The always-colorful Rev. Sun Myung Moon spent $15,000 for Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and his wife Vera to fly on a "fact-finding" mission to Japan this month, according to Davis's recent travel filing.
The episode is the latest entanglement Davis has had with Moon, the Unification Church founder who is most widely known for performing mass weddings and having messianic visions. It was Davis in 2004 who carried a crown to Moon in an elaborate coronation ceremony at the U.S. Capitol where Moon declared he was "God's ambassador, sent to Earth with his full authority." In that same ceremony, Moon claimed he had been in touch with spirits of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Marx - among other notables - and they were unanimous that Moon was humanity's savior.
This month's week-long Japan trip comes three weeks after Davis was one of a handful of dignitaries who appeared with Moon to receive the reverend's Leadership and Good Governance Award. The announcement, dated March 12, from Moon's Universal Peace Foundation included a photo of Moon, Davis and a handful of others wearing medals but it did not say where the ceremony was held. It's not clear how Davis got to that award event since he has not disclosed any reimbursement for any other travel this year. Another sitting member of Congress, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), was the recipient of the same award but did not show up in the photograph with Davis.
The Japan travel that Davis did disclose was to study "religious persecution of minority groups in Japan, earthquake and tsunami victims and recovery efforts." It was paid by Universal Peace Foundation USA.