Sense of insecurity lures celebrities to fake masters

By Lin Xu Source:Global Times Published: 2013-7-25 23:03:01

Soi-disant qigong "master" Wang Lin, who claims that he has the supernatural abilities to summon snakes from thin air and cure diseases, has been drawn into a swirl of public outcry after a picture of him with an Internet tycoon was made public.

Wang's wealth, including a five-story villa, a Rolls-Royce and three Hummers, was exposed and his photos with many celebrities and officials have spread online.

Suspicions have been stirred up over why so many celebrities rushed to worship Wang.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, responded on his Sina Weibo account that it's out of his "hobby to explore, admire and be curious about 'unscientific' things." Actress Li Bingbing, who has reportedly taken Wang Lin as her godfather, claimed through her agent that she wanted to seek help from Wang to cure her mother's disease. Tang Jinhua, head of the agricultural bureau of  Guangzhou tried to explain a photo taken 13 years ago, in which a snake was wound around his and Wang's necks, saying they were merely playing.

However, these explanations are rather pale. Those who were close to Wang have been in a hurry to distance themselves from him after the scandal broke out.

The publicity department of Luxi county, Jiangxi Province, where Wang Lin has been living, officially stated that the county mayor visited Wang because local officials longed for an opportunity to get to know the celebrities close to Wang.

The sense of insecurity and uncertainty among the public is prone to soaring during a transition time, coupled with the fact that some Chinese are still easily affected by traditional beliefs and superstitions, and so tend to seek blessings and security from these "masters."

Three groups of people are most likely to fall into the trap: the elderly and the poor, plus celebrities. The clinging to "masters" by the latter, no matter out of hunting for novelty or a mental consolation, helps drive the emergence of those masters and their expanding influence.

Former Chinese minister of railways Liu Zhijun allegedly had close relations with Wang, who once offered him a lucky stone to ensure that Liu could be secure in his post.

Liu was convicted of corruption earlier this month and received a suspended death sentence. There is no shortcut to success or impregnable shield against investigation, which has been proved through nailing the lies of those supposed masters, and should be a warning to the public, especially celebrities.

Wang has served as an Ariadne's thread tracing the way through the labyrinths of power for some officials. It's not new that many officials would rather worship the supernatural than care about the public. They are prone to trust those masters. Isn't that why these masters are so popular?

Posted in: Observer

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