Made by Ponkyn I.V., Doctor of Jurisdiction, 17 Aug., 2003,
The state and the religion in Russua www.state-religion.ru
The subject of this expert evaluation is the Falun Gong doctrine and activities (a community of Li Hongzhi progeny).
The religious community Falun Gong was founded in China by a retired military man Li Hongzhi at the beginning of the 1990s. Li Hongzhi was born in a north-eastern province of China Rilin. By his words, he was born on the 13th of May, 1951, when the birthday of Buddah Gautama is celebrated. Among his progeny he propagates the idea that he has allegedly lived much longer than ordinary people, nearly hundreds of years. The Chinese government states that he was born on the 7th of July, 1952.
According to the materials of the organization, in 1992 it was registered in the Chinese Research society Qigong. At first, the Falun Gong administration identified the organization with the system of self-perfection Qigong, taking into account mass passion of the Chinese population for the Qigong gymnastics and popularity of psychophysical systems like Qigong in the Chinese culture. The administration declared more than once, that the number of their followers only in China counts for dozens of million of people, referring to all those who practice Qigong. In the published materials as well as on the Internet sites of the organization it is said that there are "more than 100 million of the Falun Gong followers in more than 40 countries of the world" (other sources give the number of 30 countries).
It is not true, but it agrees very well with the habit of the newly created religious groups (the Krishnaits, the Brakhma Kumaris and Aum Sinrike followers) to speak about the millions of their followers. In fact, the real number of the Falun Gong progeny is at least several times less.
In 1996 Li Hongzhi and his organization quitted the Chinese Research society Qigong under the pretext that "the Falun Gong had for its institutional aim to lead people to higher levels of development and thus it was different from other Qigong schools, that focused at illness treatment and sanitation as well as at proving one’s extra-human possibilities".
This declaration suggests that the leader of the movement decided to reform his organization into a new religion of occult and mystical type.
After his book "Zhuan Falun" had been published, Li Hongzhi began to propagate his doctrine outside China traveling all over the world with missionary purposes (Australia, Asia, Europe, Canada, the USA). Since 1994 and up to now Li Hongzhi has lived in the USA under the protection and support of the governmental institutions of this country, who use the religious organization Falun Gong as a pretext to interfere in the Chinese internal policy.
Much to this fact the Falun Gong was prohibited in China in 1999. Since that time many Falun Gong leaders and activists have experienced criminal prosecution, which has to be justified but for some cases of people’s rights violation, taking into account antisocial and antistate directivity of the Falun Gong’s doctrine as well as suicidal and unlawful directivity of its activities.
In July 1999 the Falun Gong was outlawed by the Chinese government and a warrant of arrest was written out for Li Hongzhi, who was blamed for having organized unlawful demonstrations, but his arrest failed because he had escaped to the USA. On the 14th of July, 1999 Li Hongzhi was in absentia condemned to death for fraud and misappropriation. But repeated requests of the Chinese government to extradict Li Hongzhi have always been declined by the USA government. From the USA Li Hongzhi continues to direct his religious organization and propagate his doctrine.
In Russia the religious community Falun Gong has existed since the late 1990s. The so called presentation of the Falun Gong took place in Moscow in February 2001.
On the 23d of January several adherents of the Falun Gong committed self-burning in Beijing in the Tiananmen Square. On the 16th of February 2001 Tan Yihui, an adherent of the Falun Gong, publicly poured petrol over himself and burnt himself in on of the Beijing streets. On the 1st of July 2001 another adherent of the Falun Gong, Luo Guili, committed suicide. The Falun Gong administration declared that those were the police provocations of the Chinese government and denied the fact that the deceased had been members of the Falun Gong.
The Chinese government submitted evidence to the international community that the self-murderers had been members of the Falun Gong and made known other acts of the Falun Gong adherents’ suicide (through self-burning, self-hanging, etc.). It also gave publicity to the numerous facts of premeditated grave murders of their relatives committed by the Falun Gong fanatics on religious pretext (examples: Wu Deqiao killed his wife; Wang Xuezhong killed his father, having taken him for a demon; Zhu Changjiu killed his parents; Tong Yan killed her 6-year-old daughter Xu Che and lots of others).
According to the Chinese authorities’ evidence, only in 1999 the Falun Gong members committed more than 500 cases of insanity, suicides, inexplicable crimes on every-day-life grounds. According to the evidence derived from mass media the Falun Gong is privy to more than 1700 deaths altogether. The Chinese government more than once submitted irrefutable evidence of the Falun Gong criminal activities to the international community. But this evidence was ignored under influence of the USA, who try to make use of the situation to exert political pressure on the Chinese government.
The Falun Gong doctrine is called Falun Dafa (the Great Law of the Falun Gong). The same name has the system of phychophysical exercises, trainings and religious rituals of this community.
The comparative analysis of the Falun Gong doctrine shows that it is a syncretical system (i.e. artificially composed from different sources) in which elements of Buddhism, Hinduism, Daosism, religious occultism and Li Hongzhi’s teaching are mixed together. Li Hongzhi presented his doctrine in the book "The Chinese Falun Gong", a number of other books, sermons, spread by his followers, audio- and video cassettes.
The Falun Gong leaders and adherents keep repeating that their movement is not a religion but a "spiritual practice" and their followers may have different religious beliefs: "The Falun Gong is neither a religion nor a sect: there are no churches, no rituals, no clergy, no ranks." At the same time, one can read in the books by Li Hongzhi that his organization aims at "salvation" of people: "… we definitely raise people on the highest levels of the hierarchy, that is we save people." They don’t conceal the fact that the Falun Gong propaganda and technique are aimed at people’s souls: "The Law of the Buddha Falun is directed at people’s souls… This is a complete method of selfperfection."
In fact, the Falun Gong is a structured religious organization with a rigid hierarchy (trainees, instructors, the leader). Any freethinking or religious freedom are prohibited.
In the Li Hongzhi’s precepts and demands, in particular in "The demands made to the instructors of the Great Law of the Falun Gong" one can read: "An instructor should be a person who practices only the Great Law of the Falun Gong. If he practices any other religions or dogmas he is automatically excluded from the trainees or instructors of the Falun Gong." In "The rules for the trainees" one can read: "The trainees are prohibited to propagate other religions, connecting them with the practice of self-perfection according to the Great Law of the Falun Gong." The attempts to thrust the opinion that the Falun Gong is not a religious organization are just a means to conceal its religious character and are aimed at fraudulent recruitment of new members.
The analysis of the Falun Dafa doctrine and the Falun Gong activities makes it clear that the Falun Gong is a religious organization according to a number of signs marked out by home and foreign experts (Volkov E.N., Trofimchuck N.A., Polishuck Y.I., Kondrat’ev F.B., Metlyk I.V., Metrokhin L.N., Ovsienko F.G., Macdawell G., Martin Y., Singer M., Stuart D., Hassen S.) and it belongs to destructive sects. These are the following signs: a syncretic, not strict, but "movable" doctrine which allows the leader or leaders to manipulate rank-andfile members; the impossibility to morally evaluate the activity of the leader by rank-and-file members; the propaganda of absolute superiority and exclusiveness of the religious organization and its doctrine on the basis of traditional religions; the intimidation of the people who don’t want to join the sect by the threat of immediate or inevitable destruction; development of hostility to the out-cult society; the demolition of the reasonable thinking.
In the Falun Gong releases one can read that the Falun Dafa is an absolutely new doctrine, that it greatly surpasses everything that exists in human culture in the field of religion: "Though the Falun Dafa doctrine has some elements similar to those that are used in Buddhism and Daosism, it is not a part of the Buddhism doctrine, as well as neither Taizi is a part of Daosism nor Hatkha Yoga is a part of Hinduism". At the same time the "outstanding peculiarities" of the new doctrine are formulated in a very abstract way: "The main idea of the Falun Gong doctrine is to study the main principles of "Truth, Kindness and Patience"."
The exclusiveness of this doctrine is stressed. It is allegedly declared that this doctrine surpasses and "cancels" all other world outlooks:
"…the Falun Dafa is principally different from traditional methods of self-perfection and from the doctrine on "dan" cultivation applied in other systems and schools."; "the Falun Gong is a method of the Buddha system but it has surpassed this very system, it creeps over the whole universe. If earlier self-perfection was based on the system of Buddha, the principles of this system were taken into account; if self-perfection was based on the system of Dao, then the principles of this system were taken into account. Nobody has ever irrefragably explained the essence of the universe."
Thus, the generality of a new doctrine is propagated, its absolute superiority over those religions, which are mentioned as a "bait" for the recruits in the early stages. In our case these are the traditional religions of China and some Asian countries — Buddhism and Daosism. The authority of these traditional religions is used to recruit a person, then make him think that all other doctrines are unfounded but for the doctrine practiced in this cult, and modern humanity is incapable to "understand" the world without this new doctrine and this very cult organization: "Human knowledge can comprehend only very perfunctory phenomena, which are very far from the true understanding of the universe. Some people are even afraid to face the evidence of the really existing things because they are too conservative and don’t want to change their traditional ways of thinking. Only "The Law of Buddha" is capable to reveal the mysteries of the universe, space and a human body. It can differentiate real good from real evil, extirpate all absurd views and establish correct ones… If the humankind could cognize itself and the universe anew, change its stagnant concepts, it would make a great break-through";
"We are becoming perfect just on the basis of the main feature of the universe and, in the long run, we’ll embody with it";
"But is it possible to find a real qigong instructor? If you come across a pseudoinstructor, he will ruin you there and then. We say that you can’t differentiate a true instructor and a pseudoinstructor. Many qigong instructors have themselves awarded this title to them. I have undergone the expertise, I have the expert evaluation made by scientific-and-research institutions. There are a lot of swindles everywhere. They also treat patients. But why can they do this? Because they are obsessed by evil spirit who helps them to deceive people."
It is very characteristic of new religious communities of destructive directivity to thrust the opinion that all modern culture, all social and spiritual experience of the mankind are now unfounded and only in one of these sects a person can get the right world outlook and "salvation". The history of the cult is made a legend of as if it has existed from the time immemorial and now welcomes everybody in the person of its leader or its authorities.
The analysis of the Falun Gong doctrine, the character of psychological directives, views, relations and thinking formed in the followers of this religious community, makes it possible to characterize the Falun Gong as a destructive (antisocial) religious organization, which is dangerous to an individual, the society and state. The establishment of the negative attitude of the members of the Falun Gong to the people outside their community, blind allegiance to the leader, strict obedience, psychological dependence on absolutely absurd views, propaganda of amorality and people’s inferiority on the basis of their religious inclinations, — these are the extremist manifistations that are socially dangerous and violate people’s rights.
According to Article 1 of the Federal Law "About the counteraction to the extremist activities" the Falun Gong activities, including the distribution of printed materials, audio- and videocassettes, the contents of which are aimed at kindling of religious hatred and propaganda of people’s inferiority on the basis of their religious inclinations, are in fact the extremist activities. According to Articles 282, 2821, 2822 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, also to Articles 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15 of the Federal Law "About the counteraction to the extremist activities", also to item 1, part 1 of Article 12 and Article 14 of the Federal Law "About Freedom of conscience and religious organizations", the Falun Gong organizations are unregistrable. Those organizations that have already been registered, must be judicially liquidated, the activities of all the Falun Gong organizations must be suspended and then judicially prohibited, at that the administration of the abovementioned extremist organization must be put on trial.
The complete conclusion by Ponkin I.V. see on the site "The State and the Religion in Russia".