It is not surprising that most people linking NRMs are dangerous and even equate NRMs with the occurrence of violence. It is true that there is a number of movements have grown dramatically, creating the movement-societal conflicts. However, this assumption is questionable and challengeable since they impede to identify the interactive relationship and contextual factors that actually are significant in the outbreak of violence.
I shall analyse the escalation of violence from two trajectories. One is the analysis of two single side’s factors (both from FLG and the Chinese government) that play the primary role and precondition in precipitating violence. It can improve our analytic utility and avoid too much analytic weight on one single side’s factors. It is important to understand the internal and external dynamics on both sides in equal depth and detail. The other is led to a model, in which to explain a number of factors related to violence and inter-relationships between two parties in that sociological context.
I. FLG’s Iconic leadership, organization structure and use of technology
( 1 ) Iconic Leadership
Li claims to know “the top secret of the universe” and says “no religion can save people” but the “almighty Fa,” which he exclusively represents. He is therefore essentially the chosen saviour of man. Notwithstanding, he also professes that he first recognized his special powers at the age of eight. His teaching also includes the spinning “falun ( ),” which is a mystical “wheel of law” that he claims to be able to insert into his disciples’ abdomens .
Li’s iconic leadership increasingly became an object of worship for millions of his followers over the world, because frequent public demonstrations and events staged around the world reflect the intense devotion of his followers. However, they were not allowed to question the basic assumptions as Li was the only absolute and authoritarian leader within FLG.
Specifically, his image and effort in fighting for human rights freedom against the Chinese government are all widely supported and applauded by some foreign governments, US, European Union, Taiwan, Japan and Australia. He not only became a star for various news media, but also he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, though failed to make the shortlist on both in 2001. Li’s exaggerated spotlighting of the group’s global scale and influence certainly further embarrassed the Chinese government.
The mystery history of Li
Li was born on 7 July, 1952, in Gongzhuling of North-eastern Jilin Province. He grew up in Changchun, the provincial capital. His education did not go beyond the junior high school level. From 1970 to 1978, Li first worked at a Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) horse farm in Inner Mongolia, and from 1978 to 1982, he worked as trumpeter in a band attached to the propaganda department of the provincial forestry Police. He was then employed by the...