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We've been 'Moon'ed!

by Jeremy Hooper

So in a recent post wherein we presented some video clips of the Westboro Baptist Church, we recieved a comment that reads (in part):

Phelps and the Westport [sic] group, at the heart of all their biblical rhetoric and hate speech, are really people who simply and honestly want to stay pure. They do not want to fall anymore and do not want their children to fall. They, like so many others these days, find it hard to simply promote what they believe, and find it much easier to be against something or use something else to make their case...yes they are honest, but not in the way presented by many of the writers on this blog...they are honest in that they want to live in a world of purity, fidelity and true respect for others...this is what makes them so strange...because in our world, the world of selfish extremism, we cannot find such people...I do not say more power to them because I think they do speak hate, but we should study them and other groups and go further into the reasons why such groups exist in the first place.

So at the time, we did no further research, just assuming the gentleman who wrote this was sadly misinformed. However, the matter was brought back to light today, when the same person posted an addendum to his first comment:

Well, I am so surprised by life...I watched fred the movie at the following site ...[link redacted]...and have to revise my comments about Pastor Phelps being a hate monger. Its better to understand what he is saying and why than to label him a hate monger and thus miss the message and purpose for what he is saying. Please listen to his story and try to understand where he is coming from.

Okay, so he's justifying/defending the actions of a man who thanks God for the deaths of fallen soldiers...

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...and who thinks that this is a good display of family values:

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So who is this person who made these Phelps-defending comments? Well, the handle he used was "Frank" and email address is "[email protected]." So doing a quick Google search, it takes you to the home page for the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) [formerly the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP)], where you will find:

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But what's this organization that Mr. LaGrotteria is representing, you ask? Well, does the name of the organization's founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, ring a bell with anyone? Yes/ no? Well, if not, let's look at some of Rev. Moon's teachings:

May 4, 1997:

"Homosexuals and fornicators are like dirty dung eating dogs"

"Is the world around us a peaceful world centered upon God, or is it all confused? (Confused.) That is what is called free sex. What is the meaning of lesbians and homosexuals? That is the place where all different kinds of dung collect. We have to end that behavior. When this kind of dirty relationship is taking place between human beings, God cannot be happy. That is what the secular world is like. As the lord of all creation, are we seeking that kind of world? (No.)"

"As human beings, we should mobilize our forty billion cells and clean up these dirty places. Would you women want this dirty dung filled water to be poured over you? (No.) What about men, do you want to be soaked in that kind of dirty water? (No.) Only Satan and dirty dung eating dogs go after that. God created human beings and they should stay away from it. Isn't it true? [YES!] There are certain kinds of dogs that go after dung and eat it. Therefore the name of dog (or sometimes "son of a bitch") is used to speak badly of human beings. Those people who love dung eating dogs must have some problem. Especially American people, and American leaders. If they truly love such dogs, they also become like dung eating dogs and produce that quality of life. If such dogs are around can't you smell them? Do you want to be close to them or far away? (Far away.) American people, their mind wants to get away, but their bodies are still being pulled by these dung eating dogs. That's true! Free sex activity is equivalent to this. Father gave you a figure of speech."

In April of 2001 he said:

"Jewish people, you have to repent. Jesus was the King of Israel. Through the principle of indemnity Hitler killed 6 million Jews. That is why. God could not prevent Satan from doing that because Israel killed the True Parents. Even now, you have to determine that you will repent and follow and become one with Christianity through Rev. Moon."

December 2004:

"Look at the world. Young people, now liberated from the yoke of communism, are enjoying their freedom to such an extent that they are in danger of running pell-mell off the cliff of debauchery. Instead of seeking God's ideal of creation, they embrace the perspective of selfish individualism and become slaves to free sex. This gives rise to all manner of social evils. Homosexual activists have hoisted the flag of the so-called "gay" movement. They advocate marriage between people of the same sex. Put simply, this is barbaric and it infuriates Heaven and humanity. Imagine, for a moment, the world that would result from what they advocate. Humanity would become extinct within two generations.

Those who turn away from Heaven's will dig their own graves in the soil of decadence and immorality. The evil of this age has its own punishing consequences. The incurable disease known as AIDS is a sign of this from Heaven. Even as we sit here, is not this cursed plague infecting thousands of innocent people? Is it not casting them onto the path of death?"

And now Mr. LaGrotteria, a chief employee at one of Moon's organization's is vouching for the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church! It might all be sort of comical, if not for a few facts: MOON IS ALSO THE FOUNDER OF BOTH THE RIGHT-LEANING 'WASHINGTON TIMES' AND UPI WIRE SERVICE! MOON IS ALSO IN BED WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

Oy vey.

There are so many layers of concern here that we simply don't know what else to even say about this. Except of course: We will keep speaking in favor of gay acceptance. We will keep defending our Jewish brothers and sisters (as well as all religious people). We will keep speaking out against the actions of Westboro Baptist. It just becomes increasingly more alarming to witness how inter-connected the dots of antipathy seem to be.

***Oh, and this all happened at the Dirksen Senate building back in 2004:

**UPDATE: There were some concerned that the person who left the comments was not Mr. LaGrotteria himself. Well, he has confirmed to us, saying:

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This was in response to our email, reading:

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**UPDATE: Signorile and Gorenfield are also on this

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Your thoughts

I wouldn't think of it as misguided so much as an attempt at being open-minded. I find it significant that he does not appear to support in any way what the Phelps are doing, he merely says that calling them hate-mongers misses what is potentially the greater message.

Is there a greater message? I certainly haven't been able to find one. I also certainly think they are worth fighting. But if someone hadn't come to that conclusion yet, I would want them to listen to both sides in order to make up their mind. Even if one of those sides is Fred Phelps.

Posted by: zurvan8 | May 1, 2007 12:04:02 PM

Zurvan8: I really don't see any justification for his comments. He does indeed say he thinks the Phelps family is fighting for "purity, fidelity and true respect for others," and presents it as if we are incapable of understanding them because we live in a world of "selfish extremism." I'm sorry, but it is much deeper than that, and his words attempt to give their actions a sort of credence.

He does say in his second comment that he wants to retract his initial choice of calling Phelps a hatemonger. Okay, fine -- we actually sort of agree. We never use words like "hatemonger" or "bigot" to respond to any of our opposition, as they weaken a message (and because we typically mean no harm to the individuals and have no desire to attack their character). And we also agree with you that people SHOULD listen to the Phelps crew. That is why we publish so much about them. But I think you are slighting the objectionable nature of the comments. He is asking a gay website to "Please listen to [Phelps'] story and try to understand where he is coming from." I'm very sorry, but I've been condemned a few too many times by them to be open to where their coming from!

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 1, 2007 12:20:31 PM

Wasn't Richard Cohen married to his lovely wife in a Unification Church mass wedding? Who knows, maybe he and Frank are good buddies. After all, they both do have quite peculiar points of view.

Posted by: Timothy | May 1, 2007 1:23:36 PM


More specifically:


I think this work essentially rebuts the theory of there being something deeper to the message... though, of course, feel free to form your own opinions...

Posted by: Anon | May 1, 2007 6:46:28 PM

One minor quibble. UPI not founded by the moonies. It was purchased, essentially out of bankruptcy, by Unification Church; prior to that it had been a mainstream news wireservice, similar to Associated Press.

Posted by: sfbob | May 1, 2007 7:43:59 PM

SFBob: Thanks. I'll strike it from the post.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 1, 2007 7:51:06 PM

can't let this pass without comment: there isn't an iota of sincerity from phelps and his crew. these people -- actually a tiny band of family members all related by blood and/or marriage and a few hangers on -- are nothing more than publicity hounds. i once personally approached them (nyc 1994) to sincerely discuss the issue and they immediately began name calling and refused to answer my questions or respond in any way other than actions and words of -- wait for it -- HATE! so we're being asked to listen to them, but it's just a one-way street? are we supposed to be so mystified by their "strangeness" that we must bend over backwards to understand them? you needn't scratch deep to see the truth when it's this superficial: raging crazy cult of personality. "sincere"? "purity"? pleeze!

finally, a note to frank, who writes:

"...they are honest in that they want to live in a world of purity, fidelity and true respect for others..."

uhm...these guys represent "true respect for others"? wow! i guess next we'll hear how hitler represented "true love of all religions." then frank adds:

"this is what makes them so strange...because in our world, the world of selfish extremism, we cannot find such people..."

no, what we have found is simply yet another viralent strain of the very epitome of selfish extremism and that, though unfortunately not rare, is indeed what makes them so strange.

Posted by: john dog | May 2, 2007 10:19:08 AM

"Reverend" Phelps has a well-documented history of physical and mental violence against his wife and many children. Several of of his kids have disowned him and speak out against his blind hatred. He has made terroristic threats against any number of people, government organizations, publications and media organizations. The man is simply insane and dangerous. And if someone jerk-off from the Peace Federation thinks this guy "honestly want(s) to stay pure" and "not (sic) fall anymore and do not want their children to fall," then he needs to rethink the name of his organization.

Posted by: Clint | May 2, 2007 10:25:20 AM

I think that I want to puke. Especially when I read someone describing the Phelps clan as "people who simply and honestly want to stay pure. They do not want to fall anymore and do not want their children to fall," and "they want to live in a world of purity, fidelity and true respect for others."


Phelps and his clan have no respect for anyone. Their theology is based on hatred and lies. If there were any true justice in this world, they would all be sitting in prison today for the barbaric way that they have treated the families of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Too bad no one had the foresight to make it a crime to harass people at funerals! And this doesn't even go into the harm they have caused families of gays and lesbians, most specifically the family of Matthew Shephard.

Am I surprised that a Moonie speaks out in support of Phelps? No, not at all. Moon is a shit-eating, diseased and vicious cockroach of a human being, and so are his followers. Anyone who associates with him or is employed by him should be so ashamed as to not show their faces in public.

Posted by: Jonathon | May 2, 2007 10:35:43 AM

the whole idea of us being urged to "listen" to them for some "deeper" message is ludicrous. The Phelps inbred family and many OTHER "Christians" (and other religions) are outirght closed-minded and would not listen to "us". I feel no obligation to listen to any organization or individual who wishes to eradicate me and my brothers and sisters. The idea of my considering their viewpoint would be like asking the Jews in Europe to listen to and understand the German NAZI viewpoint as they are being packed into trains and shipped off tot Aushwitz of Belzin. Religious extemism is not a sole domain of Phelps and his inbred cretin family. It is rampant in the "mainstream" religions. These religions must be put in control and their influence quelled. Again this is the importance of separation of church and state. Taxation of religions is also needed to control their reckless use of funds to attack other groups they perceive as "sinful". There is no reason for "considering" their point of view. There is no option.

Posted by: JAG | May 2, 2007 10:57:47 AM

If you really want to get freaked out, do a little digging into Moon and his connections. Moon, with the help of the Korean CIA, has been bankrolling the U.S.'s rightwing for forty years or more to the tune of billions of dollars. Moon has also been a moneylaunderer and drug smuggler, was a partner in Bolivia's fascist "Cocaine Coup" (along with Klaus Barbie!), is connected with the Yakuza, and did federal time for tax evasion, yet stays untouchable. Just one of the interesting questions is: from where does Moon get all that money? I think the religion, including the homophobia, is a cover and aid for a right-wing crime syndicate. After all, both Bushes, son and father, are reputed to have had homosexual affairs.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | May 2, 2007 1:35:04 PM

A quick story, one of many, about the moonies: After a United Nations sponsored religious service in New York, held in rememorance of 9/11, I was invited by a group to ring a "peace bell." I assumed it was connected with the U.N. memorial of that day. I showed up and rang the bell in front of a room full of Korean people. I signed a guest book and left.

From that event, I found out it was the moonies behind it, and they now use my image ringing that bell, and attribute statements to me that I never made in advertising for their cult. I repudiate any statements attributed to me that are quoted by the moonies, and totally condemn their deceit and homophobia, not to mention their blasphemy in declaring Moon and his wife as God.

Beware of the moonies, for they are a deceitful lot.

Posted by: Archbishop Bruce Simpson | May 2, 2007 3:07:43 PM

If you type into YOUTUBE,Hyo Jin Moon or Unification Church,one interview is Nansook Hong talking about having to divorce Rev.Moons so called sinless son Hyo Jin Moon because he was regularly high on cocaine,he watched porn movies,had sex with other women,punched Nansook in the face when she was pregnant because she put his coacaine down the toilet,there is another video of Hyo Jin Moon ranting and being abusive while talking to younger members,Nansook Hong says he was high on cocaine at that meeting.

For more details go to yahoo and type Nansook Hong,wikipedia has very detailed information.

Posted by: Bernie | May 9, 2007 1:54:02 PM

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