Cult Leader: I Took Premier on Spirit Tour

Associated Press/January 27, 2005

Taipei, Taiwan -- A Taiwanese spiritual leader said on Thursday he had used his magical powers to take the island's new premier on a tour of Paris without going there physically.

The guru, Sung Chi-li, is famous for claiming that he can appear in more than one place at a time -- an effect he calls his "split body."

Sung told reporters he took Premier Frank Hsieh, a former follower, on a "cosmos-roaming" tour of Paris, including a stop at the Eiffel Tower, during a gathering at another follower's home last year.

"It was no illusion," Sung told TVBS cable news. "You could touch the tower and feel the cast iron."

The China Times newspaper quoted Sung as saying, "I asked him (the premier) if he saw the Eiffel Tower, the City Hall in Paris, and he said he did."

Hsieh wouldn't directly comment on Sung's claims.

"You can take this as fodder for a joke after a meal," he told reporters.

Sung was convicted by the Taipei District court seven years ago on fraud charges by claiming his "split body" could go anywhere at his will.

Some of Sung's estranged followers accused him of cheating people into making donations with fake pictures that he said proved his supernatural powers.

But the High Court overturned the decision, saying law enforcement agencies should not attempt to prove or disprove self-proclaimed supernatural powers.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.