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The True Nature and Harm of the Falun Gong Cult

The following are excerpts from the speech by Zhang Hongxi, Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China, at the Symposium on Exposing the Evil Nature of the Falun Gong Cult, organized by the New York Chinese communities.
1. The Falun Gong Cult and its Leader Li Hongzhi Abuse Freedom
The Falun Gong cult was founded in 1992 and was banned in accordance with the law in July, 1999. During the long interval of seven years, the Chinese government did not forbid any Falun Gong activities. However, Li Hongzhi abused freedom by organizing the cult and did a lot of bad things. During these years, Li never ran any companies or enterprises, or did any businesses. But he amassed millions of dollars. People even don't know how much wealth he has acquired. How did he get that money and how much did he pay out of it for tax? All these are violations of the laws. What's more, he spread the so-called "the wheel of law" here and there and told that he could install "the wheel of law" in people's abdomens, which would absorb energy from the universe and make people become supermen while rotating clockwise. While rotating anti-clockwise, the " the wheel of law" would help others by giving off energy. This so-called doctrine of"the wheel of law" is the core of Li Hongzhi's heretical cult. So it was given the name " Falun Gong" by Li Hongzhi.
On December 12, a scientist in New York published an article in China Press entitled " A Reply to Falun Gong". It is a good article, exposing completely the so-called "the wheel of law". It is Li Hongzhi's "the wheel of law" that led to the death of more than 1,700 people and that caused hundreds of people to become insane, resulting in many family tragedies. Some people jumped off high buildings and died, only because they trusted Li Hongzhi's fallacies and thought that they could fly after becoming supermen by getting "the wheel of law". So they "flied", and died. Some people wanted to see what "the  wheel of law" looked like. So they cut off their abdomens and died. And many more " Falun Gong" practitioners thought that they had nothing to fear, since the "the wheel of law" was so miraculous. They believed what Li Hongzhi had said that they didn't need to consult doctors or take medicine as long as they practiced " Falun Gong". The people, who had fallen ill, delayed curing their illnesses, which should haven been curable, and died after their health got much worse.
Since the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping put forward the reform and opening policy in late 1970s, China has become more and more open to the outside world. The Chinese people have enjoyed more and more freedom protected by the law. What a great change it is that the private-sector economy, which used to be viewed as terrible evils, has become an important component of the Chinese socialist market economy stipulated in our Constitution. The private-sector economy is protected and encouraged by the Constitution as well.
In China today, there is a diversity of economic compositions, a diversity of life styles, a diversity of occupations, a diversity of religious beliefs and a diversity of views on value. If one takes a stroll in the street in China, he or she will find that people can do whatever they want to do and can say whatever they want to say within permission of the law. Nobody has been punished because of this.
My hometown is in Henan Province, China. People had never believed in Catholicism or Christianity when I left there thirty years ago. However, when I returned to my hometown not long ago, I was surprised to find that some of my relatives and friends had converted from believing in Buddhism to believing in Catholicism and Christianity. I also found that the living standard of those people has been greatly increased. They had ease of mind, though they still had some dissatisfaction. I have never heard that anybody, who believes in a foreign religion, has got into trouble. It goes without saying that people in China today enjoy much more religious freedom than they used to. However, some Westerners censured us as if we don't have any merits at all. We admit that we have a lot of things in various fields that remain to be improved. Since the social and economic conditions have not reached the expected degree, our democracy has not reached our ideal level accordingly. And some bad things still exist.
That's why we have made great efforts to develop our economy, to carry out the reform and opening policy, to strengthen the legal construction and to develop education in order to improve the quality of all the people. We have made every endeavor to learn the strong points from foreign countries, including the United States. We have sent a large number of students to study abroad and dispatched delegations and teams to visit foreign countries in order to develop friendly relations with them, to learn their advantages, to overcome our own defects, to increase people's standard of living and to improve the human rights conditions.

2.  The Falun Gong Cult Disrupts Stability and Harms Society.
The scope of the harm done by Li Hongzhi to society would have been much smaller if he had only cheated his disciples. But he made trouble everywhere and caused disturbances by instigating his disciples, through his secret organization, to besiege the government organs, schools, TV stations, publishing houses and even some individuals' houses. Once you voice any disagreement with Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi will ask his disciples to besiege and harass you so that you will not live peacefully, that you can not work, that you can not study and that you can not lead a normal life. From June 1998 to June 1999, the " Falun Gong" organized seventy-eight such illegal gatherings with more than three hundred followers participating each time. They allowed the Falun Gong to have the freedom to do whatever they wanted to do. But they didn't allow the others to have the freedom to disagree with Falun Gong. It is clear who on earth has infringed the freedom of the others. The Chinese Government had never made any comment on Falun Gong before April 25, 1999. But it was so ridiculous for Li Hongzhi, who thought that he had become more powerful than before, instigated on the sly more than ten thousand people to surround Zhongnanhai, where the headquarters of the Central Government are located. Wasn't it a clear political attack on our Central Government? If they dare besiege Zhongnanhai, who dare offend them? If Falun Gong had not been punished in accordance with the law and if it had been incited by others, Falun Gong would have run rampant and domineered everywhere, causing our whole country to be restless. We wouldn't be able to develop our economy or have a normal life. Of course, the Chinese people have the right to demonstrate and protest, within the permission of the law, to express their opinions and wishes to the Government. But applications for such activities must be put forward in advance, which is stipulated in the laws of all countries. Would the American law permit if more than ten thousand people surrounded the White House without any application beforehand? Therefore, it is very clear who is wrong in that case. But some people with ulterior motives did not criticize Falun Gong on this matter. Instead, they censured the Chinese Government. That is a total disregard of the basic facts and has confounded right and wrong. I would like to point out specifically here how we judged Falun Gong to be a cult from these aspects. Li Hongzhi demanded his disciples to worship him as god. He spread heretical doctrines, spiritually controlled the practitioners and even drove them mad. He illegally reaped wealth. He secretly formed associations and disrupted society. That's a conclusion of seven years of investigation. These traits of Falun Gong are no different from those of the cults in some other countries. We judged, based on these traits, that it is a cult. It could not have concealed its nature of cult even if they had not besieged Zhongnanhai.  
3. Li Hongzhi Has Political Ambitions and Falun Gong Has Become an Anti-Chinese Political Tool.
Falun Gong is not merely an evil cult. It can be seen, from the irrational besieging of Zhongnanhai, that Li Hongzhi harbored political ambitions. And it can be seen more clearly, from the activities done by Li Hongzhi and his accomplices, that Falun Gong has become a sheer political tool relying on anti-Chinese foreign forces. They hold the banners of practicing qigong. But they did not go to practice it in the places where it is suitable for practicing qigong. Instead, they only went to practice Falun Gong in Tiananmen Square, in front of the headquarters building of the United Nations and the Chinese Embassies and Consulates-General, at the site where Conference on human rights was being held in Geneva and at the site where the Olympic Games were being held. Some went to practice it at the site where the Chinese arts were being performed and the Chinese cultural shows were being held. Some practitioners said that the purpose of practicing Falun Gong is to strengthen their bodies. If what they said is true, their practice is definitely not for show. But they deliberately held big banners, practice it deliberately in public and deliberately asked the reporters to be present. Actually, they did this just for show. The more the reporters took photos of them and video-taped them, the longer they would practice it. If nobody looked on and no reporters showed up, they would stop their practicing very soon. They had claimed that they were not a religious sect. But they tried every way to attend the United Nations World Religious and Spiritual Conference. The officials in charge of the conference explained that all religions worship the religious founders who died long time ago. How can Falun Gong be called a religion while Li Hongzhi is still alive? This shows that Falun Gong is not a religion, but a cult, and that it is not a qigong group, but an anti-Chinese political organization. And let's see what they refused to do. They refused to celebrate the achievements that China has made. They refused to celebrate Chinese National Day. They refused to celebrate the return of Hong Kong and Macao to the motherland. They refused to celebrate the remarkable achievements that the Chinese athletes gained at the Olympic Games. They refused to promote the reunification of our motherland and refused to criticize the Taiwan independence. They refused to criticize the separatist activities by Dalai Lama and his accomplices. They refused to provide any assistance for the people in the disaster hitting areas in our country. They refused to protest the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia, etc. From what they have done and what they have refused to do, we can see that Falun Gong is an anti-Chinese political tool which depends on international forces.
    4.  Hypocritical "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance"
    Under the pretext of "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance", Li Hongzhi went around gaining fame by deceiving the public.   What should Li Hongzhi do if he really acts like "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance"?  First, he should not sneak into the United States several years ago.  In his book, Li Hongzhi describes how he protects his followers and brings practitioners to higher levels.   If things go as what he has declared, he should not stay away from his followers.  He should stay in China with his followers and carry out what he has promised.  Li should help and protect his followers.  On the contrary, Li amassed a large sum of money and sneaked away.  He came to the United States and lived in luxury.  He leads a cozy life without doing business or working for others and secretly wanders from place to place.  It's all right if he only enjoys what he has.  However, he hatched plots behind the scenes and instigated his followers to conduct anti-China activities.  When the Chinese Government investigated Falun Gong in accordance with the law, Li vilified the Chinese Government for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.  If his condemnation had been true, Li should have come out from the scenes behind, stepped forward bravely, returned to China and saved his so-called persecuted followers.  He has said his "Falun"(the wheel of law) has superpower.  Why doesn't he make its presence?  He is self-praised to be wiser than Jesus Christ and Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism.  But Jesus Christ valiantly walked to the cross for the bliss of human beings while Sakyamuni, with merciful hearts, went into the sea of bitterness for the sake of human beings.  What Li Hongzhi has said is totally different from what he has acted.  Li repeatedly declares "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance", however, why didn't Li return to China and tell the Chinese court that Falun Gong was created by him and he himself should bear all the responsibilities when his core members were brought to trial?  He dare not return to China to give himself to the authority, but instigated those poor followers to Tiananmen Square to obstruct social order and encouraged them to undertake the illegal activities.  By doing so, he sacrifices his followers for his political motives without enduring any hardship for them instead.  This is Li Hongzhi's so-called "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance" .  Li uses this slogan to cheat people and gets benefits from it.  Li Hongzhi is a sheer hypocrite.  
    Recently Falun Gong has made advertisement in two Chinese local newspapers every week, spread rumors and cheated the readers.  On December 10, two local Chinese newspapers carried an advertisement on Falun Gong.  There was a story written in the advertisement telling that when  some policemen in Zhengzhou, Henan province, arrested some Falun Gong practitioners and drove them back to the police station, a car accident occurred on their way.  All the policemen were killed, but none of the Falun Gong practitioners were hurt.  Falun Gong used this case to elucidate how good Falun Gong was and how bad those policemen were.  This is another lie Falun Gong fabricated.  Let's see how we should feel when someone suddenly encounter a misfortune during a travel by car or by air?   We should show sympathy for them and feel sorry about that.  We should pray for their souls to rest in peace.  However, Falun Gong followers gloated over others' misfortune.  Even though the fact was that the policemen were detaining Falun Gong practitioners, the policemen were carrying out their jobs under orders.  They were also ordinary people with families.  But Falun Gong practitioners felt happy at the death of the policemen.  How could Falun Gong people declare to be abided by "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance"?   From that, we can see clearly that the so-called "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance" is sheer hypocrisy.
     5.  The Chinese Government strictly distinguishes "Falun Gong" core members from its ordinary practitioners.  
    The Chinese Government always differentiates the cult leader Li Hongzhi and "Falun Gong" core members from the majority of the ordinary practitioners.  We do think that only Li Hongzhi and the core members are trying to take advantage of the cult to attain their political goal of creating a disturbance in China.  Since the ordinary practitioners could not recognize the truth of the cult, the Chinese Government has patiently set forth facts and reasoned things out.  The Government and the whole society showed great concern over their work and life after they came to realize the truth of the cult and broke off with "Falun Gong".  As a matter of fact, only few people in China now remain perverse to "Falun Gong".  With regard to the "Falun  Gong" practitioners in the U.S., I consider it their own business of what they do and what they believe in as long as they abide by the local law.  Of course, if you still hold the Chinese passports, that is, if you are still Chinese nationals without being naturalized as the U.S. citizens, you have dual obligations, you must abide by both the Chinese and the U.S. laws.  But no matter you are still a Chinese national, or you are a U.S. citizen now, as a people of Chinese origin, don't you wish China to be better?  Don't you wish China to be in order?  Don't you wish China to become stronger?  Don't you wish China-US friendship to be developed?  So I do hope people could see the real features of Li Hongzhi, not follow him blindly any more, and stop doing what could damage China and China-US relations.  You surely have the freedom of practicing "Falun Gong" if you believe it good for your health.  But the Chinese Embassies and the Chinese Consulate-Generals are not the appropriate places for practicing "Falun Gong".  There is a heavy traffic in front of my Consulate-General, and the air is not good for your health.  From the bottom of my heart, I do feel sorry for those practitioners when I see them standing in front of the consulate-general in cold weather for several hours.  I believe those people are all cheated except those few leading members.  
     6.  "Falun Gong" may bring harm to the American society and the Chinese community in particular.  
    The main task of my Government is to let 1.3 billion Chinese people be better off, this is also the main human rights issue in China.  We need world peace in order to achieve the goal.  In order to achieve world peace, we must firstly promote China-US friendship.  Such relations will not only benefit our two countries but also benefit the world at large.  The world would be far from peace should China and the U.S. be in confrontation, or even at war.  Therefore, we attach great importance to China-U.S. relations.  We have made every endeavor to solve the problems between our two countries one after another, yet we still have lots of disputes between us.  It is regrettable that a few people in the U.S. intend to take advantage of "Falun Gong" to attack China.  Just like other problems, "Falun Gong" is totally an internal affair of China.  In accordance with the Chinese law, the Chinese Government punishes the "Falun Gong" core members with Chinese nationalities for their unlawful deeds to let those who have been fooled by Li Hongzhi be saved.  Since the U.S. Government could deal with the cult in its territory with heavy weapons, why couldn't the Chinese Government bring a few cult core elements to trial through judicial procedures?  We do not want to let "Falun Gong" become an issue between China and the U.S.  
     The U.S. is an immigrant country, with diversity of culture, nationality and religion.  I do believe each nationality has its own merits worth learning, and every religion contains some elements valuable, these    positive things contribute the whole society in their own ways.  But "Falun Gong" and the cults which brought about huge harm to the human beings are exceptions.  I have read some religious books, such as The Bible, Koran, and books of Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc., which contain a lot of merits and teach people to be kind and good.  However Li Hongzhi's books are full of fallacies, and he even claims that only he could salvage the whole world, that shows he is nothing but an ambitious cheat.  We believe "Falun Gong" is a cult, while some people refuse to think so.  Instead they try to take advantage of it to go against China.  I am afraid this will lead to some development of "Falun Gong" in the United States and may bring harm to the American society and the Chinese communities in particular.  
     Though I have been here for only a year and more, I have noticed that the U.S. has experienced the longest period of economic expansion in history.  This shows that the American people are smart and industrious.  What impresses me most is that most American people are friendly to China.  What's more, those who have visited China recently highly praise China through their own experiences.  I have confidence in China-U.S. relations.  I am very optimistic about my mission here.            

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