What does it say about American politics when a famous 1970s cult leader publishes a Washington newspaper, dresses up in the U.S. Senate offices like King George III, and no one in D.C. seems to care? One night in 2004, at one of Washington's most outrageous dinner parties, members of Congress bought a shining crown and robes to a billionaire mystery man who calls himself the True Father: the Reverend Moon, sushi mogul, conservative philanthropist, and publisher of the right-wing Washington Times. After Salon.com journalist John Gorenfeld broke the story of Moon's coronation, the New York Times compared the scandal to an act of the Roman emperor Caligula.
Now, in a witty work of investigative journalism (as featured on NPR), Gorenfeld explores the rest of the saga--the fascinating, absurd and politically-embarrassing story of U.S. politicians who jet-set with Moon. A cultural icon of the 1970s, Moon was once associated with mass weddings and parents who hired deprogrammers to seize their children from him. But as Gorenfeld discovers in telling the stories of people caught up in his world, Moon has long been the best-kept secret of the Right--despite naming himself Messiah and making megalomaniacal speeches better suited to Marvel Comics than Politico. Join the author on an arresting journey into 40 years of political decline, told through the saga of Moon and his shameless relationships with an all-star cast of GOP celebrities, ranging from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush, and from Jerry Falwell to Pat Boone.
"Bad Moon Rising is stunningly good. Stylish, exquisitely researched, and morally courageous, it reveals corruption to a depth and breadth unimagined by mere novelists."
-- Rick Perlstein, author of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus
"A creepy kleptocratic tale of perverse messianic delusion and amoral Washington elitists that would be utterly unbelievable if not for the fact that it's all horrifyingly, ridiculously true."
-- Ken Layne, Gawker
"Most of the press has treated Sun Myung Moon as an entertaining eccentric, overlooking the consequences of his widening reach into the corridors of power in thae United States. John Gorenfeld has produced a book that explains--cogently and persuasively--why we need to seriously consider the Rev. Moon's broadening influence and its implications."
-- Dennis B. Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"The kind of fierce, uncompromising journalism that always matters in a world of ruthless phonies."
-- Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"an excellent new expose...If Don DeLillo had taken a lot of acid and grown a funny bone before he wrote Mao II, this is the book he might have written. What's scary is that it's true. Gorenfeld isn't a sensationalizer; indeed, with material such as Moon provides, he can more than afford understatement."
-- Jeff Sharlet, The Revealer