I just noticed this thread by chance and was slightly taken aback by the hostility towards Falun Gong here, whether the spiritual teachings themselves, the founder, Li Hongzhi, or practitioners. I've practiced Falun Gong for about four years, and I'm in Taipei at the moment, studying Chinese. I really can't grasp this kind of hatred toward a group of people for their peaceful beliefs. I don't care if people believe in a horde of flying spaghetti monsters that rule the universe and govern humanity from afar, I would not even bat an eyelid if someone told me about this. For all intents and purposes, to anyone who does not practice Falun Gong, what Li Hongzhi says should be taken in precisely the same way. There's no meaningful way to grasp these teachings in their context if you don't even understand or accept the basic principles or axioms of Falun Gong. Speculate all day long, I guess, but really, I wouldn't bother breaking a sweat over it.
Falun Gong has taught me a lot about myself, other people, and the world around me, and I haven't paid a cent, joined any group, signed my name on anything, or like, engaged in any formal thing at all. There's no formal organisation, just personal connections between individual practitioners. It's like chess or something, anyone can play it, and people who play it can just play each other whenever they want. There's a set of rules, of course. If you don't follow the rules, then you're not playing chess. The rules are truthfulness, compassion, forbearance. Fundamentally it's a set of free teachings, anyone can believe it or not, anyone can practice it or not, and there is nothing bad in it. One user's remark about Falun Gong condemning interracial marriage, or that interracial children cannot go to heaven, distorted what Li Hongzhi said, and at the very least, no practitioner I've met has come to this interpretation. Interracial marriages are very common among practitioners, so are children from those marriages. No one thinks that is unusual. Wouldn't people who actually practice the discipline have a better idea of the ideas behind what Li Hongzhi has said in different contexts, and aren't they the people whose interpretations of the teachings actually matter, since they are living this out? Anyway, of course, you can download the books and read them for yourself and come to think what you want. I would just say that how you understand them is for sure different from how I understand them, and that it is more important what I think than what a random guy who downloads the books thinks. He's not the one practicing it, after all.
On a more important point, I'll put some information about the organ harvesting evidence here. It's untrue that these allegations are groundless, that they are being pushed forward only by Falun Gong practitioners, or that they have been discredited or disproven:http://organharvestinvestigation.net/
-- the main investigation;http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/P ... j.asp?pg=1
-- unsolved questions with regard to Sujiatun (the old story which led to the main thing)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reports_of ... s_in_China
-- wiki article, fairly comprehensive in covering what the different parties have saidhttp://www.opednews.com/articles/1/CNN- ... 4-502.html
-- an editorial about why this hasn't been picked up in the mediahttp://organharvestinvestigation.net/re ... -08-22.htm
-- the nail in the coffin for the CCP and defenders on this organ harvesting issue. This is direct admission from the horse's mouth that the telephone recordings detailed in the Kilgour-Matas report are bona-fide.
I reckon it would take a good couple of hours to read through all this material, but that anyone who actually did so, and who looked at the evidence on its own grounds, would simply be unable to dismiss it. I also think that it's somewhat irresponsible to form opinions about the veracity of the evidence without even looking at it--reading the Kilgour-Matas report is essential, and I feel comfortable in saying that unless someone has read that, they don't know the first thing about this subject.
Final point: I'm here till February, I study at Zheng-Da every day, and I would be happy to meet with anyone who wants to meet a real-live Falun Gong practitioner. I'm a normal person. I studied philosophy and English at the Australian National University, graduated, and decided to come study Chinese here. I'm also curious about the people who have developed this weird kind of hatred of Falun Gong practitioners. Anyway, this is a cool forum, I've checked out some other parts of it before, and this thread impelled me to respond. Got an account now, so I'll try to stick around!