Chinese stylish girl
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32 precious old photographs reveal the real life of the Chinese people in the 1980s

An album of selected images depicts a vision of China in the 1980s, very different from today. China was more ideological, and poor but apparently … Read more

Qigong frauds
China Underground >

Rise and fall of the QiGong frenzy in China: when superstition and science collide

Qigong frauds: After the fall of the Gang of Four, Qigong represented an opportunity for China to find a cultural identity tested by the disastrous consequences of the Cultural Revolution that erased an entire cultural and relationships system. Looking for its own way to modernization, China took a shortcut to scientific progress by mixing weird science and superstition, with grotesque and devastating consequences in the long run.

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Supernatural powers in China
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11 rare videos of Chinese with supernatural powers!

Supernatural powers in China: From late seventies to mid-nineties, Qigong enjoyed a huge success in China. In this period more than 2000 schools of qigong flourished in the country: dozens of masters taught the Special Abilities (SA, teyigongneng in Chinese) or paranormal powers.

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history of Qi Gong
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Photographic history of Qigong and alternative medicine in China

History of Qigong – There are hundreds of types of Qigong: some only need meditation and others require body motion to music.

They are popular among Chinese who wish to improve their health and cure their diseases. It is hard to say if anyone has restored his health by performing Qigong; while it is also hard to say if Qigong is completely ineffective if accompanied by orthodox treatment. Deep breathing, self-controlled meditation, and little movement, which are usually involved in performing Qigong, are not harmful.

The cult of Qigong, however, is not based on its effectiveness in health care. The “spirit balance” it gives and the quasi-religious mood involved in performing Qigong partly accounts for its popularity. Old people may perform it because they have no better ways to spend their time. Around 1985, Qigong began to closely connect with another cult—the cult of “special ability”—and each reinforces the popularity of the other.

The phenomenon of SA was first reported in 1978, when the political group headed by Mao’s widow lost its power, and Deng Xiaoping was reinstated and began to advocate the movement to “love, learn and utilize science” in China.

This science movement quickly met the needs that the majority of Chinese, including some scholars had. They had forgotten what the rigorous demarcation line of empirical science was. (From Paranormal in China written by Wu Xianghong)

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