The Meanings of “Surroundings” and the Tai Ji Males Case

On the eve of United Nations World Surroundings Day, a global webinar centered on how a “good atmosphere” additionally requires non-corrupt establishments.

by Daniela Bovolenta

The webinar’s poster.

On June 4, 2022, on the eve of the 2022 United Nations World Surroundings Day, CESNUR, the Middle for Research on New Religions, and Human Rights With out Frontiers organized one in every of their bimonthly webinars, on the theme “A Good Surroundings for Tai Ji Males.” Introducing the webinar Alessandro Amicarelli, a London-based human rights lawyer and the President of FOB, the European Federation for Freedom of Perception, greeted these members who have been linked from Sweden, the place they have been attending the Stockholm+50 occasion, organized by the United Nations within the week of World Surroundings Day fifty years after the historic UN Convention on the Human Surroundings held in 1972 in the identical Swedish capital.

Amicarelli launched a video on the tax historical past of  France, exhibiting how the tax reforms of Jean-Baptiste Colbert within the seventeenth century made France wealthy and {powerful}. Sadly, King Louis XIV reneged them, setting in movement a series of occasions that finally led to the French Revolution and the decadence of what was as soon as an amazing world energy. Amicarelli then launched the primary three audio system.

From the video about Colbert.
From the video about Colbert.

Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist who serves as managing director of CESNUR and editor-in-chief of Bitter Winter, offered Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’,” the longest encyclical within the historical past of the Catholic Church, and its reference to the ecological message and poetry of Francis of Assisi. He famous that Pope Francis’ textual content mentions three dimensions of ecology: environmental ecology, cultural ecology, and the ecology of human life. They’re half, Introvigne stated, of an “integral ecology,” which maintains that establishments are additionally elements of a wider ecosystem.

The enemy of ecology, Pope Francis stated, will not be know-how however “technocracy,” i.e., the concepts that “specialists” and bureaucrats are extra dependable than elected politicians and may take a very powerful choices. Privileging competence might seem like a good suggestion, Introvigne noticed, however technocracy leads to a non-democratic system the place “specialists” develop into untouchable and omnipotent. That is additionally true for tax bureaucrats who, claiming they’re the very best specialists on taxes, refuse any political or judicial management, Introvigne acknowledged, because it was clearly demonstrated by the Tai Ji Males case.

An image of the webinar on A good environment for Tai Ji Men
A picture of the webinar.

Stefania Cerruti, exterior relations supervisor of MEDIS, the Main Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide Faculty, offered some rules of the scientific research of disasters, the matter wherein her group is specialised. She recalled her assembly with Dr. Hong Tao-Tze, the Shifu (Grand Grasp) of Tai Ji Males, in 2019, and the way impressed she was by his phrases that the important thing to catastrophe decision lies within the conscience.

In our materialistic phrase, Cerruti stated, many might discover these phrases unrealistic. Nonetheless, they resonate with the fashionable science of the research of disasters, which maintains that even within the case of “pure” disasters how governments and bureaucrats handle them, with conscience or in any other case, makes their penalties much less or extra extreme. Cerruti concluded by observing that Tai Ji Males needed to confront a “tax catastrophe.” She stated that tax disasters could appear much less dramatic than epidemics or earthquakes, however in addition they trigger “struggling, financial ruins, and even suicides,” and must be significantly confronted.

Marco Respinti, an Italian journalist who serves as director-in-charge of Bitter Winter, launched the notions of “husbandry” and “gardening” as they emerge from the works of the British novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, the celebrated writer of “The Lord of the Rings.” Respinti centered on one character, Samwise Gamgee, or Sam, who’s the truth is a gardener, and famous how timber and “shepherds of timber” additionally play an vital function in Tolkien’s fictional universe. Forests are forests, and gardens are gardens, calling us to respect nature, however they’re additionally metaphors of human schooling and self-cultivation.

The total video of the webinar A Good Surroundings for Tai Ji Males.

Via their efforts at self-cultivation and their worldwide promotion of schooling, Dr. Hong and the dizi (disciples) of Tai Ji Males contributed to the creation of a world “good atmosphere,” Respinti stated. On the identical time, they weren’t granted in Taiwan a “good atmosphere” the place they might pursue their noble actions in peace, due to persecution and tax harassment.

Willy Fautré, co-founder and director of Human Rights With out Frontiers, offered the eight installment of the sequence “Unbreakable Bonds,” an in depth historical past of the Tai Ji Males case. The installment centered on the seven main violations of regulation by Taiwan’s Nationwide Taxation Bureau (NTB). Then Fautré launched the seven dizi who provided their testimonies.

From “Unbreakable Bonds, Part 8.”
From “Unbreakable Bonds, Half 8.”

Chen Yi-Jing, an assistant professor who majored in Environmental Analysis, recalled the 1972 first United Nations Convention on the Human Surroundings, and the totally different positions dividing “optimists” from “pessimists” about the opportunity of avoiding an ecological disaster. Chen was among the many pessimists, she stated, till Dr. Hong and Tai Ji Males persuaded her that by means of a steadiness between ecology and spirituality actual outcomes may be achieved. She additionally talked about the current assessment in Taiwan of compliance with the 2 United Nations covenants on human rights, which Taiwan integrated into its home regulation in 2009, and the associated convention the place a number of voiced denounced the persecution of Tai Ji Males.

Tun Nu-Nu, a senior caregiver and a Myanmar Chinese language who emigrated to Taiwan after which to California, reported about the advantages she and her household derived from training qigong as Tai Ji Males dizi. She additionally talked about Tai Ji Males actions on behalf of world peace and happiness, insisting on the greater than 1,000 episodes of the TV program “Vitality Household,” which promotes each conventional Chinese language tradition and bodily and psychological well being. On the identical time, as a local of Myanmar, a rustic with vital human rights issues, Tun feels strongly concerning the Tai Ji Males case and regards it as one other challenge of “state violence.”

Liu Mei-Yin, a music educator, mentioned world warming and air pollution points, and the worldwide efforts for a sustainable growth. They don’t seem to be unrealistic, she stated, as a result of “the facility of a single human being is tiny, however collective energy is large.” She recalled how she accompanied Dr. Hong in 2016 to the 52nd Worldwide Folklore Competition of Gulpilhares in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, and took part by enjoying violin in a efficiency of “Superb Grace” on the Corpus Christi Monastery. The facility of music led the viewers to hope and cry throughout cultural borders, proving that progress towards peaceable dialogue and cooperation is feasible. But, as different dizi did, Liu famous that whereas acknowledging that dizi have been efficient ambassadors of Taiwanese tradition all through the world, the federal government of Taiwan mistreated them on the identical time by means of the tax case. However right here once more, “the facility of a single human being is tiny, however collective energy is large,” and the efforts of the dizi and those that assist them might in the future change the scenario for the higher.

Liu Mei-Yin at the webinar.
Liu Mei-Yin on the webinar.

Jessica Lu, an undergraduate scholar at Case Western Reserve College in Ohio, recalled her participation as a Tai Ji Males dizi in worldwide occasions selling world peace and sustainable growth. She went to the faraway island of Kiribati and she or he was now in Stockholm for the Stockholm+50 occasion. These have been completely satisfied and uplifting experiences, Lu stated, however she contrasted them with the unhappiness that moved her to cry when protesting for the Tai Ji Males case in 2021 in Washington DC in entrance of the Taipei Financial and Cultural Consultant Workplace in the US (TECRO). Regardless of how a lot this dramatic distinction of experiences harm her, Lu vowed to proceed Tai Ji Males’s battle for a “good atmosphere” by means of each promotion of a tradition of affection and peace and protest towards injustice.

Jenner Lin, chairman of Taiwan Eco-Pleasant Rice Merchandise Promotion Affiliation, mentioned world warming and up to date environmental disasters, noting that to resolve these issues in 2015 the United Nations introduced the “2030 Sustainable Improvement Objectives.” Whereas not being a member state of the United Nations, Taiwan additionally formulated its personal “Taiwan Sustainable Improvement Objectives.” But, Lin famous, the fitting to a “healthful and culturally snug atmosphere” additionally contains freedom of faith or perception and the fitting of self-cultivating ourselves as we deem match. This was denied within the Tai Ji Males case, Lin stated, which was additionally a violation of the citizen’s environmental rights. 

Judith Chiu, the channel director for a global software program firm primarily based in the UK, additionally traveled to Sweden for the Stockholm+50 occasion. She reviewed plenty of disasters that occurred in 2021, together with the unfold of recent mutations of COVID-19. She believes that the imbalance of individuals’s hearts and the shortage of conscience is a fundamental reason behind all these disasters. She is prepared to journey hundreds of miles, Chiu stated, to assist spreading Dr. Hong’s name to return to conscience. She additionally totally understands that the tax injustice vested on Tai Ji Man derives from a scarcity of “conscientious administration” and is a part of the identical world drawback.

Judit Chiu speaking from Stockholm.
Judit Chiu talking from Stockholm.

Phyllis Huang, a U.S. licensed public accountant and the President of the Paramitas Basis, a grant-making basis primarily based in Saratoga, California, which helps academic and charitable actions inside the Taiwanese-American neighborhood and past, traced the story of the United Nations World Surroundings Day as a day of observance established to denounce the imbalance within the earth’s ecology. She famous that, as she discovered from Dr. Hong, the identical imbalance exists in people; certainly, that there’s a want to revive the yin and yang steadiness is a key educating of Tai Ji Males. Huang went to the Stockholm+50 occasion to assist spreading this message of steadiness, however was additionally completely satisfied to take part on this webinar, she stated, and testify that the injustice of the Tai Ji Males case derive from a basic imbalance as properly.

Oleksandra Kovalenko at the webinar.
Oleksandra Kovalenko on the webinar.

Oleksandra Kovalenko, from the Ukrainian Affiliation of Spiritual Research, provided the conclusions of the webinar. She reviewed the totally different papers and provided her testimony as a Ukrainian scholar who has witnessed how warfare and injustice additionally trigger ecological disasters. This made her delicate to all cases of injustice and conceitedness, she stated, and her research within the area of freedom of faith or perception led her to an curiosity in Tai Ji Males and its battle for justice.

The occasion concluded with an animated video on COVID-19 prevention and a wonderful efficiency, “An Period of Conscience,” by the dizi who traveled to Stockholm.

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