As explained in “Part I”, the New York Times has established a new low in journalistic abuse with its blatantly bigoted magazine article of November 7, 2021, “The Untold Story of Sushi in America” written by Daniel Fromson. The bigotry displayed therein is both racially and religiously offensive; stereotypical racist images of Asians are used throughout. It is outrageous that the New York Times would ever print such insulting images, but especially in this time when attacks on innocent Asians-due solely to their race- have generated a great uproar.
While the immediately apparent target of this unprincipled attack article is clearly the long departed Reverend Sun Myung Moon– a favorite victim of the NYT for over four decades- closer reading reveals that the ultimate target of the Times’ venom is Reverend Moon’s son and heir, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon. Clearly, the NYT wants to extend its efforts to discredit the Unification Movement by any means necessary-into the next generation’s leadership.
Fromson Takes Advantage of the Ongoing Unification Religious Schism
The very timing of the publishing of this article is itself suspect –coming just when the nearly 11 years-old “UCI court case” (the case that sprung from the highly contentious religious schism within the Unification Movement) has finally reached the appellate level and is awaiting the decision of the appeals court at any moment. It is impossible that this timing is mere coincidence. Fromson began interviewing individuals for this article in 2017 yet it is being released only now, as a central court decision is imminent. It is events within the Schism that have decided for the NYT editors it is time for them to strike. And the main worry for them going into the future is the rapid emergence of Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon as an influential spiritual and social leader.
In fact, Fromson’s favorite source, the now deceased Takeshi Yashiro, played a large part in helping to foment the ongoing schism that led to the previously mentioned “UCI court case”; which after 11 years, is now in the hands of the Washington, DC Appellate Court. Further, Yashiro helped fan the flames of the heated conflict by LYING outright about the Las Vegas meeting which plays so prominently in Fromson’s report. I had been a national level leader within the Unification Movement for over 30 years at that time (2011) and heard from a number of True World Food (TWF) leaders what had actually happened in Las Vegas. The first lie was to the 60 or so leaders when they were directed to go to Las Vegas because Reverend Moon had called them for a meeting. The meeting was actually called by some devious leaders of TWF led by Motoo Furuta, in collusion with corrupt and ambitious clerics of the Family Federation. While a number of these leaders had been working in TWF for some time, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon (Reverend Moon’s own son) was the overall Chairman. Against TWF’s corporate board’s express direction for them NOT to call such a meeting, they ignored their corporate leadership, lied to 60 managers and brought them to Reverend Moon’s residence in Las Vegas. When Reverend Moon first saw them, he asked the group, “Why are you here?” Shocked by this, the leaders knew that he had not called the meeting and that the entire ploy represented a strong attack on Dr. Hyun Jin Moon’s leadership within the Unification Movement.
The Campaign to Destroy Dr. Hyun Jin Moon
Soon after, it became known that Yashiro had the full backing of Mrs. Hak Ja Han, who was already leading her campaign to usurp Dr. Moon’s position as the rightful heir to her husband, chiefly by attempting to destroy her son’s reputation. She had begun all of the nonsense of calling herself the “Only Begotten Daughter of God”- a concept completely foreign to the teachings and practice that Reverend Moon had brought to the world. It was Mrs. Hak Ja Han that engineered the promotion of her youngest son, Sean, to the position of the international president of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). She also falsely declared that Sean was the real heir (a statement upon which she backtracked in 2019 when she testified under oath that Sean was never the heir). It became clear later that she had promoted Sean for one reason and one reason only- to oust Dr. Hyun Jin Moon from his true position as heir. Once Reverend Moon had passed away in 2012, she not only removed Sean from that position, but also expelled him entirely from the Unification Movement. She and her cabal of corrupt Unification clerics initiated many attacks upon Dr. Moon- including 30 court cases on three continents. Dr. Moon and his associates have prevailed in all of them until now, with the UCI case being the last of the 30. Fromson fails to even mention this ongoing legal onslaught.
Yashiro became an important “player” for Hak Ja Han, assisting her greatly in the unrelenting character assassination campaign against Dr. Moon. Fromson, instead of becoming an unwitting tool in this campaign by repeating Yashiro’s lies, should have realized Yashiro’s continuing schism role in furthering the attacks on Dr. Moon, and reported accordingly. Shamefully, Fromson prints Yashiro’s blatant lie: “Preston (Dr. Moon) was the biggest thief in the history of Moon’s church”. The truth is that many of the businesses under the clerics were failing to the point that they were major liabilities and required huge subsidies from members’ donations. So, Dr. Moon was entrusted by his father to not only fulfill his spiritual goals but to restructure the Movement’s business elements, including UCI. He has never stolen anything in his life. IF he had stolen UCI, Hak Ja Han would surely have added that to the charges against him in the infamous UCI civil suit. Even she knew that there was no foundation for such a false charge, yet the NYT prints it as fact!
There are other factual errors or distortions in this article that require correction. A glaring error in Fromson’s reporting is his description of Dr. Moon’s March 2008 report to Reverend Moon. Without justification, Fromson calls the report “supplicating yet self-righteous”. The report was neither of these. You can read the entire report for yourself here. As has always been his custom, Dr. Moon was respectful to his parents. His writing was sincere and proved to be prophetic. While Fromson states that the report was rejected by Reverend Moon, the truth is that Reverend Moon was immediately enthralled by its visionary content, because Dr. Moon shared his father’s vision so closely. In fact Reverend Moon called for that report to be read by Movement members worldwide for their morning spiritual study-called “Hoon Dok Hae” in Korean. That is because Reverend Moon’s mission had always been to initiate a “global interfaith movement”…not to create a separate church or even a separate religion; so he indeed agreed wholeheartedly with Dr. Moon.
Perhaps the biggest distortion by Fromson comes in his reporting about the “UCI court case” itself. He flatly states: “the District of Columbia Superior Court vindicated Moon’s church and his widow, and all the others who stood with them”, as if that decision were set in stone. Although he mentions shortly later that this ruling has been stayed, he first goes on at length about the details of the decision, painting Dr. Moon in the worst possible light. He even states his own conclusion: “it (the decision) made Preston (Dr. Moon) out to be a villain in ‘the age-old tale of a struggle for power and money.’” There is no way to justify such a statement; it is completely out of the bounds of journalistic objectivity and shows by itself that Fromson supported wholeheartedly Yashiro’s (and Hak Ja Han’s) false narrative against Dr. Moon– which is basically the same narrative Hak Ja Han presented in the “UCI court case”. Fromson goes on to cast doubt on the success of a First Amendment defense on the appellate level. Again, he fails to let his readers know crucial information -that the judges in the appeals court not only put a permanent stay on the lower court’s decision; they also voiced, in open court, their view that First Amendment religious rights of Dr. Moon and his associates may well have been breached by the lower court. This is in the public record of the proceedings- so Fromson either is in error by poor research OR he (and the Times) have decided to purposely collude with his detractors and discredit Dr. Moon, as they did his father for forty-plus years. All of that without giving any information about the man they are so gleefully attacking.
The indisputable facts are that Dr. Moon is a renowned spiritual leader of hundreds of thousands of faithful worldwide. He authored the best-seller, The Korean Dream, and is the drive behind a growing grassroots movement for the re-unification of Korea that involves millions of citizens. He is, in effect, carrying on the monumental work that his father began, as his father’s appointed heir- and this is obviously the main reason that the NYT made him their target in this scurrilous article.
The Times should immediately take this atrocity of an article down from its online presence AND issue a printed apology to all Asians and to all members of the Unification Movement.
Howard C. Self is President of Right To Believe, a non-profit that promotes First Amendment rights and religious freedom.