The Consequences of Blending Science and Superstition in Qigong
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Rise and fall of the QiGong frenzy in China: when superstition and science collide

The Consequences of Blending Science and Superstition in Qigong

In the aftermath of the Gang of Four’s collapse, Qigong emerged as a means for China to rediscover its cultural identity, which had been severely tested by the Cultural Revolution’s catastrophic effects on the nation’s cultural and relational systems.

Related articles: A Photographic History of Qigong and Alternative Medicine in China

Seeking a unique path toward modernization, China attempted to fast-track scientific progress by blending unconventional science with superstition, ultimately leading to bizarre and damaging consequences in the long term.

From the late 1970s to the early 1990s, Qigong served as the focal point of China’s exploration into the boundaries of human potential through the development of extraordinary abilities (known as teyigongneng in Chinese). The Chinese government invested significant resources into various Qigong practitioners and self-proclaimed gurus, who capitalized on popular beliefs and an underdeveloped scientific community to advance a plethora of imaginative ideas, seminars, therapies, hospitals, clinics, and even peculiar military experiments.

China was wholly consumed by the Qigong craze until it was abruptly quashed. Nevertheless, before the ultimate tragedy of the Falun Gong—China’s most popular Qigong school until 1999—the history of these movements is marked by a series of eccentric episodes. In October 1999, the Chinese government declared Falun Gong a “heretical organization” that posed a threat to social stability.

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The 80s


Weird Science

Zhang Xiangyu

Rise and fall of the QiGong frenzy in China

Miaofengshan Advanced Qigong training, Beijing. The pot on the head should converge the universe force to strengthen the telepathy

In 1990, a woman master of Qi Gong, Zhang Xiangyu, pushed its influence to a peak with her performance in Beijing. Millions of “pilgrims” gathered from several provinces to see her and caused great traffic jams. When Zhang waved her hand out of a window of the third floor of the hotel, the “pilgrims” in the street cheered. Zhang claimed that she could talk with extraterrestrial beings and was able to cure every disease. She treated her patients with methods similar to those of witchcraft and demanded large amounts of money from them. Many patients became ill under her treatment and some of them died. In August, Zhang was arrested and accused of cheating. The exposition of her swindle weakened the cult of Qi Gong. Zhang was convicted in 1993 (from Paranormal in China, Wu Xianghong, March 1995,

Wang Lin

Wang Lin

Wang Lin, is a phony Qigong master, became famous for Qigong in the 1990s and he has been exposed by Beijing News in July 2013. Then, he fled to Hong Kong and he claimed to be the Chinese Snowden. He has been charged with Illegal medicine practice, bigamy, fraud, tax evasion, bribery, gambling, and illegal possession of firearms.

Pang Ming

Pang Ming (aka Pang Minghe) developed a medical system called Wisdom Healing Qigong (Zhineng Qigong, 智能气功) during late 1970. It was a synthesis of many supposed ancient lineages of Chinese healing practices.

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Zhineng Qigong Instant Healing

Sun Chulin

Sun Chulin claimed to be able to change shape to materials with the power of the mind. She was considered by many as a living proof of the existence of SA. According to many Chinese sites, she was capable of accelerating the biological development of organisms by thousands of times.

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The second part of the video is interestingly enough: Sun engaged in a sort of mystical ecstasy to grow a seed.

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Qigong Master: Demonstration Of Power

The supernatural powers of Zhang Baosheng (arrested for fraud in 1995)


Jinyun Mountain Taoist Association had 30,000 followers, including business tycoon Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce firm, and pop singer Faye Wong. The aim is to restore kidney functions through massage. Li Yi, the founder of the Jinyun Mountain Taoist Association had been the focus of a police probe over an allegation of raping a college student. Li is the latest “grandmaster” exposed as a fraud

Abbot Lee Shao-Long Li of Jinyun Mountain Taoist Association during a lecturing.
This year its supposed magical properties have been questioned and were accused of fraud

Zhang Wuben, a once-popular Chinese diet therapist, was found by officials in May to have faked his nutritionist qualifications

Making money writing health books it’s easy in China, especially if you’re a celebrity …