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from H.R.W.F. - HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS INTERNATIONAL

Religious Discrimination in Japan - Testimonies given at UPR Info Meeting (at UN Office Geneva, 31/10/12)

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THE PASSING TO SPIRITUAL WORLD OF TRUE FATHER REV. SUN MYUNG MOON (1920-2012) May the grace and love of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind overflow upon all Blessed Families in each region, nation, and throughout the world. Our beloved True Father who came to this earth as the Savior of humankind, the Messiah, the True Parent and the King of Kings and lived a holy life of true love throughout his 93 years, shedding blood, sweat and tears for God's liberation, the salvation of humankind and world peace, having concluded, completed and perfected his providential mission, ascended into the spirit world at 1:54 AM, 7.17 by the heavenly calendar in the 3rd year of Cheon-gi (September 3, 2012) at the Cheongshim International Medical Center. He was surrounded by True Mother and the True Children. Sincere thanks to all those worldwide who have offered jeongseong for the sake of True Father's recovery.


UPF International Newsletter Latest Edition
Honoring the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon
....Click here for Memorial ...

RESPONSE TO MIRROR ARTICLE

Having looked back over the Mirror's coverage of the recent death of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, I am prompted to draw the following points to your attention: -"Dark side of the Moon: How megalomaniac Moonie leader built a billion-dollar business empire through sinister cult"

The term 'moonie' is considered derogatory and members don't refer to themselves by that label any more than Irish people would choose to refer to themselves as 'Paddies'. Being a religious leader does not translate as being a megalomaniac and, far from being a sinister cult, the Unification Church in the United Kingdom appears on the Register of Charities as being a bone fide religion for the public good and charitable in Law. The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who has died aged 92, was accused of brainwashing followers and fleecing them of cash Small pressure groups of self-appointed, fanatical, 'cult watchers' actively campaign against new religious movements. Much of their so-called information about the Unification Church is distorted, far-fetched, inaccurate and unreliable. As a consequence of various allegations, the British Government thoroughly investigated the Unification Church over a period of four years from 1984 to 1988 in an attempt to strip it of its charity status.

But all of the common charges including brainwashing, breaking up families and the supposed exploitation of its members were found to be groundless.
In 1988 the Attorney General announced to the House of Commons that he was dropping the case and conceded that had he known from the outset all that came to light during the proceedings the case would probably never have been brought. He was ordered to pay the Unification Church's entire costs.But the world was to learn that this message of peace was all a front for a sinister cult, accused of exploiting vulnerable youngsters, brainwashing followers and fleecing them of cash. Despite weighty, extensive, scientific and legal evidence available that shows that no such phenomenon as 'brainwashing' has ever existed within the Unification Church the charge was again raised in the Mirror article. Similarly, there has never been any requirement for those who join the Unification Church to hand over their cash or possessions.


...he was also building a billion-dollar business empire that included newspapers, TV stations and an arms factory.
Unification Church activities are nowadays supported financially through the commercial side of the movement. Arguably that is better than having church members stand on street corners fundraising as used to be the norm. As regards reference to an arms factory, amongst the church's businesses in Korea is an engineering company. Because of the constant threat of invasion from the Communist North, it is the law of the land that all manufacturing companies in South Korea contribute something towards the national defence. The Unification Church is no exception to the rule and its factories supply arms parts to the military.
... has claimed to have seven million members across 180 countries, is now said to have around 100,000 followers. The official figure of worldwide membership is 2 million.Moon's youngest son and spiritual heir, Rev Hyung Jin Moon, faces a battle for control of the family fortune from his siblings and his mum, Hak Ja Han. This refers to church assets rather than family fortune. It is true that there has been something of a rift as to which brother should take financial control over which part of it and that is currently being resolved. Early members later claimed Moon believed humans must be purified through sex, and having sex with him would cleanse their bodies and souls.

A Korean ex-member of the Unification Church wrote a book about such supposed activity. However he later admitted that none of it was true. Such rumours had arisen due to a nightly curfew in Korea at that time when several women stayed overnight to listen to Revd Moon speaking instead of returning to their homes. Revd moon was arrested on charges of immorality but found not guilty. A full account of that era is described in his autobiography.
"love-bombing" was a recruitment technique designed to make lonely people feel part of a loving community, to reject their families and to hand over their possessions. About the only 'recruitment technique' of the Unification Church is to invite members of the public to study an overview of its theological understanding, if they so desire. Apparently the term "Love bombing" is associated with a group called The Children of God.
In the Unification Church, the fact that Revd and Mrs Moon are regarded as the 'True Parents of mankind' does not mean that church members in any way reject their own parents and families. Nor is there any requirement to hand over possessions.It sparked outrage among parents. Given the amount of bad rumour floating around about the Unification Church in the 1970s there was an understandable concern by parents of its members. Some of them attached more weight to sensationalist stories rather than the personal first-hand account of their own adult son or daughter which led to frustration or friction which was unfortunate. For its part the Unification Church always encouraged its members to maintain healthy relationships with their parents and relatives and in most cases such family ties remained perfectly intact. There were then reports of converts being kidnapped and de-programmed by "cult-busters".

There were some extreme cases, particularly in the United States and Japan, in which members' parents had been contacted by so-called cult information groups who, armed with a selection of propaganda material, had convinced them that their son or daughter was in the clutches of a sinister cult and needed to be 'rescued'. For fees of several thousand dollars the services of 'de-programmers' could be hired to physically kidnap the person from the church and hold them prisoner for a number of weeks whilst depriving them of adequate sleep or food and repeatedly bombarding them with anti-religious material in an attempt to break their faith before delivering them to their parents. Such illegal activity was by no means limited to the targeting of Unification Church members but was also carried out on individuals from other faith groups and included the kidnapping of nuns from convents. It is perhaps interesting to note, however, that in the majority of cases those who underwent such an ordeal eventually returned back to their respective churches. But in 1981 Moon was on the back foot when the High Court ordered the church to pay costs of 750,000 pounds after it lost a libel action against the Daily Mail which alleged that it broke up families. As the direct consequence of the lost libel case against the Daily Mail in 1981, the British Government investigated the Unification Church over a four-year period from 1984 to 1988. But various allegations including brainwashing, breaking up families and the supposed exploitation of its members were found to be groundless.
And it might be news to the Daily Mirror that in recent years even the Daily Mail has annotated its records in such a way as to deter its journalists from digging up and repeating unfounded rumours from a bygone era. In fact the Daily Mail's coverage of the Unification Church's Marriage Blessing ceremonies in Korea has been excellent (and even the 'Moonie' word missing). I am pleased to say that, with the help of the Press Complaints Commission, the Unification Movement now enjoys a far more healthy working relationship with the Daily Mail than at any time in its turbulent history with that particular publication:-
In 1984 Moon's reputation was dented hugely when he was jailed for 18 months in the US for tax evasion. Revd Moon was jailed for tax evasion in the United States for an amount of a mere $7,000 spread over three years which he claimed was a church fund. His imprisonment caused outcry amongst leaders of a variety of different faith groups in the United States who regarded it as religious persecution. An investigative journalist called Carlton Sherwood wrote the book 'Inquisition' about that entire situation.


....US Government & Rev Moon's Tax Case "INQUISITION"- Carlton Sherwood's expose ...

In 1998 his eldest son, Hyo Jin, was revealed as a violent cocaine addict - he died of a heart attack aged 45 - and in 1999 another son, Younjin Phillip Moon, killed himself aged 21. Reverend Moon's son, Hyo Jin Moon, had certain issues. He was a talented musician who unfortunately became a victim of the New York music scene of drugs culture. Nevertheless he went through rehabilitation and managed to emerge from such a lifestyle. He re-married but later died at the young age of 45. Another son, Youn-jin Moon, died as a result from falling from a balcony but there was no evidence to suggest that it was suicide.
Moon himself was forbidden entry to Britain by Home Secretary Michael Howard in 1995 although the High Court later ruled the decision was unlawful. Without wanting to bore you with too much detail the situation went something like this:- Between 1965 and 1978 Revd Moon visited Britain on six separate occasions and there was no complaint of wrongdoing or any suggestion that his presence was not conducive to the public good. In May 1978 when Revd Moon re-entered the country and asked to stay for a period of 4 months the request was refused on the grounds that he supposedly couldn't be trusted to leave at the end of that period. On appeal, the decision was overturned and ruled to have been founded on 'baseless media speculation,' He stayed for the 4 months requested and then duly departed. In 1989 Revd Moon applied for entry clearance for a brief visit to Britain but the application was refused. On appeal the decision was overturned. The then Home Secretary was ordered to issue an entry clearance and did so in 1991. However, due to commitments elsewhere Revd Moon did not visit Britain in 1991.
In 1993 he applied for an updated entry clearance to the UK which was granted with no objections being raised. Once again, however, due to a busy schedule elsewhere he was unable to use it and didn't visit Britain at that time either. In October 1995 Revd Moon again applied for entry clearance to the UK but the then Home Secretary, Michael Howard, sought to ban him from entering the country. However a High Court Judge declared Mr Howard's decision to be "illegal by reason of procedural unfairness" and, in the meantime, Revd Moon simply withdrew his application for entry clearance. In November 2005 Revd Moon again applied for entry clearance to the United Kingdom which was granted by the then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke. In May 2011 Revd Moon again visited the UK. Moon moved the church to a remote region in Brazil. Revd Moon commuted back and forth to Brazil in the 1990s but the church as a whole didn't move there.
Richard Biddlecombe
UK Media Consultant to the Unification Movement

Washington Times Tribute to the Life and Work of True Father Rev Dr Sun Myung Moon

OPEN LETTER TO IRISH DAILY MAIL FROM UPF SECRETARY GENERAL ....Click here for Full Statement ...

To: Eric Bailey, Editor-in-Chief, Irish Daily Mail, Unity House, Dublin, September 14, 2012
Dear Mr. Bailey, Your paper published an article in connection of the passing of the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon by a Mr. Tom Rawstorne two days ago. As I cannot find his name among the people that are listed as regular contributors to your Irish paper, I can only assme that article taken from your British 'mother' paper. It is an article that is full of lies and misrepresentation and does not even logically hang together. Attached you will find my response to his portrayal of a man I have studied and followed for over 40 years. As someone who has been responsible working in several countries, I have over the years had a chance to know the Reverend as closely as is possible. It is a shame you allow such low-level journalism into your paper. I know that the fact that I have been working in his church for many years in your eyes probably disqualifies me from having an opinion, but I still feel I have to have my point of view heard and challenge you to publish my answer - at least in the interests of publishing both sides of the story.

Many people,like Mr. Rawstorne have obviously no knowledge of the extensive work Rev. Dr. Moon has done throughout his life, and for that reason I have added to the end of my article statements from well-known religious scholars after they took the time to participate in some of the conferences held by our organisations over the years. For your information, the Universal Peace Federation International has even just in the past year, held conferences on different important topics in the presidential palace in Malta, the UNESCO hq in Paris, UN in Geneva, the British House of Lords. The next one will be held in the Norwegian Parliament. These meetings have attracted top authorities in the fields of politics, religion, NGOs and academia, Therefore I think the time has come to correct this negative attitude fuelled by media articles like the one in your paper and to start looking into the real facts if you want to write about the topic.

Sincerely,Halvard K. Iversen, Sec. Gen. UPF Ireland

Irish and British Unificationists interviewed on Newstalk 07.09.12 Simon & Colm on Tom Dunne Show (6.53 MB)

Stop Japan Abductions Press Briefing - Protest against the forced imprisonment of Unificationists in Japan