Good morning, it's Monday. Let's start here:
A Lackawanna County man who organized a protest outside state House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s house in late December is the latest Pennsylvanian to be charged by the federal government for participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Frank Scavo, a former state Senate candidate and controversial Old Forge, Pa., school board president, appeared in federal court on Thursday to face four misdemeanor charges related to his presence in Capitol.
Eight days before the Jan. 6 attack, Scavo and more than 100 people protested outside Cutler’s district office in Buck to call on one of the legislature’s top Republicans to take decisive action to overturn Pennsylvania’s election results. Scavo and other protesters then gathered outside Cutler’s home in Drumore Township.
So far so typical among the Trumpists.
It's the next paragraph where a whole mess of red flags began to be raised:
Scavo organized the bus that transported some protesters from Scranton to Lancaster County on Dec. 30. The group included members of an off-shoot of the Unification Church, which was founded in South Korea by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon whose followers are often referred to “Moonies.”
And then a couple of paragraphs later:
The following week, Scavo organized five buses to take 200 people to the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., responding to then-President Trump’s call for his supporters to join him in trying to stop Congress from counting the final Electoral College results.
So Scavo was in the Capitol (that's a crime) and there's video and the FBI is on the case. Yadda-yadda and so forth.
Right now I am more curious about that off-shoot of the Unification Church.
For that we go here:
A pro-gun, pro-Trump sect composed of U.S. and non-citizen zealots was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and largely escaped attention. Known as Moonies, it is preparing for insurrection 2.0.
Look back to three weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Former White House senior counselor Steve Bannon addressed a crowd gathered on the grounds of Kahr Arms/Tommy Gun Warehouse in Greeley, Pa., by video.
Frank Scavo, a local Republican politician who previously served on the Old Forge School Board in Lackawanna County, emceed the event. Following Bannon’s remarks, Scavo reinforced the previous speaker’s points.
“You heard Steve Bannon,” Scavo said. “Now is our time, now is your time. Working the polls — all you’re doing is making sure that it’s going straight, that it’s going according to plan. All you’re doing is making sure that there aren’t busloads of people which show up and just happen to vote.”
Then, Scavo introduced the next speaker — a man dressed in a camouflage-patterned suit and tie and wearing a crown of bullets with a gold-plated AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder.
It was Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, leader of World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, more commonly known as Rod of Iron Ministries.
Rod of Iron.
Is any of this sounding familiar?
If not, let me remind you:
From its beginning, the church wholeheartedly embraced former President Donald Trump and incorporated Trumpian culture war and conspiracies into its rhetoric. Moon told VICE News in late 2019 that he believed God was working through Trump to rid the world of “political satanism” (for example, the “deep state” and “the swamp”) and restore Eden. Through his gun-centric, MAGA-friendly outlook, Moon has been able to establish some fringe political alliances. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon spoke at a recent event hosted by the church. Pennsylvania state senator and “Stop the Steal” organizer Doug Mastriano was also recently billed as a special guest at another church event. [Emphasis added.]So we have two Pennsylvania politicians (one a little more prominent than the other) each Trumpists, each involved in busing people to the "Stop The Steal" rally on January 6 (which morphed into the Capitol insurrection where one of the to men was more involved than the other) and each tied to a pro-gun off-shoot of the Unification Church (which also was involved in storming the Capitol on January 6).
It's quite possible that these two gentlemen of Pennsylvania are simply running parallel political lives and it's all a coincidence and they've never ever even met.
And it's quite possible that they have.
Have they met?
Can someone please ask Doug about this?