For the past ten or so years my parents have been heavily involved with the Falun Gong/Dafa sect which gained massive popularity both in and out of China. Since that time I have seen my parents spend thousands of dollars on airline tickets going to conferences, a rejection of modern medicine in accordance with their beliefs, an anti-atheistic belief and a retreat into dogma on various occasions. Because their holy (I hate that word) book was written within the last twenty or so years (possibly even more recent) the author has been able to warp aspects of quantum physics so to make the book appear as though it has depth. Also because the author is still alive he can counter any arguments brought against the book. Some of these beliefs are for lack of a better word just plain wacky

Here is what they believe

*Belief that alien technology is used in computers and can warp people stopping them from taking up the faith. Falun Gong believers are of course protected from alien brainwashing

* Illness is caused by karma and if you use modern medicine it pushes the illnesses into another dimension and it will come back in another form. Only by following their book and doing their meditative exercises can you live an illness free life. If you do get sick that is just small amounts of karma coming to the surface. If you are seriously ill you should not take up the faith because your reason for joining will be to be cured and that is not a genuine reason.

*attachments are evil

*Films and video games featuring demonic themes ie Buffy TVS and Anne Rice novels are evil and warp people

*Inter-racial marriages

*Anti-homosexuality

*A rejection of inter-racial marriages (In my case this was very difficult for me to accept because their marriage is an inter-racial one)

If anyone has anything else to add or advice on how best to deprogram please let me know. I certainly don't condone China's approach to Falun Gong but that doesn't mean this sect isn't harmful.

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This is interesting, I had never heard this side of the Falun Gong before. My only awareness was of their horrible mistreatment by the Chinese government.
Clear Wisdom is a Falun Gong website so that will almost certainly be based outside of China, probably in the U.S I would imagine. RickRoss may be a nutter but I suspect most of what he says about Falun Gong is valid. The funny thing about faiths is that people can see the holes in those belonging to other people, but not in their own.
Here is a, preety good - in my opinion, study about Falun Gong in US by NOAH PORTER from "Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida"
http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/SFE0000113
I've found it some time ago, and thought you might consider it worthwhile.
cheers, I skimmed over it briefly and will probably read it more closely later on.
I was dragged to that show with my wife, my sister and one of her friends as a birthday present for my mother. My mother is involved with promoting the show each year and every year I have to hear about how the show is so much better than the year before. I wouldn't say that there is anything wrong in terms of talent in regards to the show, it's just not anything that remotely appeals to me. As mentioned above, it's just a sly way of trying to trick people into going to a show that is intended to convert people in much the same way as their newspaper Epoch times. My sister gets dragged back to the show each year as she is on closer terms with my parents but I've refused ever since.
Wow, I know a couple of Falun Gong ians and they were nothing like that, they were the least theist of the Asian «religions» that I've met. They don't meditate, don't travel for FG, don't spend any money on it. Their kids are raised without TV but with wii... They are very anti-authoritarian and anti-imperialist, sporty, and very laid back with other people's life choices. I've considered them my least annoying theists... if they can be called such.
Justin,

I have been researching this group ever since I saw a bunch of policemen beat up an old women holding a sign that read Falun Gong-Truth, Compassion and Tolerance while at Tianamen Square in Beijing, 2000.

I have interviewed about 100 "Falun Gong practitioners" and read the entirey of their main texts Zhuan Falun and Falun Gong, as well read scholarly books on the matter by ownby and schetcher. As well as the documents presented about them being Organ Harvested by China's government. The Matas and Kilgoure report on allegation of organ harvesting.

Through my research over the past 10 years, I will tell you that almost every single characterization from your perceptions and especially rick ross who is funded and paid by the Chinese Government to be either taking sentences out of context, misuderstanding or in rick ross's case a blatant lie backed up by Chinese Government funding. Rick Ross cannot be taken as a seroius scholar, for he is being funded and paid my the Chinese Government to demonize and run propoganda about Falun Gong.

The things you brought from what I have read, do not even acount for 1% of their teachings.
1. From my perceptions, their view of homosexuality is a Buddhist one which believes it is not naural, however thieir views are for themselves and are not be forced or imposed on others, like religions do. They blelieve in tolerance, and that included not liking or agreeing with other view points or outlooks on life, but having the compassion or forberance to respect and tolerate other people's wished, and simply keep their thougths to themselves and have freedom like you and I .

2. Interacial Marriage, the founder was making a historical observation of the cultures and races mixing thousdands of years back, Mongol invasions, Spanish Conquest's, etc. One of his main points was if you have a set of beliefs, as in a culture or nation does, if your system of thought mixes with anothers, that orginal thinking, or culture will become something dffierent or new, in turn the previous culture would be no more. You did say your parents are a mixed race couple practicing Falun Gong, and I have met plenty of mixed race Falun Gong practitioners in my studies. It was taking out of context. They have no problem mixing, in fact within their belief system they believe in reincarnation of the sprit, in one life one is Chinese, another a Russian, another an African, Indian, or is spit into the universe as a particle pending on the degree was wisdom, enlightement or liberation of attains before they get old and expire. So again they are bing misrepresented and taken out of context.

3. Illness- In the book Zhuan Falun, it specifically states if you are sick, go to the hospital immediately. Falun Gong is a Qi Gong practice, similar to Tai Chi, Yoga, or the theory's present in Acupuncture. Science has verified that meditation, relaxation exercises, can enhance or alter a person health, as well as their brain function for the better. Reduction of stress from meditation can promote better heath. So it is an alternative to regular medicine. But the Book does say that if you have cancer or are really sick go to the doctor immediately.

4. Quantim Physics in Falun Gong. Actually texts writtin in the Sutra's 2000 years ago which were inspired by the Buddha in 500BCE and text from the Tao te Jing written by Lao Zi 2500 years ago are now being studied for their references to the universe, different dimensions and theories relating to quantim physics. Falun Gong's writing's are more detailed indeed, but they are not some new age thing, references in Buddhism and Falun Gong's Buddhist theory's are compatibe with things you see on discover channel regarding the universe, or new theories being developed in Quantim Physics.

Finally, you put up the cult question, I find it grossly misrepresented and strange. You said your parents fly down for conferences, and things. From my research any conferences they have annually is free of charge. In terms of the practice itself, it consists of 5 exercises/meditations, and 2 main books which are free of charge and can be downloaded from their web site falundafa.org. There is no membership, no temple, and from my research, the practice is a self reflective practice grounded in Buddhist thought with some exercieses and a way of life that can be practiced individually. Ofcourse there is beilef in reincarnation and karma if one harms other people, and their goal in life is enlightenment or liberation.
But to compare it with religious organizations, or worse cults is totally off and not based on their litarature. In fact, in their litarature it specifically states suicide is bad, and only cult religions ingage in such barbarism, etc. It also states that one should be a good member to society, family, or place of work. At it warns not to take the Buddhist concepts to an extreme like religions do. I say so what your parents are into it, this is a free country, if they want to believe that if they practice meditation in Falun Gong and adhere to its principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, they can ascent to higher level of consciousness through enlightenment, let them be. You have your interests and so do they.

Anyway, I just wanted comment on your perceptions on the Falun Gong. For there is too much negative propoganda about them, escecially from Chinese 50centers, who are Chinese Government paid bloggers who get paid 25 or 50 cents for each blog they put up saying that its evil, and Falun Gong should be persecuted, organ harvested, etc. It's just sick. Just last month congress passed a bill 412-1 recognizing the persecution, organ harvesting and negative propoganda about Falun Gong stem from China through their resources worldwide. There are about a quarter million of Falun Gong people in Concentration camps, not right.

One more thing, their meaning by attachment means to not be emotionally attached to something because it causes stress, and prevents being rational, instead they try to have a different type of thinking that is rooted in being calm, level headed and stabe. In their text's I have not found anything that say's attachement's are evil as you quoated, it just says attachments and emotional baggage in laymen terms does not allow one to become tranquil and reach a higher level of concsiousness or peace. Anyway, this is all my understanding from my 500+ hours of research. My Bachelors and Masters work revolved around it as well.

Best Regards,
Rust Goft

http://www.examiner.com/x-31575-DC-Human-Rights-Examiner~y2010m3d18...
Representative-passes-Resolution-in-support-of-Falun-Gong

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr111-605
http://www.cja.org/downloads/Kilgour-Matas-organ-harvesting-rpt-Jul...
http://truthinchina.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/ccps-organ-harvesting-...
If they have "faith," then they have embraced a great evil and a great danger to the survival of our species.  Faith is as anti-human as poverty, cruelty, famine and pestilence.

Faith has played a huge role in the survival of humans! Through its organisational capacity for society! And anyone who has studied biology knows full well that famine and pestilence are very natural and normal parts of most life systems, whether it be forests or animals, including us. It is normal for populations to cycle. What is not normal is for one biological entity to grow and grow and to continuously obliterate all other life forms. Poverty is a direct consequence of our overpopulation, but overpopulation is required for the continued growth of our neoliberal economies which need a constant supply of cheap labour. Poverty is also not the cause of crime, what statistically correlates to criminal prevalence is inequality in society. It's not about how poor one is but how much poorer one is.

 

Just saying... It's great to criticise religion, but do it rationally!

I demur.  Believing strongly in something for which there is no evidence does not play a huge role in our survival.
You are wrong. Period. You are a victim/benefactor of information privilege. It is not shocking to see atheists bad at critical thinking, though, its a human trait and not a religious one.

depends on if it's a front for hackers invading as we speak... ?

more cults than you can shake a mcsodiums burger joint at!

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