Frederick: Well, I mentioned Richard Viguerie in my quote and people don't know who is. He was really the inventor of political direct mail long before there was the internet and online fund-raising took over. We still get pieces of mail--people in the political world, but the story goes after the Berry Goldwater campaign for President in 1964, Viguerie personally went down to the Congress where they kept records of these things, and hand-wrote out every contributor to the Goldwater campaign, and that was the basis of his direct mail fundraising list. His first and major client was something called the Korean Cultural Freedom Foundation, which was a joint project. It's hard to say whether there was really difference to make it joint, but between the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon and the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. So, they were building a constituency in the United States via direct mail for the Korean part of the Cold War at the time.
The Korean Cultural Freedom Foundation did a lot of propaganda in the United States, but they also had broadcasting operations run by the KCIA out of South Korea that beamed into China and North Korea and into Vietnam, and of course the Vietnam War was going big at the time. So, Viguerie was right there working with the Moon organization from their earliest days in the United States, and building his business off of that. That's just Viguerie. It's hard for people to appreciate just how important Viguerie was.
Rob: I know Viguerie was one of the main movers and shakers and funders--not just direct by donation, but by using the power of direct mail and the technologies and the tools and resources that he had to raise money for the Conservative Movement for decades.
Frederick: Yep. That's exactly right. Now, as long as we're talking Viguerie as a theme to follow through with, understand that Viguerie had a lot of Moon entities as clients over the years, including The Washington Times, selling subscriptions and the like. So, the direct mail business involves an awful lot of cash and checks. It's a very fluid business. So, you can accomplish a lot politically that way. A lot of mailings are not even intended to make money so much as to have political impact and do education, as they say in the business.
But at one point in the 80s, maybe the early 90s--it was the 80s, Viguerie's business fell on hard times. I'm not sure why; and he was about to go out, and somehow or other, [the] Moon Organization came in and bought his office building in Northern Virginia for above [the] market rate of $10 million. So suddenly he had enough cash, but he certainly owed the Moon organization big time for saving him.
Rob: So, literally Viguerie was one of the most powerful promoters of Conservatism for decades, literally. He was, because of his helping Conservative causes with direct mail, a major--right now you've got Citizen's United and billionaires putting up money, but back then that couldn't happen. It wasn't allowed. It was illegal. So, back then you had to use direct mail to get small donors to come forward and get lots and lots of donations. And Viguerie was one of the primary people who, by providing his direct mail resources--enabled that to happen.
Frederick: That's right. In addition to the money, it was also a grassroots development thing. He could reach beyond the media, or the more establishment Conservative magazines, and reach into places that you wouldn't ordinarily get to if you happen to be a Conservative activist trying to put out a message and bring people into a movement, to help him launch whole new organizations and introduce whole new ideas.
Rob: And he was able to do that because of these massive computerized mailing lists that he had.
Frederick: Well, that's exactly right. So as they grew to millions...
Rob: I want to take it back to Moon and the Koreans--Reverend Moon. What Viguerie was basically doing then was getting funded Ì¶Ì¶Ì¶ he was going to go out under without Moon and he got his start with Moon, a Korean who hated democracy, who was basically using his resources to influence American politics and the American media.
Frederick: Well, yeah that's exactly right. Just to stay with the history of this a little bit, you'll remember, Rob, but a lot of listeners might not, the Korea Gate scandal of the 1970s, which came quickly on the heels of Watergate, and it revealed this enormous Korean government and intelligence agency in political influence buying scandal. It involved rice deals for the Koreans. It involved bribery of members of Congress, efforts to bribe and influence White House aids. There were covert operations aimed at the speaker of the House and the Pentagon, it was just unbelievable! There were KCIA agents, many of who were Moonies, on the staff of members of Congress, including the Senate majority leader at the time--both Democrats and Republicans. As far as I know there's never been anything quite like it. Most of, if not all, nobody's quite documented the whole thing, but Moon's top echelon were all former, if not current KCIA military intelligence officers. And all of this was going on, and Richard Viguerie was right in the middle of it.
So, not only was Moon philosophically opposed to democracy, not only did he hate Americans and individualism--and he did--many, many times he spoke about these things in his sermons (English translations of which have been compiled and are out there), but he actually participated in covert operations against the government and the military of the United States.
Rob: What kind?
Frederick: I'm sorry?
Rob: What kind of operations?
Frederick: Oh well, efforts to bribe and covertly influence members of Congress, the White House, senior military officers--those kinds of covert operations. They actually illegally purchased a bank in Washington D.C. At the time it was called the Diplomat National Bank. There were banking rules in which individuals could only own certain percentage of a bank at the time. So, Moon established proxies, and he had a whole bunch of people give him the money, and they bought shares, and so Moon and other KCIA related people exclusively owned the bank--and Richard Viguerie got a piece.