A: Falun Gong has a set of ridiculous ideas, the basic one of which claims that the doomsday is coming, that human beings will be extinct soon, that modern science can do nothing to prevent the catastrophe, that only Falun Gong can save mankind, and that Li Hongzhi is the sole "savior". Many Falun Gong practitioners were driven into such intense fear by these heresies that they became insane and even committed suicide or killed their loved ones.
"Government is useless" is another of Li's ideas, one to make Falun Gong the ruling ideology in the world and to allow him to seize power that "overruns the government and the law". Social problems have been emerging, he said, and no government can solve them. And, because neither the government nor the rule of law can solve social problems, he should be the rightful ruler.
He renounced modern science and said that the world should listen to him, otherwise everything will be lost. Li said that the Falun Dafa is the only grand theory that can save mankind and is the most profound and superb of all sciences and philosophies and a ladder for people to ascend to heaven.
Although the banner of Falun Gong is said to be "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance", whenever Falun Gong is criticized, he gets his followers to create a disturbance. One good example is their besieging of media organizations' office buildings in 1998.
Li said that to practice Falun Gong well, people must make a clean break with other ideas and cannot mention what they learned before and are forbidden to use what they feel, see, or know, or the doctrines of other beliefs. Otherwise, they will learn a false grand theory and damage the grand theory.
By spreading these fallacious ideas, Li has actually signed a life-and-death contract with his followers, who have to obey all his instructions and depend on him for everything. He forbids them to read other books or learn other theories and deprives them of the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.
With those means and the tight control of the highly organized group, Li forces practitioners to follow his fallacious ideas. He also borrowed Buddhist doctrines to deify himself and claims that he possesses the "body of law" and can install "the wheel of law" in practitioners and give them extrasensory perception.
Li ordered that Falun Gong practitioners not to take medicine when they are ill. He preaches that the power achieved by practicing Falun Gong can automatically kill disease and break away with the karmic chain -- the cosmic principle that acts from previous lives are rewarded or punished in this life. Some followers were deceived by this fallacy and began to look for supernatural powers and many have become psychopathic. In 1997 and 1998, a fifth of the patients in the psychopath ward of a hospital were Falun Gong practitioners.
Li usually belittles great scientists like Charles Darwin and Issac Newton. He said that he is the only person who can explain the mysteries of the universe and that the earth is nothing but a garbage dump. He also said that man was created by gods and life and death and disease are debts and sins acquired in previous lives.
Many people have been confused by these fallacious ideas and have refused to go to hospital for medical treatment when they became ill, and a number have died as a result.
Since Falun Gong was founded in 1992 until 2002, more than 1,700 Falun Gong practitioners died. Among them, more than 1,400 died from their refusal to take medicine, about 300 committed suicide with the attempt to "fly to heaven".
In summary, Falun Gong has all the inherent characteristics of a cult, namely, blind worship of its leader, systematic mind control, spreading heretic ideas, amassing wealth, secret organization and endangering the society. It is nothing else but an evil cult, just as the Japanese Aum Doomsday cult and the so-called "White Brother" cult that was spread in some former Soviet Republics during the 1990s.
Why did Falun Gong have so many followers in China at that time? In my view, firstly, it applies to people's desire to find a cure for illness. Secondly, it scares people by exaggerating social problems. Thirdly, it uses the disguise of "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Tolerance" to mislead people who lack mental or spiritual ballast to wish for illusory things.