I wonder if
December 17, 2001 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I wonder if I'm suppost to think that Falun Gong is a bad thing. The english version of The People's Daily like a train wreak between the truth and The Truth.
posted by Leonard (11 comments total)
Hell, they have a slow server. Salon had an article several months ago about the Falun Gong. Dragging along a 12 year old on a group suicide attempt put me off on the group, though they could have been acting independently.
posted by bobo123 at 5:34 PM on December 17, 2001

Sounds like Irrefutable Evidence of Falun Gong's Inhumanity . Be careful kids: Don't meditate or you might go on a murderous rampage!
posted by donovan at 6:35 PM on December 17, 2001

I applaud the Falun Gong people for struggling against such unjust oppression, but I also don't buy them as a religion. As a Buddhist, I certainly believe in the benefits of meditation -- but I don't believe that it will cure me of any disease I might be suffering from, as a leaflet I was handed in Chinatown proclaimed. Whether or not this leaflet reflects the heart of the practice, or was just created by well-meaing proslytisers, it's a complete misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of religion. Any religion promising direct physical benefits is at least some part quackism and snake oil, IMHO.

That's a minor nitpick, though. Again, I'm a Buddhist, and they're quite close to Buddhism, so I'm all for them.
posted by tweebiscuit at 7:04 PM on December 17, 2001

I'm a Buddhist, and they're quite close to Buddhism, so I'm all for them.

Hmmm...if only Christians and Jews, who are quite close to Muslims, were "all for them".
posted by Jimbob at 10:21 PM on December 17, 2001

well said jimbob.

religion as identity, as opposed to means to personal development, just isn't healthy.
posted by elle at 1:03 AM on December 18, 2001

There really is little doubt that Falun Gong is a nutty religion/movement, who's founders and members are a little deranged at best. But they should have their voice and you know, be stopped from committing mass suicides and such. Not a very productive answer is it?

I'm a Buddhist, and they're quite close to Buddhism, so I'm all for them.

Hmmm...if only Christians and Jews, who are quite close to Muslims, were "all for them".

Heh. Also, I liked star wars so I'm all for Scientology. No, I'm not. heh. Maybe because I never liked star wars.
posted by tiaka at 5:56 AM on December 18, 2001

I'm a Buddhist, and they're quite close to Buddhism, so I'm all for them.

That's an interesting statement. As a Buddhist you're aware of the tradition of self-immolation, but also as a Buddhist you are aware that all life is sacred. So when is it ok to set yourself on fire and why is it ok for the F.G. members to set themselves on fire including a 12 year old child?
posted by skallas at 6:14 AM on December 18, 2001

The reason that Jiang Zemin and the rest of the Politburo suppress Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa) is their fear of another Tiananmen. They don't want a large group that listens to any leadership other than theCCP in China. One Tiananmen was enough.

At least that's what the Falun Gong propaganda and protests in Hong Kong tell me on a weekly basis.
posted by pooldemon at 6:27 AM on December 18, 2001

From a report I watched on CCTV (Chinese National, so to be taken with salt) they encourage members to leave their families to be with the group. Now over here that's not as strange but in a 6000 year old culture where family takes a huge precidence over individual (also why Communism works well in their society) that's just evil. In the West we're all for the individual - a corrolary may be group marriage where all members follow the head matri/patriarch and make no decisions on their own, asking to use the bathroom, etc. But if you look at Falun Gong outside the Chinese culture, you're not seeing the whole story.

As for health benefits, well, part of their practice is a modified form of Qi Gong (Chee Gong) which has been providing health benefits to the Chinese for years even though Western medicine can't explain it yet.
posted by phoenix enflamed at 8:16 AM on December 18, 2001

Well, this news story can't be used to indite the cult as a whole, of course. It could just be one crazy person.

I've always been a bit bothered by people heralding the Falun Gong. Just because they are being opressed by the CCP does not mean that they shouldn't be oppressed. When Taiping christians tried to take over china in the 1870s it killed more people then world war one. The fact that they are 'religious' does not make them automaticaly good in my book.
posted by delmoi at 10:27 AM on December 18, 2001

The practice of setting oneself on fire has been denounced by many respected Buddhist teachers. I can't find any explicit links, but Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama have both explained that this is a tragic thing to do, and not beneficial to anyone.

That isn't to say that self-immolation isn't or hasn't been practiced by people who practice Buddhism, but there's some reliable teachers against it.
posted by mblandi at 12:09 PM on December 18, 2001

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