The show basically attempts to explore aspects of Progressive politics, and I call it the Bottom Up Radio Show, because I believe we're in a transition from a top down world that started when humans changed from a million years of indigenous tribal society to civilization, to a top down world. Now we're transitioning back to a bottom up world, that has been catalyzed by the internet.
Now, my guest tonight is Frederick Clarkson. He's a senior fellow at Political Research Associates. He's a longtime observer of the religious right, including Reverend Moon and it was the death of Reverend Moon the other day that inspired me to invite him.
Now, what I wanted to know from you, in terms of just the religious right in general, is to get an idea of top down religion versus bottom up religion. I remember back--was it the 60s or the 70s when Moon was pushing people in the United States--his Moonie followers, which I think they disappeared after awhile, at least in the U.S. Maybe I'm wrong.
Frederick: No, they're around. They're just not as visible as they used to be.
Rob: He would get 1,000 people to get married that didn't even know each other. He would just say, "You marry this one. You marry this one. You marry this one," and they would get matched up and married as Moonie marriages! Where does that fit into the Moonie picture, and then we're going to transition to talk about top down bottom up religion a bit? What happened to all those Moonies?
Frederick: Well, a lot of them are still Moonies. Some of them wandered off. Some people get in pretty deep and other people are in kind of shallow. And most of the marriages of that nature didn't last. But it wasn't just 1,000 at a time. There were mass weddings at RFK stadium, and Washington, and at Madison Square Garden. So, we're talking about many thousands of people at a time. And not just in the United States, in various places around the world. Now, Moon claims millions of followers but truly by any effort to reasonably count, whether you're a critic or journalist or pro-Moon academic, whatever you happen to be, nobody can find more than a few thousand in the United States right now. So, it's just something that didn't last and didn't work.
Now, in the stadium marriages, somebody who you'd never met and didn't know, and from a different country and a different language and a different background would be matched up: a Hungarian with a Kenyan. It was like that, but people believed that "this was the match that God intended for them."
Now, they weren't allowed to consummate the marriage. They were immediately sent out to do missions for four years before they could even have sex or be together in any way, and when they were together, of course they didn't even know each other, let alone speak the same language. So, it just didn't work. Now, that of course is the ultimate top-downism. A lot of people were used, because if they were legally married in the United States, there was access to passports. If they were on missions, they could transport money, be involved in this or that project in various countries, depending on what the need was.