>> Go to Current Issue

Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review

Volume 8
Special Issue on Falun Gong and the Media

Already a subscriber? Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-10 of 38 documents


1. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Heather Kavan, Introduction to Special Issue on Falun Gong and the Media
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
articles
2. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Wang Songmao, Liu Weizhen, Falun Gong and Cross-cultural Image Building in the New York Times
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, 222 news reports about Falun Gong found in the New York Times from 2008 to 2016 are scrutinized via the theory of image building. An analysis is offered of images of the movement presented in the New York Times, in which location, disorder, and superstition are presented as key themes. The newspaper’s level of objectivity is considered, as are its reflections on the anti-cult movement. The context of cross-cultural communication is examined, with a focus on the lack of cultural understanding that is evident as well as the writers’ uncertainty about the definition of Falun Gong.
3. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
ZengYi Zhang, BiaoWen Huang, XiaoDan Li, A Frame Analysis of Newspaper Reports about Cults in English: A Case Study of The New York Times
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
“Cults” (aka “sects”; new religious movements) constitute a regular topic for contemporary journalists to write about. After briefly surveying relevant publications in academic periodicals, the present article examines the content of a variety of different newspapers, both in terms of the length and the frequency of their articles on cults. We then turn our focus on the New York Times, and its contrasting treatments of the Branch Davidians and Falun Gong. NYT articles on the Branch Davidians suggest that the group’s teachings are mere personal declarations or examples of religious fanaticism, and that the Davidian leadership is manipulative and abusive to its members. Despite the obvious similarities between the two groups, Falun Gong, in sharp contrast, is portrayed as being a mixture of traditional Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese qigong practices, which is currently being persecuted in the People’s Republic of China.
4. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
James R. Lewis, Nicole S. Ruskell, Innocent Victims of Chinese Oppression, or Media Bullies? Analyzing Falun Gong’s Media Strategies
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
It is a well-established fact that most new, non-traditional religious groups are treated negatively in the mass media. However, Falun Gong, the qi gong group that was banned in China in 1999, is a marked exception to this general tendency. Why should this be the case? In the present paper, we examine the various factors that combine to make Falun Gong the exception to the rule. We also call attention to this organization’s pattern of attacking critics, as well as their pattern of attacking anyone who offers an interpretation of events that is at odds with Falun Gong’s interpretation. However, this heavy-handed tactic has the potential to backfire, and to prompt the media to reperceive them as a bully rather than as an innocent victim.
5. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Helen Farley, The Fluid Nature of Academic Freedom for Falun Gong Practitioners
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
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.
6. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Heather Kavan, Friendly Fire: How Falun Gong Mistook Me For an Enemy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper tells the story of my research on Falun Gong and its aftermath. I describe a series of events including online slurs, implied threats and warnings, phone and email harassment, and messages to my colleagues, seemingly designed to isolate, demoralize and silence me. Next, I narrate discovering references to an intelligence report stating that former United States Army Colonel Robert Helvey was believed to be acting as an adviser to Falun Gong. I discuss Helvey’s book “On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict” as a check-list of Falun Gong tactics. I query the appropriateness of targeting academics with psychological violence designed to topple dictators and suggest the spiritual movement would be better suited to the principled nonviolence of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
7. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
James R. Lewis, Nicole S. Ruskell, Falun Gong and the Canada Media Fund: Why is the Canadian Government Bankrolling an Anti-China Propaganda Campaign?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
What do Shen Yun, New Tang Dynasty TV, Human Harvest (originally entitled Davids and Goliath), The Art of Courage (a film about Falun Gong artists in ‘Exile’), Avenues of Escape (a film about people ‘escaping’ China), In the Name of Confucius (a film attacking the PRC’s Confucius Institutes), and The Bleeding Edge (a fictional film about forced organ harvesting) have in common, beyond their anti-China focus?—All, it turns out, are bankrolled by the Canadian government’s Canada Media Fund. In the present paper, we will provide a preliminary outline of these activities, and, in the words of our subtitle, ask: Why is the Canadian Government bankrolling an anti-China propaganda campaign?
8. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Heather Kavan, Victims, Martyrs, Crusaders: Archetypal Figures in News Stories about Falun Gong
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This research explores the characterisation of individuals and groups in Falun Gong news stories through a lens of archetype analysis. Longitudinal data was used to reveal changes to people’s identities. Practitioners are depicted primarily as victims and martyrs and secondarily as crusaders, warriors, and avengers. However, the 2006 allegations of organ harvesting mark a turning point in the narrative where members’ identities are infantalised. While the depictions benefit Western advocates and a minority of zealous practitioners, everyday practitioners do not benefit. They are cast in the role of helpless, wounded, constantly embattled, crusading and avenging victims who have to be rescued by the superior Western world. To transform the narrative, protagonists could bring forward another archetype—one that does not depend on dualisms of good and evil or superiority and inferiority.
book reviews
9. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Mario Baghos, Religions in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations, 3rd edition. Edited by Linda Woodhead, Christopher Patridge, and Hiroko Kawanami
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Annabel Carr, Children in New Religions. Edited by Susan J. Palmer and Charlotte E. Hardman
view |  rights & permissions | cited by