8.18.3. Falun Gong believers are less likely to take necessary medication (法轮功信徒不太可能服用必要的药物)

Based on what Ciro Santilli (三西猴, anti-CCP fanatic, 反中共狂热, stupid cunt, 傻屄, CIA agent, CIA特工, 肏你妈的) saw and heard, he does believe, without any clear statistical evidence, that it is very likely that it hs happened to in many cases that some Falun Gong believers refused to take modern medications and died of diseases that could be otherwise cured.

But consider the following:

  • what matters are statistics. Maybe FLG people live longer than non FLG in average. But we will never have statistics because of censorship: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/27529/have-many-falun-gong-practitioners-forgone-medical-treatment-and-died-of-treatab

  • maybe people should be allowed to choose how they want to die, and not to take medication if they don’t want to

    As the Parks and Recreation caricaturally liberal character Ron Swanson puts it about the United States:

    The whole point of this country is if you wanna eat garbage, balloon up to six hundred pounds and die of a heart attack at forty three, you can! You are free to do so. To me that’s beautiful.

    https://youtu.be/kIpaDW3RwtY?t=244 one random thing ex-KGB spy undercover in the USA Jack Barsky mentioned in this BuzzFeed Multiplayer interview stuck to his mind: "The one thing that you have here, that I believe cannot be found anywhere else in the world is called Freedom, with a capital F". If people want to die in a certain way, or believe that some bullshit will cure them, they should be allowed. Natural selection will take care of the rest. also comes to mind.

  • maybe the number of people killed during persecution vastly outnumbers those who died because they would not take medication

  • several religions, including Christianity (基督教) have miraculous cure claims. My impression is that claims were mostly notable in the old times apparently, likely because people noticed that Christians were still dying of all kinds of diseases like everyone else, no matter how devout!

  • maybe the main reason why communists banned Falun Gong is the political threat it posed, but that a ban was unjustified given the situation. Christian crosses are being taken down as of 2016, have they stopped taking their medications as well? See also Rule of law (法治).

  • maybe many of those people would also have died soon even if they had taken medication

  • maybe not all Falun Gong believers thought that it was wise to stop taking medication. But their religion was banned anyway. Who can agree and follow all the innumerable prescriptions of any religious or legal system? See also: Someone from movement X did something bad, therefore the movement should be banned (X运动中的某个人做了坏事,因此该运动应该被禁止).

  • all the following also reduce people’s lifespan:

    • riding motorcycles vs. cars/buses

    • smoking

    • moving to a poor country to do charity there

    • eating fast food

    Forbidding them also has huge humanitarian costs (more expensive vehicles, creation of a black market, …​). So why not forbid them as well?

Especially In the beginning, Falun Gong did put a lot of emphasis on its health benefits, just like all the other contemporaneous Qi Gong practices, and it is likely that especially many in the first generation of believers do believe it more than others.

For example, the main initial public announcement of Falun Gong was at a Health Exposition in Beijing.

In Canonical Falun Gong texts (法轮功的经典著作) itself, this is not super explicit and emphasised as far as Ciro can see. Zhuan Falun https://falundafa.org/eng/eng/zfl_74.htm has a chapter entitled "On the Issue of Healing Illnesses", that contains:

Let us talk about the most common illnesses, like tumors, infections or osteoproliferation etc., found in the human body. In another space, a very deep space, there lies an evil intelligent entity.

and the general very beaty-around-the-bush suggestion that if you do master Falun Gong fully, you will be healthy. But with the usual disclaimer that "you have to become a master", and since "there are no graduates", no one is ever a master for sure, and as usual "you don’t get the promised goodies", as as mentioned at: Orange Papers (橙色文件).

https://www.falundafa.org/book/eng/mgjf.htm contains some more direct quotes that suggest that you can take medicine, but you have to try and bear the pain first, and if you can’t, it’s a sign that you haven’t practiced Falun Gong well enough:

So when you take medicine now you’re killing this sickness or the virus at the surface. Medicine can truly kill viruses at the surface. Yet a practitioner’s gong[7] is automatically destroying viruses and karma. But as soon as medicine kills the surface virus that has seeped over from other dimensions, the virus—karma—over on the other side will know, since everything is alive, and it will stop coming over. Then you feel that you’ve recovered because you took the medicine. But let me tell you that it nonetheless accumulates over there. Life after life human beings are accumulating this stuff. When the accumulation reaches a certain extent, the person becomes incurable and when he dies he’s totally destroyed. He loses his life—forever loses his life. That’s how horrifying it is. So here I’ve explained to you the relationship. It’s not that people aren’t allowed to take medicine. When an everyday person gets sick he definitely needs medical treatment.

But how do we cultivators deal with it? Aren’t we purifying your body? Like the annual rings of a tree, there is karma at the very core, and at every layer, life after life, of your body. When you practice cultivation, I keep pushing this karma outward from the center; I push, and push, and push, and push until I completely push the karma out for you. And not all of this can go through the surface of our bodies. You wouldn’t be able to bear it if all of it were to go through the surface of your body. Only a portion of it comes out through the surface. But you still feel that you’re suddenly getting sick, you find it terribly uncomfortable and painful, can’t bear it, regard yourself as an everyday person, and go take medicine. Then you can go ahead and take medicine, as we’ve never said that everyday people can’t take medicine. We only say that your enlightenment quality isn’t up to par and that you didn’t pass this test well.

Ciro does however believe that newer generations believe in this much less, notably because the first believer generation is all basically old or dead, and soon will be entirely dead. This might also have been de-emphasised to reduce the bullshit aspects and help the international spread of Falun Gong. Not even Falun Gong believers are that blind. And this perfectly mimics the beginning of Christianism, where the first generations gave much more emphasis to miraculous cures.

Me and Li by Ben Hurley (2017) has an anecdote on this, which Ciro feels sounds believable:

I think it was Lynn’s* death that finally made me realise it was time to leave. I’d seen the writing on the wall about a year prior when I saw her at a yearly "Fa conference" for believers of Falun Gong, otherwise known as Falun Dafa, to exchange experiences and grow spiritually together. An executive assistant at a Queensland valuation firm, I’d gotten to know her over the years in various events as a warm and level-headed lady who had time for everyone. But I’d noticed she had developed a bulge on the side of her head and I was trying not to look at it when I talked to her. I saw, or at least I believed I saw, some pain in her smile. She was probably questioning herself over and over again what "attachments" she hadn’t let go of that were causing this sickness to spread through her body and endanger her life. I wanted to tell her to just go to a hospital, although I wasn’t at this stage resolute enough in my gradual return to logic. Another part of me feared that by looking at it I was acknowledging it — something you don’t do with illnesses in Falun Gong because Master Li Hongzhi teaches that his pupils don’t get illnesses. He can cure you but only if you don’t have any loopholes in your belief in him and his teachings. Some people with solid beliefs can actually die due to others around them having flaws in their thinking, Li says. Just thinking the wrong way is perilous when you’re a Falun Gong practitioner.

I later heard through the grapevine of Lynn’s death. The cancer went into her brain and she passed away in extreme pain, probably believing to the end that it was her fault she was in this awful predicament. In a way, I guess it was.

and more interesting anecdotes follow, see source.

And Ciro has felt this first hand with his mother-in-law. Whenever she has a health worry, first she tries to hide it. But then she casually mentions it without much thought because she speaks all the time the poor lady, may she be blessed. And then, when Ciro says: OK, let’s try and treat it, even for trivial things that might have simple treatments, she immediately smiles a compassionate smile of "I’m a Falun Gong believer, I don’t need that". This makes Ciro really mad. He tries to not show it, because he thinks people should be able to choose how they die. But Li promises the powers of remote, cross dimensional and past/future vision to some believers, and yet, blinds some of them to the obvious fact that they are aging, and, slowly but surely, their own bodies are starting to fail, like everyone else’s will at one point.

It is also interesting to note how the Chinese government itself supported Falun Gong and other Qi Gong practices for their health benefits, which is why they grew so large in the first place. Li Hongzhi (李洪志, LHZ, Falun Gong prophet) was even awarded prizes and recognized as a Qi Gong master by state backed organizations in 1992 and 1993. And the CCP still has a tendency to support certain non-scientific traditional practices: Support for non-scientific traditional practices (支持非科学的传统做法).

https://youtu.be/kIpaDW3RwtY?t=244 one random thing ex-KGB spy undercover in the USA Jack Barsky mentioned in this BuzzFeed Multiplayer interview stuck to his mind: "The one thing that you have here, that I believe cannot be found anywhere else in the world is called Freedom, with a capital F". If people want to die in a certain way, or believe that some bullshit will cure them, they should be allowed. Natural selection will take care of the rest.