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RECOMMENDED READING: “Is Falun Gong Behind Seth Holehouse’s ‘The Plot to Steal America’ It Looks Like It.”

January 5th, 2021 13:05

The Metabunk blog has pub­lished its research results into a video shared by US Pres­i­dent Trump titled “Man in Amer­i­ca.” Accord­ing to the report the video, based on elec­tion con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries aimed at Chi­na, was pro­duced by an indi­vid­ual who is a mem­ber of the Falun Gong, a Chi­nese “new reli­gious move­ment” with a his­to­ry of sup­port­ing Trump:

A slick­ly pro­duced video titled “The Plot to Steal Amer­i­ca”, which regur­gi­tat­ed many elec­tion con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and point­ed the fin­ger at Chi­na, was shared in a tweet by Don­ald Trump on Decem­ber 23, 2020. The video is nar­rat­ed and osten­si­bly cre­at­ed by Seth Hole­house and his web site “Man in Amer­i­ca.” Hole­house is a mem­ber of Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa), a “new reli­gious move­ment” that many peo­ple have described as being a cult. Sev­er­al peo­ple have not­ed this con­nec­tion and sug­gest­ed that the video is sim­ply dis­in­for­ma­tion, pro­pa­gan­da from Falun Gong. Falun Gong has a long his­to­ry of attack­ing the com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment of Chi­na, and more recent­ly of strong­ly sup­port­ing Trump. It appears that attempts have been made by Falun Gong to hide Hole­house­’s con­nec­tion. Sev­er­al google search­es lead to men­tions of Hole­house­’s mem­ber­ship, but upon click­ing on the arti­cle his exis­tence has been edit­ed out. How­ev­er, the orig­i­nal is still avail­able on Google’s cache.

Read the rest here.

The Oxford Research Ency­clo­pe­dia explains the Falun Gong as fol­lows:  

Falun Gong (FLG) is a Qi Gong group that entered into  con­flict with the Chi­nese state around the turn of the 21st cen­tu­ry, and grad­u­al­ly trans­formed into a polit­i­cal move­ment. Qi Gong, in turn, is an ancient sys­tem of exer­cis­es that has been com­pared to yoga. Falun Gong was found­ed in the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na (PRC) by Li Hongzhi (LHZ) in 1992, in the lat­ter part of what has been termed the Qi Gong “boom.” As the lead­er­ship of the PRC became increas­ing­ly crit­i­cal of the tra­di­tion­al folk reli­gion and super­sti­tion that was emerg­ing with­in some of the Qi Gong groups, Li Hongzhi and his fam­i­ly emi­grat­ed to the Unit­ed States. From the safe­ty of his new coun­try of res­i­dence, LHZ direct­ed his Chi­nese fol­low­ers to become increas­ing­ly con­fronta­tion­al, even­tu­al­ly stag­ing a mass demon­stra­tion in front of gov­ern­ment offices in Bei­jing on April 25, 1999. The move­ment was sub­se­quent­ly banned.

The Metabunk report not­ed fur­ther that Hole­house has been asso­ci­at­ed since 2008 with The Epoch Times as a writer, cre­ative direc­tor, and pho­tog­ra­ph­er. The New York Times has pub­lished a com­pre­hen­sive report on the Epoch Times, the pro-Trump media oper­a­tion asso­ci­at­ed with the Falun Gong move­ment. The arti­cle, titled “How The Epoch Times Cre­at­ed a Giant Influ­ence Machine” begins:

Pub­lished Oct. 24, 2020 Updat­ed Nov. 12, 2020  For years, The Epoch Times was a small, low-bud­get news­pa­per with an anti-Chi­na slant that was hand­ed out free on New York street cor­ners. But in 2016 and 2017, the paper made two changes that trans­formed it into one of the country’s most pow­er­ful dig­i­tal pub­lish­ers. The changes also paved the way for the pub­li­ca­tion, which is affil­i­at­ed with the secre­tive and rel­a­tive­ly obscure Chi­nese spir­i­tu­al move­ment Falun Gong, to become a lead­ing pur­vey­or of right-wing mis­in­for­ma­tion. First, it embraced Pres­i­dent Trump, treat­ing him as an ally in Falun Gong’s scorched-earth fight against China’s rul­ing Com­mu­nist Par­ty, which banned the group two decades ago and has per­se­cut­ed its mem­bers ever since. Its rel­a­tive­ly staid cov­er­age of U. S. pol­i­tics became more par­ti­san, with more arti­cles explic­it­ly sup­port­ing Mr. Trump and crit­i­ciz­ing his oppo­nents. Around the same time, The Epoch Times bet big on anoth­er pow­er­ful Amer­i­can insti­tu­tion: Face­book. The pub­li­ca­tion and its affil­i­ates employed a nov­el strat­e­gy that involved cre­at­ing dozens of Face­book pages, fill­ing them with feel-good videos and viral click­bait, and using them to sell sub­scrip­tions and dri­ve traf­fic back to its par­ti­san news coverage.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed in Octo­ber that Face­book had removed a huge net­work of real and fake accounts asso­ci­at­ed with the Falun Gong move­ment over vio­la­tions of ts for­eign inter­fer­ence policy.