The interrogation records of three criminals tell part of the story of a secret religious movement that tried to topple a dynasty. This sect of apocalyptic Buddhism was so secretive, and so completely quashed by government authorities, that criminal cases are some of our only sources about the extent of their activity.
Featured image: Lin Qing, a major leader of the Eight Trigrams, and one of the people who decided to organize the White Lotus into an uprising. (Image source)
A scroll depicting members of the White Lotus society. This was probably a fifteenth century copy of an older scroll. (Image source)
The Forbidden City, the imperial palace complex stormed by rebels. (Image source)
- True Crimes in Eighteenth-Century China
- Millenarian themes in the White Lotus Society
- Millenarian Rebellion in China
- The Anti—Unity Sect Campaign and Mass Mobilization in the Early People’s Republic of China