Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ruin your business #101

I am not well educated about Falun Gong, but over the years enough detail emerged for me to judge it not be be a religion but a cult and quite an insidious cult. I had a couple of emails a couple of years ago from a young and gay ethnic Chinese, from Indonesia, I think. He described to me how some Chinese girls at his uni were wanting to be his friend but without romantic interest. He asked me if I thought they might be Falun Gong. Obviously the details were greater than I have written here, but I judged them to be so and expressed that back to him. I haven't heard back from him since. He found me via my blog, btw. I saw them under a bridge in Singapore and they appeared to be trying not to be noticed. I asked our guide, Falun Gong? She nodded yes.

Is it every day? Many days of the week Falun Gong occupy a seating height wall of our city square. They have people out on the street as well, handing out leaflets. They often talk about organ harvesting, a rather odd thing to focus on for a cult. But then cults don't make much sense to me.

Is this connecting to my headline? Perhaps not but let me go on.

Many of you will know we shop on Saturday mornings. We usually visit the local market to buy a bunch of flowers. We have kind of focused on one flower vendor of late. I rather like the performing South American guy who looks Asian. He is a shocking show off and ever so cute. I think R may have picked up that I liked the look of the guy. Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it. For some reason R steered me to another flower vendor. We have bought flowers from this place before, run I think by husband and wife team of mainland Chinese heritage. The colour of the poppies was divine and irresistible, even though we knew they would only last a couple of days. We bought a bunch for $8. The woman then pulled out a petition for me to sign. I immediately knew what it was, and I said so and she agreed. At least take a leaflet, she pleaded. No, I know enough about Falun Gong. I was very cross. I am not a great supporter of the corrupt China and Singapore government, but at least they try to keep this cult from doing damage and growing.

Firstly, I am surprised market management allows cult soliciting by its stall holders, petition signatures at least. Secondly, do they think what they probably would judge as a gay couple are more likely to sign? Well, stereotypes happen for a reason, so that is quite possible. Thirdly, do think a blub blub blub year old man white Australian man is so ignorant about such things as Falun Gong?

There really is one thing about the episode that really pissed me orf. I cast my mind back to Pattaya in Thailand around 1989. We visited a cafe owned by one Lynne, of Glen Iris in Melbourne. As gay men, we were delighted with her salacious tales of this 55 year old Aussie woman hiring three local muscular young men to pleasure here simultaneously. Hey, she said, I am not as bad as the German frau. You would not believe what they get up to. Pattaya has its reputation for a good reason and thousands of Russians can't be wrong. After talking to her we focused on our meal. A Marbolo man came in and tried to sell to us. Marbolo is the call the 'poor' vendors of Marlborough cigarettes make as they sell what is probably drugs on the streets of Pattaya. Lynne noticed the Marbolo man and told him to get the fuck out of her cafe.

Just last week, KFC tempted me with a bargain price for six chicken nuggets. Hey, I was hungry. Forgive me. How much harm could six tiny chicken nuggets do? As I was waiting for my order to be filled, a beggar asked me for money. Where is Lynne to tell him to stop harassing her customers? I sat down to eat my nuggets and the same guy approached me again. I was cross. The elderly couple next to me told me they never give to beggars after they saw some dirtying up their faces in Dublin before going out begging.

Beggars in the street are one thing, but I really I don't like being harassed within a private business, be it by petitioning Falun Gong people, vendors or beggars.

Only in Thailand was the harassing person told to get out.

As annoyed as I am about the Falun Gong business, I don't want them to lose their business, so I will go back and anonymise this post. I certainly will not buy flowers from them again.

To end on a lighter note, we were served personally by the owner of where we usually have our Saturday brunch. Service should be pleasant and fun and not about signing people up for cults. He has served us before and is too of Chinese heritage and never cracks a smile, with just a slight change of facial expression as the ritual proceeds, and quite a while ago he went for the same joke line, so I was already prepared. He brought us R's extra hot skinny latte and my long black. Sir, your chilled soy latte, as he gave R his coffee, and to me he said, Sir, your hot water.

When he brought our orange juice, I said, what is this? Cold water or cordial? No Sir, carrot juice. Touche. I'd rather go to hell than drink carrot juice.

As you can imagine, life is rather busy and troublesome at the moment with such a demanding woe is me hospitalised Mother, but writing this, unedited and unchecked, was good stress relief.

25 comments:

  1. Yes, blogging de stresses me too! That and gin

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    1. Gin is ok, John, but a visit from the Scottish doctor is my preferred choice. Gin was a derogatory term here for Aboriginal women here. Care for a little gin, had rather a different meaning.

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  2. I am not aware of the cult status, and have taken them at face value. I may have to explore further.
    They are low key here, and I haven't seen them anywhere but conducting a silent vigil (plus posters) at the Chinese Embassy.
    I hope your mother's health is improving and that your life settles down.

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    1. EC, they also protest here outside the embassy, one the site of the home of Frank Thring. We are hoping things will settle down too.

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  3. Anonymous7:46 am

    It's not just cigarette sellers here in Pattaya but those flogging off lottery tickets, flowers, cheap DVDs by people holding cameras up to the cinema screen (how exhausting that must be for a two hour plus movie) or in certain venues other DVDs featuring two men writhing in a close embrace (what are they doing, mummy? Wrestling dear, practising for Rio).
    Could you translate blub, blub, blub? Does that mean you're over 100? :) And a message to R. Let him look at the cute guys. It's all guys of his age can do. - Ian

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    1. Ian, I just knew you would bite :-) Love your informed comment and R can look at and even have fun with as many blondes as he likes, as long as he tells me the dirty detail. Blub means less than 60.

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  4. I have never heard of Falun Gong. I'm going to have to do some reading up.

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    1. Sandra, only if you have an excess of spare time.

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  5. I've never heard of Falun Gong either.
    What harm can six nuggets do? That's almost what I asked myself daily for several months. What harm can a (daily)small serve of icecream do? Well I stepped onto the scales yesterday and found out exactly just how much harm that small serve of icecream daily has done. 5kg!! The diet is on.
    You are well within your rights to inform the manager of the establishment that you have been hassled by beggars. It's illegal for them to do so inside any establishment. More than once I remember our store manager calling the police who then removed the beggar from inside the store.

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    1. River, it is totally the cumulative effect of this one little thing won't hurt. I know, as I am a serial offender. You've made me think. For a while supermarkets here had guards, who could be called to remove such people, but I haven't seen any for a while.

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  6. I don't think a business proprietor soliciting your support for a petition is in the same category as hawkers and beggars intruding into a business space. The first is at the proprietor's own risk and though I share some of your suspicions about Falun Gong I wouldn't be so offended as to withdraw my custom unless they persisted on subsequent occasions once I had declined my support. As for hawkers and beggars, yes I would prefer that the proprietor kept them away but when it comes to a fast-food restaurant, just how vigilant and (to an extent) heartless can you expect the people running such shops to be? My guess is that they do move such people along but you cannot expect a 100% clearance rate. It is easier for tourist venues in Thailand to operate a no-tolerance regime as any interlopers are unlikely to have even the slightest appearance of being a potential customer.

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    1. Marcellous, for me the level of annoyance was the same, if not even worse. I respected these people as honest business people. Now I know they also have an agenda apart from selling flowers. You are correct about fast food places. I don't expect kids who work there to act against them. I can only reiterate, I can deal with harassment in public space, but it really gets the goat up my nose when it happens within private businesses. Of course it is very easy for white western business woman in Thailand to tell a vendor to eff off.

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  7. Never heard of any of these people or situation.
    Coffee ison

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    1. Dora, I can't say I saw any in New York, so maybe their presence in the US is small.

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  8. I too have never heard Falun Gong. Do we live in completely different worlds or maybe I go out with my eyes closed.

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    1. Marie, I will bet you they are in London in significant lobbying numbers. Now you know, you might see them.

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  9. I thought it was the Chinese gubbmint who were using falun gong practitioners' organs for trafficking? The most I know is thousands of people have been persecuted and killed by the gubbmint. It actually isn't a cult, if you look at the definitions of a cult. Once again, pretty sure the gubbmint were the ones that defined it as such, in order to get away with atrocities & turn the world against the practitioners.

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    1. Fen, as I understand it, they are organs of those sentenced to death, harvested post death. I am not an apologist for the disgraceful Chinese government but nor am I an apologist for crank pseudo religions, such as Falun Gong. I remember reading something in Falun Gong literature that was remarkably like your last sentence. I have little tolerance for religious extremism and even less for pretend religions who fervently try to recruit.

      You probably hate me now for being an old bigot, but I feel very strongly about cults and the damage they do and my view is that Falun Gong is a cult.

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    2. ha ha why would I hate you? For having an opinion? Nein!

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  10. Well, I just learned something from your blog. Had no idea of the group or the situation with the mainland authorities. I'll have to look into it more. Living in the armpit of northeastern PA, there is no presence around here.

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    1. Thanks Carlnepa. Probably found in the big cities.

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  11. The poppy vending cult here sells paper poppies. Maybe they are Falon Gong I don't know. Usually they are robed, not in western dress. I hate cults. I think of most religions as cults of some type and intensity. I ran into beggers near a store here a few days ago and recognized them immediately as the people who live in a Sweet HOme trailer park, and "worked" as beggars while living off housing assistance. The signs they hold vary and other residents claim they go as far as Eugene to beg on corners, where they are not known. Well they moved from the trailer park, leaving cats behind and other hellish deeds towards animals, and now were using a gray kitten in their props when begging, which made me mad. I was after them. They must have seen me coming, because here came the scam mobile van to pick them up but I stopped them. Anyhow, I didn't get my camera going for a photo. I want them stopped, because of how they use, neglect and abandon animals.

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    1. Strayer, while they could be Falun Gong, here they don't dress in in special manner. Honestly, what can you do with people like you describe? Assuming they have children, the next generation are likely to be the same. Maybe some should be compulsorily sterilised.

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  12. For a long time the Falun Gong have set themselves up in Belmore Park across the road from Sydney's Central Station. I'm not aware of them actively spruiking their cause to passers by and I can't recall them ever approaching me but maybe I give off a 'do not disturb' vibe.

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    1. Victor, in Melbourne they do approach but very gently and softly spoken. I suppose they choose their easy marks.

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