Of course, this is also very bad news for the Scientologists...

Once again, Boing-Boing steers us to this wonderful bit of total insanity...

Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP

By Matthew Philips
Aug. 20-27, 2007 issue - In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

But beyond the irony lies China's true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region's Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country...

At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it's under Chinese control. Assuming he's able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks. "It will be a very hot issue," says Paul Harrison, a Buddhism scholar at Stanford. "The Dalai Lama has been the prime symbol of unity and national identity in Tibet, and so it's quite likely the battle for his incarnation will be a lot more important than the others."


Well, it's not just Buddhists -- I don't know if things have changed, but not too long ago, a Scientologist who wanted to join up with Sea Org had to sign a million-year contract (or was it a billion-year contract? Sorry, I'm not sure), so that the person would be legally obligated to stay with Scientology for all future incarnations. And it may not have been limited to Sea Org. The point is that the Church does offer (or require) such a contract, in some circumstances. And such reincarnation could not take place outside of China, while if one was inside China, there would be other unpleasantness.

Same would apply for Hindus except that they don't proselytize as consistently, internationally, and aggressively as the Church of Scientology.


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