Thursday, August 16, 2012

Korean Karate, The Moonies and the CIA

Former Moonie and "Father of American Tae Kwon Do" Jhoon Rhee

In May of 2011 we took a look at Alex Gillis's excellent history of Korean Karate, "A Killing Art".
Gillis has done an intense study of the politics of Tae Kwon Do and it's close relationship to the Unification Church of Reverend Moon and the Korean and American CIA.

For the purpose of this article, we will explore the origins of the intense nationalism and anti-communism that led to this unholy alliance.

The Korean peninsula has always been under attack or occupation by it's neighbors China and Japan. By extension, the influence of far right-wing Japanese nationalists played a tremendous role in shaping post-war Korea. Here is a description of the "Japanese Patriotic Societies":

The Rise of the Militarists

"Ultranationalism was characteristic of right-wing politicians and conservative military men since the inception of the Meiji Restoration, contributing greatly to the prowar politics of the 1870s. Disenchanted former samurai had established patriotic societies and intelligence-gathering organizations, such as the Gen'yosha (Black Ocean Society, founded in 1881) and its later offshoot, the Kokuryukai (Black Dragon Society, or Amur River Society, founded in 1901). These groups became active in domestic and foreign politics, helped foment prowar sentiments, and supported ultranationalist causes through the end of World War II. After Japan's victories over China and Russia, the ultranationalists concentrated on domestic issues and perceived domestic threats, such as socialism and communism." (link)

After World War Two and into the Korean War era Korea, Japan and the United States had one common agenda; anti-communism.
While not playing down the atrocities committed by the Communists, we cannot overlook those committed by these allies in the name of anti-communism. It's a broad subject, but it may help to focus on Korea.
According to researcher Dave Emory and detailed in Robert Boettcher's book "Gifts of Deceit" after W.W. 2 the American forces reinstalled the very Japanese fascists they had defeated to run post-war Korea. While the Japanese were detested by Koreans, they successfully industrialized the country and assimilated elements of Korean culture with Japanese schooling and industry. The United States later insured that Korea remained stable under a series of right-wing dictatorships.
In return, South Korea contributed to U.S. war efforts in Vietnam and elsewhere, sending troops and hand-to-hand combat instructors.

The Korean CIA became an extension of the American CIA, and as expected it's tentacles reached into various social and religious programs. This of course, included the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Moon is a strong anti-communist who views himself as Christ reborn. Many of us remember the sales of flowers to fund the church, and that Moon owns the right-wing Washington Times newspaper.

Moon's right-hand man is named Bo Hi Pak, A Korean agent and president of the Korean Cultural and Freedom Foundation, an organization that channeled funds to the intelligence services. Later, the organization became involved in a scandal to bribe U.S. Congressmen.
Bo Hi Pak's cousin is none other than the father of American Tae Kwon Do, Jhoon Rhee.
Rhee had helped set up the Korean cultural and Freedom foundation but denied any knowledge of the illegal activity and intelligence connections.
Rhee allegedly split with Moon and the Unification Church in 1965. The church run by the Moonies went on to corrupt the U.S. government and dabble in industries such as building M-16 rifle factories and taking over fishing fleets.

Along with Gillis's book "A Killing Art" the book "Gifts of Deceit" by Robert Boettcher contains explosive information on the corrupting influence of Moon and the intelligence services. Boettcher was staff director of the Congressional investigation into the Korea-gate scandal of Korean bribes and influence peddling. Here's a brief review of Boettcher's book:

Gifts of Deceit

by Robert Boettcher
Legislative assistant to Representative Donald Fraser,
Democrat Minnesota

review by Allen Tate Wood
In Gifts of Deceit the late Robert Boettcher insightfully and thoroughly documents the activities and findings of the Fraser Committee. This congressional subcommittee( through it's 1978 report) on International Organizations opened a window on a world in Washington which many would prefer to see closed forever.
The report of this committee informally called the “Fraser Report” exhaustively documents and details Sun Myung Moon's role in working to shape American foreign policy. It further names a whole host of characters including American politicians, military leaders, Korean diplomats, former Japanese prime ministers, not to mention President Dwight D. Eisenhower who wittingly or unwittingly wound up acting as agents or surrogates for Sun Myung Moon and his "Unification Church".
In addition to reading like a first rate who dunn’it Boettcher's book gives the reader a behind the scenes look at official Washington which to this day has done nothing about the principal findings of the Frazer Committee: namely that the Unification Church has engaged in systematic violations of U.S law. Banking and currency laws, securities and exchange commission laws, Immigration and naturalization laws and charities fraud laws.
Boettcher's book is the first book that reveals the global geo-political ambitions of the Moon organization. It is a must for students of foreign relations, students of destructive cults, and for students of the U. S. Constitution particularly those who take an interest in the first and the thirteenth amendments.

December ,2000

It should be noted that author Boettcher was killed in a suspicious "accident". Here is his obituary in The New York Times:

Robert Boettcher, Staff Chief In House Inquiry, Dies in Fall
Published: May 30, 1984

Robert B. Boettcher, who was staff director of a Congressional investigation of South Korean influence-peddling in Washington in the 1970's, died Thursday in a fall from the roof of an apartment building on Central Park West, where he lived. He was 44 years old.
From 1971 until 1979, Mr. Boettcher directed the staff of the House Subcommittee on International Organizations. In that capacity he was in charge, under Representative Donald Fraser, of gathering evidence of a scandal in which Tongsun Park, a South Korean millionaire businessman, and others were accused of unlawfully seeking to influence American political figures in providing military and economic aid to Seoul.
Most recently Mr. Boettcher served as executive director of development and public relations for the Dance Theater of Harlem.

It's a dangerous line where the CIA crosses paths with Karate and religious cults.
It goes without saying that many, many Korean Karate masters went to work training intelligence agents. This included my own instructor, Tae Hong Choi.
As Gillis describes in "A Killing Art", Korean martial artists were inseparable from both crime syndicates and the intelligence agencies.

Informs On
KCIA Action
U.S. Probers Given
Secret and Detailed
Reports for 2 Years
By Scott irZt ciT1 g
and Charles R. Babcock
Washington Post Staff Writers
For the past two years, a former
director of the South Korean Intelligence
Agency has been secretly
giving federal investigators here
detailed information about the
KCIA's efforts to influence I.I.S.
officials with cash and gifts.
• According to informed sources, Kim .
Hyung Wook, who was KCIA director
In Seoul for seven years during the
1960s, has provided investigators with
a road map for their probe of the
South Korean influence-buying
scheme by revealing secret Swiss
bank accounts, identifying South Korean
businesses used as KCIA covers
and naming key KCIA agents, including
South Korean businessman Tongsun
In particular, Kim has told U.S.
• South Korean President Park
Chung Hee systematically has diverted
to Swiss bank accounts roughly
5 per cent of all foreign investments
in his country.
•Park Chung Hee regularly funnelled
money into campaigns of congressional
and presidential candidates
here during the 1960s.
*U.S. congressmen visiting South
Korea were routinely given cash-filled
envelopes, elaborate entertainment,
female companionship, honorary degrees
and medals.
•A number of U.S. congressmen
now under federal investigation were
given cash in this country through
Tongsun Park and other KCIA. conduits
here, With some congressmen receiving
as much as $50,000 each.
• Park Chung Hee's son-in-law, Han
Byung Ki, then deputy ambassador in
the South Korean mission to the
United Nations, directed KCIA agents
who tried to suppress South Korean
dissidents in this country.
•Bo Hi Pak, a former military attaehe
at the South Korean Embassy

More at link


Fou-mar said...

I'm surprised at the lack of comments on this great post. What came to my mind is The Beatles song - Because, of August 1969


Because the wind is high, it blows my mind

Because the wind is high

Dojo Rat said...

Well, every now and then Dojo Rat steers off-course.
That will probably be happening more often...

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