University’s link to the Unification Church prompts a lawsuit from Bridgeport coalition.

The role the Unification Church has played in the rescue of a small Connecticut university has been challenged in court by a diverse alliance of Bridgeport-area residents.

The goal of the plaintiffs—alumni, former trustees, donors, a former faculty member, a student, and a state legislator—is clarification of a confusing situation. “There has never been a situation like this,” says attorney Michael A. Stratton. “Things are not terribly clear. We are asking the court to tell us what the law is.”

In February, the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education extended accreditation to the University of Bridgeport (UB) to June 1995. That decision had been tabled a month earlier because of concern about control of UB by the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), a 10,000 member-strong alliance of academics founded by Sun Myung Moon.

A private school with declining enrollment in an economically devastated city, UB accepted a $50 million loan and grant package last spring from PWPA. In exchange, the organization received control of the board of trustees.

Moon casts a shadow

Plans had been under way to close the 85-acre campus on Long Island Sound when the university accepted the PWPA offer. That, opponents say, makes PWPA Moon’s “Trojan horse.” They believe Moon poses a threat to the intellectual integrity of the university and the freedom of students there.

“Moon has ties to extremists around the world,” says Glenn Davis, a vocal opponent. “He’s into brainwashing and cult stuff. This still goes on.”

Included in teachings by the 73-year-old Korean: the Fall was a result of a sexual relationship between Eve and Lucifer; Jesus failed in his earthly ...

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