Friday, January 9, 2009

Falun Gong and the Epoch Times

Wonder how many of you read or know anything about the Falun Gong
Epoch Times is a newspaper publication by them.

Note that I am not a follower or as their members call a practitoner of this way of life. I just though it interesting to blog about them since I was led to read about them from a user's request.

Who are they?

Falun Gong (法輪功) is a spiritual discipline founded in China by Li Hongzhi (李洪志) in 1992.It has five sets of meditation exercises and seeks to develop practitioners' hearts and character according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance (真,善,忍), articulated in the main books Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun (轉法輪). The teachings deal with issues such as "cultivation of virtue and character", "moral standards for different levels", and "salvation of all sentient beings." The books, lectures, and exercise materials have been translated into over 40 languages and are available on the Internet free of charge.
In April 1999 over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered at Chinese Communist Party headquarters, Zhongnanhai, in a silent protest against beatings and arrests in Tianjin. Two months later the Chinese government, led by Jiang Zemin, banned the practice, began a crackdown, and started a "massive propaganda campaign." Since 1999, reports of torture, illegal imprisonment, beatings, forced labor, and psychiatric abuses have been widespread. 66% of all reported torture cases in China concern Falun Gong practitioners, who are also estimated to comprise at least half of China's labor camp population, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, and the US Department of State respectively.
I read about all the tortures on their website (http://www.clearwisdom.net/), and was pretty taken aback by the descriptions with pictures of all the tortures exacted on them. Well, real or not, I don't know but what I know is this group has a massive following of people.
In case you didn't know, they even had a run in with Singapore authorities too and hmm...not sure if they have been banned in Singapore. I guess not.
Source- wikipedia.

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