af Sanal Edamaruku

Is Falun Gong a harmless crazy sect spreading meaningless spiritual gibberish and recommending slow motion exercises on which the repressive Chinese government cracks down brutally? Is the sort of pseudo-science it propagates tolerable nonsense only? The reports that appear in western media about the Falun Gong give the impression that the group is treated as a convenient political alternative fit to be promoted to tackle China and what China represents. For those who remember the days when progressive forces all over the world supported the movement of Ayatollah Khomeini against the repressive Shah of Iran, the present consensus of the west in its support of the Falun Gong movement is spine chilling. The outcome, if it finds its goals, may be disastrous in the history of human civilization.

Falun Gong has wider dimensions than the Jim Jones cult in Guyana, assorted bearded Indian gurus in the U S with fleets of Rolls Royce or the Texas based Branch Davidians. Falun Gong claims about 100 million followers worldwide. It discourages modern medical treatment or consultation with physicians. If the figures provided by the Chinese government are to be believed, more than 1500 people have already died unnecessarily as a result of spurning proper medical treatment. The claims of Falun Gong to win the gullible are amazing. Magical cures from recovery from advanced terminal cancer to deferring menopause are claimed and believed. There are reports that Falun believers have been coerced into slitting open their stomachs to look for the ‘wheel of law’.

Falun Gong gets its name from Fa Lun Da Fa, which is the precise name of the sect meaning "Law Wheel Big Way". The gullible falling in the trap of Falun Gong cut across several sections of Chinese population. The sect has long lunatic fringe and strange beliefs. The moon, for example, for the followers of Falun Gong, was constructed as an observation post for moon-making beings that live inside the moon closer to the back, and often fly out to watch earthings’ activities.

The leader of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, lives in New York. In 1992 Hongzhi developed a cosmic theory which reads like a fine blend of Book of Revelations and Star Wars. High level beings that represent the sinister are on one side. Dafa, the positive force is represented terrestrially by Hongzhi and his followers. Dafa has boundless inner meanings and has created everything at each level of the cosmos. Hongzhi periodically proclaims the imminence of the Consummation, an apocalypse that will cleanse the cosmos of vile forces and create a utopia for those who remain. He has also written about his ability to fly, powers of X-ray vision and other supernatural powers.

Falun Gong is much more than the crazy claims of a phony sect leader. Such movements can have more dangerous influence than one can imagine. China itself had the history of an apocalyptic cult taking millions of people for a ride. During the Qing dynasty in the 19 th century, Hong Xiuquan, a peasant, claimed that he was the younger brother of Jesus and gathered an army of god-worshipping faithful. The rebellion led by him swept northwards and established a base for its putative New Jerusalem in Nanjing. They remained in control from 1853 to 1864 until a combined force of Qing and foreign troops overthrew them. Till then, more than 20 million people had lost their lives through battle or starvation.

Despite the political differences with China, civilization demands that China be helped to handle the Falun Gong crisis. China too should understand that suppression, banning or brutality are not the ways to face the challenge of this dangerous sect. Scientific education and the promotion of scientific temper are the tools in this fight against spiritual craziness. China deserves the support of the progressive world in this endeavor. Falun Gong is a threat against common sense and the achievements of modern civilization.

Kilde: Para-nyt 2001 nr. 3
Fra: Rationalist International Bulletin # 50 (3 October, 2000)