Mysterious Leader Passes Away

Tokyo, Japan - Yuko Chino, the ailing leader of Chino Shoho, or True Law, passed away from unspecified reasons on Tuesday in a Fukui hospital. According to Mainichi Shinbun reporter Yoichi Okubo, the 72-year-old began complaining of breathing trouble when her constituents made an emergency phone call and had her rushed to a nearby hospital in Fukui, where she died hours later.

Born, Hidemi Masuyama, Chino claimed to possess supernatural powers of clairvoyance; even communicating with such late figures as Pope John Paul II and Audrey Hepburn, as well as several extraterrestrial beings that made occasional visits to our universe in spaceships. With these perceived powers, Chino gained prominence among hundreds of spiritual seekers throughout the early 1980s.

In a peculiar twist, she began touting claims of being the target of a communist guerilla conspiracy to have her murdered through the use of electromagnetic wave weaponry. Chino then commissioned an intellectual vanguard from her spiritual following to research the negative effects of these electromagnetic waves. This group would come to be known as the Pana-Wave Laboratory and its objective would be to prolong Chino’s life through the scientific analysis of electromagnetic wave warfare.

In their research, the Pana-Wave Laboratory members concluded that the color white would best serve as a temporary defense against the communists’ attacks; and thus as a safety precaution, Pana-Wave Laboratory members began shrouding themselves from head to toe in all white material.

In the winter of 2003, this white-clad group began a convoy toward the

mountains of Fukui, in the central island of Honshu. Believing that communist-operated electromagnetic wave generators were attached to telephone and electricity poles, this rural destination appeared ideal for evading these attacks. The 16-van convoy and their 52-member Pana-Wave Laboratory foot escort created a moral panic among Japanese citizenry, as Japan was still very much in a state of recovery from the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway line.

Although they were met with considerable resistance from community leaders and the popular media, Pana-Wave Laboratory nonetheless managed to reach its destination and establish a compound to conduct research. In the end, these Pana-Wave Laboratory members became known as the Shiro Sho-zoku Shu-dan, or the white clad group that caravanned across Japan in search of refuge from the communists. For the next several years, Chino would live in seclusion, confined solely to her Toyota van and surrounded by the Pana-Wave Laboratory atop the Gotaishi Mountain.

It is unclear what will happen to the group as a whole in terms of leadership, re-organization, or total disbandment. According to a brief email exchange with a member of the Pana-Wave Laboratory late Thursday evening, the group is now preparing to conduct a massive clean-up of the area—perhaps to move out or simply move on altogether.