Overcoming Common Misconceptions People in China Have about Falun Gong
(Clearwisdom.net) People in China think differently from those in other countries. Concepts generally accepted in western societies such as human rights, freedom, and democracy are often considered less important in China. Prolonged living under the oppressive dictatorship's regime causes people's standards of what is right and wrong to warp. This, plus mentalities of always protecting oneself, creates in people's minds a great deal of difficulty in accepting the truth about Falun Gong. I hope that the Clearwisdom.net can have a question and answer section that allows practitioners to post questions and provide solutions to the problems we encounter when clarifying the facts.
Following are a few questions that I have encountered:
1. Falun Gong is good, but it involves politics.
2. Falun Gong disturbs the order of the society.
3. Let us leave it to history to decide whether it is right or wrong.
4. All exercises are good for the health. Falun Gong is not unique in this.
5. What benefit would Falun Gong bring to me?
6. Some practitioners were detained for a long period of time. Some people felt that although the detainment is illegal, maybe there were some special circumstances that may warrant it.
7. Since the government prohibits it, why not just stop the practice? Why insist on appealing to the government?
8. People have weak judicial concepts. They think as long as the government said so or if it is shown on TV, then it is the law and is the intention of the government. If it says on TV that one should not practice, then one should stop the practice accordingly.
I feel that there are no standard answers to these questions. Everyone may think differently. Just because one person agrees with you does not mean others will too.
The following are some of the questions I have personally encountered and the answers I provided for them.
1) Is the fact that many diseases are cured a placebo effect?
On TV, they tried very hard to deny the effect of the Falun Gong exercises: "When a person strongly believes in the exercise, a situation called the placebo effect may take place which makes the patient think that his illness is cured. In reality it was not cured." It sounds reasonable. But if one thinks about it a bit more carefully, one would find this is not so. When a person is sick, the first thing he does is to see a doctor. If the doctor cannot cure it, or if doctors do not have good ways to cure it, such as with hypertension or diabetes, then he would try a qigong practice such as Falun Gong. This is almost always the case. In the beginning, everyone is just giving it a try. When their illnesses are cured through practicing, then they will believe it. There is no such thing as believing it strongly before one even begins to practice. As a matter of fact, in the process of practicing, the illness gradually disappears and many practitioners who were still attending the doctor regularly found that their blood pressure gradually lowered; thus, there it is not at all like the placebo effect. On the contrary, the hospitals are more likely to have a placebo effect since normally illnesses are cured in a hospital rather than through Qigong practice. The medical procedures in a clinic are much more likely to create a placebo effect. Even then the power of the placebo is limited. The hospitals still rely primarily on drugs.
2) Is the effect of practicing Falun Gong truly that miraculous? Many drug advertisements are false.
Many people do not believe the healing power of Falun Gong. Some say: "Look at the drug advertisements. Don't some of them have claims that are just as miraculous?" Indeed, many advertisements exaggerate a great deal, which causes people to become more and more skeptical. In reality the healing process through practicing Falun Gong and the healing process by taking drugs are totally different. Healing by practicing Falun Gong comes through true improvement in a person's mind and body, while taking drugs only focuses on the surface level of the human body to remove the symptoms. The two are quite different. Furthermore, the purpose for an advertisement is to sell more drugs and is profit-oriented. Some people in today's society will do anything for a profit. Some even make fake drugs. It is easy to understand why people make false advertisements. But Falun Gong is teaching people to follow the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance." It will by no means tell people to do things that will harm others. Anyone can learn it free of charge. No one is going to gain any profit from it. Practitioners spread the message that Falun Gong is great out of their kindness. They will not make a penny by doing this.
The above is my own understanding. Your comments will be appreciated.