Falun Gong

While waiting for a bus this old lady approached me and offered this pamplet. I have seen hundreds of these pamphlets before. What is driving these people to make such a devoted effort? This time I took the pamphlet, as reading material for the wait. It was information about Falun Gong alleged oppression, which I actually somewhat expected.

Later that day a friend commented how she went to the Bodies exhibit, and they have this guy’s nerves laid out for display.

She also commented how all the bodies there looked East Asian. For some reason I began to wonder. Was the guy whose nerves are on a display once a Falun Gong protester in China? Did he protest the government and now this is the result? I also began to realize I know nothing about Falun Gong, and for some people it might have been a very serious issue.

Why is the Chinese government alledged to have reacted with such strength against them?

So I asked my housemate, an exchange student from China, about Falun Gong. I figured he had lived most of his life in communist China, and so might have some idea of the actual situation. All he could tell me was it’s “some exercise” but he’s not sure what it involves, and that the government thinks they’re a threat. He claimed to know nothing else, and I don’t think he did.

I decided to research this topic, and form atleast a preliminary opinion on if the Chinese government is justified. Falun Gong is a form of qigong exercise.  Due to the growing membership size and teachings it became suspect by the Chinese government. In April 1999, over 10,000 peaceful protestors gathered to request freedom from certain state regulations. It was at this time the Chinese government defined Falun Gong as terrorists. This is according to the Falun Gong website and a statement from the Chinese Embassy.  Additionally, membership in Falun Gong was claimed to be over 70 million which outnumbered the Chinese Communist Party membership of 60 million. I suppose it may have something to do with a feeling a human has a right to live. Also if only 10,000 were protesting, why are 100,000’s supposedly persecuted? Potentially, some detained may have never had any idea of sedition. Lastly by persecuting thought, which no one seems to deny on either side, the government is denying whatever gains a free market of ideas potentially could have for China. It also seems to me, idea persecution is a form of psychological torture which promotes thoughtlessness. By forcing people to not consider a certain idea, the mind is encouraged to not think? I know if I’m told to not think in a certain way I feel stifled.

However, does a government have the right to persecute an organization plotting for it’s direct physical destruction? In all, I realize I don’t have all the informat