The Livingston Group is working for San Francisco Zion Church, which is an independent church associated with the South Korean religious sect linked to the spread of COVID-19.
South Korea in February traced the outbreak there to the Shinecheonji Church of Christ as more than 5,000 of its members were infected, which then represented nearly 40 percent of all cases in the country.
Many followers of the Church, which South Korean lawmakers call a cult, went into hiding to avoid any attempts at contact tracing.
South Korea arrested Lee Man-hee, the 88-year-old leader of Shincheonji, in August on charges of “murder by willful negligence,” embezzling and holding unapproved religious events.
Shincheonji supporters claim the government of South Korea is using it as a scapegoat to cover up its mismanagement of the pandemic.
"As a new and growing denomination, Shincheonji has become prey to misrepresentation and discrimination by mainstream churches and the secular media," Ki Lee, a spokesperson for the SF Zion Church, told O'Dwyer's.
He said church members are subject to hate speech, organized propaganda, forcible deprogramming, and extreme violence. "With the outbreak of COVID-19, persecution of the Shincheonji is intensifying in South Korea and is critically impacting US citizens that are members of associated churches," added Lee.
Lee hopes that raising awareness of the misrepresentation and discrimination of the Shincheonji and our privacy concerns as US citizens, and to encourage dialogue on these issues.
Former Louisiana Republican Congressman and Speaker-elect Bob Livingston launched TLG in 1999.
It is lobbying US officials about the “persecution and undue treatment” of assorted churches in South Korea and the US and the implications on the privacy rights of Americans.
The firm’s six-month contract went into effect Aug. 17 and is worth $8,500 per month. The pact may be approved for an additional six months upon mutual agreement by both parties.