Li Hongzhi the exiled founder of Falun Gong, a Chinese religious movement many consider a “cult,” was served with a subpoena last week, which requires him to appear before a judge in New York City as a witness this week.

'Master' Li HongzhiThat court proceeding is a divorce action filed by one of Hongzhi’s followers against her husband. The couple is estranged largely because of Falun Gong.

Essentially, the wife is a true believer, but her husband is not, and this ultimately led to a marital breakdown.

Ms. C. a devotee of Falun Gong also known as Falun Dafa, has been separated from her husband Mr. C. for some time. The couple shares custody of their son and a New York family court will soon make a final determination regarding those arrangements.

Hongzhi was served Thursday June 15th 8:20 AM in the town of Saint James, New York. The Chinese exile that became an American citizen reportedly has two residences, one in New York and another in New Jersey.

As a direct result of the subpoena served Hongzhi is required to appear before a New York judge in Queens. His scheduled appearance is Thursday this week at 2:30 PM. 

Falun Gong received recent attention when a devotee with “press credentials” began shrieking at President Bush during a speech made by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House.

Interestingly, that same woman, Wang Wenyi, was once listed by Mela Wu-Malin Nee Mela Cawley as a potential witness in the New York court proceeding to be held this week.

The Epoch Times, a newspaper run by Falun Gong members that provided Wenyi with press credentials, has similarly sponsored Ms. C. as a reporter. Both Ms. C. and Wenyi have participated in Falun Gong protests and demonstrations against the Chinese government, which has outlawed the group as an “evil cult.”

Falun Gong protestFalun Gong has caused increasing tension within the Chinese-American community. Some communities, such as Flushing, New York and more recently San Francisco, do not appreciate the group’s participation at events. Some Chinese-American leaders have suggested that Hongzhi’s followers use such events to promote their own agenda.

Li Hongzhi has been criticized for his racist and homophobic remarks.

He has said that gays are “disgusting” and somehow a “black substance” accumulates within the bodies of gay men. “Disgusting homosexuality shows the dirty abnormal psychology of the gay who has lost his ability of reasoning at the present time,” Hongzhi stated. And one day the religious leader claims gays will be ’eliminated’’ by ’the gods.’’

Li Hongzhi’s racist remarks are also disturbing.

He teaches his followers that “mixed-race people¦[are] instruments of an alien plot to destroy humanity’s link to heaven.” And that these interracial unions are somehow part of “a plot by¦evil extraterrestrials.”

Interestingly, Mr. and Mrs. C., whose divorce proceeding Hongzhi is scheduled to appear at this week, are an example of one of those “interracial unions” and the couple’s son falls within the category of what Hongzhi’s calls “mixed-race-people.”

Mr. Hongzhi may soon have an opportunity to explain his beliefs before a judge and under oath as a witness.

Perhaps the religious leader will also explain other statements he has made such as that he can “personally install’’ falun (a wheel of law) in the abdomens of his followers, “levitate” and “become invisible.”

Apparently he was unable and/or unwilling to either levitate or become invisible to avoid the process server that presented him with a subpoena last week.

Hongzhi at staged NY appearanceSome years ago the Washington Post (2000) and later the San Jose Mercury News (2001) reported about Hongzhi’s bigoted and often bizarre beliefs. However, since then the Western Press has virtually given the leader a “free pass,” rarely asking him or his followers any tough questions. Instead, the focus has repeatedly been on Falun Gong claims concerning “persecution” in China.

Now a New York courtroom may become the latest venue for Li Hongzhi to speak. And this time the Falun Gong leader would not be holding forth within an environment that he essentially controls. Instead, the judge would control the courtroom and lawyers would be asking the questions.

This Thursday afternoon in Queens might prove to be a rare opportunity to see and hear Li Hongzhi unfiltered and on the record. The Falun Gong founder, who supposedly leads millions, may finally answer some tough questions.


only 1 comment untill now

  1. tomananda @ 2006-06-19 23:15

    Thanks for posting this news. Regardless of how one feels about the political situation in China, it is outrageous that the western media has not gotten wise to Li Hongzhi. We even hold our president accountable, or at least try to, yet somehow this self-appointed god and savior conintues to provoke an insurrection in China, while at the same time destroying families in the US. Although I am not justifying the heavy-handed way the Chinese government handles their Falun Gong problem, I do believe it is time for someone in the west to take notice that we are harboring a revolutionary who has absolute power over his doting disciples. If they don’t do what he demands, they will forever loose their chance for salvation and he will withdraw his protection. He says once that happens “the bad things will return” like sickness, etc. He has his disiples by the balls. Li may seem crazy, but he actually strikes me as a very shrewd business man who knows how to work the American media and gullible American politicians.