As early as last summer, they seemed like they were everywhere. But for almost a year now, the Falun Gong, a.k.a. Falun Dafa, a religious and meditation group founded in the early 90's by charismatic leader Li Hongzhi, have been conspicuously absent from the streets of New York.
Noted for their ubiquitous, often ill-placed (Herald Square at Christmas time?) protests, the Falun Gong rally support against the oppressive Chinese government.
The Falun Gong claim to have membership, worldwide, in the hundreds of millions, and though their garish streets displays of violence and torture were a thing of wonder--jarring passerby with graphic, fake-blood-soaked reenactments of police torture--I wonder how many New Yorkers actually know what the deal is with this silent, meditative, often creepy group.
Are they a cult set on brainwashing America? An oppressed religious faction? A covert political movement?
More importantly, where did they go?