Two Chinese officials have been dismissed from the country’s ruling Communist Party and face a criminal investigation for allegedly practicing “superstitious activities,” which include casting spells and geomancy. When you’re hoping to get a promotion with a little bit of supernatural help, this must come as a bit of a sucker-punch.
So being a massive Harry Potter fan in China is detrimental to your career prospects. No surprise there but what else have we learned? Well, on a more serious note, it does shine the light on the fact that members of the ruling Party aren’t supposed to practice any religion, since the country is officially atheist. The government is particularly unrelenting towards those who practice what are considered to be old folk beliefs.
One of the men, Tang Yuansong, a former county housing official in the central province of Hunan, went to five Feng Shui training courses, learning about this ancient art and science of organizing items in a way to create harmony that should, ironically enough, bring good luck. Yuansong spent 54,000 yuan ($8,000) for each session, later claiming these were only ridiculously expensive business trips. With his newly (and freely) acquired skill, he also taught the 3000-year-old philosophy of Feng Shui to others, earning up to 5,000 yuan ($750) a year.
The other one, Huang Xiaowen, a former county official as well, apparently asked others to set up an altar at which he could “cast spells”. What’s more, he also paid the excessive sum of 100,000 yuan ($15,000) in tribute each time, hoping this would help him get a promotion. Unfortunately, his enterprise was just as unlucky as Yuansong’s.
The aspiring wizards obviously forgot that practising magic among Muggles is forbidden by law, so both of them are now waiting to see what punishment awaits them.They will be investigated for “criminal activity,” including “graft” and “embezzlement”.
The pair remain tight-lipped and were both unavailable for comment. We’re guessing they’re too busy being shipped off to Azkaban.