Salvador J. Murguia

Pana Wave Laboratory


1934 (January 26):  Chino Yūko was born Masuyama Hidemi in Kyoto, Japan.

1970:  Chino Yūko became a prominent member of the God’s Light Association.

1976:  Takahashi Shinji of the God’s Light Association died.

1978:  The religion of Chino Shōhō was established.

1980:  Chino Yūko published her first religious text titled The Door to Heaven: In Search of Future Happiness.

1994:  The Pana-Wave Laboratory was established.

2002:  Pana-Wave Laboratory traveled in a caravan primarily through Fukui prefecture.

2003 (April):  Tama-Chan was identified as one of Chino’s indicators of a pole reversal.

2003 (May):  Chino Yuko prophesized the end of the world and the caravan was set in motion, travelling through Ōsaka, Kyoto, Fukui, Gifu, Nagano, and Yamanashi prefectures.

2003 (August):  Chigusa Satoshi died.

2004:  “Project Circle P” was established.

2005:  “Project Lucifer” was identified.

2006 (October 25):  Chino Yūko died.


Chino Yūko (千乃裕子) was born Masuyama Hidemi on January 26, 1934 in Kyoto, Japan. In 1942, Chino’s parents divorced, and she and her mother moved to Ōsaka. Shortly after the divorce the mother remarried, yet this new relationship introduced new challenges to Chino’s childhood. According to Chino, she and her mother argued constantly with the new stepfather, and the home soon became a difficult environment in which to live. Chino noted that this was not only a forced living situation, but also a very difficult upbringing where she developed a reserved personality (Chino 1980:2-4).

As a young woman Chino studied English at a junior college and became proficient in speaking, reading, and writing. However, according to her own account, this was a depressing time in her life; she was overwhelmed by spiritual encounters with “demons” and attempted suicide several times (Chino 1980:4-10).

Although Chino’s mother was a Christian, and Chino herself was baptized and attended church regularly (Chino 1980:7), her mother sought other spiritual affiliations in an effort to understand her daughter’s behavior (Chino 1980:3-4). Chino’s mother encouraged her to sample various religious movements, eventually settling in as a member of the God Light Association (GLA), led by the well-known charismatic figure Takahashi Shinji (高橋信次, 1927-1976). By the 1970s, the once Masuyama Hidemi had become a prominent member of this new religious movement and began fashioning the name Chino Yūko.

Chino Shōhō (千乃正法, literally “Chino’s True Law”) was founded by Chino Yūko in the late 1970s after the death of God Light Association founder Takahashi in 1976. In the wake of his death, a power struggle for leadership emerged, resulting in the creation of a number of splinter organizations. Chino Shōhō, however, was never registered as a religious corporation under Japan’s Religious Corporation Law. The then forty-two-year-old Chino began crafting an eclectic form of spiritualism that adopted doctrines from the Abrahamic traditions, Buddhism, theosophy, New Age concepts, parapsychology, as well as a host of heterodox theories about physics, environmental warfare and space exploration. Chino’s syncretistic doctrine further included belief in her ability to communicate with celestial figures such as angels, gods and extra-terrestrials through both dreams and spirit possession (Chino 1980:11-44).

Chino’s fluency in English afforded her opportunities to teach private English language lessons to groups of young students at her home in Ōsaka (Chino 1980:30). Several of these students were former GLA members and would later become Chino’s first religious following. Through the combination of Chino’s charisma and her access to young novitiates, the Chino Shōhō faith gained prominence among hundreds of spiritual seekers throughout the 1980s. Although Chino Shōhō was founded in Ōsaka it was not formally stationed there. In addition, as there were no official rituals practiced routinely within Chino Shōhō, members could exercise their religious participation in the absence of a centralized location and apart from Chino. Indeed, this pattern persisted throughout her time in religious leadership, as Chino herself lived much of her later life in privacy, even residing reclusively inside a moving van that travelled with the Pana-Wave Laboratory from 1994 to 2006.

In the mid-1990s, Chino expanded her teachings by incorporating ideas of a conflict between Chino Shōhō and what she argued were the evils of communist ideologies. In what would aggrandize this conflict, Chino cast accusations toward entire political parties, nations, and their leaders about a perceived war wherein she situated herself as the target of various communist militants and their conspiracy to have her assassinated.

Out of these ideas of conflict and war emerged a vanguard of Chino Shōhō members known as the Pana-Wēbu Kenkyūjo (パナウェーブ研究所, the Pana-Wave Laboratory). As a subgroup of Chino Shōhō, these followers were tasked with the protection of Chino through their vision of science and research on such topics as electromagnetic wave warfare, flying saucers, spirits, and clairvoyance. Collectively, these two organizations became known as the Shiro-Shōzoku Shūdan (白装束集団, literally the “white-clothed group”), after gaining considerable attention in early 2003 when they travelled through city streets from prefecture to prefecture in an all-white caravan.


In 1980 Chino Yūko published her first religious text titled The Door to Heaven: In Search of Future Happiness (『天国の扉: 未来の幸せを目指して』, Tengoku no tobira: Mirai no shiawase o mezashite). [Image at right] This book was widely distributed to her students as a foundational religious text, and as it was written in both English and Japanese it doubled as a proselytizing instrument for incoming students of English and a handbook for understanding the Chino Shōhō faith.

Throughout this book Chino describes her own personal search for happiness as a model for enduring life’s emotionally painful experiences and revelations to be sought along the way. Although Chino’s narratives are generally focused upon worldly issues associated with personal emotions and self-esteem, there is also a subtext within this book that suggests an extra-terrestrial connection. From the outset of The Door to Heaven, Chino crafts this empathic invitation to the reader:

I write these chapters to communicate with others who, like me, have felt themselves strangers to this world with an inexplicable feeling of loneliness – aliens left behind on earth (Chino 1980:1).

In this text, Chino introduces Chino Shōhō’s cosmogonic myths that date the earth’s beginnings at some 365,000,000 years ago on a star named Veh-erde. As one Pana-Wave Laboratory member explained:

The gods (spirits) that guard the chairwoman [Chino Yūko] and comprise the Heavens arrived on Earth from space, created humans, and since the days of the Sumerian civilizations, through the old and new testaments of the Bible, to this day continue to guide humanity in the right direction. Initially these gods arrived as a group of doctors and scientists. Because the level of knowledge during the ancient civilizations was low, these gods gave[/]left knowledge regarding how one should live and regarding the mechanics of nature not as scientific explanations but rather in the form of religion. (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, 2004).

According to Chino, Seven Archangels, or doctors, embarked on an exploratory mission to Earth, arriving at El Qantara, or present-day Egypt, where they inhabited the land near the Nile River renaming it “The Garden of Erden [sic]” (1980:53). Though there were no humans “capable of association” with these “star people” at that time, 364,990,000 years later, these extra-terrestrials would become the indwelling re­incarnates of well-known historical figures (1980:49).

Reference to celestial figures visiting Earth prior to the “creation” or “evolution” of man is often referred to as the “Ancient Astronaut” theory (von Däniken 1971). Popularized by such figures as Peter Kolosimo and Erich von Däniken, this controversial narrative attempts to explain the trajectory of history as a result of intelligent beings programming our ancestors’ minds with knowledge to advance humanity. Supporters of the “Ancient Astronaut” theory point to such evidence as (though not confined to) such incredible architectural feats as erecting pyramids, cryptic allusions to unlikely events within popular religious texts, and pre-historic art that resembles a modern depiction of present-day space travel and space travellers.

In addition to explicitly referencing the “Ancient Astronaut” theory, Chino went a step further by believing that she was still in frequent contact with these celestial figures. According to one Chino Shōhō member:

The spirits of El Lantie and of Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and other such beings have continued to exist since they experienced death as humans. A person, who acts as a Spiritual Medium, as we call it, is a person who is alive today and has the ability to communicate with such spirits. Chairwoman Yūko Chino has this ability, and this is how she transmits the words of Heaven to the world. (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, November 2004)

In this way, members of Chino Shōhō considered Chino to be a prophet in direct line with the heavens; in their view, Chino acted as a liaison for communication between the heavens and this world. From her heavily protected Toyota van named “Arcadia,” Chino acted as a spiritual medium that would relay directives and guidance from the heavens down to Chino Shōhō members.

As Chino Shōhō’s membership grew, Chino’s doctrines broadened into the secular world of politics. Her dialogue with celestial figures revealed a secretive plot by “communist guerillas” to have Chino slowly assassinated through the use of electromagnetic wave warfare. These electromagnetic waves refer to radiation that materializes in several different types of self-propagating frequencies including gamma rays, infrared radiation, microwaves, radio waves, terahertz radiation, ultraviolet rays, visible light and x-rays (Boleman 1988). The members of the Pana-Wave Laboratory believe that such electromagnetic wave phenomena were used by communist guerillas as a weapon against Chino Yūko. Pana-Wave Laboratory members referred to these electromagnetic waves as “scalar frequencies.”

Chino believed that such a plot was part of a larger conspiracy to control the East-Asian geopolitical region through a reversal of economic, social and cultural ideologies a shift toward a more communal and less autonomous world view.

Despite the contention that electromagnetic wave weaponry was being used within this conspiracy, the exact method for its application and the science behind its effectiveness were never clearly defined. Moreover, as the Cold War ended, Chino’s claims of a communist conspiracy emerged paradoxically in light of the major global transformations of the late 1980s. In 1994, Chino commissioned a portion of Chino Shōhō to research the negative effects of these electromagnetic waves. This group would be called the Pana-Wave Laboratory, and the following explanation summarized the reason for their mission:

After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the scalar wave weapon proliferated, to be employed by the extreme leftist groups in Japan. They utilized the scalar wave technology by illegally altering and installing devices on the power transmission lines to mind control the masses, and to assassinate conservative citizens. Furthermore, it became clear that the harmful properties of the scalar wave, radiated from looped coils, was exerting a lethal impact on biological systems, to include human beings, as its side effect. The destruction of the environment such as anomalous weather and gravity anomalies were also brought about by excessive amount of the scalar wave (Pana-Wave Laboratory 2001:11).

Although a portion of Chino Shōhō was commissioned to be a part of the Pana-Wave Laboratory, the group was not separated in any hierarchical fashion. That is, there were no ranks or statuses that divided the two groups into categories, such as lay followers or monastic elite. In this way, all of the Pana-Wave Laboratory members were members of Chino Shōhō; the only difference was that Pana-Wave Laboratory members were devoted full-time to researching electromagnetic wave activity and personally serving Chino.

The Pana-Wave Laboratory would go on to research the effects of scalar wave activity and attempt to develop strategies for the protection of Chino Yūko. With this research mandate in place a stage was set for infinite inquiries into the un-falsifiable, an avocation of making connections between groups of communist perpetrators that no longer existed (as before in international politics) and a speculative form of immaterial weaponry that supervened invisibly.

The Pana-Wave Laboratory began as a group of some forty-two researchers focused upon electromagnetic warfare tactics. Initially this research was mobile as it was conducted out of seventeen vans, including Chino’s personal van, “Arcadia.” As Chino believed that she was constantly “under attack” by the communists, this mobility allowed the Pana-Wave Laboratory to evade electromagnetic waves. Although the Pana-Wave Laboratory would eventually settle atop Gotaishi Mountain of the Fukui Prefecture in May of 2003, the caravan would first pass through the Ōsaka, Kyoto, Fukui, Gifu, Nagano, and Yamanashi prefectures. [Image at right]

According to Chino, at the peak of its popularity in the mid-1990s Chino Shōhō was made up of more than 1,500 members worldwide, yet this number was never substantiated by any official information. The Pana-Wave Laboratory operation was financed through the sale of literature composed by Chino and group reports on the status of electromagnetic wave activity compiled by laboratory researchers. In addition, Chino Shōhō members outside of the Pana-Wave Laboratory would donate large sums of money to assist with the cost of expenses accrued while moving throughout Honshū, Japan’s main island, as well as the construction of the physical laboratory in Fukui. In late 2003, the Metropolitan Police Department released information about the Pana-Wave Laboratory’s finances, announcing that they had accumulated “2.2 billion yen” in donations over a ten-year period (Asahi Shinbun [Tokyo], June 27, 2003).

On the surface, the members of the Pana-Wave Laboratory exuded a relatively peculiar appearance through the use of the color white. As a means of deflecting the continuous electromagnetic wave attacks, the Pana-Wave Laboratory members began to gown themselves from head to toe in white uniforms. [Image at right]  According to one member, Pana-Wave Laboratory members wore “white clothes made of 100 % cotton in order to protect [themselves] from artificial scalar waves that the extremists were firing into the Pana-Wave Research Center” (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, July 2004). The actual Pana-Wave Laboratory uniform consisted of a white lab coat, a strip of white cloth used as a headpiece, a white mask and white rubber boots. Similar white coverings wrapped other material accessories such as eyewear and watches.

Although the religious component was the primary attraction for Chino Shōhō members, the role of the Pana-Wave Laboratory provided a unique venture geared toward managing a scientific discourse. Within my fieldwork during the summer of 2004, Pana-Wave Laboratory members could be routinely observed recording data from electromagnetic waves, monitoring solar activity, running medical tests on Chino, and composing rough drafts for Love Righteous, a journal that they produced and sold back to members. [Image at right] In the view of the Pana-Wave Laboratory, “any authentic religion always has a scientific base” and the combination of these often-contradictory enterprises functioned in tandem (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, July 2004).

In a physical sense, a laboratory would appear to be functioning as an edifice for scientific endeavors, but at closer examination, Pana-Wave Laboratory merely reflected an aura of science, rather than contributing to mainstream concepts of science. That is, this laboratory provided the necessary props that enabled the scientific setting and the performances that accompanied that setting, yet the scientific theory, method and product hardly resembled generally accepted scientific theories, methods and research output. Nevertheless, if a laboratory is said to be a structure equipped for scientific experimentation or research, then surely this setting was just that, adhering, of course, to the principles and methods of the researchers involved.

Members of the Pana-Wave Laboratory appeared to be fond of presenting themselves through their roles as scientists. In a dramaturgical fashion, their activities were performed vicariously through portrayals of what may be commonly thought of as “researchers” roles. Goffman (1963) analyzed intricacies of social interaction in terms of a theatrical metaphor. In this perspective, everyone is at once an actor and an audience member in the performance of real-life situations. Roles people play within these situations are defined momentarily, depending on the management of impressions at a given time. It is at these moments of interaction that individuals are capable of commanding a situation and thus defining an interaction. Similar to the way in which actors and actresses adhere to prescribed roles from a script, the Pana-Wave Laboratory participated in the performance of a functioning laboratory. The Pana-Wave Laboratory capitalized on the general perception of these roles and created what they believed to be the necessary scenery for the re-affirmation of their positions as lab scientists.

Carrying on in a laboratory setting, gowned in laboratory jackets, all the while in the company of others in identical roles, must have given some sort of reassurance that a form of productive labor was taking place, if nothing more than the reproduction of imagery. Skepticism for Pana-Wave Laboratory members was never avowed, as this perception of science was infused with strong religious doctrines, thereby validating all claims regardless of their, for outsiders, extraordinary content.

Aside from the personal appearances of the Pana-Wave Laboratory members, there were also technological inventions that supported their claims of electromagnetic wave warfare. These inventions, however, were actually informed by a school of controversial innovators and their creations, most notably Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). The inventions of this Yugoslavian-born physicist were a central feature within Pana-Wave Laboratory research. In 1891, Tesla developed and patented the Tesla Coil for the purpose of producing wireless communication and power transmission (Fanthorpe/Fanthorpe 1998:52). Members of the Pana-Wave Laboratory believed that somehow the former USSR used this Tesla Coil to produce electromagnetic wave weaponry. [Image at right]  According to Chino, this Tesla Coil was also distributed to the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) as a tool to conduct brainwashing programs in Japan. The Pana-Wave Laboratory contended that a surplus of electrical power cable attached to electrical poles were actually electromagnetic scalar wave generators in disguise. Indeed, these wound-up cables attached to electrical power lines roughly resemble the spiral formation of the Tesla Coil.

To combat the emissions of these generators, the research team created defense mechanisms adapted from the inventions of Russian-born engineer Georges Lakhovsky (1869-1942). Lakhovsky was said to have invented yet another coil known as the “Lakhovsky Coil” which acted as a highly potent healing mechanism. Unlike the power transmission ambitions that spurred the invention of the Tesla Coil, this Lakhovsky Coil was created to prolong life by capturing cosmic rays. Working under the premise that all living things emit and receive radiation, the reception of life-prolonging radiation could be maximized through the use of a coiled antenna as a receptor.

Lakhovsky believed he had proved this in 1925, when he revived and prolonged the life of one geranium out of several others inoculated with cancer. By wrapping an open metallic circuit around the geranium, he claimed to have helped resuscitate the plant from the cancer inoculations. However, Lakhovsky did not stop with geraniums, proposing that he could achieve the same result with human cancer patients by using his 1931 invention known as the “Multiple Wave Oscillator” (MWO). This time Lakhovsky used two recessed coils of concentric circles (one a transmitter and the other a resonator) to create an “electrostatic field.” Lakhovsky argued that patients could be cured of various cancers through exposure to the MWO.

Although this method of cancer treatment is not used today in clinical treatment, a version of the MWO was utilized by the Pana-Wave Laboratory to divert the direction of scalar waves, rather than collect the radiation as Lakhovsky’s MWO had done. The Pana- Wave Laboratory’s version of this mechanism was the Scalar Wave Deflector Coil (SWDC). [Image at right] These SWDCs were placed all over the laboratory and could be found strategically covering certain portions of Pana-Wave Laboratory members’ bodies.

Similar to the MWO, the SWDC acted as a receptor for electromagnetic waves. Pana-Wave Laboratory members contended that these SWDC receptors received the electromagnetic waves and forced their radiation to run a labyrinth-like track of semi-concentric lines, eventually reaching a section designated by an arrow where they were then cast away from the laboratory. This arrow marks the direction toward which the waves were rerouted. A similar mechanism that was used by the Pana-Wave Laboratory was produced through reasoning that scalar waves could be captured and then redirected toward a panel that neutralizes the effects of the radiation. This mechanism was referred [Image at right] to as the Direction Specific Wave Diffuser (DSWD). SWDC and DSWD were artificial security mechanisms; however, Pana-Wave Laboratory also believed that nature could act as a defense against electromagnetic waves. One such natural defense mechanism was the physical structure of trees.  According to Pana-Wave Laboratory members, the trunk portion of trees actually acted as a repository for scalar waves. Similar to the DSWD, the trunk of a tree first captures scalar waves, then discharges them into the air through the branches extending above and beyond the laboratory.  [Image at right] However, the Pana-Wave Laboratory also acknowledged that this natural repository feature would eventually endanger the trees, and thus to rectify this issue they began wrapping the tree trunks with the same white cloth they used to protect themselves.


Chino Shōhō and Pana Wave-Laboratory were organized entirely around the teachings and memoranda of Chino Yuko. Despite Chino’s death in October of 2006, the Pana-Wave Laboratory remained in Gotaishi through at least 2007. After the death of Chino, membership dwindled down to less than ten resident researchers of the twenty-nine that were present in 2004 when I began my fieldwork.

In late 2007, the Pana-Wave Laboratory members were in the process of building a foundation for a structure in the center of the research center. According to one spokesman, this structure would become the site of an animal sanctuary, a building that fulfills one of Chino’s final wishes. Although the roles Pana-Wave Laboratory members would play in running this sanctuary were unclear, the overall commitment to carry out Chino’s wishes did appear to be moving forward.

The circumstances under which the Pana-Wave Laboratory operated had also undergone major transformations. Although Pana-Wave Laboratory research on electromagnetic waves continued to yield what they viewed as evidence of dangerous emissions generated by communist guerillas, their frequency and intensity were said to have decreased considerably. According to the Pana-Wave Laboratory, this trend was due to the fact that Chino no longer resided at the research center and thus Gotaishi became less of a target than previously believed. Given this, Pana-Wave Laboratory relaxed its electromagnetic wave deterrence activities by removing much of the white shrouds, mirrors, SWDCs and DSWDs. In addition, members were seen without their laboratory suits, going about less research-oriented routines such as maintaining gardens, cooking, cleaning, participating in the construction of the sanctuary, and generally tending to each other’s needs.

The current Pana-Wave Laboratory leadership remains decentralized. Without the consistent flow of communiqués from Chino’s van, the Pana-Wave Laboratory now takes direction from two new middle-aged male leaders. One of these individuals has been member of Chino Shōhō since its inception and the other since the early 1980s. Although both were equally committed to continuing the laboratory operation, the former resides in Gotaishi, while the latter operates from a neighboring prefecture.


The Pana-Wave Laboratory was not unlike the many other peripheral religious groups in Japan at the close of the twentieth century and on into the early years of the twenty-first. There was no shortage of extraordinary belief systems interwoven into the doctrines of various Japanese new religious movements. Everything from conspiracy theories and grandiose supposition, to perceived elite knowledge of science or even its potential for transforming otherwise science fiction-like propositions into realities, these new religious movements possessed a variety of similarities cut from the fabric of this alternative milieu of reasoning. However, what made the Pana-Wave Laboratory a focus of media attention, and somewhat of a fixture of public fear and anxiety, were the speculative parallels drawn between their operation and those that culminated in the violent incidents perpetrated by the Aum Shinrikyo. The moral panic and public concern for stemming the potential for terror, as witnessed in the sarin gas attacks  in Matsumoto in 1994 and in Tokyo in 1995, gave way to a preoccupation with watching the Pana-Wave Laboratory and its activities for all those with memories of Aum Shinrikyo.

In April 2003, the Pana-Wave Laboratory continued its caravan journey through Honshū in search of a location free of electromagnetic waves. While the Pana-Wave Laboratory was relocating, Chino picked up on a story about a wayward seal popularly known as Tama-chan (たまちゃん) that had lost its way and had swum into the Tama river. According to Chino, Tama-chan’s loss of direction was evidence that major magnetic-pole shifts had taken place, which was considered a persuasive indication of an impending disaster. Under the direction of Chino, a group of Pana-Wave Laboratory members became involved in a plot to rescue Tama-chan from its polluted surroundings and provide some type of sanctuary for the seal. Helping to form the Tama-chan o Mamoru Kai (たまちゃんを守る会), or the Tama-chan Rescue Group, the Pana-Wave Laboratory members reportedly built makeshift pools in Yamanashi prefecture to facilitate the transportation and liberation of the seal. Although the rescue attempt ended well within the planning stages, in the view of the Pana-Wave Laboratory the Japanese media misconstrued the event as a kidnapping scheme (Dorman 2005:92-93).

Less than six months later, the Pana-Wave Laboratory was again at the center of media attention, when police officials effectively raided their caravan facilities on May 14, 2003,  one day prior to Chino’s doomsday prediction. In the full view of the media, some 300 police investigators searched the Pana-Wave Laboratory vans and conducted eleven other affiliated operations throughout Japan. Despite the enormity of the operation, the police only managed to collect evidence of falsely registered vehicles.

The May 15, 2003 date came and went uneventfully. As the Japanese media looked on, nothing spectacular happened at the Pana-Wave Laboratory research center. A spokesman for the group attempted to divert attention away from the initial failed prophecy by issuing another date of May 22, 2003; however, the Japanese media only seized the moment to dismiss the Pana-Wave Laboratory’s predictions as acts of desperation and thus lacking any credibility.

Although both of the doomsday predictions of May 2003 passed without incident, new prophecies surfaced including the following prediction made in July of 2004:

There have been new messages revealed to us regarding a new end date. Cracks are forming on the sea floors of Japan, and at this rate Japan will sink to the bottom of the seas by spring next year. (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, July 2004).

 Despite these subsequent predictions, Pana-Wave Laboratory’s activities went generally unnoticed until later that summer when a violent incident occurred among members: On August 7, 2003, Pana-Wave Laboratory member Chigusa Satoshi (千草聡, 1957-2003) [Image at right] failed to keep a grounding device, which was attached to a van, in contact with the street. In response to Chigusa’s perceived negligence, Chino ordered five Pana-Wave Laboratory members to administer a physical punishment. Several hours after this punishment took place, medics arrived to find that Chigusa’s heart had failed and he was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Shortly thereafter, these five individuals were arrested and charged with assault in the investigation of Chigusa’s murder. None of the men indicted were convicted of the charges, as prosecutors did not have enough evidence to prove that Chigusa’s inflicted injuries were directly related to his death. Instead, these five members were fined 200,000 yen each for their involvement in the assault (Agence France Press 2003).

The Pana-Wave Laboratory members, however, told another side of this story. They stated that quite a few factors went un-addressed in the investigation. First, the Pana-Wave Laboratory argued that Chigusa had not taken care of himself during the hot summer days leading up to his death:

Mr. Chigusa, busy with his job and with writing for the publication, was not always available to work at Pana-Wave. He had neither eaten nor slept for a period of just over two days. In addition, despite his poor health he worked under extreme temperatures under the sun the next day, and died of extreme heat exhaustion (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, July 2004).

It was confirmed that Chigusa did suffer from heat exhaustion, as the autopsy report concluded that his death was caused by a combination of posttraumatic shock and heatstroke.

Evidenced by bruises left on Chigusa’s back, Pana-Wave Laboratory members did not deny that some punishment had taken place as the media had reported. Yet, in the view of Pana-Wave Laboratory members, when Chigusa did not ground the vehicle correctly, he actually compromised Chino’s life:

If a worker performing this operation sympathizes with the extremists [communist guerillas] in any way, the worker may create a backward flow of scalar waves back into the car and introduce an attack to the chairwoman, such as forced urination, an attack her physician referred to as “life threatening” (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, July 2004).

Thirdly, the Pana-Wave Laboratory members contended that the alleged beating was actually more of a scolding and not as physical as the media portrayed it to be:

In an effort to prevent these attacks and protect her [Chino], members of the Heavens have given instructions to use a rolled-up piece of corrugated cardboard coated with electrical tape to strike the worker (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, July 2004).

Pana-Wave Laboratory members also expressed concern about an apparent double standard between themselves and other religious groups with regard to judging punishment as appropriate or inappropriate. They did so by comparing their practice of punishment to the physical discipline found within Zen Buddhism, arguing that it was unfair to question the legitimacy of such religious practices. In the view of Pana-Wave Laboratory members, investigators were in no position to comprehend the situation, as Chigusa’s punishment was a direct order from the Heavens. As one spokesman explained:

Three doctors are among these members of Heaven, and this striking is not something that would cause death. In the case of Mr. Chigusa, most likely since he was not someone who was accustomed to manual labor, combined with his poor physical health that day, his body was in a state that would be scarred easily by striking it just a little (E-mail from Pana-Wave Laboratory member, November 2004).

In the end, the five members that had been convicted of the act of punishment paid their fines and the incident was largely forgotten by fall 2003.

On December 12, 2004 I received a series of short, but urgent, memoranda stating that “all 21 units of the UFO Fleet have crashed into the sea, as a result of a shortage of food and fuel” (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, December 2004). As Chino explained, Chino Shōhō was now going to build a spacecraft of their own and leave Earth prior to yet another prophesied impending disaster.

The Shōhō Group has plans for its escape as early as next spring if preparations are complete, but if time not ripe [sic] yet (if the UFO’s needed for the escape are not yet ready) the plan is three years down the line. The building material for the UFO is an alloy of steel and titanium. Currently we are considering methods of where to obtain this material. We would be more than happy if you, as a guest member of Pana-Wave, would join the members of the PW office, head of the science department, etc., with activities relating to the building or piloting (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, December 2004).

When the materials were not obtained, Chino Shōhō pursued an alternative plan. Five months later I received another series of memoranda entitled “Project Circle P,” elaborating on Chino Shōhō’s plans for departure from Earth. The “P” stood for “pick-up,” a rescue mission by another UFO fleet as a last resort:

[Project Circle P] started when we were made aware of the Nibiru-related disasters. If planet Nibiru were to approach Earth, Earth would see great destruction and the possible ruin of humankind. Therefore, I have worked with the extra-terrestrial beings to have Shōhō Members rescued. A UFO would be arriving to “pick us up” from earth to salvage humankind and create a new civilization on a different planet (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005).     

This was not the first mention of a rescue mission. In fact, Chino had been directing mass departures as early as 1982 when she believed that the Soviet Union was going to invade Japan. In 2005, however, Chino revealed an even greater plot that went beyond conspiring communist guerillas and approaching planets. In this plot, dubbed “Project Lucifer,” which allegedly took place several years prior to the planning of “Project Circle P”, the U.S. government was involved in an operation to transform Jupiter into a new sun (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005). According to Chino, this project was a continuation of a previous attempt by the U.S. to crash a “space probe carrying 23 kg of plutonium” into the planet and thereby “solarise” Jupiter (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005). Chino warned that this solarization would pulverize Mars into an asteroid belt, putting Earth in harm’s way of being bombarded with asteroids.

If Mars is destroyed, Jupiter’s gravity will attract Earth, inevitably causing it to approach contact with the second asteroid belt, and it is quite obvious that Earth will see catastrophe. 99 % of humans on Earth will most likely be ruined (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005).

With this communiqué Chino advised Chino Shōhō members to prepare themselves for a six-month journey into outer space. These preparations included gathering “items that are less affected by gravity, such as space food, and other items instructed by PW” (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005). In addition, some instructions appeared to be geared toward salvaging animal life, in an effort to someday reconstitute the ecological fabric of Earth:

Bring Pets, such as birds, dogs, and cats, and other living things to fill the nature of the new world, including seawater fish and young fish. Needless to say, bring enough food for these animals as well. It would be appropriate to think of it as Noah’s ark, only on a UFO (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005).

Essentially Chino Shōhō was planning to re-build and re-populate an Earth-like setting on another planet.

Naturally, what humans of Earth and Martians must do is transplant the nature existing currently on Earth to that planet. The science department of PW has already been instructed to prepare the seeds, plants, saplings and, needless to say, food and necessities for each person (Memorandum from Yūko Chino, April 2005).

Chino Shōhō remained determined to leave Earth through July of 2005 when members constructed a flying-saucer landing port near Gotaishi. However, the plan seemed to slip into obscurity as Chino’s health gradually deteriorated during that summer. Soon there was very little communication between Chino, Chino Shōhō and myself. On October 25, 2006 Chino Yūko died.


Image #.1: Chino, Yuko. The Door to Heaven: In Search of Future.
Image #2: Aerial view of the Pana-Wave Laboratory. (Salvador J. Murguia 2004).
Image #3: Member of the Pana-Wave Laboratory displaying his uniform. (Mainichi Shimbun 2003).
Imaage #4: Love Righteous Journal publication produced by the Pana-Wave Laboratory. (Salvador J. Murguia 2004).
Image #5: Electromagnetic Scalar Wave Generator within the Fukuoka Prefecture. (Naganishi Hide 2003).
Image #6: Pana Wave Laboratory’s Scalar Wave Deflector Coil. (Salvador J. Murguia 2004).
Image #7: The Direction Specific Wave Diffuser. The red arrows represent scalar wave activity (Salvador J. Murguia 2004)
Image #8: Trees surrounding the Pana-Wave Laboratory. (Salvador J. Murguia 2004)
Image #9: Pana Wave Laboratory van covered with SWDCs. Pictured is the type of van Mr. Chigusa failed to “earth-check” in 2003. (Mainichi Shimbun 2003)


Dorman, Benjamin. 2005. “Pana Wave: The New Aum Shinrikyo or Another Moral Panic?” Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 8:83-103.

“Japanese doomsday cultists charged over beaten member’s death.” Agence France Press,  December 5, 2003.

“Cult earns 2.2 billion from followers.” Asahi Shinbun, June 27, 2003.

Bolman, Jay. 1988. Physics: An Introduction. New Jersey: Prentice Hall College Division.

Chino, Yuko. The Door to Heaven: In Search of Future Happiness (『天国の扉: 未来の幸せを目指して』, Tengoku no tobira: Mirai no shiawase o mezashite). Tokyo: Jihi to Ai Pub Co Ltd.

Goffman, Erving. 1963. Stigma. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall

von Däniken, Erich. 1971. Chariots of the Gods: Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. U.K.: Corgi Books.

Publication Date:
17 July 2022.