CultNews was soon strewn with comments from Falun Gong followers after an article appeared yesterday examining the racist and bigoted teachings of its founder and leader Li Hongzhi.

Li Hongzhi receives flowers from the faithful in New YorkInterestingly, the feedback received did not deny that Hongzhi made the disturbing statements quoted, but insisted that they were offered out of context and/or defended them.

One disciple of Hongzhi said, “My understanding is that when gods created man, we were created to god’s image, different races was created by gods of different races and when a child is born from a marriage of two people from different races it will be hard for the gods to trace the child’s origin and therefore hard to save.”

In defense of Hongzhi’s homophobia one member remarked, “Actually all orthodox (upright) religions view this matter in the same way, Christianity included, it is very hard to reach heaven when practicing homosexuality.”

Regarding “Master Li’s” bizarre claim that elderly women would start menstruating again after practicing his religion one member noted, “Can you prove that elderly women who practice Falun Gong DON”T regain their menstrual periods? Have you ever considered the possibility that Li’s teachings in this regard are true? I know for a fact that they are true. I suggest you do more research on the subject before mocking these teachings.”

However, no objective outside research was cited to support Hongzhi’s astounding claim and much like other groups called “cults” that make fantastic claims, the evidence offered is anecdotal stories and/or personal testimonials not corroborated by any scientific peer-reviewed and published studies.

CultNews has also received emails too from Falun Gong members and they frequently consist of the same¬†statements recited over and over again. Much of this feedback emphasizes repeatedly that the sect is being “persecuted” by the Chinese government and that somehow this should ameliorate Li’s racist statements and bizarre claims of supposed supernatural powers.

What all this points up is that Li Hongzhi has a very well-organized network of Falun Gong followers that function like a well-oiled machine effectively handling his public relations and garnering publicity to promote Falun Gong, its agenda and attack “Master Li’s” perceived enemies.

The Epoch Times, a newspaper run by Hongzhi devotees, churns out article after article supporting him, denouncing the Chinese government and generally provides a platform to preach Falun Gong’s beliefs.

Falun Gong street protestAdditionally, there are the constant well-organized protests staged by Hongzhi’s devotees outside Chinese consulates and lately they have even taken to the streets staging dramas to gain attention in New York City.

One such performance came complete with fake blood dripping down a woman’s face and shocked Midtown businessmen as they walked down Sixth Avenue. A female Falun Gong member hung over a poll, while another, a man dressed up in a communist uniform pretended to hit her with a club and another woman lay down, acting as if she were dead reported the New York Sun.

Doesn’t all this reflect the type of fanaticism and devotion frequently associated with groups called “cults”?

One protest performance was a chilling tragedy. In January of 2001 five Falun Gong followers doused themselves with gasoline and set themselves ablaze in China’s Tiananmen Square to protest persecution by the Chinese government. Two died, including a 12-year-old child.

Girl disfigured by fiery protestOne young woman was horribly disfigured and badly crippled.

Again, this appears to be reminiscent of other groups called “cults” such as the Solar Temple suicide in Switzerland that ended in fire, the Jonestown mothers who killed their own children or the members of “Heaven’s Gate” that obediently committed suicide to fulfill the agenda of their leader Marshall Applewhite.

Hongzhi and his disciples claim that there are 70 million Falun Gong followers in China. This number has never been independently verified, but whatever number of adherents exists within China the sect has caused serious concern.

In 2002 the Chinese government blamed Falun Gong for the deaths of 1,900 people by suicide or refusing medical treatment.

Perhaps Western journalists should pay less attention to Hongzhi’s public relations machine and more to what he actually teaches and the consequences of his influence.

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4 comments untill now

  1. Charmaine @ 2006-01-29 16:06

    I am glad you are against the persecution of Falun Gong. However, I fail to see why you are so vehemently opposed to Falun Gong. Also, I do know that the CCP did a fake self immolation of Falun Gong which really does not surprise me as I have direct experience with communist governments from other parts of the world and this is how they operate. They tell lies upon lies and will double cross their friends and kill them. They will kill the torturersof the persecuted in the prisons and labour camps. I have a friend who was raised on the streets in Romania for aprt of his life because both his parents were innocently sentenced to eprsecution for being Christians in the 1940-1950’s. I know the amount of coersion and lies and corruption that goes on. That is why I tend to see things with an open mind. Many reports have shown that the sitting position of one of the fellows in the self immolation is completely wrong according to Falun Gong standards. Burning themselves , harming themselves and others is completely against their beliefs. Wouldn’t you think that if the CCP will lie about Christians and themselves, Buddhists, etc. they would lie about Falun Gong. I would like you to read about the Buddhist monk Palden Gyatso for a very good detailed description of the CCPO and how he was imprisoned for 32 years by them enduring much torture. From what I understand the teachings of Li Hongzhi are very much open to objective interpretation and I do not find your view as being objective but rather narrow minded. I am a scientist in some ways and I believe that anything is possible until proven. The same goes for any legal proceding. If we did not hold open minded views bacteria, the telephone, the galaxy , etc. would not have been discovered and no one would have wished to or thought of discovering them. In fact scientists in those days fought a lot of narrow minded views when they were proving the facts. Scientists still do. Who would have thought we would TV, cell phones , computers and the internet ? This is why I feel that many of the views of Falun Gong are possible and could possibly be right. We do not know what lies beyond our galaxy if anything does or if it is the only galaxy but it is very possible we have many galaxies. Science today is about to prove that with new neutrino telescopes. In fact some scientists feel they have proven there are other galaxies and dimensions. Some epopel do not believe that Noah’s Arc existed yet so many do believe it existed. Now many explorations have been done to find it,. It is very possible it will be found and if it is that might send all those atheists in a tail spin. If we did not probe mountians we would not have plastic made from coal. Someone must have thought that there was something valuable in those rocks while others thought they were nuts. If Falun Gong has people being persecuted then I take my hat off to them for showing the world what China is doing to their people and for not forgetting about them as the western world tends to do about Christians around the world who are being persecuted. We need to fight for peace and understanding and to stand up and speak out when violations against Human Rights are happening. Why are you now getting upset with the vast amount of Satanists in the world ? They steal bablies from hospitals just to sacrifice them for fresh newborn blood. I feel that Falun Gong is a good thing and why not ? If a government persecutes something it is because that being persecuted is righteous and a good thing. Governments are all too often corrupt. Falun Gong is purely a righteous thing and not a cult by any definition.

  2. As a practitioner of Falun Gong I find your assertions about Falun Gong very disturbing.
    Falun Gong values life above all else. And no where does Falun Gong teaches people to commits self-immolation. However you seem to take everything that the Chinese Communist Party propaganda claims about Falun Gong as a matter of fact.
    Falun Gong is practiced by 40 different nations, all with different nationalities, do you think a racist practice will ensure so many different practitioners? Falun Gong founder Mr. Li had mentioned that (paraphrasing) practitioners should NOT be racist or treat each race differently, did you read that?
    If I, or thousands of others, see a wrong accusation, I/we will confront it and tell you that. But to you this becomes a well-oiled machine?
    And if other practitioners sees unjust, they’ll voice it as well. It’s very disturbing that you call our concerns as attacking “enemies.” Where, let me ask you, did any Falun Gong practitioner attacked anyone. However, you seem to turn a complete blind eye to the over thousands of tortures and rapes happening in the Chinese labor camps.
    The Chinese Communist Party in China claimed, during the Cultural Revolution, that their chairman leader was the “American spy.” They claimed over 30 millions of deaths during the “Great Leap Forward” as an “enemy invasion” led-death. They claimed that on June 4th, 1989, they didn’t fire one bullet, and no one was killed in Tiananmen Square.
    And now they claim that Falun Gong deny people medical treatment and kills 1600? Falun Gong NEVER deny anyone of medical treatment, however you seem to completely avoid these facts, and cling to Chinese Communist Party’s claims.
    “One such performance came complete with fake blood dripping down a woman’s face and shocked Midtown businessmen as they walked down Sixth Avenue.
    Doesn’t all this reflect the type of fanaticism and devotion frequently associated with groups called “cults”?”
    A lot of the people who demonstrated in these torture exhibits were themselves victims of torture in China, or people who know people of such tortures. Let me ask you, if your mother, or daughter, or wife, was raped in a prison, or yourself went through the kinds of tortures that were depicted in the mock-tortures, do you not have a right as a human being to tell others? These mock-torture exhibitions came to be because they are happening as we speak, in China’s labor camps, with photo proofs. Yet somehow you find it troublesome?
    If Jewish are walking the streets to protest Hitler’s persecution, would you call that cult-like, or fanaticisms? If Martin Luther King and Americans of African heritage boycotted a bus line because they were treated unfairly, would you call that cult-like or fanatical?
    “One young woman was horribly disfigured and badly crippled.”

    If you claim yourself to know as much as you know, you would had actually watched that self-immolation video tape. A few things very disturbing: the girl who claimed to be self-immolated and had her lung cut open, was singing a song in front of a TV camera, while awhile back the doctor claimed her lungs and throats completely burnt. The sprite-soda bottle that they used to “self-immolation” was complete intact right next to their burnt bodies. The girl and her mother was reported to have NEVER practice Falun Gong, as reported by Philip Pan of Washington Post, who actually went into China and interviewed their neighbors.

    The police in Tianamen Square, that day, happen to carry fire extinguishers, and had cameras readied to take videos of the incident.

    Falun Gong values life, and sees suicide as a sin.

    “Western journalists should pay less attention to Hongzhi’s public relations machine and more to what he actually teaches and the consequences of his influence.”

    I think you should actually pay some attention to what Falun Gong teaches, instead of what you think, or what the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda teaches.

    Falun Gong practitioners had never harm anyone in the USA, or anywhere else. Of course the Chinese Communist Party claimed otherwise.

    It’s practiced by whites, blacks, Jewish, Mexicans, Chinese, etc. If it’s racist as you claimed it to be, these practitioners from over 40 nations do not agree with you. You seem to take issue with faith. People have faith, you might not agree with it. According to your logic, you might as well call a congregation of church goers “cult-like” or fanaticals, or Sunday preaching as “well-oiled machines.”

    As regard to some of the claims of super natural activities. Falun Gong does not force you to believe in it. It’s believed because some people went through it personally. Now you either call everyone who had a different life experience from yours a liar, or you might be actually open up to the idea that you don’t and won’t experience everything there is to experience about life. Chinese acupuncture claims needles can heal, or a bunch of herbs can be used as medicine. Are you going to call them cults, or needle-fanatics? There are things that YOU haven’t experience, but that won’t make it false.

    False accusation while hiding the facts from your readers is the best way of spreading hatred and anger. Either you didn’t know that, or you knew it very well.

  3. Mr. Ross, you should spend more time doing your background research, as you obviously have never seriously looked into the Falun Gong issue in depth. Or perhaps you only read what the CCP’s propanda machine has fabricated? Here are two points that I’d like to bring up:

    1. I’m not sure why you call repeately refer to Falun Gong as a cult. According to Margret Singers “6 Conditions for Thought Reform”, Falun Gong doesn’t even come close. If you need somebody to walk you through each of the 6 criteria and show you how Falun Gong is far from meeting the criteria, please let me know.
    http://www.reveal.org/library/psych/singer.html

    2. There has actually been quite a lot of scientific research done on the profound health benefits of Qigong and other forms of meditation. Here are a few links to research on Falun Gong in particular:
    http://www.pureinsight.org/pi/articles/2002/4/11/184.html
    http://www.pureinsight.org/pi/articles/2003/3/24/1533.html

    3. Regarding your quote:
    “Hongzhi and his disciples claim that there are 70 million Falun Gong followers in China. This number has never been independently verified, but whatever number of adherents exists within China the sect has caused serious concern.”

    These numbers are based upon Chinese government statistics openly acknowledged prior to the crackdown in July, 1999 as a result of a survey conducted by the Chinese government in that latter part of 1998. Other sources picked up the numbers that were widely circulated at the time (see news excerpts below). After crackdown in July 1999, however, the Chinese regime began spreading a much lower number — 1 or 2 million — in an apparent attempt to downplay Falun Gong’s presence in Chinese society.

    4/27/99, The New York Times
    In Beijing: A Roar of Silent Protestors, by Seth Faison
    “…the Government’s estimate of 70 million adherents represents a large group in a nation of 1.2 billion”

    4/27/99, The New York Times
    Notoriety Now for Movement’s Leader, by Joseph Kahn
    “Despite that elusiveness, or maybe because of it, Mr. Li has become a guru of a movement that even by Chinese Government estimates has more members that the Communist Party. Beijing puts the tally of his followers at 70 million. Practitioners say they do not dispute those numbers, but they say they have no way of knowing for sure, in part because they have no central membership lists.”

    4/26/99, The Associated Press
    Growing group poses a dilemma for China, by Renee Schoof
    “But with more members than the Communist Party — at least 70 million, according to the State Sports Administration — Falun is also a formidable social network…”

    If you really want to help society, I think you should work with College students who are “brainwashed” into thinking that drinking alchohol to the point of passing out is a great thing. Suicide among college students is extremely high. Perhaps you should target universities and call for them to all be shut down? Falun Gong, on the other hand, teaches people to do good deeds and be good people. If you were to go out and interview a random sampling of Falun Gong practitioners around the world, you will find that they are all very nice, hard-working, law abiding citizens.

    Please do more unbaised research to find out the facts, and stop spreading false information, which you know will be used by the CCP to justify it’s persecution campaign in China.

  4. albertlin @ 2006-02-01 17:58

    Dear Mr. Ross

    Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs, so it is your choice to view the teachings of Falun Dafa in a different light.

    But the self-immolation incident on January 2001 is indeed a set-up by the Chinese Communist Regime to frame a benign spiritual practice, among other propaganda. I’d urge your readers and yourself to visit the following link and make an objective assessment of the incident for yourselves:
    http://www.faluninfo.net/tiananmen/immolation.asp

    Kind regards,
    Albert Lin