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Moonies Receive Federal Grant for Martin Luther King Initiative

Alex Constantine - June 15, 2007

moontrib2reut - Moonies Receive Federal Grant for Martin Luther King InitiativeClaiming credit for King's revered status, Moonie front gets $80,000 in federal funds to celebrate MLK Day.

Mooning Martin Luther King, Jr.
10 June 2007

Bill Berkowitz

If there was an organization that received taxpayer money and appeared to be doing reasonably good things in the community, would you care whether that organization was a front group for a powerful political/religious enterprise? Would it matter to you that the head of that enterprise had a much broader -- some call it an anti-democratic -- agenda, than merely helping out in the community? Would you warn your neighbors about the group?

Those were some of the questions facing Connecticut State Senator Bill Finch when he recognized that the Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Service for Peace (SFP) was affiliated with the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

On December 8, 2005, Finch posted the following information on his website:

story - Moonies Receive Federal Grant for Martin Luther King InitiativeIn its heyday the Moon Organization had literally hundreds of "front groups." These groups generally had sunny exteriors with lofty and socially conscientious goals. Their real purpose was to recruit unsuspecting, idealistic people into the Moon web. Before recruits knew it the idealistic goals were gone and they were being drawn into Moon's agenda of fundraising, recruiting, weird conferences and mass weddings of strangers. This all in the name of a pseudo-religion, which demands you reject your parents and embrace Moon and his wife as your "True Parents."

The Moon Organization is opening a new front group right here in Bridgeport. Service for Peace will locate in the Black Rock Arts Center. Perhaps you saw the CT Post article touting this group, which will be working to involve the area youth with their idealistic mission. Before you or your family members get involved check them out. My friend, Steve Hassan, author and self-described former "Moonie" keeps a web site where you can check out any group that sounds fishy or too good to be true. Steve's website is freedomofmind.com.

A broken clock is right two times a day. Even cult front groups do good work. Don't be misled by slick brochures with lofty goals and lots of pictures of smiling faces. Those faces year later will be crying over the years of their lives wasted serving Moon or other cult leaders.

Be skeptical and forewarned.

It is unlikely that Finch was prepared for some of the responses he subsequently received. One person responded:

Bill I was at their grand opening and have worked with Charles the head of Service for Peace in our Rotary club for a couple years now. Beware of people doing good works? I don't see it. The Martin Luther King Inititive seems like a good idea that resonates with many people. What should I fear? When do they make their move? what are the tell tale signs that I'm about to be dragged off to some Mooney brain washing room? Bill I've been listening to this rhetoric for years and I see very little proof of any wrong-doing on these peoples part. Am I missing something???????

Someone signing on as "Anonymous" suggested that the State Senator's comments were "ludicrous": "Who are you to judge a world wide religious movement?" Another anonymous poster wrote: "I find it to be a chilling reprehensible development when an elected government official supports and sanctions religious bigotry on his blog."

Diana Vaptzarova, the Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Initiative at Service for Peace in Bridgeport also responded:

Service For Peace is a non-profit, non-religious organization with a mission to provide service-learning opportunities to everyone who wants to improve themselves and their communities and work for lasting peace. Our service programs deepen cooperation between diverse groups and communities and the world, leading to lasting change.

Last week, Service For Peace was one of six non-profit organizations nationwide to receive a federal grant totaling almost ¼ of a million over three years from the National Corporation for Community Service in support of projects for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. ...


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  1. such a tired article, full of untruths, innuendos and out of date stuff, the photos designed to add to the text. Admittedely you posted the positive responses, and what a breath of fresh air. I guess Mr Hassan had some bad experiences many years ago and its unfortunate that he still defines himself by being an anti-cult expert. In contrast, while many who were Unificationists with him way back when are stll Unificationists, they don’t limit their sense of identity to being such. He and others caused a lot of damage in the past, but their influence seems to be diminishing. Thanks to the efforts of people like him, the German government had banned the Moons for 12 years from entering Germany, but following courts’ rulings that this was “unconstitutional” and “illegal” that ban has now been lifted.

  2. Moon was found to be close to Bo-Hi Pak and south korean intelligence. Why are cults so important to fascists? Can you conceptualize a fascist nation that demonizes the outgroup irrationally as a cult? What do cult groups do? Ask you to donate time, labor, money, and assets to ambitions of groups leaders. Gee that sounds like a free ride for the bosses again with participants getting gouged and then left behind in the outgroup. See When Society Becomes an Addict by Anne Wilson-Schaef. Gee that sounds like the civil forfeiture laws used so many times in conjunction with conspiracy laws under the new nazis to steal grandma’s house out from under her for smoking pot again medically; a certain number of people use it to kill physical pain and a much larger number use it to survive a dumbed down fascist nation posing as a democracy. Mass suicide by war and exploitation sucks, and yeah, occupyseattle protested the budget cuts affecting the elderly and disabled on the olympia capitol building, thank you very much. See why the eyes of Newt hate us so much?? GOOD. Ever hear that song cult of personality by Living Color? ROCKS.

  3. See why I am not allowed on NPR? I rock too. All real activists abandon Facebook fascists and go to myspace.com where megadeth is. Ya figure if Zuckerberg is so much in the pocket that he can’t post facts on marijuana, that we can do better, can’t we? I knew there was something up when up jumps the devils facebook and twitter at the same time; THEY DON’T ROCK and they’r republicrats (mostly republican in outlook and worldview but trying to pose as still having an independent personality from the two-party wall street duopoly. Oh wow, WSJ reports a revolving door between credit rating agencies and big banks; DUUUHHHHH!!!

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