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Cult Figuring

Television.pngLately I've been getting up at 5:55 a.m. After I shower and stuff like that I put on the japanese news that KSCI (uhf 18) broadcasts between 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Maybe I can pick up more japanese vocabulary (and more culture) while getting a different perspective on international and U.S. news. They broadcast with english subtitles. I like the way the newscaster bows as the program starts.

One of the stories they have been following lately is about this cult that dresses all in white. The media has been following the cult around the countryside as they park by the side of the road in various mountainous regions. Almost a cult traffic report.

The cult drives around in twelve white cars and vans. They dress in white outfits that look like radiation suits. They even wrap neighboring trees and guardrails in white sheets:

"Wearing surgical-style white robes, flowing headgear and facemasks, the Pana Wave members have erected white fabric screens along the roadside and wrapped nearby tree trunks in white, claiming that white cloth can help them avoid exposure to harmful electromagnetic waves sent out by communists."

The interesting part of the story [for me] isn't so much the cult itself but the way it's being reported on. It's more of an upfront sensationalized zenophobic thing than it would be here. Although we do have trouble with religious intolerance here as well (can you say Waco?) To be fair they are just finishing that trial that came out of the subway gas attack. But surrounding a caravan of twelve vehicles with 300 policemen is going a bit far IMO. Even if they do look like they're from Mars.

Wandering Cult Befuddles Japan (ABC News)



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