Falun Gong, meaning “Dharma Wheel Practice” or “Law Wheel Practice,” is a Chinese spiritual practice combining meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance (Chinese: 真、善、忍). The Falun Gong practice emphasizes morality and cultivating virtue. It identifies as a qigong practice of Buddhism, though its teachings and incorporate elements are drawn from Taoist traditions. It is its purity that has landed it at the top of persecuted targeted individuals’ group.
(Feature photo credit: Wikipedia)
Through moral rectitude and practicing meditation, Falun Gong practitioners aspire to eliminate attachments, and ultimately achieve spiritual enlightenment. Falun Gong differs from other qigong schools in its absence of fees or formal membership, lack of daily rituals of worship, its greater emphasis on morality and the theological nature of its teachings.
Western academics have described Falun Gong as a qigong discipline, a “spiritual movement”, a “cultivation system” in the tradition of Chinese antiquity, or as a form of Chinese religion.
Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi has resided in the United States since 1996. Falun Gong has a sizable global constituency. Hundreds of thousands are estimated to practice Falun Gong outside China, in over 70 countries worldwide.
Crime Against Humanity
It is estimated that tens of millions continue practicing Falun Gong in China, despite unimaginable persecution: human rights abuses of one and a half million Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned extrajudicially for organ trafficking, their organs removed while they are alive without anesthetics. Others imprisoned are subjected to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of “thought reform” at the hands of Chinese authorities.
During a Falun Gong rally in Taiwan in 2006, four demonstrators performed an action drama against of Chinese communists killing Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps. China had recently placed Falon Gong practitioners at the top of its list of terrorist organizations, despite no history of violence against others. (Photo: Patrick Lin/Getty Images)
Paul Stein interviewed a Falun Gong practitioner, Brett Price, in 2013. Ms. Price explained Falun Gong origins, core tenets and the spiritual, emotional and physical benefits derived from the cultivating practice of Falun Gong. Over a hundred million peace-seeking Falun Gong practitioners exist globally.
Falun Gong consists of a basic five movements.
Watch: What is Falun Gong? | China Uncensored (below)
In 1999, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin turned the Communist Party against 100 million Chinese people and began a persecution of the most inhumane kind.
Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been incarcerated in Chinese slave labor camps. They face long, brutal hours of coerced labor manufacturing “stuff” for Westerners’ consumer addictions; torture and murder.
From 1999 to 2001, Western media frequently reported on Falun Gong, albeit with mixed slants. By the second half of 2001, the volume of these media reports decreased. By 2002, major news organizations, including the New York Times and Washington Post, had blacked out coverage of Falun Gong from China.
In a study of media discourse on Falun Gong, researcher Leeshai Lemish found Western news organizations also became less balanced, and were more likely to uncritically present the Communist Party narrative, rather than those of Falun Gong or human rights groups. Adam Frank wrote that in reporting on the Falun Gong, the Western tradition of casting the Chinese as “exotic” dominated and although facts were generally correct in Western media coverage, “the normalcy that millions of Chinese practitioners associated with the practice had all but disappeared.”
David Ownby noted that with that media propaganda, the “cult” label applied to Falun Gong by Chinese authorities never disappeared in Westerners’ minds and that stigma is still alive in wary public perceptions of Falun Gong today.
Healthy Falun Gong practitioners deemed to possess the right blood type are placed on a ‘donor list’ for their organs to be forcibly harvested — many while they are still alive — to feed the multi-million dollar organ transplant industry.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department funded a Falun Gong internet freedom group (GIFC), despite the Chinese government considering the spiritual practitioners it Enemy No. 1, to provide software to skirt Internet censorship across the globe, as the Washington Post reported. State Department officials offered to the group $1.5 million, confirmed by a State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. (WP) That decision came as the United States and China had moved to improve ties. The two had planned to resume dialogue on human rights for the first time in two years, after months of tension.
“GIFC is an organization run by elements of the Falun Gong cult, which is bent on vilifying the Chinese government with fabricated lies, undermining Chinese social stability and sabotaging China-U.S. relations,” said Wang Baodong, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington. “We’re strongly opposed to the U.S. government providing whatever assistance to such an anti-China organization.”
The decision to fund GIFC followed a three-year lobbying campaign by Washington insiders, congressional pressure and opposition from some human rights advocates and Internet experts. It was controversial within the Obama administration, sources said, despite the commitment of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to Internet freedom.
Some officials voiced concern about Beijing viewing the funding as a hostile act; the U.S. offering financial support to a group China claims had agitated to overthrow the government. Others worried the funds would impede the Obama administration’s broader engagement with China on numerous and various issues, such as climate change, the global financial crisis and efforts to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea and Iran.
Two years later, in 2012, 106 U.S. Congresspersons signed a letter asking Clinton to reveal what she knew about persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, namely about the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong practitioners in Sydney, Australia. The Chinese government maintains that the Shen Yun dance troupe is ‘a political tool’ of the movement. Photograph: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
In May 2014, Canada’s former Secretary of State David Kilgour’s historic inspiring speech on 2014 World Falun Dafa Day Celebration in Ottawa is most comprehensive on the persecution and organ theft of Falun Gong practitioners and actions that individuals and entire governments are taking.
In June, in Flushing, Queens, with possibly the largest Falun Gong following in the United States, members said adversaries were distributing materials denouncing Falun Gong as an evil cult. The organization calls itself the Chinese Anti-Cult World Alliance. Falun Gong practitioners filed a federal lawsuit against the so-called anti-cult group, seeking relief from “an ongoing campaign of violent assaults, threats, intimidation and other abuses.”
The lawsuit accused the alliance of collaborating with the Chinese government by persecuting Falun Gong in the United States and seeking “to purge Flushing of Falun Gong.” The suit detailed over 20 assaults against, and confrontations with, the plaintiffs. It claimed Falun Gong members had been subjected to “mob violence” from the opposition group.
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