Rev. Moon & His 'Green Card'
By Robert Parry
Rev. Sun Myung Moon received his status as a U.S. "lawful permanent
resident" nearly 25 years ago, during President Nixon's administration,
according to a Justice Department document recently released under a
Freedom of Information Act request.
In a letter dated April 7, 1975, James F. Greene, then deputy commissioner
of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, listed the date when Moon
obtained his "green card" as April 30, 1973. But it was unclear from the
released document whether Moon received any preferential treatment from the
By 1973, Moon already was a controversial figure. The South Korean theocrat
was under public criticism for brainwashing impressionable young Americans
who were recruited into Moon's Unification Church. Moon also was raising
INS concerns by bringing hundreds of foreign followers to the United States
on tourist visas and then assigning them to mobile fund-raising teams.
But Moon was making himself useful to the Nixon administration by organizing
support for the Vietnam War and later for Nixon's defense against the
Watergate scandal. Moon's pro-Nixon activities led to a face-to-face White
House meeting between the South Korean and the besieged U.S. president on
Feb. 1, 1974.
Though the Justice Department released no documents about how Moon gained
his resident alien status, Nixon did have a history of assisting political
patrons with immigration problems. According to Seymour Hersh's The
Dark Side of Camelot, Nixon received a $100,000 bribe from Romanian
industrialist Nicolae Malaxa, a Nazi collaborator who moved to the United
States in 1946. Nixon battled to gain preferential treatment for Malaxa so
he could stay in the United States, which Malaxa did until his death in
1972. Hersh reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had a copy of the
$100,000 check made out to Nixon.
According to a 1978 congressional investigative report on the "Koreagate"
influence-buying scandal, "Moon had laid the foundation for political work
in this country prior to 1973 [though] his followers became more openly
involved in political activities in that and subsequent years." The report
added that Moon's organization used his followers' travels to smuggle large
sums of money into the United States in apparent violation of federal
That flow of money helped transform Moon into possibly the U.S.
conservative movement's most important source of financial support. Since
the early 1970s, Moon has poured billions of dollars into conservative
causes, including an estimated $100 million a year to subsidize the daily
Washington Times newspaper. Moon's organization also funnelled
money to many conservative political figures, including Rev. Jerry Falwell
and former President George Bush. [See The Consortium series last
According to other Justice Department records released under FOIA requests,
Moon's legal alien status has protected him and his movement from
government investigations into their sources of money and other legal
Though eligible for citizenship in 1978, Moon never became a U.S. citizen.
Then, about two years ago, frustrated by the apparent decline in his
church's membership, Moon began denouncing the United States as "Satanic"
and reviling Americans as individualistic. In 1996, Moon moved his base of
operation to Uruguay.
Nevertheless, Moon has not renounced his "green card," according to U.S.
officials familiar with his case. ~
(c) Copyright 1998
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