According to her website, Hai was born Hue Dang Trinh in Du Lac, Vietnam, in 1950. She preaches about a meditation-based philosophy she calls 'Quan Yin'.
'Quan Yin' blends Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam to instruct her followers to attain higher levels of consciousness and speak directly to God. One way to aid acolytes in achieving this is to chant her name for up to 2 1/2 hours daily. Much like the Aetherius Society, Hai recommends her devotees meditate for long hours to help purify the world and drink her spiritually imbued bathwater.
In addition, devotees are warned against the evils of eating animal flesh and dairy, drinking alcoholic beverages, using mind-altering drugs, and avoiding sexual misconduct. She also advocates breatharianism, which consists of fasting from food and water in favor of spiritual breath. She has more than 500,000 followers worldwide. Followers believe Ching Hai has a direct phone line to the mouth of God.
Ching Hai also goes by the moniker Celestia De Lamour in the United States, where she is currently based, has been described as a cult leader for decades. According to Humanewatch.org, Hai "inspires feverish adoration like a king or diety-cum-rock star."
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