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How did Li Hongzhi manage to lead people astray?

2007-07-26 Source:Xinhuanet

Any person with common sense will realize at a glance that Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies are ridiculous. But why do some people still believe in his heretical fallacies? Moreover, why are some people even infatuated with them? As a matter of fact, Li Hongzhi did not lay bare his heretical fallacies at the very beginning. First, he attracted people by saying that Falun Gong would "help people get rid of diseases and build up their health." Then, "proceeding from the easy to the difficult, " he introduced his "theories" to the practitioners, getting them to mainly study his heretical fallacies rather than practice Falun Gong's physical movements. Li Hongzhi once said that at the beginning, Falun Gong "was spread through the low-level form of curing all diseases and improving health, so as to make the practitioners go through a process of cognition." This means that he was afraid that if he advocated his heretical fallacies at the very beginning, his plot would be seen through immediately. Instead, he cunningly arranged his strategy so that the Falun Gong practitioners came to believe in his heretical fallacies step by step. In short, Li Hongzhi led the practitioners astray by the following four steps:

The first step, guiding some people to enter the gate of Falun Gong under the pretense of "getting rid of diseases and building up their health".

Everyone wants good health. Those in bad health want to improve their health; and those in good health want to maintain it. Knowing well how people feel about health, Li Hongzhi advocating that people suffering from diseases did not need go to hospitals or consult doctors; so long as they practiced Falun Gong in accordance with his instructions, their diseases would disappear automatically. In addition, he preached that practicing Falun Gong would not only help practitioners to keep fit, but would also benefit their relatives and friends. As Li Hongzhi knew well that the first step in luring people to practice Falun Gong was very important, he put up a false front that practicing Falun Gong would cure all diseases. Then he concocted five so-called investigation reports, which advocated that through practicing Falun Gong, some sick people's symptoms "having disappeared or have been greatly improved." "After practicing 'Falun Gong,' some practitioners no longer needed to consult doctors or take medicines, and some people who were seriously ill had miraculously recovered." To further mystify the healing power of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi described in person to some practitioners how some other Falun Gong practitioners had survived otherwise-fatal automobile accidents.

Can practicing Falun Gong truly cure diseases? Is it true that some seriously sick people, even people suffering from diseases notoriously difficult to cure, have recovered after practicing Falun Gong? The answer is definitely no. In fact, so far over 1,500 people have died and some 600 have contracted mental illnesses after practicing Falun Gong. This proves that Falun Gong will do great harm to practitioners' physical and mental health rather than have any miraculous effects. Though a few practitioners said that they felt much better after practicing Falun Gong, this was not due to any miraculous effects of Falun Gong. Medical experts have testified that the reason for this was a combination of psychological suggestion and the ordinary benefits of exercise.

The second step moved the practitioners from practicing the physical exercises of Falun Gong to "studying the law," which brought them into contact with the cult's heretical fallacies.

Li Hongzhi's ultimate aim was not simply to get people to practice Falun Gong but rather to control the practitioners spiritually and make use of them to realize his own sinister political aims. Hence, after the first step had been completed, Li said that only doing physical exercises was merely spreading the harmful law of karma (attachment to the physical world, involving accumulation of evils) and that to cultivate themselves according to Falun Dafa, practitioners must "study the law", i.e., read his books, listen to his audiotapes and watch his videotapes.

To get them to do this, Li Hongzhi used the lure of "truthfulness, benevolence and tolerance," and "dispelling karma" to lead practitioners into the "gate" of his heretical fallacies. He said that "truthfulness, benevolence and tolerance" were the "fundamental characteristics" of the universe. All materials, he said, such as stone, wood, iron and steel, had the characteristics of "truthfulness, benevolence and tolerance," and human beings, who are superior creations like gods and Buddhas, dropped from the universal space onto the earth, level by level, and became human beings, thus degenerating and multiplying. Hence human beings must supposedly practice Falun Gong, and rely on Li Hongzhi to save them from destruction. Li Hongzhi said that the basic cause of all illnesses and misfortunes was karma; that birth, old age, disease and death were all karma retributions. Only by practicing Falun Gong, he claimed, could karma be dispelled and diseases cured. Consulting doctors could only press karma further into the body, he asserted, so that diseases could not be cured. Only by practicing Falun Gong could people assumedly dispel karma and cultivate themselves into "Buddhas, Taoists and immortals." The deceitful "basic knowledge" of Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies feeds on people's natural repugnance for the unhealthy phenomena in society and their normal desire to pursue truthfulness, benevolence and beauty in work, life, ideology and morality. Moreover, it exploited the tendency of some people to hanker after the superstitious elements in traditional Chinese culture.

To create an environment in which Falun Gong practitioners could most easily accept Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies, Li isolated them from normal society, keeping them from all contact with viewpoints and opinions which might cast doubt upon his doctrines. Li said that while learning Falun Gong, "you should never mention anything you have learnt before," and "you should make a clean break with past thinking." He also said that it was certain that "demons" would try to stop people learning Falun Gong when he was spreading it. To avoid disruptions by the "demons," all Falun Gong practitioners should share their opinions only within the small circles of Falun Gong. This so-called sharing actually meant that practitioners discussed only the miraculous effects that Li Hongzhi had told them about and that they had heard from other practitioners. But it was absolutely forbidden for them to say anything unfavorable to Falun Gong. Li Hongzhi said, "Don't spread any news that will affect my law in any way or do harm to its image."

The third step was to imbue practitioners with heretical fallacies in a systematic way, so as to control their minds.

After having gone through the first two steps, generally practitioners would not get the impression that there was anything ridiculous about Li Hongzhi's fallacies, or at least they would not have any strong resentments against them. It was at that point that Li Hongzhi began to imbue the practitioners with his heretical fallacies in a systematic way.

Advocating worship of the cult founder is one of the important parts of Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies, as well as an important lever for Li Hongzhi to manipulate the Falun Gong practitioners. Li used various ways to advocate worship of the cult founder. Sometimes he held high the banner of "science". For instance, he said that the Chinese Academy of Sciences had proved that the magic power he emitted was composed of neutron and alpha rays. Sometimes he advocated worship of the cult founder through the delusions of feudal superstition. He even described in person how he defeated a snake spirit one thousand years old with his magic power. Sometimes he boasted that he was able to recreate mankind and the Earth, and that he had a multitude of "law-bodies" to protect each and every one of the Falun Gong practitioners. He also required all practitioners to call him "Master".

"Going up to a higher level" and "achieving all-round fulfillment" are the core contents of Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies. Li said, "Human beings at present are all full of evil," and so his mission was to rescue all of the practitioners from this debased mankind, and "raise them up" level by level. The only way to "go up to a higher level" was to practice Falun Gong, finally "achieving all-round fulfillment". What is "all-round fulfillment"? Li Hongzhi said that "all-round fulfillment" means to become Buddhas, Taoists and immortals"; "all disciples of Falun Dafa will fly into the sky in their own bodies. Those who do not want to keep their bodies will turn into rainbows before flying away." According to Li, he would turn all his "disciples" throughout the world, totaling over 100 million, into over 100 million "Buddhas, Taoists and immortals," who would then fly away. Under Li Hongzhi's meticulous inveiglement, his ridiculous theories became the highest pursuits and ideals of some Falun Gong practitioners. One Falun Gong practitioner said, "I shall by on means be a human being all my life. I must cultivate myself into an immortal." To realize their "ideal" of becoming Buddhas or immortals, some practitioners were all too willing to become Li Hongzhi's tools for realizing his political schemes. In a word, it was all because of Li Hongzhi's fanatical preaching about "going up to a higher level" and "all-round fulfillment" that practitioners besieged news media and local Party and government organizations several hundred times, culminating in the siege of Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999. Such illegal gatherings took place even after the Falun Gong cult had been banned. As to the siege of Zhongnanhai, Li Hongzhi said brazenly: "How can ordinary people reach the realm of accomplishment without true tests? You should be tested together like this, rather than be tested one by one. As a matter of fact, I think the number of practitioners who went to Zhongnanhai was far from enough, only some 10,000." It turned out that he wanted to test the Falun Gong practitioners with such anti-socialist and anti-government methods. Only by these means, he maintained, could the practitioners "go up to a higher level" and reach "all-round fulfillment".

The fourth step was to intensify control of the practitioners' minds, thus making it impossible for them to leave the cult once they had been inveigled into it.

In the process which led from getting to know something about Falun Gong to being completely infatuated with it, many practitioners did have some doubts about Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies. After all, they were too fantastic to be easily digested. To dispel their suspicions, Li Hongzhi, under the pretext of "coming and leaving as one wishes," adopted both hard and soft tactics to intensify his control of the practitioners' minds.

Li Hongzhi defended his heretical fallacies by saying that "there is no fixed law." He also tried to remove practitioners' suspicions by explaining that these were the result of not having reached a "certain level" and still nurturing "ideological karma" inside themselves. "There is no fixed law" means that his heretical fallacies are changing and developing, i.e., what he says today will change tomorrow. Hence ordinary people will find his words are inconsistent, even self-contradictory. For instance, he said that human beings, who were originally superior beings like Buddhas, had descended from the universe onto the earth, level by level, and that only those who practiced Falun Gong could improve their level and become Buddhas again. But he could not explain why several billion Buddhas had been reduced to several billion people. Moreover, what is the use of cultivation if it is so easy for Buddhas to degenerate into people? At one time he said that Falun Gong was neither Qigong nor religion, but higher than religion; at another, he said that Falun Gong was both Qigong and religion. He once said that computers were tools used by evil visitors from another planet to control mankind. However, he himself made full use of the computer to control the activities of the Falun Gong cult organization. He covers all these contradictions by saying that "there is no fixed law." Meanwhile, to those who had doubts about Falun Gong, he explained that the reason for this was that their level was not high enough, and that they were still "ordinary people" rather than "practitioners," so that they could not understand his "lofty and profound" theories. He said, "You will understand it after you reach a higher level." Moreover, he said that those who doubted his theories had ideological karma. To show that they were "practitioners" rather than "ordinary people," Falun Gong followers constantly declared that they believed in Li Hongzhi's heretical fallacies, and openly discussed the effects they had felt when sharing feelings and opinions with other Falun Gong practitioners. It was impossible for them to reveal any suspicions in their minds.

On top of all this, Li Hongzhi also adopts a tough tactic, i.e., threats. He said that those who did not practice Falun Gong would become "ordinary persons" whom no one can protect against the "demons" who would come to take their life. According to him, "ordinary persons" are faced with destruction, thorough destruction of both their minds and shapes. "Your body would be destroyed, and you would lose your soul too," he warned.

It is certain that the overwhelming majority of Falun Gong practitioners started to practice Falun Gong with only the wholesome intention of dispelling diseases and building up their health. But for Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong was an instrument with which to achieve his political purpose. At the same time, he knew perfectly well that one day, when his heretical fallacies were seen through by the overwhelming majority of Falun Gong practitioners, his political scheme would finally be exposed. Hence he left himself a way out -- moving to live in the United States, which he once called the largest rubbish heap in the world. Most of the key members of the Falun Gong cult organization had migrated to the United States. Only a few of them were still going through the ordinary procedures for doing so, when Li Hongzhi's political ambition was exposed and these few people were not able to leave China for the United States.

By analyzing how Li Hongzhi led the Falun Gong practitioners astray and the evil motives of Li Hongzhi and his followers, shouldn't those small number of people who are still following Li Hongzhi and company and are still infatuated with Falun Gong realize their errors and mend their ways? 

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