Cult leaders prey on the desperate

The Star/Asia News Network, Malaysia/March 29, 2012

George Town, Malaysia -- Cult leaders or mediums are usually good at observing how desperate their intended victims are, according to a Buddhist expert.

Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia secretary-general Sek Chin Yong said they targeted people suffering from sickness, investment failure, marriage problems or psychological disorders.

"For example, if a woman has been suffering from an illness for a long time, she might believe the medium if he claims that she can be healed by having sex with him," said Sek.

He said some mediums would claim that devotees were possessed by the devil or did some bad deeds in a past life, and having sex with the medium would rid them of their ill fortune.

"They usually claim that they are transformed from other deities, or their bodies are virtuous.

"When people are desperate to find a solution to their problems, they would easily consider this offer as the last resort," he said here yesterday.

He said the typical cases of cheating were of mediums getting "do要ations" from devotees without issuing receipts.

He was commenting on recent reports about a medium in Nibong Tebal, said to be leading a cult that frowns on idols and ancestor worship, and allegedly turns children against their parents.

Sek, who had handled various controversies involving mediums, said the cause of people falling prey to fake mediums was usually lack of religious knowledge.

"For example, there are a lot of Buddhists who can't tell when monks are fake. Monks cannot accept money or jewellery as mentioned in the precepts," he added.

Malaysia Taoist Association Pe限nang chapter chairman Daozhang (Taoist priest) Ooi Kok Chuan said the group had received a report on the cult.

The cult was not registered with the association but the chapter was checking on it, he said.

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