Monday, November 23, 2009

Affidavit: Wash Times Receives $40 Million Yearly From Moon

In an affidavit for a lawsuit against his former employer, former Washington Times editorial page editor Richard Miniter disclosed that Sun Myung Moon's Unification movement spends $40 million each year subsidizing the paper. Also, Miniter felt that then-Times publisher Tom McDevitt pressured him to attend a Moonie mass wedding:
21. McDevitt told me that "It would be good for you to go." I took this to mean that if I didn't go, it would count negatively against my prospects at The Washington Times and of being offered permanent executive employment there.

22. I knew that McDevitt was a member of the Unification Church and that his religion was important to him. A large, Mao-like portrait of Rev. Moon hung above his desk and a billboard-sized Korean-language calligraphy, written by Rev. Moon, hung in the executive conference room. While these Moon relics were only seen by senior executives, I knew they had personal significance to McDevitt. At first, I considered this artwork to be a sign of personal and private religious devotion, like an Advent calendar tacked to someone's cubicle, and not a sign that the Church would interfere in the "editorial independence" that editors were promised.

1 comment:

Kenneth Gordon Neufeld said...

We should not be surprised that non-Unificationists would take at face value the reassurances of Moon and the ownership group that they would not interfere editorially in The Washington Times. Those people would say anything to advance their agenda. But from the beginning, The Washington Times was launched and maintained by Moon as his way of influencing America into thinking the way he wants it to think. When I was a Moon follower from 1976 to 1986, Moon often spoke of how important it would be to capture America as part of his vision to unify the world under his theology. In the 1970s he was quite seriously hoping to convert the American population en masse. When this didn't work out, and he was jailed for 13 months for tax fraud, he opted for influence behind the scenes instead. The Washington Times was always the centerpiece of this alternative strategy. He may not have converted many Americans to his theology, but he has certainly helped to swing political and public opinion to the right. I have an email acquaintance who insists that this was always Moon's goal from the beginning, and that he never expected to actually convert people in large numbers. I, however, believe that initially Moon intended to accomplish a mass conversion, and only turned to The Washington Times and other political and cultural organizations as a fallback position. By doing so, his Unification cult avoided the fate of some other 1970s cults such as The Way International and the Children of God which have now largely vanished.