An Almighty Con? Taiwan’s ‘Purple Shirts’ and their Master – The News Lens International Edition
Master Miaochan (妙禪師父), founder of Rulaizong (如來宗), is netting yearly
membership proceeds of NT$72 million (US$2.4 million), coupled with
monthly donations of as much as NT$86 million (US$2.8 million), the
former members say.
The organization, which claims to
practice Zen Buddhism, was founded by Miaochan in 2004 and is understood
to have about 80,000 followers across Taiwan. Followers of Miaochan
credit anything good that happens in their lives — from job promotions
to finding love — to the protection and blessing of their master. They claim the leader’s healing powers include curing people who have suffered strokes and those diagnosed with early-stage cancer.
pay NT$1,000 to NT$2,000 (US$33 to US$66) in monthly fees to the
organization. The leader claims the contributions will help him bring
salvation to his believers and the donations are collected at their 24
large-scale prayer sessions held each month. It is at these prayer
sessions where Miaochan makes appearances, and members are encouraged to
attend at least one session every month.