Fiji Sun

SUVA, Fiji (Dec. 7) – The decision by the [Fiji] Government to exclude the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is, to say the least, curious given its stand on other doubtful religious figures that have been welcomed with open arms.

North Korea-born Reverend Moon - the founder of the so-called "Moonies" sect, or the Unification Church - is on a tour of 100 cities, or so it is said, to publicize his new body, the Universal Peace Federation which he says is dedicated to resolving conflict.

He was to have arrived in Fiji yesterday but was told that he would not be allowed to enter. The Ministry for Home Affairs chief executive officer has said the Department of Immigration conducted an investigation in to the Reverend Moon's activities as a result of which the decision to deny him entry was taken.

The chief executive officer did not reveal what the investigation found or even what form it took, but it has been alleged that Reverend Moon runs a cult-style organization in which people are conditioned to follow him through unfair means.

Others, however, welcome him and hail his message of peace. This newspaper takes no position on the suitability, or otherwise, of Reverend Moon's visit but it seems he would be in no position to influence or in some sinister way undermine the security of the nation by speaking to a group of well-heeled dignitaries at a Sheraton Hotel dinner.

The decision becomes even more curious when compared with the Government's decision to offer self-styled miracle healer Benny Hinn a security detail when he visits Fiji next year.

Most - if not all - of the allegations made against Reverend Moon have also been made against Mr. Hinn. And like those against Reverend Moon, most are unproved. Mr. Hinn is a man who claims a direct connection with God who, he says, works His miracles through him in curing the sick and the suffering.

However, these miracles are not available to those who are sick in the hospital, nor are they available to the blind and otherwise disabled unless, of course, they can find their way to his much-publicized gatherings. Mr. Hinn sells hope to those who have none and Reverend Moon probably does much the same.

Both are extremely wealthy, both travel by private jet and both have acquired their wealth through the donations and purchases of their followers. Surely, then, they deserve equal treatment.

December 8, 2005


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