I didn't say you can't be friend. I personaly have a friend who is disciple of Ching Hai, she is still my friend and will remain my friend. But even if she tries (or pretends she tries) to avoid cultish subjects, she simply can't. I'll tell you why : everything
disciples do is linked to their faith in Ching Hai. And the cult always tries to involve every aspects
of the disciples's daylife, "from dusk till dawn", as Tarantino would say, and even during the night. Disciples think about Ching Hai when they wake up, when they watch SMTV, when they meditate, when they cook, when they eat, when they go shopping, when they make love, when they put something into the trash, even when they go to the toilets! It would not surprise me if some of them are unable not to think about Ching Hai for more than 10 minutes.
My own friend, who sincerely likes me, tried many many times to push me to meditate, to become vegan, to contact her meditation center, or to watch SMTV programs. She sometimes secretly put some flyers of Ching Hai propaganda into my mailbox, then pretends she's surprised like "Oh, show me what you received here... waw*, this is Ching Hai, you see? She's a nice person. Do your own researches! You can read that, I'm sure there are lot of useful informations".
This proselytism is very common, and if you don't notice it, it's maybe not because they don't do it. For exemple, they will sometimes invite you to eat vegan meal. "Great!", you may think... they are nice friendly people (actually they are). But you should never forget that they have ALL been told by the master herself they MUST invite people to have vegan meals, like a mission, because the world will end if they don't. And also because they will earn merit points if they do. So how will you know the degree of sincerity of these invitations, these "meaningful moments"? How will you know the true nature of your relationship with them? Even with my own friend, I can't tell! She just seems not real, like faking everything, faking to believe, faking happiness, faking to be healthy, faking to have an extraordinary life, faking to feel I have special spiritual potential (love bombing, remember?)... I Every thought of her can be biased by her spiritual committment to Ching Hai.
As I said, what you do with your friend depend on you. You don't have to justify yourself. That's your business. But the less you can do is to get informed!
Small digression : Did you guys notice lot of disciples often say the same "waw" of surprise/impression? That's quite funny, since I noticed it once then I hear it all the time on SMTV, from disciples and of course Ching Hai herself. I guess the reason is lot of disciples identify themselves as Ching Hai, and enter into a mimicry process, leading to a certain loss of self identity
. You can't imagine how many Ching Hai-like behaviors I noticed in my own friend. Same kind of clothes, same haircut, same smile, same tilt of the head when smiling, also the same laugh, she even sometimes have this weird eyes-looking, with an eye less opened than the other (even if unlike Ching Hai her eyes are normal). It looks like if every day she looks herself in the mirror and practice, play to be the supreme master. And she says "waw" with the proper tone, of course.
If you want to listen an exemple of the "waw", watch this video [www.youtube.com
] from minute 7:00
By the way just after in the video, you can enjoy one of the tricks of Ching Hai : crying in public. I don't know if it's new, but the first time I saw her doing that funny thing was on Noteworthy News. I loooked forward to find it the archives of SMTV, but it was not. I thought they had cut it because too much ridiculous. But then I found some other exemples, and it seems she gets used to cry (and make disciples cry, as you can see). The scene begins at 11:30.