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H-ASIA November 2, 1998 ***************************************** From: Fenggang Yang <fyang@UH.EDU> Subject: Falun Dafa It's interesting to see that Falun Dafa has begun receiving journalist and scholarly attention. Since the 1980s, there have been many qigong schools (or sects), and Falun Gong is one of the latest groups. However, it is apparently quite different from earlier and other qigong groups. Master Li Hongzhi even claims that Falun Gong is not qigong and much more powerful than qigong; it has won many followers throughout China; and it has been rapidly internationalized. My understanding is that Falun Gong has more Buddhist elements than Daoist elements in its "theory." "Falun" is a term commonly used by Tibetan Buddhists. Actually, it is so "Buddhist" in appearance that the official Chinese Buddhist Association had to officially declare that Falun Gong was a "cult attached to Buddhism" (fu fo wai dao). An interesting note: Followers in China claimed that their Teacher Li (Li Laoshi) helped the NASA in Houston to diagnose some problems of its spacecraft, and Teacher Li had followers who were employees of the NASA. I haven't done any research to trace the group of followers in Houston (very active group). However, two of their claims seem to be true: The City of Houston conferred Honorary Citizenship to Li Hongzhi and proclaimed October 12, 1996 as Li Hongzhi Day. --------------------------------------------------------------- Fenggang Yang, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org Department of Sociology http://www.uh.edu/~fyang University of Houston 713-743-3943 (FAX) Houston, TX 77204-3474 713-743-3973 (phone)