Falun Dafa "CULT"

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Falun Dafa "CULT"

Postby gmattson » Mon Jan 08, 2001 3:02 pm

A very dear Chinese friend of mine is getting a divorce from a wonderful Chinese woman who has become a "Falun" disciple.

This is a particularly dangerous cult. (Not that they all aren't) It is based on the premise that the Chinese government is repressive and must be replaced by another, more representative government.

Now, who can fault this reasoning

This cult practices a mild form of Taichi-like exercises as the glue that bonds the group.

Now, who can fault this?

Some of the things which concern me:

1. The leader (founder) is revered as some sort of god!

2. Followers believe the exercises negate the need for medicine or doctors! (My friend's wife was in a serious car accident and refuses to see a doctor, saying her exercises will cure he! She was driving around during a recent storm, handing out pamphlets door to door. She was driving home at 3am when she crashed her car.)

3. She is being encouraged to give up her possessions and family to 'spread the word'.

4. She has no interest in her family, although wants custody of one daughter!

5. She calls Sue and me at least once a month and drones on about how China is such a bad country, persecuting it's citzens and how she wants us to read and study the Falun literature and learn the exercises to help China!!!!

We try to explain that we appreciate her pain, but that our joining Falun will not help China or it's people. She pretends not hearing us, but just keeps talking as though in a trance!

I've seen their people in China, demonstrating and taking all kinds of flack from the authorities. Initially, I felt sorry for the group, but now realize that the founder (who resides comfortably in the USA) is using China's political situation as a smoke screen to hide his real intentions.

I read recently that the cult is growing in the USA. (recent demo in Cambridge) Wondering if anyone else has had any experience with this group.


[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited January 08, 2001).]
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Postby Lori » Mon Jan 08, 2001 3:39 pm

I'm very sorry to hear about your friends Sensei, seems these cults are getting more pervasive - and frightening.

Even in our little group of communities - small as they are - we have been affected by their reach. One woman in an exercise class I used to teach had her entire life ruined by a group her husband connected with on the internet. Over the space of a year - all of their retirement, various properties, cash, savings, and many other assets were drained away as "charitible contributions" or whatever the name was. She had exhausted all recourses consulting lawyers, state and national agencies, trying to put holds on joint assets, and the group had things so well organized that although they were treading a fine line, according to the law they had not crossed it, and her hands were tied. As she persisted, things got worse involving death threats to her and her family - and all this while she was fighting cancer. Quite a nightmare. We lost touch a couple years ago and I can only hope that things worked out somehow for her...

Another one involved a sweet girl in her twenties who held a position for the city for quite a few years. Many people grew to know and love her as she was very involved in the community and always helpful with a bright and sparkling personality. She was trying to "find" herself I guess and within the scope of some religious group she started going on retreats and missionary trips (again, seemingly innocuous no?) and subtle changes began to show in her - eventually she sold her car - gave away all her posessions, and left with only one small suitcase to live on their commune or whatever it was. She's out of contact - and no one knows how she's doing. As she's over 18 it's her choice, although not a few people checked into the options as to what they could do to intervene. Seems that these groups are very careful to protect themselves in that regard, forcing their "recruits" to make decisions and choices that are legal enough to keep the law a step away.

My condolences to you and your friend. A tough issue indeed - seems as if there is nothing that can be done - very frustrating.
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Postby Panther » Tue Jan 09, 2001 5:04 am


A very touchy situation... It's difficult to give answers in these types of instances, but there are things that can be tried.

See if she can answer some questions rationally or if you can at the very least "sow some seeds of doubt". For example, you say she's being urged to give up her worldly possessions to "spread the word". Here's how I handled that with someone close to me a few years back:

"OK, I don't care if you don't want your stuff anymore. Who do they want you to give it to?"

"They say I should sign it over to the Church."

"Why do they need it? You're going to be devoting all of your time and effort as it is. Why do they need your stuff if they say you won't need it?"

"They need it to support the cause."

"Tell you what. You give all of your stuff to your family and go work for the Church, live at the Church and devote your life to the 'cause'. See how the Church feels about it when you don't have anything of monetary value to offer, just your time and devotion. They shouldn't have a problem with that. You're giving them valuable time and labor for free. Your family will watch over your stuff and can certainly use the extra help. Don't you want to help out your friends and family? Aren't they as important as the 'cause'?"

A lot of times, these cults will show their true colors when the "recruit" suddenly becomes a pauper. Hopefully, the person you're trying to help will start to wonder on their own, just from the line of questioning.

Another thing to do which worked well in the case that I worked with. Find out everything you can about the leader(s) and top diciples. I've found that a few tid-bits of factual information given in just the right way/time can be enlightening to someone being influenced by these types of cults. For example, does the leader/top-diciples drive around in luxury cars? Tell the person and question why the money is being spent on such items when it could be going for the 'cause'. Does the leader/top-diciples live in mortgage-free homes? Who pays the utility bills? Hmmmmm... If the 'cause' is in a foreign county, how often does the leader/top-diciples go there to further/fight for the 'cause'? Never? Why not? Certain chants/exercises/what-have-you are claimed to be needed to help the 'cause'... How? Why? What is the principle by which it works? Does the leader/top-diciples ask others to do things that they don't do? Why don't they? Above that? Really?

I'm sorry I can't help anymore except to offer moral support and perhaps think about a deprogrammer...
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Postby gmattson » Tue Jan 09, 2001 5:53 am

Thanks for the advice. I'll pass your posts along to my friend.

The problem with trying to reason with people under these "spells", is that they are programmed to react to any negative words and comments with pat/stock replies.

In another forum, the discussion focused on why the martial arts need organization and self regulating. Our readers might be surprised to find out that they may be working out in a cult-like Dojo. . . Under the disguise of traditional atmosphere and behavior!

I hate to disclose the number of people who have contacted me after realizing they were taken advantage of, hurt or abused by their revered 'Sensei', asking me what they should do!

The IUKF was created to protect the students, with a strong code of conduct and ethics that all IUKF Dojo subscribe to. Students are encouraged to read this information to know the differences between appropriate and inappropriate behavior on the part of the teacher.

Cults don't publish their 'codes' or allow their people to work out with other Dojo or teachers. They tell their students that they will become 'polluted' if exposed to anything but the 'true way' as defined and interpreted by the grand exalted master!

And the first thing people under the spell will say is "Not me!!!" "Not our Dojo"!

More later. . .

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Postby Ian » Tue Jan 09, 2001 6:11 am

I do NOT endorse this cult or any others that take advantage of the trust of their enthusiasts or exercise "mind control" or manipulate them by reposessing their possessions or disrupting their families.

But what makes this a true tough issue was that christianity began as what was considered a threatening cult with a lot of strange beliefs. The label chosen depends entirely on the labeler.

So how do you address the cult problem without trampling on rights of expression or assembly or the autonomy of the confused disciple?
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Postby gmattson » Tue Jan 09, 2001 1:53 pm

Good points Ian. No question about religions having many attributes of cults that we knock. After all, most cults profess to be religions.

I don't mind people believing and/or doing whatever they wish, providing they leave me alone! Cults should not object to their potential converts being well informed with as much information as possible. Freedom works in both directions.

Regarding the trampling of a brainwashed person's rights: As a friend, I suppose there is little I can or should do. However, the husband and family of the woman in question, should have the same right to act as the family of a person who suffers from any other emotional illness. Certainly, the husband should do everything possible to insure that the wife does not get custody of the daughter. (The girl wants to stay with her father.)

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Postby Panther » Tue Jan 09, 2001 4:05 pm

From my handy-dandy Merriam-Webster Collegiate Thesaurus:

religion, n:
a system of religious belief (tolerant of all religions)
Synonyms: creed, cult, faith, persuasion


cult, n:
Synonyms: religion, creed, faith, persuasion

OK... How about the companion Dictionary...

re·li·gion, ri-'li-j&n, n:
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back --
Date: 13th century
1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

cult, 'k<, n:
Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate --
Date: 1617
1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion


Looks like all religions are cults, but not necessarily the opposite. The negative connotations of "cult" obviously come from the 3rd meaning and are based on other's regards of unothodoxy or spuriousness.

For the purposes of this thread, I would suggest that it is considered spurious (of a decietful nature or quality) for any religious group to suggest that one sign over all worldly possessions when there is no assurance that the value of those possessions will benefit the stated cause rather than some self-proclaimed diety.
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Postby kusanku » Mon Jan 29, 2001 10:56 pm

Five signs of a cult:

1. Leader and first two echelons of disciples are in on the scam, at least.They have to be or it won't work.

2.Leader and top disciples living high, all others lower and lower until at bottom, the devotees are dirt poor.

3.Recruitment gets new people alone with indoctrinators, separates them from family, friends and outward society. Sllep and food deprivation, two or more people with newbie at all times,in a house or camp.Brainwashing.Since this will wear of inside of a few weeks/six moths tops, the newbie goes to step four immediately.

4.Moving in to an enclave or commune or house with other cult members including indoctrinators.

5.Made to sign over possessions , break with families/friends that they cannot convert, change names, shave heads or other things. ade to work for the cult long hours for high starch and sugar food, frequent reindoctrination and progressive desensitization/demoralization/blind obedience training.

Actual religion.
1.. Satisfy al membership requirements.

2. Attend meetings/services as you wish and if you wish.

3.Fulfill spiritual/personal requirements. Who makes you do it? You do!

4.Contribute as your religion says, and as you decide.Or not.

5. Attend classes or camps if you wish, as you wish, ad leave when you wish.Pt your faith into action in your life as you can, if you can, by yourself or with others as you wish.

Now, since even a monk or nun in a religion can leave at will these days,how can anyone mistake a cult for a real or imagined real, as the case may be, Religion?

I realize some fear religion, and especially 'organized religions':-) as though there are unorganized ones; but hey, let's clarify the differences here, its much the same as a dojo and a cult dojo.

1.Real Dojo- join if you want to , quit if you want to.If you sign a contract, you;ll have to negotiate but that is life.

1.Cult Dojo- join this dojo and this style,sign here and your soul is ours, break off and we'll sue you , or worse.

2.Real Dojo-train as you can, and as you wish, under the instruction of a teacher who realizes your particular limitations and needs/abilities.

2.Cult Dojo-Worship the sensei/Master as God and do what he says when he says it no matter what, and no matter the effects on you or others.You see this, run away!Run away! Run Away!

3.Real Dojo-tels you what they teach, the lineage or lack thereof, and wha you will need to learn/be able to do at each level.

3.Cult Dojo-You will learn what we teach you when we teach you. No questions.Our teacher learned from (Sum Dum Guy) in (some improbable Place.) Try to find that lineage.'We have all knowledge and power. We will eventually teach you only if you show your sincerity.In return you will be our slave."

4.real Dojo-Has maybe social events occasionally, but doesn't demand your presence, its a party!

4.Cult Dojo- You WILL be present at all Dojo functions,or sanctions will be executed upon you.

5. realDojo may call to see if you're coming to the tournament or whatever.If not, fine.

5.Cult Dojo,they will come for you and bring you.

I think the difference is obvious. I've seen them, and they are dangerous.

But only the ones that act like the second variations above, can really be called cult dojos.

Rule of thumb:If you are allowed to excercise your free will, it ain't a cult. If not, watch out, big time!

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Postby gmattson » Tue Jan 30, 2001 4:12 pm

Excellent post John! Mind if I use your definitions in our codes of conduct/ethics?

You are correct in saying that cult dojo exist today and are very harmful. I'm dealing with a person right now who has just left one and is suffering all kinds of problems as a result of having been involved with a cult-dojo. (More on this soon)

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Postby Jake Steinmann » Tue Jan 30, 2001 7:33 pm

Ah..the Cult Dojo. I know it well.

The former instructor of a former girlfriend of mine (he stopped being her instructor before she stopped being my girlfriend, thankfully) once informed her that she shouldn't date me because I didn't study the same style as them.

These were the same guys who told me that I was absolutely, positively, not to train with anyone else if I trained with them (note: They did have the ultimate modern self-defense system. That was also an ancient Japanese martial art. It's true...really...).


These kinds of people are a disgrace to martial artists everywhere. Hell, they make McDojo's look good by comparison.

End of rant.

Jake Steinmann
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that here obident to their laws we lie
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Postby kusanku » Wed Jan 31, 2001 1:00 am

George Mattson says:'Excellent post, John! Mind if I use your definitions in our 'code of conduct/ethics?'

George, it would be an honor.As you may have figured out, I have in fact encountered a few of these in the past.

Please make use of these, if they can be of any help whatsoever it will be most satisfactory to me personally, as these outfits and the things they try to do to people, truly burn my biscuit.

It's so easy to tell the difference too, with a few precautions such as these.

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Postby Lori » Sun Feb 18, 2001 7:49 pm

And so the Redneck Riviera is permeated with the first probings of this "wave." Interesting how the first news of it in this area is in such a supportive light. What better free advertising could be asked for? Scary. Very scary.

Feb. 18, 2001
Falun Gong rouses interest
Meditation 'practice' deemed an 'evil cult' by communists
By Billy Cox
Gary Pansey's search for origins came to him in a dream one night in May 1999. Granted, he already was an avid searcher, scanning for intersections of science and mysticism. But he claims he knew nothing of the troubles simmering on the other side of the world.

Pansey had been studying Qigong - the Chinese discipline of energy cultivation through stretches, meditation and slow movement - since 1996. So, it was no surprise that the image of a teacher should appear to him in his sleep. The surprise was when his guide jumped out the window of a tall building and landed on his feet unharmed.

"My falling master," Pansey muses. "I woke up feeling good, feeling that I was an apprentice, but I didn't know who the teacher was. Falling."

The dream was a doorway into Falun Gong, a practice said by adherents to transform mind and body into enlightenment through five basic exercises keyed to moral principles. That last part wasn't stressed by Qigong.

The more Pansey explored, the more Falun Gong made sense. There was no charge, no hierarchy, no dogma. He converted, without so much as an application fee.

Three months after the dream, however, the ripple effect Falun Gong unleashed in its own country exploded inward on a tidal wave of violence. In July 1999, China's Communist Party outlawed the movement, conducted mass arrests and book burnings, dispatched troops to seize and ransack property, and sent thousands of practitioners to labor camps without trial.

The official reason: Falun Gong was "an evil cult" that threatened national security. Adherents argued the real reason was that - in less than seven years - a philosophy of self-empowerment through mental and physical health had eclipsed the Communist Party's membership roles.

But Party strong-arms, still haunted by the 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square, hardly could have envisioned what happened next.

Amid the maelstrom of reports describing jailings, torture and murder, a backlash of global curiosity has - Falun Gong followers contend - accelerated practitioners' worldwide numbers to more than 100 million.

Today, Falun Gong defenders say they have one goal in mind.

"We're determined," Pansey says, "that reports from the (government) Xinhua News Agency be seen for the propaganda that they are. We want the truth to get out and let the people decide for themselves."

Political turmoil
Pansey's stage is a lonely one in Brevard County. He exercises by himself at Wells Park outside the Melbourne Public Library, where motorists usually can see his methodical performance on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. For those who give this visual curiosity more than a passing glance, Pansey - a 46-year-old independent stockbroker will distribute fliers and brochures.

What they contain is an abbreviated history of Falun Gong, how it was founded in 1992 by one Li Hongzhi on the principles of Zhen, Shan, Ren: Truth, Compassion, Forbearance. There are details on the exercises, the attendant philosophies and how to visit Web sites to obtain more information free of charge.

And there are graphic images of alleged government brutality against Falun Gong prisoners, accompanied by first-person and eyewitness accounts. Dozens reportedly have been killed and tens of thousands imprisoned. The most recent controversy occurred last month when five reputed adherents immolated themselves in Tiananmen Square, leaving one dead. Communist authorities say the incident illustrates the fanaticism of Falun Gong; critics smell a rat and say Falun Gong specifically forbids violence and suicide.

Presidents Clinton and Bush have called for the release of practitioners and an end to the persecution. State Department spokesman Rick Marshall says a formal assessment will be released Friday in its annual Human Rights Report. The Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., did not return phone calls from Florida Today.

"Why are they so paranoid? Because the Communist Party knows it's left a huge gap in the Chinese people's daily lives," Pansey says. "This isn't just something for peasants - Communist Party officials, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, they're all involved with it, because it works. And the irony is, this isn't political.

"Master Li has never advocated the overthrow of the government, and advises people to stay out of politics. And that may be one of the strengths of Falun Gong. It has not, and cannot be allowed, to degenerate into an organized hierarchy like other religions, with preachers and the exchange of money. But for this, we get government labor camps, a phenomenon that should've died out with the 20th century."

Intriguing concept
Veteran Brevard Community College world religions professor Lin Osborne says he isn't familiar with Falun Gong, but he finds the concept intriguing. Especially if it can avoid precedents engraved in the granite of history. Osborne visited Moscow three years ago to do a documentary on the Eastern Orthodox Church, which survived 70 years of repression by the Soviet Union.

"Banning religious movements doesn't serve empires very well," says Osborne. "Three or four centuries after the Roman Empire began persecuting Christians, it led to the establishment of a state religion. Nothing is ever lost under repression except the public practice. Look at what the Chinese did for the Dalai Lama. They made him famous.

"Christianity came to Russia 1,000 years ago and shaped its culture, its alphabet. Yet, within a few years, Stalin tried to turn it around by blowing up half the churches in Red Square. Yet, how long did it take for the church to step back in when communism fell? Today, monks have gone back to teaching in the public schools; the mayor of Moscow raised $100 million to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. There's no such thing as the separation of church and state.

"All these ancient cultures - China, Russia - have totalitarian traditions beginning with monarchs, czars and dynasties. Cultural tradition is a powerful force, easily underestimated."

But Pansey says Falun Gong is unique.

The grandson of Polish immigrants (original name: Panski), Gary Pansey grew up with a non-practicing Jew for a father and a mildly observant Italian Catholic mother. He began studying yoga at age 14 in his native Rhode Island. A Brevard County resident for 10 years, his interests are broad: fiddle, violin, trumpet, jazz, classical, cosmology, physics, alternative medicine. He earned an engineering degree at Florida Tech, but plays Wall Street for a living.

"I've always been swept up in scientific explanations of the universe, explanations of matter, how it all started. Where did we come from?" he says. "But, as time went by, I guess you could say I got disenfranchised with science.

"In the beginning, all your great scientists - Copernicus, Newton, Descartes - were philosophers at the core. You should read these guys. They reinforce that the essence of science is to prove yourself wrong. Unfortunately, today, science is just as authoritarian as religion ever was, and if you challenge certain theoretical assumptions - the Big Bang, for instance, relativity - and you're with a major institution, they'll cut off government funding."

Spreading the word
Beginning with Qigong in 1996, Pansey began delving into a training regimen connecting wellness to a comprehension of the body's energy meridians. But not until his dream led him to Falun Gong - and the writings of Li Hongzhi - did Pansey discover what he feels was the missing complement: a behavior code.

"You don't tell a lie, you don't get angry, you go out of your way to help people, you thank them - these sound like very simple things, and they are," he said. "Science will never define good and evil, but there is a supernatural activity in the universe that mitigates evil. Good is rewarded with good, evil is rewarded with punishment, and these are physical laws that are as real as our knowledge of photons and orbiting electrons.

"On a practical level, I haven't gotten sick in four years. That's why exercising across the street from (Holmes Regional Medical Center) isn't an accident. I'd love to share this information with patients and doctors."

Spreading the word has been a busy but thankless task, so far. Pansey says he's sent fliers to all the churches, and has landed a few speaking gigs here and there.

In December, he achieved a symbolic coup by getting the city of Melbourne to proclaim a Falun Gong Week, which, according to the statement, "encourage(d) citizens to become aware of this ancient practice that studies the universal principles of truth, benevolence, and tolerance."

The tide of public awareness in America is rising. Last month, the first Falun Gong conference in Florida was staged in Orlando. Some 250 people showed up, according to organizer Chris Jasurek. Significantly, only 30 of them spoke Chinese only.

"That's important, because Falun Gong is viewed by Westerners as a Chinese thing. We say no, this is something universal," Jasurek says. "That's why I admire Gary tremendously for sticking it out over there in Brevard. He doesn't have a support group, but he's getting the word out."

Although Li Hongzhi isn't formally lobbying for the end of China's Communist Party, Jasurek wonders if Falun Gong will be the Party's last big blunder. Between the current crackdown and the "Tiananmen Papers" published in Foreign Affairs last month describing sharp leadership divisions over the bloody termination of the '89 student demonstrations, Jasurek is keeping his fingers crossed.

"We live in exciting times, in terms of history," Jasurek says. "Falun Gong is now a worldwide movement with local human faces. All we're saying is that it'll help anybody with an open mind be happier and healthier."

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Postby Alan K » Wed Feb 21, 2001 9:46 pm

Excelent presentation Lori:

I attended the Chinese New Year festivities in Boston on the Sunday of the Chinese New Year.

My girlfriend and I watched the ceremonies, speeches and the many competing Lion Dances performed in the streets. Red envelope prizes were awarded to the best perorming teams.

It was interesting to note that this year there were changes in the format and the Chinese Merchants Association did a great job this year by having much better organization and timing. This made for a better experience for the observing crowds of people.

Noted as usual in the performers of the Lion Dance, on banners and team jackets were the name of their Martial Arts Schools and the location of their kwoons and the names of their sifu.
As usual, the younger more flexible students manned the lion costumes.

I led my girl friend on a tour of China Town, and was showing her the permanent statuary of the lions (Foo dogs), when she commented, "Look across the Street, there is that cult you mentioned, the Falun Gong".

They were located at and behind a chain link fence, and their desciples were every where giving out news papers about the size of the Boston Herald (Tabloid size).

I took one of the papers and read it when I got home.

I won't dwell too much on the content other than it professed to be factual news releases in which they hyped their dedication to purity and all the sanctimonious attributes of their organization.

The introduction was entitled "The Full Lotus Position"

They went on to compare their training with words to the affect that what was offered in Tai Chi or Qi Qong, and argued that their training by persons only partially involved, both students and teachers, could not compare with the dedication, purity and attainment of higher levels could not begin to compare, with Falun Gong because the other methods were not as deeply committed and organized, and could not compare with Falun Gong life style training.

Hidden in those comparisons was obvious to the inititated that in order to obtain the highest forms of purity offered was the urgent message that you too would have to do as they do and make this your life. In fact they said this directly.

A list of persons in the Boston and New England area were printed in this paper.

If you want pure harmony and consciousness at their level, you need to join.

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Postby kusanku » Thu Feb 22, 2001 3:55 am

'Cultist?" (FaLun Gong.)

What do you think?:-)

I paid my money and learned karate and now its My karate.I paid my money and learend Tai Ji and now its My Taiji.

But Fa Lun Gong, you gotta join or you can't reach the level of purity?

Who says that?

Answer that question and spot the Cult leader.

How would anyone be able to say that for instance, a Chrisitan who was not baptized in a certain rite could never get to heaven?

Many do, but the leaders agree that you can't say that.

Pretty much same with other actual Religions.The bsest scholars and theologians provide for the possibillity that God does whatever God wants to do, and is not limited by human understandings.

Belief and faith, actions based on both, cannot be measured-by us.

So chigong, deep breathing excercises, good for you? Sure!More efficient blood oxygenation, better respiration, circulation, no problem.

But can't reach a level of purity unless you join a certain group, nonsense.

Purity of what?

If the excercises are freely taught, then one should be able to progress to the level of whatever is possible, on ones own after a certain point.It should be Your Falungong.

To say otherwise is a statement that cannot be proven, statistically, scientifically , or empirically.

It is a statement of blind faith with no foundation.

What is the claim of the falungong leader to infallibillity?a Revelation from God or the superego?The wizard of Id?Where is the proof of the superiority of this method over others?Where is the scientific backing?

Where the experiential proof?Ask one to do the double blind experiment.


What do You think?

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Postby Ian » Thu Feb 22, 2001 5:24 am

I'm not sure that other belief systems are all that more accomodating than FG. And let me stress that all that follows are things I've HEARD, and I am NOT endorsing any of them. Not much into the group belief thing myself but I've met (or read words of)adherents of the below groups who have said the below things:

Christians who think Jews are one prophet behind the times. And thus going to hell.

Muslims who think CHRISTIANS are one prophet behind the times. And who think God would be most impressed if they died in a suicidal terrorist attack.

Evangelicals who think Catholics are going to hell because they're not saved, or born again.

Catholics who think Evangelicals don't speak the language of God their rituals contain.

Jehovah's Witnesses who think that taking blood voluntarily has condemed many otherwise good people to hell.

Biblical literalists who date the earth at about 10K years and attribute fossils to mind games played by supernatural beings and doubt not a word in the text from Noah to Jonah to J.C.'s miracles.

Mormons who are converting all their dead ancestors from ANYTHING but mormonism to mormonism to save their souls.

AND Buddhists who haven't the foggiest what all the above are talking about.

And pretty much all of them are based on shared beliefs and faith. If not outright faith, then faith in specific texts, which many many others place no faith in. Or which many others have read and found totally different messages in. And a great many profess to have the only keys to the door to heaven. But none of them are going to be able to produce any "evidence" that they have the answers,but they're all established religions and not cults. True, some are more "manipulative" and dogmatic than others, but all fall on a continuum of belief and I find it hard to draw a bright line between them and FG. Can anyone else do it?
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