ABCNEWS.com, March 23, 1998
Chen Tao has released two official publications that reveal the group’s
theology: Practical Evidence and
Study of the World of God and Buddha and God’s Descending in Clouds (Flying Saucers) on Earth
to Save People.
Much of the rest of their beliefs have been gleaned through two press
conferences the group have called
at their Ridgedale Drive headquarters, and through interviews conducted with Chen through his interpreter
The major tenets are these: They believe in reincarnation based on a karmic system.
Teacher Chen claims to have fathered Christ 2,000 years ago, and today
communicates with God through
a diamond-studded ring, which he wears turned backward on his hand. There are two boys, ages 8 and
11, who live with Chen, who are said to be the reincarnations of Jesus and Buddha.
The Chen Tao theology holds that widespread destruction, or tribulations,
have occurred five times on this
planet, the first waged by dinosaurs. The next one, according to Chen, is scheduled for 1999 and will
begin in Asia. As with all tribulations, the only survivors in America will escape by boarding flying saucers.
According to Walker, the group’s theology develops very quickly, as
group members absorb current
events into their belief system.
For example, last Christmas, they interpreted skywriting that spelled
out “007”—promoting the most
recent James Bond film—to be a sign from God.
No visible signs, but leader says ‘you yourself are God’
REUTERS March 31, 1998
GARLAND, Texas, March 31 -- A Taiwanese spiritual sect said God descended
to Earth just outside
Dallas on Tuesday, but dozens of observers who gathered for the big event saw and felt little evidence of
such a miracle
THE SECT’S LEADER, Hon-Ming Chen, had predicted God would land at his
home in the Dallas
suburb of Garland, reproduce himself hundreds of times, shake hands with all those present and talk to
each of them in their native languages.
When the moment of truth arrived at precisely 10 a.m. CT and there was
little indication of any divine
arrival, Chen had an explanation: God had entered the bodies and souls of all those present and anyone
who didn’t see him was denying their identity as humans.
‘THE ROLE OF GOD’
"The Kingdom of God has descended and God has already changed into human
beings," Chen declared
as about 30 of his Taiwanese followers looked on from under the shade of a nearby tree, dressed in white
and yellow with white cowboy hats. "You yourself are God. You are human beings as well as God. This
is a chance given to us to play the role of God."
As everyone was now God, they could answer their own questions in their
own language and simply
shake their right hands with their left, Chen said.
To push home the point, Chen added a subtle warning.
"If you think of yourselves as nothing more than a pile of bones and
flesh, you are going to die, to perish in
the Great Tribulation," he said.
The Great Tribulation, according to Chen and his 150 followers, is a
series of natural and human-caused
disasters such as floods and wars that will culminate in a nuclear holocaust destroying the world in late
The group moved to Garland from Taiwan late last year and believes God’s
arrival is the first step in a
plan to save hundreds of millions of people by whisking them away on flying saucers to a planet in another
JOURNALISTS IN ATTENDANCE
The sect has drawn widespread attention with its predictions of God’s
arrival, and caused a stir in this
quiet, conservative suburb. About 100 journalists, many of them from Taiwan, were on hand to witness
God’s "arrival" Tuesday.
About two dozen neighbors joined in, too, but they witnessed little
more than a media circus and a
beautiful spring morning.
Chen, a 42-year-old former Taiwanese university professor known to his
followers as Teacher Chen, said
he and 10 of his followers are traveling Wednesday to Buffalo, N.Y., and that the rest of the group will
likely follow next week to continue God’s work in the area of the Great Lakes.
That area is significant, Chen said, because God will gather the souls
of the chosen people from around
the world in the Great Lakes area to prepare them for the exodus to another planet in flying saucers.
Chen had said God would announce the divine descent to Earth in a television
broadcast last week. The
sect leader apologized when that did not happen, but on Tuesday he said that it was only a minor error
and that God had instead declared his intentions in strong winds and unusual cloud patterns.
For those seeking salvation, Teacher Chen said they should repent their
sins, stop eating meat and train
themselves to see beyond the third dimension in which he said most humans live.
Anyone who continues to eat meat will face retribution from the spiritual
world and may be visited in their
dreams by animals asking what happened to their lives.
"If you often eat the buttocks of chicken, you will soon find you have a pain in your ass," he said.
With Chen and his followers now about to move on, some neighbors said
they would miss the group that
brought a bit of color to this otherwise tranquil neighborhood.
"They are very, very lovely people trying to reach an understanding
about life," said Joyce Carr, adding
that the sect members often helped her 87-year-old mother cross the road when they saw her out
"Live and let live, I say. I am much more offended by some of the very
radical fundamentalist groups who
are out there trying to make money with their predictions," Carr said.
There had been concerns the sect members might kill themselves if God
did not show up, much like the
Heaven’s Gate believers who committed mass suicide in San Diego last year. The Heaven’s Gate
adherents believed they would ride to heaven on a spacecraft following in the wake of the Comet
But Chen and his followers insisted suicide was not an option for them.
Lt. Don Martin of the Garland police department said on Tuesday that
the city’s police chiefs were no
longer worried about a mass suicide on their turf, and that they had enjoyed the challenge of keeping an
eye on the sect and the scores of journalists who flocked here to see them.
"It has been quite strange, to say the least," he said.
CESNUR's Watch Page of Chen Tao - God's
APRIL 1999: GROUP STILL ACTIVE IN
LOCKPORT, NEW YORK - PREDICTS
NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST BETWEEN OCTOBER
1 AND DECEMBER 31, 1999
On March 25, 1998, Hon-Ming Chen , leader of Chen Tao / God's Salvation
Church, announced in
Garland, Texas, that God will not appear on Earth in person on March 31, 1998 as Chen had previously
prophesied. Chen had also announced that God would appear on television channel 18 worldwide on
March 25 at 12:01 a.m., U.S. Central Standard Time. When God failed to appear on TV on March 25,
Chen -- who was eagerly awaiting with his followers the historical event in Garland -- announced that:
"Because we did not see God's message on television tonight, my predictions of March 31 can be
considered nonsense". Chen (who speaks only Chinese and was translated by a Chen Tao interpreter)
added: "I hope that everybody can still have the true belief in God, in the existence of God. Even though
the image doesn't show on the television, I don't have any reason to doubt the existence of the supreme
being, God." Chen said at first on March 25 he will stay in Garland "to continue studying and researching."
He insisted that his followers are free to go their own way, and have always been. Police continued to
keep a watch fearing a possible mass suicide, although nothing in Chen Tao's behaviour so far points to a
suicide. Between March 31 and April 1 Chen in fact seemed to recover from the prophetic failure and
announced to the followers: "You yourself have become Gods". As usual in similar groups, the prophecy
for the faithful did not fail: God appeared -- not in person but in the body of the members of Chen Tao.
Chen then left Garland and inspected areas in Michigan and New York for the group to relocate. In May
1998 the majority of members left Garland. Half, with visa problems, returned to Taiwan. Half moved to
Olcott, New York. According to independent researcher Rodney Perkins, Chen had a vision in which he
saw the numbers 17 and 78. While the lake regions in upstate New York was being considered from
some weeks, Olcott was selected because it is where Routes 17 and 78 intersect. Later the group settled
in Lockport, New York, 30 miles south of Niagara Falls.
U.S. and international media started reporting disturbing news about
the Taiwanese new religious
movement headquartered in Garland (Texas) in the summer of 1997 and have continued through the
March 1998 events. It is referred as "a Taiwanese UFO cult". Leading U.S. anti-cultists suggested that it
is a particularly dangerous cult and may be organizing a mass suicide. Two independent researchers from
Dallas, Texas, Rodney Perkins and Forrest Jackson, have interviewed members of the movement,
including the founder's spokesperson and translator Mr. Richard Liu, and gathered primary literature.
(Perkins and Jackson are the authors of Cosmic Suicide: The Tragedy and Transcendence of
Heaven's Gate , published by The Pentaradial Press, PO Box 600318, Dallas, TX 75360 - Website:
http://www.pentaradial.com/). What follows is partially based on information supplied by them and can be
quoted only by mentioning Jackson and Perkins as source. It is also based on Chen Tao's own
publications, an interview by Dr. Massimo Introvigne with Liu, documents on Taiwanese new religious
movements in the archives of CESNUR. CESNUR will keep a watch on the Chen Tao situation and has
a collection of all the documents in English published directly from the movement.
Chen Tao means "True Way" and this is the name the group prefers to
use (rather than "God's Salvation
Church", often mentioned in the press, or "God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation", apparently a
name used earlier in Taiwan. ). The founder of Chen Tao in its present form is a 42-year old Taiwanese
national named Hon-Ming Chen who is, according to the media, a former professor of sociology.
According to an article by Perkins and Jackson in Fortean Times n. 109 Hon-Ming Chen "once taught at
Chianan College of Pharmacology and Science. Originally, he received direction from Ms. Yu-Hsia Chen
[whom some scholars regard as the real "founder" of the movement], who he believes was one of Gods
representatives on Earth. His first spiritual proclamation was that on 11 February, 1996 all Gods and
Buddhas descended upon a temple at Pei-Pu village in, Hsin-chu County, Taiwan." Subsequently,
following divine revelation, Chen and core followers moved to San Dimas, California, where they formed
God's Salvation Church. Perkins and Jackson write: "Chen drew attention in mid-1997 when he claimed
to have discovered a man in Vancouver, Canada who was supposedly the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Chen already had a 10 year-old boy named Chi-Jen Lo within his group who was touted as the
reincarnation of Buddha. The mentors goal was to arrange a meeting between these two embodied gods.
(...) The meeting between Buddha and the Canadian Christ never occurred, but a 9 year-old named
Che-yu Chiang has now assumed the messianic role." In the meantime the group moved from San Dimas
to Garland, Texas (apparently selected because the name sounds as "God's Land"), where a residence for
Chen was purchased on March 26, 1997 and some 150 followers soon moved. Chen claimed that God
would appear in his body in Garland on 31 March, 1998 at 10:00 AM. God would personally appear on
TV (the movement advises to check Channel 18) six days before March 31. Chen said that God would
perform miracles to prove his divine power, including bilocation and xenoglossia (being able to speak in
foreign tongues, not to be confused with glossolalia, the more common gift of tongues). In his book God's
Descending in Clouds (Flying Saucers) on Earth to Save People (Garland, Texas: Privately published,
1997), Chen said:"I have the full faith to say that God will appear at the referred time. At that time people
shall see the 'One' in exactly the same look of me to meet the people. I guarantee this on my life." (178)
Chen Tao appears to be a syncretistic movement including references
to Buddhism, Christianity and
Taiwanese folk beliefs. Living beings originate in a "central vortex". They then pass into the material realm
where they can become humans, animals, angels, or devils. Devils are described as "outside spirits" --
reminiscent of both the "hungry ghosts" of the Buddhist lore and of Western vampires -- who feast on
human energy. According to Chen,the average human possesses three million degrees of spiritual light
energy, while "the infinite light of cosmic origin is more than twelve million degrees." (27) Beings that
resonate within the intermediate range are vampiric in essence. They can dupe normal humans and drain
them of energy. Victims of this kind of vampirism may reincarnate as animal, while worthy human beings
with cultivated souls will eventually be delivered from the karmic cycle and attain Buddhahood.
In 1996 Chen privately published another book, The Practical Evidence
and Study of the World of
God and Buddha . There, he developed an esoteric doctrine of the three souls: the physical soul, the
main spiritual light, and the conscious soul. The three souls are separated at death. Individuals who die
violently or unexpectedly tend to become ghosts (a common theme in Taiwanese folklore). For the others
-- and presumably for the redeemed ghosts -- there is the possibility of receiving an "absolution" in the
underworld,becoming one with the great Infinity and avoiding further reincarnations..
In The Practical Evidence, Chen denounces the rival Taiwanese Buddhist
religious movements (many of
them are now active also in the West). He writes: "It is lamentable that ninety-nine percent of the temples
in Taiwan are presided over by outside spirits. Those newly founded so-and-so Buddhist schools or
religious sects are particularly controlled by the outside spirit of the demon level. However, only the Right
Way can help us to make correct judgment and proof." (116) Concerning Christianity, Chen discounts the
god of the Old Testament as "cruel, narrow-minded, unable to tell good from evil, and partial with
preference only for Israelites," while the true God, as manifested through Christ and Buddha, is "complete
love, generosity, mercy, peace, justice, and forgiving." (157)
Chen Tao believes that the Earth has already suffered four great tribulations,
each of which has ended in
nuclear war. After each disaster, people escaped in flying saucers and then returned to Earth to live
underground until the radiation on the surface dissipated. The next great tribulation will occur in 1999 and
Chen believes that through Chen Tao some people may be able to avoid the cataclysm. As in many other
Taiwanese religions, there is also a strong criticism of Chinese communism. The future leader of mainland
China, whom Chen describes as "the condensation of human karma and depravity" (God's Descending,
112), will initiate a military blockade against Taiwan in January 1999. The following month will see a
"unification" war between North and South Korea and the subsequent economic collapse of all major
East Asian countries. By March, Taiwan will have a diminished food supply and its citizens will resort to
cannibalism to survive. Japan will once again militarize and attempt to expand its borders. In August,
Armageddon will occur as Asia, Africa and Europe enter a nuclear war that will annihilate most of the
world. In the meantime, "God will instruct the leader of the United States of America that the United
States of America is the select place for the headquarters of God's Kingdom, and God has His Own
plan." (115) One reason Chen came to Texas is to prepare the American government to welcome the
millions of refugees who will come to the U.S. from overseas. Ultimately, at any rate, the present
civilization will come to an end. Worthy souls will return to the Infinity, but those still attached to the
karmic cycle will be prevented from attaining Nirvana. These unfortunate ones will have to wait "billions of
years" until another civilization forms on Earth.
Chen Tao always emphatically denied that it was preparing a mass suicide
for March 31 or any other
date. If God does not manifest itself in Chen's body at a later date, followers may simply return to Taiwan.
In an interview with Dr. Massimo Introvigne, director of CESNUR, granted in Garland on January 31,
1998, Richard Liu, spokesperson for Chen Tao,declared that according to the movement's expectations
on March 31 God would appear in Garland as a person similar, yet different from Chen. Followers did
not expect to simply see a transfigured Chen, but two different characters: God and Chen. On the other
hand, Liu accepted to discuss the possibility that God would not appear on March 31. In this case, he
said, "we will conclude that God has changed his plan and no doubt God's new plan will be revealed
through God's messenger [Chen]". Liu thought in January that if nothing significant would happen on
March 31 some followers may return to Taiwan and eventually abandon the movement. Others however
will remain in the U.S. awaiting God's directions. "Some, he said, have already applied for naturalization in
the U.S." Liu denied that followers may move to Gary, Indiana, where a sacred ritual was performed by
Chen Tao on January 9, although Gary has a peculiar role in God's plan according to Chen (and
neighbors in Garland claim that Chen Tao members at a time discussed a possible move to Gary).
What will really happen in the future is difficult to foresee. Anti-cultists
are insisting that some action
should be taken by the U.S. authorities. The latter already acted in December 1997 to return a 16-year
old daughter who was in San Dimas with Chen Tao, to her mother. It was however denied that any form
of kidnapping or violence was involved. Later in the same month all San Dimas followers moved to
Garland. The incident seems to have contributed to the "discovery" of Chen Tao by the U.S. media.
Anti-cultists would do better to consider sociological theories of amplified deviance and the risk that
outside pressure on Chen Tao will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy of disaster. On the other hand, the
history of apocalyptic religious movements proves that "when prophecy fails" a group does not necessarily
disband. Instead, it can eventually rationalize the prophetic failure, continue and even grow.
The latter comments seem to be confirmed as months pass. Despite the
setback, a spokesman said in late
March 1999 that Chen stands by his prediction of a nuclear holocaust in Asia and Europe between Oct. 1
and Dec. 31, 1999 while divine UFOs evacuate worthy believers to the safety of the Great Lakes region.
Chen considers the region sacred.
"We have full belief and faith in God, in God's salvation," said to
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the
spokesman, Richard Liu, who said that Chen now considers himself the reincarnation of Joseph, Jesus
Christ's father. Liu confirmed that Chen Tao members have settled comfortably in Lockport. The
members' children are attending public schools, and the parents have become more involved in community
affairs than they were in Garland, he said.
An official of the Chamber of Commerce in Lockport, a town of 29,000
noted as the starting point of the
Erie Canal and the hometown of model Kim Alexis, told the Star-Telegram sect members have made
hardly a ripple in the Rust Belt industrial city, which otherwise has had few ethnic Chinese residents. As in
Texas, the group released color snapshots of what appeared to be jet contrails in the sky and said they
were left by God's UFOs. But Chen has not taken the defection of some key followers lightly.
In angry, open letters to President Clinton and Taiwan's President Lee
Teng-hui released in late March
1999, Chen accuses the sect's former No. 2 leader Chiang Ching-Hung of trying to disrupt the group
through lies, blackmail and insults. The defector, formerly a career official of Taiwan's National Bureau of
Investigation, called the allegations ridiculous. Speaking to the press through an interpreter from his
Garland home, where he still resides, Chiang said he was planning to return soon to Taiwan. "I and others
just want to live a normal life without being bothered by the media," he said.
Predicted Tv Showing By God Draws A
Ft. Worth Star Telegram, 25 Mar 1998.
By Justin Bachman
Chen Hon-Ming, the leader of the God's Salvation Church, predicts that
God will appear on television
Channel 18 in Dallas, Texas at 12:01 Wednesday morning in preparation for his return to Earth, via
Garland, next Tuesday. The FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM's Justin Bachman offers full coverage.
At least 30 news organizations have signed up to camp out tonight at
Chen's home, the headquarters of
the Taiwanese UFO cult. Up to 100 city employees are working security for the event.
[The group said it chose the Dallas suburb because it sounds to them like "God land."]
As hordes of reporters descended to cover the broadcast, city officials
unveiled a plan they hope will
minimize the commotion. Traffic to the residential area is being tightly restricted; bright orange media
credentials have been issued allowing access.
The church is composed of 110 adults and 50 children, many of whom have
left their homes in Taiwan to
follow Chen. About 20 men have shaved their heads in preparation for God's arrival, reports
Wednesday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS. "If God is not on the television tonight, then Master Chen
said it is over, we can go home," a church member tells the paper.
Chen says God is returning on a "salvation operation" to redeem people
before nuclear holocaust in 1999
claims most of the Earth's population.
At a news conference at Garland's City Hall Tuesday afternoon, police
Lt. Don Martin said: "We don't
know what's going to happen... We're working on assumptions."
Chen has said that he would come out of his house after midnight Tuesday
to reveal what happened on
TV. But if Chen does not emerge, police plan to knock on the door, telephone the house. If they hear
sounds of distress or violence or get no response, police will break the door down and enter, Lt. Martin
The biggest assumption is that members of the creep group, which says it values all life, w>
STAR-TELEGRAM Bachman reports: "The group's beliefs incorporate aspects
of Christianity and
Buddhism, with several unique features, including reverence of technology and the notion that God has
engineered 'super aircraft' that will transport 1,800 passengers through several dimensions of space and
Now boarding on Channel 18.
God a No-Show on TV
Associated Press, March 24, 1998.
GARLAND, Texas (AP) -- Onlookers, satellite trucks and legions of reporters
streamed Tuesday into a
Dallas suburb where a Taiwanese religious group awaited God's appearance on television -- an event
they say presages his return to Earth next week.
But the appointed hour passed early Wednesday without the promised TV
appearance. The group's
leader said his faith was not shaken.
"Even though the image doesn't show on television, I don't have any
reason to doubt the existence of the
Supreme Being, God, in this universe," church leader Chen Heng-ming said through a translator at a
midnight-hour news conference.
Police erected barricades and cordoned off a 165-house area in the tree-lined
nearly 140 members of God's Salvation Church are living in various upscale houses. The main house, their
leader's, serves as their church.
Church leader Chen Heng-ming, known as "Teacher Chen," had said God
will appear on Channel 18
across the country at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday to mark the beginning of his return. In Garland, Channel 18
offers religious-oriented programming; in nearby Dallas, it is a home-shopping channel.
After midnight, the cable channels continued with their scheduled programs.
The broadcast channel had
only white noise.
Though church members -- most clad entirely in white, with white hats
-- have spoken openly about their
principles in the past, on Tuesday they politely declined comment as they entered the fenced-in backyard
of Chen's house.
"I'm sorry. I can't," one said gently in Mandarin Chinese, smiling as he waved off a reporter.
Implied in the media and police attention is the notion that church
members might take drastic or
unexpected action if God does not appear. Chen and his followers insist they have no plans to harm
themselves and say suicide would violate God's principles.
"They've been model citizens," said Garland police Lt. Don Martin. But,
he said, "We would be remiss in
our duties if we didn't consider that option."
Chen says God will appear at 10 a.m. on March 31, beginning a new era
for a human race he says has
lost its way.
The city has mobilized more than 50 police officers and emergency personnel
to make sure events
proceed with as little turmoil as possible. Police issued press credentials for the neighborhood Tuesday
morning and set up what they called a "media corral" near the house.
The group's prophecies come almost exactly a year after the Heaven's
Gate sect committed mass suicide
in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Heaven's Gate members said they believed that, if they "shed their containers,"
they would be picked up by a spaceship hidden by a passing comet. Thirty-eight people died.
Television, God and UFOs
Group Awaits Second Coming
ABCNEWS.com, March 23, 1998
By Jan M. Faust
Televisions in Garland, Texas, were on Channel 18 last night, but God wasn’t.
Members of a Taiwanese sect who settled in the Dallas suburb prophesied
that at 12:01 a.m. God would
make a divine appearance on Channel 18s everywhere, in a preview of a Second Coming scheduled for
When the appointed hour passed, Heng-ming Chen, leader of the God’s
Salvation Church, whose beliefs
blend Buddhism, Christianity and science fiction, quietly acknowledged the no-show in a press
"Even though the image doesn’t show on television, I don’t have any
reason to doubt the existence of the
Supreme Being, God, in this universe," Chen said to the onlookers who massed outside.
Since members of the group arrived in working-class Garland last year,
they predicted an unusual
millennial event, replete with television cameos, press conferences and flying saucers.
It’s the shared vision of approximately 150 people who’ve left everything
behind to pursue a religion in a
new land. The Taiwanese group, whose Chinese name, Chen Tao, roughly translates to "God Saves the
Earth Flying Saucer Association,” has come to tell America that the end is near.
Flashbacks to Last Year
It’s almost a year ago today that members of another quasi-religious
flying saucer cult snuffed themselves
out in California. While Chen Tao’s claims may seem outrageous and sometimes comical, city officials and
cult outreach groups are monitoring them closely to make sure they do not follow the path of the
Heaven’s Gate cult.
"I don’t think they are going to commit suicide or do violence,” says
James Walker, president of a
Christian counter-cult group, the Watchman Fellowship. "The problem is when you’ve given yourself over
totally to a religious leader, one who legislates reality for you, then you are vulnerable to how
psychologically stable this person is.”
God’s Little Acres
Last June Teacher Chen, as he is called, bought his home at 3513 Ridgedale
Drive with cash. Shortly
thereafter more followers arrived, also buying their homes with cash, and members of the group—who
always dress in white, with white cowboy hats—began to prepare "the headquarters for God’s Kingdom
Betty Nichols, a neighbor, recalls an early conversation with the one
of the English-speaking members of
the group. "I said, ‘How did you pick Garland?’ and they said that when they say it, it sounds like ‘God’s
land,’ and I said, ‘Oh great, we’re on holy land!’”
But some land is holier than others, and the ground zero of holy, according
to Chen, is his own home. At
10 a.m. next Tuesday, he expects God to materialize there. God will, the teachings say, take the form of
Teacher Chen, and be able to split into enough Gods to greet each person individually, in the native
tongue of each believer.
Beware False Prophets
What worries people outside the group is what happens now that God hasn’t
appeared on TV, and later,
should he not return on the 31st. There is some anxiety that individual members of the group may try to
In particular, there is concern for Teacher Chen, who has publicly told
his followers to hold him
accountable if his predictions don’t come true.
"Teacher Chen has no definite idea about the outcome,” said Richard
Liu, Chen’s interpreter at a March
press conference. "But he said that he would put his life into the hands of people. It is all up to people.”
Cara Harting, spokeswoman for Garland’s mayor’s office, doesn’t think
group members are likely to
harm themselves or anyone else. "They are a very peaceful people who value the sanctity of life. They’re
vegetarians, and they have certain rituals, like they cut their vegetables a certain way so as not to harm
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
CNN broadcast transcript March 19, 1998
From Correspondent Charles Zewe
GARLAND, Texas (CNN) -- A Taiwanese cult leader who claims he fathered
Jesus 2,000 years ago
and now talks to God through a ring on his finger has brought his followers into this Dallas suburb to await
God's appearance in a flying saucer.
The 150 members of God's Salvation Church, who dress all in white, from
their sneakers to their cowboy
hats, sold everything back home in Taiwan and moved to Garland because they say it sounds like "God's
land." In anticipation of God's arrival on Earth, the cultists have built what they say is a spacecraft using
five radial tires, some plywood and a few lampposts.
They also have prepared a shrine with fruit, cola and crackers, and
they spend their time in prayer to get
ready for the end of the month, when they claim God will show up at 3513 Ridgedale Drive to save
mankind from nuclear war. "God is coming to the Earth to save all living beings on the Earth," said
Richard Liu, a member of God's Salvation Church.
The cult's leader, Hon-Ming Chen, known to members as Teacher Chen,
is a 41-year-old former social
sciences professor. He is often accompanied by two youngsters he says are the reincarnations of Jesus
and Buddha. Chen believes that God will first appear on Channel 18 on television sets worldwide at
midnight on March 24. In the Dallas area that means the Home Shopping Channel will get bumped by the
Chen also says that on March 31 at 10 a.m., God will take the form of
a human being. And, who would
that be? That would be Chen himself. The cult leader says that if God does not show up on March 31, he
and his followers will not commit suicide, like the 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult did a year ago.
"God prohibits us from hurting even an ant," Liu said. However, Chen says that if God does not show up
in Garland, he will make himself available for stoning or crucifixion -- and his followers will be free to
pack up and go home. And, he adds, everyone will be able to regard the cult's beliefs as nonsense.
Religious experts say the Salvation Church, whose members include doctors, engineers and teachers, is
typical of the kind of religious groups that spring up at the end of a century. "They are comfortable with
technology as a means through which spiritual powers can work," said Lonnie Kliever, a professor at
Southern Methodist University.
A neighbor says she does not mind having the sect next door. "They are
not loud. They keep up their
places nice. We could use more neighbors like them," said Bonnie Nichols.
TRANSCRIPT OF CHEN TAO'S MARCH 12, 1998,
PRESS CONFERENCE IN GARLAND, TX
Press Conference Interview of Hon-Ming Chen, leader of "God’s Salvation
Church," or the "True
Way", as they prefer to be known. Mr. Richard Liu was interpreter for Mr. Chen. Between a dozen
and twenty reporters and television crew were present, including James Walker, President, and
Timothy Oliver, Publications Editor, of Watchman Fellowship.
In the transcript below, we have no means of identifying the various
news reporters, so in most
cases they are referred to simply as Reporter.
Richard Liu: (garbled) "…make some clarification, and to correct some
misrepresentation by some of the mass media. Teacher Chen today want to give this interview to you. If
you got any questions, especially concerning the day March 31st, if you can just give your quick questions
then I’ll do the interpretation, Teacher Chen will give the answers. Thank you."
Reporter: "Richard, there’s been some concern, some people expressing
concern, that not only may this
group harm itself but it may harm other people in this neighborhood. When you hear things like that—"
Richard Liu: "Yes, we read in article yesterday, which is ‘Why God is
an Alien.’ But Teacher
Chen—we want to make clear that actually an alien is incompatible to the Supreme Being, I mean the
God. Actually the alien is very low in the spiritual level, compared to God. Some people might be
self-arrogant, or some people might be self-depreciated, because they are so afraid of being invaded by
the extra-terrestrial beings or by aliens. But actually it is the time operated and conducted by God. God
takes charge of the whole universe. And God certainly won’t allow this to happen. To be invaded by the
alien, by the extra-terrestrial beings, is nothing but the fantasy, or the imaginations influenced by scientific
Reporter: "What about the concern that the "God’s Salvation Church"
members may harm themselves,
or harm others, around here?"
Richard Liu: "We have been reiterating the point, either in our—in the
book which we speak with it, or
in the messages which we receive from God, God prohibits us from killing even an ant, let alone doing the
harm to other people or to ourselves. Since God is coming to the earth some people might be afraid that it
might be the invasion from the alien. (garbled) you are turn on the television in every household on March
25th and that is actually imaginable, and unusual in the ordinary sense. Because, but if people think about
the omnipotence of God, think about the great, great power of God it is not impossible. And maybe that
is another reason why…" (garbled).
Reporter: "Richard, what happens if on the 25th there’s no television
reception, God does not appear on
channel 18 or any channel, what happens after that, will you stay until the 31st?"
Richard Liu: "If people have abundant imaginations, why not even try
to think of God as Superman as
you see in movies. And God coming to the earth is not to judge on trial people but to help people, to save
Reporter: "Let’s go back to the question, What if God does not appear
on Channel 18 on the 25th of
March, what then?"
Richard Liu: "If it happens and it doesn’t turn out to be true you can
just take it as nonsense. Since this
is the instruction given by God so it is the divine God; everyone should pay attention to these messages.
But don’t make any negative extrapolations or wild guesses…negative assumptions…" (small plane
overhead drowning out sound).
Reporter: "Can I ask how you received the message that God was coming
to us on the 31st and then
also, what is it that’s going to happen after that; so he arrives on earth and then what happens in the
months after that, and what’s the purpose?"
Richard Liu: "The message of God coming to the earth was received by
Teacher Chen back in 1993.
And the exact date of God’s coming to the world was received in last February. And Teacher Chen also
received a message, learning about the true God, the true, the only, the only God of this universe, and it
also justified by himself. Try not to give yourself any wild speculations about His coming, and try not to
believe in what is stated in some parts of the Bible, that God comes to the world to put people in
judgement or to put people on trial. Because on the second point we have made it clear that God’s
coming, the reason why God is coming to the earth is for, is to save all of the living beings on the earth. It
is hoped that every one of us can give ourselves a chance for our physical bodies and first our souls which
is in eternity and try to cut off all those fantasies about being persecuted or being crucified."
An approaching garbage truck was making it difficult to hear during some of the above.
Reporter: "What’s going to happen to Mr. Chen on the 31st? Is anything going to happen to him?"
At this point the garbage truck drowned all other sound on our tape.
Mr. Liu continued to speak a
few moments more, then stopped while we all waited for the garbage truck to move far enough
away that it would not prevent recording. There was, naturally enough, some lapse in thought, Mr.
Liu apparently picking up on another note than the question above.
Richard Liu: "God comes to the world, and that means that in 1999 there
will be the great tribulation
happen. That means that the great tribulation of nuclear war, which means the annihilation. And this
annihilation is not limited only on the earth, but also on all other planets in the galaxy. The earth which we
are inhabiting is the third dimension world. But in the galaxy where the earth is situated there is also the
fourth dimensional world, the fifth dimensional world, and there are also living beings in those dimensions.
In all of these dimensional worlds there are going to be great tribulation of annihilation. God comes to the
world to save all of these people, and try to take them to the eternal land. That is what we call the
Kingdom of God, God’s Kingdom in the Bible, not for our further evolution, but for our spiritual evolution
and the physical evolution. These messages are true, and that is why it is in personally we bear this light on
Timothy Oliver: "By what means will God take these people to salvation?"
Richard Liu: "Since God is omnipotent, God has the great power, He will
send innumerable flying craft,
or if you people can call them flying saucers, to the earth to save people from the great tribulation of
annihilation. That is why God has to come earlier, in order to make the preparation for the coming of the
Timothy Oliver: "Will these craft be visible to the naked human eye?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, these flying craft can be seen with our, with human
naked eyes, and they shall start to
go abroad to save all the living beings from tribulation starting from the 1st of April."
Timothy Oliver: "People will walk onto these ships in their physical bodies?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, people can walk physically on to the flying craft,
and that is the reason why God has
to appear physically, to tell people that our physical body can also acquire eternal life, not just the soul. It
is also stated in the Bible that people should live to meet God, to accept God’s salvation as well as the
James Walker: "I had a question; in several earlier interviews Teacher
Chen has said that if his message
is wrong about March 31st he’s willing to suffer the death penalty and he alluded again he’ll stake his life
on that. Exactly what does that mean—the death penalty—if the March 31st [event] does not happen?"
Richard Liu: "Teacher Chen has no definite idea about the outcome, but
he said that he would put his life
to, into the hands of people. It is all up to people."
James Walker: "Is that a reference to maybe Deuteronomy 18 about a false
prophet being stoned by
the people—being put to death?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, that means to be stoned to death or to be crucified on the cross.
Reporter: "For being a false prophet?"
Richard Liu: "Yes."
Reporter: "The question really is, will he kill himself if nothing happens."
Richard Liu: "No, definitely he will not. And it is also made clear
that it is all decided by people, not by
Reporter: "What are you doing to prepare yourself for God’s coming?
Are you restricting your food, are
you doing certain things? I’ve heard that you’re travelling around the country going to various places
where there are lakes, and doing ceremonies, because those are going to be places where God will land
with the spaceships?"
There was some difficulty with the tape recorder at this point. Some
of the answer to the above
question was lost.
Richard Liu: "…we have been to the North Pole, last year. People might,
people can gain a better
understanding if they can remember the movie Superman II. He was also bound to the North Pole, and
we were also instructed by God to go to the North Pole. People might wonder why more than a hundred
people have been following around by God’s instruction, going and travelling to the every part of the
America. And we have to go, and since August last year we have been instructed by God and following
God’s instructions. God also sends us a lot of signs and also God writing in the sky has convinced us of
His existence as well as the truth of this message."
Reporter: "Would you explain the relationship between Teacher Chen and
God and how they
communicate with each other?" And how far that goes back?
Richard Liu: "It is stated in the Bible that one should be sent by God
to prepare the way for the Lord,
and actually we feel assume ourself to be the one; Teacher Chen assume himself to be the one sent by
God to prepare the way for God’s coming. There are several ways for Teacher Chen to communicate
with God. First, God will give the messages to Teacher Chen, or God will talk to him, or other vision.
God will give signs or give the vision to him within his own soul. The second way is through this
instrument, that means the ring which he is holding in his hand. And in this ring God will deposit His
spiritual energy, God’s power, in this ring. And this ring also will give the vision to, or give the sign, to
Teacher Chen, so that he can see what you haven’t, and what you’re to do, according to the sign or
according to the vision. It is foreseeable that someday after God’s coming to the earth, this ring will
become a flying craft in front of people. And people can see it with their naked eyes."
Reporter: "So, that ring will turn into a flying craft, is that right? That ring will become a flying craft?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, the ring as you view it, but it will be a flying
craft coming out of this ring. From the
different dimension world. And also it has to undergo a certain period of cultivation so that it can become
the holy item of God."
Reporter: "Mr. Liu, how did Mr. Chen get the ring? Where did the ring come from?"
Richard Liu: "Teacher Chen was instructed to buy this ring. But what
matters, what the point is that this
ring is chosen by God so that God can send His Holy Spirit, and send His omnipotent power and deposit
the power into the ring. So that if it is worn by ordinary people, okay, it becomes on his body ordinary
Reporter: "Are Teacher Chen’s—are all of his followers here on their own free will?"
Richard Liu: "Of course everybody has his free will, since all the airplane
tickets and the passports are
owned by each individual. We don’t have any control on that. Teacher Chen came to America last
February. All the students came to America different times since September or August last year."
Reporter: "Why Garland, Texas?"
Richard Liu: "Because nine million years ago Garland is also the place
where God chosen to descend
and to create human beings, human races. And in this nine million years there have been six times of great
tribulation of annihilation happening on this earth. And for the last time, the seventh time of the great
tribulation of annihilation Garland will, Garland be created also the place where God shall give the end to
the great tragedy of great tribulation. Every time—for every time of the great tribulation which happen on
this earth Garland is al—Garland has been the place for the final, for the closing speech."
Timothy Oliver: "Richard, you and another gentleman are wearing a rather
distinctive belt and buckle. Is
there any significance to that? The gentleman over there.
Richard Liu: "These were instructed by God for us to wear. I think these
questions can be answered
after God comes, after the God has come to the earth."
Timothy Oliver: "So their purpose right now you will not reveal?"
Richard Liu: "No, not now."
James Walker: "If a flying saucer does not come on March 31st, does
Teacher Chen recommend that
his followers disregard him and no longer follow his teachings?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, of course. This is very reasonable. We have been
very reasonable in our teaching.
Since all of the followers have been following Teacher Chen for years, and it is not persua— it is not done
only by persuasion or by words. All the followers have seen, have been convinced, all over the years by
some signs or by some miracles performed by God. For this month a sign performed by God’s
omnipotent power particularly all the signs of God flying throughout in the sky have convinced all the
followers of what God is and what the people of God can do. Since God flying throughout is changeable
He is omnipotent, so the flying craft can turn to be flying sauce [sic], or turn to be the airplane. That is why
average people sometimes cannot discern them. On average every other day we can see with our eyes
the performance of God’s flying throughout in the sky. And it doesn’t have—the flying craft not only draw
lines in the sky, but also draw scriptures in the sky."
Reporter: "Can Teacher Chen just tell us a little bit about himself,
before he started receiving messages
from God. Did he—is he a professional? Did he train as a teacher, or what work did he do back in
Taiwan before he started hearing from God? How old is he?"
Richard Liu: "Mr. Chen was born in 1955, and before 1993 when he got
the message from God he had
been associate professor in the college in Taiwan."
Reporter: "So is he a professor of anything?"
Richard Liu: "Associate Professor of social science."
Reporter: "Teacher Chen, you’ve taught that before March 31st there’s
going to be certain world
events, like economic catastrophes in Asia, and odd behavior with airplanes and so forth before the 31st.
Do you see any of those things happening? How do you interpret what you’ve seen lately?"
Richard Liu: "It is known that there have been several serious air crash
happening, especially in Taiwan.
And actually it can be interpreted on the one hand that the dimension of depression of the universe. And
on the other hand it is because all of the spiritual vitality, spiritual air, which is needed for human beings is
losing, is becoming lesser and lesser, in the world so that people cannot keep themselves always sane."
Richard Liu: "Sane, uh, clear in mind. (Pause) The economic crisis dating
back to last June, but also the
time when we were instructed by God to do some services of praying trips around the United States and
on the one hand, because of our services, we can see now the deep, the more serious effect of the El
Nino can be lessened. Otherwise people have–people might see that there would be more serious effect
of the El Nino."
Reporter: "Is the year of any significance—the fact that it’s the year
2000 approaching, does that have
any role to play in Teacher Chen’s thinking?"
Richard Liu: "God’s operation of the universe or of the earth, abides
by the Karma which is generated
by the earth itself. In other words the timetable of the great tribulation of the earth is not—it’s decided by
the Karma of the planet. When the time comes, the great tribulation comes also, naturally. In the—after
the six times of great tribulation which happen, which have happened on the earth, after these tribulations
God exerted His great power to clean off the poisonous substances or the radioactive rays, so that people
can—so that the earth can be inhabitable again. But for this final times of great tribulation the earth will
become inhabitable [sic] anymore, and in 2043 this earth planet will explode. That is why God decide to
come to the world in a year earlier, in order to make a preparation to save all the survivors from the great
tribulation, to take people, all the survivors, away from the annihilation of the planet."
Reporter: "So people will leave all together, in next year, or they’ll start leaving this year?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, next year."
Reporter: "Any particular date?"
Richard Liu: "In September, in next year, people will be taken away
by God, will be sent, escorted
away by God. And, but for this year, it is instructed by God that people should do the physical
cultiva—no, the spiritual cultivation in order to break through the different dimension. In September next
year God’s flying craft will all come down to the earth, and each craft can accommodate a
Reporter: "What do you have—what do people have to do in the meantime
to qualify or to be part of
the groups that will leave. I mean if you don’t pay any attention over the next years, do you travel in the
craft as well, or do—does everyone have to (garbled) the spiritual cultivation?"
Richard Liu: "It shouldn’t be worried about. After God comes to the
world everything will be instructed
on the television, all through the houses which people are living in. And God will give instruction to every
detail of the whole operation, so people shouldn’t be too much worried about it."
Reporter: "Richard, you had said at one time that the reason why Mr.
Chen chose Texas and the
western hemisphere is that this was the chosen land. What does that mean for people, family, loved ones,
who are left back in Taiwan? Will they also be part of this? Will they also be saved?"
Richard Liu: "We hope that this chance for the—this chance through the
mass media can tell all the
people that if people are really come then, that if the people have the true faith in God, and have the true
repentance in their heart, God will certainly help them to save all their relatives or their beloved family
from abroad. After God comes to the earth only God’s flying craft can fly over the oceans abroad to save
all the people or millions of people abroad."
Reporter: "Mr. Liu, can you say, what will you personally do, on April
the 1st, if nothing happens—will
you sell your house and go back to Taiwan, or will you stay in Garland, Texas? What will Teacher Chen
Richard Liu: "I think I will come back, but not in—not the only, uh,
the only reason. Because I do
believe that God is coming to the earth—I definitely believe that God is coming to the earth. Since I have
been joined the group several years, I’m definitely convinced by the messages which is received from
God. Teacher Chen wants to repeat a point, that trying to—uh, don’t make the negative opposition, trying
to think about what if God comes to the earth—what should people do—because if God comes to the
earth that means the great tribulation is here, it happen. That means the annihilation of the earth is going to
Reporter: "Mr. Liu, let me ask another question. The Taiwanese government
has been concerned
because there are families in Taiwan who’ve asked that their—they feel that their family has been held
captive, or that they are being held against their will. Can you say and set the record straight—ah, how do
you answer that? Have you been in contact with the Taiwanese government—are you cooperating with
the Taiwanese government? Have people been sent back, as a matter of fact?"
Richard Liu: "Hold off—one answer—"
Reporter: "Yes" (smiling).
Richard Liu: "Actually we haven’t been contacting with the government
from Taiwan. And all those
rumors have been clear, I think, by the government in Taiwan, that we didn’t keep anybody captive. If we
did, we haven’t bothered by the government or even by the police in America. But then the rumor can
make clear by itself, we didn’t do nothing wrong."
Reporter: "I understand that God will take the form of Teacher Chen
when he descends to earth? Is
Teacher Chen an ordinary man who was chosen by God to prepare His coming, or is Teacher Chen a
prophet or does he have a direct—has he always had a direct relationship with God, and where does
Teacher Chen fit into God’s plan?"
Timothy Oliver: "Is he a manifestation of God?"
Richard Liu: "The whole operation of God, God’s salvation, is actually
a very delicate plan. Teacher
Chen says, Teacher Chen is here—but—but the birth of he—uh, the birth of Teacher Chen, as it were, as
his moving from the East to here, is also a part of the plan."
Reporter: "(I’ve heard?) Jesus and Buddha have manifested themselves
here, either one or both, can
you tell us about that?"
Richard Liu: "You mean the reincarnation?"
Reporter: "Yeah, yeah. Can you tell us about that?"
(Lost first part of answer turning over tape cassette.)
Richard Liu: "…And it is important to make this point clear that we
don’t—we are not taking an
advantage of telling people that they are the reincarnation of Jesus Buddha—Jesus Christ and the Buddha.
We don’t invite any support. We just give the message to the people in order that people can be
prepared together to welcome God’s coming to the earth. And they are—the reason why we gave the
message about these two reincarnations is not for people to worship. And we were born in the Orient, in
the East, because two-thousand years ago Jesus Christ has already told people—told His disciples that,
just as the lightening comes from the East to the West, so shall the sons of men be. If people are
interested in this message they can turn to twenty-four chapter of Saint Matthew in the Bible, concerning
about the times which were his message of His coming again."
Timothy Oliver: "On March 31st, will we be able to see both God and
Teacher Chen side by side as
two separate individuals?"
Richard Liu: "Yes."
Reporter: "How do we know which one is which?"
Richard Liu: "It is very easy to distinguish since God can go through
different dimensions. He can go
through even the wall. Disappear and appear again. On the other hand, God can speak very fluently any
kind of language on the earth. And God is also younger."
Reporter: "But He looks the same. But He’s younger."
Richard Liu: "He looks the same. Since every part of His body is immortal,
also. People can see,
especially on the television, that God has a sense of humor and full of love in His teaching."
Reporter: "But so does Teacher Chen."
Richard Liu: "Yeah, we think so (smiling…laughter all around). And the
most important thing is that
the God which all of us believe (garbled) we don’t mean we, but everyone believes in, will not put any
people for trial. Please remember that God comes to the earth to save people, not to judge people."
Reporter: "Would you say all together how many followers are here with you at the moment?"
Richard Liu: "There are around a hundred-fifty, but we don’t have any
exact number of the followers
since we are not a very organized group, everybody can come and go, we are an open group, and we
don’t have the exact calculation of how many people we have here."
Timothy Oliver: "Does Teacher Chen acknowledge that Jesus Christ who
appeared in Palestine about
two-thousand years ago was a manifestation of God or God incarnate? Does he believe that, or teach
Richard Liu: "There is no difference between the Son, the Holy Son,
and the Holy Father. In other
words the Holy Father and the Holy Son are one. But God is God, and the Son of Man is the Son of
Man. They are not the same."
Timothy Oliver: "That Jesus had very severe words to say to various
groups of people like the
Pharisees and the Sadducees. He did judge them. How do you explain the difference between God
judging people then and not judging people now."
Richard Liu: "Okay, I’ll ask Teacher Chen, but I want to clear the viewpoint,
there isn’t a word of
judgment in the Bible concerning the Pharisees. Jesus just find the fault with those Pharisees. Teacher
Chen says Jesus Christ tell people that all those Pharisees are just trying to gain the profit from ordinary
people. But we don’t get any profit, and we don’t collect any money or donations from people.
Particularly those people in religious field, the established, uh, what we call the established profit-gainers,
especially in the religious circles, they have already established their position—they even don’t hold that
God will come into the earth—because they are somewhat afraid of Him, because they are taking an
advantage of God."
Timothy Oliver: "Will God judge them as He did before, and Jesus judging the Pharisees?"
Richard Liu: "No, God won’t judge them. The only hope from God is that
they can be repentant. And
God is perfect and full of love. He will give them chances to do the right. God will not do the judgment on
those people, since here is a very important notion—every living being on the earth was actually extracted
from the dirt by God. That means God devote His spiritual life into the making of human beings from the
dirt, and God is full of love. He is just like parents. He is just like parents to every living being, so He
won’t put any of His children to the trial, to the judgment. But on the other hand human beings have to be
responsible for what they have done, for all the crimes and things they have committed."
Reporter: "Do the two children speak English?"
Richard Liu: "No. They’re not—"
Reporter: "How do you explain the jewelry that’s on their fingers?"
Richard Liu: "It is the message of—the message and the instruction for
them to wear the jewelry were
instructed—were received only in this year. Since God asked them to wear this jewelry to help them to
cultivate their physical bodies to become immortal. Everyone of you shall wear this kind of jewelry in the
future, but for those poor people God will give—God will provide this necessary jewelry for each
Reporter: "What type of jewelry is it? Can I see it?"
Richard Liu: "They are ordinary diamond—diamonds."
Reporter: "Which one is…(garbled).
Another Reporter: "How does the jewelry…"
Richard Liu: "This jewelry, these diamonds are very basic element in
order to form a universe, in order
to form a planet. And before God create the universe, these, all these jewelry, all these elements have
been already deposited in the formation of the earth, in preparation for the ending period of the earth. For
those poor who couldn’t afford this jewelry, God will give them this jewelry for them to wear, in the
James Walker: "Will God come right here, at this address right here,
visibly, at what time on March
Richard Liu: "At ten o’clock."
James Walker: "Ten o’clock, right here."
(Richard Liu, introducing two children) "This is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ—"
Several Reporters: "The other one." "Which one?"
(Richard Liu, pointing) "This one."
Reporter: "The older one?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah, and he—"
Reporter: "How old is he?
Richard Liu: "He is eleven years old."
Reporter: "His name is?"
Several people talking at once—unintelligible.
Reporter: "And the other one is Buddha?"
Richard Liu: "This is the reincarnation of Buddha."
Reporter: "How old is he? Eight?"
Richard Liu: "Uh, eight years old."
Reporter: "Are they in school?"
Richard Liu: "Pardon?"
Reporter: "Are they going to school?"
Richard Liu: "No. No, we are here on business. We don’t have any—"
Reporter: "Are you on tourist visas?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah."
Timothy Oliver: "Do you suppose on March 31st God could arrange to not
have the trash picked up
(general chuckles) at ten o’clock?"
Richard Liu: (smiling) "Don’t worry about that. At that time there won’t be any trash made by people.
Reporter: "Richard, I understand that the group has bought some property
and has buried some
artifacts. What is the purpose of that if there is going to be annihilation and if people are going to be
leaving this earth as we know it, why go to the trouble of burying things?"
Timothy Oliver: "Especially if the earth’s going to explode."
Richard Liu: "That is to pave the way for the next generation of people
on the earth. Because a
hundred-thousand—a hundred-million years later there will be a new generation of human beings living on
Reporter: "But didn’t you say—?"
Richard Liu: "A hundred-million years later."
Reporter: "Didn’t you say the earth was going to explode?"
Timothy Oliver: "In 2043."
Richard Liu: "After the, uh—in 2043 the gases will explode. And the
gasses will slip out into
microcosms of galaxies, the number of them is ten to the power of seven. And those galaxies belong to
the living beings of second dimension world. Just like in …(garbled) just like it all in the newspapers.
Now the planet going around the Jupiter, whose name is Europe is proved to have the ocean, and also
Americans is trying to send some submarines to probe into the ocean to see whether there is kind of life
or not. And there is a report on the newspapers talking about the discovery of the Europe, the planet
Europe is going around Jupiter. And the situation…uh, it is very hard to…since there are some technical
Reporter: "Sure. But, but, eventually, the earth will explode, and then be rebuilt, or—?"
Richard Liu: "The whole galaxy will explode, and break down into more
galaxies, which belong to the
second dimension world."
Reporter: "And then we’ll have another—"
Richard Liu: "Then there will be new living generation again, on those galaxies."
Reporter: "And the second dimension, what is it?"
Richard Liu: "We are ordinary people living in three dimensional world,
and have to let three
dimensional world slip down into the second dimensional world. It is also discovered that there is a sign of
water on the moon. Actually that is the preparation made by God for the next generation of the living
Reporter: "How do you keep in touch with what’s going on, and with the
news—have you got TV or do
you—are you on the Internet, or—"
Richard Liu: "Newspapers."
Reporter: "Newspapers. From where? I mean Teacher Chen doesn’t speak
English. Do you read them
to him, or…?"
Richard Liu: "Teacher Chen says that God will direct Teacher Chen when
and where to get the
information. This has something to do with the general plan of God’s creation of the whole universe."
James Walker: "Richard, there’s a warning about a retribution if a non-vegetarian
comes on to the
property. What would happen, or what kind of retribution…?"
Richard Liu: "There’s a karmic retribution."
James Walker: "Okay, which means?"
Richard Liu: "Since God—since the power of the Holy Spirit of God is
pure, and if people eat not
vegetarian, that means it is meat of, it is the meat, it is the meat of the other, the other a—other
life—another sense his body is not pure. When he get into the house of God then he will feel very
uncomfortable. But the retribution doesn’t break out instantly. It will happen several days before God
coming to the earth."
James Walker: "It’s just an uncomfortable feeling, is all that would
happen to you, negative, or is there
some worse kind of retribution?"
Richard Liu: "Teacher Chen says that the retribution will break out
on several days before God comes,
before March 31st. We advise people not to eat meat, because when God is coming to the earth any kind
of life enjoys equality, ’cause every life was created by God. On March 31st when God comes we
will—even animals such as ducks, chickens or dog can even talk to human beings."
Richard Liu: "Talk."
Reporter: "What all is ‘in’—ducks and…"
Richard Liu: "Dogs."
Richard Liu: "Chickens, any kind of animal. On the other hand you cannot
eat—you cannot eating the
meat of a dog and talking to him at the same time.
James Walker: "So this will be several days before March 31st?"
Richard Liu: "Before March the 31st.
Timothy Oliver: "The retribution?"
James Walker: "No, I’m talking about talking to animals; what day will that be?"
Reporter: "Now will they speak to us in English, or will we bark at
the dogs, or just how does that
Richard Liu: "If you eat a duck and you—if you eat a chicken in your
stomach—suppose it talks in your
stomach. What will you feel?"
Another REPORTER: "Sorry, can you (asked of Richard Liu) just say a
little about yourself, what did
you do before you, before you came to America?"
Richard Liu: "Pardon?"
Reporter: "What did you do before you came to America? What was your background?"
Richard Liu: "I am a teaching university—"
Reporter: "A teaching un—what did you teach?"
Richard Liu: "Literature."
Reporter: "Can I just ask, I mean there’s obviously quite a lot of money
connected with some of you.
You’re wearing this very expensive jewelry, and you’ve got two very nice watches on. Where does the
money come from?"
Richard Liu: "Actually we—"
Reporter: "You’re just a university teacher, you’re not rich, I don’t suppose."
Richard Liu: "Every member is support—every member support themselves
in our group. And we sold
our houses and bring our living here. And if we sell a house back in Taiwan and bring the money here we
can buy several houses here. The houses here is actually very cheap."
Reporter: "How many did you buy? I mean, did the group buy in the area?"
Richard Liu: "It is estimated about thirty, now, but we are not so clear."
Timothy Oliver: "If one of us wanted to join your group, what would we have to do?"
Richard Liu: "There is no need for anyone to join the group cause everybody
here is children of God.
What matters is to stay at home doing some spiritual repentance in preparation for God’s coming, waiting
for God’s coming."
Reporter: "Mr. Liu, would y’all be welcomed back in Taiwan, now, if
by any chance that you wanted to
just, you know, after the 31st, would you be welcomed back in Taiwan? Could you go back? The media
has, has written a lot of stories about you. Could you and your family just go back and pick up where you
Richard Liu: "Yes. Yes, I haven’t thought about that because I believe that God is coming—"
James Walker: "Taiwan will be destroyed in ninet—next year anyway, correct?"
Richard Liu: "Yes. Yes. Not just Taiwan. The great tribulation is all over the earth."
Reporter: "If God doesn’t appear on March 31st, does that mean that
none of the rest is true, that the
great tribulation won’t happen, or will you continue to believe in the ideas but assume a different
Richard Liu: "Yes, if God didn’t come to the earth that mean the great tribulation wouldn’t happen—"
Reporter: "It does mean that—so its all—it would—if that’s wrong it’s all wrong."
Richard Liu: "Yeah."
Reporter: "Well if He appears on—if he doesn’t appear on television
though, will you stop waiting for
Liu conferring with Chen.
James Walker: "Is that cable channel 18, or broadcast 18."
Richard Liu: "Channel 18 is cable?"
James Walker: "Cable or broadcast?"
Richard Liu: "Channel 18 is…" (Liu seems confused. Chen speaks to him).
"Actually, on March 25th
there won’t be any channel which can be received by the television set, because God’s power will send
His own program into every channel. So they will—"
Reporter: "Oh, so its every channel."
Richard Liu: "Huh? Channel 18, that is God’s program, not God’s station."
Reporter: "So if it doesn’t—but does that—that just does not happen
on the 25th, then you will not
expect Him to come on the 31st?"
Richard Liu: "No, we won’t wait. No we won’t."
Reporter: "So what—(garbled) explain to me this in a little bit more
detail, what will happen on the
25th, at 0.00 hours on the 25th, what will we see on the TV? How will God show His presence?"
Richard Liu: "At first people can see the picture of the neighborhood
on their television. Then there will
be the captions advertising God coming down March 31st. And from 25th through March 31st God’s
program will teach people how to do and what to do in preparation for the day, March the 31st."
Reporter: "Are you involved, and is this group involved in the organization
of that television program? Or
is it just God’s work?"
Richard Liu: "It is just God’s work. And of course God will arrange
some movies, some programs, to
keep some people entertainment. Just in case people might be bored (smiles)."
Reporter: "I kind of arrived late on this. Are you saying that if He doesn’t come out on the 25th—"
Richard Liu: "On the television."
Reporter: "On the 25th, that you will not wait till the 31st—that it’s
over after that? Can you explain that
Richard Liu: "If God doesn’t appear on television on March 25th, then
we won’t be waiting here, we
won’t be waiting any longer."
Reporter: "What will you do then?"
Richard Liu: "Then the group will be dismissed. They will be dismissed;
everybody can—some people
might go back to Taiwan, while some others might have already intended to continue further studies—to
go on studying in, you know, America."
Reporter: "And what will he [Chen] do after that if that doesn’t happen?"
Richard Liu: "Teacher Chen says that he will put his—he will put himself
at the disposal of all the
Reporter: "In the group, or outside?"
Richard Liu: "On the outside. For us to do…"
Reporter: "How do you express your religious view of faith as a religious
group in these days? I mean,
do you pray, do you just sit around and discuss plans, or how do you express your faith in these days, as
Richard Liu: "No, we don’t consider ourselves any special religious
group. We just follow God’s
instructions. Teacher Chen wants to take in several for example he just received a message and he just try
to help people understand the message then they make preparation for God’s coming."
Reporter: "So what do you—the members of your group—what are they doing
in these days, and when
you wake up in the morning, what do you do during the course of the day…" (garbled).
Richard Liu: "Now we are just like ordinary—the average people. We are
just like ordinary average
people. Ah, we do the spiritual repentance, and do some jobs in preparation for God’s coming. And also,
we give ourselves to review of all the message or of the lessons concerning the cosmology, uh, the lessons
from the message from God. We give ourselves a review of all those lessons."
Timothy Oliver: "How do you define spiritual repentance?"
Richard Liu: "It is nothing different from the ordinary religions. We
just do the repentance to reflect
ourselves to see what kind of defect we have, and how to correct with the friends."
Timothy Oliver: "You evaluate your effect?… I’m not understanding you."
Reporter: "Its defects."
Timothy Oliver: "Oh, defects. Okay."
Reporter: "On the spacecraft, will animals be allowed on the spacecraft
too, and also you said it takes
you to the Kingdom of God. I presume because we keep our spiritual form that it’s a physical place.
Would that be another planet, or what would it be?"
Richard Liu: "The animals are all allowed into the spaceships. And we will…"
Reporter: "Like Noah’s ark?"
Richard Liu: "Yes" (smiling).
Reporter: "Sorry, just finish off that question. The other part of the
question was whether it takes us to a
physical place, whether it’s another planet, or what?"
Richard Liu: "There is another physical planet which is—we call the Kingdom of God."
Reporter: "Through the ring, or through however Teacher Chen communicates
with God, is there any
indication of what that planet looks like? Does it have vegetation, is it—does it look like what the images
we see from the moon, or is it like earth, or…"
Richard Liu: "It is another planet, but the difference is that in this
planet [the earth] every thing, every
material thing will degenerate, will corrupt, will see dissolve. But in the Kingdom of God every thing will
acquire eternity. It won’t dissolve. In other words, we are living in a material universe, but the eternal
Kingdom of God is actually anti-material world."
Timothy Oliver: "Fourth dimension?"
Richard Liu: "Pardon?"
Timothy Oliver: "Fourth dimension?"
Richard Liu: "It is a universe starting from fourth dimension, fifth dimension, and higher."
Timothy Oliver: "How many dimensions does it go, how far, how high?"
Richard Liu: "It goes to the eighteenth dimensional world. But these
dimensional, these eighteen
dimensional worlds are for living beings. But over the eighteenth dimension worlds there are higher
Timothy Oliver: "And who goes there?"
Richard Liu: "It belongs to the eternal world of God. And as a matter
of fact, all those dimensional
worlds over sixth dimensional world belong to the God’s eternal world."
Reporter: "Can you tell us a little more detail exactly how things are
going to start out at 10 AM on
March 31st. Will the first thing that happens be a flying saucer coming down, or—."
Richard Liu: "No, I think that is a misunderstanding. We didn’t say
that on March 31st there will be
flying saucer. We said that when the great tribulation comes there will be the flying saucer."
Reporter: "So what will happen at 10 AM exactly?"
Richard Liu: "The people really want to insist that the flying saucer
will come down to the earth.
Actually, the flying saucer of God flying will be actually be sent—has descended already, on the earth, but
people cannot see it."
At this point Mr. Chen appeared to be receiving a message from his ring.
Richard Liu: "If you are interested Teacher Chen would like to meet
you, into, uh…to see something."
At this point Chen and Liu led the reporters around the side of the
house to see the spaceship in
the back yard, passing through a gate with another of the warning signs prohibiting
non-vegetarians from the premises on pain of "retribution."
In the back yard there was a man rocking/hopping back and forth from
foot to foot about ten
paces in front of an octagonal gazebo. Seven crosses were built into its sides and visible from the
inside, but covered by large wooden disks on the outside. Inside the gazebo were two crouched lion
statues, sundry foodstuffs: fruits and vegetables, crackers, cookies, bread and several cases of
Coca-Cola. Also a pair of crutches, a table, ornate dishes, bowls, golden pitcher, silver platter and
service, three chairs, and resting on one chair, a large golden oriental crown.
About ten paces to the west, lying on the ground, two stylized crosses
framed a large poster, made
of computer printed, white, 8 ½ x 11 sheets and a blue border. The poster read, "WHY NAILING
THE HOLY SON OF GOD — JESUS CHRIST — ON THE CROSS!"
About seven paces further to the west was the visible/invisible spaceship,
complete with wooden
deck, cinder blocks, rubber tires, pole lanterns, captain's chair and a still crated barbecue where
one might expect the control panel. Click here to see a photograph.
Richard Liu: "This may look like just ordinary gazebo, but we call them
Heavenly—the Crown of
Heaven gazebo. And there are seven crosses surrounding this gazebo. This gazebo serves as place to
conquer the physical body and the mind of people. It is also a virtue of the mass media, since you have
the picture of this gazebo, if people suffering from serious illness, or incurable illness, can make their
clipping of the picture of this gazebo, and put the picture on the breast of his own body, and try to believe
in the—in the—try to keep the true faith in God. Then the power—God’s Holy Spirit, will come into his
body and make him to recover from his illness. So in ordinary people’s eyepoint this is nothing but an
ordinary gazebo. And, but, anyone who is capable of supernatural sensibility can come to here, and they
can feel the supernatural power here. They can feel the omnipotent power of the Holy—from the Holy
Spirit of God. But it is also devised that if those people with supernatural sensibility coming here—try not
to challenge it—try not to challenge the power—try not to challenge power from God; otherwise it will
incur the retribution on himself. Try to remember that this earth is a holy train for God’s Holy Spirit to
cure, to comfort human beings; main power is where the physical illness."
Timothy Oliver: "What retribution do you speak of, if they challenge
the spiritual power here? You say
they will receive retribution. But earlier, you said God would not judge. So, who’s going to deal out the
Richard Liu: "That means if people in—if a person has the bad intention—ill-intention,
when he comes
here, his ill-intention will be conflicting with the great love of God, so that he will make the force of the
ill-intention bouncing back upon himself. It be just like physical science—if you urge a force on to
something, someday the force will come back to you self."
Timothy Oliver: "Karma."
Richard Liu: "Karmic retribution."
Reporter: "Can you explain to us the things that are inside?"
Richard Liu: "All these things, all these items, have already life.
They are here to receive the salvation
from God, so that they can also give of the message of eternal life to—give out the message to all around
about God’s salvation."
Timothy Oliver: "Even the Coke."
Richard Liu: "Pardon."
Timothy Oliver: "Even the Coke."
Richard Liu: "Yes. For example, the apple, the Coke, or these two, these
two, what we say the Sacred
Lions. They will give the message of eternal—the message of God’s salvation and eternal to all those
items, to all those, or all of animals, or apples or anything around. You can see that we have only a few of
the crutches. They will give out the message to all those handicapped people."
Reporter: "Richard, is it up to this place to bring people, or its very existence will help cure sick people?"
Richard Liu: "The mere existence of the gazebo can exert the power of
the Holy Spirit from God, and
people can just—Teacher Chen wants to say that it is the merit of the mass media, since you put the
picture, you print the picture on the newspapers, people can cut down their news—cut down the picture,
and, or you can just make a frame. Frame the picture and put it on the breast; it will give the effects of the
Holy Spirit. But it is not—it is not used for sa—it is not used for commercial sale. That means only the
free copy of the picture can give this kind of holy effect."
Reporter: "Who built this?"
While Chen and Liu conferred, a the horn of a car on the parking pad,
apparently tied into the
vehicle’s security system, started honking short recurring blasts.
Richard Liu: "It is built according to God’s instruction."
Reporter: "But who built it; who physically built it? The group?"
Richard Liu: "It was bought, according to God’s instructions, and we
just bought it here, and invite the
Holy Spirit from God’s, inside here."
Reporter: "So you bought the frame, and then put up the crosses?"
Richard Liu: "Yes."
Reporter: "So the food—so the food is blessed."
Richard Liu: "Yes."
Reporter: "So if somebody consumes the food, they will—"
Richard Liu: "No."
Reporter: "They don’t cons—this food will not be consumed?"
Richard Liu: "No. They are not to be consumed, because they have already
life. They are here to try to
give the message. These, they have already life. They give the message around to ev—to ev—to if
they—the apple can give the message around to all the apples who seek about the information of God’s
coming and God’s salvation and eternal life."
Reporter: "How do they give that message?"
Richard Liu: "Pardon?"
Reporter: "How does the apples give the sign?"
Timothy Oliver: "To other apples?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah, they got the…"
Some of the answer is missing due to changing the cassette tape.
Richard Liu: "After God comes to the world, comes to the earth (unintelligible)
is filled with rivers of
Group moves over from gazebo to the flying craft.
Richard Liu: "…instructed by God. And if you—you can take it as an invisible flying craft of God."
Reporter: "Is this where God’s gonna land?"
Richard Liu: "No, since God can go through any place in the world, this
is not a (unintelligible), this is
only one of the one part of God’s plan. But we don’t have any detail as dimension, as (unintelligible)."
Reporter: "Then—so you’re saying this is an example of the flying craft?
What is this going to be? What
Richard Liu: "Yeah, this is—"
Reporter: "What is this?"
Richard Liu: "This is, ah, flying travel God, in the invisible form."
Timothy Oliver: "And this holds 100,000 physical beings?"
Richard Liu: "In the future it can magnify itself since God’s flying
craft is changeable. It can become
larger or smaller."
Reporter: "But this is only a representation; this is not what its actually gonna look like, right?"
Richard Liu: "No, this is not a representating [sic]; this is it exactly.
But it is in the invisible
plane—invisible world. You can say that it exists in the—since we have been accustomed to the three
dimensional world, we cannot see the invisible things in the fourth dimensional world, fifth dimension. But
this is the actually, uh, Holy flying craft belonging to God in the fifth or in the fourth or in the fifth
Timothy Oliver: "Earlier you said we would be able to walk onto these craft in our physical bodies—"
Richard Liu: "Yeah."
Timothy Oliver: "—and they would hold a hundred-thousand people. Will
we be able to see it at that
time, that it is a ship, instead of being invisible?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, still it is physically seeable. You can see it—"
Timothy Oliver: "At that time."
James Walker: "A question. Is that a crown on the chair over there?"
Richard Liu: "Yes."
James Walker: "Who’d wear that?"
Richard Liu: "It is God’s crown. It is for God’s holy operation."
Timothy Oliver: "When He comes, He will wear that?"
Richard Liu: "No, God will wear this kind of hat [indicating Chen’s].
And God’s crown—the crown
which God will wear is also changeable."
Reporter: "Why did, um—is there an explanation on why God chose him
[Chen] to be the messenger
for all this?"
Richard Liu: "Well we have gone through the—"
Reporter: "I’m, I’m new through the whole deal, I’m sorry about that. I just got here.
Richard Liu: "I’ll just—yeah, hold on…"
Timothy Oliver: "Him instead of someone else."
Reporter: "Yeah, I apologize, I haven’t been…"
Richard Liu: "Every detail is planned by God Himself. If you want a
very satisfactory explanation maybe
when Comforter comes to the world you people can ask God Himself. And since Teacher Chen bet his
life on message of God’s coming to the world, because it is the truth, it is true message from God. Not
why is asked by God to bear this light and the message."
Reporter: "Can you tell us about this?" (pointing to cross framed poster on ground).
Richard Liu: "This serve as a—this serves to make those people to, to
reflect themselves, especially
those people who nailed Jesus Christ on the cross 2000 years ago. They are also reincarnated. And it
serves to also—it serves also in the hope that in the next earth generation, the tragedy of the crucification
[sic] of Jesus Christ won’t happen again."
Reporter: "So that’s a reminder?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah, a reminder."
Reporter: "Not to do what we did before."
Richard Liu: "Yes."
Reporter: "Could you say it’s a warning?"
Richard Liu: "A reminder."
Reporter: "So what role will these structures play on March 31st? Will
you gather onto here?" [Points
to the invisible craft].
Richard Liu: "No, so far we haven’t received any message or instructions from God."
Reporter: "So you don’t know if you’ll be sitting on the chairs."
Richard Liu: "No, no, no."
Reporter: "No? You may, you just don’t know yet?"
Richard Liu: "We still don’t know yet."
The Press Conference had by now become quite informal; only a half dozen
of us were still around
Chen and Liu. Other reporters were talking with a few of the other group members, some video
cams wandering around. Conversation was waning, meandering; turned off recorder briefly.
Attention turned to a shallow pool few had previously noticed, asking about its significance, its
Timothy Oliver: "Do you do baptisms in it?"
Richard Liu: "Pardon?"
Timothy Oliver: "Do you perform baptisms in it?"
Richard Liu: "Yes. Yeah, you can say that. It is for baptism."
Timothy Oliver: "Spiritual cleansing?"
Richard Liu: "Yes. The baptism of the Holy Soul—Holy Spirit."
Reporter: (pointing to object on "holy flying craft’s" deck) "Is that a barbecue grill on that?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah."
Reporter: "And do you know why? Did God command it?"
Richard Liu: "No," (laughing).
Reporter: "Then why is it there?"
Richard Liu: It is, or serves as a function in the spiritual world,
to tell all those animals that they are not
going to be barbecued anymore." (smiling). And all those barbecued animals can all—are also be—are
also told, they can acquire eternal life, just like human beings. In other words, it serves to comfort,
comfort the animals soul and body."
Timothy Oliver: "Plant life also has life; we speak of it as plant life.
Why is it okay to eat plant life, but
not okay to eat meat life?"
Richard Liu: "This—we are living in a three-dimensional material world,
and we have to eat of, uh,
vegetable life. But as soon as we eat the vegetable life—I think that is—uh, that is—a reluctant. That is
not, uh—that is unavoidable situation. We have to eat the vegetable life. But as soon as people eat a
vegetable life God will keep reform them into a higher level of existence."
Timothy Oliver: "So you look to the day when you won’t eat anything
that has life, because you’ll be
Richard Liu: "Yes. Yes. Because we are living in the three-dimensional
material world we have no
choice but to, to eat, in order to keep our physical body, our soul, to evolve continually. So we have to
take some vegetables.
Close to a minute of unintelligible voices, camera sounds, etc.
Richard Liu: (again explaining poster on the ground) "God hope that
in the next regeneration when
His Holy Son was sent by God to save people, and Holy Son of God won’t be crucified by people again.
So that a tragedy can be avoided. It is really expected that this kind of tragedy won’t happen again, in the
further evolution generation. This won’t—this kind of tragedy won’t happen again."
Reporter: "Do you know why God asked for the tires you’ve put here?"
Richard Liu: "He will answer you later on for this."
Gap in the tape.
Richard Liu: "…they answer to their function in the flying craft. They
have the same functions with the
same function, or the similar function to the flying craft of God."
Reporter: "The tires?"
Richard Liu: "The tires."
Reporter: "And how so?"
Timothy Oliver: "A means of mobility?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah. One is mobility and, uh… (after commotion of some
kind) Yes, you could say
that it is a kind of mobility, but actually, uh, each tire represent a flying craft of God."
Another Reporter: "Do you know when they’ll be activated?"
Previous Reporter: "Richard, is the number five significant symbolically,
and the numbers, ah, eight."
(There were five tires and eight pole lanterns.)
Richard Liu: "Eight is a number symbolizes stability, and since God
is coming to the earth. On the other
hand God will duplicate and turn into eight to operate at the ability of the universe, of the new world,
which God has brought us."
Timothy Oliver: "Is there a reason why those two colors [poles, flanking
the lone chair] are white
and the rest [of the poles at the octagonal angles] are black?"
Richard Liu: "The light means they can—they serve as illumination. They
can have the function of
illumination to give the enlightenment to the eight beings. And those two bigger lights [on the white poles]
symbolizes that the guardian, somewhat of a body guardian, accompany God’s descending."
Reporter: "So these lights, and those as well up there help aid enlightenment?"
Richard Liu: And the number of those lanterns are seven; that means
there are seven times of great
tribulation on this earth."
Reporter: "And seven times of salvation."
Richard Liu: "Yes."
Reporter: "Could you tell us about the pool?"
Richard Liu: "Yes, Teacher Chen says that you could say it is for baptisms."
Reporter: "Is that all?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah, it serves a function of God for the baptism with Holy Spirit."
Reporter: "Has everybody in the group been baptized in that pool recently, or…"
Richard Liu: "No—" (Here Chen somewhat excitedly pointed to airplane
in the sky broke in
loudly; Liu translated). Take this airplane for example. You can see that—whether human beings have
this kind, this model of airplanes or not. You can check that, whether it belongs to the human airplanes, or
belonging to the other dimension."
Reporter: "Oh, ’cause that one might belong to the other dimension?"
Richard Liu: "Yeah. It can go through different dimension of worlds.
And in the future when great
tribulation happens God will send this kind of aircraft to go to the overseas, to save all those survivors,
who are in the great tribulation."
Timothy Oliver: "I have seen airplanes like that many times at various airports—lots of them."
Richard Liu: "Yeah, but the, the God’s, the opening has a very delicate
structure around in the middle
part, in the belly part of the airplane. And it is different from the pattern, from the model you just mention.
Can ordinary airplanes make their airplanes flying over here every two minutes? Every two minutes we
have been see—we have been witness, every two or one minute there have planes were flying over the
sky here. Every two minutes."
Timothy Oliver: "The same plane?"
Richard Liu: "The same plane"
Timothy Oliver: "How—?"
Richard Liu: "Different plane. It just flying over one by one."
Timothy Oliver: "That’s plausible."
Richard Liu: "It is plausible?"
Timothy Oliver: "Yes."
Richard Liu: (softly) "okay. How could it—"
Timothy Oliver: "There’s an airport not far from here."
Richard Liu: (again, softly) "Oh…"
Reporter: "What was distinctive about that plane?"
Richard Liu: "After the great tribula—when the great tribulation is hap—"
Reporter: "But that plane that he just saw, what was distinctive about it?"
Richard Liu: "It has a very special, in the belly, in the belly, the
(unintelligible) which is different…
Every one minute? Can human beings make airplanes flying over every one minute?
Timothy Oliver: "Different airplanes." (nodding)
Richard Liu: "This has been pattern."
Timothy Oliver: (quietly, aside) "We need a good snow storm at DFW."
Timothy Oliver: "Thank you very much!" (shakes hands with Liu, Chen;
others follow suite;
© Copyright 1998 Watchman Fellowship, Inc.
Apocalypse Now. No, Really. Now!
A coast-to-coast guide to America's millennial Chicken
New York Times Magazine, December 27, 1998
By Alex Heard and Peter Klebnikov
With 1999 almost on us and the year 2000 starting to awaken, growl
and plod fatefully toward the camera lens, you can count on 12 months
of panicky millennial excitements. The personnel are certainly out there,
ready to go. According to a 1997 Associated Press poll, nearly 1 in 4
adult Christians—upward of 26 million people—expect Christ to return
in their lifetimes, fulfilling the complicated End Times scenario that many
people glean from prophetic Bible texts like Revelation and Daniel. The
Christians are joined by lesser but impressive numbers of apocalyptic
others, with their own scripts of doom and redemption. Ted Daniels, a
folklorist in Philadelphia whose Millennium Watch Institute has
monitored millennial activity for years, says that his database alone holds the names of more than 1,200
In light of disasters like Heaven's Gate, that sounds alarming, and
millennialism can be troublesome, as
some people in the pages that follow vividly demonstrate. But despite their extraordinary flash and
strangeness, apocalyptic movements have a long, relatively peaceful history in American life. The meaning
of the Greek word apokalypsis is "to uncover," and the motive force for believers has usually been a
hunger for the fulfillment of revelatory knowledge—a conviction that through the willed application of
belief, the flaws of this world will be swept away, with the faithful ushered to a brighter place. None of it is
very logical, but so what? Religion often isn't. The Judeo-Christian belief that disaster must precede
salvation has radiated outward from the events described in the Book of Revelation—home to the Four
Horsemen, the Battle of Armageddon—but the Bible doesn't say anything about when these calamities
will start. Jesus even warns his disciples against trying to figure it out, saying, "of that day and of that hour
knoweth no man."
Contemporary millennialists know all this, but the date still gets people
worked up, whether they
specifically believe 2000 is the magic number or (more often) see it as a flash point, a symbol of what
someday might be. As an excited prophecy commentator named David Allen Lewis wrote, "2000!…You
see it everywhere, like a universal logo!"
Alex Heard, an editor at Wired magazine, is the author of "Apocalypse
Pretty Soon," to be
published in February by W. W. Norton. Peter Klebnikov, a New York writer, is at work on a book
about American doomsday groups.
Unarius Academy of Science, El Cajon, California. Founded in 1954 by
Ernest and Ruth Norman,
Unarius is housed in a lovingly decorated old Post Office, where a few dozen regulars study a
complicated mix of flying saucer theology and past-lives therapy, the idea being that Earth is a
"kindergarten" for spiritually debased souls. While the students work out negative karma earned in ancient
civilizations like Atlantis, they await a mass landing in the year 2001 by wise Space Brothers from 32
other planets; they will join the Academy and usher in a new age of enlightenment.
Morningland, Long Beach, California. Housed in a fortified compound
and led by an aging priestess, Sri
Patricia, Morningland teaches that Christ will someday descend to Long Beach in a UFO the size of
Texas, piloted by Patricia's deceased husband. It currently recruits members through yard sales.
Morningland is a multiservice sect dispensing tarot readings, Zen meditation classes and Ufology. As a
special feature, it charges people to cure them of AIDS—Sri Patricia, a self-proclaimed messiah, claims
she can change people's DNA with a wave of a hand. The group's 40 or so members are taught that
humans are responsible for the coming destruction because of their irresponsible stewardship of the
Ted Hall, McKenna, Washington. Hall is the author of "Beat the Beast,"
described as "the only upbeat
Y2K preparedness book.' Hall and other believers in Y2K survivalism—arguably the hottest area of
contemporary millennialism— fear that the world's computers will fail at midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, leading
to anarchy blackouts and global chaos. He also contends that the feared computer shutdown fulfills Bible
prophecies of the End Times arrival of a beast whose "number is 666." The good news: You can win out
over "cyber-beast 666." The book is mainly about practical tips for surviving. Step 1: Create cooperative
farms. "Mother Earth is one big free lunch," says Hall.
Chuck Missler, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Christian millennialists aren't
usually interested in UFOs—that
stuff is for New Agers—but Missler is different A former C.E.O. who heads a large media ministry called
Koinonia House, he believes extraterrestrials are real, but they're not from other worlds. "They pose as
aliens," he says in a taped lecture, abut what are they really?" Missler says they're beings called Nephilim,
the lingering spirits of "supernatural monstrosities created eons ago when fallen angels mated with human
women. Their existence inspired God to cleanse the earth with the flood, but now they're coming
back—as ET's, reseeding earth women for dark purposes that predicate the imminent final battles.
Missler has sponsored "Israel Cruises," tours of the Holy Land with a focus on apocalyptic ports of call.
The 1998 edition included stops at the Isle of Patmos (where the Book of Revelation was written in the
first century AD); the Mount of Olives (where Jesus thrilled and chilled his disciples with doomsday
discussions); and the Valley of Armageddon," where Christ is to defeat the forces of Satan once and for
all". There was also a spot of cruise-ship boogying, including a Saturday night "Biblical Character
Church Universal and Triumphant, Corwin Springs, Montana. Led by Elizabeth
Clare Prophet, this
New Age church gained fame in 1990 when Prophet predicted an imminent nuclear holocaust. The sect
assembled a cache of weapons, and disciples hunkered down into a network of bomb shelters. When the
planet survived, many became disillusioned and moved away, ushering in a rocky period for the church.
Prophet has acknowledged that she has Alzheimer's, and the church is selling much of its land. (Shelters
are on Special sale" at $5,000 each.) The world will end anytime soon, Prophet still maintains.
The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days,
Manti, Utah. James
Harmston, 58, a former real-estate agent claims he was ordained by Moses and is, according to his
followers, the reincarnation of Joseph Smith, the long-dead 19th century founder of the Mormon Church.
Harmston predicts that a period of violent, apocalyptic turmoil will start within five years. in preparation,
he started a Mormon survivalist community in the town of Manti, where some 300 armed, food-storing
polygamist followers plan to ride it out (Harmston denies there are arms and food.) Several former
members of the sect are suing Harmston, alleging that he duped them for $250,000, and the church has
been excommunicated by Mormon authorities in Salt Lake City for undue preoccupation with
Armageddon." Harmston says he is planning a counter-suit.
Concerned Christians, current location unknown. Monte Kim Miller, 44,
is a Colorado-based cult
leader who has told followers he is one of the two witnesses who is fated to announce the destruction of
the earth and coming of the Lord -- an then be slain by Satan in the streets of Jerusalem. Earlier this year,
he predicted that Denver would be ground zero for the apocalypse this fall. Taking 78 people with him, he
later disappeared in the middle of the night, leaving behind abandoned houses and hundreds of frightened
relatives. Several of the members have since appeared in Jerusalem, generating official worry that the
group is gathering there for a climatic moment.
High 54 Ranch, near Concho Lake, Arizona. High 54 is an in-the-works
Y2K survivalism community.
The rural retreat is still under construction, but soon hopes to offer amenities like underground living
quarters, 24-hour armed security, perimeter guards, wind- and solar-power sources and a barter
economy. Potential members are required to arrive with at least a one-year supply of food and at least
one rifle and one handgun per family, preferably with 1,000 rounds of ammo per weapon. Gas masks,
though not required, are highly recommended.
Lord Adaile Toye, Payson, Arizona. Toye channels information from New
Age "ascended masters" who
have laid out the future geography of the planet after an already-in-progress period of tribulation that will
last a thousand years. Called "Freedom Star," the new earth wins a few and loses a few. Much of the
Western U.S. will sink underwater after a giant asteroid strikes Nevada. On the plus side, an entirely new
continent called New Lemuria will form west of South America, and the world will be graced by golden
cities with names like Wahanee, Gandawan and Mesotamp. Sad news for New York: The city
disappears underwater, too, but the Statue of Liberty survives as "the Island of Vision."
Floyd (Looks for Buffalo) Hand, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South
Dakota. Hand, 59, a healer
from the Oglala Sioux tribe, points to ancient Sioux and Hopi prophecies that speak of the imminent
arrival of "Star People," wise extraterrestrials who will remove Indians and chosen others from a planet
that will soon be deviled by a 1999 drought, followed by floods and earthquakes. "The reason is that
humans have not been taking care of the land, have been chopping trees and polluting the air," says Hand.
A further warning: "Get the hell out of New York in seven years! That's when the earth plates will shift
and tall building will sway."
House of Yahweh, Abilene, Texas Yisrayl Hawkins, the assumed name of
a former rockabilly singer
named Bill Hawkins has convinced some 3,000 followers that he is the "witness" who will announce
Christ's Second Coming before being murdered by Satan. From an armed compound in scrublands near
Abilene, Hawkins and his followers are building a ragtag "holy city," where followers are to wait for the
return of Christ in the year 2000. "Thankfully, we only have a year left of this madness," he says.
Outer Dimensional Forces, Welaco, Texas. Based in a weedy, fenced-off
compound near the Mexican
border, O.D.F. is a secretive doomsday sect whose members believe that the U.S. is heading for
heaven-sent punishment that was set in motion when the CIA allegedly "attacked" O.D.F. two decades
ago. In a TV interview broadcast after the Heaven's Gate suicides, a bearded, intense O.D.F. spokesman
named Daniel Hoverson said the Creator will soon rattle and flood the U.S., with the O.D.F. surviving by
being spirited to safety in flying saucers. Orville T. Gordon -- better known as "Nodrog" -- a
90-something man who is rarely seen in public, founded the group.
Elohim City, Muldrow, Oklahoma. Elohim City is an armed compound guided
by Robert Millar, 73, a
former Mennonite who based his revelations on an electric mix of fundamentalist Christianity, racism,
pyramidology and astrology. Millar teachers his followers that the Great Tribulation is upon us and that
"worse is to come" when "Asiatics" invade America. "I abhor war," Millar says, "but it is a foregone
conclusion." He says he believes that Jesus has been revealing himself for 2,000 years and that disasters
will strike, possibly by 2006, at which time the "wicked will be removed" and Elohim City will enjoy an
age of peace.
Bob Rutz, Kingston, Arkansas Rutz, 67, an engineer and entrepreneur,
is another "builder" on the Y2K
suvivalism scene. Rutz and his wife, Joan, are constructing Prayer Lake, a 700-acre Christian community
in the hills of northwest Arkansas. Rutz hopes 100 families buy three-acre plots and get back to simple
ways of living: plowing with mules, reading by kerosene lamps, drinking from springs and wells. "I look at
this as Judgement Day," he says.
Kenna E. Farris, Savannah, Missouri. In 1967 Farris, then a restaurateur,
received what he describes as
a direct call from God to serve as "the Forerunner Prophet of the Apocalypse," designated to spread the
word that Christ will return in the year 3000, not 2000. Great things must happen before then, though: for
starters, a "prophet President" must arise soon to create a 24-nation "barter-banking" trade center that
promotes "Horse Sense Economics" and world unity. Now 73, Farris spreads his ideas via large,
insistent, hand-lettered signs and self-published books like "The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of All
Times of Biblical Prophecy Wisdom."
Dolores Cannon, Huntsville, Arkansas. Cannon is a cheerful, elderly
"reporter of lost knowledge" who
has used hypnotized human intermediaries to travel back in time and speak directly to Nostradamus, the
16th -century French seer who supposedly predicted violent upheavals in our day. The results, contained
in her three-volume "Conversations With Nostradamus," are gloomy" Nostradamus calls the 1990's "the
Time of Troubles" and says the Antichrist, identity unknown, is in hiding now in the Middle East. Luckily,
the dire prophecies can be staved off if mankind radiates enough good will. "Nostradamus thought that if
people knew what was going to happen," Cannon explains, "we could keep it from happening."
The Rev. Clyde Lott, Canton, Mississippi. Lott, a Pentecostal minister,
interprets passages of the Bible
to say that a third Jewish temple must rise in Jerusalem before the Second Coming can happen. Some
messianic Jews think the Messiah won't come (for the first time) until the temple is restored. In an
improbable partnership with a Jerusalem-based rabbi named Chaim Richman, Lott is producing perfect
red heifers, virginal cows "without spot" that could be sacrificed to produce ashes for ritual use in the
future temple. For that to happen, Muslim shrines like the Dome of the Rock would have to be knocked
down. Neither Lott nor Richman advocates destructive violence, but both men are convinced that God
will attend to this impediment in due time.
Wake Up America Seminars, Bellbrook, Ohio. Founded by Larry Wilson,
a Vietnam veteran and
prophecy student, the Wake Up America ministry has a particular fascination with asteroids. Wilson's
reading of Scripture (like Revelation 8:7, which speaks of "hail and fire mixed with blood") has him
convinced that two giant rocks will bash the earth during period of Tribulation and Wrath that precede the
Last Judgement. Rejecting the popular millennialist notion of a rapture, a grace-giving moment when the
faithful are whisked safely into heaven, he believes people will have to tough out calamities that he
identifies with eerie labels like "Volcanoes Cause Darkness" and "Devil Appears." When? "As best as I
can tell, " Wilson says, "the Tribulation starts somewhere between 1999 and 2017."
Chen Tao, near Buffalo. Previously based in Garland, Texas, Chen Tao
entered the national spotlight last
winter, when its leader, a Taiwanese émigré named Chen Hon Ming, predicted that God would appear on
March 25. Overcoming this setback, he has since moved 80 of his Taiwanese followers to a place just
outside Buffalo. Dressed in regulation white smocks and cowboy hats, Chen Tao faithful expect
Armageddon to start next month, when China invades Taiwan and precipitates a nuclear holocaust.
Eventually a third of the world's population will die, but God will arrive in a "Godplane" to deliver the
sect's believers from doom.
Gordon-Michael Scallion, Chesterfield, New Hampshire. Scallion is a
psychic and booster of "Earth
Changes," a New Age prophecy belief that predicts violent planetary shakings in the years ahead, marked
by escalating earthquakes, hurricanes, rising oceans, ubiquitous volcanoes and other unpleasantries. Some
Earth Changes believers think the planet itself is willing these punishments; Scallion sees them as part of a
"natural" astrophysical cycle worsened by man's sloppy environmental caretaking. His "Future Map of the
World" shows major portions of ail the continents underwater, including much of the American West. For
1999 he predicts "calamitous melt-offs at the poles" and a regional conflict in Turkey that will later lead to
World War III.
The Brethren, Boston. This nomadic, Old and New Testament doomsday group
maintains a temporary
clandestine base near Boston University. From there, some 100 college-age followers of "Brother
Evangelist" Jim Roberts roam the country in robes meant to hide the human form, preaching that
Americans are doomed by their materialism and fated to perish in the Great Tribulation. Targeting
disaffected kids, the Brethren requires joiners to abandon all material goods and prior family connections.
For years, the sect was called "The Garbage Eaters" for its member's habit of eating out of dumpsters.
Twelve Tribes of Israel, New York. A separatist group with UFO themes,
with branches in half a
dozen cities, Twelve Tribes is led by a mysterious, disciplinarian-prophet named Rawhab (in dark shirt).
Its goal is to "prepare" followers for the End Times, in which chosen blacks, Hispanics and Native
Americans will survive earthquakes, floods and a huge race war that commences sometime in the near
future. Followers believe that black space brothers are now circling earth in spaceships that will rescue
their human counterparts in a "marvelous miracle," levitating them to a world where persecution and white
people will be no more.
Kabbalah Learning Center, New York. Philip Berg is rabbi to the stars—he
has long taught mystical
texts like the Zohar to a celebrity clientele, including Madonna and Roseanne. He has also proclaimed,
quite seriously, that the End might arrive on Sept l1, 1999, when "a ball of fire will descend . . . destroying
almost all of mankind, all vegetation, all forms of life." If mankind takes to "sharing more" and studying
Kabalistic texts, the species will most likely be spared.
Thomas Chittum, Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey "America was born in blood,
America suckled in
blood…and America will drown in blood." So writes Thomas Chittum, author of Civil War Two, an
influential far-right tract that says the U.S. is headed for an explosive crackup, as regional wars break out
along racial lines. Chittum is notably fretful about the Southwest; he thinks that unchecked immigration will
make it a de facto part of Mexico by 2020. Chittum says he plans to relocate someday to the northern
reaches of New York State, where he figures Caucasians will still be in charge.
James BeauSeigneur, Rockville, Maryland. BeauSeigneur is a two-time
Congressional candidate (he
lost to Al Gore in 1980) who has written a lively three-part novel dramatizing the End Times events
described in Revelation. Such novels are quite popular among prophecy-believing Christians, who often
work out pent-up energies about Christ's imminent return through potboiler fiction that is heavy on horror
and rapine. BeauSeigneur's "Christ Clone Trilogy" livens things up with a sci-fi premise: cells scraped from
the Shroud of Turin are used to clone a new version of Christ And? "The clone," BeauSeigneur says
ominously, "goes sour."
The Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Asheville,
North Carolina. Dr. Steven M.
Greer is an emergency-room doctor who, in his spare time, takes squads of UFO. buffs out for nighttime
vigils, during which they wave flashlights and think positive thoughts in an utterly serious attempt to entice
flying saucers to land. Greer, who has a sizable national following, believes extraterrestrials are here to
share a new-paradigm millennial consciousness. He is also convinced the Federal Government wants to
harm them. He once told Art Bell, host of a talk-radio show on the paranormal, that a "covert" and
"extra-extra secret super secret" Government team has cold-bloodedly blasted flying saucers out of the
Richard W. Noone, Ellijay, Georgia. Many apocalyptic theorizers shy
away from precise date-setting,
but not Noone, author of the book "5/5/2000," which states that on May 5, 2000, the earth's crust will
"shift" horribly as part of a series of cataclysmic changes that usher in a new ice age. The mechanics are
complicated— factors include an extraordinary alignment of the planets—but the results are clear enough.
Three quarters of the human race will be killed. "The last shift like this occurred 9,000 years ago," Noone
says grimly. "It turned the oceans into maelstroms of death." An ardent survivalist, he lives in the
mountains of north Georgia.
Arthur Blessitt, North Fort Myers, Florida. Blessitt, a strapping Christian
evangelist, has spent the last
29 years carrying a 12-foot cross-on-a-wheel through every nation. It started in 1969, when
Blessitt—then the proprietor of a Sunset Strip coffeehouse-for-Jesus called His Place —decided to
traverse America with a cross as a one-time faith statement. That led to more ambitious travels, and in
1988, the Lord officially told him to drag a cross through 277 nations, island groups and territories before
2000, for reasons relating to the Last Days. "I don't know what the time-date will be," he says. "I just
know this is part of God's End Time plan." The deed is done: this year he knocked off his last two
countries, Iraq and North Korea, having covered, by his count a whopping 32,762 miles.
Meade Ministries, Lake City, Florida. Years ago, Charles Meade was told
by God that Lake City
would be the only place on the planet to survive Armageddon, which the octogenarian Meade predicts
will come in his lifetime. The world will soon be engulfed in a sticky white substance, Meade has said,
leaving his church standing as a beacon of light. In recent years, some 2,000 followers have left their
homes in at least 14 states and moved into a guarded subdivision. The Meade-ites have prospered in
local businesses, and the church has built a stunning $10 million worship center shaped like an overturned
Noah's ark— a design that is meant to attract new members.