CultNews was soon strewn with comments from Falun Gong followers after an article appeared yesterday examining the racist and bigoted teachings of its founder and leader Li Hongzhi.
Interestingly, the feedback received did not deny that Hongzhi made the disturbing statements quoted, but insisted that they were offered out of context and/or defended them.
One disciple of Hongzhi said, "My understanding is that when gods created man, we were created to god's image, different races was created by gods of different races and when a child is born from a marriage of two people from different races it will be hard for the gods to trace the child's origin and therefore hard to save."
In defense of Hongzhi's homophobia one member remarked, "Actually all orthodox (upright) religions view this matter in the same way, Christianity included, it is very hard to reach heaven when practicing homosexuality."
Regarding "Master Li's" bizarre claim that elderly women would start menstruating again after practicing his religion one member noted, "Can you prove that elderly women who practice Falun Gong DON"T regain their menstrual periods? Have you ever considered the possibility that Li's teachings in this regard are true? I know for a fact that they are true. I suggest you do more research on the subject before mocking these teachings."
However, no objective outside research was cited to support Hongzhi's astounding claim and much like other groups called "cults" that make fantastic claims, the evidence offered is anecdotal stories and/or personal testimonials not corroborated by any scientific peer-reviewed and published studies.
CultNews has also received emails too from Falun Gong members and they frequently consist of the same statements recited over and over again. Much of this feedback emphasizes repeatedly that the sect is being "persecuted" by the Chinese government and that somehow this should ameliorate Li's racist statements and bizarre claims of supposed supernatural powers.
What all this points up is that Li Hongzhi has a very well-organized network of Falun Gong followers that function like a well-oiled machine effectively handling his public relations and garnering publicity to promote Falun Gong, its agenda and attack "Master Li's" perceived enemies.
The Epoch Times, a newspaper run by Hongzhi devotees, churns out article after article supporting him, denouncing the Chinese government and generally provides a platform to preach Falun Gong's beliefs.
Additionally, there are the constant well-organized protests staged by Hongzhi's devotees outside Chinese consulates and lately they have even taken to the streets staging dramas to gain attention in New York City.
One such performance came complete with fake blood dripping down a woman's face and shocked Midtown businessmen as they walked down Sixth Avenue. A female Falun Gong member hung over a poll, while another, a man dressed up in a communist uniform pretended to hit her with a club and another woman lay down, acting as if she were dead reported the New York Sun.
Doesn't all this reflect the type of fanaticism and devotion frequently associated with groups called "cults"?
One protest performance was a chilling tragedy. In January of 2001 five Falun Gong followers doused themselves with gasoline and set themselves ablaze in China's Tiananmen Square to protest persecution by the Chinese government. Two died, including a 12-year-old child.
One young woman was horribly disfigured and badly crippled.
Again, this appears to be reminiscent of other groups called "cults" such as the Solar Temple suicide in Switzerland that ended in fire, the Jonestown mothers who killed their own children or the members of "Heaven's Gate" that obediently committed suicide to fulfill the agenda of their leader Marshall Applewhite.
Hongzhi and his disciples claim that there are 70 million Falun Gong followers in China. This number has never been independently verified, but whatever number of adherents exists within China the sect has caused serious concern.
In 2002 the Chinese government blamed Falun Gong for the deaths of 1,900 people by suicide or refusing medical treatment.
Perhaps Western journalists should pay less attention to Hongzhi's public relations machine and more to what he actually teaches and the consequences of his influence.
Original text from: http://www.cultnews.com/?p=1707
(Cultnews.com, January 29, 2006)