Since the rumor that I were blind was published on the website of Falun Gong – Minghui Net, my friends of Buddhist circle and disciples called me to ask whether I was healthy on and on, and some of them even came to the Wuzu Temple for me. During these months, I always explain it, which makes me fall in trouble.
July 21, 2010
（Kaiwind.com, July 27, 2010)
Archive for November, 2010
In an earlier posting to h-asia I asked the question: “Is it possible that the trauma of the Cultural Revolution has come back to haunt the CCP?” Ben Luis responded “The answer I often hear from the mainland Chinese is a big yes. The collective memory of the Revolution is so vivid (and of course traumatic) in the mind of those in their late forties and older that it lends explanation to many current social phenomena – Falun Gong is one of them.” Luis also suggests that because this memory isn’t held by the younger generation, that Li is “banking on one or two injured generations” and “doesn’t have much time.” However, I’m not sure that Li is even conscious of this connection. Also, the effect of an event like the CR doesn’t necessarily impact in a linear fashion, as the spread of FLG globally, and its impact on China politically, have shown. It’s influence may last well beyond the injured generation.
Throughout his writings Li Hong Zhi brings up the Cultural Revolution and criticizes it. Earlier, I suggested that Li seems to have a quality of being a mirror reflection of the CCP, of being the “spiritual” other side of a “Mao-materialism” coin.
In his teachings, Li expresses a great disgust at the world (he’s been called “conservative” for his condemnation of homosexuals, prostitution and rock music, etc). This is not an uncommon view, to say that things are currently going to hell in a handbasket, albeit a pessimistic one. What is specific to Li’s teachings is a strong emphasis on not just the “filthy world” with its “filthy things” but his consistent and extreme anger at “ordinary people.” In Zhuan Falun he describes “ordinary people” as being degenerate, likely to be bad, likely to disturb you, to contaminate you, and to be possibly evil or demons out to possess or eat you. Li’s version of falling from grace (his grace) or falling into hell, is to fall back into being an “ordinary” person. This attitude culminates when he says in Zhuan Falun II that, according to the higher deities, ordinary people deserve to be annihilated.
I’d like to end this by suggesting a possible link between Li’s teachings and his Cultural Revolution experience. (Remember, his teachings were made in China for a Chinese audience. The teachings would therefore, I believe, have a special resonance for them). Whether Li was on the giving or receiving end of the Cultural Revolution’s destruction, I’d like to suggests some possible linkage for further thought.
If Li was on the giving-end, could he be carrying on/over a contempt for the “ordinary” people who don’t believe in the Great Man (Mao/Li), and who aren’t “cultivators” or “practitioners” of the “enlightened way” and therefore deserve to be annihilated. Or, perhaps, if he was on the receiving-end, is he now living out the trauma and CR rhetoric from a “spiritual” level (rises above the everyday, painful, and ordinary) but where, this time, he is the one with all the power.
Regards. Patsy Rahn
FORT WORTH — No American balks at the singing of God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.
Or The Star-Spangled Banner before games, concerts and assemblies — I’m proud to be an American.
But what happens when the beliefs of another nation, another people, become the theme of a public concert, structured like an old-time revue — emcees banter, curtain up and down.
Through a couple of politically charged numbers at Bass Hall on Wednesday, Shen Yun Performing Arts asked visitors to confront persecution and rally to their beliefs.
Most of the dozens of dancers and musicians of Shen Yun follow the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong. The practice is outlawed in China; its practitioners have been ostracized and persecuted.
Yet it came as a shock halfway through the first half of Wednesday’s performance when the show’s congenial host and hostess introduced the number Nothing Can Block the Divine Path, with dancing by Michelle Ren and music by Junyi Tan. Here in an idyllic urban park an exercise class is dispersed by black-clad thugs; a mom, dad and young girl are dragged away. Dancing and music that showed stylized brutalization and heavenly redemption felt heavy-handed rather than cathartic.
But the ensemble’s performance was mostly adept and engaging. A stage full of lovely dancers presented character sketches such as Lanterns, Imperial Archers and Flowing Silk. Maidens and warriors came gracefully and athletically alive to present a vision of a free and happy country watched over by benevolent deities.
Best was the orchestra led by conductor Chia-Chi Lin, which incorporated Chinese instruments such as the slippery, bowed erhu and a wailing, oboelike shawm, which added intensity and authenticity to the dramatic and colorful dances.
But then the words of a song would reveal the push of propaganda. It felt forced to me, lessening the otherwise neat and friendly performance.
On July 28, 2010, a powerful explosion occurred at an abandoned plastics factory in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, causing 13 deaths and 120 others seriously injured. After the incident occurred, it has been the premier tub-thumping for Falun Gong media, who have used lots of fake photos as usual.
Just on the same day, the Epoch Times issued an article titled 100 People Died at Tragic Explosion, A Scared Day for Nanjingers. The article screenshot is below.
In this article, the photo is extremely horrifying, which is marked with the website address of the Epoch Times, and with a note that “cutting out the photo specially for protecting the provider.” Here is the photo:
In fact, this picture is not photo of Nanjing explosion, but one of the deadly tanker blast happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 2, 2010. The original photo is as follows:
What has been cut off by the Epoch Times are the watermark of “Ziling.com” and some local people which can expose the photograph is taken in Africa.
After the net friends found its fraud, the Epoch Times has removed the photo, but on another Falun Gong website Yuming, this photo is still existed (URL: http://yuming.qxbbs.org/upload / html/news/mwnm/201007/28-3296.html). Screenshots is as follows:
Besides this photo, Falun Gong media have also used other false pictures. Such as an article Live: Big Bang Explosion of Nanjing; 79 People Died 300 Officers Injured published on Aboluowang.com, has used a photo of Guangxi chemical plant explosion which occurred on August 26, 2008 in Yizhou city, Guangxi province as the Nanjing explosion photo, and they also cut off the vehicle’s license plate number in the photo to confound right and wrong (http://www.aboluowang.com/news/data/2010/0728/article_104863.html). Contrast the two photos as follows:
Another photo of the July 16 Dalian pipeline explosion was also falsely posted by the Epoch Times on July 30 in an article titled “Totally Different Versions between Official and Folk about Nanjing Explosion“. Contrast the two photos as follows:
Revealed by the net friends, the Epoch Times has replaced this photo of Dalian oil pipeline explosion now.
Not quite sure what to say about Shen Yun. I just assumed that they were a group from China and I was going to see something quite cultural and parts of it was. However, to me it turned out to be something between a propaganda and evangelical message.
Firstly they were from New York and stated that some of the things seen in the show hadn’t been seen in China for a long time…probably because they were banned! The group that was at the center of the show were followers of Falun Gong who are oppressed in China and are spreading their message round the world through this show. They aren’t described as a religion but more spiritual.
On reading some more about the group the supposed person who started the movement is very anti-gay and against mixed race relationships . This made a little sick that I had actually paid money to see the show…and in expensive seats as well. Despite the anti-gay comments of the leader I can’t see any other evidence of homophobic messages from them right now.
The singers were really awful – talk about chalk on a blackboard. The dancers were better and enjoyed couple of scene’s where the male dancers dressed in punk and prison guard uniforms.
All in all the show was ok, not great, but feel a little cheated about the context – that they didn’t specify who the group was in more detail. This Guardian newspaper had a good review. I think I prefer the State Circus.
Supporters of the Falun Gong movement have taken to frogs and fishes as they add fuel to the fire sparked by comments from Richard Fadden, Canada’s top spymaster, who publically expressed his concerns about foreign entities influencing local politicians.
“Like a frog put in a pot that is slowly heated, by the time the frog feels the water is too hot, the frog can do nothing to help himself, ” warned the Falun Gong-friendly Epoch Times.
In the blogosphere, Between Heaven and Earth has posted an article on the subject that analyses; “Once the hooks are in, they stay in, and if gently played the fish might never realize what has just happened.”
In the same vein of comparing China’s influence on Canada to frogs and fishes, here is one for the Falun Gong movement – if you live in an aquarium, don’t throw stones.
Canada’s Falun Gong followers say that Fadden’s comments corroborate and match their experience with the Chinese government over the past decade. (read our commentary – ‘In China’s model, anyone and everyone is a potential intelligence asset’ – at asianpacificpost.com)
What they don’t say is that the comments also match the two-faced approach of many of the movement’s practitioners – (read our editorials – Hypocrisy in slow motion, Crouching dancer, hidden jargon and Is the Falun Gong an evil, anti-gay cult? – at asianpacificpost.com).
The Falun Gong movement is rooted in the bizarre belief system of a mystery man called Li Hongzhi, who preaches that Africa has a two billion-year- old nuclear reactor, that aliens who look human, but have “a nose made of bone,” invaded Earth to introduce modern technology and whose teachings are at “a higher level than those of Buddha and Christ.”
He apparently also can fly and has the power to telekinetically implant the falun, or law wheel, into the abdomens of his followers, where it absorbs and releases power as it spins.
Today, his army of adherents, which is mainly ethnically Chinese and outlawed by China, is quick to criticize Beijing for using “fronts” to discredit the Falun Gong movement, while the group itself uses the same techniques.
In the Falun Gong Diaspora, followers run printing presses, newspapers, websites, TV stations and stage productions to highlight communist China’s repression of their movement. They try to influence local politicians to declare Falun Gong Days, have established an entity called Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong and hold petition drives when their permanent protest structures are ordered taken down for violating city bylaws, as it happened in Vancouver.
Much of their actions, from morbid street skits to silent demonstrations to noisy parades, are aimed at influencing Canadians and creating agitation against Beijing.
Readers of the Asian Pacific Post newspaper in Vancouver know this all too well. The award-winning paper was held hostage by Epoch Press, which is operated by Falun Gong followers in Burnaby, because they did not like the “balanced approach” to a story about a show called Divine Performing Arts. (see ‘Falun Gong printer quashes independent press’ at asianpacificpost.com)
As the case winds through the B.C. courts, the printer has apologized and made overtures to distance the Falun Gong movement from the actions, despite those actions directly stemming from his beliefs and that of his workers.
Curiously, the printer Frank Cui has hired one of Canada’s top law firms which has extensive ties in China, to defend his right to kill news stories that he deems unfavorable.
The law firm, ironically, counts in its ranks former prime minister turned millionaire-lobbyist, Jean Chretien, who has been declared “China’s best friend in Canada” for his unabashed sinophilia and frequent pilgrimages to meet China’s top dogs, some of whom Falun Gong followers blame for their persecution.
Cult expert Rick Ross said when Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi talks about “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” neither he nor his followers actually demonstrate any tolerance concerning critical questions or inquiry.
Within Falun Gong, Li’s followers are not allowed to question the basic assumptions of the group and criticism from outsiders is often characterized as “persecution”, states Ross, who has been accepted as an expert witness across the United States in numerous court cases.
Ross is especially critical of Li Hongzhi’s encouragement of hatred towards gays (Volume II of Zhuan Falun, the movement’s bible which was translated into English in 1996) and his depiction of the children of mixed-race couples as “intellectually incomplete”.
Maria Chang of the University of Nevada, who wrote a book about the Falun Gong, said the movement treats organizations it has created as front components to influence public opinion through propaganda campaigns.
Sounds very much like what Fadden was talking about doesn’t it?
Regarding the warrant for Li Hongzhi:
The Chinese government’s attack on Li does look over-enthusiatic to many of us who live outside China. But the warrant on Li is not based on his spreading superstition. According to the Chinese government, Li’s Falun Gong Society is an illegal organization because it was never registered. Secondly, Falun Gong groups paralyzed government agencies, TV stations, newspapers, and universities with sit-ins. Those sit-ins are considered “demonstrations” requiring permits from the police which Falun Gong groups never applied for. A third reason for the warrant is over 20 law suits–so far–filed against Li by the families which have lost their loved ones to Falun Gong. The official figure is that, by July 26, 743 deaths have been reported to have resulted from the practice of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong has been around since 1992 and its practitioners never got into any trouble doing their thing in public. But on that fateful day in April, they stepped on the wrong toe by surrounding Zhongnanhai. The Chinese government may have over-reacted but its need for control/stability makes the campaign against Falun Gong understandable–although possibly objectionable .
Eastern CT State University