Monday, July 18, 2005

Foot Flim-Flam Guru Socked In Jail

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

Looking like someone who's never been anything but a criminal, Japanese guru Hogen Fukunaga has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud. The scam? Look at peoples' feet and then convince them they have aggressive cancer that can only be cured by Fukunaga's religious instruction. Seems like a difficult sell to us, but his Honohana Sampogyo foot-reading cult was able to bilk 31 people out of 150 million yen, or about $1,330,000. At $43,000 or so per person, that makes Fukunaga one hell of a con.

Another "world's final savior" falls hard on his ass in a jail cell. While Fukunaga maintained that he was only trying to "rescue the human race with the help of the voice of heaven," the judge in the case had a different impression:
Judge Aoyagi reckoned that Fukunaga himself "realized more than anybody that he never had the power to listen to the 'voice of heaven' or wield what he claimed as 'the cosmic energy.'"
A clever angle on the insanity defense, replacing the insane with divinely inspired. But it doesn't seem to have worked for poor Hogen. God must want him ministering to the administered now. Either that or be taught a hard lesson in the dynamics of karma. Either way, we imagine he's got more than just peoples' feet to be worrying about at the moment.

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