On Ceres Doyo’s ‘ASOG on the run’: Unthinkable | Inquirer Opinion

On Ceres Doyo’s ‘ASOG on the run’: Unthinkable

/ 05:02 AM April 18, 2024

It is with great interest and pleasure that I read Ma. Ceres P. Doyo’s column about “ASOG” or Appointed Son of God (Human Face, 4/5/24).

My profession is more inclined towards science, philosophy, and medical history, but this topic is certainly interesting. It surprises me that a country like the Philippines is very conservative, and influenced by both the Catholic Church and Islam. Yet there is still room for such types of sects and cults. I know that the United States, especially the south, is teeming with many—sometimes bizarre—Protestant TV evangelists that are a peculiarity of American conservatism, much like McDonalds and KFC.

As the columnist correctly writes, former president Rodrigo Duterte who calls God stupid (which is, of course, covered by freedom of expression in a free country) but now claims to be the ASOG’s spiritual advisee, is one development quite far from any logic. Why? Because cults and sects under the cloak of religious freedom seem to operate here under the radar. This is completely unthinkable in atheist/agnostic countries such as China, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, and Cuba, and Islamic countries like the Arab States, Iran, and elsewhere.

Even in Western democracies, stricter laws are now being passed after previous incidents of mass suicides, tax evasion, or manipulation. The Church of Scientology, popular with Hollywood stars in the US, is being monitored by the police in Germany because of unfair practices.


If people end up on social welfare or in poverty for their “faith,” intervention must be made. Jesus lived a life of poverty without women: what a contrast to other cult leaders!

Serious Catholic and Protestant churches are also called upon to warn people about sects. Contact points and information centers could offer help and set up exit programs. Bhagwan or Hare Krishna play almost no role today, thanks to the Enlightenment.

JÜRGEN SCHÖFER, Ph.D., [email protected]

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