The Words of the Ward Family
Rush to History: Sun Myung Moon and the End of Soviet Communism
Thomas J. Ward and Frederick A. Swarts
In two dizzying years the world witnessed the epic dissolution of the Soviet empire, beginning with Solidarity's victory in Poland on June 4, 1989, punctuated by the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and culminating with the implosion of the Soviet Union itself December 25, 1991. The sudden collapse caught most by surprise: the working hypothesis held that communism would remain a dominant fixture in the world order. Those committed to ending the communist threat were themselves unprepared for the precipitous nature of its demise.
Since the conclusion of the Cold War, the rush has been on among scholars, analysts, and pundits to identify the key personalities and factors which contributed to the Soviet empire's disintegration. Competing theories abound, with fundamental roles having been ascribed to Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Podhoretz, Alexander Solzhenitzen and Sidney Hook, as well as to freedom fighters, refuseniks and populist forces such as Solidarity. Some, in their interpretation of the various developments, have opted to depersonalize the process, crediting phenomena such as evolving patterns of economic development, or the information revolution.
Lacunae in the postmortem literature on communism's collapse have already begun to be noted. Nevertheless, despite voluminous analysis and commentary, omissions still need to be addressed. Our intent in this article is to point out one particularly salient case. During the Cold War, Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon and the various organizations which he founded appear frequently and conspicuously in numerous and diverse facets of the war against communism. Literally billions of dollars and a plethora of organizations and activities committed to winning the Cold War can be traced to the initiatives of Rev. Moon. These activities comprised a broad spectrum which spanned the domains of politics, religion, the media, academia, and grassroots activism. Yet, for whatever reason, Rev. Moon has been disregarded in the existing histories purporting to identify contributors to the fall of Soviet communism, whereas other less prominent actors often appear center stage.
Among the recent contributions to the postmortem literature is Richard Gid Powers' Not Without Honor (1995), which professes to be "The History of American Anticommunism." This 554-page opus of names and organizations omits all of the American entities associated with Rev. Moon, and their involvement in opposing communism throughout the 1970's and 80's. In the 672 pages of On the Brink: The Dramatic Behind the Scenes Saga of the Reagan Era and the Men and Women who Won the Cold War (1996), Jay Winik did record a brief mention of one Rev. Moon-related organization, The Washington Times, but only in noting its early reporting on the unfolding story of Iran Contra.
Likewise representative is an article by Wesleyan professor Peter Rutland in The National Interest. Critical of sovietologists' failure to accurately forecast the Soviet Union's fall, Rutland did single out one foreign policy specialist (Zbigniew Brzezinski) and one edited volume of essays for "showing extraordinary prescience about the Soviet political system" and "pride of place for a precognition of the events of 1989-1991." The essays to which Rutland referred were the proceedings from a conference entitled "The Fall of the Soviet Empire," held in 1985 in Geneva by the Professors World Peace Academy, an organization founded by Rev. Moon. Rutland asserted:
It is hard to believe that the Moonies got it right when the CIA, Brookings, RAND, Harvard, Columbia and the rest got it wrong, but I would urge skeptics to read the book.
Rutland goes on to point out, however, that none of the contributing authors were members of the Unification Church, ostensibly having failed to uncover that the conference's theme of the imminent demise of the Soviet empire was developed in consultation with Rev. Moon, who stood firm on that title in spite of subsequent objections by some of the conference conveners. Rutland's seemingly presumptive dismissal of Rev. Moon and the Unification Church could also explain his failure to consider Rev. Moon's history of public prognoses, documented from at least the early 1970s, that fundamental flaws in the Marxist-Leninist ideology would lead to the collapse of the Soviet bloc by the end of the 1980s.
Why have historians omitted Rev. Moon's role in opposing communism during the Cold War? Given the far-reaching size of the effort and its extensive coverage by the major print and broadcast media of the time, a serious scholar could hardly claim complete unfamiliarity with Rev. Moon's involvement during the Cold War. It is possible, of course, that some historians failed to grasp the totality of the effort, given the many, diverse organizations involved. On the other hand, some historians may well have chosen to prejudicially ignore the literature given the controversial subject, or deigned to distance themselves from what they may have assumed to be insincere self-promotion. Rev. Moon and his organizations may also have been summarily dismissed as inconsequential to the battle against communism. Whatever the motivation for leaving out Rev. Moon's historic role, the consequence is that students of history have not yet been afforded a more in-depth analysis of what research reveals to be rather striking activities during the Cold War.
In this article, we do not pretend to provide an all-encompassing elaboration of Rev. Moon's efforts against communism. Nevertheless, we will review certain pivotal initiatives and, where appropriate, indicate the ways in which they impacted upon the Cold War. We will begin with initiatives in the media, notably The Washington Times; then turn to efforts at ideological education; and finally treat Rev. Moon's direct contacts with communist leaders.
1. Building a Media Network
Ronald Reagan holding a copy of the News World, which predicted Reagan's landslide victory on Election Day morning, November 4, 1980
Certain policies pursued by President Ronald Reagan in his efforts to end the Cold War stalemate met opposition and derision in the establishment media. The President's effort to follow through on President Jimmy Carter's commitment to deploy ground-launched cruise missiles and Pershing II intermediate range missiles in Western Europe resulted in media criticism and a storm of protests in both America and Europe. President Reagan's advocacy of the Strategic Defense Initiative was derisively referred to as "star wars" in the press and viewed as destabilizing the delicate balance of power, thus escalating the threat of nuclear war. Reagan's support of the Nicaraguan contras met with decided opposition as did his description of the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire."
The international media network created by Rev. Moon helped to demonstrate the viability of the Reagan Doctrine and had an impact on key congressional votes. It also affected public opinion and the establishment media's coverage of Cold War issues. Of the media projects undertaken by Rev. Moon in the United States (which include The New York City Tribune, New York's Spanish-language newspaper Noticias del Mundo, and Insight Magazine, among others), the founding of The Washington Times (1982) was certainly the most significant. The Times broke key news stories on Soviet bloc operations, and sometimes brought to the front pages vital Cold War issues which newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post chose to bury on back pages. The Times highlighted Soviet 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, and frequently reported on the Soviets' nuclear build-up and their sizeable military and logistic aid to national liberation movements in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Within the first three years of its existence, The Washington Times became one of America's most quoted newspapers.
Three issues help to illustrate the Times' role in the Cold War: Nicaragua, Gorbachev and the U.S. Congress, and SDI.
One area of notable coverage was on the anticommunist insurgency in Nicaragua known as the Contras. The Washington Times' investigations and reportage lent credence to executive and legislative efforts to support that Nicaraguan Resistence in its commitment 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 expose on how Leftist grassroots networks were pressuring the U.S. Congress to abandon the freedom fighters. 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. 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 news-much to the discomfiture of the Congress. In its news coverage, the Times contrasted the Congressional negative vote with the subsequent trip by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra to Moscow, April 28-29, 1985 to secure additional Soviet aid, and it also reported on new shipments of Soviet military supplies to Nicaragua. The Times' strong focus continued until the Congress reversed its position in June, resulting in a new $27,000,000 commitment of humanitarian assistance to the Nicaraguan resistance. American aid to the contras, as well as the provision of stinger missiles to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan which the Times also strongly supported, were decisive factors in the eventual wearing down of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and in the Soviet decision to abandon Afghanistan.
b. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
On November 1, 1983, The Washington Times did a high profile, full-color article on this space-based anti-missile system and on one of the projects' key supporters, Lt. General Daniel O. Graham. In its editorial policy, the Times rigorously and frequently advocated the system's development. Indeed, when President Reagan unveiled SDI in a March 23, 1983 TV address, the Times editorialized that this address was "maybe President Reagan's best ever," stated that the idea of a space-based shield has "had our interest and support for months" and cited its potential leverage in future arms negotiations. This advocacy can be contrasted with the position of The New York Times, which strongly called for restraints on SDI's development. Reflecting the debate of the time, The New York Times further denigrated both the program and Reagan's position on its development and deployment with such terminology as "a pipe dream, a projection of fantasy into politics," "science fiction," and "dangerous folly," and concluded that Reagan left the impression that SDI is "a harebrained adventure that will induce a ruinous race in both offensive and defensive arms." Regardless of U.S. internal debate on SDI's efficacy, the fact remains that President Reagan's unswerving commitment to this program (and the support of publications such as The Washington Times) contributed to a shift in the Soviet Union's handling of the nuclear issue vis-a-vis the United States.
c. Gorbachev and the U.S. Congress
In November of 1987, The Washington Times ignited a nationwide controversy which resulted in a rescinding of plans to have Mikhail Gorbachev be the first communist leader to address a joint meeting of Congress. This privilege had previously only been extended to foreign dignitaries who were strong allies of the United States such as Lafayette, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterand. Nonetheless, the White House and Democratic congressional leaders apparently had negotiated behind the scenes to afford this honor to President Gorbachev on December 9, during the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Washington, D.C. The Washington Times' breaking of this story (first broached on November 13 and headlined on November 17), and its follow-up coverage and editorializing helped to generate a furor among conservative lawmakers. The swelling chorus of opposition led the White House and the congressional supporters of the invitation to begin backpedaling by November 20 and to totally abandon plans for the address by November 22. In the months following this public embarrassment, President Gorbachev took a number of steps, including his announcement to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan, which clearly established glasnost as more than a political ploy.
That the Times would play such a pronounced role in the Cold War was apparently intuited by affected parties from its inception. Neither the Soviet nor the Chinese governments allowed the Times to open a news bureau in their capitals. The radical left newsletter Overthrow in its June/July 1982 issue called for sabotage of The Washington Times, and the Times was subjected to frontal attacks in leftist publications such as CovertAction and CounterSpy. On the other hand, it was reported that Ronald Reagan made a practice of reading The Washington Times every morning and The Washington Times was credited with certain of President Reagan's responses to critical foreign policy issues, including the 1985 forced landing and apprehension of Palestinian terrorists responsible for the hijacking of the Achille Lauro and the cold-blooded murder of American businessman Leon Klinghoffer.
d. The Washington Times' Impact on other World Media
The impact of Rev. Moon's Washington Times extended to the news disseminated worldwide, including in communist and frontline countries. In 1988, Nobel peace laureate Oscar Sanchez Arias, then president of Costa Rica, a country bordering on Nicaragua, told the American Society of Newspaper Editors that Costa Rican newspapers depended on The Washington Times for news of their world. He went on to say that the only American newspaper Costa Rican citizens know exists is The Washington Times, and that if Costa Rican newspapers published something from the U.S. it was from the Times. In 1990, future Nicaraguan President Violeta Chamorro Barrios, owner of La Prensa, the only daily newspaper which dared to defy Nicaragua's Sandinista government, confided to The New York Times' editorial board that the Sandinistas themselves regarded The Washington Times as "the newspaper of the Nicaraguan opposition."
Throughout the 1980's the World Media Association (WMA), a media-related organization associated with The Washington Times, provided journalists from numerous publications with first- hand exposure to numerous vortices of the Cold War. In 1983, WMA brought 155 journalists, from 55 countries, to visit sites on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras, including refugee camps and the track known as "Blood Alley" which two days after the Media Association tour was the site where Sandinista solders killed two American journalists. That same year, journalists were brought to Europe by WMA to report on the Nuclear Freeze Movement and afforded the opportunity to cover the October 22 massive demonstration in Bonn against NATO's planned deployment of Euromissiles. During the same tour, a side visit to East Berlin by WMA allowed journalists to observe a plethora of East German posters opposing the deployment of US cruise missiles, and a total absence of any criticism against the presence of Soviet SS 20's on East German territory.
In 1984, WMA sponsored a journalist fact-finding tour focusing on the Southeast Asia front lines, including a trek inside communist Kampuchea to meet with leaders of the Khmer People's National Liberation Front who were resisting the large Vietnamese military presence in their country. Other fact-finding trips included encounters with leaders of RENAMO, UNITA, SWAPO and Solidarity. The WMA tours, which often also included meetings with heads of state and detailed government briefings, provided journalists access to first-hand information on the status of communism, largely validating the salience of the Reagan Doctrine.
2. Ideological Education
Personalities such as the Rev. Carl McIntyre and Dr. Fred Schwartz and his Christian Anti-Communist Crusade are recognized by Richard Gid Powers for their grassroots initiatives against communism, as are the controversies which surrounded them. Nevertheless, these activities are dwarfed by the anticommunist activities initiated by Rev. Moon (and the controversies related to them) which Powers fails to mention.
In his critique of communism, Rev. Moon emphasized Marxism's ideological shortcomings. This contrasted with criticisms of Marxism developed by figures such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Robert Conquest and Richard Wurmbrandt who tended to focus primarily on the enormity of the atrocities committed by the Marxist-Leninist system. In the case of Solzhenitsyn and Conquest, their writings also occasionally explored the character flaws of communism's protagonists, including Lenin, and Stalin. On certain occasions, Solzhenitsyn also commented eloquently on the ideologcial bankruptcy of communism; however, he ostensibly felt no need to formulate a systematic, comprehensive critique of Marxism-Leninism. Critiques of Marxism's deeds and doers played an important role in revealing the disturbingly sinister dimension of Marxism, yet such approaches were blunted in some circles by the moral equivalence argument which played down communim's excesses by pointing to the problems on the anticommunist side as well.
In his approach to communism, Rev. Moon chose to focus on developing and popularizing an analysis and critique of Marxism-Leninism's underlying tenets. From his own life experience, he had come to view the Marxist ideology itself as the Achilles' heel of communism, having concluded that the Marxist positions on alienation, dialectical materialism, and historical materialism were scientifically and philosophically invalid. His exposure to this theory and its consequences had been extensive, having worked as a missionary in North Korea from June, 1946 to December, 1950. This period included two years and eight months in a concentration camp in Hungnam, North Korea where he, like other prisoners, was subjected to required indoctrination in Marxism.
Over time, Rev. Moon, with the collaboration of one of his associates, Dr. Sang Hun Lee, formalized a comprehensive analysis of Marxist-Leninist ideology, including Marxist political economy. Rev. Moon devoted special attention to the practical implications of Marxism-Leninism's militantly atheistic position, the point de depart of his opposition to communism. His analysis and critique came to be known as Victory Over Communism Theory (VOC). The first English language translation of this material was published in 1972. It was refined through subsequent renditions. One adaptation of this material, the CAUSA Lecture Manual (1985), was translated into eleven languages. In his book Jesuitas, Iglesia y Marxismo, Spain's renowned historian and former Minister of Culture Ricardo de la Cierva wrote that "the CAUSA Lecture Manual offers the best analysis of Marxism-Leninism in print."
While VOC had a serious academic dimension, it distinguished itself from other ideological critiques of Marxism by being adapted for presentation to general audiences. During the 1970's, and 80's, millions throughout East Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa, including political leaders, scholars, religious leaders, national security experts, military officers and grassroots activists, were educated in VOC theory.
a. VOC Activities in Korea and Japan
Popularization of VOC first began in Korea in 1963 when Rev. Moon initiated what came to be known as the International Federation for Victory over Communism (IFVOC). By the early 1970's VOC theory had established itself as one of the principal sources of anticommunist education in South Korea. In 1974, The Washington Monthly reported that annually hundreds of thousands of civil servants, local officials and soldiers in South Korea were being trained in VOC theory, with government cooperation. On June 7, 1975, an anticommunism rally organized and addressed by Rev. Moon attracted over 1 million demonstrators at Yoido Island in Seoul, Korea. Regular education programs continued during the 1970's and 1980's and a strong grassroots VOC organization was established throughout the Republic of Korea. Activities included a nationwide campaign to boost South Korean morale in 1983 in the wake of the Soviet downing of KAL 007, and the terrorist bombing of South Korean officials in Rangoon, Burma. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of South Koreans joining in rallies and demonstrations in every major South Korean city.
VOC activities in Japan began with the establishment in 1964 of a student VOC organization, and an IFVOC national chapter in 1968. In response to the proliferation of anti-American activities on Japanese university campuses in the 1960's, the Japanese VOC movement held public teach-ins, pertaining to the ideological limitations of Marxism-Leninism. The activities continued throughout the 1980's. Frequently these programs provoked a violent reaction from Leftist students. In the print and broadcast media, IFVOC challenged Japan's Communist Party to public debates on Marxist theory more than 60 times, with the Communist Party circumventing each such challenge. The Japanese Chapter of IFVOC also played a crucial role in the Taipei-based WACL (World Anti-Communist League) beginning in 1970.
Jesus Gonzalez lectured to 20,000 national and community leaders in Honduras and El Salvador between 1984 and 1990.
Following the Sandinista takeover of Nicaragua in July, 1979, Rev. Moon inaugurated VOC activities in Latin America under the auspices of CAUSA International, the name used beginning in 1980 for the IFVOC organization in the West. Under the leadership of Dr. Bo Hi Pak, CAUSA developed a state-of-the-art audio-visual presentation of VOC theory, and throughout the 1980's it conducted hundreds of seminars in Latin America for political, military and civic leaders. It set up branch offices in the Caribbean (the Dominican Republic), the Southern Cone (Uruguay), and in Central America (Honduras). Between 1983 and 1987, CAUSA's Central American office alone conducted over 120 seminars, for more than 10,000 political leaders, scholars, military officers, teachers, students and campesinos. At the request of the Salvadoran government and with their support, CAUSA's Central American director, Mr. Jesus Gonzalez, frequently penetrated the lines of Salvadoran guerrilla (FMLN)-controlled territory to conduct seminars on VOC theory for local residents.
In the 1980's CAUSA International also developed a significant presence in North America and in Europe. Between 1980 and 1990, CAUSA International conducted more than 250 VOC conferences in 40 nations, mostly three- and four-day programs, attended by an estimated 60,000 leaders. These programs mobilized the support and involvement of presidents, vice presidents, cabinet officers, senators and other high-ranking officials. From as early as 1982, CAUSA USA, CAUSA France, CAUSA Uruguay and other national chapters also organized and conducted many of their own conferences. By 1985, CAUSA conferences were even secretly being conducted in Nicaragua and Poland.
c. VOC Activities in America
While many of CAUSA's worldwide activities had important implications, it is particularly appropriate to highlight some of the initiatives taken in the United States. Rev. Moon's American VOC activities began with the creation of the Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF) in 1969. Functioning primarily out of Washington, D.C., FLF conducted seminars on Marxism and organized rallies and demonstrations exposing and denouncing human rights violations occurring behind the Iron Curtain. The FLF published texts critical of communism and created a bi-weekly newspaper, The Rising Tide, which was widely distributed and read by members of Congress and their staff. Throughout the Vietnam conflict, the FLF steadfastly supported the American military presence in Vietnam.
When President Reagan took office in 1981, there was a pervasive public attitude of resignation towards communism's long-term staying ability. American anticommunism itself had grown weak, defeated and scattered during the previous Ford and Carter administrations, and generally was portrayed negatively in the media. Meanwhile, the Left actively promoted their positions, targeting universities, African-American and Latino communities, and various religious bodies, which often proved to be fertile ground for their efforts. It thus came as no surprise when President Reagan's Central American policy was openly challenged by these sectors, including the leaders of most U.S. mainline Protestant denominations. Such resistance hindered White House plans to rebuild America's military and face down Soviet expansionism.
During the 1980's, American VOC programs intensified, resulting in an interesting synergy between the educational foci of these programs (i.e., methods for responding to Soviet expansionism and ideology) and the strategic goals of the Reagan doctrine. Beginning early in the Reagan administration, Rev. Moon directed massive funds towards projects aimed at strengthening the American public's resolve against communism. CAUSA International and its affiliated projects, including the International Security Council and the American Leadership Conference, conducted hundreds of educational programs and conferences. They targeted a broad range of American opinion makers, including students and professors, journalists, religious leaders, military officers, national security experts, political leaders and grassroots activists.
Initiated by Rev. Moon in 1983, CAUSA USA first organized VOC programs for American religious leaders, who were the prime targets of Leftist organizations such as CISPES (Citizens in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and Witness for Peace (a pro-Sandinista organization committed to stopping aid to the Nicaraguan contras). CAUSA USA described its central objectives as educating Americans about the dangers of atheistic communism in theory and practice, and as developing programs aimed at addressing social conditions which had permitted communism to take root. Between 1984 and 1986, over 70,000 Christian ministers heard the CAUSA critique of Marxism. In 1985, CAUSA USA organized 27 national VOC conferences, each attended by 300-700 religious leaders, as well as an estimated 200 local programs for clergy.
CAUSA USA seminars had notable appeal in the African-American Christian community, a constituency which had not traditionally been pursued by organizations opposed to Marxism-Leninism. Dr. David N. Licorish, Publisher and Senior Editor of The Baptist, devoted an issue of that magazine to CAUSA and even chose to reprint Dr. Martin Luther King's sermon "Why a Christian Cannot Be a Communist." Writing of his experience at a CAUSA seminar, Licorish noted CAUSA's ability to attract people of diverse ethnic and racial origins. Numerous prominent Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Ralph Abernathy and Dr. James Bevel, a key strategist for Dr. Martin Luther King, also became active in CAUSA USA activities and often were featured speakers at their events.
In 1985 CAUSA USA decided to expand its initiative to the general public. It launched a national signature drive, inviting Americans to sign a petition in support of the organization's efforts to educate Americans about the dangers of atheistic communism. Over 10 million Americans signed this petition, and these results were reported to the White House.
American political leaders were the focus of another organization offering VOC theory, the American Leadership Conference (ALC), founded in 1986 under the chairmanship of Amb. Phillip V. Sanchez, former U.S. Ambassador to Colombia and Honduras. This CAUSA International program provided a forum where legislators could explore and discuss international and domestic issues. However, the principal focus of the ALC program was to educate elected officials about Soviet military strategy and on the underlying tenets of Marxist-Leninist ideology, contrasting it with the historical and philosophical foundations of American democracy.
Aided by an invitational committee consisting of some 50 state legislators from throughout the United States and an advisory board of former diplomats, congressmen and governors, the ALC elicited a considerable response from American political leaders. By the end of 1990, over 10,000 had attended one of 30 national, three- to four-day anticommunism conferences. Participants included around 100 current and former members of Congress, 130 mayors, more than 2,000 state legislators, many prominent federal and state officials, as well as university presidents and leaders of think tanks, grassroots organizations and private foundations. In addition to the CAUSA presentations on Marxism-Leninism, guest speakers added their views on American military strategy and domestic policy. ALC speakers included 25 members of Congress (e.g., Senators Jesse Helms, Al Gore and Richard Lugar, Congressman Henry Hyde) and other luminaries (e.g., Alan Bloom, Thomas Sowell, Mona Charon and Maureen Reagan). At most conferences, participants also heard presentations by those with an intimate experience of frontline Marxist-leaning states, including UNO (United Nicaraguan Opposition) leaders Pedro J. Chamorro Barrios, Arturo Cruz and Adolfo Calero, Nicaraguan Roman Catholic Church official Monsignor Bismarck Carballo, and American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means who shared his experiences with the Ramo, Sumo and Miskito resistance to Nicaragua's Sandinista government.
Active and retired military officials were exposed to VOC theory under the aegis of the CAUSA International Military Association (CIMA). More than 800 retired high-ranking officials of the United States armed forces attended CAUSA presentations on VOC, including a sizeable number of America's retired four-star generals and full admirals. A number of those officers later played crucial roles in the formation of a grassroots, activist organization founded in 1987, known as the American Freedom Coalition (AFC). With opposition to Marxist-Leninist expansionism as one of its ten founding planks, AFC drew significant media attention on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in November, 1987 when it organized rallies in all fifty states reminding Americans of the millions of men, women and children who had been senselessly eliminated in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and elsewhere in the name of communism.
Another organization initiated by CAUSA International, the International Security Council (ISC), gathered together strategists, diplomats, government officials, academics and former senior military officers to assess American military security and the relevance of diplomatic initiatives vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. During the latter years of the Cold War, ISC held 43 conferences, symposia and roundtables, published 39 position and research papers, and started an academic journal, Global Affairs. Chairing the symposia were national security and foreign affairs experts such as Eugene V. Rostow, Charles Lichenstein, Richard Perle and Richard Pipes. ISC's strategic recommendations concurred with President Reagan's decision to strengthen America's strategic position through a substantial military build-up.
Rev. Moon's ministry on the university campus was carried out by the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), a Unification Church-related organization which became known during the 1980's for its rallies, publications and seminars countering communist expansion and Marxist ideology. CARP regularly countered CISPES demonstrations, which called for cutting off U.S. military support to El Salvador, and conducted its own rallies on campuses calling for an end of the Soviet and Cuban presence in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The oppression of Solidarity in Poland was a focus of CARP rallies, as was the persecution of religious belivers in the USSR. High-profile KAL 007 protests by CARP were covered by print media such as Newsweek, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Philadelphia Inquirer and depicted in these publications as representative of America's outrage at the Soviet downing of a civilian Korean airliner resulting in 269 fatalities. CARP's organization of KAL 007 and other anti-Soviet demonstrations on colleges "from Columbia to Madison to Berkeley," led the Revolutionary Communist Party USA's newspaper, Young Spartacus, to describe CARP in one of its headlines as "Campus Shock Troops for Anti-Soviet War Drive."
Rev. Moon's extensive educational initiatives on Marxism-Leninism undoubtedly strengthened the understanding of, and conviction against, communism in key sectors of American society: clergy, university students, political leaders, minority communities and scholars. Such efforts, combined with the vocal rallies and demonstrations, would have helped to expand the base of public support for Ronald Reagan's foreign policy.
Lee Shapiro, award-winning CAUSA film maker in Nicaragua. Mr. Shapiro was killed by Soviet soldiers inside Afghanistan in October, 1987.
Reinforcing these programs were many films, videos and multi-media presentations on Marxism. For example, human rights violations inside Nicaragua gained greater visibility due to the efforts of Lee Shapiro, a CAUSA International associate. At great personal risk, Shapiro traveled with the Nicaraguan Resistance forces. He filmed, wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning documentary entitled Nicaragua was our Home, which captured on film testimonies of the atrocities committed by the Sandinistas against the Miskito Indians. The documentary was aired nationally by PBS (which made the highly irregular demand for a rap-around pointing out the filmmaker's ties to CAUSA International). It was also previewed at the White House on June 28, 1985, and President Reagan personally commended Shapiro for his work. CARP also produced a full length film entitled El Salvador: Revolution and Romance, which highlighted the Marxist-Leninist ties of the FMLN. Such educational efforts helped the general public to understand the ideological bankruptcy of communism, the duplicity of the Marxist appeal for human rights, and the real threat of Soviet expansionism.
3. Contacts with Communist Leaders
Rev. Moon's anticommunism activities also included a mediating dimension, which initially he most visibly pursued through the previously mentioned WMA (World Media Association). In 1982, Rev. Moon asked WMA to organize fact-finding tours which would bring Western journalists to the Soviet Union. Between 1982 and 1989, WMA brought hundreds of American and foreign journalists to Russia and many of the other Soviet republics. As early as 1983 these journalists dialogued with leaders of TASS, Pravda, Izvestia, and Novosti News Agency. Early WMA participants were subjected to verbal sparring matches with Soviet specialists in disinformation; however, relations had improved by the 1988 fact-finding tour, when WMA received permission for the first time for a journalist exchange program with the U.S.S.R. The following year, WMA hosted Soviet journalists on a tour of the United States. The Soviet delegation included Albert Vlasov, Chairman of the Board for Novosti News Agency. That tour opened the way to a working relationship between the WMA and the Soviet media, including Izvestia, Novosti, and The Moscow News.
On April 11, 1990, Rev. Moon met in Moscow with USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev. An aftermath of the meeting was the decision by the U.S.S.R. to allow its leadership to attend American Leadership Conferences. In December of 1990 and February of 1991, the ALC sponsored seminars for 80 deputies of the Supreme Soviet (federal, republic and city levels), as well as delegations of some 60 cabinet ministers and members of parliament from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Attendees included Sergei Lushchikov, then the Soviet Minister of Justice, and General Oleg Kalugin, former director of KGB operations in the United States. Participants received lectures on VOC theory as well as briefings on the underpinnings of Western democracy. From April 30-May 7, 1991, the World Leadership Conference, affiliated with ALC, sponsored an unprecedented seminar and fact-finding tour in Washington, D.C. for approximately 200 high-ranking Soviet officials and political leaders, comprised of official delegations from all 15 republics of the U.S.S.R. This was the only time during these final years of the Soviet Union that any person, government or private organization brought together representatives from all of the 15 Soviet republics. In attendance were 26 deputies of the USSR Supreme Soviet and some 75 deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the various republics, as well as Republic vice-presidents, cabinet ministers and ambassadors. While in the United States, the delegation met with federal officials in Washington, D.C. and with city and state officials and business representatives in the New York City area.
a. Rev. Moon and North Korea
Rev. Moon's Cold War efforts also extended to isolated and potentially volatile North Korea. Because of his outspoken views against communism, Rev. Moon was long viewed with hostility in North Korea. As late as 1987 the FBI arrested a reputed member of the Japanese Red Army, an organization with established ties to North Korea, for his involvement in an assassination plot which targeted Rev. Moon.
Rev. Moon nonetheless secured an invitation in November, 1991 to meet with DPRK President Kim Il Sung. The meeting led to some tangible results. A few months after this visit, President Kim Il Sung gave his first interview to the Western Press in 20 years, via The Washington Times. In the interview Kim Il Sung expressed his desire to improve U.S.-DPRK relations. The meeting also led to an opportunity to concretely improve such relations via the aforementioned American Freedom Coalition (AFC).
During May and June of 1992, the AFC conducted a peacemaking mission to Pyongyang after consultation with the Bush White House. The 40-person delegation, headed by former Congressman Richard Ichord, included numerous former Congressmen and federal officials, including former CIA Deputy Director Max Hugel and Amb. Douglas MacArthur II, nephew and namesake of Gen. MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of UN troops who had repulsed the 1950 attack on the South. The AFC delegation targeted the cooling of abusive language (toward the US and South Korea) by DPRK officials as the principal goal of their visit. The delegation addressed this and other topics with high-ranking Party officials, including Kim Young Sun, architect of Pyongyang's foreign policy, and with President Kim Il Sung himself, who hosted the delegation for lunch and spent more than three hours responding to their questions.
In a subsequent June 23, 1992 meeting in New York, a North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations relayed to Congressman Ichord and several other members of the AFC delegation to Pyongyang that the DPRK, as a consequence of the recent AFC visit, had made a unilateral decision to cancel its annual anti-American demonstrations. Such demonstrations had taken place every June 25th to July 27th since the end of the Korean conflict. On the request of the DPRK official, Congressman Ichord conveyed this decision to the Bush administration, which he did on June 24, 1992. The anti-American demonstrations have remain suspended since that time.
b. Theological Paradigm
It is useful to reflect upon the paradigm or prism through which Rev. Moon apparently approached these meetings with Presidents Gorbachev and Kim. The Divine Principle, the religious teaching of Rev. Moon, posits the biblical struggle between Cain and Abel as the underlying dynamic of all historical development. Cain and Abel were brothers; instead of murder they should have reconciled with each other peacefully. Such a peaceful reconciliation between hostile brothers was realized by Jacob and Esau. Their struggle, again between a younger brother and an elder brother, is seen as a continuation of the original Cain-Abel rivalry. Jacob finally won the respect of Esau, and thus resolved the Cain-Abel problem in his family. He could achieve this result by preparing well for his encounter with Esau, having acquired a certain level of spiritual and material strength. In accord with this view, all struggling individuals, nations and blocs can be analyzed as taking the positions of Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau.
For Rev. Moon, the Cold War represented a different level and expression of the same Cain-Abel/Jacob-Esau struggle. Like Jacob, Rev. Moon returned to his homeland to meet Esau (Kim Il Sung) only once he could be recognized as a man of accomplishment. Having become a leading anti-communist, Rev. Moon's meeting with President Kim, the most hardline of communists, took on a wider significance. The peaceful reunion and reconciliation of these two leaders represented the resolution of the East-West struggle at the place where the the outbreak of first violent East-West conflict had occurred following World War II.
Rev. Moon's role in the struggle against communism did not end with his encounter with Kim Il Sung. According to his teachings, communism emerged because of real social injustices and is the consequence of deep-seated human resentment which can only be healed through service and love. Based on this understanding, Rev. Moon has continued to work in places such as North Korea and the People's Republic of China, with the expressed goal of resolving the problem at the very root. It is anticipated that his involvement will thus continue.
This article has traced only some of the contributions which Rev. Moon and organizations which he founded made to the struggle against communist expansionism. Such efforts expended more than capital. In the late 1960's and the early 1970's, Unification Church missionaries were sent clandestinely to every Eastern European country. In the USSR, some were imprisoned and later expelled from the country. In Czechoslovakia and in Poland, Church missionaries were jailed for up to six years. Several members were executed after the communist takeover of Ethiopia because of their Church affiliation. CAUSA filmmaker Lee Shapiro, who had produced Nicaragua was our Home, was killed by Soviet soldiers on October 9, 1987 while filming with the Afghan Resistance. Martin Bauer, President of CAUSA International in the Dominican Republic, was assassinated in 1985.
Rev. Moon's activities may have filled a unique niche during the Cold War. While nongovernmental, his media initiatives and educational initiatives in key sectors of society bolstered internal support for governments opposed to communism. A distinctive feature of his work was the extensive popularization of a comprehensive ideological critique of Marxism-Leninism. Meanwhile, Rev. Moon carried out activities in communist nations themselves which seem designed to help the leadership of those nations come closer to the leading Western powers.
Rev. Moon was acutely attuned to the dominant importance of the United States in the struggle against communism. Perhaps for this reason, he placed so much emphasis on the need for an anticommunist president to guide the nation, which for him was fulfilled in the person of Ronald Reagan. Upon Reagan's election, Rev. Moon systematically developed programs designed to support the President in his stance against communism-programs such as The Washington Times and the various organizations which worked to develop an anticommunist consensus among a broad spectrum of politicians, religious leaders, statesmen, and civic and educational leaders.
How different would the course of the Cold War, and more specifically the fate of Nicaragua, SDI, and the Reagan doctrine have been, had Rev. Moon's educational and grassroots activities and The Washington Times never existed? Would this void have otherwise been filled? Any such assessments constitute mere speculation, yet one matter remains evident. During the 1970's and 1980's Rev. Moon's anticommunist activities were the target of derision in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, and The Los Angeles Times, and they were the focus of decided animosity in Leftist publications including Izvestia, Pravda, El Nuevo Diario, Barricada, Granma, CounterSpy, USSR Today, Nation, and CovertAction. Yet today he and the organizations which he founded do not appear in Western accounts of the demise of communism.
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