Archive | December, 2010

What’s with that Epoch Times?

29 Dec

Man, the following writing is so 2007, but I just had to unburden myself of it so I can move on. Expect more unburdening of past curiosities of mine over the next month.


T’was back when I lived in Japan that the first news began to percolate about the Chinese Communist campaign against the Falun Gong meditation sect. There were stories about torture, arrests and then, that winter (this was back in 2000-2001), a story about a Falun Gong practitioner lighting himself on fire a la a the famous Vietnamese Buddhist Monk during the Vietnam conflict. Unfortunately, unlike in the 1960’s and 1970’s when that kind of act was seen as a powerful symbolic protest against an occupying government, this particular incident was quickly framed as an example of the dangerous and crazy actions of a religious cult-droid. Falun Gong’s founder even distanced himself from this action and just as soon as it had bubbled up from the Spectacle’s waters, the story vanished under the seas of informational overload once again.

Another thing I remember particularly from this period was a matter-of-fact statement made by a New Zealander who taught English at the same school. After I’d made some comment about the nascent Chinese Communist crackdown on Falun Gong, he said, as if everyone and their mother knew it already:

“They’re a CIA front.”

I’d never even considered it. And it took me a minute to think about it before I found myself thinking it might be true.

And in the past three years, The Epoch Times, a paper that might as well be called “The Falun Gong Journal” has become a regular presence here in New York City. It’s a free paper, which makes me wonder all the more about how it is financed. Sure, in the last nine months, I’ve seen ads in its pages about ordering subscriptions for the thing and I’ve seen an occasional cover price on the thing of twenty five pennies, but you can still reach in the box and get it free.So who’s paying for it? And in these times? When The New York Times is asking for bailout money?

No other paper would put performances of traditional Chinese martial arts and dance troupes on the front page at least once a week like The Epoch Times does. Of course, these cultural groups all seem to be sponsored by New Tang Dynasty Television, which is a Chinese-language satellite television network based out of New York City that has ties to…drum roll, please… Falun Gong.

Now, The Epoch Times, dog bless ’em, obvious Falun Gong front or not, is the one paper you can find that has regular coverage of the oppression of totalitarian China. Now, maybe Falun Gong is the cult the Chinese government wants their citizens to believe it is (and, my contact with Chinese immigrants in America seems to suggest The Party has been successful in their propaganda against the movement), but it seems more a matter of the bigger, stronger, more ruthless cult not wanting any competition. At least Falun Gong doesn’t have the blood of millions on its hands. It also has cooler exercises to recommend it.

“They’re a CIA front.”

I still wonder about that statement. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Falun Gong, like the Dalai Lama, has received funding from the boys out of Langley. It certainly would explain how all their operations are funded. If that is the case, perhaps Falun Dafa’s enigmatic leader, a reclusive Chinese man living in self-exile in Manhattan, has simply made a deal to try and ensure the long-term survival and protection of his practice…and/or fiefdom. What would be so surprising about two entities using each other for what their own objectives? For CIA, that objective might be to undermine what countless of their predictive models indicate will be the next big swinging dick on the globe, the nation to take over global leadership where the U.S. left off. It might be better, from the standpoint of CIA, if their future bosses were devotees of a movement that is historically allied with them, for whatever reason. In such a scenario, maybe the new bosses might even be more apt to deal with rivals through slow movement exercises and deep breathing in the park rather than through the kind of dirty mediation that The Company has so often used itself.

Then again, what’s a random English teacher from New Zealander know about this stuff, anyway?

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The relations between Falun Gong and the old secret societies

29 Dec

In Michael Ashkenazi’s posting he asks if Li Hongzhi and the Falun Gong “have, or use, or are purported to have relations to the old secret societies?”
It appears Li wishes the FLG to be independent of any other group, previous or current. I’m enclosing a quote of Li’s in the Zhuan Falun II regarding the Yiguandao. Also, one of the reasons Li left, or was expelled, from the offical qi gong association was that he wanted to be distinguished from the other “regular” qi gong groups and to have FLG recognized as something different.
In connection to the FLG’s parallels to “a whole set of ‘heterodox’ leaders and their organizations throughout Chinese history” – the parallels are one of the reasons the CCP is so nervous about the FLG, for they do of course, bring to mind such groups as the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, White Lotus, Yellow Turbans, etc. I recommend an article in the Asia Times August 10, 1999 by Jacques deLisle titled “Who’s afraid of Falun Gong.” ( He does a wonderful job of pointing out how “a review of possible reasons for the current [anti-FLG] campaign provides an archaelogical tour of the several-layered character of the reform era party-state and the vulnerabilities its leaders perceive.”
Regarding the “denigration of the common person” being familiar, perhaps someone on h-asia could address this issue regarding other Chinese heterodox groups. To a certain extent, the creation of the “other” being set aside from the “followers” is a part of any group dynamic, and the reaction assigned to the “other” may vary from mild irritation, to evangelism, to demonization.

Quote of Li Hongzhi from Zhuan Falun II
“In old China there was a “Yiguandao” which advocated practicing five religions in the same hall when it appeared at the end of the Qing Dynasty. It was an evil religion. The moment it apeared, the Qing government tried to destroy it. The emperor of the Qing Dynasty wanted to eradicate it. During the initial stage of the Republic of China, the Guomintang also tried to eradicate it and executed its followers by shooting them group by group. The Communist Party also suppressed them in the years just following the Liberation. Why did such a case occur? In fact, everything that occurs in the society of ordinary people is not accidental. History is nothing but a course that follows the change of the celestial phenomena. Therefore, whatever happens in the society of ordinary people is not what one can do upon a sudden impulse. That is to say, it was not ordinary people that were eradicating Yiguandao. It was the will of Heaven, the Realm Above wanted to eradicate it and didn’t allow it to exist. The so-called practicing of the five religions in the same hall is a severe disruption of the Law. It is the manifestation of the demon’s doing in the society of ordinary people……
But that “Yiguandao” advocates joinging the five religions together, which shall receive no forgiveness from Heaven. Now it has made its reapperance in Taiwan. ”

Regards. Patsy Rahn

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Falun Gong and politics

29 Dec

For those of us from the United States (and other democracies), and especially for those of us who grew up in the 60’s, “being political” has an often positive connotation to it, one associated with speaking one’s mind, righting perceived wrongs, and acting on ones political freedoms and basic rights (though perhaps at times we forget about the obligations and responsibilities that also go along with our freedoms; an area of great divide between those who want to give preponderance to individual rights and those who want to emphasize individual responsibility towards the “collective” or other individuals). But to a Falun Gong practitioner, to “be political” was established by Li Hong Zhi as a bad thing, it was something that Falun Gong practitioners were not to do. In his book Great Perfection Way of Falun Buddha Law written in 1994, Li states:

“All Falun Dafa practitioners must strictly observe the laws of each country. Anyone’s behavior and action of violation against the laws or policies of the country are not tolerated by the merits and virtues of Falun Dafa. The violation and all the consequences should be the responsibility of the person concerned.”

He makes clear that the concern of a practitioner is not politics but cultivation:

“The learners of Falun Dafa should take cultivating Xinxing as the basics. He should neither interfere with the political affairs of the country nor get involved in any kind of political disputes or activities. If doing so, he is not the learner of Falun Dafa any more. And he should take the responsibility himself. The fundamental aim of our cultivators is to make further advance in real cultivation and achieve perfection at an early date.”

 These teachings were taught at a time when Falun Gong was not banned in China. However, once the ban began and Falun Gong practitioners began to gather in Tiananmen square, they were, in essence, acting contrary to Li’s teachings. This may be why the practitioners and Falun Gong spokespeople denied that what they were doing was political. This obstinate innocence about the political nature of their actions may have been necessary so as not to lose faith in the Teacher by revealing him as contraticing himself or changeable. If the Falun Gong admitted that its actions were political, then it would have to admit that the Teacher was asking them to go against the Teacher’s own words. It should be noted here that Li claims that what he says “is the truth” and the words written in his books are word for word true and must not be changed. In the recent articles written by Li Hong Zhi, which are personally attacking Jiang Zemin, the Teacher’s actions seemed to be even more political then before. In response to possible questions coming in from practitioners, messages like the following have been posted to the Falun Gong website Minghui. It should be noted that the Minghui website has been sanctioned by Li as the official mouthpiece for the Falun Gong. Practitioners are told that it is the only source of information that they can believe, that they can trust. Everything that appears on this website has been pre-approved.

Practitioners who are concerned about the effect their actions have on their family members are told in another Minghui posting not to feel guilty, because “actually, during the process of rectification, it is beneficial that family members suffer for some of the practitioners’ hardships because such endurance’s can be exchanged for irreplaceable happiness in their eternal lives.” (Demolish the Evil Beings’ Schemes with Righteous Minds 9/3/00).

Another message on the website, this time from a practitioner in Beijing, directly tackles the issue of being political and states that:  “in the past, we have strict requirements in ‘not participating in politics”…So we have come this far along the correct path. Now the standard is set higher, ‘being afraid of participating in politics, afraid of interfering with state affairs’ and so on and so forth are also attachments.” and since all attachments are to be abolished, this one must go too, He chides “those who are on a stop-and-go mode, think what is preventing you from ‘striking vigorously forward’ —the attachment of fear, laziness, taking a short-cut, or selfishness? No matter what it is, our Main Spirit clearly understands that to cultivate in Falun Dafa your entire life until reaching Consummation is the most and only significant thing.” The author states that “Some disciples who stood up to protect the Fa and thus were detained many times have fallen into a state of not willing to do much after they had been released. This is not very normal.” You must stop trying to find “excuses for one’s own ‘failure to have stepped forth.” The practitioner is then warned that “the evil has reached insanity. Don’t be scared by the terror… There might even occur tragic and inhuman incidents of ‘threatening with depriving of your life.” Li teaches that the Falun Dafa teachings are of greater value than your life.

And in one of his latest statements, Li tells the practitioners that the increasingly harsh conditions in China are their fault, for “Had you truly been able to discard those fundamental human attachments in your cultivation, these last tribulations wouldn’t have been so vicious.” (“Towards Consummation” 6/26/00).

Li’s “non-political” instructions to his practitioners have changed, so that now, protesting is a necessary part of their enlightenment process (called Consummation). If you don’t participate, you are displaying attachments, and if you cannot let go of your final attachments, you lose your chance to reach Consummation. Li speaks to his practitioners, particularly in China, not in terms of human rights, but in terms of eliminating all evil from the universe, letting them know that Falun Gong followers who are beaten or die are future “Buddhas, Daos, and Gods”.

With regards,
Patsy Rahn

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Not a good day

21 Dec

Not a Good Day for Relations Between China and the Bush Administration

The revelation that the White House granted a Falun Gong activist, Dr. Wang Wenyi, a temporary press pass in the name of the Epoch Times, whereupon she hectored Chinese president Hu Jintao at length on the White House lawn on April 20 during the welcoming ceremony, is unlikely to elicit a forgiving shrug from the Chinese government.

Dr. Wang is not a journalist. She is a pathologist, and the lead researcher on Falun Gong’s current hot-button issue–the alleged vivisection of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese government at a facility in Shenyang, and the sale of their organs for transplant purposes.

The Epoch Times is widely known as an organ of the Falun Gong spiritual practice movement, which has been at loggerheads with the Chinese Communist Party ever since the Chinese government suppressed its practice in 1999.

An analogous situation would have been if the Chinese government had granted a credential to Jose Padilla’s mother as representative of “The Newspaper of Record for Increasingly Desperate and Infuriated Relatives of Detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo” and permitted her to participate in President Bush’s visit to Beijing last year.

This quote from the AP report pretty much sums it up:

“It’s hugely embarrassing,” said Derek Mitchell, a former Asia adviser at the Pentagon and now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
China “must know that this Bush administration is good at controlling crowds for themselves, and the fact that they couldn’t control this is going to play to their worst fears and suspicions about the United States, into mistrust about American intentions toward China.”

It will be interesting to see how this spins out. Initial US news reports concentrated on Dr. Wang’s dire—and legally more problematic statements—along the lines of “President Hu, your days are numbered!”

Subsequent reports concentrated on the more civil disobedience-styled Let My People Goisms such as “President Bush, stop him from persecuting Falun Gong!”. More recent reports merely described Dr. Wang as “pleading with Bush to stop the Chinese president from persecuting the Falun Gong”.

Ming Pao reported more categorically that Dr. Wang declaimed in a piercing voice, shouting exhortations such as “Heaven will destroy the Chinese Communists”, “Leave the Party”, “10 million heroes have left the party, when will you leave?”, “Judge Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Zhou Yongkang” and “Falun Practice is Great”.

Apparently Dr. Wang’s outburst continued for two minutes—which, one can confidently assume, felt like an eternity for the White House staff—before she was hustled from the scene.

The Epoch Times professed itself as flummoxed as Hu Jintao. The paper waited several hours before issuing a statement apologizing for Wang’s outburst and declaring the paper had nothing to do with it. As a mitigating circumstance, it also stated that Wang and the movement are incensed by horrific reports that the Chinese government is vivisecting Falun Gong supporters and harvesting and selling their organs.

From a domestic Chinese perspective, the image of Falun Gong as an organization of extraordinary reach and resource—after all, these were the same people who hacked into a Chinese TV satellite twice in 2003—has been reinforced.

And part of that image will now include the idea that Falun Gong has penetrated the White House.

Bush administration apologies for sloppy security procedures will gain little traction.

It is difficult to believe that an administration that is so fetishistic about message control that it salts the White House press conferences with hustler-shills like Jeff Gannon to ensure favorable coverage did not understand that Epoch Times is the house organ of Falun Gong and could be expected at least to embarrass Hu Jintao if given the opportunity , if not verbally assault him.

It is also difficult to believe that the Epoch Times sought accreditation for Dr. Wang—who they describe as the key activist and researcher on the vivisection issue—for the White House ceremony with the idea that she would be fulfilling some conventional journalistic function.

I don’t know if Epoch Times has a regular Washington correspondent, but the fact that concerns about security and decorum relating to the admission of an unorthodox representative of an intensely hostile group—moreover, the point person for an issue described as “desperate”– didn’t set off any alarm bells in the White House does seem kind of fishy.

Maybe there was some kind of nod-and-a-wink going on between a sympathetic party in the White House and Falun Gong to give the movement a platform to get its message out.

If there was, we’ll probably never know.

The takeaway, intentional or inadvertent, is that the Bush administration simply doesn’t care enough, either about Hu Jintao’s face–or about relations with his regime–to take care to prevent such a humiliating incident.

It also leaves the Bush administration open to the accusation that it lacks the skill, discipline, and credibility to conduct a carefully modulated policy of confrontation and conciliation with Beijing on behalf of the free world.

Altogether, not a good day.

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‘Evil Cult’ raises political temperature

21 Dec

There are those who believe religion and politics don’t mix, or that they shouldn’t be allowed to mix. On the other hand, religion can and does often assume political overtones which can have far-reaching ramifications for a society. Whether these ramifications are desirable or destructive often depends on what side you’re on. We have seen religious organisations play a pivotal role in engineering social and political change, sometimes in collaboration with other segments of civil society.

Organised religion has, from time to time, emerged as a powerful force in society, particularly in highly religious countries like the Philippines where the Catholic church has a very visible presence. In China where religion does not quite thrive so well, the role of religion has been somewhat subdued. In the last couple of years, that picture has gradually changed as China woke up to the reality of an obscure sect known as Falun Gong.

According to Falun Gong followers, their purpose is merely to practise breathing exercises which are supposed to be beneficial to their health. Breathing exercises are not unusual in the East. They come in all forms and shapes. Qi gong exercises are based on the notion of qi, which refers to the cosmic forces in the body and the universe. The concept of qi is also central to much of traditional Chinese medicine. On any given day across Asia you’ll encounter people doing exercises in the parks and other open spaces. These exercises combine body movements with meditation and controlled breathing techniques. They are particularly popular with the elderly.

The controversy that surrounds Falun Gong is that the authorities in China believe it to be more than just a religion. To them it is nothing but an evil-cult. Up until 1999 many people in China did not even know about this sect whose leader lives in North America. It all came to light when one Professor He Zuoxiu wrote an article warning about their deceitful lies. A theoretical physicist, Professor He spends his time exposing and ridiculing all forms of pseudo-science.

Ironically, the mainstream press took a dim view of Professor He’s views and he was only able to publish his article in a little-known magazine. In the past his views had not generated much reaction. The Falun Gong expose opened a pandora’s box. Angry Falun Gong followers quickly assembled outside the Beijing leaders’ compound where they held a vigil demanding an apology. This was the first highly publicised protest by the hitherto unknown sect. It transpired, however, that they had on previous occasions held similar vigils around the homes or offices of people who had tried to portray them in a negative light. Their vigils are said to be peaceful, but when 10,000 people camp outside your premises for days or months, peaceful assumes a new complexion.

The authorities in China are leaving nothing to chance. They banned the sect and quickly undertook a systematic clampdown. In spite of a heavy security presence, sect members have, on numerous occasions, managed to hold meetings in high profile venues like Tiananmen Square where they insist on proceeding with their exercises even as the police rain blows on them and cart them away into custody.

The treatment of these sect members has intensified human rights attention on China with foreign observers criticising the authorities for their heavy-handedness in the police brutality which some claim has led to the death of many followers. The authorities in China are convinced that this evil cult is a threat to national security and must be crushed at all costs.

In trying to understand the full impact of this emergent social phenomenon, it is worth clarifying what constitutes a cult. Experts see two dimensions: the religious and the social. As for the religious, cults tend to deviate from mainstream religious beliefs and, in effect, set themselves in competition against such religions, offering themselves as a more viable alternative. They often tend to have charismatic leaders who assume god-like status with the claims they either make or encourage about their supernatural powers and the sheer power they seem to exercise on their followers. The teachings of the Falun Gong are considered to be a deviation from orthodox Buddhism.

The social dimension refers to their rejection of popular social practices and conventions. Members of cults are taught, for example, to abandon their families and all aspects of the material world. Cults are known to urge their members to destroy or otherwise dispose of their material possessions and even to eschew medical treatment. Herein lies the danger. There have been too many cases of doomsday cults leading their members into mass suicide or otherwise causing the deaths of innocent people. From the infamous Jonestown disaster in Guyana in 1978 to more recent cases like the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas, Aum Shinri Kyo in Japan and the Restoration of the 10 Commandments in Uganda.

It may well be that the majority of the Falun Gong are well-adjusted citizens who just want to get on with their breathing exercises – in which case their persecution is suspect. On the other hand there is always the risk that powerful leaders are manipulating innocent and ignorant followers for selfish political, spiritual or other ends. If that is the case, there is cause for alarm.

Opinion is sharply divided in Hong Kong. The Falun Gong recently held a highly-publicised international conference here. The central authorities in Beijing were none too pleased and they made their displeasure known in no uncertain terms. However, under the one-country two systems policy, the ban on the mainland does not hold in Hong Kong and the sect members are quite within their right to assemble as long as they respect Hong Kong laws.

However, Beijing has sternly warned about the possibility of the sect using Hong Kong as a base for anti-China political activities. This has in turn generated a lot of political heat with the Hong Kong government vowing to keep a close watch on the sect’s activities and, more controversially, considering whether to invoke the Societies Ordinance against them. Pro-Beijing leaders have similarly been urging the government to rein the sect in. However, the pro-democracy lobby and human rights activists have spoken vehemently against these proposals, claiming they are an unacceptable restriction on civil liberties.

The Hong Kong authorities appear to understand that any effort to enforce the ordinance to rein in the sect would further escalate the controversy and have far-reaching consequences. Yet, they have to be seen to be sensitive to the concerns on the mainland. It is not an easy balance to strike.

Beijing has reason enough to be concerned. Religious activities, though rare, have had pretty dramatic effects on the political landscape in the past. There have been many religious and quasi-religious uprisings in China in the past, of which some of the most memorable are the Boxers, the White Lotus and Tai Ping which rebelled against the Qing dynasty.

When Beijing warns that efforts to turn Hong Kong into a base for subversive activities would not be tolerated, they mean it. Hong Kong authorities are paying heed. A few weeks ago when members of the sect set themselves alight in Tiananmen Square, it began to look as though the authorities’ and indeed many ordinary people’s worst fears were coming true. It seemed like a sign of things to come, the doomsday scenario in which mass suicide would lead to the death of millions. To many observers, such a scenario, while perhaps far-fetched, cannot altogether be discounted, especially when so little is known about the sect and its leadership.

About Ken N. Kamoche

Ken N. Kamoche was born in Kenya and currently teaches management in Hong Kong. He holds degrees from Nairobi and Oxford (Rhodes Scholar). He worked in Uganda as it emerged from the Idi Amin chaos, Somali weeks before it descended into civil war, and Poland while it was still truly communist. He has published four books on management and has completed a novel. ‘An end so still’ is his first collection of short stories. He is a columnist for Kenyan newspapers and on

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Falun Gong, a total institution system cult

21 Dec

I haven’t been following the FLG discussion closely, but having read Patsy Rahn’s message re FLG, I have to say that I have two reactions:
As a scholar, I am intrigued by the lack of originality and almost repetitive nature of Li and the FLG. Some of the quotes seem to me (I do’t have the sources handy, I’ll admit) to be quotes from Taiping and earlier mass religious ‘unorthodox’ societies in China. The major difference appears to be the innovation of using a website as the formal mouthpiece, allowing for greater control. It also appeares that Li has taken a page from his CCP opponents in the relams of data management and semantic manipulation.
As an individual, looking at the same material, I have to admit I am appalled. Li appears to be aiming at what can only be considered a variant of the emotional/ideological ‘total institution’ (to use Goffman’s phrase) system characteristic of many cultic new religions: AumShinKyo, the Jim Jones cult, Hare Krishna, etc.
And so, to a question: are there any ethnographic reports _from the inside_ about FLG activities? And has (as is usually the pattern) the first buds of leadership/ideological struggle in the post-Li years begun to show? How does the FLG retain control over members, and do these control patterns differ for Chinese in the PRC and for followers elsewhere (as again, is usually the case in similar movements)?
Dr Michael Ashkenazi
Regent’s College
London, UK

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Falun Gong – harmless exercise fanatics or weird cult

14 Dec

I’m sure you will have come across Falun Gong folks exercising in some public space or other. There’s invariably a chap handing out leaflets with graphic pictures of their followers’ persecution at the hand of Chinese authorities. They carefully craft a picture of being a religious grouping practicing their exercises and being all about compassion, tolerance, benevolence, and other nice things. Well, for better or worse, they’re anything but tolerant or compassionate. Here’s a couple of quotes I compiled using documents from their official website featuring the teaching of their ‘Master’, a bloke by the name of Li Hongzhi. I’m presenting these quotes here not to suggest that it is ok for the Chinese authorities to torture Falun Gong adherents, but to say that I agree with the authorities verdict that this is a dangerous cult. The cult is clearly racist and homophobic, not to forget outright crazy (see the ‘Masters’ blabber about aliens below). Think twice about supporting their campaigns.


“Question: If people of mixed race practice cultivation, which paradise will they go to?

Teacher: As far as humans go, people of mixed race no longer have corresponding human races in heaven. If they’re cultivators, their outward appearances are no longer important and it all depends on the person’s Primordial Spirit (yuanshen). If his Primordial Spirit is of the white race, he’s white; if his Primordial Spirit is of the yellow race, he’s yellow; if his Primordial Spirit is of the black race, he’s black. It’s a different matter if he practices cultivation.
Make sure you have your kids learn Chinese; you can’t lose the characteristics of your yellow race. Since there’s no place for you in the Caucasian paradises, you still need to return to the paradises of the yellow race’s people.”
“Question: Different races have different Heavenly Kingdoms. Why don’t black people from Africa have any?

Master: Black people, too, have the gods that created them. It’s just that they forgot them rather early.”

Crazy and Racist:
“The way alien beings get human beings to shake free of the gods is to mix the races, causing human beings to become rootless people, just like the plant hybrids people make nowadays. South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans and some people in South East Asia—all of these races have been mixed. None of this can evade the gods’ eyes. Alien beings have made rather extensive preparations for overtaking human beings.”


“Why was their civilization destroyed? Homosexual things have been found in the archeological artifacts and remains of ancient Greek civilization. The lifestyle at that time was very corrupt, degenerate, and extravagant.”

“People now want to find a partner of the same sex. Gods think that people do that because they no longer have human values. You are wantonly indulging your thoughts. Your thoughts, like the ones I just mentioned, are not actually you. The mentality that makes you homosexual was driven by postnatally-formed bad things. But you yourself were numbed by them and went along with them and wallowed in the mud. You need to find yourself again and stop doing those filthy things. Gods view them as filthy. No matter whether a government permits it, the law of your government is not the truth of the universe. That’s because the law of a government is made by humans, and when humans make laws, they have the intention to rule and punish others, or they make laws against their conscience in order to protect things and gain power or votes. So they are not made with good intentions.”

Adele Mercier did some digging of her own and requested I add a further heading:

Sexist and misogynistic

“According to the theory of yin and yang, females should be gentle and not strong. Males are yang  and strong, while females are yin and gentle. When strength and gentleness are put together, it’s sure to be really harmonious. … this society has degenerated, there’s been a reversal of yin and yang in modern times, and it’s most noticeable in China. Look at the athletes—women always win more medals, while men seldom win medals.  Why is it that yin is very strong and yang is very weak in everything? This factor is caused by the reversal of yin and yang. And then there’s the side-effect of advocating so-called women’s liberation. It is the degeneration of society’s morality that causes the changes in people’s hearts in society

“Question: In today’s society, the concept of equality between men and women prevails. As female disciples, how can we be gentle and tender while progressing diligently in cultivation?

Teacher: People are saying nowadays that women are becoming more and more liberal and their personalities are getting stronger. … If in your daily life you’re like a gentle, true woman, your competence will let you have everything you deserve all the same. You don’t necessarily have to express yourself in tough and manly ways to obtain those things. In other words, if you’re a woman, you must act like one, and be kind and gentle. Only then can you gain respect and love from men. If you aren’t kind and gentle, men will be afraid of you when they see you.  I remember that in the West before the fifties, men were very gentlemanly, and they treated women with respect. And because women acted like women, men loved to help them, respect them, and care for them. At the same time, in a womanly way, women cherished their husbands. That was human behavior. Yet today you have corrupted it all.

In Asian society, women have become overly strong, causing the men to become like women.  If the way of the society becomes like this, will men still be able to walk around with confidence and self-respect? Will they have their manhood? Two people can’t be the head of one household, just as there can’t be two kings of the same mountain. There has to be one head of the household.

It’s even more blatant in Western society … The sense of a woman relying on her man when they’re married is simply nonexistent. I’m telling you, that is not how human beings should be! (Applause)”

“When a person becomes a Buddha through cultivation, he or she will have a male body. … I don’t hold any prejudice against women. … Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, if you have done bad things or done wrong in certain respects, you might reincarnate in a female body in your next life…. Perhaps women don’t easily generate large amounts of karma.”

About the Author:

Dr. Udo Schuklenk is a professor of philosophy at Queen’s, and has recently been offered the Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics. He edits two international bioethics journals, has published over a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals and books, and, as his appointments in all corners of the globe indicate, likes to travel and live in different cultures. His main research focus today is on ethical and policy issues in the

context of public and international health. His most recent books are two co-edited volumes, The Power of Pills and The Bioethics Reader. 

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