Five responses to “The Falun Gong Machine”

4 Jan

1. Peter says:
June 26, 2010 at 08:46

Hi Lloyd,

I’ve read some of your posts involving Falun Gong. First, I think your posts raise issues, but are not substantial enough, beside the fact that you link to sites very negative and critical of Falun Gong (the sort of sites that bread hate-mongering). Anyway, I have been a lurker on a lot of blogs dealing with Falun Gong for a long time, and I decided to join in the conversation.

I feel similar to you and the article in the Buffalo newspaper, in that I don’t think the promoters of the show are forthright in telling prospective ticket buyers of the content of the show. But, I don’t think that has anything to do with the quality of the show. The singers, dancers, costumes, music, are all good in my opinion. And I feel that the performance comes from the perspective of goodness. The problem seems to be in the marketing.

My own opinion is that the promoters mean well, but are amateurs at promoting. I think they want people to see a good show, and learn a little bit about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. People have become very suspect of anything related to Falun Gong over the years. I think this stems from the initial presentation of Falun Gong over ten years ago, as being something terrible. This negative campaign still continues. So practitioners are hesitant to mention it outright, for fear of people’s reactions. They should overcome this fear.

I too initially made comments to friends when approaching Falun Gong booths, saying something like, “watch out for them, they are a banned cult in China.” Over three years of honest research into Falun Gong, including direct contact with the teachings, news reports, Chinese mainlanders and practitioners, has lead me to believe that the practitioners really just want to be left alone to practice, and have been dragged into the world spotlight reluctantly. Didn’t the Jews have a hard time before WWII getting people to believe they were being persecuted? I choose to adopt a more broad minded viewpoint, and give practitioners the benefit of the doubt. They just want the world to see that they have good hearts.

2. Lloyd Lofthouse says:
June 26, 2010 at 09:20

From research, I learned that Falun Gong walked into the global spotlight when they had 10,000 people show up unannounced outside of Communist Party headquarters in Beijing protesting something that had been published in China’s official government media about Falun Gong. Shortly after that, China cracked down on the Falun Gong generating global press and sympathy in favor of Falun Gong, which is the usual case in China.

It would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to buy media attention like that. By staging that demonstration in a country like China where anyone could have predicted the reaction from China’s government gave the leader of Falun Gong exactly what he wanted–global attention and sympathy, which I’m sure resulted in a river of money and support.

This well organized demonstration was something unexpected and China’s government reacted as they always do to anything that looks subversive or the beginning of a movement that might lead to revolution similar to the Taiping Rebellion and other religious/cult like rebellions in the past.

You claim they “want to be left alone” but their behavior says otherwise. People who want to be left alone do not organize mass demonstrations in a country like China that has a history of movements like this turning into rebellions where tens of millions have died like the Taiping Rebellion and several other movements that started out peaceful and turned bloody.

Instead, I believe that the Falun Gong leadership organized that mass demonstration on purpose so the world would notice them and to gain sympathy since it seems everyone who rebels against China’s government gains help from the West.

In fact, after reading your response, I believe you are a member of Falun Gong and what you wrote is a script. I’m sure that there is a small army of Falun Gong members that sit in front of computer screens monitoring anything that pops up on the web about Falun Gong and the defense is a comment like yours. I attended a Falun Gong stage event and it was propaganda 100%. Yes, beautiful costumes but the music and the staged event all supported Falun Gong and what I saw was a living definition for a mind control cult worse than the Communist Party.

The flaw in your defense of Falun Gong is the claim they “want to be left alone”. Someone who wants to be “left alone” does not have a HUGE PR campaign with road shows, music, costumes, a newspaper, and a TV production company. Someone who wants to be “left alone”, does not buy up ad words so Google searches only bring up Websites controlled by Falun Gong.

Someone who wants to be “left alone”, doesn’t stage daily protests outside the Chinese consulates in foreign countries like the demonstration that I’ve witnessed outside the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. You compare Falun Gong’s persecution to the persecution of the Jews. I don’t see the Jews holding demonstrations outside foreign consulates. What I see with Falun Gong is a cult that “Wants to be Persecuted” so media attention is always focused on Falun Gong, which is a means to gain attention from the world and recruit new minds to brainwash.

It’s all about power and wealth–In my opinion, Falun Gong is a religious cult and a political movement, and for that reason, China sees Falun Gong as a possible threat if left alone. Thanks to other cultish movements from China’s history, to ignore Falun Gong after that demonstration in Beijing would have been a mistake for China’s government. Anyone who doesn’t see that is blind or brainwashed. As I recall, one such movement about a thousand years ago brought down a dynasty.

3. Peter says:
June 26, 2010 at 10:55

Lloyd,

Please forgive me. When I was reading your response, I couldn’t help but feeling personally attacked. I think the real “thing” that seems to be at the heart of our differing viewpoints is what really is happening in China in regards to Falun Gong. Practitioner or not, it is hard to really know the truth. When the truth is concealed, confusion runs rampant. I don’t know what you know, and you don’t know what I know. Heck, sometimes I don’t even “know” what I know. But what seems apparent, based on the totality of reports from both sides, is that there is something going on. Personally, I would like to see it revealed on a global scale. I understand that if Falun Gong practitioners don’t lead the charge in revealing what they see as the truth (i.e., the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners), then who will. If you don’t stand up for your rights, then who will?

I think the way that they have done that, through setting up large media outlets, has been interesting, perhaps fraught with mistakes, but certainly noble in approach. I stand for truth, not necessarily the absolute kind, but a truth that can be seen and verified by all who glimpse upon it. I certainly don’t know the reasons behind all the things we read about (conspiracies and the like), I prefer to suspend judgment.

Here is my summary:
Bad things in China: lack of freedom of belief, lack of freedom of the press, arbitrary detention, torture.
Good things about Falun Gong: People from all walks of life practice it, transparency of beliefs (even if you disagree with them), and determination to reveal the truth about the persecution. Yes, I usually support the underdog (if they have good hearts).

Oh, sorry to bring this discussion to your doorstep. I will refrain from challenging your beliefs anymore. Like I said before, I just want to be a part of the conversation. I have read a lot, and now I wish to comment. Perhaps when I begin to initiate conversation, you may bring the discussion to my doorstep. Take care, and God bless. –Peter

4. Lloyd Lofthouse says:
June 26, 2010 at 14:14

Peter,

Believe what you want. When I react to the Falun Gong and its relationship to China, I’m considering more than just Falun Gong’s claims and the suspicious way “that organization” does business. I’m also looking back to the early 19th century when the British and French forced Opium on China against the Emperor’s will by using military might. Chinese people suffered as opium addicts and died under Western guns forcing China to do something that was bad for it.

Since 1980, that has been changing. China’s cities have been rebuilt. Last year, the Politburo announced a five-year plan that would extend the electric grid to rural China (the peasants.)

To achieve these changes until all Chinese on the mainland have improved their lifestyles, China “NEEDS” stability.

When the Falun Gong held that demonstration in Beijing with 10,000 people protesting something that had been published in China’s national media about Falun Gong as a cult, that was seen as a possible threat to the stability China needs until the entire country is modernized and everyone or almost everyone benefits from that modernization.

Falun Gong, cult or no cult, made a mistake to bait the bear raising fear that another religious movement might threaten China’s stability as it has before. Right or wrong, the Chinese government did what it felt had to be done to protect themselves.

If the Falun Gong movement does not like my explanation, that is regrettable. They could always leave China like the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan supporters did and live elsewhere with their beliefs. If they stay in China, they know the risks. The Communist government is not ready to trust anyone who challenges their authority and leadership—at least not until they have achieved their goals to turn China into a modern, economic super power where MOST 1.3 billion Chinese benefit from the changes taking place–not just those who live in the cities.

Deng Xiaoping made a promise to China when he said “To be Rich is glorious,” but he also said that it would take longer for some to benefit from the changes taking place. Until all of those goals have been met, and that may take several more decades, China is not ready to be challenged by anyone like Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama or the Uyghurs regardless of how anyone feels about their individual rights.

What’s more important? The rights of a few to do whatever they want or the well being and safety of a billion people? I’ve seen enough of Falun Gong to suspect their ultimate goal and the goal of their leader. History is full of movements like the Falun Gong that eventually turned out bad for all involved. Falun Gong works too hard to recruit supporters and members and their methods are suspect.

5. Peter says:
June 26, 2010 at 14:42

Excellent discussion, and certainly a lot of food for thought. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I can say that I feel enriched after this exchange. I now have a lot to think about, and perhaps I will see you around in the future. Take care!

 text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/puop/201008/t116955.htm

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