The Falun Gong Machine

When I attended the 6th Asian Heritage Street Celebration in San Francisco, I stopped at a booth for Shen Yun Performing Arts staffed with attractive, college age girls. My wife loves dance, and I thought she might be interested. I asked if this dance troop was part of a local college or university. The girl who handed me the brochure said yes. She lied to me.

6th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration

That evening, when I arrived home, I handed the brochure to my wife, who said, “That is Falun Gong.” I’ve written about The Falun Gong and Costco, about A Visit from the Falun Gong, and the more I learn about this group, the more sinister they become.

Turning to the Internet and using Google, I learned that New Tang Dynasty Television, Shen Yun Performing Arts and The Epoch Times all appear to be part of Falun Gong. I also discovered that Falun Gong must buy lots of Internet AD words so Google searches lead to one of the gears in the Falun Gong machine.  In fact, I had trouble finding anything but Falun Gong propaganda and had to keep altering my search terms to get beyond the Falun Gong firewall.

In time, I discovered a piece published in the Buffalo News saying, “the promoters and creators of “Shen Yun,” who have picked up a reputation for misrepresentation and deception over the years, have adopted the questionable propagandist tactics of the very government they criticize in their productions.”

Digging further, the New York Times reported, “China’s decision to ban Falun Gong was made after 10,000 adherents staged a silent protest outside the gates of Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party’s leadership compound in Beijing, to complain about reports in the state-run media that the group said were defamatory. Security forces apparently had no advance knowledge of the demonstration, which took place on April 25, 1999. The Chinese government began treating the group as a threat to national security.”

How about visiting Belching About China

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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26 Responses to The Falun Gong Machine

  1. Tonetta h says:

    The practitioners of falun gong are very brainwashed into believing everything Master li says or writes about as they are required to read the same book over repeatedly each day. Im losing my husband ( he lives in manhatten working for epoch times, I’m in Washington state) when I talk with him he uses the same jargon ie: rotton ghosts, moving mountains, demons, thank you for sharing, the list goes on… Master li is nothing more than a fraud who started a false spirituality that does nothing more than brainwash and destroy families .
    It consumes their lives 24/7 , and the follower’s are extremely defensive if anyone dare’s to give their opinion ( although tolerance is one of the slogan’s )

  2. […] you know that Falun Gong owns an estate in Old Westbury on the corner of Wheatley Road at the LIE north service road?  They […]

  3. Robert says:

    Falun gong is good. Communist party in china is telling lies and propaganda. You must not listen to china goverment. Just take a look in tibetan history about how china invaded, killed, brainwashed, prisoned and destroyed tibetan culture and history. They tell lies and propaganda. I am not saying this because i practise Falun gong, but because i tell the truth and want to spread zhen-shan-ren.

    CCP is totally against all spiritual practises and movements, because they want the people to see on them as the only god, the only leader, and the only truth.

    Falun Dafa (Gong) – Norway.

    • Robert,

      It’s obvious that whatever you have learned about China, the Falun Gong and Tibet was propaganda and lies fed to you, and you swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

      Falun Gong has its start in 1992 in the northeastern city of Changchun and was identified with the Buddhist tradition. In fact, Falun Gong initially enjoyed official sanction and support from Chinese government agencies.

      However, a few years later Falun Gong started irritating state run associations and in the Spring of 1999 following a protest of 10,000 Falun Gong adherents, the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Jiang Zemin, ordered that Falun Gong be considered a cult and officially removed all support and approval of the cult.

      Anyone that pays attention to China and the CCP knows how sensitive the CCP is to any large public demonstrations that are considered a threat to the Party.

      After the Spring of 1999 and the march of those 10,000 Falun Gong members on the CCP’s headquarter’s compound in Beijing, Falun Gong practitioners responded with protests on Tiananmen Square (we all know how those types of protests turn out so it is best not to do them in China unless you WANT a reaction from the CCP to gain attention from the rest of the world–if you want attention, pull the tiger’s tail), the creation of their own media companies overseas, international lawsuits targeting Chinese officials, and the establishment of a network of underground publishing sites to produce literature on the practice within China. Falun Gong has emerged as a prominent voice for an end to one-party rule in China.

      As for the CCP wanting the Chinese people to see them as the only god in China, explain the fact that the CCP officially recognizes and allows several religions to practice in China—Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Taoist and that there are several approved Jewish temples in China including one in Beijing.

      According to The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, there are about 100 million Buddhists in China; Christianity is China’s second-largest officially recognized religion—Chinese government figures indicate dramatic growth among Protestants and Catholics, as is seen by comparing the numbers reported in the government’s 1997 White Paper on religion with an updated 2006 “Background Brief” provided to the Pew Forum by the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. The officially reported number of Christians increased from 14 million to 21 million, or 50%, in less than 10 years. During this time, Protestants increased from 10 million to 16 million – a 60% increase – and Catholics from 4 million to 5 million – a 25% increase.

      As for Islam, according to the 2000 census in China, the Horizon surveys found that some 1% of the adult population claim to be Muslim, which may equal more than 20 million Muslims placing China among the top 20 countries in Muslim population size almost equal to Saudi Arabia and nearly double that of all 27 European Union countries combined.

      Source: http://www.pewforum.org/Importance-of-Religion/Religion-in-China-on-the-Eve-of-the-2008-Beijing-Olympics.aspx

      What is the difference between approved relations in China and the Falun Gong Cult is that Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have never protested in front of Party headquarters in Beijing with thousands of followers demanding a seat at the table of power.

      As for your claim about Tibet, your ignorance of historical facts is evident. For several centuries starting with the Yuan (Mongol) and continuing with the Ming (Han) and Qing (Manchu) Dynasties, Tibet was occupied by Chinese Imperial troops and governed by political governors assigned to Tibet by the Emperor of China. We do not need to look to China to discover the fact that Tibet has been considered part of China since the 13th century and Tibet did not declare its separation from China until 1913 when the British Empire convinced them to break free for political reasons (the British Imperial Empire and the Russian Imperial Empire were adversaries in the latter half of the 19th and early part of the 20th century and were jockeying for power in the Middle East and Asia).In 1950 when Mao sent in the People’s Liberation Army to reoccupy Tibet and return it to China, it was more of a tactical move than anything else since a large part of China’s water comes from the Tibetan plateau where three major rivers. The Mekong River starts in Tibet and flows through Yunnan province in China before it reaches Northern Thailand. The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in China.

      You may want to educate yourself with this article from Circle of Blue: China, Tibet and the Strategic Power of Water to learn why it was vital for China to control the source of more than 20% of its water supply which starts in China.

      Source: http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2008/world/china-tibet-and-the-strategic-power-of-water/

      You also do not mention anything about how the quality of people’s lifestyles in Tibet has improved dramatically. In 1950, the average lifespan in Tibet was about 34 years of age. Today, that average lifespan has almost doubled. Prior to 1950, more than 90% of Tibet’s people were illiterate serfs/slaves of the small number of people that owned most of the land and to Tibetan Buddhist monks that required every family send one son to become a monk. Today, Tibet has a growing middle class with much better lifestyles and all children are required to go to school and learn to read. No longer are Tibetan families forced to send a son to be indoctrinated into the Buddhist religion of one of the several Buddhist sects in Tibet. It is voluntary now—free choice for each family.
      Anyone interested in learning the facts about Tibet and China need not listen to anything the CCP says or claims since that evidence exists in the Western media (but isn’t well known by people in the West). For example, the journals and letters of Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911) clearly show that China considered Tibet part of the Chinese Imperial Empire all the way up to 1911 when the Qing Dynasty collapsed. Two years later, due to British political influence and pressure, the Dalai Lama split Tibet from China but the people still had no freedom at all since they were ruled totally by one or another of the four major Buddhist sects in Tibet.

      Then there is the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine (NGM) with an article written by a Western trained Chinese doctor ordered to Tibet by the Emperor of China in 1907 to deal with a cholera epidemic. Doctor Chuan stayed in Tibet for two years where he traveled extensively and took many photos (some appear in that issue of NGM. Dr. Chuan goes into detail about Tibet’s history with China and how the emperor assigned to political governors to rule over Tibet in the emperor’s name—at that time, China considered Tibet another province of China. I have a copy of the original NGM issue of that magazine. I bought it to verify that it wasn’t somehow faked by China as part of its so called propaganda and lies about Tibet.

      In addition, Harvard University Press published Sir Robert Hart’s letters and journals in the 1970s, and I also have copies of those books, which I have read.

      I would find it interesting indeed to see how anyone could concoct a lie to link what Sir Robert Hart wrote about China during the years he lived there (1854-1908) with the CCP with Communist propaganda since Communism didn’t become a world power/threat until after 1917 (four years after Sir Robert Hart’s death at the age of 76) and the Russian Revolution, which did not end until 1923. Oh, Robert Hart’s surviving original letters and journals are kept at the Queen’s College in Belfast where the Harvard scholars went to study and copy what he wrote before Harvard published what he had to say about China.

      • seeknsanity says:

        “Anyone that pays attention to China and the CCP knows how sensitive the CCP is to any large public demonstrations that are considered a threat to the Party.”

        And with good reason if one remembers the Taiping Rebellion. Regardless of who is on which side,China has already experienced what a cult can do to a country. It is understandable that they would be sensitive to such things.

  4. kathy says:

    what a load of bs, saying falung gong is a cult is like saying yoga is a cult, its movement and meditation. It bring people together for a silent , peaceful protest and its a threat and the people who practice, get tortured, killed and organs harvested. Why would it not be a good idea to get the word out about the practice and the wrong doings towards the practitioners, as strongly as possible. Perhaps you should get a new job, a journalist needs to understand the difference between education and propaganda . One is manipulative , disinformation, and one is truth and information with nothing to hide, both are given with the hope of changing an individuals actions. The amount of pressure and exposure is not the judging point. I give two thumbs down for this article.

    • Kathy, thank you for your comment.

      Your “OPINION” is noted. I’m not paid to be a journalist by any media source. I’m a Blogger, which is a different beast and I write what I believe as an individual and my experience with Falun Gong says it is a cult. No one pays me to write what appears on this Blog. It isn’t a job. In fact, I doubt that most Bloggers are paid to write what they do.

      However, I’m sure members of the Falun Gong cult will not agree with my own opinion since they have been brainwashed to worship and believe the “crap” the guru that launched this cult preaches. It appears that you may be one those brainwashed worshipers so I am not surprised by your comment.

      When you claim that members of the Falun Gong cult have had their organs harvested in China, have been tortured, etc., this is an alleged claim and has not been proven in a court of law. Until then, it is only an alleged an unproven claim and may be only exaggerated propaganda. Even in the traditional Western media a lot of propaganda and lies are printed. I do not doubt that Falun Gong members have been imprisoned in China since they violated China’s Constitution by forming an organized cult religion in China that was not on the approved list. China is not the United States where any cult or religion may practice without government interference. China is a different culture with different laws that limit the freedom of religious choice or practice and China is not the only country on the earth that does this. China is not unique. There are many countries that limit the freedom of religious choice and practice. Saudi Arabia and Singapore are two other countries that come to mind that limit the freedom of religious choice and practice. In Saudi Arabia, if found guilty, one may be beheaded in a public execution. In Singapore, people that violate the restricted relgion law are usually tossed out of the country and not allowed to return.

      Anyone that rebels and violates a country’s laws must be willing to accept the results that may lead to a prison sentence and possibly torture. For example, if America’s Founding Fathers had lost the revolution in 1776, they would have all been hanged by the British Empire as traitors to the British king.

      In fact, unlike most religions and cults, I don’t claim that what I believe is the truth. What I write is my opinion and I attempt to support those opinions with facts and I often provide links to the sources where I find those facts. Then it is up to individual readers to decide for themselves what to believe as you have.

    • Kathy,

      The definition of paganism means any of various religions other than Christianity or Judaism or Islamism. The Falun Gong is not Christian, Jewish or an Islamic sect. Therefore it is a pagan religion and/or a cult.

      Alternative Religion.net says the Falun Gong was founded in 1992 in China by former schoolteacher Li Hongzhi as Falun Dafa, the Falun Gong are already numbered in the millions. Falun Gong means “Practice of the wheel,” referring to the Buddhist wheel of Dharma Followers of Hongzhi practice Chi-gong (literally, “life-energy”), a practice that includes a practice similar to Tai Chi exercise, healthful living, and other elements of traditional Chinese spiritual practice.

      Li, Known as Master Li, teaches followers that practicing Falun Gong leads to spiritual transcendence. The Falun, or wheel, is believed to have a physical presence in the body, in the navel, giving off and absorbing energy. The five exercises practiced by adherents are meant to strengthen the Falun. Falun is not meant to be a religion, according to Li, but a practice complimentary to religious practice.

      The Falun Gong symbol is a glyph consisting of a rotating manji (swastika) surrounded by four smaller manji and four yin-yang symbols, symbolizing energy forces in the universe.

      Source: http://altreligion.net/?page_id=52

      The Ten Commandments of Christianity and Judaism says, “I am the LORD they God. Thou shall have no other gods, No graven images or likenesses, Not take the LORD’s name in vain…”

      In the Quran, it says, “And your Lord has ordained that you should not worship anyone except him… When Abraham said to his father… do you adopt idols as your things of worship? I see you and your tribe in open error”

      Time Magazine in July 2001 reported, “Not much is known about Li Hongzhi, 48, the man who created Falun Gong in 1992… Li’s rambling dissertation, Zhuan Falun, has only added to accusations that Falun Gong is a cult. Li writes he can personally heal disease and that his followers can stop speeding cars using the powers of his teachings. He writes that the Falun Gong emblem exists in the bellies of practitioners, who can see through the celestial eyes in their foreheads. Li believes humankind is degenerating and demons are everywhere, extraterrestrials are everywhere too and that Africa boasts a 2-billion-year-old nuclear reactor. He also says he can fly.”

      In fact, Time Magazine lists six characteristics of cults and Falun Gong practices three of them.

      1. Fosters an us-versus-them approach to life
      2. Uses jargon that outsiders don’t understand
      3. Led by a charismatic master

      Source: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,165166,00.html

  5. freedoll37 says:

    Llyod

    I agree with you on China’s strategy with North Korea who has a very strategic importance to China. Japan and the United States have always been playing lot of influence around this region, including this time in the clash between the two Korean countries. Their ambition is very obvious.

    Nowadays, starting a war or invasion into a country is not as easy as before though the armament is so much advanced, because humanism plays a big role. Thus, economic wars, mind control in the name of freedom and democracy, are being cleverly used by neo-imperialism. The rest of the world don’t have to understand it, but China, we Chinese, should be forever aware of the sugar-coated bombs. Stability speaks stronger than democracy in a country like China who has just finished its recovery period from 100 years of chaos.

    I was not aware of that when i was inside China. After having living abroad for several years, i more and more understand the difficult cosmopolitan political evrionment China has. So many ambitionists are peering at her. I am told that China will become the first world power wherever i go. This is such a funny concept for us. “World power”? we don’t even have that word in dictionary. it’s obviously one of those makeup “Chinese threats” theories that have aroused so much hostility among the rest of the world towards China.

    The human rights in China have been criticized so much by American government’s anual human rights research. But sometimes it appears funny to me that American government, who places its force around the world, interferes(in the name of helping) others counries’s interior affairs, stimulating endless wars in middle east causing so many deaths, committing big crimes in humanity, and wants to judge China, who at least has never stepped a foot in any of her neighbours?

    Talking about Falunkong, honestly, i’ve never had any close encounterment with any practioner, except for some ramdom conversation. but i could sense the negative energy from them, that suggested lot of hostility, suspiciousness, nevousness. i mean, a good and right spiritual practice will make people at least polite, kind, and eased. However, the fights and chaos created by them don’t make me see that. and they always teach whoever they meet to hate Chinese communists. Question: does any spritual virtue teach hatred? Jesus still told his disciples to love his enemies even after being tortured unbelievably cruelly by them.

    Anyway, any acts threatening China’s unity are unacceptable to the country. Unity is a very great part of Chinese identity. That’s why we love the shape of roundness, which could be seen in tables, decorations and even in the charaters. Completeness means beauty and fulfillment to us. So if things like threats to the unity of the country happen, the answer from China will be: NO WAY! It’s even in the subconsciousness of the country, which is outside of man-made controle. Because it’s a result of 5000 years history that has been being taught from generations to generations until today the importance of collectiveness, which is so different from the western “individulistic identity”.

    Lloyd, i do feel ashamed after seeing how much you’ve studied about China from all levels and how many efforts you’ve made to analyse with your knowlegde in its history and culture. As a Chinese, i don’t even know much about my own country. i should really study more. and frankly speaking, i did show some nationalism that might have made some of my pionts judgemental and i’m sorry if that would offend you.

    And thanks for providing all this useful information!

    • Free Doll 37,

      No offense taken. I hope that my Blog will continue to educate.

      To be fair, many of the history books in China are also tainted by Western Imperialism. Sterling Seagrave, the author of “Dragon Lady”, says that much of the history of China during the 19th century comes from the lies British journalist wrote about the Qing Dynasty and the last Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi.

      It seems that the British, French and other Western Imperial powers had to tell many lies to justify the Opium Wars and many of those lies are still considered gospel.

      In fact, the lies, exaggerations, and omissions are still happening to demonize China—I’m still trying to figure out the Western political agenda behind what is happening and I hope the answer that is starting to materialize is wrong because if I’m right, it will lead to much suffering and death.

  6. freedoll37 says:

    Lloyd, though a foreigner, does point out something very true about China–the uppermost importance of stability and unity. Talking about freedom and democracy at the price of causing billions of people to starve, is against its culture and reality.

    • Free Doll 37,

      You bring up an interesting point, which may explain why China appears to support North Korea — keeping the region stable and avoiding war at all costs.

      I recently heard from friends and acquaintances that live near Beijing that the cost of Napa cabbage and sweet potatoes has become expensive due to China shipping much of the crop to North Korea so the people there won’t starve.

      China is more concerned with stability then building democracies. If the people of North Korea starve, that country will collapse into chaos. If a war breaks out between the North and South, that will destabilize the region and slow or stop economic growth.

      Yes, leaving North Korea as it is appears to cause suffering of the people. However, what the US did in Iraq as nation building caused great suffering and loss of life too besides eroding America’s global image more than it was already bruised.

      Instead of nation building and creating democracies with guns and bombs, China’s idea of stability may actually lead to less suffering over time.

      Then I ask, if it takes starting wars to force nations to become democracies, then I believe there is something wrong with the concept of democracy. In fact, America’s Founding Fathers created a Republic and had no respect for democracies, which they considered nothing better than mob rule.

      China’s current government may be closer to what the US was in the 18th century then the US is today.

      In the last two centuries, America evolved into something different from what the Founding Fathers created. The biggest change came about after World Wars I and II. All that power appears to have corrupted the nation.

  7. […] October 5, a comment appeared from someone called JJYZ to The Falun Gong Machine , which appeared in June […]

  8. jjyz says:

    Lloyd, please take a look at the resources I provided. Judge for yourself whether they are useful or propaganda. I am sure, however, that there are new facts in those informational sources. If you care about facts–real world facts, not theories and ideologies–then please check them out and see if they are useful for forming your views on the subject. If you don’t care about facts and only want to reinforce your existing biases and opinions, then of course you don’t need to read them. But as I say, there is information that you do not know, and I wish you would avail yourself of it. That’s all. I wish you well.

    • JJYZ, When I have time, I will.

      Meanwhile, the links you provided are there for anyone who wants to check them out. I also recommend you read all the posts on iLook China – that is if you have the time. You may gain a better picture of China that way than the one you see through a lens colored by Falun Gong and its supporters in the West.

      By definition, Falun Gong is a religious cult making the same kind of promises that have been made before by endless cults with a living human demigod at the top of the pyramid.

      To understand better, I suggest you read Living With Evolution by K. D. Koratsky at http://livingwithevolution.com/index.html

      China is still evolving and the picture isn’t complete. If we compare today’s China from the Han Dynasty to 1976, there have been HUGE changes. It took the U.S. more than eighty years to end slavery (and only after a brutal Civil War) and more than a century to liberate women and children.

      China didn’t get started as a republic until 1982.

      Right now, there is no room in China for a religious cult like the Falun Gong.

      By the time, China has evolved into the republic that Sun Yat-sen envisioned, Falun Gong will probably be a footnote in history.

      We can only hope that China’s evolution into a republic will be swifter than the U.S. and won’t be sidetracked by crackpots and despots. Also, we must hope that China will stay a republic and not become a democracy, which the U.S. Founding Fathers hated.

    • JJYZ,

      You sent another post full of propaganda — some of what you claim may be true but I’m not here to spread propaganda for the Falun Gong. I’m sure you have already done that through the Falun Gong media machine. I deleted that last post about the lawyer and yes, I’ve heard of him. I may have also mentioned him in a post.

  9. jjyz says:

    I leave this discussion with a foul taste in my mouth. Lloyd has swallowed CCP propaganda hook, line, and sinker. This is not China “from an outsider’s perspective”, it’s China through the eyes of a “foreign friend” who is very much a part of the system. His arguments are ignorance dressed up as knowledge and bigotry dressed up as impartiality. I do not even know where to begin examining his views on Falungong and the CCP, because the premises are just so fundamentally wrong. For example, the Taiping rebellion/Falungong thesis has ZERO currency among scholars; the Zhongnanhai incident was a culmination of years of harassment, and it was in response to beatings and arrests rather than a simple article; and the idea that Falungong would protest, to invite persecution *so they could recruit people!* is one of the most absurd things I’ve heard said, and I’ve heard a lot of absurd things said on this subject.

    But I would like to recommend a bit of reading. If Lloyd has not already made up his mind on the matter, and can still be persuaded by facts, then the following might help:

    David Ownby’s “Falun Gong and the Future of China”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falun_gong
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/824qbcjr.asp
    http://www.defenddemocracy.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11786210&Itemid=347

    The last two there are based on solid research, and that guy has a book coming out. I wish that Lloyd reads it (along with Ownby’s).

    • Thank you JJYZ for your interesting October 5 comments to my post, The Falun Gong Machine.

      Since I wrote that post back in June (I’ve written close to 800 now), I forgot what was in it so I read it again.

      What I found interesting in JJYZ’s comment is that it appears he or she didn’t read The Falun Gong Machine post carefully, which was about a young girl I talked to at a Shen Yun Performing Arts booth at the 6th Asian Heritage Street Celebration in San Francisco, and later I mentioned a few facts about the Falun Gong from the New York Times and the Buffalo News with links back to those newspaper pieces.

      I also mentioned that I’ve written other posts about my run in with a covert Falun Gong promotion at Costco and a visit to our house by two Falun Gong members.

      In The Falun Gong Machine, I provided links to those posts. Scroll up to the original post if interested.

      JJYZ brings up a Taiping Rebellion Thesis – what thesis? I’ve never heard of a Taiping Rebellion Thesis linked to the Falun Gong.

      All I did was mention in a reply to another comment from a person called Peter that China has a long history of religious movements such as the Falun Gong that turned into violent rebellions, and I used the Taiping Rebellion as an example.

      I also wrote about this topic in a post-called The Millennium Cult.

      And I wrote another post, The White Lotus Mutation, which was about a similar (to the Falun Gong) Chinese religious cult in 1352 AD, which went from peaceful to violent and eventually defeated the Yuan Dynasty, so there is historical evidence to support why the Party reacts the way it does toward the Falun Gong.

      JJYZ then provides links to Wikipedia and a few books (that could be Falun Gong propaganda written by members or sympathizers–Wiki posts may be written by anyone) and one of the links is called “defenddemocracy.org.”

      Since China has NEVER been a democracy and as far as I know is not a threat to any democracy on the planet, what is there to defend from China?

      The structure of China’s government is an autocratic, one party republic (which offers more representation than any government in China’s history), and since 1982, it has been a republic structured to fit a Chinese culture that evolved over a period of several thousand years, which has never accepted organized religions or cults as an element of the political structure of the country.

      Buddhism is the closest and of 1.3 billion people, it is estimated there are only 100 million Buddhists in China today.

      In fact, there have been four Buddhist persecutions in China carried out between the fifth through the tenth centuries by four Chinese emperors.

      The most brutal was in 845 AD by Emperor Wuzong of the Tang Dynasty. He decided that the Buddhist culture was growing too influential and wealthy so he outlawed the religion and destroyed all the Buddhist temples while having many Buddhist monks executed.

      He also persecuted Christians, Muslims, Jews and other organized religions.

      We see this happening again with a popular peasant uprising against foreign religions in 1899 that was called the Boxer Rebellion by the Western press.

      Let’s see, I’ve been accused of being brainwashed by America’s “so-called” liberal media because I’ve written comments on other Blogs that do not support or agree with neo-conservative, evangelical Christian dogma.

      Then because of this Blog that avoids an inflammatory, Sinophobic theme, I’ve been called Pro China and a Panda Lover.

      Now, from JJYZ, who may be a hard-core member of the Falun Gong, I’ve been accused of being brainwashed by the Communist Chinese when JJYZ said, “Lloyd has swallowed CCP propaganda hook, line, and sinker.”

      I have news for you, JJYZ. My opinions formed from direct interactions with the Falun Gong before I found what you claim is CCP propaganda. When you wrote that, you must have been referring to the YouTube video that I found and embedded in the post.

      I didn’t know that video existed until after I wrote the post and went to You Tube to see what I could find that would fit the theme of the post.

      I’ve had Falun Gong members sitting at my kitchen table. I’ve gone to a Falun Gong Chinese New Year’s musical production at a theater in San Francisco and discovered that it was all propaganda designed to recruit more religious cult members and I talked to Falun Gong members in ancient Chinese costumes at Costco who pretended to be something other than Falun Gong.

      I also learned that Falun Gong wasn’t another Christian sect as I thought before that musical production in San Francisco.

      Instead, I discovered that Falun Gong was a pagan cult worshiping a pantheon of gods with the kind of promises I’ve read about before and mentioned in the post about The Millennium Cult.

      As for the bad taste in JJYZ’s mouth, this symptom is often a side effect of being brainwashed by a religious cult and becoming a fanatic.

  10. Peter says:

    Hi Lloyd,

    I’ve read some of your posts involving Falun Gong. First, I think your posts raise issues, but are not substantial enough, beside the fact that you link to sites very negative and critical of Falun Gong (the sort of sites that bread hate-mongering). Anyway, I have been a lurker on a lot of blogs dealing with Falun Gong for a long time, and I decided to join in the conversation.

    I feel similar to you and the article in the Buffalo newspaper, in that I don’t think the promoters of the show are forthright in telling prospective ticket buyers of the content of the show. But, I don’t think that has anything to do with the quality of the show. The singers, dancers, costumes, music, are all good in my opinion. And I feel that the performance comes from the perspective of goodness. The problem seems to be in the marketing.

    My own opinion is that the promoters mean well, but are amateurs at promoting. I think they want people to see a good show, and learn a little bit about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. People have become very suspect of anything related to Falun Gong over the years. I think this stems from the initial presentation of Falun Gong over ten years ago, as being something terrible. This negative campaign still continues. So practitioners are hesitant to mention it outright, for fear of people’s reactions. They should overcome this fear.

    I too initially made comments to friends when approaching Falun Gong booths, saying something like, “watch out for them, they are a banned cult in China.” Over three years of honest research into Falun Gong, including direct contact with the teachings, news reports, Chinese mainlanders and practitioners, has lead me to believe that the practitioners really just want to be left alone to practice, and have been dragged into the world spotlight reluctantly. Didn’t the Jews have a hard time before WWII getting people to believe they were being persecuted? I choose to adopt a more broad minded viewpoint, and give practitioners the benefit of the doubt. They just want the world to see that they have good hearts.

    • From research, I learned that Falun Gong walked into the global spotlight when they had 10,000 people show up unannounced outside of Communist Party headquarters in Beijing protesting something that had been published in China’s official government media about Falun Gong. Shortly after that, China cracked down on the Falun Gong generating global press and sympathy in favor of Falun Gong, which is the usual case in China.

      It would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to buy media attention like that. By staging that demonstration in a country like China where anyone could have predicted the reaction from China’s government gave the leader of Falun Gong exactly what he wanted–global attention and sympathy, which I’m sure resulted in a river of money and support.

      This well organized demonstration was something unexpected and China’s government reacted as they always do to anything that looks subversive or the beginning of a movement that might lead to revolution similar to the Taiping Rebellion and other religious/cult like rebellions in the past.

      You claim they “want to be left alone” but their behavior says otherwise. People who want to be left alone do not organize mass demonstrations in a country like China that has a history of movements like this turning into rebellions where tens of millions have died like the Taiping Rebellion and several other movements that started out peaceful and turned bloody.

      Instead, I believe that the Falun Gong leadership organized that mass demonstration on purpose so the world would notice them and to gain sympathy since it seems everyone who rebels against China’s government gains help from the West.

      In fact, after reading your response, I believe you are a member of Falun Gong and what you wrote is a script. I’m sure that there is a small army of Falun Gong members that sit in front of computer screens monitoring anything that pops up on the web about Falun Gong and the defense is a comment like yours. I attended a Falun Gong stage event and it was propaganda 100%. Yes, beautiful costumes but the music and the staged event all supported Falun Gong and what I saw was a living definition for a mind control cult worse than the Communist Party.

      The flaw in your defense of Falun Gong is the claim they “want to be left alone”. Someone who wants to be “left alone” does not have a HUGE PR campaign with road shows, music, costumes, a newspaper, and a TV production company. Someone who wants to be “left alone”, does not buy up ad words so Google searches only bring up Websites controlled by Falun Gong.

      Someone who wants to be “left alone”, doesn’t stage daily protests outside the Chinese consulates in foreign countries like the demonstration that I’ve witnessed outside the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. You compare Falun Gong’s persecution to the persecution of the Jews. I don’t see the Jews holding demonstrations outside foreign consulates. What I see with Falun Gong is a cult that “Wants to be Persecuted” so media attention is always focused on Falun Gong, which is a means to gain attention from the world and recruit new minds to brainwash.

      It’s all about power and wealth–In my opinion, Falun Gong is a religious cult and a political movement, and for that reason, China sees Falun Gong as a possible threat if left alone. Thanks to other cultish movements from China’s history, to ignore Falun Gong after that demonstration in Beijing would have been a mistake for China’s government. Anyone who doesn’t see that is blind or brainwashed. As I recall, one such movement about a thousand years ago brought down a dynasty.

      • Peter says:

        Lloyd,

        Please forgive me. When I was reading your response, I couldn’t help but feeling personally attacked. I think the real “thing” that seems to be at the heart of our differing viewpoints is what really is happening in China in regards to Falun Gong. Practitioner or not, it is hard to really know the truth. When the truth is concealed, confusion runs rampant. I don’t know what you know, and you don’t know what I know. Heck, sometimes I don’t even “know” what I know. But what seems apparent, based on the totality of reports from both sides, is that there is something going on. Personally, I would like to see it revealed on a global scale. I understand that if Falun Gong practitioners don’t lead the charge in revealing what they see as the truth (i.e., the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners), then who will. If you don’t stand up for your rights, then who will?

        I think the way that they have done that, through setting up large media outlets, has been interesting, perhaps fraught with mistakes, but certainly noble in approach. I stand for truth, not necessarily the absolute kind, but a truth that can be seen and verified by all who glimpse upon it. I certainly don’t know the reasons behind all the things we read about (conspiracies and the like), I prefer to suspend judgement.

        Here is my summary:
        Bad things in China: lack of freedom of belief, lack of freedom of the press, arbitrary detention, torture.
        Good things about Falun Gong: People from all walks of life practice it, transparency of beliefs (even if you disagree with them), and determination to reveal the truth about the persecution. Yes, I usually support the underdog (if they have good hearts).

        Oh, sorry to bring this discussion to your doorstep. I will refrain from challenging your beliefs anymore. Like I said before, I just want to be a part of the conversation. I have read a lot, and now I wish to comment. Perhaps when I begin to initiate conversation, you may bring the discussion to my doorstep. Take care, and God bless. -Peter

      • Peter,

        Believe what you want. When I react to the Falun Gong and its relationship to China, I’m considering more than just Falun Gong’s claims and the suspicious way “that organization” does business. I’m also looking back to the early 19th century when the British and French forced Opium on China against the Emperor’s will by using military might. Chinese people suffered as opium addicts and died under Western guns forcing China to do something that was bad for it.

        Because of the Opium Wars, Christian missionaries flooded China leading to god’s Chinese son, a Christian convert named Hong Xiuquan, who founded the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The revolution he spawned caused the deaths of 20 million or more Chinese and great suffering. During the Taiping Rebellion, there were also two Islamic Revolutions—one in the southwest and the other in the northwest where more were killed and there was more suffering.

        When the Qing Dynasty collapsed in 1911, China was thrown into chaos and anarchy. Warlords fought. Millions of people starved and died. While the struggle to see who would rule China was going on, Western merchants and Christian missionaries lived safely in cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai. These people did nothing to help.
        Then there was World War II and the Japanese invasion of China where another 20 or 30 million Chinese were killed and there was great suffering.

        After World War II, Mao’s Communists and Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists fought over China. More died and suffered. After Mao won China, he ruled the mainland while Chiang ruled Taiwan——both as dictators and the people suffered. Under Mao, millions more starved and died during the Great Leap Forward and the madness of the Cultural Revolution.

        It wasn’t until Mao died, that China started to prosper under Deng Xiaoping. Maoism was abandoned and capitalism took its place.

        Yet, hundreds of millions still live in poverty as peasants. In 1950, China produced 0.005 kilowatts of electricity, which mostly served the foreign enclaves in coastal cities. Most Chinese, even today, live without roads, electricity, and all the benefits of modern society.

        Since 1980, that has been changing. China’s cities have been rebuilt. Last year, the Politburo announced a five-year plan that would extend the electric grid to rural China (the peasants.)

        To achieve these changes until all Chinese on the mainland have improved their lifestyles, China “NEEDS” stability. For almost two centuries, China was under attack, in chaos or suffering from anarchy. More than a hundred million people died because of that.

        When the Falun Gong held that demonstration in Beijing with 10,000 people protesting something that had been published in China’s national media about Falun Gong as a cult, that was seen as a possible threat to the stability China needs until the entire country is modernized and everyone or almost everyone benefits from that modernization.

        The Tibetan movements for separation from China are seen as threats to that stability. The Uyghurs in northwest China and their protests are also seen as a threat to that stability. The Chinese government fears that if they allow any of these groups to express themselves and protest and act out and that turns into a violent rebellion, then everyone loses and millions more will die while progress to modernize China and improve the lifestyles of 1.3 billion people could end.

        China must have peace and stability to become a modern state, and to do that, the Communist Party that rules China cannot be replaced with the same political system that exists in America—during any transition, the possibility of chaos and anarchy are too strong. All one has to do is look at the anger and partisanship that is taking place in America between the Republicans and Democrats and wonder what that kind of political anger would do to China before China is ready.

        Falun Gong, cult or no cult, made a mistake to bait the bear raising fear that another religious movement might threaten China’s stability as it has before. Right or wrong, the Chinese government did what it felt had to be done to protect themselves.

        If the Falun Gong movement does not like my explanation, that is regrettable. They could always leave China like the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan supporters did and live elsewhere with their beliefs. If they stay in China, they know the risks. The Communist government is not ready to trust anyone who challenges their authority and leadership—at least not until they have achieved their goals to turn China into a modern, economic super power where MOST 1.3 billion Chinese benefit from the changes taking place–not just those who live in the cities.

        Deng Xiaoping made a promise to China when he said “To be Rich is glorious,” but he also said that it would take longer for some to benefit from the changes taking place. Until all of those goals have been met, and that may take several more decades, China is not ready to be challenged by anyone like Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama or the Uyghurs regardless of how anyone feels about their individual rights.

        What’s more important? The rights of a few to do whatever they want or the well being and safety of a billion people? I’ve seen enough of Falun Gong to suspect their ultimate goal and the goal of their leader. History is full of movements like the Falun Gong that eventually turned out bad for all involved. Falun Gong works too hard to recruit supporters and members and their methods are suspect.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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