Taiwanese Girl Found Dead at Religious Meditation Location

Taiwanese Girl Found Dead at Religious Meditation Location
Photo Credit:莊靜潔粉絲團

Translated and compiled by Yuan-ling Liang

On March 22, 30 year-old Chuang Ching-chieh, who is known for fighting back her congenital disease and having won the Presidential Education Award, died at a location for spiritual reformation where she usually meditates. According to police investigation, Chuang’s religion instructor failed to help her seek medical cure and postponed her hospitalization.

Chuang’s brother says that Chuang was not feeling well the night before her death. Her high school friend Tzeng came to their place and asked tog take Chuang away. Instead of taking her to the hospital, Tzeng brought Chuang to their instructors at the meditation location where they later performed “Jin Shin Jyutsu,” their “unique” religious treatment method, on Chuang. After few minutes, Chuang gradually lost her breath and was found dead by the police.

Chuang suffered from juvenile macular dystrophy since her early years, which made her nearly blind. Nonetheless, she worked hard and entered one of the top universities in Taiwan and was determined to develop a reading system for children like her with her coding profession. Chuang even published a book, “Lighting Up the Glim,” a few years ago and gave speeches all around the island to inspire people.

According to Chuang’s parents, in 2011, Chuang joined the religious group “Jin Shin Jyutsu” with her instructor Cheng Yu-mai, saying that the meditation and religious practices would benefit her. Afterwards, her parents noticed her strange behaviors and that she kept visiting the meditation location. She ate only one meal a day, defining it as a religious doctrine, and provided huge amount of fund to her instructor, adding up to approximately NT$2 million (US$62,227).

The instructor and other believers are already under investigation of the prosecutor.

On March 30, the Taiwan Jin Shin Jyutsu officials posted on their Facebook page to clarify that Cheng Yu-mai was not on their certified name list and they have no knowledge about her.

“The Jin Shin Jyutsu was prevalent in western countries and is the art of releasing tensions. Our doctrines do not include fasting and we are not a religion, ” writes the post. It also states that, to become a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner or eligible instructor, sufficient learning hours of international classes, practicing hours, and passing the certification test are all required.

Religious social cases in Taiwan

The incident of Chuang brings attention to past cases related to religions once again.

On April 20, 2015, a man from New Taipei City calling himself “Long-wang (dragon king)” was revealed to have defrauded girls on the purpose of sexual harassment. He claimed that he had certain supernatural abilities that could serve as medical treatments and attract good luck, forcing his female followers to let him draw amulets over their naked bodies. By deceiving these believers of his “self-created” religion, he earned more NT$2,500 to NT$20,000 (approximately US$80,477 to US$643,819) for each case.

In 2014, another man named Chen Yu, who was semi-paralysis, was also reported to have deceived believers into letting him “cure” their daughters. He even asked a mother to bring her two under-aged daughters to him and raped them. Despite the sexual abuse, the mother trusted him based on her religious beliefs.

Edited by Olivia Yang

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