Prof. Massimo Introvigne Rings the Bell of World Peace and Love in LA
The world’s leading scholar of new religious movements is honored for his promotion of truth, justice, and human rights
“May peace and love prevail for the world and for Tai Ji Men–peace with conscience and justice,” stated Prof. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and the managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions, when ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love in Los Angeles on August 8, 2022.
Prof. Introvigne is one of the world's leading scholars of new religious movements. He also serves as editor-in-chief of an internationally famous magazine, Bitter Winter, which focuses on religious liberty and human rights and was cited 85 times in the U.S. State Department’s yearly Religious Freedom Report issued in 2021. In 2011, he served as the Representative for combating racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which the USA and Canada are also participating states). From 2012 to 2015, he was chairperson of the Observatory of Religious Liberty instituted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prof. Introvigne was honored by Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men, for his promotion of truth, justice, and human rights. Introvigne shared how powerful, humbling, and emotional the experience was for him and explained how the Bell represents a microcosm of the vast universe. “When you attune yourself, you vibrate with the bell; you let the energy of the bell carry you. You are really attuned with the universe," he stated, adding, "Conscience is the center of the bell because it is the center of the universe.” He also shared the impact of the experience on him: “From today, from ringing the bell, I believe for me personally starts a new commitment to fight for peace, love, and justice.”
Prof. Introvigne is the 425th ringer of the Bell of World Peace and Love, which has been rung by leaders from 128 countries around the world, including 49 heads of state, seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, UN ambassadors, and other visionary leaders. The ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love is an ancient solemn ritual in which ringers make wishes for peace with a reverent heart toward Heaven and Earth, spreading them with the sound of the Bell and praying for all living things. The bell ringers are encouraged to exert their positive influences to advance global peace and sustainability.
During tumultuous times, it is particularly important to invite influential leaders to ring the Bell in order to awaken the conscience of everyone and infuse the Earth with positive energy to safeguard it and promote world peace. Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze presented to Prof. Introvigne some meaningful gifts, such as a Compass Clock of Conscience, a “Love of the World, A Declaration of Peace Scroll,” and The History of International Day of Conscience. The Clock serves as a symbol of time, direction, and purpose. It guides people toward the right path of life and reminds them to seize every moment to apply conscience and do good deeds. The declaration encourages people to spread love and peace around the globe and return to a peaceful world where there is no pain, no fear, no war, and no suffering. The History of International Day of Conscience documents major events leading to the United Nations’ designation of April 5 as the International Day of Conscience.
Dr. Hong firmly believes that conscience is the key to resolving all problems. He initiated the movement of An Era of Conscience in 2014, and beginning in 2018, he collaborated with the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Bahrain, Kiribati, Equatorial Guinea, and other countries on a draft resolution titled "Promoting the Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience." On July 25, 2019, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the draft resolution submitted by the Kingdom of Bahrain, declaring April 5 as the International Day of Conscience.
Thereafter, Dr. Hong has led his dizi (disciples) to engage in activities each month to honor various UN-designated days, with an emphasis on conscience, uniting global citizens to act with conscience, transforming their communities, countries, and the world.
On October 10, 2019 at one of such events hosted by Dr. Hong to celebrate the United Nations’ adoption of the International Day of Conscience, Prof. Introvigne related a story that has a profound meaning: “The Buddha befriended three young men, very rich young men, very spoiled young men. And one day, the house where the young men were living was on fire. But the three young men were so spoiled that they didn’t realize the house was on fire and they were going to die.” The Buddha tried to figure out how to save them, but he recognized that talking to them would be futile since they would just not comprehend. As a result, the Buddha sent three exceedingly beautiful chariots to entice them to leave their burning home and board the chariots. They didn't understand the house was on fire, but they were drawn to the magnificent chariots, so they boarded the chariots and were saved.
“Our world is burning. There is a lot of smoke, a lot of fire. We are at serious risk to die. We do not realize it. If somebody were to talk to us, we will not understand. That is exactly the mission of Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Men.” “Let’s board the chariot Dr. Hong is offering to us. Let’s board the chariot and get saved. I believe that is the lesson of the Day of Conscience. That is the lesson of Tai Ji Men. So thank you, Dr. Hong, for offering to us the chariots. And let’s all board the chariots and get saved from the burning house that is our world.”
For more than 20 years, Dr. Hong has led his dizi (disciples) to visit 101 countries at their own expense, tirelessly promoting the ideas of conscience, love, peace and sustainable development. In addition to organizing bell ringing ceremonies and other activities to connect the conscience of leaders in all fields, they have been inviting global citizens to sign multiple declarations on peace and conscience. To date, the Declarations for Human Rights of World Citizens and Peace have been endorsed by over 3.7 million people in 197 nations, and a CD with two million signatures was submitted to the UN in 2004; the Declaration for the Movement of An Era of Conscience and the Declaration of International Day of Conscience have been endorsed by people in 200 nations.
Tai Ji Men urges everyone to endorse these declarations and put into practice the spirit of love, peace, conscience, and human rights expressed in the declarations, as Dr. Hong emphasized, "With conscience comes a peaceful world; with happiness come joyful families!”