City Desk

Rev. Moon’s Death Might Not Mean End of the Washington Times

With the Monday death of Rev. Sun Myung Moon-–he of the mass weddings and Holy (sex) Handkerchief—at the age of 92, the natural instinct is to start a death watch for Moon's Unification Church and the enormous subsidy his long-ailing Washington Times receives from it. But the church is still big business in Asia and elsewhere, according to John Gorenfeld, a reporter who has covered the church.

"There is typically this cliche about the 'twilight of the Moon' or some other pun, and people talk about how white middle-class kids are no longer running off with the Moonies," writes Gorenfeld, the author of the book Bad Moon Rising. "But they're still heavily active all over places like South America."

The question, then, is whether the Times can keep its mouth on that lucrative spigot and avoid a repeat of 2009, when the Rev. Moon's son Preston Moon started axing Times executives. The results of that larger power struggle squeezed the Times's access to the church's Asian cash supply, inciting Preston Moon to toss the sports, metro, and photography departments overboard, too. The paper was only restored in 2010, when it was sold to an ally of Rev. Moon's for $1 and assumption of the paper's debts.

It's still murky who will succeed Rev. Moon and what that will mean for the Times, though Gorenfeld writes that the South Korean wing of the church was rife with in-fighting before Moon's death. In the meantime, let's remember Rev. Moon as he lived: telling legislators that he saved the souls of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Photo by the Universal Peace Foundation used under a Creative Commons license.

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  • becca

    Why remember him at all?

  • Ed

    Memoralize Reverend Moon by unfooling the people. Show these, ongoingly.

  • Jack Underwood

    It's a shame when someone writes like this upon someone's death - regardless of what you or I might personally believe.

  • William

    Sun Myung Moon will rest in peace...
    Few people recognize the good work that he has done, preaching marriage, purity, fidelity, living for the sake of others, risking his life and leading a charge against communism all the while not being respected, unfairly criticized, incorrectly incarcerated and being sent to die in a North Korea labor camp where the communist put him! I thank God for Rev Moon and his teachings, they have helped me personally become a person who loves and is respectful to EVERYONE and understand the true purpose of life.

    Before anyone criticizes think twice and actually read what the Rev Moon teaches!

  • bishop kamunya george

    There was a voice out of the cloud testifying to the Divine sonship. The disciples had been staggered at what Jesus had said about His rejection and death. Now they are assured that He is the Messiah, and that they must hear Him. Even if they could not understand, and if the things He said seemed to destroy all their hopes, they still needed to hear.