In a just world, the career of Korean cult leader — er, messiah — Rev. Sun Myung Moon would be considered one of the great scandals of our time. As it stands, the Moonies are mostly seen as an amusing curiosity sprung from the heady ’70s. But that’s only where the story begins.
The Moonman, the multimillionaire owner of the Washington Times, has packed an absurd amount of sadism into his eight decades; it’s a fascinating and tragic story packed with mind control, buying political influence, multiple wives (and many more mistresses) and just general craziness — at one point the Reverend marries off his dead son.
This BBC doc is a good primer (found on Moon-watcher John Gorenfeld’s I Approve This Messiah blog) though it leaves out a few crucial details, including Moon’s coronation as the son of God in a U.S. Congressional building. See for yourself how “the man with the vision,” as Bush Sr. describes him, rose to prominence, screwed his followers (in many cases, literally) and wormed his way into the halls of power.