Author: R.A. Whritenour Publisher: The Neural Surfer Publication date: 1996
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
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Dear Dr. Lane, This is a follow up to some previous correspondence we have had. In following Ching Hai over the past 1 year I have come up with some observations I would like to share with you in the hope you can shed some further light on this woman. As I mentioned in the past my wife is involved with this group, and its effects on my and my daughters life have been quite destructive, I would like to see the group exposed for what it is. OBSERVATIONS: I have read in several places that there is a connection between Thakar Singh and Suma Ching Hai i.e. he was her mentor. In your book The Making of a Spiritual movement you link Twitchell to the Singhs, if I follow the links you make I come to some interesting conclusions about Hai. She appears to have been a keen observer of Twitchells, she learned to correct some of his mistakes by shrouding her lineage in mystery. Twitchell makes the mistake of claiming a lineage, which one assumes is designed to give him credibility. As his masters prove to be charlatans he simply rewrites history as you so aptly demonstrate. Hai solves this problem by claiming a unique lineage known only to her. At first glance this is problematic as it causes a loss of credibility, but to her followers it is confirmation she is the supreme master, so supreme that even her lineage is unique. This leads very easily to the groups next argument, all true masters represent a step forward in evolution and will therefore be the subject of ridicule in this life. As proof of this Hai points to both Buddha and Christ, while one rarely sees hai claim directly that she is both, her monthly magazine is full of these claims. This brings me to what I think may be the more interesting point. When I first started researching this group, I had a tendency to look at what was being offered by the group and try to offer logical arguments as to why this appeared to be a cult. As I suspect you know this rapidly leads to the trap that there is a group party line for every eventuality. This should not come as a surprise to any of us who have been involved in a major corporation which often times does the same thing. What caused me to change my thinking was your approach to Twitchell i.e. you clearly demonstrated he lied about just about everything. If we unfetter ourselves from, our traditional belief that there must be at least some element of truth in what people tell us we begin to see hai in a new light. In the new light we ask questions like, where does a group composed primarily of poor vietnamese immigrants, sell $10,000 dresses, and gold jewelry, where is Hishu Center the supposed seat of power, what jewelry and fashion shows have been reported outside of "master magazine". And most interesting of all if I am a cult leader why I am I writing money orders for my group members to sign ( it is fact that this happened) isn't it more usually the cults purpose to extract funds from the group? Further, how many members does the group really have? The group has publicly said they do not track them. From personal experience I assure you the group keeps very good records. Not only on members but on their activity there is even a system of sanctions for deviate group members a kind of probation which is studiously tracked by electronic card reader according to master magazine. Stepping back and asking ourselves what is this group really designed to do offers some unique opportunities, to redefine our thinking. If we try to force ching hai into our traditional view of a cult leader we may well come up with exactly the conclusion she wants us to. "She is a cult designed to exploit the masses, by using slave labor to work in her restaurants, make jewelry, manufacture clothes and generally collect money." But every time I try to penetrate the infra-structure that can generate this kind of revenue and support the number of members required to generate 100,000's of dollars I can't find it. I have a business that generates 2 million in revenue and nothing like 100,000's of profit, but I can't hide my business it takes plant equipment payroll and employees. So my suggestion is I think we are looking at this upside down the cult is not designed to generate revenue it is designed to launder revenue. Rather than look for the traditional murky ties to some past master maybe we should be looking for the political ties to some current organizations. In my mind this makes several things easier to reconcile, 1 the ethereal nature of the alleged commericial enterprise, 2 the studied nature of the groups manipulation, 3 the shear size of the group does not support the contributions allegedly collected. 4 what in the world the unlikely trio of tire, hai and wung are doing trying to donate money to Clinton's defence fund. Well I hope you find my ramblings interesting and I would love to hear your thoughts. Regards, R.A. Whritenour
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