Scientology Crime Syndicate

Tuesday October 17 11:16 AM ET
'Foot Cult' Leader Gets Suspended Jail Term

TOKYO (Reuters) - A former leader of a Japanese ``foot cult'' that charged huge fees to diagnose ailments by examining soles of people's feet was given a suspended jail sentence on Tuesday.

Michiko Ichinose, the former head of a local branch of Ho-no-Hana Sampogyo (Flower of Law and Three Law Practice), was handed an 18-month suspended jail term, a court official said. That means Ichinose will not be required to serve the sentence as long as she is not convicted of any crime over the next three years.

The court found Ichinose, 37, guilty of swindling about $37,010 from two women by telling them, after reading the soles of their feet, that unless they trained at the cult their children would be short-lived, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said.

Domestic media reports said the cult, headed by Teruyoshi Fukunaga, is believed to have defrauded some 30,000 followers of $749.4 million since 1987, when it was officially recognized as a religious group.

In April, a Japanese court ordered the cult and Fukunaga to pay $2.1 million to 27 former followers.

Fukunaga, 55, is also being tried for fraud, and last week pleaded not guilty in his first court hearing.

A number of bizarre religious cults have sprung up in Japan over recent years, including the doomsday cult Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth), which is accused of carrying out the 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system which killed 12 people and injured thousands.


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank