|Cheating the People, Amassing Wealth and Committing Crimes|
Cheating the People, and the Harm Brought by Li Hongzhi's Fallacies
In his book, Zhuan Falun, or Turning the Wheel of the Law, and often during his "sermons," Li Hongzhi claimed that "de (virtue)" was a white matter while its opposite was a black matter dubbed "karma." He declared that "when I am preaching 'Falun Dafa,' I put a wheel of law into the abdomen of every listener. When the wheel turns clockwise, it will absorb energy from the cosmos and supply it to every part of your body. In this way, it is taking you to Heaven. When the wheel turns counterclockwise, it will release energy to benefit the people around you. In this way, it is taking them to Heaven. Those who practice 'Falun Gong' will increase their 'virtue' while decreasing their 'karma' to purify their body with the help of the wheel of law. Finally, they will reach the stage of 'Nirvana' and all-round fulfillment, having an 'everlasting soul' and rising to the 'Heavenly Kingdom'." Li Hongzhi also preached that illness was retribution for one's "debts" in one's previous existence, and that "everything in this life has its cause in one's previous life." He alleged that "the bad things you did in the past produced 'karma' which resulted in your present illness or hardships; and that by enduring them you are actually repaying your 'debts.'" "Taking medicines means you simply don't believe that practicing 'Falun Gong' will cure you." "If you correct your attitude and believe that practicing 'Falun Gong' will cure you, and stop taking medicines or receiving treatment, then somebody will surely take care of you and cure you." Li Hongzhi viciously cursed those who tried to disabuse the practitioners of their addiction to "Falun Gong" as "devils," claiming that it was the existence of these "devils" that prevented the practitioners from achieving "all-round fulfillment," and thus greatly harming "Falun Dafa."
Li's heretical claims cast an insidious spell over the "Falun Gong" practitioners. Some of them, completely blinded by his nonsense, refused to receive treatment or to take medicine for their illnesses, which led to deaths in many cases. Some, because of their obsession, developed mental disorders or even committed suicide. Still others committed brutal murders. These facts show that Li Hongzhi was not elevating the practitioners to a better world; rather he was inflicting great pain on them as well as the people around them. Such examples were too numerous to cite. Take patients of mental disorders resulting from practicing "Falun Gong" treated by two mental asylums in Beijing as an example. In 1996, the number of such cases was 9; in 1997, 10; in 1998, 22; and in the first half of 1999, 16. The figures showed an increasing tendency with each passing year.
Amassing Money--Li Hongzhi Gained Instant Wealth Through "Falun Gong"
During the process of preaching "Falun Gong," Li Hongzhi kept lauding himself as the "highest Buddha" above the worldly desires of ordinary people. Yet the real Li Hongzhi proved to be exactly otherwise--he was extremely rapacious for money. Within a period of only a few years, he accumulated enormous wealth.
Many of his early followers confirmed that, in the beginning, Li Hongzhi tried to attract followers under the disguise of curing them of their illnesses. On the one hand he professed that the treatment was free, while on the other he set up a "Donation Box" in his home and ordered his followers to tell every patient to donate over 100 yuan to be qualified for his treatment.
At the beginning of "promoting the 'Fa,'" Li Hongzhi amassed a big fortune through running training classes. According to preliminary estimates, in 1993 and 1994 alone, he extorted 1,217,300 yuan from the practitioners, among which the proceeds from teaching and selling "Falun Gong" books in Changchun came to 428,300 yuan, and those for running training classes throughout the country came to 789,000 yuan. The training classes he ran in Harbin lasted only a few days, yet the price for each attendance card was as high as 53 yuan. From that class, he pocketed a net income of 200,000 yuan.
Later, Li Hongzhi contrived new ideas and preached that "to practice 'Falun Gong' well, one must read the books, watch the videos and listen to the recordings." So, through "Falun Gong" organizations, he produced large quantities of books, recordings, videotapes and VCDs, and hawked them to practitioners for 300 yuan per set. At the same time, he kept bragging that his "image of Buddha" and the "'Falun Gong' badge" had "miraculous power" and sold them too. Still not satisfied, Li Hongzhi has exploited new channels in recent years, such as selling practice costumes, practice cushions and de luxe editions of paperback "Falun Gong" books at higher prices. He went on to cheat practitioners by extorting "donations" from them in various ways.
Investigations are being carried out to find out exactly how Li Hongzhi amassed his enormous wealth. It has been verified that he possesses several luxurious apartments, mansions and limousines in Beijing and Changchun. In a word, with "Falun Gong," he has accumulated enormous wealth and has evaded large amounts of tax.
Committing Crimes--Li Hongzhi and the Illegal Assemblies He Orchestrated
Li Hongzhi has persistently denied that he had anything to do with the illegal assemblies. Facts, however, prove otherwise.
On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 "Falun Gong" practitioners illegally gathered around Zhongnanhai, the seat of the Central Government. That seriously disrupted the public order of that area as well as the life of people in the vicinity.
On May 2, when Li Hongzhi was interviewed in Sydney by correspondents from the Australian National Radio and TV Bureau, the Sydney Morning Post and Agence France-Presse, he claimed, "I knew nothing of what happened in Beijing beforehand. I was on my way from the United States to Australia then. It was in Brisbane that I came to know of it." With these words, he tried to deny his involvement in the incident. At the end of April, in a telephone interview given to a Shanghai-based correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, Li again denied his involvement, saying he had nothing to do with what had happened.
But let the facts speak for themselves. Evidence shows that on April 24, one day before the illegal incident occurred, Li was in Beijing. And on April 25, when "Falun Gong" practitioners gathered around Zhongnanhai, he was not on his way from the United States to Australia, as he had claimed.
On April 19, Science Readings for Youngsters, a journal published by Tianjin Normal University, carried an article titled "I'm Opposed to Qigong Practice by Teenagers," written by He Zuoxiu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Objecting to this article, some "Falun Gong" practitioners in Tianjin gathered at Tianjin Normal University for a sit-in. By April 22, the number of the sit-in practitioners exceeded 3,000, seriously disturbing the normal life of the university.
Just at that time, Li Hongzhi suddenly returned to China as a "businessman" with a Back-to-US pass (No. 001106787, visa number 003821) on Flight NW087 of Northwest Airlines, and entered at Beijing at 5:35 on the afternoon of April 22. At 1:30 on the afternoon of April 24, he hastily left for Hong Kong on Flight CA109 of Air China. Altogether he stayed for 44 hours at Beijing. Both the entry and exit cards were filled out by Li Hongzhi himself.
On April 23, the day following Li's arrival in Beijing, the Tianjin incident suddenly escalated, and the number of "Falun Gong" practitioners in the sit-in quickly exceeded 6,300. On the morning of April 24, when Li was still in Beijing, many "Falun Gong" practice sites in Beijing and other places received notices requiring them to organize "Falun Gong" practitioners to go to Zhongnanhai on April 25 for "collective practice."
So, on April 25, more than 10,000 "Falun Gong" practitioners gathered around Zhongnanhai. At that time, Li was still in Hong Kong. Not until 10:15 on the evening of April 27 did he leave from Hong Kong for Brisbane, Australia, on Flight CX103 of Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airlines.
From the above facts, it is evident that Li's claim of "knowing nothing about" the April 25 incident does not hold water at all.