Truth is a terrible cross to bear. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered. —Thomas Paine
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! —Isaiah 5:20
Let’s take a look at a few of the top rightwing movers and shakers who were close to Sun Myung Moon for various reasons. To give you an overview of some of those in Moon’s repertoire, you might want to listen to this 1997 interview with Chey Simonton who had researched the Moonie cult and their connections to the Christian right. Here is the transcript of that interview.
Jerry Falwell and Liberty University
Many years ago I wrote to a preacher friend of mine in Texas who thought the world of CNP charter member, Jerry Falwell. I told him Falwell had received mega funds from Moon, and this was a common occurrence for Council for National Policy members. He wrote to Falwell, and asked him if this was true. Falwell wrote him back and denied it. However, the truth won out and the funds were documented by diligent researchers.
Later, Jerry Falwell readily admitted that he had accepted 3.5 million dollars from Moon in 1994, in order to bail out his Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. This was funneled through a Moon organization known as the Women’s Federation for World Peace which had been chaired by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Timothy LaHaye, who is one of the founders of the Council for National Policy (see part 4). Beverly LaHaye is the founder of Concerned Women for America, whose chief financial officer is none other than her son, Lee LaHaye, an openly gay man. How interesting since CWA’s mission statement is adamantly against homosexuality.
The Women’s Federation for World Peace paid 3.5 million to the Christian Heritage Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit group which in turn bought Falwell’s $73 million debt, and then wrote it off. A research driven reporter had used an IRS tax form to track the donation’s source. [Link] The CHF then seems to have paid themselves a fee of one million dollars for their trouble. Where they got the money for that is anyone’s guess.
Falwell subsequently spoke at many of Moons’ functions, embracing the cult-leader with unabashed reverence and friendship. Even writings from Moons’ Church confirm Falwell’s comradeship with ‘the new messiah’ and his cult. Moon had even been a guest speaker in mainline denominational Churches. Falwell further praised Rev. Moon calling him, “An unsung hero to the cause of freedom, who is to be commended for his determination and courage and endurance in support of his beliefs.”
According to official court records of a lawsuit that was filed in Bedford County Circuit Court (West Virginia), it was alleged that Falwell and an associate flew to South Korea, January 9, 1994 to meet with Unification Church officials. This trip came shortly before Falwell was awarded the Moon money. Falwell stated openly, “If the American Atheists Society or Saddam Hussein himself ever sent an unrestricted gift to any of my ministries, be assured I will operate on Billy Sunday’s philosophy: The Devil’s had it long enough, and quickly cash the check.”
Personally, I don’t believe God needs one penny of satan’s monies to accomplish anything.
Dave Hunt of Berean Call stated the following in the Calvary Contender:
“Equally unthinkable was Jerry Falwell’s participation as a speaker at a conference last December in Uruguay, sponsored by Sun Myung Moon’s Inter Religious Foundation for World Peace and Washington Times Foundation, titled, “Christian Ecumenism in the Americas: Toward One Christian Family Under God.” (This is one world religion folks)
According to Moon’s Unification News, speakers, in addition to Moon and Falwell, included William Cenker (Chair of the Dept. of Religious Studies at Catholic University of America), Dr. Nilson Fanini (president of the Baptist World Alliance), and Michael Cromartie. In his speech, Falwell said, “It is my observation and personal conviction that conferences and seminars like this one can be very beneficial for building bridges of communication.”
Richard Viguerie, Direct Mail Wizard
When CNP charter member, Richard Viguerie fell on hard times in the late 1980s, Moon directed more business his way. The Washington Times hired the New Right’s direct-mail whiz to conduct a pricey direct-mail subscription drive. The business boosted Viguerie’s profit margin.
Another element of Moon’s strategy is to approach a conservative leader when he’s financially down, and this is what he did with Viguerie. Moon quietly infuses money and gains the leader’s gratitude.
In 1986, Viguerie was rescued from near bankruptcy with an account for distribution of the Unification Church-owned Insight magazine. Bo Hi Pak, a former Korean military-intelligence officer and Moon’s top U.S. operative, paid $10.06 million for Viguerie’s office building. Also, in 1987, Viguerie became Secretary, strategist and fund-raising genius of the newly created Moon-controlled and funded American Freedom Coalition (AFC), an alliance of political conservatives and conservative religious groups and individuals. In this position, Viguerie mailed millions of letters appealing for funds to lobby aid to the Contras and promote CNP member, Oliver North’s testimony before Congress. [Orange County Register, Dec. 21, 1987 / Washington Post, Oct. 15, 1989]
With Moon’s timely intervention, Viguerie survived financially and remains an important fixture in conservative political campaigns to this day. When Iran-contra figure Oliver North ran for the U.S. Senate in Virginia in 1994, his principal direct-mail contractor was Viguerie’s company, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Viguerie was the Executive secretary of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) from 1961-64 when he started his own direct mail fundraising company, RAVCO, now Viguerie Communications, using the YAF and Goldwater mailing lists. The founding statement of YAF was adopted in a meeting at the home of neo-con Trotskyite, William F. Buckley, CFR/CIA/Skull and Bonesman. [Link]
In the 1970s, Viguerie did the direct-mail fundraising for Paul Weyrich’s Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, now the Free Congress Foundation. Viguerie was a candidate in 1976 for the presidential nomination of the neo-fascist, “Klan-infested” American Independent Party (AIP) of George Wallace. In 1975, he created The Conservative Caucus (TCC) with CNP charter member and Dominionist Howard Phillips.
Let’s look at Ron Godwin and his close ties to Jerry Falwell and Sun Myung Moon. Godwin is someone most people haven’t heard of, but who has wielded a great deal of power within the rightwing camp as a “musketeer” for Moon. He isn’t particularly flashy or famous, and seems to have sailed under the radar of many conservatives.
On Jan. 28, 1995, a beaming Rev. Jerry Falwell told his Old Time Gospel Hour congregation some news that seemed heaven sent. The televangelist hailed two Virginia businessmen as financial saviors of debt-ridden Liberty University. They were Daniel Reber and Jimmy Thomas. Their non-profit Christian Heritage Foundation of Forest, Va., snapped up a big chunk of Liberty’s debt for $2.5 million, a fraction of its face value. Thousands of small religious investors who had bought church construction bonds through a Texas company were the big losers. Left unmentioned by Rev. Falwell was the fact that it was Moon who helped bail out Liberty University through one of his front groups which funneled $3.5 million to the Reber-Thomas Christian Heritage Foundation, the non-profit that had purchased the school’s debt.
According to Bob Parry’s research in Consortiumnews.com, the full public record strongly suggests that Falwell solicited Moon’s help in bailing out Liberty University. In a lawsuit on file in the Circuit Court of Bedford County — a community in southwestern Virginia — two of Reber’s former business associates alleged that Reber and Falwell flew to South Korea on Jan. 9, 1994, on a seven-day “secret trip” to meet “with representatives of the Unification Church.” The court document states that Reber and Falwell were accompanied to South Korea by Ronald S. Godwin, who had been executive director of Falwell’s Moral Majority before signing on as vice president of Moon’s Washington Times.
According to Bedford County court records, Reber, Falwell and Godwin also had discussions at Liberty University in 1993 with Dong Moon Joo, one of Moon’s right-hand men and president of The Washington Times.
Ronald Godwin, formerly the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, was the chief academic officer for Liberty university. As of Saturday, April 12, 2014, Liberty University released an additional statement announcing a reduced role at the school for Dr. Ron Godwin. This has so far been covered by the Lynchburg News & Advance, the Roanoke Times, the Richmond Times Dispatch, Charisma News, WVVA TV in Bluefield, WV, and even briefly in the local section of the Washington Post.
Liberty University had scaled back the responsibilities overseen by Provost Ron Godwin following a video in which he appeared to endorse a partnership between the university and Texas-based faith healer, Benny Hinn. Godwin, 76, will no longer serve as the university’s vice president for academic affairs, though he will continue as provost.
According to Matthew Grant McDaniel’s website, Dr. Godwin, and perhaps other Liberty administration, had prior knowledge of this arrangement with Benny Hinn since at least 2009, and it has been inappropriately kept confidential for the past five years. This is documented in Dr. Godwin’s ‘Provost’s Statement’ from April 4, where he makes clear that Mr. Reber (of Reber-Thomas Christian Heritage Foundation mentioned above) informed him “he had been authorized since 2009 by Liberty University (his words) to sell Liberty University Institute of Biblical Studies courses via Benny Hinn Ministries.” This, by the way, actually contradicts Liberty’s first statement that “Liberty transferred the operations of Liberty Home Bible Institute…to Mr. Dan Reber in 2011.”
For more on this story, see Liberty University’s Provost was a Senior Moonie Apostle and Collaborator by James Duncan on the website, Pajama Pages.
Obviously, Jerry Falwell had no problem associating with and accepting funds from Sun Myung Moon. He also had no problem hiring one of Moon’s major promoters and musketeers, Ron Godwin. And apparently Ron Godwin has no problem selling Liberty University Biblical Studies Courses via a very questionable ministry like Benny Hinn’s. Money certainly makes for strange bedfellows who claim to be Christian conservatives, yet find no problem consorting with cultists and apostates.
In the last few parts of this series, we’ll take a look at a few of the movers and shakers in the Council for National Policy.