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Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right, and Built an American Kingdom Hardcover – March 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 329 pages
  • Publisher: PoliPointPress; 1st edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979482232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979482236
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,562,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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, 3/25/08

From the Author

My first book was an ordeal. After I broke a big story for Salon.com about crazy people dressing up in costumes on Capitol Hill, I was approached by Manhattan publishers and book agents. Hilariously, I spent years trying to be Jon Ronson (the guy who writes about absurd situations) only to be marketed, when I finally found a publisher, like Alex Jones (the guy who warns people about sinister masterminds.) Nevertheless, the inside is still pretty good. I say check it out!
-John


More About the Author

John Gorenfeld is a Bay Area writer whose work has shown up in Salon, the London Guardian, Radar and other magazines. He has written about everything from North Korean monster movies to fugitive dot-com criminals.

Customer Reviews

The facts and details are well researched.
Katrs
It's so important for us to understand the forces seeking and gaining control over our democracy - and Moon is certainly one of the more dangerous ones.
Christina O'Connell
I assumed it was oversight or sloppy publishing, but now see it all comes down to money.
Thomas E. O'Sullivan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Katrs on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent and well written book. The facts and details are well researched. It's the kind of book that makes you wish you could bury your head in the sand. There are couple of slow parts but that's to be expected in a book that has to layout some detail and background information. It's well worth the time and money spent just to have an understanding of the inner workings and failings of our political system and how greed can create a whole flock of silent sheep.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Neufeld on March 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When looking to explain the ascendancy of the paleo-conservatives in U.S. politics, few commentators have remarked upon the sinister and seminal influence of the enigmatic and unfathomably wealthy Sun Myung Moon. Who else has the resources to unflinchingly lose billions on a newspaper, The Washington Times, merely to champion conservative causes, in the teeth of all evidence and in defiance of all flagrant hypocrisy? John Gorenfeld in Bad Moon Rising chronicles the rise of a pseudo-Messiah to the point of fooling a brace of senators and congressmen into crowning him "King of Peace" at the Senate Dirksen Building in 2004, in a wide-ranging account that moves back and forth from Moon's early years in Korea in the 1950s to his dotage claiming imaginary converts from among the ranks of dead U.S. presidents.

This is the story of a man who would not be deterred, even by his failure to live up to his own teachings, from aspiring to the title of "King of Kings" and leader of all the world. The fact that he must make this claim by subterfuge, by staging events that appear to mean one thing to the general public but another to his own disciples, means little to him. Appearances are all to this would-be Messiah.

If I was to fault this important book in any way, it would be for minor errors of fact. I was a member of Moon's Unification Church from 1976 to 1986, so I know what I'm talking about. In particular, Gorenfeld's claim on page 13, which he repeats on page 75, that the American branch of the Unification Church reached a "one-time peak of thirty thousand members" is simply untrue. The 30,000 figure was a goal that I often heard the members being urged to attain in the late 1970s, when achieving that level of membership was considered crucial to Moon's success in America.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Christina O'Connell on March 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's so important for us to understand the forces seeking and gaining control over our democracy - and Moon is certainly one of the more dangerous ones. Gorenfeld has not only done extensive research, he's pulled it all together in a page-turning, great read.

From the Washington Times to the sushi we eat, Moon has so much influence - it's time we knew what his operation was all about.

Thanks you Mr. Gorenfeld for doing some real journalism!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Phelps Gates VINE VOICE on June 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had thought Rev. Moon was old news, long forgotten since his disgrace and prison term. But he's still at it, and livelier than ever! And rolling in money, which he liberally hands out (mostly to right-wing politicians). Gorenfeld examines the rather murky sources of his money, which isn't from US kids selling flowers any more. It seems to come largely from Japanese widows who are buying their husbands out of hell (really!). And he gives a lot of attention to who's getting it. As an NPR producer told the author, politicians are all whores, but I hadn't realized the extent to which preachers were, too (Jerry Falwell got several million from this guy). The accounts of Moon's coronation in Washington, with politicians in attendance, and of his endorsements by 36 former US presidents (from the "spirit world") are jaw-dropping and would be hard to believe if they weren't available right on the Moon web sites themselves!

My only quibble with the book is that it could stand some editing: some sentences are garbled, and there are minor errors of fact (Inchon! grossed $5.2 million, not $5200, for example). But it's a book that deserves a lot more attention than it's been getting. The corruption Moon generates with his money is absolutely staggering (he's sunk a billion dollars into the Washington Times so far).
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Allen Tate Wood on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
John Gorenfeld may well be this generation of journalists Ishmael. He clearly and authoritatively documents the motives, techniques and extent of Moon's unquenchable drive for power.

The story he tells weaves together many of the hidden or overlooked elements of the right wing's abysmal march to dominion over the congress, the executive and the judiciary. He reveals Moon as the pimp, apologist and handmaiden of unbridled executive power.

The compelling leit-motif to this gigantic
tour de force is the seemingly endless ranks of politicians, bureaucrats, ministers, priests, rabbis, celebrities and ex presidents who have somehow
wound up dancing along with Moon as he heards us all toward the cliff. Hats off to John Gorenfeld!!! Bravo!!!
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Tashiro on August 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Important But Disorganized

The interest and importance of the information in John Gorenfeld's book "Bad Moon Rising" rates five stars out of five. The way this information is organized rates about one star. Gorenfeld is a skilled writer of sentences and paragraphs but there is little detectable structure to the book. It jumps from topic to topic and back and forth in time. The same incidents are re-described here and there in various chapters. The punctuation " * * * " appears every few pages to separate various sections, but how one section relates to another is usually not clear.

I speculate that a reader with certain skills and proclivities would enjoy the book. Such a reader would have on the tip of his tongue the names many politicians, religious leaders, and journalists. He would also enjoy (or at least have objectivity about) criticism of prominent conservative personalities. To a reader with those prerequisites, the book would be like hearing juicy gossip about people that he already knows. The jumping around from victim to victim and year to year would not be so distracting.

The information in the book is fascinating. A summary is this: Reverend Moon and his Unification Church espouse beliefs and practices that are repulsive, amusing and bizarre to any person who holds traditional conservative religious or political beliefs. Organizations controlled by Moon have been convicted of tax evasion (for which Moon himself served prison time in the USA) and fraud (e.g. in Japan, certain spiritual mediums convince eldery widows that their dead husbands wish them to make contributions to Rev. Moon's organizations). Yet many conservative political figures and journalists accept money from organizations controlled by Rev.
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