Falun Gong teaches
To the editor:
A July 27 letter to the editor about the Epoch Times includes some misinformation about Falun Gong, which has been propagated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to justify its 2-decade long persecution against the group.
Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is a spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition, whose core values are Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Falun Gong’s teachings, along with five sets of gentle exercises and meditation, bring better health and inner peace to many people in over 90 countries worldwide, especially in this trying time of pandemic.
Falun Gong was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi on May 13, 1992. Mostly through word of mouth, it attracted 70 to 100 million practitioners in China by 1999. Falun Gong was initially praised by the Chinese government for its moral teaching and health benefits. According to the Washington Post, influential people in the party, the government and the military practiced Falun Gong at the time.
However, the former head of CCP, Jiang Zemin, viewed Falun Gong’s popularity and independence as a threat to his power, and launched an intensive, nationwide persecution against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999.
According to a 2017 Freedom House report, in October 1999, 3 months into the persecution, the CCP retroactively applied the “cult” label to Falun Gong as a red herring to justify the violent campaign that was provoking international and domestic criticism. Yet, there is a clear scholarly consensus that Falun Gong does not fit the definition of a “cult.” It does not involve leader worship, binding membership, or charging fees; nor does it isolate practitioners from society, intervene in their personal lives, or encourage any behavior that could be construed as unlawful or dangerous.
It has been well documented that millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been imprisoned, tortured, or killed in the past 2 decades. In 2019, an international tribunal in London concluded that Falun Gong practitioners have been killed “on a significant scale” so that their vital organs could be sold for transplant. The US Congress has passed 5 resolutions to support Falun Gong and condemn the CCP’s persecution against the group.
Regarding the Epoch Times, though it was founded by some Chinese Americans who practice Falun Gong, it doesn’t represent or speak for Falun Gong. We can learn more information by visiting FalunInfo.net.