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Sun Myung Moon

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Later, the group's founder, the Rev. Sun-Myung Moon, was jailed on questionable allegations, and he took his punishment in a Connecticut prison with exemplary forbearance.
--
Kenneth Briggs, former religion editor of the New York Times, Beliefnet.com

 
Sun Myung Moon

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Mr. Speaker, the activities of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church continue to cause distress for many of us. As you know, the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, chaired by my distinguished colleague, Donald Fraser, is investigating allegations of close ties between the Reverend Moon and some of his organizations and the South Korean government, including the KCIA. As a member of the subcommittee, I am, of course, disturbed over such allegations. My greatest concern, however, is for those young people who have been converted by these religious cults and for their parents, who have suffered the loss of their children. One of these parents, Mrs. Ida Watson Camburn of Sunnyvale, Calif., brought to my attention the testimony of John G. Clark, Jr., M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, before a Vermont Senate committee, which was investigating religious cults. Dr. Clark's remarks, based on 2 ? years of research, deal with the effects of some religious cults on the mental and physical health and welfare of their converts. I highly recommend his conclusions to my colleagues.

 
Leo J. Ryan
 

Mr. Speaker, the activities of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church continue to cause distress for many of us. As you know, the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, chaired by my distinguished colleague, Donald Fraser, is investigating allegations of close ties between the Reverend Moon and some of his organizations and the South Korean government, including the KCIA. As a member of the subcommittee, I am, of course, disturbed over such allegations. My greatest concern, however, is for those young people who have been converted by these religious cults and for their parents, who have suffered the loss of their children. One of these parents, Mrs. Ida Watson Camburn of Sunnyvale, Calif., brought to my attention the testimony of John G. Clark, Jr., M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, before a Vermont Senate committee, which was investigating religious cults. Dr. Clark's remarks, based on 2 ? years of research, deal with the effects of some religious cults on the mental and physical health and welfare of their converts. I highly recommend his conclusions to my colleagues.

 
Sun Myung Moon
 

Why trust Rev. Moon's dreams and visions of the new age and his role in it, we ask? Most converts actually have had minimal contact with him. Frederick Sontag (Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church, Abingdon, 1977) in his interviews with Moon appears to have found a pleasant but not an overwhelming personality. Charisma, as traditionally understood, seems hardly applicable here. Rather, Moon provides a model. He suffered valiantly, he knows confidently, he prays assuredly, he lives lovingly, say his followers. The Divine Principle is not an unrealizable ideal; it is incarnate in a man, it lives, it is imitable. His truth is experienced to be their truth. His explanation of the universe becomes their understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.

 
Sun Myung Moon
 

We accused a newcomer to our shores of criminal and intentional wrongdoing for conduct commonly engaged in by a large percentage of our own religious leaders, namely, the holding of church funds in bank accounts in their own names. Catholic priests do it. Baptist ministers do it, and so did Sun Myung Moon.
No matter how we view it, it remains a fact that we charged a non-English-speaking alien with criminal tax evasion on the first tax returns he filed in this country. It appears that we didn't give him a fair chance to understand our laws. We didn't seek a civil penalty as an initial means of redress. We didn't give him the benefit of any doubt. Rather, we took a novel theory of tax liability of less than $10,000 and turned it into a guilty verdict and eighteen months in a federal prison.
I do feel strongly, after my subcommittee has carefully and objectively reviewed this case from both sides, that injustice rather than justice has been served. The Moon case sends a strong signal that if one's views are unpopular enough, this country will find a way not to tolerate, but to convict. I don't believe that you or I or anyone else, no matter how innocent, could realistically prevail against the combined forces of our Justice Department and judicial branch in a case such as Reverend Moon's.

 
Sun Myung Moon
 

The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable. The elements have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, the earth buries. And perhaps it would be well for our race if the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Man were as inevitable as the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Nature, were Man as unerring in his judgments as Nature.

 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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