Talk:Falun Gong/Archive 23

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Plan to move from POV to GA[edit]

I'm back here for a little while. I've been having a bit of think about how to try and move this forward and about where I've been making making mistakes. One mistake I think has been trying to work on this piecemeal. It's not so much a matter of whether this article is biased for or against Falun Gong, it's also about the wider Wikipedia. I'll be open so that no-one feels I'm ambushing them. I think this entry is heavily biased in favour of Falun Gong - but that the wider context is biased against it. Even in the article while I think most of the bias is towards Falun Gong, there are bits which work against it and I can see that tackling the bias bit by bit would make the Falun Gong practitioners feel that they're in a battle, so naturally they'll defend their position.

I was going to try and write an NPOV compromise but I've given that up as a bad job too. If people here don't buy into the philosophy behind it then it could be the best article in the world and it would be hacked away from both sides. I can assure you it wouldn't be the best article in the world and I'd encourage correcting it, but then why write it in the first place when you all can do better? So this is a long post explaining notes in my sandbox.

Good Article status should be the goal[edit]

Well duh! Everyone agrees with that. I'm assuming no-one is deliberately making a bad article. Even if you are that anti-social there'd be better pages to vandalise. What I mean is that its better that the article gets GA status than perfectly reflecting your view. Perfection with so many people here will not happen. GA status could.

As an example right now all the points have counter-points and rebuttals from the Falun Gong believers. Critical points are edited and ameliorated. The result is not a Good Article. It's an NPOV banner. Wikipedia has a reputation for having colonies of nutters and someone reading the article and seeing the comprehensive put down of opposing views will get that opinion of Falun Gong. The average wikipedia reader is not stupid. Ok some are, but are these really the sort of people you want to win over? Neither side has to accept this plan, but if you don't come up with an alternative then both sides lose. The sceptics will not get their opinions read and Falun Gong will be discredited as long as the NPOV sign stays.

So here's a link to the draft in the sandbox and a description of what I think is important.

We possible we should abandon the pro and anti stance in the article[edit]

Start with a look at the links. I'll have to ask for some forbearance from Asdfg12345 because I'll use a couple of his edits as examples. One was that he felt that links should be balanced between pro and anti. This doesn't work. For the sake of argument let's assume James Randi was listed as a link. Now if he changes his mind about Falun Gong and decides its all positive what do we do? Kick him and another pro- link out to maintain balance? Surely if his expertise is noteworthy when he's anti- Falun Gong then it's still noteworthy if he changes his mind. I can see why Asdfg12345 is keen on balance. I agree with the aim but in practice it doesn't work and it only helps us think of the article as adversarial.

This came to me when I thought to put Epoch Times in. I think it's a relevant link for people wanting to find out about Falun Gong. Does that mean I have to get a token anti- link for NPOV? The way I'm looking at it is "Is the article better with the Epoch Times link in?" The answer is yes. It should go in.

What I have done is suggest Falun Dafa goes at the top of the list. If there's just one external link on the page it should be this one. The others go in alphabetical order. I know there's a lot of national Falun Dafa sites and I'm not saying they should all be included, but I think there are a few more Falun Gong sites which should be listed than are currently.

Lets not count exactly, but last words should be balanced[edit]

The other big issue is that the Falun Gong believers are very good at getting a last word on the end of anything critical. I can see why, without implying anything sinister. FG practioners are going to know their subject but again it's unworkable in the long term. If you are thinking one side versus the other then any right you're claiming for yourself has to also go to the opposition. We cannot have both Falun Gong practioners, skeptics and Chinese government supporters all having the last word on every article. This is somewhere where there'll have to be some give and take. I'll concede in some cases it does make obvious sense for one side to have the last word and I'll give a couple of examples.

Regarding the homophobia claims. I think they should go in, with citations from the papers raising the issue, and one of the nastier quotes from Li Hongzhi rather than the 'dark state of mind'. Now I realise I'm picking on Asdfg12345 again. He's said homophobia has little to do with Falun Gong. I checked the speeches starting from the beginning and by the time I'd got to 1999 I'd found dozens including a string of speeches where Li Hongzhi had raise the issue. It was late and I was disillusioned so I stopped there. I was a bit disappointed to find that Asdfg12345 was so emphatically wrong. I've since gone back and looks at the 2000 onwards speeches. It's like turning off a switch - the homophobia disappear. Then you get to the 'treat homosexuals as sentient beings' quote. I wouldn't say it was a full 180º turnaround, but it seems to be past 90º. In that instance I think it would make far more sense for the FG comment to go at the end. That way we can see where the claim came from, and why FG practitioners today wouldn't recognise homophobia as a feature of Falun Gong.

On the other side there was the Canadian case against Falun Gong practitioners which said that they do not react well to criticism. And the reaction was: "Please show the court page instead of placing your personal libels on math department I would write to the department to disclose your abusing schools' resource." from fnhddzs. Irony is alive and well and living in Quebec.

In this instance I'd suggest not too graphically explaining what the allegations against Falun Gong were and make clear that the allegations (as best as I can tell from the court report) were groundless, but in this case end with the observation that Falun Gong does not react well to criticism. An FG rebuttal at the end really wouldn't help the cause.

Alun, could you read the case decision again? The suit was brought against a Chinese community paper by FLG disciples, and FLG lost the case with the judge citing free speech protection and FLG being a controversial movement. Bobby fletcher (talk) 07:15, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

One help with balance could also be the model X then Y. Not X then Y then X again. Whichever way you load it, it'll look unbalanced. It's a judgement call as to which claim goes first, but top 'n' tailing arguments is a bad idea.

Falun Gong should be treated as a religion for Wikipedia purposes[edit]

That means it gets kid gloves, which I know will annoy Dawkins atheists, but that's Wikipedia convention. I also know the term religion annoys FG practitioners. The reason I'm saying it goes in the religion category is based on the ethnographies. It's not perfect because 'religion' is a western concept. On the other hand this is an anglophone encyclopaedia for a largely Western audience. This also has other implications.

The primary focus of this article should be the belief. I think the Chinese government's banning of the Falun Gong also has to go in this article, but first and foremost when you practice Falun Gong I'm assuming you're doing this for some spiritual benefit rather than to smash the Communist Party. I've cobbled together a belief section in the sandbox and I fully expect the Falun Gong practitioners to say it's awful, and they'll be right. It's a cut 'n' paste job of what I thought were highlights from the Beliefs and Teaching of Falun Gong page. Now I'll be open about this. I think the Beliefs page should be deleted. What I think should go in its place are pages about beliefs. What are the details of the five practices? They should at least have a page of their own or, if there's the material, a page each of their own. Fa rectification might need a page. The relationship between the two major books needs to be explained and I'm sure that the Falun Gong practioners can come up with more.

If you look at all the other beliefs pages then they have separate pages, plural, for their beliefs. One page looks a bit weak, especially when there's more on the suppression. I'm not belittling that, but perhaps pages showing how Falun Gong is something similar to Tai-Chi rather than Heaven's Gate would show why the suppression is unjust. At the moment ignoring the main article I'd say there's a 2:4 split in the articles listed on the right as Falun Gong articles in favour of the Faluns Gong's fight with the Chinese government. Is it really true that fighting the Chinese government is twice as important as the beliefs and practices to a typical Falun Gong practioner?

All points are good and well spoken. Even the fight with the Chinese government is based on a policy and not with the government itself. The beliefs should be emphasized and the fight left out of the picture. Then the reader can get an understanding about FG beliefs that is not clouded with the politics of China, that issue should be addressed elsewhere and not dragged into every section of the article. (talk) 15:10, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Additional information[edit]

After the beliefs section there's the history. That's going to need balance. I accept that Falun Gong may have been protesting about beating in Tianjin, but they didn't turn up there on a whim, and there needs to be a mention of He Zuoxiu's article too.

I've not filled out the propaganda section at all. I'm really not keen on trawling the web to read the two sides presenting themselves in the worst light. I'm sure everyone has their own favourite examples.

Outside mainland China[edit]

This reiterates that the Falun Gong are in a struggle against the Chinese government. If that's all there is to this section it can be deleted. It's redundant as we can cover the issues in the other sections.

Instead what can be said about internationalisation of Falun Gong? Why forty languages for translation? How did it spread? Which countries has it been particularly successful in and why? I know this could sound like a pro-FG section, but as I see it it's about information which is lacking elsewhere in the article and could be useful if the reader lives outside China but wants to know more. And let's face it, if they're reading Wikipedia they're very likely outside China.

How to move on[edit]

First off is there anything in the plan above which is unacceptable at a general level? For instance is there anyone that cannot agree to last words sometimes not belonging to Falun Gong? Is the treatment of it as a religious belief flatly unacceptable? There's no point hammering out details if the foundations aren't agreed.

After that I suggest that people work on material together and then see how they can integrate it. At this stage you may want the help of a mediator. I'd suggest contacting WP:MEDCAB at this stage. I wouldn't suggest me as there's an RFC out against me, so I may be a nasty person with a secret agenda.

If you do want to argue details you can pick at intro (text below). It's an attempt to make an NPOV intro. I know it leaves some statements unchallenged but it's an overview of what the article's about. It's the first word not the last.

Falun Gong or Falun Dafa is a spiritual practice introduced to the public in China by Li Hongzhi (李洪志) in 1992.[1] It has five sets of meditation exercises and seeks to develop practitioners' hearts and character according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance (真,善,忍)articulated in the main books Falun Gong (法輪功)and Zhuan Falun (轉法輪).[2][3] The teachings deal with issues such as "cultivation of virtue and character", "moral standards for different levels", and "salvation of all sentient beings." The books have been translated into over 40 languages.
Followers of Falun Gong do not consider the practice a religion. Instead they see the roots of the practice as scientific, though the traditional Chinese concept of science includes practices and methods not usually included in the Western concept of science. Sinologists have argued that its heavy emphasis on morality means that Falun Gong is better understood in the West as as religion.[4].[5] However the term religion is a modern import into China and its use is often associated with a political agenda.[1]
In April 1999, a silent rally of 10,000 Beijing practitioners protested at the Chinese Communist Party headquarters at Zhongnanhai[6] against a critical article written about Falun Gong.[7] In an attempt to eliminate a political threat[8], the Chinese government then began large-scale violent persecution of the practice in mainland China.[9] Amnesty International has condemned the suppression of Falun Gong and similar groups as "undermining the exercise of fundamental rights."[10] However the Chinese goverment has argued that Falun Gong is an 'evil cult'.[11]
The number of practitioners is not known and estimates vary from two million according to the Chinese government to a hundred million according to Li Hongzhi.

This isn't a quick fix, but looking at the edit history I don't think you'll get a consensus and solve the NPOV problem with a couple of quick edits. I hope this is a help and if it's not then I apologise for stirring everyone up again. Here's the link again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alunsalt (talkcontribs)

  • Aaaah, breath of fresh air! You are admirably the first editor in a long time who appears to be working this project from a non-partisan perspective. I agree in essence with each of the main points. Another change which I feel needs making is that the article title 'Persecution of Falun Gong' is non-neutral, and needs to be renamed 'Suppression of Falun Gong'. The most common description in the mainstream press is "clampdown", "suppression" or "alleged persecution", with FG exclusively using "persecution", as if it was de facto and divine given; some human rights groups occasionally also allege "persecution". Much of the more detailed allegations of maltreatment and torture and associated graphic images of people who may or may not have been torture victims are sourced only from WP:SPS or primary sources (directly from FG) and should be deleted. Some practitioners came around and renamed the article "persecution", without any significant discussion, and have resisted attempts to change it back. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:06, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree, Alun's perspective is sound. I'd be happy for him to make another attempt at a major revision of the article. Martin Rundkvist (talk) 06:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Love your work, Alun. For about two or three weeks starting now I won't be able to access wikipedia, but after that, I would gladly join this effort. I am in broad agreement about what you are saying. You made a lot of disclaimers, which is good, because there are many points I would take you to task on. You indicate that these should all be worked out as details, which is useful.
I can't give a comprehensive response to all that you've said right now, because of time constraints. I mostly came on to put a wikibreak tag on my page. I'm happy to see where it goes and help as I can when I get back. I am 'for' the general movement here. I am biased toward Falun Gong, I know that, and do not shy away from admitting it. I think Falun Gong is a good thing, it's as simple as that. At the same time, I am serious about constructing high-level encyclopedic quality articles on the subject. I would not bother investing time in trying to dish out pro-Falun Gong propaganda on wikipedia. No one would buy it, anyway. My primary concern is that the articles are neutral. I have read and am familiar with nearly all the academic literature on Falun Gong, and I nearly always back up what I say with high-level sources, and I make a strong effort to adhere strictly to wikipedia rules. I have backed out of disputes numerous times when I am outgunned, outclassed, or outsourced. I am aware of my bias, but above all am serious about making good, neutral articles. A few miscellaneous points, some thoughts, some responses:
  • I think the general movement in this article should be to treat Falun Gong in its cultural and historical context. This is the best way the subject is going to be properly understood and dealt with. There is some of this already, can do with more. Primarly this is two things: the ontological context (i.e., cultivation practice, qigong, theories of supernormal abilities, multiple dimensions, the divine nature of the universe, the unity between matter and spirit, etc.) and the historical/cultural context (the qigong boom of the 80s and 90s, cultivation practice as passed down through history, the qigong and cultivation discourse of the time). There is quite some material on this, already, and its presence may be strengthened by adding it more to the lead, I think. (David Ownby, probably the foremost expert on Falun Gong in the world, has recently published a book on Falun Gong. If you have a serious interest in this subject, I'd say you should read it.) Actually, you should actually read Zhuan Falun, or listen to the lectures, if you want to get a grip for yourself on what Falun Gong is about.
  • I agree about having much more on the teachings of Falun Gong. This is important. It's just a matter of someone doing it. And 1) I have not had much time, plus, worse, 2) I have not used my time well. Going forward, I would certainly like to see more of this. The persecution emphasis comes about I guess because it's such a huge and prominent thing.
  • You are right that I do not consider Falun Gong homophobic. I have a number of homosexual friends, who I get along very well with. Falun Gong's stake in it is metaphysical, not social. That homosexuals want to have equal marriage rights does not worry me, for example. I never meant to misrepresent anything to you, and whatever I have said has simply expressed my own perceptions. I think I said it was "mentioned two or three times", well, this is obviously wrong if you have actually searched and found a dozen independent instances. I just said that off the top of my head, because I could remember a couple of questions in I think it was the Switzerland conference. Apart from the Switzerland conference I am not too sure what there was. I remembered the LA "treat them as sentient beings", too. You may take from this that I do not actually consider it too important, and neither do practitioners in general. My previous affirmation still stands, an empirical measure of the significance of the subject in the teachings: it would not fill up 5 or 10 full pages, and while there are over 1000 pages of teachings, that's like less than one percent. When treating the teachings of Falun Gong in and of themselves, homosexuality should be put in its proper context. Some journalists and others have criticised Falun Gong for it though, so that should also be aired somewhere (whatever will replace the third-party page, maybe?), and yes, I think it should also be responded to by Falun Gong or sympathisers, which is my next point:
  • That criticism of Falun Gong has followed the form of thesis-antithesis. i.e.: someone is criticising Falun Gong, then Falun Gong or other defends it. This seems to me a fairly natural way of laying out the debate. Falun Gong or others would not be defending Falun Gong if it were not criticised; their argumentation is more-or-less a response to the criticism. You did not have Falun Gong or others pre-1999 arguing how Falun Gong is not a cult, because the CCP was not persecuting them and concocting propaganda. After 1999, you have a stack of this defence discourse. That's just a small point. Top-and-tailing it is not fair, you are right. Note also that mainstream academics on Falun Gong engage in analysis and discussion, rather than sensationalist "exposure" pieces; this is an e.g. of mainstream vs fringe views.
  • I like the ideas about how the overseas stuff should be treated. One thing to note here is that most of this is post-1999, and mostly response to persecution. I.e., the parades, public events, media outlets, websites, non-profit organisations, and so on, set up by practitioners, are all a post-1999 phenomenon, a response to the persecution. You would not see any of this otherwise, and you'd only hear about Falun Gong because you saw them exercising in the local park; it's fundamentally an inward-looking discipline. The overseas page now sucks because it is basically a chronicle of overseas persecution/response, so it's lame. It needs to be more theme-based, and select good examples from a few places to illustrate the different themes. Falun Gong is also one of the largest and most sustained dissident groups from mainland China, throughout the whole history of the CCP. This is a big deal.
  • I don't think a mediator is necessary? It's ironic you would suggest it, because I understand that mediators are basically in cases where there are two disputing parties, which is just what you have signaled should be put a stop to! It don't think it's needed. I want the pages to be great, neutral, and pass community review to become featured. I think the subject deserves it. I also acknowledge that I will have to budge in my own conceptions for this to happen. As of yet, if there are no indications that getting a neutral set of pages is going to be all out warfare, then I don't think mediation is appropriate or necessary. I welcome change to the articles, and a good dose of neutral outside opinion.
  • A final thing in response to confucius. The definition for persecution is: "the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group or individual" (wikipedia) or "A program or campaign to subjugate or eliminate a specific group of people, often based on race, religion, sexuality, or social beliefs." (wiktionary). Isn't that what's happening to Falun Gong in China? is it biased to say that? Disqualifying the pictures of tortured people or protesting in Tiananmen getting beaten down is a surprising move. I don't know if it's because you are saying they are faked or what? On the Behind the Red Wall documentary, there is video footage of Tan Yongjie, pictured here at a doctors surgery, with the doctor talking about his burns. It's not like these pictures are made up, or the fact of the persecution is actually in question, is it? Do you really question that practitioners are being rounded up and jailed, put into forced labour camps, and tortured? Gao Rongrong's pic is also on an Amnesty factsheet. These qualify under fair use, and are used to illustrate the article. Personally, I think it's like trying to delete pictures from the holocaust or Rwandan genocide article, saying they are biased. I would just say: "oh, come on now."
  • The big problem with this article on Falun Gong is one of credibility as so many of the abuse claims put forward by the Falun Gong organization are not only unverifiable in nature, only partially verifiable or only verifiable as fabrications such as the pictures of "abuse victims" that were debunked by a reviewing MD, but their claims otherwise strain the mind to be believable for anyone intimately familiar with China. For instance, the Rhombus Disease Hospital in Shenyang that Falun has claimed to be historically used to cut Falun Gong members up for their organs and dispose of their bodies to the magnitude of thousands of people happens to be and has always been in an unguarded very public place, and is itself an unguarded public hopsital that anyone can walk into all located in a densely populated portion of China. For what they claimed to have happened without anyone knowing or reporting on it other than Falun Gong members and would require a rather harsh stretch of the imagination. The problem is that most people outside of China have no idea what life inside China is really like, or for that matter what the level of individual freedom inside China is really like, so it is easy for them to make uneducated assumptions; problems exist in China, but I'd hardly correlate them to Orwellian proportions. If you'd like to argue with me about it, then I'd suggest you do your homework, as I grew up in Beijing and half of my family still lives in the Shenyang area. Giving deference to Falun Gong for relating things in a truthful manner when they make such outlandish claims is like accepting the words of Alex Jones as a respectable source of journalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beerman5000 (talkcontribs)
This is where I naturally come to better understand the controversy surrounding FG and organ transplantation. The 'debunking' of pictures that you mention doesn't appear in this article or in the organ harvesting article. If it's true, then it needs to be added. Fuzzypeg 01:04, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
  • What I would like to see is neutral language that is a simple necessity of a neutral non-biased article. One cannot state something as fact when it is unproven to be fact and may very well be utterly untrue and thus propagate rather harmful falsehoods. Beerman5000 (talk) 08:27, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
  • This line is quite biased in its approach: "In an attempt to eliminate a political threat[8], the Chinese government then began large-scale violent persecution of the practice in mainland China.[9]" It alleges violence of which there is no proof and alleges that the government merely saw the religion as a political threat when according to them it was banned for being a form of social fraud in which the founders sought money and power from followers at the expense of their followers. Both mentions of violence are unverifiable except by Falun Gong sources. This is still just re-voicing propaganda. An argument could be made for repressing it as a religion, but not for any "large-scale violent persecution" of which there is NO record other than what is said by Falun Gong members themselves. If any personal epithets were at all useful in relating my experiences with Falun Gong, I'd relate them now, but personal stories of unverifiable nature are NOT useful; so, why do so many people here feel that just because claims are levied somewhere online or in some publication they must be related as the "Gospel" truth when Falun Gong has such a highly questionable ability to relate the truth? Beerman5000 (talk) 08:50, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I've seen photos of FG protesters being beaten by plain-clothes police. It seems fairly well established that a huge (huge) number of FG practitioners are held in prisons in China; are you suggesting that China didn't use any violence in detaining any of them? And Amnesty International deal with plenty of individual cases of torture victims from Chinese jails, quite a number of them FG. You're saying Amnesty International just make all this up? Sorry, I don't mean to make this sound accusatory. But what are you saying? Fuzzypeg 01:04, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
This is misleading. There is no reliable source making these statements about those photos. This all comes from blogs and rumours. I suggest anyone who wants to read about this for sure go read the Kilgour Matas report, and I'll copy a line here because they respond to these photograph concerns. Actually, it's not long and I'm going to copy the whole thing here. Usually I don't respond to this kind of nonsense. Most people who peddle this rubbish aren't going to change their minds about this persecution and the reality of it anyway; they have dug in and chosen their side, and they'll say the sky is yellow as long as you say it's blue because you're "the enemy". I copy here the relevant section--Asdfg12345 03:55, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

29) Corpses with missing organs[edit]


A number of family members of Falun Gong practitioners who died in detention reported seeing the corpses of their loved ones with surgical incisions and body parts missing. The authorities gave no coherent explanation for these mutilated corpses. Again the evidence about these mutilated corpses is attached as an appendix to this report.

We have only a few instances of such mutilated corpses. We have no official explanation why they were mutilated. Their mutilation is consistent with organ harvesting.

In the first version of our report, appendix twelve had a photo of a person with stitches after his body was cut open to remove organs. One comment we received back is that the stitches the photos show are consistent with an autopsy.

We observe that organs may indeed be removed for autopsies in order to determine the cause of death. A corpse which has been autopsied may well have stitches similar to those shown in the photo. Outside of China, except for organ donors, that is likely the reason why organs would be removed from a corpse. Similarly, outside of China, when people are blood tested, typically, the test is done for their own health. However, the suggestion that Falun Gong practitioners who are tortured to the point of death are blood tested for their health or that practitioners who are tortured to death are autopsied to determine the cause of death belies the torture experience.

The corpse whose photo we reproduced was that of Wang Bin. Beatings caused the artery in Mr. Wang's neck and major blood vessels to break. As a result, his tonsils were injured, his lymph nodes were crushed, and several bones were fractured. He had cigarette burns on the backs of his hands and inside his nostrils. There were bruises all over his body. Even though he was already close to death, he was tortured again at night. He finally lost consciousness. On the night of October 4, 2000, Mr. Wang died from his injuries.

The purpose of an autopsy report is to determine the cause of death when the cause is otherwise unknown. But in the case of Wang Bin, the cause of death was known before his organs were removed. The suggestion that Wang Bin would be autopsied to determine the cause of death after he was tortured to death is not plausible. There was no indication that the family of Wang Bin was asked for consent before the organs of the victim were removed nor provided an autopsy report afterwards. The suggestion of an autopsy is not a tenable explanation for the stitches on Wang Bin's body.


Anyway, I'm wary of little talk and no action, so I'll stop here, wish you all best of luck in engaging with this complex topic, and rejoin sometime in two weeks to see what great stuff you have cooked up.--Asdfg12345 13:35, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
The following articles, among others, are found on Wikipedia: Persecution of Jews, Persecution of Christians, Persecution of Muslims, Persecution_of_Bahá'ís, Persecution of Hindus, Persecution of Atheists, Persecution of Zoroastrians, Persecution of Rastafari, Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, Persecution of Germanic Pagans, Persecution of Buddhists, and Persecution of Wiccans. Before we can consider changing the article name, you'll have to explain why we should stray from these naming conventions. Olaf Stephanos 13:51, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:Title#Controversial names currently states: "Generally, an article's title should not be used as a precedent for the naming of any other articles." 'Persecution' can be correct by the dictionary and still POV. Many new religious movements could be called cults based on dictionary definitions, but calling them that in titles would be POV. WP:NPOV currently states: "The neutral point of view is a point of view that is neutral, that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject: it neither endorses nor discourages viewpoints." 'Persecution' endorses a viewpoint, however justified that viewpoint may be. --Simon D M (talk) 15:54, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
On the related subject of saying what FG is: The term new religious movement seems to be commonly used by academics with reference to Falun Gong. Of course, many new religious movements object to being called religious, often preferring to be called spiritual paths or cultivations systems or some other term that only covers a part of the subject. --Simon D M (talk) 16:17, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
RE: balance, there needs to be some I'm sure, but for many non-adherents the suppression will be more notable than the beliefs. But as things stand there is too little on beliefs and practices on the main page, too much on the suppression, and too little on the criticisms of FG. --Simon D M (talk) 16:19, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
If there has been historical development on the issue of homophobia, that should find mention on one of the pages. --Simon D M (talk) 16:30, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
By the way, Falun Gong's organ harveting allegation has been discredited by multiple undercover investigations:
US State Dept: (section CRS-7)
Chinese dissident Harry Wu:
An expose from the Ottawa Citizen: (page 3, 4)
Bobby fletcher (talk) 05:58, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Where/How to edit?[edit]

With a bit more thought then I propose we work in three phases.

Phase 1[edit]

We set up an article skeleton in a neutral sandbox. It could go in mine, but I'm wary of making it look like I'm the arbiter of what is or isn't neutral. Shared space would be better. Would a sub-page below Talk avoid auto-deletion?

For this phase we all add in the material we think should be in the article - without deleting anyone else's opinions. So for example under Outside mainland China OhConfucius can put in a sub heading with his name on it. If I want to contribute to that section too then I put in a subheading with my name on it, and work under my sub-heading without touching his. I realise that this will make the draft article MASSIVE and very repetitive, but it will also lay out what we're discussing.

Phase 2[edit]

I'd expect we'll find that the material will fall into three categories.

  • Uncontroversial material

That can go in without a problem. It may need copy editing but that's all.

  • Material where there is more than one opinion to be represented.

When we see what other people have written we'll want to compile the opinions and re-write them in the light of other opinions. Sometimes it'll be easy to say what is X and what is Y in the X then Y model. Sometimes it won't and we'll just have to barter over who is X and Y in that case. I'll also add the clarification this will have to be X then Y - not Y's opinion of X then Y.

  • Contradictory Material

The Propaganda section will produce plenty of this, because someone's going to say "Claim A isn't propaganda! It's a fact!" We'll probably be questioning WP:SPS and WP:RS a lot. I've no easy solution to that.

In this phase it also makes sense to look at the headings. For example I'd be amazed if "Propaganda" was ok with with everyone

A lot of this discussion is not going to be easy. That's why I suggest bringing in a mediator at this stage. I wholeheartedly agree with asdfg12345 that in the long term this is not a good idea. Right now though we've got a discussion with a lot of history and we're human. Even if everyone is working with the best intentions divisions aren't going to magically disappear by turning a new leaf. Someone with experience of mediating would be a big help in this phase.

Phase 3[edit]

With the bulk of the article done we now look at the introduction, We make it fairly minimal if we can and have it mention what is in the article below, not present things as conclusion. Again this may need a mediator.

With the main article ready we then need to discuss what the satellite articles are going to be and how they'll be arranged. The page doesn't exist in isolation and we'll need to look hard at how the various Falun Gong and Qijong pages relate to each other.

The current article[edit]

My only plans for this for now would be to leave it, as it's going to be wiped if we have a new article to put in. I know that means leaving a bad article up for a few more weeks, but I can't see a simple solution to that.

Equally this will be a discussion about the article not about the truth or otherwise about Falun Gong. Just because someone follows Falun Gong that won't rule them out of the discussion any more than being a Catholic rules you out of editing the Catholic pages. I'm not interested in 'enlightening' Falun Gong practioners or showing them the error of their ways. There might be a problem for bias to look out for in some situations, but if we're serious about improving coverage of the beliefs then it's a huge asset for many more.

It's also not about blaming any people for the current article. One of the things which is visible in the archives is that people were doing what they thought would make the article better. It's a collective problem that the process has run into a dead-end.

If some people have a serious problem with this model then I'm not offended, there may be a better way of doing this. This way is not quick but is it workable? Alun Salt (talk) 23:44, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Let's Go[edit]

I've been waiting for the barrage of comments, but the lack of it suggests to me that we may have a relatively uncontentious way forward. Ohconfucius (talk) 05:02, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

uhh? I would encourage others than myself to take the lead in this process. I think Alun's ideas are pretty good. "Propaganda" of course wouldn't be the best section heading—which purported propaganda is it referring to? The vilification against Falun Gong, or Falun Gong's response? I think the CCP stuff has plenty on it and can just go in the persecution article. There is some literature on Falun Gong's discursive media and publicity strategies, how it attempts to represent itself. I think this would be a good section in the Overseas page. There's stuff written in journals, books, and newspaper articles about all the websites, media networks, and so on, practitioners have set up to transmit their message. Assembling all this would make an interesting narrative.
For now, can we clearly identify what the issues are with the current version, and then share on strategies for improving them, then set in motion a concrete process for actually doing so? This seems to tie in a bit with what Mr Salt has already said, though I think it would help now to talk directly about the article, and identify: where it falls short, what we'll do to improve those aspects, and how we are going to do that. Is this a good direction?
one more thing, quickly, is that the main article is, apart from a few sections, almost a feeder of all the daughter articles. It introduces and links to them, which are all aspects of the Falun Gong article series. I would say on the main page there should be some more care to explain more on Falun Gong in itself, i.e., it's teachings, context, then follow with the daughter article blurbs and links. To get to this point effectively though, the daughter articles themselves need to be clear and good. Three daughter articles so far stand out as needing significant improvements/overhauls:
  • Teachings page
  • Overseas page
  • Competing representations (or whatever it will be) page
Work on the main article therefore might be across these sections, also related to the above:
  • getting the lead simple, introductive, interesting
  • more on the context of Falun Gong, as this doesn't belong to any daughter article and needs to be here
  • more on the teachings, where the teachings section on the main page, while still linked like any other daughter article, is accorded significantly more text to introduce itself
There could be more, important stuff to do though, and as I say, I may be better placed by not taking a lead, this is just my 2 cents right here.--Asdfg12345 05:40, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
There's now an article listed at Talk:Falun_Gong/sandbox. I've suggested a target date for the end of April for everyone to contribute, which allows for Wikibreaks, re-thinks etc. If it turns out there's a mad rush at the end of April, we can just extend Phase One a bit. I've put in sample entries in each of the sections so you can see which are mine. Feel free to place your proposals above or below them and disagree vehemently with me if you wish, but in your own section so we're not tripping over each other's edits. I realise a month isn't quick, but at least this way we're not dropping a surprise deadline on anyone. Alun Salt (talk) 13:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Important phenomenon[edit]

Asdfg, you have now reinstated the quotation about FG being an "important phenomenon". I have pointed out repeatedly that those words are empty praise, meaning approximately "really cool" or "frickin' awesome". I am now taking the quotation out yet again. If you must have a quotation from Penny there, then please find one where he says something concrete and substantive, such as "the fastest-growing religion" or "the dominant form of qi gong in the media". If, indeed, he has said something along those lines. Martin Rundkvist (talk) 11:03, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Benjamin Penny, a noted sinologist, claims that Falun Gong is one of the most important phenomena to come out of China in recent years. A WP editor claims this is not a concrete or substantive fact, but merely an opinion, or perhaps they're claiming that it is not clear enough what his statement is about. Either way, they believe it is thus unworthy of inclusion in the article.
My first observation is that Penny's statement wasn't properly cited. Look in reference 6 for the exact quote.
My second observation is that the editor in question needs to make clear whether they're arguing against including this statement on the basis that it is merely opinion, or on the basis that it is unclear or simply a form of praise.
If this statement can be cited, then of course it's a "concrete" and "substantive" fact. The substantive fact being that Penny said it, not necessarily that what he said is true. But that's fine. It may have been only George Bush's "opinion" that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but that opinion came from a major spokesperson who was supposed to be well informed regarding those issues, so the article on the Iraq War quotes his opinion. Pretty much everything in wikipedia comes down to opinion (for instance it is just the opinion of a bunch of physicists that the speed of light is constant with respect to any observer); the reason that any of these opinions are valuable to the reader is that the sources are made clear, so the reader can decide who they agree with. I can't see why citing an opinion would be seen as a problem, unless someone has misinterpreted the verifiability policy.
If the argument is that it's unclear, or simply a form of praise, that doesn't make sense to me. If it were praise (nothing to suggest that it is, though), it's praise by a noted sinologist, which makes it worthy of inclusion. What he's actually saying though is simply that of the various phenomena emerging from China in the last ten years (presumably ranked against other phenomena like bird flu, or that bizarre fascination with Louis Vuitton handbags), Falun Gong is fairly important. Big on the "newsworthy" scale. Likely to rock our world. Something like that.
If Penny's statement had been impossible to make sense of, I would possibly agree with its removal, although I would first check the source to see whether any vital context was missing. However this is plain English, and all the context necessary to understand it is supplied. He's a sinologist. He thinks Falun Gong is an important phenomenon. He doesn't say it's frickin' cool. That's not what "important" means.
If you still disagree with that statement's inclusion, then please clearly explain which WP policy you're basing your claim on. Cheers, Fuzzypeg 04:48, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Nobody, sinologist or otherwise, is suggesting that FG is too unimportant to warrant an article in Wikipedia. So the article isn't improved by quoting people who say it's important. It's just redundant information. You might as well quote every single Chinese politician who has deemed FG important enough to mention in a speech. Please revert your edit. I'll wait a few days. Martin Rundkvist (talk) 08:04, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand why you bring up notability policy, which allows articles to be written about quite obscure and unimportant subjects. The fact that FG has an article in no way makes the quoted statement redundant. The reader cannot imply that FG is one of the most important phenomena arising in China in the 1990s, simply from the fact that it has an article in Wikipedia. Oh, and if a Chinese politician had said the same thing as Perry, that would definitely be worth quoting, and I'm sure that politician would be in prison by now!
Enough of these non-sequiturs. As I've already asked, please clearly explain why this is an unsuitable quote to include in the article and which Wikipedia policy you're basing your argument on. We can only have a reasonable debate about this once you explain what your actual position is and stick to it. Last week your argument was that "important" was synonymous with "frickin' cool", and this week you've changed tack entirely, saying that because FG has a WP article the quote doesn't add any new information. Rather than answer any of my points from my previous post, you've advanced a new, equally bizarre argument. Please choose your argument(s), explain them clearly, and stick to them, and we can start to debate their merits.
Thanks, Fuzzypeg 02:12, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the important phenomenon bit by Penny. The sentence is irrelevant. Intranetusa (talk) 20:27, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Notable Sources supporting FLG "Controversial Religious Movement" description[edit]

Can we use it now? WSJ here, has said "religious movement":

You can find many instances of such from notable sources. It should be acceptable in wiki.

In conjunction with other notable sources declaring FLG "controversial movement", such description should be okay, per wikipedia policy. Matt, unless you object... Bobby fletcher (talk) 05:04, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Are there any drafts in the works?[edit]

Hello, I just got my hands on some free time, I did not read everything on the talk page just yet, so I would like to know if there are any drafts in the works, on the Category:Falun_Gong pages. Thank You --HappyInGeneral (talk) 10:18, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Ohconfucius, in the mean time I read today the talk page. Good work Alun, this opens up for a really civilized way of doing things :) --HappyInGeneral (talk) 11:25, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Disputing TheZirk's blanking of fact from notable source[edit]

This fact from notable source has been discussed, please check the talk archive first before blanking Bobby fletcher (talk) 20:58, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

The given link doesn't work. would this link be more reliable? Or is there another reliable site where this judgement is quoted? Fuzzypeg 00:19, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I see you've already changed the link. Sorry. And that's probably the safest way to ensure the link doesn't go out of date, to simply link to the search page. Well done. Fuzzypeg 00:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Not very appropriate or relevant, IMHO. There's more about the judge's view that the movement or followers do not accept criticism well than the case itself. The title is also dubious from a NPOV standpoint: a heading saying 'controversy' and text saying a judge believes it is controversial. Big deal. Tell us something new? Clearly inappropriate here, regardless of whether a reliable source is available for that comment - a case of an editor trying to make a point here, methinks. Come back when you have something pertinent to say. Reverting for now. Ohconfucius (talk) 06:54, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
There is editorial disagreement here, true; but that doesn't necessarily mean that Bobby Fletcher is trying to push his view and you are not, Ohconfucious. You may not agree with the judge's decision, but the fact is it is a judgement based on measured evaluation of evidence, made in the supreme court of Canada and setting a legal precedent for Canada. Remember that a judge's job is to sift the evidence and make dispassionate judgements. It's their profession. Statements like that are not made lightly, and carry a lot of weight, as much as, say, Penny's statement that Falun Gong is one of the most important phenomena to arise in China in the 1990s. The statement is clearly attributed, so readers can decide for themselves whether it's simply a reflection of the judge's own biases.
Perhaps it doesn't require its own heading, but I believe the statement should remain somewhere in the article. Fuzzypeg 00:42, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not disputing the validity or the credibility of the quote, or its sourcing. Whether I personally agree with it or not is neither here nor there. The problem as I saw it, and stated above, was that the paragraph is not pertinent. There's nothing about the case, except that the judge said FG is a controversial movement. A supreme court justice's opinion may be important, but this comment is not exactly cited in a context which allows us to understand it for what it is. I'm sorry, I still don't see why it should belong. Ohconfucius (talk) 01:55, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've now read the case. You asserted that it is ground-breaking, but I cannot find any sources to back your claim up. AFAICT, the case was a set up by 232 Canadian FG practitioners as a sort of 'class action libel' case against a small-run Chinese newspaper whose persistently critical views and articles offended them. They succeeded in taking it all the way to the superior court. The case was summarised by the judge as" as to the effectiveness of a class action in the context of collective defamation, as opposed to its availability, there is no certainty
"The evidence is not sufficient to allow the Court to come to the conclusion that the contents of the impugned articles... are false, grossly inaccurate, published to incite hatred and derision in Canada or persecution in the People's Republic of China"
or in plain English: "The court rejected the plaintiffs claim of class action, and stated that there was insufficient evidence that the journal had published false and grossly inaccurate articles in order to incite hatred and derision of Falun Gong practitioners"
I still doubt the case is worth citing. The source document is a primary source, and although it may have picked up coverage, but there are no secondary sources I could find. If include this apparently minor civil case, there could be endless edit wars over the Truthful, Compassionate, and Forbearant (sic) behaviour of FG practitioners in this case and also further afield in their attempts to silence the movement's critics. Ohconfucius (talk) 04:07, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Ohconfucius Please Don't 'blank' or DE fact from notable source[edit]

As you can see, more than one editor disagree with you. BTW There are plenty of secondary soruce:

I question why you are using Google HK and the case title instead of how this news would be reported? Look like you are trying not to find news about it. If you noticed all the Falun Gong media made a huge fuss over this case. I didn't think you are insinuating Epoch Times is not reliable source? Bobby fletcher (talk) 19:54, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Kindly do your homework before you accuse me of blanking fact from a notable source. I did find mentions of the case. On a more precise search, I found 28 unique Ghits: the only secondary sources appear to be Clearwisdom and Epoch Times, neither of which I consider reliable sources. What is more, I found no direct reference to the judge's statement as to the "controversial movement", even in the two abovementioned (hardly surprising, though, as FG don't like criticism). Notwithstanding, I still completely challenge the relevance of the "fact" you posted, as previously explained. Just because something exists and can be cited doesn't mean it Should be cited -certainly if it fails the relevance test. It's up to you to find a primary source and a rationale for inclusion. So far, you do not appear to have, so reverting for now. Ohconfucius (talk) 02:04, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
What, prey tell, is the "relevance test"? And why do we need secondary sources when the primary source is perfectly reliable itself? Perhaps you could point us to the WP policies or guidelines regarding these. Thanks, Fuzzypeg 02:12, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Discussion with Ohconfucius copied from User talk:Fuzzypeg and User talk:Ohconfucius

OK, I've now read the case. You asserted that it is ground-breaking, but I cannot find any sources to back your claim up. AFAICT, the case was a set up by 232 Canadian FG practitioners as a sort of 'class action libel' case against a small-run Chinese newspaper whose persistently critical views and articles offended them. They succeeded in taking it all the way to the supreme court. The case was summarised by the judge as" as to the effectiveness of a class action in the context of collective defamation, as opposed to its availability, there is no certainty [...] "The evidence is not sufficient to allow the Court to come to the conclusion that the contents of the impugned articles... are false, grossly inaccurate, published to incite hatred and derision in Canada or persecution in the People's Republic of China"

or in plain English: "The court rejected the plaintiffs claim of class action, and stated that there was insufficient evidence that the journal had published false and grossly inaccurate articles in order to incite hatred and derision of Falun Gong practitioners"

I still doubt the case is worth citing. The source document is a primary source, and although it may have picked up coverage, but there are no secondary sources I could find. If include this apparently minor civil case, there could be endless edit wars over the Truthful, Compassionate, and Forbearant (sic) behaviour of FG practitioners, attempting to silence the movement's critics. I'll leave it for you to decide whether that's desirable. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi, you said "You asserted that it is ground-breaking". Where did I assert this?
Now regarding whether we do or don't include this reference, your argument seems to be that it is only a relatively minor case, and leaving it in will only promote edit warring, as other minor cases are added to the article. If I've misunderstood you, then please correct me.
My response to this would be that while the case itself is relatively minor, it prompted the judge to make a broadly-stated comment about Falun Gong in general. The text quoted in the article refers not to the specific civil action, but to the Judge's summary of the Falun Gong movement in general. This quote is interesting, because it is an appraisal from an independent westerner who is (or should be) dispassionate and informed, and it is valuable, because it is one of the few distinctly negative appraisals from someone who (frankly) doesn't work for the Chinese government. I think it provides a valuable point of balance. Any sane person is going to waqnt to find better information than the rantings of the Chinese government, but once you take those out of the picture you're left with a very idealistic depiction of a movement without flaws. Statements like this judge's one, from independent sources, help balance that picture out and give the reader some sense of context. They understand that FG may be flawed (depending on the one's perspective), and if so those flaws largely come down to the fact that it promotes mysticism, and that it has a tendency not to accept criticism.
A little bit of bland criticism like that shows up China's extreme criticism for what it really is. It provides an independent perspective. Fuzzypeg 06:04, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • You said "setting a legal precedent for Canada" which is pretty ground-breaking. But again, I have found no sources to back it up. By your own apparent admission, it is indeed a pretty minor case. As to summarising my reasoning, you missed the bit about it coming only from a primary source, as far as the comment is specifically concerned ;-). Your interpretation about the judge's comment about it being a "useful and interesting" general statement provided to give balance (third paragraph), relying only on a primary source and in the absence of a reliably published commentary to that effect, appears to me to be original research. I am arguing that, without context of the legal case and the deliberations of the judge, the stand-alone comment lacks pertinence. Ohconfucius (talk) 08:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
If you think that legal precedents are "ground breaking" that's your words, not mine. I don't see them as ground breaking; any supreme court ruling is seen as a legal precedent, that's just the way it works.
My wording was "relatively minor", which is a relative statement. I didn't call it a "pretty minor case". My intention was to say that the importance of that particular civil case between the FG practitioners and the newspaper was of relatively minor interest to the article, since the article already describes plenty of more extreme examples of mistreatment and misrepresentation of FG practitioners; the comments of the judge regarding FG in general are more important, though, since they fill an under-represented gap in the article: independent criticism of FG.
I didn't miss your statement about secondary sources, I just didn't realise you were expressing that you have a problem with primary research. Primary research is fine in WP. A secondary source that summarises this and other cases would have the added bonus of providing the information more succinctly as well as giving extra contextual information, but until such a secondary source is found, a primary source is just fine.
My comments about why I think this information is useful to readers are not original research, at least not as Wikipedia terms it. If I was adding those thoughts to the article then it would be OR, but this is merely discussion about the article. By your reasoning, everything on these talk pages could be called OR and ignored, and we'd have constant edit warring because there would never be any meaningful editorial discussion. Editorial discussion is not OR. If you don't agree with something I say it's because you simply don't agree, not because it's OR.
If you think more needs to be mentioned about the trial for the information to be "pertinent" then we can mention a little more about the trial. All that needs to be said is that it was in the context of a case claiming defamation against FG practitioners.
Oh, and I'm copying this to the article talk page, since other editors might have an opinion. Fuzzypeg 02:12, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I suggest the quote belongs either in the "Outside mainland China" section, or the Third-party views on Falun Gong article. Fuzzypeg 02:24, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I just don't see how the judge's statement (paragraph 40 of the judgement) relates to the topic in question. Why we should have a statement by a judge, cited out of context, saying that Falun Gong "is a controversial movement, which does not accept criticism" should be inserted? Just because there is no independent criticism which could be cited does not appear to be a good reason. The movement is controversial and opinions are extremely polarised. The fact remains that this case was reported nowhere, AFAICT, except for Epoch Times. If you really looked hard, you will find plenty more relevant criticism elsewhere without resorting to putting in stuff which is problematic. I have found relevant criticism in some of the articles Ian Johnson has written, and I am sure there is more. Ohconfucius (talk) 02:40, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Can you leave other people's edit alone, until the dispute is resolved? Obviousley, more than one editors disagrees with you, but you keep blanking the fact from the article. There are other ways to improve the article besides blanking. You say there are more relevant criticism but I don't see you using them to replace what you deleted.
Also can you find ONE place in the wiki that followed up on the brief mentioning of this decision in the lead? Detailed discussion of this case is necessary to back up the summary in the lead. And everything quoted is relevant to Falun Gong's controversial nature. As this wiki is not FLG promotional material, facts like this should be allowed.
I'm going to revert your blanking, until we can come to an agreement, or have the dispute arb'd - please do not DE other's good faith edit of notable facts until we reach a resolution.
I disagree with your challange - what now, should we go to arb?
BTW, I tried to add an article from Asia Times by Italian journalist Francisco Scici, but it was blanked too - citing something you said which you never responded to:
Bobby fletcher (talk) 22:49, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, why don't we try and find some other opinions? The statement which you keep on reinserting is not only irrelevant, but as it stands grossly misrepresents the judgement, which is about a class-action libel case brought by FG practitioners against a small-circulation Chinese journal in Canada. You are trying to score a point about the controversy of the movement by using a court ruling, and using it completely out of context. Ohconfucius (talk) 12:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Ohconfucius, how about you add some of the critique by Ian Johnson that you mentioned. Hopefully that would make this court ruling redundant and we could drop this argument. You talk about opinions being extremely polarised regarding this controversial subject — that's precisely why I feel an independent and highly reputable source such as a supreme court judge is so worth including. But if there's some good summary discussion by Ian Johnson then I'd be happy to go with that. Fuzzypeg 05:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Ohconfucius, I must again ask you to not DE other editor's goodfaith edit until your disagreement with multiple editors is resolved. The quoted portion of the judgement is never meant to reflect the case itself - it is meant as a notable source declaring Falun Gong controversial - because some other editors disputed the characterization of "controversial", hence the need for such fact to be cited. Also, this case was mentioned in the lead, naturally a discussion of the summary item is appropriate in the body of the article, therefor relevant.
BTW, if you are not aware of some other people's representation of what you said, I'm going to put the cited links back in.Bobby fletcher (talk) 18:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The way you keep on reverting me, completely ignoring my arguments, makes me suspect that good faith may not figure very highly on your agenda. I don't think there's any contention FG are controversial, but we just don't need irrelevant and out-of-context citations here. This article is crap enough as it is. Although I still do not believe the paragraph belongs, I have now put the text into a relevant context, I hope there is no more argument on this point. Ohconfucius (talk) 02:04, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I can say the same thing about you - TWO editors disagrees with your blanking, yet you keep doing it. And none of the suggestions made to you was acceptable (move the fact, replace it with another fact). And even now your edit has removed the quote that speaks about why the judge thought FLG was controversial.
If Falun Gong's controversial nature is such a widely accepted fact, why has there been so much problem with it getting removed in the article? At one point all critical facts were POV Forked to another article, and this wiki became FLG promotional material. Bobby fletcher (talk) 02:53, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Read my lips: "If you find something relevant and within context, I'll buy it". It's neither, so stop trying to push it like it is. I just changed it to make it relevant - I don't think I removed very much that was relevant. The judge didn't award against FG practitioners for being controversial or for "teachings promise supernatural and healing powers, purification with a wheel in the stomach, and reject science". The comment was made en passant. For the hive of activity this article has been, it's suddenly gone all quiet. Could all the action be over at 2008 Tibetan unrest or 2008 Olympic Torch relay? I'll have you know that two people (over one) hardly counts as a majority, and certainly isn't consensus as far as it's know on wikipedia, so will you kindly stop your 'holier than thou' attitude. I welcome other comments. Ohconfucius (talk) 03:00, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Two people is more than one. Also you read the decision wrong. According to [26], [30] the silent plaintiff were dismissed as a class:
[26] accordingly, the class action should go ahead on that basis
[30] Accordingly, these 220 silent petitioners have not discharged their burden of proof and their claim shall be dismissed.
BTW, no one ignored your argument - let me repeat agin - this fact is notable, relevant to the article "Falun Gong", and is made in the context of other editors blanking the the "controversial" edit on the basis of non-notability.
Your arguments were ddressed - you simply choose to ignore them. Bobby fletcher (talk) 03:21, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
So what if it's en-passant? Even if FLG won, the judge's NOTABLE STATEMENTS re FLG's controversial nature, and her noting controversial aspects of FLG's teachings would still be relevant to this article. Get it thru your head - the lawsuit and who won is never the point. Bobby fletcher (talk) 03:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

My own analysis[edit]

As an American with no connection to either China or Buddhism, I came across Falun Gong when going through a search for truth, that included looking at many spiritual beliefs, and what I came across makes me believe that almost every article on new-age religions such as Scientology sides with the religion rather than what the religion actually represents. I did see many pamphlets from Falun itself that posits the founder of Falun with Buddha himself, which the founder is now denying. The articles here are some of the most vehemently pro-falun that I have ever encountered and whitewashes everything that has been said about the religion. I believe that a major rewrite is in order. EgraS (talk) 01:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

This article was hijacked by Falun Gong disciples and I suspect also reporters of FLG newspaper Epoch Times, and turned into Falun Gong promotional matierial. Those of us who simply wanted to add facts otherwise where blanked, incessantly challanged, some even arbed to death. Trust me this is not over. They are quiet now because the FLG editors probably emailed eachother to lay low, wait out the impartial editors who have come here, and after Martin, Alum, etc., are gone - they'll come back and hack it up again.
Just look at the history of this Wiki you'll see what I'm talking about. Bobby fletcher (talk) 03:39, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll do some additional research on all the claims in this article and play my part. EgraS (talk) 05:14, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Just so you know what you are getting yourself into, check the 2 most recent talk archives. The Epoch Times reporter I suspect is the coordinator in "defending" these Falun Gong wikis. He's Australian, and just happen to disappear from Wikipedia while the Olympic torch go thru Australia? IMHO it's not a coincidence. These FLG disciples/editors is known to tag-team stuff they don't like, and a single editor only has 3 revert (else it's WP violation and arb, look at top of talk.)
Also, check the rewrite section and sandbox Alunm started. Bobby fletcher (talk) 17:36, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

As an editor who came to the FG articles fairly randomly (I was looking for more info on FG), I'm not interested in taking anybody's side. I'm just interested in being able to read a balanced article that contains the major relevant information. I've been very sad to see the state of the discussions here. This is not the climate of friendly collaboration that WP is trying to create. Both sides seem eager and willing to descend into sniping about each other rather than just discussing the material in question. Wikipedia actually has guidelines to deal with most editorial disputes, which should allow us to avoid these personal accusations. Certainly I don't believe such accusations help anything. Do we really expect an editor to say "You got me. I'm a fanatical FG member who's plotting to subvert Wikipedia to spread our lies. Sorry, my mistake" or "That's right, I'm a Chinese agent employed to subvert the Wikipedia to spread our lies. Sorry, I'll stop doing that"? No.

Lets not worry about each other's motivations, lets stop these accusations. If someone's going against WP guidelines then it doesn't really matter why they're doing so. They will be demonstrably wrong and if they try to persist they'll look like a WP:DICK, not to mention that they'll feel like a dick too. However if we focus on the article content and keep personal snipes out of it, then we can hopefully regain a little of that pleasure that good writing and good debate should bring. Fuzzypeg 22:37, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

100% in agreement with you :) This attitude is very much needed! Please stay some more! --HappyInGeneral (talk) 16:43, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay Fuzzy, here're the facts about the DE editor Asdfg has made: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobby fletcher (talkcontribs) 05:27, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Dragon Springs[edit]

According to this article, and this one too, Falun Gong practitioners are in the process of building a large temple complex in upstate New York. I don't know if these sources are good enough to be used in the article, but it seems that some mention of this place would be beneficial to the article. What do you guys think? Strellson (talk) 14:37, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Here are some more factual citations on the Cuddebackville Falun Gong compound. Acccording to a reporter, two deaths have occured in recently months. I have citation for the construction accident, if anyone can find the citation for the other (a practioner appearantly died from refusal of medical care) please post and help edit these facts in:

Bobby fletcher (talk) 05:36, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

15/5 rem paragraph from lead, yes/no?[edit]

I removed the paragraph from the lead because I thought it was extraneous detail, and that the lead should be a summary of the article, and that it was getting into the detail of nutting out what people think and why in too much space. there are four paragraphs, max, to explain the key issues about Falun Gong. Aside from this, Singer is a very controversial figure and her theories, I'm not talking her musings on Falun Gong here, are highly contested and not accepted among many scholars. Further, when it comes to Falun Gong she's a nobody, and her views are decisively fringe and radical. there are no mainstream academics and researchers of Falun Gong who support them, at all. I didn't consider so much that I was removing criticism, because the paragraph contained as much praise as criticism, but moving extraneous information to the appropriate section. There's a huge amount more to this topic than this, and spending that many words on it just seems odd. Mrund, let's hear your justification, and others may be interested to discuss also. --Asdfg12345 13:00, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I don't really see why scholarly views and scholarly views alone should feature in the lead section. If so, I think some of the text in the passage inserted by MRund would be relevant as anything else. Specifically, I believe that the lead should state what FG is, where it came from, that it was banned by the Chinese Govt following a large-scale demonstration in 1999. I know it may be problematic, but I think that because they are markedly different, there should also be a summary of the varying types of views from the different classes of third parties, namely mass-media, sinologists, "cult-ologists". Ohconfucius (talk) 02:33, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Concerning specific text in the lead, I believe "Two months later, the Chinese government began a large-scale persecution, including widespread propaganda, torture, illegal imprisonment, forced labour, and psychiatric abuses." is too "in your face" and should be considerably abridged for the lead. The statement is much too emotive, and too much a composite to be adequately attributed here in the lead. I would certainly remove the more subjective "large-scale persecution" and "widespread propaganda". We can substitute this whole sentence with a mention of allegations of torture and other HR abuses, and referenced to Amnesty or HRIC. I believe that for brevity and a cleaner start to the article, "Falun Gong comprise 66% of all reported torture cases in China, and at least half of the labour camp population" could be removed from the lead altogether. Even if we cannot agree to remove, I don't see that we need 7 references seeing as the comment came from the UN (if memory serves), so that one citation alone should suffice. Ohconfucius (talk) 02:33, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The lead already states what Falun Gong is and where it came from and that it the persecution started after the Zhongnanhai appeal.
  • I don't see how that sentence is emotive. Itis a description of the actions taken by the Chinese authorities against Falun Gong practitioners. Of course it can easily be attributed, either one reference for each point, or a bunch of references at the end. There are innumerable references for each of these points, as you would know. Was the persecution not large scale, the propaganda not widespread? Actually, according to countless sources and most that discuss the persecution in any depth, it was both these things. I don't believe these are subjective terms. All media was used to vilify Falun Gong, the whole police force was mobilised against practitioners, even the army was involved in some aspects, and a special, extra-constitutional agency was set up specifically for it. They had mass book burnings in the streets, constant news bulletins with "new findings" about the "cultic nature" of Falun Gong, stop work meetings, and so on--can we say that something encompassing every aspect of Chinese society wasn't widespread and large scale? In these circumstances, they are not subjective descriptors, like "horrible" or "vicious", or what have you.
  • The two facts you mention, 66% and majority forced labour, are key facts in this whole thing. It's terribly significant that Falun Gong alone are 66% of reported torture cases, when the next group down is something like 7%. And that Falun Gong alone are more than half the entire labour camp population, when the rest consist of a multitude of other groups. These are obviously very significant pieces of information.
  • 7 citations is obviously overkill, 66% is from UN, two thirds is from US State dept., and both those sources also testify to the psychiatric and other things. I don't mind on this point.
  • Related to this, and something else to consider which I am sure we agree on: the persecution of Falun Gong is the primary aspect of Falun Gong's notability. There is no question of that.
  • The reason views such as those of Singers are not accorded much space is because they are fringe and radical views. They should be outlined in the appropriate section, but they do not constitute the majority of, or the mainstream discussion or perspective on Falun Gong.
  • I think the lede should actually be something like this: it should have a paragraph or half a paragraph for each topic Falun Gong involves across these pages, more or less. So that introductory paragraph, which also serves for the teachings, then a paragraph of the persecution, a paragraph Falun Gong outside mainland (something quite important and entirely overlooked so far. But don't worry, Ownby and Porter have done good studies, and Ownby presents demographics and analyses, explanation of the form Falun gong practice currently takes, (like on average they spend 13 hours per week on their activities, they are in this or that income bracket, whatever) etc.), and somewhere in there if there are miscellaneous details we could add them in--this might include also a mention of the qigong historical context. I understand that this part could be hard to do because these pages are still so much up in the air and many things still need to be nailed down. A whole lot needs to be straightened out here, across nearly all the pages. I think the lead will have to be an outline of the topic and a quick explanation of the key information covered across the wiki articles. But since we aren't even at that point, in the end it does not really seem to make sense to talk much about the lead and how we should do it, because it's going to change in the end anyway. For now, I'm happy if other editors are happy, and we can cross that bridge when we come to it.--Asdfg12345 06:22, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Details here really need to be cleaned up[edit]

There is a huge amount of discretion needed in this article. How many people actually believe that half of all people sentenced to "hard labor" in china are members of Falun Gong? Almost ALL prison terms in China include labor as rehabilitation. China has about 1.4 billion people in it and this article says HALF of the people serving labor sentences are FALUN GONG? That doesn't just sound ridiculous, it's also patently untrue. I'm seriously tempted to start citing sources in other articles that use Alex Jones as a source to bring attention to the less than accurate nature of this article in many places. I won't, because that would be "vandalism" and I know that Alex Jones is a habitual liar. This article is based entirely on the same kinds of inaccuracies and pro-agenda propaganda.

I'm not saying their claims should be removed; I'm saying that they should be related AS claims and not AS facts. I can sight testimonies from dozens of sources that say Falun Gong is manufacturing these stories. The crazy thing about this, is I don't particularly even like the government of the PRC, I just think that allowing slanderous and libelous language to be written as fact, without FACTS being involved, more than a little counterproductive. it feds into what I feel is an agenda to drum up hatred for the PRC (and the chinese by proxy). It also has the nasty side effect of white-washing the misdeeds of Falun Gong. Beerman5000 (talk) 08:19, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Falun Gong is a joke, 99 percent of what they say are lies. (talk) 21:00, 18 May 2008 (UTC0
this website is designed to present things from a neutral position. I don't like this article anymore than you do, but it seems that clearing up the outlandish claims presented in this article is going to be rather difficult since so much of what Falun Gong claims is reported as truth by biased, unsuspecting, or just plain ignorant media agents. it should be noted that I don't use the term ignorant as an insult, but the whole truth of falun gong seems to have evaded quite a few people. Telling people NOT to seek medical care or risk certain damnation is an evil thing to do indeed. What is worse, the organization is clearly only telling people not to seek medical care because they see it as a 'threat' to their business. after all, if people start listening to MD's for medical advice rather than some qi-gong guru they'd pretty much be out of work since so much of their practices could be served by any number of other excercise programs. The spiritual side and promise of eternal youth, magic powers and longevity if you truly master their disciplines are what set them apart; in short, without outlandish fictional claims that have the nasty side effect of destroying people's lives and health Falun Gong would be out of business. I can't see how the label "evil cult" would be misplaced given that understanding. yet, it is not the place of this article to place such a label; it is the place of this article to relate facts and facts without regard to intentional distortions; something that this article has soundly failed to do. Beerman5000 (talk) 13:14, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Falun Gong tells more lies than the communist government.[edit]

Take a look at the report by Falun Gong on recent earth quake in China, one article on their website claims Chinese refuse to let outside help come in in order to cover up dark secret. However, as the day article was written, there are rescue team from 13 countries in China. There are so many lies like this, it is not even funny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

No kidding (talk) 22:33, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I am a Falun Gong practitioner, I can tell you that I'm very sorry for the all the people who lost their lives, lost relatives or where injured because of the earth quake or because of human negligence. Could you please cite your sources? Thank you. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 23:00, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Look at report here [1], Falungong hosted a party to urge people quite communist party in the time of earthquake.Foxhunt99 (talk) 21:43, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Try: Peaceful Rally Attacked in New York City's Chinatown --Asdfg12345 03:19, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah that is from Falungong news paper, of course they are going to argue they are innocent. I am not any fan of the chinese communist party, but picking a time of earthquake to have a rally like this shows some seriously lack of compassion. The Chinese government acted super fast, way better than what the US government did in Katrina. Yet, the falungong attacks the government for not responding? That is just disgusting. Even the Taiwan governemnt give Millions of dollars to Chinese government. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Foxhunt99 (talkcontribs) 16:06, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
This is not an appropriate forum for complaints about either China or Falun Gong. This is already a very active talk page; please limit yourself to discussing editorial content (that is, what material is to be included in the article, which sources to use, etc). Unless the recent earthquake is going to be a topic of this article, discussion about it should be taken elsewhere. Fuzzypeg 01:14, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Fuzzy, I'm a newbie, so please help me understand the rules. Supposed I am a reporter working for a newspaper, and I post/promote articles from that newspaper - is that a violation of Wikipedia's policy? Like self-publication? Thanks!
Bobby fletcher (talk) 05:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
No it's not a violation of the rules, however Wikipedia does have warnings around this. Read the conflict of interest and reliable source guidelines for more info. Fuzzypeg 04:58, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Number of external links[edit]

Ohconfucius, wasn't you who come up with the idea that we should limit the number of external links? Please let us know what do you think now about this issue, so I can start collecting links and be in an agreement on this point with you. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 16:52, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:EL states that external links should be kept to a minimum.

I also do not believe there should be a crude 'equality in number of links' criteria as to what to include. I also don't see why they should be categorised as "critical sites" and "other sites", but apparently that was the consensus. In order to avoid running foul of WP:UNDUE, the number of critical links should by rights exceed the number of those eulogising, but I won't develop this any further. I may not necessarily agree to what became of the pared down list, but for a while there was calm on those waters. However, somewhere along the way, a FG editor removed the Asia Times link as "an attack piece", which could be interpreted as "I don't agree with it". I have examined both: I consider that Rick Ross a rather comprehensive resource of press cuttings which are probably only rivalled by CESNUR; the Asia Times article should be kept because it is a long and detailed criticism of the Falun Gong phenomenon and actions which cannot be reflected in the article because of its length - All the more important seeing that most of the criticisms of FG have been relegated to a 'third party view' article.

I certainly object most strongly to your threat to inundate this article with additional links - I have no doubt in what quantities and what content these links will include. ;-) Any attempt to restore the external list to its former overpopulated state will be resisted. Ohconfucius (talk) 02:17, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Why would you consider things that come from me a threat? Am I your enemy? If so why? Have you ever heard of balanced according to WP:Undue? We are building an encyclopedia after all which should contain all relevant views. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 13:32, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I have just replaced the Rick Ross link with CESNUR. Ohconfucius (talk) 02:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Distortion of cited references[edit]

An accurate representation of information from references is the foundation of Wikipedia. This is not done in some cases for this article. I relate here one example: "An extra-constitutional body, the '6-10 Office' was created to 'oversee the terror campaign,'[43] ..."

There is in fact no report or any claim by a credible source for the existence of such an organization. The cited reference, an article in Forbes, mentions the "6-10 Office" as an allegation made by some Falungong "survivors." As even the Forbes article includes no other source, this claim of "extra-constitutional body" that "oversee[s] the terror campaign" cannot be independently verified. Yet, the prominent placement of the above statement in the section titled "The persecution" and its wording clearly misrepresents its claim as a fact or at the very least as the result of some reputable investigation when it could just as likely be the ravings of some cultist lunatics fabricating stories to harm the reputation of the PRC government. Statements like these border on slander, especially given the inescapable similarity of the alleged "6-10 Office," if it exists, to other infamous organizations like the Nazis Gestapo and the Soviet NKVD.

I have not read all the cited references, but I wonder how many other statements in the article are opinions from editorials or even insubstantiated sources masquerading as facts. It is hard to judge whether this article has unacceptable pro or anti-Falungong tilt, but it is not hard to find inaccuracies in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


The article extensively discusses the various alleged persecutions that the Falungong practitioners have experienced under the Chinese government. However, no where in the article is the anti-government activities of the Falungong mentioned. In addition to the persistent protests that disrupt Chinese diplomatic functions throughout the world, the Falungong controls through its followers numerous media outlets that have openly and aggresively attacked the government of China, including a disruption of a joint news conference by President George Bush and President Hu Jintao. Although these are not official organizations of the Falungong, their extensive reach and their social impact should be discussed as an important factor in the Chinese government's decision to outlaw Falungong. Furthermore, the extremely hostile attitude taken by these self-proclaimed neutral media outlets toward the Chinese government, their repeated attacks and calls for the destruction of the Chinese Communist Party, and the fact that no official from Falungong has called a stop to these deeply polarizing political stances by the most influential publication associated with the Falungong at least brings to question that Falungong is a simple religious movement and not, as the Chinese government accuses, an act of sedition orchestrated by some under the guise of religion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

All these activities started to take place only after the Chinese Communist Party started imprisoning and torturing Falun Gong practitioners to death for their peaceful beliefs. They are also all peaceful responses. Right and wrong has not been clearer. In terms of the article, there is a lot more work to do on it. If you would like to contribute, I would suggest reading the core wikipedia policies WP:NPOV, WP:V, WP:OR, creating an account, and drinking a bottle of good will.--Asdfg12345 22:48, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

After i read this unsigned post just now, i felt the strong urge to show you guys what it reminded me of:

don't get this the wrong way... i just want you guys to understand that it is not possible to just simply go ahead and torture and kill people and put them in labor camps and exterminate them. You need prejudices to justiify it, and as stupid as it sounds simple prejudices like these just now are totaly sufficiant... i mean they where sufficant for Hitler and Nero anyway.

--Hoerth (talk) 18:41, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Asdfg, actually that's incorrect. The Falun Gong undertook anti-government activities such as protests, which caused the CCP government to ban Falun Gong and begin its persecution. Intranetusa (talk) 20:22, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

In China, it is every citizen's right to appeal to the government. All they did was exercise their constitutional right to appeal; they did so peacefully, seeking redress for illegal beatings and imprisonment. Do you really regard that an anti-government activity warranting a brutal persecution (which most members of the politburo at that time even, did not)?--Asdfg12345 00:51, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Their activities does NOT warrant a brutal persecution. Now it is a fact that the communist government did not warrant widespread persecution of the Falun Gong until after the FG organized widespread protests. The CCP persecuting random organizations that isn't a threat would be the equivalent of shooting itself in the foot. Intranetusa (talk) 07:23, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll repeat myself:

  • 'Just because I oppose your beliefs of supporting the Falun Gong does not mean I warrant its persecution by the CCP government.'

Intranetusa (talk) 07:23, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Intranetusa, I am in complete agreement with you on this. Asdfg's simplistic pronouncement is exactely why this article needs a POV flag. To ignore the political climate and why the crackdown happened is utterly shameful.
Here's an article that talks about the Falun Gong protest being supported and organized by senior military and intel officers in CPP, and it is in fact a political move - the aging Cultural Revolution era cadres were using Falun Gong to stage a political coup, and the prevailing powers in China's government reacted:
(Section 5 on Religion) Bobby fletcher (talk) 06:20, 25 June 2008 (UTC)


Someone should add controversies regarding his:

  • 1. His anti-homosexual comments
  • 2. His comments on how people have race gods, and interracial relationships are immoral
  • also claims divinity from God(s)

Intranetusa (talk) 20:25, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

It would be original research for us to call whatever aspect of Falun Gong controversial. Mention of the subjects you raised above, as far as I am aware, is less than half a percent of the total teachings; subjects should be covered proportionally. --Asdfg12345 00:48, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

True, but those opinions are still expressed by the founder and the most important person of the religion, Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong as a whole and the average adherent may not be as controversial, but Li Hongzhi still portrays the characteristics of a manipulative leader. He has claimed all of the things above, and claimed he has mystical powers given to him by God. I believe he at least deserves some criticism in this section because he is still the most influential figure as the founder.

Btw, I reverted it my original edit. Plz don't delete the entire criticism section, but feel free to alter it to make it balance out as neutral and valid criticism. Intranetusa (talk) 02:39, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, you aren't allowed to add unsourced content. Secondly, the view that Li Hongzhi is a "manipulative leader" is a fringe theory in the literature on Falun Gong. That means that it is not backed up by academics who research Falun Gong, for example, two of the most prominent are David Ownby and Benjamin Penny, and neither of them subscribe to this view. It is not part of mainstream discourse of Falun Gong. It was first part of the propaganda campaign used to persecute the practice, and it has not really been picked up in the west; only among "cult-busters", who are not part of mainstream academia. In the literature, this language is mostly seen as an excuse the CCP made up to lock up and torture practitioners. There are heaps of journal articles which talk about this.
Secondly, you have put Academic views and third party views under the Controversial heading, and you have quoted the teachings of Falun Gong way out of context, disproportionate to their space within the teachings themselves, you have no sources, and you have said they are controversial without a source. The fact is, even if you find a source, these are all still fringe theories; the serious people who research Falun Gong do not use this kind of sensationalist language. You might want to look up David Ownby's new book on Falun Gong called "Falun Gong and the future of China". This is a complex topic. You may feel that you are making a valuable contribution, but you seem largely unaware of this subject based on these edits.
I am unable to undo them because I refuse to do more than one revert per day. But you have violated core wikipedia content policies such as WP:V, WP:UNDUE, WP:OR. I don't feel that this is a productive way to contribute. The pages are still 'under construction', so to speak, and I believe, like you, that what people consider to be Li's more outlandish comments be properly treated, in accordance with their space among both Falun Gong texts and third party texts. But at the moment that's not what you have done. Please read the above policies. If you have access to academic journals, I am able to provide some names of authors for your consideration. There are big problems with the edits you have made--for an example of what I mean, see here and here. I hope you will consider what I have just written.--Asdfg12345 02:57, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

The "cult" label which you are talking about here was first used by the CCP in 1999 as an excuse for its persecution. In the first few years after the onset of the persecution, some so called cult critics repeated CCP propaganda without knowing independently studying the facts. The International community, The academic community and All major Human Rights organizations have strongly condemned such claims made by the CCP. The last statement in the intro is at best a fringe opinion and must be presented with sufficient background in the third party section. Dilip rajeev (talk) 03:26, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted certain recent changes - reasons - WP:OR and WP:UNDUE. Picking out random statements from the teachings and presenting them as "controversies" is not encyclopedic. As Asdfg pointed out it is extremely disproportionate in comparison to the space the topics occupy in the teachings. Further it is a user's OR that the statements are somehow "controversies" - not what reliable 3rd party sources have stated. Dilip rajeev (talk) 03:44, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

At this stage it's mainly this: "Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed." -- though beyond that there are other issues remain in terms of context, quality of the sources, undue etc.. I don't think these things should be excluded, but addressed appropriately--Asdfg12345 07:19, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

  • @Asdfg12345

I have added the sources for my information - BBC and New York Times. Now there shouldn't be any reasons to delete the changes. And these are not random statements. If the pope had worked his entire life to help people, but then said "let's exterminate all the Jews," would that be a random statement that doesn't deserves attention? These statements are important because they represent the extremist views of the leader of the Falun Gong. You can't ignore the valid criticisms leveled at this guy. Intranetusa (talk) 16:51, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

see comment below. By the way, that's a vile and misleading comparison. You ought to retract it and apologise. Li Hongzhi saying that certain sexual practices are immoral, or metaphysical this or that about gods, aliens, beings in other dimensions, souls correspondings to colours, reincarnation, and whatever else, is completely different from advocating any kind of violence or hatred. You should be clear on this. There is not a single case of a Falun Gong practitioner responding to the persecution with violence. It's transparently a peaceful practice, through and through. Many practitioners have friends who are homosexual. They don't push their beliefs on people, and don't care that they are gay. These are metaphysical, not worldly concerns. There's also no concept of leaders in Falun Gong. Li founded the practice and publishes his writings and speeches on the internet; he holds definitional power, but he doesn't give orders. That's it, really. I agree with you that criticisms, valid or not, shouldn't be ignored. I thought of a good way of moving forward below.--Asdfg12345 00:48, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
  • @Dilip

Please don't play the CCP card. We all know they brutalize and oppress the Falun Gong. But just because the CCP oppresses them, doesn't mean they're not controversial. Being the victims of communist oppression doesn't give them a free ride and make them immune to criticism. Various western organizations (non-CCP of course) have branded the Falun Gong as a cult, and for good reason too. The criticisms I inputed is hardly a fringe viewpoint, many academics have leveled relevant claims that the FG is a cult. You can't blame the commies for everything.

If you read the criticisms leveled at Li Hongzhi for his statements (anti-mixed race, anti-gay, alien conspiracy), then yes he displays all the characteristics of a cult leader. These statements are probably on the level of what Scientologists believe. All I am doing is ensuing there isn't a double standard. If you want to remove all criticisms of the Falun Gong because you support them, then do the same for Scientology. Intranetusa (talk) 16:47, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

See, there is a section on 3rd party views and the "cult" label issue is discussed at length there. This is an encyclopaedic article - not about praise vs criticism. How much sense would it make to pull out a couple of quotes out of context from a Buddhist work and put it in an article on Buddhism as "controversies"? Have you read those controversial statements you talk about in the context of the teachings? For whatever info we add to the article, wiki policies require 3rd party sources and that the view being pushed is not a fringe opinion. Remember that all Falun Dafa teachings are available for anyone to read on - there is no comparison here with things like scientology or anything.

For instance look at the summary of the 3rd party views section - a random statement by a judge has been pulled out and used as summary for an entire article.
There are many positive statments made too - why not use anyone of them instead? For instance a Resolution passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives states:

" the great compassion and tolerance demonstrated by Falun Dafa practitioners in upholding the principles of their practice under the most severe environment had touched the hearts of people throughout the city, state, nation and world"

.. why not use that instead of that particular statement of a judge? We cant use either as summarry because this is an encyclopeadia - not a tabloid .
We have to present things in an encyclopeadic manner - not like "hey this line sounds controversial to me.. let me add it to the article with my own commentary." Editing in such a manner borders on vandalism.
Dilip rajeev (talk) 20:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
A side note, when checking one of the citation's from Li Hongzhi with google this is what showed up: [2] It's quite interesting to see how people like to come up with something and then attribute it to Li Hongzhi, sometimes it's just plainly out of the context and sometimes they write their own. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 21:55, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

@Dilip rajeev It's interesting you mention encyclopedia, because all you've done is throw lavish praises on this organization and its founder. What you're doing is turning this encyclopedia article into a support group. That is in direct violation of wikipedia policies.

Furthermore you said: "The sources you talk about do not support the content you are trying to add. See talk discussion. Using TW" If you even bothered to go to the links I provided, you would've seen that I took the information directly from BBC and the NY Times. Intranetusa (talk) 19:54, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

@Happy in General, I went to the link you provided, and it does say the Li Hongzhi said it. Read my sources in the NY Times article and BBC. Li Honzhi's statements are DIRECTLY QUOTED from various speeches he's given. I've cited all of my sources in order to support valid criticisms. Turning this article into a FG praise group is against the entire point of an encyclopedia article. Intranetusa (talk) 19:54, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Intranetusa, I'm sorry perhaps I did not give all the details:
  1. All teachings of Li Hongzhi are online either on, either on and thus indexed by google.
  2. So when you quote him and the text of the quote can be found only on Rick Ross [3] that means that it is not a quote from Li Hongzhi but just a quote from Rick Ross's website, even if the article posted on Rick Ross's website claims that it is Li Hongzhi's.
Best --HappyInGeneral (talk) 10:28, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Happy in genearl.

  • 1. I did not get the information from Rick Ross's website. I don't even know who Rick Ross is. Go to my link provided

and see the source.

  • 2. Furthermore, his quotes are from lectures and interviews he has given. Considering the comments

portray him in a negative light, they are obviously not going to be on his own website.

  • 3. Websites that support him would not have anything that portrays him in a negative light or have

anything controversial. Go to the Scientology website and see for yourself. Intranetusa (talk) 06:48, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Suggested approach for 'controversial' teachings[edit]

I think I thought of a good idea to approach this issue. We should make a section about this in the teachings page. The commentary of news organisations and scholars can be added, around these aspects of the teachings that have attracted particular attention, derision, or whatever (sexuality, race, aliens). I think this would be a good way to approach it for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, this is not much related to the question of whether Falun Gong is a cult, I don't think. It may depend how you define that word, but I think when you say the word cult you are talking about someone ripping people off money, depriving them of their freedom, deceiving them, basically doing bad things to people, more or less. Falun Gong has nothing to do with this. Li Hongzhi publishes his writing on the internet and anyone who wants to can read it and believe it or not. The exercises are also freely practiced. Objectively, it's a set of exercises with a spiritual component; no membership, no heirarchy, no organisation, no money, everything voluntary.

Secondly, two things: generally, the field of 'cultic studies' is not part of mainstream academia. It's very much looked down upon, and real scholars don't do that work. The whole discipline is fringe. Also, the view that Falun Gong is a cult is even more fringe in Falun Gong literature. I am not talking about 1000 word newspaper articles that go for vague and sensationalist remarks, or outright ill-intentioned distortions to make a splash, but studies of Falun Gong from academics who have made it their job to research the issue. This is simply not how they approach the problem. David Ownby says it was a red herring from the beginning.

The other side to the cultic issue, of course, is that it's part of the propaganda campaign, and not to mention this in the same breath is an omission. And I am not just talking about the CCP, but western academics become implicated in the CCP's brutal policies when they engage in this discourse (if you read the 'cult label as a tool of margianilisation' on other pages you will see what I mean)/ The apparently controversial nature of some of Li's teachings can naturally be separated from the supposed cultic nature of Falun Gong, without any loss of meaning. Li has even talked about the alien subject in a Time interview, but that doesn't mean he does bad things to people or tries to harm others with underhanded means. The cultic question is one of particular behavioural or other things that people do--on this, no one has anything on Falun Gong, because all the people that practice it do is perform exercises and read books; they don't pay any money, they don't cut themself from society, they hold down their jobs, live in nuclear families, etc. etc.. The teaching question is simply about what Li has said, and how people have reacted to it. I agree that it needs attention, but you will notice that these pages are chronically neglected, and no one has consistently put in a lot of time to make a comprehensive go at them.

Okay, that's my concrete suggestion then a bit of a longwinded explanation of the thinking behind it. If anyone feels they can't take some of those specific points at face value, let me know and I might be able to refer to a good source. Just one more practical suggestion. I appreciate Intranetusa's going to the trouble, but I got the feeling that a lot of that was just c&p from the BBC or NYT. We can't do that. In particular, if it wasn't, it needs to be in a neutral and plainly descriptive tone. We don't put aspersions and value judgements into sentences, as journalists often have wont to do. Journalists can write in a smarmy, self-important way, make wise-cracks, and dish out vague ridicule etc., as long as their editors okay it. But as an encyclopedia, we have to keep a passive, neutral voice. So this would be introducing the idea that Li has made these statements and how people have reacted. By the way, just a quick point, if some have directly linked controversial teachings with the cultic claim, that should also be addressed. The things I said before were more overall points. I'm saying that the cultic issue and the controversial teachings issue are sufficiently separate to deal with separately on wiki, but if some newspapers want to make that link, it can be mentioned--also though that x,y and z scholars do not agree, perhaps.

I can't do anything more on this for about another 5 days, then I would love to help construct this section. I think it's an important addition, to survey the field here and present a couple of hundred word summary.--Asdfg12345 00:27, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

The page is locked, but no one has engaged with this discussion. Martin, this is forming part of a pattern of behaviour for you on these pages. I find it troubling. I believe the disputed texts should be removed to make room for discussion. This kind of nasty edit bickering is so counterproductive in so many ways. I think the original idea contains elements of legitimacy, but the execution was hasty, to say the least. In fact, I've just looked at the offending text and it's blatant copy and paste. This is copyright violation. I'm leaving a note on the admin's page, and I've just put a tag and note below. I assume you are all adults, I think you should behave that way and be prepared, together, to discuss the changes on the page and the best way to approach this subject. For now I'm informing the admin who locked it of the copyright violations, which should duly be removed, and would like to encourage intelligent discussion. Just a note, NYT's comments on the teachings are interesting, but the fact is that scholars are considered more reliable sources; even if it were not repeating verbatim, giving so much weight to one article and its views violates WP:UNDUE. I gave a suggestion for how to approach this, above. --Asdfg12345 08:54, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

"Li Hongzhi publishes his writing on the internet and anyone who wants to can read it and believe it or not. The exercises are also freely practiced. Objectively, it's a set of exercises with a spiritual component; no membership, no heirarchy, no organisation, no money, everything voluntary."

  • Then I'd like to know how Li Hongzhi was able to afford million dollar mansions in New York. The FG may not be a cult in general, *but its founder, Li, has benefited monetarily and politically from the organization. Couple that with his fringe viewpoints would *make him a cult leader. And the FG does have a basic organization - the FG funded and created the NTDTV news organization.

"In fact, I've just looked at the offending text and it's blatant copy and paste. This is copyright violation."

  • Yes, I only C&Ped as a temporary solution. My intention was to create a criticism section in the FG page. This just means I will *have to summarize the criticisms so it no longer in copyright violation.

"And I am not just talking about the CCP, but western academics become implicated in the CCP's brutal policies when they engage in this discourse (if you read the 'cult label as a tool of margianilisation' on other pages you will see what I mean)"

  • Are you suggesting anyone who thinks the FG is a cult is in league with the brutal communist oppression? Or do you mean others *suggest that?

"The apparently controversial nature of some of Li's teachings...but that doesn't mean he does bad things to people or tries to harm others with underhanded means."

  • So you have no problem with him calling gays and mixed-race people the tools of the devil? The problem is that that type of hate *speech is the same as those given by Hitler during his rise to power - and ironic too because everyone said Hitler's speeches were *harmless and would never act *out his hatred. Li Hongzhi's hate speech is what breeds genocidal maniacs when they come into power.

Intranetusa (talk) 20:11, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Hi. Thanks for your comments. I would not like to get into an argument with you, so please let me know if you feel I have adopted a standoffish or combative tone. I would just like to explain my understanding to you. I'm not aware of a million dollar mansion in NY. I saw a photo once, a news crew was interviewing him in a fairly average looking apartment in Flushing. In 1999 WSJ ran an article about how he apparently got a $500,000 house in Manhattan, but a pracititioner in the U.S. had bought it for him and tricked his wife, who didn't understand english, into signing the deed. They refused it and he took the house back. I don't know where he lives now; maybe he lives in a big mansion with a big car and eats out every night? I don't know, and I guess I don't really care. He sold millions of books and audiotapes in China, there's royalties involved in that, as you might imagine. I'm making a bit of a rhetorical point here; if you read the persecution page, or read Ian Johnson's and others' comments, Li didn't end up making much despite all that in China. The books were all banned in '96, which is when it really took off in popularity. All the stuff after that was bootleg, and he said that's fine in his lectures. People even hand copied them for the poor farmers, he said that's fine, it's the same. He lives on royalties from book sales etc. though. Plenty of people make a living from writing books. I assume you do not have a problem with the vocation of authorship, but merely that his book treats spiritual subjects, and alleges things that you do not believe to be true. I'd only say again that this isn't again any laws, and people can write what they want. If it doesn't harm others, that should be allowed. People write about fairy tales and trolls and magical things all the time. As far as you are concerned, Li's works are no more than that, right? They are at least as benign. It certainly doesn't make him a cult leader. But I'm still not clear on precisely what you mean by that. Before using the term again, please define what you mean by it as clearly as you can. Just as a personal note, for myself, I would not issue such harsh criticisms and write as though I knew a subject well unless I had really looked into it. I assume you haven't read the core book of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun, or really tried to look into it. You have seen some of these apparently controversial teachings, then what some news articles have said. Is that what 100 million people in China got up early every morning for to do exercises? I'd say that if you want to understand the topic you might consider reading the book for yourself and seeing what it's on about. Perhaps at the moment you have formed hasty judgements based on limited information. Anyway, I think this point is just too simple, if he wanted money he could get it easily, why wouldn't he just ask everyone to give me $1 or $10, heck, why not $100?? Why wouldn't he just post on the internet his bank account and ask for donations, watch the money flow in! If he was keen for money, why not just do that? It'd be much simpler. The books are all on the internet for free download, anyway.
  • Falun Gong practitioners founded NTDTV, Falun Gong didn't found NTDTV. A Falun Gong practitioner in Berlin has no connection to a Falun Gong practitioner in Argentina. You can be on an island and practice Falun Gong all the same. You just do the exercises and read the books, that's practicing Falun Gong. Some practitioners got together in different places and did these things in response to the persecution. Those are their individual actions. The extent of the organisation you will find is on, where people can put their locations, phone numbers and names. So if I move somewhere, I can email the website and tell them I do the exercises at this certain park at this time each week, and read the book at this time, and they can load it on there, so when other people visit the website they will know there is a practice on and such and such time at X place, and a phone number to contact. It's as simple as that really. Activities like protests against the persecution are funded and organised on a local level also, just whatever people can come up with. Call it an organisation if you like, but there's no one in charge, and people just do things as they see fit, discussing it locally and doing it locally. There are no orders or heirarchy involved. There's certainly no money changing hands, that's stipulated clearly in Zhuan Falun.
  • I wonder if you read the sections I had hyperlinked above; these outline some of the scholarly work about the cult label and how it has been used to margianilise and persecute Falun Gong practitioners in China. I would direct you there to see what I mean. To answer directly, I was saying others have said that, you'll see what I mean on the respective pages. I would find it helpful whether you indicated to me whether you had read those sections or not. At least then I wouldn't bother you by suggesting it again.
  • Final point. He never said that homosexuals and mixed-race people are the tool of the devil. I see that you feel quite hostile on this point. Despite that, I think it's important to be respectful of other people, and at least maintain a civil tone. I can tell you that Falun Gong is founded on moral teachings, of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. It is about giving up attachments and looking within oneself when coming across difficulties. It is a deeply moral practice, before whatever else. As I say, the questions of homosexuality and mixed-race are metaphysical. He is claiming that modern values are mixed up, that sex outside of heterosexual marriage is immoral. He's allowed to think that, isn't he? People are allowed to believe it, aren't they? Have they done wrong by virtue of that? There is no ill-will or hatred towards any group, don't get confused. The practice is about treating all sentient beings with compassion, no matter what race, sexual orientation, religious belief. Several close friends who I see regularly are homosexual. If Li taught me to hate them, do you think I would be such close friends with them? Why would I hang out with them? Why wouldn't I cut them off, if that's how I felt? Also, heaps of Chinese and westerns are married, for example, among Falun Gong practitioners. There's no big deal. Where's the hatred? As I say, these are metaphysical positions, not worldly passions. There's an enourmous difference. I can't really do anything if you don't want to find out anything further, and have just stubbornly adopted a set of views based on a small amount of information. You should know that Falun Gong is a peaceful practice being unfairly persecuted. That much you should be able to take at face value, notwithstanding your disagreement with some of Li's comments.
I read your comment below. Can I please request that you address the long note I wrote previously, about how this topic of controversial teachings might be approached. Declaring that you will simply paraphrase the disputed text and reinsert it... I mean, we are supposed to work together and talk about how to approach the subject, and reach a consensus. But just declaring what you're going to do does not seem to be doing that, do you know what I mean? Please let me know if you think I am saying something unreasonable here. I don't want to repeat how I think it should be approached, as it's all in the discussion above. I hope you could read it again and let me know what you think. As a suggestion, you may consider weighing up the merits of it, and explaining the reasoning behind your thinking, as I have tried to do for you. If you would like me to substantiate any of my remarks with references to sources, I would be happy to do so. I thought about that long remark before I wrote it, I didn't just make up any old thing. Sorry this note has ended up quite long. I wanted to address your concerns as best I could. I am interested to work cooperatively, rather than combatively. I hope this has been of some benefit. Thanks.--Asdfg12345 21:28, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Hello, thanks for the response. Your response length is fine, and I'll try to address your concerns. I too wish to solve this issue cooperatively and prevent an edit war or NOI conflict. My responses to your comments and my thoughts on the subject is such:

"Li didn't end up making much despite all that in China...people even hand copied them for the poor farmers, he said that's fine, it's the same."

  • Why did Mao Zedong hand out his little red book for free? Was he trying to profit as well? Li supporting the handing out of free books just means he is able to spread his ideology faster, increasing support and power for his movement. In the end, Li is a powerful man with a large following, many zealous supporters, and a comfortable home in the states.

"Is that what 100 million people in China got up early every morning for to do exercises? I'd say that if you want to understand the topic you might consider reading the book for yourself and seeing what it's on about. Perhaps at the moment you have formed hasty judgements based on limited information."

  • First, they're not all Falun Gong followers. Second, they're practicing FG, they're qigong and taichi, martial arts exercises that dates back thousands of years. Just because Li Hongzhi copied ideas from other religions and practices and injected them into FG doesn't give him monopoly over them. As for my limited information, that may be true, but the same applies for you as well. You don't learn about criticisms and conflicting thoughts if all you read is pro-FG books that support the practice - that would be just preaching to the choir.

"I'd only say again that this isn't again any laws, and people can write what they want. If it doesn't harm others, that should be allowed. People write about fairy tales and trolls and magical things all the time. As far as you are concerned, Li's works are no more than that, right? They are at least as benign."

  • Of course, he can write whatever he want. But when he tries pass off intolerance and fictional tales as a religious movement, and then guise it under elements copied from eastern religions...that's called a cult. Of course, Li Hongzhi, like L Ron Hubbard, can write and say whatever he wants because it's their right to do so. But the public does deserve to know their fringe viewpoints bordering on cultism.
  • Now, I very well realize the most FG do not support his fringe views - just like how many Scientologists don't follow Hubbard's ideas of DC-8 space aliens, or Jews following the extremist portions of the Torah. But that just means the religion as a whole has become legitimate, but the founder is still a manipulative cult leader. Those under his direct influence and continue to follow him would be within the boundaries of a cult.

"scholarly work about the cult label and how it has been used to margianilise and persecute Falun Gong practitioners in China."

  • Again, you're basically saying that because we call it a cult, we're justifying its persecution. Quite the contrary. I believe Li Hongzhi is a cult leader, and the FG may be a cult. However, the CCP oppression is still unjustified and they deserve civil rights. CCP oppression isn't a justification in saying that the FG should be immune from criticism.

"I can tell you that Falun Gong is founded on moral teachings, of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance."

  • Of course it does. So does Scientology. But does that make up for Scientology's crazy rants by its founder? Islam and Christianity also teaches love and truth - but does that stop fringe elements from going on jihads and crusades? The Falun Gong has compassion and forbearance because it's essentially a melding of Buddhist, Confucianist, Taoist, etc teachings. The problem here is that Li Hongzhi, basically just copied the ideas of other religions, combined them into Falun Gong, and is now profiting from it. What's worse is his cult rantings of intolerance and hatred.
  • In his references to mixed race individuals and homosexuality, Li makes reference to them being the spawn of a period of the end of the world. So yes, he is basically saying they are devil-spawns responsible for the collapse of society. If you read the quotes in the link I have provided, it specifically references his argument of how each race has their own race gods, and that interracial marriage creates children that will go to hell "without his intervention." If you still doubt Li said this, you can google it and come up with numerous results.

"I can't really do anything if you don't want to find out anything further, and have just stubbornly adopted a set of views based on a small amount of information. You should know that Falun Gong is a peaceful practice being unfairly persecuted."

  • And you seem to stubbornly defends Li and his cult status. Learning about something does not mean blindly believing and supporting all of its elements. And again, you're bringing up the CCP oppression as if it's the result of our criticism, so I'll reiterate my position. Like it or not, Li Honzhi is a cult leader. Nonetheless, even cult leaders and his followers deserve civil rights and the CCP crackdown is unjustified.
  • In the end, what I'm proposing is fairness. If an organization is controversial, yet the page contains only positive articles that support it, would be POV. The current controversies section is obviously insufficient and seems edited by those who want to hide the criticisms. All I'm saying is have a section that documents controversies on its founder - such as Li's cult like status and his intolerant remarks.

I don't believe that's too much to ask. I'll reorganize the proposed section and post it here. We can later discuss what to include and/or omit. I'll work with you and others here to resolve this issue.

Thanks Intranetusa (talk) 02:36, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I will just write here what corresponds to the article. I won't respond to your comments about Falun Gong, but I will address those on your user talk page. Here we can keep it very business-like and professional (you should read that page, it's very good). Okay, well I will just put these in point form

  • the view that Falun Gong is a cult is not mainstream. It's a fringe view. I say this because it is not the way academics who research Falun Gong approach it, they disagree, and others say it is just a political label", e.g.: "By applying the label and embracing theories that posit passive followers under the mental control of a dangerous leader, the government can aggressively destroy the group, all the while claiming to be protecting religious freedom. In this respect, the Western Anti-Cult Movement has served, unwittingly or not, as a lackey in the party's efforts to maintain its political dominance." -- overall, the fringe view aspect means that we do not mention it as though it is a mainstream view; we say that certain people have this view, and this is how mainstream people think of it. I suggested you read a few sections on those other pages, to see what I mean. Basically, the label was first used to try to give ground to a baseless persecution of the practice, and later it was taken up outside China by some "cult-busters". They don't have academic credentials, and their views aren't part of mainstream academia on Falun Gong.
  • the teachings you point out (about sexuality, races, aliens, not sure what else) form between .5% and 1% of the teachings. I estimate that there are about 1500 pages of Li Hongzhi's teachings on the internet, and I estimate that between 5 and 10 of them deal with these topics. So in Falun Gong texts, these aren't any kind of focus, they seem to be mentioned in passing more-or-less. They aren't defining characteristics of what Falun Gong teaches. In normal circumstances, since wikipedia can't cover everything, minor things would just not be mentioned in wikipedia articles, because there would be no point, given the hundreds of topics covered in all the lectures, to pick out a few certain ones, however,
  • because these things have attracted criticism or attention, we can mention them in that context. This still goes with caveats, such as they are not definitive aspects of Falun Gong, that mainstream scholars do not find these important aspects of Falun Gong teachings and do not think Falun Gong is focused on these topics. There are sources for all those points. It also means we don't accord undue space or emphasis to these, thereby misrepresenting the general body of scholarly literature, and Falun Gong. I would suggest having an "Eccentric or controversial teachings" section on the teachings page, or having a "Miscellaneous teachings" section on the teachings page, where these things might be covered in a couple of hundred words. I might even be able to do that within the next 12-14 hours.
  • A final point; I will look at the NYT source again more closely, but unless it says that these are controversial, or specifically describes them in a certain way, we can't simply quote what they say and put it in the controversial section--do you know what I mean? I mean that it's original research to do that. Unless a source said X we can't say or make out that a source said X. So if all the NYT article did is give an imaginative depiction of these elements of the teachings that you find controversial, it's kinda useless, because it doesn't support them being controversial, it just refers to them. --Asdfg12345 02:34, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I was just trying to do this now, but I got stuck. The proposition I made earlier doesn't make sense, and I think there is some policy against channeling POVs through names for sections. Calling it "controversial and eccentric teachings" doesn't make sense, because why not have a section called "good and fun teachings" ?? People reading it would be like "uhh... what is this?", and I think this concept is similar. I read the whole article, and I can see where you get some of your ideas. I mean, it's an interesting take on the thing. The guy obviously think he's got Falun Gong figured out after he downloaded a few of the books off the internet and flipped through them, pulling out the parts he thought were sensational. That's his busines, I guess. Here, we are supposed to present things like an encyclopedia. We don't go in for sensationalist angles, we can't. Smith doesn't seem to say too much concrete about Falun Gong that isn't already covered by Falun Gong itself. Most of the things he refers to are in the teachings, but as I say they come to probably less than one percent. It would be misleading and misrepresentative to give a big airing to one article, and this author's views, on Falun Gong. If he built an argument or said something coherent, I think we'd be able to make use of it. In particular, if there were a few that said similar things, like "Falun Gong is a cult because of ..." or "The teachings of Falun Gong are controversial because aliens don't exist and blah ..." -- perhaps that would be useful. Because then we could report that so and so have said they disagree with Li's theories about aliens, or whatever. In particular, we can't say anything sources don't say, so having a section "controversial teachings" is definitely out--it would be original research. At the moment, it's like we have nothing to go on. He's just repeated some of Li's ideas that he's taken a fancy to, but not added much apart. I just don't know what we are suppoed to take from that. --Asdfg12345 15:11, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

copyvio on page[edit]

Resolved: Copyvio removed. El_C 09:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Explanation for requesting edit of protected article: copyvio, the text in question, is copy and paste from NYT. There is also a copy and paste from a BBC kind of blog, not a reliable source anyway, also c&p job, violating copyright. The text should be removed.--Asdfg12345 08:54, 7 June 2008 (UTC) The URLs to compare the text to are those added as references. Admin should also consider removing the final paragraph of the lede, added by the same user who introduced the copyright violations, until editors can discuss the article together and reach a consensus. The second point is merely advisory, the first has to be done per WP:COPYVIO.--Asdfg12345 08:57, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

 Done. El_C 09:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I will summarize the criticisms so it no longer in copyright violation when this issue is resolved. Intranetusa (talk) 20:04, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

In the last paragraph above I responded to this. Just briefly again, I request that you consider my long, original note about how to approach the subject above. Please let me know what you think of that approach. --Asdfg12345 21:33, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

So you're basically saying that just because 1% of Li's teachings is controversial, we should completely ignore it because 99% of his teachings aren't controversial? That's a bit ridiculous. Why did the media focus so much attention on Mel Gibson's anti-Jew rant when 99% of his other statements have been perfectly non-controversial?

I suggest you take a look at Mel Gibson's article. There is a detailed section regarding his 'controversies' - and what he and Li has said is basically the same in relation to inciting hatred.

And the view of the Falun Gong's Li Hongzhi being a cult leader is hardly a fringe view. You claim that most academics does not consider Li Hongzhi a cult leader...what is this mainstream academia you're referring to? Most academic studies on the Falun Gong has been the health benefits related to the qigong and exercise practices that it copied from Tai Chi, Buddhism, etc. There has never been 'mainstream' acceptance of Li Hongzhi as you claim.

And again, you're basically accusing those who don't accept Li and the FG as promoting the communist oppression of the Falun Gong. Perhaps you should take a look at the Scientology article.

All in all, I feel that the only way to solve this is to put the controversies on the Li Hongzhi page instead of the main Falun Gong page. I will put the main controversies on his page, and link it to here.

Intranetusa (talk) 18:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to copy over your other statement, since it's repeated here. I apologise if I have not explained clearly. For us to say that Li's teaching about X or Y is controversial, we need to quote a source that says that. We cannot pick which teachings we think are controversial, and then say that. It doesn't matter about Mel Gibson. I actually think the best way to do this is to have a section on the teachings page called "Miscellaneous teachings", and note these teachings, and alongside nothing them, raise that some have called them controversial. But so far you have not provided any source saying that Li's teachings are controversial, you have just presented what you think are his controversial teachings; that's called original research.
The cult thing is a total fringe view. I can give you can example: I've got 50 academic articles on my computer right in front of me, which is nearly the entirety of the scholarly literature done on Falun Gong, and I know just one of them calls Falun Gong a cult like you say. And the person who wrote that is not even an academic, she was a failed soap opera actress and an undergrad when she wrote it, submitting it to a cultic studies "journal", which has no academic affiliation. I.e. it's useless and doesn't count. The rest of them don't use this language. Another example is that David Ownby is the foremost scholar on Falun Gong, and he says the word was a red herring; another example is that Ian Johnson who won the pulitzer for writing on Falun Gong says it's wrong; another example is Benjamin Penny, another prominent sinologist whose done work on Falun Gong, does not say Falun Gong is a cult; another example is Barend ter Haar who does not say Falun Gong is a cult--do you need more? Websites promoting these views don't count as reliable sources, such as the BBC blog type thing.
Let me be clear about what I'm saying re the persecution. I am not necessarily saying that those who use this language to refer to Falun Gong agree with harming practitioners for their beliefs. I am saying that this is the language used to vilify and murder Falun Gong practitioners, and whether you like it or not, it helps the CCP to margianalise and kill them. They (the CCP) want everyone to mistrust Falun Gong and think it's a cult, because they know that we have a tougher time sympathising with a cult than we do with a gentle meditation practice. This is a simple fact. That's all I meant.
Again, I'd just reiterate the need for you to examine the core wikipedia policies about original research, verifiability, and the neutral point of view. The idea of putting forward things that reliable sources have said about a subject isn't wrong, and I am not just stubbornly resisting this idea, but the manner it's been presented in so far violates the policy on original research, and apart from that it gives strong prominence to fringe views. What do you think?--Asdfg12345 01:04, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

First of all, I'm focusing on the fact that the leader being a cult leader, and not FG as a whole. Falun Gong has become an accepted mainstream religion because the core elements of is basically Buddhism, Taoism, Qi Gong practices, etc...those have been around for thousands of years so it's not controversial.

Scientology is considered by many to be a fringe religious group. Now, famous celebrities from Tom Cruise to Will Smith have become members of that religion. 10 years from now, the idea that Scientology's founder is a cult leader will also be a "fringe view" and Scientology will become an acceptable mainstream religion. Should we delete all criticisms from the Scientology page or replace them with quasi-critics that pull their punches? Perhaps it is WP:OR, but deleting them without working to improve it and keep the article as it is only serves to make the entire page very single sidedly WP:POV. What do you think? Intranetusa (talk) 06:51, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, what is the purpose of the 'Ideological and social context' portion? Quotes in that section such as "a worldwide backlash against capitalist modernity and a testimony to the importance of meaning" is a bit far fetched.

Also, all of the criticisms and FG idealology seems to be directly quoted from the sources. You've taken up issue with me for the same reason - WP:OR. Redress the numerous problems before you revert my edits again. Intranetusa (talk) 07:18, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that's the right idea. You are introducing highly contested, highly disputed edits without even discussing it properly. There is a policy called WP:UNDUE, which I have indicated several times. Please read it carefully. The fact is that scholars, who are the highest quality sources on this topic, do not subscribe to these sensationalist interpretations. Nor should we approach this like a tabloid exposé. I believe we should report what sources have said about this topic, in proportion to the quality of the source, the depth of reporting, and the overall context. I am definitely not suggesting excluding the stuff about sexuality, aliens, and so on. I've read a lot of news articles on Falun Gong, and sometimes journalists mention these. I understand that because of that, we should also say that journalists have picked up on these things. I think that should happen on the Teachings page, to explain these different views. I'm working on that now. We could work together, if you like. I think that would be nice. At the moment I am finding this odd, changing a section title to add in "controversies" with a link to a giant section on the Li Hongzhi page.. it's just taking things way out of proportion. To give you an example of the converse, what if we changed the section to "Academic attention and praise" -- how would that be? Then we have a section praising Li Hongzhi and saying how great Falun Gong is. There would be plenty of material to dig up from proclamations, books, articles. But it would be silly to do that. Also, you claim that the pages currently praise Falun Gong, could you please point out where? I was under the impression that this page, and others, are leaning more toward analysis. The section put in there is from a world-class scholar. That kind of thing carries a lot of weight, and those are the kind of sources we should be seeking out. Not to the exclusion of journalists, but in proportion. Anyway, I reckon these issues are best addressed on the teachings page; to present these views in the context of the teachings, note that journalists have found them eccentric and peculiar, note that scholars have urged taking a more historical or cultural perspective, and then note what Falun Gong have said in response. Giving the different views on this just seems like a more mature way to approach it, what do you think?--Asdfg12345 09:18, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

This article remains POV pushed, forked, biased in favor of FLG[edit]

I am in complete agreement with editor Intranetusa, as well as other editors who have come here to voice their dissatisfactions. Falun Gong editors have blocked all critical discussion, marginalized facts in myrid of ways (blanking, removing from summary and hiding stuff in middle of article, hacking up others edit, taking turn in an organized way to undo stuff they don't like.) And removing POV flag is a joke! Bobby fletcher (talk) 06:08, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Please be more specific about the particular bias(es?) you believe are on the page at the moment, and some ideas for how it may be improved. I don't object to the POV flag per se, but it is not enough to simply have a flag. We should figure out how to work together to improve the article, if there are problems with it. If you believe there are unaddressed issues in the above discussion between myself and intranetusa, you could take them up here and we can talk them through. Let's drop the personal accusations and talk intelligently about the article. We're building an encyclopedia, not battling one another. --Asdfg12345 08:09, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Example 1: Factual quotation from Canadia Superior Court Justice, a notable source, on specific instances of Falun Gong's teaching that is controlverisal (rejection of science, promis of supernatural, wheel in the somach, etc.) has been blanked by FLG editors in order to push a POV.
Fix this and we'll talk example 2.
I'm not the only one who thinks this page is FLG promotional material. Bobby fletcher (talk) 00:01, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Bobby, that was from a primary source, and that case is in appeal. It makes the source inadmissible, that's why it was removed. You could look up the use of primary sources if you like. It is standard practice to discuss how to improve the page and to talk about what could be improved before adding a POV flag. What I mean is, you don't put the flag there and then justify it. The flag should be a result of unresolved discussion. anyway... I don't think it helps to make vague or unfriendly remarks, we should just try to cooperate and act like grown ups. What else is on your mind?--Asdfg12345 00:15, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Disagree. the statement from Justice Russeau has nothing to do with weither the case is being appealed or not. Is the appeal about this notable statement? She said the movment is controlversial, and stated the specific nature of controlversey. It is notable fact. DE against it in order to maintain a POV in this article is wrong. I can't make it any more clear, this edit is good and should stand. Let's go to Arb. Bobby fletcher (talk) 22:47, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
  1. It's a primary source
  2. The case is in appeal; her comment was part of the decision which is now in appeal
  3. Aside from this source in particular, the introduction should be as neutral as possible, and just because you dig up some sources it doesn't mean you can define Falun Gong as they say. That reliable sources have said things is fine; they should be covered in the body of the article.--Asdfg12345 01:03, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Disagree. 1) so what, it is cited from a notable source. 2) The fact the case is in appeal has NOTHING to do with the notable opinion expressed by Qubec Superior court justice. Even if FLG wong (which FLG didn't) this quote would still be relevant and notable to the fact. 3) Notable sources were provided to prove the fact - not one of the 4 links are blog as you have misrepresented. Check it again - one of them is from Encyclopedia of Brittancia, and another is from David Kilgour's site. Bobby fletcher (talk) 04:05, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Shortening Academic attention segment?[edit]

Compared to the rest of the article, which is very well sourced, the second and third paragraph of the "Academic attention" segment are all sourced to one specific website ( maintained by one of the persons mentioned as sources in these two paragraphs, Barend ter Haar. I hope to be proven wrong, but I cannot see how this page lives up to being a reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. For further reading, please see

If there are more reputable sources for a listing of academic attention and, even more significantly, what those studies have found or resulted in, I believe such sources would be much more beneficial to the article as a whole. If not, I believe the second and third paragraphs should be shortened into a single, smaller paragraph that does not so much as the current text simply repeat what the website says on the first page. Please be wary that you do not engage in too much original research for finding such references, but rather shorten the text into something that can be clearly and reputably sourced. Thank you. PerEdman (talk) 13:08, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

What's missing are the numbers above the lines; someone didn't bother to put them in. The notes there are just summaries of what those academics have written, actually. The references to the articles are on the academic page. I haven't look at that page in over a year. It would probably take 10 minutes to find the sources and put those references in--I mean, the summary statements of what different academics have written--do you think this would be a good idea, or better to shorten it? About the ter Haar, this is a good point. I understood there was some provision for self-published sources in certain circumstances, though: "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications" -- this guy is a China scholar, and this is the website he keeps. Since he's not saying anything particularly unusual, and is a recognised expert, I'd be inclined to let it slide. Thoughts?--Asdfg12345 17:09, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
No, that is not what is missing. Accurate references for the specific claims inside the Academic Attention segment is missing wholesale, and instead a blanket reference to Bared ter Haars webpage is made, a webpage that is in itself a collection of third party sources. How would "the numbers above the lines" (do you mean superscript references?) alleviate the issue of all these claims referring to a single, collating, private webpage? At least the Patricia M. Thornton reference was an outside, peer reviewed, direct reference with page numbers which brought something OTHER than Barend Ter Haar's webpage to the segment. That's why I'm keeping that reference in the academic attention section.
If it takes "10 minutes to find the sources", then fix the references or the text has no right to be there. That's how wikipedia works. There is no excuse for keeping unsourced claims, at all. If Barnend Ter Haar is only republishing material that was previously published, then a reference to the journal where the original publication was made, is the very least we can ask for. And that's me making a provision for the possibility that this may be the case with Barend Ter Haar - I have really not seen any reason to believe that the provision is correct.
What Barend Ter Haar says is not in question - it is the references he is making to other scholars, as well as the fact that his own personal webpage is used as a source for his claims, making it self-published. PerEdman (talk) 10:12, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
We have more in common than you may realise. Let me find all references for the academic section now, I'll try to be thorough. The excuse for keeping around unreferenced claims is that there is an actural reference, or they're true, but just no one has gone to the trouble to put them in. There are stacks of unreferenced articles in wiki, I think they're great! It's just that when it is something like this, we should be more precise--I agree with you there. The criteria just seems to be whether there is any editor who actually comes along and does something about it. Let me look at it now. --Asdfg12345 04:56, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

I'm planning to remove the POV tag, please provide reason to keep it. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 09:12, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Disagree - I'm disputing POV, POV fork, something other editors has also disputed. Give everyone two weeks to respond. Bobby fletcher (talk) 22:45, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Can you please provide something concrete? Thank You --HappyInGeneral (talk) 23:02, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
See above. Bobby fletcher (talk) 23:57, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
See below. Bobby fletcher (talk) 20:23, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

RfC - Four notable sources BLANKED by editor ASDFG12345[edit]

Editor Asdfg12345 blanked a one-word insert that is proven with 4 notable sources proving the fact:

Note the rationale for the BLANKING was "you reference google blogs??".

However, none of the four notable sources are "google blogs" or even blogs at all. One of them is even from a source he has used intensely:

1) Encyclopedia Brittianica, a famous print encyclopedia - "controversial Chinese spiritual movement founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992"

2) BeliefNet, the net’s largest online site for spirituality; operated by Steven Waldman, former national editor of US News & World Report: "beliefs and origins of this controversial movement"

3), an encyclopedia operated by New York Times: "Falun Dafa, controversial Chinese sect"

4) BLOODY HARVEST, a Falun Gong sponsored site for the Kilgour'r report, a source used by Asdfg12345 himself extensively in another FLG realted article: "Practitioners of Falun Gong, a controversial Chinese religion, will hold a news conference"

I hereby Request for Comment on this edit made by Asdfg12345.

Bobby fletcher (talk) 04:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Please note Bobby the tag at the top of this page asking editors to discuss large or controversial changes before making them. These pages are also supposed to be on probation. You are introducing a highly contentious edit here. I could cite thousands of newspaper articles and other websites that do not say Falun Gong is controversial, or say that Falun Gong is a "spiritual movement" or "spiritual practice" or something of the like. The introduction should be totally demilitarised. Defining Falun Gong as controversial upfront, without qualifying that as the view of such and such is completely non-neutral. The article is essentially about Falun Gong; wikipedia identity conventions urge identifying articles as the subjects identify themselves.
I'm a bit surprised you would actually seek to insert this, in fact. I think it's quite unsophisticated. Do you want a serious treatment of the subject? I think we should be aiming to create a space on wikipedia for sources of a high-quality, to relay their interpretations and analyses of Falun Gong. Not to colour things one way or another from the start. The vast, vast majority of writing on Falun Gong does not characterise Falun Gong as controversial--even though these views are around, and ought to be discussed in the body of the article. I proposed a section entitled "Competing representations of Falun Gong" a while ago, and if there was any more you could find on this controversial idea, it would be a great forum for it. That is, if we could assemble a good amount of material from high-quality sources about how and in what way Falun Gong is controversial, that would be more intelligent than a mere assertion. And while I am aware that there is such discussion, there is far, far more material on how Falun Gong is a spiritual practice. It is just the default way of referring to Falun Gong, though discussion of the competing representations of Falun Gong should also be included in the article.--Asdfg12345 07:26, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like we have a POV disput here. This recurring disput is reason enough for the POV flag to go back. Bobby fletcher (talk) 16:39, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Please read the RfC again, Asdfg12345. It is about you blanking notable sources. The fact these notable sources have made similiar statement is not controlversial - it is a FACT. But you have once again demonstrated your POV pushing by blanking facts you don't like.
You have on multiple occasion demonstrated your MO to "improve" the article by blanking facts you don't like. You could have changed wording, added other citations (you claim to have thousands, can you find 4 notables?), moved it in more apporpriate place - BUT YOU CHOOSE TO BLANK.
This ain't the first time you've done it:
I gave up building the list half way thru. Bobby fletcher (talk) 16:47, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

RE: I think the NPOV tag should remain until the problems in question has been solved by both sides. I've rephrased the "controversial" to "regarded by some to be controversial".--PCPP (talk) 17:57, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Bobby, please engage with the points I raised in the paragraph above. It is no good just throwing your arms up in the air and getting into the personal attacks. Do you think I'm being unreasonable? Am I making up excuses and trying to throw up roadblocks? I think I actually have legitimate points, and you have to address them.--Asdfg12345 23:43, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
The point is, again, Justice Russeau's statement on aspects of Falun Gong's teaching being controversial should not be removed, because it is notable fact relevant to the article. The fact Falun Gong lost the case and appealed has nothing to do with this statement. Yes, I believe you are being unreasonable, see the list of blanking cited above. You even blanked THE Encyclopedia Brittanica. Bobby fletcher (talk) 00:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
But I wrote about that above--it's a primary source, the case is in appeal, and the introduction should be demilitarised and not seek to define the subject as controversial from the start, but these things should be explored in a relevant section. It would be like me finding four sources that say Falun Gong makes people friendlier, and putting that in the lede. How appropriate would that be? Or finding four sources that say that Falun Dafa practitioners are righteous and brave? Doesn't make sense, does it. Then if you blanked it I could complain about how you're so naughty. Please let's discuss it in a more serious way. --Asdfg12345 01:35, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Two more things:
  • POV tag needs to be substantiated really soon or it goes
  • Added to the sentence that some analysts think Falun Gong is controversial, would it then also be appropriate to say that others think it makes people friendlier, or some other praise?--Asdfg12345 01:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
There you go with your personal attack and "if" - do you have any facts to back up your accusation of what I might do? I've demonstrated your track record with a list of blanking. Summary is what it is by definition - I only added one word. And even if it is your contention it should not be in the lead (which I disput), your behavior in blanking the notable facts and pretent they are "Google blogs" is wrong - this is yet another instance of you choosing to "improve" the article not by good faith editing, but blanking facts you don't like to enforce a POV and an obvious agenda (knowing your affiliations.)
As to the notable statement by Justice Rousseau, don't mix it up in the same discussion. Some editors removed it from the summary and then hacked it up even when it is in the middle of the article where details should be.
I continue to insist it is inappropraite to remove the POV flag, when there are so many editors diputing - PCPP, Intranetusa, Alum Salt, Martin... This is just a short of of recent disputes that has remain unresolved. See the talk page contents above.
Bobby fletcher (talk) 18:49, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, you had me cracking up with that Xinhua stuff. I'm just asking you to please explain what dispute we have been unable to resolve re the POV tag. It does not work to put it there then try to justify it, or refer to nothing. That in itself creates a disagreement, quite a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you do not identify something, I'm going to remove it.--Asdfg12345 23:47, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I've actually removed it now. I have never meant to personally attack you or be uncivil. I'm finding it difficult to get out of an oppositional mentality, where you are on one side and I am on the other. To do that successfully will actually require both of us to put in an effort. I can start by apologising for accusing you of using google blogs; I only glanced at one of the URLs and that's where I thought it was sourced to. It seems the introduction is a bit better now. How do you see the page being improved from here?--Asdfg12345 23:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry but I disagree with your most recent BLANKING:
1) You waited a grand total of 6 seconds to remove the POV flag - again while there are numerous disputes in the talk page. The continued objection of POV fork where citical discussion of Falun Gong is relegated to another page and given no prominence in this page remains. Please put the POV flag is back in.
2) Xinhua is a notable source. Please put it back.
3) The dispute with Justice Rousseau's statement remain unresolved. I've challanged all your concerns, and one of the most telling fact is while statemen 39 was preserved, you BLANKED statement 40 in order to minimize/trivialize the notable statement. I find that utterly unacceptable as a tactic to skew a POV.
You can apologize all you want, but your action shows you remain unrepentant about blankning notable facts you don't like in order to enforce a POV. This flag needs to stay in order to highlight the disputes.
That's just my objections. There are other editors who has objected to other parts of the article. See Talk above.
Bobby fletcher (talk) 06:40, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Xinhua propaganda is inadmissible. Read WP:RS. Justice Rousseau primary source, case in appeal, read WP:RS. On this Rousseau issue though, perhaps we should get more opinions. If you cast your mind back, even confucius opposed it. That must tell you something. I feel that my time is being wasted if I repeat the same points to you about basic issues to do with verifiability and reliable sources. And putting one liners like that at the end of the lede, sourced from Xinhua, I don't know how you can expect that be taken seriously. Please become familiar with wikipedia policies and there won't be any problems. Ownby is also the foremost scholar on Falun Gong in the world, and wikipedia should reflect mainstream scholarship on the subjects it carries. I assume you knew that.--Asdfg12345 09:13, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

And Epoch Times propaganda is not? Read the Admin's opinion, what part of "Xinhua news agency is a perfectly reliable source on the statements of Chinese government officials" from the admin don't you understand?
Bobby fletcher (talk) 02:21, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Comprehensive Look[edit]

I am impressed that Falun Gong practitioners have extended their marketing, a less charged term for propaganda, to the English Wikipedia. The entire article is now devoid of any sort of statement that can be taken with a hint of criticism towards Falun Gong, and any statement that seems to portray Falun Gong in a negative light has a refuting clause thereafter. I find this utterly sad, but by far one of the best attempts on Wikipedia to mask NPOV. Even in the "Academic attention" section on the article, critical analysis of Falun Gong is scant and misinformed, and only select studies are shown with little regard to the overwhelming trend, that, in the very least, Falun Gong is a controversial movement. What we end up having is a subtly biased article that shields most of Wikipedia's audience from the truth about Falun Gong.

What is interesting, however, is that on the Chinese version of Wikipedia, which is systematically biased in favour of anti-Communist views due to its block on mainland China, examines Falun Gong from a much more neutral light than the article on the English Wikipedia. For example, there is an entire section, written in traditional Chinese, discussing the political elements of the Falun Gong movement. The dominant pattern on the English Wikipedia has been to "compromise" based solely on requests made by Falun Gong-practicing editors and to systematically and gradually erode any negative views of Falun Gong in the article whenever and wherever possible. The persistence of Falun Gong-praciticing editors have long discouraged any neutral-minded editors from persisting in their cause to present a neutral view, and the ease to dismissing anything negative as "CPC propaganda" while unquestionably adhering to favourable views of Falun Gong has led to the ultimate product of another piece of Falun Gong marketing material found right here in the article today.

I myself have grown tired of trying to present a NPOV with regards to this article, or the article on Li Hongzhi. But in all honesty I am saddened, but not surprised, that the innate systemic behaviors of Falun Gong members have flagrantly invaded on neutrality grounds on Wikipedia and have embedded a spirit of pseudo-religious marketing. As a tireless Wikipedia contributor, I am discouraged and insulted from these developments. Colipon+(T) 20:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

That is interesting to read, but it is not very specific. Can you provide some references to specific things that aren't in the article that should be? (Please forgive me if I am not familiar with some of the history here.) -Wookipedian (talk) 05:26, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, try to mention that Li Hongzhi considers homosexuality as evil as murder, or his business with aliens, walking through walls or any other stuff (sourced, of course) that doesn't suit the sentinels watching this space. Hexmaster (talk) 14:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I had a quote taken from the New York Times which they reported as being a direct quote from Li Hongzhi, addressing followers in Australia, but as it had to do with Mr. Li's views on race (that children of interracial marriages only get into heaven through the good graces of Mr. Li) it was deleted without comment or discussion from the sub-page on their teachings. I'm giving the deleters until the end of today to provide a justification for the deletion and then the quote is going back in... but they will probably just delete it again. FLG is very activist and has a vested interest in disseminating anti-chinese propaghanda, not a neutral look at their religion.Simonm223 (talk) 14:43, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
So - did you get past the FG censorship or not? I haven't even looked... This have to be one of the worst articles in all of Wikipedia. Hexmaster (talk) 22:11, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
They take great advantage of people who have little knowledge of the subject, advance their agenda through media, notably the internet (which would explain the Wikipedia patrols and reverts), and have received numerous awards from clueless municipal authorities and NGOs. They also ride on anti-China hysteria and exploit the current regime's bad human rights record to advance their own goals. What can I say, they are geniuses at their marketing - and their not-so-subtle agenda-pushing on Wikipedia has certainly been successful. Can something be done to this article? Not very likely. Most people have just given up. Is this justified or right? No. Colipon+(T) 04:42, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. The English language version of this article seems to highlight Falun Gong in an unfairly positive light. Even at the start, it's referred to as a 'spiritual practice' when it is considered a religion by some (and a cult by others) - little to no mention of this is made in the article. This seems to be consistent with the way FG is described to the public as a form of exercises and meditation - any elements of FG practice or beliefs which would be regarded as unsavoury in the Western world (such as the views on homosexuality as amoral behaviour, although I did check the article on Christianity and found no mention either, which seems odd) are eliminated or toned down.
A search of the article for the word 'cult' turned up a first mention in the "Persecution" section, stating that the Chinese government had branded FG as such (note that "branded" in this context is kind of a weasel word). The next hit, in the "Reception" section is of interest, but completely fails to mention any of the reasons why those people consider FG to be a cult. Why is the "Persection" section seven times longer than the "Reception" section? That in itself indicates some bias in the article's current state.
Finally, I have to agree with a previous editor who mentioned that the Chinese language version of the article is much fairer and balanced than the English language one. It discusses some important issues which are completely omitted in the English version.
Destynova (talk) 00:18, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

There is some discussion of this above, here: [4]. So, if the article just had a whole lot of stuff about how dumb Falun Gong belief's are, that would make everything okay? I'm not sure I get the problem. The specific things about the teachings seem to be details; you could just change them for anything for wikipedia purposes, like, Li said that blue flowers are better than red ones on Tuesdays, and that practitioners should always wash their hands twice before eating, not once. You know, just anything--how would such details be relevant? I know the answer: if they appear in reliable sources, then they should be mentioned in proportion to their representation in such sources. Which brings me to the point: academics which have studied Falun Gong don't latch onto things like this and say this is what Falun Gong is all about, they seek to understand such remarks in their wider context. Read Ownby's recent book, for example. The encyclopedia isn't a tabloid. What I'm annoyed is that people on "my side" have removed explanations of such things from the teachings page, and I'm going to restore them right now.--Asdfg12345 04:17, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Homophobic Rhetorics[edit]

criticism sections seems to being continously removed by Falun Gong members.

Some scholars such as Philip Cunningham at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok have criticized Falun Gong teachings as deeply illiberal and homophobic and described it as "looks like a cult, smells like a cult and by any reasonable definition is a cult"[1]. Rick Ross, an American expert on cults have described Li Hongzhi, the funder of Falun Gong as someone who "doesn’t recognize everyone’s human rights, or even their right to be 'human'"[2]" Falun Gong also lists "Homosexuality, licentious desires" as one of the "world's ten evils".[3] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:47, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Rick Ross, waging his religiously motivated battle outside the academia, is not an "expert on cults" in the eyes of any genuine scholar, and Falun Gong has never restricted anybody's rights to do what they will; it seems you're talking about thought crimes. Traditionalist views on certain issues are not "cultish" per se, except in the double-speak of militant secularists and other fundamentalists. A 'cult' is defined by how it operates--otherwise the term loses it meaning and becomes an ideological club against perceived 'heresy'--and Falun Gong does not operate like a 'cult'. Read this post, please, and then we can discuss, if you feel it's necessary.
However, I agree that in the Teachings of Falun Gong article we need to find some room for covering these issues. They should be contextualised appropriately, and their relative weight in the corpus of teachings should be apparent to any reader. Also, if the reader gets the impression that Falun Gong would be pushing any societal agenda against homosexuals or mixed-race marriages (the latter being very common even among practitioners), we would be misleading them to believe in falsehoods. As the topic is so sensitive, and well-documented physical violence, structural discrimination and other forms of persecution are involved, we must meticulously adhere to Wikipedia policies and guidelines, keeping any kind of ideological struggle away from these pages. Olaf Stephanos 23:46, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Why is it religious motivated just because he's Jewish? (talk) 13:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
It's laughable that Olaf, who personally practices FLG, deciding what is and isn't a scholar. Got any evidence that Ross is not an expert on cults? He is considered an expert witness on cults by the US High Court [5].--PCPP (talk) 04:55, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Olaf, stop typing so damn much and show me and the OP how much you agree by adding the information yourself, in what you believe to be the proper context. Currently the article is giving readers the impression that Falun Gong has no opinion on homosexuals at all, which is clearly false. Please, go ahead and correct that little issue, would you? PerEdman (talk) 20:58, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually Falun Gong is not forcing it's views on anyone, not even on practitioners, so why would you insist to make a big case out of this when it's not. Wikipedia is not a tabloid see: WP:UNDUE --HappyInGeneral (talk) 18:51, 6 July 2009 (UTC)


Controversial. Adjective. Earliest noted usage in 1583. Means something of, relating to or arousing controversy. It can also mean something that is given to controversy, such as a humour or temperament. I use the word in the first meaning.

Controversy. Noun. Dated 14th century. A discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views. A dispute.

Now, as many of you have noticed, this is a humongous talk page. Just look at it. And this is not the only place in the world where a similar discussion is taking place. We aren't in agreement. We aren't all holding the same views of Falun Gong. In fact, we have very much opposing views of the movement, the training regime, the philosophy and strangest of all - we the wikipedians even disagree on whether or not we disagree about Falun Gong.

But it's obvious. We do disagree. We are in dispute. We have a controversy and that controversy is about a subject that relates to or arouses that controversy. That's what controversial means. That's what Falun Gong is.

So why do I add the word to the introduction when I know that there is a sentinel or three just waiting to revert any such edit? Well, partly because I care about Wikipedia and partially because I want it blindingly obvious what a crying shame this article is. Carry on. PerEdman (talk) 18:51, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

I copy this response here from Olaf, which I think sums up the problem with this well enough. The last link given is relevant.--Asdfg12345 06:00, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Asdfg12345 and HappyInGeneral are right, in my opinion. Falun Gong per se cannot be defined as "controversial". We don't define qigong as "controversial", even though it's very much controversial in the eyes of James Randi and others. Nor is ISKCON defined as "controversial" in the article's lead section, even though E. Burke Rochford, Jr.'s book Hare Krishna in America begins with the words "Few social issues have been more controversial over the past decade than the growth and expansion of the new religions in America." Defining a phenomenon as "controversial" is already implying a stance; it is not a neutral word, because anything can be seen controversial, including the theory of evolution, George W. Bush, or impressionist art. Shall we define GWB as "a controversial American president"? Or impressionism as "a controversial art movement"? Or heterosexual marriage as "a controversial social institution"? See Wikipedia:No weasel words. Olaf Stephanos 10:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Asdfg12345, please do not rehash select parts of an old discussion, it is hardly objective or convincing. There is controversy over Falun Gong, therefore it is controversial. This is what the word controversial means and stating this implies no stance what so ever.
If all you wanted to say was "controversial is a weasel word", you could do that without the huge quote. As you know, the article defines the term "weasel words" as "words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources". Since verifiable sources have been given for the word, only to be blanked by you, it does not apply. PerEdman (talk) 18:59, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

@PerEdman: I understand your reasoning - but i find it to be aahhmmm... how shall i say this "controversial" (-: Cause if we go by your logic - than one of the MOST controversial groups would undoutably be the jewish religion. As at all times they have faced harsh persecution and countless people opposing, disagreeing, de-valueing or even plainly attacking them. So seen from such a perspective - maybe they could actually be called "controversial". But it would be even more controversial to call them that, wouldn't it? --Hoerth (talk) 13:38, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Hoerth, Please bring this up on the talk page for Judaism; I'm sure the discussion will be more welcome there that it is here. If you have any questions about the data driving my logic, you are more than welcome to ask. PerEdman (talk) 18:55, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Immediately cease groundlessly undoing edits to the article without discussing the subject with the intent of reaching a consensus. I will naturally not revert your revisions as that would only serve to indicate that I was not interested in discussing the issue. PerEdman (talk) 19:03, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

[edit conflict] Your comments came after the edit, and I assumed you were not interested in discussion. When I saw the comments I responded, and the edit conflict happened. I wouldn't simply revert and not say anything; I thought it was the other way around. Here's my response. I won't revert more than once a day, but it shouldn't be necessary anyway. Please consider.

The quote I introduced was relevant. It is the same argument and it ended last time there. If there is more to say, please add it on. There's no sense dismissing it because it's six months old, it's the same set of ideas. I was going to elaborate myself but thought it wasn't necessary. The start of any article could start with "controversial."

Let's do an experiment. Should all articles be like this:

  • Christianity (from the word Xριστός "Christ") is a controversial monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the New Testament.
  • Physics (Greek: physis – φύσις meaning "nature") is the controversial natural science which examines basic concepts such as energy, force, and spacetime and all that derives from these, such as mass, charge, matter and its motion.
  • The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were controversial nuclear attacks near the end of World War II against the Empire of Japan by the United States at the executive order of U.S. President Harry S. Truman on August 6 and 9, 1945.

Directly defining the subject as "controversial" is at once a weasel word, vague, and non-neutral. And the above three are just simple examples of what leads would look like in a world where that kind of language was the order of the day.--Asdfg12345 19:12, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Asdfg12345, This talk section was created at 18:51, 8 March 2009. You made your second revert with reference to talk page at 05:54, 9 March 2009, i.e. 11 hours later. You then made a third revert at 18:53, 10 March 2009, still without going to the talk page, even though you yourself had referred to it. You are clearly reflexively undoing edits to the article. You did simply revert and not say anything.
You reprinted a post from an old discussion rather than discuss with me, your entire point being that controversial is a "weasel word", even though sources have been provided and blanked for the word and it can therefore by definition not be a weasel term. The discussion did not end due to any argument put forth in the quoted text and no consensus was reached, yet you continued to erase the word from the article.
Your incomprehensible examples bear little to no relevance. How is Falun Gong like an atomic bombing of Japan? How is Falun Gong like Christianity? How is Falun Gong like Physics? Oddly enough, the Wikipedia article on controversy currently states: "Christianity today is still considered controversial by leading authorities in psychiatry and communism, as in Red China." Funny, that. PerEdman (talk) 20:10, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
True, but not in the lead (although technically speaking that article is not very well organized, so it's hard to say). That would not make a good entry for an encyclopedia, because it would be too judgmental :) --HappyInGeneral (talk) 00:18, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, what does this comment refer to? PerEdman (talk) 12:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
It refered to your previous quote where you said: ""Wikipedia article on controversy currently states "Christianity today is still considered controversial by leading authorities in psychiatry and communism, as in Red China." Funny, that. "" --HappyInGeneral (talk) 13:45, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
BTW thank you for the who, and the which tags with references that you just put up. That is constructive. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 00:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
The thanks should go to Asdfg12345 who put me in the mind of weasel words. Finding unsourced statements is one of the most basic duties of wikipedians and one we can almost always engage in even in articles whose subjects we know little about. It almost always makes for a better article, at least once the tags have been answered. :) PerEdman (talk) 12:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
PerEdman, if there is a discussion on the talk page on something, I will take it up. I'm not interested in reverting and ignoring discussion. Just wanted to make that point quickly. I will be away for close to a week, and can then fill in those references and things when I get back, unless someone else does it. The "alleged" seemed silly, since the whole thing is extremely well documented; and the nationwide crackdown thing can be referenced directly to Forbes. anyway, got to go. Please don't think I'm a bad guy or trying to be problematic, or whatever. You don't need to question my intentions or get personal, either. There could be some misunderstanding. If you want a more scrupulously referenced article, that's great. The point of the examples is to show how any subject can be labelled as "controversial" and its exactly the same principle here. In particular, in this case the "controversy" is related to the persecution and all that has happened since, and this is the context. A final note also, I forgot to ask, what do you mean about Falun Gong having a "training regime"?--Asdfg12345 01:50, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Asdfg12345, You can't insist that you never do something that you just did. You did not bring it up, you reverted instantly. There was nothing preventing you yourself from adding it to the talk page yourself either, or to the older discussion.
Second point, as you know unsourced claims should not stand. If no-one comes forward with sources, the statements will be removed. Don't hold that against me, it's in the guidelines. PerEdman (talk) 12:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
also, about the examples, the point is sort of this: anything, anywhere, ever has different points of view, but to directly characterise a particular topic as "controversial" does nothing to inform the reader of the topic. All those articles above can be changed like that, and I've no doubt that sources could be found for the terms. The point is that it would not be informative or helpful, and the same principle applies here. It is not a neutral statement, it certainly implies a stance. The other examples are given to illuminate the silliness of doing it in this case--how is Falun Gong different from any other randomly selected topic? I could find a source that says Falun Gong is "healthy", so will the article start with "Falun Gong is a controversial, healthy spiritual discipline...." ? --Asdfg12345 01:54, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
And finally finally, the term “weasel word" emcompasses more than just not having a source, as I understand it, but also includes specious language that appears to say something but doesn't, appears to be neutral but is a judgement, and so on. You can get the idea from "weasel", right? It is sneaky, it sneaks in--that's the feeling I get. I read the policy and thought to myself that it includes more than just on that page, it's about the spirit of the term and its meaning. If you have a different interpretation or understanding on the spirit or meaning of the weasel word policy--and I do believe it's different from just WP:V, (or why would there not be just WP:V?)--no matter: why not put a sentence somewhere that "The (source) characterises Falun Gong as "controversial."" -- this would solve both problems, right? Now really got to scram!--Asdfg12345 02:03, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Asdfg12345, I see there were some things here I had not commented on.
You can call qigong exercises healthy. All you'd need are a few verifiable, reliable, third-party reputable sources for the claim. It would certainly be informative and helpful, very much like the article's current focus on the persecution of Falun Gong in China would be a significant fact about the exercises. As for your opinion that my opinion is silly, that's just not relevant to the massive controversies, imprisonments and unlawful seizures of property or the effectiveness of Falun Gong stretching, meditation and breathing exercises on well-known illnesses. Sources are.
Am I to understand that you would now accept reputable sources for the controversy surrounding Falun Gong? You have never accepted the NY Times or Encyclopedia Britannica on the subject before, so what's changed?
Finally, the meaning of weasel words in the context of wikipedia is very well laid out on the wikipedia page on the subject, which you yourself linked to. Do read it some time. There is no reason for me to discuss it unless you have a specific complaint or criticism. As a clue, however, the definition is not sneaky, it sneaks in--it's the feeling you get. :) PerEdman (talk) 00:21, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Asdfg12345, I am not "characterizing" Falun Gong as controversial. NOTHING is controversial in itself, it only becomes controversial when it is of, relating to or arousing controversy. Falun Gong has aroused controversy. This is no judgement, it is a statement of fact. The same is true of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which are both actions that have given rise to significant controversy and both can, for this factual reason, be called controversial.
You have yourself in the past argued for the focus of the FG article to be on the conflict between the PRC and FG and the persecution of FG. I will not speculate on your reasons for this, but I want you to know that I agree with you, and it is because I agree with this that I believe it is a significant fact about Falun Gong that there is such severe controversy surrounding Falun Gong and the PRC that it has even lead to torture, imprisonment and persecution. Therefore, the significant fact of Falun Gongs controversialty must be mentioned very near the start of the article
The examples did not show that "controversial" can be put into any context, as at least two of the three examples appeared to be completely without merit. All you proved was that you can put the word 'controversial' into any context. I can do the same with 'spiritual'. It is not until we can provide either sources or come to a consensus on a well-known fact that it should be put into the article. I believe there is grounds for this with "controversial", as I believe it is obvious that there are many controversies surrounding Falun Gong, most significantly the ones between the PRC and the FD movement. PerEdman (talk) 12:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I think I understand your point. My question regarding this reasoning is how can we put the controversial notions into the correct context. I'm asking this because you said quote: "I believe it is a significant fact about Falun Gong that there is such severe controversy surrounding Falun Gong and the PRC that it has even lead to torture, imprisonment and persecution." in which case you agree that the PRC is doing torture, imprisonment and persecution. Based on this agreement I think that you will also agree, that when these acts (genocide) are done by a state they always go hand in hand with massive vicious propaganda, to justify somehow the unjustifiable. In this case the proper context of the PRC generated controversy would be simply to state that it's an authoritarian state doing what it wants. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 14:27, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
HiG: You quoted me correctly so I hardly have to repeat myself. It does not matter, though as there is no rule saying that you must ascribe to one certain opinion in order to edit a certain article. In fact, the less opinionated you are on the subject, the better.
I cannot agree to a wording such as "the proper context of the PRC generated controversy would be simply to state that it's an authoritarian state doing what it wants." as I'm sure you realize in the context of wikipedia. Proper is normative, non-verifiable, PRC generated misses the point of the neutral use of the descriptive word 'controversial' and doing what it wants is speculative and non-verifiable. Wikipedia is hardly the place to speculate on the unspoken motives of political or spiritual enemies. If you are capable of producing reputable, verifiable sources despite my misgivings, I would gladly accept them.
I observe that Falun Gong is controversial -- of, relating to or arousing controversy -- as I observe that the PRC is persecuting FG. Please note that "arousing" here does not imply the first person causing or taking an active part, it refers to (re)actions of a third party. Let's stick to reproducing the verifiable facts. PerEdman (talk) 23:59, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

[unindent] I think that the summary of what you said above is: "Let's stick to reproducing the verifiable facts." To this I can easily agree! --HappyInGeneral (talk) 20:27, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Why don't we just put the sentence back that was removed at some point, after Penny et al.: "The Encyclopedia Britannica characterizes Falun Gong as "controversial."" -- problem solved.--Asdfg12345 17:01, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I concurr. Now the only question is... in what section? :) PerEdman (talk) 11:03, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
My quick thought at the moment is that the academic section should be changed to "Reception" or something similarly useful and descriptive, and then this should go there. My reasoning is that sections should not be determined per type of source, but theme. That's the only way it makes sense, right? Or we'd have "Newspaper responses", and blah blah, instead of theme based responses. The theme approach is far more sensible, and we can put all the reception stuff in one section. If this idea gets the green light, we can just do it that way. Watcha reckon?--Asdfg12345 05:00, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The fact that there has been have endless discussions on whether or not Falun Gong is controversial here makes it controversial. The fact that the Chinese Government, one of the most powerful nations in the world has banned them makes it controversial. When the Roman Empire banned Christianity, that made Christianity controversial, at least until Constantine. And reliable sources saying that Falun Gong is controversial are there. --Ilivetocomment (talk) 16:50, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Agree. There is still obvious controversy, much of which is already being described in the article: The allegations of organ harvesting, the protests against He Zuoxiu, the claims of Li Hongzhis supernatural abilities, the opinion on homosexuality, the opinions expressed about mixed marriages and of course the most significantly argued point of all: The persecution of Falun Gong by the PRC. This persecution is fact, repeated throughout the article, and that persecution is in itself a controversy between the PRC and Falun Gong. Therefore, "controversial" is exactly the kind of word that should be used in the lede, followed by a description of these controversies throughout the article, something that is already present. PerEdman (talk) 17:41, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

This should be attributed to a source (like britanica or some other) and put somewhere, possibly in the lede. I don't know what the whole discussion was about; let's just attribute it and put it in.--Asdfg12345 08:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Can we call NASA and every corporation a Cybersect?[edit]

Regarding this edit [6], can we call NASA and every corporation a Cybersect: "due to the group's reliance on the internet for text distribution, recruitment and information-sharing among adherents." --HappyInGeneral (talk) 12:44, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely NOT. Science is NOT a belief system. On the other hand, something like FLG IS. Children of the dragon (talk) 10:37, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I think User:HappyInGeneral was pointing out that such a definition could be applied to almost any organization or group. The term "recruitment" in no sense applies to Falun Gong - since there is no concept of membership or anything of the sort in the first place. The rest of the definition would apply to almost any group. "Text-distribution" and "information sharing" - who does not use the internet for information sharing in 2009 A.D.? By text-distribution - is it that all material is made available free of cost on website that the author is referring to?
This definition could be applied to almost any group - Computer Scientists, Lay Buddhists, Homeopaths, Doctors, Engineers, - any group you can think of.
And the argument that "science" is not belief and everything outside narrow fields of research in mainstream science is belief, I think, is quite fallacious. Scientific theories are but models we use to gain insight into a set of natural phenomenon. The word theory and the word theater share the same Greek root - theoria - meaning to see, an insight. Thats what theories are - models that help us gain an insight into a set of phenomenon - not pictures of absolute reality - not even an abstraction of reality, but mere models that that help us gain insight into phenomenon - models which are continually displaced by better models which encompass a superset of phenomenon. By making something out of science that it is not - an absolute picture of reality everything outside of whose framework or fields of research is but "belief" - we are doing it a great disservice and downgrading science from an approach to exploring and understanding reality to a personal belief system. There are different approaches to understanding reality - the path taken by present day western science is but one of those. To give an example that comes to mind - Goethean science - we may think of it as another approach, one which lays more emphasis on a direct understanding of reality through higher faculties of objective perception, which Goethe believed was latent in the human, than through axiomatic reasoning on physical measurements. The Buddhists and Daoists traditions take yet another approach to understanding nature - which is as scientific and an equally valid method, if not a more direct and faster one, of objectively understanding physical reality, as our modern science is. In fact, study of qi gong related phenomenon, which many westerners would simply dismiss as "unscientific" or "supernatural", even till 10 years back, was a field of active scientific research in China. I remember reading of an experiment conducted in Princeton University where they found humans consciously willing the outcome of a phenomenon considered purely random in quantum physics( think of it as a quantum coin-toss), had a statistically measurable and significant impact on its outcome. Even scientific notions we come to accept since high school as plain truths - for instance that memory, personality are all associated with the brain are contradicted by evidence emerging in recent research[7]. Not just in in patients who have undergone hemispherectomy, even in those who have survived gunshots through the brain, the personality, memory, likes, dislikes, all, "unbelievably"(as the Scientific American puts it), remain intact upon recovery. There are many such interesting phenomenon scientifically observed, some in controlled experiments some otherwise, which are quite difficult, if not impossible, to explain within the framework of present day science. But that does not mean these observed phenomenon are all "beliefs" and "superstitions" to be ignored but only that scientific models, as of 2009 A.D., are inadequate and not capable of encompassing these phenomenon - just as 18th century physics didn't encompass(and could not have explained) quantum or relativistic phenomenon. Not related, and am digressing quite a bit here from our original topic, but thought would share, while on the topic of "out of the mainstream framework phenomenon", as I hope some of you may find it interesting, as I myself did, these videos I saw a while back on youtube:[8][9]
Dilip rajeev (talk) 20:52, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Ummm. Falun Gong is quite probably a cybersect cause of this wikipedia definition; "Cybersectarianism refers to the phenomenon of new religious movements that rely primarily on the internet for text distribution, recruitment and information-sharing among adherents." If you don't want to call Falun Gong a religion, fine. But you can't deny that Falun Gong is based on a set of concepts and exercises that all Falun Gong practitioners agree with as a whole. It's a new movement that started a couple decades ago. The Falun Gong community is also united through the Internet. Li's writings are mostly spread using the Internet and most communication between Falun Gong practitioners occurs though the Internet. Falun Gong uses the Internet to contact their adherents in mainland China and also filters as much news as they can slip past the Great Firewall. The definition applies pretty well to Falun Gong, I think. --Ilivetocomment (talk) 23:27, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

If you ask me the concept of cybersect is odd to begin with. It might have had traction before, maybe because it sounds like an old Science Fiction term, but now the internet is widespread. In 2009 let's be serious, show me one organization that is not using the internet. Plus there are reasons why Falun Gong is called a spiritual practice. As far as I know that is because religions contain stuff which Falun Gong is not, like there is no membership, anyone is free to come and go as he likes, no fees, etc... As for it being a sect, for that it would need to have a "parent" which again it does not have, see from wikipedia article: "in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles" + it's not a desirable term because: "The term is mostly used in a malicious way and would suggest the broken-off group was following a more negative path than the original." quote from the sect article. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 14:28, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

There is a difference. Falun Gong's entire community relies on the Internet, unlike most organizations who just have informal websites where you can see what it's all about and send emails. All of Mr. Li's writing are distributed largely through the Internet. If there was no Internet, Falun Gong's community of practitioners would be nowhere near as organized as they are. Organizations like Wal-Mart, The United Nations, and yes, the CCP may have a Internet presence but their current form doesn't depend on it and can survive without it. And plus, all the major religions all don't have membership either, you don't have to pay to believe in Jesus Christ or Allah and you can go to church or mosque whenever they're open. Falun Gong can be called a sect because they are based on a form of Qigong which could be considered its parent movement. And the statement "Although in the past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles. The term is mostly used in a malicious way and would suggest the broken-off group was following a more negative path than the original." is not sourced and it is almost certainly a POV of the writer. I looked up the definition on Google, from here: and it said a sect is either a subdivision of a larger religious group or a dissenting clique, either of which can fit Falun Gong. Religion: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. --Ilivetocomment (talk) 21:28, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

A few points.
  • "Falun Gong's entire community relies on the Internet", I disagree.
  • "All of Mr. Li's writing are distributed largely through the Internet.", so is the constitution and lots of other billion of pages + the Falun Dafa teachings are also published, see here [10] for example.
  • Nobody would be as well organized without the internet or without phones or telegraphs.
  • Qigong is not a religion of it's own, Falun Gong can not be a sect of qigong.
  • etc...
I think we can agree that we have different POV's and that wikipedia is not WP:SOAP. Here we have WP:V & WP:RS so let's stick to sources and not to WP:OR. PS: sorry for the late response, I was out of town. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 12:22, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

np with the late response, I didnt even notice neways. I check this place about once every couple days so no harm done. And my keyboard is f*cked up so that quote comes up like this: È. Anyways, to the point.

A few more points.
  • "Falun Gong's entire community relies on the Internet", I disagree. They rely almost solely on the Internet to get information in and out of China thanks to wiretapping and unless I am wrong, most Falun Gong practitioners live in China. Also the overseas community communicates mainly through the Internet, unlike a lot of other organizations.
  • "All of Mr. Li's writing are distributed largely through the Internet.", so is the constitution and lots of other billion of pages + the Falun Dafa teachings are also published, see here [11] for example. LiÈs writings are current, and when they come out the main means of distribution is through the Internet. The US Constitution is generally found in books since it was written about 200 years ago. The books are published also, but much fewer people see it that way. Not so current writings were probably put into the Internet today and not back then.
  • Nobody would be as well organized without the internet or without phones or telegraphs. Falun Gong puts special reliance on the Internet to communicate.
  • Qigong is not a religion of it's own, Falun Gong can not be a sect of qigong. Call it a branch of qigong then, it meets the definition near enuff.
  • etc... Plus it says in the Wiki Cybersect page that Falun Gong is a cybersect.

--Ilivetocomment (talk) 21:34, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

  • "Falun Gong's entire community relies on the Internet" for communication in 2009 everybody rely on internet, because it's more efficient. Do you have any studies to point otherwise? Does even your common sense say otherwise?
  • "200 years ago" there was no internet, so you are right, the US Constitution was first published in books. My mistake, I live in Romania, our constitution changed recently and I did not get a published hard copy, I got it from the internet, just as I read recently the US Constitution on the internet, so on.
  • "Falun Gong puts special reliance on the Internet to communicate." and who does not? Again we are in 2009.
  • "Plus it says in the Wiki Cybersect page that Falun Gong is a cybersect", so it's fine to quote the cybersect wiki page, but not the sect page? See Google Battle [12] return 2.7k vs. 33400k and tell me which one is more relevant. Or in Wikipedia context: [13]
Do you really live just to comment? Please see WP:NOT. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 07:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Quote the cybersect page because we are calling Falun Gong cybersect not sect. I'm just trying to disprove you saying that everyone is cybersect so it has no relevance. I will get back to the other stuff l8r. --Ilivetocomment (talk) 18:02, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

And the reason you are calling Falun Gong and not everything else a cybersect is? My point is this term does not really makes sense. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 04:48, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Because not everything else falls under the definition, of course. Please read the Cybersect page before making any further claims to the effect that "if falun gong is a cybersect then so is everything else". PerEdman (talk) 12:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
(the North-American Space Administration is not new, not religious and not a movement. Nor does it rely primarily on the internet, not for text distribution nor for recruitment or information-sharing. I'm not even sure NASA has adherents, but it does have employees and fans, I guess.) PerEdman (talk) 12:35, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
According to the chinese government, world of warcraft players are a dangerous sect. Have you seen their ban on skeleton characters. Online gamers also unite on the internet. They actually had meetings to do discuss how to properly deal with these negative influence on society. Benjwong (talk) 23:54, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
That article doesn't say that the chinese government called it a sect, and it comments that it could also be caused by Blizzard failing to bribe the correct guys in the Chinese government. So, it wouldn't be relevant to this particular discussion. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

You have been led astray, Ilivetocomment, and Happy In General, you have led hir astray. The definition of a cybersect was "Cybersectarianism refers to the phenomenon of new religious movements that rely primarily on the internet for text distribution, recruitment and information-sharing among adherents." and yet you have led the current discussion onto the claim that "Falun Gong's entire community relies on the Internet" which is never claimed in the definition. It is my opinion that the definition and appliance of "cybersect" is indeed relevant to Falun Gong and if you do not like the definition of a word, that is still no reason to deny others the usage of these words. Remember - again - that Wikipedia is not a reflection of your beliefs, it is a communal encyclopedia.

Why "everyone else" is not called cybersect was indicated to you in the very first comment. Please do not ignore such information because it is convenient to do so as repetition will only bore people to leave. PerEdman (talk) 09:28, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

"Cybersectarianism refers to the phenomenon of new religious movements that rely primarily on the internet for text distribution, recruitment and information-sharing among adherents." What is your source saying, that this is the case for Falun Gong? --HappyInGeneral (talk) 12:54, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
The definition says "primarily", not "entirely". There is a world of difference. PerEdman (talk) 12:31, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
What is your WP:RS for saying that Falun Gong relies "primarily" on the internet? --HappyInGeneral (talk) 07:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Aside from Patricia M. Thornton, Barent ter Haar also mentions it[14]
The Falun Gong is also a new kind of social phenomenon // namely the virtual movements that come into being quite rapidly due to modern means of communication such as handies (GSM, mobile telephones and what not) and the Internet (WWW, e-mail, WAP etc.). It is typically a city phenomenon and the traditional word of mouth so important in China, where official channels of information are always under state supervision, is now assisted by large scale e-communication in particular.
This is however from Barent ter Haar's personal webpage and could be criticized on that ground. PerEdman (talk) 00:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) This does not state how Falun Gong is different by the Underground Christian Churches for example or by any popular football team, or by ... well anything these days. Who is not using cell phones, who is not using email? So on this ground (nothing) you find it's somehow OK to call Falun Gong a cybersect? Out of which the sect part is what bothering me the most, because it has "pejorative connotations", quoting the sect article. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 18:41, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Improving the entire article[edit]

I'm interested in looking at ways we can correct the article to make it more neutral. First what needs to happen is to identify what is wrong with it as it stands, if anything, and then do what needs to be done to fix it. I like it less that people think it's pro-Falun Gong than you do. There's a clause called WP:UNDUE though, which I think is a factor here. This talk page isn't the place to debate the topic though. Check out Faluninfo's recent report, if you like, for the year 2008: Despite it being a Falun Gong source, I suggest scrutinising it carefully, since it is clearly at a professional standard, and these organisations set up by practitioners to investigate the persecution are acknowledged as legitimate and thorough by independent groups (I have a source for that. David Ownby mentions it several times in his recent book). I might just add that everything in this article should be traced back to verifiable sources and should be scrupulously referenced. One side benefit of my demanding this is also to avoid what you complain about--like there is something wrong with the article just because it has this information. If it's in reliable sources, it can be talked about to include here. That's not any individuals fault, so it's a poor point of complaint, if you know what I mean. Neutrality is a methodology, not an objective. If you respond, please take up from the first sentence I wrote here, since that's the most important, and while we could discuss the other issues all day, we can make real progress on the concrete issue at hand if we work together.--Asdfg12345 04:52, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Asdfg12345, Glad to see you come around to my way of thinking, he he. But this topic, "how to improve the article", deserves a heading of its own. I hope you forgive me, Asdfg12345 and Dilip rajeev for moving your comment for that reason.
The first thing to remember is that the current version of the article is totally expendable. I don't mean that we should throw everything out, I just mean to say that it would not really do any harm to remove any part of the article. The sources would still be there. I think the next step, the easiest step, would be to start removing things from the article. Entire paragraphs, entire explanations of concepts, and rather link these to already-existing articles on these subjects. For example the excellent information about 6-10 I am sure can be incorporated into some other article on PRC or Chinese Governmental structure or something like that. It is relevant to the FG article, but it doesn't help the FG article to have all that ... data ... inside it, making it hard to read, hard to overview, hard to understand with all these shoots going off in all directions inside it.
The tree of the article needs to be cultivated and pruned. Fewer branches, thicker bole. Less flowery, more robust. This is supposed to be a solid oak to rest on, not a multicolored garden that drags the eye in all directions at once.
Even though we read one article by a Falun Gong or PRC source and we believe it to be professional or verifiable, it would still be a very bad idea to link to the article as it opens you up to criticism of bias. It is not about what the article mentions that we can verify, but about what it does not mention that we thus cannot verify. Therefore it is always better to find a reference as close to the source as possible, rather than tether sweeping statements in Falun Gong-sourced collected material. In my opinion, that is. PerEdman (talk) 09:47, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Hi PerEdman. Can you please be more specific about what you mean? I don't believe there is much information about the 610 office in this article, aside from the odd mention. What you say sounds reasonable, I just don't know what you mean by it?--Asdfg12345 13:46, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Cut. It. Down. Focus on the most important parts. Even though the 6-10 office text is short, it is certainly one of the thinnest branches that makes the article look bushy. PerEdman (talk) 20:49, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

the 610 office is the agency inside China that has run the whole persecution. None of the rest of the notes about the persecution would be possible without the 610 office; the persecution itself is predicated on the 610 office. And most people wouldn't have even heard of Falun Gong if it weren't for the persecution.--Asdfg12345 14:44, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I was concerned about the statement from a book review by Philip Cunningham being used in the Academic Views section. WP:RS tells us :"Material that has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable; this means published in reputable peer-reviewed sources or by well-regarded academic presses." The article[15] is clearly no academic study and my reservations on using the source is strengthened by the fact that its view conflicts with mainstream scholarship and well as that of the book it is reviewing. For now, am removing the particular line. If any of you think, the source does indeed meet WP:RS, is academic and worthy of inclusion, please share your perspective. Dilip rajeev (talk) 12:54, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I have commented on this as well. At least I think I have. PerEdman (talk) 20:49, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
No, sorry, my comment was directed at the section "Academic attention" contained links to a single webpage by one Barend ter Haar, which collects non-academic materials and academic materials alike. PerEdman (talk) 21:00, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Dilip, WP:RS is the guideline, WP:V is the policy. JapanTimes is a valid source as it is a mainstream newspaper, see WP:SOURCES. Cunningham's view is not included as an academic source, but as a respected newspaper: "Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used in these areas, particularly if they are respected mainstream publications (WP:SOURCES). In other words, you cannot remove it just because it is not a peer-reviewed publication. However, see also "Statements of Opinion" in WP:RS[16]
For now, and until you have presented further arguments, adding material back. PerEdman (talk) 17:28, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Buddy, this is an academic topic. And academic sources,a ccording to wikipedia, ought to be given a much higher priority over a newspaper book review. The claim in makes conflicts with that of mainstream scholarship. I have pointed out earlier problems in using newspaper articles as a source for academic topics. Such a claim, made has to be supported by a study. A book review published in a newspaper is but a book review - not in anyway an academic source. If we are to cherry pick statements from book reviews and give them undue weightage like this - then we'd soon turn this article into an opinion piece.
Dilip rajeev (talk)

Stance on homosexuality must be mentioned[edit]

Talking to homosexual friends, the defamation of homosexuality within the teachings of Li Hongzhi ar every important to represent in an article about Falun Gong as it represents a subject of public interest to someone who comes to this article to find out more about what Falun Gong is, what it stands for, what actions are taken by its practicioners.

Regardless of what you personally, dear reader, believe about representing Li Hongzhis opinions on homosexuality, you can also choose to view this as a way of moderating the reactions that could result either from withholding the stance on homosexuality, and to explain to any newcomer to the article that Falun Gong does not proactively seek to prevent homosexual people from living their own lives.

The subject, however, must be included. As per my humble opinion, of course. If no one else adds the topic to the article before I have the time and energy for it, I will do so myself. PerEdman (talk) 20:32, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Considering Li Hongzhi himself describes homosexuality as evil as e.g. murder (Zhuan Falun, lecture one), it would merit at least a mention. Hexmaster (talk) 07:31, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree, the issue should be mentioned. However, I would like to make a point about Falun Gong's teachings: Li Hongzhi does not equate homosexuality with murder. In Zhuan Falun, he lists things he considers humankind's vices. As you said, it is important to note that Falun Gong does not promote an anti-homosexual agenda in society, and has never done that. We need to find a way to present this in the article. According to my understanding, in Falun Gong metaphysics, the criterion for a person's "salvation" is his or her attitude towards the persecution. Taken out of context, Falun Gong's conservative stance on how a cultivator should act – i.e. respecting traditional virtues and values – will inevitably cause misunderstandings, because people tend to rely on stereotypes. We need to take the entire corpus of teachings into account; for instance, the following quote (lecture in Los Angeles, 2006):
Disciple asks: How can we save homosexuals more effectively?
Teacher: They are sentient beings, so save them just like the other ordinary sentient beings. Save them if you can, and treat them just like anyone else. The more you regard them as a special group, the less you will be able to save them. Just save them as you would any other persons. Save them if you can. If you can't, then you can't.
Of course, here we must explain what is meant by 'saving people'. Another common misinterpretation is that it means converting them to Falun Gong, while it has nothing to do with changing their spiritual beliefs. Olaf Stephanos 12:05, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Olaf, please see my previous comment above. If you have considerations on how to "best" publicize Falun Gong's stance towards homosexuals, you are entirely free to formulate the passage, before someone else does. Go right ahead. PerEdman (talk) 12:29, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I thought there was something about this on the teachings page? I don't see the notability here. I believe the term appears twice in Zhuan Falun, among other things that are seen as immoral, and a smattering of other mentions in the thousands of pages of conference transcripts. It must be something less than 1% of the total body of teachings. I guess it warrants a cursory mention, to establish the context of traditional morality that Falun Gong is approaching things with. I just checked the teachings page and there is nothing there--I suggest some notes on it there.--Asdfg12345 14:37, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

It may not be very important to you, Asdfg, or to Li Hongzhi, but it can be ever so important to the people who are likened to murderers and rapists themselves. If it only a smatterling, or even unimportant, or very especially if the claim is simply not true, then this too must be presented in the article so that the reader can satisfy him- or herself that Falun Gong is not indeed trying to hide this opinion, or that it harbors any secret hatreds against homosexuals.
As you must know, similar opinions expressed towards homosexuals, infidels, respectless children and so forth, constitute only a very small percentage also of sacred texts belonging to the large religions, and still these small segments have caused much controversy, even violence. It is only for the best to be open and honest about these things, rather than secretive or denigrating. PerEdman (talk) 16:00, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I think we ought not pull out a few lines from 2000+ pages and interpret it through the prism of our own notions. What is said, in my understanding, is that there are certain actions which engender karma and so is ultimately harmful for the those engaging in such actions. There is no hatred against anyone here! Practitioners do not hold any negativity against even have those who have tortured them - and despite all the persecution, they have only used the most peaceful and kind means to help the persecutors understand and to counter the persecution. Remember among these are people who have suffered handicaps as a result of the tortures or even have lost family members. Ownby writes: "violence of any sort is so alien to Falun Gong."
Dilip rajeev (talk) 14:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
That is no argument at all. If we cannot pull a few lines from any of the 2000+ pages, then we might as well not mention the writings at all. In the case of apparent racism and apparent homophobia, it is vital to be transparent on these matters. Being obscure only leads to speculation.
I'm still waiting for someone to write about this. It may not be important to you, but it can be very important to people who ARE gay or come from mixed ethnicities to know that, as you say, Falun Gong pratitions "do not hold any negativity" against them, or against torturers. (Why the comparison to torturers, by the way???) PerEdman (talk) 00:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not comparing them to torturers - how did you come up with that twisted interpretation?!!! Did you miss the "even to" part? If I say that guy is so good he wont hit back even if you hit him let alone go attack someone innocent for no reason - am I comparing the innocent guy to the attacker? What kind of logic is that? Homosexuals are as welcome to practice cultivation as anybody else - but just as a person would have to gradually give up smoking, drinking, promiscuous behavior, drug abuse, jealousy, greed, lust, anger, hatred etc. - he would have to give up his homosexual behavior as well as he progresses in practice. Everyone makes his own choices and whether a person wants to change any aspect of himself is completely the person's own choice. Practitioners absolutely do not discriminate against anyone.
Dilip rajeev (talk) 01:19, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not saying you harbor any hatred, I am saying that Falun Gong and Li Hongzhi's stance on homosexuality must be mentioned in the article. You brought up hatred, and torturers: "Practitioners do not hold any negativity against even have those who have tortured them". If you, in response to my request, feel you need to state that "Practitioners do not hold any negativity against even have those who have tortured them", well, then I am suddenly confused, because I was not asking about torturers or hatred. That is how I came to make my "twisted" interpretation.
Again I am confused that you bring up homosexual behavior as if it were a bad habit or negative emotion one can just "give up". Is that, perhaps, the view of Falun Gong, that being homosexual is like smoke, drink, be promiscous, abuse drigs, being jeolous, gready, lustful, angry or full of hatred? I could add that to the wikipedia text right now, if you could tell me what source we can use.
As for sources, here is my own: "There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."[17] PerEdman (talk) 15:53, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it's a big deal to mention this. People have complained about Falun Gong's apparently conservative stance on these things, I'm sure. Just mention their criticism then mention the 'stance' of Falun Gong from If this isn't done by the 6th or 7th, I'll do it then.--Asdfg12345 17:41, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Rick Ross does NOT qualify as a source[edit]

Rick Ross's comments come from his personal website [18], and personal sites, by definition, only qualify as sources under strict conditions (see [19]). Ross is not recognised as a "cult expert" by any scientific authority, and his writings have never been published in academic journals; in addition, he has directly cooperated with the Chinese persecutors of Falun Gong, spoken in their seminars in China, and received money from them. (Isn't it curious how five most recent articles on his site seek to "expose" Dalai Lama?) Ross is nearly a stereotypical example of someone whose comments have no place in Wikipedia, except in an article about Rick Ross himself. Olaf Stephanos 12:59, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, he does and attempting to miscredit him by repeating the unsourced claim that he is "in bed with the CCP" in multiple edit-comments does not make him any less of an expert witness on cults, plus it miscredits YOU. If you were to remove Rick Ross from the list of viable sources, then we must also remove all references made to Barent ter Haar, whose personal webpage acts as a repository for various claims made throughout the article.
I find it perfectly abhorrent how you choose to source some of the claims you make above, but you choose not to source the claim that Ross has "directly cooperated with the Chinese persecutors of Falun Gong, spoken in their seminars in China, and received money from them".
This article is not about Rick Ross, it is about Falun Gong. Therefore an expert on religious cults is a valid source. Now... if you were to add that segment on the attitudes towards homosexuality, you may gain some repute for constructivism, rather than this horrible defamation of valid sources. PerEdman (talk) 13:22, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
PerEdman, you did not present any external argument that would support Rick Ross's inclusion in this article — whereas Barent ter Haar is Professor, Research Fellow, and Chair of Sinological Institute at Leiden University. "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." [20] What "reliable third-party publication" has published Rick Ross's work? Who in the Academia considers him as an "expert on religious cults"? Please start by giving me even one such reference. Then we can discuss.
Forgive me for not providing you a source about Ross's cooperation with the CCP. Here it is. "The following paper was presented by Rick Ross at the January 2009 International Forum on Cultic Studies [in Shenzhen] sponsored by the the Centre for the Study of Destructive Cults in China and published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences." Olaf Stephanos 13:43, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Olaf, You did not present any source about Ross's cooperation with the CCP, instead you hand me a paper presented at a school in China? I'm sorry, that's just not sufficient for the slanderous accusations you are making from excluding a source from a wikipedia article. For information on Rick Ross, I would direct you primarily to the wikipedia page on the man. - Speaking of which, the Rick A Ross institute, would you consider that to be a self-published page of such a magnitude that you would find it an acceptable source, even if it were ... critical?
The material quoted from Barent ter Haar's webpage is not all written by himself, but it is referenced from this Wikipedia page to Barent ter Haar's own webspace, which still makes it inappropriate. That ter Haar's own material is quoted from there is just perfect. Just as Rick Ross should be quoted from his own webpage, when he is making his opinion known. PerEdman (talk) 15:56, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

PerEdman, Ross obviously doesn't qualify as a reliable source, Olaf has enumerated reasons. The views he holds are also clearly minority, and often (and particularly in the case of Ross) indistinguishable from those of the CCP. I know you want to get some dirt on Falun Gong, but you'll need to dig a bit deeper, I think. If there's something out there in peer-reviewed journals, it must be waiting for you to find it.--Asdfg12345 14:33, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Asdfg, Ross obviously does qualify as a reliable source and baseless slander of an academic source included under an "academic attention" section is just inexcusable. This article is about Falun Gong and the section is about academic attention, of course academic attention, positive and negative, should be in this section of this article. Though as we both know, the real heading should be another, one that is mysteriously missing from the article. I want you and Olaf to stop trying to put dirt up on ANYONE who adds a speck of criticism to this page. Rick Ross is one such example. Cunningham is another one. I suppose that is also what you are trying to do to me when you say I know you want to get some dirt on Falun Gong as you cannot possibly know any such thing. And besides - how can Rick Ross's opinion in any way, shape or form be construed as "dirt" on the movement he harbors this opinion towards? It cannot, as the opinion is his.
I think you might be rather be thinking about my opinion that Li Hongzis opinion of homosexuals should be included in the article? I might agree that's a bit dirty but believe, just as Olaf seems to do, that it can still be done in an apropriate manner.
If you have anything RELEVANT against Rick Ross as a source, I suggest you bring it up immediately. Slander is not a valid reason to keep criticism out of a Wikipedia article. PerEdman (talk) 15:51, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

PerEdman, Ross has no academic qualifications. I agree what you say about positive and negative is the same in terms of reporting academic attention, as in, we don't pick things based on what they say, only who says it. That's the reason there is resistance to Ross. He runs his own website and makes money from advertising himself as an expert. He attends CCP conferences and speaks at them, and uses the same language as the CCP in talking about Falun Gong. His stuff is self-published, and he does not appear in peer-reviewed journals. He's operating outside the academia in his work. You may also know that he's has been convicted for kidnapping, a highly controversial figure, honestly. He himself is not a reliable source, and is promoting a definitively fringe view of Falun Gong.The cult label should be treated on these pages in the terms in which it is treated in the reliable sources. Apart from this view (that the cult label was a red herring, objectively inaccurate and merely politically expedient), there may be others. That is called a fringe view. Find a good academic on it who gives some analysis with a negative slant and let's use that, at least it will be admissible. I didn't delete the Cunningham reference; don't confuse me with Dilip, please.--Asdfg12345 21:15, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

If you have any relevant criticism of Rick Ross, I suggest you add them to the wikipage on the person, rather than repeatedly delete any references to the man on the Falun Gong wikipage. You have no sources for your claims, and you are making all this speculation only on the grounds of Rick Ross's statements about Falun Gong. You even went so far as to claim that I am looking for "dirt" on Falun Gong by refusing to have Rick Ross statement about Falun Gong removed from the Falun Gong webpage. You are not being objective here, Asdfg.
Then you say "Find a good academic on it who gives some analysis with a negative slant and let's use that, at least it will be admissible." and again you are obviously misconstruing me. I am not looking for "a negative slant". I am looking to have critical sources included in this wikipedia article, and I am being hindered by smear campaigns, repeated reverts, major edits marked as minor, and rule-page bashing. PerEdman (talk) 11:39, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
We have referred to several Wikipedia policies that do not allow Rick Ross's inclusion into the article. Either you present your argument in a similar fashion, or you don't edit. It's quite simple. Take a look at this arbitration case. [21] There is nothing wrong with the behaviour of those who try to stop illicit edits on the basis of Wikipedia policies and guidelines. I have been consistent with the approach I've taken on this article, and I've never been criticised by the arbitration committee. On the other hand, people who have not been able to justify their controversial edits through what you call "rule-page bashing" have been banned indefinitely before. You have not answered to any of our concerns about Rick Ross, and I know you really can't, because he does not have even low-ranking academic credentials, and he hasn't been published by any reputable outsiders. He is not a "critical source"; he's just "critical", and not doing a very good job at that, either. Olaf Stephanos 07:07, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
What is wrong is referencing the article without being specific in your criticism. Combine this with slander of the source, and you lose any credibiltiy. In this thread, you have only referenced WP:V, self-published section. I would look closer at guideline WP:RS which allows, among other things: "an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications" - this is Rick Ross. He is not sourced as an academic source, he is sourced as an expert in his field. To dismiss him from this based on accusations of illegal behavior would be original research ( Wikipedia:No_original_research ). I would also contest the implicit claim that CultNews is Rick Ross's personal webpage. It is the webpage of an organization he has created, that much is true, but it is not a self-published personal webpage in the meaning implied in policy WP:V. The concept being similar to using the webpage as a source for Li Hongzhi's statements, opinions and actions (covered under WP:SELFPUB ).
WP:RS also states "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable secondary sources. This means that while primary or tertiary sources can be used to support specific statements, the bulk of the article should rely on secondary sources." and "Our policy: Primary sources that have been reliably published (for example, by a university press or mainstream newspaper) may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them."
Relevant to this article, this means that Wikipedia articles should be based more on secondary sources such as Cunninham, Ross and Thornton than and which are primary sources. And because we are talking about Ross's opinion, it is also relevant to point out that WP:RS states "Some sources may be considered reliable for statements as to their author's opinion, but not for statements of fact.", which is also relevant to the NYT source to Li Hongzhi's comments on interracial children.
For these reasons to Rick Ross's benefit and the lack of relevant criticism against him as a source, I restore the quotation to the article.PerEdman (talk) 15:07, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

This is getting a bit silly. Please just respond to this: he does not have even low-ranking academic credentials, and he hasn't been published by any reputable outsiders -- what do you say?--Asdfg12345 17:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I repeat Asdfg's request. "[...] whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications". What are these "reliable third-party publications" in Ross's case? How many more times do we have to reiterate this?
On a side note, I am majoring in the "relevant field" (religious studies). I have never seen a reference to Rick Ross's work in anything I've studied; likewise, I've never heard anybody in my field call him an "expert". I'm not saying that Rick Ross wouldn't make good study material — anthropologists have studied all kinds of human behaviour from quirky tribal rites to karaoke bars — but suggesting that his work has any value as a secondary source is not only misguided; it is preposterous. Olaf Stephanos 18:08, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Racism and Racial Segregation[edit]

I've seen quotes from Li Hongzhi where he has said that children of mixed 'race' are "unclean" and where he has stated that the after-life is racially segregated. I have also heard second hand accounts stating that he has further said that the racially segregated after-life is ranked with better post-death fates for certain ethnicities. I edit from work and most sites about ARGs are blocked so I can't effectively search for the quote. Could somebody lend a hand?Simonm223 (talk) 15:05, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Nowhere is any term with any connotation as "unclean" or anything even remotely carrying such connotation used. I am sure you would seen this claim made in some CCP related website - they can't find anything wrong with Falun Gong - so they resort to ridiculous misrepresentations, like these, to bolster their propaganda campaign.
Buddhists traditions and Daoist traditions ( and many Indian traditions as well ) have a world-view in which a hierarchy of dimensions are present - systems or ordering in a plane, never arising coincidentally, but as a natural, physical consequence of a deeper, higher dimensional ordering. All that is said, in passing, is that the ordering of this plane of the cosmos has to do with how more microcosmic, higher dimensional planes are ordered - and racial ordering here, as well, exists not by mere chance. Many inter-racial people practice cultivation - So Very Many. What is mentioned in the teachings is that mixing of races, on this scale, is a fairly recent phenomenon. It is also said that mixed race people can practice cultivation all the same, and it is said, very clearly, that it is neither their fault nor their parents' - but just has got to do with chaotic cosmic phenomenon beyond their control. Interracial marriages are, in fact, not uncommon among practitioners .
Dilip rajeev (talk) 21:50, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Falun Gong is not racist. Spit out the bait you accidentally swallowed. I've been practicing for eight years, and I've noticed that mixed-race marriages among practitioners (esp. Caucasians <-> Chinese) seem to be more common than in population at large. I have never heard a practitioner utter a racist slur. Moreover, I've seen hundreds of practitioners of mixed-race origin.
For more information, take a look at the following accurate description of Falun Gong's "stance" in these controversial issues [22]:
Knowing the democratic West to be a tolerant, pluralistic, and diverse place, Chinese authorities have sought to brand Falun Gong as contrary to these basic values. In a word, they’ve sought to cast it as “intolerant.” Several journalists have taken the bait.
The characterization is patently misleading, and rests solely upon an outsider’s uninformed interpretation of doctrine. It’s found to be at odds with lived practice.
Consider the first of the two major issues Chinese authorities cite: an alleged intolerance of homosexuality. (We can’t help but note the irony of China’s communist rulers having until recently banned homosexuality, labeling it a mental disorder.)
Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are welcomed by the practice just like anyone else, and not accorded any different treatment. Whether they continue to live that lifestyle, or self-identify with that term, is solely a personal choice and not something anyone in Falun Gong would force upon the individual. Central to Falun Gong is the making of one’s own decisions.
Falun Gong’s teachings do suggest that certain behaviors, including homosexuality, generate more karma than others or are not conducive to certain aspirations in the practice. But this it is left at the level of teaching, and not a creed or regulation. How one understands a given teaching, and to what extent he or she applies it, is always a personal matter.
A second, related point that must be emphasized is that Falun Gong’s teachings on this and other matters do not equate to a “position statement” or “stance” on some social issue. They are intended solely for the individual aspirant, and to be applied to his or her own life; they are not meant to be applied to others, much less non-practitioners. Falun Gong does not have any position on what other people should or shouldn’t do with their lives. It simply offers its teachings on personal change to whomever is interested in its path to spiritual growth.
What holds true for homosexuality holds true for interracial marriage, if not more so. Falun Gong’s teachings have little to say about the matter. What several journalists have picked up on, prompted by Chinese state media intimations, is the presence of one passage in one book where Falun Gong’s founder mentions the issue in passing.
Regrettably the said journalists didn’t temper their own, outsider’s reading of that passage with investigation or evidence. They failed to check with any living, actual persons who do Falun Gong, preferring, seemingly, to not let a sensational reading of the passage be spoiled by evidence to the contrary.
Had they looked into the matter, they would have found their assumptions to be just that, assumptions. Many who practice Falun Gong have married individuals of a different race after taking up the practice. Of the 14 individuals who make up the Information Center’s staff, fully 4 fall into this category. If Falun Gong teaches racial segregation, it’s doing a poor job of it.
If the practice does not breed racial intolerance in the life of the individual, one might readily imagine how much less so it translates into a general “stance” on interracial marriage in society.
The two most frequently cited forms of “intolerance” end up suggesting, upon closer examination, just the opposite. Indeed, if anything, it would seem that something in Falun Gong is instead conducive to greater tolerance.
Olaf Stephanos 18:17, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Essays on Falun Gong practice aside the truth is that I have read quotes from Li Hongzhi on the issue of racial segregation, as I said previously, I just can't find them right now. Please next time you don't have the information I requested it would be sufficient for you to say that you don't believe you have ever read such material. Furthermore please refrain from making personal attacks when you speak to me. It is unwelcome and inappropriate. Thank you very much. Simonm223 (talk) 19:26, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Found the quote. It was in the new york times in 2000 and was a quote of a statement made by Li Hongzhi in an interview in 1999. I have added the appropriate quote to the "Teachings of Falun Gong" page and will add balancing comments in order to maintain neutrality. As this is a direct quote taken from a source that IIRC does meet Wikipedia's reference standards I ask that it not be removed. I will endeavor to make sure the presentation is neutral.Simonm223 (talk) 11:37, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Simonm223, we're going to need a date reference ... wait, I just realized this is talk about different wikipage. Going to that Talk page now. PerEdman (talk) 09:37, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Academic analysis - Ownby, Schechter, etc. never mention anything to such an effect - and these works carry extensive analysis of the Teachings. They don't find anything suggestive of any form of racism or segregation. For a tabloid or a newspaper, such mis-characterization does not count for much. But for an encyclopaedic article, which ought to be of high enough quality to serve as an academic source, such far-fetched claims, unless supported by mainstream academia, in my opinion, are to be avoided. What is said in the teachings has to be understood in the context of over 2000 pages of teachings. If the teachings present, like many Indian and Chinese Traditions, a world-view of a Cosmic Ordering in which is present a hierarchy of material dimensions, and organization in this material dimension arising as a natural consequence of how the system is organized in higher, more microcosmic dimensions, and the teachings, in passing, mention something about racial ordering ( something that occupies just a para or so in over 2000 pages of the teachings ) in this plane arising as a natural consequence of a higher ordering - it has to be presented in the appropriate context - and not be exaggerated and presented in a distorted, out of context and misleading manner. A journalist might do this - sensationalism is part of his job, and he is no position to analyze things in a scholarly manner or to make an academic statement on the issue. But a true Scholar won't - as is evidenced by that prominent scholarly studies of the teachings do not make any such claims.
Dilip rajeev (talk) 20:46, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
In australia in 1999 Li Hongzhi told followers of his religion that children of interracial ancestry could only get into heaven through his graces. He said that there were separate heavens segregated by colour. How is this not racism?Simonm223 (talk) 15:38, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Dilip, The New York Times does reach wikipedia's reference standards. That Ownby and Schechter do, too, is not a reason to not allow the NYT as a valid source. The quotation may therefore be included in context. PerEdman (talk) 09:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia, being an encyclopedia, "is not an indescriminate collection of information". What is presented in the NYT article is but a particular journalist's characterization - who is by no means an expert on the topic. For outrageous claims like these - like that it is said mixed-race people are all "spawn" of this period ( which is a ridiculously misleading representation) - which completely conflicts with what academics say about Falun Gong; and is not supported by scholarly sources and also , by no means, the original source - we must exercise great caution, lest we end up misleading the reader. Highest quality scholarship available on the topic all tell us Falun Gong is a peaceful form of self-belief - what does a particular journalist's sensationalist comments count for, in the face of all that academic analysis?
"Isolated studies are usually considered tentative and may change in the light of further academic research. The reliability of a single study depends on the field. Studies relating to complex and abstruse fields, such as medicine, are less definitive. Avoid undue weight when using single studies in such fields. Meta-analyses, textbooks, and scholarly review articles are preferred to provide proper context, where available." - WP:RS .. This article obviously is not a study.. The claim made by the journalist is not even a study, is quite far-fetched and the tone of writing is very misleading as well. Remember, a journalist is no position to pass scholarly comments on the topic. We cannot include every journalist's interpretation and comments in an encyclopaedic article. Further the article, written in 2000 could easily have been influenced by CCP propaganda, which had then infiltrated many western news agencies, according to analysts like Schechter.
"Opinion pieces are only reliable for statements as to the opinion of their authors, not for statements of fact, and should be attributed in-text."..."For information about academic topics, such as physics or ancient history, scholarly sources are preferred over news stories. Newspapers tend to misrepresent results, leaving out crucial details and reporting discoveries out of context. For example, news reports often fail to adequately report methodology, errors, risks, and costs associated with a new scientific result or medical treatment."..."An individual extremist or fringe source[this is not a fringe source but the claim made is obviously a fringe theory] may be entirely excluded if there is no independent evidence that it is prominent enough for mention. Fringe and extremist sources must not be used to obscure or describe the mainstream view, nor used to indicate a fringe theory's level of acceptance." - WP:RS
Considering these wiki-policies, and the completely non-academic tone of the content being added, I am of the firm opinion that such sensationalist material ought not be added in without context. For the reasons I adumbrate here, I am keeping it out of the article for now.
Dilip rajeev (talk) 13:57, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Dilip the article in question was not a "journalist's characterization". It was a direct quote of statements made by Li Hongzhi.Simonm223 (talk) 14:18, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
See.. the article ended up misleading you as well. It is not a direct quote. Nor is it even a paraphrase. Using terminology, never found in the teachings like "spawn of" - if anything, it is a very biased and intentional/sensationalist mis-characterization. You may verify this for yourself. The lectures are available online. Dilip rajeev (talk) 14:31, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Just because Mr. Li didn't write it down in Zhuan Falun doesn't mean it isn't part of what he taught when he said those things to his followers in australia in 1999. PS: If conversation must continue on this subject can we please do so in Talk:Teachings of Falun Gong?Simonm223 (talk) 14:44, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The 1999 Lecture in Australia is available on as well. You may go through the lecture and verify for yourself.
Dilip rajeev (talk) 15:21, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Dilip, I am afraid Wikipedia cannot possible accept the word of a webpage instead of the New York Times, on the word of Li Hongzhi during an interview and I am sure you can understand why. PerEdman (talk) 11:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

[unindent] To make things easier. Here are the articles: [23] and here is the lecture from Australia taught on 1999: [24]. People who practice Falun Dafa, will read these articles, they will not consider any writing as being genuine even if another practitioner would give it to them, not to mention if it just happened to appear in a newspaper. So for what the teachings are this is the only reliable source. Is there a thread open on this subject on the Teachings page? --HappyInGeneral (talk) 07:27, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

HIG, I am sure you too can see the problem of using a Falun Dafa webpage in place of a New York Times article for sourcing controversial statements made by Li Hongzhi. PerEdman (talk) 11:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
PerEdman, it is not using nyt as a source that I have a problem with. but the non-contextual manner in which the material is currently presented. We need to keep in mind that the source is a newspaper article. WP:RS itself tells us: "Newspapers tend to misrepresent results, leaving out crucial details and reporting discoveries out of context".
Dilip rajeev (talk) 14:45, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Dilip rajeev, Please read MORE of the text in WP:RS, for example the part about allowing even for opinion pieces. Or even the start of the paragraph you chose to quote so selectively:
For information about academic topics, such as physics or ancient history, scholarly sources are preferred over news stories. Newspapers tend to misrepresent results, leaving out crucial details and reporting discoveries out of context. For example, news reports often fail to adequately report methodology, errors, risks, and costs associated with a new scientific result or medical treatment. -WP:RS
There will never be a complete context inside the wikipedia article itself - that is why we have references; so we do not have to reproduce everything on wikipedia. A wiki page cannot tell people what to believe, but it can show them the sources so that people can make up their own minds.
Nor can you read WP: guidelines as you read a holy writ. Just because WP:RS makes the reservation that newspapers can misrepresent results or report discoveries (this about scientific discoveries, nb) does not mean that you can just quote that part, out of context, as an argument against the quotation presented by Simonm223.
If you believe context is missing, add context but do it in the wikipedia spirit, and please don't just remove the claim. PerEdman (talk) 00:16, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The New York Times article is explicitly referring to the Australian lecture in 1999, therefore it is the stated original source. Apart from what is available on, Falun Dafa does not have any additional lectures. Every interpretation has been made on the basis of these same lectures, transcribed word-for-word from Li Hongzhi's speech. PerEdman seems confused about "the word of Li Hongzhi during an interview"; this is not what the New York Times article is talking about. If there is an obvious discrepancy between the lectures and any derivative sources, which one do you think is correct? And if we choose to include such text from a derivative source, how should we articulate this discrepancy in the Wikipedia article? Olaf Stephanos 07:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Olaf, Simonm223 was not talking about the content of the lecture itself. I will assume you missed it, so here's a quote: "Found the quote. It was in the new york times in 2000 and was a quote of a statement made by Li Hongzhi in an interview in 1999.", to which he also attached a publication date and in the article, a link. Yes, the article refers to a lecture in Australia, but the quote was not from the lecture, it was from an interview in connection with the lecture. This is also obvious from reading the NYT article. I do not believe the interview is a part of the lecture, or listed on the Falun Dafa webpage.
In the hypothetical event that we have two sources and only two sources that are both reliable and relevant for an event, then both sources can be given exposure. WP:Undue, remember. "Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each."
In this specific event however, we have the NYT source.[25]
In an interview last year, he said each race has its own paradise, and he later told followers in Australia that, The yellow people, the white people, and the black people have corresponding races in heaven. As a result, he said, interracial children have no place in heaven without his intervention.
For what valid reason should this interview source be left out or ignored for the benefit of a Falun Dafa webpage's claim that Li Hongzhi has only ever said what is listed on their webpage? PerEdman (talk) 14:47, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
This is an obscure point. Why don't we just have some language like "Journalists have criticised as overly conservative Li's remarks on topics such as interracial marriage and homosexuality; Falun Gong claims that Li's speeches have often been taken out of context and misunderstood." -- the references there would be, and the NYT source. This would be broadly summing up their arguments and presenting them in a simple way for the reader. What are the thoughts about this kind of approach? Given the enormous amount of different, actually notable things on this topic--and for example, the fact that many of the books and journal articles on the subject don't even mention these contentions at all (Ownby's recent, for example)--I'd have a bit of a hard time understanding why such an obscure point of contention would be given much more than a sentence.--Asdfg12345 17:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)