Tai Ji Men Case Discussed at ANU Religion Conference 2023

The Tai Ji Men Case: A Landmark Case of Serious Human Rights Violations in Taiwan


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During the conference on religion at the Australian National University, Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples) and members of the Federation of World Peace and Love enthusiastically exchanged ideas with scholars from different parts of the world.

In a democratic and diverse society, people’s religions and beliefs are respected as they play a significant role in cultural development and are strongly linked to the modern educational philosophy. The Tai Ji Men case, which was listed as a major case of human rights violations in Taiwan, was thoroughly examined on April 15, 2023, during the 16th session of the three-day ANU Religion Conference 2023 (April 13–15) at the Australian National University. The session was moderated by Prof. Massimo Introvigne, founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) in Italy, while Rosita Šorytė, a member of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB); Emma Chen, a member of the Federation of World Peace and Love; and Rebecca Wang, a youth volunteer of the Tax and Legal Reform League, explored the shocking case of human rights abuse from different perspectives.

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Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples) presented a dance titled “We Are One World" to bring happy energy to the event.

Over the past few decades, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men and president of the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL), has been leading Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples) and FOWPAL members to promote the idea of love, peace, and conscience, holding more than ten meetings with UN ambassadors, and the joint efforts led to the United Nations’ adoption of the resolution "Promoting the Culture of Peace with Love and Conscience," declaring April 5 as the "International Day of Conscience." This UN-designated day serves as a reminder to people to act on their conscience and engage in self-reflection in order to generate positive energy for personal development and social change. This day also serves as a catalyst for the most fundamental change in global conscience necessary to bring about world peace.

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Rosita Šorytė spoke about the history of Tai Ji Men's promoting peace and conscience education.

Rosita Šorytė, who had served as a diplomat for 25 years, spoke about the history of Tai Ji Men's work supporting peace education, conscience education, the International Day of Conscience, and the ideals of the UN. She noted that Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze founded the Federation of World Peace and Love and initiated the movement of An Era of Conscience. She applauded Dr. Hong’s initiative because positive changes can take place when people follow their conscience. Rosita outlined some of the major ideas supported by Dr. Hong: Speaking and acting with conscience and spreading positive influence based on conscience make the world a better place, and positive energy can stabilize the world situation, while balancing technology and spiritual development. She also mentioned how Dr. Hong had worked with the Permanent Missions of Bahrain and other nations to make the UN’s adoption of the International Day of Conscience possible.

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Moderator of the 16th session of the ANU Religion Conference 2023, Prof. Massimo Introvigne hopes that the Tai Ji Men case will be resolved in Taiwan in 2023.

In her speech on conscience education and conflict in Taiwan, Rebecca Wang, a volunteer for the Tax and Legal Reform League, revealed how the Taiwanese government has been persecuting and repressing a spiritual group for more than two decades by fabricating a case.

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Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples) pose for a group photo with two Pakistani scholars who participated in the ANU Religion Conference 2023.

She explained that Tai Ji Men is a non-profit cultural organization, and that its unjust tax case originated from a criminal case in 1996. At the time, some religious groups supported presidential candidates who were not affiliated with the ruling political party; as a result, they were singled out for religious persecution. Some of them shut down their places of worship as a result, and Tai Ji Men was caught in the crossfire even though it didn’t get involved in politics. Rebecca pointed out that Taiwan’s Supreme Court ruled on July 13, 2007, that Tai Ji Men was not guilty of tax evasion or any other charges; however, the tax case stemming from the criminal case remains unresolved today, causing Tai Ji Men Shifu (grandmaster) and dizi (disciples) to put in countless hours and efforts on the long journey to seek administrative relief. Tai Ji Men’s land intended for a self-cultivation center was even illegally auctioned and confiscated by the Taiwanese Administrative Enforcement Agency in August 2020.

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Rebecca Wang, a volunteer for the Tax and Legal Reform League, revealed how the Taiwanese government has been suppressing and harassing a spiritual organization for more than two decades through a fabricated case.

Emma Chen, a Tai Ji Men dizi and FOWPAL member, said that over 20 of her family members have regained health and happiness by practicing Tai Ji Men qigong. She mentioned that Tai Ji Men has carried forward the Taoist wisdom, and that the Tai Ji Men culture and wisdom have been passed down from the Shifu to his dizi from generation to generation. Tai Ji Men has self-funded trips to 101 nations to promote love and peace and has been praised by many heads of state and other influential leaders. For 27 years, it has been promoting conscience education worldwide, and it has inspired global citizens to act with conscience, self-reflect, and pray for the world for a brighter future.

Prof. Massimo Introvigne, the moderator of the session, mentioned that political figures in Taiwan, including four presidents and six vice presidents, have praised and admired the influence and achievements of Tai Ji Men in promoting love and peace and a culture of conscience worldwide. However, on the other hand, Tai Ji Men has been suppressed and unjustly treated by some unscrupulous Taiwanese bureaucrats. He concluded the meeting by saying, “So we hope it should be solved within the context of Taiwan 2023, which is surely a democratic country, where religious liberty is guaranteed and this relic of the past should be solved.”

The Tai Ji Men case has drawn international attention and has been discussed at the International Religious Freedom Summit (IRF Summit) held in Washington, D.C., for three consecutive years since 2021. At the second IRF Summit in 2022, a group of scholars from around the world signed a petition asking the Taiwanese government to immediately resolve the Tai Ji Men case. The petition states, "We join Tai Ji Men in respectfully asking the government of Taiwan, whose commitment to democracy in a region plagued by non-democratic regimes we appreciate and applaud, to return through a political act the confiscated sacred land to Tai Ji Men and publicly confirm that, as Taiwan’s Supreme Court stated, they never violated the law nor evaded taxes. It would be a small step for Taiwan’s government, but a crucial one to tell the world Taiwan is truly committed to freedom of religion or belief and to the protection of religious and spiritual minorities that were once persecuted by its authoritarian and post-authoritarian regimes."

Despite 27 years of persecution by the Taiwanese government, Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze continues to lead his dizi (disciples) to promote the culture of conscience, love, and peace around the world. Because their personal experiences of unjust taxation, Tai Ji Men dizi have advocated on behalf of many other Taiwanese people who have gone through a similar ordeal. For decades, Tai Ji Men has strived to promote the Tai Ji Men culture and improve global citizens’ physical, mental, and spiritual health. Its members have traveled to every populated continent, creating one cultural miracle after another, earning respect and admiration around the world.

During this trip, Tai Ji Men dizi examined the fabricated Tai Ji Men case by sharing their personal experiences about religious persecution in Taiwan. They also presented a dance titled "We Are One World" to pray for global solidarity and world peace, hoping that regardless of their nationality, race, culture, and religion, people can be united as one human family and work together for a world free from war, pain, fear, and suffering. Afterwards, Tai Ji Men dizi will go to the University of Sydney and the University of Notre Dame in Australia for cultural exchange, hoping to expand positive butterfly effects through their cultural performances and to spread the message of conscience, love, and peace to all parts of Australia.