Tiny flying saucers and the murderous...

Tiny flying saucers and the murderous duck

Posted in the Falun Gong Forum

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#1 Sep 11, 2012
This is a cool-headed, valuable introduction to a spiritual movement that has achieved a certain amount of sympathy outside China on account of its persecution by the Communist Party. I'd never known much about Falun Gong; I'd only ever met one Chinese practitioner and he struck me as somewhat clueless but harmless enough. And an Australian friend with no China connections once got free tickets to a show in Chinatown and asked me along - the show turned out to be Shen Yun, Falun Gong's travelling spectacular. It was such painfully bad entertainment that we left at interval to go eat dumplings instead.

This book has opened the strange cultish world of Falun Gong's beliefs to me for the first time. I admit that as a fiction writer I am attracted to its leader's concept of flying saucers that grow bigger and smaller according to which dimension they're flying in and the idea that people with gills populate the sea bed; also as a novelist, I much admire the way in which a child practitioner called Shanshan supposedly warded off a murderous giant duck with a beam of violet light that caused it to explode. Why didn't I think of that?

On the other hand, I was less impressed to learn of the movement's inherent racism (it believes in a kind of afterlife apartheid where people of different colour have different heavens); its virulent homophobia (according to the cult's leader,'the irrationality of our times is reflected in the filthy psychological abnormality that is repulsive homosexuality'); its vengeful intolerance of any criticism or scientific scrutiny; its violent antipathy towards the mentally ill (banned from the movement, though it's hard to think how that would work under the circumstances); and its lack of compassion or humanity towards those with physical disabilities - the teachings cite the fact that 'blind and handicapped singers with hoarse voices andÂ… repulsive looks become stars' as sign of contemporary society's moral decay alongside the 'wild smearings' of modern art.

Penny does a great job of describing how the movement arose and the history of its conflict with the Chinese Communist Party. If you're interested in the subject, this academic but approachable study is a must-read.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Falun Gong Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Falun Gong practitioners want your helpThe grou... Aug '16 Adam 1
News Confucius Classrooms: Chinese government agency... May '16 Dutch expat 1
News Miss World Canada says visa to China delayed be... (Nov '15) Feb '16 NYPD 6
News Lynnwood woman relishes freedom of religion ban... (Oct '15) Jan '16 Lindsay Killed Elise 2
Shen Yun show: The Worst show in my life (Jan '13) Dec '15 pgh 2
News The Case of Wang Yu, Emblem of China's Human Ri... (Sep '15) Sep '15 Kai 2
Why falun gong works to heal disease and injuries (Mar '13) Sep '15 Kai 7
More from around the web