Tag Archive | "ching hai association"

Forget God, go Veg

Forget God, go Veg

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By Jiak Chao

If you’re vegetarian, chances are you’ve been to a Loving Hut vegan restaurant before. Located in International Plaza and Suntec City, they serve what’s probably the best vegan fare in town.

One catch: the chain is run by followers of a cult known as the Ching Hai association. Not just any cult though, with more than 200 stores worldwide and over 2 million believers they’re also possibly the fastest growing cult in the world. Oh, and they also used to operate a satellite television channel, Supreme Master Television, which broadcasts messages of love and the virtues of veganism to anyone who would tune in.

http://suprememastertv.com — NOW does that look familiar?

The individual behind this empire is a bleached 63 year-old Xiaxue who came back from the future to warn us about how the world will end if we all don’t go vegan. But she calls herself “Supreme Master Ching Hai” to avoid confusion.

Now for the wacky stuff.

In 1996, her donation of US$640,000 to Bill Clinton was rejected when his aides found that the cheques — purportedly issued by members of the Ching Hai association — were signed with identical signatures and made with sequentially numbered postal money orders.

When interviewed by CNN, Hai defended the fundraising move, saying that she felt sorry for Clinton because he made less money than she did.

“Why couldn’t I help a president of the United States when he’s in trouble?” she asked. “He’s more poor than the homeless and he has only $200,000 a year.”

In 2004, Ching Hai’s followers caused environmental damage worth US$1 million when they hacked through a protected mangrove forest and built a 32-by-42-foot island made of limestone in Florida’s Biscayne National Park. So Master could look out into the sea.

Her URL is http://godsdirectcontact.org

She didn’t specify which god would be contacted, so presumably, she’s referring to herself as both god and messenger.

Former followers of City Harvest will be relieved to know that Ching Hai does not accept donations.

Her followers, however, are encouraged to purchase the merchandise that she produces, ranging from watches (US$21,000 for the most expensive one), jewelry (US$35,000 for higher-end necklaces) and a “high-end fashion line” sold in New York and Paris.

Ching Hai, however, has had a much less successful career than Sun Ho. Her CDs can be bought online for US$14.50 but none of them have been produced by Wyclef Jean.

A 60-second adaptation from Asia360 News.