Since its debut in 2004 on New Tang Dynasty Television, Shen Yun show (Divine Performance) has been increasingly advocated by Falun Gong around the globe, as though the political show would continue to spread and, some day tsunami the whole world.
In recent years the Shen Yun show has even become the top show of Falun Gong as Li Hongzhi, the ringleader, talks about "the importance of Shen Yun show" whenever he holds a meeting, and eventually throws away all disguise and comes out into the open for the propaganda. Li insists he personally see to it that the show goes well as expected: themes, contents, and even the costume and stage prop. In addition, Li's family members, men and women, old and young, are all called into action. Master Li naturally acts as the director of the performance; his wife the accountant for logistics; his sister the lead singer; and his daughter the accompanying dancer. All in all, the artistic gifts of the whole family are brought into a full play.
To enlist more actors, Falun Gong holds for consecutive years various competitions such as "The Chinese International Vocal Competition," "International Chinese Classical Dance Competition" etc.. And an art school called "Feitian Arts College" has been established, and exclusively open to sons and daughters of Falun Gong members. After attending accelerated training course, these children become accompanying dancers. To improve the quality of the "Shen Yun show," Li Hongzhi racks brains to recruit artists from mainland China by cheating them into leaving their homeland.
In order to have larger audience, Li Hongzhi urges his followers try every possible means to sale tickets. This is why people in New York, Chicago and other American cities often encounter a heartrending, sometimes a rather embarrassing scene in the streets: Walking in the teeth of rising wind amid thickly swirling snowflakes, Falun Gong practitioners dress themselves as fairy maidens to peddle the tickets, endlessly pestering passers-by; if no one troubles to buy, they would give the tickets free at their own expense. And these "cool" stories are told frequently in Li's Fa-teaching lectures, and are widely covered in the Falun Gong media, of which the author would say no more.
But the question is: Why Mr. Li Hongzhi uses every ounce of his energy advocating the performance? Even his followers have difficulties in finding the answer, let alone our "ordinary people". However, on July 16 this year, Master Li gave so far the most systematic explanation on the issue while "teaching the Fa in Washington D.C.", and he mentioned in that speech: "The primary function of Shen Yun is to save people". Here let's see how Mr. Li Hongzhi elaborates on "importance" of the Shen Yun show . Since Master Li's speech is certainly not on the terse side, and a little bit incoherent I would say. So I'd like to sum up his major points so as to facilitate our readers' comprehension.
1. Everyone in the world, regardless of nationality or race, has the same initial birthplace and the same transfer station for reincarnation – i.e., China. "There're so many countries and races in this world, that's because gods give people different skin colors in creating them – although people with the same skin color belong to the same race, their master souls are not necessarily all coming from their own race. Human beings all come from heavens, and China is the first stop of their journey. They are all born in China first, and live in a certain dynasty in China; then they are transferred into other countries or regions through the process of reincarnation, and subsequently form another country or race, waiting for the beginning of Fa-rectification and the prevail of Dafa." "There are so many newcomers from heavens to China during each dynasty, but where these Chinese people have gone to? As China alone can not accommodate all of them, they are transferred to other nations."
2. By watching Shen Yun show , foreigners can quickly awaken their memories of the distant past when they lived and worked in China hundreds or even thousands years ago. And it is called "saving people by arts". "Who laid the foundation for the 5,000-year Chinese civilization? All human beings did. And it is pre-determined that gods use Chinese culture to rectify Dafa"; "No matter where you live or where you come from, you don't experience any culture shock when contacting with Chinese people, Chinese history and Chinese culture. These things are so familiar to everyone in the world, as if all people had once experienced them personally. Actually, it is the case. No matter where you have been transferred into, the memories are still there. (Watching Shen Yun show ) is like to turn on the switch, all your memories light up." "So the Shen Yun show plays a critical role in saving people."
3. Shen Yun show can rid people of their calamities and bring them good luck. "The effect of an excellent Shen Yun show , plus the help from gods, goes beyond the reach of any human being. The show keeps radiating the energy of 'Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance' – either the movements of a dancer, or the voice of a singer, and the sound of musical instruments, all send out positive energy. Even the colorful lights from the stage are full of positive energies. The audience surely benefits from whole show, and that's why patients on the spot automatically feel better. And after the show you go out of the theatre, your mobile phone rings – oh, shit! Here comes a piece of good news. All of a sudden, the difficult problem pestering you for years has been solved. And no one knows why. After attending the performance, everything turns better, and every one cheers up. As we all know, the suffering arises from Karma, and the Karma derives from bad deeds you've done in the past. If the Karma keeps growing, your suffering turns into a disaster – affects you future life, or brings about physical discomfort or illness. But after watching Shen Yun show , your Karma is completely eliminated, thanks to positive energy of the show. Just think of it, the root cause has been removed, how could any suffering still bother you? And that's why people on spot benefit from the show."
4. Chinese culture is passed on by gods, and created by all human beings on Earth. "China is the gateway through which people from different paradises descend to earth and become human beings; China is also the platform on which people make affinities with each other and exercise ruling powers; and at the last stage of history, China is the only place where people become attached with Dafa and obtain Perfection. Different dynasties have different peoples who create different cultures and bring about different lifestyles including food, clothing and shelter etc. When a new regime substitutes for the old, these elements will change accordingly." "Elements in Shen Yun show , including the words of songs, the music, and even the stage prop, are all coming from the traditional, orthodox, and pure Chinese culture, a 5,000-year civilization created by all human beings."
The above-mentioned are the very "theories" Master Li Hongzhi invented to reveal the importance of Shen Yun show . In our own words, the Shen Yun show is artistically trying to tell people where Falun Gong comes from; and by "waking up" the dormant memories of ordinary people, the show helps them return to the embrace of Falun Gong, and find their way of "going home." In another word, the Shen Yun show is to "save people."
In fact, all the programs of Shen Yun show are designed to elaborate these "theories", although the "saving people theory" is just Li Hongzhi's wishful thinking and the claim that China is all foreigners' first birthplace seems more unacceptable.
Looking into the Shen Yun show Falun Gong organized around the globe, we could see that, programs of the show fall into three major categories: a few programs reflecting traditional Chinese culture; a majority of programs advocating Falun Gong doctrines; and a few accusing Chinese government of "persecuting" Falun Gong practitioners.
Among them, programs advocating Falun Gong doctrines take the lion's share. Of course, all these programs eulogize the greatness of Li Hongzhi and the wonder of Falun Gong. Below are the words of songs in the programs that lavish praise on Master Li and his Falun Dafa.
Do Not Hesitate Any More (lyrics)
"In the haze we await the Savior,
Expecting the door to heaven opens a bit earlier.
Now the Creator has descended upon our Earth, upon our Earth;
His disciples' truth-clarifying gives every riddle the correct answer.
Seize the opportunity of once in a blue moon,
Do not hesitate toward your future."
Show You the Way of Hope (lyrics)
"For whom we keep going rain and shine,
Eat in the wind and sleep in the dew but never cry?
Standing by the streets are our Dafa disciples,
Their hardship and benevolence make the leaflets shine…
Point out the only hope way for you in their mind."
The Spinning Wheel of Law (lyrics)
"Fly, fly…, and rotate,
Showing dignity of the Fa-rectification,
And revealing the truth to heaven….
Oh, the beautiful Falun keeps spinning,
And towards the infinity and from the beginning"
The Holy Falun King (lyrics)
"The King of kings descends to our Earth,
He saves us by teaching "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance."
The King of kings descends to our Earth,
He brings us good luck and the law of universe;
The Lord turns Falun to remake the cosmos,
He turns our ordinary people into gods.
Now our Lord is calling people to follow Dafa,
Never let the worldly attachments puzzle us.
This is a chance once in a thousand years,
And do not hesitate over your best choice."
These programs praise Li Hongzhi with undisguised flatteries and call him "the King of kings", claiming that Li has descended on this world to "rescue" people from the calamity of world doomsday; and urge people to join Falun Gong immediately and not to lose the chance of becoming immortals.
Li Hongzhi repeatedly declares in public, that he has personally given orders for Falun Gong affiliates to stage "Chinese Spectaculars"(Shen Yun); that such performance "is not designed to entertain the ordinary people," "but to reflect the spirits of Dafa disciples, to clarify the truth, and to save people." This is to say, the so-called "Chinese Spectacular" is not at all an artistic performance; on the contrary, it is Falun Gong's mouthpiece engaged in anti-China propaganda, and a means of raking money and expanding Li Hongzhi's political popularity. The show distorts the traditional Chinese culture, and shamelessly tarnishes human civilization; it fools the audience, cheats the media, wantonly poisons social environment.
So, flaunting the banner of "traditional Chinese culture," Mastermind of the Shen Yun show has many more objectives than just attracting larger audience. By promoting "divine culture," the organizers try to set up a propaganda platform which advertises Falun Gong fallacies by labeling them "sacred teachings"; at the same time, to keep spectators home and abroad ignorant of facts to practice Falun Gong, and finally to mind-control these innocent people. And this is the primary objective of Shen Yun show .
Perhaps, that's why Li Hongzhi puts a jerk in advocating the show.