Can the FLG and the CCP kiss and make up?

A reader emailed me this intriguing article, but there’s no link and he didn’t tell me which media it’s in; I’ll update as soon as I find out from the South China Morning Post.

Here’s the whole thing.

Monday, June 13, 2005
CHINA EDITOR’S BRIEFING

A little harmony with Falun Gong will go a long way

WANG XIANGWEI

Overseas media attention has been focused on Beijing’s espionage activities in foreign countries by the allegations of a former Chinese diplomat and former police officer seeking asylum in Australia.

Chen Yonglin , a 37-year-old consul for political affairs at China’s consulate in Sydney, has claimed that more than 1,000 Chinese spies are operating in Australia. His claim was partly corroborated by Hao
Fengjun , a 32-year-old former policeman from a security service in Tianjin known as 610. While their allegations of spying, strenuously denied by mainland officials, have become the subject of intense interest among the overseas press during the past week, their links with Falun Gong have received less attention.

Both Mr Chen and Mr Hao claimed they had been assigned to monitor followers of the Falun Gong movement, which was branded an evil cult by the central government in 1999.

Mr Chen said he was sympathetic to the movement and extended help to the followers. Mr Hao’s first public interview was with The Epoch Times, a pro-Falun Gong online newspaper based in New York.

Both men are believed to have received help with their cases from Australian Falun Gong followers. Dozens of adherents have been chanting slogans and waving banners during protests related to the defections, in front of Chinese diplomatic missions in Australia
during the past week.

While it remains unclear how Falun Gong followers are helping Mr Chen and Mr Hao, one thing is certain: the movement has been mounting increasingly sophisticated public relations campaigns on the mainland and abroad to promote its cause and solicit international sympathy.

And, as the movement becomes more sophisticated, the mainland’s crackdown on it has shown signs of waning.

July 22 will mark the sixth anniversary of former president Jiang Zemin’s decision to outlaw the movement in 1999. It was accused of causing its followers to commit murder and suicide, and of mounting the most serious threat to the central government since the 1989 student protests.

However, more mainland academics and officials have questioned the wisdom of using so many government resources and so much money to target the movement, which mixes meditation with Buddhism, Chinese
mysticism and exercise.

They have urged the government to relax the crackdown and direct attention and resources to more urgent issues, such as law and order, and the fight against terrorism.

Since the ban came into force, authorities have been operating a national network of offices called “610” to monitor and crack down on Falun Gong followers nationwide. But those followers are mostly retired workers, civil servants and poor peasants, and have hardly done anything that could be seen as a clear and present danger to national security in the past six years.

To show the importance attached to the effort, the director of the national 610 office enjoys the full rank of a cabinet minister, while the head of the State Administration for Religious Affairs – which is
responsible for managing mainstream religions – merely has the rank of a deputy minister. This has caused disquiet among government officials, who are very conscious of hierarchy.

A continuing crackdown would also further alienate Falun Gong members and force them to take more serious action, which could cause international embarrassment for mainland leaders.

Overseas Falun Gong members have continuously dogged the entourages of senior mainland officials visiting foreign countries, shouting slogans and waving banners. Some have even turned to courts, filing
lawsuits coinciding with the visits of senior mainland officials, who had to think of ways to avoid the humiliation of being served with a subpoena.

As the mainland leadership under President Hu Jintao is calling for more efforts to create a harmonious society, a little harmony with the Falun Gong could be a step in the right direction.

Highlights were added by me to emphasize a point I’ve been arguing (with little success) with Bingfeng and KLS over at another feisty thread: that for all the hysteria over this group of old men and women and peasants, the lethal threat we so often hear about is mainly in the eyes of the beholder, i.e., the CCP and those who choose to listen to it.

I realize that old people waving banners and chanting is very annoying, and it’s dumb to tell people not to see doctors when they are sick, the way the Jehova’s Witnesses and the FLG do. And it’s creepy to hear them say they walk through walls and chat with aliens.

I certainly understand that when they congregate and multiply it is perceived by the paranoid CCP as a dire threat. We all know that anytime Chinese citizens receive communications from a medium that can’t be controlled, the CCP craps its pants goes bonkers. But hey, can’t we try to look at them from a fresh perspective as the author suggests?

Frankly, I’ve been somewhat amazed at the rage this topic has generated among some readers, the insistence that the FLG is a tumor that must be excised an obliterated. How about trying to come to peace with them, instead? I know it’s a radical concept and I know the hard-core FLG’ers are off their gourd, but wouldn’t it be worth a try? Because I promise, the public relations China gets from its handling of the FLG is atrocious, and incidents like the defection of Chen Yonglin bring this ugly issue into everyone’s living room.

Disclaimer: I can’t stand the FLG. Twice while I was working in Asia they fucked things up for clients of mine trying to do business in China. I hate their propaganda and their lies, and if I could make them go away I would. I would not, however, even think of torturing them or imprisoning them. That’s a tactic from the dark ages and, ironicically, it tends to make matters worse, allowing these loons to be become martyrs and recipients of the world’s sympathy.

The Discussion: 48 Comments

broken link in yer post, duck.

June 12, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

Thanks – link is fixed.

June 12, 2005 @ 9:02 pm | Comment

Richard this post mentions the F*L*G many times with its full name spellt out. Don’t you think it will ge blocked in China?

June 12, 2005 @ 9:03 pm | Comment

If anyone has trouble opening the post I’m hoping they will write to me and I will play with the names. The problems I had last week with posts opening was, I believe, due to the timing — June 4th and all that. The day when nothing happend.l

June 12, 2005 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

i can access it, and the entire site, finally!
also, FYI, this article is from the South China Morning Post.

June 12, 2005 @ 9:39 pm | Comment

Thanks Kevin. I suspected as much – wish they were linkable!!

June 12, 2005 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

China has been harrassing followers in other countires for ages, do you remember when they set on that student in south africa and branded her a walking talking scandel?

June 12, 2005 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

cpc

Richard at the Peking Duck points to an item of interest. While I could never see the Communist Party of China making peace with the FLG sect, it’s worth noting that some

June 13, 2005 @ 12:08 am | Comment

This isn’t the first time BJ has committed enormous resources to campaigns which can only degrade Chln@’s progress and international image! The chokehold on information comes to mind.

The Chlnese people have an appropriate target for their outrage, but the tipping point hasn’t arrived yet.
.

June 13, 2005 @ 1:06 am | Comment

ACB, what what what?

I didn’t hear about that student in South Africa.

Did you blog about it at the time per chance?

June 13, 2005 @ 3:03 am | Comment

“However, more mainland academics and officials have questioned the wisdom of using so many government resources and so much money to target the movement.

They have urged the government to relax the crackdown and direct attention and resources to more urgent issues, such as law and order, and the fight against terrorism.”

Soooooooo bingfeng and KLS:

What say you two?

Don’t you agree that:

(a) the FLG is/was never a real threat to the CCP and it’s persecution was brutal and unnecessary?

(b) the CCP has provoked the FLG into launching a full-scale propaganda war against it and has looked to the rest of the world like a horrid/brutal totalitarian regime?

(c) The CCP has BIG-TIME egg on it’s face now by using a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

June 13, 2005 @ 3:10 am | Comment

You’re coming up with some good posts Paul mate! (Paul is one of my mates here in GZ).

Yes, I do thing this could maybe, just maybe see the CCP and it’s apologists, errrrr, how does Conrad sat it? Ah yes, EATING CROW.

“I told you so” just doesn’t quite do it.

I’d also like to see KLS/Bingfeng’s response to this new turn of events.

June 13, 2005 @ 6:05 am | Comment

I don’t comment much anymore at the Duck since the overall quality of replies has taken a decided turn towards mediocre but I will point out the counter-arguement that Falun Dafa is a threat to the CCP. Not a significant one but one nonetheless That Falun Dafa has decided to reciprocate with its own propaganda and do so in an organized and prolific manner means that they are capable of opposing the Party if only with annoyance. The Party has two alternatives, either surrender and set an ominous precedent, or it can exterminate Falun Dafa and its core membership. Surrender will only engender Falun Dafa’s spread and embolden them. Irregardless of the mistakes made by the Party in initially handling Falun Dafa, the organization has already crossed the Rubicon so to speak and there is no way they are going to retreat from the political realm nor is there any real likelyhood of forgiveness for their transgressions.

The pragmatic choice for Beijing is to escalate the persecusion if possible and simply wipe them out. Western opinion is unfortunately (depending on your point of view) a non factor in the Falun Dafa issue. While positive perceptions are beneficial, they are not critical and the popular opinions of non-citizens are certainly a low variable in any decision making calculations. Neither is Falun Dafa a genuine issue for most Western governments or businesses where relations with China are most important. Where they are more prominent are in media and organizations decidedly anti-China where irrelevant of Falun Dafa’s existence, they will find some substance to use in their agitprop.

If the Australian defector issue has shown anything for Beijing, it isn’t the folly of cracking down on malcontents like Falun Dafa, but rather that they need to better screen their foreign service personnel.

June 13, 2005 @ 6:58 am | Comment

Jing, so when did the Peking Duck comments start getting mediocre? About the same time as you stopped posting?

June 13, 2005 @ 7:30 am | Comment

I don’t comment much anymore at the Duck since the overall quality of replies has taken a decided turn towards mediocre but I will point out

Gee, Jing, that’s really gentlemanly of you. I was the first blog to link to your site; is it really necessary to take a swipe at mine? Why not just start your comment, I’d like to point out…” I’m a bit disappointed.

June 13, 2005 @ 7:33 am | Comment

Well gee Jing,

If the only two options are surrender or wipe them out, and if other countries see the FLG thing as a non issue (so they are not about to go to any great lengths to “wipe them out” themselves), and since the propaganda war can easily be mounted from abroad, I would say the second option is non viable. I guess it is time for the CCP to surrender then ๐Ÿ™‚

June 13, 2005 @ 7:49 am | Comment

I know nothing about the FLG (mostly because I’m not terribly interested) but when my girlfriend goes on about how evil they are, I figure something’s up.Mindful of the need to keep comments erudite and challenging (to be fair to Jing, going through reams of inside jokes and the like does get tedious although it depends on the nature of the thread) let me simply say that 50 years of opprobrium in the west towards China’s oppression of Tibet has done not the slightest good; why would Western sympathy for a wacky cult do any different?

June 13, 2005 @ 8:13 am | Comment

Keir, for better or worse, the FLG has thrived on international support and used it very shrewdly. And the Chen Yonglin episode gives them a new visibility and opens the doors to a groundswell of sympathy. Unlike in the days of Tibet’s “liberation,” today’s China is far more sensitive to world opinion, as it doesn’t want to see its trade encumbered by embargoes and boycotts.

June 13, 2005 @ 8:18 am | Comment

I too think Jing was being a bit unfair with his opening comment … but I agree with the rest of his post. Maybe it would have been a good idea to try to absorb them earlier in the piece … but now, it’s far too late for that. There can be no kiss and make up.

June 13, 2005 @ 9:02 am | Comment

Jing

Not nice. I don’t blame Richard for taking it badly.

I know some people called you an idiot on another thread but you also used the word morons. Neither idiot or morons are acceptable on Peking Duck as we’re all here swapping views.

I hope you re-read you above comments and regret them as there’s no need for that kind of talk at all.

June 13, 2005 @ 9:40 am | Comment

Come on people … respond to Jing’s ideas, not just his opening comment.

June 13, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Comment

FSN9, I think I’ve addressed most of his points elsewhere, but here’s a recap.

First, he says Falun Dafa is a threat to the CCP. Not a significant one but one nonetheless.

Good, I am glad we have established they are not a significant threat. (Let’s face it, anything is a threat to the CCP if it involves making choices and thinking outside the Party paradigm.) This sort of neutralizes all that follows — why opt for extermination when the threat isn’t absolutely dire?

In Jing’s scenario, there are only two alternatives, surrender or extermination. What about containment? It’s similar to AIDS: you can “surrender” and let it ravage your society, or you can take steps to warn people of the risks and protect them. I’ve already spoken to this; it’s a technique that has worked wonders in America in changing people’s minds about racism and segregation, reducing the spread of AIDS, discouraging people to start smoking, etc. Would we really speak in favor of extermination? Especially of a group that doesn’t, in Jing’s own words, pose a significant threat?? Can there be no middle ground?

Let me conclude with a quote I posted in another thread:

Don’t be misled into thinking you can fight a disease without killing the carrier, without destroying the bacillus. Don’t think you can fight racial tuberculosis without taking care to rid the nation of the carrier of that racial tuberculosis. This Jewish contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Jew, has been banished from our midst.

Adolf Hitler, speaking to the Nazi Party in Salzburg, August 7, 1920.

Does no one see the similarities?

June 13, 2005 @ 10:20 am | Comment

Richard … sorry, didn’t mean to include you in my statement. It’s your blog, and you had every right to take offense at the comment. I was just feeling that lots of people were starting to come down on Jing for that alone, rather than engaging with him/her. Funny really … I remember a time when Jing and I seemed to be at eachothers throats …

June 13, 2005 @ 10:29 am | Comment

if jing hasn’t answer yet, then let me take a multi-part response.

the cited article has no empirical basis for any of the assertions about what is ostensibly happening inside China.

“more mainland academics and officials have questioned the wisdom of using so many government resources …”

no one is named, and no number is given. this is dumb. i’ll give you another list of similiar statements:

“more american critics and officials have questioned the wisdom going into a war with Iraq …”

“more mainland academics and officials have advocated that China should exercise a first-strike nuclear option to wipe out Japan’s military capability …”

which of those three statements are true, given that they are simillar?

there is no concrete evidence that there is any change in government, academic or general opinion wrt F*L*G. certainly none was cited in this article. it was just a lot of handwaving, wishful thinking and pandering. i could write that kind of things from dawn to dusk but it would not make it true.

June 13, 2005 @ 10:48 am | Comment

part 2:

i will observe that most people in the west don’t have a clear idea about what F*L*G was and is. to your minds, they are just a bunch of harmless wackos and so why give them a hard time?

in a previous comment, i suggested the book by Maria Hsia Chang, which is in English. that book was deliberately flat and dull by design, and for a good reason to be explained later.

the best stuff is in Chinese. i recommend The Storm Of Falun Gong published by Pacific Century Press. this book is in fact highly critical of the chinese government, but its focus is on the F*L*G.

the book tells you about what F*L*G actually did in the 1990s, as opposed to the benign picture that epoch times tells today. unless you understand what went on back then, you have no business saying what the chinese government should or should not do now.

as opposed to other organizations that may evolve over time (to wit, the chinese communists, the taiwan nationalists, the american republicans, or the british tories are not the same ones fifty years ago), the F*L*G is or has to be the same one since the Master’s word is sacred.

June 13, 2005 @ 10:56 am | Comment

eswn, I have said many times how much I dislike them. But the question boils down to this (for me): Do we exterminate groups we view as threats? I used the American Nazi Party in the US as an example. Millions of Chinese under Mao were engaged in a cult where a supreme leader was god. Should they have been exterminated? Throughout history, time has dealt with personality cults, usually without extermination.

June 13, 2005 @ 11:01 am | Comment

part 3:

F*L*G did two unforgivable things. first, they attempted to intimidate the media as well as the government by blockades. there are dozens and dozens of records across china in which someone spoke about them on television or wrote about them in newspapers. the result was that the television station, newspaper office or government office would be blockaded by thousands of F*L*G followers until the statements are withdrawn.

what might have been said, for example? if you are say that you don’t think spiritual exercise alone can cure cancer like the master says, you might expect 5,000 people outside your door demanding that you recant. anyone else who speaks up on your behalf can expect the same treatment.

at some point, any government (China, USA, UK, whatever) has to step in and say intimidation of the media is unacceptable.

this is the smaller piece of the action.

June 13, 2005 @ 11:07 am | Comment

part 4:

the major part of what the F*L*G did was to interfere with government business.

imagine the following: you run a government office or a private company; you have a serious problem (e.g. you have a revenue shortfall). you hold a meeting and you look for advice.

you deputy gets up and says, “You just have to read the Master’s book on the eternal legal wheel. Everything in the universe is answered in this book.”

what will you do?

you fire this deputy because he is clearly not performing under any job-related criteria. what you get is a mass blockade by F*L*G followers?

this is the simplified version of the siege of zhongnanhai on april 25.

if you acquiesce, your country is finished and your people are done for.

what will you do?

June 13, 2005 @ 11:14 am | Comment

Are the only choices surrender or extermination? I stand by my Hitler quote above; he was completely sincere – he truly believed with all his heart that the Jews (and the Communists) were going to destroy his great nation, and that the only answer was extermination. I’m sorry, but that’s not acceptable to me.

Why is this only a crisis in China? They are based around the world — where is the threat to those nations they’re in? Why is it only the CCP that is so threatened they need to resort to violence? Is this situation a reflection of the CCP or the FLG?

June 13, 2005 @ 11:22 am | Comment

part 5:

Richard asks, “Do we exterminate groups we view as threats?”

Of course, we don’t.

Here, i will admit that i have no expertise in the treatment of F*L*G, and for a good reason.

on one hand, i will never accept the government’s word about how fair and well they were treated. that’s propaganda.

on the other hand, i will never accept the F*L*G’s word about how unfairly and brutally they were treated. i have seen it all — the F*L*G tables with photos in the streets of New York City and Hong Kong. but if you recall my favorite gripe, i hold it against the F*L*G for spreading memes such as “the communists will kill all survivors of mining disasters to make sure no one can tell the truth.” why would i take their word for it now? so i can’t make up my mind about what really and exactly happened, because the principal source has discredited itself.

i do know that ‘exterminate’ is too severe a term. the master claims that he had 100 million followers in china. did you think 100 million people were exterminated? no. that would actually not be the communist style.

the communist style is to take a mass movement and set up a dividing line — if you won’t cross over to my side, you will be dealt with severely; if you cross over to my side, you will be treated kindly and you can see what happened to those who didn’t.

June 13, 2005 @ 11:29 am | Comment

Thanks for the clarity and the insight, eswn. I really appreciate it. Some have actually advocated extermination, or at least strongly implied that it’s justifiable.

June 13, 2005 @ 11:32 am | Comment

Part 6:

of course, the posted article is looking forward (instead of the past) about the possibility of reconciliation between F*L*G and the chinese government. i regard this as an irreconciliable difference.

on one hand, how will you bring back someone who showed you the last time around that they were ready to control media and government policy down an obviously ruinous path?

on the other hand, the F*L*G has deftly re-positioned itself not as a wacko cult but as a legitimate figher for freedom and democracy among the opposition. those words are easy to push in the western world. will you accept them back on the strength of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ when you know that their past history and their present were neither ‘free’ nor ‘democratic’?

in the end, it is not up to any commentators to say so. nor is it a matter of “more mainland academics and officials have questioned the wisdom of using so many government resources …” the real question is: what do the people of china want? do they want the F*L*G back in their lives, running the media down and directing government policies?

there is no information such on this topic. but i lean strongly towards believing that the answer is something that the F*L*G won’t like …

June 13, 2005 @ 11:38 am | Comment

I think the answer towards dispelling the propaganda that FLG is spreading is an easy (although won’t be done) task – give them more leeway. If they’re nutters they’ll do something nutty, and the West will fall out of love with the freedom fighting rhetoric they’re spilling. the situation can come to a balance.

June 13, 2005 @ 12:23 pm | Comment

As Jing suggested, extermination did work. The precidents were Yiguan Dao and Jiugong Dao.

June 13, 2005 @ 2:18 pm | Comment

I’m surprised Richard took my rhetorical sniping so personally. I didn’t know you felt personally responsible for the replies of others to your threads. In any case, I’m glad some people actually continued to read my point and even agree with me. Falun Dafa has far and away gone past the point of no return and this quoted article is incorrect in that neither Falun Dafa will compromise and certainly not the party. The end result is continued persecusion until Falun Dafa becomes simply another irrelevant overseas Chinese democracy movement. Overseas protestors on diplomatic visits are annoying, but nowhere near as troublesome as thousands of organized demonstrators within China itself.

June 13, 2005 @ 2:45 pm | Comment

Sometime shortly after The crackdown on the Falun Gong started I had dinner with two Chinese couples. Both of the men were properous, in good jobs and very well, but modestly dressed. One of the men told me that his mother was a member of Falun Gong. He said she had been in ill health, but due to following FLG guidance she had regained her health. He was very positive about FLG. In the area where I worked at the time, I had seen all sorts of older people doing the morning exercise routines, but after the crack down started, virtually all disappeared. I was told that these people were frightened as the exercises groups were supported by FLG.

I read a the time a lot of the Chinese propanganda against FLG and thought it was extremely overblown and probably lies.

Why doesn’t a FLG member join this blog and give their point of view?

June 13, 2005 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

eswn – I’ve heard those kind of lines before about how the persecution of FL*G is all propaganda … but I have eye-witness accounts of a minor example … I was in Beijing at the time of a FL*G protest in the square … and the cops proceeded to throw an old woman to the ground and kick her … her “crime” was to pull a banner out of her coat and start yelling that her creed was good. I well remember a Chinese person denying point-blank that Chinese police would ever do such a thing, and refusing to accept it, even when I offered to introduce her to the people who saw it happening.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:47 am | Comment

pete, it isn’t that simple. you don’t want just any F*L*G member here.

on one hand, imagine that we get one of those chinese police internet commentators. what will he say? “But we treat our prisoners well. we brought some western reporters to visit one of those labor reform camps, and they thought it was like a country club. see.”

on the other hand, imagine that we get on F*L*G PR flack. what will he say? “But all we want to do is physical and spiritual exercise, but this horrible dictatorship want to persecute and torture us instead. see.”

i’ve already seen all of that already. no need for encores.

we will probably never get a police internet commentator that will speak honestly (especially since they may not know a lot). but it would be interesting to cross-examine a F*L*G person on a whole list of questions.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:48 am | Comment

eswn … it would be a frustrating experience. No religion can be rationally justified. I’ve tried debating christians, and the only time I do it now is when they’ve annoyed me enough that I decide it’s time to start baiting them. Otherwise, it’s a fruitless exercise. I suspect the same would be true for a FL*G follower.

June 14, 2005 @ 9:02 am | Comment

I still don’t see why they need to be cracked down on, despite eswn’s detailed explanations. I see FLG members everyday in Taiwan. They never bother anyone. In fact, I haven’t heard an example yet of disorderly behavior by the FLG. I have met them in HK and the US. Same same. I was passing through the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall square when they had a mass gathering….no police were needed to keep anything in line.

Look…they may be wackos to some, but I still say that if they cause such a big problem for the CPP, it is because the CPP makes such a big deal about them. Evil cult? hahaha…they may be annoying at times, but it stops there in my mind. Yes, I know what they did in the 90s. None of that justifies the attitude of the CPP towards them or any other group that wishes to practice free speech.

I still have not met one person who can truly justify the crackdown.

June 14, 2005 @ 10:29 am | Comment

In the previous post I have drawn a comparison between Aum Shinrikyo and the wheelers. Aumists had also got quite a few centres outside Japan and there were no reports that they were violent or criminal. Then, you know, there came this incident of gas bomb in the Tokyo metro system, followed by a series of revelation of murders and kidnapping etc, etc. But there oversea centers were all absolutely peaceful. I can only guess that it was an issue of tactics.
I have read somewhere on the internet that there were further development of the wheeler doctrines after the crackdown, for instance, some chapters of the guru’s books are not any more talked about and the translation of the books are selective, etc. but sorry, again, that here I cannot offer useful evidence or links. Perhaps anyone who’s interested may google on some cult watchdog sites, where there is extensive information.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:18 pm | Comment

the F*L*G that you meet overseas have been re-positioned because they learned that they made a big mistake when they did what they did inside china. if they showed up in australia or the US and tried to blockade the media, the blowback would be too much. besides, what they need is the west on their friendly side to help them get back into china.

this leaves a big open question: are you what you show the outside world today, or are you still what you were when you blockaded the media and tried to strongarm the government?

unless this question is satisfactorily answered, they will never get back into china. given the nature of the organization, in which everything emanates according to the what the master says, the answer is actually obvious.

June 14, 2005 @ 9:11 pm | Comment

And what do the Aumists have to do with the FLG? Because one organization committed a heinous act, you will tar another?

As for blocking the media in the US or in Australia, there is no need. Those two countries offer freedom of expression and freedom of the press. I’m tired of hearing about “well we all know what would have happened if they had blockaded the media in the US.” Because of the freedom of speech in the US, they probably would have no need to strong-arm the media there.

As for government offices, tons of political groups have disrupted goings on in US political offices in the last 50 years. Those who break the law are arrested and tried. But I can’t recall a lot of examples of the whole organization being banned from the country.

I still don’t see how there is a necessity for a “crack down”.

June 14, 2005 @ 11:21 pm | Comment

Why I drew such comparison was because the murders, kidnappings by Aumists also began after the media publicity and the disillusioned practisers going public. There is press freedom in Japan so no need for street blockade. They just killed the journalists. There were lengthy reports about this. Go on to read it.

As banning a whole organization in the U.S., I know the U.S.C.P. got such a treat. I know the U.S. administration sent troops to “crack down” vietcongs. I know they financed the contras. There are adequate evidences that the coup d’etat in Chile was arranged by them. Such were comparable examples.
To justify the banning? I don’t see any necessities. If we take a look at the church history (not the one issued by the church itself), the early christians did basically the same, or worse.

June 15, 2005 @ 2:03 am | Comment

Wait, so the US financing a coup d’etat in Chile is linked to limiting free speech for citizens in the US?

Sending troops to Vietnam limited free speech in the US? (there was never a time when examples of free speech were so blatantly seen)

You have completely missed the point. I’m talking about China digging its own hole with the FLG because of limitations on free speech in China and of the poorly-thought-out posts of previous people who implied that the FLG would meet similar fates in other countries if their members tried to disrupt government workings and “strong-arm” the media. I also said that this situation would not come about in freeer countries because one member or a few members of a group breaking the law does not give the governments in countries such as the US, Australia, etc. the right to outlaw all members (which is why the Ku Klux Klan is very alive and well in the US despite the heinous acts of many of their members. You can’t outlaw an entire group because some members have broken the law). Plus, having free speech would nullify any need to “strong arm” the media.

You are bringing out examples which can’t even remotely be linked with the FLG.

As for the Aumists, I still entirely disagree. You are taking the example of one organization and lightly superimposing it on another. Because the Aumists do something bad, that means the FLG….. (complete rubbish)

June 15, 2005 @ 7:34 am | Comment

You are missing my point! I am not at all talking about free speech. When Allende was gunned down, what the use of free speech? When millions of Vietnamese civillians were killed, what the use of free speech?
Free speech was and is seen bluntly everywhere and everywhen in the U.S., but what the use? People just kept and keep talking their own concerns, wishes, and fantasies while other people have no chance at all to participate, whether their political system permits or not!
The wheelers are not at all a group interested in free speech! Democracy and rights are just guise they have taken up after the crackdown. If you trace down their deeds before that, all you can see is that they tried to steer the limited free speech to their own good and exploit the existent system!
Would they weaken the party rule? Judging from their ultra patriotic and pro-party parole in pre-crackdown era, they were doing the opposite! They are spoiled puddles that bit the master’s finger and were kicked out of the house. Some Chinese journalists describe them as fascist, which are doing them right.

June 15, 2005 @ 9:24 am | Comment

banning entire organizations?
hmm. how would like to claim Al Qaeda membership in the USA today?

June 15, 2005 @ 9:25 am | Comment

If the FLG did anything even approaching what Al Qaeda did, I would support their being banned. That would be a matter of common sense, as in that case they would pose a direct, immediate, highly lethal threat to the entire population, beyond any doubt. They are certainly in a unique position in this sense.

June 15, 2005 @ 9:40 am | Comment

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