This study, based on ethnographic fieldwork in the United States with Falun Gong practitioners, explores the role of "contact persons" and "professional practitioners." The role of contact persons has been misinterpreted by some scholars as being more authoritative than my fieldwork suggests; in instances in which contact persons overstep their authority, other practitioners speak up to contradict them. Professional practitioners are the only practitioners who are relatively isolated from society by living in temples. By showing the non-hierarchical nature of these social roles, I demonstrate how Falun Gong is able to organize regular events despite being a decentralized network of peers. This case study provides a model for understanding the kind of globally dispersed, technologically aware religious movements that are likely to become more common in the future.
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