Books on Martial Arts cults/frauds?

Any suggestions for books on cults and/or frauds in the martial arts? I have already read The True Believers but am looking for other recommendations if there are any.

These two fake books pretty much sum up the last 30+ years


There’s always Falun Gong and other similar excercise oriented cults. There’s not much of a market for telling people most martial arts are bullshit, especially the ones with a quasi religious slant to them like Shaolin and Akidio.

I haven’t checked these out but they look promising

Herding the Moo

Living in a Martial Arts Cult

Both seem more like memoir style accounts than ethnographic looks at these groups. If you’re up for first hand accounts without too much editing these seem like interesting options.

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Also, gawddamn these guys are a mess…

Falun Gong is a cult? What is the precise definition of cult are you using, other than a vulgar one.

Last I checked they were a heavily persecuted spiritual movement in China with very non-cultlike values.

What do you know about illegal organ harvesting?

Well, I know you’re kind of a gullible rube but otherwise, yeah, Falun Gong is a cult, has a secretive super wealthy leader guy who was reported to have said he has secret powers and done psychic warfare with demons in another dimension, his pamphlets just pure magical mumbo jumbo.

They even have their own bullshit rag they spew wild lies out of. Yes. Definitely a cult. “Spiritual movement” LOL. You’re so fucking gullible.

Just because you’re being ruthlessly persecuted by a bunch of commie ultra nationalists doesn’t mean you’re not in a cult.

If you’re looking in good faith you might find this older article of value

The abstract:

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, emerged in the northeast of China in 1992 with adherents striving to achieve the ultimate aim of transforming the human flesh body into an immortal Buddha body. Although originating just over two decades ago, its doctrines, beliefs, and practices are drawn from much older Buddhist and Taoist canons and most directly from qigong (Adams 2011). Even so, Falun Gong’s founder, Li Hongzhi, claims that it offers a highly personalized cultivation practice for everyone irrespective of social standing, socioeconomic background, or status (Adams 2011). Western scholars view Falun Gong as a new religious movement (NRM), though any connection or claim to religion is strenuously denied by its adherents (Ownby 2005).

Although no official membership records are kept, Falun Gong claims some 100 million adherents around the world (Adams 2011). Outside of China, Falun Gong has attracted a massive following including a large proportion not of Chinese origin (Melton 2001). As Falun Gong spread quickly through China, it similarly spread to Chinese communities around the world in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and throughout Southeast Asia (Melton 2001). Since 1999, Falun Gong adherents have been regularly appearing at public events throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Taiwan, and Canada, promulgating the message primarily through promoting the five meditative exercises. They also try to generate awareness of the human rights breaches against their members by the Chinese government (Adams 2011). By doing so, they hope to pressure Western governments into condemning the actions of the Chinese state (Ownby 2005). This chapter will provide an overview of the practices, doctrine, and history of Falun Gong but will particularly focus on the controversies inherent in this movement, specifically it will examine the complex alien and anti-science theology of Falun Gong and conclude with an examination of the movement’s clashes with the Chinese government and consequential apocalypticism born of those struggles.


Thanks for the paper, @Fitz. A couple of months ago I was searching for some info on Falun Dafa and this fell completely off my radar. Maybe it was because I was looking for news pieces – wasn’t expecting there would be actual peer-reviewed stuff about this issue.

Most of the stuff I read and heard about Falun Gong came from its practitioners, and it’s easy to sympathize with their struggle. However, I have taken some time to check out some stuff Mr. Li Hongzhi wrote. I’m not really a fan of people who seriously write about aliens and conspiracy theories, so I can’t say I liked it very much.

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Yeah but I can replace Chinese with US, and Falun Gong with Christianity and your assertion would still be both valid and sound.

The use of the term cult in the West is very specific, and more Charles Manson or Scientology than Falon Gong, which is not much more than a Tai Chi group that listens to Celtic Dreams CDs.

You lost your chance at being Bullshido’s resident Atheist long ago, dude.

You’re also using that vulgar definition of “cult” I mentioned. According to your pwn very unscientific definition, Disney is a also cult.

Falun Gong members are encouraged to help society, rather than seclude themselves from it. That right there conflicts with the textbook definition.

As far as the “anti science” bit, you could say the say thing about a lot of art forms and creative expressions, not to mention religions and philosophies, most of which don’t claim to be a stand-in for things like physics and math, and don’t involve crystal healing powers et cetera.

The truth is that without a body of victims, Falun Gong cannot be considered a true cult.

Now, we could talk about subway gas attacks in Japan and cults if you want, but as far as FG, they’re best known by a musical performance here in the United States, Shen Yun, which is a fab show.

Apparently Dung Beatle isn’t familiar with just how far and wide and long the PRC has been persecuting all kinds of artists, martial and otherwise.

God, you are not a bright bulb sometimes.

They are a fruity cult with a secret leader guy that has barely been seen in public in decades, the religious practices of the cult are straight brainwashing cult building idiocy.

A group of man, woman and child practitioners of Falun Gong set themselves on fire in Tianenmen Square using sprite bottles filled with gasoline. If I recall correctly the girl was apparently told it wouldn’t hurt and didn’t realize her parents were seriously about to set her on fire with gasoline.

Yeah. Their commie government probably does shitty things to them too. The Falun Gong leader guy is just trying to set himself up as a God priest complete with divine powers, straight cult indoctrination practices, hairbrained exercise routines designed to tire recruits out in combination with low protein, low calorie fasts and hours of “meditation” with occssional chanting.

What could possibly go wrong? Setting kids on fire? Forgetaboutit!

No, but it would be a fairly good match for the relationship between the Latter-day Saints and the US Government.

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It isn’t huge but there is a body of research. The movement’s arc from fringe to government endorsement to government suppressions is pretty striking. They were one of a few groups that popped up at the same time. If you’re interested this book might give you some deeper details.

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Uh, since your source for all of that is literally the PRC propaganda ministry, shut the fuck up Donnie, you’re out of your element. Again.

But, since you don’t even see the connection between your bullshit and Thích Quảng Đức, I forgive you. Again.

I suspect you are using a novel definition outside of sociological research or more popular tools like the Hassan’s BITE Model,

The funny thing about Qigong is how it and its practitioners get abused by people who have never learned it. Qigong is just exercise, not just physical but mental.

As I have learned studying many cults but especially Chinese ones, they certainly do have a habit of being demonized by authorities without much actual proof. Like parents claiming D&D was Satan worship, etc.

Christ himself was nailed to a cross for doing the same thing. And yes, years later the LDS would use this story to build quite a following that many people believe is quite cultish. No quarrel with
“cult” there, quite a history of victims.

BITE clearly shows Falun Gong isn’t a destructive cult. Especially the suppression of creativity!!!

I’m making a distinction between cult of personality like FG, and NXIVM or as an extreme example I suggested earler, Aum Shinrikyo.

The vast majority of Falun Gong and Shen Yun has little to do with “The Founder”, which by the way is an interesting tangent.

Is McDonalds a “cult”, per BITE?

This is a destructive cult?

I didn’t say they were a destructive cult. That’s something you’ve added to the conversation. Not all cults are inherently destructive, but they are no less cults. Read much William Sims Bainbridge?

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