Monday, January 08, 2007

Falun Gong Spectacular at the Opera House



When I started this blog about 18 months ago, one of my instant kinsman in terms of humor and sensibility was the anonymous author of a photoblog called "The Standing Room" (click here). His blog started off as an expose of the horrors of corrupt parking control officers in San Francisco whom the author had caught in the act of inventing tickets for unexpired parking meters. He mixed this subject with his other obsession, music, which he adores and knows more about than anybody I know in the world, and his tastes run from East to West, high culture to low. On Friday evening, the two of us went to one of the strangest evenings at the San Francisco Opera House imaginable, and a truncated version of the tale just appeared at the blog SFist (click here to get there). The full, uncut version, with brilliant commentary by M.C- is below. And he's also just posted it up at his own blog. Hurrah!



When we heard about the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Opera House this past weekend, we were absolutely certain we knew what to expect. In our tender youth, our parents dragged us to every Chinese cultural variety show that came through town—hell, we even performed in some of them! Chinese acrobats bent over backwards with giant porcelain vases balanced on their foreheads? Been there. Lithe ribbon-dancers with zither-strumming and pipa-plucking ladies as backup? Done that. Huge-headdressed Beijing opera singers twirling their long sleeves while a guy dressed as a monkey bounces around the stage eating a peach, accompanied by hella loud gongs and a blaring shawm? Yawn, so last 500 years.





But a computer-animated backdrop showing a angel flying down to Earth to rescue a dancer portraying a Falun Gong meditator being beaten senseless by Communist goons, together with a song proclaiming, "The Falun Gong is good!"?



OK, we admit it: that, we've never seen before.



It turns out that the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular, now in its fourth iteration and presented in close to 30 cities around the world, is utterly unlike any other Chinese performing arts event we ever expected to attend. The 2-hour program is co-sponsored by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), The Epoch Times, and the Sound of Hope radio network.



NTDTV is an "independent, nonprofit Chinese language TV broadcaster" that happens to have been founded by Falun Gong practitioners, but they go out of their way in their wording to avoid any official connection between NTDTV and Falun Gong. The Epoch Times is "the most widely distributed newspaper in the world, publishing in 40 cities across 28 countries worldwide, and in 8 languages," available for free with practically no advertisements—think about those economics for a moment—also claims no official connection with the Falun Gong but coincidentally happens to have been founded by Falun Gong practitioners. (We are reminded of the Epoch Times reporter who heckled Chinese president Hu Jintao's visit to the US last year.) The Sound of Hope radio network provides "listeners with news and programming that is both honest and objective" and is run by... you get the idea.



(The Falun Gong, for those who have somehow dodged the tens of thousands of flyer-distributing adherents around the globe, is a fast-growing spiritual movement that has been banned and brutally suppressed by the government of the People's Republic of China.)



Armed with this knowledge, which we only learned after the show, did we finally understand why vignette after vignette of the two-hour NTDTV Spectacular extolled the virtues of practicing Falun Gong, cursed the demonic evils of the Communist Chinese government, and promoted Truthfulness, Compassion, Patience—three pillars of Falun Gong thought.

Our hosts for the evening were a lovely young couple, a Caucasian man and an Asian woman, both of whom comfortably delivered intro patter in fluent English and Mandarin. We didn't catch the Asian MC's name, but we were interested to learn later that the gentleman, Leeshai Lemish, is a reporter for the Epoch Times and in 2001 was one of 35 Westerners to be arrested and beaten for meditating under a banner that said "Truthfulness, Compassion, Patience" in Tiananmen Square.



The grand majority of the dozens of performers were dancers whose style incorporated some gestures from traditional Chinese dance, but which was clearly based in Western ballet technique. They came from a number of schools and troupes, including the Fei Tian Dance School, which is "known for celebrating virtuous deeds [and] reverence for the divine" and the Lotus Perfoming Arts Troupe, which, coincidentally, is "committed to celebrating the values of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance."



The dances were generally choreographed for groups. Some were inspired by Tibet and Inner Mongolia (areas that, coincidentally, have also been infamously oppressed by the Communist Chinese government); others told narratives of various characters being rewarded for their embodiment of Traditional Chinese Values, namely, piety and faith in the "divine path."



Interestingly, SFMike pointed out that romantic love, which does feature prominently in plenty of traditional Chinese literature and theater, made not a single appearance on stage all evening. The only remotely sexy gesture was when one of the male dancers suddenly and bizarrely ripped off his shirt in front of his mother, who then tattooed four characters on his back as he gritted his teeth on a bloody rag.



Nearly all of the music was piped in over the sound system by a prerecorded orchestra with Western instrumentation, the exceptions being live performances by a 13-year-old harpist performing a work by the 19th-century Belgian composer Félix Godefroid, three singers with Western operatic vocal technique, and an accompanist performing on a traditional Chinese Steinway 9' grand piano. (To be fair, there was also one contemporary piece written and performed by an erhu player, with piano accompaniment.) No zithers, no wild Chinese percussion, and the only pipa to be seen was a non-functioning prop covered in glitter.



In fact, aside from the Falun Gong references, the unifying characteristic of all the evening's vignettes was the overwhelming preponderance of shiny baubles: one might add "Tiaras, Rhinestones, and Sequins" to the triumvirate of values. Stage fog was also used in abundance. Like little birds we were dazzled by all the small mirrors reflecting light at us, the shiny and brightly colored costumes in constant motion, and the smoke which often obscured the dancers' feet.



All of which led us to think, what an ironically apt metaphor for the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectular. Under the glossy surface and behind the marketing fog of an event touted only as a New Year celebration of traditional Chinese culture, we actually find a 2-hour sales pitch for the Falun Gong. Though none of the ads mention the Falun Gong, when we asked New York-based SFist Mom whether she had ever heard of the Spectacular, her immediate response was, "Oh yeah, the Falun Gong show." Turns out SFist Mom and SFist Dad have been to performances three of the past four years, each time with a complimentary ticket provied by a Falun Gong member. (They add that this December's show was the most explicitly Falun-Gong-centered.)



It should be noted, too, that the traditional Chinese culture promoted by this show is not necessarily one that is recognizable to most Chinese people; indeed, none of the songs performed—with the exception of the Kanding Love Song that MC Leeshai sang as a joke—were traditional Chinese songs that people would recognize. They were all contemporary songs written by Falun Gong practitioners. (As SFist Mom said about the show, "It's not 'culture'... but it sure is colorful!") The expression “traditional Chinese culture and values” in this context, it would seem, equates directly with Falun Gong spirituality. Somehow, it was disturbingly reminiscent of these Traditional American Values we've heard a lot about in recent years.



Honestly, if a movement has to lure in unsuspecting audience members via a duplicitous bait-and-switch marketing campaign, perhaps “Truthfulness” should be replaced with “Truthiness.” Likewise, we’d be surprised if the program advertisers (like the SF Opera, who took out a full-page color ad in the inside back cover) and all the politicos (like Barbara Boxer and Gov Arnold), whose letters of support appear at the front of the program, were aware that they were implicitly supporting the Falun Gong.



That said, if you're a big fan of sequins, be certain not to miss next year's Spectacular when it comes around—we swear to the high heavens you won't ever see anything quite like this again! Just go with the knowledge that the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular is not at all a traditional celebration of the Chinese New Year that reflects the experience of most Chinese people.

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Disclaimer: M. C— holds absolutely no affiliation with or admiration of the oppressive Communist government of the People’s Republic of China. Likewise, he has had no previous encounters with the Falun Gong.

For an official (non)statement by NTDTV on the relationship of the show to the Falun Gong. click here.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great pics. Why does it remind me of the Cockettes?

sfmike said...

Dear Willie: By gosh, you're right, although with all the dull, languid faux Western dance throughout the evening, it was more like the Cockettes' later incarnation, the Angels of Light.

Like most Western religions that demonize homosexuals, this theatrical arm of the Falun Gong certainly seemed to have a heavy-duty gay closet case component. It just added to the utter surrealism.

Anonymous said...

One of the characteristics of cults is deception. They lure people in with universally respected values like truthfulness and compassion. Cults all have an exploitative and domineering leader, or leaders, who claim to possess special knowledge and some even superhuman capacities. The Falun Gong and its followers have never been honest with the public about the core teachings of the group. And its leader master Li Hongzhi demands absolute obedience from his followers. “Remember these words from Master,” Li urges, “however I handle something is righteous, and those who are dealt with are always wrong. The reason is, that's the choice of the cosmos, the choice of the future.”

The Falun Gong has been called a cult by American cult experts. Dr. Margaret Singer, the pioneer of cultic studies included the Falun Gong in her famous Cults In Our Midst(page 352): “Personally, I have no doubt that Falun Gong has many of the characteristics of a true cult, including utter obedience to a charismatic leader, coercive thought control, financial exploitation of its followers, a doomsday prediction that promises salvation only through total obedience and subservience to the cult leader, zero tolerance for dissent, and a very strict organization from which it is difficult to escape.”
Many Americans have implicitly supported this cult because of its ban in China. But very few Americans are aware of the true causes of its ban. To learn more about this cult and its ban you can go to http://exposingthefalungong.org/fguntoldstory01.html.

Falun Gong practitioners have been brainwashed and exploited by their master Li Hongzhi who lives a luxurious life somewhere in the U.S. You can help these people by informing them that the Falun Gong is a cult. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

A couple Angels were really cute. Please don't tell me they were trash.

Cross cultural psych eval is way tricky, but just because a group is from another culture doesn't mean they're NOT psychotic.

I love the third from last picture. The gal is dressed like nobility but she's performing the function of a microphone stand. Weird budget priorities!

Her pose,and her facial expression are those of someone holding a soiled diaper.

Anonymous said...

I think the show is great!

Anonymous said...

Interesting report, but for someone who has ¨had no previous encounters with the Falun Gong¨, Im amazed at how much ´research´ you were able to do on the show and the group to be able to post such an indepth article on the Monday after seeing the show just on the weekend...

Im also wondering where the photos came from, especially the screen grab with the lyrics on the background, they seem to have been taken professionally but there is no credit as to how and where you got them from...

Very interesting...

M. C- said...

to answer the commenter above:

Interesting report, but for someone who has ¨had no previous encounters with the Falun Gong¨, Im amazed at how much ´research´ you were able to do on the show and the group to be able to post such an indepth article on the Monday after seeing the show just on the weekend...

The show was on Friday night. This was posted on Monday night. There is a wealth of material on the Web about the Falun Gong, the PRC government's suppression of the Falun Gong, and the Falun Gong's use of "independent" media outlets to get their message out. It was possible to become acquainted with these issues in that time. I truly had no bias towards the Falun Gong, pro or con, prior to seeing this show.

Im also wondering where the photos came from, especially the screen grab with the lyrics on the background, they seem to have been taken professionally but there is no credit as to how and where you got them from...

You are visiting a photoblog by SFMike, where he posts his own photos. He took them the night of the performance himself.

An overseas Chinese said...

Nice photos.

I haven’t been to the show, but am finding your conclusion that it was not "culture" familiar to the Chinese obviously unreliable - the "mother inscribing on her son's back" scene you mentioned is unmistakingly the story of Yue Fei, a historical national hero who is a symbol both for piety and loyalty, he is well known to all those who knows a bit of Chinese history and traditional Chinese culture. Traditionally stories in play and drama or dance are always based on historical characters and historical stories, notably most popular ones like those from the “three kingdoms” or popular figures like Yue Fei and Mu Lan. Love stories are few, e.g. the butterfly lovers. If such a traditional story is expressed using dance technique from the west, it doesn’t make it “not Chinese culture”.

May be it was unfamiliar to non-Chinese background audiences because like you said, people did not see the common “China Town” “lion dance” style shows they expect.

It is a shame that history and real tradition are now also unfamiliar to some of the younger generation or overseas born Chinese who have no contacts to true traditional Chinese culture and history.

Anyway, your photos make me marvel and wish that I’d been to the show, I see there seems to be a mix fine Chinese and western items and harp is one of my most favorite western instrument.

About Falun Gong, I don’t believe a word from the Chinese official sources because the current authority sees it a “class enemy” to be “wiped out”. I fully understand from my own experiences that once something becomes a target in political campaigns waved by the mainland authority, the official media loses all its credibility as its job is to “manufacture charges” to support the official line. I’ve actually met Falun Gong in the university and the community, they are not different to Christians or Buddhists in that they have their own spiritual beliefs.

Anonymous said...

HI SFMike, Your statement

"It should be noted, too, that the traditional Chinese culture promoted by this show is not necessarily one that is recognizable to most Chinese people";

is correct because up for the last 57 years China has been infiltrated and run by a foreign entity called the communist regime which was imported from Russia.

So why would any living Chinese today have seen anything other than what the CCP has wanted you to see. Remember the cultural revolution tried to wipe out all history and reference to Buddha’s Dao’s and Gods as well as destroying the ancient culture which united Chinese people to the Heavens and Earth.The CCp continues today to rewrite history for the Chinese poeple.

So infact what you are seeing here at the Chinese New Year Spectacular is a contemporary performance yes but it has brought back the essence of what it means to be true Chinese not a communist.
PLease read below for more insight and I'm glad you enjoyed the show.


The Spectacular is A True Chinese Renaissance
In the middle of the 15th century, as the Ottoman Turkey Empire eliminated the Roman Empire, a large number of artists escaped eastern Rome to come to Italy. The Middle Ages soon ended, so did its integrative political and religious system. The magic of the ancient Greek culture swept Western Europe, leading to a culture Renaissance movement, in which painting, sculpting and music all began to experience a new development.

China’s situation bears some similarity to the eve of the Renaissance in Europe, in that the Chinese culture has actually been in a state of near death.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) embodies a fusion of politics and religion based on the evil doctrine of Marxism. With an atheist belief, this regime monopolizes not only China’s politics, economy, and military in the secular systems; it has also monopolized the rights of moral explanations.

No matter how dictatorial the churches in the Middle Ages were, they still allowed God to preside above the church. For the CP, however, “if you were a Christian, the CCP was the god of the Christian God. If you were a Buddhist, the CCP was the Master Buddha of the Master Buddha.” (Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party - Part III). Thus, the CCP’s fusion of politics and religion is more extreme, consequently the Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist cultural beliefs have been suppressed even more cruelly and completely by the CCP than the ancient Greek culture and the churches of the Middle Ages.

The renaissance of the Chinese culture also faces a deeper predicament than the western culture of the Middle Ages. Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist teachings are so profound that everyday people often find it difficult to understand the classic writings. Under these circumstances, true practitioners of these beliefs become necessary links in passing down the cultures. The CCP had destroyed the classics and persecuted the practitioners thereby creating an unbridgeable void between the modern Chinese and traditional Chinese culture.

The Classic Chinese culture was thrown into the abyss by the CCP.

There seemed to be no hope to revive the Chinese culture. The NTDTV took an uncharted path, by approaching the cultural revival and recreation from the perspective of beliefs. The depth and boldness of this act, which started a few years back, has deeply moved and inspired me.

The programs at the NTDTV show have been mostly created and performed by practitioners of Falun Gong .The ancient spiritual discipline of Falun Gong encompass the classic traditions of Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist beliefs, thus the cultural forms derived from it resound with ancient Chinese culture. The programs represent the creation of new cultural forms that comprehensively contain the divine spirit of authentic Chinese culture.

Anonymous said...

The Falun Gong is not "an ancient spiritual discipline" and it is very different from traditional Taosist and Buddhist beliefs. When Li Hongzhi created his Dafa in the early 1990's he borrowed many Buddhist terms, but gave them differenct meanings. And, yes, he did borrow from Chrisitanity. But instead of Li representing himself as a prophet or son of god, he represents himself as a god or main buddha. The Daffa, which Li says created all beings in the cosmos, is Li's Dafa. Li also says the cosmos would not exist without him and that he alone offers salvation to all sentient beings. None of these beliefs are accurate reflections of traditional Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

Falun Gong is an ancient Spiritual Discipline that encompasses the universal Buddha Law (which also includes the Buddhism from 2500 years ago). The teachings that the Buddha taught 2500 years ago do not teach the Buddha law, he only taught that method from that school which are precepts, Samadhi and wisdom. The Buddha from 2500 years ago left the precepts for people to enlighten to, but that cannot encompass the entire Buddha law. There are thousands of cultivation ways in the Buddha School (which also includes Christianity) and in the Dao School too but that does not mean that the Buddha from 2500 years ago taught those ways and even he sadi there were 84,000 cultivation ways in the Buddha school. That Buddha just taught his way which is one of many

Anonymous said...

OK. Everything the blogger said I felt when I saw the performance at GWU Lisner auditorium. He perfectly expresses the disbelief at having been snookered into an evening with Falun Gong enthusiasts. It is BLATANTLY false advertising and the show's MAJORITY is Falun Gong propaganda. I just want my money back. I didn't ask to support a cause that is not my own. They should put the Falun Gong slogan on the posters- ANYTHING to warn ticket buyers that there is some elements of Falun Gong folklore. I am just livid.

Anonymous said...

OH and another thing...

OUR PARENTS were also thrown out of China, so don't give me the "Chinatown Lion Dancing" is actually communist propaganda line. That is total crap. The Chinese culture in this country is reflective of several amalgamations of folk dances predating Mao's regime.

Sarah Mager said...

My elderly parents went to see the show in L.A. They had a wonderful time and said that it was the best show they have ever been to.

My mom particularly loved the scene about the Tiananmen Square. She said that it showed traditional value of goodness. She said that the theater was wonderful and the night was magical and could not stop talking about it.

They said it was worth driving the 3 hour trip.

I will definately take my husband to see the show myself.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous blogger who posted at 6:15

"Many Americans have implicitly supported this cult because of its ban in China. But very few Americans are aware of the true causes of its ban."

Clearly you have not experienced the Cultural Revolution. Tens and millions of history (paintings, scriptures, statues, and hope was destroyed that very day)

For what? So Mao and Maoist followers can suppress his own people. Intelligent people were sentenced to farm lands under the baking sun. Uneducated ones were placed in power. WHY?

Smart ones will detest. Uneducated one will blindly believe and fight till death. If you were a dictator which one would you pick?

I lost my granddad father during the cultural revolutions. I know lots of people who lost loved ones (mothers, babies, and twin brothers) to the brutal persecution that you confidently utter "cult".

You state that followers of this group falun gong are liars and pretenders. Yet those who follow in the name of the lord will walk into that holy temple and walk out of it a corrupt and sinful person. A person that will curse, engage in premature sex, fight to maintain ones benefits, and will harm someone to get their way.

Do they falsely believe? They know what the Ten Commandments are. But yet why do they still behave in such a way?

If there are such people out there in this rapidly deteriating word that follows truthfulness, compassion and forberance can they be a cult? Is it wrong to be a good person? Don't we need GOOD people?

If you calculate how many followers Mister Li has over 1 million + and if everyone donated 1 dollar. What does that make him? He can ask for 1,000 from every follower (1,000 * 1 million) what is that?

Mister Li does not need the money nore does he ask for it. He came here to spread these simply yet powerful three words. Be a truthful person. Have compassion with everyone. Tolerate everything any anything.

I'm not here to change your mentality 360 but you should really look at the other side of the story. These is the truth and there is the propaganda. You can believe in god and then there is the devil.

We all know the saying "good things happen to good people" ..."Pay back is a $%#%"...

Have you ever truly met a falun gong practitioner?

Anonymous said...

After seeing all these photos, I really question how could some people come up with such a strange conclusion. Probably they already hate Falun Gong so much which caused their prejudice. There are plenty of shows and concerts with Christian or Buddism content. At least they are much better than those shows made by Chinese goverment full of propaganda to praise Chinese Communist Party and distort traditional Chinese culture.

I took my kids and parents to the show in Los Angeles. It was a great experience. Our whole family loved it and we would definitely watch it again next year. Some of our friends also watched it and felt the show was fantastic.

The persecution towards Falun Gong in China is brutal. I am very sympathetic towards that and appreciate that they can make such a great show under such difficult situation.

Anonymous said...

I was in SF for my cousin's birthday and she took our entire family to see the show. It was AWESOME! The dances were very well choreographed and the performers were gorgeous.

The writer must not know much about music, because music isn't about how many "wild chinese percussions" and pipas you throw in there, it is
the essence, the rythm, the harmony behind it that makes it gorgeous. You can have 200 percussion instruments and pipas and still sound like absolute crap. It's not the quantity that counts, it's the quality. Take the Empire Brass quintet for example, five people, beautiful playing.

Also, the orchestral music over the speakers isn't just made of western instrument. Listen carefully, and you can detect erhus, pipas, zithers and chinese flutes. Those instruments are combined with violins, violas, harps, and the other gool ol' symphonic instruments. A very unique blend.

As for who's running the show, it doesn't matter. It's the show itself that matters.

I wouldn't be suprised if this reviewer started attacking another performance for having Christian, Hindu, or Muslim performers.

THis review is unbelievably biased.

Anonymous said...

wtf? you people snuck a camera in, bought expensive semi front row tickets, went out and found a epoch times newspaper bin, all for this,,,? uh.. can you say ulterior motive?
now, i don't know what falun gong is, an i'm going to check it out, but attacking people is just wrong man

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice that SFMike's first comment resembles what his face, Thomas Brown of Falun Gong bashing fame. Both of them grips onto homosexual issues and refuses to let go and uses it to discredit Falun Gong... Very interesting indeed.

I wonder if Brown's partner, Sam Lou is around anywhere...

Anonymous said...

Nice photos.

I happen went to SF show with my friends. Yeah, this is so different from all I had seen. They are really really professional. I have been to quite a few Chinese events in America, frankly speaking, I am not quite enjoy the cheap street lion dancing and entry level kongfu.

As to music, I like the idea to use professional instruments, even western ones to describe Chinese cultural. There are dozen of violin concertos on Chinese legend that are really good.

Ling said...

I am glad I finally found an honest review of this show. The promoters of the so-called Chinese New Year Spectacular are also not bad at clogging google search results for the show and its respective reviews. Very few reviews of the show are actually written by objective reviewers like yourself.

My cousin got the two of us free tickets to the show and we expected to see some authentic Chinese culture. However, several acts into the show it became obvious this was going ot be nothing but propaganda. When they did that song with the lyrics "Falun Gong is Good" and some bullshit about Tianmen Square we got up and left. I really don't care if the show was free... it was the most offensive show I ever saw in my life and I hope their underhanded tactics are exposed to the mainstream. Absolutely ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, even Buddhist association said they want nothing to do with that stupid cult.

Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the most BS crap I have ever been to. First of all I would like to say I am not in agreement with the policy of communist chinese govenment. But I felt the way this show is presented is the biggest propaganda I have ever seen/heard. As I recall the 3 pillars of their believe is truth, compassion and tolerance. Right, how come I am being lied to about this show? Not one word on any poster have I read it is related to Falun Gong. I have been tricked of my time and money. If the 3 pillar is the basis of their believes...they must worship me. Why? read on.
-Thru the whole show I was telling my wife...this show sucks. People don't even dance right. This is "truth"
-Not once did I yell out to get my money back (but did have the urge to) "compassion"
-I actually sat thru the whole show, and tolerated all the non sense of it (Tolerance)

Anonymous said...

I attended the "Chinese Spectacular" in Calgary on May 14, 2007, and I tend to agree with the review. While I think it is important that the world be informed of the atocities committed by the CCP on members of the Falun Gong, I feel that I was cheated into watching Falun Gong propaganda under the guise of "historical authentic Chinese culture". I went expecting a show demonstrating traditional Chinese song and dance and instead sat through two hours of what was mostly blatent propaganda. I mean what does an operatic singer singing a song with lyrics like "Falun Dafa Hao" have to do with ancient Chinese culture? I feel that pretty much everyone in the theater was tricked (whether they caught on or not) into believing that Falun Gong is an ancient religious practice. Although it is based on ancient teachings, it is a contemporary practice and should be presented as so. I feel that I was treated dishonestly by the very people who claim honesty as one of their chief virtues!

Anonymous said...

I am just so unhappy that being cheated into watching Falun Gong propaganda.

"Falun Dafa Hao"....What a stupid song.

Dear Father, please forgive them. They don't know what they are doing....

Emanuil said...

People, you are not right in calling Falun Gong a "cult".

Have a look at www.falundafa.org .Is there anything offensive? Is there something NOT in harmony with Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance?

Take a look at www.faluninfo.net if you want to learn about the persecution of practitioners. What is wrong with believing in goodness? What is wrong with trying to be good? Do you see any offensive words or vulgarisms against the Chinese government there?

Who is then a cult - Falun Gong, whose adherents are good people not just on paper and words, or a government with 55 years of a bloody history, AND STILL requiring blind faith in its politics!

Have you ever asked yourself why do people believe in Falun Gong so much, why don't they give it up, when beaten and tortured? Let me tell you - simple blind faith can't do that. They are very clearheaded and perfectly know what's right and what's wrong, they just don't want to do bad things.

The Chinese government does not people, healthy people, good people, whatever people. It needs communists. If you place some other principles BEFORE the communist ones => you're useless, at least that's what they think.

(For those who want arguments about the history of the Party, have a look at http://ninecommentaries.com/ . Yes, I know it's published by Epoch Times, but it DOES truly represent the history of this government. Regardlesss if the government likes it or not.)

oohooh ahh ahh said...

faluns, epoch are so well financed. many forces at play here. plus a percentage of practictioners income.

Heaven Star said...

Hi, People:

To the opposite of what some of you might feel after you learned that the show is pro-Falun Gong or some may be provided by Falun Gong practitioners, I feel so moved. My tears just cannot help rolling down when I watched the show. What I mean, ..., if this is kind of part of what Falun Gong practitioners respond to the persecution. Think about the terrible persecution they have suffered in communism regime ---...torture, organ harvesting on living practitioners, sexual abusing, no school for kids, no job, no lawyer, family implication, ..., sometimes I could not read through.....
What they reply is SO peaceful, SO graceful, SO patient, SO great, SO touching. I just cannot help my tears. Could people please understand such broad compassion?...

Falun Gong are the truly promoting the devine culture in China! Traditional Chinese culture is devine culture! Remember that the communism does not believe in devine things. Falun Gong is! So Falun Gong is definitely part of traditional Chinese culture! They did not lie!

Thanks. Happy New Year!

Brien said...

Come on...the "Spectacular" isn't even close to"traditional"!

Sorry but I have to say it is not professional either....People deserve to see something better for their money....

——How can we spend OUR money to watch an 2-hour ad ?! They should pay us instead :(

Heaven Star said...

It may be always hard to make one soup pleasing everyone's taste. To be fair, I tried to find some clips online and let's also see more audience responses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpSA93KV6SI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl8nZsfkyeY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejnrt0s5ZTY&NR=1

http://myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=26075054

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROxypaDl67c

Saki Kamoto said...

If they are not a “cult” then I would've expected them to market this event as a "fa lun gong spectacular" rather trying to create a false impression then preaches about their practices. But they did not - so I am not impressed.

Real believers don't need to push their believes on to others – they just believe it.

When I go to a show, I want to see A SHOW - NOT some “semi-entertainment then you-learn-my-practices" event. Thanks.

The people involved in supporting this thing is, bottom line, dishonest. Deceiving the general public so people would go only double confirms how untrustworthy some groups are.

Disgraceful.