Falun Gong

stu neville

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Does it give the current URL or the old one? Either way will make life interesting for one readership or another...:)

Stu
 

TVgeek

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coincidence?

Just this last weekend, there was a re-run of
Max Headroom on a US Satellite channel...

It dealt with kids (8-to-10 year old college students) hacking
into a network feed -- placing the blame on someone else --
and that person having his trial televised as a game show with
the viewers acting as the jury and calling in the verdict.

When this was produced in the mid-80's, this scenario was
too ridiculous for words! Now, its all too true!!

TVgeek
-------------------------------------------
"Strange times, Archie... strange times..."
- Local Hero
 
A

Anonymous

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There was a great documentary film made in 1992 called 'Feed'. It was about the US Presidential race which ended with the election of Clinton. It partly comprised footage taken from satellite feeds not intended for broadcast (ie when stuff is being sent via satellite before the edit). Particularly good was the stuff grabbed either side of the political interviews - eg what the politicians and commentators would say off camera.

Especially memorable scenes included Clinton clearing his nose sans hanky - and Jerry Brown being a total ****wit.

I do a bit of feed scanning from time to time.

Incidentally - Stu is right ... the poster at Slashdot did reference the old FT address.
 

luohan

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A little while ago I posted a reply in the ‘Meditation – Do You?’ thread mentioning that I have been practicing Falun Gong for about two years. Afterwards, it occurred to me that perhaps I should start a new thread.

I am surprised at how little coverage the UK press gives to Falun Gong's persecution in China, considering it affects at least 70 million people, and I am curious to find out how much everyone here has heard about it.
 

NilesCalder

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Moved to Religions and Cults...
 

luohan

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Falun Gong doesn't really fall under the category of religion or cult, although it does share some terminology with Buddhism and Daoism and has similar goals. It is more accurate to call Falun Gong 'cultivation practice', although this is a term that is often not easily understood in the west.

To describe Falun Gong as a type of high level qigong is not inaccurate. Qigong is often referred to as the 'chinese yoga' and i'm not sure if yoga would would fall under the category of religion or cult
 

luohan

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New Statesman
July 14, 2003

Great thinkers of our time - Master Li Hongzhi; Isabel Hilton on Master Li Hongzhi

When, in 2001, the magazine Asiaweek named Li Hongzhi, founder of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, 'the most powerful communicator in Asia', Chinese embassies and consulates around the globe went into paroxysms. They had devoted much of their energy in previous years to vilifying the name of Li, whom the Chinese government described as a swindler, a conman and an accessory to murder. Both sides in the argument between Li Hongzhi and the Chinese government make extravagant and unverifiable claims. But whatever the truth, the reality is that Li is a man who came from nowhere to found first a national then a worldwide movement and that, despite the unrelenting repression of the government, his movement persists.
Whatever the merits of his philosophy, then, it is worth asking who he is and why he has had such success. The trouble is that most of the details of his life are disputed - even his birth date. The official date of Li's birth is 7 July 1952. Li, however, prefers 13 May 1951 - a date that coincides with the birthday of Sakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Asked to explain, he claimed that the original date had been misrecorded and the change was an innocent correction. 'I have never said I am Sakyamuni,' he said in one interview. 'I am just a very ordinary man.' His childhood was spent in Jilin Province, north-eastern China, where, except for playing the trumpet, he failed to distinguish himself at school. On leaving school, he worked on a People's Liberation Army stud farm and then held a variety of jobs that included trumpeter in a police band, working in a guest house, security guard and grain store clerk. In later years, Li put out his own version of his biography, one that explained how a man from such an otherwise undistinguished background became the spiritual leader of so many millions. This version has him spending the years between age four and age eight in intense training in qigong - Chinese martial arts - under a Buddhist master, then following up with more training, aged 12, at the hands of a Taoist immortal. By the end of this, his followers believe, Li had mastered such useful skills as being able to pass through solid objects. These he kept under wraps in his subsequent career until, in 1992, he founded the Falun Gong movement.
China at the time was a hotbed of cults and religious groups. The death of Mao Zedong and the retreat from millenarian communism, the disillusionment of the generation that lived through the cultural revolution - all had created a vacuum of belief that was to be filled with everything from Confucianism to a belief in aliens. Li's philosophy inclines to the aliens end of the spectrum but this did not diminish Falun Gong's popularity. Nor did it suffer, in the early years, from government disapproval. After the crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the Chinese Communist Party had concluded that western ideas could be dangerous. Casting around for something home-grown, it fell on qigong as a possible source of national renewal. Qigong is the generic term for a range of practices that seek to cultivate the spiritual and physical energy the Chinese call qi. Once nurtured through meditation and breathing exercises, qi can be directed around the body - to cure illness or simply to perform fairground tricks: at the time, qigong practitioners could be seen in every Chinese high street, lifting weights or performing other feats of strength for money.
For the government, the army and many prominent Chinese scientists, qigong was to be encouraged as an indigenous and politically safe source of national pride. Or so they thought. Li Hongzhi appears to have started to practise qigong in 1988; he founded Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, just four years later. It appealed for several reasons. It preaches righteousness in a country where corruption is rampant. It promises good health in a country where millions had lost access to medical services. It appears to give a sense of purpose and well-being to its adherents, many of whom have chosen to die rather than renounce it.
Falun Gong spread rapidly and when Li published his book Zhuan Falun, in 1993, it became a bestseller. He was admitted to the official qigong organisations and invited to lecture to the army. Perhaps it was the pace of Falun Gong's expansion that first caused alarm: Li claimed 100 million followers in China at one point, many more than the Communist Party could claim as its membership. Or perhaps it was the suspicion that Li had another agenda. In any event, a dispute arose in Tianjin following the publication there of an attack on Li. His followers protested but failed to win satisfaction. They then did the traditional Chinese thing: they petitioned the emperor - or the emperor's heirs, the leadership of the Communist Party.
In an amazing coup de theatre, 10,000 of Li's followers silently surrounded Zhongnanhai, the communist leadership compound, in a peaceful demonstration in 1999. For the party, the terrifying thing was that it had not known this was coming - or who these people were. The party suspected a conspiracy. From that point on, it was war.
Li, by this time, had left the country. In 1998 he fled to the United States and New York, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. He seldom gives interviews. The following year, while on a visit to Australia, he claimed he was free to move in and out of China as he pleased. But for the Chinese government, he remains high on the most wanted list. His devotees have been systematically persecuted in China but the movement persists and internationally he still has a substantial following. His followers claim that there is no Falun Gong organisation as such, but this is belied by their evident skills in organisation and propaganda. In China itself, they have learnt from the early history of the Communist Party and function as an effective clandestine network. When Falun Gong practitioners break cover in China, they continue to be arrested and treated brutally. Hundreds have died in prison.
As for Master Li, his message is available in a torrent of video- and audiotapes, websites and books. He continues to preach that there are aliens on earth, that he is a being from a higher level and that his followers can develop X-ray vision. Falun Gong, he says, is not a religion - and indeed, it lacks the rituals that conventional religions feel required to provide. Yet, however it is defined, it remains an extraordinary phenomenon.
Li Hongzhi Born 1952 in Gongzhuling City, China. Leader of Chinese spiritual sect Falun Gong, which he founded in 1992. China outlawed the sect in 1999 and has persecuted many of its millions of members. Author of Falun Gong (1993) and Zhuan Falun (1995; Turning the Law Wheel). Currently lives in New York
 

ramonmercado

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Cisco rejects Falun Gong 'China online spying' lawsuit
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13516027

Falun Gong is banned in China, but tolerated in other Asian countries

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US computer networking giant Cisco Systems has rejected allegations it helped the Chinese government repress the Falun Gong movement.

The spiritual movement is suing Cisco over claims it worked on the "Golden Shield" online censorship network, to help Beijing spy on its citizens.

The law suit says some Falun Gong members had been detained, tortured and even killed as a result of the network.

Falun Gong is banned in China, where the government calls it an evil cult.

The court papers, filed in the US on Monday, allege that Cisco provided networking equipment and technical assistance to Beijing to enable it to create an online "censorship and surveillance network".

It accuses Cisco of aggressively marketing the product, knowing it would be used to crack down on the banned movement.

"Cisco's specific intent to meet the requirements of the Chinese Communist Party's purpose to identify, track and thereby abuse and eliminate Falun Gong practitioners... was expressed in marketing presentations," say the papers.

It alleges Cisco established a subsidiary, China Network Technology Corporation, in Beijing in 1998 to work with the government.

The 52-page suit, brought by the Washington-based Human Rights Law Foundation, names senior Cisco executives, including chief executive John Chambers.

But in a statement issued from its headquarters in San Jose, California, Cisco vowed to "vigorously defend" its operations.

"Cisco does not operate networks in China or elsewhere, nor does Cisco customise our products in any way that would facilitate censorship or repression," the company said.

"Cisco builds equipment to global standards which facilitate free exchange of information, and we sell the same equipment in China that we sell in other nations worldwide in strict compliance with US government regulations."

China's government has invested heavily in controlling what its citizens can access on the internet.

The Golden Shield, also known as the Great Firewall, blocks thousands of websites, including those linked to Falun Gong or the Tibetan spirital leader, the Dalai Lama.

It also filters keyword searches for sensitive topics such as Tibet or Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel prize-winning dissident.
 

Yithian

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Been throwing out a forest of paperwork and found this leaflet given out by campaigners in Seoul. Everybody paints themselves in the best light, but they hardly sound like dangerous subversives.

20180711_123541.jpg 20180711_123554.jpg
 

James_H

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Pro- and anti- Falun Gong protesters maintain a constant presence in Hong Kong (i.e. every day there will be people handing out leaflets at the same various places in town).

They enact this tableau in Causeway Bay (a busy shopping district) every day.



Once I ran across a bigger one, a kind of pitched argument with each side behind barriers on either side of a wide road. Each 'team' wore a different colour, red on one side and green on the other IIRC. They both had huge sound rigs, ones that looked more at home at a rave. The F.G. side I believe were broadcasting a speech at impossible volume, while the anti F.G. side were playing recordings of chants and slogans to drown them out. The protestors didn't seem to be chanting themselves, I think they had just showed up to make the numbers, and some were sitting on the floor. The counter-protestors I suspect get some backing from the Chinese government, who are notorious for paying people in free restaurant meals to show and up protest for them.

I took some photos and audio recordings, if I run across them I'll post them up.
 

Yossarian

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There was an "International Falun Gong Day" demonstration in Leicester Square a month or two ago, the last time I was there. I knew nothing about them, and it all seemed fairly inoffensive - was quite shocked to discover some of their beliefs when curiosity led me to Google them a while later. They had quite a sizeable presence there, too.
 

Mythopoeika

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The way the Chinese have treated them is the most horrible thing.
I've seen Falun Gong in Cambridge, trying to educate people about what is happening to them.
 

James_H

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Pro- and anti- FG pamphleteers are a common sight on the streets of Hong Kong. I just saw some of the latter standing by a banner bearing the catchy English strapline 'falun gong fabricates propaganda and is more hazardous than drugs'.
 

Ulalume

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The United Nations and the Kilgour-Matas reports on human rights violations against Falun Gong practioners were literally some of the worst things I've ever read.
 
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