Falun Gong's Challenge to China: Spiritual Practice Or "evil Cult"? : a Report and Reader

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Akashic Books, 2001 - History - 287 pages
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"China is nervous because there are now more Falun Going practitioners than there are members of the Chinese Communist Party"
--Li Hongzhi, founder of Falun Gong.

In one of the most bizarre cases of political repression in modern history, the People's Republic of China has banned a spiritual practice built around traditional exercises and meditation. They say that Falun Gong has become a dangerous threat to the largest nation on Earth. In a return to the dark days of the Cultural Revolution, they have burned thousands of Falun Gong books and literature. They have beaten and detained thousands of practitioners. They have issued an arrest warrant for Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi. They are sentencing some practitioners to long periods of incarceration at show trials. World leaders and human rights groups are speaking out.

Why is this happening? Is it because Falun Gong has attracted an estimated l00 million practitioners? What is Falun Gong's appeal? What is it that China fears?

This is their story. Largely Unheard. Until Now.

This timely non-fiction book presents the inside story of China's crackdown on Falun Gong, taking a stand against the most blatant and pervasive political book burning since the days of Hitler's rise to power. By offering Falun Gong's story in the context of the current crisis in China, it provides an important look at a dramatic underreported and unfolding story. In China, their point of view has been banned. It deserves to be heard worldwide.

Veteran journalist Danny Schechter executive produced "China Now" for Channel 13 in 1991. He has written about Chinese issues for Newsday and Z Magazine. He is the author of The More You Watch, The Less You Know (Seven Stories Press) and is the executive producer of Globalvision and executive editor of the Media Channel.

An Excerpt

"The picture doesn't add up. What I see here with these people and what they're doing, they seem very normal people. They're from all walks of life; and then on the other side you've got this picture that the Chinese government is painting, and the two just don't match."-Adam Montanaro, Falun Gong practitioner (USA)

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About the author (2001)

Daniel Isaac Schechter was born in Manhattan, New York on June 27, 1942. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University. While there, he organized rent strikes in Harlem and marched for civil rights in Washington, D. C. and in the South. He received a master's degree from the London School of Economics, where he became active in the antiapartheid movement. In 1971, he joined the Boston rock station WBCN-FM, where he found a following as Danny Schechter, the News Dissector. As a producer of the ABC News magazine 20/20, his work won two Emmy Awards. In 1988, he and Rory O'Connor founded Globalvision, which produced Rights and Wrongs: Human Rights Television and South Africa Now, a weekly public affairs program that won a George Polk Award in 1990. During his lifetime, he wrote 17 books including The More You Watch the Less You Know: News Wars/(Sub)Merged Hopes/Media Adventures and Madiba A-Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela. He also made more than 30 films, including six documentaries on Nelson Mandela and another entitled WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception. He died of pancreatic cancer on March 19, 2015 at the age of 72.

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