gained a lot of attention
from the shock value
seeking liberal media
gasped at the evil Chinese commie government
"persecuting" the poor Falun Gong
members for no reason and beating them and hauling them off to prison
. While the leader of the cult
pulled a Dalai Lama
tour, living in comfort in America
, the cult
members continued to force the authorities to take action by deliberately breaking the law
and gain yet more sympathy
from the disbelieving American
public, fueled by vastly exagerated reports and false claims
The Falun Gong cult bears a great similarity to the Japanese death cult Aum Shinri Kyo, led by a shady mystic who is basically a quack. The reason why most of the cult's following are the elderly and women is because the elderly are easily deceived by his mystic mumbo jumbo, and pay exorbitant amounts of money to him for his pseudo-medicine. I also believe this quack has made claims of fertility and sex appeal enhancement treatments, hence the women following. Just like the Japanese cult Aum, they spread the word through out-of-the-world wacky shit that appeals to the gullible, such as self-levitation, encounters with the third kind, auras, and by attempting to portray their leader as a "saint". Again, all this serves as to pull in the gullible elderly to believe the good "doctor", and entice them to pay lots and lots of money to be "enlightened". They got fabulously rich ripping off the elderly and women.
In any case, the government go sick of the whole scam, which is illegal by the way, since the government frowns on the malpractice of medicine (the fool claims to be practicing medicine). So the government started telling them to stop spreading their useless snake oil, but since the people insisted on continuing their illegal sales of pseudo-cures, and the government has just had enough of those scamming conmen, and started arresting the leaders.
The followers of the wacky cult decided to throw a display to capture Western attention, which always works, since the press there is always looking for a story of "Chinese oppression", and by mixing claims of suppression with the desire for democracy, the American liberal media started publishing false reports of mass tortures and beatings of arrested cult members. No, the bad government goons did not go door-to-door searching for common cultists. They only arrested those openly selling their "medicine" and the leaders of the scam. Since the media loves a good story that makes America feel better about themselves by making the rest of the world look bad, Falun Gong got betrayed as the good guys, the underdog, and the press conveniently ignored the nature of the cult, the source of its revenues, and its common practice.
The Custodian: Actually, two days ago the cult members held an anniversary "demonstration" in Tiananmen Square. The square was declared off-limits, they didn't have a permit, but they went anyways. The police, well aware of the foreign press (which they hate), cajoled them for a few hours while the idiots posed for the CNN cameras.
After a while, the cops got sick of this and rushed in to drag them off. Let me tell you, they put up good fight. They weren't harmless old ladies. They resisted mightily, and as I recall, resisting arrest is a crime in both China and America.
They aren't after the whole cult. Just the ringleaders. They would leave you alone if you didn't go around, obnoxiously preaching the Falun Gong nonsense (that is illegal), vying for foreign coverage. They know the power of the Western media, and are exploiting it well. They know what they are doing is against the law, but they are going the sympathy road, which isn't going to get them anywhere, IMHO. China has proven to be hard to persuade, especially by the sensationalist American media.