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Experts and Scholars Talk about "Falun Gong"
2004/02/16


Experts and Scholars Talk about "Falun Gong"

"Falun Gong" Is a Cult, Not a Religion
By Huang Nansen, Professor of the Philosophy Department, Beijing University

In 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 impenitent?

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 religion.

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.

Sheer Heretical Fallacies
By Li Shen, Research Fellow at the Institute of Religions of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

"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.

The 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.




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