Yes of course, like most other sects, the regular folks at the bottom, the true believers, the joiners, they really believe the stuff. They don't know anything about cultic recruiting techniques, or international money laundering, or techniques of group persuasion using mass media.
They just believe in Ching Hai as they have be conditioned to.
The person buying some crummy cheap lamp from Ching Hai maybe worth $50 for $2100, they are the victim of the sect, getting overcharged 4000%.
These are not millionaires getting scammed, but just regular people who can't afford it.
The members who have cashed in their retirement funds and bought into a local Loving Hut, they are the victim. It often the actual regular members of the sect who are the worst victims of the sect.
The regular folks who follow Ching Hai who might work in a Salon, and then also working constantly after hours for no pay to make Ching Hai richer, they are getting exploited.
So of course, like many other sects, the members at the bottom of the ladder, the average people, they are the first victims of the sect, and only realize it later.
Other sects are similar,
(links to other exploitative "Buddhist" sects SGI Soka Gakkai, Kwan Um School of Zen, OneTaste) [forum.culteducation.com
Some of these sects like OneTaste try to reframe defacto sex orgies as "Buddhist" and SGI making millions/billions in profits from investments in weapons and arms sales as Buddhist.
Hey, if you call it Buddhist, then it must be ok right, even if its the opposite of Buddhism and everything you preach?
And of course, when you get to the senior LEADERS of the sect, that is a different story. Many of them know what is going on, and are picked by the Leader Ching Hai, for the qualities she is looking for. Those people turn from victim, to victimizer. They carry out Ching Hai's orders, and do the dirty work.
And they appear to be willing to do almost anything for her, like the case of one becoming a fugitive in the cover-up in the Ching Hai illegal private island.
This is why its essential to get the facts out there, as the regular people at the bottom of the Ching Hai sect, they might not know anything about "cults" or persuasion, or how these things work. They might be in their first sect, or their tenth.
but eventually, those little birds of doubt in their mind start to get louder. Like when they see illegal labor violations being covered up.
Or other precepts being broken.
Or people getting scammed for money.
Or environmental violations and other hypocrisy.
Human beliefs can change by being exposed to new accurate facts, and having new experiences. So as the accurate facts of the Ching Hai group are exposed, step by step, people beliefs can change along with that.
Ms Ching Hai knows this 100%. That is why Ms Ching Hai bans people taking in information from other groups. Ching Hai wants total information control. She wants you to watch only her TV station, books, and media.
But the local SMCH members with doubts, can log into threads like this, or others, from the privacy of their home or library, or smartphone, and read the facts, and think things over carefully, and make up their own minds, freely, without pressure or brainwasing techniques being rammed down their throats.
Ching Hai will try to block this, by controlling information. But at least these days there are ways to access good information, without going to a research library! Just log-in with a smartphone, and make up your own mind.
If Ching Hai believed in intellectual freedom, she would embrace analysis and open debate. But of course, she fears it, as then people might not follow her commands, and they might start listening to their own conscience.
Ms Ching Hai is very skilled, and another technique of hers will be explained soon, stay tuned...