Popular Taoist priest involved in fraud: Chongqing authority

16:57, August 20, 2010      

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A well-known Taoist priest, who has a reported following of 30,000 followers, was involved in fraud, local authorities in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality said after an investigation.

An official of the Beibei District Bureau for Religious Affairs who spoke under customary anonymity said the investigation was a must following media reports and heated online discussions. Beibei District falls under jurisdiction of Chongqing.

The official disclosed the priest Li Yi, the abbot of Shaolong Temple at Jinyun Mountain in Chongqing, had also been stopped from recruiting students to his school.

One television program in which Li Yi, 41, performed a "miracle" in which he pretended to spend two hours under water, was in fact found to be his "living in an airtight container," said the Beibei official.

The TV program "No.1 in the World" on Shanghai Television, broadcast on Jan.19, 1997, claimed Li was submerged underwater for two hours and 22 minutes. The Guinness World Records for remaining under water, however, is 19 minutes 21 seconds.

"Li Yi had largely exceeded the time limit a mammal could be under water. Has Li entered the kingdom of reptiles?" asked a netizen.

However, Li was discovered having sat in an empty glass container, not in water, the Beibei official said.


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(Editor:赵晨雁)

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