Earlier this morning (10th November), at 1am, the founder of Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door (心灵法门) passed away. Jun Hong Lu (卢军宏), a Chinese who moved to Sydney, Australia, peacefully left this world at the age of 62.
The founder was reported to be critically ill on 7th November, but many hoped he would recover. Unfortunately, his disciples announced the sad news via the group’s Facebook page today. Many left their condolences at the loss of their beloved teacher and leader.
According to China Press, Jun Hong Lu was born in Shanghai in 1959. After studying to become an opera conductor, he went abroad. However, during his travels, he also started his spiritual journey into Buddhism. He migrated to Australia in 1995 and began teaching his ways of Buddhism two years later. Finally, in 2006, he founded the Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door group. Since then, the group has gained over 3 million followers.
The obituary written on the page shares that Jun Hong Lu has dedicated himself to teaching his ways for roughly 20 years. It also praised the founder for promoting Buddhism, spreading Chinese culture and encouraging peace and religious culture. Additionally, they mentioned that Jun Hong Lu was internationally renowned and has been repeatedly invited by UNESCO to speak. He has also promoted the development of China-Australia relations.
Although his religious group promotes spiritual teaching, many others find it controversial. Buddhist organisations in other countries have declared them a cult and China had even banned Jun Hong Lu from entering the country. His group was apparently classified as an illegal organisation by Chinese authorities.
There are also allegations that the group misinterprets basic Buddhism concepts and twists them to fit their agenda. Many have repeatedly warned others to stay away from the group and not be deceived by the teachings. The few who claim to have left the group after doubting the teachings stated that they were shunned and cursed by the other members.
One member in particular shared that they had suspected the teachings after Jun Hong Lu accused her late husband of “(greed) and adultery”. According to the woman, her husband was a devout follower of the teachings and was undergoing financial difficulties thanks to participating in the group’s community activities. As such, his accusation made no sense.
His passing has brought mixed reactions from netizens. While his followers have been mourning, there are those who have made it clear his leaving is for the better. However, it probably isn’t wise to speak ill of the dead.
Cult leader or not, we should respect his passing. After all, as the saying goes, innocent until proven guilty.