Falun Gong: Peaceful practice or malicious cult?

8 Jul

Falun Gong (法輪功) is a controversial spiritual movement that took China by storm in 1992. The founder of the movement, Li Hongzhi, was once employed as a trumpeter in a police band. Journalists who have interviewed Li describe him as ‘peaceful and baby-faced’, his followers know him as the physical embodiment of Buddha whilst the Chinese Communist Party have labelled him a malicious cult leader.

The religious practise has since been outlawed in China for the following reasons:

Falun Gong is an evil cult

· It is harmful to the physical and mental well-being or people

· It hurts society by disupting social order and the work of institutions

· It is superstitious and anti-science

· It is hypocritical

· It is criminal

· It is treasonous

· It is seditious

· It is well organised

· Lastly, in banning and suppressing the sect, the Government has acted lawfully and with the best of intentions.

The main point out of the entire list is ofcourse the part about Falun Gong being an ‘evil cult’. To determine whether or not Falun Gong is indeed a cult, you must first find the definition of the word.

Oxford English Dictionary: Cult – Worship, reverential homage rendered to a divine being or beings.

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word cult is rooted in the theological use of the word, which is rarely used in this day and age. Instead, we now see the word cult used to describe a small spiritually innovative group that is headed by a single charismatic leader.

Based on that definition alone, you would automatically assume that Falun Gong would most definitely be classified as a cult. However, does being a cult necessarily make it evil?

5 quick Falun Gong facts you never knew

· Li Hongzhi stated that he was born on May 13, 1951. However Li later changed his birthday to April the 8th to coincide with the birthday of Sakyamuni (aka Buddha).

· Falun Gong practitioners are forbidden to seek medical advice when sick and many have died as a result of untreated illness. Li’s followers are instead instructed to continue their meditation exercises and believe that he will heal them.

· Falun Gong practitioners believe that evil aliens with ‘bone-like noses’ coexist with human kind.

· Li Hongzhi claims that he has the power to become invisible, fly, walk through walls as well as the ability to heal.

· Li Hongzhi promises his followers supernatural powers

Sources include: Maria Hsia Chang’s The End of Days: Falun Gong, BBC’s biography of Li Hongzhi, David Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China (2008) Oxford University Press.

text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/puop/200906/t94829.htm

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