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Enlightened Martyrdom

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When it became evident that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was on the verge of banning the Falun Gong movement, Li Hongzhi, the movement’s founder, and his family escaped China, relocating permanently in the United States. Subsequently, the dramatic crackdown on Falun Gong in 1999 made international headlines. From the safety of his new home, Master Li encouraged his followers left behind in the PRC to vigorously demonstrate against the Chinese government, even if it meant imprisonment or even death.

Further, Master Li actively discourages his followers from telling outsiders about his esoteric teachings; rather, he explicitly directs them to say that Falun Gong is just a peaceful spiritual exercise group being persecuted by the PRC. Not only has Falun Gong succeeded in propagating their side of the story in the media but the group will vigorously protest any news story that disagrees with their point of view. In more recent years, Falun Gong has attempted to silence critical scholars, including two of the contributors to the present volume.

Enlightened Martyrdom: The Hidden Side of Falun Gong provides a comprehensive overview of Falun Gong: the movement’s background, history, beliefs and practices. But whereas prior treatments have generally tended to downplay Falun Gong’s ‘dark side,’ in Enlightened Martyrdom, we have made an effort to include treatments of the less palatable aspects of this movement.

Published: Feb 1, 2018


Section Chapter Authors
Introduction
Introduction James Lewis
Chapter 1
The Religion and Politics of Falun Gong Junpeng Li
Chapter 2
The Doctrine of Li Hongzhi: Falun Gong - Between Sectarianism and Universal Salvation David Palmer
Chapter 3
From Spiritual Healing to Protest: Falun Gong's Emerging Culture of Martyrdom Susan Palmer
Chapter 4
Burning Faith: Interpreting the 1.23 Incident James Lewis
Chapter 5
Devil Killing and the Essence of Falun Gong Fang Yong
Chapter 6
The Self-contradictions in Li Hongzhi's Statements about Illness Yan Cao
Chapter 7
Scientific or Anti-scientific: A Critical Analysis of 'Science' Discourses in Falun Gong Wang Chengjun
Chapter 8
'You don't Want to have that Kind of Thought in your Mind': Li Hongzhi, Aliens and Science Stefano Bigliardi
Chapter 9
Falun Gong's Attack on Academic Freedom Helen Farley
Chapter 10
Friendly Fire: How Falun Gong Mistook Me for an Enemy Heather Kavan
Chapter 11
Persecution Hoax as a Marketing Strategy: The Case of the Falun Gong Campbell Fraser
Chapter 12
'Clarifying the Truth': Falun Gong's Media Strategies James Lewis