Chen Tao Hon-Ming Chen
This episode is brought to you by the completely reimagined twenty twenty four to escape with Ford co-pilot three sixty a suite of advanced standard driver assist technologies. It's built to help you outsmart some of the obstacles. You'll encounter out on the road. They're smart and then they're street-smart the completely reimagined twenty twenty Ford escape inside every house in a small suburb of Dallas. Texas families gathered around their televisions. Each and everyone was tuned to channel eighteen though. Nothing was playing. The viewers sat in an EERIE SILENCE. Staring at vacant staticky screens in the tense quiet but ticking of the clock was deafening. Eleven fifty eight. Pm Outside press bans clogged the street. It seemed all the world's reporters had descended on the sleepy little neighborhood as they performed. Mike checks and switched out lenses. They made sure to keep an eye on the time. Eleven fifty nine. Pm Behind the reporters. Seventy policemen stood ready shifting nervously whether watches struck midnight. They stiffened all watching the door of a single house. Thirty five ten rich. Dale drive inside Han Ming Chen Paste. He felt the pressure of the families. Next door the press corps outside the hovering police. He had promised all of them a miracle he had promised his followers as the clock ticked closer and closer Chen swallowed. Would it happen? Would God appear on television on March Twenty Fifth Nineteen Ninety eight as Chen promised he would finally twelve o one? Am Chen took a deep breath and turned on his TV. Hi I'm Greg Paulson. And I'm Vanessa. Richardson and this is cults. A podcast original every Tuesday. We take a look at a cults practices their leader and their followers. You can find all episodes of cults and all other podcast originals for free on spotify. Or wherever. You listen to podcasts. Just stream cults per free on spotify. Just open the APP and type cults in the search bar at par cast. Were grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network? And if you enjoy today's episode the best way to help us is to leave a five star review. Wherever you're listening. It really does help this week in a one part episode. We're taking a deep dive into the Taiwanese. Ufo Cult founded by former college professor. Han Ming Chen. The cult went by many names. The True Way God's Salvation Church and the thoroughly descriptive moniker. The God saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation Peng Ming Chen followers clung to him because they believed he could save them from an imminent nuclear apocalypse instead he led them on a wild goose chase that involves searching for an Abraham Lincoln look like in Canada interpreting clouds and waiting for God to make his nationally televised debut. Han Ming Chen was born on April. Twenty second nineteen fifty five in Shah e a small town in southwestern Taiwan. His father worked as a merchant while his mother stayed at home to care for him. Unfortunately both of Chen's parents when he was young. His mother was the first to pass after suffering a stroke. His father died just a few years. Later Vanessa's going to take over on the psychology here and throughout the episode please note. Vanessa is not licensed psychologist or psychiatrist but she has done a lot of research for this show. Thanks Greg. According to James Wolfson a clinical psychologist losing apparent. At a young age quote causes a person's sense of security and safety to be disrupted this disruption in one's formative years might later manifest as depression anxiety or perhaps a desire for certainty and control. What occurred between chance? Childhood and his college years is unclear but it is clear that his parents death had a profound impact on him though he was raised as a Buddhist at some point between his parents death and his enrollment in university Chen began identifying as an atheist perhaps the loss of both parents in quick succession caused him to lose faith. Chen graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science and went on to get a master's in social science. The discipline may have attracted Chan because it gave order to society. According to strict controlled parameters this type of certainty is likely what he craved after the loss of his parents Chen excelled in his studies in one thousand nine hundred three. When he was twenty-eight years old he got a job as an associate professor at Chapman Junior College. He stayed at the school for almost a decade then in nineteen ninety-two despite identifying as an atheist for the entirety of his adult life thirty seven year old Chen had his first religious revelation. While working one day he claims that he suddenly heard a voice in his head imploring him to pursue a religious life just might the vagueness of the instruction. Chen took to it eagerly. He poured over religious tax of all kinds. He devoured the Buddhist Sutras and the Dow de Ching he even read the Christian Bibles old and new testaments after all of his arduous research chain decided that the best course of action was to join a UFO cult. Though Chen claimed he sought out religion because of divine intervention. He could have been driven by something else. When Chen had his revelation at the age of thirty seven he was not only an orphan but he also had no wife or kids of his own. It's possible his search for religious community or a family was spurred by loneliness. A study conducted by social cognition expert. Nicholas Epilepsy bolsters this hypothesis. His research showed that lonely people are more likely to believe in God and seek out new social connections if social connection was which was looking for he founded in the UFO cult led by Ms Yu-chen no relation by the time. Thirty eight year old Hon. Ming Chen Join misused group in nineteen ninety-three she had a couple hundred followers means. You preached a theology that combined aspects of Buddhism with Ufology. Initially Chen responded to her teachings thriving and his new community however misused penchant for charging her disciples exorbitant fees soon agitated Chen in one thousand nine hundred five forty year old. Chen decided misuse. Fees were predatory and immoral. According to a paper written by Academic Charles Houston pray ther- Chen then concluded that issue was a heavenly devil inhuman guys after telling her as much. He broke with the group but Chan wasn't ready to quit spirituality entirely he didn't want to give up his new community so he absconded from misused group with around a dozen of her followers. Chen co-opted them as well. As several aspects of misused theology and formed his own religious movement called the Soul Light Resurgence Association or S. L. A. Two houses followers. He opened a church in Tainan City. He gained momentum fast like Kim. The followers who flocked to his church where well paid professionals with several academics engineers and doctors among the ranks they will likely drawn to Chen because they view Tim as a similarly well educated authority on religion who was well-spoken and had done his research to grow the fledgeling movement. Chen urged his most faithful followers to travel to different cities in Taiwan and open satellite churches by nineteen ninety six four. Sla churches had been established across Taiwan that year Chen also self published his first book the practical evidence and study of the world of God and Buddha the thome outlined major beliefs including the idea that all living beings originated in central vortex after coming into existence. They passed into the material realm where they took the form of humans. Animals Angels or devils Chen preached that humans and animals possessed three souls the physical soul which dwelled in the body the conscious soul which resided in the mind and the main spiritual light according to Chen the level of spiritual light a being achieved determined. What form they'd take upon being reincarnated if a person increased their spiritual light during their time on earth they would be able to escape karmic reincarnation. This meant achieving enlightenment. A state of being Chen also called Buddha Hood but despite this absorption of some Buddhist theology chance beliefs straight away from traditional Buddhism in several key ways for example Chen preached that there were two major obstacles which prevented human beings from increasing their spiritual light. These obstacles were outside souls and devils outside. Seoul's where people who suffered of violent or unexpected death their macabre ending caused him to get lost on the way to the underworld thus dooming them to remain. Outside the reincarnation cycle forever these lost souls subsisted by draining human beings of their spiritual light. This concept of -Em Pyrrhic. Lonely ghosts is based on Taiwanese folklore. It's possible that Chen borrowed this aspect of his belief system from bedtime stories in his childhood. This law may have been especially impactful on him considering the sudden unexpected deaths of his parents. The next obstacle preventing people from achieving Buddha Hood are devils. According to Chen's book devil sought to possess beings to increase the level of evil in the world. Chen called the worst of these devils king. Satan's King Satan's were fallen angels. Who were responsible for the world's great tribulations? According to Chen these tribulations always climaxed in a nuclear holocaust. Despite the fact that there hadn't been a recorded nuclear holocaust by the time he published his book in Nineteen ninety-six Chen claimed the King Satan's had brought about four tribulations throughout history for nuclear holocausts even more alarming. Chen prophesied that the next tribulation was imminent. However Chen assured his followers they need not be afraid after all true believers had survived each of the past four tribulations. God had rescued them in his flying saucer a contraption that Chen also called a God plane after being ferried off in God planes. True believers waited out the effects of nuclear radiation on another planet like Mars wants. All the radiation had dissipated. They returned to Earth. It's unclear whether this return journey was also conducted by the God plane. Nevertheless Chen's followers were sold Chen. Promise that if they adhered to his teachings and followed him then when the coming nuclear Holocaust occurred they could count on a seat. In God's flying saucer Chen soon coaxed his followers into being totally dependent on him for their salvation. He warned them that he was one of the only teachers that they could trust. Despite initially reading Christian and Buddhist texts in his search for meaning by the time Chen wrote his own book he had only kostic things to say about both religions. He claimed that ninety nine percent of the Buddhist temples in Taiwan were led by vampiric outside spirits. Furthermore Chen stated that the Bible was written in part by Kings. Satan's for that reason. His followers needed him to clarify. What parts of the Bible were devil? Words it's possible. Chen fostered his followers dependence on him because he truly believed he was their best chance for escape from the imminent tribulation but it's more probable that. Chen dissuaded them from seeking other teachers because he feared losing his new community one which was growing number every day by nineteen ninety seven forty two year old chant had amassed thousands of followers commensurate with his newest steamed. Status Chen changed the name of his group. From the Soul Light Resurgence Association to Chen Tau which translates to true way. Chance doctrine altered slightly to he suddenly began preaching that the only pure land of refuge lay in North America. He told his followers that in order for them to survive the coming Holocaust they needed to relocate from Taiwan to San Dimas California a northeastern suburb of Los Angeles County. So in nineteen ninety seven Chen and a little over a hundred followers set out for the Golden State next. Chen convinces loyal followers to search for Abraham Lincoln in Vancouver Canada. This episode is brought to you by the completely reimagined. Twenty twenty four escape not too long ago. Driving seemed a lot simpler. Streets were less congested. And there were fewer distractions on the road. Nowadays a million different things are constantly fighting for our attention. Ford believes it's not enough to make a vehicle with technology. Drivers need an SUV. That's ready for the challenges of today and can help anticipate the challenges of tomorrow an SUV. That's built street smart. That's why Ford has completely redesigned the twenty twenty four to escape there's Ford co-pilot three sixty a suite of advanced standard tack designed to help you feel confident in command on the road. The completely reimagined. Twenty twenty four to escape. It's not just smart. It's street-smart podcast listeners. We realized that there are a lot of park has shows to choose from each day and sometimes not enough time to sort through them all in our new feed podcast daily. We filtered through all of your favorite podcast series to highlight the most timely and relevant episode premiering. Each day every Monday through Friday. Discover a new and captivating episode curated specifically for you. That's one new episode from slate of content handpicked with you in mind. Time is precious. And we've got you covered. Follow Parkas daily free on spotify or wherever. You get your podcasts. You can check out more podcast shows and a full library of episodes in spotify by searching for podcast in the spotify search bar or by going to spotify dot com slash podcast. Now back to the story. Forty two year old Hon. Ming Chen landed in San Dimas California in early. Nineteen ninety seven of the thousands of followers. He had amassed in his ufo cult. In Taiwan only one hundred fifty made the long journey to the United States. Ultimately the bulk of his followers couldn't justify the move nuclear holocaust or not despite their diminished number. Chen was not discouraged. He was certain in America. God would descend in his God plane to rescue him and his faithful followers from the coming apocalypse when his followers expressed concern or uncertainty about the imminent arrival of God. Chen started to claim that he talked to God on a daily basis. Apparently they communicated through a diamond studded ring on his finger as further proof. He explained that he wore the ring backwards specifically to improve the reception of God phone calls. After purchasing several homes in the small suburb of San Dimas the members of Chantale set about awaiting God's arrival according to an article published in British magazine. Fourteen Times. This waiting entailed the performance of religious rituals which largely consisted of the interpretation of the signs from God that they saw him clouds and airplane contrails in the sky then one day in early nineteen ninety-seven. Chen told his followers that he'd received another revelation. This revelation did not come via backwards. Diamond Ring instead. Chen claimed he had a vision in which God told him that. The reincarnation of Jesus Christ lived in Vancouver Canada Chen implored his followers to find the Vancouver Christ immediately. According to a paper written by Academic Charles Houston Prater when Chen's followers asked him how to identify the reincarnated Christ. He calmly told them to search for a six foot tall. Twenty eight year old man. Resembling Abraham Lincoln. Chen said they needed to find this. Jesus slash Abraham Lincoln hybrid because the chantale called already had the reincarnated Buddha within their midst and the two needed to speak. Chen went on to explain that. Ci Yen ten-year-old son of one of his followers was the Buddha reincarnated. This was news to John's parents but they took it all in stride. They hardly blinked when Chen inform them they had to arrange a meeting between their son the reincarnated Buddha and the reincarnated. Jesus a man who would be a dead ringer. For Abraham Lincoln instructions hand chance followers placed a personal ad in the province and the Vancouver Sun newspapers. It's unclear the exact content of these ads but the apparently didn't elicit any responses from the Canadian Public Chen didn't let this deter him. He merely proclaimed another of his followers children on nine year. Old named Chang Chong as the reincarnated Christ instead. It's unclear whether the Taiwanese youth resembled Abraham Lincoln. It's difficult to guess why. Chen sent his followers on such a wild goose chase. Perhaps he felt he owed them something after imploring them to sacrifice their lives in Taiwan to follow him after all in the pages of the Bible that Chen had poured over. Jesus rewarded his disciples for their allegiance by raising a man from the dead and transforming water into wine. In that vein. Perhaps Chen felt he owed his makeshift family. A Miracle Chen's public search for Vancouver Christ ultimately didn't succeed but it did have one unintended outcome. It put Chen his followers on the radar of both the North American press and the Taiwanese media the increased scrutiny was largely negative Chen. Tau was classified by the media as a UFO cult and unfortunately for Chen. The members of another ufo called had just committed mass suicide horrifying. The American and Taiwanese public alike in March nineteen ninety-seven mere weeks after chance arrival in San Dimas California. The heaven's gate massacre shook the world. The media was awash with articles. Probing every angle of a strange tale that included. Nike's UFO's and death heaven's gate like Chen Tau was based in California. The group's theology was similar to Chen toes in that they also combined aspects of Christianity with you Marshall Applewhite. The group's leader claimed to be Jesus Christ reincarnated by nineteen ninety seven. Chen was making similar assertions. He suddenly began declaring he was. Jesus Christ Father Joseph in the flesh. Heaven's Gate shared one other similarity with Chantelle. The members believed that they would leave. Behind the world's miseries in a spaceship it was in pursuit of this extra dimensional transcendence that thirty nine members of the cult shave their heads put on Nike sneakers. Imbibed phenobarbitol laced applesauce and laid under purple shrouds waiting for their ship to come this. Grisly scene formed the backdrop against which Chen's activities were judged one Taiwanese outlet alleged that Chen was extorting fees from his followers and brainwashing them. Another claim that the entire group was planning to commit suicide though. There was no real basis for the claims of extortion and brainwashing. Both American and Taiwanese people alike swallowed them growing more and more alarmed by the tales of Chen. Toes supposed activities further complicating matters in late. Nineteen ninety seven. Chen began telling his followers that they needed to relocate again. This time to Texas it was. They're not California that God would show up. He urged them to follow him to Garland Texas a town he picked because according to Chen garland sounded like God land the combination of alarmist press reports and Chen. Making moves to relocate following frightened. The mother of one of his sixteen year old followers according to a paper on Chen towel written by academic. Charles Houston Prater Nan Chung. A sixteen year old member of cheng-tao lived in San Demus with her father Chai Chen Chung. Nan was Mother didn't approve of Chen or his message so she remained home in Taiwan. Early nineteen ninety-seven sacrificing a relationship with her husband and daughter as a result however after her husband Chai Chan Chine died on December tenth. Nineteen ninety seven in a San Demus Hospital Nan. Woz mother began longing for a reunion with her daughter. This wasn't spite of the fact that her husband's dying wish was Fernando to remain with the group. Her dead husband's wishes weren't enough to assuage her motherly intuition. Especially because her intuition was largely informed by Taiwanese press reports claiming that Chen Tau was on the brink of committing mass suicide so when Nan was mother heard that the group was planning to relocate from California to Texas. She packed her bags and took the first flight out. She landed in Los Angeles California on December Twenty Second Nineteen Ninety seven. She contacted the police the very same day and told them that non Wa was being held by the members of cheng-tao against her will then she informed them of her fears that her daughter was about to die in an orchestrated mass suicide fearing another. Heaven's gate the LAPD took her concerns very seriously that evening they visited. Chen Tau San demus based Church. According to pray there upon arrival at the church the deputies took custody of Nantwich and transported her to the San Dimas Sheriff Station once reunited with her mother. The two immediately flew home to Taiwan. The Taiwanese press reported the story as a thrilling rescue. The good guys riding in to save a young girl from the clutches of a suicidal cult leader. However this cinematic take couldn't be further from the truth according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Louis Monaco. While Nan walls mother led them to believe her daughter was being held hostage when they arrived at the church they discovered the opposite. Nanhua implored them to allow her to remain with chantale. She was excited about the impending tribulation and thrilled at the prospect of gaining a seat on the God plane. Furthermore far from being dastardly kidnappers determined to hold onto their hostage at all costs when La County deputies requested Nana's return Chen amicably turned her over Lamonica later. Said it wasn't a kidnapping. There was no crime but this reality did nothing to stop. The presses repeated proclamations that Chen Tau was a doomsday suicide. Cult in the wake of the negative coverage Chen hastened his groups relocation Garland Texas on the morning of Tuesday December. Twenty Third Nineteen ninety-seven the members of Chantale left California by boss an car by day's end members had purchased twenty one homes in Garland according to public records. The group never consolidated money each member using their accumulated savings to pay only for themselves and their extended family that same night. Chen called his first press conference through his translator. Richard Liu Shan assured the press that his group was not a suicide cult. In fact suicide was forbidden for members. Richard Loo also addressed the ridiculous allegations of kidnapping. He said nobody in the group was restricted from going or coming after giving the gathered reporters a brief overview of the group's beliefs Chen. Call the press conference to a close then alongside his followers. Chen said about settling down at his new home but Chen and his followers quickly elicited strange reactions from there bewildered Texan neighbors. Though this was in part due to the sensational press coverage. Chen's manner of dressing did nothing to assuage their trepidation. According to Charles Houston Pray. Ther- Chen and the rest of his Taiwanese followers walked around. There Texan neighborhood in White Cowboy. Hats white sweatsuits and white sneakers. Chen stated that they wore white because God would be clothed in white when he appeared as for the cowboy hats. Chen claimed they helped. The group fit in in their coordinated outfits. Chen and his followers road bikes around their call to sack dropping off flyers at each door they passed according to an article published in fourteen times. The flyers explained that the bike rides were instructed by God to prepare for the descending of his kingdom in America given the polite tone of the flyers the neighbors who received them weren't bothered however not all of Chen's neighbors were accommodating as described by Charles. Houston pray there. In late December of Nineteen ninety-seven a neighbor complained to Garland code enforcement. That one of the Garland homes owned by the group was legally overcrowded. This was because after buying several homes all at once. Some chantelle members had to bunk with others while waiting for new houses to go on the market in response to the complaint. Chen ordered a reshuffling of members between houses so that no one domicile could be classified as legally overcrowded however as soon as Chen responded to this request another complaint was lodged. This time by Chen's next door neighbor Charles. Amex had no tolerance for the time when he's cult leader next door so when he spied Chen and his followers carting cement towards chance backyard. Charles went to investigate later. City of Garland official. Dale Smith received an anonymous tip. That Chen was building a spaceship landing pad in his backyard. Law Enforcement looked into the allegations however on questioning Chen. They learned that he wasn't building a landing site. He was building a Gazebo. But that wasn't all Chen was up to in early. Nineteen Ninety eight forty three year old Chen Self published his second book. Titled God's Descending and Clouds flying saucers on earth to save people in this book. He not only prophesied the manner of God's arrival. This time he also included a date up next Han. Ming Chen Prepares for God's arrival on Earth. Now back to the story in early. Nineteen Ninety eight soon. After moving to Garland Texas forty-three-year-old Ming Chen Self published his second religious text in at he prophesied God's arrival on Earth. Chen guaranteed on his life. That the events would transpire exactly as he described. Chen wrote that. God would appear on the television airwaves of channel eighteen across North America at twelve o one. Am On March Twenty Fifth Nineteen Ninety Eight. It didn't seem to matter to Chen that what program was broadcast on channel eighteen varied from state to State Popular Ninety S. Tv show friends might have had to adhere to the whims of network programmers. But did not God would show up as he liked on chatter late teens across America. Chen prophesied that God would announce his earthly arrival on the TV broadcast. He planned to appear in Corporeal Form On march thirty first why God needed to warn. The world via television broadcast of his coming arrival remained unclear. Nevertheless Chen explain that on March. Thirty First Nineteen Ninety eight at ten. Am God would appear in human form in Garland Texas? Chen claim that God would look identical to himself. According to Chen upon appearing this God Chen hybrid would walk through walls replicate himself multiple times so he could greet everyone simultaneously and would be capable of speaking every language in the world. It's possible Chen didn't truly believe in what he was saying. While it's unclear why. Chen made these predictions. He might have again felt that he owed his followers. Miracles in exchange for their continued companionship. Maybe Chen felt that without the promise of miracles. His followers would leave him as his parents had. Chen disseminated his new book widely across Garland in the aftermath of Heaven's Gate. Any news involving UFO cults was a hot property. Thus Chen's prophecies of God descending on a small Texas suburb set off a media circus Ryan Cook covered the frenzy in an article for the Center for Studies on new religions. He wrote that in the days leading up to March twenty fifth of Visible Coterie of outsiders descended on Garland. These people weren't restricted. Journalists from New York and Hong Kong among the arrivals were anti cultists academics and one stray satanist in response to the interest. Chen welcomed reporters into his backyard. He showed them. The various religious implements enshrines. His followers had built over the past couple of months. He even allowed reporters to take pictures of his Gazebo. Chen claim these photos had religious power. And anyone who placed one close to their heart would feel the effects of the Holy Spirit early. On Tuesday march twenty fourth the members of Chen Tau waited into the creek behind Chen's house and performed a baptism like ritual then guided by Chen. The male members of the group shaved their heads. This coordinated group activity was too reminiscent of Heaven's Gate for comfort. The garland police went door to door asking cult members. What they plan to do with God failed to show on TV. Did they plan on committing suicide? Despite the cult members denials the garland police wanted to reassure the township and called a press conference during the conference. The police stated their commitment to preventing a coordinated suicide effort. They promised that when the prophecy inevitably failed they would knock on. Chen's door if he refused to answer they would four century to ensure no cult members. Were being harmed Charles. Houston pray ther- estimated that on the afternoon of March Twenty Fourth. The police mobilized between fifty and seventy officers and emergency personnel to make sure events would proceed safely. The even enlisted the help of the neighboring Dallas Police Department to bulk up their numbers reporters soon swarmed the area too and set up camp right outside. Chen's home this gave them a front row seat at eleven. Pm when all the cult members filed out of Chen's house then on prompting from Chen they chanted prayers in Mandarin and bowed toward his Gazebo. Ritual concluded they returned inside finally after days of built up. The prophesied our was Ni- everyone in Garland. Outsiders natives and cult members alike gathered around their television sets turned the dial to channel eighteen and watched with bated breath as the clock ticked closer and closer to twelve o one. Am But when the time finally came channel eighteen showed nothing but our F- static it seemed. God had no intention of appearing on TV members of the press curious neighbors and the garland police all had the same question on their minds. What would Chen do now? His Prophecy had failed spectacularly twenty five minutes after midnight. They got their answer. Just as the police were preparing to storm chance house he emerged unruffled and Serene Charles. Houston PREY THEIR SET. The scene in his paper God Salvation Church past present and future according to him chance spoke through his translator. Richard Loo saying even though God's image was not captured on television. I want everyone to believe that God is alive then. Chen told the press police and neighbors that they were free to consider his prior statements about God appearing on channel eighteen complete nonsense right after dismissing the validity of his March Twenty Fifth Prophecy. Chen held up pictures of airplane. Contrails and said in these months there have been so many flying crafts in the sky flying over our head. We don't have any reason to suspect they might be aircraft from the United States Air Force. I must stay here to research what we have witnessed in the pictures. The reporters were confused by this change in direction. What about his second prophecy? Did he still believe God would appear in a form identical to his own and perform miracles on March thirty? First Chen responded. It has become insignificant to discuss whether God will show up on March thirty first since the prophecy concerning today's program was not realized. The reporters refused to accept his evasive answer. They kept pressing until Chen finally said because we did not see God's message on channel eighteen tonight. My predictions of God. Arriving on March thirty first can be considered nonsense the reporters then ask channel. He considered himself a false prophet. Chen's response was unprecedented. He said I've never referred to myself as a prophet. In fact I would recommend that nobody believe what I said any more. The members of Cento stood around their spiritual leader as he spoke. They had sacrificed their jobs families and their home country all because of chance prophecies now. He blithely recommended that nobody ever take him seriously again. Despite this the cult members said nothing in the moment. Their faces remained expressionless as though remembering the presence of his followers for the first time Chen conceded that they had made significant financial sacrifices to follow him to that end he said I personally take responsibility to support them for the period. They were unemployed. Despite this promise Chen provided no elaboration about what form his supposed restitution will take instead. He absorbed himself further saying my followers have always enjoyed their individual freedom. Tomorrow they have the freedom to go wherever they want with that parting statement. Chen called the press conference to a close in contrast to the days leading up to the first prophecy the days leading up to the March thirty first prophecy. We're fairly quiet though. Chen told everyone to consider his words. Nonsense there was still a sense of anticipation in the air as the date approached especially among chance followers some members of Chen. Tau still believed that. Jesus Christ would appear in a form. Identical to Chen's they believed this Chen Christ hybrid would then duplicate himself Multiple Times. Walk through walls and speak all of the world's languages at will on March twenty seventh Chen set out a press. Release titled You Yourself. Are God in it. He wrote in truth. Human soul and conscience are homogeneous to the structure of God's character therefore seek the perfection of conscience in your soul. God will help you become God on the morning of March thirty first the police again. Coordoned-off Chen's Garland neighborhood for the second time. The press city approved credentials at the ready took their battle stations. In front of Chen's house this time even Chen's neighbors joined the fray gathering around his home to neighbors. Even when as far as to done alien costumes together they all waited for the prophesied our of ten. Am a few minutes before the clock struck ten. Chen walked out of his house through his translator. Richard Loo. He asked all the gathered to shake their own hand. Confused members of the press. The police and chance neighbors all complied each of them using one hand to shake their other. Chen then smiled Typically and told them that since they themselves were God then obviously God had duplicated himself Multiple Times. They adjust witnessed it. Each of them had shaken their own hands if they needed more proof. Chen implored them to consider the fact that each of them could speak and understand their own respective languages thus God was multi lingual God was on earth shaking hands and speaking languages so his prophecy was fulfilled. Still the press remain unconvinced so Chen decided to perform a demonstration that would prove his godly nature once and for all he decided to stare directly at the sun for a painfully awkward. Couple of minutes. Chen stared at the sky blinking rapidly. His eyes watering then. He triumphantly declared that no mere mortal could have stared at the sun like that without ill effect despite the embarrassing display when the reporters asked his followers if they would continue to dedicate their lives to Chen all of them raise their hands and shouted affirmatively in unison. Despite his failed prophecies they still trusted and believed in Chen. Their unwavering faith is not out of the ordinary and cults with. Doomsday predictions in his book. When prophecy fails social psychologist? Leon festinger called this phenomenon dissonance reduction. He explained that cult numbers will often deal with the dissonance of a failed prediction by doubling down and rededicating themselves to the cause. Chen's followers no doubt had similar feelings. They had sacrificed their jobs their relationships and the only lives they had ever known all to follow Chen. They likely felt it was too late to turn back now. Shortly after the March thirty first press conference Chen had another vision. This time God told him to go to Ole Cotton New York according to Charles Houston. Pray there's paper. Chen claimed that all caught was actually the place where God would transfer people from the third dimension to the fourth. The fact that going to all caught would also allow him to leave behind the humiliation of his failed. Prophecies was Shirley just a convenient bonus the move from garland to old cod. Cut Chen's following by two thirds. The decline was due in part to growing disillusionment among his members but the bulk of the losses were caused by visa problems. All of the members of Chen Ta were Taiwanese consequently they were unable to remain in the United States on tourist visas indefinitely so on May Thirteenth Nineteen Ninety eight when forty three year old. Chen made the move from garland all caught. He was accompanied by only thirty five members over the next year. He made two more prophecies. Both of which failed not much was heard from the group. After nineteen ninety nine the bulk of the media frenzy surrounding Chen. Tau died after the failed March. Thirty first prophecy however we do know that Chen had a falling out with a high ranking members of the group in two thousand two. It's unclear whether he's currently dead or alive as Chen is never been heard from since despite his anti-climactic end Han. Ming Chen was an atypical cult. Leader there's no evidence he financially or sexually exploited his followers instead he convinced them to search for an Abraham Lincoln. Look like and ask them to spend hours staring at the clouds perhaps more than anything. Chen was driven by desire to find a family to keep it. He was willing to do anything even promise. Miracles and create false. Hope that a wondrous world was waiting somewhere deep within the clouds. Thanks again for tuning into cults. We'll be back Tuesday with a new episode for more information on Hong Ming Chen amongst the many sources we used we found Charles Houston. Pray ther's paper God. Salvation Church past present and future extremely helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of cults and all other podcast originals for free on spotify. Not only to spotify already. Have all of your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy. All of your favorite podcast originals. Like cults for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream cults on spotify just opened the APP and type cults in the search bar. And don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram. At podcast and twitter at podcast network. We'll see you next time. Cults was created by Max Cutler and as a park has studios original executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler sound designed by Juan Boorda with production assistance. By Ron Shapiro Carly Madman at Freddie Beckley. This episode of cults was written by Avi Geli with writing assistance by Abigail Cannon and stars Greg Poulsen and Vanessa Richardson. Thanks to sponsor Bryson with advance. Connectivity strong security features new technologies like verizon five G. Ultra wideband fries and keeps business ready for what's next see how at verizon dot com slash ready and.