Before going into the Orpheum Theater that night, I thought Falun Gong was a Christian sect. After all, there are more than forty Christian sects. But during the performance, I discovered that Falun Gong was not Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish. Falun Gong promoted individual peace and harmony through belief in several gods.
If you are curious, you may find a few members of Falun Gong outside the Chinese embassy in San Francisco. They are almost always there when we go to pick up visas before traveling to China. You may even see the pictures they have set up showing victims of torture.
Falun Gong protesting outside Chinese embassy in San Francisco
A year later, while shopping at Costco, I discovered a table and display for a Chinese musical. The people at that table were dressed in Ming or Tang Dynasty costumes, and I was intrigued to say the least.
Then my wife whispered in my ear, “That’s Falun Gong.” I had no idea these costumed people were selling tickets to the same production we’d already seen at the Orpheum. I quickly left.
Gao Fangpi brought a fellow member of the Falun Gong to our house a few days before a New Year’s show. While we were sitting around the kitchen table sipping tea, the two women pitched the benefits of their group in soft voices. It was obvious that they had been trained like an Amway salesman is, but not as flashy.
My wife and I were invited to attend the Falun Gong show in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theater. The tickets were eighty dollars each. Putting on that show in that theater must have been costly and I suspect eighty dollar tickets would not raise enough to cover the expenses.
My wife asked Gao Fangpi where the money came from to pay for the show, since it was on tour to several cities in Western countries in North America and Europe. Gao Fangpi admitted that the CIA subsidized the show.