Sunday, December 11, 2011

How long did your master-of-longevity live?

Recently I came across an interesting book, written in a sarcastic tone, published in Mainland China last year. It is called "The crazy pursue of Longevity" (疯狂的养生). The author wrote articles about legally-arrested-and-discredited crooks together with  current writers/practitioners of inflated or unjustified claims on Longevity.  Longevity is a subject of great concern for Chinese in all history! In industrialized countries/places (Hong Kong included) with more matured and transparent legal system, the longevity industry is regulated under the concept of alternative medicine, health exercise or food supplement. The unauthorized use of drugs will be closely guarded against, and medical claims or benefits will be regulated under various ordinances. But one issue affects both the regulated and the less regulated places. And it is the issue of "How long did a master of longevity actually live"?

A specialist cancer physician died from cancer of his own specialty is not an issue. But when a master of longevity, like a chi-kung/tai-chi/or whatever master dies at an early or premature age will likely pose some embarrassment to his followers or outside pundits. In the book I mentioned above, there was this story of the Founding Master of XiangGong (香功 - a form of chi-kung for health with Buddhist lineage [as claimed]) died at in 1995 due to liver cancer, his sons and daughters didn't disclose his father's death, but continued to take his father's retirement benefits. They were more marketing oriented than their father, and started making videos and marketing their father's chi-kung system to South-East Asia...and with some success! When the authority later found out the fraud, his son was jailed for 10 months and fined RMB10,000. The reveal of the Founding Master's early death finally collapsed his organization of chi-kung of longevity (though some of his students in South-East Asian countries continue to survive and flourish, probably because they are still alive and are promising to live a very long life!)

In US, the cause of death of American Ninja Glenn Morris was not disclosed. Some pundits in internet forum queried and speculated about the reason of his early death, and cast doubt on the efficacy of his system (which is of course quite irrelevant, a cancer specialist's early death has nothing to do with the efficacy of the medical practice of treating cancer patients).

Perhaps a photo of Glenn can give a pundit some clues for speculations. And one of his students (claimed to be so) wrote in his blog as saying when under the master's tutelage, the blogger believed/noticed that the master's big belly was not full of fat, but "was full of chi"! Of course, no matter fat or chi; and no matter longer or shorter life-span; these matters are totally irrelevant to the efficacy of a system. Let the "faithfuls" continue to hold their "faith", and let the pundits have their party time!

The crazy pursue of longevity

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