After living with the Qigong "masters" for 9 years and exposing the hideous nature of them, what does Mr. Sima Nan think of Falun Gong?
Sima Nan is like a captain of criminal police who is strongly committed to his job. He has finished several works, such as the Secrets of the Magic Power of Qigong and the Inside Story of Qigong, to disclose the secrets of the so-called Qigong masters. He has been fighting with Falun Gong long before it was brought into the sight of the masses of people after thousands of Falun Gong practitioners besieging Zhongnanhai.
Each kind of animals in nature has their natural enemies and it is Sima Nan that is the natural enemy of the "Qigong masters".
Sima Nan's sharp insight of Falun Gong enables us to finish this special article that is worth reading and reflecting again and again.
Journalist (J for short): What's your opinion on Li Hongzhi, his Falun Dafa and the recent incident of Falun Gong?
Sima Nan (Sima for short): After the incident of April 25, 1999, Falun Gong suddenly became the focus of media at home and abroad. The emergence of Falun Gong confused a great many people. They cannot figure out why such low-grade sorcery like Falun Gong could exist and develop when science and technology have reached such a high level. It is understandable that the ordinary people may be fooled by the fallacies of Falun Gong. However, why so many intellectuals, including famous ones, are deceived by Li Hongzhi? There are even some veteran cadres who used to be faithful to Marxism and Leninism falling into the trick of Li Hongzhi. What's the leading cause of these phenomena? Why do we have to launch such a nation-wide serious political movement to solve the problem caused by a charlatan? What shall we do to solve the problem of Falun Gong and elevate the scientific level of people without damaging our society? All in all, there are lots of things we need to think about.
J: What kind of person is Li Hongzhi?
Sima: Actually, you have learned something about Li Hongzhi such as changing his birthday, boasting and lying etc. in TV and newspapers. It has been years for me to fight against fake Qigong, therefore I know more about Li Hongzhi. He studied in two Qigong classes in Changchun in 1988. Later in 1991, Li Hongzhi made up Falun Gong by adding Thai dancing to the exercises learned from the two classes. On the third day after he came out for preaching, he began to collect wealth by Falun Gong. He alleged that he has the super power of transiting things without touching them and thought control and so on.
In the propaganda of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi boasted that he has no superior in the area of Qigong. He took a "master" named Chen Linfeng as an example. He said that Chen was not as good as him because he violated the doctrine of Buddhism by shooting dogs and eating dog meat. Li Hongzhi compared Tian Ruisheng, the "master" of Xiang Gong, to a weasel because of certain gestures in Xiang Gong. He also predicted that Liu Hanwen, another "master" who was always drunk, would go downhill sooner or later. The Qigong Masters are all in conflict with each other and often stab others in the back. Yet when it comes to science, they unite tightly to contradict with it. The formula they follow is: all is wrong but my theory.
Li Hongzhi boasted that he decided the coming explosion of the Earth. He said that when President Jiang Zemin and Premier Li Peng asked him to postpone it, he tried his best to put it off by 30 years.
Li Hongzhi also bragged that Comrade Deng Xiaoping used to send for him in 1984. At that time, Deng was convalescing at Beidaihe. Li Hongzhi clamored, "When I arrived at Beidaihe and discovered that Deng was being treated by a Qigong master from Taiwan, I decided not to interfere and returned to Beijing afterwards."
Li Hongzhi used to claim connected with Song Shixiong, a famous sports commentator, and Wu Shaozu, the director general of the General Administration of Sport. He said that Wu would like to have Falun Gong filmed and to let Song Shixiong narrate it. Such lies were all made up to deceive the practitioners.
Li Hongzhi clamored in Changchun in 1993, "When I was teaching Fa in a class of about 1,000 people in Beijing, investigators from the Commission in Charge of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence entered secretly to assess my power. They put the films in a copper box to examine my magic power, and all the films were exposed because of me. They used scientific equipment to measure my super power and the mark I got was far better than that of Yan Xin, another Qigong master. After the secret examination, the commission was very satisfied with me. It also surprised them to find the strength of my power.
Li Hongzhi has a daughter who has been sent to the USA. He then began cheating by using his daughter.
When teaching Fa in Guizhou Province in 1994, Li Hongzhi became furious after the organizers told him that the practitioners could not feel his power. He soared, "Since the Buddha refuses to help me in such critical moment despite my kindness to him, and I will lash him and kill him."
Li Hongzhi often talks about the relation between abandonment and achievement, yet he lied for only 10 Yuan.
We can know more about Li Hongzhi and what kind of person he is from the above mentioned incidents.
J: How did you fight against Li Hongzhi?
Sima: In 1995, Li Hongzhi once bragged in a Falun Gong conference, "There is a Sima Nan in Beijing who scolded many people except for me. Why doesn't he dare scold me? Because I installed a wheel of law in him and the wheel is reverse. He will be blind in this year and lose his legs in a car accident next year. Once he wanted to make trouble in my conference, I added an idea onto him and he bent over like a dog immediately." Li Hongzhi's braggart was later reported to me in a letter and I was warned to be cautious because it was said that Li Hongzhi was powerful.
I did not begin to expose the lies of Li Hongzhi before 1995. It was not because I was afraid of him but that until then, he could not be labeled a "master". In the summer of 1998, the conflict with Li Hongzhi came into being. At that time, Academician He Zuoxiu and I were invited to a program by Beijing TV station. In that program, Mr. He said that there had been several Falun Gong practitioners who suffered from mental diseases and others who jumped from a height. Yet I forget what I said then. At the very beginning of June, Falun Gong practitioners started besieging Beijing TV station. The number of the mob grew quickly from hundreds to three thousand. Although they were well disciplined, their aggressiveness was under cover of promoting the Fa. Beijing TV station was forced to surrender to the evil forces. The journalists and the production manager were all fired and Falun Gong was reported as a beneficial Qigong again. Encouraged by this victory, they then besieged the office building the newspaper "Health" for several days. The cause of this attack was that one article on "Health" disclosed that Falun Gong could make people infatuate.
Mr. Li Liyan from The State Sports Commission wrote a book and published it in Life Magazine in last July. One of my sentences that branded Falun Gong as "Falun Party" was quoted in this book. There did exist some verbal attacks in that article because I deprecated the cult. The practitioners then played the trick of besiegement again. The magazine office surrendered, as the Beijing TV Station, and then apologized on the first page of the following copy of the magazine. They fixed the blame on the editor's carelessness and began flattering Falun Gong by saying that it was a very good thing.
J: What's the essence of Falun Gong in your opinion?
Sima: In my opinion, it is composed of five parts.
First, it is the doomsday theory. It advocates the explosion of the earth and the doomsday of human beings.
Second, it is total obedience. The practitioners are not allowed to have their own thoughts.
Third, it is the strict organization.
Fourth, it is collecting money. Falun Gong collects money in an indirect way instead of accumulating wealth openly.
The last but not the least is anti-government, anti-society, anti-science and anti-religion.
Jones, founder of the People's Temple in America, predicted that the doomsday was coming and more than 30 people died after him. In 1968, another 94 Jones' followers committed cluster suicides. The news made a noise in the America during 1960s and 1980s. In 1994, a Canadian named Luc Jouret founded the Solar Temple. Afterwards, a big fire was set in the place where he practiced, and after that 23 bodies were found in the ruins. The number of the deaths soon increased to 69. Those people committed suicides because they were afraid of the doomsday.
There was another cult in America named the Branch of Davidians, the founder of which died in 1995. The followers of this cult created incidents by gunfight for 51 days and came into conflict with the army in 1993. The number of the deaths in this incident was 381. We are familiar with the Japanese Shoko Asahara, founder of the Aum Doomsday Cult, who tried to spread his faith in China. He used to clamor that few people dared to believe this cult. Before founding the Aum Doomsday Cult, Shoko Asahara was only a frustrated middle-aged man who could not enter the council and had one almost-blind eye. However, after the foundation of the cult, Asahara felt satisfied because a lot of people, including professors and doctors, had faith in him. He even went to Dalai Lama to cultivate himself. He clamored that he had got the essence of Dalai and called himself "an extraordinary man from the Snow Mountains". He said that there would be a shocking accident in Japan as he predicted. Since there was no disaster that day, he had to make something out to cover his lie. Therefore, his followers were sent to make trouble in the subway of Tokyo by using mustard gas.
Is it possible that the inbeing of Li Hongzhi is similar to that of these people? I believe the answer is "yes".
J: Why so many people believe in the fallacies of Falun Gong? Why so many leaders and scientific personnel, who are well-educated, still have faith in such cult?
Sima: why Falun Gong poisoned so many people? There are many excuses such as the ignorance of ideological education, the silliness of some people and the come-back of superstition. Well, what's the real cause of this phenomenon?
Everyone will seek for a kind of faith after the satisfaction of living necessities. They may find their faith in God or Buddha and by doing so, they believe that they have come to the ultimate reality. It is normal for ordinary people to pursue faiths and it exists right in the sub-consciousness of everyone. If one's psychology is disordered, the sub-consciousness will turn to consciousness. When a man could not get promotion, he might blame his destiny; when a man had cancer, he might think about the life beyond his death; when a man thought about being killed, he might have the faith that he would come back again in a future life to take revenge. However, such ideas seldom occur to the true materialists. In the past 20 years, great changes took place in China and the interests of different social classes have been re-adjusted. A lot of ideological problems that cannot be solved emerge day after day. The psychological imbalances of some people are becoming more and more severe. Under such circumstance, the urge of pursuing faiths can easily become stronger.
In the past, the middle-aged and old women that were not well-educated made up the majority of the group who believed in superstition. Their purpose was no more than protecting their families and themselves from diseases and disasters. Yet the Falun Gong practitioners also include some professors, experts, intellectuals and veteran cadres. What is wrong with these people and why they have faith in such cult? There is a book named Super Brain published recently in America concerning neuroscience. The word "brainwash" is explained in this book as to erase the original things in a man's mind and to add something brand new to it. In this procedure, the one who is brainwashed will feel happy, intoxicated and comfortable. He feels joyful because his life is filled will sunshine and it becomes meaningful again.
J: Falun Gong has done serious harm to the society. Can you give us some examples?
Sima: In one of my friends' letter, one of his intimate friends in Beijing who was crazy about Falun Gong was mentioned. Here I quote several lines from the letter: "I asked him to read one of your books. To my surprise, he dared not to read fearing that Master Li would punish him. When I forced him to take a look at the catalogues, he felt unwell and said that the punishment from Mater Li has come in to being. If Falun Gong is deceptive, it will surely be harmful for the people like my friend. My friend is such a sweet guy that I don't want him to be hurt. Can you give me some advice to rescue him and the other practitioners of Falun Gong?"
It is also written in the same letter: "It is said that Sima Nan has been put into prison immediately after writing articles against Falun Gong."
The one who wrote this letter is one of my old friends who are too righteous to endure the fallacies of Falun Gong.
In a letter written to his leader by a cadre working in the central organs on 7th, May, 1999, it was said that "Falun Gong is really good". There was one paragraph that can be really impressive. It reads: "The Fa is universal and the society of human beings is the lowest layer that can be testified by Fa. The ultimate purpose of the people (the practitioners who besieged Zhong'nanhai on 25th, April, 1999 -- added by the editor) are only to inform the central government leaders about Fa and to ensure its benefit to more people. Most of the people know that they would take risks of being misunderstood and criticized, and some of them even leave a will for his family before going there. They really let go life and death for the sake of spreading universal truths." It is both funny and annoying to find a Communist party member and cadre to say such things.
J: How shall we treat the fight between science and anti-science?
Sima: First of all, we should not be biased to say that the truth is in our side. I've read one of Engels articles named "The Natural Science in Supernatural World" in his work Dialectics of Nature, and lately I suggested that the article should be read and learned by the whole party. Such famous scientists as Bacon, Wallace and Crookes used to believe that there were Gods and the deaths would come to visit us, looking exactly like what they had been when they were alive. In his article, Engels denounced their extreme distain of reason and their surrender to superstition and empiricism.
I believe that for those who are well-educated and strongly armed by materialist theories, it is meaningful to read this article again. It will be found out that we are facing the same problem with Falun Gong just as the one Engels was dealing with.
After being brainwashed, the practitioners may do some anti-social things that are very dangerous. In the past, people believed in Falun Gong because of poverty, illness and the psychological imbalance towards other people. The initial reason for people to believe in the Master's fallacy is, in my opinion, to cure their diseases without taking medicine. The second reason is the supernatural power. Some practitioners believe that after practicing for three months, they have got extensive eyesight that can never be achieved without practicing. The third is the sense of belonging. Those who do not know the purpose of their living now obtain the sense of belonging by promoting Fa. The fourth is to get rid of jealousy. They will not bother themselves by being jealous of the success of others because they believe the frustration is for the "Master" to testify their nature. The last but not least is the sense of success. The stimulation will be great if one laid-off worker becomes the vice director of the Yuquanshan Tutorial Station of Beijing.
Science is not so reliable these days because of the environmental pollution and other problems faced by the world, and trends of anti-scientific thoughts can be found everywhere. This phenomenon is called "post-modernism" in academic community. However, the one who fights for anti-science still uses TV, Internet, and digital camera and eats McDonald's. He still depends on science, so there is an orthodox in the deep soul of such people.
J: Besides the social causes, does it have anything to do with the personality of the practitioners?
Sima: Of course it does. Three kinds of people will easily be deceived by the fallacies of the Masters. The first kind refers to those who are self-complacent. They could be the ringleaders in the organization. The second kind refers to those who are schizophrenic. They are crazy about being successful and they like creating illusions. They are isolated and do not usually contact with others. They refuse to share with others and can feel the fantasies that do not exist at all. Their expressions are ambiguous and they can reach the state the "Masters" clamor. The third refers to those who live in a marginal condition. They cannot be self-controlled and cannot find their position in the society. Their moods change quickly and their complaints are annoying, yet they feel bored after abreaction. They cannot find an identity in friendship and view of values. Besides these three kinds of people, another group, that is the menopausal women, can be easily fooled by the hints of the "Masters".
I can give you an example to explain the influence of psychological hint. If we light incense in the center of a dark room, there will be a light spot in it. Then we ask a person to describe the movement of the light spot. Even though the incense stays still right where it was, different person has different feelings. Some of them may say that it has moved for 2 centimeters and others more than 5. It explains the illusion resulting from the psychological hint.
J: why does Falun Gong infatuate so many people?
Sima: It is a kind of mental disease to be infatuated. The number of people suffer from this disease has been growing since 1980s when Qigong became popular. Since there are few examples in the foreign countries, the psychiatrists of China named this disease first as "mental disorder resulted from oriental health preserving actions" and now changed to be "mental disorder resulted from Qigong". It refers to the psychological imbalance, a kind of mental disease, resulted from practicing Qigong.
Why so many people became infatuated? Because all of those people are in an abnormal psychological state, some of them are psychopathic, while others may be sick in other ways. The "Masters", including Li Hongzhi, should be responsible for the problems. They give evil hints to the people, such as opening the heaven eyes and giving them the wheel of law, and worsen their conditions. It leads to the tragedies of those people who are harmful both to themselves and to others. It will do harm to the whole society to abuse abnormal consciousness.
Those who suffer from "the mental disorder resulted from Qigong" will frequently have illusions such as "the Master's coming to save me", "the Master's going to take me away" and so on. The ideals that can never be realized all rush out of their minds in the form of illusion and fantasy. This condition is named "ghost possession syndrome". There are five symptoms of this disease. Firstly, the patient is highly alerted to accept hints from the "Masters" and is willing to believe whatever they say. Secondly, the patient is confused by his different identities. He does not know who he is, an ordinary person, a messenger of God or a follower of the "Master". Thirdly, the patient will have illusions. Fourthly, he will have behavior disorder such as hurt himself to reach consummation. Finally, he will suffer from affective disorder. What he cares is the Fa instead of his family members.
In that case, we shall never treat them abrasively. For some of the practitioners, we should give them medical and psychological appraisals and care for them tenderly.
J: How can the "Masters" be created? How can they be so popular and influential?
Sima: To create a "Master", it takes more than one man. There are followers, practitioners and others like sales promoters and brokers who help expand the influence of the "Masters". They write pamphlets to put the best face on the "Masters". It is these brokers that boast the magic powers of "Masters" and make them popular.
After believing in the fallacies of the "Masters" and realizing the real meaning of life, the next step of the practitioners is to follow the "Masters". The first step should be to save people following the master's guide. The second step is to become a brand new person. That is to display the brand-new self by telling others the diseases were all cured after practicing Falun Gong. Some of the practitioners may reach the third layer. They become nobler and more disciplined with themselves. They are absorbed into the practicing and stop being jealous. However, they do not know that the "Masters" are not as kindhearted as they are.
Here I want to say something about religion. Although the nature of religion is also theistic, the classical religions are totally different from Falun Gong and other illegal organizations.
Religion is neither a criterion established artificially by human beings nor an exterior unknowable power. It is created by human beings to explain the existence of the world and is an inner demand of people.
J: It can be seen that we are facing the problem of constructing faith in our society.
Sima: It is really a social problem. The central and local governments should consider about it. The reason that Li Hongzhi and the other "Masters" can have so many followers is that the masses have problems to solve and they do not have firm faiths.
Many people do not have the sense of awe because they have no faith at all. The faith crisis that we are confronting covers not only the mass but also the officials. The corruption that exists in the team of civil servants can be traced back to the lack of faith. It is not unnecessary for us to solve the problem as soon as possible. It has been proposed by many insightful people that we should rebuild the sense of humanity in China. Can you still remember the tears you shed when you listened to the story of Jiao Yulu, a selfless magistrate in the poor area of China in the 1960s? Can you still remember the magnificent picture of standing on the side of Chang'an Street to mourn for Premier Zhou Enlai? What is the thing that binds all the Chinese people together and what can assure the unity of our country? It is only when all Chinese people have the same faith that there will be powerful national cohesion. Even though it is hard for me to make it clear, I believe that it is a very important problem. We can have great enterprise to rejuvenate the civilization after the construction of such faith.
J: Do you want to say something to the people who still believe in Falun Gong and other cults?
Sima: I'd like to say that the majority of these people are kind. They are in an abnormal conscious state and probably cannot get rid of it now. Whereas for those who know clearly what they are doing and continue to do so, frankly speaking, I want them to make confessions as soon as possible. It is not ashamed to admit the mistakes they made and there is the whole country for them to consider.
Here comes one of the most important questions for us to think about, that is the national character of China. It is said in Confucianism that the culture of China is that of the scholar-bureaucrats and the mass have to explain things at random according to their own understanding. If we ask taxi drivers about their opinions on politics and Falun Gong, the answers would not be the same as that given in the news reports. The mass may take part in some movements, but most of them will go on living as they did before. Once I was asked by a journalist who wondered why I, not a scientist, stood out to fight against Falun Gong. I only do not want to be so indifferent and conventional. We need to be active, vigorous and self-confident. Lu Xun, one of the greatest writers in modern China, portrayed a man named A'Gui in one of his works. He is a proletarian with no house, no residence, no social status and even no family name because the landlord forbade him to use the same family name Zhao. He lives in an abandoned temple and explained things as he likes. Do such people like A'Gui have soul as we have? Actually, anything possible can happen to him. They possess revolution thoroughness, while they can also become lumpen-proletarians. They are lack of scientific knowledge and are born in the traditional cultural environment of superstition. A'Gui is a good example to exhibit the national character of China.
Seriously speaking, it is not superstition in A'Gui, it is the original thoughts of human beings that appeared far earlier than superstition.
Let's come back to Li Hongzhi. He is nothing but a tip of a huge iceberg, of which the most part is hidden beneath the sea level. There are other "Masters" in China we do not know yet. They are as dangerous as Li Hongzhi, and we should keep an eye on them.
(Facts.org.cn, June 19, 2006)