Thursday, March 09, 2006

(155) The Dark Side of the Moons and correspondence with Eileen Barker

On the morning of November 21st 1998 I telephoned Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch from the Walton Park Hotel, Bristol concerning our further investigation of a dubious guru.
He reported that he had that morning received a reply from Professor Anthony Storr, author of the definitive study of gurus, Feet of Clay.

He suggested Jeremy write to Eileen Barker, mentioning her work with new religious movements and her authorship of the classic study of cult psychology; The Making of a Moonie.
I had already recommended this excellent book to Jeremy.

In the early hours of Nov 22nd I was talking with Paul Kelly. I had known him for some years but he astonished me by revealing that, in the mid 1970s, he had for six years been a Moonie.

He said that he had met Moon himself, and also met and corresponded with Eileen Barker. Indeed, he was moving a lot of stuff out of his flat in London, where we had met up to begin our journey, to a chess event in Avon.

He thought it possible that amongst the assortment of bric-a-brac that he had brought along with him there could even be a letter from Ms Barker to himself.

Kelly went on to mention his disenchantment with the bride that Moon had selected for him, and how this had led to his split from the Unification Church, although he still regarded Moon as having some genuine spiritual authority.

He said that he had recently heard of a book that was hostile towards Moon, written by the ex-wife of one of his sons.

I had not heard of it before.

I came down to breakfast that morning and was ushered to a table.
Adjacent to it I found a discarded copy of that day’s Sunday Telegraph and one visible section had an article on this very book, including an interview with the author, Nansook Hong.

The article was headed The Dark Side of the Moons and the book, which details alcohol and drug abuse and financial improprieties by the Moons, is called In The Shadow of the Moons.

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