Mongol Lord
REPOST: Ulysses

Supreme Master Television

Back once again for the Supreme Master! Default damager with the ill behaviour! Cult television's a hard thing to create. Nobody can really predict what will suddenly click with an audience, because it usually happens for unexpected and unplanned reasons. Who could have imagined that when cable and satellite TV really took off in the UK in the nineties, we'd end up with an entire generation of stoned clubbers giggling at the extended sales pitches on QVC, or staring goggle-eyed at the colour schemes in Teletubbies? (On that topic, I'd like to propose that the equivalent on British TV today is A Dreamy Journey, showing nightly on BabyFirst [Sky channel 624] between 7pm and midnight. It's the trippiest damn thing you can imagine.)

The point is, cult television just happens, it can't be manufactured. But a channel dedicated entirely to the life and works of someone calling herself Supreme Master? Yeah, I think we can safely call that a cult.

Somewhere between the Pub Channel and the audio programme guide lies Sky channel 887, the home of Supreme Master Television. (Be warned that their homepage has a live feed of the channel embedded in it.) It broadcasts twenty-four hours a day - well, six hours of original programming repeated three times - showing a combination of relentlessly positive news stories and environmental propaganda, all driven by the philosophy of its founder Supreme Master Ching Hai (who's always referred to as Supreme Master Ching Hai without any abbreviation). It's become my idling channel of choice whenever I'm vegging out for a few minutes in front of The Belated Birthday Girl's Sky TV system, because it's fascinatingly tricky to get a handle on. Having burnt off a DVD of an entire day's programming and watched it over a weekend, I think I'm a little clearer about its aims now.

The main thing that sets Supreme Master apart from the other religious channels on telly is that in small doses, it's terribly difficult to find anything objectionable about it. It's geared towards accentuating positives rather than harping on about negatives: its green campaigning has its heart in the right place: and it isn't as focussed as other God Telly on separating its followers from their money. The one slightly worrying thing about it is the name of its founder. If you're lucky, you may get to catch a brief biography of Supreme Master Ching Hai as part of the regular programming. Originally from Vietnam (although she's one of the few people on the internet who insists on calling it by its ancient name of Au Lac), she spent the early eighties married to a German guy before dumping him and running off to the Himalayas to find herself. She returned a master of Quan Yin meditation, and has been spreading the word ever since.

Supreme Master TV is her way of targeting the entire planet with her message, which is what gives the channel its unique look. That screen shot at the top of the page showing 24 simultaneous sets of subtitles is an unusual occurrence, but most shows are subtitled in at least a dozen, meaning that all their material has to be shot with the assumption that between a half and three quarters of the screen will be covered in text at any given time. The keystone of their programming is Noteworthy News, in which stories of good deeds and planet-saving inventions are reported to the exclusion of everything else. It's quite fun to watch the stories being hammered into a standard format: they all end with a statement of thanks to the story's subject, and a blessing suitably tailored to their country of origin.

The more didactic sections of their programming focus heavily on Supreme Master Ching Hai's environmental agenda: Go Veg, Be Green is the oft-repeated slogan. So we get Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants, which interviews key vegan activists: a series of anti-global warming promos that resemble nothing so much as the Earth Song video without the undertones of child molestation: and Vegetarian Elite, which profiles some of the most famous vegetarians in history. It's because of this angle that The BBG, as a non-carnivore herself, grudgingly accepts that it's not all about culty brainwashing. Nevertheless, Vegetarian Elite's inclusion of Jesus Christ on their list of top veggies did make her wonder how He coped with having to serve fish to five thousand people. (In another example of Supreme Master TV trying to bend Christianity to fit their worldview, they've also broadcast a half hour reading of quotes from the world's holy books on the prohibition of alcohol, which curiously steered clear of the wedding at Cana.)

Inevitably, every so often we get appearances by Supreme Master Ching Hai herself: and curiously, these are the least interesting bits in the schedule. Despite the attempt to build a personality cult around her (virtually every photo in her personal albums appears to have been mined for inter-programme filler), when we finally get to hear her speak in Between Master And Disciples she seems surprisingly uncharismatic. Her lectures ramble on without any discernable point, and there's no sense of her really connecting with an audience. And for a preacher, she's rubbish at telling stories: which is a pity, given the existence of her regular Joke Of The Day slot.

Still, as a cynic I'd assume that one of the main functions of a religious TV station is to cadge money from its viewers, and Supreme Master TV seems comparatively reluctant to do that. The message of positivity and saving the planet appears to be priority one, and there's no more than one slot an hour when you're directed to their merchandising websites. The Quan Yin meditation method is passed on via the needlessly messianic URL while on a more down-to-earth level, Supreme Master Ching Hai's art and design work can be purchased from The Celestial Shop, and her books and DVDs can be bought through SMCH Books. (Amusingly, the ad for her bestseller The Birds In My Life shamelessly quotes a series of five star reviews left by her disciples on Amazon. Still, if it's really that popular, no harm in putting a purchase link at the bottom of this page to see if I can make a few bob myself...)

To be fair, it wasn't until I watched a full day's worth of programming that I realised there was any attempt at raising money from viewers at all. So I'd still say that if you just dip into Supreme Master TV now and again (either by satellite or by the website stream), there's definitely something charming about its full-throttle optimism and desire to do good in the world. And you can't really argue with that. You can be suspicious, but you can't argue with it.



Hello to everyone visiting from San Francisco.


Supreme Master Ching Hai is super awesome and I love her channel. :)


I like the talking dogs telling us to go vegan.


Hey. Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't. Help me! It has to find sites on the: Japanese stock market. I found only this - depression Stock market crash. I think youre going to be very surprised by the result. That means the top listed companies have increased in market value by almost billion since march. Waiting for a reply :rolleyes:, Truitt from Belarus, who bums dogs.


Sorry. With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. Help me! It has to find sites on the: Comcast basic cable cost. I found only this - Comcast cable co. I had two supervisors tell me that no one could come to my home tomorrow because they were booked, despite the fact that I met every requirement of meeting my appointment. As you sit on one of the carefully laid benches and relish the views, you can see. With love :-), Delu from Verde, who bums dogs with his mate Truitt.


Thank you for showing that the SMCH channel isn't out to get your money. I also appreciate you being fair in noticing that they do alot to focus on being positive. I don't blame you for being suspicious. With all the fake people out their ready to get your money, why wouldn't you be. lol.

With Master's Love :)

Tan Seaw Kim

At least you are being fair by spending time & effort to watch the whole cycle & find out yourself that this TV channel is not out to get the viewers' money. What loss can it be by listening to positive & constructive news & programs ?


It is the BEST and Most POSITIVE TV channel we ever have. There is no violence and aggression. Master Ching Hai treats everyone of us including animals with the same unconditional love and compassion. Her charitable deeds have not gone unnoticed by many countries. She always gives and gives and gives, and expect nothing in return.

Dr. Vince Le

Suma ChingHai is one of the best teachers of our time.
Date/Location November 8, 2009 at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC
Dr. Stephen Schneider: Stanford University Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change,
Ms. Maneka Gandhi: India's Member of Parliament and former Minister of Environment and Forests,
Dr. Noam Mohr: Adjunct Professor of Physics at New York University,
Dr. Michael Greger: Director of Public Health & Animal Agriculture for the Humane Society of the US,
Dr. Ruby Lathon: Nutrition Policy Manager Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,
Dr. Peter Carter: Director Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment,
Supreme Master Ching Hai: World renowned humanitarian, spiritual teacher, artist, and international bestselling author
The conference will be followed by a live concert and dance performance and a grand banquet.
Admission is free to the public, but pre-registration is highly recommended due to vast public demand.
The event will be broadcast live worldwide on fourteen satellite platforms and dozens of cable channels on Supreme Master Television, a constructive global television channel with subtitles in more than 40 different languages
The station also streams its broadcast online at


When you are right, the whole world is right; when you are wrong, the whole world is also wrong; and when you are negative, everything looks negative.

It's a pity you wasted so much of your precious time and effort writing a long article that spread negative energy around you, affecting yourself and your readers, and who benefits from your writing ? I wonder. Why not writing something more meaningful, more positive and constructive ?

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