The mystery has been solved. We now know who arranged for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon to get space in the Dirksen Senate Office Building March 23 for the self-proclaimed messiah's coronation. U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) admitted yesterday that he got the room for the controversial Korean evangelist – but he says he did so unknowingly.
The Washington Post reported today that Warner was asked for help by Gary L. Jarmin of Christian Voice, a Moon front group based in Alexandria, Va. Warner says he arranged for the room as a courtesy to a constituent, unaware that Christian Voice is related to Moon and that Jarmin is a longtime Moon operative.
Warner spokesman John Ullyot said Jarmin first made the request over the telephone but was asked to put it in writing. Ullyot said Jarmin's written request never mentioned Moon.
"Nothing in the letter suggests any participation by Rev. Moon or his organization," Ullyot said. "Senator Warner's staff approved the event, since Mr. Jarmin is a constituent known to the Virginia delegation."
Warner did not attend the event, although at least two other senators and several House members did. During the event, Moon and his wife wore robes reminiscent of royalty and had golden crowns placed on their heads. A Unification Church website later reported that the coronation was intended to symbolize America's submission to Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han.
But Moon critic John Gorenfeld noted on his blog that Warner has had at least one brush with Moon before. In September of 2002, he sent a letter to Hak Ja Han Moon congratulating her for undertaking a 12-city "peace tour" in North America.
Moon, who seeks to unite the world's religions and governments under his theocratic reign, told attendees at the March 23 event that dead world leaders have endorsed him through a series of conferences held in the "spirit world." According to Moon, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin have renounced Communism, Nazism and their evil deeds and endorsed him from the spirit world as the messiah.
Meanwhile, other Moon front groups continue to make inroads in American political life – without most people even realizing it. On July 20, the American Family Coalition, a Moon group honored a North Carolina couple as the "2004 National Parents of the Year."
Legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994 establishes the fourth Sunday in July as "Parents Day." The measure was introduced by U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), a frequent Moon ally. At that time, Burton's office referred all calls about Parents Day to Jarmin's office. Jarmin told a reporter for Religion News Service that Parents Day is "only tangentially" related to the Unification Church
Critics note, however, that Moon followers refer to Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han as "True Parents" and that The Washington Times, a newspaper in the nation's capital owned by Moon, often covers events related to Parents Day.