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Author Topic: We Got 'GONGED!  (Read 39136 times)

Raoul F. Duke

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We Got 'GONGED!
« on: May 02, 2007, 07:09:23 AM »
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The time has come to publicly reveal some events that took place over the last Summer, with the folks at Raoul's China Saloon. It is a long and sordid tale of woe.

It started last May. We usually have an annual forum party here in Suzhou, and all members are invited, and it's been a gloriously good time both times we've done it.

About the time we started discussing and planning it, I got some e-mail from a member of an organization we'll call the FG; their name sounds a lot like "Fahlin' Gawng". This group is a well-known cult, originating in China, that apparently practices subversive breathing exercises and expounds upon a lot of dopey, misguided, shallow crap that they claim is somehow connected to Buddhism. The whole thing is written and directed by a nasty, bitter little man from Jilin Province now holed up in a townhouse in New York City. This group is highly illegal in China and its members are avidly hunted by the authorities. Anyway, this member was polite enough and simply asked about a reference to them in our Forum Rules. Coincidentally, at the very same time a young man from New Zealand that we'll call "Squat" joined our forum.

Squat made some nice, enthusiastic posts and showed definite interest in our party. One of our more big-hearted members and my dearest friend, whom we'll call "Bob" here, had been offering free lodging for the party and Squat accepted a bedroom.

Party time arrived. Squat spent a lot of time with all of us and seemed nice enough if a bit on the ascetic side. A non-drinking vegetarian who made rather startling assertions about Buddhism- definitely odd for our group, but nothing too extreme and he was well accepted by all concerned. We all had a good time.

Party time left and Squat was still camped in Bob's bedroom. He cooked and cleaned, but he paid no rent...and showed no signs of leaving. He didn't take a job or even look for one. He was ostensibly here to study Chinese, but that wasn't happening, either. He bought a computer printer and borrowed Bob's laptop a lot. He bought a bike and took long solo trips to parts unknown. And he was affable and harmless.

Or so we thought.

After Squat had occupied Bob's spare room for over two months, while at work one day Bob was called into his school's office. He was told that the police had encountered some kind of inconsistency in his address, and he needed to go down to the police station to clear it up.

So Bob went down to the station. There he was asked about how well he knew Squat, what Squat was doing...and about the FG. Bob replied to these questions as truthfully as he could.

Next, Bob, Squat, and a bevy of police met Bob's landlord at Bob's apartment. Bob heard the cops asking Squat about posting FG info all over town, and Squat was admitting to doing so. The police then searched the house and found piles of FG propaganda (in Chinese, which Squat doesn't read) on paper and CDs. More was found on Bob's laptop.

It turns out that Squat was using Bob's apartment as a covert base for the FG. He was printing the CD-based materials out in large amounts, riding them into Suzhou on his bike, and plastering them all over town. Being a Canadian and a gentleman, Bob had never snooped in Squat's room and had no idea this was happening. The police took away the printed materials, the CDs, Bob's laptop, and Squat. As they led him away, Squat turned to Bob and, loudly in front of the police, asked Bob to contact another member, saying they would "know what to do".

It turned out that when he first arrived, Squat gave another member an "emergency contact" that turned out to be the e-mail address of a senior FG leader in Australia. Fortunately, this address was never used and e-mail they got FROM that address was ignored.

At this point, Bob is fine. He's also lucky. The local police saw the truth in his story and believed him...it most definitely did NOT have to turn out that way. He could also have been charged, imprisoned, deported...any number of nasty things. The same is true for all of us who spent time with Squat and had him in our homes, but it's most true in Bob's case by far. Anyway, Bob seems to be entirely in the clear now. Squat is still in a Chinese jail somewhere and the PSB still has Bob's laptop; both are awaiting trial.

TO SQUAT: You came here and used our forum event, and our good natures, to pursue highly illegal activites. You deceived us all and you put all of us, especially Bob, in danger that we didn't need or deserve...and you knew in advance that you were going to do so. It is our sincere wish that you remain in a Chinese prison for a long, long time. Furthermore, I personally hope that your cellmates are acquiring an intimate perspective on your nether regions that you would have never imagined possible. (Bob adds that he'd be content if you just got 6 months, preferably washing underwear for the other prisoners, and hopes you come to realize just how stupid and nasty you really were- and pursue meaningful goals such as forming human bonds with other people, and building an actual life.  Bob is Canadian and nicer than I am.)

TO THE FG: FU. You've turned passive neutrals into active enemies. You like to talk about "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance", but your boy showed us NONE of those things...all under your instruction. Please know that we have all cooperated fully with the local police regarding your organization, such as we could, and that it's now open season on exposing your tactics to the world. You messed with the wrong bunch of expats.

TO EXPATS IN CHINA: I know that circumstances often tend to make us help and support one another here. And this is, on the surface, a good thing. Sadly, the truth is that we have to be careful of our fellows here and not trust them any further than we really know them. Please be careful and please ask hard questions. Please temper generosity with common sense. And please be aware of lunatic groups like the FG...yes, they really are out there!

TO THOSE WHO RUN WEB SITES/FORUMS IN CHINA: Be careful! Keep a close eye on your events and how your site is being used. All may not be as it seems.

TO THE WORLD: The FG likes to scream that they are innocent victims of an oppressive regime. It's impossible to glean much truth from this whole affair, but I can tell you one thing for sure: The FG has no qualms about creating a few innocent victims of their own if it suits their purposes. Treat this organization as you would a coiled snake, and don't take anything they tell you for granted.

Will we have a forum party in Suzhou next May? Hope so. Unfortunately, there are no more free bedrooms unless we've known you a long, long time. And you're going to eat lamb sticks and chug tequila if you want in the door.

Raoul Duke
Raoul's China Saloon
http://raoulschinasaloon.com
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Con ate dog

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2007, 09:43:45 AM »
Hi, I'm Bob, and I'm a sucker.  I've been a little wiser for one year.

If there's good to come out of this, it's that I can give some warnings to fellow laowai that this loonie cult does exist, does take advantage of the unsuspecting, and can get you into trouble.  REAL trouble.

So here's a couple of tips about F auauauauau n Gong:

1.  F  auauauauau n Gong are highly illegal in China.  Promoting them is legally considered sedition, and helping them is considered treason, i.e. people get EXECUTED for conducting F auauauauau n Gong activities.  The authourities consider them to be trying to otherthrow the government, and are afraid of them- and nobody is as vicious as somebody who is afraid.

2.  These people are True Believers.  They are, in their minds, saving the world.  And, like any embattled group who are certain that they are right, they are willing to break a few eggs to make their omelette.  Hey, when the rebel forces destroyed the second, under-construction Death Star in Return of the Jedi, how many construction workers perished?  But hey, Evil was defeated, resulting in peace forever throught the universe.

True Believers think like this.  Stay out of their way!

3.  How?  Well, I noticed a few things about these practitioners:
3a. They don't smoke (or toke);
3b. They don't drink- a tiny bit to join a toast is all I saw Squat drink;
3c. They have peculiar theories on diet- the one I remember is to avoid mixing different food groups in the same meal.  I don't remember specifics, but I've heard about most diet systems, and his ideas were new and borderline bizarre to me;
3d. As brother Raoul pointed out, they have a very weird take on Buddhism.  Again, I don't remember specifics, but I studied Buddhism with passion when I was younger, and this guy had stuff wrong.

4. He hated touching people.  Sex in a movie made him extremely uncomfortable.  I don't eactly know why, let alone whether it's representative of the kind of foreigners that practice F auauauauau n Gong, but I serve it out anyways.

In short, they don't smoke, drink, eat meat or for that matter any food they haven't monitored the preparation of.  Mind you, I know plenty of marvellous people who don't either, people who would never but an Ism before people's wellbeing.  But it's a start.

The most telling sign would be that the person is uninterested in people, jobs or building a life for themselves.  A newbie wants first to set up their own infrastructure and either look for a job or travel/party; if they start building a capability to get around but don't try to either meet folks or find work, something's fishy.

The briefest and best piece of advice:  other laowai are unlikely to be politically active here, but it does happen.  Don't be a sucker.

I won't now.   
And there is no liar like the indignant man... -Nietszche

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. -William James

englishmoose.com

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2007, 02:41:36 PM »


If there's good to come out of this, it's that I can give some warnings to fellow laowai that religious groups and people do exist, do take advantage of the unsuspecting, and can get you into trouble.  REAL trouble.

So here's a couple of tips about religious beliefs:

1.  Religious groups NOT explicitly approved by the Chinese Gov't are highly illegal in China.  Promoting them is legally considered sedition, and helping them is considered treason, i.e. people get EXECUTED for conducting relogious activities ?(and guess what - not the FTs but the poor bloody Chinese who fall into the trap of believing them)!).  The authourities consider them to be trying to otherthrow the government, and are afraid of them- and nobody is as vicious as somebody who is afraid.

2.  These people are True Believers.  They are, in their minds, saving the world.  And, like any embattled group who are certain that they are right, they are willing to break a few eggs to make their omelette. 
True Believers think like this.  Stay out of their way!


My changes. But we are here under explicit contracts that state we are NOT to proselytise EVEN IF OUR STUDENTS ASK!!! Our answer should be - "my beliefs are none of your concern - let's return to any English questions you have".  Anything else is breaking our contract and making of us liars.

Surely if we believe in teaching integrity this is the first line - NOT breaking contracts!!

« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 03:08:04 PM by Lotus Eater »

Con ate dog

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2007, 09:39:37 AM »
Yeah, I can live with that.  While the one I was victimized by is the most hotbutton group, most others are carefully monitored.
And there is no liar like the indignant man... -Nietszche

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. -William James

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dragonsaver

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2007, 10:18:54 AM »
I usually say that I don't believe in any specific religion.  I believe you should treat others like you want them to treat you.  If you are nice to someone and they aren't nice back - their loss not my loss.
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2007, 07:39:44 PM »
Yeah, I'm kinda with Con here. There are religious groups operating here that are perfectly legitimate in China...and not all are necessarily here to proselytise.

Having religious beliefs is not a crime.

Yeah, there are plenty of nasties too...but FG is the biggie and the one who used us, so I have no problem singling them out.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Mr Nobody

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2007, 04:15:58 PM »
Yep. Abused us and used us, and deserving of the bums rush.

There is a difference between arguing or proselytizing for or against belief, and assholes taking advantage and risking other's safety in a foreign country.

There is also something about trust abused.

Mkay them.

May they rest in bits.
Just another roadkill on the information superhighway.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2007, 05:39:20 PM »
Well said, sir.

The #1 growth industry in China right now is religion. Kinda scary in a way...not sure what the kid will looks like when it grows up.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

laura579

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2007, 12:41:03 AM »
Well if they don't smoke or drink and enjoy a good sex scene...than they lost my vote!!!  lol.. bbbbbbbbbb

 jjjjjjjjjj
Laura

ericthered

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2007, 09:44:44 AM »
Well said, sir.

The #1 growth industry in China right now is religion. Kinda scary in a way...not sure what the kid will looks like when it grows up.

Good question. I remember coming across Christian students in Nanchang. At least they said they were Christian, proudly pointing to the crosses around their necks. Upon further enquiry I learned that their complete knowledge of Christianity was: There is God and Jesus was his son and he got killed on a cross (I tried to explain crucifiction but they said only bad men would talk about such stuff) They had no clue about the 10 Commandments, the Bible or anything. They just knew that God and Jesus wanted people to be nice to each other. It was the most innocent religious view I have ever come across. I found them to be endearingly naive. The following day, this was in December, I had to spend a whole class explaining the difference between Jesus and Santa Claus. Upon which I was told I was wrong.
The G movement had a big protest thingy here in Copenhagen a few days ago. There was a chap who wanted me to have pamphlet and sign some petition. He seemed rather miffed when I told him I did not want to...in Chinese. Then he went away.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 10:07:43 AM by ericthered »
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

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Stil

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2007, 10:06:50 AM »
Eric you might want to edit the name FG out of your post as it might set of the missles in China.

ericthered

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2007, 10:08:26 AM »
Sorry, forgot the eyes-in-the-walls thing. Have edited now.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

"It's all oojah cum spiffy". Bertie Wooster.
"The stars are God's daisy chain" Madeleine Bassett.

Nolefan

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 10:38:14 AM »
Sorry, forgot the eyes-in-the-walls thing. Have edited now.
cbcbcbcbcb cbcbcbcbcb cbcbcbcbcb cbcbcbcbcb
please do not forget again...  cbcbcbcbcb
alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
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Stil

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 10:44:27 AM »
Hey Noles, for Eric that's incentive to do it again.

ericthered

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Re: We Got 'GONGED!
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2007, 11:26:19 AM »
Stil, you naughty boy.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

"It's all oojah cum spiffy". Bertie Wooster.
"The stars are God's daisy chain" Madeleine Bassett.