An old “Moonie brainwashing camp” was sold by the Unification Church of Rev. Moon in northern California, reports The Press Democrat.

The church led by the self-proclaimed “messiah” sold Aetna Springs resort, in a deal last month to a developer. The isolated site was once used to indoctrinate recruits through a process many see as “brainwashing.”

Attorney Ford Green was once held in Boonville a similar retreat. He said, “Aetna Springs for years was one of the Moonie brainwashing camps.” Ford says such camps are “pretty tough to leave,” adding, “I’m sure that was the desirable feature of the Aetna location — its isolation.”

The developer who bought Aetna Springs plans to turn it into a four-star resort.

Green said, “To have one less public health hazard in Napa County can’t be anything but good.”

Rev. Moon once spent time in a North Korean prisoner camp. Some say he may have learned about many of the techniques later used to “brainwash” recruits at his own camps largely through that experience.

Robert Jay Lifton, a noted psychiatrist, described those techniques in his book “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism,” first published in 1961. The book would later be used as a means of explaining cult “brainwashing” to members during “deprogramming.”

Rev. Moon has become a powerful political figure in Washington since the days Aetna Springs was a thriving “Moonie” camp. He now owns the Washington Times newspaper, United Press International wire service and has close ties to the Bush family.


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