Wednesday, April 12, 2006

'The Way of the Tuna'

I was dismayed to learn today from a Chicago Tribune article that the American seafood industry is owned in large part by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the head of the Unification Church, who claims that he is the Messiah, who conducts mass weddings in Madison Square Garden, and who owns the right-wing Washington Times. According to the Tribune he also owns a lot of raw fish:
Adhering to a plan Moon spelled out more than three decades ago in a series of sermons, members of his movement managed to integrate virtually every facet of the highly competitive seafood industry. The Moon followers' seafood operation is driven by a commercial powerhouse, known as True World Group. It builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers and, each day, supplies most of the nation's estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants.

Some of this is admittedly quite funny, however, like Moon's manifesto to take over the world--one sushi restaurant at a time:
"I have the entire system worked out, starting with boat building," Moon said in "The Way of Tuna," a speech given in 1980. "After we build the boats, we catch the fish and process them for the market, and then have a distribution network. This is not just on the drawing board; I have already done it."

In the same speech, he called himself "king of the ocean."
Between detailing gay sex practices and outlining sushi takeovers, sermons have really changed since the days when people would just talk about, say, Bible verses.
And yes, some of the profits from Moon's seafood business, True World Foods, does make its way to the Unification Church. Even though True Foods is known for reliably delivering high quality sushi, they have received some food santiation citations:
Last year, after repeated FDA inspections found "gross unsanitary conditions" at True World's suburban Detroit plant, the facility manager tried to bar inspectors from production areas and refused to provide records, according to an FDA report. The plant manager told the inspectors that his True World supervisor was "a great man, that he was a part of a new religion, and that if we took advantage of him, then `God help you!'."

Later, according to that FDA report, an employee wearing a ski mask approached one female inspector, put his thumb and forefinger in the shape of a gun, pointed at her and said: "You're out of uniform. Pow!"

Reverend Moon says that Jesus asked him back in the 1950s to save humanity. I wonder if Jesus also asked Rev. Moon to supply sushi restaurants, because he would do better to re-focus his attentions on saving humanity.

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