Thursday, August 19, 2010

Falun Gong - harmless exercise fanatics or weird cult

I'm sure you will have come across Falun Gong folks exercising in some public space or other. There's invariably a chap handing out leaflets with graphic pictures of their followers' persecution at the hand of Chinese authorities. They carefully craft a picture of being a religious grouping practicing their exercises and being all about compassion, tolerance, benevolence, and other nice things. Well, for better or worse, they're anything but tolerant or compassionate. Here's a couple of quotes I compiled using documents from their official website featuring the teaching of their 'Master', a bloke by the name of Li Hongzhi. I'm presenting these quotes here not to suggest that it is ok for the Chinese authorities to torture Falun Gong adherents, but to say that I agree with the authorities verdict that this is a dangerous cult. The cult is clearly racist and homophobic, not to forget outright crazy (see the 'Masters' blabber about aliens below). Think twice about supporting their campaigns.

This blog post is also available in Chinese translation here.


"Question: If people of mixed race practice cultivation, which paradise will they go to?

Teacher: As far as humans go, people of mixed race no longer have corresponding human races in heaven. If they’re cultivators, their outward appearances are no longer important and it all depends on the person’s Primordial Spirit (yuanshen). If his Primordial Spirit is of the white race, he’s white; if his Primordial Spirit is of the yellow race, he’s yellow; if his Primordial Spirit is of the black race, he’s black. It’s a different matter if he practices cultivation.
Make sure you have your kids learn Chinese; you can’t lose the characteristics of your yellow race. Since there’s no place for you in the Caucasian paradises, you still need to return to the paradises of the yellow race’s people."
"Question: Different races have different Heavenly Kingdoms. Why don’t black people from Africa have any?

Master: Black people, too, have the gods that created them. It’s just that they forgot them rather early."

Crazy and Racist:
"the way alien beings get human beings to shake free of the gods is to mix the races, causing human beings to become rootless people, just like the plant hybrids people make nowadays. South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans and some people in South East Asia—all of these races have been mixed. None of this can evade the gods’ eyes. Alien beings have made rather extensive preparations for overtaking human beings."

"Why was their civilization destroyed? Homosexual things have been found in the archeological artifacts and remains of ancient Greek civilization. The lifestyle at that time was very corrupt, degenerate, and extravagant."

"People now want to find a partner of the same sex. Gods think that people do that because they no longer have human values. You are wantonly indulging your thoughts. Your thoughts, like the ones I just mentioned, are not actually you. The mentality that makes you homosexual was driven by postnatally-formed bad things. But you yourself were numbed by them and went along with them and wallowed in the mud. You need to find yourself again and stop doing those filthy things. Gods view them as filthy. No matter whether a government permits it, the law of your government is not the truth of the universe. That’s because the law of a government is made by humans, and when humans make laws, they have the intention to rule and punish others, or they make laws against their conscience in order to protect things and gain power or votes. So they are not made with good intentions."

Adele Mercier did some digging of her own and requested I add a further heading:

Sexist and misogynistic 

"According to the theory of yin and yang, females should be gentle and not strong. Males are yang  and strong, while females are yin and gentle. When strength and gentleness are put together, it’s sure to be really harmonious. ... this society has degenerated, there’s been a reversal of yin and yang in modern times, and it’s most noticeable in China. Look at the athletes—women always win more medals, while men seldom win medals.  Why is it that yin is very strong and yang is very weak in everything? This factor is caused by the reversal of yin and yang. And then there’s the side-effect of advocating so-called women’s liberation. It is the degeneration of society’s morality that causes the changes in people’s hearts in society

"Question: In today’s society, the concept of equality between men and women prevails. As female disciples, how can we be gentle and tender while progressing diligently in cultivation?

Teacher: People are saying nowadays that women are becoming more and more liberal and their personalities are getting stronger. ... If in your daily life you’re like a gentle, true woman, your competence will let you have everything you deserve all the same. You don’t necessarily have to express yourself in tough and manly ways to obtain those things. In other words, if you’re a woman, you must act like one, and be kind and gentle. Only then can you gain respect and love from men. If you aren’t kind and gentle, men will be afraid of you when they see you.  I remember that in the West before the fifties, men were very gentlemanly, and they treated women with respect. And because women acted like women, men loved to help them, respect them, and care for them. At the same time, in a womanly way, women cherished their husbands. That was human behavior. Yet today you have corrupted it all.

In Asian society, women have become overly strong, causing the men to become like women.  If the way of the society becomes like this, will men still be able to walk around with confidence and self-respect? Will they have their manhood? Two people can’t be the head of one household, just as there can’t be two kings of the same mountain. There has to be one head of the household. 

It’s even more blatant in Western society ... The sense of a woman relying on her man when they’re married is simply nonexistent. I’m telling you, that is not how human beings should be! (Applause)"

" When a person becomes a Buddha through cultivation, he or she will have a male body. ... I don’t hold any prejudice against women. ... Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, if you have done bad things or done wrong in certain respects, you might reincarnate in a female body in your next life.... Perhaps women don’t easily generate large amounts of karma."


  1. I find this to be misrepresentative and misquoting the Falun Dafa. Words to this affect are also mentioned in the teachings: there are many men with female primordial spirits, and many women with male primordial spirits. So that in essence is what yin and yang is about, we are both male and female, some of us you see. So how could that be anything but equality for men and women! I am quite suprised that a professor could be so naive to put it mildly because many professors and academics study Falun Gong! I think it takes time to understand these teachings and to see their full breadth - read through everything because the teachings are vast.

  2. lol, nothing in your comment suggests a misrepresentation or misquotation. then you suggest that we (ie my colleague and i) are 'naive' because other professors and academics study the cult's rantings. i do note that your feeble attempt at addressing our concerns is to ignore anything at all cited w/ re to racism and homophobia. are you conceding those points?

  3. ps, having visited your site, i note that you're a employee of Falun Gong's propaganda outlet Epoch Times. Not exactly just an interested bystander, are we?



  4. I always find it interesting when the proponents of a religion or cult attempt to defend the oppressive teachings of their religions by saying that they are misunderstood or taken out of context. I read the blog post and also the materials from the website owned by the Falun Gong. I see no evidence of out of context quotation.. rather, the questions and answers are verbatim.. how is that out of context? what is missing here?
    The "teacher" makes appeals to heavens and Gods to make assertions that do not logically follow. There are circular references and stories that are completely inconsistent. Some of the sentences seem only to be a combination of strong and complex words that mean nothing. There is no profound lesson being missed here,, you may want to take specific points if you wish to defend them and show how they are being taken out of context. What does it mean for women to be subservient, gentle and quiet for them to be true to who they are or who they are supposed to be.. and please tell me what is wrong with stronger women? or by comparison, weaker men... what defines weakness in a man and what defines strength in a woman? if strength means that one cannot be oppressed, told what to do, or easily manipulated then can you not see why the notion of weak woman is so attractive? why a compassionate and gentle, caring man would be classified as weak?
    What is this about a separate heaven for all races? we are not sure about the existence of one heaven and here the teacher speaks of many heavens.. what kind of a God would create such distinction? I dont think i like that God very much... and why would God forget the black race.. please do enlighten us readers here how we are misunderstanding the teachings of this so-called religion. Just because words like "cultivation" of truthfulness, benevolence, and forbearance are being used does not mean that the teachings are consistent with attaining the said goals or that the teachings are consistent with these goals.
    The teachings of this particular cult are obviously dangerous.. they promote racial distinction not unity based on common humanity, they promote dispartiy between sexes offering privilige to one sex over the other and they are homophobic without reason and oppressive to those who are not yellow, male or straight.....
    I am sorry about the rant but inhumane teachings of religions bug me to no end... and unfortunately, I find that each religion promotes some version of the same racism, sexism and intolerance towards homosexual population... it is not taken out of context, it is being seen for what it is and the fear of hell or God is no longer a way to continue oppression of the vulnerable or marginalized populations... if the teachings were humane, it would be obvious.. there is no mistaking humanity.. just like there is no mistaking brutality...
    Would you like to be a "mixed" child in a world where religions like these reign? would you like to be a homosexual or a woman?

    1. It is true that most "modern" religions promote one and practice something else. But you should also be clear. Just because you feel it is right, doesn't make it so. even pedophiles, murderers and rapists have their own reasoning for each and every action and thought. It can never legitimize them.

      As for Gods and Heavens, different people have different beliefs, right? Let it be. Your concepts are different from others. So what?

      "they promote racial distinction not unity based on common humanity" But people from all races practice Falun Gong. Races are different. are you saying all are same? How? Now, saying one race is superior and the other is inferior is racism. But, we never said anything like that?

      "they promote disparity between sexes offering privilige to one sex over the other" That is untrue. Each person has his role in society. Just like seasons of nature. Just imagine if it was summer all year long. There has to be winter too, right? Its complimentary. Just like fluid and rigid, hot and cold, day and night. One is not better than the other. They have their particular functions and when they perform well together, there is harmony.

      "they are homophobic without reason and oppressive to those who are not yellow, male or straight" Kindly read my comment below.

      You're right. Inhumane teachings of religions should bug us all. Mixed children is a norm in our times. Falun Gong accepts that. But I think you didn't read that part yet.

      Being strong and gentle are not opposites.

      Why is it said that the teachings are taken out of context? Because you usually have to read texts in their whole - not in bits from here and there and base your discussion on that - that is why you're out of context. Now, I'm not saying go and read everything related to Falun Gong. I'm saying atleast read the first book - Falun Gong. Then, you'll understand what Falun Gong is. Why so many practice it and why they don't consider it to be a cult?

  5. AnonymousMay 19, 2011

    and you could say that christians love to see jesus suffering, because on most images, he is on a cross and bleeding.
    you could say you don´t believe in radio waves some decades ago.
    if you could thought that there have been cyclic changes in civilizations, from thousand of millions of years ago, there are many more posibilities.
    there are many strong concepts in todays culture, falun dafa. In order to explore this domain, humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking.

    if you just started to read "zhuan falun" instead of going directly to contend.

  6. The main theme of Falun Dafa for the curious people is essentially how to be a morally good person. If you’ve read the book, you would understand that Master Li was not referring to the today’s “modern” morality standards, but was referring to the moral standards that existed at the beginning of earth’s civilizations. The moral standards that the creators above had left for humans to abide by. (obviously, for this to sit well with people, they first have to take a moment, and at the very least humour the belief of creation, and not cling onto evolution)

    Throughout the book, and conferences that are documented on Falun Gong’s website, Master Li talks about the standards that human beings should be at. As Udo Schuklenk mentioned, he speaks of homosexuality as being a sin. What Udo Schuklenk did not mention was that Master Li also mentions prostitution, casual sex, premarital sex…essentially, sex outside of marriage being as equally sinful. In other words, Falun Dafa condemns any type of sexual activity outside of marriage and does not have an issue with ONLY homosexuals. Similar to one of the seven deadly sins: “Lust”. I see why it is extremely hard for most people in today’s society to be understanding of religions’ issue with lust. It is because in today’s society, the moral compass is based on how a person feels…their emotions. Anything that hurts a person’s feelings is always a bad thing. It’s hard to see it any other way because it is a fact that anything that hurts our feelings will always be perceived in a negative light. However, the purpose of Falun Dafa isn’t to make people feel better about themselves, it’s to give a guideline of what human morals should be, as intended by the creators of human beings. (again, you’d have to believe in creation in the first place to understand this)

  7. In regards to the racism, all Master Li mentioned was each race has corresponding creators. He never mentioned if one race was above another…ever. How is that racism? It’s like saying, there’s black oreo cookies, and vanilla oreo cookies, but they came from different machines. (both equally tasty btw…imo) I guess the comment about being “rootless” is the part where it hurts people’s feelings, but he did not say they were soulless people, only that their souls don’t correspond to the outlook appearance. He did not say mixed people are any less worthy than other people.

    It is said repeatedly in Falun Dafa, that bad deeds lead to karma and one must pay for it. Suffering and going through hardship is one way of paying off the karma. The last quote in the article is missing a section. The missing part is that some souls choose to reincarnate back as females for cultivation purposes. Another missing part is that he also Arhats will always have a male body, and bodhisattva will always have a female body, while a Buddha will have a male body. He mentioned that it’s just the way things are up in that realm and “gender” does not have the same meaning the human realm. My understanding of that last quote by Udo, is that if you do a lot of bad deeds, you come back as a female because let’s face it, females in the human world by default do suffer more when it comes to the pain department... (cramps…childbirth..?) It would make sense for a soul to want to come back as a female human if their goal is to cultivate.

    One point I would like to stress about Falun Dafa. The teachings indeed are compassionate and tolerant. It is mentioned many times in the teachings that strong emotions are detrimental to the cultivation process. Hatred is a strong emotion that a cultivator must not have. When others commit sins that are against human moral standards, cultivators are to still treat them with compassion as a person can still do whatever they choose to do, and cultivators are in no place to judge. They just believe that SOME being is judging and cultivators must not commit those sins. So you won’t see any Falun Dafa practitioners picketing with giant signs against anybody except the persecutions by the Chinese government. Isn't that tolerance? Knowing that people are free to do whatever they want, and the practitioners are not harbour any ill feelings towards them. Or is the tolerance you speak of more to the point of expecting the rules of the universe change for the human race because it makes them feel better? (if you believe in creation that is...)

  8. Falun Gong = Shen Yun = Lies

    I was ripped off by these cult like folks last year (more then $100 per ticket :( when I went to see Shen Yun, billed as a holiday dance show

    If I wanted to see a show about religion, I'd go to a Christmas pageant.

    They lie that this is a dance show and dont let anyone know this is actually all Falun Gong propaganda. I asked for a refund half way through the show from them & (of course) got the run around from them and zero back. Plus the dancing is pretty poor!

    Shame on the various performance centers for allowing their customers to be lied to.

    Shen Yun is all Falun Gong! And they're experts at pushing these weird untruths AROUND the world! No wonder, during the Shen Yun show they say: You won't see this show in China, lol

    I beg everyone not to encourage and fund these Shen Yun and Falun Gong scam artists, by allowing them to show in your country

    1. are totally all right.....

  9. I read the blog post and also the materials from the website owned by the Falun Gong. I see no evidence of out of context quotation.. rather, the questions and answers are verbatim.. Chiropractor Kansas City

  10. Hi

    Just my clarification so you can clear your misunderstanding

    I agree how u felt cheated on Shen Yun.

    But Shen Yun is not a propagation of falun dafa but is intented to touch people hearts about the magnificient dance that is almost divine. Because this dance is different as it's perform with perfection come just from ardous training but cultivation of human character to highest degree such as righteounesss, forbearace and benovelent heart. without a calm hear and also some magnificient divine being, this dance can never perform to the state of touching people hearts.

    It's intended to let you see a deeper self, to enlgihten to human purpose and to save life from mundane materialistic world.

    If you can free your self from prejudgment and notion of what this is about, i believe the feeling would be different on this show.

    All the best

    1. Have you been to the shenyun site? If yes, you wouldn't have said that.

    2. AnonymousJune 02, 2014

      People are cheated by Falun Gong. Shen Yun is Falun gong's propagada and money collector.

    3. FLG used religion to hate . slanders ccp news media newspaper on the streets with demonstrations fake torture banners.

    4. Falun Gong provoke hatred between America and China,there are no benefit from such cult...

  11. correction:
    intended - NOT intented

    forbearance - NOT forbearace

    calm heart - NOT calm hear

    come just not from ardous - NOT come just from ardous

    and falun dafa teaches people to become good person with better moral character.
    Falun dafa practice truthfulness, how can they lie and cheat...

    All the best

  12. lol, january 04, 2013 seems to be the day when Falun Gong agitprop folks respond to critical blog posts...

  13. Shen Yun is a propaganda of Falun Gong, not the show of Chinese historical arts. They advertise the show to promote the Chinese culture, in fact they lie and offend lots of people who do not know their religous purpose.

  14. The Chinese Communist Party always make Chinese Shows and they also send their dance group world wide but their shows are filled with Communist propaganda and hidden messages. Do you know how the dancers became dancers? Do you see the hidden message behind the scene? Have you heard there was a time an actress defected from China and she revealed that China always have spies everywhere? I guess most people don't care, they just see great performances and then they conclude that the Chinese Communist Party is good.

  15. "I agree with the authorities verdict that this is a dangerous cult." How? By saying that different races come from different heavens. Its never said one race is superior. How is it racist? How is it crazy? Because it doesn't conform to your pattern of thought or beliefs? So, should everything outside your mental frame or capability be classified as "crazy"?

    Mate, you have every right to call it whatever you want. That is freedom of thought, of belief. But seriously? I assume reason has not left you entirely. And hence, I make this appeal to that side of yours. Else, if reason has completely abandoned you, then, its okay, you go on and you'll be left.

    There are many thing beyond what we understand. You and I must first understand that we're ignorance.

    “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” Harlan Ellison

    A homophobe is a person who hates or fears homosexual people. Falun Gong practitioners don't hate anyone including homosexuals. (Disclosure: I practice Falun Gong). Falun Gong teaches one to return to one's true nature, assimilating to Truthfulness, Compassion and Toelrance. And that applies to homosexuals too. Just like all true religions, we only say that it is a bad tendency. Aren't we entitled to believe as such?

    Dude, where's the fun if everyone's the same? There must be freedom. There should also be uprightness (if thats a word), honour, kindness and respect.

    How is Falun Gong sexist? We're just saying that men are different from women. Thay have different roles that complement each other. One is not superior than the other.

    I'm from India. There's a reservation bill that gives 33% seats to women in the parliament. If women needs to be given this, this means that they're not capable of acquiring this on their own. That to me, is true sexism. When Victoria's Secret makes underwear lines called “Bright Young Things” featuring the words "Call Me" and "Feeling Lucky?" on them, that is sexist. That is the true denigration of feminity.

    And when Falun Gong says that women must be gentle, you say it is sexist? Think friend, how would you want your mother, sister or wife to be? Is it sexist/misogynistc for them to be gentle and caring?

    Our moral standards have decayed so much. Can you not realise that? Men are losing their manliness. There are so many blogs out there to revive this losing characteristic. Are they all sexist?

    Dude, we're not racist. There are practitioners, black, white, brown, yellow, men, women, children. We only practice the 3 principles I told you earlier. But, we have our beliefs. That is true we don't encourage drinking, smoking, casual sexual relations. But that does not make us dangerous.

  16. AnonymousMay 28, 2013


  17. Just because you slap a label on something (racist/homophobic) doesn't mean it's wrong, it simply shows that you've chosen not to even attempt to make a real argument against the substance and that you've taken a very shallow approach. When has any upright religion or moral authority condoned homosexuality? Regardless of what you believe (you're free to believe as you wish, fear not, I won't slap a label on your beliefs and by doing so render them invalid), Falun Dafa teaches that it is just one of many sins to be abandoned and that we should treat all people the same, regardless if they've committed this or that wrongdoing. That is not homophobia, which is fear and hatred of homosexuals. Therefore, even your label is not correct!


  19. Falun Dafa has helped me to quit drugs and lifted me out of deep depression and has never charged me a cent. When I first read Zhuan Falun I didn´t know understand or agree with many of the statements. To this day I still don´t understand some of statements of Li Hongzhi to this day, I have a close friend who is gay and I am not a homophobe. The core concepts of character cultivation Truth, Benevolence, and Tolerance have helped me to find peace and happiness. Before I always felt angry. I had looked everywhere for a solution to my depression and anxiety in social situations: brainwave entrainment cds, Holosync, Kundalini Yoga, psychiatrists, reading Nietzche, and neuorfeedback, Nothing seemed to help me get over the pain of childhood sexual abuse. The first time I read the book as yourself didn´t know or understand the book and it seemed strange and I discounted it. After learning to do the exercises correctly I seemed to feel quite energetic after reading the book, like being plugged in to a phone charger. Since this experience four years ago I have been sober for the past three years. I attribute it reading a little Zhuan Falun everyday and doing the exercises. It helps me to take things with a light heart and gives me peace when I am unhappy. I downloaded all of the materials for free. My wife doesn´t practice and nor do my children. That´s fine everyone has their own way that works best for them. Yes, most of the strangest quotes of Li Hongzhi have been compiled in this blog giving the impression of a crazed cult leader, Perhaps there is an agenda behind this blog. What of the other words in Zhuan Falun? My understanding is that Falun Gong encourages its practitioners to thank those who do them harm so that they may elevate their moral standard and cultivate tolerance. Thank you sir. For me the experience has been positive and free of charge. Christopher Granada Spain



  22. It's absolutely true that Shen Yun is Falun Gong propaganda: it's like watching the Chinese version of Billy Graham's Crusades. The show consists of 80% "authentic" Chinese dancing and 20% Falun Gong propaganda. The problem is that the dancing isn't really authentic (I have a degree in anthropology that was heavy on East Asian ethnocultural studies) and is essentially the same synchronized dancing with different costumes and digital scenes over and over again. Falun Gong are simply taking advantage of Americans' ignorance of China when they proclaim they are reviving 5,000 years of Chinese culture.

    As for the propaganda, the message is changed depending on what city they are in at the time. It can vary from simple victim hood at the hands of the Chinese government (which I can actually sympathize with a bit) to homosexuality and mixed races are wrong. All one has to do is read the 100+ reviews regarding Shen Yun on Yelp to see the veracity of this.

    What's more is that every dancer is trained at Falun Gong's Fei Tian Academy Of The Arts and only receives awards from the New Tang Dynasty Network, which is owned by guess who? That's right, Falun Gong. Just check out a Shen Yun program or their website to confirm what I'm saying. If this doesn't scream cult than I don't know what does.

    Cult: a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader (i.e. Li Hongzhi).

    1. Tiananman square self-immolation (False FIre ) was bs the flg members saying ccp spy self- immolate and Mrs liu was hit by a man in a overcoat in slow motion self -Immolator threw object not hit by spy that killed suicidal self- immolator .

  23. Replies
    1. Well, I can share from personal experience that Falun Gong is not a cult. The reason is that it teaches me to be morally upright and compassionate member of society. This is not to mention all the health benefits I got from practicing it.

      What made this more amazing was that I learn everything for free. I didn't even contribute a single cent to Falun Gong despite all the benefits I got. The cult label just don't fit.

      Trust me when I say that the Tiananmen square self-immolation allegation was pure bs. Falun Gong teaching absolutely forbid killing or suicide.You are free to check out Falun Gong literature on this matter. No Falun Gong practitioner will every do such a thing. Seriously, this episode is a classic textbook example of a smear campaign so commonly used by police states...

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