8. Falun Gong (法轮功, Qigong new religion/cult)

Religion created in the '80s by a Chinese dude called Li Hongzhi (李洪志, LHZ, Falun Gong prophet).

With the support of the Communist Party to Qigong movements, it reached 70 million believers in 1999, at which point the commies decided they had to be shut down and banned the religion.

Li fled to the USA and lives near New York, where he continues to run the religion as of 2020.

Bibliography:

Falun Gong lady silenced
Figure 117. Falun Gong (法轮功, Qigong new religion/cult) believer arrested by police in Beijing Tiananmen Square in 2000-01-10. Source.
Police steps over Falun Gong believer s face in 2000 at Tiananmen
Figure 118. Police steps over Falun Gong (法轮功, Qigong new religion/cult) believer’s face in 2000 at Tiananmen. This images was on the cover of the July 2, 2001 cover of Time Magazine "Crushing Falun Gong". Source.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClvX7ED8UUI Tim and Eric's Zone Theory. If you want to stop Falun Gong (法轮功, Qigong new religion/cult), don’t put them in jail like the dictators. Do it the same way you stop dictators: with comedy. Otherwise, the dictators remain in power, and next person in jail, will be you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYJ1dbyDcrI Tim and Eric's The Universe. Basically the same as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClvX7ED8UUI Tim and Eric's Zone Theory. If you want to stop Falun Gong (法轮功, Qigong new religion/cult), don’t put them in jail like the dictators. Do it the same way you stop dictators: with comedy. Otherwise, the dictators remain in power, and next person in jail, will be you. but from the believer’s perspective. Source a popular mind blown meme: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/mind-blown
https://youtube.com/watch?v=IAQ14AnAsmU YouTubber under pseudonym "Aarvoll" (TODO full real name, face shown in channel all the time) tells about his experience playing trumpet for Shen Yun in 2013 as a non-believer and Falun Gong in general. Reading the sacred books and doing Falun Gong exercises were mandatory. He also talks about Falun Gong downplays the fact that it is highly organized (法轮功淡化了它高度组织化的事实). Ciro agrees/finds what he says convincing. In one interesting anecdote, he tells how although Li Hongzhi claims to be a God, he looked like an average slightly overweight dude, and had a trumpet since he used to play it, but couldn’t really play it because he hadn’t practiced in so long. He also comments on the obvious fact that Li does not speak English very well, e.g. on the Shen Yun tour bus he was there one day answering questions, and a translator was needed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwoO7Nekmpw&t=445 Christine Marie is the founder of the Voices for Dignity charity which takes care of people who decide to leave the FLDS (a major Mormon denomination). Leaving that group is not an easy task given the importance it plays in members lives, see also "No Exit" from Orange Papers (橙色文件). She was interviewed in VICE documentary "Polygamist Mafia: Escaping The Kingston Clan". While Ciro does not believe Falun Gong is as extreme as FLDS, he does really like the things Christine says. E.g., she calls "cult leaders" with the neutral religious form "prophet", just like Ciro, and mentions the important fact that "And the another thing that the public doesn’t realise, is that there are also beautiful thing within those communities". This is the mindset of tolerance that the world needs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJxM3POU92w Amazing Cultivation Simulator review by SsethTzeentach (2021). Amazing Cultivation Simulator (Baidu: 了不起的修仙模拟器) is Rimworld-like Chinese game which was a large hit in China (700k sales as of 2020) and then went on to be translated into English. In it, you join a Qi Gong cult, and level up your Qi Gong magical abilities by practicing the Gong (练功). Falun Gong basically claims the same thing, but for real life. Ciro believes that a great part of the appeal of Falun Gong is the gamification of life development, much like that video game does, see also: Promised Powers or Knowledge (Orange Papers, 应许的功能或知识, 橙色文件). It is also interesting to note that such Qi Gong-like are present in a more or less popular video game, which shows that such ideas are widely known in China, while they are not widely known in the West. Notably, Qi Gong ideas are widely present in Wuxia (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/武侠文化(武侠), lit. martial knight-errant) novels, or slightly more specifically xianxia (仙侠 lit. God knight-errant), the most popular version of Chinese high fantasy (古典奇幻). Another interesting point is how in the game you make the "small fish" cult members work long hours for free https://youtu.be/wJxM3POU92w?t=259, as Seth brilliantly puts it: "You are running sect. […​]. A sect has outer disciples that will happily do all your mundane, tedious labour for a competitive salary of about zero dollars. They are not "slaves" as per say, we don’t use that word here, it’s more like an internship, which never ends. But […​] they can become inner disciples".

Less good ones: