ESMB has entered archive mode. All posts and threads that were available to the general public are still readable. The board is still searchable. 

Thank you all for your participation and readership over the last 12 years.

If you want to join in the conversation, please join the new ESMB Redux at

The Curious Rise of Scientology in Taiwan

Discussion in 'Other Locations' started by CommunicatorIC, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The Curious Rise of Scientology in Taiwan.

    The Atlantic: The Curious Rise of Scientology in Taiwan

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    The Curious Rise of Scientology in Taiwan

    A church facing setbacks elsewhere finds an unlikely foothold.

    Benjamin Carlson 10:07 AM ET

    At the end of 2013, in the low-slung, industrial Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, a bevy of officials came to attend the ribbon cutting of a huge former hotel that had undergone a top-to-bottom, multimillion-dollar renovation. Speaking before the throngs of celebrants who blocked the flow of traffic, Taiwan’s deputy director of the Ministry of the Interior praised the group that funded the renovation and presented them, for the 10th year straight, with the national “Excellent Religious Group” award.

    “For years you have dedicated your time and lives to anti-drug work and human- rights dissemination,” said the director, echoing praise offered by the mayor’s office and the president’s national-policy adviser.

    The name on the award was the same as the one newly blazoned in steel letters across the building’s façade, the same as the one that flanked the building in a gigantic vertical banner, a name that elsewhere might draw stares but in Taiwan has drawn government praise: SCIENTOLOGY.

    Scientology around the world is in broad retreat, but to be in Taiwan you would never know that. In an area slightly smaller than the combined size of Delaware and Maryland, with a total population of 23.4 million—roughly the same as that of the New York metropolitan area—Taiwan has 15 Scientology missions and churches.
    Per capita, it’s one of the most Scientology-friendly countries on earth. The island serves as a major source of donations and new members for the church, which has capitalized on L. Ron Hubbard’s early suggestions that he was a new Buddha. In a sign of Taiwan’s importance to the church, Scientology chief David Miscavige also attended the 2013 Kaohsiung reopening of the hotel as a Scientology megachurch.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  2. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    Yeah, our Taiwanese poster CCAS explained this a while back. The Kuo Min Tang wanted to appear to be as different from the CCP as possible, so Taiwanese law bends over backwards to accept all religions. The main beneficiary of this policy is intended to be another goofy semi-UFO cult, Falun Dafa, otherwise known in the West as Falun Gong, in order to poke a stick in the eye of the CCP.

    The side effect is that all sorts of cults find fertile ground in a country with a laissez faire government, superstitious population, and a dominant religion to which orthodoxy is so foreign that most temples actually have elements of at least 3 religions / philosophical systems in them (Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian).
  3. strativarius

    strativarius Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband

    If the Taiwanese are silly enough to believe that the (now dead) fat bastard is the new Buddha, they deserve everything that's comin' to 'em.
  4. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    Chinese culture only very recently came out of feudalism.

    There's a Chinese term for this: "mud bun" (土包子), meaning a peasant with dirt clods on his boots. Many are only one step removed from the peasantry, and retain a lot of the superstitious nonsense that entails. This sets them up, much like some ex-Fundamentalists and some ex-$cientologists, to be hoodwinked by someone taking advantage of those thought-stopping processes that have already been instilled.
  5. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    This article even uses Scientology as a reference in trying to explain how Falun Gong is not a Western hierarchical controlling cult. I suggest reading the whole article and also the following interview of Li Hongzhi by Time wherein he describes his alien invasion theory. The formatting is better at the links also.

    I can very easily understand how people who could be attracted to Falun Gong might also transition into Scientology based on similar belief systems. Li’s explanation as to why Falun Gong adherents with extraordinary powers don’t use them is reminiscent of Scientology type excuses: one cannot understand the spiritual level above the one they are in, not using OT powers for purely ethical purposes causes one to lose their power, etc. LRH also taught that much of our technology is derived from alien cultures although it is because we once lived in those cultures in past lives and are now instinctively recreating it. That almost sounds rational compared to Li's ghost aliens are using our military industrial complex to do it. They share an environmental end of the world motivational agenda where the Purif offers something for everyone. Also, it appears as though Taiwan has adopted a similar political Religious Freedom position as the US which provides more legal wiggle room for cults. Scientology’s best years of expansion in terms of membership were during a time of relatively light control and intrusion into people’s lives. There is no telling how far it could have gone if it never devolved into paranoia, heavy ethics and greed. If the organization has adopted a more light handed stance in Taiwan, they don’t know about the abuses elsewhere because of the language barrier, and they enjoy the benefits of FSM commissions, etc. then in Taiwan various elements could align to create a perfect exception to the rule of unlimited global contraction.


    Li Hongzhi founded the movement and penned its key texts. According to Li, who has lived in the US since 1996, he came up with the central Falun Gong tenets after studying with Buddhist and Taoist masters from the age of eight. Li claims his teachings are part of a “centuries-old tradition” and distinct from other teachings of the qigong boom. According to Chinese state media, however, Li only began practicing qigong a year before he started his movement.
    After a series of embarrassing interviews, including one with Time in which he talked of apocalyptic visions and warned of ghostly aliens infiltrating humankind, Li pulled back from public exposure. (He later claimed that talk of aliens and the apocalypse were meant “as metaphors of ancient Buddhist thought.”)
    Falun Gong is unusual among spiritual movements in that it has little to no hierarchal structure. The movement has no administrators or officials, no system of membership, and no churches or physical places of worship. Spiritual and ideological authority is completely centralized in Li Hongzhi, but most practitioners have no contact with Li other than through his writings.
    Though Li does not intervene in his followers’ personal lives (in stark contrast to, for example, Scientology or the Unification Church), his teachings contain injunctions against alcohol and smoking, and all sex outside of marriage is regarded as immoral. While gays and lesbians are permitted to practice Falun Gong, “homosexual conduct” generates karma and is encouraged to be avoided.
    Prior to the crackdown, Falun Gong was just one of many qigong offshoots, none of which were regarded as particularly religious in nature. Speaking to GlobalPost, David Ownby, author of “Falun Fong and the Future of China,” said “religion” in China “generally means the ‘big five’ religions [Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam] and conjures images of big churches, clergy and formal scriptures.”
    While many Westerners may see parallels between Falun Gong — with its charismatic leader, foundational texts and focus on bodily health — and “new religious movements” which sprang up in the US in the 1960s, Ownby argues that the label “makes no sense” in the Chinese context.
    Nor, says Ownby, is Falun Gong a cult. “I found that the group generally passed the smell test,” he said. “Yes, they accord a high degree of veneration to [Li Hongzhi] but he’s not around very much so the possibilities of abuse are much reduced. Yes, members are asked to contribute materially to the organization of events, but in my experience that is completely voluntary. Members keep their jobs and remain in society.”
    In “Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Modern China,” Ian Johnson writes that the “cult” label was designed to “[cloak] the government’s crackdown with the legitimacy of the West’s anti-cult movement.” Johnson argues that Falun Gong does not satisfy common definitions of a cult: “Its members marry outside the group, have outside friends, hold normal jobs, do not live isolated from society, do not believe that the world’s end is imminent and do not give significant amounts of money to the organization.”
    Heather Kavan, a researcher at Massey University in New Zealand, disagrees. In an otherwise sympathetic ethnographic study of the movement, she argues that Falun Gong “could be described as a cult.”
    Kavan draws a comparison between Falun Gong and Maoism, writing that “like Mao, Li has activated millions of people with his rhetoric. His ideology is similarly characterized by moral superiority, defining others as absolute evil, dehumanizing enemies by labeling them snake spirits and possessed by ghosts, extolling the virtues of selflessness and sacrifice, emphasizing the necessity of enduring physical hardship, harassing critics, and denigrating science in favor of his purportedly infallible truths.”


    TIME: Why does chaos reign now?
    Li: Of course there is not just one reason. The biggest cause of society's change today is that people no longer believe in orthodox religion. They go to church, but they no longer believe in God. They feel free to do anything. The second reason is that since the beginning of this century, aliens have begun to invade the human mind and its ideology and culture.

    TIME: Where do they come from?
    Li: The aliens come from other planets. The names that I use for these planets are different . Some are from dimensions that human beings have not yet discovered. The key is how they have corrupted mankind. Everyone knows that from the beginning until now, there has never been a development of culture like today. Although it has been several thousand years, it has never been like now.

    The aliens have introduced modern machinery like computers and airplanes. They started by teaching mankind about modern science, so people believe more and more science, and spiritually, they are controlled. Everyone thinks that scientists invent on their own when in fact their inspiration is manipulated by the aliens. In terms of culture and spirit, they already control man. Mankind cannot live without science.

    The ultimate purpose is to replace humans. If cloning human beings succeeds, the aliens can officially replace humans. Why does a corpse lie dead, even though it is the same as a living body? The difference is the soul, which is the life of the body. If people reproduce a human person, the gods in heaven will not give its body a human soul. The aliens will take that opportunity to replace the human soul and by doing so they will enter earth and become earthlings.

    When such people grow up, they will help replace humans with aliens. They will produce more and more clones. There will no longer be humans reproduced by humans. They will act like humans, but they will introduce legislation to stop human reproduction.

    TIME: Are you a human being?
    Li: You can think of me as a human being.

    TIME: Are you from earth?
    Li: I don't wish to talk about myself at a higher level. People wouldn't understand it.

    TIME: What are the aliens after?
    Li: The aliens use many methods to keep people from freeing themselves from manipulation. They make earthlings have wars and conflicts, and develop weapons using science, which makes mankind more dependent on advanced science and technology. In this way, the aliens will be able to introduce their stuff and make the preparations for replacing human beings. The military industry leads other industries such as computers and electronics.

    TIME: But what is the alien purpose?
    Li: The human body is the most perfect in the universe. It is the most perfect form. The aliens want the human body.

    TIME: What do aliens look like?
    Li: Some look similar to human beings. U.S. technology has already detected some aliens. The difference between aliens can be quite enormous.

    TIME: Can you describe it?
    Li: You don't want to have that kind of thought in your mind.

    TIME: Describe them anyway.
    Li: One type looks like a human, but has a nose that is made of bone. Others look like ghosts. At first they thought that I was trying to help them. Now they now that I am sweeping them away.,

    TIME: How do you see the future?
    Li: Future human society is quite terrifying. If aliens are not to replace human beings, society will destroy itself on its own. Industry is creating invisible air pollution. The microparticles in the air harm human beings. The abnormality in the climate today is caused by that [pollution], and it cannot be remedied by humans alone. The drinking water is polluted. No matter how we try to purify it, it cannot return to its original purity. Modern science cannot determine the extent of the damage. The food we eat is the product of fertilized soil. The meat we eat is affected. I can foresee a future when human limbs become deformed, the body's joints won't move and internal organs will become dysfunctional. Modern science hasn't realized this yet.

    At the beginning you asked why I did such things. I only tell practitioners, but not the public because they cannot comprehend it. I am trying to save those people who can return to a high level and to a high moral level. Modern science does not understand this, so governments can do nothing. The only person in the entire world who knows this is myself alone.

    I am not against the public knowing, but I am teaching practitioners. Even though the public knows, it cannot do anything about it. People can't free themselves from science and from their concepts. I am not against science. I am only telling mankind the truth. I drive a car. I also live in the environment. Don't believe that I am against science. But I know that modern science is destroying mankind. Aliens have already constructed a layer of cells in human beings. The development of computers dictates this layer of body cells to control human culture and spirituality and in the end to replace human beings.

  6. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    Li also says that inter-racial children are the result of an Alien plot to mix the races. :yes:

    You can probably guess my attitude towards that cult. :punch:
  7. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    As a father of a wonderful mixed race kid its probably similar to mine.

    Humans don't need aliens to help them connect with other humans.
  8. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    Jeez. No wonder the Chinese authorities don't like them.

    There is no easy way to control the movement other than by direct suppression.
  9. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    It's all fine and dandy and all and well until Miscavige gains an interest.

    Can you say, "onset of dwindling spiral"?

    This guy reactively cannot allow anything larger than himself so he's gauranteed keep Scientology very small indeed.
  10. Dave B.

    Dave B. Maximus Ultimus Mostimus

    Fascist cults for 1000 please, Alex.
  11. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    Thanks for that interesting thought. I believe you are quite correct there.

    It might help explain the way the government and military are behaving at the moment. Kind of like Merry Ole England expanding the Empire in days gone by and has evolved from that mindset.

    But I think that is a subject for another thread.
  12. upstat

    upstat Patron

    Lol stupid WOGs. Actually Steven Fishman said WOG stands for World Operating Genetically.
  13. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime