Falun Gong: "Traditional Chinese spirituality" or "New Age Cult"?

Discussion in 'Modern Religions' started by Vessariò, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Vessariò

    Vessariò New Member

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    I have heard about the Chinese group known as Falun Gong for quite some time now, and there seems to be some controversy over their status as a "legitimate" religion.

    According to its supporters, Falun Gong is merely a meditation discipline that incorporates aspects of Qigong and moral philosophy. They believe the Falun Gong set of exercises are a sort of "pathway" to introspection, and can lead one to a higher level than is normally possible through the established religions (such as traditional Chinese Buddhism, Christianity, etc).

    More can be read from the Falun Gong perspective on Wikipedia: Teachings of Falun Gong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As with many faiths, Falun Gong also has its detractors. In the West, one of its critics is Rick Ross, who notably is also a critic of the Westboro Baptist Church and Jehovah's Witnesses, so I believe that he is doing his best to be neutral.

    The founder of the Falun Gong movement, Li Hongzhi, has also fallen under criticism by some of the more liberal people in the West. For instance during a lecture in Australia, he claimed that "Things such as organized crime, homosexuality, and promiscuous sex, etc., none are the standards of being human." (Although in fairness, it may be noted that other organized religions share sometimes share the same sentiment)

    Also, Because Falun Gong teaches that sickness is the result of karma accrued in past lives, followers sometimes eschew conventional medical treatment (source).

    Moreover, TIME magazine writes the following:

    Li's rambling dissertation, Zhuan Falun, has only added to accusations that Falun Gong is a cult. Li writes he can personally heal disease and that his followers can stop speeding cars using the powers of his teachings. He writes that the Falun Gong emblem exists in the bellies of practitioners, who can see through the celestial eyes in their foreheads. Li believes "humankind is degenerating and demons are everywhere, extraterrestrials are everywhere, too" and that Africa boasts a 2-billion-year-old nuclear reactor. He also says he can fly.

    Spiritual Society or Evil Cult? - TIME
     
  2. etsijä

    etsijä New Member

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    No matter if it is a cult or not, I believe the persecution of anyone or any group just because of what they believe are wrong. If this Falun Gong is "bad" for the people following it, other measures should be taken. In general, I think everyone should be free to believe what they want, as long as they are not hurting others in the process.

    Maybe not the kind of answer you was looking for, as I have not research this movement so much and are thus not able to discuss its "status" of cult, religion or just group. The only thing I actually know of Falun Gong is that we see their petitioners here on the streets every now and then.
     
  3. Vessariò

    Vessariò New Member

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    Of course I am not justifying repression. But, in my opinion they do not tell us everything about their religion, and are even attempting to use the fact that they are being repressed to give credibility to their freedom.

    What I do know is that on several occasions they've made unsubstantiated or exaggerated allegations. In 2006, they claimed that the Chinese Government was harvesting of organs from live practitioners of the Falun Gong. However, Harry Wu, who was the first to document the black market organs trade in China, was skeptical, and the U.S. State Department similarly failed to find evidence to support the allegations.
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Here in China, they throw you in jail just for saying you are a member of Falun Gong.
     
  5. Vessariò

    Vessariò New Member

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    While that may be true, it's no indication that they are not, indeed a cult.
     
  6. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    That is true.
     
  7. Raja

    Raja New Member

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    @Vessario and other

    “I have heard about the Chinese group known as Falun Gong for quite some time now, and there seems to be some controversy over their status as a "legitimate" religion.”

    As a practitioner, I will say that Falun Gong is not a religion. It is a high-level practice for mind and body. I am living in Southern part of India and most people are not aware of Falun Dafa. Four years ago, I read the book/watched exercise videos online and started practicing it. It is simple. Being brought up in a religious Hindu family, my practice doesn’t interfere with anyone in my family, friends and surroundings. My health has improved a lot and my character also too.

    “As with many faiths, Falun Gong also has its detractors. In the West, one of its critics is Rick Ross, who notably is also a critic of the Westboro Baptist Church and Jehovah's Witnesses, so I believe that he is doing his best to be neutral.”

    I have read Rick Ross’s critic on Falun Dafa and I firmly believe that he is not neutral, when it comes to Falun Dafa. I can see that he is deliberately trying to malign Falun Gong for some reasons, may be he is sponsored by Chinese Government, which is trying by all means to justify its ban and persecution against Falun Dafa.

    “Also, Because Falun Gong teaches that sickness is the result of karma accrued in past lives, followers sometimes eschew conventional medical treatment”

    The issue of Karma is discussed in many (accepted and legitimate) religions. And it doesn’t say that practitioners should not take medicines. As a practitioner, I had taken medicine during the initial days of my practice.

    For past 15 years, I have came across practices such yoga, reiki, pranic healing, meditation and Chinese qigong. But Falun Gong is the ultimate of all. Through the practice, I was able to get rid of many of my bad habits and experienced great improvement in my health. I am getting better every day and some of them even directly told me that I have become a good person these days. Falun Gong taught me to how to cultivate my mind according to the universal principles – Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.

    My sincere request to everyone is to just go through the Falun Gong book and come to a conclusion and not reading some non-practitioners comment. You can find the links online. Please don’t miss the opportunity

    Thanks for reading!
     
  8. The Adept

    The Adept New Member

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    The not-Chosen are here, non-master.
    Teaching;
    'As a FalunDafa practitioner, when you spread the practice in the future, we have two requirements for you. The first one is that you cannot collect a fee. We have given you so many things, but they are not for you to make a fortune or seek fame. Rather, they are for saving you and enabling you to practice cultivation. If you collect a fee, my fashen will take back everything given to you, and you will no longer be a practitioner of our FalunDafa. What you have spread would not be our FalunDafa....'
    ZHUAN FALUN-LECTURE THREE

    compare;

    '...people involved in the matter, from the research institute to the publishing house, the booksellers and also the distributors, everyone was in fact doing business with Li Hongzhi. Each process was supervised by the Falun Gong practitioners. The bookshop usually gave money to Li Hongzhi directly. Besides, the Wuhan Shenshen Group was subjected to pay 8% of the total prices of the books to Li Hongzhi according to the agreement. In another contract Li Hongzhi signed with Xu Jinliang, Xu Jinliang should paid 10% of the total prices of audio and video products to Li Hongzhi. ...'
    Truth on Falun Gong | I witness how Li Hongzhi grabbing money from practitioners
     
  9. DafaCultist

    DafaCultist New Member

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    To some of the points ITT:

    Any group of people with common values and purpose can be labeled a cult by outsiders who don't share those values.

    There *are* chapters in Zhuan Falun dealing with the pineal gland (third eye) and the 2 billion year old nuclear reactor in the Gabon Republic. Search for the latter and you'll find that it indeed exists but the scientific consensus is that it's naturally-occurring. (Zhuan Falun implies it was manmade)

    If Li Hongzhi is only interested in selling his books and such, why does he suffer to make all the materials available online for free? And if he's interested in adulation and power, why have people do slow-moving, meditative exercises? Wouldn't that be the stupidest scam ever?

    As to why the CCP would persecute Falun Gong, there's something in Zhuan Falun I find illustrative to paraphrase: When a junior monk becomes enlightened, the abbot thinks, "How can I remain the abbot? What enlightenment? He's experiencing cultivation insanity! Get him out of here!"

    The CCP's shameless persecution, including spreading misinformation online in English and torture and prison and labor camps and forced organ harvesting is real. Google "falun gong forced organ harvesting" and you'll find a few NSFL pics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  10. The Adept

    The Adept New Member

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    Some good points by the Dafa cultists there ofcourse but I think the movement mishandled relations with the Chinese Government;

    Zhuan Falun, published in January 1995 at an unveiling ceremony held in the auditorium of the Ministry of Public Security, became a best-seller in China.[106][107] In 1995, Chinese authorities began looking to Falun Gong to solidify its organizational structure and ties to the party-state.[40] Li was approached by the Chinese National Sports Committee, Ministry of Public Health, and China Qigong Science Research Association (CQRS) to jointly establish a Falun Gong association. Li declined the offer.


    The same year, the CQRS issued a new regulation mandating that all qigong denominations establish a Communist Party branch. Li again refused.[4]
    Tensions continued to mount between Li and the CQRS...


    In March 1996, in response to mounting disagreements, Falun Gong withdrew from the CQRS, after which time it operated outside the official sanction of the state.
    ...

    ] Li and Falun Gong were then outside the circuit of personal relations and financial exchanges through which masters and their qigong organizations could find a place within the state system, and also the protections this afforded.[109]'

    = Bowl of grasshoppers hits the fan.
     
  11. Hermes

    Hermes Zos Kia Cultus

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    I think if they are saying that you can get "healed" or whatever Bliss you get through them and ONLY through them (while paying sums of money) then they are a suspect of a cult. If, on the other hand they teach you what they know, freely then perhaps they can be called "Traditional Chinese spirituality".

    Seriously, this is just common sense. I am sure they are certain teachings of the Qui(Chi) and acupuncture, and meditation that can be very powerful and beneficial but you should not have to join anything.....

    Watch this QuiGong video..
    http://youtu.be/wYVdhKVb9WE?list=PLD2B550A7DF431181
     

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