Agape Ministries of God:
Pacific Islands hunt for cult leader Rocco Leo
The Adelaide Advertiser
May 27, 2010
FIJIAN immigration officials and the Vanuatu Christian Council are hunting fugitive doomsday cult leader Rocco Leo, after receiving information this week that the Agape Ministries pastor could have secretly entered their countries.
"Pastor" or "Brother Roc", as he is known in Fiji and Vanuatu, escaped the Australian Federal Police security network after raids on his Mt Magnificent compound and Adelaide properties uncovered a hidden cache of firearms and ammunition.
Raids by 90 police on a number of homes found 15 guns and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
Members of the cult had shooting practice on a range at the Mt Magnificent compound in preparation for "doomsday" in 2012 when the cult would flee to a Vanuatu island stronghold.
Police have not released details of their investigations on Mr Leo's whereabouts, but Fiji's Immigration Department is investigating a report from Australian police suggesting he may have fled there.
Fiji's immigration director, Nemani Vuniwaqa, confirmed receiving the information on Mr Leo.
"We are trying to verify when and how he got into the country," Mr Vuniwaqa said yesterday.
"I have already assigned a team to conduct the investigations as we were not aware about him being in the country."
The Vanuatu Christian Council is on "full alert" for Mr Leo to re-enter rural villages he preached in last year.
Pastor Shem Tema said the council was working closely with government departments to discover if Mr Leo was in the country.
He told the Vanuatu Daily Post that Vanuatu's government had given the council authority to look into whether fugitives were "hiding" in the country and a threat to orderliness.
If so, it was the council's duty to advise the authorities to tell them to leave.
"Pastor Roc" claims to be a spiritual healer. He stayed in rural Luganville last year, accompanied by a man and a woman.
A Luganville resident said the man was hoping to get in contact with villagers to get "land for free" to build a church.
"He was charismatic and claimed to be a spiritual leader who healed people. He knew how to get through to the villagers," he said.
The concern is that villagers in Vanuatu can easily be swayed by any preacher who says he can heal. The Vanuatu Christian Council consists of five mother churches: Presbyterian, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Church of Christ and Apostolic.
Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.