more than 7,000 ministers signed a statement of solidarity with him. According to one account, "When numerous ministers inquired how best to support him during his imprisonment, Rev. Moon responded that they should attend a CAUSA seminar." This, he explained, was because "the most serious threat to religious freedom on the world-wide level was hard-line Marxism- Leninism." As a consequence, during Rev. Moonís thirteen-month imprisonment, "more than 7,000 ministers attended CAUSA seminars." In 1984 alone, CAUSA sponsored 34 major conferences and 290 local programs. CAUSA USA also supported the founding of the International Security Council (ISC) which in two conferences brought together more than 200 former senior military officers, diplomats, government officials and scholars that year.

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