China Cracks Down on Indian Spirituality, Calls It "Full of Brainwashing"

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CHINA, June 17, 2020 (Bitter Winter by M. Introvigne): This is how the CCP propaganda mouthpiece Global Times introduced an article on Indian “cults” operating in China published on June 15: “If you see a man wearing a maroon waistcloth and bead necklace sitting next to a yoga mat in a secluded meditation room in China, chances are he may not be a graced spiritual leader. China has become a hotspot for Indian-born disgraced gurus and cult organizations scamming people by selling them so-called spiritual lessons.” The same day, the Global Times published two other articles against Indian so-called “cults,” one reminding readers of Chinese laws against xie jiao, and the others featuring comments by “experts” of China Anti-xie-jiao Association. (See … of-religious-persecution/ for an explanation of xie jiao laws against “heterodox teachings,” which actually date back to the 19th century in China). The three simultaneously published articles by the Global Times refer to parallel articles in Chinese-language media.

The main concern of CCP anti-cultists seems now to be the Oneness University and O&O Academy, operated by the Oneness Movement, headquartered in Varadaiahpalem, Andhra Pradesh, India, and not to be confused with the unrelated Oneness Center based in New York. The Oneness Movement was founded in 1984 by Vijay Kumar, known as Sri Bhagavan, and his wife Srimati Padmavati, known as Sri Amma. The spirituality of the Oneness Movement is introduced as non-sectarian and ecumenical. Scholars regard it as a combination of traditional Hindu and New Age elements. The Oneness Movement is now the most visible Indian spiritual movement in China. Reportedly, more than 10,000 went to India for Oneness spiritual training. This and similar courses based on Indian spirituality are described as “full of brainwashing.” Li Anping, former deputy general-secretary of the China Anti-Xie-Jiao Association, has now reminded the media that “China’s policy of respecting freedom of religious belief apply [only] to the five mainstream religions the Chinese government officially recognizes, which are Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam, but are not applicable to spiritual institutions spreading illegally from abroad.”

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