“Tama-chan the “little seal with a lousy sense of direction” became a TV star in Japan. A whole series titled “The World According to Tama-chan,” chronicled the life of this ocean orphan lost in the Tama River.

The adorable mammal became a “national sweetheart” as his exploits were watched in a series of episodes on Japanese national television. He even had a fan club, reports Daily Yomiuri.

But by Episode 4, Tama-chan had some trouble from strange new fans that wanted to “rescue” him. And that “fan club” is now known as the “cult” called Pana Wave.

“Cult leader” Yuko Chino and her devoted cohorts tried to kidnap little Tama-chan. Later she would claim that the seal’s “rescue” would somehow “save humanity.”

But perhaps all Chino really had in mind was moving into the limelight generated by darling seal, rather than rescuing either Tama-chan or the human race.

Eventually the media dug a little too deep and made Chino unhappy. She then had her followers chase them off with a bulldozer.

So is Yuko Chino a dangerous doomsday cult leader, or a manipulative media hound?

Maybe she is both rolled up into one odd combination?

It wasn’t that long ago that another “cult” known as the “Raelians” burst into prime time, claiming they had produced the “first human clone.”

However, all they really ever produced was an orchestrated media blitz.

Perhaps then Chino’s fascination with Tama-chan is telling. It does seem to mirror a Raelian-like publicity stunt.

Raelian leader Claude Vorilhon (“Rael”) seems to feed his voracious ego on such self-indulgent fare. Is Chino cut from the same cloth? They are both “cult leaders,” do they have more in common?

Everything has now seemingly come around full circle. Yuko Chino and Pana Wave are now the stars of their very own media series, seen through daily news coverage.

If the cult leader craved attention, she has certainly fulfilled her dream.

But it may turn out that the odd woman in the white van, will once again not like her close up.


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