TooMuchBaijiu wrote:Is Falun Gong all that terrible? I haven't had any personal interaction with anyone belonging to that movement/religion/cult, but a quick read hasn't shown me that the institution or it's leaders aren't any more coercive or restrictive or manipulative than any other religion, movement, or cult.
TooMuchBaijiu wrote:And honestly, they've gotten a lot worse from the CCP than they've given, that's for sure. Even if they were Scientologists in yin-yang form, the measures taken by the Chinese government to counter them passed "atrocious" a very long time ago.
TooMuchBaijiu wrote:After all, I haven't heard of any Falun Gong adherents putting CCP members in re-education camps.
Lady Wu wrote:I wouldn't say FLG is like Scientology---yes, it is cultish and shares some similarities with Scientology (both use (mental) health as a guise for a set of beliefs that are not made clear/open to the public, which I find deceptive; both leaders have promoted racism; both organizations are very aggressive in PR). And a friend of mine has a family friend whose wife is in FLG, in a destructive way, like refusing medical treatment in favour of meditative practices, which are frequent enough to upset her and her family's routine, etc. However, Scientology is probably a lot more underhanded, organized, and sinister than FLG. At least that's my impression.
That said, I am quite disgusted with the FLG appropriating Chinese culture and trying to use Chinese culture as a trojan horse, so to speak, to gain acceptance by Western society. At almost all major parades we have in the Vancouver area (even in suburbs with a low Chinese population) the FLG would turn out in full force, dressed in Chinese costumes, doing their Chinese music/dance routines... and then following that up with the huge "Falun Dafa is GOOD!111!!11!" banner (seriously, couldn't they have come up with a more original slogan than "法轮大法好"?). And of course there is Shen Yun. I know the CCP has destroyed most of Chinese culture, but what Shen Yun/FLG is doing is no different from what the CCP is doing nowadays---CCP-sponsored PR units and tourism units also stage large-scale acrobatic/dance performances to show how Chinese they are and hoping that Western people would just lap it all up.
Lady Wu wrote:I am *very* suspicious of something that calls itself a religion when it's convenient, (cf. FLG people pleading for asylum on religious persecution grounds), a "health movement" when it's not (that's their line to the CCP---"we're just a health and meditation movement"), but which is highly political (publishes a newspaper, The Epoch Times, which is mostly real news but in which strong anti-CCP elements are incorporated) and which hijacks a whole culture and runs a circus troupe in order to gain public sympathy.
Lady Wu wrote:by the way, would the CCP count as a cult in Ross's classification?
Lady Wu wrote:Btw I'm extremely amused by how they're adopting Confucius as their brand, after denouncing him during the Cultural Revolution and cracking down on anything that was related to him.
WeiWenDi wrote:I'll say. It would be nice if they actually returned to a careful examination of Confucius' teachings. If a radical re-evaluation of the ancients could happen to a good Marxist like Alasdair MacIntyre, who knows? There might be one among the next generation of New Leftists who reconciles Mao with Kong.
Lady Wu wrote:That's actually my biggest problem with it. That Confucius is being used as a gimmick, a mascot. The CCP, which funds Confucius Institutes, is anything but Confucian. The pursuit of political stability and economic growth at the expense of the welfare of the people, the betrayals of public trust and the trust from allied countries, the massive arms trade and the obsession with military might, the love for flashy things rather than substantial things---all that would make old Master Kong roll in his grave.
WeiWenDi wrote:Agreed, but there are a few important quibbles here. Confucius did want to see stable states, and he did think that having competent authorities was more important than protection or even sufficient food, as here:論語 wrote:子贡问政。子曰：“足食，足兵，民信之矣。”子贡曰：“必不得已而去，于斯三者何先？”曰：“去兵。”子贡曰：“必不得已而去，于期二者何先？”曰：“去食。自古皆有死，民无信不立。”
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