Two important updates on these lawsuits are now available on the internet:
I wonder what the potential ramifications of these lawsuits are for Taiwan?
These federal suits are growing quite aggressive with the LA Consulate for China being served. The first class action suit served against the “610” office includes genocide charges and that is actually a war crime coming under the Laws of War.
Plus the New York Supreme Court has ordered local newspapers in Chinatown into state court to fully explain the press reporting patterns constituting unprotected speech and their religious slander in violation of the First Amendment. I wonder how the State Dept attorneys are handling this issue?
The founder of Falun Gong is very intelligent all I can say, with all the Western cults, and of course rising cults in Japan and Korea, finally someone found a way to start one in the billion population of Chinese. Of course we know religion is a good thing but not many enough realize it could also be used in a bad thing, such as fund-raising for one-self and influencing packs of individuals to rally for ones own cause. In fact isn’t this guy a noble peace prize winner and millionaire by now? Certainly they couldn’t be a “cult” or reckoned “evil” can they, since they are fighting for civil rights? Or are they? Makes you wonder when you send your own “flocks/children” to demonstrate which is considered illegal in China and knowning the punishments are prison, brutality and even death, just to strike up the media?
It is interesting how the cult terminology was adopted by Xinhua News and it was based upon the work of a Berkley professor. Does spiritual healing create a threat to society?
For example, not getting their children immunization shots and even legally claiming religious exemptions for such shots under state laws in the USA.
:?: I can think of other “cults” which are respected religions, and they have newspapers. Does the practice of spiritual healing make them a cult, especially if they perhaps don’t go to doctors?
The terminology of cults is hard to define, it’s just depends on the doubter or believer. In fact cults are religions too, but certainly not all religions are cults. Falun is not the first Chinese cult if considered one, there were quite a few pre-communism namely the most famous, “White Lotus” which was formed in 1883 and if you don’t believe they still exist today. Wang Xuemeng founded this “cult” and one thing he did to recruit observers was to perform HEALINGS. Now you seeing a similarity there? In fact, I bet you if you studied past religions and cults well enough you can start one yourself. You’d be a millionaire in no time, the Honohana Sanpogyo cult of Japan for example collected about 61 billion yen ($600 million) from approximately 300,000 members. And all they did was examine individuals feet, and told them that they would die of AIDS or cancer if they didn’t purchase religious education. False predictions are another great way to capture the hopeless bunches, I can name several false predictions the American religious founders of cult/religion, whichever you prefer, of Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses coughed up. Not to mention a similar incident happened in Taiwan I believe only a few years ago about UFO worshippers? It’s certainly funny to see how some of the most educated people in the world, Americans/Taiwanese/Japanese can fall for this and it also very frightening.
The Taipeing Rebellion was really a cult-political movement and the superstititious atheist CCP are paranoid about its reemergence. The Taipeing leader also claimed he was Jesus Christ and the rest is a history of bloodshed. For the next decade or so that ravished the Chinese in a social reaction to the Opium War. Perhaps the turmoil was imposing the future shock of the industrial revolution and British naval firepower on the agarian Chinese society, and the Taipings were symbolic of Chinese disillusioned by their newfound identity crisis from the West.
In a purely sociological hypothesis, I would even say there is a lot in common with the Taipeings cultish rebellion and today. The Falun Gong spiritual movement is an outgrowth of the rapid economic growth of the 1990’s in China, and the 250 million Chinese urban “middle class” are already becoming disillusioned with its materialism. The study of the Falun Gong websites shows a key difference on their more pacifist methods than the Japanese cults and Taipings. I’d say they are going to wage a war of attritution for the next decade that will wear down the CCP Leninist social-control systems. Of course, that is more of a passive operation of Toffler “Powershift” paradigms in lieu of Maoist revolution or Taiping Rebellion, and these powershifts are not of their own cultish making. As long as they preach and follow a civil right legal course of action, they’ll be relatively pacified and nonviolent.
Here is a very useful link for further academically defining the cult terminology. It really falls into three categories of anti-cult movements, including one for even labeling the Roman Catholics as “cults”. No wonder Li Hongzi calls themselves the “early Christians” of China before becoming the “state religion” of a Pagan Rome: religioustolerance.org/falungong.htm