01: Chino Shoho, a quasi-religious group, suddenly captured the public attention of the Japanese public toward the end of April.
The group, also known as the Panawave Laboratory, formed a caravan of about 20 white vans claiming that they were escaping from a sustained assault by communist extremists on their 69 year-old female ailing guru, Yuko Chino. The communist extremists are said to be testing a new weapon that harnesses harmful electromagnetic energy, known as Scaler Waves. The group’s white clothes and talisman (magical object) are seen as protections against this force.The security authority in Japan is paying special attention to the activities by Panawave, as the group reminds many of Aum Shinrikyo, a cultist group that conducted a sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system in 1995.
The financial resources of Panawave are rather unclear, but the group has some highly educated members who are living communally. Moreover, the group teaches doomsday scenarios. They predicted the planet Nibiru’s possible hazardous approach to the earth on May 15th, which was then deferred to a later date. The guru is also said to have issued a death threat against some former members and a celebrity.The group was started in the mid 1970s, splitting from the GLA, a Japanese new religious group registered in 1973.
Panawave has about 1200 members. Much is unknown about the group, but its guru is claimed to have contact with the Archangel Michael. After participating in the caravan, the group returned to its headquarters in the prefecture of Fukai and is involved in discussions with city officials regarding maintaining peaceful coexistence with local residents
— By Sairenji Ayako, a New Jersey-based freelance writer.