Filipinos are still at a loss as to what really is going on with the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Reports of abductions and hostage situations had reached the public mainly via news media and even via videos posted on YouTube. The reports are centred around handwritten signs seen by reporters displayed on an INC building last Thursday. In short, there really is not much information to work with to piece together a coherent enough picture as of yet.
Like most incidents in the Philippines with strong top-level political angles, a lot of the information surrounding this INC drama is brokered by news media businesses that publish “scoops” about the latest every now and then. But, to be fair to the police, no formal complaint had been submitted by any aggrieved party. Thus only limited action can be taken by law enforcement agencies and there is very little basis for any court to issue a search warrant on any INC facility.
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Even then, so effective is the INC’s hold on the Philippine media, the country’s various law enforcement authorities, and its government executives that the details of the scandal rocking the halls of its temples remains shrouded in mystery. Indeed, it is common knowledge that the INC had long ago successfully infiltrated the officer ranks of the Philippine police and government officials within the Philippines’ executive branches who influence and even directly effect appointment of these officials. No less than presidents and senators are cowed by the voting might of the INC’s multi-million-strong flock of bloc voters.
Is it a spiritual organisation or is it a business? Is its mission to serve its adherents? Or is it to serve a political agenda? The thing with religions is that they have bags full of logical contradictions in their dogma yet have nonetheless for centuries successfully conscripted human minds into the service of empire-building. Recent history in the Philippines alone already attests to the continued power of the influence of organised religion. No less than the Philippines’ premiere kingmaker, the Roman Catholic Church had successfully mobilised millions of its faithful to unseat two presidents in 1986 and 2001.
The INC itself is unabashedly a political lobbying force. Its track record of setting its multitudes behind its preferred political personalities is legendary as historical evidence reveals…
1986: The INC supports President Ferdinand Marcos over then leader of the “Opposition” Corazon Aquino (Noynoy Aquino’s mother).
1998: The INC supports Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s successful bid for the presidency.
2004: The INC endorses Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in her campaign for President of the Philippines.
2010: The INC endorses Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas as future President and Vice President of the Philippines.
Of the awesome political power of the INC, Malou Mangahas wrote in her 2002 article Church at the Crossroads…
The political clout of the INC stems from the doctrine of the inviolability of the word of the all-powerful, infallible executive minister and the 17 executive officers under him. Together they compose the Church Council, which issues tagubilin or circulars that cover matters ranging from personal behavior to candidates to vote for in elections.
The tagubilin have the force of law on all the Iglesia faithful. Members who violate them, as well as other Iglesia policies against marrying non-INC members or drinking liquor and taking drugs, face suspension or expulsion from the church. This explains why INC members vote as a bloc.
And like any politically-interested group of consequence in the Philippines, the INC is serious about concerns over the security of its vast assets and business interests at stake whenever political power changes hands. Thus it protects its ability to exercise absolute control over its congregation and is known to mount spectacularly grand shows-of-force every now and then to remind the powers-that-be who they need to deal with whenever political exercises like elections loom in the horizon.
One such spectacle was organised early in 2014 following the Haiyan disaster that devastated the Philippines’ central islands in November 2013. Hundreds of thousands of INC members bought shirts for Php250 (about USD5.00) and took to Roxas Boulevard, Manila’s iconic waterfront thoroughfare supposedly for the benefit of the hundreds of thousands of residents of Leyte and other central-Philippine provinces hit by that super-typhoon. The event snarled traffic all over Metro Manila. Estimates of the cost in lost productivity to the Philippine economy caused by the city’s infamous routinely turtle-paced traffic amount to the billions. If a proper accounting of the fiscal contribution of this event vis-à-vis its negative impact to the value of commercial activity on a Saturday in Metro Manila, the result would very likely be in the red.
The notion that such a disruptive event would be launched for the sole purpose of raising funds was suspect. INC members are obligated to fork over a certain percentage of their personal income in the form of tithes. And it is likely that INC officials can quite easily exact additional tithes from its members on top of this for “special projects” without having to resort to organising stunts like this. Indeed, the 2014 event made headline news on account of it possibly setting a Guinness World Record for “the most number of participants in a charity walk.”
That the INC possesses immense wealth is a no-brainer. Its temples’ towering spires loom over many parts of the Philippines, perhaps as a reminder to all of its vast power to influence Filipinos’ lives. With vast sums of money coming in and out of the INC and swirling within it, it is no surprise that in-fighting will have been prevalent. This latest abduction drama is a treat to ordinary Filipinos who now enjoy the benefit of front-row seats in an astounding show airing the INC’s dirty laundry for all to gawk at.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.
39 Replies to “Filipinos enjoy front row seats to the unraveling of the Iglesia Ni Cristo!”
trouble in the magic kingdom (main INC place always reminded me of disneyland)
I really wonder what would Christ, or any of his apostles including Judas Iscariot, do to the INC officers now if he or they is physically with us. I think, in the words (and tone) of Russell Peters, “Somebody is gonna get a hurt real bad. Somebody.”
correction: …they are physically…
I was told by an INC follower that 10% of their salary is their contribution to the church!!!!! No wonder this institution/establishment is super rich
but what if you don’t have a job & a salary? Would you still contribute your 10% share to the INC? If that answer is awfully YES, then that religion is no longer a religion itself but a business building and a practice of plunder and I do believe that INC is opening their doors to the so-called “end-of-time” & “false prophets” scenarios in the Books of Daniel & Revelations. Dan Brown, if you’ll read this then take note of it!
“I was told by an INC follower that 10% of their salary is their contribution to the church” Baka naman gawa gawa mo lang yan or yung sinasabi mong INC follower?
Then how do you explain the news about your precious religion-for-business having a multi-billion peso A330-200 aircraft? And no don’t you even make that stupid “gawa-gawa lang iyan” excuse you inc cultist!
Are you sure about the Airbus A330? I want to see that plane.
Well here is the A330-200 and also their Boeing 737 Business Jet with their tail numbers.
I’ll shoot them all down using the reliable FIM-92 Stinger missiles.
Iglesia ni Cristo is more or less the Scientology of the Philippines. Except it waves the banner of Christianity.
Just remember that every religion has its own dirty secrets. But coming from the INC, not surprised considering how heavily indoctrinated its members are.
And even if you’re right, the INC does not have anyone who can smile like Tom Cruise or a dude with an epic chin like John Travolta!
Hahaha. Funny, Grimwald
“epic chin”. Lol!
My favorite Scientologist is Chick Corea.
Saturday Night Fever?
“Money is the Root of All Evil”…the
Christian Bible states…there is doubt on my mind; that those “wealth” of the Iglesia Ni Kristo, came from our taxes, and some from the tithes of its members.
Do you believe those Politicians, who “bought” the Block Votes of the INK church, used their own money?
“Ye shall know them by their fruits…”, Jesus Christ stated, about the Evils of our times.
The INK fruit is “rotten”. The evil, Satan is in their midst. Not the Holy Spirit of God…
And how ironic that most of INC members who’ll they voted during the elections on their political bloc are mostly corrupt & trapos candidates. And some of them they’d won it in spite of the small numbers of Iglesians in our country (around 2-3 million INCs as of now).
The love of money is the root of all evil. Not the money itself, it is just a tool for us to be used, but some make it their master,
so the root of evil.
Speaking solely for myself.. religion should show the way for its adherents; teach them right from wrong.. then, allow them to exercise their free will and, to decide on whether or not to follow its teachings. Religion could be a guide for us in our quest for a better life, for ourselves and our neighbors, by using our God-given gifts righteously and to the fullest. It is not a laundry list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ that stifles and hobbles us in our daily push towards our betterment.. spiritually, morally and financially; nor is it supposed to look into our sources of income, and control our wallets.
Over the years, the INC seems to have shown, simply, that they resemble an efficiently and tightly run family corporation that has thrived and grown solely by strictly controlling its devoted followers and their hard-earned incomes. This current and very public struggle within the INC’s hierarchy is common among large and profitable corporations where corruption in the leadership echelons has thrived and is finally exposed.
Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some.
By the way, since the INC erected a largest indoor arena in the world which is located in Bocaue, then why they’d wanted to build that thing?!?! Eh ang daming mga nagugutom at mahihirap na kababayan natin sa ating bansa at sana imbes na gumawa sila ng pinakamalaking indoor arena sa buong mundo, gumawa na lang sila ng pabahay o subdivisions para sa mga mahihirap at magtayo ng isang commercial at industrial park para sa mga maralita na nakatira sa subdivision na yan kung talagang mapagkumbaba at hindi ma-pera ang mga INC. Kaya dapat imbestigahan na ang gastos ng Philippine Arena kung mayroon talagang anomalya o “kickback” sa pagtayo ng gusali na yan.
If there is kickback on that project, that’s none of your business, you are not one of the contributor and they didn’t use your taxes. Have you ever ask where did INC get all the relief goods given to those who are not members?
Then congratulations for being a stupid lemming by giving your “religion” a lot of your own money while they laugh all the way to the bank. Your “religion” is no different from the nazis.
Yes it needs to be investigated because they claim to be a tax exempt organization. They need to follow the law.
The INC (incorporated) is a criminal organization masquerading as a cult masquerading as a legitimate religion. It is on the par with the PBMA, And Dating Dan & the 7th Day Advantage Takers & also the JW’s (Jehovah Witness fuckwads who bother me at my house weekly even though I’ve told them to “stay the fuck out of my yard.”
LOL, Jerry but beware if those ISIS will come into your home & they want to blow up on your house for good. Religion can be a deadly weapon, sometimes.
My mother once said that all religions are technically businesses. I mean, how can they build up places of worship without the help of “abuloy”?
To be honest, INC is way better managed that our current nat’l government. INC managed to build beautiful infrastructures while the DPWH can’t even fix EDSA. I think the government should learn from the INC about good management.
They’d learned it from the Binay’s tactics.
Speaking solely for myself.. religion should show the way for its adherents; teach them right from wrong.. then, allow them to exercise their free will and, to decide on whether or not to follow its teachings. Religion could be a guide for us in our quest for a better life, for ourselves and our neighbors, by using our God-given gifts righteously and to the fullest. It is not a laundry list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ that stifles and hobbles us in our daily push towards our betterment.. spiritually, morally and financially; nor is it supposed to look into and control our wallets.
Over the years, the INC seems to have shown, simply, that they resemble an efficiently run family corporation that has thrived and grown solely by strictly controlling its devoted followers and their hard-earned incomes. This current and very public struggle within the INC’s hierarchy is common among large and profitable corporations where corruption in the leadership echelons has thrived and is finally exposed.
Funny how they are fighting for the separation of church and state in these times, wonder where the complainant will go for his illegal detention case against some inc members if the govt will foolishly follow what the inc wants. There is the law of god and the law of men, both should be upheld accordingly, and illegal detention case is a law of men, so where will the alleged victim go? Of course to those who uphelds the law of men, the government.
And if they really upheld this “separation” what they can say about the block voting and endorsing politician, shouldn’t they stop these acts because they are mixing their religion and politics. Be consistent. And it is only filing a complaint, so nobody is convicted yet, so why the over reaction.
And now, they are occupying the EDSA Shrine, snarling traffic in EDSA, Ortigas, and Shaw Blvd. Traffic there now at a standstill. Avoid the area. Avoid it up to Monday They plan to stay there till Monday.
An ABS CBN reporter already complaining he was roughed up by some members. There could be violence as emotions running quite high based on AM news radio reporters.
I heard this earlier and it made me confused a bit:
Iglesia ni Kristo at the EDSA Shrine? – Is this really compatible?
I thought they (the INC) have a bigger venue for huge gatherings.
Got me confused too. Heard on radio, they are saying EDSA Shrine is symbol of freedom, and today, they are fighting for freedom from govt oppression.
Me and my cynical self says otherwise. Intent is really to scare de Lima. It is a show of force. It was meant to really snarl traffic. A number of buses were seen dropping off these demonstrators at Shaw, so it is well planned.
Latest news is that they came with sleeping mats, and now a few tents could also be seen. If they stay it is interesting to see if de Lima or Palace gives in. Roxas has just come on air, asking maximum tolerance, as QC Mayor Herbert complaining they don’t have rally permit, and the traffic is just horrible. Night is only time all the cargo and delivery trucks could travel; they are already affecting commerce.
This is really a test of wills. The first one who blinks losses… and losses big time as de Lima interested in a Senate seat.
Now Grace Poe has shown her true color. Just heard her defending the demonstration, never mind the traffic. Bulls*T, so early and she is already acting like a long-time and experienced TraPo.
We really need to sitback relax and use our head to analyze potential candidates’ reaction in this inc issue, personally if de lima stand up for her reason “only doing her job” ano not fearing the wrath of INC, i will vote for her as a senator. Isn’t she a human rights commisioner back then? I think she is alright in my book. Just wondering what can miriam santiago say about this.
and we are being held hostage and the authorities are not lifting a finger for fear of what? not getting their votes?