Strange Asian Cults You Didn’t Know About

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Cults have always been a sort of tabu subject that many of us look at it with fear or curiosity. There are some strange Asian cults you didn’t know about, that might make your skin crawl.

World Mission Society Church Of God Korea

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The World Mission Society Church of God has the belief that a man called Ahn Sahng-hong is the reincarnation of Jesus and a woman called Zahng Gil-jah is the “Mother God” or the “Heavenly Mother Jerusalem.” Eventual members are approached on the streets and asked if they know God the Mother. They strongly believe that the family system on Earth is a reflection and shadow of the Heaven family system, and adds that there is a Heavenly Father(Ahn), a Heavenly Mother (Zahng) and also brothers and sisters.

Leaving aside wild interpretations of the Bible,The World Mission Society Church of God, believes to be the only real church established by God on Earth.Their practices are different from the standard Christians ones, as they are holding the Sabbath on Saturdays and teaching women to cover their heads during worship. According to critics, the cult is using brainwashing methods to tear families apart.

The cult was initially founded by Jeong Myung-seok, in the ‘70s, and was centered around purification, claiming that Jesus was a failed savior and the real savior was Jeong. He was preaching that sexual relationships with him would purify sins and ended up sleeping with hundreds of Korean women. Young and attractive people were recruited from high rated universities and lured trough social clubs, sports tournaments and Bible study courses, serving as the façade. These persons were taken to a giant complex filled with phallic images for marathon praying sessions in front of giant TV screens.
Jeong left Korea in 1999 after rape accusations have appeared on TV,  he spent the next ten years on the run, raping even more women trough his cult in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He was arrested in China in 2008 and sentenced to six years in Seoul. This didn’t affect his followers to keep believing in him, as Jesus has been persecuted as well.

Vang Chu Vietnam

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The Vietnamese government is officially atheist and has a long history of maltreating the Christian Hmong groups, which has lead to the creation of weird new religions like the Vang Chu-sec in the Muong Nhe district from the province of Dien Bien. The Vang Chi means Lord of Heaven and is a movement that follows the so called messiah, Zhong Ka Chu, known as Tu Jeng Cheng, meaning the important one. Chang was believed to perform miracles and sustained the birth of a Christian Hmong state.

Gatherings of his separatist followers as well as assumed connections to US radio preacher, Harold Camping, led to the government suppression on the movement in 2011. The government accused the Hmong groups of land theft, drug smuggling, destruction of the environment and sabotaging the government.

Officials used bayonets and chemical weapons and also beheaded some leaders and forced many of the followers to escape to Laos or Thailand. The movement still exists and is waiting for the arrival of a divine Hmong King who will teach poor followers that prayer attract angels to bring them food, money and medication.

Dahnhak Korea

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Running in more than 160 yoga an tai chi centers in Korea and all over the world, Dahnhak was created by Lee Seung-heun, who calls himself Ilchi, name which means “finger pointing towards the truth”. He claims having supernatural powers and teaches brain respiration that would help people achieve spiritual enlightenment and how to heal naturally trough tai chi exercises, meditation and massage.

Those who want to participate in his classes have to pay a lot of money, even thousands of dollars. The cult has its own credit cards, so fans could be enlightened now and pay later. This comes with a practice called love bombing, which offers followers counsling advice and positive support.

But, at the same time, it uses manipulative sales and brainwashing, stating that knowledge is gained trough pain. People who have been bringing critics to the cult, were threatened with violence and revenge against their families
The cult, has spread in the US as well, and has been accused of many things, like sexual assault and forcing practitioners to drink toilet water as part of their training.

Church Of Almighty God China

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The doomsday cult of China, known also as Eastern Lighting, is under the belief that a middle aged woman, Yang Xiangbin, translated “Lighting Deng” is the third reincarnation of Christ.

The cult was founded 25 years ago by a former physicist, Zhao Weishan, who escaped to the US in 2001, asking for political asylum. The sect, has been spreading an aggressive drive towards housewives and different Christian congregations. They lure people with money, gifts and also sexual favors abd after they demand donations.

They have to fully obey Mrs. Yang and they are pressured to abandon their families, they claim that the Communist Party is the “Great Red Dragon” and promotes the killing of the party members possessed by these spritis. The cult members have been accused of various violent attacks, in 2010 they stabbed a young boy after his uncle tried to leave the cult.

In May 2014, they beat up a woman to death in the Mc Donald’s from Shandong because she refused to give her phone number. People around were warned to stay away, but the disturbing attack was still filmed with cell phone cameras.
One of the beaters, Zhang Lidong had no remorse.He stated that he beat her with all his strength and stamped on her,because she had to be destroyed as she was a demon.

Sung Chi-Li Association Taiwan

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This group is centered on religious leader Sung Chi-li, who claims to possess miraculous powers and the ability to create a spiritual doppleganger of himself that can appear anywhere in any place of the world. To prove the realness  of his claims, he’s produced pictures of himself floating above various landscapes, surrounded by rainbow colours and a halo of light. He sells these images  to his followers to provide money for his luxurious lifestyle. Sung stated that the photos were proof of “true-form realities,” of the Nirvana manifestation inside human beings.

In 1996, he was accused by the government of tricking his followers with obvious schemes and photoshoped images and then running away with 3 billion Taiwanese dollars, which sums up for up to $100 million.  He was eventually released after the High Court ruled his religious actions as being protected by the Constitution.

Sung has been connected to organised crime and the Democratic People’s Party. He claimed that in 2005, he has taken politician Frank Hsieh on a spiritual tour of Paris with the help of astral projection, Hsier hasn’t confirmed or denied his claims. Sung opened in 2004 a divine photo booth in Kaohsiung to show his works.

Dhammakaya Thailand

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This movement has been accused by the traditional Theravada Buddhist groups of commercialising enlightenment. The cult has had a great development over the last ten years. Its centre is in the massive Cetiva temple from Mingkok, a dome which has a UFO like shape, created out of 300,000 bronze Buddha statues all coated in titanium and gold. There, are taking place prayers with tens of thousands of followers.

The cult is mostly successful to the middle class coat, unsatisfied with the idol worshiping and magic promoted by the traditional Buddhist beliefs, but it is also appealing to the royal family and government members. The teaching combines ancient beliefs with modern management and fundraising methods. It has been highly criticised for its immoral financial schemes, heretical teachings, fake miracles and worshiping around leader Phra Dhammachayo.

Dhammachayo and his temple and worldwide Dhammakaya foundations have a worth estimated around $1.9 million in assets, and have bee accused of embezzlement and framing his followers. in 2012, Dhammakaya created a stir, claiming to know where Steve Jobs was, who apparently had reincarnated as a mid level angel living in a parallel dimension.
Image Source: Scarlet Imprint, The Elephant Hat, listverse,  odd culture, Demotix

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