Herbert, now Max Gufler. My 12 "reincarnations" on planet Earth / Milky Way galaxy as a: 1. Teacher of European languages. MY LIFE AS AN ‘INCONVENIENT’ CITIZEN, ICONOCLAST AND REBEL WITH MANY CAUSES IN THE REPUBLIC OF TAIWAN 1967-2007.
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Herbert, nowMax Gufler
My 12 "reincarnations" on planet Earth / Milky Way galaxy as a:
1. Teacher of European languages
1969 Arrival in Xin Zhu – Mandarin studies as a Jesuit (member of a Catholic religious order)
1972 Studies of Theology at Fu Ren University – Publication of a critical report on the state of the order in Taiwan and subsequent expulsion from Taiwan, i.e., ‘exile’ to Austria where I finished my studies
1975 Ordained priest – Russian Studies in Paris – Work as parish priest in central France – Return ‘home’ to the Far East – Teaching Catholic doctrine at St. Xavier High School in Manila / Philippines
1980Return to Xin Zhu / Taiwan – Dean of Students at the Jesuit Chinese Language Institute –Language instructor at Qing Hua and Jiao Tong University – “Golden Lion” government award for social service – Stopped eating animal products ‘cold turkey’ – Arranged yoga classes in parish activity center for general public
Founder of “Operation De-Handicap” for physically challenged young people
2. Lecturer on nutrition / health / vegan life style / philosophy of life
3. Catholic priest and missionary in the Republic of Taiwan
1985 Left Jesuit order – Return to Europe / Munich – Left Catholic Church and Christian past behind – Still firm believer in a spiritual world but fierce opponent of every kind of religious flimflam and hocus-pocus – Feeling spiritual affinity to Buddhist weltanschauung Instructor of Mandarin Chinese at Munich Technical University –Return to Taiwan – Teaching at Zhong Xing / Qing Hua / Jiao Tong University
1987 Return to Europe / Germany– Attending seminar by three professors from Moscow State University on modern Russian history – Criticizing their distorted picture of history and accusing them of hiding the true facts about the invasion/war in Afghanistan – Being cut down in mid-speech by the chairperson who jumped up: “I warn you: you are on Russian soil and under Russian law!!!” – Seminar declared closed – Survived the scare unharmed though.
1987-2007 Teaching in and around my ‘home’ town Xin Zhu – Getting involved in and organizing activities / protests related to political / social / environmental issues
4. Buddhist monk and meditation disciple
ENVIRO (MENTALIST) 1978-2007- Publication of many articles on environmental protection issues – Fighting air/water/soil polluters in Xin Zhu / Tai Zhong / Tai Nan – Forcing a scrap metal factory polluting the Zhong Xing University campus for seven years to move away – Threatening the director of the Xin Zhu zoo until the trash was hauled away to the Xin Zhu garbage dump / incinerator – Riding on horseback over the hills surrounding the town, flashing a self-made fake environmental police ID and threatening people with stiff fines for burning agricultural and industrial waste products
ANIMAL RIGHTS CRUSADER1978 – 2007-Many publications in newspapers / magazines explaining the devastating role played by animal husbandry in air/water/soil pollution – Especially highlighting the superiority of a vegan life style to that of a carnivore on all three accounts: health / environment / ethics
5. Tennis crack
3. POLITICAL ACTIVIST 1967-2007 - I have been an outspoken advocate of an independent Taiwan ever since I set foot on the island. Being an anarchist in complete unison with Churchillian political thought:”All governments are bad, democratic ones are just a little better than the rest of them”, I’ve loathed communism as much as Guo Min Dang rule.
March 1992: I put up a six page scathing critique of four decades of Guo Min Dang rule in the form of an open letter to the students and staff of both Qing Hua and Jiao Tong University – People on the streets shook my hands - I made it right away to the ‘persona non grata’ Guo Min Dang blacklist. When I attended the graduation ceremony at Qing Hua University I was immediately surrounded by four gestapo agents who tried to push me down, when I entered the auditorium.
6 . Horse man
ORGANIC GARDENER 1997-2007 - I see organic farming (and non-GMO food production) as the only way to go - I’ve led local people to Germany / Austria in order to visit farms, organic certification organizations and wholesalers – I am probably the only European organic banana plantation owner in the Far East
2000: I founded the ‘Xin Zhu Organic Health Store Association’
THIRD WORLD SUPPORTER 1995-2007 - I’ve supported the Austrian branch of ‘Light-for-the-World’ charity organization for over ten years - We were able to donate over one million (Taiwan) dollar for cataract operations in South America / Africa / India helping one thousand blind people to regain their sight and independent living
Recently we have started to expand our social welfare activities and cooperate with ‘World Vision / Germany’ – We are paying the school fees and living expenses for two children
7. Yoga / Meditation / Massage instructor
8. Gong Fu practitioner
(the only 'fake' photo - the thick branch was easy to break because rotten inside!)
9. Tiger cub babysitter in the Xin Zhu zoo
(the tiger babies showed no respect for a vegetarian and began to chew at my bones)
PUBLICATIONS / LETTERS TO GOV. OFFICIALS / SPEECHESDozens of articles and speeches about vegetarianism / environmental protection / language teaching. A ring binder, packed full with protest letters / personal investigations of sources of contamination / accidents / accusations of dereliction of duty addressed to ministers, mayors, city councilors and chiefs of government organizations.
BOOKS COMPILED AND PUBLISHED FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF OUR YOGA / LANGUAGE CLASS PARTICIPANTS
The Secrets of Eating Smarter – What to Eat & Drink & Do to Stay Healthy Longer
True Fitness: What it Means to be Physically Educated
Yoga and Massage – Asanas & Home Massage for Everyone
10. Sax & guitar player
11. Troubadour & Don Juan
MASS MEDIA COVERAGE OF MY DIVERSE ACTIVITIES
About 70 articles in newspapers and magazines
TV appearances – 2006: 30 minute ‘Da Ai Tai’ TV special on my life in Taiwan
NEXT PROJECTS: ARTICLE SERIES IN COLLABORATION WITH THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE CHINA TIMES
Red Alert! Major Nuclear Accident at Jin Shan Power Station! Radioactive Clouds / Fall-out Expected to Reach Xin Zhu within Three Hours! Do You Know How to Protect Yourself???
Bon voyage! The Real Cost of Airplane Travel – The Lowdown on the Best Kept Secret and Least Reported Fact
12. Organic gardener
(but obviously this is not the appropriate photo)