Global Policy Forum

Rev. Moon and the United Nations:


By Harold Paine and Birgit Gratzer

November 2001

1. Introduction

The organization of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is seeking a major role in the NGO community at the United Nations. Three Moon groups have been granted formal NGO status and others have applied. The Moon organization has used the UN for conferences and for publicity events. Moon has held a mass-wedding in a UN conference room. A new Moon-sponsored "umbrella group," known as the World Association of NGOs (WANGO), proposes itself as an authentic voice of the NGO community.

The Moon organization (1) commands considerable financial resources. It has held lavish conferences, with participants from many countries. A number of government missions have lent their support. Dozens of well-known scholars, NGO representatives, politicians and diplomats have unwittingly taken part.

At a time when many are asking questions about who NGOs represent and what role they should have in global governance, we must carefully examine this newcomer, especially since it lays claim to broad international legitimacy. (2)

The Moon organization, as we shall show, is a strange admixture of religion, politics and business. It has confounded tax and oversight authorities by doing much of its financial transactions in cash and by using the mantle of religious freedom to shield itself from scrutiny. (3)

Before turning to details about Moon activities at the UN, we will review general information from public sources about the Moon organization and its operating methods. We draw on many major media, books and journal articles, a report of the US Congress and extensive web-based information, as well as Moon publications and web sites. In the subsequent report about the Moon organization at the UN, we also draw on a number of interviews as well as primary documents.

We are indebted to a number of colleagues who generously helped with research assistance and editorial suggestions. We appreciate the strong encouragement we have received for this project from many in the UN community and we are grateful for the support of WEED.

I. The Moon Organization

2. Beginnings

Sun Myung Moon founded his group in South Korea in the early 1950s (4) as the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. The Moon organization has always claimed to be a religious movement, in spite of its intense political activity, its extensive businesses interests and its large web of social and cultural groups. Moon entitles himself "Reverend" and claims a messianic calling and a world mission. (5)

The Holy Spirit Association (or Unification Church, as it would later be called) won many converts in Korea, Japan, and, later, the United States, but it never grew into a major movement. Despite its relatively small size today (estimates suggest about 180,000 members worldwide and less than 5,000 in the United States) (6) it has attracted considerable attention because of its unusual religious, organizational and financial practices and its legal embarrassments.

3. A Congressional Investigation & A Jail Term

The Moon organization stepped up its work in the United States in the late 1960s. In 1972, the leader moved his headquarters to the US. Controversy soon followed, as the organization used cult-like recruitment practices and as the Rev. Moon held prayer breakfasts and rallies in support of President Nixon during the Watergate scandal. (7) Moon later raised alarms when it was discovered that he had dispatched young females to make friends with members of Congress and their staff. (8) In 1973, Moon obtained a permanent residence permit (Green Card), which gave him more secure immigration status. (9) But problems and exposés continued. In 1978, a committee of the United States Congress carried out an extensive investigation of the organization's role in a Washington influence-buying scandal known as Koreagate.

A lengthy Congressional report documented the Moon organization's deceptive use of many front groups. (10) The report provides information about the Moon organization's illegal efforts to gain control of a US bank, its activities in the field of arms manufacture and trade, and its connections to the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. (11) The report also tells how "Moon used the names and pictures of prominent Americans, Japanese, Koreans and others to create an image of power and respectability for himself and his movement." (12)

The report says that the Moon organization "systematically violated U.S. tax, immigration, banking, currency and Foreign Agents Registration Act as well as state and local laws relating to charity fraud." (13) The organization was said to "move large amounts of cash across international boundaries," using methods that were "frequently illegal or questionable under U.S. law as well as those of other nations." (14) The organization was said to be paying employees in cash or via "loans" to escape taxes. (15)

The report says that the "overriding religious goal" of Moon and his organization is "to establish a worldwide ‘theocracy,' that is, a world order which would abolish separation of church and state and be governed by the immediate direction of God." (16)

Federal investigations of the Moon organization continued. In 1982, a federal court sentenced Sun Myung Moon to 18 months in prison and fined him $25,000 for tax evasion, making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Moon insisted that his actions were protected by freedom of religion (First Amendment of the US Constitution). After losing appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, Moon was sent to Danbury Federal Prison in July 1984. (17)

4. A Maze of Groups of All Kinds

The Moon organization operates a maze of foundations, social and cultural groups, campus groups, religious groups, advocacy associations and other NGO-like entities. A recent list includes the names of over 1,000 different non-profit organizations under the Moon umbrella. (18) Most of these groups have benign and hard-to-remember titles such as the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), the major Moon group for organizing college and university students. (19) Key groups include the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, the Women's Federation for World Peace, the World Culture and Sports Festival, the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, and the Youth Federation for World Peace. Other groups include the World Media Conference, the Professors' World Peace Academy, the Assembly of the World's Religions, and the International Leadership Seminars. (20)

Every year, the Moon organization creates new international groups, launched at grandiose conferences. In February 1999, Rev. Moon launched the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, allegedly in the presence of "more than 30 former heads of state," while in 2000 the leader announced with fanfare the founding of the World Association of NGOs and the Federation for Cosmic Peace and Unification. (21) In some cases, the Moon organization takes over existing organizations by bailing them out of financial difficulties and providing a hefty new source of funding. (22)

Moon organizations often fade into obscurity as funds and priorities change. The American Freedom Coalition, a conservative group that built support for Col. Oliver North during the Iran-contra investigations had a peak budget in the millions in the 1980s. In 1997 a reporter found it "dormant" -- its phone unanswered and its office unmanned. Similarly, the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, so much in the news in the 1970s, now is totally defunct.

This shifting maze of groups tends to deceive all but the best-informed and to draw many unsuspecting members of the public into the Moon orbit. In fact, deceptive practices, referred to by some scholars as "heavenly deception," are promoted within the Moon organization if they serve the ends of the movement. (23) A number of UN officials, scholars and other prominent people have told us that they would not have accepted invitations to Moon conferences had they known in advance about the Moon connection. The many groups also give Moon political leverage and power, by making the organization seem far larger and more popular than it really is.

The 1978 Congressional report concluded that "The UC [Unification Church] and numerous other religious and secular organizations headed by Sun Myung Moon constitute essentially one international organization. This organization depends heavily upon the interchangeability of its components and upon its ability to move personnel and financial assets freely across international boundaries and between businesses and nonprofit organizations." (24)

Twenty-three years later, the Congressional report's judgment still appears to be correct. The groups tend to have interlocking leadership and staff posts. For example, Dr. Neil Salonen, President of the Moon-controlled University of Bridgeport, also serves as Secretary General of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP). (25) Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak serves simultaneously as Board Chairman of the IIFWP, as Chairman of the World Association of NGOs and as Chairman of the World Culture and Sports Festival. (26) Karen Judd Smith serves both as Secretary General of the Women's Federation for World Peace and as Director, Office of Program Development, IIFWP. (27) Dong Moon Joo, President of the Youth Federation for World Peace also serves as President of the Washington Times and many other media properties and sits as a member of the Board of the University of Bridgeport. (28) Sometimes, Moon sources list contradictory titles for the same individual, suggesting that titles and organizational relations are very fluid.

The Moon non-profits have a history of secretive and irresponsible use of funds. In 1975, the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, one of the main Moon-connected non-profits, lost its tax-exempt status when a New York State audit found that only 2.1% of the $1.2 million raised by the organization's children's relief fund was spent for designated purposes. (29) A 1998 financial filing by the Youth Federation for World Peace, another Moon-connected organization, revealed expenditures of only $11,729 for a world-wide enterprise, suggesting that most of the transactions are taking place in cash, beyond the scrutiny of oversight authorities. (30) Many former insiders have reported bags of cash moving from one Moon entity to another without records or proper accounting practices (see below).

The Moon organization takes a leading role in other more sinister networks, such as Causa, the American Security Council, the World Anti-Communist League and various of their affiliates. (31) Studies have revealed links between the League and Latin American right-wing militia leaders such as Roberto D'Aubuission of El Salvador and Adolfo Calero of Nicaragua as well as leaders of the European far-right such as St. C. de Berkelaar, president of an organization of Dutch former SS officers. (32) In addition to a very active role in Central America, the League has supported Jonas Savimbi's rebel group Unita in Angola and campaigned against sanctions on apartheid South Africa. (33) Osami Kuboki, head of the Unification Church in Japan, was co-founder and chair of Shokyo Rengo, the Japanese branch of the League, and an executive board member of the world organization for many years. The League's world headquarters, located in Seoul, symbolizes the very strong overall Moon influence. (34)

5. Media and Cultural Properties

In the mid-1970s, Moon founded News World, a New York City newspaper. Then in May 1982, during the early period of Ronald Reagan's US presidency, he founded the Washington Times, a conservative daily that is the second most important newspaper in the US capital. (35) The paper has always been highly ideological and it has fueled the prejudices of conservative members of Congress and their counterparts in conservative think-tanks and the executive branch. More than any other institution in Washington, it promotes hostility towards the United Nations.

The Washington Times regularly warns its readers that the UN wants to set up a standing army, that it is planning a global tax, that its membership overflows with dictatorships and "America-haters," that it tramples on religion and the family and that it fosters sexual license and depravity. (36) The paper described a recent UN conference as a "left-wing hootnanny" and a recent article on the UN was entitled "Biting the Hand that Feeds It." (37) The paper builds its UN news stories on quotes from Senator Jesse Helms, Senator Trent Lott, and other conservatives hostile towards the UN and multilateral cooperation.

The Washington Times runs at a large loss, currently estimated at $50-100 million per year. (38) In 1992, at the tenth anniversary celebration of the paper, Moon said that he had "invested" "close to $1 billion" in the paper in the first 12 years. (39) Moon has said he wanted to make the newspaper "an instrument to save America and the world." (40)

In mid-1996, Moon launched a conservative weekly newspaper for the Spanish-speaking market in Latin America called Tiempos del Mundo. This big and very expensive multi-country venture is estimated to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars for the start-up and annual losses. (41) The paper's web site proclaims that it seeks to "strengthen the family" and it announces that the paper is printed and distributed in 15 Latin countries as well as the United States and Canada, joining a "hemispheric" section of 64 pages to a national edition. (42) According to a Latin American source, the paper has not yet found a significant readership. (43) The Moon organization controls Tiempos del Mundothrough its media arm, News World Communications (named after the defunct New York paper). News World also owns the Washington Times and a daily newspaper in Uruguay, Ultimas Noticias.(44)

In May 2000, News World Communications acquired control of the US news wire service United Press International, better known as UPI.(45) News World also controls Insight Magazine, The World and I, and Middle East Times (Cyprus). (46) The Moon organization also controls a monthly publication, Our Canada, and daily newspapers in Japan (Sekai Nippo) and Korea (Segye Ilbo), as well as video production facilities in New York, Washington and Tokyo and the Paragon House publisher. (47) Universal One television station in Tokyo is a Moon property as well. (48) And Moon owns a controlling interest in the cable Nostalgia Channel. (49)

The Moon organization controls many cultural, performance and even scientific groups, including the International Cultural Foundation, Universal Ballet Company, the Little Angels Art School, and the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences. In addition to Sung Wha University in Korea and the Unification Theological Seminary in New York, the Moon organization has recently acquired the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, not far from New York City. The University was about to declare bankruptcy in the mid-1990s when the Moon organization bailed it out, with total Moon donations reaching $92 million. The University governing body, now controlled by the Moon organization, bestowed an honorary degree on the Reverend.(50)

6. Business Enterprises

The Moon organization has large business holdings in many countries, including real estate, manufacturing, shipbuilding, hotels, casinos, banks and more. As the Washington Post recently wrote: "This vast and bewildering multinational could be called Moon Inc." (51) Fishing and seafood are an important line of holdings, which include fishing fleets in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Kodiak, Alaska. A published list of Moon companies includes hundreds of separate corporate entities with 148 names listed for New York State alone. (52) All companies are apparently held by Unification Church International, a holding company, headed by Dong Moon Joo. (53) UCI controls many companies through one or more intermediary corporations, such as Virginia-based One-Up Enterprises. True Family Trust, based in Liechtenstein, is said to play an important role in the Moon family's financial operations. (54)

Pyongwha Automobile Company is one of many Korea-based Moon businesses. Varadero Tsako Shipyard of Uruguay, Saeilo Machinery Company of Japan, and United Trade Industries of the Netherlands are also parts of the conglomerate. (55) Il Hwa, a big Korean company specializing in ginseng products, is said to be on of the most profitable Moon enterprises. (56) New York City properties include the New Yorker Hotel(57) and the Manhattan Center recording studio. One-Up Enterprises apparently holds many of the US-based Moon properties. (58) One-Up refuses to release financial information or details about its holdings, according to the Boston Globe, but it apparently owns News World Communications. (59)

One piece of the Moon corporate puzzle, Kahr Arms, manufactures weapons at a factory in Worcester, Massachusetts. Justin Moon, son of Sun Myung Moon, serves as the Chief Executive Officer. (60) The Kahr website says that the younger Moon designed the ultra-compact Kahr semi-automatic pistol, a popular product which is "designed for concealed carry." (61) In 1999 Kahr expanded by buying additional weapons lines from Numrich Arms, including both handguns and the famous Thomson submachine gun known as the "Tommy Gun," a weapon best-known for its use by gangsters in the 1920s but still selling in modernized versions.

Kahr Arms is a part of Saeilo USA whose operations include a machine tool and machining company with facilities in four states. (62) The corporate parent, Saeilo Inc., a large international group headquartered in Blauvelt, N.Y., is believed to be owned by One Up Enterprises(63) The Moon organization also manufactures arms such as M-16 automatic rifles in other countries, including Korea and Japan, and it has acted as a dealer for arms exports and imports to and from Korea, the United States, Japan and elsewhere. (64) Tongil [or Tong Il] Heavy Industries of Korea, a branch of Saeilo, says on its web site that it manufactures anti-aircraft canon, heavy machine guns, mine launchers, decoy systems and parts for armored vehicles. (65) The mine launcher is designed for land mines, a type of weapon now almost universally condemned.

In the 1980s, during the time of the military dictatorship in Uruguay, the Moon organization took control of that country's third-largest bank, Banco de Credito, benefiting from generous government subsidies. In 1996, bank workers reported that Moon staff and followers deposited at least $50 million in cash in the bank, leading to suspicions of money laundering. (66) Two years later, after the Moon deposits had been withdrawn, Moon officers are accused of having stripped the bank of its assets through unsecured loans totaling at least $125 million to Moon companies. The Central Bank stepped in on September 18, 1998. (67) In spite of this scandal, the Moon organization continues to own the bank and other large properties in Uruguay, including the Victoria Plaza, a five-star hotel and casino located on the capital's main square, opposite the presidential palace, (68) and it is said to be building another casino in a tourist resort near the Argentine border. Its large Uruguayan holdings also include the Corporation Rioplatense de Hoteles and Hotel Horacio Quiroga, as well as a newspaper and a shipyard. (69)

Reportedly, Moon companies do much of their business in cash and they transfer cash with lax accounting standards between Moon businesses, political bodies, religious entities, NGO-like front groups and the personal accounts of Moon family members. (70) Often, it seems, this cash crosses borders hidden in suitcases, clothing or even paper bags. 71 "Rev. Moon sent bags of cash, big fat bags, stacks and stacks of hundreds, from Korea and Japan," a former high-ranking employee told the Washington Post.(72) Moon daughter-in-law Nansook Hong writes: "I watched Japanese church leaders arrive at regular intervals at East Garden [the family estate] with paper bags full of money, which the Reverend Moon would either pocket or distribute to the heads of various church-owned business enterprises at his breakfast table." (73) When challenged, the Moon organization has invoked freedom of religion to shield its financial irregularities from oversight and scrutiny.

7. Family, Gender, Reproduction and Sexuality

The Moon organization emphasizes a highly conservative and patriarchal social philosophy, in which Rev. Moon teaches women to be subservient to men and to be guided by "The Father" – himself. (74)

During an August 4, 1996 speech, Moon expounded to a group of women on their proper role: "Does woman contain the seed of life? Absolutely not. Then if you desire to receive the seed of life, you have to become an absolute object. In order to qualify as an absolute object, you need to demonstrate absolute faith, love and obedience to your subject. Absolute obedience means that you have to negate yourself 100 percent." (75)

Moon has often criticized women in the United States for acting as men's equals. In a speech in 1996, he said US women "have inherited the line of prostitutes," saying "they practice free sex just because they enjoy it." (76) Many Moon affiliates focus on "family" issues and insist on the centrality of the patriarchal family as the moral basis of society. Moon teachings oppose women's choice in reproduction. In this respect, they are quite close to the teachings of conservative Catholic and Protestant "Family Values" groups. (77)

Moon is harshly critical of homosexuals. In a sermon quoted by the Washington Post, he compared gays to "dirty, dung-eating dogs." (78) In a very recent sermon, he called for a "quarantine" of those with AIDS. (79)

8. Funding Conservative Movements and Candidates

In 1984, the Washington Post reported that "the church is using its vast financial resources to foster a budding alliance with the New Right." (80) Moon's ties to the international Right, his opposition to labor unions (81) and his extremely conservative views on gender and sexuality provide strong bonds to the right wing in US politics.

The Moon organization provides millions of dollars for conservative political organizations and candidates. The organization was deeply involved in the anti-communist crusades in Central America during the Reagan years and it paid large sums for "educational" trips for journalists and Congressional staffers. (82) More recently, the organization helped rescue the Rev. Jerry Fallwell and his Liberty University from financial embarrassment and bankruptcy by buying up defaulted loans for $3.5 million. (83) The organization has close financial ties to conservative direct-mail wizard Richard Viguerie and to other right-wing direct-mail enterprises. (84) Ties to the White House after Nixon continued into the administrations of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush the elder. (85)

Through video and print-media attacks on the Clinton administration, and very large direct mailings costing many millions of dollars, the Moon organization has given material and visible support to Republican Party election campaigns in recent years. (86) Many insiders consider Moon to be a key backroom figure in the US right, to whom an increasing number of conservative politicians are indebted. ‘What they're doing is buying people," said conservative Washington columnist Armstrong Williams to the Washington Post.(87) Though right-wing US politicians are embarrassed by Moon's occasional invectives against "Satanic America," his ties to North Korea and his claims to be the Messiah, they are enthusiastic about his fierce conservatism, his "pro-family" rhetoric, and (above all) his cash. (88)

9. The Bush Connection

By paying large sums to celebrities and politicians for event appearances, the Moon organization creates an atmosphere of respectability in spite of its tarnished record. The organization often invites former heads of state and government and its recent guest lists have included such figures as former British Prime Minister Edward Heath. (89)

Former President George Bush is the world's best-known Moon-booster, for reasons that appear to mix ideology and cash. Bush has been reported to receive very large fees for his speeches at Moon events in many countries. In September 1995, Bush and his wife Barbara gave many speeches in Asia for the Moon-controlled Women's Federation for World Peace, including six events in Japan and further events in two other countries. (90) Also in 1995, he gave five speeches at Women's Federation events in Washington. (91) On May 23, 1996, Bush gave the keynote speech at a big conference in Washington DC sponsored by the Moon-controlled Youth Federation for World Peace and during the summer of the same year, he spoke at another conference in Washington sponsored by the Moon-controlled Family Federation for World Peace. (92) On November 23,1996, Bush spoke at the launch of the Moon-run Tiempos del Mundo newspaper in Buenos Aires. (93)

Bush is reported to have accepted very large sums for these appearances – more than $1 million total for the '95-'96 series and possibly as much as $10 million. (94) The Bush-Moon partnership goes back to the Bush presidency (1989-92) and even before. A Frontline television special in 1992 reported that the Moon organizations sent out thirty million pieces of mail in support of the Bush 1988 campaign. (95) The Washington Times Foundation reportedly gave a $1 million contribution to the Bush Presidential Library. (96)

The Moon organization was also involved in the election campaign of George Bush the younger in 2000 and the Washington Times adopted an extremely aggressive approach towards the Clinton administration. Moon ties to the new administration were on display when Moon was honored at a "Prayer Breakfast" on January 19, 2001, at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington during the inauguration events. (97)

10. Where Does All the Money Come From?

Though the Moon world headquarters is located in New York, (98) the source of its financing remains shrouded in mystery. It seems clear that Unification members alone could not provide enough income to operate the organization. Judging from the many new investments, the Washington Times losses, the costs of other media like Tiempos del Mundo, the lavish events and fees paid to big name speakers, and the grand lifestyle of Rev. Moon and his family, the organization must need an annual income (excluding turnover of business properties) of at least $2-300 million and perhaps much more. (99)

Because of its religious status, its secrecy and its tendency to deal in cash, no one has been able to offer a definitive account of the sources of Moon's funding. An investigation by the Washington Post in 1984 concluded that tens of millions of dollars per year were coming from door-to-door sales programs by church members in Japan, (100) and later evidence reveals fraudulent practices to take large sums from gullible old people in Japan. (101) In addition, the many Moon businesses undoubtedly generate a substantial profit, particularly those in Asia. Some suggest that the organization profits from illicit sources such as money laundering. (102) Others point to financial skullduggery such as the asset stripping of the Uruguayan bank. (103) Some think that funds come from intelligence agencies(104) or from wealthy right-wing backers. The Los Angeles Times, in an article in 1992, said that the money trail may lead to Ryoichi Sasakawa, a major Japanese crime figure and billionaire with a far-right background. (105)

11. How Big and How Powerful?

It is tempting to conclude that the Moon organization enjoys gigantic influence and that its manipulations and conspiratorial influence are all pervasive. We do not propose any such far-fetched interpretation. The Moon organization is one among many conservative religious and political movements. Its resources, while large and deployed very strategically, are nonetheless far from unlimited. Its religious and political ideology, favoring a global theocracy under the leadership of the Rev. Moon, has never found a mass following and its efforts to gain influence sometimes appear desperate or even comical – such as Moon having himself crowned "Emperor of the Universe" in 1985(106) or his proposal more recently that he be named UN Secretary General "In Perpetuity." (107) The Rev. Moon is a long way short of persuading the world that he is the Messiah and that he should be offered the mantle of world leadership!

Yet, compared to most NGOs, the Moon organization is large and rich. It has connections to politicians in high places and to ultra-right networks. It commands considerable media resources. These factors, joined to a policy of deception, give it a considerable capacity for mischief.

III. Moon's Arrival at the United Nations

12. First Steps at the UN

Though long hostile towards the United Nations and absent from the UN scene, the Rev. Moon started to build a presence at the UN in the early 1990s. This coincided with a similar policy change by other conservative organizations, though no other would match the resources that the Moon organization would eventually muster.

In 1993, the Moon-related International Religious Foundation (IRF) gained status with the UN Department of Public Information. On September 7, 1993, Hak Ja Han Moon, the wife of the Rev. Moon, spoke at the UN at an NGO-sponsored conference, in what may have been the first appearance by a senior Moon on the UN premises. The Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP), a major Moon group, won consultative status with ECOSOC in 1997. Taj Hamad, soon to be a key Moon figure at the UN, took over the post of main representative of the IRF in 1997, opening an office at 866 UN Plaza at about this time. In 1998, the Family Federation for World Peace gained DPI status and Hamad became its main representative as well.

Hamad moved to knit friendships with members of the NGO community and many describe him as friendly and persuasive. By mid-1998, he won election to a two-year term as Secretary of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, the official umbrella group of NGOs in association with the UN Department of Public Information. Within weeks of taking office, Hamad offered fellow committee members invitations to an all-expense-paid conference in Korea, sponsored by the Family Federation for World Peace. Many accepted for the February 1999 event, pleased at the opportunity for such a trip.

Shortly after the Korea conference, according to sources within the Committee, Hamad tried to increase his power and responsibilities, but did not succeed. Several committee members describe him as short-tempered and difficult. In October 1999, halfway through his term as Secretary, Hamad refused to prepare further minutes of the meetings. He then became embroiled in a divisive election campaign for the post of Vice-Chair. Committee members called in an attorney to advise about the lack of minutes and other problems. Committee meetings grew rancorous, as Hamad and other members traded accusations.

On November 22, 1999, in a separate development, the Moon-run Women's Federation for World Peace held a big one-day conference at United Nations headquarters, jointly sponsored by the UN and featuring a "Bridge of Peace" and a banquet. Among listed participants at that conference were Dorota Gyrecz of the UN Division for the Advancement of Women and Alfatih Hamad, Deputy Director of the New York office of UNESCO. A number of other UN officials, including those of high rank and those with special responsibility for NGOs, attended this and other meetings. Like so many others, they did not know that they were participating in a Moon event and they would later feel deceived.(108) By such appearances, however deceptive, the Moon organization made it seem like its fortunes at the UN were rising.

But in the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, normally tolerant NGO representatives were moving towards a divisive election confrontation. The Nominating Committee, headed by a Hamad ally, came into conflict with many other committee members. Ballots were drawn up and then challenged, leading to a temporary crisis. Eventually, in July, the Committee settled the issue and sent out a ballot. Hamad was defeated by another candidate. His term and his reach for power ended abruptly.

13. WANGO's Bid for Primacy

Just as Hamad's election hopes waned, the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) stepped forward. It bid to be a major player in the UN NGO community soon after its founding, just prior to the UN's historic Millennium Summit. It announced itself as an "umbrella" group for NGOs worldwide. And its name bore a striking resemblance to CONGO, the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the UN, a longstanding NGO umbrella organization, which WANGO seemed to be challenging for preeminence. WANGO's Executive Director was a familiar figure – Taj Hamad. (109)

The Secretary General of the new organization was a well-known African, Wally N'Dow from Gambia. N'Dow had served as Secretary General of the Second UN World Conference on Human Settlements in June 1996 and as Officer in Charge of the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat), based in Nairobi, from January 1994 to October 1997. (110)

It became increasingly clear that WANGO was not an independent NGO initiative. Not only was Taj Hamad WANGO's Executive Director, but high-level Moon associate Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak was listed as WANGO's Board Chairman. (111) Moon money, it was rumored, provided WANGO's funding. Virtually all WANGO's initial activities were jointly organized with the Moon-affiliated IIFWP.

In a speech delivered at WANGO's first conference in the fall of 2000, N'Dow made the Moon relationship abundantly clear. According to the published text, he said: "Without the inspiration, support and the backing that Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon himself has provided, his idea which has been burning in our hearts, of having a global umbrella, a new tent for NGOs and civil society, may not have been realized at this time." N'Dow's statement leaves no doubt that "the idea" for WANGO as well as "backing" came from Rev. Moon. (112)

WANGO had no official UN-NGO status, either with the Department of Public Information or with ECOSOC. WANGO gained its entrée to the UN through relations with delegations (from the first, Indonesia was a major sponsor), through staff passes held under other NGO auspices (113) and through connections to the three accredited Moon NGOs.

But why would the Rev. Moon, with a long-standing hostility towards the UN, seek to become a major player in the UN-NGO scene? There are two plausible reasons. First, Moon is following a trend of conservative, largely religious NGOs, which though hostile to the UN have recently created a new conservative NGO bloc at the organization, intervening actively in global meetings and conferences. (114) Second, the Moon presence at the UN allows the much-tainted Moon machine to gain the cachet of UN connection and implicit UN support, a means to increase the overall credibility of the organization with the general public and to attract unwary new adherents.

Rev. Moon chose a very high-profile event to announce the launching of WANGO, a conference held in part at UN headquarters during August 17-20, immediately prior to the UN's Millennium Summit. That conference, entitled "Assembly 2000 - Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace: Toward a New Model of Global Cooperation in Addressing Critical Issues" attracted many big-name participants including (according to Conference documents) former Conservative UK prime minister Edward Heath, former Costa Rican President Oscar Arrias, former US Senator and presidential candidate Robert Dole, former president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda, former president of Uruguay Luis Alberto Lacalle, Bruce Russett, director of the UN Studies program at Yale University, and Noel Brown, former director of the United Nations Environmental Program. The Rev. Moon himself participated and gave a speech on "Renewing the United Nations to build lasting peace." (115)

WANGO got off the ground quickly. It organized its first event, jointly with IIFWP, in New York at United Nations Headquarters and the New York Hilton Hotel from October 20-22. Entitled "The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations: A Response from Civil Society," the conference brought several hundred NGOs from all over the world. WANGO and IIFWP gained access to a UN conference room for one day of meetings through support of the Mission of Indonesia. (116)

According to the Unification Church web site, Moon was soon speaking about the importance of WANGO, during his tour to Latin America in late November and early December. The site quotes him as saying,

"Kwak [Chairman of IIFWP and WANGO] is going around the world to establish forty nations as pillars through WANGO HDH (Hoon Dok Hae) conferences … I am launching worldwide education through WANGO. It will provide the foundation for the ideal world by educating people so that they can build families beyond national boundaries…"(117)

Moon also said that "our movement and the UN are completely connected" and he told listeners that important events are jointly organized by the UN and the Moon forces. As his own web site records, he said that:

"Right after the International Conference on World Peace [in August], 360 scholars stayed for a HDH conference sponsored by IIFWP and the UN. So our movement and the UN are completely connected... WANGO means "path of the king." It will do HDH conferences in 191 countries by the end of this year. There are many NGOs, but we are at the top because we organized them. We try to harmonize and unify the UN and the NGOs, to create one unified organization. It is the most special one." (118)

In a statement at his New York area residence on December 10, Moon reiterated his claim that by year's end, WANGO would hold 191 conferences under the leadership of his indefatigable aide, the Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak. That claim appears greatly exaggerated. On the same occasion, Moon stated that the WANGO name held special significance. "WANGO sounds in Korean like "the king starts marching." In English, it sounds like "we won the battle and starting going forward now" ("won-go")."(119) By all appearances, Moon had lifted WANGO to top priority in his planning, funding and public relations efforts.

WANGO's second event in New York was the 7th World Culture and Sports Festival (WCSF), from January 26 - 30, 2001. WANGO and IIFWP organized the event jointly. WANGO alone invited some 200 NGO representatives as its guests. This event, like the previous one, was held both at the UN and in a luxury midtown hotel, the New York Hilton. Again the Indonesian mission to the UN acted as the lead sponsor. Other sponsors were the missions of Comoros, Iran, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. (120)

WANGO flew in large numbers of NGO representatives from many countries, picking up the tab for hotel bills, banquets and other meals. Six hundred participants attended, according to the organizers. More than a dozen big-name speakers addressed the conferences. Among them (according to the organizers' reports) were Assoumani Azali, President of the Comoros; Makarim Wibisono, Indonesian ambassador to the UN; Dan Quayle, former Vice President of the United States; Solo Dowuona-Hammond, President of the Olof Palme Peace Foundation; Nicholas N. Kittrie, Chairman of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Justice and Peace; Clovis Maksoud, Executive Director of the Center for the Global South; Lech Walesa, former President of Poland; and Hamilton Greene, Former Prime Minister of Guyana. (121) The Festival ended on January 29 with a gala birthday party at the Manhattan Center for the "True Parents" – Rev. and Mrs. Moon. (122)

During the day-long Festival events at the United Nations on Saturday, January 27, the Rev. Moon gave a "Founder's Address." As invited Festival guests were having lunch in the Delegates' Dining Room, the Rev. Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han Moon conducted one of their famous mass-weddings (or, as they call it, "a blessing of couples"). Dressed in special regalia, they blessed a large number of couples in the UN conference room, an event that (according to a Moon web site) was linked by satellite to hundreds of other locations around the world. (123) UN officials have said that the UN had no knowledge of the plans for this ceremony and that they viewed it as a deception and a serious breach of the rules for use of UN facilities. A video of the event can be found on one of the Moon web sites. (124)

WANGO named a UK national, Ian Hall, to be its worldwide "Roving Ambassador." It is not clear whether Hall was put on salary, but he traveled on behalf of WANGO, met with NGO leaders and officials, and insisted that he be called "His Excellency," in the manner of a national ambassador, to the astonishment and amusement of many observers.

In January and February, WANGO-IIFWP jointly organized events in London and Washington DC. The London meeting reportedly assembled 400 NGOs from many lands. In Washington there were two events, on February 23-25 and February 26-28, called "International Leadership Seminars," each of which assembled more than 200. The IIFWP web site later announced that participants attended from 120 countries and that "Dr. Wally N'Dow, Secretary General of WANGO, spoke with passion and eloquence of a vision for a global, transnational movement among members of civil society." (125) These events must have cost well over $2 million for airfares, ground transportation, hotel costs and restaurant bills. N'Dow and Hamad worked closely together to plan and execute these conferences.

14. Wally N'Dow's Role

Wally N'Dow, WANGO Secretary General, is reportedly on a three-year contract. But it is not clear with whom he is on contract, since we do not know how WANGO is organized and who makes the decisions or signs the checks.

N'Dow has been dogged by negative reports about his past leadership shortcomings and especially about serious financial irregularities. In 1996, when he was in charge of the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat), the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services identified "serious management problems and significant shortcomings in the management of the Center's programs and human and financial resources." (126) The report called attention to the overpayment of one staff member in the amount of $120,000 and noted that the Center paid a subsidy for an apartment in New York of a staff member living in Nairobi. (127) Though no names were mentioned in the report, N'Dow as chief executive was clearly implicated. The report concluded that "the Center's present work environment did not facilitate efficiency and effectiveness." (128) The General Assembly, in an unusual step, expressed its "deep concern" over the "serious irregular financial practices" of the Nairobi-based UNCHS. (129)

Facing rising concerns in the NGO community and the UN Secretariat about WANGO's Moon connections, N'Dow dropped his public encomiums of the Rev. Moon and by early spring of 2001 began to emphasize the separation between WANGO and its Moon backers.

[Box: An Interview with Wally N'Dow]

In March 2001, N'Dow gave an interview to a New York-based NGO, of which we have obtained a summary. According to the report, N'Dow was at first extremely agitated, asking what right the interviewer had to inquire about WANGO. Eventually, he agreed to answer a few questions. When asked how policy in WANGO was set, he replied: "Our policy is set with hundreds of NGO partners all over the world." But when asked to name one or two such partners, he replied that to name them would be "premature." He insisted, however, that it is "a very diverse group, from many countries."

N'Dow went on to state flatly that "there is absolutely no connection between WANGO and the Reverend Moon or his organizations." When asked about the important funding from Moon, he replied that it was "just seed money" and that it "came from the Rev. Moon personally and not from the Unification Church." He refused to give any specific information about WANGO's budget. And he insisted that he had never even met the Rev. Moon.

N'Dow said grandly that "we have strong support in Washington" and that "high-level officials have taken part in our events." When asked for an example, he named Bush's Attorney General John Ashcroft. But when pressed for details, he admitted that Ashcroft had participated in a prayer breakfast, not with N'Dow or WANGO, but rather with the Rev. Moon.

About half way through the interview, a woman appeared and joined the conversation . She offered her card, which identified her as Karen Judd Smith, Secretary General of the Women's Federation for World Peace International. (130) She openly avowed that hers was a Moon-related group. By contrast with N'Dow, Smith appeared calm and confident. She immediately began to take an active part in the discussion. When the interviewer asked N'Dow questions about whether WANGO is independently incorporated, whether it has tax-exempt status, and whether it has filed as a charity with the State Attorney General, N'Dow looked quizzically at Smith. She offered most of the answers at this point, though her responses were studiously vague. It was instructive that the head of another organization seemed to know more about WANGO's financial and organizational structure than WANGO's own Secretary General. This suggested that WANGO is run mainly by Moon staffers and not by N'Dow himself.

[end of box]

IV Other Recent Moon Developments at the UN

15. Latest Events

The Moon organization has kept up its drive to gain status rights at the UN for its associated groups. The most recent campaign sought to win ECOSOC accreditation for the Youth Federation for World Peace (YFWP). But as this application moved through the accreditation process in 1999, governments noticed curious anomalies – this world organization reported that it had a total expenditure of only $11,729 (1998) and it said it had held several world conferences prior to its listed date of establishment. Governments suspected a Moon connection, so they gave the file especially close scrutiny. Members of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs objected that the organization was represented by a lawyer, rather than by staff or board leaders. The Committee eventually decided that it had heard enough. In January 17, 2001, just ten days prior to the Moon conference and mass wedding at UN headquarters, the committee decided to close the case and deny accreditation. (131)

In spite of Ahmad's election defeat, widespread NGO skepticism about WANGO and the governments' rejection of the YFWP accreditation, the Moon organization continued its efforts to gain prominence at the UN. In early April, through the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International, it again sought to organize a conference at the UN as part of a three-day event titled "Serving the Nations, Serving the World." The Indonesian Mission, acting again as principal sponsor, sent a conference space request to the Secretariat for Saturday, May 26. A number of other delegations were also associated with this event as co-sponsors – Bangladesh, Iran, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

But the Secretariat was keen to avoid a repeat of the January embarrassment. UN officials correctly guessed that a mass wedding might again be in the offing. They delayed responding to the Indonesian request, while they carefully studied the issue. Finally, sometime in mid-May, a high official sent an unequivocal message -- in light of the January episode the UN would not agree to this event on UN premises.

When the conference eventually took place, outside the UN, the Rev. Moon held a high-profile mass wedding, as predicted, on the very day that the UN rooms had been requested. The wedding ceremony drew heavy coverage in the media. Among those married was a maverick Catholic Archbishop who wed a Korean woman selected as his partner by Rev. Moon. Had this bizarre event taken place at the UN, the world organization would have been dragged into another compromising situation. This time, though, the Moon deception did not work and UN officials vowed they would not be deceived again.

V Conclusion

16. Summary

We have reviewed the strange history and practices of the Moon organization and its initiatives at the UN. Its activities are often surprising and disturbing. We can summarize the concerns raised in this paper in five main points:

1) Illegality. Moon activities have been judged illegal by a court of law in the United States, leading to the Rev. Moon's imprisonment for tax evasion, making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The Congressional report suggested that the Moon organization had committed other criminal acts such as tax evasion, money laundering, and evasion of currency controls. Many subsequent media articles suggest that these illegal activities continue.

2) Highly Objectionable Activities and Positions. The Moon organization manufactures and trades weapons, promotes a view of women as inferior, and maintains close contacts with far-right movements. It has had close relations with intelligence agencies, notably the KCIA, and it has served as an important funder of right-wing causes. It has abused its non-profit and religious status through extensive business activities in wholly-owned companies.

3) Deception and Serious Lack of Tranparency. The Moon organization's many front organizations blur relationships with the Rev. Moon and offers a range of faces to the public. Many of those who become involved with these organizations never know the real nature of the Moon operation. Moon organizations keep their finances secret, and they lure NGO partners and participants by offers of fancy banquets, travel costs to conferences, speakers' fees and other enticements. Moon organizations claim partnerships with the UN that do not exist. The mass wedding held in the UN conference room in January would never have been permitted if the Moon sponsors had honestly announced their intentions. It seems fair to conclude that the Moon organization is deliberately deceptive and that it attempts to hoodwink the unsuspecting public. It misrepresents its activities and operates under false pretenses. It very seriously lacks transparency.

4) Not a Non-Governmental Organization. The Moon organization appears to be more a business empire and a political movement than a religion. Least of all is it a non-governmental organization. Though NGOs worldwide are necessarily very diverse and do not conform to a simple model, the Moon organization stretches credibility as an NGO. Its vast business and media holdings suggest that it is primarily a for-profit corporation, as the US Internal Revenue Service ruled for a number of years. Furthermore, any single Moon group does not operate independently but rather acts as part of a network of dozens, even hundreds, of associations and groups, run covertly in a unified manner. Accepting such a strange animal as a genuine non-governmental organization undermines the NGO movement and its fundamental role and legitimacy. Further, organizations that claim associative or consultative NGO status at the UN, must act in accord with the Charter of the United Nations and the basic principles of the organization. The Moon organization clearly does not meet this criterion.

5) HostilityTowards the UN. The Moon organization speaks with many voices, but the organization's key media organs, in particular the heavily-subsidized Washington Times, offer the public extremely negative and hostile interpretations of the United Nations and its work. The Rev. Moon's right-wing views lead many Moon affiliates to campaign against UN principles and practice in fields such as population, human development, human rights, and disarmament.


The Moon organization could not have achieved its high-profile presence at the United Nations without the support of several government delegations. Through the support of the Indonesian mission, the Moon organization was able to obtain major conference facilities at UN headquarters on at least three occasions within a six-month period. A number of other missions have also lent support to Moon functions. According to IIFWP sources, the missions of The Arab League, Bangladesh, Comoros, Iran, Mozambique, Mongolia, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan all lent their "cooperation" or "co-sponsorship" to Moon conferences in 2001.(131) Such involvement lends support and an appearance of legitimacy to Moon events.

The Rev. Moon and his organization will certainly continue to seek influence at the United Nations, through WANGO and through many other front organizations, using government backers when possible. We can expect more applications for accreditation, more elaborate conferences, and more financial lures that draw the unsuspecting into the Moon orbit. Money will be no object.

Fortunately, many delegations are now alerted to the Moon phenomenon and are keen to oppose it. The Secretariat is aware of the issue and has acted to limit future problems. The NGO community must likewise inform itself, reflect on the implications and be on guard against further inroads and blandishments from this well-funded, slickly-organized and skillfully manipulative group.


I. Moon Sources

Some Moon Organization Web Sites:
Unification Church (, and (
Women's Federation for World Peace (
Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (
Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International (,
World Culture and Sports Festival (
Pure Love Alliance (
Youth Federation for World Peace (
Professors' World Peace Academy (
World University Federation (

Some Moon Company Web Sites (Saeilo Manufacturing Industries) (Kahr Arms) (Saeilo, Inc.) (Saeilo, Japan) (Tongil Heavy Industries) (Tongil Heavy Industries – weapons manufacturing division)

Moon Media Web Sites (News World Communications Group) : (The World and I magazine) (Insight magazine) (UPI newswire) (The Washington Times newspaper) (Ultimas Noticias newspaper) (Tiempos del Mundo newspaper) (Middle East Times newspaper)

Select Washington Times Items on the United Nations
"Tyrants rule" (May 17, 2001)
"Biting the hand that feeds it" (May 16, 2001)
"Pro-life groups feel shut out of U.N. summit" (January 2, 2001)
"Battle to define ‘sexual rights' looms at U.N." (June 5, 2000)
"White House Backs Standby U.N. Army; Funding Circumvents Congress' Wishes", (April 23, 1998)
"GOP derides U.N. role as pact's broker" (February 24, 1998)
"U.S. officials slam U.N. funding plan" (January 17, 1996)

Print Material Issued by Moon Organizations on the UN and WANGO:
The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations – A Response From Civil Society (Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, 2000)
True Family and World Peace (Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2000)

II. Non-Moon Sources

Select Major Media Coverage:
Washington Post: "Moon's Japanese Profits Bolster Efforts in U.S." and "Church Spends Millions on Its Image," September 16-17, 1984
Columbia Journalism Review: "Washington's Other Paper: Is it the right time for the Times? " March/April 1995,
Guardian: "UPI Star Escapes Moon's Orbit," May 21, 2000,
Economist: "The Moonies have landed," November 7, 1998
Los Angeles Times: "Paper tainted by ties to right wing Moon church," April 26, 1987
New York Times: "Conservative Daily Tries to Expand National Niche," June 27, 1994
International Herald Tribune: "Unification Church Is Tied to U.S. Gun Company," March 11, 1999
Frontline (PBS-Television) : "The Resurrection of Reverend Moon," January 21, 1992.

Some Books on the Moon Organization & Related Matters
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects and Cults (New York: Rosen, 1993) (see article on "Unification Church")
Russ Bellant, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party (Boston: South End Press, 1991).
Robert B. Boettcher, Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsin Park and the Korea scandal (New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1980)
Jean-Francois Boyer, L'Empire Moon (Paris: í‰ditions La Découverte, 1986)
George D. Chryssides, The Advent of Sun Myung Moon: the origins, beliefs and practices of the Unification Church (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991)
Nansook Hong, In the Shadow of the Moons: my life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's family (Boston: Little, Brown, 1998)
Irving Louis Horowitz (ed.), Science, Sin and Scholarship: the politics of Reverend Moon and the Unification Church (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978)

Parliamentary Inquiries
95th Congress, 2nd Session, Investigation of Korean-American Relations, Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, October 31, 1978 [known as the Fraser Report]
Assemblée Nationale (France), "Rapport fait au nom de la commission d'enquíªte sur les sectes," 22 décembre, 1995

Some Web Resources on the Moon Organization: (List of front groups)


1 In this paper, we use the term "Moon organization" rather than "Unification Church," following the usage of other reports and analysts. We do this in order to emphasize the organization's many aspects, including business and politics, that overshadow the religious side.
2 The Moon organization emerges at a time when other new and well-funded organizations of unclear origin have also appeared as vocal lobbyists at UN events and conferences, in the name of religious values, the family, and human rights. See Jennifer Butler, "For Faith and Family – Christian Right Advocacy at the United Nations", The Public Eye, Summer/Fall 2000, Volume IX, No. 2/3 and "Bad Faith at the UN" (Washington: Catholics for a Free Choice, 2001). Bruno Fouchereau, "Les sects, cheval de troie des Etats-Unis en Europe," Le Monde Diplomatique, May, 2001, provides an interesting overview of conservative religious sects from a European perspective.
3 For Moon dealings in cash, see 95th Congress, 2nd Session, Investigation of Korean-American Relations, Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, October 31, 1978, stock number 052-070-04729-1 (hereafter: Report of the Subcommittee), "Interechangeability among organizations, personnel and funds," esp. pp. 335 and 337-38. This report is often known as the Fraser Report. For the text of the Conclusions and Recommendations see More recent information on this subject is to be found in John Burgess and Michael Isikoff, "Moon's Japanese Profits Bolster Efforts in U.S." Washington Post, September 16, 1984; Nansook Hong, In the Shadow of the Moons (Boston, 1998), 142-44, 173, 181-82, 185-86; Robert Parry, "Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Generation Next," The Consortium, September 8, 1997.
4 The official foundation date is 1954, but Moon's religious activities began earlier. Moon was born on January 6, 1920. For historical details see Benjamin Beit Hallahmi, "Unification Church," in his Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects and Cults (New York, 1993). More controversial details are considered in Robert Parry, "Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Truth, Legend & Lies," The Consortium, August 25, 1997. The Unification Church presents the canonical version in its own documents and web sites, see esp. "Rev. and Mrs. Moon," on The Unification Church site at
5 Moon claims that Jesus came to him when he was 16 and asked him to fulfill a special mission on earth. According to Moon's lectures and the text of his book The Divine Principle, the mission consists in building a global theocracy with Moon himself as leader. See George D. Chryssides, The Advent of Sun Myung Moon: the origins, beliefs and practices of the Unification Church (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991) and Beit Hallahmi, op. cit.
6 A French National Assembly report on sects presents a table with estimates of membership of various sects as of 1995, with an estimate of 180,000 for the Unification movement worldwide (see p. 9). Agence France Presse, in a January 19, 2001 article, mentions a top worldwide figure of 200,000. Estimates vary considerably and Unification sources claim much higher number. It seems that most of the worldwide Unification membership is in Korea and Japan and that US membership has been declining for more than a decade. In 1997, the Washington Post cited knowledgeable sources as saying that US membership is just 3,000 and falling (Marc Fisher and Jeff Leen, "Stymied in U.S., Moon's Church Sounds a Retreat," Washington Post, November 24, 1997).
7 Report of the Subcommittee, "Activities in Support of Nixon," pp. 340-43. There are many more recent accounts of deceptive and cult-like recruitment methods. See, for instance, Robert Parry, "One Mother's Tale: Moon and an NYU Freshman," The Consortium, July 28, 1997.
8 Ibid. p. 342. See also Michael Isikoff, "Church Spends Millions to Defend Its Image," Washington Post, September 17, 1984.
9 Robert Parry, "Rev. Moon and His ‘Green Card'," The Consortium, 1998. The Green Card not only protects Moon from deportation, it also shields his organizations from required registration under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, according to Federal officials (see Robert Parry, "Moon's Billions and Washington's Blind Eye," The Consortium, December 22, 1997.
10 Report of the Subcommittee, "Components of the Moon Organization," pp. 316-326.
11 Report of the Subcommittee, nos. 4,5,8, p.387. See also T.R. Reid, "House Subcommittee Reports links Rev. Moon to the KCIA," Washington Post, August 5, 1977.
12 Report of the Subcommittee, p.389.
13 Ibid. p.388.
14 Ibid. p. 335.
15 Ibid. pp. 335, 337.
16 Ibid. p. 314. To the present, Moon continues to speak about a theocracy, in which he would interpret God's will. "Separation between religion and politics is what Satan likes most," he has said often (see Ibid.)
17 "Not quite Sing Sing", The Economist, May 19, 1984; "Churchmen attack Reagan as Moonie leader leaves prison", The Guardian, August 22, 1985.
18 "The Moon Organization," a list compiled in 2000 by Investigative Research Specialists and widely regarded as reliable. See Most of the groups we mention in this article are mentioned in primary Moon documents, too. For a Moon listing, see for example the "Global Outreach" page on The Unification Church web site at
19 A troubling report about CARP and its activities appeared in the Boston Globe, April 20, 1988.
20 "The Moon Organization," op. cit.
21 IIFWP web site at
22 The most visible example of this is the takeover of the University of Bridgeport, see below under "Media and Cultural Properties."
23 See, for example, Robert B. Boettcher, Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsin Park and the Korea scandal (New York, 1980)
24 Report of the Subcommittee, Conclusions and Recommendations, no 1, p 387.
25 Intereligious and International Federation for World Peace, The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations: a response from civil society, (Washington, DC, 2000) and IIFWP, The Millennium Declaration of the UN . . . Executive Summary web page at
26 "Updated Schedule, WCSF 2001" and IIFWP, "The Millennium Declaration," p. ix.
27 Her business card gives the WFWP title, the IIFWP title is listed on the IIFWP web site at www.iifwp/Activities/2001/ILS/
28 See Youth Federation for World Peace web site
29 Fisher and Leen, "Stymied in U.S.," op. cit.
30 This information comes from the application examined by the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs.
31 Russ Bellant, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party (Boston: 1988)
32 Ibid.
33 Ibid.
34 "World Anti-Communist League," a reference document published by Group Watch, Interhemispheric Resource Center, (
35 The Washington Times is owned by a parent company, News World Communications. (K. Rothmeyer, "Mapping Out Moon's Media Empire," Columbia Journalism Review, November-December, 1984, pp. 23-71) News World is apparently owed by One-Up Enterprises, which in turn is owned by Unification Church International (Burgess and Isikoff, op. cit.). See also Allan Freedman, "Washington's Other Paper, Columbia Journalism Review, March/April, 1995
36 Examples of Washington Times anti-UN articles are: Adrian Karatnycky, "Tyrants rule", Op-ed May 17, 2001; George Archibald, "Pro-life groups feel shut out of U.N. summit," January 2, 2001; George Archibald, "Battle to define ‘sexual rights' looms at U.N." June 5, 2000; George Archibald, "White House Backs Standby U.N. Army; Funding Circumvents Congress'Wishes," April 23, 1998; Nancy E. Roman, "GOP derides U.N. role as pact's broker," February 24, 1998; Ben Barber, "U.S. officials slam U.N. funding plan," January 17, 1996.
37 "Biting the hand that feeds it", Washington Times, May 16, 2001.
38 With circulation of only about 100,000 and modest advertising revenue, the paper apparently has income of only a fraction of its expenses. Though the paper and its holding company do not release financial results, former employees and even Rev. Moon himself have confirmed large annual losses in the tens of millions of dollars. For the earlier years, see David Shaw, "Paper Tainted by Ties to Right Wing Moon Church," Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1987; Washington Times Fights for its life," Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1987. Shaw estimated that in 1986, the paper lost $35 million but that total losses in the Moon media properties came to $92 million.
39 William Glaberson, "Conservative Daily Tries to Expand National Niche", New York Times, June 27, 1994. The sum Moon mentions may be exaggerated.
40 "A Decade of Service to God and America", Speech by Reverend Sun Myung Moon at the 10th Anniversary of the Washington Times and Presentation of the Freedom Awards, May 21, 1992,
41 Calvin Sims, "A Newspaper for Half a Hemisphere?" New York Times, August 11, 1997.
42 See (in Spanish).
43 Email interview with an NGO leader based on the continent.
44 See The program of the World Culture and Sports Festival 2001 lists "Ambassador Philip Sanchez" as the "Publisher" of Tiempos del Mundo and Ultimas Noticias.
45 For more information go to
46 The connection of these media to News World is made clear on the home page of Tiempos del Mundo at According to the web site of the Youth Federation for World Peace, op. cit., Dong Moon Joo serves simultaneously as President of the Washington Times, Insight, The World & I, The Washington Golf Monthly, The Middle East Times and Noticisas del Mundo.
47 "The Moon Organization," op. cit.
48 The Moon organization has also operated newspapers in New York City in the past, including one called World News. For many details about Moon media, see K. Rothmeyer, "Mapping," op. cit.
49 Fisher and Leen, "A Church in Flux," op. cit.
50 Hubert B. Herring, "Diary" (under rubric Education, ‘Mr. Moon goes to School'), New York Times, September 10, 1995.
51 Marc Fisher and Jeff Leen, "A Church in Flux is Flush with Cash: Moon linked to bewildering array of entities," Washington Post, November 23, 1997. This article provides much useful information about the many facets of the Moon organization.
52 "The Moon Organization," op. cit.
53 For information on Joo and his predecessor Col. Bo Hi Pak (former military attaché at the South Korean embassy in Washington) see Marc Fisher and Jeff Leen "A Low-Profile Aide Plays a Powerful Role," Washington Post, November 23, 1997.
54 Hong, op. cit., p. 144.
55 Ibid.
56 Ibid., pp. 49-50.
57 At one time, the Moon organization used the New Yorker as a dormitory for its members and a location for Moon events, but in recent years the property has been converted back to an ordinary commercial hotel.
58 One-Up is described by the Washington Post as "the main holding company for the movement's U.S. businesses." (Fisher and Leen, "A Church in Flux," op. cit.).
59 Thomas Farragher, "His Father Preachers Peace, But He Makes Arms," The Boston Globe, March 21, 1999.
60 John Mintz, "Unification Church is Ties to U.S. Gun Company," International Herald Tribune, March 11, 1999.
61 See Kahr Arms website
62 See Saeilo Web site at
63 Ibid. For an interesting article on the Moon arms business and the disillusionment of followers, see Farragher, "His Father," op.cit.
64 Report of the Subcommittee, pp. 387, 392.
65 The name of this large firm is close to "Gongil Kyohoe," the Korean name of the Moon organization.
66 "Moon's Banking Woes," The Consortium, October 1, 1998; Samuel Blixen, "Rev. Moon's Bank Scam," iF magazine, November 6, 1998.
67 Ibid.
68 "Moon's Japanese Profits Bolster Efforts in U.S.", Washington Post, September 16, 1984 and "The Moonies have landed", Economist, November 7, 1998.
69 See "The Moon Organization," op.cit.. Many details about the Moon presence in Uruguay are detailed in Edward Schumacher, "Uruguay is Fertile Soil for Moon Church Money," New York Times, Feburary 16, 1984.
70 Hong, op. cit. provides many examples of money-smuggling and illegal transfers of funds from one entity to another. See, e.g., pp. 142-44, 173, 181-82, 185-86. See also Burgess and Isakoff, op. cit; Congressional Report, op. cit., and Robert Parry, "Generation Next," op. cit.
71 Hong tells of her own smuggling of $20,000 in cash in a makeup case (op. cit., p. 173).
72 Fisher and Leen, "A Church in Flux," op. cit.
73 Hong, op. cit., p. 142.
74 See Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, True Family and World Peace (Women's Federation for World Peace, 2000)
75 Robert Parry, "Dark Side of the Rev. Moon: Hooking George Bush," The Consortium, 1997.
76 As quoted by Fisher and Leen, "Stymied in U.S." op. cit.
77 It appears that the conduct of the Moon family falls far short of the purity and "family values" that Rev. Moon preaches. The book by Moon daughter-in-law Nansook Hong provides an account of drug abuse, violence, dubious financial practices and sexual license by the Moon family's eldest son. Her account also includes a highly unflattering picture of the Sun Myung Moon, Hak Ja Han Moon and their other children. See Hong, op. cit., passim.
78 Ibid.
79 "We should launch a worldwide campaign to quarantine people with death-dealing communicable diseases," said Moon in a speech in Punta del Este, December 6, 2000 (as posted on the Unification web site at www.
80 Isikoff, September 17, 1984, op. cit.
81 In the Punta del Este speech of December 6, 2000 (op. cit.), Moon said that "Labor unions in developed countries cause decline. Communists used them to destroy the free world's economy." In another speech on November 26, 2000 (posted on the same web page), he said "We have to provide the superior answer to exploitative labor unions, the separation of politics from religious values, and homosexuality."
82 The World Media Association, a Moon group, funded these journalist trips, which generally took reporters on smaller papers that could not afford to send their own staff. See Washington Post, August 28, 1983.
83 "Robert Parry, "Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Buying the Right," iFMagazine, Sep/Oct '97 (also The Consortium, August 11, 1997); Fisher and Leen, "Church in Flux," op. cit.
84 One of the best general articles on Moon funding and influence in Washington is Andrew Leigh, "Inside Moon's Washington; the private side of public relations: improving the image, looking for clout," Washington Post, October 15, 1989. Leigh makes it clear that Moon money has also found its way occasionally into non-conservative pockets, including some Democratic politicians and African-American leaders like Ralph Abernathy. See also "Why is TV news ignoring the relationship between Moon and the Bush family?" Online Journal, February 22, 2001; Robert Parry, "Dark Side" op. cit.
85 Ties to the Reagan administration were especially visible. Rev. Moon was a VIP guest at the Reagan inauguration and Reagan told reporters that the Washington Times was the first newspaper he read each morning. With George Bush the elder, the Moon organization made a major effort to elect him president. The Moon-controlled American Freedom Coalition distributed 30 million pieces of campaign literature to support Bush's candidacy. [PBS-Frontline: "The Resurrection of Reverend Moon," January 21, 1992] Gerald Ford, like Bush, has been a speaker at Moon events. He gave the keynote speech at the Family Federation Convention on July 31, 1996.
86 Frontline, op. cit.
87 As quoted by Fisher and Leen, "A Church in Flux," op. cit.
88 Robert Parry, "Moon's Billions" op. cit. and Robert Parry, "Dark Side" op. cit.
89 Marc Fisher, "Celebrities Pulled into Moon's Orbit; Speakers Unaware of Conclave's Cult Link," Washington Post, July 30, 1996.
90Andrew Pollack, "Bush's Sponsor in Japan is Linked to Rev. Moon," New York Times, September 4, 1995; Andrew Pollack, "Bushes Speak at Tokyo Rally of Group Linked to Moon Church," September 15, 1995; Kevin Sullivan, "Bush Stresses Family in Tokyo Speech; former President addresses followers of Unification Church leader's wife," Washington Post, September 15, 1995.
91 Sullivan, op. cit.
92 See web sites of the Youth Federation ( and the Family Federation (
93 Robert Parry, "Hooking George Bush," op. cit.; Leigh, op. cit.; Agence France Presse, November 22, 1996.
94 A $10 million figure was reported on MSNBC News, October 13, 1999. The Washington Post reported that Bush was paid $100,000 for his Buenos Aires appearance alone (Reuters, November 25, 1996). By our calculation, Bush gave about 18 speeches for Moon organizations during this period. At $100,000 per speech, the total fees would have been $1.8 million.
95 Frontline, op. cit.
96 Fisher and Leen, "Stymied in U.S.," op. cit.
97 See Larry Witham, "Ashcroft Says America is Nation ‘Worth Praying For,'" The Washington Times, January 20, 2001; Adelle M. Banks, "Religious Leaders Pray for Healing," Chattanooga Times, January 20, 2001; Joe Conason, "Put Ye No Faith in Bush's Ministers," New York Observer, February 12, 2001; Carla Binion, "Why is TV News Ignoring the Relationship Between Moon and the Bush Family," Online Journal, February 22, 2001. The event was paid for by the Washington Times Foundation.
98 Some say the headquarters is located at the Moon residence in Tarrytown, just outside of New York City. But it seems that much of the administration takes place in Manhattan, in buildings located at 481 8th Avenue and 4 West 43rd Street, just a few blocks west of the UN.
99 For details on the grand lifestyle, including life in the family compounds in Tarrytown, fancy cars, servants and virtually unlimited spending money, see Hong, op.cit., passim. Hong claims that money from Japanese sources alone may have amounted to more than $300 million per year in the 1980s.
100 Burgess and Isikoff, September 16, 1984, op.cit.
101 Court cases and publicity in Japan in the 1990s have revealed details about these "fund-raising" efforts. See Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, "Once-Generous Japanese Become Disenchanted with Moon's Church," Washington Post, August 4, 1996; "Kevin Sullivan, "Widow Paid church $400,000 to End Husban's ‘Suffering in Hell'," Washington Post, August 4, 1996.
102 The Congressional report made this allegation and it has been repeated often since, including recently by employees of the Moon bank in Uruguay, Banco de Credito ["Rev. Moon's Bank Scam," iF magazine, November 6, 1998 and Blixen, op. cit.].
103 "The Moonies have landed", November 7, Economist, 1998
104 David Shaw, "Paper Tainted" op. cit.
105 Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1992
106 Hong, op.cit., p. 149.
107 See the speech posted on a Unification Church web site at
108 In addition to those in the UN community who have told GPF about their deception, there are many more cases of this type in the public record. Entertainer Bill Cosby, for example, was booked to speak at a conference of the Family Federation for World Peace on Juyly 31, 1996. He was furious to learn that it was a Moon-sponsored event and tried to back out but found his contract was binding. This and other cases, including television personality Barbara Walters, were reported in Fisher, "Celebrities Pulled into Moon's Orbit," op. cit.
109 See "World Culture and Sports Festival 2001: Program Schedule for the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations" listing of events for Sunday, January 28.
110 Information provided by Habitat headquarters.
111 IIFWP Newsletter, February 2001, p. 5.
112 The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations. A Response from Civil Society, (New York: Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, 2000), p.31
113 Full-time WANGO volunteer Richard Jordan held a pass of Global Education Associates, though his WANGO relationship was unknown to GEA leaders. Jordan says he ended his seven-month volunteer relationship with WANGO in April, 2001.
114 "For Faith and Family" op. cit. and "Bad Faith at the UN" op. cit.
116 Conference program, confirmed by UN Secretariat.
117 Unification Church,
118 Ibid.
119 Ibid.
120 Names of co-sponsors as listed in the "Executive Summary" of the event circulated by the organizers.
121 "Executive Summary" op. cit.
122 See the special glossy 8-page program entitled "Happy Birthday, True Parents" produced for the occasion.
123 There are different accounts as to how many couples actually participated in this event. Reports range from 65 to 200 couples, but the exact number is not significant.
125 Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, "International Leadership Seminars: Overview" (
126 Report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services on the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) (A/51/1884), Executive Summary.
127 Ibid. See also Deutsche Presse-Agentur,"UN Staff Member Overpaid 150,000 dollars, oversight report says" October 30, 1996
128 Ibid.
129 InterPress Service, April 4, 1997
130 In The Millennium Declaration, op.cit., published in late 2000, Smith is identified as Director, Office of Public Affairs, Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace. The IIFWP web site gives her the same title. So she evidently holds two positions. The address on her card, 481 Eighth Avenue, is the address for the headquarters of the Unification Church. The card announces "UN ECOSOC/DPI/NGO General Consultative Status."
131 Committee members say they have learned from this case and that they will apply criteria more strictly in the future to avoid accreditation of such applicants.
132 IIFWP, "International Symposium" (

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