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Thread: Tai Ji Men Qigong & Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze

  1. #1
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    Tai Ji Men Qigong & Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze

    I know exactly where this school is. It's near a restaurant that I used to frequent. I do not know the instructor however.

    Tai Ji Men Has Been Persecuted by Taiwan Government for 24 Years
    "24 years are way too long!" "We cannot stand it anymore!" Tai Ji Men dizi protested against Taiwan's persecution of Tai Ji Men
    By Effie Chen, Community Contributor
    Aug 16, 2020 3:40 am PT
    |
    Updated Aug 16, 2020 11:20 am PT


    Tai Ji Men dizi hold a banner that reads, “TAIWAN MUST END ITS 24-YEAR ILLEGAL TAX PERSECUTION OF TAI JI MEN,” in front of the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Cupertino, California on August 15, 2020.

    "Taiwan Must End Its 24-year Tax Persecution of Tai Ji Men Now" read a banner held by Tai Ji Men dizi Jason Lu and Jennifer Hung in Cupertino, California on August 15. Tai Ji Men dizi (similar to students) in California, Australia, and Singapore accused the Taiwanese government of abusing Tai Ji Men through unjust taxation for over two decades, following the outrageous attempted auction of Tai Ji Men's property in Taiwan on July 31.
    In protest of the Taiwanese government's abuses of their human rights, Tai Ji Men dizi also held various signs to express their outrage such as those that read "Taiwan Must Stop Abusing Taxpayer's Human Rights Now," "Taiwan Must Abolish Unjust Tax Bills and Illegal Auctions Now," and "Taiwan Must End 24-year Abuses of Tai Ji Men Dizi's Human Rights Now."
    Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, grandmaster of Tai Ji Men, has led his dizi to promote love and peace through cultural exchanges since 1999. To date, they have self funded their trips to 101 nations and conducted over 3,000 cultural performances. It was praised as an international goodwill peace ambassador. In Taiwan, incumbent and former presidents, high-ranking government officials, 290 legislators, and other leaders have highly praised Tai Ji Men. On the one hand, the Taiwanese government has commended Tai Ji Men's contributions to Taiwan, but on the other hand, it has continued to persecute Tai Ji Men through unjust taxation for 24 years!
    Established in 1966 in Taiwan, Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy is a cultural organization that carries forward the ancient Taoist philosophy, martial arts, and qigong. Its objective is to promote love, peace and a culture of conscience as well as improve people's physical, mental, and spiritual health. Its peace endeavors have won international recognition and high acclaim from world leaders, including heads of state, governors of California and Rhode Island, former Congressman Ed Royce, former California State Senator Bob Huff, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates. It was invited by the governor of Washington State in 1999 to take part in the SeaFair in Seattle. A delegation of 1,200 Tai Ji Men members participated in the parade. At the invitation of Senator Jesse Helms, the then Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Tai Ji Men organized a cultural program on Capitol Hill in 2000. That day was proclaimed by the mayor of Washington D.C. as Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy Day.
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    The Tai Ji Men tax case was a false case fabricated by prosecutor Kuan-ren Hou in Taiwan with false evidence and false witnesses in 1996. Without any sort of verification, Taiwan's National Taxation Bureau (the NTB) issued false tax bills based on the prosecutor's untrue indictment. Back in 2007, Taiwan's Supreme Court already ruled that Tai Ji Men was not guilty of tax evasion or violation of tax codes and stated that the red envelopes given to the grandmaster of Tai Ji Men were gifts, and thus tax-free income. In addition, the group ordering of uniforms and other items by Tai Ji Men members had nothing to do with the grandmaster of Tai Ji Men and his wife and that was not for profit, and thus tax-free as well. The NTB should have revoked the illegal tax bills to Tai Ji Men 13 years ago, but the NTB has ignored the Supreme Court decision and illegally taxed Tai Ji Men to this day.
    For 24 years, Tai Ji Men has won its case against the NTB 18 times in the Petitions and Appeals Committee of Taiwan's Ministry of Finance and Administrative Courts. However, an illegal auction of Tai Ji Men's property was conducted on July 31. Because there was no valid bid, a second auction is scheduled for August 21.
    Although Taiwan is hailed as a beacon of democracy in Asia, its tax system is very backward. Its continued violations of human rights and disregard for the rule of law have outraged not only Tai Ji Men dizi but other champions of justice around the world. Dr. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist of religion, said that "Now, this case involving Tai Ji Men, is a residual of the past, it dates back to a different year in Taiwan's history, that was 1996. Now we are in 2020, and if Taiwan, as I am sure it does, wants to perpetuate its image of a free country, a democratic country, a country friendly to human rights and religious liberty, and even a regional example, I believe it is great time that this ghost of a different past is laid to rest, and justice is done for taxpayers and for Tai Ji Men." Kenneth Jacobsen, a professor of law at Temple University and advisor to former President Bill Clinton, said that "In the Tai Ji Men case, it's been determined that the taxes that have attempted to be collected are improper. And this is disturbing because the continuation and perpetuation of injustice is as bad as the commitment of that injustice in the first place. And that is what's happening here, in the Tai Ji Men tax case."
    This case of injustice not only severely affects the rights of Tai Ji Men members and the people of Taiwan, but also negatively impacts the trade and business cooperation between Taiwan and other nations. Therefore, Tai Ji Men dizi around the world will continue to express their voices of protest and invite other conscionable people to pay attention to this case, hoping that the heightened awareness of this gross injustice will push the Taiwanese government to correct its mistakes and make justice prevail!
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Still persecuted?

    Religious Persecution Against Tai Ji Men
    Action Alliance to Redress 1219
    Crystal Wang, Community Contributor
    Posted Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 3:01 am ET|Updated Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 3:04 am ET


    Members of Tai Ji Men display traditional Tai Ji Men lanterns, which symbolize that conscience lights up people's hearts and guides them to make the right decision, respect and tolerate one another, and create a world of love and peace with conscience. (AP)
    Despite 24 years of ongoing violations of their human rights and religious freedom, Tai Ji Men continues to Promote Love, Peace, and Conscience Around the World

    Action Alliance to Redress 1219 is a partner of International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2021

    WASHINGTON, July 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2021 held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. on July 13–15 is the largest and most important religious freedom event of the year, with over 1,000 people participating, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Congressman Frank Wolf, USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel, and other advocates to raise awareness of religious liberty in all corners of the world.

    In addition to plenary and breakout sessions, there is an exhibition hall where representatives of every major religion and many organizations have set up booths to showcase their missions to attendees seeking to learn more. Hundreds of people came by the exhibition hall, drawn in by the colorful costumes of the Action Alliance to Redress 1219 booth to learn about Tai Ji Men, which has self-funded trips to 101 nations to promote love, peace, and conscience under the guidance of its leader Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze. At the booth today, members of Tai Ji Men displayed traditional Tai Ji Men lanterns, which symbolize brightness and pointing people in the right direction. The lanterns also symbolize conscience, which guides people to make the right decision, respect and tolerate one another, and apply their conscience to create a world of love and peace where human rights prevail.

    Tai Ji Men is an organization rooted in esoteric Taoism and has 15 chapters in the United States and Taiwan. It has tens of thousands of members from all around the world, who benefit from practicing Tai Ji Men Qigong. Since it was formally chartered in 1966, the nature of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy has remained unchanged. The deeper history of the organization that emphasizes wisdom and martial arts has been passed down from Shifu (master) to his dizi (disciples) from generation to generation. The organization has been dedicated to promoting a culture of love and peace, as well as improving global citizens' physical, mental, and spiritual health.

    In 2001, during the 54th Annual DPI/NGO Conference, the 9/11 attacks occurred, the deadliest attacks on US soil. After that, many people were anxious to leave New York. Dr. Hong and his dizi (disciples), who had gone to New York for the Conference, chose to stay there to host the "Ceremony of Ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love" to calm people's hearts and pray for the United States and the world, with UN ambassadors, leaders of NGOs from various countries, and many peace promoters in attendance.

    Tai Ji Men's chapters in California have been actively involved in their respective communities for over two decades and have been highly praised by visionaries in various fields.

    At the invitation of Senator Jesse Helms, the then Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Tai Ji Men organized a cultural program on Capitol Hill in 2000. Mayor Anthony A. Williams of the District of Columbia proclaimed March 22, 2000 as the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy Day in Washington, D.C. and praised Tai Ji Men as International Ambassadors of Goodwill and Peace.

    Mayor Jeremy Harris of the City and County of Honolulu proclaimed September 16, 2001 as Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy and Dr. Hong Tao-Tze Day, in recognition of Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Men's contributions to advancing cultural exchanges and harmony among nations.

    Additionally, Mayor Tom Bates of the City of Berkeley proclaimed August 5, 2005, as the Federation of World Peace and Love Day in the city of Berkeley, in recognition of Dr. Hong's dedication to leading FOWPAL to promote peace and love for all humanity. (Dr. Hong is the president of the Federation of World Peace and Love).

    Tragically, despite praise from presidents of Taiwan and international acclaim, Tai Ji Men has been persecuted in Taiwan, with its leader's and members' human rights and religious freedom being violated for over 24 years! In 1996, the Taiwanese government conducted a political purge targeting religious organizations. A prosecutor named Hou Kuan-jen falsely accused Tai Ji Men and Dr. Hong of fraud, tax evasion, and raising goblins, with fake witnesses and fabricated evidence. It took Tai Ji Men more than a decade to be found innocent of tax evasion and all other charges by the criminal division of the Supreme Court in 2007, confirming that Tai Ji Men did not owe any tax. However, the case did not end there. Taiwan's National Taxation Bureau ignored the Supreme Court's final decision and continued to issue unjustified tax bills to Tai Ji Men, resulting in the unlawful seizure and confiscation of its sacred land for self-cultivation last year, generating massive peaceful protests on the streets and drawing the attention and igniting discussions from international scholars and experts in the areas of human rights, religion, and law.

    Tai Ji Men members from across the United States actively participated in the 2021 International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit, speaking out to the world and urging the Taiwanese government to resolve this case of injustice as soon as possible, return to Tai Ji Men its sacred land for self-cultivation, and protect people's freedom of religion or belief, which is a fundamental right.

    Over the past 24 years, under the leadership of Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, worldwide members of Tai Ji Men have never given up hope and have insisted on doing the right thing, even though they have been persecuted for 24 years. During this time, they have visited 101 nations to promote love, peace, and conscience through cultural exchange. Tai Ji Men's shifu (master) and dizi (disciples) hope to use their own experience to encourage others suffering similar plights to continue seeking justice and working together for a world where people follow their conscience and enjoy human rights, religious freedom, and equality.

    About Action Alliance to Redress 1219: Action Alliance to Redress 1219 is a group of international and Taiwanese legal, religious, and human rights specialists working to restore the truth about the ongoing persecution of Tai Ji Men in Taiwan by a small group of bureaucrats that has lasted for 24 years, as well as their misuse of authority and violations of the law. In addition to rectifying the Tai Ji Men case and revealing the truth, it is also committed to defending religious freedom and calling on those in power not to infringe on people's human rights.

    Source: AP
    Tai Ji Men may need its own indie thread next.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    DC protest

    Time for an indie Tai Ji Men thread, distinct from the Tai-chi-chuan-from-Taiwan thread.

    24-Year Violation of Religious Freedom and Human Rights in Taiwan
    Members from Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in LA and San Jose Protest Against Taiwan's Religious Persecution of Tai Ji Men in Washington, D.C.
    Crystal Wang, Community Contributor
    Posted Tue, Aug 3, 2021 at 10:47 am ET


    Representatives of Action Alliance to Redress 1219 and Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in LA and San Jose peacefully protest against religious persecution in front of the U.S. Capitol building. (ACT1219)
    Twenty-one years ago, Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy presented a cultural performance on Capitol Hill and was praised as International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill. Twenty-one years later, they have returned to Washington, D.C. to seek justice and publicize their own experience of being religiously persecuted.

    Recently, over 30 representatives of Action Alliance to Redress 1219 and Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy peacefully protested in D.C., including the Capitol Hill, after participating in the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2021. The protest signs they held read, "Stop the 24-Year Violation of Human Rights and Religious Freedom," "Revealing the Truth of the Tai Ji Men Case," "Return Our Sacred Land," and "Fighting for Human Rights."

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy is a cultural and spiritual organization, with various chapters in Taiwan and the U.S. On March 22, 2000, at the invitation of Senator Jesse Helms, the then Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and witnessed by senators and House Representatives, Tai Ji Men presented a cultural performance in front of the Capitol building. D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams proclaimed March 22, 2000 as the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy Day in Washington, D.C. and praised Tai Ji Men as International Ambassadors of Goodwill and Peace.

    Over the past 20 plus years, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the Grand Master of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy, and his disciples have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations and presented over 3,000 cultural performances to promote love, peace, and conscience. Tai Ji Men and Dr. Hong have received international recognition and acclaim for their peace efforts.

    It is hard to imagine that such an organization has been persecuted in Taiwan for 24 years. In 1996, after the first direct presidential election, the Taiwanese government launched a political purge, targeting religious and spiritual groups that did not show support for the president in power during the election. Although Tai Ji Men took no political stance, it was caught in the crossfire and was persecuted through both legal and taxation measures.

    To express their respect and gratitude to their master, the disciples of Tai Ji Men would give monetary gifts to their master in the form of red envelopes, which is a traditional custom. In Taiwan, several thousand religious and spiritual groups have also kept the same tradition and culture, and none of their masters has been taxed for receiving monetary gifts from their disciples. However, Tai Ji Men were discriminated against as the red envelopes given by Tai Ji Men members to their master were illegally taxed.

    This group of protesters also demonstrated in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Ann Chen, a dual licensed attorney in California and Taiwan, stated, "In 2007, Taiwan's Supreme Court found Dr. Hong and his co-defendants not guilty of tax evasion or any other charges and ruled that the red envelopes were gifts, and thus were tax-exempt income and not subject to business tax. However, the taxation bureau disregarded the court decision and continued to issue unjustified tax bills to Dr. Hong." "Here in front of the Supreme Court, the final arbitrator of the law, we are revealing something absurd and tragic: The Taiwanese taxation bureau disregarded the final decision of its country's Supreme Court," said Ann Chen with a heavy heart.

    During a 2010 public hearing in the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's Ministry of Finance openly agreed to end the unjust Tai Ji Men case within two months. In 2012, per the resolution of an inter-ministerial meeting held by the Executive Yuan, a public survey was conducted by the taxation bureau, and 7401 respondents all issued written statements indicating that their red envelopes to Dr. Hong were gifts, which was consistent with the Supreme Court's decision, and proved once again that Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Men did not owe any tax.

    However, the taxation bureau broke its promise, disregarded the evidence, ignored the resolution of the inter-ministerial meeting, disobeyed the Supreme Court's decision, and continued to impose unlawful taxes on Dr. Hong. Based on an unjustified tax bill for the year 1992, Tai Ji Men's sacred land was illegally auctioned and nationalized by the Taiwanese government on August 21, 2020. This has violated the religious freedom of Tai Ji Men's master and disciples, forcing thousands of people to protest on the streets.

    In response to the injustices against Tai Ji Men, many scholars and tax experts have voiced their support for Tai Ji Men. Kenneth Jacobsen, professor of law at Temple University and former advisor to President Bill Clinton, said, "It is the most gross deprivation of due process, the most gross violation of fairness, the most gross intrusion on religious liberty."

    "Tax weapons have been often used to discriminate against religious and spiritual minorities. This is becoming a global problem, and one the human rights community should be aware of," warned CAP-LC (Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience), an NGO with special consultative status at United Nations' ECOSOC that filed a written statement about the Tai Ji Men case and other unjust cases with the 47th Session of the UN's Human Rights Council, published on June 21, 2021.

    "Our demands are simple: The Taiwanese government should return the confiscated land to Tai Ji Men and clear its name," said Duncan Lee, chairperson of Action Alliance to Redress 1219 and a certified public accountant in California.

    The right to freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right. Former U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, co-chair of the IRF Summit 2021, emphasized during Action Alliance to Redress 1219's side event of the IRF Summit, "We believe governments' role is to protect that innate right of a person to select their own course of future for their soul." Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, the other co-chair of the IRF Summit 2021 and president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, when interviewed by members of Action Alliance to Redress 1219 about the Tai Ji Men case during the Summit, said, "It's a case I'm still in the process of educating myself about. But I understand a growing consensus among people who have looked at it that an injustice has occurred. And we need to look at it and we need to address it."

    About Action Alliance to Redress 1219: Action Alliance to Redress 1219 is a group of international and Taiwanese legal, religious, and human rights specialists working to restore the truth about the ongoing persecution of Tai Ji Men in Taiwan by a small group of bureaucrats that has lasted for 24 years, as well as their misuse of authority and violations of the law. In addition to rectifying the Tai Ji Men case and revealing the truth, it is also committed to defending religious freedom, speaking out for related injustices in Taiwan. The Alliance calls on those in power not to ignore people's fundamental human rights and demands that perpetrators be held accountable to protect democracy, the rule of law, and justice.

    Source: AP
    Gene Ching
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    9/11

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks with Love, Peace, and Conscience
    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy
    Wed, September 15, 2021, 1:50 PM·6 min read
    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy: Nearly a quarter of a century of human rights violations by the Taiwanese government cannot quench Tai Ji Men's love and concern for the world

    Tai Ji Men Members Speak Out in Front of the UN Headquarters
    Members of the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy and Action Alliance to Redress 1219 protest against the Taiwanese government's violations of Tai Ji Men's human rights in front of the United Nations Headquarters.
    NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- September 11, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. On this historic day, over 30 volunteers from Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy and Action Alliance to Redress 1219 (ACT 1219) gathered in front of the United Nations building and other locations in New York to pray for the city, the U.S. and the world, wishing that everyone's conscience will be awakened, disasters will be prevented, and a world of love and peace will be realized.

    Three of the volunteers witnessed the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. Pamela Chen, a Tai Ji Men member from Los Angeles, arrived in New York on the morning of September 11, 2021. Shortly after landing in the Big Apple, she and other Tai Ji Men members gathered in front of the United Nations Headquarters to spread love, peace, and conscience to New York, the U.S. and the world through their dancing and singing. They also visited Times Square, the Manhattan Neighborhood Network TV Station, Ground Zero, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York and other locations to spread the idea of conscience, love, and peace.

    Pamela said that 20 years ago, she witnessed the two planes crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The city was instantly engulfed in terror and confusion, and everyone was desperate to flee. Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men, and Tai Ji Men members did not leave New York. On September 12, 2001, at the invitation of the Manhattan MNN Television, he led Tai Ji Men to host a ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love to pray for the victims, New York, and the U.S. He prayed for the souls of the departed to rest in peace, as well as for the living to be comforted. Traffic in Manhattan was halted at the time, and people were panicking as if it were a world war. The suffering inflicted by the terrorist acts has made people all across the world yearn for peace more than ever. Even though getting around was difficult and some UN ambassadors had to walk for hours to reach the MNN TV station, many arrived at the bell ringing ceremony venue to ring the Bell and make wishes for peace, safeguarding love and peace with concrete action.

    Lung Ogle, another Tai Ji Men member, was also present during the 9/11 attacks. Despite being over 80 years old, she managed to travel from Florida to New York on this significant day 20 years later to express her best wishes to the victims, the city, the United States, and the world. She visited the MNN TV Station with a group of Tai Ji Men members. In addition to sharing her vivid memory of the ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love 20 years ago right after the 9/11 attacks, she expressed her gratitude to the TV station for broadcasting the program produced by Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, titled “Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks with Love, Peace and Conscience,” which reminds global citizens to awaken their conscience and respect one another with love and tolerance, as well as urges those in power to administer policies with conscience and avoid violating their people’s human rights. The 90-minute program broadcast on the TV station's various channels on September 11 and 12 will be repeated on September 15.

    In addition to promoting the message of love, peace, and conscience, the volunteers also held signs protesting against the Taiwanese government's disregard for the rule of law, violation of their human rights, and allowing a few rogue bureaucrats to persecute Tai Ji Men’s master and disciples for nearly 25 years. They chanted slogans in Times Square, such as, “The Taiwanese government has persecuted Tai Ji Men and violated their human rights. The Taiwanese government robbed the leader of Tai Ji Men of his property and failed to return his money. Rectify the false Tai Ji Men case. Return to Tai Ji Men its sacred land. Taiwan’s democracy, Go! Go! Go!” Many onlookers were intrigued and inquired about the case with the volunteers. They expressed surprise that such an unjust case occurred in Taiwan.

    Their protest drew the attention of nearby police officers. The volunteers described the objective of their demonstration and stated that for the past 20 years, they have been fighting for justice while spreading love and peace. They utilize their own experiences of victimization to convey the value and significance of freedom and human rights to the rest of the world, in the hopes that there would be no more unjust cases and the world would be at peace. The police officers were moved by the volunteers' efforts and inquired if they required any assistance.

    This group of volunteers stayed in New York for only 10 hours. They took real action to support New Yorkers and pray for the world when they returned to New York 20 years later. They hope that global citizens will rise above history's scars, care for one another, transcend differences and animosity, and work together to address the world's current issues. They also believe that the combined efforts from world citizens will prevent future calamities and that love should be practiced to create an era of conscience where everyone enjoys freedom, equality, love, and peace.

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy: Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation. It has carried forward the wisdom of Daoist philosophy, one of the highest philosophies of humankind. It is an international nonprofit cultural organization. Its contemporary zhang-men-ren (grandmaster), Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze established the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in 1966, and since then it has grown to 15 academies worldwide.

    Dr. Hong teaches his dizi (similar to disciples) methods to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and tens of thousands of families have benefited from his teaching. At Tai Ji Men, martial arts and wisdom have been passed down from the shifu (master) to his dizi. Through this time-honored tradition, the shifu and dizi promote the Tai Ji Men culture and martial arts around the world while embodying what is true, good, and beautiful as well as spreading the ideas of conscience, love, and peace. Over the past half-century, the shifu and dizi have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations to conduct more than 3,000 cultural performances and exchanges and have been recognized as “International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill.”

    Media Contact:
    Lily Chen
    Representative
    info@taijimenla.org
    626-202-5268
    www.taijimen.org/TJM2016G_ENG

    A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRo...3-5650ec39fc67
    Strange time to protest something not particularly connected to the tragedy, but they got press for it so there you have it.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Strange time to protest something not particularly connected to the tragedy, but they got press for it so there you have it.
    I guess they are from the "any publicty is good publicity school of thought" because I never heard of them until now and I even lived in the East San Gabriel Valley in the early 2000's...

  6. #6
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    I've never heard of them either until the news on this thread.

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Los Angeles Celebrates Its 21st Anniversary with Love and Conscience
    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy

    Tue, September 28, 2021, 4:20 PM·9 min read
    “Conscience is like a beautiful and fragrant flower. When in blossom, the fragrance will enliven the world and be smelled by all.” ~ Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze


    Tai Ji Men is a spiritual organization that practices qigong and martial arts and aims to improve global citizens’ physical, mental, and spiritual health.

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Los Angeles celebrated its 21st birthday on September 26, 2021. Because the Delta variant of COVID-19 is rapidly spreading, the anniversary celebration was conducted virtually, and everyone was invited to participate in the wonderful event by watching it online.

    For the past 21 years, under the leadership of Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the Academy has held various life wisdom and health symposiums as well as cultural exchange activities, and it has engaged in numerous international events to promote a culture of conscience, love, and peace, with the goal of improving global citizens’ physical, mental, and spiritual health. In recent years, Tai Ji Men has been promoting the "Movement of An Era of Conscience" and the "International Day of Conscience" to awaken the conscience in the people of the world. During the SARS outbreak in 2002 and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in the end of 2019, Tai Ji Men produced videos featuring epidemic prevention guidelines, including Three Don’ts, Five Do’s, and Six Tips as well as a trilogy on COVID-19 prevention measures: Antiviral Combat, The War Against Virus, and Anti Pandemic Battle. It has been sharing these videos with global citizens, hoping that everyone will stay safe, healthy, and happy and that the pandemic will end soon.

    Many community leaders offered certificates of recognition or delivered congratulatory video messages in honor of the Academy’s 21st anniversary, acknowledging the contributions of the leader and members of Tai Ji Men for the community, the United States, and the world as Tai Ji Men has been widely promoting the culture of qigong and martial arts as well as a culture of love, peace, and conscience.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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    continued from previous post

    U.S. Congresswoman Young Kim said, “For 21 years, Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy has served as a home and a center for self-improvement for many of our community members through martial arts and qigong. I want to thank you for fostering our future leaders, physically, mentally and spiritually.”

    California State Senator Josh Newman presented a California Senate Certificate of Recognition to the Academy and stated in his video message, “Despite the pandemic, your academy has continued to thrive, serving as a vital pillar to our community by reaffirming the spirit of universal brotherhood, etiquette, and conscience during a time when such an example is vitally needed across our state and across our country as a whole.”

    California Assemblyman Phillip Chen said, “I really appreciate all they’ve done for our community and also for the state of California,” commending Tai Ji Men for improving people’s wellness and health through martial arts and qigong. He also honored Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy and Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze with a California Legislature Assembly Resolution respectively in recognition of their contributions.

    Diamond Bar City Council Member Andrew Chou said that the pandemic has been hard on everybody and that Tai Ji Men’s work is very important in maintaining people’s physical and mental health. “I understand that throughout the pandemic, you have been actively hosting virtual events both locally and internationally. And also throughout social media, you have continued to share preventive measures to overcome anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic. So thank you again for all you do and congratulations on your 21st anniversary,” he added.

    Walnut Valley Unified School District Board President Layla Abou-Taleb said, “I want to congratulate the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy for 21 years of service to the community. You play an important role and we really, truly appreciate it and wishing you a better year, this coming year for all our students and our community.”

    In addition to the aforementioned video messages and certificates of recognition, Tai Ji Men also received certificates of recognition from other leaders and entities, including California State Senator Connie M. Leyva, Mayor Eric Ching of the City of Walnut, Arcadia Mayor Sho Tay, and the City Council of Montclair.

    Jason Wang, a Tai Ji Men member who immigrated to the U.S. with his parents 20 years ago and grew up with the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Los Angeles, had a lot to say about the Academy’s 21st birthday. Since he is 6-foot-3 and in good shape, it's difficult to imagine that he had serious health issues as a child and had to go to the doctor frequently for asthma and allergies. He said, “There was one time I was jumping on a bed with my cousin, and I ended up having to go to the hospital because of the asthma attack.” “After joining Tai Ji Men, my health has improved tremendously. I no longer was getting any asthma attack,” he said. Last year, he was blessed with a new baby. He was already very busy with his work, and the new addition to his family made him even busier. He gained a better understanding of the reminder from his Shifu (master) at Tai Ji Men: "Those who use their time wisely can find time to accomplish a lot." He has learned to manage his time well so that he can balance life and work. He also learned to think positively. He shared a piece of advice from his master by saying, "You can live a day happy, or you can live a day sad or angry. So why would you want to live your day in anger or in sadness?” Jason said that practicing Tai Ji Men Qigong helps him replenish his energy, and he expressed his gratitude for Dr. Hong: "Shifu has taught me a lot. So from his teaching, I'm able to utilize that in my personal life and my work life. And he has just helped me become a better person.”

    Munni Irone, founder of the Art 4 Peace Awards, met Tai Ji Men members at an international conference many years ago and decided to join to practice qigong and cultivate her heart. She shared some of the benefits of practicing Tai Ji Men Qigong: “It kept me very centered. It kept me from having stress. I work long hours without any stress because it allows me to do that. Tai Ji Men Qigong has numerous different benefits, not only just health benefits. There is a social benefit, emotional, and spiritual benefit.” She continued by saying, “Your skin is better. You have more energy. You are also very successful in business because people trust someone that has good energy. So you create your Qi; you create your energy to be successful.” She said that she used to suffer from back problems, but that she is now in much better shape. She said, "Shifu is a very kind and very influential and compassionate human being, who is also helpful in creating this beautiful family of love and peace.” “In Tai Ji Men you can be in any faith and religion. It really doesn’t matter because this is something on a different level for mental, spiritual, and physical spirituality, so I’m very blessed to be part of this beautiful family. I’m very thankful for Dr. Hong, for creating this wonderful family where you can center so many people,” she added.

    Tai Ji Men Qigong has benefited not only many adults but also children. A group of children who practice Tai Ji Men Qigong revealed some of the most important lessons they've learned at Tai Ji Men, and it's clear from their sharing that the concepts of love, peace, and conscience have been imprinted in their hearts to extend their horizons in life. Nathan, 12, said, “Shifu taught me to be kind, nice, and happy.” Mayra, 10, said, “Shifu has taught me to always love myself and follow my conscience and do the right thing.” Avery, 10, said, “I love Tai Ji Men because it taught me that if I don't know what's right or wrong, I follow my conscience. It also taught me qigong to bring peace to the world and to love myself and others, no matter what.” Cameron, 8, said, “Shifu told me that practicing qigong will help me calm myself down, and he also told me that love and peace can make the world a better place.” Aaron, 11, said, “Shifu taught me qigong and life lessons that would improve my life and my quality of life, that makes me not depressed and not too emotional at hard times.” Rylan, 9, said, “Shifu taught me qigong to be brave and to know what is right and what is wrong.” Leon, 10, said, “Shifu taught me to do qigong to improve my health, and he also taught me to control my anger.”

    Tai Ji Men invites everyone to read the uplifting stories of Tai Ji Men members from all walks of life on its website at www.taijimen.org, to replenish positive energy. Tai Ji Men encourages people to listen to their conscience, think positively, do good deeds, and collaborate to bring the pandemic to an end as soon as possible!

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy: Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation. It has carried forward the wisdom of Daoist philosophy, one of the highest philosophies of humankind. It is an international nonprofit cultural organization. Its contemporary zhang-men-ren (grandmaster), Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze established the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in 1966, and since then it has grown to 15 academies worldwide. In 2016, it commemorated its 50th anniversary, a major milestone in its history, with big celebrations and spectacular cultural performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Taiwan.

    Dr. Hong teaches his dizi (similar to disciples) methods to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and tens of thousands of families have benefited from his teaching. At Tai Ji Men, martial arts and wisdom have been passed down from the shifu (master) to his dizi. Through this time-honored tradition, the shifu and dizi promote the Tai Ji Men culture and martial arts around the world while embodying what is true, good, and beautiful as well as spreading the ideas of conscience, love, and peace. Over the past half-century, the shifu and dizi have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations to conduct more than 3,000 cultural performances and exchanges and have been recognized as “International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill.”

    Media Contact:
    Lily Chen
    Representative
    info@taijimenla.org
    626-202-5268
    I always find it interesting which politicians throw in with martial arts groups.
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    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Worldwide Tai Ji Men Qigong Academies Lunar New Year Celebrations


    Friday 25 February, 2022
    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy
    Tai Ji Men Hosts 2022 Lunar New Year Gatherings, Bringing Good Luck and Blessings to the World

    “Conscience is the key to a successful life.” ~ Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, Zhang-men-ren (grandmaster) of Tai Ji Men

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Worldwide Tai Ji Men Qigong Academies held joyful "Lunar New Year Celebrations” online from February 13 to 20, 2022, featuring festive cultural performances, such as Celestial Officials Bestowing Blessings, rhythmic storytelling, martial arts presentations, and energetic dance to shower people with happy energy. At the beginning of the Year of the Tiger, Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples) shared with everyone an abundance of good fortune and five treasures–health, wealth, wisdom, happiness, and joy. For these jubilant events, Tai Ji Men received congratulatory messages from over 700 dignitaries, including those from heads of state, ambassadors of various countries, U.S. Congress members, California state senators, other elected officials in the United States, Taiwan’s Presidential Office, Ministry of Justice, legislators, heads of counties and cities, representatives from all walks of life, scholars, religious leaders, and leaders of cultural organizations and media outlets.

    Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze , Zhang-men-ren (grandmaster) of Tai Ji Men, stated, “Conscience is the key to a successful life. All of our actions must be guided by our conscience. We take steps to make our plans and wishes a reality, and we continue to work toward our objectives while reviewing and improving our plans and ourselves. The accumulation of good deeds will eventually allow us to progress in life in leaps and bounds, giving our lives immense and lasting value.”

    In celebration of the arrival of the Year of the Tiger, Tai Ji Men presented various exhilarating cultural performances to spread good energy and blessings, including a dance drama based on an ancient legend of "The Carp Leaping Dragon Gate," which has a profound meaning and is meant to encourage people to persevere and insist on doing what is right on their life journeys. With conscience, wisdom, and fortitude, as the drama depicts, people will achieve their goals and attain happiness despite the obstacles and challenges along the way.

    The celebration also included a reenactment of Judge Bao Qingtian's story. A group of Tai Ji Men dizi dressed as Judge Bao and his gallant assistants combined qigong, martial arts, and theater in a powerful performance that inspired the viewers to usher in a brighter future for themselves and the world by following in the footsteps of these ancient sages and knights-errant who acted with conscience, protected justice, and combated corruption.

    “Run forward! Run forward! We have a bright future ahead of us!" The exhilarating "Celestial Horse Dance" was performed by a group of Tai Ji Men youth, who wished that everyone would fearlessly do good deeds in the Year of the Tiger! To foster cultural diversity and mutual respect, beautiful songs in different languages representing various nations and ethnic groups, such as English, Mandarin, Japanese, Taiwanese, Hakka, and Taiwanese aboriginal languages, were presented.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, and the counterbalance acts of nature have caused natural disasters all over the world. During the events, an animated film "Tigers’ Wish” produced by Tai Ji Men was presented. In the Year of the Tiger, this thought-provoking film highlights important issues, such as respect, war, and environmental protection, encompassing the wisdom of living in harmony with nature and hoping to awaken the conscience of global citizens and inspire them to treat themselves and others with kindness.

    Over the years, Tai Ji Men has self-funded trips to 101 nations to promote love, peace, and conscience. Through cultural exchanges, it has brought people closer together, uniting the hearts of global citizens of diverse nations and ethnic origins, and earning accolades from leaders in all circles.

    California State Senator Connie Leyva sent her congratulatory message to Tai Ji Men: “I would like to thank you for your important work to spread kindness and joy in homes and communities across our region. The last two years have been very difficult for many people and families. So it is important that we all continue to come together in unity and friendship.”

    California State Senator Josh Newman also sent a video message to Tai Ji Men: “May your coming new year be filled with good fortune, health, and prosperity as we not only celebrate another year of life, but the wonderful contributions of your community to our district, to our state, and to our country.”

    Santa Clara City Mayor Lisa Gillmor said, “I want to thank Tai Ji Men for its encouragement of physical and spiritual health in our community and beyond. During these uncertain times, we owe our gratitude to organizations like yours for providing nourishment, not only for the body, but also the mind and soul. We cannot thank you enough for the tremendous service you provide to the well-being of our community.”

    Walnut City Mayor Eric Ching stated that he is very grateful for Tai Ji Men's hard work and long-term contribution to the community, and that Tai Ji Men has been promoting love, tolerance, and health.

    San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez stated, “The work that Tai Ji Men has done continues to focus on offering peaceful and mindful opportunities for our community that helps to cultivate unity and compassion, and garner goodwill in the community through human relationships and promotion of conscience. Events such as this one help to bring our community together and make our city a better place for all of us.”

    San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre stated, “Thank you to all of you at the Academy for your dedication to preserve and promote the essence of traditional Chinese culture. Let's all take this new year to spread positive energy, advocate for our mental health and wellness, and inspire each other to make a difference.”

    “Tai Ji Men has been doing so many good things for the community, promoting love and peace," said Dr. Tony Y. Torng, president of the Board for the Walnut Valley Unified School District, adding, “I'm here to congratulate you and it's an honor for me to join this event.”

    Several Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples) shared what they had learned at Tai Ji Men and how it had helped them cope with the stress of the pandemic. Brian Kung, who works in a hospital, said that practicing Tai Ji Men Qigong has helped him strengthen his body and calm his heart so that he is less fearful of COVID-19, and he encouraged everyone to listen to their conscience to overcome the pandemic. Chiwen Su, a visual artist, said, “Tai Ji Men Qigong has helped me stay calm and positive. The low impact exercises ensure better health and peace of mind.” She also volunteers her time to promote a culture of peace with love and conscience. “My Shifu taught me to help myself and help others and do the right thing,” she explained.

    In response to COVID-19 outbreak, Tai Ji Men has produced eye-catching, entertaining, and practical animations, such as "Anti-Pandemic Battle'' and “5 Do’s, 3 Don’ts and 6 Tips,” reminding everyone to take preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus. These films have been widely shared in 241 countries and regions around the globe to help global citizens overcome the pandemic. Tai Ji Men hopes that people will follow their conscience, unite to protect the Earth and human rights, and create a sustainable world with love, respect, and peace.

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy : Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation. It has carried forward the wisdom of Daoist philosophy, one of the highest philosophies of humankind. It is an international nonprofit cultural organization. Its contemporary zhang-men-ren (grandmaster), Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze established the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in 1966, and since then it has grown to 15 academies worldwide.

    Dr. Hong teaches his dizi (similar to disciples) methods to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and tens of thousands of families have benefited from his teaching. At Tai Ji Men, martial arts and wisdom have been passed down from the shifu (master) to his dizi. Through this time-honored tradition, the shifu and dizi promote the Tai Ji Men culture and martial arts around the world while embodying what is true, good, and beautiful as well as spreading the ideas of conscience, love, and peace. Over the past half-century, the shifu and dizi have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations to conduct more than 3,000 cultural performances and exchanges and have been recognized as “International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill,” contributing significantly to making the world a more loving and peaceful place!
    threads
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    The International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2022

    Tai Ji Men Case Discussed at IRF Summit 2022 in DC
    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Jul 8, 2022 Updated Jul 8, 2022

    WASHINGTON, July 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2022 took place on June 28-30 in Washington, D.C., with religious freedom advocates from around the world in attendance. Two breakout sessions at the summit addressed the Tai Ji Men case –a case of violations of religious freedom and human rights in Taiwan that has lasted for over 25 years.

    The summit was chaired by former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, bringing together global religious, political, and academic leaders, including Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, U.S. Congressman French Hill, Member of Parliament of the UK Fiona Bruce, Member of Finnish Parliament Paivi Rasanen, as well as religious freedom defenders and victims of religious persecution. The event, attended by approximately 1,000 people, aimed to promote religious freedom and human rights protection around the world.

    On June 30, the Action Alliance to Redress 1219 organized a breakout session under the theme of "The 2022 Review of Taiwan's Implementation of the Two UN Human Rights Covenants and the Tai Ji Men FORB Case.”

    A film was presented at the beginning of the meeting, featuring the international review of Taiwan’s third national report on UN human rights covenants (the ICCPR and ICESCR) by nine international human rights experts in May 2022. The conclusion of the film represented the views of many scholars: “The two covenants have been in force in Taiwan for 13 years. However, they simply exist in name. Human rights are not being respected in government agencies. Over the years, the international reviewers' concluding observations and recommendations have not been taken seriously. The basic human rights guaranteed by the two covenants, such as freedom of religion, have yet to be implemented.”

    Charlotte Lee, an attorney in Taiwan and a representative of the Action Alliance to Redress 1219, pointed out the violations of the two covenants in the Tai Ji Men case, such as the fact that Taiwan’s National Taxation Bureau issued ill-founded tax bills to Tai Ji Men and treated Tai Ji Men differently from other martial arts and religious groups, which violated the protection of equal rights and the principle of non-discriminatory treatment under Articles 2 and 26 of the ICCPR and Article 2 of the ICESCR. She also indicated other violations of the two covenants, including the prosecutor's investigation, which resulted in cruel treatment of the master and disciples of Tai Ji Men, a violation of Article 7 of the ICCPR.

    Alessandro Amicarelli, president of the London-based European Federation for Freedom of Belief, visited Taiwan before and was invited to teach courses on human rights and religious freedom there. He praised Taiwan's incorporation of the two international covenants on human rights into Taiwan's domestic law in 2009. This is a very significant step towards full democracy in Taiwan, he said, adding that the final recommendations of the third review of the two covenants in May of this year failed to mention freedom of religion. He noted that since the Tai Ji Men case is still unresolved, he and other scholars and human rights activists would continue their efforts to urge the Taiwanese government to improve by organizing monthly seminars and publishing articles and books.

    Dr. Donald Westbrook, a lecturer for the Library & Information Science Department at San Jose State University, USA, visited Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in Los Angeles in February 2022, which allowed him to gain an even deeper understanding of the beliefs, practices, and community of this group. He stated, “I come to you today primarily as a religious studies scholar and teacher who is most disappointed about the ongoing injustice in Taiwan with respect to this case. I say this with respect to the tax case, certainly, but also in light of confiscated sacred land in Taiwan and the clear infringement on human rights and religious freedom.”

    Regarding the protection of freedom of religion or belief, he stated, "But making this a lived (and legal) reality, needless to say, can be an entirely different manner, as others have already addressed in connection to Taiwan’s domestic implementation of two human rights covenants. In particular, the failure to adequately address freedom of religion or belief (FORB) and the rights of taxpayers is disappointing as much as it is perplexing."
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Continued from previous post

    Another breakout session on the Tai Ji Men case focused on the theme "Tai Ji Men: International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill and Their FORB Case."

    Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, zhang-men-ren (grandmaster) of Tai Ji Men, delivered a video message, emphasizing, “Among the rights that human beings are born with, the main and most important one is the right to freedom of religion or belief.” “We believe that conscience, which is the core essence of faith, will serve as a talisman in defending people’s rights to religious freedom. Life is a series of struggles and exploration. Although our time on this planet is limited, through faith, our conscience and innate kindness will be awakened, motivating us to unite hands with more people inspired by compassion and care, to unite and sincerely support one another. To attain harmony and peace among people, between humans and nature, and between humans and other living things, we must take positive action and reflect on ourselves daily and never give up." He also encouraged global citizens to defend freedom of religion or belief around the world, bravely temper their spirituality, and move forward for true peace and sustainability for all.

    A movie titled “Who Stole Their Youth? The Tai Ji Men Case in Taiwan” was presented during the forum. The movie, written and directed by Prof. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), answers three questions: What is Tai Ji Men? What is the Tai Ji Men case? Why the protests?”

    The film was followed by the speech of Marco Respinti, director in charge of Bitter Winter magazine. He praised Taiwan, saying, "Taiwan is a beautiful country, inhabited by beautiful people, great people, great culture, great food." He also pointed out that Tai Ji Men is an organization “totally dedicated to spreading peace, love, and harmony in the world. And this movement has been falsely accused of an awful crime of tax evasion. The serious consequences of these blatant lies remain.” He noted that the Tai Ji Men community has been deprived of their freedom of religion or belief and advocated for an immediate redress of the injustice: "We need a decision from the Taiwanese state to end this case, because there is no understandable reason to keep that on. There is no legal reason for Tai Ji Men to be curtailed from its fundamental freedom, religious freedom. The solution must come and must be political."

    Dr. Holly Folk, professor of humanities and social sciences at Western Washington University, has visited Taiwan many times and loves Taiwan. She said that she was not surprised that the case happened in Taiwan and that her remarks are not an attack against Taiwan. She stated, “What Tai Ji Men has faced happens very often, in many countries, even in first world democracies. Religious minorities very often face a distinct type of harassment through bureaucratic regulation.” “The tax case has been used to erode the financial situation, membership and the morale of the Tai Ji Men community. It's also been used to send the group into permanent legal ambiguity. And that is the point. And that is something that has happened to other groups around the world as well,” she added, emphasizing, “If a religious minority is attacked as a cult or a dangerous social organization, the same strategies are very, very easily activated against secular organizations, against environmentalists, against people pushing for LGBT equality. In other words, everybody, secular and religious, has a stake in this game.”

    Pamela Chen, a representative of the Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples), shared her experience as a victim of religious persecution. When the Tai Ji Men case began, she had just graduated from college, and she risked being followed, bugged, and detained by the prosecutorial and investigative authorities, bravely serving as a contact person with the defense lawyers for the Tai Ji Men case. At the time, she felt as if the White Terror had reappeared. Twenty-five years later, the persecution is still going on. Now a mother, Pamela understands that as a victim she must be braver and stronger, and she brings her daughter along to promote reform in Taiwan to help it become a truly free and democratic country where human rights prevail.

    The issue of human rights violations in the Tai Ji Men case has attracted a lot of attention at the IRF Summit, where Tai Ji Men members introduced the case to attendees from around the world and invited them to co-sign a petition calling for a solution to the Tai Ji Men case. It is stated in the petition: "We join Tai Ji Men in respectfully asking the government of Taiwan, whose commitment to democracy in a region plagued by non-democratic regimes we appreciate and applaud, to return through a political act the confiscated sacred land to Tai Ji Men and publicly confirm that, as Taiwan’s Supreme Court stated, they never violated the law nor evaded taxes. It would be a small step for Taiwan’s government, but a crucial one to tell the world Taiwan is truly committed to freedom of religion or belief and to the protection of religious and spiritual minorities that were once persecuted by its authoritarian and post-authoritarian regimes." (A copy of the petition is available here.)

    The petition was quickly signed by over 100 people, including Prof. Massimo Introvigne, managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) and editor-in-chief of Bitter Winter magazine; Rosita Šorytė, representative of European Federation for Freedom of Belief; Marco Respinti, director in charge of Bitter Winter magazine; Dr. Donald Westbrook, a lecturer for the Library & Information Science Department at San Jose State University, USA; Dr. Holly Folk, professor of humanities and social sciences at Western Washington University; Dr. Alessandro Amicarelli, president of European Federation for Freedom of Belief; and others.

    The organizers of these two forums encourage everyone to pay attention to the Tai Ji Men case and join others to sign a petition, hoping to help make Taiwan a true democracy that respects its people’s human rights and religious freedom so as to achieve the motto of the IRF Summit: “Religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time!”

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy: Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation. It has carried forward the wisdom of Daoist philosophy, one of the highest philosophies of humankind. It is an international nonprofit cultural organization. Its contemporary zhang-men-ren (grandmaster), Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze established the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in 1966, and since then it has grown to 15 academies worldwide.

    Dr. Hong teaches his dizi (similar to disciples) methods to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and tens of thousands of families have benefited from his teaching. At Tai Ji Men, martial arts and wisdom have been passed down from the shifu (master) to his dizi. Through this time-honored tradition, the shifu and dizi promote the Tai Ji Men culture and martial arts around the world while embodying what is true, good, and beautiful as well as spreading the ideas of conscience, love, and peace. Over the past half-century, the shifu and dizi have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations to conduct more than 3,000 cultural performances and exchanges and have been recognized as “ International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill.”

    Media Contact:

    Lily Chen Representative info@taijimenla.org 626-202-5268 http://www.taijimen.org/TJM2016G—ENG/index.php

    A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRo...1-b188ce910181. The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.
    I'm having a hard time keeping track of this story.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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    Bell of World Peace

    Tai Ji Men’s Bell of World Peace and Love Rings in Silicon Valley
    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy San Jose’s 21st Anniversary: U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna and California State Senator Dave Cortese Rang the Bell to Pray for the World
    September 02, 2022 17:23 ET | Source: Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy



    ...
    SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- “I am very touched and I think it's a celebration for all of us, for our community, in service of peace and the goals and values we all share,” stated U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna after he rang Tai Ji Men’s Bell of World Peace and Love. Witnessed by hundreds of people, Congressman Khanna rang the Bell and made a wish “to have good relations with all countries working on climate” during a town hall meeting in Sunnyvale, California on August 28, 2022. Tai Ji Men was invited to host the ancient and sacred bell-ringing ceremony, enabling the congressman’s wish to spread around the world through the peaceful sound of the Bell, ending the gathering on a very positive note.

    That also marked the culmination of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy San Jose’s 21st anniversary as it just held an anniversary celebration in Saratoga that afternoon. Over 150 community leaders and people got together to connect and consolidate their kind thoughts and happy energy. There were also congratulatory messages and videos from friends and members of Tai Ji Men in 22 nations. The event was live streamed in Chinese and English, with thousands of views.

    The celebration began with a beautiful cultural performance—a jovial auspicious lion dance and an uplifting celestial drum performance, which electrified the whole room and infused the attendees with tons of happy energy to alleviate the fear and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

    Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men, delivered welcome remarks, emphasizing, "In the post-pandemic era, we need to maintain a healthy body and mind to cope with constant changes in the environment, apply our conscience, and carry out good deeds in everyday life to help global citizens stay mentally positive. I would like to encourage everyone to make decisions guided by conscience, stay calm, develop great wisdom, take love as a driving force, and unite as one. I wish for the end of wars and the pandemic. Let's create a beautiful and sustainable future together!"

    Over the past 21 years, the academy has been actively promoting a culture of conscience, love, and peace locally, nationally, and globally. In appreciation of its outstanding contributions to their communities and the world, many community and political leaders as well as international scholars participated in the event in person or by sharing a video message.

    Those in attendance included Justin Jeong, the field representative at Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's district office; Cupertino Vice Mayor Liang Chao; Cupertino Councilmember Hung Wei; Fremont Mayor Lily Mei; Fremont Vice Mayor Teresa Keng; Fremont Councilmember Yang Shao; Milpitas Vice Mayor Carmen Montano; Juliette Gomez, a candidate for Milpitas City Council; Palo Alto City Mayor Pat Burt; Palo Alto City Councilmember Greer Stone; Mrs. Stone; Palo Alto City Councilmember Greg Tanaka; Martin Hou, Deputy Director of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco; Los Gatos-Saratoga High School Board President Katherine Tseng; and others.

    Many visionaries who were unable to attend the event congratulated, commended, and thanked Tai Ji Men for its remarkable contributions via video messages, including Redwood City Councilmember Diane Howard; San Jose Councilmember Matt Mahan; Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor; Michel Ching-long Lu, Ambassador of Taiwan to Haiti (2000-2002) and Taiwan's representative to France (2007-2015); Prof. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and the managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions; Ivan Arjona-Pelado, president of the Foundation for the Improvement of Life, Culture and Society in Spain; Camelia Marin, deputy director of Soteria International in Denmark; Willy Fautre, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers in Belgium; Marco Respinti, director-in-charge of Bitter Winter; Alessandro Amicarelli, president of London-based European Federation for Freedom of Belief; Laura Amicarelli, a retired teacher; Dr. Karolina Maria Hess, assistant professor in the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations, Jagiellonian University in Poland; Ms. Stefania Cerruti, external relations manager of the Major Emergencies and Disasters International School; Rosita Soryte, representative of European Federation for Freedom of Belief; and others.

    Dr. Hong presented to each of the distinguished guests a Compass Clock of Conscience, which has a profound meaning as it represents time, direction, and goal, guides people toward the right path of life, and reminds them to seize every moment to follow their conscience and do good deeds to achieve a sustainable future of love and peace.

    On behalf of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Justin Jeong, the field representative at her district office, extended her most sincere and special congratulations to Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy San Jose for its 21st anniversary. “Thank you for everything that you guys do for the community and to spread your mission of promoting health in both the physical, mental or spiritual,” he said, emphasizing, “I do have to say that Congresswoman Eshoo is very supportive and loves everything that the Academy does.”

    Fremont Mayor Lily Mei presented a certificate of recognition to Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men, congratulating and commending Tai Ji Men. She stated, "I think right now, more than ever, we need people to have a compass, for kindness, for compassion, for our community. And I wish you all continued blessings of peace and wellness, which is so important in this moment."
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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    Palo Alto City Mayor Pat Burt stated, “As I have listened to the comments, it has reminded me of a famous saying from a speech that President Kennedy made more than 50 years ago. And in it, he said: we all breathe the same air, we all share the same small planet, and we all cherish the future of our children. And this is what I think your celebration and your organization is doing much to promote. In this era, where sustainability and climate change and peace among nations is so important and so threatened, we must all work together for these problems.”

    On behalf of the Milpitas City Council, Vice Mayor Carmen Montano and Juliette Gomez, a candidate for Milpitas City Council, congratulated the academy and presented a commendation to Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men. Vice Mayor Montano said, “Tai Ji Men Qigong is the practice of finding balance between body and mind, and to cultivate a higher level of consciousness, physical and emotional health, as well as spiritual enlightenment.”

    Cupertino City Councilmember Hung Wei stated, “We are very honored to represent the City of Cupertino to congratulate Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy for 21 years of service, not just for the youth, but also for the adults to bring health, wealth, wisdom, happiness and joy to all members of our community.”

    At the celebration, Tai Ji Men members shared how practicing qigong has improved their health, parent-child relationships, family life, and other aspects of life, as well as their experiences of serving their communities and spreading love to the world. In response to their sharing, Cupertino Vice Mayor Liang Chao stated that with the ongoing pandemic, many people are facing mental health issues and social isolation, adding, “I think a lot of them would need the service that Tai Ji Men is providing.”

    To commemorate the academy's 21st anniversary in the 21st century, a solemn ancient ceremony of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love was conducted. Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men, rang the Bell and made three wishes: for everyone’s conscience to awaken, for love and peace to prevail, and for the world to unite as one. The peaceful sound of the Bell spread from Silicon Valley, the world's leading technology and innovation hub, to awaken the conscience of global citizens, inspiring them to follow their conscience, protect the environment, and ensure global sustainability as they advance technological development!

    On this special occasion, a video was played featuring the highlights of Tai Ji Men’s recent ceremonies of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love. On August 26, California State Senator Dave Cortese rang the Bell at Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy San Jose and made a wish “for peace among every nation” as he congratulated the academy on its 21st anniversary. He presented to Dr. Hong a State of California Senate Certificate of Recognition, which reads, “Senator Dave Cortese hereby recognizes and commends Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy for twenty-one years of service for providing education physical, mental and spiritual health in California’s District 15 and promoting the culture of peace with love and conscience worldwide.”

    As of August 2022, a total of 427 influential leaders from 128 nations have rung the Bell, including 49 heads of state and government, seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, UN ambassadors, and other leaders from all walks of life, exerting their positive influences to transform the world.

    The event also featured a story told by Prof. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and the managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions, at a gala dinner in Vienna, Austria in October 2019 to celebrate the United Nations' adoption of the International Day of Conscience. He was very touched by Tai Ji Men’s cultural performances there and related this profound story: The Buddha came across a burning house with three young people inside who were unaware of the situation. Despite his desire to save them, the Buddha realized that trying to reason with them would be pointless because they wouldn’t understand. He lured them to escape the burning house by providing three beautiful chariots for them to board, and they did so, thus saving themselves. Prof. Introvigne emphasized, “Our world is burning. There is a lot of smoke, a lot of fire. We are at serious risk to die. We do not realize it. If somebody were to talk to us, we will not understand. That is exactly the mission of Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Men.” “Let’s board the chariot Dr. Hong is offering to us. Let’s board the chariot and get saved. I believe that is the lesson of the Day of Conscience. That is the lesson of Tai Ji Men.” This video gives Prof. Introvigne’s interpretation of why over the past 20 plus years Tai Ji Men shifu (master) and dizi (disciples) have been encouraging the people of the world to activate their conscience, do good deeds, and board the beautiful chariots together to escape danger and move toward a beautiful world of love and peace.

    To promote a culture of conscience, Tai Ji Men invited the attendees to join millions of others to endorse several declarations on peace and conscience. To date, the Declarations for Human Rights of World Citizens and Peace have been endorsed by over 3.7 million people in 200 nations, and a CD with two million signatures was submitted to the UN in 2004. The Declaration for the Movement of An Era of Conscience and the Declaration of International Day of Conscience have been signed by over 330,000 people in 200 nations. All are encouraged to endorse these meaningful and positive declarations, watch the anniversary celebration online and take conscience-driven actions to improve themselves, their communities, and the world!

    Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy: Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation. It has carried forward the wisdom of Taoist philosophy, one of the highest philosophies of humankind. It is an international nonprofit cultural organization. Its contemporary zhang-men-ren (grandmaster), Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze established the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in 1966, and since then it has grown to 15 academies worldwide.

    Dr. Hong teaches his dizi (similar to disciples) methods to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and tens of thousands of families have benefited from his teaching. At Tai Ji Men, martial arts and wisdom have been passed down from the shifu (master) to his dizi. Through this time-honored tradition, the shifu and dizi promote the Tai Ji Men culture and martial arts around the world while embodying what is true, good, and beautiful as well as spreading the ideas of conscience, love, and peace. Over the past half-century, the shifu and dizi have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations to conduct more than 3,000 cultural performances and exchanges and have been recognized as “International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill.”

    Media Contact:
    Lily Chen
    Representative
    info@taijimenla.org
    626-202-5268
    http://www.taijimen.org/TJM2016G_ENG/index.php
    Ro Khanna came to TCEC in a similar capacity (only we didn't have a bell)
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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