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Please send questions, comments, problems, and letters to the editor to All editorial correspondence becomes the property of -- unless requested otherwise -- and may be edited for purposes of clarity and space. Except where noted, entire contents Copyright ©1995-2001 Society. trancenet.netTM is a trademark of Society, an unincorporated nonprofit organization. The opinions and viewpoints of contributors do not necessarily reflect those of, its editorial staff, nor Society, its board, officers, employees, volunteers. Neither Society nor its editorial staff conclude that any group discussed on this site is necessarily cultic in nature. We provide suppressed and alternative information so that you may make informed decisions for yourself. Copyrighted works are reprinted with permission as noted or are made available under the "fair use" exception of U.S. copyright law, for research and educational purposes only. God's Salvation Church Watch

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Taiwanese cult arrives in New York, Buffalo News, Thursday April 2, 1998
OLCOTT, N.Y.-- (UPI) God's Salvation Church leader Chen Hon-Ming tells the Buffalo News he plans to relocate his church to somewhere along one of the five Great Lakes. They plan to visit various communities along Lake Ontario's shoreline and fly back to Texas next Wednesday.
Taiwanese Garland cult comes to New York State, Thursday, April 2, 6:19 AM EST
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (UPI) -- The Taiwanese cult that expected God to appear on television last week in Garland, Texas, are heading to a village near Niagara Falls today. About a dozen members of God's Salvation Church arrived in Buffalo yesterday, because they say God sent them a message to go to the small hamlet of Olcott on Lake Ontario. A spokesman for the group says that's where God will transport souls to the next dimension. The church members say they'll stay until April 8.
Cult members still waiting for God, China News, Wednesday, April 1, 1998
The 47-year-old Chen saw his prophesy fail amid widespread attention from media and followers when TV screens appeared as normal on the appointed day. There are indications that the high level of interest generated by the story within the Taiwan media has contributed to the cult members' unwillingness to return home. Some of the followers, in letters to family members in Taiwan, disclosed they are worried about being trailed by prying reporters once they return to Taiwan, and would rather stay a while in the United States for fear of losing face. Meanwhile, representatives from Taiwan's office in Dallas have continued to closely monitor developments and have offered to provide any necessary assistance to cult members and their relatives. Chen has said a catastrophic nuclear war will occur in 1999, from which God will save only 1.2 billion people around the world. According to Chen, Taiwan will be the first place to experience apocalypse in 1998, followed by the rest of the world in 1999. They maintain that God will supply flying saucers to whisk believers off to Heaven, which is actually another planet, claiming these spacecraft are already easily visible, although they are cunningly disguised as normal airplanes.
Sect leaving Texas, expects to meet God in Michigan, April 1, 1998, 8:33 p.m. EST
GARLAND, Texas (AP) -- Most of the 160 followers of "Teacher Chen" say they are not disappointed that neither promise came true and will now move to Michigan. There, says Chen, God will gather all worthy souls in a flying saucer and shuttle them to Gary, Indiana, to save them from a nuclear holocaust. The leader of God's Salvation Church did not admit failure. Instead, he gave a crowd of followers, reporters, neighbors, and police five minutes to decide whether to stone him to death. They didn't. Chen said he and a few followers would leave Garland Wednesday on a flight to Buffalo, New York, before moving to Michigan to await further instructions from God. Most of the rest will follow, selling houses they bought here in September. About 20 of Chen's followers plan to return to Taiwan this week, said Walter Hsu, a banker who had befriended followers of Chen's movement.
Excuses as cult leader explains why God failed to show up, Sidney Morning Herald, Wednesday, April 1, 1998
GARLAND, TEXAS -- God failed once again to materialize here on Tuesday as prophesied by Taiwan cult leader Mr Chen Hon-Ming, who quickly changed his prediction. "You yourself are Gods," Mr Chen told the 60 cult members, 80 journalists and about 20 neighbors at a two-hour event in front of his house in the Dallas suburb of Garland. When God didn't appear, Mr Chen asked each person present to shake his own hands. He then launched into a host of new predictions, announcing that his group was leaving on Wednesday for Buffalo, New York, to carry on God's work in the Great Lakes region. Mr Chen warned people not to eat meat or mistreat their cars. He said a non-vegetarian diet would lead to nightmares and told drivers that if they abused their cars they could run them over while they lay asleep.
Sect leader says God keeps Texas appointment, Wednesday, April 1, 1998, 00:39:47 PST
GARLAND, Texas (Reuters) -- A Taiwanese spiritual sect said God descended to Earth just outside Dallas Tuesday, but dozens of observers who gathered for the big event saw and felt little evidence of such a miracle. The sect's leader, Hon-Ming Chen, had predicted God would land at his home in the Dallas suburb of Garland, reproduce himself hundreds of times, shake hands with all those present and talk to each of them in their native languages. When the moment of truth arrived at 10 a.m. and there was little indication of any divine arrival, Chen had an explanation: God had entered the bodies and souls of all those present and those who didn't see him were denying their identity as humans. Chen said that if people think of themselves as "nothing more than a pile of bones and flesh" they would perish in "the Great Tribulation" -- a series of natural and man-made disasters such as floods and wars that will end in a nuclear holocaust destroying the world in late 1999.
Transcripts of Chen Tao press conferences, Watchman Fellowship, March 1998
Watchman Fellowship posts many transcripts of Chen Tao press conferences, including their most recent prophecies. Teacher Chen's revelation includes promises that humans can achieve deity and repeats earlier warnings about an approaching nuclear Armageddon in 1999.,
The first of...? China Post, Friday March 27, 1998
(Central News Agency)-In Taiwan, a Keelung man was found to have apparently drowned himself in the sea in a suicide that was suspected to be related to the God's Salvation Church movement in the United States. Relatives of the 43-year old Yang Ching-feng said he told them he wanted to see God arrive in a flying saucer. Yang then went out after telling his families of his expectations of seeing God. He then disappeared and was found floating dead in the sea off a fishing port in Keelung.
Cult members plan to return to Taiwan, China News, Friday, March 27, 1998
Followers of Taiwanese cult leader Chen Heng-ming are undecided about whether to return to Taiwan after God failed to appear on television as Chen had predicted on Wednesday. Some followers of Chen still believe that God will descend to Earth in human form on March 31. Others, however, said they will leave for home soon and have put their homes in Garland up for sale.
God's a no-show, so cult alters tune, March 26, 1998, 7:26 AM PST
Explaining that God was camera-shy, the leader of a Taiwanese cult Wednesday backed down from predictions he made in Gary, Indiana, two months ago that the supreme deity would appear in Texas next week. "But don't call us liars," Chen said. "Keep watching." The effect of Wednesday's reversal on the estimated 150 members of the group, also known as God's Salvation Church, was unclear. Chen's chief spokesman, Richard Liu, said in a recorded statement that the group no longer would answer questions from reporters, but Chen said he would stay in Garland to study.
Taiwan sect's God prophecy scorned at home, Wednesday, March 25, 1998, 11:00 AM ET
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan laypeople and religious figures were scornful Wednesday after a live telecast from Texas failed to show God revealing himself as a Taiwanese flying saucer spiritualist had prophesied. The would-be moment of truth was carried live on television in Taiwan -- but there was no sign of the heavenly broadcast. Sect leader Hon-Ming Chen had promised it would be visible on Channel 18 on any television set in America. A contrite Chen quickly emerged from his Garland home to tell scores of reporters that he had been wrong and they now could discount his forecast of God's appearance. ``I would rather you don't believe what I say any more,'' said Chen. Sceptics in Taiwan called Chen a fool. Religious leaders in Taiwan were equally disdainful.
UFO cult calm as God misses predicted TV appearance, CNN, March 25, 1998, 5:54 a.m. EST
GARLAND, Texas -- Members of God's Salvation Church waited for a sign Tuesday night. Chen Heng-Ming, "Teacher Chen," had said that God would appear on television channel 18 worldwide at 12:01 a.m. CST, and via flying saucer on March 31. But the set showed nothing but static. "Because we did not see God's message... my predictions of March 31 can be considered nonsense," Chen said through an interpreter. Chen, who said he would offer himself for stoning or crucifixion if his prophecies failed, says he will stay in Garland "to continue studying and researching." He insists his followers are free to go their own way. Chen, who claims he fathered Jesus and now talks to God through a ring on his finger, brought his followers from Taiwan to the Dallas suburbs. The 150 members sold everything back home because Garland sounds like "God's land." The group also built a "spaceship" out of radial tires and plywood, and stocked a shrine with fruit, cola and crackers for God's arrival. Police cordoned off a 165-house area where the group lives, fearing a mass suicide if God did not appear. Chen insisted there was no threat of a of the Heaven's Gate tragedy a year ago. Religious experts say the Salvation Church, whose members include doctors, engineers and teachers, is typical of the kind of religious groups that spring up at the end of a century. Full story: [Editor's Note: Cult experts maintain it is not unusual for a group to continue functioning after a failed prediction. The leader will frequently frame the situation as a "test of faith," as many of his or her followers leave. The smaller group that remains may become even more fanatical. Several such rounds of failed predictions preceded the final Heaven's Gate tragedy.]
God a no-show for Taiwanese spiritual sect, Wednesday, March 25, 1998, 1:21 a.m. PST
GARLAND, Texas (Reuters) - The flying saucer spiritualists turned on and tuned in, but God didn't show up. A 150-member Taiwanese spiritual sect which recently moved to the Dallas suburb of Garland had predicted God would appear on television immediately after midnight on Wednesday morning (0600 GMT) to announce that he would descend to earth next week. But there was no sign of the heavenly television broadcast that the sect's leader, Hon-Ming Chen, had predicted would be visible on Channel 18 on any television set in the United States. A contrite Chen quickly emerged from his suburban home in Garland to tell scores of reporters that he had been wrong and that they could now discount his prediction that God would show up here at 10 a.m. (1600 GMT) on March 31. "Since God's appearance on television has not been realized, you can take what we have preached as nonsense," Chen said through an interpreter. "I would rather you don't believe what I say any more." But he said he continued to communicate with God and that he still believed God would descend to earth to save hundreds of millions of people from a nuclear holocaust in 1999 by taking them to another planet in flying saucers.
Garland sect prepares for God's arrival, The Dallas Morning News, March 22, 1998
GARLAND - God will come to Garland on March 31 to begin taking people away in flying saucers, according to a Taiwanese group called God's Salvation Church. In the broad sweep of religious history, it's fairly mainstream stuff, say scholars of religious studies. Flying saucers are a new wrinkle but also understandable, said Dr. Lonnie Kliever, chairman of the religious studies department at Southern Methodist University. Since the first alleged UFO sighting in 1947, a number of religious groups have seized upon flying saucers as a way to explain how God is going to manage the promised pickup, Dr. Kliever said. Although members of God's Salvation Church, also known as Chen-Tao, believe God will look exactly like the bespectacled, gray-haired Mr. Chen, they say it will be easy to distinguish mortal from deity. God will be able to speak any language and walk through walls. He will duplicate himself into enough bodies that everyone will be able to shake his hand and ask questions, Mr. Chen said. The group has welcomed Garland police, who came to investigate rumors that they might kill themselves if God does not materialize. They also have been careful to avoid offending their neighbors. Chen-Tao followers' extreme commitment is typical of first-generation religions, said Dr. Stuart Wright, a sociology professor at Lamar University in Beaumont. He estimates that 4,000 new religions have arisen in the last 50 years. On March 31, a cult deprogrammer named Mary Alice Chrnalogar plans to hold a news conference in a shopping center near the neighborhood. James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship, a Christian group he describes as countercult, will be in Mr. Chen's front yard to hold him to his prophecy. "If he tries to set a new date, I'm going to remind him that he said they should disregard what he said if God doesn't appear on this date," Mr. Walker said. "I think that's the healthiest thing that can happen."
Cult claims God will appear in a flying saucer, CNN, March 19, 1998
GARLAND, Texas -- The 150 members of God's Salvation Church, sold everything back home in Taiwan and moved to Garland because they say it sounds like "God's land." In anticipation of God's arrival on Earth, the cultists have built what they say is a spacecraft using five radial tires, some plywood and a few lamp posts. They also have prepared a shrine with fruit, cola and crackers, and they spend their time in prayer to get ready for the end of the month, when they claim God will show up at 3513 Ridgedale Drive to save mankind from nuclear war. The cult's leader, known to members as Teacher Chen, is a 41-year-old former social sciences professor. Chen believes that God will first appear on Channel 18 on television sets worldwide at midnight on March 24. Chen also says that on March 31 at 10 a.m., God will take the form of a human being. And, who would that be? That would be Chen himself. The cult leader says that if God does not show up on March 31, he and his followers will not commit suicide, like the 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult did a year ago. However, Chen says that if God does not show up in Garland, he will make himself available for stoning or crucifixion -- and his followers will be free to pack up and go home. And, he adds, everyone will be able to regard the cult's beliefs as nonsense.
Church prepares for God's arrival, Friday March 13 11:39 AM EST
GARLAND, Texas, March 13 (UPI)--Members of a Taiwan-based church living in Texas are preparing for divine intervention when their leader predicts God will arrive in suburban Dallas on March 31. But God's Salvation Church leader Hong-Ming Chen has promised police, reporters, and others that there will be no mass suicide or violence against others if his prediction fails to come true. He predicts God will take over television broadcasts on March 24 to air bulletins about his plans to arrive in Garland on March 31 to carry people and animals away on space ships to avoid coming nuclear wars.
UFO cult waits for God in Texas town, Akron Beacon Journal, Thursday, March 5, 1998
New York Times (GARLAND, TEXAS) The members of God's Salvation Church [Chen Tao] started moving in last summer. They have bought homes with all cash and within a 2 1/2-mile radius. At least 150 followers have arrived from Taiwan, with more on their way. They dress almost completely in white, including white sneakers and white straw cowboy hats. Their leader, Heng-ming Chen, whom they call "Teacher Chen," says he talks to God through his hand and discerns godly wisdom from golden balls that he sees floating in the sky. What has really attracted the neighbors' attention here is the bold pronouncement in Teacher Chen's long guide to his religion, entitled "God's Descending in Clouds (Flying Saucers) on Earth to Save People." On page 176, he promises: "At 10 a.m. on March 31, 1998, God shall make His appearance in the Holy Land of the Kingdom of God: 3513 Ridgedale Dr., Garland, TX 75041 U.S.A." He concludes: "I guarantee this on my life." The modest, split-level, beige-brick home at 3513 Ridgedale Drive is the home of Teacher Chen, a 42-year-old former social-science professor who says he fathered Christ nearly 2,000 years ago and whose group includes two boys, Chi-Jen Lo and Che-Yu Chiang, whom he describes as the reincarnations of Jesus and Buddha. In Taiwan, where Chen's followers generally sold everything they owned before coming here, the group's gathering in Texas has been major news. It has set off a wave of concern from distraught relatives who describe Chen as a cult leader who has both swindled and brainwashed the members into paying him their life savings for the supposed privilege of taking a ride on a flying saucer to heaven. Even more alarmingly, there have been recurring rumors reported in the Taiwan press, that the group plans to commit mass suicide if God does not arrive on schedule in Garland on March 31. In most cases, intact families have joined the group, although late last year sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County retrieved a 16-year-old girl, Nan-Hua Chiang, after her mother in California expressed fears that she was joining a dangerous pilgrimage with the group to Texas. No one knows whether Chen's group may be an Asian version of Heaven's Gate or whether members simply subscribe to an unusual set of beliefs and will simply accept the development if God does not appear here on March 31.
In Taiwan, mixing U.F.O.'s and religion may empty your bank account, New York Times, February 27, 1998
AIPEI, Taiwan -- Former medical professor named Chen Heng-ming spent last year busily assembling devotees into his sect, the God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Association (Chen Tao). Chen has taken about 100 of his followers to the wide open ranges of Texas where they will, in the words of a follower, Wu Chun-sheng, "be meeting God, who would arrive on a flying saucer to save them." From Dallas, the believers will be whisked to Mars neat year in flying saucers. Living a year in a flying saucer, she said, "would be like 10 years on earth." Interplanetary travel, however, appears to come with a price tag. The parents of several sect members have complained to the police that their children gave Chen huge sums of money for the privilege of a saucer ride.While Chen was scuttling off to Texas for his promised encounter of the third kind, a man named Wu Tai-chung has been corralling members into his own sect, the Sky and Earth Enlightenment Association, by assuring them that he arrived from outer space to save them from planetary Armageddon. Brandishing photographs taken in Taiwan's central mountain district, Wu told his growing number of followers that the dots of sun glare marring the pictures were in fact "points of inner energy" from outer space; merging with those dots would, Wu declared, allow believers to soar into outer space on a flying saucer.
Scholar vists Chen Tao, January 1998
In an interview with Dr. Massimo Introvigne, director of CESNUR, Richard Liu, spokesperson for Chen Tao, declared that according to the movement's expectations on March 31 God will appear in Garland as a person similar, yet different from Chen. Followers do not expect to simply see a transfigured Chen, but two different characters: God and Chen. Liu agreed to discuss the possibility that God will not appear on March 31. In this case, he said, "we will conclude that God has changed his plan and no doubt God's new plan will be revealed through God's messenger [Chen]". Liu thinks that if nothing significant happens on March 31 some followers may return to Taiwan and eventually abandon the movement. Liu denied that followers may move to Gary, Indiana, where a sacred ritual was performed by Chen Tao on January 9, although Gary has a peculiar role in God's plan according to Chen (and neighbors in Garland claim that Chen Tao members have discussed a possible move to Gary). What will really happen after March 31 is difficult to foresee. From [Editor's Note: Dr. Introvigne heads the Center for Studies of New Religions, CESNUR, which studies new, controversial groups such as Scientology, ISKCON, and others as valid religious organizations.]
'Chen Tao' seeking salvation--in Gary, January 10, 1998
Thirty-two members of God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation arrived Friday at a spot on Lake Michigan they believe is sacred: Gary. The Taiwanese sect believes God is coming March 31 to save Earth and that the northwest Indiana city figures in his plans. Group leader Hon-Ming Chen, dressed in the group's standard attire of white jogging suit and straw cowboy hat, said through a translator that "God told us to come here" to Gary's Lake Street Beach. He prophesied that survivors of World War III next year would come to the same strand via celestial saucers. "This is holy," the silver-haired Chen said in front of a makeshift altar that included a 20-pound bag of rice, six crystal stars and gold sticks carved with dragons and wrapped with Christmas tree lights. Chen has predicted that God will descend on Garland, Texas, at 10 a.m. on March 31 to save the world but that in 1999 a nuclear World War III will devastate the planet.
Son of Heaven's Gate, Netly News,, January 7, 1998
Observers fear that members of the Chen Tao ("True Way") will off themselves on March 31 at 10 am. That's when, the followers believe, God will appear in the body of their leader, a fortysomething sociology professor named Hon-Ming Chen. Terry Walker, an American living in Taiwan, is using the Net to head off what he fears will be another mass suicide. The Net, says Walker in an e-mail, "can be used to help prevent an accident before it happens on March 31, rather than wait and then gloat and laugh at it all." Despite the claims made by the church's leader, Taiwanese officials have been reporting that the 150-odd members are being encouraged to kill themselves in anticipation of a visit from a flying saucer that will transport them to the heavens. In the case of Chen Tao, also known as the God's Salvation Church, group members traveled to Alaska, Colorado and Las Vegas performing rituals meant to "change the spiritual environment," according to Chi-Chia. Repeat rituals enough and participants will begin to believe they are working. It certainly seems to be having that effect on Chen's followers, who apparently believe his claims that he fathered Christ and that two of the 40 children in group are reincarnations of the Buddha and Jesus. Chen has told reporters that failing God's arrival via flying saucer he will offer himself up in penance and submit to death by stoning or crucifixion. Although Chen's claims seem batty, he is not a tyrannical leader. Cult members are apparently allowed to come and go at will and are in communication with their families. Chen's teachings are a mix of Buddhism, Christianity and millennarianism, and include the predictions that God will make a televised appearance on channel 18 six days prior to being incarnated and that the world faces nuclear cataclysm in 1999. For the 150 members of Chen Tao, a radical lifestyle change has already occurred. Most of the group is in the U.S. with work-exempt visas and is surviving on money left over from selling their homes in Taiwan. But they're certainly not saving for the trip back, and followers are are rumored to have paid handsomely for their cult memberships. Add to that the expenses incurred in moving around the country -- after originally settling in San Dimas, Calif., the group relocated to Garland, Texas, because it sounded like "God Land" to their leader. Rather than establishing headquarters there, the group has simply taken up residence in 21 homes in the same neighborhood. For the full article see:
Evidence Against Taiwan UFO Cult Mounts, Special to, by Terry Walker, 12/30/97
(TAIWAN) -- The news from Taiwan points to a tragedy-in-the-making. The two English-language newspapers, The China Post and the China News, are covering the Chen Tao UFO cult in Garland on a regular basis and gathering more and more evidence against the cult. Full on-site report from Taiwan.
GSC cult leader urged to let followers return to Taiwan, December 29, 1997
Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA -- Central News Agency) Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu on Sunday urged Chen Heng-ming, a cult leader from Taiwan with a group of followers now staying in the United States, to let cult members return to Taiwan. Chin urged Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian to help resolve the matter. Since Taipei is a sister city of Dallas, Chen should find channels through that relationship to help the government bring the followers back to Taiwan, she said. Some of cult members complained about reports by the Taiwan press that they plan to commit mass suicide. They also expressed the desire to stay in the United States to wait for the arrival of God and flying saucers to take them to heaven on March 31 and said they will return to Taiwan if God does not appear by then.
Evidence against Taiwan cult leader surfaces, China News, 25 December 1997
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office received a package Tuesday that apparently contained evidence against the leader of a Taiwanese cult that left for the US recently. Prosecutor Chu promised to look further into allegations that Chen had urged believers to commit mass suicide. The package of evidence included cassettes, videotapes and printed materials. Police also found that believers had to sign a contract for their "trip." One of 16 families participating in the cult being examined by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) confessed to having signed the contract with Chen. It stipulated they could not return to Taiwan before March 31, they said. Taiwan police have also received a letter from one of the cult believers, accusing Chen of fraudulently obtaining money from sect members. The letter also said that cult members were set to die in a horrible manner if they believed Chen's teachings.
'Saucer' cultists reportedly paid huge membership fees, China News, 23 December 1997
The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), Taiwan, interviewed a family belonging to the "God Save the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation" (also known as "God Salvation Church," "True Way," and "Chen Tao") and found that the leader of the cult, Chen Heng-ming, had requested US$60,000 as a fee for joining the sect. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been called on to assist in the investigation, according to a report in the China Times Express. Members of the foundation are said to be planning a mass suicide to take place in Texas. Chou Lin Yue-li, the mother of the family, said that Chen requested that her daughter pay NT$60,000 to become a member, and between US$30,000 and US$60,000 more for the privilege of securing a "lift" on the flying saucer. Prosecutor Chu Fu-mei investigated four areas where the cult apparently held meetings: Hsinchu County, Taichung City, Tainan City and Kaohsiung County. He said that he is working to find information which could show that Chen had collected fees from members illegally. Chu said that the leader of the cult may have used deceptive methods to obtain funds, or solicited money in a way that is inconsistent with the legal channels afforded mainstream religions.
GSC cult leader urged to let followers return to Taiwan, December 29, 1997
Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA -- China News Agency) Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu on Sunday urged Chen Heng-ming, a cult leader from Taiwan with a group of followers now staying in the United States, to let cult members return to Taiwan. Chin urged Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian to help resolve the matter. Since Taipei is a sister city of Dallas, Chen should find channels through that relationship to help the government bring the followers back to Taiwan, she said. Some of cult members complained about reports by the Taiwan press that they plan to commit mass suicide. They also expressed the desire to stay in the United States to wait for the arrival of God and flying saucers to take them to heaven on March 31 and said they will return to Taiwan if God does not appear by then.
GSC cult leader urged to let followers return to Taiwan, December 29, 1997
Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA -- China News Agency) Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu on Sunday urged Chen Heng-ming, a cult leader from Taiwan with a group of followers now staying in the United States, to let cult members return to Taiwan. Chin urged Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian to help resolve the matter. Since Taipei is a sister city of Dallas, Chen should find channels through that relationship to help the government bring the followers back to Taiwan, she said. Some of cult members complained about reports by the Taiwan press that they plan to commit mass suicide. They also expressed the desire to stay in the United States to wait for the arrival of God and flying saucers to take them to heaven on March 31 and said they will return to Taiwan if God does not appear by then.
Police retrieve girl from apocalyptic sect, Group's leaders deny future plans of mass suicide, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Wednesday, December 24, 1997
SAN DIMAS, CALIF. (L.A. Times) Deputies retrieved a 16-year-old girl from the branch of an apocalyptic sect after the mother expressed fears the girl would join a pilgrimage to the group's home in Texas, authorities said Tuesday. Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said the mother alleged that the girl might have been held against her will at God's Salvation Church, but authorities found no sign of kidnapping. The girl, Nan Hua Chiang, rejoined her mother without incident after deputies showed up at the San Dimas church, said Lt. Roosevelt Blow. The mother who summoned deputies feared she would never see her daughter again, said sheriff Deputy Joe Lomonaco. Members of the San Dimas group who left for Texas on Tuesday told reporters they were inspired by a sign that appeared in the heavens on Dec. 13. That portent was the numerals "007" emblazoned in the sky -- an airborne advertisement for the new James Bond movie.
World Saucer cult prepares for God's arrival, BBC, 12/24/97
Wearing white coats and cowboy hats, cult members prepare for a press conference Members of a Taiwanese cult which moved to America to prepare for the arrival of God have denied that they are planning a mass suicide. More than 2,000 followers have moved from Taiwan to Garland, Texas, where they say God will appear to them after travelling to Earth in a spaceship. Speaking in Garland, the group's leader, calling his cult The True Way Church, denied he was planning a copycat suicide. Hon Ming Chen said: "Two thousand years ago I was the father of Jesus Christ. God can appear in a human body but he comes not to judge people but to save them. But if God does not land in Garland next March most members of the group, which preaches a mix of Christianity and Buddhism, say they will simply return home to Taiwan. Chen even used that as a reason for why they would not kill themselves. He said: "There's no reason to be concerned that they would commit suicide. They've got return plane tickets."
Last cult members leave Calif. for end-of-world rendezvous in Texas, 6:41 p.m. PST Tuesday, December 23, 1997
SAN DIMAS, Calif. (AP) -- A family of four wearing white emerged from the God's Salvation Church on Tuesday, saying they were headed for Texas to join fellow congregants waiting for God to appear so they could board a spaceship. About 140 other followers of the Taiwan-based church -- also dressed in white and wearing sunglasses and white cowboy hats -- left earlier this week for Garland, Texas, for what they expect to be a March 31 arrival of God. Although its practices seem similar to the Heaven's Gate cult, right down to the uniforms and sneakers that followers wear, God's Salvation members said they have no plans to kill themselves. "We don't die," Pi Feng Chiang, mother of the family of four, said in halting English. "We believe God. God like life." Sheriff's detectives, who investigated a Taiwanese woman's claim that her teen-age daughter was kidnapped by the cult, said they did not believe God's Salvation followers would kill themselves. Taiwanese media reports last week said the group's leader, Hon-Ming Chen, was encouraging newcomers to kill themselves so their bodies could be picked up by flying saucers. Chen told reporters Tuesday that he had no such plans. Although Chen, a father of two in his 40s, denied any suicide plans Tuesday, the former Taiwanese sociology teacher did claim to be the father of Jesus Christ and that God will assume his body at 10 a.m. on March 31.
More details at God's Salvation Watch
Former professor believes he's the father of Jesus, will become God, 7:46 p.m. PST Tuesday, December 23, 1997
GARLAND, Texas (AP) -- There was hardly a ripple here as dozens of families began moving into this quiet, middle-class suburb. Then a newspaper reported that the newcomers were cult members who officials feared planned a mass suicide. Hon-Ming Chen, leader of the God's Salvation Church, told reporters Tuesday that he had no such plans for a mass suicide, such as that committed last year by the Heaven's Gate cult. "There isn't any danger," said the leader of the group formerly known as the "God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation." Taiwanese media reports last week said Chen was encouraging entire families to kill themselves so their bodies could be picked up by flying saucers. Although Chen denied any suicide plans Tuesday, the former Taiwanese sociology teacher did claim to be the father of Jesus Christ and that God will assume his body at 10 a.m. on March 31 in this increasingly diverse Dallas suburb of about 140,000 people. Speaking through an interpreter, the bespectacled father of two in his 40s promised that on March 25, God will announce his arrival during a commercial-free appearance on channel 18 of all U.S. television sets. Other nations would not receive the message because they "have been announced to be the world of devils," he said. Chen was joined at a table by two young boys. One, wearing a white Cowboy hat, was described as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. The other, who wore a white ski jacket with the word "Phenom" stitched in blue on the back of the neck, was introduced as the reincarnation of Buddha. Neither spoke.
Taiwanese Cult Members Move to Texas,Await God's Arrival in A UFO, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7:46 p.m. PST Tuesday, December 23, 1997
GARLAND, Texas--Dec. 24-- 150 members of a Taiwanese cult have settled in to await the arrival of God -- via flying saucer -- and the apocalyptic destruction of their homeland. On Tuesday at precisely 11:18 a.m. CST, "the time ordained by God," the group's leader held a news conference to dispel rumors that have spread from Taipei to Texas that his followers will commit suicide on March 31 in the manner of the Hale-Bopp Comet cult, Heaven's Gate. But Chen Hon-ming, 42, a social science professor who in 1993 began espousing a mix of Christian, Buddhist and New Age beliefs, said he will willingly place his life in the hands of his followers and be "executed, stoned to death or put on a cross" if his predictions fail to materialize. Come 10 a.m., March 31, in Garland, Chen predicts, God will step onto Earth and have the physical appearance of Chen himself. According to a printed rundown of his predicted calamities, Chen says the real excitement begins in January 1999 when China goes to war against Taiwan. In February, the second Korean War breaks out. June and July see the economic collapse of East Asia. Three nuclear power plants explode in Taiwan in August, wiping out almost all its people. Then a nuclear bomb detonates in the Middle East in October, on Jesus' true birthday. Despite the uproar they've caused in Taiwan, members of the God and Buddha Salvation Foundation, as the group is formally known, say all are free to come and go. And some have come, gone back to Taiwan, and returned. Reporters were free to talk with any of the members. Group members, who call themselves followers of "Jen Dao," or "The Way of Truth," say they are worried, not for themselves, but for their relatives in Taiwan. Chen, who wore a straw peasant hat -- "because it's shaped like a pyramid which has spiritual strength" -- and a white ski jacket, then revealed that "2,000 years ago I was the father of Jesus Christ. That's why I am so sad about world history."
Prepared by News Editor, Kelly S. Parrish. Submit articles to

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Creation has two sides: intelligence, which is the cause of everything, and the manifestations of intelligence, which are the physical and psychological features of the everyday world. Because Transcendental Meditation directly approaches intelligence, rather than the manifestations of intelligence, it solves problems by introducing harmony and well-being at the most basic level, and not by dealing with problems themselves. That's why it is so effective.

Consider this example: The gardener supplies water to the root of a tree. That water, that nourishment, then reaches all parts of the tree - leaves, branches, flowers, fruit - through the sap. We can think of the sap as analogous to intelligence and the green leaves or yellow flowers as analogous to the manifestations of the intelligence. The leaves and flowers are the intelligence of the sap, after it has been transformed. So intelligence - like the leaves and flowers of a tree - appears as the many different forms of manifest life. Those manifestations include every aspect of existence, from the material and physiological, through the psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. All of those features of life come from transformations of intelligence. In meditation, we directly meet this essential intelligence. Therefore, we have the possibility of nourishing all of its other levels, and thus all levels of manifestation, in a way that is harmoniously related to the whole universe.

How is Transcendental Meditation different from the various other forms of meditation?

Maharishi: The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple program, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.

Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind - or performing mind - to quiet mind - or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence.

The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all. -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, unknown interview, copyright presumablyheld by Maharishi Vedic University, The Maharishi Foundation, or another group within the TM family.

Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Categories of cults that are recruiting successfully today include:

Eastern meditation: characterized by belief in God-consciousness, becoming one with God. The leader usually distorts and Eastern-based philosophy or religion. Members sometimes learn to disregard worldly possessions and may take on an ascetic lifestyle. Techniques used: meditation, repeated mantras, altered states of consciousness, trance states.

Religious: marked by belief in salvation, afterlife, sometimes combined with an apocalyptic view. The leader reinterprets the Scriptures and often claims to be a prophet if not the messiah. Often the group is strict, sometimes using physical punishments such as paddling and birching, especially on children. Members are encouraged to spend a great deal of time proselytizing. (Note: included here are Bible-based neo-Christian and other religious cults, many considered syncretic since they combine beliefs and practices). Techniques used: speaking in tongues, chanting, praying, isolation, lengthy study sessions, many hours spent evangelizing, "struggle" (or criticism) and confession sessions.

Political, racist, terrorist: fueled by belief in changing society, revolution, overthrowing the "enemy" or getting rid of evil forces. The leader professes to be all-knowing and all-powerful. Often the group is armed and meets in secret with coded language, handshakes, and other ritualized practices. Members consider themselves an elite cadre ready to go to battle. Techniques used: paramilitary training, reporting on one another, guilt, fear, struggle sessions, instilled paranoia, long hours of indoctrination. -- Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, Lalich and Tobias, Hunter House, 1993.