'Hateful' cult plotters held


South China Morning News/May 25, 1999

Authorities have rounded up 71 members of a religious cult in Chongqing and thwarted a plot to assassinate a town official, it was reported yesterday.

The members of the Mentu Hui (Gate Disciples) sect were arrested in Heyu village in the Sichuan city on April 21 when they met to plot the killing of an unidentified official, the Press Digest said.

The illegal sect's leaders face charges of fraud, rape and manslaughter as well as alleged attempts to crush the Government. The paper called the sect members "extremely hateful".

Sect leaders were accused of telling followers who were ill to pray instead of consulting doctors. Some believers were said to have died as a result.

Public Security officials in the area had made several attempts to close in on the sect, but had always been eluded by its "highly secretive" nature.


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