Nepal Foreign Minister Praises Philosophy of “Father Moon”

Hon. Sahana Pradhan, Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the UPF website:

UPF’s Founder, Father Moon, has developed a universal philosophy that has the power and depth to unite people from all walks of life. I believe that this International Leadership Conference will help us promote lasting peace and good governance.

 I blogged the background to the International Leadership Conference here.

World Leaders Praise the UPF

Scoobie Davis draws attention to an interesting promotional video on Universal Peace TV:


 She’s not the only one:

Scoobie also lists the other leading political figures featured:

President Pratibha Patil of India…Speaker of the Philippines House of Representatives, Jose de Venecia, Jr.; and former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.

Venecia is a Moon enthusiast of long standing; Nakasone is notorious for his 1986 musings that Japan was more successful than the USA because Japan is homogenous while the overall intelligence of America was hampered by all the “blacks and Hispanics”. Hardly “one family under God” material, one would have thought…

UPF Hosts Ceremony Establishing Rival Catholic Church

Over on my main blog and at Talk to Action I’ve been keeping tabs on how Moon has been encouraging the creation of a breakaway Roman Catholic church in Africa (a curious activity for someone who pontificates on interfaith harmony). His main ally in this scheme is the Zambian former Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, and last month the Times of Zambia reported the split:

A SPLINTER Catholic Church called the Catholic Apostolic National Church of Zambia has been launched with Archbishop-elect, Luciano Mbewe, calling for more priests to join the church and fulfill their God-given role by marrying…Archbishop Mbewe said during the ceremony held at Peace Embassy that there were moments that the priests hoped the restoration of married priests would be made possible.

Various countries have “Peace Embassies”; they are an outreach of the Universal Peace Federation. Mbewe, a disciple of Milingo, heads “Married Priests Now” in the country; in the USA, the same organisation is run by George Augustus Stallings, a former Catholic priest who now heads the Imani Temple. Stallings has received gifts from Reverend Moon, and he hosted the “coronation” of Moon in Washington in 2004. Zambia is a particularly Moon-friendly country; as well as the Milingo connection, former prime minister Malimba Masheke chairs the national branch of the International Inter-religious Federation for World Peace.

Moon Brings Charity to Swaziland

From the Swazi Observer, earlier this month:

NHLANGANO Town Clerk Mandla Mdluli has said the town is affected by a serious upsurge in orphaned and vulnerable children.

Speaking in his office during a visit by an internationally recognised organisation known as Women Federation for World Peace (WFWP) involved in humanitarian work, Mdluli said as a town, they are facing challenges in seeing such a matter addressed.

…WFWP had earlier in the day presented clothing material to a total of over 300 orphans from Wards 1 and 2 before the representatives winded up their visit to the town.

The delegation comprised the likes of Shin Yang Moon (executive director of Love Africa Foundation), Charles Mbingo the spokesperson of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Sabina Makhanya who is the foster parent project co-ordinator for WFWP.

When he’s not speaking on behalf of the UPF, Mbingo is the secreatry of the Swaziland School Sports Association. Back in July he was part of a planned delegation to the “Interreligious Peace Sports Festival” in South Korea, but the visit fell through due to passport problems. The IPSF, needless to say, is another “inspiration” of Rev Moon.

Former Netherlands V-P is Ambassador for Peace

A report from SikhNet last month:

On 21-11-2007, the Dutch unit of Universal Peace Federation UPF-NL also called as the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace, organised a special function to honour prominent citizens of the Netherlands in the Glass House of Almere. This function had also the approval and co-operation of the Town Hall of Almere. It should be noted that Mrs. Annemarie Jorritsma, now Mayor of Almere since 2003 was formerly Minister of Economics Affairs, National Highways and Water System and also vice Minister President of the Netherlands, are [sic] also Ambassadors For Peace.

Six citizens of the Nertherlands were given the award, including a Sikh leader named Sardar Bhupinder Singh Holland, and a local Christian minister named “Mr. Ver Bass” (or “Ver Bas”) – one wonders if he’ll be following Rev Moon’s recommendation to church leaders that they should remove crosses from their churches, or agrees with Moon’s claim that “Christianity has failed”.

Jorritsma (also known as Anne Marie Jorritsma-Lebbink) is an odd choice to get hitched onto the Moon bandwagon; a couple of years ago the centre-right politician advocated providing Dutch soldiers serving abroad with prostitutes.

Meet Ambassador Brownell

One of the most distinguished Liberian citizens is “Mother” Mary Brownell, an octogenarian former teacher who became a peace activist in the 1990s. The book Listening to the Silences: Women and War (ed. Helen Durham and Tracey Gurd, 2005) has a brief profile (p. 267):

In 1994, Mary Brownell, a former elementary teacher, ran a radio advertisement calling all women to attend a meeting at Monrovia City Hall. The resulting Liberian Women’s Initiative was pivotal in monitoring the words and actions of warlords. Using their community status as mothers and elderly women, they reprimanded and cajoled fighters into laying down their weapons. When the election of Charles Taylor in 1997, instead of peace, brought international condemnation, Liberian women joined with their counterparts in Sierra Leone and Guinea to form the Mano River Union peace Network…Throughout 2002 and 2003, they were key mediators between the various fighting forces, 18 political parties and the government.

Since then, Brownell has become Chair of the UPF in Liberia; her role was noted in this 2006 report from the Unification Church True Parents website:

Under the guidance of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in Liberia and the watchful eye of persons from all sections of Liberian society, Ganta City in Nimba County became the site of the first county-level Peace Council in Liberia. It met on July 31, 2006 with nearly 800 persons in attendance. Peace Councils are envisioned for each of Liberia’s 15 counties.

…Ambassador Mary N. Brownell, Chair of UPF-Liberia, thanked all who had made this day possible. Referring to the theme, Reconciliation, Peace and Family Renewal, she said, “We are promoting understanding and tolerance among us despite the differences of religious beliefs, culture and dialects or language. The Peace Councils will foster peace, good governance, peace education and reconciliation. Through these councils we are confident that we can promote better human understanding and development at all levels of Liberian society, government officials and traditional leaders and elders. We want to find the root causes of existing conflicts and how to minimize them. We hope to realize the importance of family life and the impact of family values on the upbringing of our children.”

Other prominent Liberians to become “Ambassadors” for the UPF include Gerald Coleman, Commissioner of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

In December, the Liberian Analyst published a report about a “Human Rights Defenders’ Workshop” in which Brownell was a speaker:

Madam Mary Brownell told the participants that rights activist in the country must be in the position to fight against societal ills, but must not trade the wrong things. According to her, Liberian rights advocates were paying lip-services and were only and were only engaged in conducting workshop just to attract foreign supports for their personal gains.

“Don’t take money to defend the wrongs in the society, be prepared to defend the victims, and do not use the name Human Rights to defend yourself for political gains” Mother Brownell Mother Brownell added.

Far better, perhaps, to rely on the purely humanitarian and agenda-less initiatives of Rev Moon?

Moon’s Pure Love Comes to Tonga

From Matangi Tonga:

A Pure Love Festival is held for the first time in the capital by the Universal Peace Federation, in its peace mission “to promote harmony through the value of purity and fidelity in a family”.

…Jimook Lee a Korean and leader of the Youth Ambassadors said their work involves travelling around the island nations to promote moral, character education and HIV/Aids prevention among youth, as well as giving lectures on the importance of having a strong loving family.

…She said similar events had been held in Palau, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, New Zealand and Australia by different youth teams.The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) is a global alliance of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace founded by Dr and Mrs Sun Myung Moon.

There are currently 10 active Ambassadors of Peace in Tonga.

Details about how “HIV/Aids prevention” would be promoted are not provided, but in 2003 report by John Gorenfeld described a similar Moon-linked programme in the USA which gained federal funding, entitled “Free Teens”:

…the specter of death hovers over the Free Teens Web site…It’s even hinted that not even French-kissers are safe from HIV. The site also heavily spins a 2001 study from the National Institutes of Health, saying that the “U.S. Gov Now DOUBTS Condoms!” And, in a slogan reminiscent of Moon’s emphasis on the “blood lineage” that binds the biblical Adam to the True Father, Free Teens implores its subjects with the message: “It’s not just your body, it’s your whole lineage forever.”

Free Teens recommends a classroom exercise in which teenagers spit into a cup, then are asked to trade with another student and drink out of it. The lesson: Sex is even more intimate, and it should be approached with all the vigilance of drinking a warm cup of spit.