What is it with these Falun Gong people?
Of course it must be a horrid drag to be persecuted in your own country and not allowed to practice your religion, even if it is basically a spaceship cult (though to my mind it’s not really any more strange than believing in angels). But why escape this persecution, reportedly with shackling, beatings and cagings, to come here to spend 12 hours a day in Manhattan in shackles and cages? In public, no less? Methinks I smell an S&M cult!
Manhattanites know these people. They clog up areas like Times Square with their gruesome tableaus of blood and violence (very nice for passing children, I might add. Not that I care much for the little buggers, but still, in principle…). On most days, the entire of City Hall Park downtown is lined with these displays, accompanied by "meditation groups." Brochures that look suspiciously like Claritin ads are passed out by a few happier looking souls.
The Gong arrived a couple of months ago. We all thought this was temporary, some kind of bizarre weekend retreat, but they have stayed. And stayed. And stayed. The thing is, these people have become something of a nuisance. Rather like the pigeons, they block the flow of pedestrian traffic. This annoys many New Yorkers, an annoyance which can swiftly turn to a wish to do one’s own persecuting, pronto. So either their methodology is very poor or very good, depending on which outcome they really want. Which I guess we’ll never know.