i-eb22068e8f45845ec77736cc51f67ecf-spectacular.jpgIn every story there is a villain, and his adversary is either a hero or a hapless victim. But we don’t live in a story.

Most people with democratic opinions see the Chinese government as a group of autocratic villains with a history of persecuting good people. When such a government persecutes a religious movement, it’s easy to assume that this movement must be quite nice. This not necessarily the case.

The much-publicised and long-standing conflict between the Chinese authorities and Falun Gong is an example of a nasty autocratic regime persecuting a nasty manipulative cult. Falun Gong’s leader Li Hongzhi preaches racism, anti-science, space aliens possessing humans, the emotions of plants, the ability to evade gravity and to walk through walls. His word carries absolute authority within the movement, as he is held to be the only person ever to understand the laws of the universe. “Whoever believes Falun dafa is just a health movement is the most worthless of living beings”, the cult’s web site used to explain. Think of it as Chinese Scientology or Raelianism.

The cult has put on a traveling show named the “Shen Yun Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular”. Who really lies behind the show isn’t readily apparent from the posters, as it lists mainly newspapers and other media companies (Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty Television and others) as its supporters. These are all, however, controlled by Falun Gong, and that’s where the profits end up.

The Shen Yun Chinese Spectacular visits Stockholm from 24 to 26 March and Linköping on 27 March. Wherever you are, Dear Reader, think twice before buying a ticket if the Spectacular comes your way.

Update 12 March: Here’s a recent New York Times story describing what the propaganda shows are like.

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Comments

  1. #1 Thinker
    March 8, 2008

    Yes, Falun Gong is all the things you claim, and probably then some.

    However, I don’t think it was concerns about this that led the Chinese embassy to call local authorities to try to get them to stop the performances. If anything, that kind attempt at censorship only backfires, creating free publicity (and sympathy) for the performers!

  2. #2 rts
    March 8, 2008

    Falun Gong is a cult, nothing but a cult, be aware!

  3. #3 Lisa
    March 21, 2008

    Did you know that your article is published on the Chinese Consulate of Los Angeles’ website to help them justify their oppression of Falun Gong practitioners? Are you aware that it’s believed that at least half of the prisoners in China’s labor camps are Falun Gong practitioners?

    As a child I was forced to attend a fundamentalist Christian church that teaches that God hates homosexuals, races must not mix, Jesus is coming back to fight a battle with the Antichrist, and all the people who believe the same way I do will live in heaven while everybody else goes straight to hell. Falun Gong’s beliefs are no more bizarre or dangerous than any other religion’s — yet they are imprisoned, fired from their jobs and sent to “re-education through labor” camps. To get an idea of what’s happening, read this shocking account from a 2005 US Department of State record:

    “Some of the harshest treatment meted out by China’s criminal and administrative justice system has been directed against practitioners of the Falun Gong, who have been the target of a harsh government-wide crackdown since the spiritual movement was banned in China in July 1999 as an “evil cult”… “cult” members who “disrupt public order” or distribute publications may be sentenced to 3-7 years in prison, while “cult” leaders and recruiters may be sentenced to 7 or more years in prison. What is and is not a cult is determined by government authorities, based on no discernible criteria other than the government’s desire to maintain control.

    “…During the past year, thousands of individuals continued to be subjected to arrest or detention, and some were incarcerated in psychiatric facilities. Overall, more than 100,000 practitioners have been detained since 1999 not only for engaging in Falun Gong practices, but also for merely admitting that they adhere to the teaching of Falun Gong or refusing to criticize the organizer and founder, Li Hongzhi.

    The reeducation-through-labor (RTL) system is regularly used to incarcerate Falun Gong practitioners. Some international observers believe that at least half of the 250,000 officially recorded inmates administratively sentenced to the country’s reeducation-through-labor camps are Falun Gong adherents.”

  4. #4 Martin R
    March 21, 2008

    Haha, you mean the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles is calling the Beijing government “a group of autocratic villains with a history of persecuting good people”?

    Here they don’t:

    http://www.facts.org.cn/

    But here they do!

    http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/200803/t78392.htm

  5. #5 sam
    March 31, 2008

    Hey Martin,
    Ur Blog is quite informative and very interesting.. I totally agree with you that chinese government is trying something unworthy and it costs lifes of innocent people…I’m requesting
    every Kind hearted person to help us free Danielle father from the Chinese prison by signing the petition at http://freemydad.org.

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