Senior McCain adviser helped arrange Rev. Moon coronation
A bizarre Capitol Hill ceremony a few years ago in which the eccentric conservative publisher the Rev. Sun Myung Moon declared himself the Second Coming was organized with help from a senior adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign.
Charlie Black, a Washington lobbyist and McCain confidant, lent his name to the coronation ceremony and invited a few friends, according to newly disclosed e-mails.
"What is clear from this email is that top Mccain advisor Charlie Black is admitting that he helped plan, and would have attended, an event where a convicted tax fraud would have been crowned King Of America and declared himself the Messiah--all on U.S. Government federal property (on March 23, 2004)," writes author Cliff Schecter, who published the e-mails on his blog Friday.
In the e-mails, which were also obtained by RAW STORY, Black said he became involved because of his relationships with executives at the Washington Times, the conservative, Moon-owned newspaper, and its charitable foundation.
"I think the dinner committee list included a number of us 'secular' conservatives," Black writes in one e-mail to author John Gorenfeld, who has explored Moon's influence in Washington in his book Bad Moon Rising.
Black said he did not know Moon personally and was unable to attend the coronation ceremony, which Gorenfeld details here. (The full e-mails are reprinted below.)
During the ceremony, Moon declared, "I am God's ambassador, sent to Earth with his full authority," according to a contemporaneous account in the New York Times.
Black's relationship with the event seems relatively tangential, but this campaign season has shown that tangential relationships can cause headaches for candidates. Moon is among the most controversial figures on the right, although he gets relatively little notice in the mainstream press.
Schecter, who recently published a book critical of the GOP nominee, The Real McCain, outlines some of Moon's most outrageous views: that he is the second coming of Jesus, that crosses and crucifixes undermine God's message and that Jesus failed in his mission.
"One wonders," Schecter muses, "what many in the media would do if Reverend Jeremiah Wright called Jesus a "failure," proclaimed he (Wright) was the "Messiah" called in by God to clean up Jesus' mess and staged mock funerals for Christian crosses."
Moon's Unification church is considered a cult by many observers. Considering himself to be the Messiah, Moon claims to have communicated with the dead, including Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, who he claims to have "reformed" from beyond the grave. The church has been accused money laundering, and Moon has used it to spread anti-Semetic and anti-gay teachings.
Black has been a longtime player in Republican politics. His ties with the Bush family go back to 1972, when he and Karl Rove were jockeying for control of the College Republicans in a campaign so dirty that George H.W. Bush, then head of the Republican National Committee, had to step in and sort matters out. Black then worked for Ronald Reagan's and George H.W. Bush's presidential campaigns from 1976 to 1992. He served as an adviser to George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and is often quoted in news stories as an unofficial White House spokesman.
Until March of this year, Black served as the chairman of the lobbying firm BKSH & Associates. The firm has represented AT&T as it dealt with the fallout of its involvement in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program and coached Blackwater CEO Eric Prince before congressional testimony regarding security contractors killing innocent Iraqis. It previously worked with Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi, who was a key source of faulty intelligence leading up to the Iraq war.
Black's e-mails are reprinted below:
On Apr 28, 2004, at 10:34 AM, CHARLIE BLACK wrote:
I lent my name and sent invitations to a few friends. Unfortunately, I had a conflict and couldn't go to the event.
From: John Gorenfeld < firstname.lastname@example.org >
To:"CHARLIE BLACK"< CHARLIE_BLACK@xxx.xx.com >
Subject: Re: Moon event at Dirksen Senate Office Building, 3/23
05/06/2004 09:31 PM
Dear Mr. Black,
Thanks for your reply.
It's kind of an amazing event, with Moon being coronated as the king and declaring himself the Messiah at a federal building. Can you tell me how you got involved with inviting people? Is this an annual event, or just a one-time thing?
On May 7, 2004, at 11:16 AM, CHARLIE BLACK wrote:
I don't know if it is annual, but they have done similar events. I don't know Reverend Moon, but work with the management of the Washington Times and their foundation occasionally on conservative causes. I think the dinner committee list included a number of us "secular" conservatives.
BKSH & Associates