Falun Gong persecuted religion or cult?

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I'mglib
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Falun Gong persecuted religion or cult?

Post by I'mglib » Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:41 pm

This is sort of a side topic, but reminds me somewhat of how Scientology portrayed itself as a persecuted religion in Germany (and elsewhere).

The Falun Gong group in China has similarly portrayed itself as a persecuted religion in China. Now, China is a repressive government, where people are jailed for their writings or beliefs--so is this just another case?

I got to thinking about it because in my town there have been a bunch of posters popping up advertising the Shen Yun show, which is produced by Falun Gong. The people (I've only seen women) going around pushing the posters on shop keepers got me suspicious. I had no idea the show also had an agenda (to expose the alleged persecution) but the behavior and just weirdness of the women got me wondering.

So I googled it.

At first I thought, eh, just a religion, maybe a little weird. But the more I read, the weirder it seemed.

Among other things, they are strongly anti homosexual, and anti mixed race people. They also don't believe in modern medicine (much like Christian Scientists) and promote traditional Chinese medicine. The have a charismatic leader who started the religion in 1993.

Anyway, the whole Shen Yun show seemed weird to me, too. Why so much advertising? It's everywhere.

So I googled it.

If you read the Yelp reviews, the show is awful, and many people complained about it being shear propaganda. Plus the tickets are in the $200 range, so it's basically a fundraiser.

Creepiest of all, one yelper said he was contacted by the group, who wanted him to reconsider his one star review. He also said that when he and his wife left the show before intermission, several people stopped them and asked why they were leaving. Weird.

I think there are definitely some similarities here to Scientology.
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Wieber
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Re: Falun Gong persecuted religion or cult?

Post by Wieber » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:43 pm

I'mglib wrote:This is sort of a side topic, but reminds me somewhat of how Scientology portrayed itself as a persecuted religion in Germany (and elsewhere).

The Falun Gong group in China has similarly portrayed itself as a persecuted religion in China. Now, China is a repressive government, where people are jailed for their writings or beliefs--so is this just another case?

I got to thinking about it because in my town there have been a bunch of posters popping up advertising the Shen Yun show, which is produced by Falun Gong. The people (I've only seen women) going around pushing the posters on shop keepers got me suspicious. I had no idea the show also had an agenda (to expose the alleged persecution) but the behavior and just weirdness of the women got me wondering.

So I googled it.

At first I thought, eh, just a religion, maybe a little weird. But the more I read, the weirder it seemed.

Among other things, they are strongly anti homosexual, and anti mixed race people. They also don't believe in modern medicine (much like Christian Scientists) and promote traditional Chinese medicine. The have a charismatic leader who started the religion in 1993.

Anyway, the whole Shen Yun show seemed weird to me, too. Why so much advertising? It's everywhere.

So I googled it.

If you read the Yelp reviews, the show is awful, and many people complained about it being shear propaganda. Plus the tickets are in the $200 range, so it's basically a fundraiser.

Creepiest of all, one yelper said he was contacted by the group, who wanted him to reconsider his one star review. He also said that when he and his wife left the show before intermission, several people stopped them and asked why they were leaving. Weird.

I think there are definitely some similarities here to Scientology.
I highlighted the cult red flags in your post in red.
“Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.”
Doris Lessing

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Demented Founder
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Re: Falun Gong persecuted religion or cult?

Post by Demented Founder » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:43 pm

There are several criteria that a group must meet in order to be classified as a cult, I posted these criteria at the threads some time ago, both at OCMB and ESMB; these criteria were developed by the psychologists (unfortunately, I do not remember the titles of those threads).

Being anti-gay and racist is not a part of the criteria list. Scientology meets almost all of the criteria except for this one -- Sea Org members are not on a specific diet, although occasionally they are punished with rice and beans.

I do not know if Falun Gong meet these criteria, so I cannot classify it.
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Don Carlo
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Re: Falun Gong persecuted religion or cult?

Post by Don Carlo » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:05 pm

It's likely they are both persecuted, and a cult.

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