It was no secret among people in Mahu village in Sichuan province that their local party secretary had a part-time job.
Yuan Xiaoqing moonlighted as a religious shaman for the best part of 14 years.
Officially, Yuan is an atheist, according to party documents.
Yuan made up to 30,000 yuan (US$4,890) a month from his part-time occupation, more than thrice the annual national average for rural workers, Chinanews.com reported Friday.
That would make sense.
He charged 5,000 yuan for a religious ceremony for the dead and hundreds of yuan for geomancy or fung shui.
One of his most recent commissions was for a new police headquarters building, the report said.
As a village party secretary, he received 1,000 yuan a month but that included intangible benefits — his position allowed him to market his shaman credentials.
Call it conflict of interest if you like, even abuse of power, but Yuan apparently got away with it by cultivating a strong relationship with his superiors.
We’re not saying anything but you get the point.
But some secrets don’t last forever.
When more senior party officials found out, Yuan was sacked. He is under police investigation.
– Contact us at [email protected]