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Razaunida
06-09-2011, 10:44 AM
I respect that you have decided to disregard the collective experience of everyone who came before you. That is okay, perhaps you will find something new that no one else has. Someone has to be first. But it seems that instead of respecting my point of view and the point of view of Chinese culture, you are disrespecting it and trying to win. I really wonder what it is that you are trying to win and what you are hoping to feel by winning it.

Where are the double blind studies that qi gong works? I'm not the one searching, you are. You can choose to look, to ignore or to preach. Are you in search of knowledge or winning? It seems that you are after the latter, but I'm afraid you may lose out on a lot in the long run if you continue to use this attitude.



I see no one can answer this question. Psycology is the white people's new religion which came from a German prophet named Freud. It works so well that white people have the highest happiness index in the world. They don't need money to be happy and they are perfectly content.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 10:46 AM
Which isn't perfect but does help to provide at least SOME validation to findings. It's better than going on the basis of "well this thing happened to this guy I know."

LOL! Truly!

I tell my oldest son, who is in college, that most behavioral science should be thought of as general rules of thumb and NOT as absolutes, although some of it does qualify as "wives tales" as well!

bawang
06-09-2011, 10:46 AM
Which isn't perfect but does help to provide at least SOME validation to findings. It's better than going on the basis of "well this thing happened to this guy I know."
it all depends on if you respect oral history in qigong or not.

have you actually done any qigong?

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 10:49 AM
I see no one can answer this question. Psycology is the white people's new religion which came from a German prophet named Freud. It works so well that white people have the highest happiness index in the world. They don't need money to be happy and they are perfectly content.

That should be "The Crappy German Pseudo-Prophet Freud"!

And..yeah! like everyone one else in the world is well balanced and ONLY white people are out of balance! Yeah That's it! ONLY white people!:rolleyes:

Oh Yeah! AND YOU!!!!

bawang
06-09-2011, 10:51 AM
And..yeah! like everyone one else in the world is well balanced and ONLY white people are out of balance! Yeah That's it! ONLY white people!:rolleyes:


i thought white people are the happiest people in the world since you oppress everybody and take their stuff?
after iraq got blown up i never seen white people so happy

SimonM
06-09-2011, 10:51 AM
have you actually done any qigong?

Actually yes. And even when I started playing with the breating patterns and such I didn't go insane.

bawang
06-09-2011, 10:53 AM
ok, imagine golden light flowing into your head and tense up your body. do that for one week and tell me if you feel anything

Razaunida
06-09-2011, 10:55 AM
or so you think.


Taking a rx med probably won't make you go nuts if you have a good foundation. But take some acid when you are a little mentally frail and people don't come out of it.

Its also a difference of how qi gong is practiced. Qi gong can change stomach acid and raise or lower blood pressure, np for an athlete...but its a big problem if you are weak.

Lucas
06-09-2011, 10:55 AM
ok, imagine golden light flowing into your head and tense up your body. do that for one week and tell me if you feel anything

constipation

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 10:55 AM
i thought white people are the happiest people in the world since you oppress everybody and take their stuff?
after iraq got blown up i never seen white people so happy

Tell that to Razzy, he is the one who thinks white people are out of balance with the Taoverse Deity!

If it were up to me I'd bomb everyone but me!

wenshu
06-09-2011, 10:55 AM
a German prophet named Freud.

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/1256/jamesr.jpg

SimonM
06-09-2011, 10:57 AM
When somebody links in a memebase photo the conversation is officially dead.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 10:58 AM
Actually yes. And even when I started playing with the breating patterns and such I didn't go insane.

How do you know? Crazy people think they are the only sane ones! Does that sound like you?

bawang
06-09-2011, 10:59 AM
the fuk is a breathing pattern?

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 10:59 AM
i thought white people are the happiest people in the world since you oppress everybody and take their stuff?
after iraq got blown up i never seen white people so happy

what the hell is wrong with you people?

black, brown, white, yellow whatever.
people are people.

If you can't see that, then you are in the category of "ignorant people".

Nobody is free from stain. Least of all Asia! Ha! Most repressive regimes ever came from china. I think the Chinese invented the idea of oppression. They invented mafia after all. lol

...probably why you're in Canada instead of China! :p

Lucas
06-09-2011, 11:00 AM
How do you know? Crazy people think they are the only sane ones! Does that sound like you?

so what if we know we're crazy then?

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:01 AM
How do you know? Crazy people think they are the only sane ones! Does that sound like you?

No, I'm willing to admit other people who don't believe in gods are usually also sane. :D

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:02 AM
you guys really think messing around with visualization pathways that coincide with your nervous system is not gonna do anything?

arguing about health excercise coming from a guy who hasnt trained in two years?


...probably why you're in Canada instead of China! :p

im here to steal all your jobs and take your monays

Lucas
06-09-2011, 11:03 AM
you guys really think messing around with visualization pathways that coincide with your nervous system is not gonna do anything?

arguing about health excercise coming from a guy who hasnt trained in two years?

i dont like to mess around because one time i swear i made my heart skip a beat and i got so scare at that moment i got up and started running. i never tried again to slow my heart rate.

wenshu
06-09-2011, 11:04 AM
what the hell is wrong with you people?

black, brown, white, yellow whatever.
people are people.

If you can't see that, then you are in the category of "ignorant people".

You're enlightened egalitarianism would be a commendable sentiment were it not immediately followed by this nonsensical word soup:



Nobody is free from stain. Least of all Asia! Ha! Most repressive regimes ever came from china. I think the Chinese invented the idea of oppression. They invented mafia after all. lol

...probably why you're in Canada instead of China! :p

"You people"? What do you mean "you people"?

Lucas
06-09-2011, 11:07 AM
white bread.

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:08 AM
arguing about health excercise coming from a guy who hasnt trained in two years?



Right, you do realize my brain didn't atrophy during that time. I still KNOW the things now that I KNEW then. I've just got out of shape.

At least I'm honest about it. How many people here could say the same?

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 11:09 AM
you guys really think messing around with visualization pathways that coincide with your nervous system is not gonna do anything?

If I visualize hawtness I can manifest a boner!

But other than a sense of well being, no.

I practice a particular qigong every now and then to get a good mindset happening and it involves visualization along with focus on the body and breath.

It's taking the time out of the day and practicing it for the sake of it that really does the work of destressing.

Your mind isn't going to stop your heart though. :) So, I wouldn't worry about it.

As for you guys dissing psychology and psychiatry, whatever :rolleyes:
Like any science, it is incomplete and will always be so, but if you don't think advances have been made and people haven't been helped, then I am here to tell you you're wrong.

If people would stay on their meds instead of listening to hocus pocus, they would often be better off.

also, it is not wise to even try to adjust to a society that is so profoundly insane. Better to find your niche and hold it whilst being aware of the surroundings.

read some Krishnamurti and as for C.G Jung, I think he was far more than a philosopher of sorts and contributed a great deal to understanding of human behaviour, the mind and how it works et al. Same with Freud. Both were brilliant. Both were also human and by that merit, had faults.

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:13 AM
Right, you do realize my brain didn't atrophy during that time. I still KNOW the things now that I KNEW then. I've just got out of shape.

At least I'm honest about it. How many people here could say the same?

basic psychology says there are different types of intelligence. you have high cognitive intelligence but low physical intelligence.
arguing for the sake of arguing also shows low social and emotional intelligence.

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:13 AM
David, I actually respect Jung.

But I think he'd be the first to admit what he was doing wasn't science. That's fine. Not everything has to be. I'd prefer claims of health risk to be grounded in the sciences though.

And Bawang, I've tried very hard to not make personal attacks. If all you have to reply to my statements is insults I'd prefer just not talking with you right now.

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:16 AM
im being honest with you. i lift weights and train five days a week now, i have no qualms arguing about kung fu on the internet.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:17 AM
so what if we know we're crazy then?

If you are crazy and know you are crazy, how can you trust that you are really crazy, because if you are crazy you can't trust your own judgment.


you guys really think messing around with visualization pathways that coincide with your nervous system is not gonna do anything?

Oh, it'll do something, just not anything to be concerned about unless you are crazy to begin with!


i dont like to mess around because one time i swear i made my heart skip a beat and i got so scare at that moment i got up and started running. i never tried again to slow my heart rate.

My heart skips beats all the time. Everyone's does! It's no big deal. You probably didn't MAKE it skip, it most likely skipped like it always does on occasion, but because you were calm and paying attention, you just happened to notice it that time!

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:18 AM
im being honest with you. i lift weights and train five days a week now, i have no qualms arguing about kung fu on the internet.

For the record your argument of "you're fat so STFU" is not only insulting it is also terribly childish. I'm done with you. We can talk again when you grow up.

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:20 AM
Qigong induced mental disorders: a review

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1440-1614.1999.00536.x


meditation induced psychosis

http://content.karger.com/produktedb/produkte.asp?typ=fulltext&file=000108125

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 11:20 AM
David, I actually respect Jung.

But I think he'd be the first to admit what he was doing wasn't science. That's fine. Not everything has to be. I'd prefer claims of health risk to be grounded in the sciences though.

And Bawang, I've tried very hard to not make personal attacks. If all you have to reply to my statements is insults I'd prefer just not talking with you right now.

What always rang a bell with me in regards to Jung was that upon discovering the Bardo Thodol, from that point forward he was almost never seen without a dog eared copy of it in hand or under his arm.

When I studied Jung, I learned this and got myself a copy of the Bardo.
I have to say, I was stunned! lol

I still have the Bardo and I still have quite a few of Jung's works. these days, I refer to the Bardo more than the writings of Jung though. :)

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 11:24 AM
Qigong induced mental disorders: a review

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1440-1614.1999.00536.x




from that article Qigong remained veiled in secrecy and available only to the elite until the early 1980s

Bzzzzt that is incorrect sir, moving right along.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:25 AM
arguing for the sake of arguing also shows low social and emotional intelligence.

No it doesn't. That conclusion is a projection of your value system on to those who do not conform to your own preconceived notions of what is socially and emotionally intelligent. It does not take into account differing value systems that may find benefits to arguing for argument's sake.

Lucas
06-09-2011, 11:25 AM
If you are crazy and know you are crazy, how can you trust that you are really crazy, because if you are crazy you can't trust your own judgment.

how do i know i can trust what you're saying?



My heart skips beats all the time. Everyone's does! It's no big deal. You probably didn't MAKE it skip, it most likely skipped like it always does on occasion, but because you were calm and paying attention, you just happened to notice it that time!

more than likely ;)

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:25 AM
Quote from the abstract - last line of the conclusion section of the abstract actually:

"Many so-called ‘Qigong-induced psychoses’ may be more appropriately labelled ‘Qigong-precipitated psychoses’, where the practice of Qigong acts as a stressor in vulnerable individuals."

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:26 AM
in order words doing qigong wrong makes you go crazy.

eating mayonaise sandwiches doesnt precipitate psychosis.

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 11:27 AM
You're enlightened egalitarianism would be a commendable sentiment were it not immediately followed by this nonsensical word soup:




"You people"? What do you mean "you people"?

as in "you" as in those fellas. and the other fella and the other fella.

the people making the stupid racist remarks. those are the "you people" in context to my comment.
:)

you took offense, you took offense, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. lol :p

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:31 AM
in order words doing qigong wrong makes you go crazy.

eating mayonaise sandwiches doesnt precipitate psychosis.

No, actually in other words: If you were probably 90% of the way to crazy anyway doing Qigong may precipitate an episode.

Now do you want to keep on having a civil conversation on this or, when your position looks untenable again are you just going to resort to insults? Because, really, I don't have the time for the latter.

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:35 AM
No, actually in other words: If you were probably 90% of the way to crazy anyway doing Qigong may precipitate an episode.

noe, it means can induce psychosis on people who are genetically predisposed to mental illnesses, which are a large enough group in society to warrant a scientific study.

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 11:36 AM
in order words doing qigong wrong makes you go crazy.

eating mayonaise sandwiches doesnt precipitate psychosis.

lol..no. Read it again Bawang.
That's not what it says at all.

It says the crazy pre-existed, any self examination under those conditions can trigger a deeper psychosis.

translation: they already were crazy to begin with and exacerbated it with practice of self examination.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:36 AM
Qigong induced mental disorders: a review

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1440-1614.1999.00536.x


meditation induced psychosis

http://content.karger.com/produktedb/produkte.asp?typ=fulltext&file=000108125

Where are the studies that demonstrate the preexisting psychosises? If these are not included then those studies are meaningless!



how do i know i can trust what you're saying?

If you are crazy you never will, if you are not crazy you can use you own judgement based upon the preponderance of evidence acquire from your life experience, just like other sane people! :)


Quote from the abstract - last line of the conclusion section of the abstract actually:

"Many so-called ‘Qigong-induced psychoses’ may be more appropriately labelled ‘Qigong-precipitated psychoses’, where the practice of Qigong acts as a stressor in vulnerable individuals."


in order words doing qigong wrong makes you go crazy.

eating mayonaise sandwiches doesnt precipitate psychosis.

No! In other words, "Adding stress to an already stressed system creates cracks that lead to breakdowns. All this does is demonstrate that Qi Gong adds stress and is full of sh!t as a means of relaxation!

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:37 AM
they werent running naked through the streets before, or setting their own kids on fire, bro.

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:37 AM
That isn't what it says - you are reading statements into it that just aren't there. I understand you think this demonstrates proof of your position.

The abstract does not. The article is hidden behind a paywall so beyond the abstract I can not comment.

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 11:38 AM
noe, it means can induce psychosis on people who are genetically predisposed to mental illnesses, which are a large enough group in society to warrant a scientific study.

no, that can be done wit a horror film, or a picture of something terrible.
there are a billion triggers. Crazy people are crazy people. Anything can trigger an episode of psychosis, withdrawal, etc etc.

the person is already crazy is the point.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:41 AM
they werent running naked through the streets before, or setting their own kids on fire, bro.

Yes they do! Crazy people do this all the time without needing Qi Gong to precipitate it for them. Don't you watch the news? Do you think every crazy person does Qi Gong?

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:43 AM
the person is already crazy is the point.

no, those people have predisposition to brain hormonal imbalance which causes mental illnesses.

youre thinking of psychopathy. qigong can trigger that too but thats different topic.

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:44 AM
No! In other words, "Adding stress to an already stressed system creates cracks that lead to breakdowns. All this does is demonstrate that Qi Gong adds stress and is full of sh!t as a means of relaxation!

Epic.

That is all.

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:46 AM
you are confusing mental illness with psychopathy. if you havent studied those things why the hell are you demanding scientific evidence in argument about it?

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:48 AM
you are confusing mental illness with psychopathy. if you havent studied those things why the hell are you demanding scientific evidence in argument about it?

Psychopathy IS mental illness! That is what the word means!

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:50 AM
no, psychopaths and sociopaths can function normally in society.

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:50 AM
Psychopathology IS mental illness! That is what the word means!

I'm beginning to think we should redefine mental illness to mean any thread on Falun Gong that goes up on Kungfumanagzine.com

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:53 AM
i had a psychology textbook when i was a kid and i read it for fun. and im actualyl taking courses in psychology. u demanded i talk scientifically, then refute evidence i give you, then talk out of ur ass.

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:53 AM
no, psychopaths and sociopaths can function normally in society.

So can those with mental illness, that is because psychopathy IS mental illness. THAT IS WHAT THE WORD MEANS!

bawang
06-09-2011, 11:54 AM
psychopathy means biologically incapable of feeling empathy toward other human beings. its not a mental illness but a physical one.

im quoting from psychology: frontiers and applications.

im bi winning like charles sheen

SimonM
06-09-2011, 11:56 AM
i had a psychology textbook when i was a kid and i read it for fun. and im actualyl taking courses in psychology. u demanded i talk scientifically, then refute evidence i give you, then talk out of ur ass.

What we did was challenge your interpretation of the abstract of a single paper with a modest list of cites the entirety of which we could not read due to a paywall.

Considering that your interpretation of said abstract depended on the inclusion of entire concepts not in the abstract (genetic predisposition for instance) this challenge to your interpretation is valid.

And, in this thread, yes, you do appear to be subscribing to the Charlie Sheen school of "winning".

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 11:57 AM
I'm beginning to think we should redefine mental illness to mean any thread on Falun Gong that goes up on Kungfumanagzine.com

LOL! Actually, we could say that mental illness is anyone other than ME, in the mind of most individuals. It isn't quite arbitrary, but there is an argument that could be made for a lot of wiggle room. That is why as long as someone is functional enough to not be a danger to themselves and others they cannot be commited against their will. At least where I live anyway!

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 12:00 PM
psychopathy means biologically incapable of feeling empathy toward other human beings. its not a mental illness but a physical one.

im quoting from psychology: frontiers and applications.

im bi winning like charles sheen

Psycho = mind

-pathy = disease

Psychopathy = mental disease = mental illness

You are quoting a definition used as jargon!

bawang
06-09-2011, 12:00 PM
thats because psychology is jargon. and i know my jargons. i smrat.

you do know chinese martial art worships psychopathy right, scott?

Lucas
06-09-2011, 12:07 PM
That is why as long as someone is functional enough to not be a danger to themselves and others they cannot be commited against their will.

how do you know so much about me...?

bawang
06-09-2011, 12:08 PM
im the only sane man in the world.

*rubs mayonaise on testicles

i know everything. I AM EVERYTHING

wenshu
06-09-2011, 12:35 PM
as in "you" as in those fellas. and the other fella and the other fella.

the people making the stupid racist remarks. those are the "you people" in context to my comment.:)

You mean racist like this?


Nobody is free from stain. Least of all Asia! Ha! Most repressive regimes ever came from china. I think the Chinese invented the idea of oppression. They invented mafia after all. lol

...probably why you're in Canada instead of China! :p

Seriously, it is impossible to be racist against white people. Do you know why? Being white is awesome!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4f9zR5yzY


you took offense, you took offense, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. lol :p

My god you are a banal, humorless idiot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAlVKgl_zCQ

I'm particularly amused by the blithe disregard everyone is demonstrating towards their own assumptions with regards to the basis of their arguments against bawang's interpretation.

David Jamieson
06-09-2011, 12:59 PM
You mean racist like this?


Seriously, it is impossible to be racist against white people. Do you know why? Being white is awesome!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4f9zR5yzY



My god you are a banal, humorless idiot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAlVKgl_zCQ

I'm particularly amused by the blithe disregard everyone is demonstrating towards their own assumptions with regards to the basis of their arguments against bawang's interpretation.


uh, yeah...whatever dude. weirdo. lol

Violent Designs
06-09-2011, 02:06 PM
Falun Gong has made threats and remarks, whether they are empty or not, regarding the illegitimacy of the Chinese State.

For 2000 years, whoever dares to threaten the unity of the State are branded traitors, criminals, and terrorists. That is similar to the fate of the Dalai Lama, because Tibet is a part of China (whether you agree with this or not does not matter, currently/politically it *IS* a part of China, not whether it *SHOULD* be a part of China or not).

For the Chinese civilization, hegemony will come at the cost of everything else.

wenshu
06-09-2011, 04:50 PM
I'm particularly amused by the blithe disregard everyone is demonstrating towards their own assumptions with regards to the basis of their arguments against bawang's interpretation.

Holy crap that is a horrible sentence.

wenshu
06-09-2011, 04:56 PM
I have come across various reasons for the PRC's distaste for a certain qi gong based personality cult.

One was that in the 90's they had demonstrated outside the summer retreat of the President and other high ranking party members.

Another was that they have more members than the Communist Party of China and this is anathema to the party.

Anyone have any insight into this?

SPJ
06-09-2011, 05:10 PM
with 30 years of opening door since 1978.

slowly but surely

the middle class started to build

however, the farmers in the country are still very poor.

only the people living in coastal cities are with all the niceties of the 21st century.

--

poverty is still number 1 problem.

or the gap between the have and have not's is still great.

on the one hand, you have chinese multi billionares

on the other hand, you still have dirt poor farmers

--

that is still the main social problem.

:eek:

SPJ
06-09-2011, 05:12 PM
my point is that

the largest membership in china

is still the poor farmers.

bigger than any political party or religious group

:eek:

Scott R. Brown
06-09-2011, 05:50 PM
I'm particularly amused by the blithe disregard everyone is demonstrating towards their own assumptions with regards to the basis of their arguments against bawang's interpretation.


Holy crap that is a horrible sentence.

Yeah! You oughta harass that guy right off this board!

Go for it! I wanna see THIS!

Violent Designs
06-09-2011, 07:11 PM
I have come across various reasons for the PRC's distaste for a certain qi gong based personality cult.

One was that in the 90's they had demonstrated outside the summer retreat of the President and other high ranking party members.

Another was that they have more members than the Communist Party of China and this is anathema to the party.

Anyone have any insight into this?

The Party (CCP) and the Government/State are not exactly the same thing. Yes they are interconnected but... they do not represent the same thing.

Water-quan
06-10-2011, 02:45 PM
Always interesting how people become stupid once they start believing something different to yourself.

Water-quan
06-10-2011, 02:48 PM
my point is that

the largest membership in china

is still the poor farmers.

bigger than any political party or religious group

:eek:

And the numbers of rural riots, yearly, in China, is staggering - even the official figure is in the tens of thousands.

Scott R. Brown
06-10-2011, 04:41 PM
Always interesting how people become stupid once they start believing something different to yourself.

That is the STUPIDEST comment I gave EVER read, in my ENTIRE life!

Weren't you gonna run this guy off the board?

Water-quan
06-11-2011, 03:54 PM
That is the STUPIDEST comment I gave EVER read, in my ENTIRE life!

Weren't you gonna run this guy off the board?

Instead of trying to make a clever response to it, to draw attention to your own smartness - oh my god you're so smart and clever with words - don't you think it would have been more useful just to acknowledge its truth?

By the way, you haven't lived your entire life yet. Oh my God - I'm so clever with words...

Scott R. Brown
06-11-2011, 08:38 PM
Instead of trying to make a clever response to it, to draw attention to your own smartness - oh my god you're so smart and clever with words - don't you think it would have been more useful just to acknowledge its truth?

By the way, you haven't lived your entire life yet. Oh my God - I'm so clever with words...

Clearly you aren't as smart and clever as you think! Any dolt can give a simple acknowledgment, it takes a truly smart and clever person to come up with a smart and clever comment that is BOTH smart AND clever!

AND.......clearly I have lived my ENTIRE life up to this point!

You may consider yourself OFFICIALY schooled! :p

Water-quan
06-13-2011, 08:37 AM
Clearly you aren't as smart and clever as you think! Any dolt can give a simple acknowledgment, it takes a truly smart and clever person to come up with a smart and clever comment that is BOTH smart AND clever!

AND.......clearly I have lived my ENTIRE life up to this point!

You may consider yourself OFFICIALY schooled! :p

Oh my God you're so smart and clever with words.

Scott R. Brown
06-13-2011, 11:05 AM
Oh my God you're so smart and clever with words.

I practiced a bunch when I was a youngster! You too can be smart and clever with words if you practice REAL hard and take your vitamins and say your prayers EVERY night! :)

David Jamieson
06-13-2011, 11:23 AM
every night? that seems kind of hard. especially for those poor arctic kids!

GeneChing
12-16-2014, 12:30 PM
There are more which I might merge into this one at some later date. I'm just too busy to fall into this merge hole right now.



Jim Battaglini: Bill addresses problems with China (http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/opinion/letters/jim-battaglini-bill-addresses-problems-with-china/article_6ef10e9b-608c-5bab-9628-ff953468618e.html)
1 hour ago • Jim Battaglini Shakopee, Minn.

I would like to raise a pressing issue to the residents in my hometown of Winona: House Resolution 281, which expresses “concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, in the People's Republic of China.”

The People’s Republic of China annually conducts the second largest number of organ transplant operations worldwide, without an effective donation system. The Chinese government has openly admitted that the vast majority of China's “donated” organs come from executed prisoners; but the reality is darker still. According to the independent nonprofit organization Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting, the majority of these prisoners are guilty only of expressing or upholding their beliefs. They practice Falun Gong.

Falun Gong is a form of “qigong,” consisting of slow-moving exercise and meditation, with an emphasis on spirituality, morality and the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.

The Chinese government initially embraced the practice of Falun Gong for its health benefits. However, as the number of people practicing approached 100 million, the Chinese government changed its position. On July 20, 1999, then-communist leader Jiang Zemin decided that the movement posed an ideological threat to the state and unilaterally declared Falun Gong “illegal.”

What followed was a massive, state-sponsored defamation campaign. The persecution quickly escalated, and the imprisonment, torture and murder of innocent citizens continues today. Experts estimate a death toll in the tens of thousands .

Documentation of this situation appears in a 2014 edition of "The American Journal of Transplantation," as well as in books, including "Bloody Harvest" and "The Slaughter."

Currently, House Resolution 281 has 237 cosponsors, including seven from Minnesota. I ask that residents of the 1st Congressional District contact Rep. Tim Walz and request he also cosponsor the resolution. Every voice counts in this tragic situation.

Your support will help save innocent lives.

Matthew
12-17-2014, 05:38 PM
According to the independent nonprofit organization Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting, the majority of these prisoners are guilty only of expressing or upholding their beliefs. They practice Falun Gong.

Is there any evidence independent of FalunGong/FalunDafa that the majority of organ harvestees are falun gong practitioners? I recall reading that this Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting was a combination of Falun Dafa members/supporters.

That's not to say China isn't doing forced organ harvesting - which is a terrible thing. They clearly were organ harvesting by the number of organs they had available, but the question is whether not the "majority of these prisoners" were falun gong practitioners, or just prisoners in general.

Publicly, the report mentioned in the quote has received some ridicule about the strength of its 'evidence'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilgour–Matas_report#Response

mawali
12-19-2014, 11:00 AM
Is there any evidence independent of FalunGong/FalunDafa that the majority of organ harvestees are falun gong practitioners? I recall reading that this Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting was a combination of Falun Dafa members/supporters.

That's not to say China isn't doing forced organ harvesting - which is a terrible thing. They clearly were organ harvesting by the number of organs they had available, but the question is whether not the "majority of these prisoners" were falun gong practitioners, or just prisoners in general.

Publicly, the report mentioned in the quote has received some ridicule about the strength of its 'evidence'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilgour–Matas_report#Response


There is an ongoing false equivalency modus operandi that has been in effect for some time! Just like in USA, where marijuana use is equal for all groups but only the 'minority' is stopped, then it makes sense that only those stopped would be representative of the guilty. When people speak out again inequity before the law then that is a threat to any present regime regardless of sociopolitical affililiation. By speaking out against the Regime, FalunGong raised the ante but they also raised their profile for heads to be adjusted accordingly. They became a target and any threat to the social order has been dealt with accordingly. There is even a Public Security Bureau Intelligence Unit to deal with FalunGong groups around the world (major capitals) and these groups are monitored by said Unit.

Matthew
12-19-2014, 05:49 PM
When people speak out again inequity before the law then that is a threat to any present regime regardless of sociopolitical affililiation. By speaking out against the Regime, FalunGong raised the ante but they also raised their profile for heads to be adjusted accordingly. They became a target and any threat to the social order has been dealt with accordingly. There is even a Public Security Bureau Intelligence Unit to deal with FalunGong groups around the world (major capitals) and these groups are monitored by said Unit.

Once we have some solid evidence, they might gain credibility, but FalunGong's beliefs are often likened to Scientology. They may have a few useful life-practice/self-betterment techniques, but it comes wrapped in a cult-organization that is politically charged without an end-game it seems.

bawang
12-30-2014, 08:23 AM
protip

falungong is white lotus

PalmStriker
01-01-2015, 10:45 AM
:)
protip

falungong is white lotus
BINGO! An excellent deduction, all things considered. Old Cult, New Face, Same Game. Works for them, plenty of sheep with incomes out there.

mawali
01-03-2015, 01:12 PM
Past actions are always the tools of analyses for the present direction. When the people organize to get rid of "corrupt governmenst" it always draw the ire of the "illegal government' in place whether by proxy or actual representation. The bottom line is private selfishness, shrouded in public cries of a 'false power structure' enhanced by the illusion of freedom giving reign to mass occupy gatherings and seen as a challenge by the central government thereby enforcing a public security bureau enterprise to punish and destroy those who would dare to question the good deeds of the 'most wonderful communist nation" on that side of the Ocean.

bawang
01-04-2015, 11:15 AM
pro tip

falun gong leader learned his stuff from taoist hermits from the same mountain that boxer rebel leaders learned at

David Jamieson
01-04-2015, 01:07 PM
Falun gong/dafa is the Chinese version of Scientology.

Juna
02-08-2015, 07:47 AM
An Independent Investigation Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China

http://organharvestinvestigation.net/report20060706.htm

Matthew
02-08-2015, 09:56 AM
An Independent Investigation Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China

http://organharvestinvestigation.net/report20060706.htm

Hi Juna,

This was posted at the top of this thread page (in the wiki link). It's disturbing and concerning, but whether or not the "Majority" of the harvested organs are from 'falun gong' practitioners seems to be the claim in question.

Basically their evidence is based on a tiny sample of self-reported cases and quotes from falun gong practitioners. The Kilgour paper seems to exaggerate AND misrepresent the analysis of the UN panel by suggesting "[The UN Panel] conclude[d] that Falun Gong adherents were the most likely source." , when it wasn't a conclusion, but an analysis of very limited self-reported allegations which even CAUTIONED against using it to extrapolate/represent the torture/harvesting occurring.

Again, I'm not disputing the horrible organ harvesting and how awful it is, nor that people are being tortured or mistreated. Here is the source of the figure (bolding my own):


Analysis of communications of the Special Rapporteur
40. The Special Rapporteur recalls that over the last several years his predecessors have received a number of serious allegations related to torture and other forms of ill-treatment in China, which have been submitted to the Government for its comments. He cautions that such information does not necessarily illustrate the state of torture and ill-treatment in a given country, but rather reflects the state of information brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur. Nevertheless, over a period of time, the number and consistency of the allegations received may be informative.

41. Since 2000, the Special Rapporteur and his predecessors have reported 314 cases of alleged torture to the Government of China. These cases represent well over 1,160 individuals. Over the past five years, the Special Rapporteur has received 52 responses from the Government of China relating to a total of 90 cases.

SOURCE: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/docs/62chr/ecn4-2006-6-Add6.doc


Then it lists the 66% being Falun Gong practitioners OF THOSE 314 reported allegations. That is, it was majorly falun gong practitioners reporting to the UN that they were being tortured. I'm not calling anyone a liar, just pointing out the evidence being cited, which is being used to extrapolate to the total number of organ harvests.

If we looked at rape statistics for men/women or even within different populations/countries, we would see exaggerated different statistics, which are heavily influenced by willingness to report, perceived likelihood of outcomes of reporting, etc.

[TL;DR] The Kilgour report seems to use this 66% figure, which is based on a very limited sample size of 314 reports, and all of which are self-reports, to conclude that the majority of all China's organs are being harvested from Falun Gong practitioners. This seems to be where the credibility issue is coming from.

Juna
02-08-2015, 12:17 PM
Hi Juna,

This was posted at the top of this thread page (in the wiki link). It's disturbing and concerning, but whether or not the "Majority" of the harvested organs are from 'falun gong' practitioners seems to be the claim in question.
.[/B]

Hi Matthew,
this is Revised Report from 2007


BLOODY HARVEST
Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of
Falun Gong Practitioners in China
By David Matas, Esq. and Hon. David Kilgour, Esq.
31 January 2007
http://organharvestinvestigation.net/report0701/report20070131.htm#_Toc160145104

mawali
02-08-2015, 01:42 PM
Falun gong/dafa is the Chinese version of Scientology.

Objectively, I don't think so but that is how the discourse has become because of popular support injecting itself into Communist state government.
Communists , as practiced, does not and will never acknowledge by the people, of the people and for the people! Democracy, is slowly becoming like that in USA. who wudda thought, the birthplace of democracy:D

Falun Gong is targeted because no one dares to object to government persecution of those so targeted by the Central Government!

curenado
02-08-2015, 01:47 PM
That's the most horrific thing I've read in a couple weeks anyway. Makes ya wonder about mexico here...

Matthew
02-09-2015, 02:04 PM
Hi Matthew,
this is Revised Report from 2007


BLOODY HARVEST
Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of
Falun Gong Practitioners in China
By David Matas, Esq. and Hon. David Kilgour, Esq.
31 January 2007
http://organharvestinvestigation.net/report0701/report20070131.htm#_Toc160145104

Hi Juna,

Irrespective of this "revised report" or the other report linked, both use the same self-reported 314 UN cases as evidence. Here is from your updated link (bolding my own):


Furthermore, the report indicated that 66% of the victims of alleged torture and ill‑treatment in China were Falun Gong practitioners

This is a direct misrepresentation of the data that the UN put out, which was 66% of the small 314-self-reported-torture-claims, were claims from falungong practitioners. 314- self-reported-claims makes up a sample size too small (And for reporting accuracy reasons as well) simply cannot be reliable enough to extrapolate on any large scale, and the UN report directly warned against using that data as such.

So, the data hasn't changed even in your revised link unfortunately, so still no data there to support that the majority of organ harvesting is being done from Falungong practitioners.


--------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: Here again from the UN Report that your link cites as it's evidence (bolding my own):


Analysis of communications of the Special Rapporteur
40. The Special Rapporteur recalls that over the last several years his predecessors have received a number of serious allegations related to torture and other forms of ill-treatment in China, which have been submitted to the Government for its comments. He cautions that such information does not necessarily illustrate the state of torture and ill-treatment in a given country, but rather reflects the state of information brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur. Nevertheless, over a period of time, the number and consistency of the allegations received may be informative.

41. Since 2000, the Special Rapporteur and his predecessors have reported 314 cases of alleged torture to the Government of China. These cases represent well over 1,160 individuals. Over the past five years, the Special Rapporteur has received 52 responses from the Government of China relating to a total of 90 cases.

SOURCE: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/docs/62chr/ecn4-2006-6-Add6.doc


AGAIN, I am not in any way contesting whether or not organ harvesting is happening, and it is definitely deplorable and sad, but just having a look at the facts that are being presented.

David Jamieson
02-10-2015, 02:48 PM
Objectively, I don't think so but that is how the discourse has become because of popular support injecting itself into Communist state government.
Communists , as practiced, does not and will never acknowledge by the people, of the people and for the people! Democracy, is slowly becoming like that in USA. who wudda thought, the birthplace of democracy:D

Falun Gong is targeted because no one dares to object to government persecution of those so targeted by the Central Government!

Totalitarian/Authoritarian is the model. I don't think there has ever actually been any sort of communist government in the world, although, Cuba does come closest.

America was hardly the birthplace of Democracy.

bawang
02-10-2015, 03:10 PM
Falun Gong is targeted because no one dares to object to government persecution of those so targeted by the Central Government!
falun gong was targeted because the senile hermits at kunwu mountain groomed an illiterate moron to be the next emperor

li hongzhi has basically given up and just wants to make money and bang biches

white lotus are moving on to making new "christian" cults

Juna
02-12-2015, 04:46 AM
Why is Falun Gong, which upholds the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance and has been promulgated in over 60 countries worldwide, being persecuted only in China, not anywhere else in the world? In this persecution, what is the relationship between Jiang Zemin and the CCP?

http://www.theepochtimes.com//n3/3947-commentary-5-on-the-collusion-of-jiang-zemin-and-the-chinese-communist-party-to-persecute-falun-gong/

curenado
02-12-2015, 10:49 AM
Well probably. When you want to make some good money getting rid of the opposition you don't just say that. You say stupid stuff that's supposed to make it seem ok to do....

bawang
02-12-2015, 09:51 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Lun_%28rebel_leader%29


A martial arts master and self-taught physician, Wang taught his followers yoga, meditation, and the ability to fast for very long periods by drinking purified water. His group became known as the "Pure Water Sect", and by 1774 numbered several thousand.

Having told the sect that he was the reincarnation of Maitreya and was destined to become Emperor of China


A group of disenchanted followers alleged at the end of 1994 that the birth date had been correct all along, and that Li had only wanted to align it with the birth date of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni


1999 — On 25, 10 April 000 - 20,000 Falun Gong adherents quietly assemble outside the Central Appeals Office, adjacent to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing. Five Falun Gong representatives meet with Premier Zhu Rongji to request official recognition and an end to escalating harassment against the group. Zhu agrees to release the Tianjin practitioners, and assures the representatives that the government does not oppose Falun Gong. The same day however, at the urging of Luo Gan, Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin issues a letter stating his intention to suppress the practice.




There are competing accounts of Li's life that surfaced before and after the suppression of Falun Gong began in July 1999, and there is very little authoritative information on his early life

this guy was groomed to become emperor but fuked it up

Juna
02-13-2015, 01:24 AM
Both Jiang Zemin and the CCP Fear Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance
The history of the international communist movement was written with the blood of hundreds of millions of people. Nearly every communist country went through a process similar to the counter-revolutionary suppression by Stalin in the former Soviet Union. Millions or even tens of millions of innocent people were slaughtered.

In the 1990s, the former Soviet Union dissolved, and Eastern Europe went through drastic changes. The communist bloc lost more than half of its territory overnight. The CCP learned from this lesson and realized that stopping suppression and allowing the right to free speech was the equivalent to seeking its own doom.

If people were allowed to express themselves freely, how could the CCP cover up its bloody atrocities? How could it justify its deceptive ideology? If suppression was stopped and people were free of threats and fears, wouldn’t they dare to choose a lifestyle and a belief other than communism? Then, how would the Communist Party maintain the social basis essential to its survival?

The CCP remains essentially the same regardless of any surface changes it might have made. After the June 4 massacre, Jiang Zemin cried out to “eliminate any unstable factors in their embryonic stage.” Extremely afraid, he concluded that he would never give up lying to the public, and he would continue to suppress the people until they were completely immobilized.

During this period, Falun Gong was introduced in China. At first, Falun Gong was regarded by many as a type of qigong[4] with an especially powerful ability to keep people healthy and fit. Later, people gradually realized the essence of Falun Gong was not its five easy exercises. Instead, Falun Gong’s essence is to teach people to become better based upon the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
http://www.theepochtimes.com//n3/3947-commentary-5-on-the-collusion-of-jiang-zemin-and-the-chinese-communist-party-to-persecute-falun-gong/

curenado
02-13-2015, 06:07 AM
Ah....no wonder the party carves them up screaming. They're valid ~

David Jamieson
02-13-2015, 06:57 AM
Why is Falun Gong, which upholds the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance and has been promulgated in over 60 countries worldwide, being persecuted only in China, not anywhere else in the world? In this persecution, what is the relationship between Jiang Zemin and the CCP?

http://www.theepochtimes.com//n3/3947-commentary-5-on-the-collusion-of-jiang-zemin-and-the-chinese-communist-party-to-persecute-falun-gong/

Persecuted in China because of their political desires.

I would question the application of those principles you mention. My experience with these folks is that they seem oblivious to anything about the organization/cult, as soon as they realize you know something about Li Hongzhi, they disavow him, especially on the alien god thing and the wheel inside idea and the weird medical claims that are not quantified or qualified except that they were found out due to people dying instead of seeking medical attention.

Just another head bobber cult in so many ways.

But anyway, The communist party in China doesn't care for political competition and that's why the persecution. In a nutshell. It doesn't have anything to do with the lifted wild goose qigong moves and has more to do with Li rising to power and the stopping of that.

curenado
02-13-2015, 07:51 AM
I agree, it was not the particular deities or anything so much as any doctrine with humanist or individualist aspects undermines the control/authorituh thing and must give up those organs.

Juna
02-13-2015, 08:32 AM
Persecuted in China because of their political desires.


No. No political desires.

Chinese authorities are fond of claiming that Falun Gong has “turned political,” and the phrase has, remarkably, found its way into a few accounts of the practice. The undertone is that Falun Gong has “sold out” as it were, or compromised its beliefs, entering the political arena.

The claim is problematic in several regards. (We’ll set aside the irony of a political dictatorship suggesting that it’s unseemly for a group to be “political.”)

The first and most basic fact to note is that Falun Gong as a group has no political aspiration—not now, nor ever before. Nor does it oppose or support any particular political entity, China’s dictatorship included. Neither does not advocate for any particular political system.

What it has sought to do, rather, is to document and disclose the crimes against humanity to which it is subjected in China. Doing so is not a political act.

It just so happens that the perpetrator of those said abuses is China’s communist party—a very much political entity. Thus, as circumstances would have it, when Falun Gong adherents document acts of torture or murder and name their culprit, they are naming a political entity.

That does not change the nature of the action, nor its motive. It remains every bit as humanitarian in impulse as would a mother crying out for help were someone to kidnap her dear child. Were the kidnapper a local politician, it would not mean she had “turned political” with her cry for help, much less harbored political aspirations. Nor would it imply that her motherly nature had morphed into something less noble. Indeed, her cry would have been motivated by none other than maternal love.

In the same vein, the activist flyers issuing forth from the ranks of Falun Gong are motivated not by a wish for personal gain, much less worldly power. Rather, they bespeak of a concern for the welfare of fellow human beings who they know to be suffering and at risk. It is an act of compassion, and fully consistent with, if not informed by, the teachings of Falun Gong.

- See more at: http://faluninfo.net/article/655/Misconceptions-Turning-Political-/?cid=23#sthash.GbVwYeGV.dpuf

bawang
02-13-2015, 10:42 AM
lol @ rabbit eyed gringos fawning over thousand year old death cult

15 years aboard those scientology sailing ships is like disney land compared to falun gong

curenado
02-13-2015, 11:25 AM
You mean the Chinese government? (Heh heh)

David Jamieson
02-19-2015, 09:33 AM
No. No political desires.

If that was true, why would the Chinese Government even care about a bunch of people doing qigong and being happy?

That happens across the whole country as it is.

If that was true why do the Falun Gong do political demonstrations in china and abroad?

If that was true why do the Falun Dafa groups have loads and loads of anti Chinese government propaganda happening basically all the time at every opportunity?


I'm no fan of the PRC government, but it is disingenuous to say that Falun Gong/Dafa doesn't have political motivations. It's quite obvious to any observer that they clearly do as an organization.

Juna
02-20-2015, 03:44 AM
If that was true, why would the Chinese Government even care about a bunch of people doing qigong and being happy?




Both Jiang Zemin and the CCP Fear Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance
The history of the international communist movement was written with the blood of hundreds of millions of people. Nearly every communist country went through a process similar to the counter-revolutionary suppression by Stalin in the former Soviet Union. Millions or even tens of millions of innocent people were slaughtered.

In the 1990s, the former Soviet Union dissolved, and Eastern Europe went through drastic changes. The communist bloc lost more than half of its territory overnight. The CCP learned from this lesson and realized that stopping suppression and allowing the right to free speech was the equivalent to seeking its own doom.

If people were allowed to express themselves freely, how could the CCP cover up its bloody atrocities? How could it justify its deceptive ideology? If suppression was stopped and people were free of threats and fears, wouldn’t they dare to choose a lifestyle and a belief other than communism? Then, how would the Communist Party maintain the social basis essential to its survival?

The CCP remains essentially the same regardless of any surface changes it might have made. After the June 4 massacre, Jiang Zemin cried out to “eliminate any unstable factors in their embryonic stage.” Extremely afraid, he concluded that he would never give up lying to the public, and he would continue to suppress the people until they were completely immobilized.

During this period, Falun Gong was introduced in China. At first, Falun Gong was regarded by many as a type of qigong[4] with an especially powerful ability to keep people healthy and fit. Later, people gradually realized the essence of Falun Gong was not its five easy exercises. Instead, Falun Gong’s essence is to teach people to become better based upon the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

CCP Brews ‘Falsehood, Hatred, and Struggle’
Falun Gong promotes truthfulness, including telling the truth and doing truthful things. The CCP relies on lies to brainwash people. If everyone began telling the truth, the public would learn that the CCP grew by ingratiating itself with the Soviet Union, murdering, kidnapping, taking flight when convenient, planting opium, usurping the cause of fighting against the Japanese invasion, and so on.

The CCP once claimed, “Nothing significant can be accomplished without lying.” After the CCP seized power, it initiated successive political movements and incurred countless bloody debts. Promoting truthfulness would thus spell certain doom to the CCP.

Falun Gong promotes compassion, including considering others first and being kind to others in all circumstances. The CCP has always advocated “brutal struggle and merciless crackdown.” The CCP’s model hero, Lei Feng, once said, “We should treat our enemies mercilessly, being as cold as the severe winter.”

Actually, the CCP treated not only its enemies like that; it has not treated its own members any better. The founders of the Communist Party, the supreme commanders and marshals, and even a chairman of the country were all mercilessly interrogated, brutally beaten, and miserably tortured by their own Party.

The slaughter of the so-called “class enemies” was so brutal it could make one’s hair stand on end. If compassion had dominated society, the mass movements based upon vice, as initiated by the Communist Party, would have never been able to take place.


http://www.theepochtimes.com//n3/3947-commentary-5-on-the-collusion-of-jiang-zemin-and-the-chinese-communist-party-to-persecute-falun-gong/

Juna
02-20-2015, 03:48 AM
The same holds true even in perhaps the most seemingly political of gestures. For instance, when Falun Gong adherents hand out copies of the Nine Commentaries—an expose of China’s communist party—that act is similarly spawned. It is rooted in a concern for the well-being of others, namely fellow Chinese.

Ditto for lawsuits against key Chinese officials identified with the persecution. They seek not to “bring down” some hefty politician, but to curb acts of inhumanity carried out at his order. If he desists in his ways, the suit will have the added effect of having ultimately been for that official’s own good as well.

If the ramifications of such acts are political—such as diminished appeal for the Party—that is but one of multiple effects, and not that effort’s purpose.



- See more at: http://faluninfo.net/article/655/Misconceptions-Turning-Political-/?cid=23#sthash.GbVwYeGV.xQXLpwKs.dpuf

GLW
02-20-2015, 11:13 AM
Juna would be a lot more believable if the references he cited were NOT official Falun Gong groups.

Kool-Aid - not just for western cults.....

curenado
02-20-2015, 01:20 PM
Well if they are, I guess their target is still addressing a government with a human rights environment that "would make your hair stand on end" - don't know to judge and wouldn't.
People in this country get their way to be losers and it's so important to them other people can pay the price. That's less worthy than some bunch taking their own damage and standing for something.

bawang
02-28-2015, 11:57 AM
falungong controlled china would make ccp look like hippies

Juna
03-01-2015, 01:05 AM
The Communist Party feared that traditional morality would be accepted by the people.
At the same time, the high moral standards demonstrated by Falun Gong practitioners, who practice truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, resonated with kindness in the hearts of the public. More than 100 million people were attracted to Falun Gong and started the practice. Falun Gong is a mirror of righteousness that by its very nature reveals all the unrighteousness of the CCP.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/3947-commentary-5-on-the-collusion-of-jiang-zemin-and-the-chinese-communist-party-to-persecute-falun-gong/2/

curenado
03-01-2015, 01:16 AM
It seems like until they start wild harvesting and selling organs, one could see how they might have more appealing ideas.
I know for sure this is evil
9342
and what it wants

mawali
03-03-2015, 12:34 PM
It seems like until they start wild harvesting and selling organs, one could see how they might have more appealing ideas.
I know for sure this is evil
9342
and what it wants

Only the white devils are welcome and lauded until the War starts:D

GeneChing
09-02-2015, 08:37 AM
I was going to post this in our Beauty-Pageants (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?57280-Beauty-Pageants) thread, but then remembered this old monster in our oft-neglected qigong forum...


Anastasia Lin: a Falun Gong practitioner seeking the Miss World crown – in China (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/27/anastasia-lin-miss-world-canada-falun-gong-practitioner-china-persecution)
Despite claims that her father is being harassed in China over her association with the spiritual faith, Miss World Canada 2015 refuses to renounce it and her humanitarian work: ‘I feel my presence in that country would give people hope’

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/56402d2d1812f60c1279298d5b68d73debdc22d6/0_22_1023_613/master/1023.jpg?w=620&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&
Anastasia Lin hopes revealing her faith will help the fight against religious persecution in China. Photograph: Courtesy of Anastasia Lin
Mali Ilse Paquin
Thursday 27 August 2015 14.12 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 1 September 2015 08.18 EDT

Under different circumstances, Anastasia Lin would be a shoo-in for Miss World. A vocal human rights activist with prominent cheekbones, the Canadian candidate for the crown is also an accomplished piano player, a Chinese calligrapher, and an actress with more than 20 credits in film and television.

But this year’s contest takes place in Lin’s native China, which poses a threat for the finalist and her family as Lin practises the spiritual faith of Falun Gong.

Tens of millions in China practice Falun Gong, which combines moral philosophy, meditation and qigong exercises, and emerged out of ideas prevalent in alternative Chinese medicine.

Falun Gong believers have been detained and killed in Chinese labour camps in their thousands, according to activists. The religion was branded an “evil cult” and outlawed in 1999, following a silent demonstration by thousands of Falun Gong practitioners outside Communist party headquarters, who were protesting attacks on its members. Since then, nearly 4,000 practitioners of Falun Gong have reportedly died as a result of detention in camps, though human rights researchers believe the number to be much higher.

Lin, an outspoken advocate on human rights and religious persecution, had refrained from publicly disclosing her faith. But having gained a wider platform thanks to winning the Canadian crown, Lin revealed her faith practice to the Guardian, hoping it would help stop the demonization of the Falun Gong faith and give voice to other Chinese people who are persecuted for their beliefs.

“If I don’t, the oppression will never stop,” Lin said.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/1afeb3d6761cb11c32e1d4ad108d5d799e6a0fe8/0_605_2143_1286/master/2143.jpg?w=620&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&
Anastasia Lin is crowned Miss World Canada 2015. Lin has revealed to the Guardian that she is a practitioner of Falun Gong. Photograph: Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Though she has kept her faith out of the public eye, she has been anoutspoken advocate for other minority religious groups persecuted in China, such as Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.

But it is for her outspoken advocacy work that she says the Chinese ministry of state security is trying to silence her by intimidating her father.

Lin has set foot in China only once since moving to Canada in 2003, but she says her father, who still lives in Hunan province, has been visited by security agents at least once. According to Lin, he is not affiliated with Falun Gong or any religious group.

Just a few days after winning the Miss World Canada crown on 16 May, Lin began receiving text messages from her father asking her to stop her advocacy work. She had highlighted her human rights work in a video and speech at the pageant.

“Do you know the security forces actually came to see me,” Lin said, recounting a text from her father. She said he warned her that if she continued to do her human rights work, she would risked turning her family against each other. “When I asked him more details, he just pleaded that I allow him to live peacefully by not bringing up rights abuses in China again.”

Since then, his business has suffered. “Now people are too scared to be associated with him,” said Lin, who has featured in Canadian films critical of the Chinese regime since the age of 18.

She doesn’t know if agents have visited him again as she said he refuses to talk about it during their brief phone calls. “Nowadays, he always mentions how great the Chinese president is,” she adds. “I think he believes that his phone is being tapped.”

Lin’s case is a classic example of how Xi Jinping’s regime tries to bring Chinese expatriates to heel through the harassment of loved ones left behind, explains Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Chinese activists’ parents and siblings are sometimes prosecuted on false allegations while others simply disappear. It amounts to psychological torture,” Richardson said.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/69d07f5d723c893574ac88d9a492eabf49c820f6/0_149_2016_1211/master/2016.jpg?w=620&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&
Police detain a Falun Gong protester in Tiananmen Square as a crowd watches in Beijing, in 2000. Photograph: Chien-Min Chung/AP

But Lin continued her activist work, by writing a Washington Post op-ed in June and by testifying to the US Congress in July about religious persecution in China.

By coming out now as a practitioner of Falun Gong, Lin has become its highest-profile follower in the western hemisphere.

“It’s not an organised religion,” she said. “The teachings – established by qigong master Li Hongzi in 1992 – are about finding our authentic self. And this is what I’m trying to do by speaking up. If I don’t, the oppression will never stop.”

Lin’s experience comes amid harsher treatments of religious minorities and human rights lawyers, explains Sophie Richardson. “The Chinese state has become increasingly paranoid and authoritarian since Xi Jinping took power in 2013,” she says. Chinese Christians have been a notable target of late. Authorities have removed crosses from more than 1,200 churches since early 2014 and the country’s security forces this week launched a roundup of church activists who oppose the crosses’ removals.

Lin has also felt ostracised by segments of the Canadian Chinese community, despite her Miss World Canada win and the backing of the Canadian government for her activism. She said she stopped being invited to events by community leaders tied to the Chinese embassy and consulate since her crowning. And to those community events that she is invited to, she is “monitored” by the Chinese consulate.

“They send officials to all social events,” says the actress, who also believes that her phone is tapped.

Whether China will allow her to compete in the Miss World final in Sanya, on Hainan Island, is uncertain, as many Falun Gong practitioners have been denied entry to the country in recent years.

“My aim is not to put an anti-China slogan on the stage,” she insists. “After all, it’s a beauty pageant. But I feel that my presence in that country alone would give people hope. The regime would show itself worthy of hosting the [2022 winter Olympic] Games by allowing me to enter China freely.”

mickey
09-02-2015, 01:47 PM
Greetings,

I have seen some Falun gong practitioners here in NYC. I have observed some doing their chi practices. There was absolutely nothing going on inside. They were just holding a pose. In that regard I am very concerned with the younger generation of practitioners who, once realizing that they are practicing quackery, will turn their backs to the traditional disciplines, finally achieving what Mao envisioned decades ago. the aforementioned sentence is the real danger of Falun Gong.

mickey

GeneChing
09-03-2015, 11:47 AM
What's the point of posting about beauty queens without pix? But fear not. The story continues....


updated - September 3, 2015 Thursday EDT
Family Of Miss World 2015 Contestant Reportedly Threatened In China? (http://www.franchiseherald.com/articles/37061/20150829/miss-world-2015-contestant.htm)
Aug 29, 2015 08:11 PM EDT | By Jon Lindley Agustin

http://images.franchiseherald.com/data/images/full/33065/miss-world-2007-event.jpg?w=570
Miss World 2007 event
(Photo : Feng Li / Getty Images Entertainment)

The family of a Miss World 2015 contestant representing Canada in the pageant later this year is reportedly being threatened in China, after claiming her national title in Vancouver last May, The Globe and Mail recently reported.

Twenty-five-year-old Miss World 2015 contestant Anastasia Lin reportedly said that she has received "harrowing text messages from her father" after her win to represent Canada in the pageant, claiming that her father has been threatened to lose his support.

"He said that the security services threatened him with turning my family into something from the Cultural Revolution," she said in the report.

According to history information website, the Cultural Revolution in China was among the worst genocides in history, having claimed around 30 million lives. Families then were reportedly encouraged to disown one another.

She was also reportedly asked to avoid talking about politics, considering her Falun Gong beliefs - a religion branded as "evil cult," causing many of its followers to get detained and killed, a report on The Guardian said.

But this Miss World 2015 contestant reportedly said she will not renounce her beliefs, saying "I feel my presence in that country would give people hope."

According to The Guardian, millions of people practice the Falun Gong belief in China, a mixture of meditation, moral philosophy and qigong exercises. However, the report further mentioned how some of its followers were killed and detailed in Chinese camps.

This Miss World 2015 contestant Anastasia Lin recently just went open on her Falun Gong practice, after winning the national title.

She reportedly said that her voice will "stop the demonization" of the Falun Gong faith and hopes to provide a platform for more people oppressed for their beliefs.

"If I don't, oppression will never stop," Miss World 2015 contestant Anastasia Lin said in the report.

Miss World 2015 will be held in Sanya, China later this year.


https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xat1/v/t1.0-9/s480x480/11800100_468907886602056_2875818827271712103_n.jpg ?oh=433a23f798ca1d1c0f7675875a9780b5&oe=5680C888
Anastasia Lin with Anastasia Lin
Public Figure · 3,496 Likes
· July 24 · Edited ·

Spoken testimony of Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015
Congressional Executive Commission on China
July 23 2015

Thank you Mr. Chairman, and thank you to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China for convening this hearing.... See More
363 Likes · 13 Comments · 91 Shares

bawang
09-05-2015, 04:33 AM
dont trust any chinese woman that have any weird ass name like anastasia

PalmStriker
09-05-2015, 08:36 PM
:) So true. Can not be trusted. Especially a cult cutie with that name. She could be a spy for Canada.

David Jamieson
11-19-2015, 02:32 PM
:) So true. Can not be trusted. Especially a cult cutie with that name. She could be a spy for Canada.

We're checking up on maple syrup stocks and how much people know about poutine recipes.
The only way to get away with it is to front a Chinese Canadian Beauty queen as a member of a woo woo cult to get to the bottom of it.

mawali
11-22-2015, 02:04 PM
Greetings,

I have seen some Falun gong practitioners here in NYC. I have observed some doing their chi practices. There was absolutely nothing going on inside. They were just holding a pose. In that regard I am very concerned with the younger generation of practitioners who, once realizing that they are practicing quackery, will turn their backs to the traditional disciplines, finally achieving what Mao envisioned decades ago. the aforementioned sentence is the real danger of Falun Gong.

mickey

I do not believe this though the same can be said of any discipline where individuals go through the outward/external rituals but there is no coherence of body, mind or 'spirit'.
I see no danger in Falun Gong practice but their loud demands of social equity is too much for Beijing and as a result their targeting by the Public Security Bureau has made them enemies of the Nation. It does not help that Falun Gong personnel arrested are often tortured and killed but they are often ignored except per the targeted agent provocatuers?? often seen to be disruting the legal assembly in the marketplace!

GeneChing
11-23-2015, 10:08 AM
Petition Asks Chinese Leader to Intervene for Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1904211-petition-asks-chinese-leader-to-intervene-for-anastasia-lin-miss-world-canada/)
By Cindy Drukier, Epoch Times | November 21, 2015 Last Updated: November 22, 2015 9:54 am

http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2015/11/21/Anastasia_Lin-Benjamin_Chasteen5004-20150613-fullcrop-676x450.jpg
Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin, in New York City on June 13, 2015. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, should be in China right now, competing for the Miss World Title. But she isn’t. She never received her invitation letter from China—the one issued to every other contestant—so she couldn’t apply for a visa.

Her supporters have started a petition on change.org aimed at Chinese leader Xi Jinping asking him to intervene to let Lin into the country.

Lin needed the invitation letter by Friday, Nov. 20, to make it to Hainan Island, the site of the competition, in time or she’d be disqualified. Of course, in extenuating circumstances exceptions can be made, but time is running out, which is the reason for the 11th-hour signature campaign.

http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2015/11/22/Screen-Shot-2015-11-22-at-9.46.35-AM-674x356.jpg
Change.org petition: Let Anastasia Lin Into China to Represent Canada at Miss World 2015, taken 9:40 a.m. (ET), Nov. 22, 2015. (Screenshot/change.org)

The petition letter asserts that Lin has been excluded because she’s been a vocal critic of human rights abuses in China.

The Chinese-born actress was crowned Miss World Canada in May on the promise to “be a voice for the voiceless.” And it’s a promise she has kept.

“Ms. Lin is being discriminated against because she has spoken out about human rights abuses in China, including the persecution of Falun Gong, a meditation practice that has been persecuted in China since 1999,” reads the letter.

The letter mentions how her father in Changsha, China, was visited by state security personnel shortly after she won the beauty pageant in Canada. Before the visit, he had told his daughter how proud he was of her accomplishments. After the visit, he told her to stop speaking about human rights.

“My dad was really scared. He said, ‘You must stop what you are doing now, otherwise we will just go our separate ways.'” Lin told Epoch Times at the time. Lin and her father haven’t been able to speak openly since.

We ask you allow Ms. Lin to travel to China immediately and participate in the Miss World final
— Change.org petition to Chinese leader Xi Jinping

Yet Lin refuses to be intimidated. She publicly exposed the pressure her father received and in July, she even testified before the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China at a hearing on human rights abuses in that country.

Her view is that to give into the Chinese regime’s pressure is precisely what perpetuates that behavior.

“If it works on me, it will work on other people,” she previously told Epoch Times. “The more time that this kind of tactic works on people, the more they will apply it.”

The petition urges Xi Jinping to do the right thing if China wants to be respected internationally.

“If China aspires to be a responsible member of the international community it should behave according to the standard of that community, including respecting basic freedoms and different viewpoints.”

The letter concludes with a direct appeal to Xi to intervene on Lin’s behalf:

“We ask you allow Ms. Lin to travel to China immediately and participate in the Miss World final on December 19, 2015. We also demand you abandon any attempts to intimidate her family members.”

There's more good pageant politics on our Beauty-Pageants (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?57280-Beauty-Pageants&p=1288702#post1288702) thread.

bawang
11-24-2015, 06:20 PM
demand

lol

and that michael jackson nosejob

GeneChing
11-30-2015, 09:18 AM
...I was waiting for just this sort of rebuttal. It's not the issue per se (nor any accused nose-jobs, :p). It's the general non-political stance of any 'world' contest to avoid controversy.


Miss World Canada Attacked by State-Linked Chinese Paper (http://time.com/4128933/china-miss-world-canada-anastasia-lin-politics/)
Mark Rivett-Carnac @mrivettcarnac 3:00 AM ET

https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/gettyimages-496869446.jpg?quality=75&strip=color&w=1680
Carlos Osorio—Toronto Star/Getty Images
Portrait photo of Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, 2015
“She may not know that all performers should avoid being involved in radical political issues,” the paper said

A Chinese newspaper attacked Miss World Canada in an editorial Sunday, after the China-born contestant said she was barred for political reasons from entering the country to attend the upcoming international beauty pageant.

The article, in the state-linked English language newspaper Global Times, accused Anastasia Lin of criticizing the Chinese government to “gain sympathy from the Western public that already holds prejudices against China.”

The 25-year-old beauty queen testified in July at a U.S. congressional hearing on religious persecution in China and is a vocal critic of Beijing’s human-rights abuses. She is reportedly a practitioner of Falun Gong, a Buddhist- and Taoist-inspired Chinese spiritual discipline detested by the communist authorities.

“Lin has to pay a cost for being tangled with hostile forces,” the article said. “She may not know that all performers should avoid being involved in radical political issues.”

It added: “Lin needs to learn to be responsible for her words and deeds.”

Speaking last week at a news conference at Hong Kong Airport after learning that she was barred from entering China, Lin said, according to CNN: “Ask the Chinese government why is it afraid to let in a beauty queen? Ask them why, what kind of precedent this would set for future international events that it wants to host. Ask them whether they would also bar Olympic athletes from participating in the Winter Olympic Games just because they have different views that the Communist Party don’t agree with?”

People reported that Chinese officials were harassing Lin’s father, who lives in China, and that he had threatened to cut ties with her if she did not stop criticizing the communist regime.

GeneChing
04-11-2016, 09:08 AM
Shen Yun's advertising budget must be tremendous. I see their ads everywhere.


Falun Gong, banned in China, finds a loud protest voice in the U.S. through Shen Yun dance troupe (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-shen-yun-20160409-story.html)

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5708519a/turbine/la-2457212-et-0318-shenyun-rl-004-jpg-20160408/750/750x422"]http://www.trbimg.com/img-5708519a/turbine/la-2457212-et-0318-shenyun-rl-004-jpg-20160408/750/750x422
Shen Yun, founded by practitioners of Falun Gong, performs in more than 100 cities worldwide, including Claremont this weekend. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Jessica Gelt

The cavernous Long Beach Terrace Theater echoes with classical Chinese music as more than a dozen dancers expertly manipulate colorful fans that sweep like wind and snap like fire. In precise formation they coalesce into a river of dance inspired by Chinese history, legend, myth and literature.

The performers are serious and determined. The only direction they receive comes from a calm woman dressed in black, standing near the theater's center. She speaks in Mandarin — her words few, her manner direct.

It's rehearsal time for Shen Yun Performing Arts, a touring dance troupe founded in New York by practitioners of Falun Gong, the spiritual practice banned by the Chinese Communist Party in 1999.

The party calls it a cult; Falun Gong says the Chinese government is trying to eradicate thousands of years of culture and tradition and that its repression of Shen Yun shows an intolerance of freedom of expression and religion. Indisputably, the dance company — marking its 10th anniversary — has become a cultural phenomenon.

A single company has grown to four troupes that perform each year in more than 100 cities in 30-plus countries. In Southern California, Shen Yun stages more than 30 shows a year. The group will perform in Claremont on Saturday and Sunday, followed by stops in Costa Mesa, Northridge, Bakersfield and the Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A., ending April 29-30 in Santa Barbara.

"The show is 5,000 years of culture in one night," said Felipe Sena, a creative director for a fragrance company who caught a performance at Lincoln Center in New York in March. "The colors are amazing, the message is very lyrical and clear."

Many go to the performances unaware of the political undertones to the shows, even though one or two dances deal directly with Falun Gong's clash with the Chinese Communist Party.

Nonetheless, it's safe to say that the bright costumes and spinning dancers are meant to convey a message. "The Falun Gong has a very well organized, managed and elaborate program of public relations, and Shen Yun is part of that," said James Tong, a UCLA professor, expert in Chinese politics and author of a book about the Communist Party and Falun Gong. When audiences see Shen Yun, "people want to know more about the Falun Gong."

Falun Gong was founded by spiritual leader Li Hongzhi in 1992. By the late 1990s, it claimed an estimated 70 million followers inside China. It emphasizes the traditions of Buddhism, meditation and tai chi, and at its inception it enjoyed a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

But when the government began to crack down on groups promoting qigong, an ancient Chinese practice of holistic medicine that espouses breathing techniques to promote good health, the Falun Gong was among those targeted.


The Falun Gong has a very well organized, managed and elaborate program of public relations, and Shen Yun is part of that.
— James Tong, UCLA professor

The group responded by staging brazen protests. At one point 20,000 followers surrounded party headquarters in Beijing. After that, the government deemed the practice of Falun Gong illegal. Practitioners have accused the government of persecution, repression and brutalization. Shen Yun represents an artistic response in this struggle.

The dance troupe is just one part of a cultural program promoted by Falun Gong that includes international music, martial arts, Chinese cooking and Chinese fashion competitions as well as special summer and winter camps for children, Tong said. He's uncertain if these programs are meant to be political tools, but he believes they have that effect because they cultivate positive relationships with local communities and governments.

The Falun Gong organization is notoriously reclusive and declined a request for an interview, but the group's mission is stated on the Shen Yun website: "For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity's treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture."

Inside China, "traditional Chinese spiritual practice has been very demonized," said local Shen Yun promoter Wen Chen, who left China after college. "We were taught that Buddhism was stupid, so a lot of Chinese students came to the U.S. and realized they were brainwashed. In the United States they saw something authentic. They were able to read freely and speak freely and they started to appreciate traditional Chinese practices and spiritual guidance."

Chen acknowledged, however, that most of Shen Yun's audience members aren't arriving for spiritual guidance. They simply delight in the dancers, singers and musicians as well as the myths and legends that are told through vigorously acrobatic dance routines. The elaborate costumes and props don't hurt either, nor do the digital effects projected on a wall behind the stage.

That, however, doesn't prevent the core message of "truthfulness, compassion and tolerance" from infecting the audience, Chen said.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-57084b9e/turbine/la-et-cm-shen-yun-20160409-002/1550/1550x872
Shen Yun emcee Jared Madsen (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The website for the Chinese Embassy in the United States has a different point of view: "'Shen Yun' is not a cultural performance at all but a political tool of 'Falun Gong' to preach cult messages, spread anti-China propaganda, increase its own influence and raise fund. It blasphemizes and distorts the Chinese culture, and deceives, fools and poisons the audience."

Falun Gong has been regarded by some as more personality cult than religion because Li is known as "Master Li," and his instructions and sayings are recorded as sacred scripture. Although it has no management body, Falun Gong has an estimated 80 million to 100 million followers worldwide.

Shen Yun emcee Jared Madsen discovered Falun Gong while attending high school and college in China in the 1990s, before it was banned. When he heard about Shen Yun in 2006, he immediately applied and has been touring with the show ever since. His role is to come onstage between dances with a fellow emcee and tell the story or legend about to be danced. Madsen speaks in English, while his counterpart speaks in Mandarin.

In Madsen's opinion, Shen Yun has not suffered from its association with Falun Gong, and he doesn't think audience members walk away feeling the show was about politics. "The only resistance we've seen has been from the Chinese Communist Party Consulate," he said. "In the beginning they would call the theaters and tell them not to let Shen Yun perform."

That tactic was never effective in America, Madsen said.

Today the dance troupe can barely book enough shows to satisfy public demand in some locations. One year, Chen said, the Southern California wait list for tickets was hundreds of people long. That year Chen sacrificed her personal tickets for the cause.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-57084ba4/turbine/la-et-cm-shen-yun-20160409-001/1550/1550x872
Shen Yun principal dancer Angelia Wang. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Such devotion is not rare among those who work with Shen Yun, whose financial success is partly because of volunteers. Chen, for example, works as a biologist for Caltech but dedicates her nights and weekends for six months out of the year to book Shen Yun shows throughout Southern California. When she started nearly 10 years ago, the volunteer base was nearly 100 strong, though she said those ranks have dwindled significantly now that Shen Yun can sustain itself largely on word of mouth.

Dancers, singers and musicians do get paid; according to the nonprofit organization's most recent federal filing, about $4.5 million of its $7.1 million in expenses for 2014 went toward wages. (Compensation to all officers and board members added up to less than $100,000.) The group reported revenue of $18.1 million in 2014, and net assets totaled more than $38 million.

The group said all proceeds from the performance go back to Shen Yun to pay the show's artists and to support the operation of Fei Tian Academy of the Arts in New York, which acts as a feeder school to Shen Yun. Falun Gong does not receive income from the shows, a Shen Yun representative said.

For some of the performers, Shen Yun is more than a job. It's a new way of life.

"I left home when I was 13," said Shen Yun principal dancer Angelia Wang, who is 22 and has been with the company since 2007, when she enrolled in Fei Tian Academy. "I didn't see my parents for seven years. I would get persecuted if I came back. I had no idea when I left, I was really clueless."

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

Twitter: @jessicagelt

GeneChing
04-11-2016, 09:09 AM
Shen Yun's advertising budget must be tremendous. I see their ads everywhere.


Falun Gong, banned in China, finds a loud protest voice in the U.S. through Shen Yun dance troupe (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-shen-yun-20160409-story.html)

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5708519a/turbine/la-2457212-et-0318-shenyun-rl-004-jpg-20160408/750/750x422
Shen Yun, founded by practitioners of Falun Gong, performs in more than 100 cities worldwide, including Claremont this weekend. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Jessica Gelt

The cavernous Long Beach Terrace Theater echoes with classical Chinese music as more than a dozen dancers expertly manipulate colorful fans that sweep like wind and snap like fire. In precise formation they coalesce into a river of dance inspired by Chinese history, legend, myth and literature.

The performers are serious and determined. The only direction they receive comes from a calm woman dressed in black, standing near the theater's center. She speaks in Mandarin — her words few, her manner direct.

It's rehearsal time for Shen Yun Performing Arts, a touring dance troupe founded in New York by practitioners of Falun Gong, the spiritual practice banned by the Chinese Communist Party in 1999.

The party calls it a cult; Falun Gong says the Chinese government is trying to eradicate thousands of years of culture and tradition and that its repression of Shen Yun shows an intolerance of freedom of expression and religion. Indisputably, the dance company — marking its 10th anniversary — has become a cultural phenomenon.

A single company has grown to four troupes that perform each year in more than 100 cities in 30-plus countries. In Southern California, Shen Yun stages more than 30 shows a year. The group will perform in Claremont on Saturday and Sunday, followed by stops in Costa Mesa, Northridge, Bakersfield and the Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A., ending April 29-30 in Santa Barbara.

"The show is 5,000 years of culture in one night," said Felipe Sena, a creative director for a fragrance company who caught a performance at Lincoln Center in New York in March. "The colors are amazing, the message is very lyrical and clear."

Many go to the performances unaware of the political undertones to the shows, even though one or two dances deal directly with Falun Gong's clash with the Chinese Communist Party.

Nonetheless, it's safe to say that the bright costumes and spinning dancers are meant to convey a message. "The Falun Gong has a very well organized, managed and elaborate program of public relations, and Shen Yun is part of that," said James Tong, a UCLA professor, expert in Chinese politics and author of a book about the Communist Party and Falun Gong. When audiences see Shen Yun, "people want to know more about the Falun Gong."

Falun Gong was founded by spiritual leader Li Hongzhi in 1992. By the late 1990s, it claimed an estimated 70 million followers inside China. It emphasizes the traditions of Buddhism, meditation and tai chi, and at its inception it enjoyed a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

But when the government began to crack down on groups promoting qigong, an ancient Chinese practice of holistic medicine that espouses breathing techniques to promote good health, the Falun Gong was among those targeted.


The Falun Gong has a very well organized, managed and elaborate program of public relations, and Shen Yun is part of that.
— James Tong, UCLA professor

The group responded by staging brazen protests. At one point 20,000 followers surrounded party headquarters in Beijing. After that, the government deemed the practice of Falun Gong illegal. Practitioners have accused the government of persecution, repression and brutalization. Shen Yun represents an artistic response in this struggle.

The dance troupe is just one part of a cultural program promoted by Falun Gong that includes international music, martial arts, Chinese cooking and Chinese fashion competitions as well as special summer and winter camps for children, Tong said. He's uncertain if these programs are meant to be political tools, but he believes they have that effect because they cultivate positive relationships with local communities and governments.

The Falun Gong organization is notoriously reclusive and declined a request for an interview, but the group's mission is stated on the Shen Yun website: "For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity's treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture."

Inside China, "traditional Chinese spiritual practice has been very demonized," said local Shen Yun promoter Wen Chen, who left China after college. "We were taught that Buddhism was stupid, so a lot of Chinese students came to the U.S. and realized they were brainwashed. In the United States they saw something authentic. They were able to read freely and speak freely and they started to appreciate traditional Chinese practices and spiritual guidance."

Chen acknowledged, however, that most of Shen Yun's audience members aren't arriving for spiritual guidance. They simply delight in the dancers, singers and musicians as well as the myths and legends that are told through vigorously acrobatic dance routines. The elaborate costumes and props don't hurt either, nor do the digital effects projected on a wall behind the stage.

That, however, doesn't prevent the core message of "truthfulness, compassion and tolerance" from infecting the audience, Chen said.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-57084b9e/turbine/la-et-cm-shen-yun-20160409-002/1550/1550x872
Shen Yun emcee Jared Madsen (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The website for the Chinese Embassy in the United States has a different point of view: "'Shen Yun' is not a cultural performance at all but a political tool of 'Falun Gong' to preach cult messages, spread anti-China propaganda, increase its own influence and raise fund. It blasphemizes and distorts the Chinese culture, and deceives, fools and poisons the audience."

Falun Gong has been regarded by some as more personality cult than religion because Li is known as "Master Li," and his instructions and sayings are recorded as sacred scripture. Although it has no management body, Falun Gong has an estimated 80 million to 100 million followers worldwide.

Shen Yun emcee Jared Madsen discovered Falun Gong while attending high school and college in China in the 1990s, before it was banned. When he heard about Shen Yun in 2006, he immediately applied and has been touring with the show ever since. His role is to come onstage between dances with a fellow emcee and tell the story or legend about to be danced. Madsen speaks in English, while his counterpart speaks in Mandarin.

In Madsen's opinion, Shen Yun has not suffered from its association with Falun Gong, and he doesn't think audience members walk away feeling the show was about politics. "The only resistance we've seen has been from the Chinese Communist Party Consulate," he said. "In the beginning they would call the theaters and tell them not to let Shen Yun perform."

That tactic was never effective in America, Madsen said.

Today the dance troupe can barely book enough shows to satisfy public demand in some locations. One year, Chen said, the Southern California wait list for tickets was hundreds of people long. That year Chen sacrificed her personal tickets for the cause.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-57084ba4/turbine/la-et-cm-shen-yun-20160409-001/1550/1550x872
Shen Yun principal dancer Angelia Wang. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Such devotion is not rare among those who work with Shen Yun, whose financial success is partly because of volunteers. Chen, for example, works as a biologist for Caltech but dedicates her nights and weekends for six months out of the year to book Shen Yun shows throughout Southern California. When she started nearly 10 years ago, the volunteer base was nearly 100 strong, though she said those ranks have dwindled significantly now that Shen Yun can sustain itself largely on word of mouth.

Dancers, singers and musicians do get paid; according to the nonprofit organization's most recent federal filing, about $4.5 million of its $7.1 million in expenses for 2014 went toward wages. (Compensation to all officers and board members added up to less than $100,000.) The group reported revenue of $18.1 million in 2014, and net assets totaled more than $38 million.

The group said all proceeds from the performance go back to Shen Yun to pay the show's artists and to support the operation of Fei Tian Academy of the Arts in New York, which acts as a feeder school to Shen Yun. Falun Gong does not receive income from the shows, a Shen Yun representative said.

For some of the performers, Shen Yun is more than a job. It's a new way of life.

"I left home when I was 13," said Shen Yun principal dancer Angelia Wang, who is 22 and has been with the company since 2007, when she enrolled in Fei Tian Academy. "I didn't see my parents for seven years. I would get persecuted if I came back. I had no idea when I left, I was really clueless."

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

Twitter: @jessicagelt

David Jamieson
04-11-2016, 10:28 AM
Yep. they are currently advertising upcoming shows where I live.
Many people, including myself until recently were / are oblivious to the Falun Dafa association with it.

bawang
04-11-2016, 01:27 PM
funky magic wheel cult is really a shame on all sides.

GLW
04-11-2016, 01:39 PM
The connection of Shen Yun to Falun Gong - the first time the show made its national tour a few years ago, if you were to look at the posters and ads they did, you could see the Falun Dafa connection.

The next time or two they came around, that connection was removed. You have to wonder WHY. If Falun Gong is NOT a cultish thing, why would they need to remove the connection from their ads? They can indeed do a lot of expensive advertising. But, if you look at their ticket prices, if they were to have a large turn out, they could more than afford it.

Now, how much money do they actually pay their performers? I would wager that THOSE numbers are more difficult to find than Bigfoot, the Snowman, and Nessie combined.

And all you have to do to get the number on Falun Dafa is read their book.... I made it through 50 pages before my BS detector wouldn't allow me to go any further. If you have NOT read Li's book and practice his stuff and then defend them, you really should open your mind and read his writings. It is a load of Batsh$$ crazy.

Personally, I would not even attend a Shen Yun performance with a free ticket. I refuse to support crazy.

David Jamieson
04-27-2016, 06:18 AM
The connection of Shen Yun to Falun Gong - the first time the show made its national tour a few years ago, if you were to look at the posters and ads they did, you could see the Falun Dafa connection.

The next time or two they came around, that connection was removed. You have to wonder WHY. If Falun Gong is NOT a cultish thing, why would they need to remove the connection from their ads? They can indeed do a lot of expensive advertising. But, if you look at their ticket prices, if they were to have a large turn out, they could more than afford it.

Now, how much money do they actually pay their performers? I would wager that THOSE numbers are more difficult to find than Bigfoot, the Snowman, and Nessie combined.

And all you have to do to get the number on Falun Dafa is read their book.... I made it through 50 pages before my BS detector wouldn't allow me to go any further. If you have NOT read Li's book and practice his stuff and then defend them, you really should open your mind and read his writings. It is a load of Batsh$$ crazy.

Personally, I would not even attend a Shen Yun performance with a free ticket. I refuse to support crazy.

They do go on about how "divine culture" is the thing with Shen Yun. I wonder if they recruit at the show in a subtle or outright manner. I guess I'll never know, because like you, I'll never go. the odd thing to me is how much the cult has grown in the Toronto area. They have large amounts of people who join in parades at various occasions and though they are falun dafa groups, they are more low key about that and give themselves names like drumming group or some such other dance group etc.

Ultimately, I don't "feel them" when it comes to philosophy or so called spiritual methodologies.

bawang
04-27-2016, 08:28 PM
magic wheel is a disgrace since li hongzhi went asylum and get us funding. white lotus hate gwai los even more than prc. they literally believe white people come from a portal from hell in the pacific ocean

Eric_H
04-28-2016, 05:30 PM
they literally believe white people come from a portal from hell in the pacific ocean

We totally did. We even made a movie about it called Pacific Rim.

GeneChing
05-06-2016, 09:22 AM
HIS HOLINESS
The Canadian beauty queen barred from entering China met with the Dalai Lama

https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/rtx1vxwj-e1462326804823.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&w=1600
Anastasia Lin at the departure hall of Hong Kong Airport in November 2015. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

WRITTEN BY Josh Horwitz
May 03, 2016

Anastasia Lin, the Canadian Miss World candidate and activist, recently returned to Toronto from a trip to India during which she visited the Dalai Lama.
On April 28 Lin posted a photo of herself dressed in traditional Tibetan clothing in McLeod Ganj, a part of India with a large Tibetan population and where the Tibetan government-in-exile resides. The following day she posted pictures on Facebook of a ceremony she attended at the Dalai Lama Temple:

https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/13055505_570701936422650_3123752609010466741_n.jpg ?quality=80&strip=all&w=640
(Facebook/Anastasia Lin)

And of herself on her way to meet the Dalai Lama:

https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/13062211_570518523107658_2227048571563596809_n.jpg ?quality=80&strip=all&w=640
(Facebook/Anastasia Lin)

Lin says that her trip was arranged with the help of Yang Jianli, a US-based activist who participated in the 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square. She tells Quartz that during the course of her meeting with the Dalai Lama, the two discussed how to combat indifference among people toward the human rights of minority groups.
“I asked him what does he think is missing to get people to care,” says Lin. “His Holiness said that through educating people, human nature will get us there. It was a very vague answer. I guess I’ll have to grow a few years older to understand that.”
Lin moved to Canada when she was 13 years old. She became a human rights activist as she entered adulthood, publicly voicing support for the Falun Gong movement (she is a practitioner), Tibet, and other causes. She drew international media attention last November when she was denied entry into mainland China from Hong Kong, where she was boarding a plane to represent Canada in the 2015 Miss World contest.
At the time, the Miss World Organization did not respond to media enquiries surrounding Lin’s effective barring from the competition—perhaps due to its close ties with the government in Sanya, the Chinese city that’s hosted the contest six times since 2003.
Lin says that she has accepted Miss World Canada’s invitation to compete once again in this year’s competition. She tells Quartz that she doesn’t harbor any ill will toward the London-based Miss World Organization after last year’s incident, but wishes more businesses would stand up for their principles when possible.
“How many business have we seen stand up to China in the past decade? Probably Google, but who else?” she says. “I know it’s difficult for a business when they don’t have some kind of power backing in the form of a government. If they don’t say anything, it’s sort of accepted by the world. But if they do, they’ll make history.“

Way to win points with the PRC. :rolleyes:

GeneChing
05-09-2016, 08:10 AM
Anyone who has seen Shen Yun will understand. I haven't seen it myself as way too many who have have commented on its heavy-handed propagandist content. Anyone here seen it yet?


New York dance troupe says China banned shows over Falun Gong links (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/06/shen-yun-dance-troupe-falun-gong-china-cancelled-performances?CMP=oth_b-aplnews_d-1)
The troupe has accused China’s government of forcing cancellation of shows in Seoul because of its links to a spiritual movement Beijing calls an ‘evil cult’

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/37f432682606fefdf4a74f9723fa42bf9e8f89d1/0_143_3000_1800/master/3000.jpg
Falun Gong practitioners in Sydney, Australia. The Chinese government maintains that the dance troupe is ‘a political tool’ of the movement. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
Alan Yuhas @alanyuhas
Friday 6 May 2016 15.02 EDT Last modified on Saturday 7 May 2016 10.02 EDT

A New York-based dance troupe has accused China of forcing the cancellation of its shows in South Korea over its links to a banned spiritual movement that Beijing calls “an evil cult” intent on “mind control”.

Shen Yun, a performing company affiliated with the Falun Gong movement, accused China’s government of shutting down their shows in Seoul. The Chinese government maintains that the troupe is “a political tool” of Falun Gong.

This week a Seoul court let a theater cancel four shows by the company, which provided a translation of the court order. The venue, KBS Hall, is owned by Korea’s national broadcasting company, one of the few companies Beijing lets air foreign television in China.

The court order cited a letter from the Chinese embassy in Seoul, which warned the theater about “a huge loss” should China revoke broadcasting rights. Shen Yun also provided a copy of the January letter, written on embassy letterhead.

The legal battle over the shows began when the company that booked Shen Yun asked the courts to let the troupe perform over the theater’s cancellation.

In reply to a request for comment, the Chinese government in Washington sent a link to a page about Shen Yun’s links to the “anti-society cult” Falun Gong, and said the movement’s founder, Li Hongzhi, ordered the performances.

According to the troupe, a Seoul court said on 19 April that they could perform, but then reversed its decision on 4 May after another letter from the Chinese embassy.

“They’ve sent these kinds of letters around the world many times before to theaters and to government officials,” said Leeshai Lemish, “master of ceremonies” for the company. Lemish said that not only had thousands of tickets sold for the four planned performances, but that the company would now have to endure travel and hotel costs for its 80-some members.

Falun Gong was banned in China in 1999, and human rights groups have for more than a decade criticized Beijing for repressing practitioners and mischaracterizing the movement with the “evil cult” language.

Lemish also said that the letters follow a pattern of harassment and intimidation by Chinese government officials, dating back to the company’s inception in 2006. Most of these attempts to shut down performances have gone in vain, he said, and a handful have seen documents leaked to the public.

In 2008, for instance, China’s consulate general in Los Angeles wrote a letter to a local official saying that certain dances “defame China’s image in the international community and undermine the development of US-China relations”. The local government rejected the call to cancel the performances.

Beijing’s outposts abroad have also taken their opposition to Shen Yun public over the years. In 2009 China’s consulate in Chicago called the troupe “a political tool” of “evil cult Falun Gong”.

The consulate then described some of Shen Yun’s songs and dances, which mimic qigong – slow, meditative exercises practiced by many Buddhists and Taoists. Consulate officials accused Shen Yun of “propaganda” that uses a message of compassion and peace to disguise “the truth and to realize their evil purpose of exerting mind control over them”.

In 2000 the embassy in Washington DC accused Falun Gong’s founder, Li Hongzhi, of tax evasion, and said his prophecies drove people so “insane” that they “even committed suicide or killed their loved ones”.

The consulate also objected to Shen Yun’s publicizing “the ‘persecution’ on Falun Gong”.

Chinese adherents have said that thousands of practitioners have been detained, abused and even killed since 1999. Beijing has repeatedly rejected visa requests for practitioners living abroad, including for Shen Yun.

“We’re very open about the fact that there’s a connection between Shen Yun and Falun Gong,” Lemish said, admittedly that “several performers are practitioners” and that shows do “depict the persecution of Falun Gong and the courage of Falun Gong practitioners”.

But he insisted that those sections are “not the majority of the performance”, but rather “just a part of the legends and genesis of Chinese culture as it goes through different dynasties, cultures, ethnic groups, into contemporary China”. The troupe’s mission, according to Lemish, is to “revive this lost heritage, a very spiritual world”.
“They’re opposed to it because we’re putting on stage something that they’ve spent the last 17 years pretending isn’t happening,” he added.

Lemish also said that the troupe has felt fewer attempts to cancel shows in recent years, perhaps because of western officials’ tendency to ignore censorship demands. The letters were indicative of the communist party’s tense and often confrontational relationship with religious groups, he said, as well as “the long arm of Chinese censorship” that seeks to silence the Dalai Lama, artist Ai Weiwei and others.
“All of this is actually quite funny if you’re not stuck in a hotel and supposed to be performing.”

mawali
05-09-2016, 05:34 PM
In my local area, they seem to own the college/university circuit as most of the performances occur at those sites. Sometimes they are booked with, and through performing arts venues.
As I mentioned in an earlier thread, yes, I used to go to their 'meetings" but the propaganda was so thick that I see them in a different light today.

GeneChing
05-17-2016, 12:18 PM
Keep in mind, this is Epoch Times, a Falun Gong associated press.


This Chinese Woman Was Subject to Medieval-Style Torture in Prison for 3 Years (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2066951-this-chinese-woman-was-subject-to-medieval-style-torture-in-prison-for-3-years/)
By Frank Fang, Epoch Times | May 16, 2016 Last Updated: May 16, 2016 10:02 pm

http://img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2016/05/16/3d8c556_674.jpg
Wang Yuqing, of Qitaihe City in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang, tells how she was tortured in prison in China between 2003 and 2006. (Minghui.org)

For nearly three years, a Chinese woman withstood abuse and torture from prison guards and her fellow inmates for refusing to give up her faith.

Wang Yuqing, 43, of Qitaihe City in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang, was incarcerated at Heilongjiang Women’s Prison from September 2003 to March 2006, according to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for information about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

During this time, she was “handcuffed from behind, held in isolation, handcuffed and hung up, and tortured by other means,” according to an account by Wang that was only recently published to Minghui.

Wang was imprisoned for practicing Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that combines slow moving exercises with teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice has been persecuted since July 1999, when Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered a sweeping suppression of it because he felt threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity. According to official figures, there were an estimated 70 million Falun Gong practitioners just before the persecution.

Soon after arriving in Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, Wang Yuqing was shocked to learn that inmates sometimes carried electric batons and were made to help the prison guards persecute Falun Gong practitioners. During one so-called “physical training session,” Wang and other practitioners were forced to run in circles under the watchful eyes of baton-wielding inmates. When the practitioners got tired and slowed down, the prison guards and other inmates would hurl batons, water bottles, and verbal insults in their direction.

Initially, Wang refused to put on prison uniform or answer roll call because she believed that she had committed no crime in keeping her faith. To make Wang renounce her belief, the prison guards handcuffed her right arm over her shoulder to a bed frame, and got other inmates to violently force on her prison uniform.

In another insistence, the prison guards handcuffed one of her hands to a lower bed frame, and the other hand to the higher bed frame of a bunk bed. In this position, Wang couldn’t sit, stand, or squat.

For seven months in 2004, Wang was made to occupy a tiny prison guard office with 30 other Falun Gong practitioners, and at least one practitioner was denied the use of the bathroom and had to relieve herself in that room.

Wang’s family members were allowed to visit her, but she was forbidden from telling them about how she was being mistreated in prison. “You will be denied family visits if you continue saying those things,” Wang recalled a prison guard telling her when she tried to inform her elder sister about her sufferings.

Most chillingly, the prison guards had at the end of 2004 instructed five inmates to forcibly pin Wang down so that they could draw her blood. Investigators of live organ harvesting allegations note that the Chinese authorities are known to draw blood from Falun Gong practitioners to build up an organ donation bank for transplant surgery.

According to Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, a global humanitarian watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., the number of Falun Gong practitioners that have been subjected to forced organ harvesting is estimated to be more than 100,000.Wang Yuqing, of Qitaihe City in China’s northern province of Heilongjiang, tells how she was tortured in prison in China between 2003 and 2006. (Minghui.org)

GeneChing
09-09-2016, 10:46 AM
September 6, 2016 11:04 pm JST
Falun Gong battle moves to US court (http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Falun-Gong-battle-moves-to-US-court)
KRISTIANO ANG, Contributing writer

http://asia.nikkei.com/var/site_cache/storage/images/node_43/node_51/2016/201609/20160906t/20160906_falun-gong1/5043984-4-eng-GB/20160906_Falun-Gong1_article_main_image.jpg
A woman passes a row of newspaper vending machines, including one for Epoch Times, on a New York street. (Photo by Kristiano Ang)

NEW YORK - Intriguing details are emerging about a civil lawsuit filed in a U.S. federal court in Brooklyn in search of an answer a decades-old question: Is the Falun Gong a religion or a cult?

The complaint stems from a series of alleged incidents as far back as 2008, when the Chinese Anti-Cult World Alliance (CACWA), a group whose members have been praised by Chinese state media, was incorporated in New York.

The federal court lawsuit was filed in March 2015, but certain details have only recently become available following a lower court decision to make public select documents related to the case on the grounds that the public's right to access the information outweighs the plaintiffs' desire for privacy.

In the suit, 11 Falun Gong members and two individuals who say they were mistaken for adherents allege that at least four people associated with the CACWA have engaged in an "ongoing campaign of violent assaults, threats, intimidation, and other abuses" to deprive them of their rights to practice and promulgate Falun Gong beliefs.

The Falun Gong is a Buddhist and Taoist-tinged practice that includes qigong exercise and meditation; it was outlawed as a cult in mainland China in 1999, but the alleged incidents took place thousands of miles away in Flushing, a Chinese enclave in the New York City borough of Queens.

The lawsuit has attracted the attention of U.S. constitutional scholars and human rights activists because its ramifications could extend beyond the metropolis. The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech and says, among other things, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The 13 plaintiffs consist of U.S., Chinese and Hong Kong citizens who reside in the U.S. states of New York and Maryland and in Canada. In their complaint, they say that the four named defendants, two men and two women, all of whom are believed to reside or work in Queens, along with other unknown persons, engaged in behavior that included death threats and beatings that led the plaintiffs justifiably to fear imminent bodily harm or death.

They list more than a dozen incidents where one or more of the defendants are said to have struck them, harassed them or threatened to "strangle all of [them] to death" when they were handing out Falun Gong materials, participating in a Lunar New Year parade, or just walking down the street.

In one instance, a plaintiff alleges that she was told that "the United States cannot protect you," and that she was on a Chinese embassy blacklist and would be "disappear[ed]." Another plaintiff said he was surrounded by a mob of Chinese Communist Party loyalists and CACWA members who raised their fists and yelled "Down with the evil cult" at him.

The plaintiffs seek an injunction against the defendants that would prevent them from coming within 15.24 meters of them and the Falun Gong spiritual center in Flushing, situated in a bustling spot in the neighborhood's main thoroughfare. They are also asking for financial damages.

Terri Marsh, the plaintiffs' lawyer, declined to make her clients available for interviews. She and her co-counsel, Joshua Moskovitz, did not respond to repeated requests for further comment.

Defense lawyer Tom Fini called the lawsuit an attempt by the Falun Gong to suppress those who disagreed with their beliefs. "My clients want the right to say that the Falun Gong has irrational beliefs, but that doesn't mean that everyone has to agree with each other," he said in an interview.

Aliens and levitation

Among the "irrational beliefs" he cited were claims made by Li Hongzhi, the Falun Gong's U.S.-based founder, that aliens had introduced computers and airplanes to human society and that he could levitate -- a power also claimed by the celebrity magician David Copperfield.

Fini has attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to subpoena Li, a reclusive figure who is believed to reside in New York state and has been spotted at Falun Gong events in Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

Fini also called the allegations of violence exaggerated, saying that they were, at most, scuffles on the street. "It's not unlike how Trump supporters get into scuffles with young people voting for Bernie," Fini said, referencing U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders, the runner-up for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. "No one gets hurt or goes to the hospital."

Once tolerated by the Chinese authorities the movement was classified as a "cult" and outlawed by President Jiang Zemin, the predecessor but one of current Chinese President Xi Jinping. Human rights groups such as the International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China say Beijing's crackdown includes measures such as forced organ transplants.

Falun Gong beliefs are still practiced and proselytized by the overseas Chinese community in places such as Taiwan and the U.S. Shen Yun, an affiliated dance group, performs at major venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, and kiosks distributing the Epoch Times, a pro-Falun Gong newspaper, are commonplace throughout Manhattan, the heart of New York.

The New York Falun Gong adherents say that the CACWA's actions are an extension of the Chinese government's continuing crackdown. They assert that the CACWA is an offshoot of that campaign and that Michael Chu, the co-chairman of the alliance and one of the named defendants, also leads a Chinese state body that "monitors" the behavior of overseas Chinese communities. The Chinese consulate general in New York did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Chu, a Taiwan-born immigrant, is a prominent figure in the Flushing community, nicknamed the "Mayor of Flushing." A flattering New York Times profile and an article in China Daily, China's English language mouthpiece, detailed how Chu created and leads a neighborhood watch group that works with the police to maintain safety in Flushing.

The Epoch Times has branded Chu a servant of Beijing and a purveyor of hate. The pro-Falun Gong publication also alleges that Chu's neighborhood watch collaborates with the CACWA.

Fini said it was ironic that "instead of being happy that everybody has freedom, the Falun Gong's biggest problem is being called a cult." He said the case is not about religious freedom, arguing that the Falun Gong freely publishes a newspaper in the U.S. and is unhindered in carrying out activities such as an annual parade in midtown Manhattan.

"It is ridiculous to suggest that my clients are interfering with their rights to practice [their religion]," he said. "This case is about free speech rights that are part of the tradition of our nation. Welcome to America."

"Down with the evil cult"

wolfen
10-06-2016, 06:26 AM
"Down with the evil cult" ...a religion or a cult?

For many ,neither. As many people know the Falun Gong was kicked out of China for being a major political opposition to the CPC dictatorship. Still today that is the reason many outside China support Falun Gong, nothing to do with chi gong or religion.

The question could well be , "Is the CPC an atheist religion or an evil cult?"

So the following article decides to attack the Falun Gong instead of the CPC, the reason that they chose the CPC side is being that CPC has a lot more money and guns than Falun Gong. :cool: However, the article could have just as easily attacked the CPC because.....


NEW YORK - Intriguing details are emerging about a civil lawsuit filed in a U.S. federal court in Brooklyn in search of an answer a decades-old question: Is the Falun Gong a religion or a cult?
...

The 13 plaintiffs consist of U.S., Chinese and Hong Kong citizens who reside in the U.S. states of New York and Maryland and in Canada. In their complaint, they say that the four named defendants, two men and two women, all of whom are believed to reside or work in Queens, along with other unknown persons, engaged in behavior that included death threats and beatings that led the plaintiffs justifiably to fear imminent bodily harm or death.

They list more than a dozen incidents where one or more of the defendants are said to have struck them, harassed them or threatened to "strangle all of [them] to death" when they were handing out Falun Gong materials, participating in a Lunar New Year parade, or just walking down the street.

In one instance, a plaintiff alleges that she was told that "the United States cannot protect you," and that she was on a Chinese embassy blacklist and would be "disappear[ed]." Another plaintiff said he was surrounded by a mob of Chinese Communist Party loyalists and CACWA members who raised their fists and yelled "Down with the evil cult" at him.


The article could have just as easily attacked the CPC because.....
because...
Because everything listed there, is widely known to be the tried and true tactics of the CPC. The CPC was doing exactly this to Chinese dissidents worldwide long before the Falun Gong even existed. They did the same thing to Chinese protestors and dissidents all over the world post 6-4, 1989 Tiananmen (second) massacre. It was then that the attitude of the CPC came out that they generally thought all Chinese belonged to China, the overseas Chinese must toe the line as well as Prison Camp China. "One Chinese people, one China, One PLA , One CPC".
...
So of course they funded the CACWA to persecute the Falun Gong and most probably threw in a few of their agents. Why wouldn't they? There is no off switch on a tiger.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-qYPPOLUfc

I hope to see the Shen Yun 神韻 next year. The brochures look lovely. What's the big deal with propaganda? How can propaganda against a totalitarian state that operates behind a wall of darkness be "heavy handed"? Can the propaganda be worse than the reality? Maybe, but why care? Reality is bad enough...
So Jiang Qing had the Model Operas, Revolutionary Operas and Shen Yun is the Counter-Revolutionary Opera. :)
I wouldn't care Either way, I just watch performances in context.
North Americans are deluged with propaganda 24/7 from a lying deceitful MSM, not used to it yet? Maybe they could just post trigger warnings for the New Age Snowflakes that the propaganda will not be their regularly scheduled propaganda.




Lemish also said that the troupe has felt fewer attempts to cancel shows in recent years, perhaps because of western officials’ tendency to ignore censorship demands.

Laughworthy. Let's see - pulling news stories, (down the memory hole never existed), firing reporters, cancelling planned documentary series.. some of the things I've noted. Our totalitarians are almost as bad as their totalitarians. For the sake of business interests Western Governments have kowtowed to CPC censorship requests, doesn't matter which party is in power, it's the Globalists (power elite) behind it.
...
Shen Yun lost performing venues with a PC Government in Alberta which was doing business with the CPC for one example.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/alberta-ousts-shen-yun-performing-arts-from-two-provincially-owned-venues/article4216409/

Alberta ousts Shen Yun Performing Arts from two provincially owned venues



VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:52PM EDT

After going public with allegations of improper treatment at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Shen Yun Performing Arts has been told by the province to find another venue for its shows, which had been planned for the provincially owned Jubilee auditoria in Calgary and Edmonton next year.
...

Yang said that while they don’t have evidence, they believe the unseen hand of the Chinese government is behind the ban, twisting the arms of Alberta politicians to squelch dissent by proxy.

I know where the evidence is. It is where it usually is , it is buried face down in the Taklamakan desert with it's hands tied behind it's back and a bullet in the back of it's head. I mean really! Evidence!. The same globalists that own the Canadian media are the ones doing business investment (oil and real estate) with the Chicoms and other unsavory folk like the Russians (Russian Mobsters) , Islamic foreign Finance (media investments).
So you have to ask the wolves for the evidence of who ate the chickens.

I would guess that they were being hassled in the first place because of the CPC. The mandate of a democratic government would be to protect its own citizens and artistic groups from foreign interests rather than do the opposite. What dreams may come.




Way to win points with the PRC. :rolleyes:... Re: The Canadian beauty queen barred from entering China met with the Dalai Lama

Why would opponents of the CPC want to "make points"? You don't make points with a superior ruthless enemy, you crush them or they crush you or you stay out of the way. So when dealing with a stronger enemy mostly you can just kowtow to them or try to be invisible.
The Gong Dynasty has ruled China for over 65 years with an iron fist. So nobody is crushing the CPC so if somebody wants to openly criticize the CPC they have to do it from the outside of the country. The most usefulness of that is just to keep the memory alive or make a reminder to people what the CPC really is. Not that Westerners care too much these days as their own democracies are collapsing and they don't seem to care enough to show up for their own future.
But it is a small effort to keep the memory alive, Torch-carry-worthy.


If you are going to criticize China then you would want to be barred or else you might end up in one of those black prison holes in Beijing. I would suspect that the idea was to get barred from entry. Being invited in would be like the scene in Goodfellas where Jimmy is sending Karen down the alleyway most likely to get whacked .
Something like .."Yeah just go down the alley , go in the open door and choose some dresses"... :eek:
...
No don't go down the alley. Don't make points with the CPC, don't go into foreign dictatorships like Iran, China etc, oppose from the outside and exercise your second amendment rights in America.


.

bawang
10-07-2016, 08:06 PM
magic wheel cult is an example of the fading of the past and failure of the upholders of the past. magic wheel began as a white lotus offshoot meant to instigate and cause chaos, but with the aim of ultimately restore idealistic aspects of feudal chinese society. it ended up both being money scamming AND collaborating with foreign influence to destabilize china. this is a great shame to white lotus and i doubt theyll ever recover but who knows.

white lotus these days are creating christianity themed cults. magic wheel is old news now

GeneChing
01-10-2017, 10:03 AM
http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170110144910-miss-world-anastasia-lin-new-tease-super-169.jpg

Barred from China and silenced in the US, this beauty queen isn't backing down (http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/09/asia/miss-world-anastasia-lin-china/index.html)
By James Griffiths, CNN
Updated 3:24 AM ET, Tue January 10, 2017

Hong Kong (CNN) Anastasia Lin just wanted her father to see her face.
Prevented from taking part in Miss World 2015 when China refused to allow her to enter the country, where the final was being held, she tried again this past December.
The Canadian was under no illusions about coming home with the 2016 crown. Getting on stage would be enough: the Miss World final is broadcast around the globe, including in her native China, where her father has been harassed and prevented from leaving.
In the end she appeared on screen for all of six seconds, during her introduction. For the rest of the show she was tucked away at the back of the crowd of contestants, or at the corners of the stage.
"It was really too naive to think that my father could see me," Lin said.
If she is slightly bitter, it's with good reason. Her sliver of screen time was bought with months of practice and rehearsal, and, most painfully for an outspoken human rights activist, her silence.
During the competition, Lin said she was placed under a communication blackout and forbidden from speaking to journalists, part of what analysts say is a pattern of western companies cooperating with China to silence critics overseas.
Miss World chairwoman Julia Morley said the organization did "our best to assist Miss Lin and have done absolutely nothing to prevent her doing everything she wanted to do."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvEw6ganosk

Good little Communist

http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170106143938-china-young-pioneers-medium-plus-169.jpg
Chinese students wearing the uniform of the Young Pioneers.

Lin, 26, was born in China's Hunan province. As a child, she wore the iconic red scarf of the Young Pioneers and vowed to "struggle for the cause of Communism."
One of her duties in the state-run youth organization was to corral other children to watch propaganda broadcasts, which at the time were intently focused against Falun Gong.
The spiritual movement, which has roots in the ancient Chinese meditative martial art qigong, exploded in popularity in the 1990s, growing to an estimated 30 million members by the end of the decade, according to the US State Department.
In 1999, after upwards of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners staged a peaceful demonstration in Beijing -- the largest mass protest the Chinese capital had seen since the Tiananmen Square massacre a decade before -- the movement was banned and a brutal crackdown launched, with tens of thousands of people arrested.
Now a prominent spokeswoman against the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, Lin said she was largely unaware of the crackdown at the time. It wasn't until she moved to Canada at age 13 that she "learned that what were told in China was completely different to reality."

http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170106144550-miss-world-2016-super-169.jpg
Contestants on stage during Miss World 2016 in Washington DC.

Speaking out

"I didn't start as an activist at all," Lin said.

As a teenager, she was focused on acting and modeling, eventually studying theater at the University of Toronto.
It was there that she was approached by a Chinese producer who was looking for someone to play the role of a student killed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Thousands of children died during the disaster, as shoddily built schools collapsed on top of them.
"He said they couldn't find anyone to play this role, because it was too sensitive," Lin said. "I jumped on the opportunity."
Similar offers quickly followed: "At one point I really had a monopoly on these types of roles."
At the same time, she began competing in beauty pageants to raise her profile and get on-camera experience. She placed third in Miss World Canada in 2013, going on to win the competition outright in 2015.
That's when the trouble started.

Blocked

As Canadian champion, Lin was due to take part in Miss World 2015, to be held that year in Sanya, on China's southern island of Hainan. But as the event approached, her visa request went ignored and she was left hanging, unsure if she could take part in the competition.

She also began receiving distressing messages from her father, who still lives in China. Lin said he was approached by security officers and told that if she didn't "stop her political and human rights activities" her family members would be arrested.
These threats did not stop her speaking out -- "my personality is that I can't really hide things" -- but she and her father no longer talk due to fears for his safety.
Many activists have made similar allegations. Ilshat Hassan, president of the Uyghur American Association -- which advocates for members of China's Turkic-speaking Muslim minority -- told CNN last year that his family has faced repeated harassment over his activism. "Just months ago my mum says please stop what you're doing, or don't call us," he said.
Determined to at least try and take part in Miss World, Lin flew to Hong Kong -- where Canadians do not require a visa to enter -- and attempted to get a flight to Sanya.
"They declared me persona non grata and prevented me from boarding the plane," she said.
Her denial of entry was quickly reported worldwide, massively raising her profile, and earning her a denouncement in the state-run Global Times, which accused her of lacking "reasonable understanding of the country where she was born" and warned her against "being tangled with hostile forces against China."

http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170106143854-miss-puerto-rice-stephanie-del-valle-super-169.jpg
Miss Puerto Rico Stephanie Del Valle (center) reacts after winning Miss World 2016.

Silenced

Given a second chance to participate in Miss World 2016, Lin vowed to toe the line, not wanting to be denied a place in the final again. "I wanted to do things by the book," she said.
Nevertheless, she chose as her "Beauty with a Purpose" project to shine the light on organ harvesting in China, a topic with which she had become familiar with after acting in the Canadian film "The Bleeding Edge."
In June, a report by former Canadian lawmaker David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas, and journalist Ethan Gutmann claimed, based on publicly reported figures by hospitals, that China was still engaged in the widespread and systematic harvesting of organs from prisoners, including prisoners of conscience.
Arriving in Washington DC, Lin received multiple media requests. Keen to play by the rules, she said she forwarded them all to Miss World officials, only to have them all initially denied, though several were later granted.
Lin said she was also angrily rebuked after an official spotted her chatting with a reporter in the lobby of her hotel.
"They said I was breaking rules, telling lies," she said. "I felt like a criminal."
During this period, at least six other contestants were allowed to give interviews.
After Miss World allowed her to give press interviews, Lin said she was still carefully monitored when talking to reporters.
Morley said that all contestants were chaperoned and denied that Lin was prevented from speaking in any way, saying she "had full access to any interviews without exception."

Censorship

Western companies and governments are facing increasing pressure from Beijing as it attempts to sideline overseas critics, said Amnesty International researcher Patrick Poon.
CNN has previously reported how Beijing has reached across borders in its hunt for dissidents, working with cooperative governments to deport critics back to China.
Economic pressure has also been brought to bear on companies that depend on revenue from China.
Last week, Apple removed the New York Times from its Chinese app store on the grounds the paper's app "(violated) local regulations," a move anti-censorship activist Charlie Smith characterized as "actively enabling infringements of human rights."
"Foreign governments and foreign organizations should rethink whether what they have been doing in kowtowing to China's influence means that they compromise (dissidents') freedom of expression and freedom of movement," Poon said.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.
Miss World's Morley denied Lin's accusations that her treatment was related to pressure from Beijing, pointing out that this year's competition, unlike Miss World 2015, did not have any Chinese sponsors.
Despite her experiences, Lin said she was grateful to the competition for giving her a platform.
"It's not Miss World's fault they're so nervous, they're a vulnerable pageant organization," Lin said. "The entire world is economically tied to China."
There are a few more embedded vids that I couldn't cut&paste, assuming you want to know more here.

GeneChing
04-06-2017, 09:27 AM
Let's see if this protest will get any press. Please post here if anyone sees anything notable.


At Mar-a-Lago, Falun Gong Practitioners Appeal to Chinese President: 'Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice'
-- Rally calls for an end to 18-year persecution of Falun Gong in China (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/at-mar-a-lago-falun-gong-practitioners-appeal-to-chinese-president-bring-jiang-zemin-to-justice-300434473.html)

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Florida Falun Dafa Association
Apr 04, 2017, 14:38 ET
SHARE THIS ARTICLE

PALM BEACH, Fla., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While President Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on April 6-7, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters will gather on Bingham Island, Palm Beach, to appeal to President Xi to end the 18-year long persecution of Falun Gong and to bring the architect of the persecution—former Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin—to justice.

TIME: April 6 & 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Bingham Island, Palm Beach, Florida

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline which consists of moral teachings, meditation, and qigong exercises. Practitioners strive to live their lives based upon the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Falun Gong's popularity rose to 70 million practitioners by early 1999, and initially enjoyed the support of the Chinese government due to its health benefits. However, it made some Party members uneasy over the fact that it outnumbered the Communist Party membership. Its revival of traditional values and emphasis on spirituality were perceived by some communist hardliners as a threat to the Party. In July 1999, then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched an intensive, nationwide campaign to "eradicate" Falun Gong, reflecting the Party's atheism and intolerance of independent, civil society groups.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained extra-judicially in labor camps, detention centers, black jails and prisons, where torture and abuse are routine and death often occurs. According to multiple sources, including Freedom House, the U.S. State Department and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Falun Gong practitioners constitute the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China.

Last June, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.Res.343, a resolution that condemns the Chinese Communist regime for harvesting the organs of living Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience. A Feb. 2017 Freedom House report "found credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale."

President Xi inherited this persecution from his earlier predecessor. Amid his anti-corruption campaigns, President Xi sacked several key perpetrators of the persecution, though ostensibly on corruption charges. While these steps were in the right direction, the persecution still continues. Since 2015, 200,000 Chinese have filed legal complaints charging Jiang with crimes against humanity. Practitioners appeal to President Xi to accept the will of the people to bring Jiang Zemin to justice and end this 18-year brutal persecution.

Among the victims of the persecution is Tampa resident Iris Lu, whose mother was recently sentenced to six years in prison in China for distributing Falun Gong materials. Ms. Lu and other victims of the persecution will be available for on-site interviews.

SOURCE Florida Falun Dafa Association

GeneChing
01-15-2018, 10:00 AM
http://sea-globe-xdu34h413chai.stackpathdns.com/system/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/18-Edit-copy.jpg

Spiritual movements
China labels Falun Gong a cult, but some Vietnamese still follow the banned practice (http://sea-globe.com/spiritual-divide/)
By: Bennett Murray - Photography by: Sasha Arefieva - Posted on: January 15, 2018 | Featured
Despite Hanoi banning the Chinese spiritual practice of Falun Gong and labelling it a “counter-revolutionary” cult, hundreds of members still meet in Vietnam’s capital

On any given evening in the Vietnamese capital, about 100 men and women can be found in Hanoi’s Lenin Park carrying out their daily meditative exercises. Relaxing ambient music plays from a loudspeaker as they go through the series of stretches and breathing exercises prescribed by the teachings of their spiritual leader, Li Hongzhi.

The scene appears peaceful, innocuous – but these are Falun Gong members, a group officially banned as a “counter-revolutionary” cult in communist Vietnam. But its members say Falun Gong provides apolitical spiritual salvation. And, despite a lack of scientific evidence, Falun Gong members are convinced that its practices, steeped heavily in traditional Chinese medicine, are a panacea for illness.

“Thanks to the Falun Gong, many people are able to cure themselves from diseases such as cancer or heart diseases,” said Trong Ngoc, a 57-year-old architect who, like many Vietnamese practitioners, discovered Falun Gong online. “Through Falun Gong books, I learnt a lot, including life philosophy and human life philosophy, and the most important is that I can find the real meaning of my life.”

From acceptance to banishment

Founded in China in the early 1990s by Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong draws heavily on the concept of qigong, a pervasive concept in traditional Chinese medicine that states humans contain a life force known as chi. Maintaining a healthy balance of chi is essential in many Chinese spiritual and medicinal practices, including acupuncture.

Falun Gong embraces those practices in an all-encompassing philosophy, which also draws from Buddhism and Taoism, recorded in the Zhuan Falun, a book by Li that serves as the group’s core spiritual commands.

While initially embraced by the atheistic Chinese government, the movement, having attracted tens of millions of members, quickly grew intolerable to the ruling Communist party.

http://sea-globe-xdu34h413chai.stackpathdns.com/system/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Cult4.jpg?x54605
The exercises performed by the Falung Gong practitioners are aimed at balancing chi and incubating spiritual cultivation

Beijing, which has frequently found itself in antagonistic relationships with religions, particularly loathes non-hierarchal spiritual practices. It prefers religions with clearly defined leaderships, such as the Beijing-controlled Chinese Catholic church, through which the government can issue edicts.

Li stubbornly refused to go along with the government’s attempts to organise Falun Gong in line with its wishes and, in 1998, the movement was deemed “heretical” in China. Falun Gong members, who numbered about 70 million at the time, found themselves on the wrong side of the law and mobilised a rare mass protest movement.

The demonstrations were the last straw for China, which cracked down on Falun Gong in the late 1990s. To this day, public discussion of Falun Gong is taboo and practitioners are regularly imprisoned and, according to unverified allegations from some rights groups and foreign governments, executed for organ harvesting.

Li himself lives in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Falun Gong in Vietnam

The Communist party of Vietnam toed the line of its neighbour to the north and also banned Falun Gong. But followers say enforcement is fairly lax.

“The government is not very welcoming to practising Falun Gong in Vietnam, but me personally, I have not had much trouble,” said Tran Tri, a 48-year-old stock broker.

Hoang Huong, a 35-year-old engineer, said police have tried in the past to prevent Falun Gong from gathering in the parks. “The police interfered and brought pressure to bear upon park managers, then the park managers did things such as build a fence and pretend that it was the area for children to play football,” she said, adding that Falun Gong members responded by dividing into multiple, smaller groups in parks across the city.

http://sea-globe-xdu34h413chai.stackpathdns.com/system/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Cult2.jpg?x54605
Tran Tri, a 48-year-old stockbroker, practises Falun Gong breathing exercises in Hanoi’s Lenin Park

But Nguyen Ha, a 39-year-old economist, works in a government office while openly practising Falun Gong. Ha said no one cared that she was a member of what is technically deemed a banned cult. “I’m a government official, and in my organisation I share about the beauty of Falun Gong,” she said.

As Falun Gong has no formal organisational structure, practitioners are unsure of how many Vietnamese count themselves as members. Unverifiable estimates among members range from 30,000 to 50,000, with many said to be practising at home alone.

Most Falun Gong members interviewed were part of the burgeoning Vietnamese middle class, with practitioners saying that Falun Gong was well suited to white-collar life.

The main Falun Gong ritual is a daily, two-hour meditative exercise routine similar to tai chi. It is usually performed either in the early morning or after work, and can be practised alone or in groups.

Stretches, controlled breathing and meditation predominate the daily exercises, which can put practitioners in a trancelike state in the midst of the routine.

The exercises, which Falun Gong members believe balances chi, are meant to incubate spiritual cultivation throughout the rest of the day.

“In Falun Gong they teach us how to cultivate during our normal life,” explained Tri, adding that spiritual cultivation, the essence of Falun Gong teachings, can be found in day-to-day situations. “If I go to the office, that is not cultivation, but if someone says something bad about me [at work], how I deal with that is cultivation.”

http://sea-globe-xdu34h413chai.stackpathdns.com/system/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Cult5.jpg?x54605
Falun Gong practitioners in Lenin Park, Hanoi

Ha said that while her family does not follow Falun Gong, the practice has nonetheless improved her home life. Prior to joining in 2013, she said that living with her husband’s parents, as is common in Vietnam, was threatening her marriage due to constant conflicts.

“I thought of divorce a million times a day, because I was very unhappy with my family,” she said.

Upon adopting Falun Gong, however, Ha said she was able to reconcile her differences with the in-laws, much to her husband’s delight, as she learned to better manage her anger through qigong. While her husband is not a member himself, Ha said he supports her spiritual life.

continued next post

GeneChing
01-15-2018, 10:04 AM
Is it a cult?

While Falun Gong dismisses accusations that it is cult-like as Chinese propaganda, some Western critics have also described it as a cult. The US-based Cult Education Institute considers Falun Gong a cult with Li as its leader, arguing that he employs “mind control” techniques on followers. Critics have also accused Li of racism and ****phobia.

But André Laliberté, a political scientist at the University of Ottawa who specialises in Chinese religions’ impact on politics, said the cult label does not carry weight among scholars.

“For the Chinese government, Falun Gong is a cult; many people who practise say it is a spiritual practice; scholars would say it is a religion,” he said, adding that the key components typically associated with cults have not been observed within Falun Gong.

“I don’t believe in the therapeutic virtue of Falun Gong exercise, but I think the [Chinese] government overreacted against those people, often retiree women, who found that meeting to practise these exercises was a nice way to socialise and stay fit,” said Laliberté.

http://sea-globe-xdu34h413chai.stackpathdns.com/system/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Cult3.jpg?x54605
Although the practise is officially banned in Vietnam, members say they get little trouble from authorities

He added that he was unaware of any evidence suggesting that followers are pressured to stay in the practice, while Li himself is no cult leader: “Li Hongzhi lives in exile somewhere in the US, and he has retreated: he is not a charismatic figure.”

In Vietnam, there are few signs of Falun Gong operating as a cult by standard definitions. Members are disorganised with no clear hierarchy, while Li remains a distant, abstract figure.

Vietnam’s Falun Gong do, however, tend to forsake modern medicine in favour of qigong practices – with inconclusive scientific efficacy. All practitioners interviewed by Southeast Asia Globe confirmed they now rely solely on Falun Gong for their health.

“I think Falun Gong and other qigong practices share the same concept: while you practise you can exchange energy inside and energy outside,” said the stock broker Tri, adding that he has not used medicine since the 1990s and has never been seriously ill since.

He also pointed out that it is not just Falun Gong practitioners in Vietnam who forego medicine in favour of traditional practices, adding that he had already abandoned it during his days as a devout Mahayana Buddhist.

Traditional medicine, said Laliberté, is a fact of life throughout East Asia.

“You can’t help getting upset when you juxtapose the horror stories of people denied medical treatment because they could not afford it, cases of medical malpractice etc, and then hear public denunciation of people who prefer to rely on faith healers and alternative practices such as qigong,” he said, adding that Chinese Falun Gong had never seen themselves as enemies of the state.

“People who practised Falun Gong in the 1990s thought they were helping the government by encouraging people to do exercise that would keep them in good health, physically and mentally. Imagine their dismay when they were denounced as a cult,” added Laliberté.

Ultimately, said Tri, Vietnam’s Falun Gong want to be left alone and not treated as a threat. Their spiritual practices, he said, are of no interest to the state.

“We try to tell the truth… why we do this, and why we should not be treated like this.

This article was published in the January edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine.

Still a tough call. We don't really go here beyond this thread. One of the very first projects of the Tiger Claw Foundation (http://tigerclawfoundation.org/) was supporting a play “Antigone Falun Gong” by Cherylene Lee. That drew such a backlash that we had to add the qualifying statement "This was a political commentary play and was not connected to any Falun Gong organization."

GeneChing
03-01-2018, 10:06 AM
Persecution in China
60-Year-Old Woman Arrested, Detained Without Trial for Carrying Brochures (http://www.ntd.tv/2018/02/23/60-year-old-woman-arrested-detained-without-trial-for-carrying-brochures/)
By Janita Kan FEBRUARY 23, 2018

http://www.ntd.tv/assets/uploads/2018/02/2018-2-13-mh-haerbin-ningtingyun.jpg
Ning Tingyun, 60, has been held against her will for over four months in a detention center in Yushu, China, for carrying brochures containing material sensitive to the Chinese Communist regime. (Screenshot via minghui.org)

A 60-year-old woman was arrested and detained without trial after a police officer found brochures in her possession during a random identification check in Yushu, China. The brochures contained material considered sensitive to the Chinese regime.

Ning Tingyun was on her way to visit her daughter in Shanghai from her home in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. She was stopped by a domestic security police officer when passing through Yushu railway station in Jilin Province on Oct. 15, 2017, reported Minghui.org, a website that documents cases of Chinese state persecution against adherents of the Falun Gong Buddha-school spiritual practice.

The officer carried out an identification check on the woman without producing the proper documentation—an action considered illegal under China’s own legislation. According to Article 15 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Resident Identity Cards, a police officer may only examine a resident’s identity card “after producing … law-enforcement papers.”

During the check, Ning was flagged as a Falun Gong practitioner in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) database. The officer then proceeded to search Ning’s belongings.

The officer found that Ning was carrying brochures that document the injustices experienced by ordinary Chinese citizens for being associated with Falun Gong. Falun Gong has been a sensitive topic in China since 1999 when then CCP leader Jiang Zemin launched a systematic campaign to vilify and destroy the spiritual practice and its estimated 70 million to 100 million adherents.

Ning was arrested and taken to a detention center where she remains in custody. Her case has been sent to the court, but as of mid-February, a trial had still yet to be conducted.

The Crackdown

http://www.ntd.tv/assets/uploads/2018/02/20374547_1844538669197934_57040664203087066_n-400x400.jpg
People practice the Falun Gong, also named Falun Dafa, exercises in a park.

After China’s leadership announced its crackdown on Falun Gong in 1999, Ning was one of thousands who traveled to the CCP’s Central Appeals Office in Beijing to appeal for her right to freedom of belief to be respected, as protected under the Chinese constitution.

However, before Ning could share her personal Falun Gong experience with the government, she was arrested and sent to Jiamusi Forced Labor Camp for one year. Her name was placed on a police blacklist.

After her release from the labor camp, Ning experienced constant harassment from police officers, Minghui.org reported. During one incident, her home was raided by police officers who confiscated her Falun Gong books as well as 2,000 yuan ($315) in cash. She was told it was because she did the Falun Gong qigong exercises out in public.

Ning has also been arrested multiple times for discussing with others the brutality of the CCP’s persecution of her faith.

Ning was first introduced to Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), in 1998 when she was plagued with health problems. She noticed a change in her health after starting the practice at her local park.

Other Falun Gong adherents like Ning have experienced the same type of harassment from police officers in China.

Wang Huijuan, an elementary school teacher who is currently residing in New York, was arrested and detained after Chinese domestic security police found fliers and DVDs exposing the CCP’s disinformation that it spreads to justify its persecution of Falun Gong, reported The Epoch Times.

Wang was held at a detention center and was eventually sentenced to seven years in prison. There, she endured brainwashing, interrogation, physical restraint, beatings, force-feedings, sleep deprivation, and psychological torture in a process the CCP does for the purposes of “thought-reform.”

As for Ning, the 60-year-old’s family members remain extremely worried for her welfare. This Chinese New Year, Ning’s family is waiting desperately to hear any news about her condition.

Frank Fang contributed to this report.

Have I ever mentioned the time I was searched at Beijing airport? They were checking all the magazines I brought for porn. Security completely scattered all the contents of my luggage all across the floor, all my clothes and stuff, and looked at every page of every issue I brought. There's just nothing like entering a country and watching security look at every pair of your underwear.

David Jamieson
03-05-2018, 11:14 AM
Next time, bring the unwashed pairs and let them have at it! :D

GeneChing
07-16-2018, 09:14 AM
Confucius Institutes need its own thread, distinct from the Soft, soft and MORE SOFT thread (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?40693-Soft-soft-and-MORE-SOFT) I hijacked for it.


https://cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/2000x792/public/images/methode/2018/07/14/af4a1c42-832b-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_4000x1584_124638.jpg?itok=I4aF9gYq

CONFUCIUS INSTITUTES: CHINA’S BENIGN OUTREACH OR SOMETHING MORE SINISTER? (https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2154444/confucius-institutes-chinas-benign-outreach-or-something-more)
A new documentary paints the image of a non-profit organisation using the guise of education to subvert academic freedom worldwide; others see it as a benign introduction to the Middle Kingdom’s culture, from Chinese food to tai chi
BY ALEX LO
14 JUL 2018

https://cdn2.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/landscape/public/images/methode/2018/07/14/a7787e96-832b-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1280x720_124638.jpg?itok=iBTb1CTO

Soft power or sharp power? It’s almost inevitable that such catchy phrases are being used to describe the phenomenal worldwide spread of China’s Confucius Institutes in the past two decades. At last count, they have been set up in more than 140 countries and territories around the world, raising alarm among people already critical of China’s rise and global reach.

Are those institutes benign vehicles for China’s projection of soft power to promote its language and culture, and to improve its international image; or Trojan horses sent to subvert academic freedom and autonomy of teaching institutions at their host countries, and perhaps even to spy on people and recruit agents?


For Doris Liu, a Chinese-Canadian journalist and filmmaker, it’s clearly the latter.

“First, there is the human rights discrimination. Second, it’s academic independence,” she said in an interview with This Week in Asia. “Our fundamental values are at risk or damaged. The institutes teach propaganda by sneaking it into our campuses.”

After an investigation over three years, Liu has produced In the Name of Confucius, a new hour-long documentary that claims to expose such threats posed by the institutes in Canada, the United States and elsewhere.

https://cdn2.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/8ac3010e-8335-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.jpg
Doris Liu conducts an interview for her documentary film 'In the Name of Confucius'. Photo: Doris Liu

However, you cannot get a more different response from famed US sinologist David Shambaugh, hardly an apologist for China.

“I see them as quite benign and devoted to their primary mission of teaching language and cultural studies,” he told a panel at the Brookings Institution in March. “Whether it’s film, cooking, tai chi, whatever.”

He said the concept of soft power was coined by US political scientist Joseph Nye in the late 1980s, but more recently the term sharp power, which is used to describe manipulative diplomatic policies, has emerged.

“I personally am still trying to wrap my brain around this term and that concept and whether it applies to China, with a question mark.

https://cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/bcd5e958-832c-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_600x_124638.jpg
David Shambaugh. Photo: internet

“My sense is that it does not apply yet to China. What I see China doing is more what I would call public diplomacy with Chinese characteristics or journalism with Chinese characteristics,” said Shambaugh, who is director of the China Policy Programme at George Washington University.

Whether it’s foreign aid across Africa, investment in South America, or the Belt and Road Initiative, every global move made by contemporary China has come under intense scrutiny and criticism.

The Confucius Institutes have been no different. In many ways, the controversy has been worse since the first institute was opened in South Korea in 2004.

In April, Texas A&M University became the latest North American institution to end its partnership with a Confucius Institute under a cloud of controversy. There have been others over the years worldwide, in countries such as Sweden, France, Germany and Denmark.

https://cdn2.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/f1875c14-8330-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.JPG
Undergraduate student Moe Lewis, left, shows her watercolour painting of peony leaves at a traditional Chinese painting class at the Confucius Institute at George Mason University in Fairfax, US. Photo: AP

Despite the often sensational news reports about the closing of Confucius Institutes at those schools, it all amounts to a closure rate of less than 3 per cent, and it’s hard to generalise why it did not work out at schools in those nations.

Liu studied the cases of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and the Toronto District School Board, the largest school board in Canada, which were the primary focus of her documentary.

In the Name of Confucius has been headlined or featured in indie and documentary film festivals in Canada, Taiwan and the US, and at a human rights forum in Tokyo. It paints a sympathetic portrayal of Sonia Zhao, a Falun Gong follower and former institute teaching assistant whose human rights complaint with Ontario authorities helped shut down the institute at McMaster in 2013.

But in an interview with This Week in Asia, Zhao admitted her intention, and the goal of her Falun Gong supporters, was to shut down the institute from the start rather than simply addressing her personal grievances.

“We wrote to McMaster at first to shut it down, but they didn’t reply, so the tribunal [the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario] was the last option,” she said.

https://cdn1.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/b5905634-832b-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.jpg
Protesters rally against the so-called contamination from the Confucius Institute in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Doris Liu

“I hope this could (have) a chain effect on other universities in Canada, and was hoping they could shut down too.”

After working a year at the institute, Zhao brought a complaint against the university to the tribunal. The bone of contention concerned a clause in her contract with Hanban, the Chinese national office responsible for the worldwide operations of the organisation and which is part of the mainland’s Ministry of Education.

It states that mainland instructors such as Zhao were hired to teach the Chinese language overseas and could not engage in “illegal activities”, such as being a member of the outlawed Falun Gong religious group. Her complaint alleged discrimination on the grounds of creed, which is illegal in Canada.
continued next post

GeneChing
07-16-2018, 09:14 AM
https://cdn3.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/9dddaae6-832b-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.jpg
Sonia Zhao, a Falun Gong follower, filed a human rights complaint against the Confucius Institute in Ontario, Canada. Photo: Doris Liu

“I was not on my own, I had a lot of people helping me [with the case]. I gave them what I could give,” she said. When asked who “they” were, she admitted they were Falun Gong members in Ontario.

At the time of her hiring on the mainland, she was a postgraduate student specialising in teaching Chinese as a second language.

She taught a year at the institute at McMaster until her contract expired. The tribunal case that followed led to a settlement between Zhao and the university. Its details were never disclosed, but shortly after the two sides settled, the university shut down the institute. Zhao also filed successfully for residency in Canada as a refugee on the grounds that she faced persecution if she returned to China.

https://cdn1.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/b824e56a-832e-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.JPG
Sonia Zhao, a former instructor for the Confucius Institute, said she was trained to avoid politically sensitive subjects such as the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. Photo: Reuters

In speaking to This Week in Asia, she claims the institute was engaged in spreading “propaganda” in that only positive views of Chinese culture and China were allowed to be presented and instructors were trained to avoid politically sensitive topics such as Tibet, Taiwan independence and the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The institutes focus on teaching Mandarin, Chinese cooking and calligraphy, and celebrating Chinese culture – as sanctioned by the communist state. Many continue to operate across Canada, despite the McMaster case and a statement in 2013 issued by the Canadian Association of University Teachers calling on all tertiary institutions in cut ties with the organisation.

Most have resisted. Many public schools across Canada also have “Confucius classrooms”, which operate on a smaller scale than the institutes.

However, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) decided not to proceed at the last minute with Confucius classrooms. In 2014, the board was ready to roll out its own programme until a public campaign forced the board to drop the initiative. Former board chairman Chris Bolton, who backed the partnership, had to resign. The board also had to refund the Chinese more than C$200,000 (US$152,000) as an advance subsidy.

https://cdn2.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/8c441766-832b-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.jpg
A protest against the Tornto District School Board’s affiliation with the Confucius Institutes. Photo: Doris Liu

The successful campaign, in which Zhao and other Falun Gong members took part, is included in the film In the Name of Confucius. Of particular interest is a statement presented to TDSB by Michel Juneau-Katsuya, former head of the Asia-Pacific division of the Canadian government’s Security Intelligence Services. It was full of the most alarming allegations, though no evidence was offered to support his claims, other than his own “professional” experience.

“The Chinese Government and especially the Chinese Intelligence Services are behind this project and these groups,” he said.

“Confucius Institutes have been at the forefront of that intelligence war. To understand the true intentions behind Beijing politics, it is necessary to comprehend how a language school fits into their master plan.”

This included recruiting spies, cultivating agents of influence and the monitoring of dissidents in the Chinese diaspora.

https://cdn3.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/8f2f2142-8672-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_615x_124638.jpg

There appears to be a good deal of hysterics and rhetoric against Confucius Institutes in Canada and elsewhere, and because of the global backlash, those institutes often clam up instead of becoming more open and transparent. For example, the Confucius Institute of Toronto and Seneca College did not respond to multiple requests for an interview and comment for this article.

The institutes and their host institutions might have run a smoother public relations operation. After all, Shambaugh estimated China spent US$311 million in 2015 on the language and culture programme, amounting to US$2 billion over 12 years. There are about 5,000 Confucius instructors teaching almost 1.4 million students worldwide. Each institute is provided, usually free of charge, with trained mainland instructors, reading materials and about US$100,000 a year.

https://cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/11b58c36-8331-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.JPG
A Nigerian student learns to write “I love my home” at the Confucius Institute of the University of Lagos. Photo: Xinhua

China could be spending more than US$10 billion a year on its overall soft power push, Shambaugh said.

Other countries, of course, have state-supported institutions that promote their own language, culture and image: British Councils, France’s Alliance Française, Germany’s Goethe Institute, Italy’s Dante Alighieri Society and Spain’s Cervantes Institute. There is no doubt that those long-standing Western cultural institutions were the original model for Confucius Institutes. But there are several key differences.

While those western institutions take funding directly from their national governments, they operate mostly independently. They also own or rent their premises, classrooms and offices.

But Confucius Institutes deliberately embed their operations and teachings within the host country’s universities, colleges and/or public schools by partnering with them. Local instructors are rarely hired, preferring instead those trained and contracted on the mainland before sending them overseas.

The institutes are globally managed by the Hanban, which is part of the Ministry of Education and is headed by Xu Lin, a vice-minister-level official who sits on the State Council. Such tight control has raised suspicions among those critical of the Chinese government.

https://cdn1.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/07/14/6a955210-832b-11e8-99b0-7de4d17a9c3a_1320x770_124638.jpg
Though the terms of her settlement were not made public, the Confucius institute ceased operations in Toronto after Sonia Zhao filed her complain. Photo: Sonia Zhao

Not all China specialists are so suspicious, though.

“On Confucius Institutes, it’s a subject I’ve followed very closely,” Shambaugh said.

“There’s a kind of McCarthyite undertone I sense that is there … I thus far don’t see evidence that they are being politicised. There have been a couple of cases – there’s certainly a lot of publications, a lot of controversy. There have been a couple of closures … But there are nearly 200 Confucius Institutes in the United States. We’ve had less than five controversies, that tells me one thing.

“Secondly, there’s a lot of assumptions and innuendo I find in the reporting. One assumption is that a Confucius Institute … somehow affects the curriculum of Chinese studies the way China is taught on campus: absolutely wrong.

“There’s a complete firewall between Confucius Institutes that teach language and the Chinese – the rest of the faculty and the curriculum on every university campus, across the country. So they have no impact on how Chinese studies are taught, so that’s a flawed assumption that a lot of journalists leap to. They tend to take a couple anecdotal cases and string it together and say here’s a case.”

Shambaugh recommends greater transparency in the way the institutes are operated jointly with their host universities. He said oversight meant the host institution needed to make sure Chinese employment contract conditions did not conflict with the laws of host countries.

RELATED ARTICLES
“The contracts between recipient universities and the Hanban are kept confidential by request of the Hanban,” he said. “It’s kept under lock and key in the president’s office of the university. That’s not appropriate.” ■

It's really all about Soft Power (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?39376-Soft-power). The Falun Gong (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?25214-FALUN-GONG-Falun-Dafa) angle is fascinating.

GeneChing
12-26-2018, 09:29 AM
You've seen the ads. But what's the deal with Shen Yun? (https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/shen-yun-cult-falun-gong-china-ads-show-reviews-13473328.php?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=newsletter&utm_campaign=sfg_topothebay&fbclid=IwAR0JvK7svjhXTsjt6RbB8p5AKQAA3rHSr3H3HqYYW Lx6yny18gIbvdc73bg)
By Alix Martichoux, SFGATE Updated 1:24 pm PST, Saturday, December 22, 2018

https://s.hdnux.com/photos/77/42/41/16656491/3/920x920.jpg
Photo: NewTang Dynasty TV
Photos provided by Shen Yun Performing Arts show a portion of the dance show.

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably seen a billboard or heard dozens of ads for Shen Yun Performing Arts.

In the Bay Area, people are so used to seeing the ads on TV and on the sides of buses come December, people even joke winter should be renamed "Shen Yun season." Since I started writing this article about two minutes ago, I've already seen a Shen Yun spot run on KTVU.



Jonathan Kauffman

@jonkauffman
San Francisco seasons, 2017-2018:
Spring
Summer?
Smoke
Shen Yun Ads
Rain If We're Lucky

3,161
3:19 PM - Dec 7, 2018
Twitter Ads info and privacy
902 people are talking about this
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But what is it? The answer is a little complicated.

Shen Yun bills itself as "the world's premier classical Chinese dance and music company." They have performances in 93 cities around the country, from Billings, Mont., to Little Rock, Ark., to three Bay Area locations. The dress code suggests you might want to wear a tuxedo or evening gown since you're "in for a special treat." If you buy a ticket to a show (which run from $80 to $400 in San Francisco), you can expect two hours of traditional Chinese dance accompanied by a live orchestra.

And if you're to believe Shen Yun's own advertisements, you'll get so much more. The hyperbolic 2018 ad promises the performance will "move you to tears" and change how you see the world.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKRyRe6EQ_4

The former minister of culture of the Czech Republic is quoted in the advertisement calling it "truly a touch of heaven."

But (surprise, surprise), the ads may be overselling it a bit.

Some people who go to the show complain they didn't know what they were in for. Because nowhere in the effusive advertisements is it mentioned that Shen Yun has a political bent. Shen Yun translates to "divine rhythm," and according to the show's website, the artists who put on Shen Yun practice Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a belief system that encompasses meditation, tai chi-type exercises, and "strict morality" (smoking, alcohol, and extramarital or same-sex sexual relations go against the teachings).

A 2017 Guardian article by Nicholas Hune-Brown describes one part of the show:

The curtain rose on a group of young students sitting in peace, meditating and reading oversized yellow Falun Gong books. The dancers performed elaborately pantomimed good deeds – helping an old woman with a cane, chasing down a woman who had dropped her purse. But when one unveiled a Falun Gong banner, suddenly a trio of men wearing black tunics emblazoned with a red hammer-and-sickle entered. The communist thugs began beating people up, clubbing and kicking innocent Falun Gong followers.

Scenes like that didn't sit well with all viewers.

The Fresno Bee's arts writer Donald Munro saw Shen Yun in 2016, and called the show "a beautiful and odd production that veers wildly between two extremes: delicate artistic excellence on one hand and a brusque, heavy-handed effort to inculcate political and spiritual viewpoints on the other."

Many people posting reviews on Yelp weren't as eloquent.

"Be warned: Religious sermon!" reads a Yelp review from someone who saw the show in Fresno. "I WALKED OUT as soon as anti-evolution statements were made on the screen. False advertising!"

"I rate this a Zero star. This show is purely CULT PROPAGANDA. Do not waste your money and time for this," said Ron F. from Pittsburg, Calif.

The Chinese government is not a fan either. The practice of Falun Gong is forbidden in China and its members are routinely persecuted. In condemning the "so-called 'Shen Yun'" performance, the embassy's website calls Falun Gong a "...cult that seriously harms the society and violates human rights, and is a cancer in the body of the modern and civilized society."

The Guardian reports "there's no evidence of the kind of coercive control that the label suggests." Besides, it's not like the Chinese government has a stellar human rights record. According to Shen Yun's website, many of the dance company's members were persecuted and tortured for practicing Falun Gong in China.

Falun Gong started as a form of exercise in 1992. Followers would gather in public spaces to do qigong, which combines slow movements and meditation. Falun Gong combined those physical practices with spirituality and Taoist moral principles. In the late 90s, as Falun Gong gained steam and millions of followers, the Chinese Communist Party may have felt threatened by its size and popularity, so it cracked down. Thousands of practitioners were imprisoned or in some cases tortured. The founder, Li Hongzhi, now lives in New York.

Multiple attempts to speak with a Shen Yun spokesperson, by phone and by email, for this story were unsuccessful.

Love it or hate it, Shen Yun has provoked some strong opinions. Here's a selection of Yelp reviews of Shen Yun's Bay Ares shows.

For many disgruntled Shen Yun attendees, it's not necessarily that the show itself is bad — though to be fair, some complain it is. Most of the negative reviews were people upset they were blindsided by the political content.

According to Shen Yun's website, it's an "experience like no other." And on that note, it appears pretty much everyone agrees.


If you live in the SF Bay Area, the inundation of Shen Yun ads is ridiculous, bigger than any promotion right now. They got major bank for that kind of advertising blitz.

GeneChing
12-26-2018, 11:07 AM
I guess San Antonio sees this a little differently. :p


Immerse Yourself in Chinese Culture at the Shen Yun Performance at the Tobin (https://www.sacurrent.com/Art****/archives/2018/12/26/immerse-yourself-in-chinese-culture-at-the-shen-yun-performance-at-the-tobin)
Posted By Bryan Rindfuss on Wed, Dec 26, 2018 at 10:04 am

https://media1.fdncms.com/sacurrent/imager/u/blog/18827781/sy2019banner1200x675.jpg?cb=1545840254
Courtesy of Shen Yun Performing Arts

Dichotomies and conflicts abound in the contested world of Shen Yun, a New York-based outfit with a mission “to use performing arts to revive the essence of Chinese culture — traditionally considered a divinely inspired civilization.” For starters, the organization, which comprises five separate companies of roughly 40 dancers, each accompanied by live orchestras fusing Eastern and Western sounds, aims to preserve ancient Chinese traditions while performing in front of digitized scenery that’s been likened to everything from video-game graphics to IMAX movies.

Far more important is the fact that Shen Yun is essentially the cultural arm of Falun Gong (aka Falun Dafa), a movement that arose from China’s “qigong boom” of the 1990s only to morph from a movement/breathing-based concept into a spiritual practice that’s ferociously condemned (and officially banned) by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a dangerous cult. Add to this equation that enigmatic, U.S.-based Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi has spoken publicly about alien invasions and his followers’ levitation abilities and it’s not surprising that folks often draw comparisons to the absurdities of scientology. Unwittingly, the CCP’s ongoing war with Falun Gong and Shen Yun — which runs the gamut from imprisonment and torture to global interference and the cancellation of performances — has inspired sympathy from Westerners and sparked Shen Yun to assume a more political stance.

As a result, Shen Yun now addresses the persecution of Falun Gong followers in routines based on human-rights abuses and the criminalization of meditation. Further muddying the waters, Li has taken measures to separate the cash cow that is Shen Yun from Falun Gong — at its core a conservative entity that’s opposed to ****sexuality and premarital sex.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of these details go largely unnoticed at Shen Yun’s frequently sold-out shows, where exhaustively trained dancers and acrobats move in pitch-perfect unison, gliding (levitating?) effortlessly through the air in elegant costumes adorned with yards of billowing fabric.




$83.50-$183.50, 7:30pm Fri Dec. 28, 2pm & 7pm Sat Dec. 29, 1pm Sun Dec. 30, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, tobincenter.org.

GeneChing
06-12-2019, 08:22 AM
‘Real Bodies’ in UK anatomical exhibition could be executed Chinese prisoners, says doctor (https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/2158936/real-bodies-uk-anatomical-exhibition-could-be-executed-chinese?fbclid=IwAR1BO8e1TGd0j8Ay-XstdCu85VixaqwcD2iwKklE9W7YRanT2NSKKZmpgo8)
The 20 skinless bodies, sourced via Dalian Medical University, have prompted calls for an investigation
The Guardian
Published: 12:47pm, 9 Aug, 2018

https://cdn1.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/1200x800/public/images/methode/2018/08/09/00c820ae-9b8d-11e8-9a20-262028f49e8a_1280x720_154913.JPG?itok=U8-k8q8Z
Human remains are seen at the “Real Bodies” exhibition in Sydney, Australia, in April. The travelling anatomical show is currently in Birmingham in Britain. Photo: EPA

The bodies of 20 people featured in a UK museum exhibition could be those of Chinese prisoners once detained in labour camps, and recipients of the death penalty in China, according to a leading doctor.
The Real Bodies exhibition, currently at the Birmingham NEC, publicly displays the skinless preserved Chinese bodies. But there are now calls for an investigation into their identities and cause of death to be held while they are in the UK.
The bodies were provided to the event organisers, Imagine Exhibitions, through the Dalian Medical University in China.
Campaigner Dr David Nicholl, a consultant neurologist at City Hospital Birmingham, said that the university’s facilities in the city of Dalian were within driving distance of labour and prison camps.

https://cdn3.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/08/09/f1ddaec4-9b8c-11e8-9a20-262028f49e8a_1320x770_154913.JPG
An attendant cleans an exhibit at the “Real Bodies” anatomical show in Sydney, in April. The travelling show is currently in Birmingham in Britain. Photo: EPA


I have huge questions about why all these unclaimed bodies come from Dalian in sizeable numbers and how many bodies Imagine Exhibitions have actually got
Dr David Nicholl, City Hospital Birmingham
Coupled with the large number of bodies of the same age and gender, and the lack of any identity information, Nicholl suspects the bodies could be those of executed inmates.
“I have huge questions about why all these unclaimed bodies come from Dalian in sizeable numbers and how many bodies Imagine Exhibitions have actually got,” he said.
“My own registrar went to this exhibition. I asked him to note down the gender and age of the bodies. They are all young men – none of them are elderly, which I have to say is pretty suspicious given that there are a number of labour camps within a matter of hours’ drive of Dalian.
“If you look at these exhibitions they are never gender balanced – it’s always largely men. Most people who die, die when they’re older, so to have an exhibition like this is really suspicious.”
Nicholl says event organisers were never given consent by individuals or their families for the bodies to be used.
“I think the public are being conned,” he said.
“Why are we having exhibitions like this in this country if they can’t prove consent?”
Israel banned the exhibition in 2012 in a decision taken by judges in the Israeli Supreme Court, said Nicholl.

https://cdn3.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/08/09/e0548056-9b8c-11e8-9a20-262028f49e8a_1320x770_154913.JPG
Human remains are seen at the “Real Bodies” exhibition in Sydney, Australia, in April. The travelling anatomical show is currently in Birmingham in Britain. Photo: EPA


I refuse to entertain these ridiculous accusations without a shred of evidence to back these baseless claims
Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions
US investigative reporter and author Ethan Gutmann also alleges that the bodies in the exhibition could be political prisoners who practised Falun Gong, a religion banned in China in the late 90s.
This move is thought to have resulted in thousands of people being imprisoned and executed in labour camps.
Gutmann believes that one of the places bodies of persecuted people may have been taken to was Dalian Medical University, as it is in the same province as Masanjia labour camp, one of the largest camps in China “specialising in Falun Gong”.
“It’s a crime against humanity,” he said.
“Several hundred thousand people were executed purely for being Falun Gong and you have a company which is potentially sending evidence all over the world.”
Nicholl and Guttman are among the doctors, human rights activists, MPs and Lords who have signed a letter to Theresa May stating that the exhibition should be shut down.
Guttman says he hopes the specimens will be DNA tested.
“The DNA can be extracted and used to prove relations,” he said. “If we make some matches, we can identify family lines and you could ask them, do you have a missing person?
“People in England have a right to know what they are seeing and people in China have a right to know what happened to their loved ones.”

https://cdn1.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/images/methode/2018/08/09/b9045184-9b8c-11e8-9a20-262028f49e8a_1320x770_154913.JPG
Human remains are seen at the “Real Bodies” exhibition in Sydney, Australia, in April. The travelling anatomical show is currently in Birmingham in Britain. Photo: EPA

The Dalian Medical University released a statement in response saying: “All of these specimens are unclaimed bodies and are legally authorised to be received by the city morgue.
“The specimens that are being presented in Real Bodies: The Exhibition were originally received from the city morgue and then transferred to medical universities in China and ultimately were legally donated to Dalian Hoffen Bio-Technique Laboratory for preservation, dissection and exhibition.”
The statement rejected allegations that the specimens died of unnatural causes, detailing that following inspection “there is absolutely no evidence” that they “received trauma or physical abuse associated with torture, execution or other violent injury”.
The president of Imagine Exhibitions, Tom Zaller, called the suspicions about the bodies “fake news”.
“I refuse to entertain these ridiculous accusations without a shred of evidence to back these baseless claims,” he said.
The exhibition includes more than 200 human organs, foetuses and body parts, also sourced from China, and has already been viewed by millions around the world.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: bodies on show ‘could be executed prisoners’

THREADS
Where Shaolin Promoters hide the bodies... (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?36979-Where-Shaolin-Promoters-hide-the-bodies)
FALUN GONG/Falun Dafa (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?25214-FALUN-GONG-Falun-Dafa)

GeneChing
12-26-2019, 08:41 AM
Dec 21, 2019 Ξ
Hundreds of fake Facebook profiles tied to Epoch Times (https://asamnews.com/2019/12/21/hundreds-of-fake-facebook-profiles-tied-to-epoch-times/)
posted by Randall

https://asamnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Epoch-Times-300x300.png

Facebook Friday removed hundreds of accounts generated by the Epoch Times which included profile photos produced using artificial intelligence, reported the New York Times.

The Epoch Times is backed by the Falon Gong and tied to disinformation campaigns with a pro-Trump bias.

“This was a large, brazen network that had multiple layers of fake accounts and automation that systematically posted content with two ideological focuses: support of Donald Trump and opposition to the Chinese government,” Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, said to the New York Times.

It featured the fake news Trump likes to rail about except of course when it benefits him. The Epoch Media group denied to the New York Times that it is behind the accounts removed by Facebook and claimed Facebook did not contact it.

The Epoch Media Group acknowledged some of its former employees are involved with the banned accounts, but said that is not evidence of a connection.

According to Fast Company, the Epoch Times strongly opposes the Chinese communist party with a decidedly strong pro-Trump bias.

In August, NBC News reported the Epoch Times purchased 11,000 pro-Trump ads on Facebook at a cost of $1.5 million in six months. The ads spread conspiracy theories and criticized “fake news” media. Facebook banned the Epoch Times from advertising following the report.

Both the Epoch Times and the Shen Yun dance troupe make up the bulk of the outreach efforts of the Falon Gong. The Falon Gong is a spiritual practice in China which the Chinese government began to consider a threat in 1999 due to its large following.

Shen Yun is in the SF area now and once again, we're overwhelmed by the amount of advertising - billboards, TV commercials, web ads - Falun Gong has bank. :(

GeneChing
01-27-2020, 09:54 AM
I wonder if Mr. Dacy realizes what this might do to his visa application if he ever wants to go to PRC.


Shen Yun Is ‘One of the Greatest Things I’ve Ever Seen’ Says Kung Fu Teacher (https://www.theepochtimes.com/shen-yun-is-one-of-the-greatest-things-ive-ever-seen-says-kung-fu-teacher_3216986.html)
January 27, 2020

https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2020/01/27/1Shen-Yun-1_20200226_2pm_SanDiego_JanaLi_RyanDacy_martialart steacher-700x420.jpg
Ryan Dacy enjoyed Shen Yun at the San Diego Civic Theater, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Jana Li/The Epoch Times)

SAN DIEGO—Culture is like a diamond. It has many facets. Traditional Chinese culture is especially rich in variety and depth, having given rise to martial arts such as kung fu and the highly expressive, technically stunning art form known as classical Chinese dance.

Out of New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts is touring the world, showcasing traditional Chinese culture’s many facets. At the San Diego Civic Theater on Jan. 26, 2020, a local kung fu teacher Ryan Dacy took in Shen Yun and said “it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.”

Ryan Dacy teaches “choy li fut” style of kung fu at White Dragon Martial Arts School near San Diego. He praised Shen Yun from the point of view of a martial artist.

“It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. Watching it and I can see the kung fu and martial arts aspects of it. The amount of trainings and stuff that go into it. It’s absolutely beautiful. The mixture of the slow and fast. Very kind of tai chi-esque. It’s just absolutely amazing. I love the stories behind it, too. It’s beautiful. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve seen,” Dacy said.

Dacy felt that the tumbling, flipping, jumping and kicking moves seen in Shen Yun had a connection to his own martial arts practice. It’s true that classical Chinese dance developed in parallel to martial arts, just as the word for dance and the word for martial arts in Chinese are ****nyms.

Dacy said that the dancers’ dedication parallels the principles required in his classes. “And the motivation to learn these very specific skills. And timing is something that we want to work on when I teach my students, is working on that timing, waiting for that perfect time. To strike with that perfect time, to do that spin rounds that really make the eyes opened. Wow, that’s amazing,” he said.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-qO9U3i1i8

A hallmark of authentic Chinese culture is its depth of emotion and long history of profound legends. Dacy felt strong feelings from some of the touching stories on stage that day.

“A lot of emotions for different parts,” he said. He described one piece in particular, “Abetting the Wicked,” and the profound sacrifice and redemption that was acted out.

Sorrow and hope, fear and compassion intersect in the piece Dacy referred to, which depicts real scenes from the persecution of innocent spiritual believers in China today.

“What I got from it was, you know, that the family and the brotherly love is just more important than—the rights and freedom is more important than just a job,” Dacy said.

Various aspects of the production lent to the emotional impact of the storytelling.

“The music is beautiful. I used to be in a band when I was in middle school. So, I like the music. It really makes you feel the emotion behind what they are doing. The show just tells you this story. You don’t need the words for the stories to be told,” Dacy added.

Dacy spoke more about the performance’s classical Chinese dance and its patented backdrops.

“I love it so much. They did an amazing job,” he said.

“The backdrop is impressive. … I have not seen an incorporation like that. For the one that, ‘boom,’ and he has in his hands. That’s [a] fantastic job how they incorporated it. The music and dancing—like perfect on sync for everything. That must have taken years of practicing. It’s really impressive.”

https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2020/01/27/Shen-Yun-audience-00-20200126-200PM-SanDiego-Curtain-600x400.jpg
Shen Yun Performing Arts Global Company’s curtain call at the San Diego Civic Theater, on Jan. 26, 2020. (The Epoch Times)

“I highly recommend it. I am going to tell some of the other instructors about it because I can see the martial arts aspects of it. And I absolutely recommend it,” Dacy added.

With reporting by Jana Li and Brett Featherstone.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.

GeneChing
03-11-2020, 08:37 AM
https://cdn2.lamag.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/03/shenyunforADA_1500x1000_RGB.jpg


Inside the Shadowy World of Shen Yun and Its Secret Pro-Trump Ties (https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/shen-yun-trump/?fbclid=IwAR0xXV-zx5049ayhAvYdN-HCWUpCODo6qLhrBloJxckc7JbdKhaHSydtgcY)
The touring dance extravaganza’s parent organization is reportedly spending big bucks to promote the president on Facebook
By Samuel Braslow -March 9, 2020

Each spring the city is flooded by a deluge of advertising—from bright, colorful billboards to glossy mailers to round-the-clock TV commercials—heralding the imminent arrival of a quirky Chinese dance troupe named Shen Yun. Since the group first appeared in L.A. a decade ago, its exotic mix of traditional Chinese dance, Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatics, and anticommunist messaging has won a devoted audience. Critics may scoff at its outre theatrics, and the Chinese government has dismissed it as an “anti-society cult” with “tacky taste and low artistic standards,” but the show regularly sells out across the country. This year, as Shen Yun prepares for a six-week run in Southern California in May, it is coming under scrutiny for its close association with the Epoch Times, a fiercely pro-Trump conspiracy website recently mired in scandal for its ties to a massive network of fraudulent Facebook accounts.

Both Shen Yun and Epoch Times are funded and operated by members of Falun Gong, a controversial spiritual group that was banned by China’s government in 1999. Less a religion than a spiritual doctrine, Falun Gong melds traditional Taoist principles with occasionally bizarre pronouncements from its Chinese-born founder and leader, Li Hongzhi. Among other pronouncements, Li has claimed that aliens started invading human minds in the beginning of the 20th century, leading to mass corruption and the invention of computers. He has also denounced feminism and ****sexuality and claimed he can walk through walls and levitate. But the central tenet of the group’s wide-ranging belief system is its fierce opposition to communism.

In 2000, Li founded Epoch Times to disseminate Falun Gong talking points to American readers. Six years later he launched Shen Yun as another vehicle to promote his teachings to mainstream Western audiences. Over the years Shen Yun and Epoch Times, while nominally separate organizations, have operated in tandem in Falun Gong’s ongoing PR campaign against the Chinese government, taking directions from Li.

https://cdn2.lamag.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/03/GettyImages-492867528_1500x1000_RGB.jpg
Members of Falun Gong sat in silent protest outside the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles
PHOTO BY KEIPHER MCKENNIE/GETTY IMAGES)

Despite its conservative agenda, Epoch Times took pains until recently to avoid wading into partisan U.S. politics. That all changed in June 2015 after Donald Trump descended on a golden escalator to announce his presidential candidacy, proclaiming that he “beat China all the time.” In Trump, Falun Gong saw more than just an ally—it saw a savior. As a former Epoch Times editor told NBC News, the group’s leaders “believe that Trump was sent by heaven to destroy the communist party.”

Relatively unknown before 2016, Epoch Times enjoyed a surge in traffic after the presidential election thanks to stridently pro-Trump content. NBC News reported in 2017 that the site was drawing millions of visitors a year, more than The New York Times and CNN combined. But Falun Gong didn’t restrict its pro-Trump stance to the paper.
Facebook revealed in December that Epoch Media Group, which publishes Epoch Times, had furtively pumped nearly $10 million in ads through a hidden network of fake accounts and pages. In the past few years it has produced more pro-Trump advertising than any other group, including the Trump campaign. The ads have promoted anti-impeachment sentiment, anticommunist propaganda, and conspiracy theories about Joe Biden and other opponents of the president.

https://cdn2.lamag.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/03/Screen-Shot-2020-01-09-at-2.13.32-PM_1500X843_RGB.jpg
SHEN YUN ON YOUTUBE

Though Shen Yun and Epoch Times both fall under Falun Gong’s umbrella, the parent organization’s politics haven’t seemed to have impacted the dance troupe’s bottom line. According to public filings, Shen Yun generated nearly $30 million in revenue in 2017, the most recent year for which records are available—a $7 million increase from the year before. But Shen Yun spends none of its own money on marketing. Instead it relies on a vast army of devout volunteers and donors who produce ads, buy billboards, and send out millions of mailers promoting the show.

Among Falun Gong members there is an “expectation that all practitioners … basically put their lives on hold for the weeks or even months leading up to [Shen Yun’s shows],” a former member wrote in Medium. A San Francisco Chronicle story reported that from 2015 to 2017 Shen Yun-linked groups spent at least $39.3 million on advertising—a staggering amount for a nonprofit of its size. (For comparison, fashion house Guess spent $37.1 million worldwide in 2017.) While employing such massive resources to benefit a cultural exposition seems harmless, using the same apparatus to influence a presidential election is more problematic. Facebook removed over 600 accounts tied to Epoch Times, but by that point, the group’s 55 million Facebook followers had already been exposed to a flurry of misleading ads, antivaxxer talking points, and QAnon conspiracies.

Now if only Facebook could do something about the billboards.

If you live in a major metropolis, do you get inundated with Shen Yun propaganda? If so, where? And if you don't, have you ever seen these Shen Yun billboards? Here in the SF Bay Area, the ads are EVERYWHERE. They are worse than the Bloomberg presidential ads were a few weeks ago.

Jimbo
03-11-2020, 09:07 AM
If you live in a major metropolis, do you get inundated with Shen Yun propaganda? If so, where? And if you don't, have you ever seen these Shen Yun billboards? Here in the SF Bay Area, the ads are EVERYWHERE. They are worse than the Bloomberg presidential ads were a few weeks ago.

I get their stuff in the mail quite often, and I see their ads on TV a lot as well. The mailers go straight into the recycle bin.

Falun Gong’s beliefs around Trump remind me of when I heard some Christian evangelicals equating Trump to Jesus Christ(!). :rolleyes:

If they believe that Trump was sent by Heaven to destroy the CCP, they’re going to be badly disappointed. He doesn’t have anywhere near the power nor the motivation. If I were a betting man, I’d say that the CCP will be around long after Trump has shuffled off this mortal coil, and it will probably outlive all of us. Do I like communism? No. But you must be a realist about these things.

GeneChing
03-16-2021, 08:45 AM
MAGA voters discovered a new home online. But it isn't what it seems. (https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/16/maga-safechat-falun-gong-epoch-476215?cid=apn)
The fast-growing social network SafeChat has a "Star Wars" barlike atmosphere in which white nationalists mingle with Chinese dissidents. And there's plenty of conspiracy theories, too.
https://static.politico.com/dims4/default/7bf7ec0/2147483647/resize/1160x/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.politico.com%2Fd1%2Fd4%2 F6a1d605542608bbd7114fa3ef79e%2Fap20311845109752-1.jpg
A man finishes his vigil outside the Supreme Court in support of Donald Trump.
Trump supporters have flocked to alternative social media networks, including SafeChat, a fast-growing platform known for its tolerance of MAGA content. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP

By MARK SCOTT and TINA NGUYEN

03/16/2021 04:30 AM EDT

As former President Donald Trump’s supporters have flocked to alternative social media networks, many are turning to SafeChat, a fast-growing platform known for its tolerance of high-octane MAGA content.

In the nine weeks since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, SafeChat’s app has been downloaded more times than in all of 2020, quickly becoming a hotbed of conspiracy theories and disinformation that paints President Joe Biden’s new administration in the worst possible light.

But the once-obscure social network, which touts its security protections and respect for free speech, is not just MAGA-friendly. It’s also a conduit that enables fringe groups attacking the Chinese Communist Party to speak directly to — and influence — Trump supporters, creating a "Star Wars" barlike atmosphere where AR-15 enthusiasts and a growing number of white nationalists can mingle with Chinese dissidents.

According to a review of corporate records and online activity by POLITICO, SafeChat has close links to The Epoch Times, an English-language media outlet affiliated with Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual movement known for its antagonism toward the Chinese Communist Party and described by critics as a “cult.”

The Epoch Times saw its online readership grow fivefold, to 51 million monthly visitors to its website, during Trump’s time in the White House.

It’s part of a growing network of Falun Gong-affiliated media outlets that is creating its own far-right social media pipeline — one that amplifies MAGA themes while promoting the agenda of groups dedicated to the ouster of the Chinese Communist Party.

Founded in the early 1990s, the Falun Gong movement was banned by Beijing less than a decade later. It continues to criticize the Chinese government for religious persecution and unlawful restrictions on its supporters’ human rights. When Trump won the 2016 election, it latched on to his anti-Beijing message to promote far-right conspiracy theories and increasingly partisan attacks on anyone opposing the MAGA movement.

By acting as an online conveyor belt of anti-Biden and pro-Trump disinformation, the network of Falun Gong-linked sites is playing a role in shaping the next generation of the MAGA narrative against the former president’s enemies, particularly on the issue of China.

“There’s a concerted effort by anti-Chinese Communist Party voices to move right-wing voters and QAnon followers against China,” said Elise Thomas, an open-source analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks online extremism.

“The fact that people associated with the Falun Gong are trying to use SafeChat to tap into the MAGA-sphere is definitely concerning,” said Thomas, who has charted the rise of Falun Gong-related digital activity.

SafeChat had been bubbling along in online obscurity for much of 2020. But after the November election, the platform began to gain traction with Falun Gong social media influencers who promoted it hard to their followers as an alternative to mainstream social media networks — popularity that picked up exponentially after the Capitol riot.

“Many people say SafeChat is very good. I quickly got over 4K followers there,” Jennifer Zeng, a former Epoch Times journalist, told her more than 150,000 Twitter followers on Jan. 22.

The app also began to attract notice as Trump’s most ardent supporters began turning away from mainstream social media. Online users in pro-Trump Facebook groups, for instance, urged their followers to ditch the Big Tech behemoth for the upstart platform. SafeChat emerged as a welcome alternative that offered a steady stream of conservative content featuring accusations of voter fraud, support for Trump during his recent impeachment trial and harsh criticism of the new administration.

Last month, its website received almost 900,000 visitors — a fourfold increase compared with December, according to SimilarWeb, a web traffic analytics firm. By comparison, the website for Parler, one of the most popular MAGA platforms, was getting roughly 10 million monthly visitors before it was shut down in February.

https://static.politico.com/dims4/default/a2c81aa/2147483647/resize/1160x/quality/90/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.politico.com%2Fc9%2Ff9%2 F8a5251b4472f85a7cf995d918e7f%2Fap21010614502006-1.jpg
The logo of the social media platform Parler is displayed in Berlin, Jan. 10, 2021. | Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP

Until the Jan. 6 riot, the majority of the platform’s visitors came from Vietnam and Hong Kong, countries long associated with the Falun Gong movement. But now, the United States represents more than a fifth of SafeChat’s online activity — a triple-digit monthly growth spike — exceeded only by traffic originating from Vietnam, based on SimilarWeb data.

SafeChat does not publicly acknowledge any connections to the Epoch Times or Falun Gong on its app and declined to comment on a series of questions from POLITICO about its ties to them.

“SafeChat is a neutral and safe platform for people to get information so that they can make their own decisions,” the company said in a statement.

The Epoch Times also told POLITICO it had no association with the SafeChat platform, nor any involvement in how its content was promoted on the platform.

But SafeChat was originally rebranded from an older social media platform, known as DV Chat, by Trung Vu, a former chief executive at The Epoch Times’ Vietnam, which was also registered at the same California address, according to a review of the state’s corporate records. Vu registered the company, but the ownership of SafeChat is unclear.

In January 2020, DV Chat changed the company’s name to SafeChat and named a new chief executive, Matthew Tullar. Like Vu, Tullar had worked for The Epoch Times over a four-year period through 2016, based on his LinkedIn profile. Tullar later served as marketing director for another Falun Gong-affiliated media outlet, The BL, for whom he hosted an online talk show that put out a steady stream of pro-Trump opinions.

One month later, in February 2020, SafeChat got a new chief executive: Patrick Mauler, who, like Vu, worked for New Tang Dynasty — an online video outlet with close ties to Falun Gong.

Several high-profile personalities on the SafeChat platform also previously worked for The Epoch Times, which is one of the biggest and most strident pro-Trump outlets in far-right media.

continued next post

GeneChing
03-16-2021, 08:46 AM
Seth Holehouse, who spent seven years at The Epoch Times before leaving in late 2015, has amassed more than 18,000 followers on his SafeChat channel.

Late last year, he gained online stardom after Trump tweeted videos in which Holehouse alleged widespread voter fraud. He has used his newfound fame to pump out videos from his SafeChat account accusing Biden of being in Beijing’s pocket and promoting Trump’s exoneration at his second impeachment trial.

In a video published on Jan. 12, Holehouse told his followers on YouTube to download SafeChat. He touted its “military-grade encryption” technology, commitment to pro-MAGA free speech and independent servers that would prevent it from being removed from Google and Apple’s app stores.

“SafeChat is a much more robust app. It’s almost as if you were to think of combining Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and a little bit of YouTube,” he said in the video.

When reached for comment, Holehouse did not answer questions about his involvement or ties to The Epoch Times.

The fledgling network is not alone in wooing conservative voters. Other online social media networks and encrypted message boards — most notably Parler, the pro-Trump platform that was shut down soon after the Capitol riot — have quickly gained hundreds of thousands of new users in search of an online home amid recriminations that Facebook, Google and Twitter censor right-wing voices.

Yet few of the platforms have the financial muscle and wide reach of The Epoch Times. Riding the MAGA wave during the Trump era, the organization captured a massive social media following and gained entry into mainstream conservative political circles.

“It makes perfect sense for a high demand group in bed with Big Data to build a content pipeline,” added Sarah Hightower, an independent researcher focusing on Asian cults, upon reviewing SafeChat’s content. “Even on the business end, groups like Falun Gong are still incredibly controlling.”

SafeChat’s growing popularity within the MAGA ecosystem is rooted in the perception that it is a safe space for the former president’s supporters.

To entice new users to SafeChat’s still-nascent platform — its monthly app downloads still number fewer than 70,000, according to AppFigures, a company that tracks such metrics — the social network has trumpeted its security bona fides, promoting its encryption technology to MAGA supporters to keep their online discussions private.

Yet the platform’s privacy policy says SafeChat’s encryption applies to only video and voice calls between two people on its platform. For everything else, including political conversations in its much more popular public channels, the company collects reams of information on its users. That includes the content of people’s posts, individuals’ locations and even the keystrokes from specific smartphones.

Such data collection — particularly information taken from individual messages — would not be possible if the platform had wide-ranging so-called end-to-end encryption, according to Bruce Schneier, a cybersecurity expert at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“On pretty much everything on this site, they can read what you’re writing,” he said. “The word encryption is not some legally binding term.”

SafeChat declined to answer questions about its encryption technology.

The social network has also created unofficial pages on its network for other pro-Trump conservative outlets — like Breitbart News, Newsmax and One America News Network — that advance the impression that it’s a MAGA safe space.

The dedicated SafeChat channels pump out daily content from those outlets, though making it clear they are not officially connected to them.

It is unclear why SafeChat is building these landing pages for right-wing outlets, while not including similar pages for mainstream news organizations. Disinformation experts, some of whom have an expertise in social media, suggested it could be either to portray the chat app as larger than it currently is, or to woo other right-wing media outlets into establishing an official presence on the platform.

“It could be strategic or opportunistic,” said Thomas, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue analyst, referring to the possible motivation.

That courtship might be working. The Gateway Pundit, the conservative site known for spreading hoaxes, took over its own unofficial channel on Feb. 1, quickly amassing thousands of followers and in turn promoting the network to its wider audience.

The Gateway Pundit did not respond to a request for comment.

In the waning months of the Trump administration, The Epoch Times and other Falun Gong-outlets tried to build credibility with the mainstream conservative movement, through its support for Trump and its focus on a common enemy: the Chinese Communist Party.

That includes promoting similarly baseless claims as other MAGA outlets, like accusations that Barack Obama’s administration spied on Trump’s 2016 election campaign, as well as cheerleading the former president’s staunch anti-Beijing stance.

“If the D.C. establishment and Democratic campaigns apparatus doesn’t really think about this and internalize what this means, they’re going to be blindsided by this boomerang of misinformation in the next election cycle,” said Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a left-leaning watchdog group that has tracked the growth of The Epoch Times.

“It shouldn’t be merely dismissed as the fringe and irrelevant,” he added, in reference to SafeChat. “Time and again, too many have been too slow to acknowledge the early warnings and implement strategies to stay ahead of emerging threats. SafeChat is yet another canary in the coal mine setting off those early alarm bells.”

Despite its fast growth, it’s still unclear whether SafeChat will be able to break out of the pack of similar pro-Trump social networks that have gained traction in recent weeks.

Reviews on both Apple and Google’s app stores for the platform specifically cite it as a viable alternative to Parler and Gab.com, a site primarily known for hosting white supremacists and other racist material.

“[So] many coming online from Facebook, GAB is down more than it is online, hope that changes soon,” one reviewer noted on the Apple App Store on Jan. 18. “SafeChat works flawlessly and love how it is set up and the secure chat is much needed in this time of the Marxist takeover of America.”

A recent review of best-performing SafeChat posts highlighted how the platform is succeeding in delivering the red meat that MAGA followers hunger for: video clips of Trump talking to Newsmax, former football star Herschel Walker dismissing efforts at financial reparations for African Americans, and claims that Biden was about to overturn the Second Amendment.

An online discussion, posted on Feb. 14, about how Trump supporters were showering the former president with praise, garnered more than a thousand combined likes, shares and comments. Others promoted disinformation that Hillary Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris could face impeachment; another claimed that the Capitol Hill riot was a hoax.

Yet in recent weeks, downloads for SafeChat’s app have slowed from skyrocketing growth last month, based on AppFigure’s data.

Other alternatives like TheDonald.win, an online message board where far-right rioters planned some of their attacks during the Jan. 6 riot, have descended into internal bickering as MAGA groups splinter over how best to take the movement forward.

So far, SafeChat appears to be avoiding that. But on its darker edges, overt threats of violence are not uncommon. An Epoch Times story — posted on the outlet’s unofficial SafeChat channel with almost 15,000 followers — about how Republicans who had voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial were facing a conservative backlash, generated hundreds of comments.

Most were likes and shares, but there were also calls to attack these lawmakers.

“Dirty rotten *******s,” said an online commentator when discussing The Epoch Times story. “Hang ‘em high for betrayal and sedition.”

Is it called Anticom just like Antifa?

GeneChing
07-21-2021, 05:59 AM
Rubio Pays Tribute to Falun Gong Movement (https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2021/7/rubio-pays-tribute-to-falun-gong-movement)
JUL 20 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement in commemoration of the fallen victims of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, who have been brutally targeted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 20, 1999. Falun Gong is a spiritual movement based on the teachings of its founder, Li Hongzhi, and traditional Chinese meditative practices called qigong.

Rubio is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

“As we mark the 22nd anniversary of the beginning of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal crackdown against the Falun Gong spiritual movement, I honor the lives of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, innocent Chinese who have been targeted because of their spiritual beliefs. The CCP has detained Falun Gong practitioners, and in some cases, multiple times, in “transformation-through-reeducation” centers – a preview of the ongoing mass internment and acts of genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang. CCP officials have subjected Falun Gong practitioners to physical and sexual assault, forced labor, and torture to make them renounce their beliefs. Even more disturbing are the credible allegations of forced organ harvesting.

“Unfortunately, the cruelty continues unabated to this day. For example, on April 23, 2021, security agents in Shandong province broke into the home of Zhou Deyong and detained him on the charge of “sabotaging the enforcement of laws by organizing and utilizing cult organizations.” Mr. Zhou was formally arrested on May 31 for possessing Falun Gong materials that belonged to his wife in the United States. In July 2016, security agents in Yuxi municipality in Yunnan province detained Deng Cuiping and four others for publicly distributing materials promoting Falun Gong. The Eshan County People's Court tried the five in February 2017, and sentenced Deng to 6 years in prison. Deng served 3 years in prison from 2006 to 2009 as a result of her practice of Falun Gong. Countless others have suffered for their belief in Falun Gong.”

“I call on Beijing to stop undermining freedom of religion, and to once and for all end the ban on Falun Gong practice. The CCP must release all individuals and practitioners who are held in prisons and in various detention centers throughout China.” I wonder how much Rubio knows about Falun Gong.

GeneChing
12-13-2021, 10:24 AM
Religious protections don’t apply to Falun Gong protest sites (https://www.courthousenews.com/religious-protections-dont-apply-to-falun-gong-protest-sites/)
While not disputed that the group is persecuted by China's communist government, its reputation as a cult makes its bid for sympathy a complicated one.

EMILEE LARKIN / October 14, 2021
https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/yoga-falun-gong-1880x1254.jpeg
Exercises like this yoga practice qigong are considered a way for Falun Gong practitioners to "cultivate" themselves. (Image by Vô Vi from Pixabay via Courthouse News)
MANHATTAN (CN) — Followers of a 30-year-old Chinese spiritual practice called Falun Gong cannot designate their protest sites as places of worship to silence counter-protesters, the Second Circuit ruled Thursday.

“The record here shows that at most that there were only sporadic instances of worship at the tables,” the 28-page lead decision states. “Plaintiffs and their fellow practitioners instead understood the primary purpose of the tables as a site from which to disseminate information about the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Falun Gong.”

Founded in China in 1992 by Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong does not have any temples, churches or religious ritual — the usual trappings of a religious group. Rather, as summarized by the Second Circuit, its followers believe that meditation and other forms of regular spiritual practice known as “cultivation” will allow them to “return” to their “True Sel[ves]” or “Primary Soul[s].”

The Taiwan Cultural Center in Flushing, Queens, is a common gathering spot for Falun Gong cultivation, which includes physical exercises like qigong and the study of the “Zhuan Falun,” a book of Li’s lectures. For roughly a decade, leaders of the group assembled tables outside the cultural center to raise awareness about the torture Falun Gong adherents in China.

Some of the posters depict organ harvesting. There is no meditation, but the Falun Gong insist that their tables should be treated as an extension of their faith. About six years ago, 13 individuals brought the underlying suit in Brooklyn, saying that a counter-protest group called the Chinese Anti-Cult Alliance harassed them in violation of a federal law called FACEA, short for the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

The alliance denies that it has ever been the aggressor in any of the protest scenes, and Thursday's ruling notes that the Falun Gong teachings that the alliance highlights as troubling are not in dispute: "Defendants object, for instance, to Falun Gong teachings that followers should not take medication for illness, that aliens have visited earth, and that the heavens are divided into racial zones and a person of a mixed racial background will 'go to the heaven that belongs to the race of
his Main Spirit.'"

A federal judge sided with the Falun Gong at summary judgment in 2018, but the Second Circuit reversed Thursday after finding that the Falun Gong practitioners passing out pamphlets in Queens is not entitled to protection under the law meant to protect women from being harassed while seeking abortion services.

“At most, the evidence shows that the activity at the tables was motivated by teachings of the Falun Gong leader, akin to how Quaker groups may protest wars or Catholic groups may protest abortion laws in public streets motivated by their respective religious beliefs,” U.S. Circuit Judge Susan Carney wrote in Thursday's lead opinion. “But that such political and social action may be rooted in religious belief does not transform the public spaces where the action occurs into “places of religious worship.”

Specifically, the religious section of the FACEA prohibits a person from intentionally injuring, intimidating, or interfering with another who is exercising her religion at a place of religious worship. In reaching its decision, the court dissected what can be considered a “place” of worship.

U.S. Circuit Judge Pierre Leval, a Clinton appointee, concurred with Carney, an Obama appointee, in full, as did U.S. Circuit Judge John Walker, who also wrote a separate concurring opinion.

“Although we have previously sustained the provision of FACEA that prohibits violence at abortion clinics, in part based on legislative findings that women, doctors, and medical supplies may travel interstate for reproductive health services, those findings were limited to regulating violence at abortion clinics,” said Walker, a George H. W. Bush appointee. “They have no bearing on whether violence against worshippers at places of religious worship substantially affects interstate commerce.”

Reacting to the decision Wednesday, Elizabeth Hurd, a professor of political science and religious studies at Northwestern University, said that religious freedom hinges on what the law views as a religion.

“Protecting a right to religious freedom in law requires defining what the state means by ‘religion’. There will always be groups left out of that definition, particularly when powerful actors, like the Chinese government, have a say in who gets protected as a religion and who does not,” Hurd said in an email. “This is a casualty of legalizing religious freedom. It is not surprising that Falun Gong would not be privy to these protections. The challenge, then, is to reconsider whether religious freedom is equipped as a legal construct to do the work we are asking it to do. I think not.”

Led by Zhang Jingrong, the practitioners were represented by Terri Marsh with the Human Rights Law Foundation. The alliance was represented by Tom Fini of Cata***o Fini law firm. Neither party immediately responded to emails seeking comment.

Meanwhile it's Shen Fun season here so my newsfeeds are inundated...:mad:

GeneChing
02-14-2022, 11:19 AM
Shen Yun: The Falun Gong cult’s anti-communist propaganda roadshow (https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/shen-yun-the-falun-gong-cults-anti-communist-propaganda-roadshow/)
February 11, 2022 12:21 PM CST BY J. HAHN AND MAX CHANDLER

https://www.peoplesworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Shen-Yun-combo.jpeg
The Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) group presents itself as a persecuted spiritual organization, but it is an anti-human religious cult that embraces right-wing politics and operates a massive anti-communist business and propaganda empire. | Left: Shen Yun poster / Left: AP photos show the cult's 'Epoch Times' newspaper, a group of practitioners, and a Falun Gong protest against China.
From February 15-20, 2022, Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will host a sensational retelling of China’s history spanning thousands of years. Shen Yun—the stunning production that has graced stages in a perpetual roadshow across North America since 2006—is returning to the U.S. capital.

The advertising for this affair across 96 cities in America uses beautiful imagery: a woman leaping across a violet-hued field in a brilliantly colored dress beside the phrase “5,000 Years of Civilization Reborn.” This is the innocuous wording Shen Yun uses to showcase its ode to the glory of traditional Chinese civilization and culture. An attendee might, then, be a little taken aback by statements made in the performance that “atheism and evolution are deadly ideas.”

In fact, one can expect to be inundated with a host of bizarre messages in a Shen Yun performance. This dance company, whose name roughly translates to “Divine Rhythm,” performs under the auspices of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice drawing on the Chinese Buddhist and Daoist traditions. Followers practice qigong, meditation, and moral philosophy with the aim of achieving spiritual enlightenment. Uniquely among qigong practices, however, this school incorporates apocalyptic and messianic elements centered around founder Li Hongzhi—a battle for human consciousness between the enlightened and space aliens (!) to be followed by an impending judgment day.

https://www.peoplesworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/AP_99060102628-389x504.jpg
Falun Gong leader Li Hongzhi in 1999 before his exile in the United States. | Kyodo News / AP
While practitioners are instructed to be opaque about Li’s teaching with the uninitiated, what can be found about Falun Gong’s beliefs is a bit concerning. Li has claimed that alien life forms intend to displace humanity with clones and that scientific development is the result of alien interference. He has further claimed that race-mixing in humans is an alien plot to drive humanity further from God and that heaven is racially segregated. Li apparently so despises miscegenation that he has been recorded as saying: “When a child is born from an interracial marriage, that child does not have a heavenly kingdom to go to.”

Among other regressive tendencies, anti-communism is a central tenet of Falun Gong. Shen Yun performances have regularly incorporated explicitly anti-communist and anti-Communist Party of China messaging. In 2019, Shen Yun’s performance even included an act in which “Chairman Mao appeared, and the sky turned black; the city in the digital backdrop was obliterated by an earthquake, then finished off by a Communist tsunami. A red hammer and sickle glowed in the center of the wave.”

As Shen Yun so campily demonstrated, Falun Gong has a long and strained history with communism. Since being banned in China in 1999, the organization and its media outlets have lambasted the Communist Party there, claiming severe and unjust religious persecution, backed up with ample help from Western media until recent years.

When Li began Falun Gong, he had only been practicing qigong for about a year, but riding a wave of increased popularity in qigong practice in the 1980s and 1990s, he was able to successfully build a brand. Since its founding, the group’s history has been a contentious one: “Conflict with the media has been central to Falun Gong almost since its inception, for it was not the Chinese government, but journalists, writers, scientists, and ex-members who first criticized Falun Gong. Li’s unscientific claims and professions of divine status invited skepticism, and by mid-1996 Chinese journalists began to publish critical articles about Falun Gong’s supernatural beliefs and Li’s egoism.”

By the late 1990s, Falun Gong had grown massively, pushing a message of Li Hongzhi as mankind’s savior. In spite of this, the Communist Party of China still officially sought to keep peace with the organization. This changed in short order.

At the height of Falun Gong’s influence in China, Li instructed followers to infiltrate the Communist Party. Part of his early strategy for recruitment appears to have been winning over state government leaders and currying favor with them. Meanwhile, the organization began escalating its attacks on Chinese media platforms critical of Li Hongzhi and his religion.

These events escalated into the April 25, 1999, protest in which 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners surrounded the Communist Party headquarters in Zhongnanhai in Beijing and sat silently for 12 hours. By July that same year, the government had outlawed the group and detained many of its members.

During this time, Li and Falun Gong began disseminating a horrifying narrative of the CPC’s persecution—mass imprisonment, torture, even organ harvesting, all over a peaceful protest. This narrative, of course, became a go-to story for demonstrating the terrors of communism.

Xinhua, China’s main news agency, however, alleged that “Li had broken numerous laws, threatened public safety, was responsible for over 1,000 deaths (mainly from members committing suicide or not seeking medical treatment), and that members had infiltrated the Communist Party to overthrow the government.” Additionally, according to Dr. Heather Kavan, in an independent study on the credibility of media reporting about Falun Gong, “[the] research suggests that on the issues of Li and his role in the Zhongnanhai protest, why Falun Gong was banned, and its cult-like nature, Xinhua’s accounts are…generally more accurate than Western ones.”
continued next post

GeneChing
02-14-2022, 11:19 AM
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In this April 25, 1999 file photo, thousands of members of the Falun Gong cult sit in next to Beijing’s Zhongnanhai complex, the headquarters of the Communist Party of China. | Chien-min Chung / AP
In the wake of the curbs on Falun Gong in China, Li fled to New York, where he began operating the 427-acre Dragon Springs compound, which is now the center of Falun Gong operations. Former believers paint a disturbing picture of daily life there: “tightly controlled by Li…internet access is restricted, the use of medicines is discouraged, and arranged relationships are common.”

Li’s teaching on “the necessity of enduring physical hardship, harassing critics, and denigrating science in favor of his purportedly infallible truths” permeates the culture of the compound and the group’s doctrine. True to the form of a cult, Falun Gong’s members are expected to devote their lives to its message and “Master Li.” Practitioners are required to proselytize and cut off friends and family members who are not receptive to Falun Gong’s message. All of this creates a deeply insular environment where believers are subject to Li’s whims. One former member wrote that she “had grown up believing [Li] could read her mind and listen to her dangerous thoughts.”

Members of Falun Gong are also expected to receive their news from Li’s approved media outlets, the largest of which is The Epoch Times newspaper, which regularly hosts regressive opinion pieces about the LGBTQ+ community and hawks anti-China sentiment.

The outlet, almost entirely staffed by Falun Gong cultists, is known to traffic in right-wing conspiracy theories along the Trumpist line—coronavirus disinformation, claims that Hillary Clinton is a communist, and allegations of massive voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. election. This makes sense when one considers that Li Hongzhi reportedly stated Donald Trump had been “sent by heaven to destroy the Chinese Communist Party.” In fact, in 2020, Epoch Times spent $1.5 million on Facebook ads in just six months promoting Trump, before being banned from the platform.

It seems, though, that Epoch Times’ current political agenda is a new phenomenon. According to a 2019 exposé by NBC News, “Before 2016, The Epoch Times generally stayed out of U.S. politics, unless they dovetailed with Chinese interests. The publication’s recent ad strategy, coupled with a broader campaign to embrace social media and conservative U.S. politics—Trump in particular—has doubled The Epoch Times’ revenue, according to the organization’s tax filings, and pushed it to greater prominence in the broader conservative media world.”

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Falun Gong’s ‘Epoch Times’ newspaper has made itself into a prominent voice for the far right in the United States. It regularly celebrated Trump when he was president and backed his Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. | Epoch Times
The outlet’s alliance with Donald Trump has certainly been profitable for Falun Gong. In 2017, The Epoch Times doubled its revenue from the previous year to $8.1 million, right around the time that it expanded its online presence and started pushing an aggressive pro-Trump agenda. “Though the source of their revenue is unclear, the most recent financial records from each organization paint a picture of an overall business thriving in the Trump era,” NBC reported.

Beyond the simple bottom line motive that has so enriched Falun Gong in the last few years, Li’s alliance with the far-right elements of U.S. politics serves the organization’s anti-communist purpose. Trump’s escalation of tensions with China was something of a godsend to a group that had been advocating stringent measures against the country for years.

Falun Gong has made no secret of its goal to destroy the Communist Party of China. This agenda is central to most of their operations, not least of which is Shen Yun. In 2021, the dance company adopted the tagline “China Before Communism.” But what would Falun Gong have China return to?

Before the revolution of 1949, Western and Japanese imperialists had been attacking China steadily since the 1800s, resulting in mass casualties and increased drug trafficking. The fall of the Qing dynasty caused increased political instability, which prevented the Kuomintang central government from operating effectively. Beginning in the late 1920s, Japan began a campaign of intrigue and harassment of China that eventually led to outright invasion and occupation of 25% of China’s territory and control over 33% of its population. This invasion and occupation resulted in numerous atrocities that cost the lives of millions of Chinese. It was the Communist Party of China, in alliance with the Kuomintang in a United Front, that was able to eventually drive out imperialist invaders.

When the Communist Party rose to power in China after the war, quality of life markers increased significantly. This was especially the case in recent decades. A Stanford University-published article from 2015 noted that “between 1950 and 1980, China experienced the most rapid sustained increase in life expectancy of any population in documented global history…gains in school enrollment and public health campaigns together are associated with 55-70 percent of China’s dramatic reductions in infant and under-5 mortality….”

In roughly the same period, total food production in China rose 170%, and China’s population grew by 78%. This is all in spite of the infamous famines of 1958-62. The Communist Party put into motion changes that would lead to the elimination of famine in China, a previously unthinkable historical development.

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Li-Town: The Falun Gong Dragon Springs compound in Otisville, N.Y., where founder Li Hongzhi rules. | Julie Jacobson / AP
Citizens of China today enjoy a life expectancy of around 77, which has risen steadily since 2009. Additionally, the average Chinese citizen has access to healthcare on a scale unavailable to citizens in the U.S., food security, and earlier retirement ages. Considering that Li Hongzhi lives in a palace and exerts authority over his devoted followers like a feudal lord, it makes a little more sense that he would advocate for a reactionary “return” to the China that existed before socialism.

Shen Yun, a striking display of Falun Gong’s propaganda and the reach of its influence in North America dramatizes historical and mythical events in Chinese history. This is not exactly a representation of the reality of daily life for the average person in China at any time in its extensive history. And while Shen Yun seems to uphold itself as an arbiter of Chinese culture, the performances focus more on conveying Falun Gong’s political agenda.

So why are the Kennedy Center and other event venues around the continent allowing themselves to be a platform for this regressive and dangerous cult? Do these cultural institutions really want to associate themselves with an organization whose leader opposes interracial relationships, ****sexuality, and modern medicine? The Kennedy Center—and any other venue that gets a knock from Shen Yun at its door—should drop the act and put to bed this divisive culture war propaganda.
Has anyone here seen Shen Yun?

mawali
02-16-2022, 10:30 PM
I am not a fan of the political falungong and their enterprises as they attempt to usurp a status quo that is self evident.
Now I know why they were censured as they were! Their grasp on reality is fanatical and their communication tools smack of 'right wing" propaganda when they report on world events.

NO! I would not go to see the Shen Yun troupe even if they paid me. No doubt I could change my mind as they are nauseating on all bases!

YinOrYan
02-17-2022, 03:34 PM
Has anyone here seen Shen Yun?

Once, many years ago. The artists were good but it was awkward being a captive-audience to the politics between each performance!