Chapter 1 The Life of the Founder






 Struggle in the Courts



Reverend Moon testifying at the Manhattan District Court (October 22, 1981)

Reverend Moon, who had been coordinating missionary activities in America since arriving there in 1972, deposited funds for this work in the Chase Manhattan Bank. It is customary in America for religious organizations to deposit funds in the name of one representative. The IRS, operating at the bequest of those opposing the Unification Church (including Senator Robert Dole), regarded this fund not as the property of the church but as being owned by Reverend Moon personally. Hence, a sum of 112,000 dollars, the amount of interest which had accrued to the account over the three years from 1973 to 1975 and which had not been reported, was also regarded as Reverend Moon's personal income. The IRS sought Reverend Moon's indictment on charges of tax evasion and on October 15, 1981, the New York District Attorney's Office formally charged Reverend Moon.

The Public gallery during the trial    The public gallery during the trial

On October 22, 1981, Reverend Moon personally appeared at the District Court in Manhattan, New York, and testified that the fund should be exempted from the imposition of tax because it was used for religious and missionary activities, and, consequently, that he was innocent of all the charges against him. However, on May 18, 1982, the jury of the New York District Court convicted him on all charges, and, based on this verdict, on July 16 of the same year, Reverend Moon was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment and a 25,000 dollars fine.

Members in Tokyo protesting Reverend Moon's innocence

The verdict caused an uproar. On December 3, 1982, forty religious and civil groups filed amicus briefs protesting the conviction of Reverend Moon. However, on September 13, 1983, the verdict of the District Court was upheld in the Federal Court of Appeals, and on May 14 of the following year, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to consider an appeal.
Reverend Moon's attitude in confronting the situation is clearly expressed in the following words:


 Press Conference on Returning to Korea

November 1, 1981; Kimpo Airport, Seoul


Indictment for Tax Evasion


Suffering in Danvury Prison


Victory in Danbury Prison