ecently, a Weibo user shared a post detailing the latest service purportedly offered by a famous Buddhist temple in Kunming to its deceased followers.
According to the post, monks at the Yuantong Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Kunming, dating back more than 1,200 years, have been telling relatives of the recently deceased that their loved ones will be reincarnated as Americans if they are willing to pay an extra 500 yuan ($73) to the temple.
It turns out that this is a rumor that has made the rounds on the Chinese internet before, first emerging online a decade ago. The last time it caught serious attention was in 2012, when a Weibo post was shared and commented on by more than 20,000 netizens before being deleted.
When asked about the reincarnation service they were allegedly providing, a Yuantong monk furiously told Btime.com that “This is defamation, the police are investigating the matter.” The Kunming police have also debunked the claims, saying that the post is fake news and urging netizens not to continue to spread the unfounded rumor.
Although both the temple and police have refuted the claims, that hasn’t stopped Chinese netizens from trolling on social media. “You only need to pay 500 yuan, that’s less than applying for a visa. The cheapest way to immigrate to the US has been found!” wrote one Weibo user.