A little more on the Almighty God cult I blogged about last week besieging government offices in various provinces across central and Northwestern China.
It seems they’re an offshoot of Eastern Lightning, who I linked to in that post as conducting a campaign of assassination against a rival cult back in the early years of the decade. Eastern Lightning, in turn, derive from the Shouters, a long established group who like many such, originally derive from Watchman Nee’s reorganization of Chinese Protestantism into decentralized house churches.
Almighty God/Eastern Lightning’s theology seems heavily Taiping-derived, with a third Jesus sent to bring a new dispensation. This time, Jesus is a lady and the Mayan long count prophecies filtered into China seem to have triggered the idea that the time for the final confrontation with the Big Red Dragon has come, or at least a recruitment effort based around this notion. Like other syncretic Christian cults in China, AG/EL recruit and fund through techniques adapted from multi level marketing companies. They also seem to operate using a classical terrorist cell structure.
A case for Office 610, perhaps.