Incomplete calculations indicated that the heavily blasted Falun Gong organization has led to 1,660 deaths, announced an official Tuesday during a news conference on China's handling of the cult.
Liu Jing, in charge of the Office for the Prevention and Handling of Cults (OPHC) under the State Council, said that before the organization was officially banned on July 22, 1999, 136 Falun Gong practitioners had committed suicide at the instigation of Li Hongzhi, ringleader of the cult, who called for his followers to "go to the Heaven" and "achieve real completion."
After the official ban, another 103 persons killed themselves as a result of Li Hongzhi's heresies.
Meanwhile, the cult has destroyed the harmony of many families, ridding many of love and happiness. It has misled a large number of obsessive followers to refuse medical services, commit suicide or even kill innocent people.
"Facts show that Chinese Government's ban on Falun Gong is a necessary move to maintain social stability and safeguard fundamental human rights at the request of Chinese people. It completely abides by the law," said Liu Jing.
Liu also said that Chinese Government will try its best to educate and help Falun Gong practitioners to get out of the spiritual shackles of the cult. Legal punishments are only exerted on those cult followers who conduct crimes violating social stability and endangering human rights of other individuals.
"It is rather difficult to liberate obsessive cult followers from the addiction. In this regard, we wish to strengthen ties and co-operation with foreign anti-cult institutions, and take appropriate measures to protect Chinese people from the harm of cults," Liu said.
The OPHC head also said that China is not the only country that declared war against cults. It is a responsibility that every responsible government should shoulder.
However, some forces have turned a deaf ear to the misdeeds of Falun Gong and used the issue as a pretext to interfere with China's internal affairs. Such behaviors are absolutely unacceptable, Liu stated.
(People's Daily, February 27, 2001)