A House investigating subcommittee said yesterday that it has found evidence that organizations controlled by South Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon systematically violated U.S. tax, immigration, banking currency and foreign agent laws in pushing toward a goal of running a world government.
The House international organizations subcommittee recommended after an 18-month study of Korean-American relations that a federal interagency task force continue investigating the allegedly illegal activities of what it calls the "Moon organization."
Many of the findings in the 447-page report released yesterday have been touched on before by the press or earlier congressional hearings. But the conclusions about the Moon-related groups were stronger than any previously mentioned by the subcommittee.
Rep. Donald M. Fraser (D-Minn.), the subcommittee chairman, expressed particular concern about new findings that a Moon-controlled business in Korea - apparently repesenting the Korea government - approached Colt Industries last year to try to get permission to export M16 rifles being manufactured in Korea.
Fraser, who told a press conference questioner that Moon follwers had worked toward his defeat in last spring's Minnesota Senate primary, said: "I don't want to exaggerate the threat of the Moon organization." But he said the groups try to conceal their interrelationships.
The subcommittee report said Moon is not considered an agent of influence for the Korean government because his goal is creation of a worldwide government where church and state would be unified. Moon and his organization have been, however, "a volatile factor in Korean-American relations, capable of distoring the perceptions each country held for the other," the report said.
Neil Salonen, president of the Unification Church in the U.S., issued a statement last night condemning the entire investigation as "prejudiced and blased."
"They took a lot of time, spent a lot of money, came up with absolutely nothing and wrote a book full of irresponsible and unsubstantiated allegations," he said.
Rather than presenting evidence, Salonen said, Fraser "is now desperately trying to create a smokescreen . . ."
A chruch spokeswoman added that several government agencies already have investigated the church and affiliated groups without finding illegalities.
The reference to a unified "Moon Organization" is "patently ridiculous," she added. "That's like saying Catholics are the Catholic Organization . . . The man (Fraser) is a victim of his own conspiracy theory."
Moon and his church have battled the subcommittee constantly throughout the investigation, charging it violated First Amendment protections for religious groups.
Moon left the United States earlier this year rather than reply to a subcommittee subpoena for his appearance. He is now traveling abroad, the spokeswoman said.
A subcommittee aide said Moon is reported to be in Korea.
Korean Embassy spokesman Kim Su-doe said the report just repeated charges his government has denied in the past. He did specifically deny ties between the government and the so-called Moon organization.
"We have repeatedly stated that we have no such ties and want none," Kim said.
The subcommittee also reported:
American corporations were forced to pay $8.5 million to the 1971 campaign of Korea President Park Chung Hee. Fraser said U.S. firms doing business in Korea are still asked today to make such payments.
Korea took secret steps in the early 1970s to develop a nuclear weapons capability. But the plan apparently was dropped in 1975.
Tongsun Park, a Korean businessman accused of illegal lobbying, was like the Moon company, involved in efforts to export Korean-produced arms. Last year - following his indictment - Park approached Sam Cummings, a former Central Intelligence Agency employe and international arms merchant, about being an agent for such exports.
The subcommittee inquiry was undertaken as a case study of the elaborate lobbying campaign the Korean government aimed at American government media, and academic circles in the early 1970s in an effort to continue the flow of U.S. aid to the increasingly authoritarian regime of Park Chung Hee.
"We don't think the effort had any material effect on U.S. policy," Fraser said yesterday. "We think they wasted their money."
Subcommittee investigators spent a great deal of time trying to trace the movement of money and people in the Moon organizations. They found, for instance, that a Moon account in Washington's Diplomat National Bank held $7 million in early 1977 and had transferred $2.3 million to Moon-operated fishing businesses and a New York newspaper, News World.
The report said the subcommittee found evidence that Moon followers broke U.S. currency reporting laws by carrying large amounts of cash into the country. Purchases of Bank Stoek
More than $1 million of this money was used to finance church members' purchases of Diplomea Bank stock, some of which appear to have violated banking laws, the report said.
Moon followers from overseas, who raise money for a variety of his projects, at times violated immigration requirements by staying longer than vises permit, the report continued. And there is evidence some of the tax-exempt Moon organizations broke tax laws by participating in political activities, it added.
Moon's relations with the Korean government - in activities such as staging separate pro-Nixon or anti-Japanese rallies - raise questions about whether his groups should be registered as foreign agents, the subcommittee found.
The report quotes several times from Moon's speeches and sermons to back up its findings. It cites instances where Moon talked of starting a bank and newspaper, shortly before the Diplomat National Bank and News World were started.
Moon is quoted as saying: "When it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. So we cannot separate the political field from the religious." 'Worldwide Organization'
The Moon "organization" was so designated by the subcommittee, the report said, because the church and various affiliated groups constitute "essentially one worldwide organization." Money and people are moved easily between different businesses and nonprofit corporations, investigators found, despite constant denials of such ties by church officials.
Opponents of his goals would be punished, Moon told his followers in 1974, according to the report. "So from this time . . . every people or every organization that goes against the Unification Church will gradually come down or drastically come down and die. Many people will die - those who go against our movement."
Among Moon's businesses in Korea is the II Hwa Pharmaceutical Co., which markets ginseng tea, and the Tong II Industries Co., which makes air rifles and parts for the M79 grenade launcher and the Vulcan machine gun.
It was Tong II Industries that approached Colt last year about exporting the M16s being manufactured in Korea under a co-production agreement.
In recommending that an interagency task force continue investigating the Moon groups, the report noted that "earlier investigations which failed to do this allowed improper influence activities to continue until they caused a major public scandal." Minority Members' Views
Reps. Edward J. Derwinski (R-III.) and William F. Goodling (R-Pa.), minority members of subcommittee, said in "additional views" to the report that they could not endorse every recommendation because the investigation was so wide-ranging they weren't familiar with it all. But they said they agreed with the findings about Moon.
Rep. Newton Steers (R-Md.) held a press conference after Fraser yesterday to say that "what the Unification Church is doing to our children is as important as what it may be doing as a representative of the Korea government."
The church has been accused of brainwashing young converts, and the church in turn has charged that parents have kidnaped children who turned to Moon.