Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 12 August 1998
Parliamentary Record 8
Questions for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
QUESTIONS - Wednesday 12 August 1998 The Universal Family Dr LIM to MINISTER for ETHNIC AFFAIRS I have recently become aware that a bizarre religious order, with links to the Northern Territory, is sanctioning dubious marriage blessings that could have an impact on Australian immigration laws. This so-called religious orders action is an affront to our ethnic community. Our concern is that many people, looking to make Australia their home, may be duped into committing an illegal act. Is the minister able to shed any light on this matter? ANSWER I certainly can, Madam Speaker. My attention was drawn to the activities of The Universal Family, through the Office of Ethnic Affairs. Concerns had been expressed to the department by the ethnic community. The concerns relate to the activities of one Doctor Prince Roman who, in a previous life, was known as Ron Mann. He subsequently evolved into Doctor Mann, and then underwent a metamorphosis and became Count Raymond Dambski, and now masquerades under the pseudonym Doctor Prince Roman. Following those concerns I wrote to the federal Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Phillip Ruddock, and I quote in part from that letter: The Universal Family was founded in 1995 by Doctor Prince Roman who is now its Universal Bishop. In Darwin, Mr Roman is known to actively assist people who hold visitor or sponsored fiancee visas with their migration status cases. The Universal Family's function includes assistance to the poor and needy, appointing and blessing new ministers and giving marriage blessings. This latter function is causing some concern among sections o f the Darwin ethnic community. The marriage blessings claim to allow divorceless remarriage which automatically nullifies any previous, undesirable marriage. A marriage blessing is given to any mutually consented, natural marriage without discrimination or restriction. This marriage blessing appears to ignore the legal standing of a persons current marital status. Because of this there could be breaches of, and conflict with, Australian marriage and immigration lows. Madam Speaker, this is not a concern expressed simply by myself, it is also a statement made by the good bishop himself, or Doctor Prince, in the Philippine Community Herald of March/April 1998. Where, in part, Doctor Prince Roman stated: While this brings the Universal Family into conflict with Australian and other national marriage laws, Doctor Roman maintains that these marriage rules breach constitutional laws on religion and international agreements on human rights tolerances and anti-discrimination. I do not like normally to think ill of people. I like to think the best of them and I like to look for the best of motives in people. I like to think that, over the years, - Ron Mann, under his various guises, has worked with the Filipino community to better the living conditions of its members and to better their enjoyment of our wonderful lifestyle. However, it is of some concern to me that the good Doctor Prince Roman should be promoting these baseless marriages. What is of real concern to me is not his ability, but the chance that he may, in fact, misguide those on fiancees visas or others into believing that they have a status in Australia, or an ability to come to Australia, that does not otherwise exist. However, the situation becomes murkier. An organisation exists in Australia today, known as the One Nation Party, which from all its public statements and prophecies, claims that Asian immigration to Australia is a dreadful thing that needs to be stopped, and it will stop it. Thus it comes as some surprise to me that a list of members of One Nation was published recently in the Australian Israel Review. Prominent amongst those members was one Prince Roman from the Northern Territory. A member inteijecting. Mr PALMER: There may be a pretender to the Crown indeed. What I cannot understand is how this good and Christian person, working with and for the Filipino community, promoting migration to Australia and assisting Filipinos with their immigration to Australian, can reconcile his continued membership of the One Nation Party. Perhaps, David Etheridge was right when he said on 4 Comers that there was a potential in Melbourne for tens of thousands of Chinese to join the One Nation Party and change its views on migration. Perhaps Prince Roman is in the van with the Filipino communitys infiltration of One Nation. However, knowing the number of metamorphoses that he has been through, I tend to think that Doctor Prince Roman has not properly reconciled his assistance to the Filipino community, 283
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