Experts and Scholars Talk about "Falun
"Falun Gong" Is a Cult,
Not a Religion
By Huang Nansen, Professor of the
Philosophy Department, Beijing University
the past few months, the vast majority of "Falun
Gong" practitioners have determined to make a clean
break with "Falun Gong" after coming to understand
its heretical fallacies and criminal activities. However,
even to this day, a handful of core members of "Falun
Gong" still declare that "Falun Gong" is a
supernatural phenomenon beyond the understanding of common
people, and that it will make them immortals and Buddhas.
What makes these persons cling to erroneous ideas and remain
In my opinion, one important reason
is that "Falun Gong" uses religion as camouflage
to assert that Li Hongzhi himself is the greatest god, much
wiser than Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism. This has duped
many people. Now many facts have proved that "Falun
Gong" is not a real religion but a cult in the garb of
The Constitution and laws of China
clearly specify that citizens of the People's Republic of
China (PRC) enjoy freedom of religious belief. One may
believe in, or not believe in, any religion, since religious
belief is personal business. However, "Falun Gong"
should be excluded from enjoying such freedom because it is
a cult. The article "Falun Gong" Is a Cult,
written by a special commentator of the People's Daily, has
proved this with ample evidence. Here I just want to
expound, proceeding from the basic differences between
religions and "Falun Gong," that "Falun
Gong" is not a religion in the true sense of the word
but a cult wearing the mask of religion. Religions are
systems of faith and worship based on belief in the
existence of gods, from which people can get spiritual
ballast. Religious belief is completely a matter for the
individual. "Falun Gong" worships Li Hongzhi as
the supreme ruler and forces people to believe this. It
features expansionism and entertains a malicious anti-social
and anti-humanity intent. A real religion is tolerant of
other beliefs and religions. However, "Falun Gong"
wants to conquer and control everything, and liquidate any
alternative beliefs. The activities organized by normal
religions are above board and legal. "Falun Gong,"
however, has formed many secret societies and engaged in all
sorts of illegal, clandestine activities, causing serious
damage. Accordingly, "Falun Gong" is absolutely
not a religious organization in general terms, nor is
practicing "Falun Gong" a normal religious ritual
at all. Li Hongzhi can never give his followers any
spiritual ballast and ultimate concern. It is time for those
who persist in error wake up.
By Li Shen, Research Fellow at the Institute
of Religions of the Chinese Academy of Social
"Founder worship" is the
common characteristic of the various cults in the world.
So-called founder worship means that the followers believe
that the founder is a god and that he has exceptional
functions, such as the ability to predict the future,
eliminate disasters and diseases, summon the winds and
command the rain, and subdue demons and monsters. Most
importantly, he is believed to be able to save mankind and
take it to a wonderful society at a higher plane of
existence. The founders of cults in the United States, such
as Jim Jones of the People's Temple and David Koresh of the
Branch Davidians, as well as Shoko Asahara, founder of the
Aum Shinrikyo Sect in Japan, all claimed to be gods or
incarnations of gods. Likewise, Li Hongzhi proclaims that he
himself is an almighty hierarch, much wiser than Sakyamuni,
and that he has supernatural powers, such as the ability to
move objects without lifting a finger, fix articles at any
spot, control other people's thinking and make himself
invisible. In order to attract followers, these founders all
declared that they themselves were the sole saviors.
Furthermore, they all advocated the "doomsday"
theory and exaggerated the flaws in the real world so as to
highlight their ability to rescue humanity. As has been
pointed out, such heretical ideas are anti-humanity and
anti-social. The core means of deceiving people that these
cults all use is the claim that the founder has exceptional
powers, namely, supernatural powers.
history of ideology and culture shows that exceptional
functions, or supernatural forces, do not exist in the real
world, and are only possessed by deities. Accordingly, the
advocacy of exceptional functions or supernatural powers is
a campaign to create new gods. Thus far, none of the
exceptional functions that have been claimed have been
proved, because they do not exist. Li Hongzhi and his like
are products of this campaign to create new gods.
The purpose of fabricating exceptional
functions is to utilize them, and the course of utilizing
them is sorcery. Both witchcraft and science aim to control
natural forces, but they adopt completely different means.
Therefore, witchcraft and science are absolutely opposite
and incompatible. Witchcraft directly endangers people's
lives and property, and jeopardizes social stability. If a
society is formed to mainly practice sorcery, it is a
cultist organization and will cause more serious harm.
"Falun Gong" is exactly a cult of this kind. Li
Hongzhi declares that he has great supernatural powers to
postpone the explosion of the Earth and that he is the sole
savior who can rescue mankind and take it to Heaven, a
bright place of supreme happiness. This has made his
followers pay servile obeisance to him, and some have even
died for him. These fallacies of Li Hongzhi are, so to
speak, the height of absurdity.