Volume 8, Issue 2, 2017
Special Issue on Falun Gong and the Media
The Fluid Nature of Academic Freedom for Falun Gong Practitioners
In a Western democracy such as Australia, academic freedom is something that is taken for granted. It forms the cornerstone of the academic endeavour and university lecturers and researchers feel unimpeded as they sift through documents both public and private, collect data and construct knowledge from that information. The generation of that knowledge is always seen to be in the public interest. It forms the basis of the research that follows it by academics or students known or unknown. That construction of knowledge is guided by a set of inviolable rules of citation, ethics, style and method. As a studies in religion academic, I wrote about new religious movements, esotericism and the place of religion on the internet. In the course of writing about Falun Gong, I attracted the attentions of a Falun Gong practitioner who disagreed with what I wrote. This article forms my account of the attack on my academic freedom by that individual.