In the early 1990s, Falun Gong came into emergence in China and gradually evolved into a cult.
Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, claims Falun Gong to be the "law of universe" and the "most extraordinary science," boasting himself as the greatest scientist in history.
In fact, Falun Gong was concocted by Li Hongzhi. In 1988, Li worked as a staff member in a state-owned grain and oil supply company in Changchun, Jilin Province. He learned from others two Qigong practices: the Chanmi Gong (Practice of Zen and Tantrism) and the Jiugong Bagua Gong. Later on Li combined these two Qigong practices with some dancing movements he learned from Thailand and created Falun Gong.
At the beginning, Li Hongzhi lured people into practicing Falun Gong in the name of "keeping fit"; then he exercised mind control over his followers by planting in ideas such as "the Doomsday," "Reaching Consummation and ascending to heaven," etc; by and by, Falun Gong developed into a cult.
Before December 1994, Li Hongzhi portrayed himself as a Qigong master who possessed supernatural powers. He taught people Qigong and, at the same time, "sent out Gong to cure illness" – to cure diseases for patients with his "magical inner powers." The money he racked was actually a small fortune at that time.
In December 1994, Li Hongzhi published his book called Zhuan Falun. And it was considered the turning point in the evolution of Falun Gong.
Li Hongzhi thus transmogrified himself from a Qigong master to "the greatest Buddha of the universe." The Introduction to Li Hongzhi compiled by the Falun Gong organization states: "At age 8, Li Hongzhi learned the essence of Buddhism and attained the supernatural powers of telekinesis, the ability to mend things, controlled thinking and the ability to become invisible. He understands the truth of the universe, has insights into life and can see both the past and future."
Falun Gong thus evolved fromQigongto "universe's Dafa" (great law) wherein, as explained by Li Hongzhi, "among all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and extraordinary science." The practice purpose of Falun Gong followers thus elevated from within the temporal sphere of physical health to a means of escaping from earthly woes to eternal life on another plane thereafter – as Buddha, Dao and God.
In order to "reach Consummation," Li Hongzhi asked his followers to neglect life and death, "If you can let go of life and death, you're a God; if you can't let go of life and death, you're a human." Bewitched by Li's heresies, many Falun Gong practitioners rejected medical help when they became ill and some died as a result. Some even committed suicide or murder to obtain Consummation. Before the official ban on Falun Gong in July 1999, more than 1,400 people died of practicing Falun Gong.
At that time, Falun Gong simply considered itself "second to none," andwas reluctant to hear any negative comments.Some press media and scholars faced endless troubles just because they had raised doubts about Falun Gong: the media were besieged, and scholars cursed and harassed by Falun Gong practitioners. On April 25, 1999, thousands of mobbed Falun Gong practitioners even enveloped Zhongnanhai –a complex of buildings where top Chinese leaders both live and workin Beijing. The demonstration, disrupting social order and stability, shocked the nation and the whole world.
After the founding of Falun Gong in 1992, Li Hongzhi set up the Falun Dafa Research Society in Beijing and he himself acted as president of the Society. Later on, Li set up 39 general stations nationwide with 1,900 tutorial stations under them, and 28,000 practicing spots under these tutorial stations. Thus, a complete from top to bottom organizational system of Falun Gong was formed. Although these organizations were not registered according to law at civil affairs departments, they widely spread Falun Gong fallacies and engaged in illegal activities such as cheating, swindling money out of practitioners.
In July 1999, the Chinese government, on the basis of the fact that Falun Gong violated the law, officially banned Falun Gong according to law in the interest of the mass public.
After the official ban, Li Hongzhi continues attempting to exercise remote spiritual control over his followers from overseas. And his Falun Gong organization still engages in illegal activities: they wantonly cook up and spread rumors, infringe upon public interest, and stage cultic as well as anti-China farces.