Zhang Baosheng

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Zhang Baosheng (simplified Chinese: 张宝胜; traditional Chinese: 張寶勝; 1960 – 3 August 2018) was a Chinese qigong grandmaster during the peak of qigong's popularity (so called "qigong fever") in China.[1] Along with Yan Xin,[2] he played a key role in bringing the body technologies of qigong practice, and the supernatural abilities that can be putatively developed through it, into the Chinese public consciousness.

Biography[edit]

A miner born in Benxi, Liaoning in 1960,[3] Zhang was 'discovered' as being able to read with his nose, able to see through people's bodies, and to be able to place objects in closed containers without touching them.[4]

Drawing on Chinese media reports, Palmer writes that Zhang was called on by the local police to solve criminal cases, and one hospital even hired him as a living X-ray machine.[5]

Some high-ranking Communist Party leaders in Beijing grew curious at reports of Zhang's alleged powers, and Zhang was one of the "Healers with Extraordinary Powers" invited into the Zhongnanhai leadership compound to treat the daughter-in-law of General Chen Geng.[6]

On 18 May 1982, Zhu Runlong, editor-in-chief of Ziran magazine, introduced Zhang to Marshal Ye Jianying, who had masterminded the overthrow of the Gang of Four after the death of Mao. Zhang is reported to have correctly 'smelled' the contents of messages written by Ye on folded slips of paper. From his wheelchair, Ye was reported to have "exclaimed his amazement and his support for Extraordinary Powers research."[7]

Zhang died in Beijing on 3 August 2018.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

In the Hong Kong film God of Gamblers Returns, the minor protagonist Cheung Po-Sing (simplified Chinese: 张宝成; traditional Chinese: 張寶成) bearing a reference to Zhang is similarly reputed for allegedly possessing supernatural powers and is similarly recruited by the Chinese police for factfinding investigations. It is eventually revealed, that Cheung Po-Sing's ability has never been real, and the deceptive myth has been elaborately started by the protagonist in order to trick the antagonist into relying a nonexistent supernatural power for cheating in a high-stakes poker game. The movie was released during the time of this superstition hype of Zhang's alleged supernatural abilities.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, David. (2007) "Qigong Fever", Cambridge University Press
  2. ^ Ownby, David. (2008) "Falun Gong and the Future of China", Oxford University Press
  3. ^ a b "多部賭片來自他 港媒:特異功能人士張寶勝病故" (in Chinese). nownews.com. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  4. ^ Palmer (2007), p. 52
  5. ^ Palmer (2007), p. 52
  6. ^ Palmer (2007), p. 53
  7. ^ Palmer (2007), p. 53