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BlackTaoist.com - Articles: Are There Dangerous Qigong Teachers?

Are There Dangerous Qigong Teachers?

By Master Gin Fook Mark (Southern Mantis Stylist)

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Unscrupulous Qigong teachers can be dangerous to your wealth, health, intellect and spirit. Two examples of people donating large sums of money to organizations will be given. There are many other examples. The danger of these con men is their charm. They pretend to be your best friend, care about your welfare and "feel your pain". Many victims, even after they know that they have been taken, still adore these con artists.

One well-known guru was driven around in a Rolls Royce.His followers donated money to him, while they lived in poverty in an ashram in Oregon. He did not impose a moral code on his followers and beatings were documented at the ashram. He died in prison.

Another famous story involves a prisoner who practiced breath control. Without being detected he could cause pages of a book to move by blowing. He pretended to be a born again Christian and converted many inmates by causing the pages of a bible to move and attributing this to the Holy Spirit. After being released, he opened a Kung Fu school and had a large following because of his mystical powers. He became famous and was even invited to Egypt to treat Anwar Sadat. One wealthy man had donated large sums of money to this charlatan and began to spend hours meditating in his room.

His sister became suspicious and hired Randi the magician to investigate this martial artist. One of his tricks was to cause a dollar bill under a fish tank to move by blowing in a small space between the tank and the table. Randi distracted him and turned the tank so there was no longer any space between the tank and the table. The Kung Fu artist could not make the dollar bill move. Randi made it move by blowing in the crack, which now faced him. The martial artist thought Randi was a Master and wanted to study with him.

This con artist also persuaded some of his students to get guns for him. He was arrested and jailed on a weapons charge. He escaped from jail and still at large. This story appeared in a popular Kung Fu magazine. Even though this con artist had been exposed, it was hinted that some of his powers were real.

Both sleep paralysis and narcolepsy can induce vivid hallucinations since the sufferer is "awake" in a REM sleep state. Some of these people can vividly describe being kidnapped by aliens and having operations performed on them. There are even marks where the instruments used in the procedures were inserted. One explanation of these marks is that these people are in a hypnotic state due to sleep paralysis or narcolepsy.

The mind influences the body, whichcauses the marks to appear. Not many people believe these stories.However, millions of people believe Qigong Masters when they describe their travels in other dimensions, new forms of Qigong, extraordinary powers, etc. Two masters can have entirely different methods and interpretations of reality.

Both claim millions of followers. Can they both be right, each have part of the truth or are they delusional? Do you believe that any Qigong system has millions of followers? Any Qigong teacher or long time practitioner will know that many students quit after a few lessons or don't practice regularly. Are such students followers?

The danger of belonging to such a cult is that it dulls the intellect. Some people become mindless robots and accept everything at face value instead of using logic, science or proper statistical methods. For example, a common claim is that a Master can cure any disease. This fact has never been verified.

In spiritual Qigong most Masters warn their students not to use any esoteric powers that they gain - for example, don't spend time treating sick people. Some reasons given are that one can be injured by the evil that is causing the disease or that you really can't cure a sick person because it's his karma to be sick. Such advice will keep a disciple on the spiritual path, but is not conducive to the development of science.

There are many example of Qigong masters in China and elsewhere who used fake photos, chemically treated paper which catches fire and other carnival tricks to impress their followers. Other phenomena can beexplained using Physics or Physiology. For instance, to convince a student that he was injecting Qi, the Master would push hard on the student's eyeballs. This would cause flashes of light,which were interpreted as Qi flow. Sometimes it was the students who used trickery to impress non-believers in the powers of their Master.

Improper and excessive practice of Qigong and meditation can cause psychoses. Such cases have been documented in a book on the Kundalini experience. Now there is even the medical term "Qigong psychotic reaction" listed in the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association. The dangers of excessive practice are also known in China. Dr. Zhang Tongling of Beijing Medical University found in a study of 145 people that fanatical Qigong practice could bring out latent psychiatric problems and cause hallucinations.

She runs a clinic for obsessive Qigong practitioners. Preoccupation with Qigong can also cause ardent practitioners to become dysfunctional and neglect necessary daily tasks or dull ambition so that one does not reach his full potential Seizures can also result from improper or excessive practice of Qigong or meditation. These seizures become easier to induce with practice. Some Masters regard seizures as a form of religious ecstasy.

This behavior should be investigated scientifically. It is more common in Indian meditation, since many teachers don't emphasize putting the tongue on the roof of the mouth to connect the Du and Ren channels so that excess energy does not get stuck in the head.

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