House Resolution 20 P.N. 589

House Resolution 20 P.N. 589  (1979) 
Pennsylvania General Assembly



No. 20 Session of 1979



In the House of Representatives, March 6, 1979

WHEREAS, It is alleged that The Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, also known as the Unification Church, and the following religious societies; Scientology, Children of God, International Society Krishna Consciousness, Divine Light Mission, Church of Bible Understanding, Council for Social Development, Neo-American Church and The Way International, may utilize improper mind control techniques in their recruitment and subsequent retention of members; and

WHEREAS, It is important to ascertain whether or not the Unification Church or the other entities mentioned above recruit and/or retain their membership by way of techniques which undermine voluntary consent, involve the use of duress, interfere with free will or otherwise involve improper mind control practices; and

WHEREAS, It is necessary to determine whether the parents of individuals who have become members of the Unification Church, and who are commonly referred to as "Moonies", or the other entities employ similar recruitment and/or membership retention

practices have adequate remedy under existing law to ascertain whether or not such initial or continued membership is voluntary and not the result of improper mind control techniques or other forms of duress; and

WHEREAS, It is alleged that the Unification Church and the other entities have engaged in improper and misleading fund- raising practices and that such deceptive fund-raising is facilitated by their alleged status as religious organizations; and

WHEREAS, It is necessary to determine whether the fund- raising practices of the Unification Church and the other entities are improper and misleading and, if so, whether existing law adequately regulates or prohibits such conduct; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Speaker of the House of Representatives appoint a select committee consisting of seven members, four from the majority party and three from the minority party, to study, investigate and report to the House on the recruitment and membership retention techniques and fund-raising practices of the Unification Church and the other entities alluded to in the foregoing and the possible need for remedial legislation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That such select committee shall not conduct its study or investigation so as to in any manner interfere with the free exercise of religion and religious beliefs by members of the Unification Church (commonly referred to as "Moonies") or by the other entities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the committee may hold hearings, take testimony, and make its investigations at such places as it deems necessary. It may issue subpoenas under the hand and seal of its chairman commanding any person to appear before it and to answer questions touching matters properly being inquired into by the committee and to produce such books, papers, records and documents as the committee deems necessary. Such subpoenas may be served upon any person and shall have the force and effect of subpoenas issued out of the courts of this Commonwealth. Any person who willfully neglects or refuses to testify before the committee or to produce any books, papers, records or documents, shall be subject to the penalties provided by the laws of the Commonwealth in such case. Each member of the committee shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses appearing before the committee; and be it further

RESOLVED, That within thirty calendar days after the committee has made its report, the chairman of the committee shall cause a record of all expenses incurred by the committee, or the members thereof, which are payable at Commonwealth expense, to be filed with the Speaker of the House and the Speaker shall cause the same to be entered into the journal thereof. No expenses incurred by the committee or any member thereof shall be reimbursable by the Chief Clerk unless such expense shall first have been included as an expense item in the record heretofore required; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the committee shall report its findings, together with its recommendations for appropriate legislation or otherwise, to the General Assembly as soon as its study is completed.