The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) yesterday published a circular forbidding Party members from practising Falun Gong.
The circular asks CPC members who currently practise Falun Gong to separate themselves from such organizations and make a clean ideological break from them.
It also calls for the launch of educational activities against Falun Gong for the entire party.
The circular says the Falun Gong organization has developed and spread in recent years. Falun Dafa, as concocted by Li Hongzhi, has propagated a set of malicious fallacies, seriously corrupting the minds of some people.
The Falun Gong organization deceived some practitioners into holding illegal gatherings outside Party, government and media organizations, the circular says. Such activities have seriously disturbed public order and jeopardized the stable situation of reform and development.
The fact that some CPC members have also taken part in such activities has tarnished the image of the Party and made a very bad impression on society, according to the circular.
The circular prohibits all Party members from practising Falun Gong, attending any activities arranged by the Falun Gong organization, assuming any positions in the organization, spreading materials, or providing places, funds, or other facilities for any activities of the Falun Gong organization.
The circular asks Party members to expose and contradict Li Hongzhi and his Falun Dafa, and aid party organizations and relevant departments to help people understand the issue.
The circular says that, for those Party members who practised Falun Dafa, but break ties with the organization on their own and make a clean ideological break, no questions will be asked.
Those who have engaged in organizing and publicizing Falun Gong as key members will not be investigated or held responsible if they break away from the organizations on their own, and draw a clear ideological line demarcating themselves from Falun Gong and exposing its problems.
Party members who are key members of the Falun Gong organization and have committed serious mistakes will be given disciplinary punishment according to Party disciplinary procedures, the circular says. But those who repent or render meritorious service will have their disciplinary punishment reduced or not be investigated.
Those who refuse to correct their mistakes after repeated education will be asked to give up their Party membership, the circular says, and those who refuse to give it up voluntarily will be expelled from the Party.
Those few behind-the-scenes plotters and organizers who intentionally caused disturbances with political motives will be resolutely cleared out of the Party, it says.
"Exposing and refuting Li Hongzhi and his Falun Dafa is a serious political struggle," the circular says. Every Party member should have a deep understanding of the political nature of the Falun Gong organization and the severe harm it has caused.
Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, was pieced together in Changchun in Northeast China's Jilin Province by Li Hongzhi, now aged 47, on the basis of two forms of Chinese qigong, and incorporates some dance movements.
Taking advantage of people's desire to rid themselves of illness and achieve physical fitness, Li first disguised himself as someone skilled at "curing sickness with qigong." He then began enlisting disciples and circulating malicious fallacies to confuse and cheat people.
Li propagated the idea that the end of the world was approaching and that mankind would soon be exterminated, and that he was the sole saviour.
The CPC circular calls for the education of Party members in Marxist materialism and atheism and the enhancing of their political sensitivity and their political ability to differentiate right from wrong in order to consolidate a correct world outlook and concept of values. It also urges a reinforcing of their belief in communism to strengthen the cohesiveness and combat strength of Party organizations.
The circular stresses that this education should focus on transformation and be based on the principle of learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones, and "curing the disease to save the patient."
The circular expresses the belief that most Party members who practise Falun Gong will follow the Party's instructions and correct their mistakes.
Marxist dialectical materialism and historical materialism represent the world outlook and methodology of the proletariat, and the scientific theories of Marxism established on the basis of this world view should serve as the spiritual pillar of communists, the circular says.
Falun Dafa as created by Li Hongzhi preaches idealism and theism and denies all scientific truth, and is thus absolutely contradictory to the fundamental theories and principles of Marxism, says the circular.
It points to the fact that any CPC member practising Falun Dafa has taken a diametrically opposite direction to the Party's nature and tenets, and therefore should not be tolerated by Party discipline.
In the face of a matter of this significance, which involves the fundamental beliefs of communists, concerns the ideological foundation for people across the country, and has a bearing on the future and destiny of the Party and the State, every CPC member must take a clear and firm stand and must unify their thinking in accordance with the decision of the Party Central Committee, the circular says.
(China Daily, July 23, 1999)