Moon, The Millionaire (PART-3)
Moon Money - A Brief History
PART-1 | PART-2 | PART-3
~There is truth to the Moonie folklore of Sun Myung Moon being born in an impoverished country of mostly poor farmers. A country that would also suffer the devastations and horrors of what was the Korean War. A war we are now learning, may have had as many questionable motives and possibly even more attrocities, than the Vietnam War produced. It is also true, that rising from the smoldering ashes of that life in Korea would be a man that believed himself to be Lord of the Second Advent who would become a religious figure known worldwide, in his own lifetime. Money played a major role in that, and though we have explored some of it's current sources, as in the Japanese Connection (Part-2), the questions remain of where it all started? How did it grow into the diversified empire that it has become. I hope to provide some of those answers in the following article.
Where Did The Money Begin?
~Moon owes the great wealth he enjoys to two things:
- His followers
- His ability to manipulate them.
Moon has surrounded himself with loyal and talented people, he then uses those people's talents for his personal gain, in the name of serving the "Messiah" on Earth. One of those followers in particular put Moon in a new league as he was building his wealth. That follower was: Sung Pyo Hong
Hong had joined the Unification Church in 1957, and been matched as one of the 36 couples, which were in effect the beginning of mass-marriage spectacles in the UC. Hong's daughter later was married to Moon's son Hyo Jin Moon, and it is this son that was later exposed as a cocaine addict and spouse abuser, detailed in a book by his now X-wife: Nansook Hong. In her book Shadow of the Moons she explains how her father was in fact the creator of the company that would become the first building block for many of Moon's future business successes. That company is Il Hwa.
Before joining Moon's church, Mr. Hong had achieved a degree in Pharmacy and after becoming a thoroughly loyal follower, Moon decided to utilize his skills and knowledge in this area. Nansook states that by this time Moon had already been living well off his followers, and his church was now growing in Japan as well. One of Moon's Japanese followers, told him that Ginseng was very popular in Japan, and that it could also become popular in Korea as well. Moon listened to the advice, and gave Mr. Hong $500 dollars, telling him to begin a company that would sell Ginseng Products.
As Nansook Said In Her Book:
In The Shadow Of The Moons
My father had never actually seen the ginseng root, though he knew that for centuries the perennial herb had been credited by those in the East with extraordinary curative and restorative powers. Ginseng was believed to retard aging, promote sexual virility, and boost energy.
He began the most profitable pharmaceutical company in Korea with a trip to the local market to get a look at what all the fuss was about. For the next ten years, I barely saw my father as he worked to build Il Hwa into a corporate giant specializing in Korean ginseng products including tea, capsules, extract, and beverages. He was gone when I woke up in the morning and he was still at work when I went to sleep at night.
My father transformed an idea into a major moneymaking enterprise for Sun Myung Moon. One of Il Hwa's products, McCol, is a soft drink almost as popular as Coca-Cola in Korea. Il Hwa's McCol and Ginseng-Up and it's bottled mineral water have made the company Korea's largest soft drink manufacturer, with 62 percent of the market share and exports to more than thirty countries.
My father's impetus for creating McCol had as much to do with serving the poor as building profits for Il Hwa. The main ingredient of McCol is barley. It's popularity - Sun Myung Moon drinks it even in America - created a market for barley farmers, who live on subsistence earnings in Korea. The son of a farmer, my father toiled not for earthly riches but for heavenly reward. The riches went to Sun Myung Moon.
~Hong was not the only talented follower that Moon would use in his insatiable quest for money. Another early follower was Hyo Min Eu, who was the cousin of former Unification Church President Hyo Won Eu. Hyo Min Eu invented the air gun and it was mass-produced and sold very successfully in Asia and America as well. Of course, one should not forget that aside from the businesses and soliciting of donations, the members upon joining usually donated all their possessions and bank accounts to the cult. It was for this reason alone that Moon often encouraged members to witness to wealthy people. This is successful in several ways. The idea that everything a member owns or aquires belongs to True Parents (Moon and his wife) is a very profitable enterprise in itself. If a wealthy person joins and donates his possessions and money, then the reward to Moon is immediate. But often children of wealthy people have joined. When that occurs, there is a slight chance that the parent may be swayed into joining. I have corresponded in fact, with a man that first lost his daughter to the cult, then his own wife, who insisted they live no longer as husband and wife but as brother and sister without a sexual relationship. After time of course, this leads to a distance due to the lack of physical intimacy as well as the inevitable distance in heart because step by step allegiance goes to the cult and to Moon himself rather than the spouse. In his case, this occurred and divorce followed. Now Moon receives not just the daughter, but the Mother, who is likely to receive money from the divorce settlement. Then one other source from this process, is inheritance. Many of Moon's members have received large inheritances. If you think about it, even people of modest means, may have a home that has been paid off. When Moon's follower inherits the property, it may be used for the cult, or more likely sold and the profits dutifully turned over to Moon. In Japan, one reporter told me, that he had received numerous tips that Moon's followers there were maxing out their credit card debt to supply funds to Moon's cult. They likely will never pay off the huge debts and will be broken financially even if they later leave the group. These are the lives Moon lays to waste while he lives in luxury and comfort.
~Yet another source of funding may be from sources connected to organized crime. Robert Parry detailed how Moon's church had made inroads with former war criminals in Japan, one of which became a billionaire through gambling and speed boat racing, which is a billion dollar industry in Japan.
Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Truth, Legend & Lies
By Robert Parry
At the same time, Kim Jong-Pil was in charge of South Korea's negotiations with Japan to improve bilateral relations between the two former enemies. Those talks put him in touch with key Japanese rightists, Yoshio Kodama and Ryoichi Sasakawa, who had been jailed as fascist war criminals at the end of World War II.
A few years after the war, however, both were freed by U.S. military intelligence officials who wanted help in combatting communist labor unions and student strikes. Kodama and Sasakawa obliged by dispatching right-wing goon squads to break up demonstrations. They also allegedly grew rich from their association with the yakuza, a shadowy organized crime syndicate that profited off drug smuggling, gambling and prostitution in Japan and Korea. Behind-the-scenes, Kodama and Sasakawa became power-brokers in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Kim Jong-Pil's contacts with these right-wing leaders proved invaluable to the Unification Church, which had made only a few converts in Japan by the early 1960s. Immediately after Kim Jong-Pil opened the door to Kodama and Sasakawa in late 1962, 50 leaders of an ultra-nationalist Japanese Buddhist sect converted en masse to the Unification Church.
According to David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro in their authoritative book, Yakuza, "Sasakawa became an advisor to Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Japanese branch of the Unification Church" and collaborated with Moon in building far-right anti-communist organizations in Asia.
Moon has shown that he is no respecter of persons, when it comes to cash money. There have been questions recently by reporters in Argentina that Moon's church may be involved in drugs and gun running, but when the question was posed to the Unification Church president in Argentina, the response was that the allegations were unfounded and that Moon's church is simply an organization of true love dedicated to making moral families. Hmmm.... This denial remians questionable when there is documented testimony that Moon and his representatives have had dealings with very shady figures, for decades, including former war criminals, murderous dictators and others.
~Charitable organizations also, no doubt, contribute to the Moon money-tree. The Unification Church has begun dozens of "charitable" organizations that are free to collect donations through various means, and all tax exempt. There are many questions as to how much of these donations are actually used for the charity work, and how much ends up somewhere else. It is very beneficial to Moon to maintain his position as a religious leader, because it disguises his funds and creates confusion when the monies are transfered through a chain of other organizations connected with or founded by Moon.
New York Times
Saturday, October 30, 1976
NEW YORK ACCUSES SEOUL GROUP
ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 29  (UPI) - The Korean Cultural and Freedom
Foundation [Pak's organization], with offices in Washington and Seoul,
was charged with violations of New York's laws on charitable fundraising
today, the state Board of Social Welfare announced.
The investigation involved $1.5 million collected by several subsidiary
charity programs, including one which raised $1.3 million and
distributed only $122,673 for the intended program, according to a
statement released by the board.
Bernard Shapiro, the board's executive director, said the State Attorney
General had been asked to obtain a stay barring the agency from further
solicitation in the state.
New York Times
Saturday, October 30, 1976
During the mid-1960's, Mr. Pak told a one-time family friend of his
plans for the foundation. The friend, Robert W. Roland, a former
airline pilot, said in Congressional testimony last year that Mr. Pak
described it as a front organization, and that it would be used to gain
influence from wealthy people, and Government officials.
Mr. Roland, testifying under oath, said "Pak indicated that his primary
aim was to establish influential contacts with the Government and social
elite of the nation's capital." He also testified that Mr. Pak "talked
very clearly about using it as a fundraising organization for the Moon
Through the years, Moon has developed a veritable web of organizations, front groups, businesses and projects, all of which are interconnected by Moon's funding of them, and by his close leaders heading the various groups. Any one of Moon's top leaders could have been head of as many as a dozen or more of these orgnizations through their careers with Moon. And often they have headed several of them simultaneously. A list of Moonie front-groups was created in the 80's and can be found HERE. In other articles, I will detail many of these groups with a brief history and information on each one.
~Money, besides purchasing organizations and buildings and factories, sometimes buys people as well. In the section called Who Is In Moon's Pocket, I will list many of these people, and rate them as to the level of their involvement with Moon's cult.
Return To Part-1 Of This Series