From Abracadabra to Zombies
reader comments: falun gong
26 Oct 2007
This feedback is out of concern for the Falun Gong section of the online Skeptics Dictionary.
You state that, "He also claims to have some 100 million followers worldwide."
Actually this number of 100 million comes from a Chinese government survey that was published in 1998. Falun Gong had been spreading since 1992 in China and was quite popular, so the government completed a survey which showed that 70 to 100 million people were practicing Falun Gong.
Secondly, Falun Gong mainly teaches moral principals, encouraging one to be a good person. It is basically a self-improvement practice. People from all walks practice it. I know Falun Gong practitioners who are successful businessmen, medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, and even professors and researchers in various Universities throughout North America. I even know of some who are eminent cancer researchers in respected Universities and another one who worked as a astronomer for NASA. I myself am a geophysicists, though I only have a bachelor's degree.
I point this out to emphasis that I think Falun Gong is absolutely not "anti-science, anti-medical establishment, and anti-materialism" as your website says. Furthermore, the practice emphasizes morality. As I understand it, part of being a good person is working at a job, doing it well and thereby fulfilling a part of your role in society. This is certainly different from what is on your page "members may not be very useful to society..."
Falun Gong is a spiritual practice. Although you have a section on your website dealing with Christian ultra-fundamentalism, you don't have one dealing with normal Christianity and you don't have one dealing with normal Judaism. Doesn't the Bible have much content that on the surface is very "anti-science, anti-medical establishment, and anti-materialism"?
When I read the Bible, if I don't believe in something there I just regarded it as something like a fairy tale and I imagine you do to. Since it too mainly talks about being a good person, why can't you do the same with the unbelievable parts of Falun Gong? The vast majority of people who practice do so to become better people, that is all.
There is 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China and for 8 years they have been brutally persecuted. There has even been allegations of live organ harvesting that have been verified by several independent reports (http://organharvestinvestigation.net/).
Yet the whole time this large group of people have only ever resisted the persecution peacefully. I think they deserve commendation.
Yours is a skeptic's website after all and I think it can definitely provide a good service to society. You already have a section on ch'i kung, shouldn't that be enough? Do you really need to have a separate page critical of a specific group of people (who are just trying to improve themselves morally). These people are also right now undergoing a huge, vicious tribulation in China. Why not speak out for them instead? You have a section on Holocaust denial, where you talked about the viciousness of that persecution.
Please consider this email and feel free to email me back with any concerns.
Also please take 2 min and read the forward of this publication, Compassion Magazine. The foreword is written by a non-practitioner Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations, University
reply: Organ harvesting of Falun Gong members? That's a charge that should be investigated by the police. I'm not the police.