What do the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-described messiah, and Russian billionaire-in-exile Boris Berezovsky have in common?
These exotic magnates have both been keeping company with Houston's First Brother, Neil Bush.
In the past few weeks Bush has been spotted in Asia with the Rev. Moon, who is on a worldwide tour promoting world peace.
You may recall Moon, 86, as the wealthy Korean owner of the Washington Times and conductor of mass weddings.
You probably don't recall Moon's "Coronation" in the Dirksen Senate office building nearly two years ago when, attended by a number of congressmen, Moon revealed himself as the world's "savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."
According to the Hill, a newspaper covering the Capitol that found a video of the event on a Web site belonging to one of Moon's organizations, Moon also declared during his coronation that "Hitler and Stalin have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons."
Apparently embarrassed, a number of the congressmen played down their attendance. One denied he was there until the Hill showed him photographs. Rep. Danny Hill, D-Ill., was shown wearing white gloves to place a jeweled crown on Moon's head.
Hill told the Hill: "I see people crowned. I go to parades quite a bit ... (and see) the queen of the homecoming parade, queen of the festival."
Bush did not respond to phone messages and e-mail seeking to ask his role in the Moon tour, but the Taipei Times and the Manila Times spotted him with Moon during convocations in their bailiwicks in the past three weeks.
The Manila Bulletin reported: "Together with peace leaders that included Neil Bush, younger brother of U.S. President George W. Bush, Moon arrived yesterday as part of a 100-day tour that is taking him to 100 cities and 67 nations and covering a journey of almost 100,000 miles."
It's not clear if the tally was adjusted after Bulgaria and Fiji barred Moon from setting foot on their territory.
On the tour, Moon is promoting a revolutionary idea for bringing about world peace. He calls it the "World Peace King Bridge-Tunnel" and ... well, let him tell you in his own words:
"For thousands of years, Satan used the Bering Strait to separate East and West, North and South, as well as North America and Russia geographically. I propose that a bridge be constructed over the Bering Strait, or a tunnel be dug under it, so that it will be able to connect the world super highway starting from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to Santiago in Chile, and from London to New York, making the world a single community."
That's right. The people of South Africa who can't afford plane tickets to make friends in Chile will be able to drive up through Africa and the Middle East, across Asia to the Bering Strait, then down through North America and South America to Santiago.
I'm not making this up. With a few minutes online, you can find Moon's 40-page brochure explaining why God wants this tunnel to happen.
It's impressive for Neil Bush to join Moon at a time when lesser men would still be recovering from a September trip to Latvia, where Neil was escorted by billionaire Boris Berezovsky, whom the Times of London called "the grey godfather of Russian politics."
Berezovsky was one of the biggest winners when the former Soviet Union sold off its assets to well-connected members of the private sector. But Berezovsky, who was close to Boris Yeltsin, had a falling-out with political leader Vladimir Putin and was indicted.
Berezovsky now lives in well-guarded splendor in London and was the first subject of a BBC series called Russian Godfathers, which premiered last Friday. The episode mentions the Latvian trip.
Berezovsky, the BBC suggests, is interested in Bush's educational software company, Ignite, and was trying to open up the Latvian market. It may be just a side benefit that for Berezovsky to publicly parade with a Bush seems to annoy Putin.
In the wake of his visit to Latvia with Bush, the Latvian National Security Council placed Berezovsky on a list of persons "visits by whom to Latvia are undesirable," according to Kommersant, a Russian newspaper.
The Latvian government confirmed the suspicions of many by officially denying that Russian pressure had anything to do with the travel ban.
Neil Bush should write a book: Travels with Boris and the Messiah, or Banned in Bulgaria, Latvia and Fiji.