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Mission 1024287: Your job is to investigate the links between the widely-travelled Mayor Hamilton Green and a religious right-wing Christian cult, the Unification Church, whose fanatical followers, called "moonies", are subjected to mind-control techniques and are forced into arranged marriages.
Gadgets to be used: A computer and the search engine www.Google.com
Time to be completed: by 1500 hours 05-06-03
Mayor Hamilton Green...
...was former Prime Minister of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Was in power in the most infamous incident of Guyana's recent history - the mass suicide in 1978 of more than 900 American exiles who were members of Rev. Jim Jones's People's Temple. A country brief by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs says, "The community was believed to have had the approval of members of Burnham's inner circle."
In 1993 Green left the PNC party after his failed attempt to become leader. In 1995 he was elected Mayor of Georgetown. He then helped oversee the continued deterioration of a city piled high with garbage, an ever more flatulent landfill, lawless municipal markets and constant charges of corruption surrounding the City Hall administration.
According to a Moonie sponsored organisation Green "plays the piano and reads history and philosophy in his spare time."
He actually spends a lot of his time at overseas conferences which serve absolutely no purpose in the running of Georgetown.
The Unification Church or the Moonies:
Led by 82-year-old Sun Myung Moon who claims that in 1935, while deep in prayer on a mountainside in North Korea, Jesus had appeared to him and asked him to complete his mission of creating a Kingdom of God on earth. He founded the Unification Church in South Korea in 1954 and sent the first missionaries to the United States in 1959. His followers, known for street-corner vending including selling roses, believe Moon is the Messiah.
The church has promoted an ideological war against communism and used its substantial financial resources to build political alliances with conservative leaders. In 1982, at a time when many American newspapers were folding, Moon started The Washington Times which serves up a steady menu of right wing ideology.
In the wake of revelations of Korean influence-buying in Congress, a congressional committee in 1978 reported evidence of Korean intelligence ties to Moon and concludes that Moon's organisation `systematically violated U.S. tax, immigration, banking, currency and Foreign Agents Registration Act laws.' Moon was convicted of income tax fraud and would eventually serve a 13-month jail sentence.
According to a 1997 Washington Post article the Unification movement dedicates resources to winning political influence in America.
"Moon's most ambitious foray into the political process in recent years was the American Freedom Coalition (AFC), a conservative group that built popular support for Col. Oliver L. North during the Iran-contra probe.
"Other groups get quick infusions of cash for special projects. Gifts and contributions to the Women's Federation for World Peace, for example, soared to $10.7 million in 1995. The federation sponsored a series of speeches by George and Barbara Bush in Asia and the United States, with total fees estimated at about $1 million."
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said the ex-president "strongly believes in the mission" of Moon's federations, but "has no relationship with Moon," the Post article reported which also noted Moon's "$3.5 million grant to the Christian Heritage Foundation, which later bought a large portion of Liberty University's debt, rescuing the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Lynchburg, Va., religious school from the brink of bankruptcy."
The church also formed the New York-based Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, a social and spiritual non-profit group that holds conferences and stages events designed to promote Moon's worldview. Moon has now set his targets on South America and spends much of his time in a compound in Uruguay, staying close to his newspaper Tiempos del Mundo, based in Buenos Aires. World Communications, a Moonie held company last year acquired UPI (United Press International) which is the chief competitor to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile the church's calendar marks events such as the Ceremony for the Total Dissolution of Resentment; Ceremony for the Liberation of the Universe; The Declaration of True Parents' Cosmic Victory; Declaration of the Return of the Sea to Heavenly Dominion; and The Day of Dispensational Transition Point Toward Unification.
Amongst his more controversial statements is that homosexuals are "dirty dung-eating dogs." And that Jesus' greatest error was his failure to get married.
Also "He [God] is living in me and I am the incarnation of Himself. ... The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world."
This one is less harmful but just as strange: "If two lovers, a husband and a wife, meet after many years of separation. They hug each other and squeeze hard. They shoot up into the sky. True Love comes and covers the entire area."
The National Council of Churches says Moon's theology is `incompatible with Christian teaching and belief.
Start from the assumption that up to three years ago a group of Moonies were allowed to hand out pamphlets and other literature outside City Hall, as being a complete coincidence.
Refer instead to a February 4, 2002 City Council Round Up article by frontline reporter Cecil Griffith which stated Green had been invited to take part in a World Federation for Peace-sponsored convention "after being identified by the organisers as an ambassador for peace in the world...
"The `chief citizen' at last Monday's statutory meeting urged councillors to assist him in the formulation of his presentation to the convention, while at the same time appealing to them to give him an appropriate per diem. His hotel and travel expenses will be taken care of by the organisers. The theme is `The role of business, economic and financial institutions in establishing a culture of peace'. The convention begins on February 14, 2002."
This was just the beginning. In April, Green attended a mass wedding ceremony organised by the Unification Church linking 144,000 couples in marriage world wide by satellite and live Webcast. This 'Marriage Blessing and Rededication ceremony of Clergy Couples' was held at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on April 27. According to an official report "the ceremony Staff members with walkie-talkies manoeuvred a surging crowd of brides and grooms into the vast ballroom outside which tables were set selling wedding and engagement rings and jewellery, and commemoration `God Bless Our Family' T-shirts."
Then "Ex-prime minister of Guyana, Hamilton Green, rose to the podium with the hope that "Every nation ought to be morally and spiritually secure," before representatives of 12 different faiths added marriage blessings.
Unbelievably Green was off again only a month later to the International Symposium "Serving the Nation, Serving the World: Establishing Peace by Renewing Families, Communities and Nations" held at the New York Hilton Hotel from May 25-27.
According to the executive summary, among the many speeches by former heads of state, Green "observed that despite great technological advance, history has been riddled with wars, inquisitions, crusades, hypocrisy, intolerance, and generally a lack of real love. Thus, these events have not helped give our young people a positive vision.
However, conflict and immorality are an evil that are capable of being replaced. Reminding participants of Jesus' commandment to love one another, Green said that should be the criteria for leaders, including political leaders, around the world.
Rev. Moon set the tone on these issues years ago in his pursuit of authentic peace, he noted... Green concluded with a proposal that a federation be created, perhaps with financial resources from the G-7 countries, to bring young people from all over the world together so that they may pray, play and work together. They should get to know one another and understand what peace and love are all about. As they emerge as leaders, they will have that experience to help them be tolerant and to make a reality of the philosophy of the IIFWP of building an ethic of peace."
Dr Kwak arrives to spread the gospel
All of this came to fruition last year on October 2002 with the arrival of a Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, a Moonie sponsored front, who came to Guyana to hold the International Leadership Seminar. A large ceremony was held at City Hall where according to the Unification News web site Green thanked Rev. Dr. Kwak for awakening Guyana to the significance the family plays in relation to the well-being of the nation and presented him with a golden key to the City.
The leadership seminar was held at the Ocean View hotel and lengthily entitled "Renewing the Nation: An Exploration of Principles and Practices that Strengthen Families, Educate our Youth, and Rebuild the Society."
"There was a delay in the beginning of the day's proceedings because the National Leader, Pastor Ronald McGarrell, was awaiting the arrival of the Mayor who had been inadvertently delayed.
Never mind, the seminar was a rip roaring success probably because the "participants were hungry for spiritual food and enjoyed the presentations very much."
"In his closing remarks Rev. Kwak spoke about Rev. and Mrs. Moon's vision for world peace. He spoke of Rev. Moon's concern for people, and how he was constantly leading, teaching, guiding and gradually building a strong foundation for building a Culture of Peace."
"Dr. Martin Boodhoo, lecturer at the University of Guyana, and President of the U.N. Association of Guyana, referred to Dr. Kwak's lectures as scholarly, philosophical, pragmatic, provocative and enigmatic!"
"The National Leader of Guyana, Mr. Ronald McGarrell and the Mayor of Georgetown accompanied Dr. Kwak and his party to the airport for their departure."
Mayor Green is soon to fly off on another trip to the Moonies...
Question 1: How much of the costs of these trips and Dr Kwak's visit was funded by the taxpayer?
Question 2: Is it right for Green to use his position to go on free trips abroad that do not benefit Guyana?
Question 3: Was he paid to speak at these conferences?
Question 4: Is Mayor Green now a fully-fledged Moonie?
WARNING! This newspaper will self-destruct in 60 seconds...