Dear Prof. Z
Thank you for yet again another intriguing email. I thank you for remembering my text. I read much about Marxism in Chinese sources and it was from China that I learned that Engels had spoken highly of Buddhism (in his ‘Dialectics of Nature’). I had read in Marx’s writings about India for the New York Tribune that Marx referred to Buddhism as ‘rational Brahmanism’. Then, in two other Dear English sources, I discovered that Marx had a life long friend in Karl Koppen. They met at university and Koppen became renowned as an outstanding early European scholar in Germany, He specialised in Early Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism and his work is still considered outstanding today (although not translated into English!)
I suspect Marx got all his knowledge about Buddhism from Koppen and it is recorded that Koppen gave Marx copies of his work. After studying the dialectical method of Marx I felt there was a similarity between it and Buddhism, and so I embarked upon a long journey of academic research and analysis. The problem was that no one in the West had carried out this research before, and there was no context, whilst Buddhists in the East a priori accepted a deep rooted and profound connection. Western Marxist were generally of little help, as they tended to treat Buddhism as if it were a theistic religion, but Marx never included Buddhism in his critique. Furthermore, I then discovered that Lenin and Stalin also treated Buddhism differently to theistic religion, with Stalin establishing the Institute for the Study of Buddhist Culture in 1928. This might explain why at least 3 Soviet Republics were considered Buddhist in the USSR. It seems to me that anti-Soviet and anti-China propaganda sullied the waters so deeply that a false narrative was established that Buddhism was oppressed in the Soviet Union (and China).
This is the foundation of the CIA operation in Tibet, as you know. The US deliberately links opposition to the Pro-Tibetan Movement as proof of the oppression of Buddhism in Tibet – but Tibetan Buddhism is flourishing not only in Tibet, but also in South West China. The Buddhism offered by the Dalai Lama today, is a highly Westernised and Christianised synthesis appealing to the sentimentalities of the White middle class. It is a sham Buddhism offered to a mostly ignorant Western audience for adverse propaganda purposes.
This brings me to the Falun Gong Cult. My approach is that the Falun Gong Cult does not originate in China, but rather in the US. At least today I would say this is the case. Just as the US fabricated a sham Buddhism, through the Falun Gong Cult we see a fake US generated Daoism. The teachings of Falun Gong are a Western parody of an ancient Chinese culture. This is irrespective of the fact that Li Hongzhi originates in China. The point being that if the teachings of Daoism can be untruthfully presented (to the point of killing people), then how can anything the Falun Gong Cult says about China be taken seriously?