By Murray Bourne, 30 Dec 2004
I am still trying to figure out why the Chinese are so scared of Falun Gong. Here in Singapore we occasionally get leaflets via letter box from the 'organisation' (they point out clearly they are not a religion nor a political group).
The one that arrived yesterday told us of the 'miraculous' healing experiences in Beijing in 1992 due to Falun Gong practices. Then it goes on in great detail about the crackdown, including imprisonment and toture, in China since 1999. The leaflet is in English and Chinese - the Chinese version is not an exact translation - there is more detail on the torture.
Clearly Falun Gong is becoming more and more politicised - has the crackdown backfired?
The organisation is free to do its thing in Singapore - for now.
See the 2 Comments below.
4 Jan 2005 at 6:53 pm [Comment permalink]
My take on this is that China has been following the spiritual paths of Taoism and Buddhism historically for very good reasons. Why ? Because their teachings are moderate in nature and balanced, i.e. Taoism on the harmony of man with nature and Buddhism, on the Middle Path as the way of life. If one examines the beliefs of Falun Gong, on the other hand, one can see that their beliefs are extreme in nature. E.g. miraculous healing; with qigong training, one can walk through solid objects; individuals with some qigong training can exhibit super-human abilities like the ability to transform one type of substance to another, etc. It is almost like a magical artform. Maybe that's why they have such a large following.
China also has a history of religious and spiritual uprisings that had catastrophic effects on the country. E.g. the White Lotus rebellion against the Qing dynasty, the Taiping rebellion which was led by a leader who viewed himself as the Son of God. It led to millions perished in that revolt. Falun Gong reminded China very much of her past. China can ill-afford another revolution after the Tian Anmen incident. As result, such cult practices are watched with close scrutiny.
Singapore has no such historical past except the racial riots among Malays and Chinese due to the Maria Hertogh incident in the 50's. Hence, we are very sensitive when comes to racial issues.
3 Jan 2006 at 8:30 am [Comment permalink]
I am actually a practitioner of Falun Gong. I am am 22 and have practiced for about 3 years now.
I would like to clarify first that although there have indeed been some pretty amazing healings happen to some of the practitoners, healing in an of itself is certainly not a focus of Falun Gong. The teacher, Li hongzhi explicitly states in the book that if a person if seeking after the healing of some ailment he wont receive anything. Falun Gong is about cultivating one's heart and mind to harmonize with what we beleive to be the nature of the universe; Truth, Compassion and Foreberance. Also, though our teacher does talk about supernormal abitlities, he aslo very explicit that a person seeking these abitlites to show off and make a name for themselves will not receive anything. The purpose of this practice is to let go of such attachments like showing off and seeking fame all the way to things like jealousy and greed. I just wanted to point this out, since the author of the one of the previous comments (no offence ro anything) really doesnt understand the teachings at all. If you happen to be curious about what Falun Gong actually teaches you can read the book that all the practitioners of Falun Gong read online for free. It is called "Zhuan Falun" and can be found at http://www.falundafa.org.
To really understand the perseuction of Falun Gong, I beleive it is neccesary to understand the history of the Chinese communist party. During the Chinese revolution, the Chinese people had their culture, possesions and entire traditional way of life stripped from them. What is known in China as traditonal buddhism is not in fact buddhism. It is shreds of it the the government allowed. All religions in China have the party sanctioned version of it.
There are a collections of reasons, I beleive, that Falun Gong has been persecuted in China. Did you know that when it first came out the governemnt actually gave awards to it? Gave honours to practitoners of it since they became halthy and spent little on healthy care. There were honours since Falun Dafa brought down crime rates in areas where many people practiced. The perseuction was launched really, by only a few people in government, namely Jaing Zemin who was head of state at the time. Most of the people in governemnt thought Falun Gong was great. The persecution started at a time where the number of practitoners out did that number of communist party members. Again, you need to really undestand the history of communism in China to really get to the depths of this. To the CCP, the idea of something else having more followers than it was a scary thing for them, although Falun Dafa is certainly not interested in politics and would not say anything about the ccp if they hadn't gone and murdered and torutred thousands. Comunism in China is about absolute control. The people have been heavily indoctrinated with notions that allow the ccp to manipulate and lead them easily. The people fear the threat of anything as horrible as the revolution again. After the governemnt started putting pressure on practice sites in the cities and some slanderous articles were published in the government controlled media, practitoners went to zhongnanhai, the goverment building there to exercises thier right of appeal. From one practitoner to another, through word of mouth, they decided to go there and there ended up being thousands of them. This severely intimidated th CCP. So many there all at once, standing up to actions the CCP took was quite shocking for them. The persecution started gradually and maninly with the use of propaganda and slander. This is part of the reason it is hard to find out the truth about all this, since on the internet there is tons of CCP concoted lies and it can be hard for some one who doesnt know much about Falun Gong to decipher what is truth and what are the lies. The CCP went to say things that practitoners killed themselves and others, which is silly cause it says in the seventh chapter of the book that killing is taken to be a serious sin and is completely forbidden, whether it be ones self or someone else. The slander the CCP concoted was used to turn public opioin against Falun Gong, so that the chinese citizens would be decieved and unknowingly even particpate in the perseuction of innocent people. This is not the first time the CCP has used this tactic on a group that beleives things other than what the CCP would like them to.
If you want to learn more, I suggest reading the Epoch time's editorial caled the nine commentaries ont he chinese communist party. You can google search it. It is a very thorough peice on the history of the Chinese party. It is very important to undertstand the history of the party to really undestand why and what is happening now. You can also check out FGMTV. It is an easy way to learn about the issues as you can sit back and watcha few videos on it at this site. It explains things like the "self immolation", that was by the way, staged by the CCP. There is a large amount of proof to back this up. In fact, the UN has delcared it a hoax themselves. FGMTV.net. I think it is a great site.
I have practied Falun Gong for about three years now. Before I practiced, I was very wary of any spiritual beleif or way of life. My first thoughts about Dafa were skeptical but after reading the book, the whole way through I was astounded. I feel it is so sad for something like this to be persecuted. I hope you will take the time to learn the truth about it.
You can email me if you have any questions or whatever