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Complainant Name:
Mr Richard Biddlecombe

Clauses Noted: 1, 12

Publication: Radio Times


Mr Richard Biddlecombe, Media Consultant to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the magazine's synopsis of a radio programme about the Unification Church had referred to the Church as a "cult". He said that this was inaccurate and misleading, as the Church actually appeared on the Register of Charities as a bone fide religion, charitable in law, and that the radio broadcast summarised was being investigated by the BBC's Editorial Standards Unit. He expressed particular concerns regarding the synopsis' inclusion of claims that the subject of the radio programme - a Unification Church event in 1973 - was organised "in the hope of swelling the Moonies' numbers (and coffers)", and said that the estate on which the event took place was not a ‘virtual prison', as the synopsis had suggested.

The complainant also said that the use of the term "moonie" was derogatory and discriminated against unificationists.


The magazine explained that the synopsis was a summary of the content of the radio broadcast in question. The complaint was resolved when the editor wrote personally to the complainant, apologising for upset caused, and noting the points raised in the complaint for future reference.

Date Published: 02/07/2010

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