Falun Gong: a narrative of pending apocalypse, shape-shifting aliens and relentless persecution

Farley, Helen (2014) Falun Gong: a narrative of pending apocalypse, shape-shifting aliens and relentless persecution. In: Controversial new religions. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 241-256. ISBN 0199315310


Few people outside of China fully understand the full scope of Falun Gong. Practitioners adhere to a complex theology replete with shape-shifting aliens, multiple planes of existence and warnings of an impending apocalypse brought about by extreme moral degradation which only a lucky few will survive. In this worldview karma plays a pivotal role, but not the abstract karma of Buddhism, but rather a tangible sticky black substance which can be at least partially removed by practising five physically demanding yet meditative exercises. This alone would warrant Falun Gong’s inclusion in this volume, yet another controversy exists that equally qualifies the movement. Since 1999, Falun Gong practitioners have been brutally persecuted by the Chinese Government, both parties making claims and counterclaims about evildoing, clever conspiracies and other such injustices. Amid a torrid propaganda war of considerable vehemence from both sides, the truth can be difficult to discern. This chapter will briefly examine both sources of controversy within Falun Gong while providing an overview of the beliefs, practices and history of the movement.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 02:49
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 03:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: Falun Gong, Falun Dafa, apocalypticism, qigong, Chinese religion, karma
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27131

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