Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 17 - Twentieth-Century Crucifixion: Maneuvered Into Prison [Part 2/6]
Who Does the Money in the Account Belong To?
In the criminal trial, the plaintiff was the United States and the defendant was Reverend Moon. What this amounted to was a declaration of war by the most powerful nation on earth against one individual, the leader of the Unification Church.
It was a standoff between this Korean religious leader and the United States. This fact itself -- that the United States put this one man on trial -- reveals the true significance of Reverend Moon. A religious leader born in Korea had risen up and made the strongest nation in the world tremble.
Nevertheless, the indictment was so unfair, almost childish in its unreasonableness, that if it were truly known by the public, almost no one could help but be amazed.
The New York District Attorney's Office convened a grand jury and subpoenaed Takeru Kamiyama, Reverend Moon's Japanese financial assistant. The focus of the grand jury investigation centered on the contention that Reverend Moon had not declared as income, nor paid tax on, the interest accrued from the savings in a savings account and the stocks in Tongil Industries Corporation and dividends from them. The account, by the way, was one opened at a Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City in March 1973. The savings totaled roughly $1.6 million over a three-year period (from 1973 to 1975), and the interest generated was approximately $112,000. Add to this the some $50,000 from the stocks and dividends in Tong-il Industries and you have an income of roughly $160,000. The prosecution's argument was that Reverend Moon intentionally avoided making a tax return on this income; in other words, he purposefully evaded paying the tax.
The central issue here was who did the savings account and the stocks actually belong to. Clearly, they belonged to the Unification Church. In fact, they were funds donated by Unification Church believers from other parts of the world for the purpose of funding church activities, and given in trust to the church founder, namely Reverend Moon, for keeping. Accordingly, both the savings and the stocks were property of the Unification Church, which had tax-exempt status as a religious body. Naturally, those funds should also have been tax exempt. In fact, for years, Reverend Moon had engaged the well-known accounting firm of Price Waterhouse, and his personal income had been scrupulously declared, the tax being paid every year.
From the start, Reverend Moon had deposited the funds donated by the worldwide church and church businesses into this Chase Manhattan savings account. Tong-il Industries was a church business as well. The prosecutors, however, maliciously and falsely took issue with these facts, asserting that the savings were Reverend Moon's private savings, that he intentionally avoided reporting them to evade taxes. The evidence for this, they asserted, was that the name on the account was Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Of course, there was no such wrongdoing, the simple reason being that it was, and still is, standard practice in the United States for ministers and religious leaders to hold church donations and income in bank accounts under the minister's name. This long-standing practice is common to many churches and denominations throughout the nation, and up until the Moon case, the government had never contended it.
For example, a famous New York Catholic monastery, Saint Patrick's, holds funds totaling more than a thousand times $160,000 deposited in the name of Cardinal Terrence Cooke, Roman Catholic archbishop of New York and the man responsible for the monastery. However, because the interest generated by those savings belong to the monastery, it is not personal income and apparently it is not declared as such, nor is any tax paid on it. As a further example, it is a well-known fact that many black ministers in the southern states handle all their churches' financial matters using bank accounts held in the ministers' names. Naturally, when Reverend Moon opened a hank account in his own name and deposited Unification Church funds in it for keeping, that cannot he considered illegal, nor can it constitute tax evasion.
But since the prosecutors were unable to snare Reverend Moon in any other matter, they used the name of the bank account as a foundation for building their case.
Even if we concede the government's contention, for the sake of argument, and posit that the account was actually Reverend Moon's, the amount of taxes owed on that $160,000 would amount to about $7,300. The IRS could have simply requested that amount in the form of a penalty tax.
I myself have been audited on several occasions and have received a letter stating there was nothing wrong several times. Every year before April 15, the American people calculate their taxes for the previous year, submit a tax return, and pay the appropriate taxes. Many people pay more than they are required to. When the IRS examines the tax returns and finds any that appear inaccurate, it carries out a tax audit and either issues a tax penalty or returns the excess to the taxpayer. If the tax penalty is unjust, the taxpayer may even file a civil suit against the government. Millions of citizens respond to the IRS investigations; sometimes they are required to pay a penalty, and other times they receive the overpaid amount back.
This sort of thing is what one would expect from a taxation system established by the democratic process. But what had become of that here? In the case of Reverend Moon, the IRS did not issue a single notice informing him that it was imposing a tax penalty. Instead, the government came out swinging with charges of a criminal act and a full-fledged court trial. How often has this happened in the course of American history? My guess is, not once.
The only cases where the government authorities instigate a criminal trial for tax evasion are when there is direct evidence of non-disclosure of income for the purpose of tax avoidance, or when the charge is particularly severe. Reverend Moon's case appears to have been pursued in the same context. In other words, the government asserted that he "intentionally avoided declaring his income." But this assertion is completely unreasonable. Would a person intent on hiding income and avoiding taxes open a bank account with Chase Manhattan in the very heart of New York City and then deposit cash brought in from overseas, cash for which no records previously existed in the United States? Even a schoolboy would not attempt that kind of foolishness. The normal course of action would be to deposit the funds in a foreign account or just keep it hidden as cash. This reality alone is strong proof that the Justice Department and the prosecutors -- who called the grand jury -- are guilty of using unscrupulous methods to pursue their fixed goal.
But that is not all. The authorities even stooped to acts that directly conflict with the law. For example, there were substantial legal grounds that the Justice Department tax experts who investigated the case were united in their stance that indictment was unfeasible. The Department of justice has a regulation to the effect that in a case of tax evasion, if the amount involved is less than $2,500 per year, a criminal indictment is not issued. In Reverend Moon's case, if taxes were due, the amount would total less than $7,500 over three years. In other words, the amount was less than $2,500 per year. So the fact that the department head contravened internal regulations and insisted on indictment, for political purposes, means that the one breaking the law was not Reverend but the Justice Department. This is truly a frightening thought.
This, however, is not all. The U.S. government was very aware that Reverend Moon was investing all kinds of resources in America with the motive of bringing the nation back to life. In the case of other denominations, there is usually a stream of funds flowing out of the United States for missionary work around the world. On the contrary, the Unification Church was bringing huge amounts from around the world to the United States.
Let us look at some concrete examples, described in Inquisition.
By the end of the year , I had amassed a virtual mountain of documents, literally thousands of pages of internal records, and I had spent at least a couple of hundred hours listening to church officials and their employees. And what did I learn? ...
On the same subjects of money and taxes, I was flabbergasted to learn just how much money the church pumps into the Unites States: easily $100 million or more a year, mostly from Korea and Japan, and that money is also taxed... The church fishing operations are profitable but the proceeds from those businesses -- all fully taxed -- remain in the United States to support the Unification Church's own charitable activities.
And what are those charitable works?
Again, I was amazed to learn that the Unification Church has given away millions to a number of inner city churches: poor, black, ghetto churches. And if the private, internal correspondence is to be believed, there were and are no strings attached to the donations, no attempts made at recruitment or even acknowledgement that the funds came from Moon.
The Unification Church has also spent millions more underwriting the activities of national black leaders, men like the late Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and has supplied large-scale research funding for organizations and individuals involved with the study of First Amendment rights, constitutional law, racial discrimination, ethics, the sciences, politics, the arts, and culture.
All of these contributions, literally tens of millions of dollars, were donated without fanfare -- no press releases, pictures of people holding checks, or other PR gimmicks -- and, once more, without any indication of any quid pro quo, implied or otherwise. (Inquisition, 20-21)
The activities in which Reverend Moon has invested in America are multi-faceted, and Sherwood's description touches on only one part of them. However, these brief passages do yield a vivid picture of what attitude Reverend Moon took with regard to American society.
In my own experience, I can point to the roughly one billion dollars invested in the Washington Times during the paper's first ten years, when I was publisher. Not one penny of that amount was derived from sources within the United States; it was all funds donated from around the world in response to Reverend Moon's call.
All these facts should make one thing evidently clear. Reverend Moon was a man who exerted every imaginable effort to resurrect America and thwart the communization of the world. And this was the man they charged with evading paying a tax for a measly $7,300 with the intention of pocketing the results. It was an incredibly unjust action, and the method the U.S. government used was base, to say the least.
Once the American religious community found out about the government's cowardly behavior, it rose up and fought on behalf of Reverend Moon.
Indictment in the U.S. District Court
The government, as I explained, had searched for a way to expel Reverend Moon from the country by fair means or foul. In the end, however, they could find nothing, and for want of any real grounds, they had no choice but to implement a dubious indictment. The grand jury drafted an indictment on thirteen counts and obtained authorization from the Justice Department to proceed.
On October 15, 1981, the U.S. District Attorney's Office issued an indictment for Reverend Moon and Mr. Takeru Kamiyama; they were to appear in court on October 22. The date was chosen after the authorities confirmed that Reverend Moon was in South Korea. It was all calculated. With no extradition treaty between the United States and South Korea, there would be no need to force Reverend Moon, who was not a U.S. citizen, to return and face trial.
If Reverend Moon had simply said, "Why should I have to face such an unjust trial? I won't go to America," then everything would have come to a close. The Department of Justice, the prosecutor's office, and other anti-Moon forces could have smiled in satisfaction at a job well done, popped a few champagne corks, and made a toast to having gotten rid of that "troublesome fellow" from South Korea.
Reverend Moon addressed a group of 1,000 in Foley Square across the street from the U.S. District Court in New, York on Oct. 22, 1981. He said, "I would not be standing here today if my skin was white and my religion was Presbyterian. I am here today only because my skin is yellow and my religion is Unification Church."
But that is not what happened. They hadn't really understood what kind of historic figure Reverend Moon is. He grabbed the first flight the day after the indictment was issued.
I have committed no crime and I have nothing to fear," he said. "My mission comes first. God has entrusted this nation to my care. If I just dump America and go my own way, what would become of her? I didn't go to America for the sake of my own personal happiness. Instead, I went there to fulfill my mission. As yet, that mission is not finished. Do you think an unjust trial could turn me back? Nothing on the earth can stop me from fulfilling my mission.
October 22, 1981, was the day that Reverend Moon had to appear in court. That morning, we erected a large platform at Foley Square, the large park across the street from the courthouse. At the rally site, we had stretched a large banner that said, "We will never give in to religious persecution."
By about ten o'clock, a throng of supporters some one thousand strong had gathered. Many clergymen who had aligned themselves with our struggle against oppression and injustice were up on the platform.
Presently Reverend Moon came up on stage together with his family. The crowd broke out in cheers and applause. It was like we were welcoming a great general who was preparing to leave for the battlefront. When he spoke, his words were truly amazing and struck deep into the hearts of all who listened.
I must tell you that I am innocent. I have committed no crime. I have nothing to hide. My life has been an open book. I am not afraid of the trial. On the contrary, I welcome it because I know that through this judicial process, justice will be done and the truth will prevail. I shall vindicate not only myself but the millions of people around the world who are suffering because of this unfair government prosecution.
I have respect and confidence in the United States judicial system.
My conscience is clear. God is my vindicator. However, I forgive my adversaries if God finds them to be guilty instead of me.
I would not be standing here today if my skin was white and my religion was Presbyterian. I am here today only because my skin is yellow and my religion is Unification Church.
My dear brethren and my dear friends, today we prepare to meet a new challenge. Let us make this day a day of unity -- a day of new commitment. Let us pledge again to fight against all evil and injustice.
It was a tremendous declaration, a veritable emotional crucible. Everyone present could feel how sturdy his spirit was. We could see how great and vast was the love of our leader as he faced the upcoming trial. The Unification Church members, whose fighting morale had suffered heavily due to the indictment, once again felt their fighting spirit rise up. As we sang the song "We Shall Overcome!" it seemed like, with our voices, we were the masters of all New York City.
Reverend Moon, accompanied by his lawyer, went into court. Inside, Judge Gerard Goettel (the presiding judge) had taken his seat at the bench.
Reverend Moon said only one sentence before the judge, which I translated into English:
"Your Honor, I am not guilty."
As if to break the courtroom into pieces, I pelted the words out together with the anger and rage that surged up from the base of my stomach. It was one of the most gratifying instances in all my experience as an interpreter.
Reverend Moon didn't utter a single other word in defense of himself during the entire hearing. That one sentence will remain as the first and last words he spoke in this historic courtroom.
The hearing finished shortly after. I could see how the prosecutors, far from being confident and pleased, were pale in the face of my mentor's great seriousness. I myself wondered what kind of schemes they were planning to spring next.
With Reverend Moon's words -- "I am not guilty" -- our court struggle was formally begun. Both the prosecutors and the defendants began preparations for the court trial in earnest. The actual trial took place for six weeks, beginning from April 1, 1982.
During the period in which both sides were preparing for the trial, Reverend Moon traveled to South Korea. In November 1981, he convened the tenth International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS) in Seoul. When he arrived at Kimpo Airport, he made the following statement before the VIP guests who had gathered to greet him and the reporters who had turned out to cover his return.
Distinguished friends and members of the press, let me thank you for waiting here until this late hour to welcome me back to South Korea.
... If we look at the providence of God today, we can see that if the United States of America does not snap out of its languor and become the true nation of God, there is no way to save the world from the encroaching evil hand of communism.
I have never stood in the position to receive from America. Since I arrived there, I have devoted the entire efforts of the worldwide Unification Church movement for the sake of America. The United States is widely known as a rich nation, a nation that lends assistance and support to other parts of the world. However, in the case of the Unification Church, the opposite is the truth. Both spiritually and materially, the United States receives assistance and support from the worldwide Unification Church. If it is a crime to love America in this way and to serve America in this way, then I am prepared, without hesitation, to pay the price of that crime. I will not shy away from undergoing even the agony of crucifixion.
If there are two faults we can find in that immense and beautiful nation that is the United States, the first would be racial discrimination and the second religious prejudice. Despite the fact that America, under the governance of Abraham Lincoln, paid the price in blood for the stain of racial discrimination, it still remains as an unresolved problem. In the modern era, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. fought against this injustice and he too was cut down as a sacrifice, an offering for the cause. Today the Unification Church continues that same fight. ...
I thank God for the opportunity provided me by this indictment that I might fight injustice on the world stage and advance the tradition by moving ahead with courage and determination. I am also grateful for this opportunity to show to the world the fighting courage and native dignity of Korea. Awake or asleep, I will fight for the honor of all Koreans.
Moreover, I would like to thank all my compatriots, both at home and in the United States, for their warm and enthusiastic support and encouragement.
I firmly believe that God will bless my homeland, the Republic of Korea, and reveal her qualities to the world. Thank you very much.
The Forced Jury Trial and the Exploitation of Religious Prejudice
Before a trial can start, the first thing a judge has to do is select a jury of twelve members.
Neither South Korea nor Japan has the jury system. There, the judge makes a judgment according to the law and decides on the punishment after the trial is heard in court. By contrast, in the United States, the judge cannot decide the innocence or guilt of the accused. In every case, a jury of twelve individuals discusses the merits of the case, no matter how many days it takes, and then unanimously returns a decision of either guilty or not guilty. The judge is unconditionally bound to follow the verdict of the jury. If that verdict is guilty, the judge's function is then simply to decide the sentence.
The jury system was originally founded with the best of motives: to protect those who were weak and vulnerable from becoming victims of state oppression or tyranny. However, now, in this modern age with our information culture, the jury system has virtually devolved into an American-style "kangaroo court"; some critics have gone so far as to label it (quite disdainfully) an evil and outdated practice left over from the nineteenth century.
There are several reasons the jury system has become less than effective. The first reason can be found in the monopoly of the mass media. In societies where media power is at its zenith, such as the United States today, no one can be exactly sure what is real and what is false. Black and white become blurred. Everything is scrutinized and judged by the media, and society has fallen under the illusion that the image that the mass media create is the actual reality; the images become the actual identities of the individuals or groups involved. This state of affairs is often referred to as the dictatorship of the media.
Particularly at the time of Reverend Moon's trial, atheistic humanism was flourishing and leftist forces were experiencing a sustained growth in all sectors of society. The Soviet Union, kingpin of the communist world, was totally focused on its plans to ensnare the Western media. Its goal was world communization, and it employed whatever methods it saw fit in pursuit of that goal. The resultant reality was that all conservative, anti-communist, and even supra-communist (VOC) elements in society were thoroughly lambasted by a media that had been heavily imbued with a pervasive communist influence. Anti-communism and conservative views were virtually tried and judged as a form of social evil. The American mass media in particular were extremely liberal and, in their ignorance, they were cajoled and manipulated by the communist powers.
In this situation, when we ask a jury to decide matters of guilt or innocence, what kind of results can we expect? From the start, each member of the jury is subject to continual contamination in the form of irresponsible or prejudicial information served up by the media. The answer is obvious. We are playing with fire.
There is another important reason why the jury system has been described as decidedly nineteenth century. It lies in the nature of modern law. In today's legal world, logic and reason are far from black and white. The truth or falsehood of a legal situation can often only be ascertained through a complicated and intricate process. In particular, the workings of constitutional law or tax law in the United States today are so difficult that even the experts find them difficult to under-stand. In fact, few citizens can even fill out their own tax return; most use an accountant.
When a criminal case is tried in the jury system, twelve individuals are selected from a pool of adults composed of housewives, laborers, engineers and technicians, professionals, unemployed persons, and so on, both men and women -- in short, members of the general population. Those with prior knowledge of the case are excluded from participating on the ground that it would be difficult for them to make an impartial judgment. The same goes for persons with a strong prejudice toward the case or the participants. However, if prejudice has already pervaded all quarters of the society, one is faced with trouble no matter how much one attempts to find an unbiased jury.
In a trial, the jurors have to observe all the tedious and, at times, highly technical details presented by both the prosecution and the defense. They then have to deliver a fair verdict, but of course, this is no easy matter. It is unreasonable to expect the average individual to follow high-level law proceedings and grasp subtle nuances after having been suddenly and unexpectedly dragged into court with no preparatory knowledge whatsoever. Without any professional or specialized knowledge, jurors may easily be swayed by a prosecution that strategically seeks to agitate them or by arguments weaved with guile and craft. It is also easy for them to be moved by their own bias or prejudices. They may be more influenced by the atmosphere prevailing in the courtroom than the legal facts of the case. Because of fundamental short-coming in the jury system, a defendant has the right to request a trial by judge if he or she does not wish to be tried by jury.
Kiyosi Nasu explains the situation in the following way:
Originally, the American jury system was intended to be, as far as possible, not of any disadvantage to the defendant, and if possible to protect him and be of benefit to him. At the same time, it has been maintained up until the present with the aim of providing fair and impartial judgments. However, in the case of the trial of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the opposite was true, and it was much more likely that a severe and disadvantageous verdict would be returned. In such cases, the defendant may request to be tried not by a jury, but by a judge.
(Translation from Okjunge Kuseju, 89)
Reverend Moon elected to forgo a jury trial and instead requested a trial by judge. But what do you think happened? The prosecution obstinately opposed this request. It insisted that a jury try his case. The essence of the conspiracy was to use the power of negative, critical public opinion to win the case against the leader of the Unification Church. From the very start, the prosecution sought to have an unsophisticated jury return a verdict based on prevailing public sentiment.
The prosecution knew full well that innumerable media sources had endlessly slandered Reverend Moon, portraying him as a figure of monstrous evil and passing that image off as truth. Indeed, they counted on it. Unfortunately, the tactics employed by the government were crafty, cowardly, and thoroughly unscrupulous.
From among a pool of two hundred candidates, Judge Goettel selected twelve jury members who were, according to his own words, "People who don't read much, don't talk much and don't know much..." He selected only individuals who were among the ignorant and unenlightened. The twelve jurors were composed of ten housewives and two male office workers.
As expected, the jurors bore a deep-stated prejudice toward Reverend Moon. For example, the jury foreman, who led the discussion and deliberations of the jury, voiced her prejudiced views before the start of the trial. She went so far as to say that Reverend Moon had to be kicked out of the country. Another fact shows the jury's prejudice: It took five days to return the final verdict when, in fact, it had decided in just two days. The delay in announcing the verdict was a deliberate performance designed so that there would he no appearance of prejudice. In other words, they were quite aware that they were moved by prejudicial factors.
In hindsight, it is obvious that this trial was the result of a meticulously weaved plot from start to finish. We were snared in a trap laid by the government, with no real option but to succumb to their machinations. In the end, they won the day with their underhanded and cowardly methods.
In truth, though, they had won only for the moment. In the long view, they were defeated in the great court of the human conscience. They won the battle, but they lost the war. Public opinion was aroused. Many agreed the United States had gone too far. Reverend Moon became a hero. All the government's scheming become unstuck and, bit by bit, fell to pieces.
That the United States committed a transgression is now an incontrovertible fact. It will forever have to hear the shame of its treatment of this prophet of God. It committed a historical crime by throwing the savior of humankind into prison. This was a terrible offense before God and humanity.
During the six weeks of the trial, the prosecution tried its absolute best to paint Reverend Moon as a businessman / industrialist. This was their strategy. If it could establish that he was nothing more than a businessman and that the church was simply a dodge for increasing profits, then the tax-exempt status granted the church assets would not be applicable. Thus, it wanted to prove that
(a) Reverend Moon was an entrepreneur,
(b) he had no valid claim to a tax-exempt status, and
(c) he had failed to pay income tax that he should have been liable for.
Therefore, the prosecution sought to discount the image of Reverend Moon as a religious leader any way it could. He was called to judgment as a capitalist, a man of industry, and not as a minister. In no way was it going to allow the defense that he was a religious leader.
Meanwhile, for the six weeks that he was on trial, Reverend Moon sat peacefully but busily in a courthouse rest area, going about the work of building the Kingdom of Heaven. He appeared to be a person who had forgotten that he was being tried in a criminal court next door. He said not a single word in self-defense throughout the entire proceedings. He already knew which way the case would go. He had no interest in the battle but was putting his focus on the war, namely, developing God's worldwide providence.
At the time, Reverend Moon was investing his attention on the Washington Times, the paper he intended to save America. He had announced the creation of the Times on New Year's Day in the same year as the court case. Often when he came out of the court during recess or for lunch, I would give him a report about the Times and receive his instructions.
This was really an amazing thing. It doesn't seem to make sense if one looks at it in the ordinary frame of thinking. On one hand, you have America fabricating a crime where none existed in order to put Reverend Moon in jail or get him out of the country. On the other, you have Reverend Moon, apparently oblivious to this, pouring his whole heart and soul into a venture designed to rescue America. The government was seeking to impugn him by asserting that he evaded paying $7,300 in taxes, and every day he was laying out millions, doing his utmost to defend the nation from the communists' ambitions. If this isn't the very image of a saint, I don't know what is. We have a saying in Korea: "How can sparrows understand what the phoenix is thinking?" (Translators note: "How can the small minded understand what the great have in mind?") Nevertheless, Reverend Moon did not begrudge this ignorance or lack of recognition. He had already forgiven America a long time before. His credo is, "Love your enemies."
In this manner, six weeks passed and the trial came to a close. The jurors made a show of deliberating for five days, and returned the verdict: guilty. The date was May 18, 1982. When the verdict came out, Reverend Moon didn't even flinch. It was as if he knew that this day would come when he first arrived on America's shores in 1971. "Even if I have to suffer the tribulations of prison, I have to save America," I remember him repeating.
On July 16, 1982, at eleven o'clock, Judge Goettel passed sentence: eighteen months in prison, $25,000 in fines.
Although in winning the case it appeared that the prosecution and the government had won, in fact, they had dismally lost. Their most desired goals had been to eliminate the Unification Church's tax-exempt status and to strip away Reverend Moon's green card status. They failed in these two areas.
In his explanation of the sentence, however, Judge Goettel said something that on second glance was unacceptable. Although he stated that he thought it was true that significant and public people like Reverend Moon cannot be dealt normal punishments, he went on to say:
If Reverend Moon gets a suspended sentence, there are going to be millions and millions of people in the general public who will say very skeptically that when the poor get caught even for minor amounts, even for welfare cheating, they go to jail, but when the rich and powerful get caught and can hire the outstanding kind of lawyers that have represented the defendants in this case, persons who can speak as eloquently on their behalf as Mr. Charles Stillman and Professor Laurence II. Tribe just did, that the rich and the powerful go free.
He concluded that he felt he had no choice under the circumstances but to impose the prison sentence. In other words, he would have preferred to suspend the sentence but he did not want to give the public the impression that the law doesn't extend to the rich.
What kind of a preposterous statement was this? At first glance, it seemed quite reasonable, but in fact the statement was based on the premise that the defendant was guilty. That verdict itself was obtained outside the constraints of the legal system, but the judge showed no awareness of this fact. He was overly concerned with public opinion and demonstrated no sign of being motivated by his own convictions.
Originally, a judge is supposed to be neutral, the person furthest from prejudice or other one-sided convictions. But, incredibly enough, Judge Goettel displayed blatant prejudice toward Reverend Moon throughout the trial.
On the very first day of the trial Goettel sent shivers down Stillman's and Andrew Lawler's spines with an out-of-the-blue comparison of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to Atlanta, Georgia, mass murderer Wayne Williams. Then, almost in the same breath, the good judge shifted into high gear comparing the Korean cleric with everyone's favorite villain, Adolph Hitler.
As had as those remarks were, Goettcl was only warming up. By the trial's end, he had waxed analogous several more times, comparing syndicates run by the likes of Al Capone, to the ultimate Dickensian crook, Fagin, who used little children to steal for him and, last but hardly least, to Richard Milhous Nixon and his Watergate debacle.
Even from the very first moments of the trial, it was clear that the defense lawyers were fighting an uphill, losing battle with the court. (Inquisition, 176)
How could a U.S. judge have such prejudice? When I saw this, I couldn't suppress the rage I felt inside. From that time forward, I have regarded prejudice as an illness. I could only look at him and others like him in pity and think to myself, "Those folks are ill."
However, there was one important thing that Judge Goettel did that deserves some appreciation. When he announced his decision on the sentence, he stated the following: "This decision [the sentence] cannot be exploited or used by the United States government as grounds to restrict the rights of Reverend Moon, or to limit his public activities." Thus Reverend Moon was protected from the Justice Department's machinations to prevent his religious activities by either divesting him of his permanent resident status in America or restricting his travel. With these words, Judge Goettel made it impossible for the government to deport or exile Reverend Moon based on the conviction. It was an important direction that thwarted the designs of the Justice Department. In the end, the U.S. Department of Justice lost even though they won. After all was said and done, all the trial had accomplished was to make Reverend Moon a hero.