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Wednesday, December 24, 1997 Published at 10:13 GMT



World

Saucer cult prepares for God's arrival
image: [ Wearing white coats and cowboy hats, cult members prepare for a press conference ]
Wearing white coats and cowboy hats, cult members prepare for a press conference

Members of a Taiwanese cult which moved to America to prepare for the arrival of God have denied that they are planning a mass suicide.

The God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation believes God will return to Earth on March 31, next year - and advertise his own arrival on television.

More than 2,000 followers have moved from Taiwan to Garland, Texas, where they say God will appear to them after travelling to Earth in a spaceship.


[ image: A member of the Heaven's Gate cult which carried out a mass suicide.]
A member of the Heaven's Gate cult which carried out a mass suicide.
Their arrival sparked fears that they were planning a mass suicide, similar to the Heaven's Gate cult, which believed a flying saucer following the Hale-Bopp comet would take them to a higher dimension.

Speaking in Garland, the group's leader, calling his cult The True Way Church, denied he was planning a copycat suicide.

Hon Ming Chen said: "Two thousand years ago I was the father of Jesus Christ. God can appear in a human body but he comes not to judge people but to save them.


[ image: Hon Ming Chen, leader of the God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation]
Hon Ming Chen, leader of the God Saves the Earth Flying Saucer Foundation
"Most parts in the Bible are not the true words of God. They are the revelations of devils and demons."

Cult members say God will take over Hon Ming Chen's body, allowing him to clone himself and walk through walls.

Chen said God's arrival would be preceded by turbulent weather, heavenly writings in the skies and sightings of aircraft moving at miraculous speeds.

Speaking through an interpreter, Chen said that an advert would also be broadcast on local television six days before God's arrival.


[ image: A young follower listens to his leader, Hon Ming Chen]
A young follower listens to his leader, Hon Ming Chen
"If you turn on your television and switch your channel to channel 18, you will see God making the advertisement that he is coming into the world," Chen said. "It is advertised by God himself."

But if God does not land in Garland next March most members of the group, which preaches a mix of Christianity and Buddhism, say they will simply return home to Taiwan.

Chen even used that as a reason for why they would not kill themselves. He said: "There's no reason to be concerned that they would commit suicide. They've got return plane tickets."






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