Temples that loan money

I heard a news report about one of the richest temples in the Taiwan. Don’t know name or location.

They make loans up to nt$600 and then you pay back in donations.

Last year the return on loans was 50%.

One of those Gods is telling me to start a temple.


You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.


Sometimes I’ve wondered what would happen if a few foreigners started a small local temple.

They’d disappear.


By some kind of divine magic?

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Possibly. They definitely wouldn’t be around very long.

I thought about something similar, but I think you would probably just be roundly ignored.

Unless you were giving out loans, in which case you’d be very popular. I would expect the “returns” to be somewhat negative though.

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A lot of foreigners in the Philippines (Indians and Koreans, apparently) start up under-the-radar “loan” businesses, commonly known as 5/6 because if you loan 5000, you get back 6000. Usually more. The loan is secured, and since Filipinos invariably borrow more than they’re capable or willing to pay back, they end up losing their security 80% of the time. When that happens once too often, an “accident” may be arranged. I’m sure the lenders are having a blast until Dong shows up on the doorstep with a homemade shotgun.

How does that work? Secured with what? Your wife or girlfriend?

Funnily enough, most Filipinos have a lot of assets. They usually have a house, land, or jewelry. Some of them have several houses and plots of land, typically inherited from less financially-incontinent parents or granted by the government. It never occurs to them to do something useful with those assets. If they need money, the first thought that comes into their heads is to pawn one of their assets.

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To bet on cockfights?

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Or a birthday party. Or a hastily-arranged wedding. Or a “medical emergency”. Or school fees. There’s an endless list of avoidable problems they need money for. Anyway, point is, if you’re lending money outside of the mainstream financial system, you’re usually lending money to people who aren’t capable of paying it back. That means you need to apply pressure to get it back. And said pressure needs to be better than the pressure available to the people you’re loan-sharking to. I guess that’s why temples here tend to be affiliated with gangs and other Tai Ke types. Anyone starting up a foreigner-owned “temple” would probably have to have a few East European psychopaths on staff.


I think it would be more of a spiritual thing. Note it’s only $500. Are you really going to risk angering the gods for that kind of loose change? Seems like a bad idea even to me lol. In my understanding a lot of temples work on this kind of understanding. We give you advice, a foretelling, etc. If you profit by it, a donation is expected and not doing so is considered to be extremely inauspicious.

Ours won’t be making any loans :slight_smile: The focus will be on a pure religious experience. “One night when I was sleeping off my taipi, I had a vision”, that kind of thing

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You mean like a sex cult? :thinking:

Wouldn’t that be an impure religious experience?

Still, plenty of people looking for that sort of thing, is history is anything to go by.

Baby steps

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Maybe, but SOP for a cult. :sunglasses:

Who would borrow 600NT$? Or is it a typo?

You mean pay in advance?

It’s rigged! If the foretelling doesn’t come true you want to know why and than you go back and pay more money.