Dan Holdgreiwe on "Father" Moon.
1. Ex-member Testimonies
The first media stories to appear about the UC were of the "here are some
harmless cranks" variety that Neo-Paganism is currently enjoying. This changed
in the mid-1970s when the "brainwashed ex-member" stories began to appear.
Since the central element of these stories was a deprogrammed ex-member, the
tie to the deprogramming industry is clear. The common elements of these
stories are explained by the indoctrination inherent in the deprograming
(re-programming?) process itself.
Are these stories true? The worst parts of these stories are not statements
of fact, but of opinion. "Moon is a crook," the ex-member says, not because he
(or she) has seen the financial records, but because he has concluded (at the
deprogrammer's urging) that "nobody could really believe that stuff." These
stories convey a very negative image of the UC, but they often have nothing in
the way of hard facts.
2. Undercover Reporter Stories
A follow up wave of stories featured the brave investigative reporter who
(at great personal risk) snuck into a UC workshop. Inspired by the ex-member
stories, these reporters were often looking for a juicy "cult mind-control"
story. Sometimes they were fed material by the deprogrammers as well.
(Remember, the deprogrammers have been running a very profitable business for
almost twenty years now. They have formidable media connections. The main
deprogrammer front group, CAN, was a consultant for Geraldo Rivera's satanism
programs.) Unsurprisingly, most reporters found the story they expected to
Were these stories true? Again no violations of law were alleged. It all
came down to the reporter's characterization of the workshop as dangerously
persuasive. Since only a small percentage of workshop attendees came back for
even one follow-up event, I have a somewhat lower opinion of the workshop's
efficacy, but it's probably true that most reporters believed what they wrote.
3. Business Stories
At first these were an outgrowth of the ex-member stories, but later on
local politicians and others got in on the act. The thrust of these stories
was that the UC was using its tax-exempt status to run a tax-free commercial
empire. Questions would be raised and dire warnings issues. Then there would
be no follow up story, because from the first the UC related businesses were
always organized as tax-paying corporations legally separate from the church.
4. Political Stories
A largely independent line of stories deals with the UC's supposed foreign
and domestic political activities. By and large these were NOT origianted by
the deprogrammers (although the two groups would use each other's work) but by
persons who objected to the UC's anti-communist poitical agenda.
It a week when the Soviet Union has barred its own Communist Party from
political activites, it may be difficult to recall how unfashionable
anti-communism was ten and fifteen years ago. To be anti-Communist was the
most "politically incorrect" thing in those years, and the UC quickly made
itself a pariah by calling for "victory over Communism."
Even so, the UC wasn't really worth attacking on its own. Most of the
stories were really designed to embarass politically important anti-communist
groups by linking them to the UC. Then when the Koreagate scandal broke, Don
Fraiser tried to lauch his Senate bid with an orgy of Congression Moon-bashing.
Were these stories true. Parts of them were. The UC worked hard to win
political influence for its fight against Communism, and even harder to keep
the South Korean regime (more repressive then than now) from banning it
altogheter. Other parts, however, were bunk. If the UC were really a KCIA
creation then it wouldn't have had to worry about the regime harassing it.
These seem to me to be the bult of the stories that I have seen. Perhaps
you have seen others.