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-=====Falun Gong===== +~~REDIRECT>:falun-gong~~
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-//Deutsche Übersetzung des englischen Wikipedia Textes: https://​en.wikipedia.org/?​title=Falun_Gong +
-Work in Progress. Beteiligung willkommen.//​ +
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-'''​Falun Gong'''​ oder auch '''​Falun Dafa'''​ (wörtliche Bedeutung "​[[Dharma Wheel|Dharma Rad]]-Disziplin"​ oder "​Praktik des Gebotsrad"​) ist eine chinesische,​ spirituelle Disziplin welche Meditation und [[Qigong]]-Übungen mit einer moralischen Philosophie basierend ​auf den Grundsätzen Wahrhaftigket,​ Barmherzigket und Nachsicht({{zh|c=真、善、忍}}) verbindet. ​Die Praktik betohnt Moral und das Kultivieren von Tugend und identifiziert sich als ein buddhistisches Qigong, obwohl es auch Lehren aus dem [[Taoismus]] und seinen Traditionen enthält. Durch moralische Rechtschaffenheit und das praktizieren von Meditation, versuchen Anhänger von Falun Gong zu besserer Gesundheit und schließlich zu spirutuellen Erleuchtung zu gelangen.  +
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-Falun Gong wurde 1992 von seinem Gründer [[Li Hongzhi]] im Nordosten Chinas zum ersten mal öffentlich verbreitet. Dies geschah gegen Ende von Chinas “Qigong-Boom” - einer Zeit in der auch viele andere, ähnliche Meditationsformen und Übungen mit langsamen Bewegungen und reguliertem Atem verbreitet wurden. Es unterscheidet sich aber von anderen “Qigong” dadurch das keine Gebühren verlangt werden, es keine offizielle Mitglidschaft,​ oder regelmäßige Rituale bzw. Anbetungen etc. gibt und durch die theologische Natur seiner Lehren in denen großer Wert auf Moral gelegt wird. Westliche Akademiker beschreiben Falun Gong als eine Qigong-Disziplin,​ eine “spirituelle Bewegung” die auf den Lehren ihres Gründers basiert, ein “Kultivierungssystem” in der Tradition des chinesischen Altertums, und manchmal als eine [[Religion]] oder eine [[neue religiöse Bewegung]].  +
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-Ursprünglich fand Falun Gong sehr viel Unterstützer unter chinesischen Partei-Kadern. Doch gegen Mitte und Ende der 90er Jahre, fingen die [[Kommunistische Partei Chinas]] ​ und die Sicherheitsorgane zunehmend an Falun Gong aufgrund der Anzahl der Anhänger, Unabhängigkeit vom Staat, und spirituellen Lehren als eine potentielle Bedrohung anzusehen. ​ Im Jahr 1999 schätzten die chinesische Sportkommission und ander die Anzahl der Falun Gong-Anhänger auf dutzende von millionen. Die Spannungen gipfelten schließlich im April 1999 als sich über 10.000 Falun Gong Praktizierende friedlich in der Nähe des Hauptregierungssitzes in Peking versammelten um gegen staatliche Übergriffe auf Falun Gong praktizierende zu protestieren und für rechtliche Annerkennung zu petitionieren. Diese Demonstration wird in der Regel als Auslöser für die staatliche Unterdrückung gesehen die folgte. +
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-Am 20. Juli 1999 begann die Führung der Kommunistischen Partei mit einer landesweiten [[Persecution of Falun Gong|Verfolgung]] der eine vielschichtige Propaganda-Kampagne folgte, mit dem Ziel der Ausradierung von Falun Gong. Es wurde der Internetzugang zu Webseiten die Falun Gong erwähnen [[Persecution of Falun Gong#​Internet censorship|blockiert]],​ und im Oktober 1999 wurde Falun Gong zu einer "​ketzerischen Organisation"​ erklärt welche die soziale Ordnung gefährden würde. Menschenrechtsorganisationen berichten über eine große Reichweite an [[Menschenrechtsverletzungen]] denen Falun Gong-Praktizierende in China ausgesetzt sind;  es wird geschätzt dass hunderttausende aussergerichtlich eingesperrt wurden und Praktizierende während ihrer Haft Zwangsarbeit,​ psychiatrischen Missbrauch, Folter, und anderen gewaltsamen Methoden als Teil der so genannten „Gedanken Reformierung“ durch die Chinesischen Autoritäten ausgesetzt sind.<​ref name=CER/>​ Es starben mindestens 2,000 Falun Gong Anhänger aufgrund von Misshandlungen während ihrer Haft (Stand 2009),<​ref>​Andrew Jacobs. [http://​www.nytimes.com/​2009/​04/​28/​world/​asia/​28china.html 'China Still Presses Crusade Against Falun Gong'​],​ New York Times, 27 April 2009.</​ref>​ manche Beobachter schätzen die Dunkelziffer allerdings noch wesentlich höher ein. In den Jahren ​ seit Beginn der Unterdrückungskampagne,​ wurden Falun Gong-Anhänger aktiv im Einstehen für mehr Menschenrechte und für ein Ende der Herrschaft der Kommunistischen Partei.  +
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-Falun Gong Gründer Li Hongzhi lebt seit 1996 in den Vereinigten Staaten und Falun Gong hat weltweit einen großen Kreis von Befürwortern. Und was innerhalb Chinas angeht, so schätzen einige Quellen dass Trotz der Verfolgung möglicherweise Millionen weiter praktizieren. Es wird  geschätzt dass Falun Gong ausserhalb Chinas in über 70 Ländern weltweit von insgesamt Hunderttausenden praktiziert wird. <ref name="​David Ownby p 126">​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 126.</​ref>​ +
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-==Herkunft== +
-Falun Gong wird meistens mit der QiGong-Bewegung in China in Verbindung gebracht. ''​Qigong''​ ist ein moderner Begriff den man auf eine Reihe von Disziplinen mit langsamen Bewegungen, meditieren und kontrollierten Arten verwenden kann.Qigong-ähnliche Übungen wurden geschichtlich von buddhistischen Mönchen, Daoistischen Kampfkünsten und konfuzianistischen Gelehrten praktiziert,​ um sich spirituell, moralisch und körperlich zu verbessern.<​ref name=Palmer>​{{cite book|author=David Palmer|url=http://​books.google.com/?​id=RXeuibmD2dsC&​lpg=PR7&​dq=Qigong%20fever%3A%20body%2C%20science%2C%20and%20utopia%20in%20China%E2%80%8E%20-%20Page%20241&​pg=PP1#​v=onepage&​q=|title=Qigong Fever: Body, Science and Utopia in China|location=New York|publisher=Cambridge University Press|year=2007|isbn=0-231-14066-5}}</​ref>​ +
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-Die moderne Qigong-Bewegung entstand in den frühen 50er Jahren als kommunistische [[Kader]] die Techniken als ein Mittel zur Volksgesundheit willkommen hießen.<​ref name=Palmer/>​ Der neue Begriff („Qigong“) wurde gebildet um Verbindungen mit Religionen zu vermeiden, welche während der Ära [[Mao Zedong|Maos]] als „feudaler Aberglaube“ verfolgt wurden.<​ref name=Palmer/><​ref name=Ownby2000>​David Ownby, [http://​www.ruf.rice.edu/​~tnchina/​commentary/​ownby1000.html "​Falungong as a Cultural Revitalization Movement: An Historian Looks at Contemporary China"​],​ Talk Given at Rice University, 20 October 2000.</​refAnfängliche Betreiber von Qigong, vermieden seine religiösen Untertöne und betrachteten Qigong vor allem als ein Teil der chinesischen Medizin. Hinzu kam dass  gegen Ende der 70er Jahre berichtet wurde das chinesische Wissenschaftler die materielle Existenz der [[Qi]]-Energie nachgewiesen hätten (und s wurde Qigong nicht als im Widerspruch zum von der Partei verlangten Materialismus stehend angesehen).<​ref name=Ownbyfuture>​David Ownby, ''​[http://​books.google.co.uk/​books?​id=Bwqkwx4SWS0C&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=ownby+falun&​client=firefox-a&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=&​f=false Falun Gong and the Future of China],''​ (Oxford University Press, 2008), ISBN 978-0-19-532905-6.</​ref>​ Im spitituellem Vaakum der auf die Mao-Era folgte, fingen dutzende von millionen, meist älterer und in Städten lebenden Chinesen mit Qigong an.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "​Qigong,​ Daoism and Science: some contexts for the qigong boom," in M. Lee and A.D. Syrokomla-Stefanowska (eds.), Modernisation of the Chinese Past (Sydney: Wild Peopy, 1993), pp&​nbsp;​166–179</​ref><​ref name=Gunde>​Richard Gunde,"​Culture and Customs of China,"​ (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002).</​ref><​ref>​Nancy Chen. "​Breathing spaces: qigong, psychiatry, and healing in China",​(New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2003)</​ref>​ und eine Reihe von charismatischen QiGong-Meister lehrten ihre Art des Qigong. Es gab insgesamt über 2000 verschiedene Arten die gleichzeitig verbreitet waren.<​ref>​Zhu Xiaoyang and Benjamin Penny, "The Qigong Boom," Chinese Sociology and Anthropology,​ Vol. 27, No. 1 (1994)</​ref>​ 1985 wurde schließlich die staatliche „China Qigong Science Research Society“ (CQRS) gegründet um die Bewegung zu kontrollieren und zu verwalten.<​ref name=Pennyreligion>​Benjamin Penny, "​[http://​books.google.com/​books/​about/​The_Religion_of_Falun_Gong.html?​id=P6Z6fQ7Fg3QC The Religion of Falun Gong],"​ (University of Chicago Press, 2012), ISBN 978-0-226-65501-7.</​ref>​ +
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-Am 13 Mai 1992 gab Li Hongzhi sein erstes öffentliches Seminar über Falun Gong (alternativ auch Falun Dafa genannt) in der nordöstlichen Stadt [[Changchun]]. In seiner [[Hagiographie|hagiographischen]] spirituellen Biographie heißt es, Li Hongzhi wurden die „Wege der Selbstkultivierung“ von verschiedenen Meistern der [[Buddhismus|buddhistischen]] und [[Taoismus|daoistischen]] Traditionen beigebracht. Inklusive Quan Jue, dem 10. Nachfahre des Dafa der buddhistischen Richtung; einem Taoistischen Meister der ihm in seiner Kindheit lehrte; und einem Meister des „Da Dao“ (wörtlich großer Weg – eine daoistische Richtung) mit dem daoistischen Namen ''​wahrer Taoist''​ aus dem [[Changbai]]-Gebierge. Es heißt Falun Dafa sei das Ergebnis Li Hongzhis niederschreibens und ordnens der Lehren die an ihn überliefert wurden.<​ref>​Li Hongzhi, [http://​www.falundafa.org/​bul/​audio-video/​audiovideo_9audio.html 9-day Lectures in Guangzhou (audio), lecture 1], 1994.</​ref>​ +
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-Li presentierte Falun Gong als Teil eine „Jahrunderte alten Tradition der Selbst-Kultivierung",<​ref name=Ownbyming>​Ownby,​ David, "A History for Falun Gong: Popular Religion and the Chinese State Since the Ming Dynasty",​ Nova Religio, Vol. 2.6 (2003), pp.&​nbsp;​223–243</​ref>​ und er versuchte letztendlich die religiösen und spirituellen Elemente von QiGong wiederzubeleben,​ welche in den früheren kommunistischen Bewegungen abgelehnt wurden. David Palmer schreibt dass Li "​redefined his method as having entirely different objectives from qigong: the purpose of practice should neither be physical health nor the development of extraordinary powers, but to purify one's heart and attain spiritual salvation."<​ref name=Palmer/>​ +
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-Falun Gong unterscheidet sich dadurch von anderen Qigong-Arten dass Falun Gongs Lehren einen weiten Kreis an spirituellen und metaphysischen ​ Themen abdecken und Dinge wie Moral und Tugend betohnt werden und eine ganzheitige Kosmologie veranschaulicht wird.<​ref name=Lowe/>​ Die Diziplin identifiziert sich mit der buddhistischen Schule (''​Fojia''​),​ aber benutzt auch Konzepte und Begriffe aus dem Taoismus und Konfuzianismus. <ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ Dies führte dazu, dass manche Gelehrte Falun Gong als einen [[Synkretischen]] Glauben einstufen.<​ref name=irons2003/>​ +
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-==Glaubensätze und Praktik== +
-{{Main|Falun Gong Lehre}} +
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-===Zentrale Lehre=== +
-Falun Gong fördert geistige Entwicklung der Praktizierenden durch moralische Rechtschaffenheit und der Praxis einer Reihe von körperlichen Übungen und Meditation. Die drei zentralen Grundsätze des Glaubens sind Wahrhaftigkeit (真, Zhen), Barmherzigkeit (善, Shan) und Nachsicht (忍, Rěn).<​ref name=zflprinciples>​ Li Hongzhi, Zhuan Falun, S. 21. Zitat: " Die grundlegendsten Eigenschaften dieses Kosmos Zhen, Shan, Ren, sie sind die höchste Verkörperung des Fofa, sie sind das grundlegendste Fofa." </​ref><​ref>​David Ownby, ''​[http://​books.google.co.uk/​books?​id=Bwqkwx4SWS0C&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=ownby+falun&​client=firefox-a&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=&​f=false Falun Gong and the Future of China],''​ S. 93 und S.102.</​ref>​ Diese Prinzipien werden als die grundlegende Natur des Kosmos betrachtet, das Kriterium zur Unterscheidung zwischen richtig und falsch, und werden für die höchste Manifestation des [[Tao]] oder buddhistischen Dharma gehalten.<​ref name=ZF/><​ref>​Noah Porter, Falun Gong in Vereinigten Staaten: eine ethnographische Studie, S. 29. Zitat: "Laut Falun Gong gibt es drei Tugenden Zhen, Shan, and Ren (真, 善, 忍), die gleichzeitig die Prinzipien des Universums darstellen. Zhen ist Wahrhaftigkeit und Aufrichtigkeit. Shan ist Barmherzigkeit,​ Gutmütigkeit,​ und Freundlichkeit. Ren ist Nachsicht, Toleranz, und Geduld. Diese drei Tugenden sind der einzige Kriterium um zwischen guten und schlechten Menschen zu unterscheiden. Menschliche Gesellschaft hat von diesen drei Moralprinzipien abgewichen. ​ Die Materie des Universums enthält Zhen- Shan-Ren. Alle drei sind gleich wichtig."</​ref><​ref>​David Ownby, Falun Gong und die Zukunft von China, S. 93. Zitat: "Die grundlegende Struktur des Universums enthält laut Li Hongzhi die moralischen Eigenschaften,​ die Kultivierende in ihren Leben praktizieren:​ Wahrhaftigkeit,​ Mitgefühl, und Nachsicht."</​ref><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "Die Religion von Falun Gong," S. 133. Zitat: "Für Li, was er oft in Zhuan Falun wiederholt, ist die besondere Eigenschaft oder die spezifische Natur des Kosmos ein Triumvirat aus zhen (Wahrhaftigkeit),​ shan (Mitgefühl),​ und ren (Nachsicht). Er meint das nicht metaphorisch;​ für ihn sind zhen, shan, und ren die fundamentalsten gestaltgebenden Prinzipien aller Dingen&​nbsp;​... es ist eingebettet in die Essenz von allen Dingen im Universum, dass sie die Prinzipien von Wahrhaftigkeit,​ Mitgefühl, und Nachsicht beinhalten."</​ref>​ Die Einhaltung und die Kultivierung dieser Tugenden wird als der wesentlicher Bestandteil von Falun Gong angesehen. <​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "Die Religion von Falun Gong," S. 124. Zitat: "​Zusätzlich dazu, wird die Befolgung des Kodex von Wahrhaftigkeit,​ Mitgefühl, und Nachsicht nicht nur als der richtige und verantwortungsvolle Handlungsweg für alle Praktizierende angesehen; es ist der essentielle Teil des Kultivierungsprozesses. Abgleiten davon wird alle anderen Bemühungen in Kultivierung zunichtemachen."</​ref>​ In Zhuan Falun (轉法輪),​ dem grundlegenden Schrift, der im Jahr 1995 veröffentlicht wurde, schreibt Li Hongzhi "Ganz gleich, wie sich die moralischen Maßstäbe der Menschheit auch verändern, die kosmischen Eigenschaften bleiben jedoch unverändert,​ sie sind der einzige Maßstab zur Beurteilung von guten und schlechen Menschen. Ein Kultivierender muss sich also entsprechend den kosmischen Eigenschaften fordern und nicht dem Maßstab der alltäglichen Menschen entsprechen."<​ref name=ZF>​Li Hongzhi, ''​[http://​de.falundafa.org/​downloads/​books/​ZhuanFalun2012-2online.html Zhuan Falun], (Neufraunhofen,​ Deutschland:​ Good-Spirit Verlag, 2012).</​ref><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p 125.</​ref>​ +
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-Das Ausüben von Falun Gong besteht aus Zwei Kernbestandteilen:​ zum einem aus dem Durchführen der Übungen und zum anderen aus der Verbesserung seines "​Xinxing"​ (seines moralischer Charakters). In "Zhuan Falun",​ der zentralen Schrift von Falun Gong, erklärt Li: "​Xinxing beinhaltet De (De ist eine Art Substanz); es beinhaltet Nachsicht; beinhaltet Erkennen; beinhaltet Verzicht, Verzicht auf alle Begierden und auf alle Arten von Eingensinn eines alltäglichen Menschen; und noch dazu Leiden ertragen zu können und so weiter, es beinhaltet Dinge in vielen Bereichen. "<​ref name = ZF /> <ref> Benjamin Penny,"​ The Religion of Falun Gong,“ p 169.</​ref>​ The elevation of one's moral character, is achieved, on the one hand, by aligning one's life with truth, compassion, and tolerance; and on the other, by abandoning desires and „negative thoughts and behaviors, such as greed, profit, lust, desire, killing, fighting, theft, robbery, deception, jealousy, etc.“<​ref name=„Benjamin Penny p 170“>​Benjamin Penny, „The Religion of Falun Gong,“ p 170.</​ref>​  +
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-Zwei der zentralen Begriffe in der Lehre von Falun Gong sind die Existenz von "​Tugend"​ ("德, ''​ [[De (Chinese) | DE]] ''​) und '​Karma'​ (''​ [[Karma # In Falun Gong | Ye]] ''​) <ref> Benjamin Penny, Die Religion des Falun Gong, S. 172. Zitat: "​Transforming karma into virtue is fundamental in the cultivation practice of Falun Gong" </ ref> <ref name = Ownby110 > David Ownby ","​ Falun Gong and the Future of China ","​ pp. & nbsp; 110 bis 112 </ ref> Während die Erstere durch gute Taten und Leiden erzeugt wird, sammelt man das Letztere durch falsche Taten an. Es wird gesagt, dass das Verhältnis von Karma und Tugend eines Menschen sein Schicksal in diesem oder im nächsten Leben bestimmen wird. Tugend erzeugt Glück und ermöglicht eine spirituelle Umwandlung, ​ die Ansammlung von Karma dagegen, erzeugt Leiden, Krankheit und Entfremdung von der Natur des Universums. <Ref name = Pennyreligion /> <ref name = Ownby110 /> <ref> Li Hongzhi, " Zhuan Falun "pp & nbsp; 41-50; 545 bis 548 </ ref> Geistiges Wachstum wird durch die Beseitigung der negativen Karma und die Ansammlung von Tugend erreicht <ref name = Pennyreligion /> <ref> David , ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ S. 93. Zitat: "The goal of cultivation,​ and hence of life itself, is spiritual elevation, achieved through eliminating negative karma—the built-up sins of past and present lives—and accumulating virtue."</​ref>​ +
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-Falun Gong Lehre postuliert, dass die eigene Natur des Menschen im ihren Ursprung gut- sogar göttlich-war,​ aber, dass der Mensch in ein Reich der Täuschung und des Leidens absteigen musste nachdem er egoistisch geworden war und Karma angesammelt hat. <Ref name = ZF /> <ref> Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong,“ p 135.</​ref><​ref>​David Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China, pp&​nbsp;​103–105.</​ref> ​ In order to re-ascend and return to the "​original,​ true self", practitioners of Falun Gong are supposed to assimilate themselves to the qualities of truthfulness,​ compassion and tolerance, let go of "​attachments and desires"​ and suffer to repay karma.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/><​ref name=ZF/><​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 93. Quote: "One finds few lists of do's and don'ts in Li's writings, nor are there sophisticated ethical discussions. Instead, followers are advised to rid themselves of unnecessary "​attachments",​ to do what they know is right, and hence to return to "the origin",​ to their "​original self"​.</​ref>​ The ultimate goal of the practice is enlightenment or spiritual perfection (''​yuanman''​),​ and release from the cycle of reincarnation,​ known in Buddhist tradition as ''​samsara''​.<​ref name=ZF/><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p 213.</​ref>​ +
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-Li Hingzhi'​s Lehren behandeln unter Anderem das einbringen traditioneller chinesischer Denkweisen in ein modernes Alltagsleben. Falun Gong echoes traditional Chinese beliefs that humans are connected to the universe through mind and body, and Li seeks to challenge "​conventional mentalities",​ concerning the nature and genesis of the universe, time-space, and the human body.<​ref name=Schechter>​Danny Schechter, [http://​books.google.co.uk/​books?​id=v20J18hL1MAC&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=Danny+Schechter,​+Falun+Gong%27s+Challenge+to+China&​lr=&​client=firefox-a&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=&​f=false Falun Gong's Challenge to China: Spiritual Practice of 'Evil Cult'?​],​ (New York, NY:​[[Akashic Books]], 2000). Hardback ISBN 1-888451-13-0,​ paperback ISBN 1-888451-27-0</​ref><​ref name=Chou>​Kai-Ti Chou, ''​Contemporary Religious Movements in Taiwan: Rhetorics of Persuasion,''​ (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2008). ISBN 0-7734-5241-9.</​ref>​ The practice draws on East Asian mysticism and traditional Chinese medicine, criticizes the purportedly self-imposed limits of modern science, and views traditional Chinese science as an entirely different, yet equally valid ontological system.<​ref name="​zhao">​Zhao Yuezhi, [http://​books.google.com/?​id=tiFY59xGHBkC&​pg=PA209&​dq=Falun+Gong,​+Identity,​+and+the+Struggle+over+Meaning+Inside+and+Outside+China&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=Falun%20Gong%2C%20Identity%2C%20and%20the%20Struggle%20over%20Meaning%20Inside%20and%20Outside%20China Falun Gong, Identity, and the Struggle over Meaning Inside and Outside China], in "​Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World,"​ Nick Couldry and James Curran (ed.), (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield,​ 2003). ISBN 978-0-7425-2385-2</​ref>​ +
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-===Übungen=== +
-[[File:Five Exercises of Falun Dafa.jpg|thumb|left|The five exercises of Falun Gong]] +
-Zusätzlich zu seiner moralischen Philosophie,​ besteht Falun Gong aus vier Stehübungen und einer sitzenden Meditation. Die Übungen gelten als  The exercises are regarded as secondary to moral elevation, though is still an essential component of Falun Gong cultivation practice.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/><​ref name=flgbook>​Li Hongzhi, ''​[http://​www.falundafa.org/​book/​eng/​flg.htm Falun Gong]'',​ 4th Translation Edition, Updated April 2001</​ref>​ +
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-Die erste Übung "​Buddha streckt tausende von Händen aus" ermöglicht einen freien Energiefluss im Körper und öffnet alle Meridiane. Die zweite Übung "​Falun-Pfahlstellung"​ beinhaltet 4 ruhige Stellungen, wobei jede dem Halten eines Rades ähnelt und für längere Zeit eingenommen werden soll. Das Ziel dieser Übung ist die "​Weisheit zu erhöhen, innere Stärke zu erlangen, das erhöhen der persönlichen Ebene sowie das Verstärken übernatürlicher Fähigkeiten"​. The third, "​Coursing between the Two Poles",​ involves three sets of movements which aim to enable the expulsion of bad energy (e.g. pathogenic or black qi) and the absorption of good energy into the body. Through practice of this exercise, the practitioner aspires to cleanse and purify the body. The fourth exercise, "Falun Cosmic Orbit",​ seeks to circulate energy freely throughout the body. Unlike the first through fourth exercises, the fifth exercise is performed in the seated lotus position. Called "​Reinforcing Supernatural Powers",​ it is a meditation intended to be maintained as long as possible. Some of its postures correspond to the traditional meditative gestures of Buddhism, and is described by Li as more advanced than the previous four.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," pp&​nbsp;​163–168.</​ref>​ +
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-Falun Gong exercises can be practiced individually or in group settings, and can be performed for varying lengths of time in accordance with the needs and abilities of the individual practitioner.<​ref name=ZF/><​ref name="​Ownby313"/>​ Porter writes that practitioners of Falun Gong are encouraged to read Falun Gong books and practice its exercises on a regular basis, preferably daily.<​ref name=porterthesis>​Noah Porter, "​[http://​etd.fcla.edu/​SF/​SFE0000113/​FalunGongInTheUS-NoahPorter-Thesis.pdf Falun Gong in the United States: An Ethnographic Study]"​. University of South Florida, 2003</​ref>​ Falun Gong exercises are practiced in group settings in parks, university campuses, and other public spaces in 70 countries worldwide, and are taught for free by volunteers.<​ref name=porterthesis/><​ref>​Falundafa.org,​ [http://​www.falundafa.org/​eng/​contacts/​area/​index.html 'Find your local volunteer contact person'​].</​ref>​ In addition to five exercises, in 2001 another meditation activity was introduced called "​sending righteous thoughts,"​ which is intended to reduce persecution on the spiritual plane.<​ref name=porterthesis/>​ +
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-A pilot study involving genomic profiling of six Falun Dafa practitioners indicated that, "​changes in gene expression of FLG practitioners in contrast to normal healthy controls were characterized by enhanced immunity, downregulation of cellular metabolism, and alteration of apoptotic genes in favor of a rapid resolution of inflammation."<​ref>​[http://​www.researchgate.net/​profile/​Lili_Feng/​publication/​7984577_Genomic_profiling_of_neutrophil_transcripts_in_Asian_Qigong_practitioners_a_pilot_study_in_gene_regulation_by_mind-body_interaction/​file/​d912f50cfe3badd217.pdf Genomic profiling of neutrophil transcripts in Asian Qigong practitioners]:​ [http://​www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/​pubmed/​15750361 a pilot study] in gene regulation by mind-body interaction. Li QZ, Li P, Garcia GE, Johnson RJ, Feng L. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. +
-</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Social practices=== +
-Falun Gong differentiates itself from Buddhist monastic traditions in that it places great importance on participation in the secular world. Falun Gong adherents are required to maintain regular jobs and family lives, to observe the laws of their respective governments,​ and are instructed not to distance themselves from society. An exception is made for Buddhist monks and nuns, who are permitted to continue a monastic lifestyle while practicing Falun Gong.<​ref name=ZF/><​ref>​Noah Porter, Falun Gong in the United States: An Ethnographic Study, p 205.</​ref>​ +
- +
-As part of its emphasis on ethical behavior, Falun Gong's teachings prescribe a strict personal morality for practitioners. They are expected to act truthfully, do good deeds, and conduct themselves with patience and forbearance when encountering difficulties. For instance, Li stipulates that a practitioner of Falun Gong must "not hit back when attacked, not talk back when insulted."<​ref name=Penny102/>​ In addition, they must "​abandon negative thoughts and behaviors,"​ such as greed, deception, jealousy, etc.<ref name=ZF/><​ref name=Penny102>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," pp 102; 170-181.</​ref> ​ The teachings contain injunctions against smoking and the consumption of alcohol, as these are considered addictions that are detrimental to health and mental clarity.<​ref name=ZF/><​ref name=Ownby112/><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p 123.</​ref>​ Practitioners of Falun Gong are forbidden to kill living things—including animals for the purpose of obtaining food—though they are not required to adopt a vegetarian diet.<​ref name=Penny102/>​ +
- +
-In addition to these things, practitioners of Falun Gong must abandon a variety of worldly attachments and desires.<​ref name="​Benjamin Penny p 170"/>​ In the course of cultivation practice, the student of Falun Gong aims to relinquish the pursuit of fame, monetary gain, sentimentality,​ and other entanglements. Li's teachings repeatedly emphasize the emptiness of material pursuits; although practitioners of Falun Gong are not encouraged to leave their jobs or eschew money, they are expected to give up the psychological attachments to these things.<​ref name=Ownby112/>​ Similarly, sexual desire and lust are treated as attachments to be discarded, but Falun Gong students are still generally expected to marry and have families.<​ref name=Ownby112>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ pp&​nbsp;​112–114.</​ref>​ All sexual relations outside the confines of monogamous, heterosexual marriage are regarded as immoral.<​ref name=wildgrass/>​ Although gays and lesbians may practice Falun Gong, homosexual conduct is said to generate karma, and is therefore viewed as incompatible with the goals of the practice.<​ref>​Falun Dafa Information Center, [http://​faluninfo.net/​article/​654/?​cid=23 Misconceptions:​ "​Intolerant"?​],​ 16 June 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2010. See also Robyn Lebron, "​Searching for Spiritual Unity,"​ p. 349.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong's cosmology includes the belief that different ethnicities each have a correspondence to their own heavens, and that individuals of mixed race lose some aspect of this connection.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ Nonetheless,​ Li maintains that being of mixed race does not affect a person'​s soul, nor hinder their ability to practice Falun Dafa.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ The practice does not have any formal stance against interracial marriage, and many Falun Gong practitioners have interracial children.<​ref>​{{cite web |url= http://​faluninfo.net/​article/​654/?​cid=23 |title=FalunInfo.net - Misconceptions:​ '​Intolerant'?​ |work=faluninfo.net |year=2011 |quote=practice |accessdate=29 October 2011}}</​ref>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong doctrine counsels against participation in political or social issues.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p 48.</​ref>​ Excessive interest in politics is viewed as an attachment to worldly power and influence, and Falun Gong aims for transcendence of such pursuits. According to Hu Ping, "Falun Gong deals only with purifying the individual through exercise, and does not touch on social or national concerns. It has not suggested or even intimated a model for social change. Many religions&​nbsp;​... pursue social reform to some extent&​nbsp;​... but there is no such tendency evident in Falun Gong."<​ref name=Ping>​Hu Ping, "The Falun Gong Phenomenon",​ in Challenging China: Struggle and Hope in an Era of Change, Sharon Hom and Stacy Mosher (ed) (New York: The New Press, 2007).</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Texts=== +
-The first book of Falun Gong teachings was published in April 1993. Called ''​China Falun Gong'',​ or simply ''​Falun Gong'',​ is an introductory text that discusses ''​qigong'',​ Falun Gong's relationship to Buddhism, the principles of cultivation practice and the improvement of moral character (xinxing). The book also provides illustrations and explanations of the exercises and meditation.<​ref name=flgbook/><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," pp&​nbsp;​93–94.</​ref>​ +
- +
-The main body of teachings is articulated in the core book ''​Zhuan Falun'',​ published in Chinese in January 1995. The book is divided into nine "​lectures",​ and was based on edited transcriptions of the talks Li gave throughout China in the preceding three years.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p. 97</​ref>​ Falun Gong texts have since been translated into an additional 38 languages. In addition to these central texts, Li has published several books, lectures, articles, books of poetry, which are made available on Falun Gong websites.<​ref>​See Falundafa.org,​ [http://​www.falundafa.org/​eng/​books.html "​books"​]</​ref><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," pp&​nbsp;​100–103.</​ref>​ +
- +
-The Falun Gong teachings use numerous untranslated Chinese religious and philosophical terms, and make frequent allusion to characters and incidents in Chinese folk literature and concepts drawn from Chinese popular religion. This, coupled with the literal translation style of the texts, which imitate the colloquial style of Li's speeches, can make Falun Gong scriptures difficult to approach for Westerners.<​ref name=Lowe>​Scott Lowe, "​Chinese and International Contexts for the Rise of Falun Gong," Nova Religio April 2003, Vol. 6, No. 2</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Symbols=== +
-The main symbol of the practice is the ''​Falun''​ (Dharma wheel, or ''​[[Dharmacakra]]''​ in [[Sanskrit]]). In Buddhism, the Dharmacakra represents the completeness of the doctrine. To "turn the wheel of dharma"​ (''​Zhuan Falun''​) means to preach the Buddhist doctrine, and is the title of Falun Gong's main text.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "Falun Gong, Buddhism, and Buddhist qigong,"​ Asian Studies Review 29 (March 2009).</​ref>​ Despite the invocation of Buddhist language and symbols, the law wheel as understood in Falun Gong has distinct connotations,​ and is held to represent the universe.<​ref name=Bruseker/>​ It is conceptualized by an emblem consisting of one large and four small [[Swastika]] symbols, representing the Buddha, and four small [[Taiji (philosophy)|Taiji]] (yin-yang) symbols of the Daoist tradition.<​ref name=ZF/><​ref name=Bruseker>​George Bruseker, "Falun Gong: A Modern Chinese Folk Buddhist Movement in Crisis,"​ 26 April 2000.</​ref>​ +
- +
-==Categorization== +
-Falun Gong is a multifaceted discipline that means different things to different people, ranging from a set of physical exercises for the attainment of better health and a praxis of self-transformation,​ to a moral philosophy and a new knowledge system.<​ref name="​zhao"/>​ Scholars and journalists have adopted a variety of terms and classifications in describing Falun Gong, some of them more precise than others. +
- +
-In the cultural context of China, Falun Gong is generally described either as a system of qigong, or a type of "​cultivation practice"​ (''​xiulian''​). Cultivation is a Chinese term that describes the process by which an individual seeks spiritual perfection, often through both physical and moral conditioning. Varieties of cultivation practice are found throughout Chinese history, spanning Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian traditions.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ Benjamin Penny, a professor of Chinese history at the Australian National University, writes "the best way to describe Falun Gong is as a cultivation system. Cultivation systems have been a feature of Chinese life for at least 2,500 years."<​ref name="​pennyharrold">​Benjamin Penny, [http://​www.nla.gov.au/​grants/​haroldwhite/​papers/​bpenny.html The Past, Present, and Future of Falun Gong], Lecture given at the National Library of Australia, 2001.</​ref>​ Qigong practices can also be understood as a part of a broader tradition of "​cultivation practice"​.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ +
- +
-In the West, Falun Gong is frequently classified as a religion on the basis of its theological and moral teachings,<​ref name=Madsen/>​ its concerns with spiritual cultivation and transformation,​ and its extensive body of scripture.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ Human rights groups report on the suppression of Falun Gong as a violation of religious freedom, and in 2001, Falun Gong was given an International Religious Freedom Award from [[Freedom House]].<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ Falun Gong practitioners themselves have sometimes disavowed this classification,​ however. This rejection reflects the relatively narrow definition of "​religion"​ (''​zongjiao''​) in contemporary China. According to David Ownby, religion in China has been defined since 1912 to refer to "​world-historical faiths"​ that have "​well-developed institutions,​ clergy, and textual traditions"​—namely,​ Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism.<​ref>​David Ownby, [http://​www.cecc.gov/​pages/​roundtables/​052305/​Ownby.php "​Unofficial Religions in China: Beyond the Party'​s Rules"​],​ Testimony for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 23 May 2005.</​ref>​ Falun Gong lacks these features, having no temples, rituals of worship, clergy or formal hierarchy. Moreover, if Falun Gong had described itself as a religion in China, it likely would have invited immediate suppression.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ These historical and cultural circumstances notwithstanding,​ the practice has often been described as a form of Chinese religion.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, " The Religion of Falun Gong," p 226. Quote: "Falun Gong is a new form of Chinese religion, even if its adherents themselves may not recognize it as being religion at all."</​ref>​ +
- +
-Although it is often referred to as such in journalistic literature, Falun Gong does not satisfy the definition of a "​sect."<​ref name=Schechter/>​ A sect is generally defined as a branch or denomination of an established belief system or mainstream church. Although Falun Gong draws on both Buddhist and Daoist ideas and terminology,​ it claims no direct relationship or lineage connection to these religions.<​ref name=Ownbyming/><​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," ​ p 26. Quote: "​[Falun Gong] claims no immediate predecessor in the sense of asserting its position in a lineage of religions. Nonetheless,​ as will be clear throughout this book, many of the terms Li Hongzhi uses and the ideas that underpin Falun Gong teachings are found in Chinese religions of the past."</​ref>​ Sociologists{{who|date=May 2012}} regard sects as exclusive groups that exist within clearly defined boundaries, with rigorous standards for admission and strict allegiances. However, as noted by Noah Porter, Falun Gong does not share these qualities: it does not have clearly defined boundaries, and anyone may practice it.<ref name=porterthesis/>​ +
- +
-Cheris Shun-ching considers [[cult]]s to be new religious movements that focus on the individual experience of the encounter with the sacred rather than collective worship, and to that end describes Falun Gong as a new religious movement "with cult-like characteristics."​ However, Chan defines a "​cult"​ differently from how the term is usually understood; she calls it a group that does not have a "prior theological tie with an established religious body," that holds "​beliefs and practice [that] are very often mystically and individualistically oriented,"​ and which is "​loosely structured with a fluctuating membership and tolerant of other organizations and faiths."<​ref name=chan2004>​Cheris Shun-ching Chan, "The Falun Gong in China: A Sociological Perspective,"​ ''​The China Quarterly'',​ 179 (2004), pp 665–683.</​ref>​ Some scholars avoid the term "​cult"​ altogether because "of the confusion between the historic meaning of the term and current pejorative use."<​ref name=bainbridge97>​William Sims Bainbridge, The Sociology of Religious Movements, (Routledge, 1997), p 24. ISBN 0-415-91202-4</​ref><​ref name=rich93>​{{Cite journal|doi=10.2307/​3511972 |last=Richardson |first=James T. |year=1993 |title=Definitions of Cult: From Sociological-Technical to Popular-Negative |journal=Review of Religious Research |volume=34| issue = 4 |pages=348–356|jstor=3511972}}</​ref>​ These scholars prefer terms like "​spiritual movement",​ "new religious syncretism",​ or "new religious movement"​ to avoid the negative connotations of "​cult"​ or to avoid improperly categorizing those which do not fit mainstream definitions.<​ref name=Chou/><​ref name=frank2004>​Adam Frank, "Falun Gong and the threat of history.,"​ in ''​Gods,​ guns, and globalization:​ religious radicalism and international political economy,''​ Mary Ann Tétreault, Robert Allen Denemark (ed.), (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004), ISBN 1-58826-253-7. pp 241–243</​ref>​ +
- +
-==Organization== +
-As a matter of doctrinal significance,​ Falun Gong is intended to be "​formless,"​ having little to no material or formal organization. Practitioners of Falun Gong cannot collect money or charge fees, conduct healings, or teach or interpret doctrine for others.<​ref name=Palmer241>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p&​nbsp;​241–246</​ref>​ There are no administrators or officials within the practice, no system of membership, and no churches or physical places of worship.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/><​ref name=porterprof>​Noah Porter, "​Professional Practitioners and Contact Persons Explicating Special Types of Falun Gong Practitioners",​ ''​Nova Religio'',​ November 2005, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp 62–83</​ref><​ref name=Tong>​{{cite journal| first=James| last=Tong| title=An Organizational Analysis of the Falun Gong: Structure, Communications,​ Financing| journal=[[The China Quarterly]]| volume=171|date=September 2002| pages=636–660| doi=10.1017/​S0009443902000402}}</​ref><​ref name=fieldnotes/>​ In the absence of membership or initiation rituals, Falun Gong practitioners can be anyone who chooses to identify themselves as such.<​ref name="​Haar">​{{Cite web|url=http://​website.leidenuniv.nl/​~haarbjter/​faluntext3.html|title=Evaluation and Further References|last=Haar|first=Barendter|accessdate=21 December 2009|quote=One difference between the Falun Gong and traditional groups is the absence of rituals of daily worship or rites of passage}}</​ref>​ Students are free to participate in the practice and follow its teachings as much or as little as they like, and practitioners do not instruct others on what to believe or how to behave.<​ref name=porterthesis/><​ref name=Ping/><​ref name=OwnbyCanada>​David Ownby, "​Falungong and Canada'​s China Policy,"​ International Journal, Spring 2001, p 193. Quote:"​These people have discovered what is to them the truth of the universe. They have arrived freely at this discovery, and, if they change their mind, they are fee to go on to something else. The Falungong community seems to be supportive but not constraining – aside from the peer pressure that exists in many groups situations; there is no visible power structure to chastise a misbehaving practitioner,​ nor do practitioners tell one another what to do or what to believe."</​ref>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong is centralized in that spiritual authority is vested in the corpus of teachings of the founder, Li Hongzhi, but organizationally it is decentralized with local branches and assistants afforded no special privileges, authority, or titles. Volunteer "​assistants"​ or "​contact persons"​ do not hold authority over other practitioners,​ regardless of how long they have practiced Falun Gong.<​ref name=Chou/><​ref name=burgdoff>​Craig A. Burgdoff, "How Falun Gong Practice Undermines Li Hongzhi'​s Totalistic Rhetoric,"​ ''​Nova Religio''​ April 2003, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp 332–347.</​ref>​ As such, spiritual and ideological authority in the practice is completely centralized with Li Hongzhi.<​ref name=Palmer241/>​ Li's spiritual authority within the practice is absolute, yet the organization of Falun Gong works against totalistic control, and Li does not intervene in the personal lives of adherents. Practitioners of Falun Gong have little to no contact with Li, except through the study of his teachings.<​ref name=porterthesis/><​ref name=burgdoff/>​ There is no hierarchy in Falun Gong to enforce orthodoxy, and little or no emphasis is given on dogmatic discipline; the only thing emphasized is the need for strict moral behavior, according to Craig Burgdoff, a professor of religious studies.<​ref name=burgdoff/>​ +
- +
-To the extent that organization is achieved in Falun Gong, it is accomplished through a global, networked, and largely virtual online community. In particular, electronic communications,​ email lists and a collection of websites are the primary means of coordinating activities and disseminating Li Hongzhi'​s teachings.<​ref>​{{cite book | url=http://​books.google.com/​books?​id=lrQV2Wi1RdgC&​pg=PA140&​dq=Kevin+McDonald,​+Global+Movements:​+Action+and+Culture,​+chapter+7,​+‘Healing+Movements,​+embodied+subjects’,​+Wiley-Blackwell+(2006)&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=&​f=false | title=Global movements: action and culture | first=Kevin | last=McDonald | publisher=Wiley-Blackwell | year=2006 | isbn=978-1-4051-1613-8 }}</​ref>​ The extent of Falun Gong's reliance on the internet as a means of organizing has led to the group'​s characterization as "a virtual religious community."<​ref name=Chou/>​ +
- +
-Outside Mainland China, a network of volunteer '​contact persons',​ regional Falun Dafa Associations and university clubs exist in approximately 70 countries.<​ref>​Falundafa.org,​ [http://​www.falundafa.org/​eng/​contacts/​area/​index.html 'Local Contacts'​].</​ref>​ Li Hongzhi'​s teachings are principally spread through the Internet.<​ref name=fieldnotes/><​ref>​Mark R. Bell, Taylor C. Boas, ''​Falun Gong and the Internet: Evangelism, Community, and Struggle for Survival'',​ Nova Religio, April 2003, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp 277–293</​ref>​ In most mid- to large-sized cities, Falun Gong practitioners organize regular group meditation or study sessions in which they practice Falun Gong exercises and read Li Hongzhi'​s writings. The exercise and meditation sessions are described as informal groups of practitioners who gather in public parks—usually in the morning—for one to two hours.<​ref name=porterthesis/><​ref name=fieldnotes>​Susan Palmer and David Ownby, ''​Field Notes: Falun Dafa Practitioners:​ A Preliminary Research Report'',​ Nova Religio, 2000.4.1.133</​ref><​ref>​Craig Burgdoff, "How Falun Gong Practice Undermines Li Hongzhi'​s Totalistic Rhetoric,"​ p 336.</​ref>​ Group study sessions typically take place in the evenings in private residences or university or high school classrooms, and are described by David Ownby as "the closest thing to a regular '​congregational experience'"​ that Falun Gong offers.<​ref name=Ownby313>​David Ownby, "Falun Gong in the New World",​ European Journal of East Asian Studies (2003), pp&​nbsp;​313–314.</​ref>​ Individuals who are too busy, isolated, or who simply prefer solitude may elect to practice privately.<​ref name=Ownby313/>​ When there are expenses to be covered (such as for the rental of facilities for large-scale conferences),​ costs are borne by self-nominated and relatively affluent individual members of the community.<​ref name=Ownby313/><​ref>​Craig Burgdoff, "How Falun Gong Practice Undermines Li Hongzhi'​s Totalistic Rhetoric,"​ p 338.</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Organization within China=== +
-In 1993, the Beijing-based Falun Dafa Research Society was accepted as a branch of the state-run China Qigong Research Society (CQRS), which oversaw the administration of the country'​s various qigong schools, and sponsored activities and seminars. As per the requirements of the CQRS, Falun Gong was organized into a nationwide network of assistance centers, "main stations",​ "​branches",​ "​guidance stations",​ and local practice sites, mirroring the structure of the qigong society or even of the Communist Party itself.<​ref name=Tong/><​ref name=McDonald>​Kevin McDonald, Global Movements: Action and Culture, '​Healing Movements, embodied subjects',​ (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell,​ 2006), pp 142 – 164</​ref>​ Falun Gong assistants were self-selecting volunteers who taught the exercises, organized events, and disseminated new writings from Li Hongzhi. The Falun Dafa Research Society provided advice to students on meditation techniques, translation services, and coordination for the practice nationwide.<​ref name=Tong/>​ +
- +
-Following its departure from the CQRS in 1996, Falun Gong came under increased scrutiny from authorities and responded by adopting a more decentralized and loose organizational structure.<​ref name=porterthesis/>​ In 1997, the Falun Dafa Research Society was formally dissolved, along with the regional "main stations."<​ref>​James Tong, "An Organizational Analysis of the Falun Gong: Structure, Communications,​ Financing," ​ p 641</​ref>​ Yet practitioners continued to organize themselves at local levels, being connected through electronic communications,​ interpersonal networks and group exercise sites.<​ref name=porterthesis/><​ref name=Tong2009>​James Tong, "​[http://​books.google.com/​books?​id=PyxCVRB-De8C&​pg=PP6&​lpg=PP6&​dq=james+tong+revenge&​source=bl&​ots=PAXEUO0lAG&​sig=Asclwn4AMZASBTPoy1oo-DtsneA&​hl=en&​sa=X&​ei=bF-FULFdpPbSAaiUgMAM&​ved=0CFIQ6AEwCA#​v=onepage&​q&​f=false Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005]"​ (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009), isbn 0-19-537728-1</​ref>​ Both Falun Gong sources and Chinese government sources claimed that there were some 1,900 "​guidance stations"​ and 28,263 local Falun Gong exercise sites nationwide by 1999, though they disagree over the extent of vertical coordination among these organizational units.<​ref>​James Tong, "An Organizational Analysis of the Falun Gong: Structure, Communications,​ Financing," ​ p 642.</​ref>​ In response to the suppression that began in 1999, Falun Gong was driven underground,​ the organizational structure grew yet more informal within China, and the internet took precedence as a means of connecting practitioners.<​ref>​Patricia Thornton, "​Manufacturing Dissent in Transnational China",​ in Popular Protest in China, Kevin J. O'​Brien (ed.), (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008).</​ref>​ +
- +
-Following the suppression of Falun Gong in 1999, Chinese authorities sought to portray Falun Gong as a hierarchical and well-funded organization. James Tong writes that it was in the government'​s interest to portray Falun Gong as highly organized in order to justify its repression of the group: "The more organized the Falun Gong could be shown to be, then the more justified the regime'​s repression in the name of social order was."<​ref>​James Tong, "An Organizational Analysis of the Falun Gong: Structure, Communications,​ Financing,"​ p 638.</​ref>​ He concluded that Party'​s claims lacked "both internal and external substantiating evidence",​ and that despite the arrests and scrutiny, the authorities never "​credibly countered Falun Gong rebuttals"​.<​ref>​James Tong, "An Organizational Analysis of the Falun Gong: Structure, Communications,​ Financing,"​ p  657.</​ref>​ +
- +
-==Demography== +
-[[File:​Falun Dafa fifth meditation exercise.jpg|right|thumb|A Falun Gong practitioner performs the fifth exercise, a meditation, in Bangkok, Thailand.]] +
-Prior to July 1999, official estimates placed the number of Falun Gong practitioners as high as 60 to 70 million nationwide, rivaling membership in the Communist Party.<​ref name=BayFang>​Bay Fang, [http://​www.usnews.com/​usnews/​news/​articles/​990222/​archive_000322.htm "An opiate of the masses?"​ U.S. News and World Report, February 22, 1999.]</​ref><​ref name=Faison>​Seth Faison, [http://​partners.nytimes.com/​library/​world/​asia/​042799china-protest.html "In Beijing: A Roar of Silent Protestors"​],​ New York Times, 27 April 1999. Quote: "​Buddhist Law, led by a qigong master named Li Hongzhi, claims to have more than 100 million followers. Even if that is an exaggeration,​ the government'​s estimate of 70 million adherents represents a large group in a nation of 1.2 billion."</​ref><​ref>​Joseph Kahn, [http://​partners.nytimes.com/​library/​world/​asia/​042799china-protest-leader.html "​Notoriety Now for Movement'​s Leader"​],​ New York Times, 27 April 1999. Quote: "​Beijing puts the tally of followers in his mystical movement at 70 million. Its practitioners say they do not dispute those numbers. But they say they have no way of knowing for sure, in part because they have no central membership lists."</​ref><​ref>​Renee Schoff, "​Growing group poses a dilemma for China",​ Associated Press, 26 April 1999. Quote: "It teaches morality and acceptance, just what the Beijing government likes to see. But, with more members than the Communist Party—at least 70 million, according to the State Sports Administration—Falun is also a formidable social network&​nbsp;​..."</​ref><​ref>​New York Times, [http://​www.nytimes.com/​1999/​11/​13/​world/​4-from-chinese-spiritual-group-are-sentenced.html "4 From Chinese Spiritual group Are Sentenced"​],​ 13 November 1999. pg. A.5. | Quote: "​Before the crackdown the government estimated membership at 70 million — which would make it larger than the Chinese Communist Party, with 61 million members."</​ref>​ By the time of the suppression on 22 July 1999, most Chinese government numbers said the population of Falun Gong was between 2 and 3 million,<​ref name=Tong2009/><​ref name=Zong>​Zong Hairen, "Zhu Rongji zai 1999" (Zhu Rongji in 1999) (Carle Place, N.Y.: Mirror Books, 2001).</​ref>​ though some publications maintained an estimate of 40 million.<​ref name=Tong/><​ref>​Cheris Shun-ching (2004). "The Falun Gong in China: A Sociological Perspective"​. ''​The China Quarterly'',​ 179.</​ref>​ Most Falun Gong estimates in the same period placed the total number of practitioners in China at 70 to 80 million.<​ref name=Lowe/><​ref name=Tong/><​ref>​David Palmer, Qigong Fever: Body, Science and Utopia in China. Quote: "In 1997, Li Hongzhi claimed to have 100 million followers, including 20 million regular practitioners."</​ref>​ Other sources have estimated the Falun Gong population in China to have peaked between 10 and 60 million practitioners.<​ref>​Seth Faison, [http://​www2.kenyon.edu/​Depts/​Religion/​Fac/​Adler/​Reln270/​FalunGong/​16.htm Followers of Chinese Sect Defend Its Spiritual Goals], New York Times, 30 July 1999.</​ref><​ref>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China."​ Quote: "​...&​nbsp;​we may very roughly and tentatively estimate that the total number of practitioners was, at its peak, between 3 and 20 million.&​nbsp;​... A mid-range estimate of 10 million would appear, to me, more reasonable."</​ref>​ The number of Falun Gong adherents still practicing in China today is difficult to confirm, though some sources estimate that millions may continue to practice privately.<​ref name=ReligiousFreedom2009>​U.S. Department of State, 2009 International Religious Freedom Report: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau)</​ref><​ref>​Malcolm Moore, "​[http://​www.telegraph.co.uk/​news/​worldnews/​asia/​china/​5213629/​Falun-Gong-growing-in-China-despite-10-year-ban.html Falun Gong '​growing'​ in China despite 10-year ban]," The Telegraph, 24 April 2009.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Demographic surveys conducted in China in 1998 found a population that was mostly female and elderly. Of 34,351 Falun Gong practitioners surveyed, 27% were male and 73% female. Only 38% were under 50 years old.<​ref>​Noah Porter, "Falun Gong in the United States: An Ethnographic Study,"​ p 117.</​ref>​ Falun Gong attracted a range of other individuals,​ from young college students to bureaucrats,​ intellectuals and Party officials.<​ref>​Lincoln Kaye, "​Travelers Tales,"​ Far Eastern Economic Review, 23 July 1992.</​ref><​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 127.</​ref>​ Surveys in China from the 1990s found that between 23% - 40% of practitioners held university degrees at the college or graduate level—several times higher than the general population.<​ref name=porterthesis/>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong is practiced by tens, and possibly hundreds of thousands outside China,<​ref name="​David Ownby p 126"/>​ with the largest communities found in Taiwan and North American cities with large Chinese populations,​ such as New York and Toronto. Demographic surveys by Palmer and Ownby in these communities found that 90% of practitioners are ethnic Chinese. The average age was approximately 40.<ref name=Ownby136>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 136.</​ref>​ Among survey respondents,​ 56% were female and 44% male; 80% were married. The surveys found the respondents to be highly educated: 9% held PhDs, 34% had Masters degrees, and 24% had a Bachelors degree.<​ref name=Ownby136/>​ +
- +
-The most commonly reported reasons for being attracted to Falun Gong were intellectual content, cultivation exercises, and health benefits.<​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ pp&​nbsp;​132–134.</​ref>​ Non-Chinese adherents of Falun Gong tend to fit the profile of "​spiritual seekers"​—people who had tried a variety of qigong, yoga, or religious practices before finding Falun Gong. According to Richard Madsen, Chinese scientists with doctorates from prestigious American universities who practice Falun Gong claim that modern physics (for example, superstring theory) and biology (specifically the [[pineal gland]]'​s function) provide a scientific basis for their beliefs. From their point of view, "Falun Dafa is knowledge rather than religion, a new form of science rather than faith."<​ref name=Madsen>​Richard Madsen, "​Understanding Falun Gong," Current History (September 2000).</​ref>​ +
- +
-==History inside China== +
-{{Main|History of Falun Gong}} +
- +
-===1992–1996=== +
- +
-Li Hongzhi introduced Falun Gong to the public in 13 May 1992, in Changchun, [[Jilin]] Province.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ Several months later, in September 1992, Falun Gong was admitted as a branch of qigong under the administration of the state-run China Qigong Scientific Research Society (CQRS). Li was recognized as a qigong master, and was authorized to teach his practice nationwide.<​ref name="​Ownby (2003)">​David Ownby, "The Falun Gong in the New World"​. European Journal of East Asian Studies, Sep 2003, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p 306.</​ref>​ Like many ''​qigong''​ masters at the time, Li toured major cities in China from 1992 to 1994 to teach the practice. He was granted a number of awards by PRC governmental organizations.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/><​ref name="​pennyharrold"/><​ref name=Zfl>​[http://​www.trinity.edu/​rnadeau/​Chinese%20Religions/​Li%20Hongzhi.htm A Short Biography of Mr. Li Hongzhi], PRC law and Government v. 32 no. 6 (November/​December 1999) p.&​nbsp;​14–23 ISSN: 0009-4609</​ref><​ref>​Zeng,​ Jennifer. "​Witnessing history: one Chinese woman'​s fight for freedom,"​ Soho Press, 2006</​ref>​ +
- +
-According to David Ownby, Professor of History and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the Université de Montréal, Li became an "​instant star of the qigong movement",<​ref name="​Ownbyworld">​David Ownby, "The Falun Gong in the New World"​. European Journal of East Asian Studies, Sep2003, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p 306</​ref>​ and Falun Gong was embraced by the government as an effective means of lowering health care costs, promoting Chinese culture, and improving public morality. In December 1992, for instance, Li and several Falun Gong students participated in the Asian Health Expo in Beijing, where he reportedly "​received the most praise [of any qigong school] at the fair, and achieved sehr gute therap eutische Ergebnise,"​ according to the fair's organizer<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ The event helped cement Li's popularity, and journalistic reports of Falun Gong's healing powers spread.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/><​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ In 1993, a publication of the Ministry of Public Security praised Li for "​promoting the traditional crime-fighting virtues of the Chinese people, in safeguarding social order and security, and in promoting rectitude in society."<​ref>​Falun Dafa Information Center, [http://​faluninfo.net/​topic/​24/​ "Falun Gong: Timeline"​],​ 18 May 2008.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong had differentiated itself from other ''​qigong''​ groups in its emphasis on morality, low cost, and health benefits. It rapidly spread via word-of-mouth,​ attracting a wide range of adherents from all walks of life, including numerous members of the Chinese Communist Party.<​ref name=Lowe/><​ref name=lum>​Thomas Lum, [http://​www.usembassy.it/​pdf/​other/​RL33437.pdf Congressional Research Report #RL33437], Congressional Research Service, 11 August 2006</​ref>​ +
- +
-Li charged less than competing ''​qigong''​ systems for lectures, tapes, and books, and in 1994 had altogether stopped collecting fees for his lectures.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ With the publication of the books ''​Falun Gong''​ and ''​[[Teachings of Falun Gong#Zhuan Falun, the Main Book of Falun Gong|Zhuan Falun]]'',​ Li made his teachings more widely accessible. ''​Zhuan Falun'',​ published in January 1995 at an unveiling ceremony held in the auditorium of the Ministry of Public Security, became a best-seller in China.<​ref>​Danny Schechter, "Falun Gong's Challenge to China: Spiritual Practice or Evil Cult?,"​ p 66</​ref><​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 72.</​ref>​ +
- +
-In 1995, Chinese authorities began looking to Falun Gong to solidify its organizational structure and ties to the party-state.<​ref name=porterthesis/>​ Li was approached by the Chinese National Sports Committee, Ministry of Public Health, and China Qigong Science Research Association (CQRS) to jointly establish a Falun Gong association. Li declined the offer. The same year, the CQRS issued a new regulation mandating that all qigong denominations establish a Communist Party branch. Li again refused.<​ref name=Palmer/>​ +
- +
-Tensions continued to mount between Li and the CQRS in 1996. In the face of Falun Gong's rise in popularity—a large part of which was attributed to its low cost—competing ''​qigong''​ masters accused Li of undercutting them. According to Schechter, the ''​qigong''​ society under which Li and other ''​qigong''​ masters belonged asked Li to hike his tuition, but Li emphasized the need for the teachings to be free of charge.<​ref name=Schechter/>​ +
- +
-In March 1996, in response to mounting disagreements,​ Falun Gong withdrew from the CQRS, after which time it operated outside the official sanction of the state. Falun Gong representatives attempted to register with other government entities, but were rebuffed.<​ref>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p 248.</​ref>​ Li and Falun Gong were then outside the circuit of personal relations and financial exchanges through which masters and their ''​qigong''​ organizations could find a place within the state system, and also the protections this afforded.<​ref>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p 295.</​ref>​ +
- +
-===1996–1999=== +
-Falun Gong's departure from the state-run CQRS corresponded to a wider shift in the government'​s attitudes towards qigong practices. As qigong'​s detractors in government grew more influential,​ authorities began attempting to rein in the growth and influence of these groups, some of which had amassed tens of millions of followers.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ In the mid-1990s the state-run media began publishing articles critical of qigong.<​ref name=Palmer/><​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong was initially shielded from the mounting criticism, but following its withdrawal from the CQRS in March 1996, it lost this protection. On 17 June 1996, the ''​Guangming Daily'',​ an influential state-run newspaper, published a polemic against Falun Gong in which its central text, ''​Zhuan Falun'',​ was described as an example of "​feudal superstition."<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/><​ref name=Palmer249>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p 249.</​ref>​ The author wrote that the history of humanity is a "​struggle between science and superstition,"​ and called on Chinese publishers not to print "​pseudo-scientific books of the swindlers."​ The article was followed by at least twenty more in newspapers nationwide. Soon after, on 24 July, the Central Propaganda Department banned all publication of Falun Gong books (though the ban was not consistently enforced).<​ref name=Palmer249/>​ The state-administered Buddhist Association of China also began issuing criticisms of Falun Gong, urging lay Buddhists not to take up the practice.<​ref>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p 263.</​ref>​ +
- +
-The events were an important challenge to Falun Gong, and one that practitioners did not take lightly.<​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 168.</​ref>​ Thousands of Falun Gong followers wrote to ''​Guangming Daily''​ and to the CQRS to complain against the measures, claiming that they violated [[Hu Yaobang]]'​s 1982 '​Triple No' directive which prohibited the media from either encouraging or criticizing qigong practices.<​ref name=Palmer249/><​ref>​Sumner B. Twiss, "​Religious Intolerance in Contemporary China, Including the Curious Case of Falun Gong," The World'​s Religions After 11 September, by Arvind Sharma (ed.) (Greenwood Publishing, 2009), pp.&​nbsp;​227–240.</​ref>​ In other instances, Falun Gong adherents staged peaceful demonstrations outside media or local government offices to request retractions of perceived unfair coverage. Li Hongzhi made statements that practitioners'​ response to criticism showed their hearts and "would separate the false disciples from the true ones", also indicating that publicly defending the practice was a righteous act and an important aspect of Falun Gong cultivation.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ +
- +
-The polemics against Falun Gong were part of a larger movement opposing qigong organizations in the state-run media.<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p 53.</​ref>​ Although Falun Gong was not the only target of the media criticism, nor the only group to protest, theirs was the most mobilized and steadfast response.<​ref name="​zhao"/>​ Many of Falun Gong's protests against negative media portrayals were successful, resulting in the retraction of several newspaper stories critical of the practice. This contributed to practitioners'​ belief that the media claims against them were false or exaggerated,​ and that their stance was justified.<​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 170.</​ref>​ +
- +
-In June 1998, [[He Zuoxiu]], an outspoken critic of qigong and a fierce defender of Marxism, appeared on a talk show on [[Beijing Television]] and openly disparaged ''​qigong''​ groups, making particular mention of Falun Gong.<​ref>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ pp 134 & pp&​nbsp;​252–256</​ref>​ Falun Gong practitioners responded with peaceful protests and by lobbying the station for a retraction. The reporter responsible for the program was reportedly fired, and a program favorable to Falun Gong was aired several days later.<​ref name="​Jude Howell">​{{Cite book|url=http://​books.google.com/?​id=H80YZqSj7EEC&​pg=PP1&​dq=Governance+in+China+~+Jude+Howell#​v=onepage&​q= |work=Governance in China |editor= Jude Howell |first=Clemens Stubbe |last=Østergaard |pages=214–223 |title=Governance and the Political Challenge of Falun Gong |year=2003 |isbn=0-7425-1988-0 |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield Publishers |location=Lanham,​ Md.}}</​ref><​ref name=Dangerous>​{{Cite book|last=Human Right Watch|author2=Mickey Spiegel|title=Dangerous meditation: China'​s campaign against Falungong|location=New York|year=2001|page=9|accessdate=15 December 2009}}</​ref>​ Falun Gong practitioners also mounted demonstrations at 14 other media outlets.<​ref name="​Jude Howell"​ /> +
- +
-In 1997, The Ministry of Public Security launched an investigation into whether Falun Gong should be deemed xie jiao (邪教, "​heretical teaching"​). The report concluded that "no evidence has appeared thus far"​.<​ref>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p 265.</​ref>​ The following year, however, on 21 July 1998, the Ministry of Public Security issued Document No. 555, "​Notice of the Investigation of Falun Gong". The document asserted that Falun Gong is a "​heretical teaching",​ and mandated that another investigation be launched to seek evidence in support of the conclusion.<​ref name=Palmer267/>​ Falun Gong practitioners reported having phone lines tapped, homes ransacked and raided, and Falun Gong exercise sites disrupted by public security agents.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ +
- +
-In this time period, even as criticism of qigong and Falun Gong mounted in some circles, the practice maintained a number of high-profile supporters in the government. In 1998, [[Qiao Shi]], the recently retired [[Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People'​s Congress]], initiated his own investigation into Falun Gong. After months of investigations,​ his group concluded that "Falun Gong has hundreds of benefits for the Chinese people and China, and does not have one single bad effect."<​ref>​Benjamin Penny, "The Religion of Falun Gong," p 56.</​ref>​ In May of the same year, China'​s National Sports Commission launched its own survey of Falun Gong. Based on interviews with over 12,000 Falun Gong adherents in [[Guangdong]] province,<​ref name=Palmer /> they stated that they were "​convinced the exercises and effects of Falun Gong are excellent. It has done an extraordinary amount to improve society'​s stability and ethics."​ +
- +
-The practice'​s founder, Li Hongzhi, was largely absent from the country during the period of rising tensions with the government. In  March 1995, Li had left China to first teach his practice in France and then other countries, and in 1998 obtained permanent residency in the United States.<​ref name=Palmer/><​ref name=Pennyreligion/><​ref name="​GallagherAshcraft2006">​{{cite book|author1=Eugene V. Gallagher|author2=W. Michael Ashcraft|title=Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America: African diaspora traditions and other American innovations|url=http://​books.google.com/​books?​id=ClaySHbUEogC&​pg=PA174|accessdate=4 February 2012|year=2006|publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group|isbn=978-0-275-98717-6|page=174}}</​ref>​ +
- +
-By 1999, estimates provided by the State Sports Commission suggested there were 60 to 70 million Falun Gong practitioners in China.<​ref name=Faison/><​ref>​Renee Schoff, "​Growing group poses a dilemma for China",​ Associated Press, 26 April 1999.</​ref>​ An anonymous employee of China'​s National Sports Commission, was at this time quoted in an interview with U.S. News & World Report as speculating that if 100 million had taken up Falun Gong and other forms of qigong there would be a dramatic reduction of health care costs and that "​Premier Zhu Rongji is very happy about that."<​ref name=BayFang/>​ +
- +
-===Tianjin and Zhongnanhai protests=== +
-[[Image:​April25Zhognanhai.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Falun Gong practitioners protest outside the [[Zhongnanhai]] compound.]] +
-By the late 1990s, the Communist Party'​s relationship to the growing Falun Gong movement had become increasingly tense. Reports of discrimination and surveillance by the Public Security Bureau were escalating, and Falun Gong adherents were routinely organizing sit-in demonstrations responding to media articles they deemed to be unfair. The conflicting investigations launched by the Ministry of the Public Security on one side and the State Sports Commission and Qiao Shi on the other spoke of the disagreements among China'​s elites on how to regard the growing practice. +
- +
-In April 1999, an article critical of Falun Gong was published in [[Tianjin Normal University]]'​s ''​Youth Reader''​ magazine. The article was authored by physicist He Zuoxiu who, as Porter and Gutmann note, is a relative of Politburo member and public security [[Party secretary|secretary]] [[Luo Gan]].<​ref name=porterthesis/><​ref name=gutmannfuyou/>​ The article cast qigong, and Falun Gong in particular, as superstitious and harmful for youth.<​ref name=hezuoxiu>​{{Cite web|url=http://​www.cnfxj.org/​Html/​lgxd/​2007-6/​24/​165513641.html#​|title=I do not agree with Youth Practicing ''​Qigong''​ (我不赞成青少年炼气功)|author=He Zuoxiu|language=Chinese|year=1999}}</​ref>​ Falun Gong practitioners responded by picketing the offices of the newspaper requesting a retraction of the article.<​ref name=Palmer267>​David Palmer, "​Qigong Fever:Body, Science and Utopia in China,"​ p 267.</​ref>​ Unlike past instances in which Falun Gong protests were successful, on 22 April the Tianjin demonstration was broken up by the arrival of three hundred riot police. Some of the practitioners were beaten, and forty-five arrested.<​ref name=Schechter/><​ref name=Palmer267/><​ref name=Ownby171>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 171</​ref>​ Other Falun Gong practitioners were told that if they wished to appeal further, they needed to take the issue up with the Ministry of Public Security and go to Beijing to appeal<​ref name=gutmannfuyou>​Ethan Gutmann, An Occurrence on Fuyou Street, ''​National Review,''​ 13 July 2009</​ref><​ref name=Ownby171/><​ref>​Danny Schechter, "Falun Gong's Challenge to China,"​ p 69.</​ref>​ +
- +
-The Falun Gong community quickly mobilized a response, and on the morning of 25 April, upwards of 10,000 practitioners gathered near the central appeals office to demand an end to the escalating harassment against the movement, and request the release of the Tianjin practitioners. According to Benjamin Penny, practitioners sought redress from the leadership of the country by going to them and, "​albeit very quietly and politely, making it clear that they would not be treated so shabbily."<​ref name="​pennyharrold"​ /> Journalist Ethan Gutmann wrote that security officers had been expecting them, and corralled the practitioners onto Fuyou Street in front of Zhongnanhai government compound.<​ref name=gutmannfuyou/>​ They sat or read quietly on the sidewalks surrounding the Zhongnanhai.<​ref name=Tong5>​James Tong, "​Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005,"​ p 5.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Five Falun Gong representatives met with Premier [[Zhu Rongji]] and other senior officials to negotiate a resolution. The Falun Gong representatives were assured that the regime supported physical exercises for health improvements and did not consider the Falun Gong to be anti-government.<​ref name=Tong5/>​ Upon reaching this resolution, the crowd of Falun Gong protesters dispersed.<​ref name=gutmannfuyou/>​ +
- +
-[[General Secretary of the Communist Party of China|Party General Secretary]] [[Jiang Zemin]] was alerted to the demonstration by [[CPC Politburo]] member Luo Gan,<ref name=Zong/>​ and was reportedly angered by the audacity of the demonstration—the largest since the Tiananmen Square protests ten years earlier. Jiang called for resolute action to suppress the group,<​ref name=Tong2009/>​ and reportedly criticized Premier Zhu for being "too soft" in his handling of the situation.<​ref name=Schechter/>​ That evening, Jiang composed a letter indicating his desire to see Falun Gong "​defeated"​. In the letter, Jiang expressed concerns over the size and popularity of Falun Gong, and in particular about the large number of senior Communist Party members found among Falun Gong adherents. He also intimated that Falun Gong's moral philosophy was at odds with the [[Marxist–Leninist atheism|atheist values of Marxist-Leninism]],​ and therefore constituted a form of ideological competition.<​ref>​Jiang Zemin, Letter to Party cadres on the evening of 25 April 1999. Published in Beijing Zhichun no. 97 (June 2001)</​ref>​ +
- +
-Jiang is held by Falun Gong to be personally responsible for this decision to suppress Falun Gong.<​ref name=peerman>​Dean Peerman, [http://​findarticles.com/​p/​articles/​mi_m1058/​is_16_121/​ai_n8702386/​pg_4 China syndrome: the persecution of Falun Gong], Christian Century, 10 August 2004</​ref><​ref name=Saich>​Tony Saich, ''​Governance and Politics in China,''​ Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition (27 February 2004)</​ref>​ Peerman cited reasons such as suspected personal jealousy of Li Hongzhi; Saich points to Jiang'​s anger at Falun Gong's widespread appeal, and ideological struggle as causes for the crackdown that followed. Willy Wo-Lap Lam suggests Jiang'​s decision to suppress Falun Gong was related to a desire to consolidate his power within the Politburo.<​ref>​Lam,​ Willy Wo-Lap. "​China'​s sect suppression carries a high price,"​ CNN, 5 February 2001</​ref>​ According to Human Rights Watch, Communist Party leaders and ruling elite were far from unified in their support for the crackdown.<​ref name=Dangerous/>​ +
- +
-==Suppression== +
-{{Main|Persecution of Falun Gong}} +
-[[File:​Arrest of Falung Gong Practitioners in China.jpg|thumb|left|Falun Gong practitioners being arrested on Tiananmen Square.]] +
- +
-On 20 July 1999, security forces abducted and detained thousands of Falun Gong adherents that they identified as leaders.<​ref name=Tong2009/>​ Two days later on 22 July, the PRC Ministry of Civil Affairs outlawed the Falun Dafa Research Society as an illegal organization "​engaged in illegal activities, advocating superstition and spreading fallacies, hoodwinking people, inciting and creating disturbances,​ and jeopardizing social stability",<​ref name=ban>​[[Xinhua]],​ [http://​english.people.com.cn/​special/​fagong/​1999072200A101.html China Bans Falun Gong], ''​People'​s Daily'',​ 22 July 1999</​ref>​ and the Ministry of Public Security issued a circular forbidding citizens from practicing Falun Gong in groups, possessing Falun Gong's teachings, displaying Falun Gong banners or symbols, or protesting the ban.<ref name=Dangerous/>​ +
- +
-The ensuing campaign aimed to "​eradicate"​ the group through a combination of propaganda, imprisonment,​ and coercive thought reform of adherents, sometimes resulting in deaths. In October 1999, four months after the ban, legislation was created to outlaw "​[[heterodoxy|heterodox]] religions,"​ and applied to sentence Falun Gong devotees to prison terms.<​ref name="​Leung">​Leung,​ Beatrice (2002) 'China and Falun Gong: Party and society relations in the modern era', Journal of Contemporary China, 11:33, 761 – 784</​ref><​ref name=Amnesty/>​ +
-  +
-Hundreds of thousands are estimated to have been imprisoned extrajudicially,​ and practitioners in detention are reportedly subjected to forced labor, psychiatric abuse, torture, and other coercive methods of thought reform at the hands of Chinese authorities.<​ref name=CER/><​ref name=sunnygalli>​Sunny Y. Lu, MD, PhD, and Viviana B. Galli, MD, "​Psychiatric Abuse of Falun Gong Practitioners in China",​ ''​J Am Acad Psychiatry Law'',​ 30:​126–30,​ 2002</​ref><​ref name=munro2002>​Robin J. Munro, "​Judicial Psychiatry in China and its Political Abuses",​ ''​Columbia Journal of Asian Law'',​ [[Columbia University]],​ Volume 14, Number 1, Fall 2000, p 114</​ref>​ The [[U.S. Department of State]] and [[Congressional-Executive Commission on China]] cite estimates that as much as half of China'​s reeducation-through-labor camp population is made up of Falun Gong adherents.<​ref>​U.S. Department of State, [http://​www.state.gov/​j/​drl/​rls/​irf/​2008/​108404.htm 2008 Country Report on Human Rights: China (includes Hong Kong and Macao)], Oct 2008. Quote: "Some foreign observers estimated that at least half of the 250,000 officially recorded inmates in the country'​s reeducation-through-labor camps were Falun Gong adherents. Falun Gong sources overseas placed the number even higher."</​ref><​ref>​Congressional Executive Commission on China, [http://​www.cecc.gov/​pages/​annualRpt/​annualRpt08/​CECCannRpt2008.pdf Annual Report 2008], 31 October 2008. Quote: "​International observers believe that Falun Gong practitioners constitute a large percentage—some say as many as half—of the total number of Chinese imprisoned in RTL camps. Falun Gong sources report that at least 200,000 practitioners are being held in RTL and other forms of detention."</​ref>​ Researcher Ethan Gutmann estimates that Falun Gong represents an average of 15 to 20 percent of the total "​laogai"​ population, which includes reeducation through labor camps as well as prisons and other forms of administrative detention.<​ref name=Gutmann2012>​Ethan Gutmann, "How many harvested?",​ in State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China, ​ (Woodstock, ON: Seraphim editions, 2009), pages=49 - 67.</​ref>​ Former detainees of the labor camp system have reported that Falun Gong practitioners are one of the largest groups of prisoners; in some labor camp and prison facilities, they comprise the majority of detainees, and are often said to receive the longest sentences and the worst treatment.<​ref>​Human Rights Watch, "​[http://​www.hrw.org/​sites/​default/​files/​reports/​china1205wcover.pdf We Could Disappear at Any Time],"​ 7 December 2005. Quote: "​Several petitioners reported that the longest sentences and worst treatment were meted out to members of the banned meditation group, Falungong, many of whom also petition in Beijing. Kang reported that of the roughly one thousand detainees in her labor camp in Jilin, most were Falungong practitioners. The government'​s campaign against the group has been so thorough that even long-time Chinese activists are afraid to say the group'​s name aloud&​nbsp;​..."</​ref><​ref>​Chinese Human Rights Defenders, [http://​docs.law.gwu.edu/​facweb/​dclarke/​public/​CHRD_RTL_Report.pdf Re-education through Labor Abuses Continue Unabated: Overhaul Long Overdue], 4 February 2009. Quote: "More than half of our 13 interviewees remarked on the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in RTL camps. They said Falun Gong practitioners make up one of the largest groups of detainees in the camp, and that they are often persecuted because of their faith&​nbsp;​...'​Of all the detainees, the Falun Gong practitioners were the largest group'"​.</​ref>​ A 2013 report by Amnesty International on labor reeducation camps found that, at the peak, Falun Gong practitioners "​constituted on average from one third to in some cases 100 per cent of the total population"​ of certain camps.{{cite book|last1=Amnesty International|title=Changing the soup but not the medicine: Abolishing re-education through labor in China|date=Dec 2013|location=London,​ UK|url=http://​www.amnesty.org/​es/​library/​asset/​ASA17/​042/​2013/​en/​f7e7aec3-e4ed-4d8d-b99b-f6ff6ec860d6/​asa170422013en.pdf}} +
- +
-According to Johnson, the campaign against Falun Gong extends to many aspects of society, including the media apparatus, police force, military, education system, and workplaces.<​ref name="​wildgrass">​Johnson,​ Ian, ''​Wild Grass: three portraits of change in modern china'',​ Vintage (8 March 2005)</​ref>​ An extra-constitutional body, the "[[610 Office]]"​ was created to "​oversee"​ the effort.<​ref name=CER>​[http://​www.cecc.gov/​pages/​annualRpt/​annualRpt08/​CECCannRpt2008.pdf Congressional-Executive commission on China, Annual Report 2008.]</​ref><​ref name="​Leung"​ /><​ref name=morais>​Morais,​ Richard C. [http://​www.forbes.com/​technology/​2006/​02/​09/​falun-gong-china_cz_rm_0209falungong.html "​China'​s Fight With Falun Gong"​],​ ''​Forbes'',​ 9 February 2006. Retrieved 7 July 2006.</​ref>​ Human Rights Watch (2002) noted that families and workplaces were urged to cooperate with the government.<​ref name=Dangerous/>​ +
- +
-Prior to the Tiananmen incident on January 23, 2001, one AFP report said the suppression move had not borne fruit and Jiang zemin had pushed the government into a corner. The crackdown does not have strong support within the leadership."​Jiang can't back down. It involves his power. He's afraid if he gives them a little breathing space, he'll look weak in front of the party and not strong enough to keep being a top leader."​ <​ref>​[http://​www.cesnur.org/​2001/​falun_jan07.htm ​ "China Spooked by Failure to Crush Falungong"​] AFP, January 22, 2001</​ref>​ After the incident occurred, Washington Post's Philip P. Pan Human published an investigation report titled with "Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery Motive for Public Burning Intensifies Fight Over Falun Gong"​.<​ref>​Philip P. Pan, "Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery Motive for Public Burning Intensifies Fight Over Falun Gong", Washington Post, February 4, 2001</​ref>​ In February 2001, in an attempt to show unity, the Communist Party held a Central Work Conference and discussed Falun Gong.<​ref name=Dangerous/>​ Under Jiang'​s leadership, the crackdown on Falun Gong became part of the Chinese political ethos of "​upholding stability"​ – much the same rhetoric employed by the party during [[1989 Tiananmen Square protests|Tiananmen in 1989]]. Jiang'​s message was echoed at the 2001 National People'​s Congress, where Premier Zhu Rongji made special mention of Falun Gong in his outline of the PRC [[Tenth Five-Year Plan (People'​s Republic of China)|Tenth Five-Year Plan]], saying "we must continue our campaign against the Falun Gong cult", effectively tying Falun Gong's eradication to China'​s economic progress.<​ref name=Dangerous/>​ Though less prominent on the national agenda, the suppression against Falun Gong has carried on during the tenure of Hu Jintao; successive, high-level "​strike hard" campaigns against Falun Gong were initiated in both 2008 and 2009. In 2010, a three-year campaign was launched to renew attempts at the coercive "​transformation"​ of Falun Gong adherents.<​ref>​Congressional Executive Commission on China, [http://​www.cecc.gov/​pages/​virtualAcad/​index.phpd?​showsingle=154369&​PHPSESSID=5fbbb671b469039d4ec2ae47774039bd "​Communist Party Calls for Increased Efforts To "​Transform"​ Falun Gong Practitioners as Part of Three-Year Campaign"​],​ 22 March 2011.</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Speculation on rationale=== +
-Foreign observers have attempted to explain the Party'​s rationale for banning Falun Gong as stemming from a variety of factors. These include Falun Gong's popularity, China'​s history of quasi-religious movements which turned into violent insurrections,​ its independence from the state and refusal to toe the party line, internal power politics within the Communist Party, and Falun Gong's moral and spiritual content, which put it at odds with the atheist aspects of the official Marxist ideology. +
- +
-Xinhua News Agency, the official news organization of the Communist Party, declared that Falun Gong is "​opposed to the Communist Party of China and the central government, preaches idealism, theism and feudal superstition."<​ref name="​english.peopledaily.com.cn">​[http://​english.peopledaily.com.cn/​english/​199908/​02/​enc_19990802001003_TopNews.html Xinhua Commentary on Political Nature of Falun Gong], People'​s Daily, 2 August 1999</​ref>​ Xinhua also asserted that "the so-called '​truth,​ kindness and forbearance'​ principle preached by Li has nothing in common with the socialist ethical and cultural progress we are striving to achieve",​ and argued that it was necessary to crush Falun Gong in order to preserve the "​vanguard role and purity"​ of the Communist Party.<​ref name=hanson1999>​Gayle M.B. Hanson, [http://​findarticles.com/​p/​articles/​mi_m1571/​is_31_15/​ai_55553470 China Shaken by Mass Meditation – meditation movement Falun Gong], Insight on the News, 23 August 1999</​ref>​ Other articles appearing in the state-run media in the first days and weeks of the ban posited that Falun Gong must be defeated because its "​theistic"​ philosophy was at odds with the Marxist-Leninism paradigm and with the secular values of materialism. +
- +
-Willy Wo-Lap Lam writes that Jiang Zemin'​s campaign against Falun Gong may have been used to promote allegiance to himself; Lam quotes one party veteran as saying "by unleashing a Mao-style movement [against Falun Gong], Jiang is forcing senior cadres to pledge allegiance to his line."<​ref>​Willy Wo-Lap Lam, "​China'​s sect suppression carries a high price"​. CNN, 9 February 2001</​ref>​ ''​[[The Washington Post]]''​ reported that sources indicated not all of the [[Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China|standing committee of the Politburo]] shared Jiang'​s view that Falun Gong should be eradicated,<​ref name="​ReidG">​Reid,​ Graham (29 April-5 May 2006) [http://​www.listener.co.nz/​issue/​3442/​features/​5972/​nothing_left_to_lose.html "​Nothing left to lose"​],​ ''​New Zealand Listener''​. Retrieved 6 July 2006.</​ref>​ but James Tong suggests there was not substantial resistance from the Politburo. +
- +
-Human Rights Watch notes that the crackdown on Falun Gong reflects historical efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to eradicate religion, which the government believes is inherently subversive.<​ref name=Dangerous/>​ The Chinese government protects five "​patriotic",​ Communist Party-sanctioned religious groups. Unregistered religions that fall outside the state-sanctioned organizations are thus vulnerable to suppression.<​ref>​Congressional Executive Commission on China, [http://​www.cecc.gov/​pages/​annualRpt/​annualRpt10/​CECCannRpt2010.pdf '​Annual Report 2010'​],​ 10 October 2010, p 19.</​ref>​ ''​[[The Globe and Mail]]''​ wrote : "​...&​nbsp;​any group that does not come under the control of the Party is a threat"<​ref>​The Globe and Mail, Beijing v. falun gong, Metro A14, 26 January 2001</​ref>​ [[Craig S. Smith]] of ''​The Wall Street Journal''​ suggests that the government which has by definition no view of spirituality,​ lacks moral credibility with which to fight an expressly spiritual foe; the party feels increasingly threatened by any belief system that challenges its ideology and has an ability to organize itself.<​ref name=nyt20000430>​{{Cite news|url=http://​www.nytimes.com/​2000/​04/​30/​weekinreview/​the-world-rooting-out-falun-gong-china-makes-war-on-mysticism.html?​pagewanted=all |title=Rooting Out Falun Gong; China Makes War on Mysticism |first=Craig S. |last=Smith +
-|work=New York Times |date=30 April 2000}}</​ref>​ That Falun Gong, whose belief system represented a revival of traditional Chinese religion, was being practiced by a large number of Communist Party members and members of the military was seen as particularly disturbing to Jiang Zemin; according to Julia Ching, "Jiang accepts the threat of Falun Gong as an ideological one: spiritual beliefs against militant atheism and historical materialism. He [wished] to purge the government and the military of such beliefs."<​ref name=XIX>​Julia Ching, "The Falun Gong: Religious and Political Implications",​ ''​American Asian Review'',​ Vol. XIX, no. 4, Winter 2001, p. 12</​ref>​ +
- +
-Yuezhi Zhao argues that a number of factors contributed to the souring of relations between Falun Gong and the Chinese state and media.<​ref name="​zhao"​ /> These included infighting between China'​s qigong establishment and Falun Gong, speculation over blackmailing and lobbying by qigong opponents and "​scientists-cum-ideologues with political motives and affiliations with competing central Party leaders",​ which caused the shift in the state'​s position, and the struggles from mid-1996 to mid-1999 between Falun Gong and the Chinese power elite over the status and treatment of the movement.<​ref name="​zhao"​ /> According to Zhao, Falun Gong practitioners have established a "​resistance identity"​—one that stands against prevailing pursuits of wealth, power, scientific rationality,​ and "the entire value system associated with China'​s project of modernization."<​ref name="​zhao"/>​ In China the practice represented an indigenous spiritual and moral tradition, a cultural revitalization movement, and drew a sharp contrast to "​Marxism with Chinese characteristics"​.<​ref name="​twiss">​Twiss,​ Sumner B. "​Religious Intolerance in Contemporary China, Including the Curious Case of Falun Gong" in ''​The World'​s Religions After September 11.''​ Arvind Sharma (ed), Greenwood Publishing, 2009 pp. 227–240</​ref>​ +
- +
-Vivienne Shue similarly writes that Falun Gong presented a comprehensive challenge to the Communist Party'​s legitimacy. Shue argues that Chinese rulers historically have derived their legitimacy from a claim to possess an exclusive connection to the "​Truth"​. In imperial China, truth was based on a Confucian and Daoist cosmology, where in the case of the Communist Party, the truth is represented by Marxist-Leninism and historical materialism. Falun Gong challenged the Marxist-Leninism paradigm, reviving an understanding based on more traditionally Buddhist or Daoist conceptions.<​ref name=Shue>​Vivienne Shue, "​Legitimacy Crisis in China?"​ In Peter Hays Gries and Stanley Rosen (eds.), State and Society in 21st-century China. Crisis, Contention, and Legitimation,​ New York: RoutledgeCurzon,​ 2004.</​ref>​ David Ownby contends that Falun Gong also challenged the Communist Party'​s hegemony over Chinese nationalist discourse: "​[Falun Gong'​s] evocation of a different vision of Chinese tradition and its contemporary value is now so threatening to the state and party because it denies them the sole right to define the meaning of Chinese nationalism,​ and perhaps of Chineseness."<​ref>​David Ownby, "​China'​s War Against Itself"​. New York Times, 15 February 2001.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Maria Chang noted that since the overthrow of the Qin Dynasty, "​millenarian movements had exerted a profound impact on the course of Chinese history",​ cumulating in the Chinese Revolutions of 1949 which brought the Chinese Communists to power.<​ref name="​Chang">​Chang,​ Maria Hsia (2004) ''​Falun Gong: The End of Days''​ (New Haven, Connecticut:​ Yale University Press) ISBN 0-300-10227-5</​ref>​ Patsy Rahn (2002) describes a paradigm of conflict between Chinese sectarian groups and the rulers they often challenge. According to Rahn, the history of this paradigm goes back to the collapse of the Han dynasty: "The pattern of ruling power keeping a watchful eye on sectarian groups, at times threatened by them, at times raising campaigns against them, began as early as the second century and continued throughout the dynastic period, through the Mao era and into the present."<​ref name="​Rahn2002">​Rahn,​ Patsy (2002) "The Chemistry of a Conflict: The Chinese Government and the Falun Gong" in ''​Terrorism and Political Violence'',​ Winter, 2002, Vol 14, No. 4 (London: Frank Cass Publishers) [http://​www.ingentaconnect.com/​content/​routledg/​tpv/​2002/​00000014/​00000004/​art00004]</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Conversion program=== +
-[[File:​FalunDafa Burn tanyongjie.jpg|thumb|left|270px|Falun Gong practitioner Tang Yongjie was allegedly tortured by prison guards, who applied hot rods to his legs, in an attempt to force him to recant his beliefs.]]  +
-According to James Tong, the regime aimed at both coercive dissolution of the Falun Gong denomination and "​transformation"​ of the practitioners.<​ref>​James Tong, "​Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005,"​ p 105.</​ref>​ By 2000, the Party upped its campaign by sentencing "​recidivist"​ practitioners to "​[[re-education through labor]]",​ in an effort to have them renounce their beliefs and "​transform"​ their thoughts.<​ref name=Dangerous/>​ Terms were also arbitrarily extended by police, while some practitioners had ambiguous charges levied against them, such as "​disrupting social order",​ "​endangering national security",​ or "​subverting the socialist system"​.<​ref name=bejesky>​Robert Bejesky, "Falun Gong & reeducation through labor",​ ''​Columbia Journal of Asian Law'',​ 17:2, Spring 2004, pp. 147–189</​ref>​ According to Bejesky, the majority of long-term Falun Gong detainees are processed administratively through this system instead of the criminal justice system. Upon completion of their re-education sentences, those practitioners who refused to recant were then incarcerated in "legal education centers"​ set up by provincial authorities to "​transform minds"​.<​ref name="​bejesky"/><​ref name=CECC2009>​Congressional Executive Commission on China Annual Report 2006, p. 59; note 224, p.201</​ref>​ +
- +
-Much of the conversion program relied on Mao-style techniques of indoctrination and [[Thought reform in the People'​s Republic of China|thought reform]], where Falun Gong practitioners were organized to view anti-Falun Gong television programs and enroll in Marxism and materialism study sessions.<​ref>​James Tong, "​Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005,"​ p 109.</​ref>​ Traditional Marxism and materialism were the core content of the sessions.<​ref>​James Tong, "​Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005,"​ p 128.</​ref>​ +
- +
-The government-sponsored image of the conversion process emphasizes psychological persuasion and a variety of "​soft-sell"​ techniques; this is the "ideal norm" in regime reports, according to Tong. Falun Gong reports, on the other hand, depict "​disturbing and sinister"​ forms of coercion against practitioners who fail to renounce their beliefs.<​ref name=tong122-128>​James Tong, "​Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005,"​ pp&​nbsp;​122–128.</​ref>​ 14,474 cases are classified by different methods of torture, according to Tong (Falun Gong agencies document over 63,000 individual cases of torture).<​ref>​Falun Dafa Information Center, [http://​www.faluninfo.net/​topic/​3/​ Persecution FAQ]. Retrieved 24 November 2010</​ref>​ Among them are cases of severe beatings; psychological torment, corporal punishment and forced intense, heavy-burden hard labor and stress positions; solitary confinement in squalid conditions;<​ref name=tong122-128/>​ "heat treatment"​ including burning and freezing; electric shocks delivered to sensitive parts of the body that may result in nausea, convulsions,​ or fainting;<​ref name=tong122-128/>​ "​devastative"​ forced feeding; sticking bamboo strips into fingernails;​ deprivation of food, sleep, and use of toilet;<​ref name=tong122-128/>​ Vergewaltigungen und Massenvergewaltigungen;​ asphyxiation;​ and threat, extortion, and termination of employment and student status.<​ref name=tong122-128/>​ +
- +
-The cases appear verifiable, and the great majority identify (1) the individual practitioner,​ often with age, occupation, and residence; (2) the time and location that the alleged abuse took place, down to the level of the district, township, village, and often the specific jail institution;​ and (3) the names and ranks of the alleged perpetrators. Many such reports include lists of the names of witnesses and descriptions of injuries, Tong says.<​ref name=tong122-128/>​ The publication of "​persistent abusive, often brutal behavior by named individuals with their official title, place, and time of torture"​ suggests that there is no official will to cease and desist such activities.<​ref name=tong122-128/>​ +
- +
-===Deaths=== +
-Due to the difficulty in corroborating reports of torture deaths in China, estimates on the number of Falun Gong adherents killed under persecution vary widely. In 2009, the New York Times reported that, according to human rights groups, the repressions had claimed "at least 2,000" lives.<​ref>​Andrew Jacobs. [http://​www.nytimes.com/​2009/​04/​28/​world/​asia/​28china.html 'China Still Presses Crusade Against Falun Gong'​],​ New York Times, 27 April 2009.</​ref>​  +
-Amnesty International said at least 100 Falun Gong practitioners had reportedly died in the 2008 calendar year, either in custody or shortly after their release.<​ref>​Amnesty International,​ [http://​www.amnesty.org/​en/​region/​china/​report-2008 'China - Amnesty International Report 2008'​].</​ref>​ Falun Gong sources have reported approximately 3,400 deaths.<​ref>​Falun Dafa Information Center, [http://​faluninfo.net/​topic/​165/​all/​ Individual Cases of Falun Gong Deaths], access 1 August 2012</​ref>​ Journalist Ethan Gutmann of the [[Foundation for Defense of Democracies]] produced a median estimated death toll of 65,000 based on a refugee testimony,<​ref name=Gutmann2012/><​ref>​Ethan Gutmann. [http://​www.jewishpolicycenter.org/​2135/​china-conundrum The China Conundrum]. inFocus, Winter 2010, Volume IV: Number 4 ; Ethan Gutmann, [http://​www.defenddemocracy.org/​media-hit/​the-xinjiang-procedure/​ 'The Xinjiang Procedure'​],​ Weekly Standard, 5 December 2011. ; Ethan Gutmann, [http://​staging.nationalreview.com/​nrd/​article/?​q=NTk1ODMzZTkzNTEzMTAwM2RmOWZiYmZjOWVkMjdlYWU= Reluctant Dragon], National Review, Nov 2011</​ref>​ while researchers [[David Kilgour]] and [[David Matas]] produced an estimate of 41,500 killed from 2000 to 2005.<​ref>​David Kilgour & David Matas, [http://​www.amazon.com/​Bloody-Harvest-Organ-Harvesting-Practitioners/​dp/​0980887976 "​Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs"​],​ Seraphim Editions (Oct 2009), ISBN 978-0-9808879-7-6.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Chinese authorities do not publish statistics on Falun Gong adherents killed amidst the crackdown. In individual cases, however, authorities have denied that deaths in custody were due to torture.<​ref>​Ian Johnson, [http://​www.pulitzer.org/​archives/​6468 'Paper Chase'​],​ Wall Street Journal, 2 October 2000.</​ref>​ +
- +
-===Alleged Organ harvesting=== +
-{{Further|Kilgour-Matas report}} +
- +
-Human rights researchers have found evidence that a large number of Falun Gong adherents have been killed to supply China'​s organ transplant industry. These allegations first emerged in 2006, and were the subject of an [[Kilgour-Matas report|investigative report]] by former Canadian Secretary of State [[David Kilgour]] and human rights lawyer [[David Matas]]. The Kilgour-Matas study was controversial,​ as it relied mainly on circumstantial evidence.<​ref name=theage060708>​Reuters,​ AP (8 July 2006) [http://​www.theage.com.au/​news/​world/​falun-gong-organ-claim-supported/​2006/​07/​07/​1152240489760.html "Falun Gong organ claim supported"​],​ ''​The Age'',​ (Australia). Retrieved 7 July 2006.</​ref><​ref name=Ottawa>​Endemann,​ Kirstin (6 July 2006) CanWest News Service; ''​Ottawa Citizen''​[http://​www.canada.com/​topics/​news/​national/​story.html?​id=290fed94-d0c2-4265-8686-54ce75d08eca&​k=34245 "​Ottawa urged to stop Canadians travelling to China for transplants"​]. Retrieved 6 July 2006.</​ref>​ It called attention to the extremely short wait times for organs in China—one to two weeks for a liver compared with 32.5 months in Canada—noting that this was indicative of organs being procured on demand. It also tracked a significant increase in the number of annual organ transplants in China beginning in 1999, corresponding with the onset of the persecution of Falun Gong. Despite very low levels of voluntary organ donation, China performs the second-highest number of transplants per year. Kilgour and Matas also presented self-accusatory material from Chinese transplant center web sites advertising the immediate availability of organs from living donors, and transcripts of interviews in which hospitals told prospective transplant recipients that they could obtain Falun Gong organs.<​ref name=orgharv>​{{cite web|url=http://​organharvestinvestigation.net/​ |title=An Independent Investigation into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China |author=Kilgour & Matas |publisher=organharvestinvestigation.net |accessdate=9 June 2010}}</​ref>​ +
- +
-[[Ethan Gutmann]], a journalist and adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,​ later carried his own investigation. Gutmann conducted extensive interviews around with former detainees in Chinese labor camps and prisons, as well as former security officers and medical professionals with knowledge of China'​s transplant practices. He reported that organ harvesting from political prisoners likely began in [[Xinjiang province]] in the 1990s, and then spread nationwide. Gutmann estimates that some 64,000 Falun Gong prisoners may have been killed for their organs.<​ref>​{{cite news|last1=Getlen|first1=Larry|title=China’s long history of harvesting organs from living political foes|url=http://​nypost.com/​2014/​08/​09/​chinas-long-history-of-harvesting-organs-from-living-political-prisoners/​|accessdate=15 August 2014|publisher=New York Post|date=9 August 2014}}</​ref><​ref name=Slaughter>​{{cite book|last1=Gutmann|first1=Ethan|title=he Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem|date=August 2014|publisher=Prometheus Books|isbn=978-1616149406}}</​ref>​ +
- +
-In May 2008 two United Nations Special Rapporteurs reiterated requests for the Chinese authorities to adequately respond to the allegations,<​ref name=marketwireun2>​[http://​www.theinformationdaily.com/​2008/​05/​09/​united-nations-human-rights-special-rapporteurs-reiterate-findings-on-chinas-organ-harvesting-from-falun-gong-practitioners United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteurs Reiterate Findings on China'​s Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong Practitioners],​ 9 May 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2010</​ref>​ and to explain a source for the organs that would account for the sudden increase in organ transplants in China since 2000. Chinese officials have responded by denying the organ harvesting allegations,​ and insisting that China abides by [[World Health Organization]] principles that prohibit the sale of human organs without written consent from donors.<​ref name="​ctvJuly06">​CTV.ca News Staff (6 July 2006) [http://​www.ctv.ca/​servlet/​ArticleNews/​story/​CTVNews/​20060706/​organ_report060706/​20060706?​hub=Canada "​Chinese embassy denies organ harvesting report"​],​ ''​CTV.ca''​. Retrieved 8 July 2006.</​ref><​ref name="​canada.com">​Canadian Press (7 July 2006) [http://​www.canada.com/​topics/​news/​world/​story.html?​id=432dfdf7-9767-46b9-a210-65ff388d823f&​k=17423 "​Report claims China kills prisoners to harvest organs for transplant"​],​ canada.com. Retrieved 8 July 2006.</​ref>​ Responding to a U.S. House of Representatives Resolution calling for an end to abusing transplant practices against religious and ethnic minorities, a Chinese embassy spokesperson said "the so-called organ harvesting from death-row prisoners is totally a lie fabricated by Falun Gong."<​ref>​{{cite news|last1=Smith|first1=Lydia|title=US Calls for China to End '​State-Sanctioned Harvesting of Human Organs'​ From Prisoners|url=http://​www.ibtimes.co.uk/​us-calls-china-end-state-sanctioned-harvesting-human-organs-prisoners-1459184|accessdate=15 August 2014|publisher=International Business Times|date=31 July 2014}}</​ref>​  +
- +
-===Media campaign=== +
- +
-The Chinese government'​s campaign against Falun Gong was driven by large-scale propaganda through television, newspapers, radio and internet.<​ref name=Tong2009/><​ref name="​Leung"​ />   +
-Within the first month of the crackdown, 300–400 articles attacking Falun Gong appeared in each of the main state-run papers, while primetime television replayed alleged exposés on the group, with no divergent views aired in the media.<​ref name="​lemish">​Leeshai Lemish, Media and New Religious Movements: The Case of Falun Gong, A paper presented at The 2009 CESNUR Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, 11–13 June 2009</​ref>​ The propaganda campaign focused on allegations that Falun Gong jeopardized social stability, was deceiving and dangerous, was "​anti-science"​ and threatened progress, and argued that Falun Gong's moral philosophy was incompatible with a Marxist social ethic.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ +
- +
-China scholars Daniel Wright and Joseph Fewsmith asserted that for several months after Falun Gong was outlawed, China Central Television'​s evening news contained little but anti-Falun Gong rhetoric; the government operation was "a study in all-out demonization",​ they wrote.<​ref>​Fewsmith,​ Joseph and Daniel B. Wright. "The promise of the Revolution: stories of fulfilment and struggle in China",​ 2003, Rowman and Littlefield. p. 156</​ref>​ Falun Gong was compared to "a rat crossing the street that everyone shouts out to squash"​ by ''​Beijing Daily'';<​ref>​Associated Press, "'​Enemies of people'​ warned",​ 23 January 2001</​ref>​ other officials said it would be a "​long-term,​ complex and serious"​ struggle to "​eradicate"​ Falun Gong.<​ref>​Plafker,​ Ted. "Falun Gong Stays Locked In Struggle With Beijing,"​ The Washington Post, 26 April 2000</​ref>​ +
- +
-State propaganda initially used the appeal of scientific rationalism to argue that Falun Gong's worldview was in "​complete opposition to science"​ and communism.<​ref name=Lu2004>​Lu,​ Xing, ''​Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: the impact on Chinese thought, culture, and communication,''​ University of South Carolina Press (2004).</​ref>​ For example, the ''​People'​s Daily''​ asserted on 27 July 1999, that the fight against Falun Gong "was a struggle between theism and atheism, superstition and science, idealism and materialism."​ Other editorials declared that Falun Gong's "​idealism and theism"​ are "​absolutely contradictory to the +
-fundamental theories and principles of Marxism,"​ and that the "'​truth,​ kindness and forbearance'​ principle preached by [Falun Gong] has nothing in common with the socialist ethical and cultural progress we are striving to achieve."​ Suppressing Falun Gong was presented as a necessary step to maintaining the "​vanguard role" of the Communist Party in Chinese society.<​ref>​Chen,​ Chiung Hwang. "​Framing Falun Gong: Xinhua News Agency'​s Coverage of the New Religious Movement in China",​ Asian Journal of Communication,​ Vol. 15 No. 1 (2005), pp.&​nbsp;​16–36.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Despite Party efforts, initial charges leveled against Falun Gong failed to elicit widespread popular support for the suppression of the group. In the months following July 1999, the rhetoric in the state-run press escalated to include charges that Falun Gong was colluding with foreign, "​anti-China"​ forces. In October 1999, three months after the suppression began, the Supreme People'​s Court issued a judicial interpretation officially classifying Falun Gong as a ''​xiejiao''​.<​ref name=irons2003>​Irons,​ Edward. 2003 "Falun Gong and the Sectarian Religion Paradigm"​. ''​Nova Religio'',​ Vol. 6, No. 2, pp 243–62, ISSN 1092-6690</​ref><​ref name=chan2004 /> A direct translation of that term is "​heretical teaching",​ but during the anti-Falun Gong propaganda campaign was rendered as "evil cult" in English.<​ref name=Amnesty>​Amnesty International,​ [http://​www.amnesty.org/​en/​library/​asset/​ASA17/​011/​2000/​en/​7a361a8e-df70-11dd-acaa-7d9091d4638f/​asa170112000en.html "The crackdown on Falun Gong and other so-called '​heretical organizations'"​],​ 23 March 2000.</​ref>​ In the context of imperial China, the term "​xiejiao"​ was used to refer to non-Confucian religions, though in the context of Communist China, it has been used to target religious organizations which do not submit to the authority of the Communist Party.<​ref>​Maria Hsia Chang, "Falun Gong:The End of Days," (Yale University Press, 2004).</​ref><​ref>​Freedom House, [http://​www.hudson.org/​files/​publications/​Analysis_of_China_Docs_1_to_7.pdf "​Report Analyzing Seven Secret Chinese Government Documents"​],​ 11 February 2002.</​ref>​ +
- +
-[[Ian Denis Johnson|Ian Johnson]] argued that, by applying the '​cult'​ label to Falun Gong effectively "​cloaked the government'​s crackdown with the legitimacy of the West's anticult movement." ​ He notes, however, that Falun Gong does not satisfy common definitions of a cult: "its members marry outside the group, have outside friends, hold normal jobs, do not live isolated from society, do not believe that the world'​s end is imminent and do not give significant amounts of money to the organisation&​nbsp;​... it does not advocate violence and is at heart an apolitical, inward-oriented discipline, one aimed at cleansing oneself spiritually and improving one's health."<​ref name="​wildgrass"/>​ David Ownby similarly wrote that "the entire issue of the supposed cultic nature of Falun Gong was a red herring from the beginning, cleverly exploited by the Chinese state to blunt the appeal of Falun Gong."​.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture /> According to John Powers and Meg Y. M. Lee, because the Falun Gong was categorized in the popular perception as an "​apolitical,​ qigong exercise club," it was not seen as a threat to the government. The most critical strategy in the Falun Gong suppression campaign, therefore, was to convince people to reclassify the Falun Gong into a number of "​negatively charged religious labels",<​ref name=powerslee>​Powers,​ John and Meg Y. M. Lee. "​Dueling Media: Symbolic Conflict in China'​s Falun Gong Suppression Campaign"​ in Chinese Conflict Management and Resolution, by Guo-Ming Chen and Ringo Ma (2001), Greenwood Publishing Group</​ref>​ like "evil cult", "​sect",​ or "​superstition"​. The group'​s silent protests were reclassified as creating "​social disturbances"​. In this process of relabelling,​ the government was attempting to tap into a "deep reservoir of negative feelings related to the historical role of quasi-religious cults as a destabilising force in Chinese political history."<​ref name=powerslee/>​ +
- +
-A turning point in the propaganda campaign came on the eve of [[Chinese New Year]] on 23 January 2001, when [[Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident|five people attempted to set themselves ablaze]] on Tiananmen Square. The official Chinese press agency, [[Xinhua News Agency]], and other state media asserted that the [[Self-immolation|self-immolators]] were practitioners,​ though the Falun Dafa Information Center disputed this,<​ref name="​FDI_PressRelease">​{{Cite web|url=http://​www.clearwisdom.net/​eng/​2001/​jan/​23/​vsf012301_3.html |title=Press Statement |publisher=Falun Dafa Information Center |publisher=Clearwisdom |date=23 January 2001 |accessdate=9 February 2007}}</​ref>​ on the grounds that the movement'​s teachings explicitly forbid suicide and killing,<​ref name="​TheIssueOfKilling">​{{Cite web|url=http://​falundafa.org/​book/​eng/​zfl_new_7.html#​1 |title=The Issue of Killing |first=Hongzhi |last=Li |work=[[Zhuan Falun]] |publisher=Falun Dafa}}</​ref>​ further alleging that the event was "a cruel (but clever) piece of stunt-work."<​ref name=brady08>​Anne-Marie Brady, Marketing dictatorship:​ propaganda and thought work in contemporary China, Rowman & Littlefield,​ 2008</​ref>​ The incident received international news coverage, and video footage of the burnings were broadcast later inside China by [[China Central Television]] (CCTV). Images of a 12-year-old girl, Liu Siying, burning and interviews with the other participants in which they stated their belief that self-immolation would lead them to paradise were shown.<​ref name="​FDI_PressRelease"/><​ref name=oneway>​{{Cite news|first=Philip P. |last=Pan |url= |title=One-Way Trip to the End in Beijing |work=International Herald Tribune |date=5 February 2001|accessdate=9 February 2007}}</​ref>​ But one of the CNN producers on the scene did not even see a child there.<​ref name=GMJ />  Falun Gong sources and other commentators pointed out that the main participants'​ account of the incident and other aspects of the participants'​ behavior were inconsistent with the teachings of Falun Dafa.<​ref name=WOIPFG2>​{{Cite web|url=http://​www.zhuichaguoji.org/​en/​node/​54 |title=New Evidence Confirms Alleged Falun Gong "​Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation"​ Was a State Conspiracy |publisher=World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong |date=August 2004|accessdate=22 July 2013}}</​ref>​ Media Channel and the International Education Development (IED) agree that the supposed self-immolation incident was staged by CCP to "​prove"​ that Falun Gong brainwashes its followers to commit suicide and has therefore to be banned as a threat to the nation. IED's statement at the 53rd UN session describes China'​s violent assault on Falun Gong practitioners as state terrorism and that the self-immolation "was staged by the government."​ <ref name=GMJ>​{{Cite web|url=http://​lass.purduecal.edu/​cca/​gmj/​fa05/​graduatefa05/​gmj-fa05gradinv-yang.htm |title=The Perfect Example of Political Propaganda: The Chinese Government'​s Persecution against Falun Gong |publisher=Global Media Journal (Volume 4, Issue 7)|date=Fall 2005|accessdate=30 April 2014}}</​ref>''​Washington Post''​ journalist Phillip Pan wrote that the two self-immolators who died were not actually Falun Gong practitioners.<​ref>​Pan,​ Philip P. (5 February 2001). "​One-Way Trip to the End in Beijing"​. International Herald Tribune.</​ref>​ On March 21, 2001, Liu Siying suddenly died after appearing very lively and being deemed ready to leave the hospital to go home.<​ref name=GMJ />''​Time''​ reported that prior to the self-immolation incident, many Chinese had felt that Falun Gong posed no real threat, and that the state'​s crackdown had gone too far. After the event, however, the mainland Chinese media campaign against Falun Gong gained significant traction.<​ref name=breakingpoint>​Matthew Gornet, [http://​www.time.com/​time/​world/​article/​0,​8599,​165163,​00.html The Breaking Point], TIME, 25 June 2001</​ref>​ As public sympathy for Falun Gong declined, the government began sanctioning "​systematic use of violence"​ against the group.<​ref>​Philip Pan and John Pomfret, "​Torture is Breaking Falun Gong". Washington Post, 5 August 2001</​ref>​ +
- +
-====In education system==== +
-Anti-Falun Gong propaganda efforts have also permeated the Chinese education system. Following Jiang Zemin'​s 1999 ban of Falun Gong, then-Minister of Education Chen Zhili launched an active campaign to promote the Party'​s line on Falun Gong within all levels of academic institutions,​ including graduate schools, universities and colleges, middle schools, primary schools, and kindergartens. Her efforts included a "​Cultural Revolution-like pledge"​ in Chinese schools that required faculty members, staff, and students to publicly denounce Falun Gong. Teachers who did not comply with Chen's program were dismissed or detained; uncooperative students were refused academic advancement,​ expelled from school, or sent to "​transformation"​ camps to alter their thinking.<​ref name="​specialtribunal.org">"​Chinese Ministry of Education Participating in Persecution of Falun Gong: Investigative Report"​. [http://​www.specialtribunal.org/​downloads/​WOIPFG_MinistryOfEducation_Part1.pdf] 16 March 2004. Retrieved 17 November 2011.</​ref>​ Chen also worked to spread the anti-Falun Gong academic propaganda movement overseas, using domestic educational funding to donate aid to foreign institutions,​ encouraging them to oppose Falun Gong.<​ref name="​specialtribunal.org"/>​ +
- +
-===Falun Gong's response to suppression=== +
-[[Image:​Ny-shengjiang-01.jpg|thumb|300px|Falun Gong protests at a parade in [[Manhattan]],​ [[New York City]], holding banners calling for Jiang Zemin to be "​brought to justice."​]] +
-Falun Gong's response to the suppression in China began in July 1999 with appeals to local, provincial, and central petitioning offices in Beijing.<​ref>​Elisabeth Rosenthal and Erik Eckholm, "Vast Numbers of Sect Members Keep Pressure on Beijing"​ New York Times, 28 October 1999.</​ref>​ It soon progressed to larger demonstrations,​ with hundreds of Falun Gong adherents traveling daily to Tiananmen Square to perform Falun Gong exercises or raise banners in defense of the practice. These demonstrations were invariably broken up by security forces, and the practitioners involved were arrested—sometimes violently—and detained. By 25 April 2000, a total of more than 30,000 practitioners had been arrested on the square;<​ref name="​johnson2000">​{{Cite web|url=http://​www.pulitzer.org/​archives/​6464 |title=Defiant Falun Dafa Members Converge on Tiananmen |first=Ian |last=Johnson |date=25 April 2000 |work=The Wall Street Journal |publisher=Pulitzer.org |page= A21}}</​ref>​ seven hundred Falun Gong followers were arrested during a demonstration in the square on 1 January 2001.<​ref name="​Perry">​{{Cite book|first=Elizabeth J. |last=Selden |author2=Perry,​ Mark |title=Chinese Society: Change, Conflict and Resistance |publisher=Routledge |year=2003 |isbn=0-415-30170-X}}</​ref>​ Public protests continued well into 2001. Writing for the ''​Wall Street Journal'',​ Ian Johnson wrote that "Falun Gong faithful have mustered what is arguably the most sustained challenge to authority in 50 years of Communist rule."<​ref>​Johnson,​ Ian. "A Deadly Exercise: Practicing Falun Gong was a right, Ms. Chen said, to her last day", Wall Street Journal, 20 April 2000.</​ref>​ +
- +
-By late 2001, demonstrations in Tiananmen Square had become less frequent, and the practice was driven deeper underground. As public protest fell out of favor, practitioners established underground "​material sites,"​ which would produce literature and DVDs to counter the portrayal of Falun Gong in the official media. Practitioners then distribute these materials, often door-to-door.<​ref>​Liao Yiwu. "The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China from the Bottom Up." p 230.</​ref>​ Falun Gong sources estimated in 2009 that over 200,000 such sites exist across China today.<​ref>​Falun Dafa Information Center, "2010 Annual Report: Falun Gong Beliefs and Demography of Practitioners"​. 26 April 2010</​ref>​ The production, possession, or distribution of these materials is frequently grounds for security agents to incarcerate or sentence Falun Gong adherents.<​ref>​Congressional Executive Commission on China, 2009 Annual Report, [http://​www.cecc.gov/​pages/​annualRpt/​annualRpt09/​CECCannRpt2009.pdf CECC report]</​ref>​ +
- +
-In 2002, Falun Gong activists in China tapped into television broadcasts, replacing regular state-run programming with their own content. One of the more notable instances occurred in March 2002, when Falun Gong practitioners in [[Changchun]] intercepted eight cable television networks in Jilin Province, and for nearly an hour, televised a program titled "​Self-Immolation or a Staged Act?". All six of the Falun Gong practitioners involved were captured over the next few months. Two were killed immediately,​ while the other four were all dead by 2010 as a result of injuries sustained while imprisoned.<​ref name=mediacontrol>​{{cite book|title=The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China|year=2008|publisher=Human Rights in China|isbn=978-0-9717356-2-0|pages=xii|url=http://​hrichina.org/​sites/​default/​files/​oldsite/​PDFs/​Reports/​HRIC-Fog-of-Censorship.pdf|author=He Qinglian| authorlink=He Qinglian}}</​ref><​ref name=ws-20101206>​{{cite news|last=Gutmann|first=Ethan|title=Into Thin Airwaves|url=http://​www.weeklystandard.com/​articles/​thin-airwaves_519589.html?​nopager=1|newspaper=The Weekly Standard|date=6 December 2010}}</​ref>​ +
- +
-Outside China, Falun Gong practitioners established international media organizations to gain wider exposure for their cause and challenge narratives of the Chinese state-run media. These include ''​[[The Epoch Times]]''​ newspaper, [[NTDTV|New Tang Dynasty Television]],​ and [[Sound of Hope]] radio station.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ According to Zhao, through ''​The Epoch Times''​ it can be discerned how Falun Gong is building a "de facto media alliance"​ with China'​s democracy movements in exile, as demonstrated by its frequent printing of articles by prominent overseas Chinese critics of the PRC government.<​ref name="​zhao"/>​ In 2004, ''​The Epoch Times''​ published a collection of nine editorials which presented a critical history of Communist Party rule.<​ref name=Ping/><​ref>​Steel,​ Kevin. '​Revolution number nine', ''​The Western Standard'',​ 11 July 2005.</​ref>​ This catalyzed the [[Tuidang movement]], which encourages Chinese citizens to renounce their affiliations to the Chinese Communist Party, including ex post facto renunciations of the [[Communist Youth League of China|Communist Youth League]] and [[Young Pioneers of China|Young Pioneers]]. ''​The Epoch Times''​ claims that tens of millions have renounced the Communist Party as part of the movement, though these numbers have not been independently verified.<​ref>​Gutmann,​ Ethan. ''​The Chinese Internet: A dream deferred?''​. Testimony given at the National Endowment for Democracy panel discussion "​Tiananmen 20 years on", 2 June 2009.</​ref>​ +
- +
-In 2007, Falun Gong adherents in the United States formed [[Shen Yun Performing Arts]], a dance and music company that tours internationally. Falun Gong software developers in the United States are also responsible for the creation of several popular censorship-circumvention tools employed by internet users in China.<​ref>​Beiser,​ Vince. "​Digital Weapons Help Dissidents Punch Holes in China'​s Great Firewall,"​ Wired, 1 November 2010.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong Practitioners outside China have filed dozens of lawsuits against Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Bo Xilai, and other Chinese officials alleging genocide and crimes against humanity.<​ref>​Human Rights Law Foundation, [http://​www.hrlf.net/​direct.html Direct Litigation]. Retrieved 19 March 2011</​ref>​ According to ''​International Advocates for Justice'',​ Falun Gong has filed the largest number of human rights lawsuits in the 21st century and the charges are among the most severe international crimes defined by international criminal laws.<​ref name=Ownby2008>​David Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China, 2008</​ref>​ as of 2006, 54 civil and criminal lawsuits were under way in 33 countries.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ In many instances, courts have refused to adjudicate the cases on the grounds of sovereign immunity. In late 2009, however, separate courts in Spain and Argentina indicted Jiang Zemin and other officials on charges of "​crimes of humanity"​ and genocide, and asked for their arrest—the ruling is acknowledged to be largely symbolic and unlikely to be carried out.<​ref>​[http://​www.elmundo.es/​elmundo/​2009/​11/​14/​espana/​1258230601.html La Audiencia pide interrogar al ex presidente chino Jiang por genocidio], 14 November 2009</​ref><​ref>​Luis Andres Henao, [http://​www.reuters.com/​article/​2009/​12/​23/​us-argentina-china-falungong-idUSTRE5BM02B20091223 Argentine judge asks China arrests over Falun Gong], 22 December 2009</​ref><​ref name=ArgentinaJudgeGenocideRulling>​http://​www.faluninfo.net/​article/​935/?​cid=82</​ref>​ Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters also filed a lawsuit in May 2011 against the technology company [[Cisco Systems]], alleging that the company helped design and implement a surveillance system for the Chinese government to suppress Falun Gong. Cisco denied customizing their technology for this purpose.<​ref>​Terry Baynes, [http://​newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/​Legal/​News/​2011/​05_-_May/​Suit_claims_Cisco_helped_China_repress_religious_group/​ 'Suit claims Cisco helped China repress religious group'​],​ Reuters, 20 May 2011.</​ref>​ +
- +
-==Falun Gong outside China== +
-{{Main|Falun Gong outside mainland China}} +
-[[File:​Falun Dafa the second exercise, standing meditation.jpg|thumb|right|200px|Falun Gong adherents outside China hold events such as this group exercise in Los Angeles.]] +
- +
-Li Hongzhi began teaching Falun Gong internationally in March 1995. His first stop was in Paris where, at the invitation of the Chinese ambassador, he held a lecture seminar at the PRC embassy. This was followed by lectures in Sweden in May 1995. Between 1995 and 1999, Li gave lectures in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland,​ and Singapore.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ +
- +
-Falun Gong's growth outside China largely corresponded to the migration of students from Mainland China to the West in the early- to mid-1990s. Falun Gong associations and clubs began appearing in Europe, North America and Australia, with activities centered mainly on university campuses.<​ref name="​Porter">​Noah Porter (Master'​s Thesis for the University of South Florida). [http://​www.lib.usf.edu/​ETD-db/​theses/​available/​etd-06122003-113105/​unrestricted/​FalunGongInTheUS-NoahPorter-Thesis.pdf ''​Falun Gong in the United States: An Ethnographic Study ''​],​ 2003. p 38-39</​ref>​ Falun Gong volunteer instructors and Falun Dafa Associations are currently found in over 70 countries outside China.<​ref>​Falundafa.org,​ [http://​en.falundafa.org/​falun-dafa-global-contacts.html "Find your local contacts]. Retrieved 10-22-2012.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Translations of Falun Gong teachings began appearing in the late 1990s. As the practice began proliferating outside China, Li Hongzhi was beginning to receive recognition in the United States and elsewhere in the western world. In May 1999, Li was welcomed to [[Toronto]] with greetings from the mayor and the provincial governor general, and in the two months that followed also received recognition from the cities of  [[Chicago]] and [[San Jose, California|San Jose]].<​ref name=chan2004>​Chan,​ Cheris Shun-ching (2004). "The Falun Gong in China: A Sociological Perspective"​. ''​The China Quarterly'',​ 179 , pp 665–683</​ref>​ +
- +
-Although the practice was beginning to attract an overseas constituency in the 1990s, it remained relatively unknown outside China until the Spring of 1999, when tensions between Falun Gong and [[Communist Party of China|Communist Party]] authorities became a subject of international media coverage. ​ With the increased attention, the practice gained a greater following outside China. ​ Following the launch of the Communist Party'​s suppression campaign against Falun Gong, the overseas presence became vital to the practice'​s resistance in China and its continued survival.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/>​ Falun Gong adherents overseas have responded to the suppression in China through regular demonstrations,​ parades, and through the creation of media outlets, performing arts companies, and censorship-circumvention software mainly intended to reach Mainland Chinese audiences. +
- +
-==International reception== +
-Since 1999, numerous Western governments and human rights organizations have expressed condemnation for the Chinese government'​s suppression of Falun Gong.<​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 229</​ref>​ Since 1999, members of the United States Congress have made public pronouncements and introduced several resolutions in support of Falun Gong.<​ref name="​CRS2006">​{{Cite web| url = http://​fpc.state.gov/​documents/​organization/​67820.pdf | title = CRS Report for Congress: China and Falun Gong | publisher=Congressional Research Service | author=Thomas Lum | date=25 May 2006|format=PDF}}</​ref>​ In 2010, U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 605 called for "an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners,"​ condemned the Chinese authorities'​ efforts to distribute "false propaganda"​ about the practice worldwide, and expressed sympathy to persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and their families.<​ref>​[http://​www.gpo.gov/​fdsys/​pkg/​BILLS-111hres605eh/​pdf/​BILLS-111hres605eh.pdf United States House Resolution 605], United States Government Printing Office, 17 March 2010</​ref><​ref>​Einhorn,​ Bruce, (17 March 2010). "​[http://​www.businessweek.com/​blogs/​eyeonasia/​archives/​2010/​03/​congress_challe.html Congress Challenges China on Falun Gong & Yuan], ''​Business Week''</​ref>​ +
- +
-From 1999 to 2001, Western media reports on Falun Gong—and in particular, the mistreatment of practitioners—were frequent, if mixed.<​ref name="​lemish"/>​ By the latter half of 2001, however, the volume of media reports declined precipitously,​ and by 2002, major news organizations like the ''​New York Times''​ and ''​Washington Post''​ had almost completely ceased their coverage of Falun Gong from China.<​ref name="​lemish"/>​ In a study of media discourse on Falun Gong, researcher Leeshai Lemish found that Western news organizations also became less balanced, and more likely to uncritically present the narratives of the Communist Party, rather than those of Falun Gong or human rights groups.<​ref name="​lemish"/>​ Adam Frank writes that in reporting on the Falun Gong, the Western tradition of casting the Chinese as "​exotic"​ took dominance, and that while the facts were generally correct in Western media coverage, "the normalcy that millions of Chinese practitioners associated with the practice had all but disappeared."<​ref>​Frank 2004, p. 241</​ref>​ David Ownby noted that alongside these tactics, the "​cult"​ label applied to Falun Gong by the Chinese authorities never entirely went away in the minds of some Westerners, and the stigma still plays a role in wary public perceptions of Falun Gong.<​ref>​Ownby (2000), p. 248</​ref>​ +
- +
-To counter the support of Falun Gong in the West, the Chinese government expanded their efforts against the group internationally. This included visits to newspaper officers by diplomats to "extol the virtues of Communist China and the evils of Falun Gong",<​ref name=jte>​Turley-Ewart,​ John, "​[http://​network.nationalpost.com/​NP/​blogs/​fullcomment/​pages/​falun-gong-persecution-spreads-to-canada-ottawa-does-little.aspx#​ixzz16dg80Lad Falun Gong persecution spreads to Canada: Ottawa does little]",​ National Post, 20 March 2004</​ref>​ linking support for Falun Gong with "​jeopardizing trade relations,"​ and sending letters to local politicians telling them to withdraw support for the practice.<​ref name=jte/>​ According to [[Perry Link]], pressure on Western institutions also takes more subtle forms, including academic self-censorship,​ whereby research on Falun Gong could result in a denial of visa for fieldwork in China; or exclusion and discrimination from business and community groups who have connections with China and fear angering the Communist Party.<​ref name=jte/><​ref>​Perry Link, ''​[http://​www.asianresearch.org/​articles/​2599.html The Anaconda in the Chandelier: Chinese censorship today], 27 May 2005.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Although the suppression of Falun Gong has drawn considerable condemnation outside China, some observers note that Falun Gong has failed to attract the level of sympathy and sustained attention afforded to other Chinese dissident groups.<​ref name=gutmann_carrytorch/>​ [[Katrina Lantos Swett]], vice chair of the [[United States Commission on International Religious Freedom]], notes that most Americans are aware of the suppression of "​Tibetan Buddhists and unregistered Christian groups or pro-democracy and free speech advocates such as Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei,"​ and yet "know little to nothing about China’s assault on the Falun Gong."<​ref>​Katrina Lantos Swett and Mary Ann Glendon, [http://​globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/​2013/​07/​23/​u-s-should-press-china-over-falun-gong/​ 'U.S. should press China over Falun Gong'​],​ CNN, 23 July 2013.</​ref>​ +
- +
-Ethan Gutmann, a journalist reporting on China since the early 1990s, has attempted to explain this apparent dearth of public sympathy for Falun Gong as stemming, in part, from the group'​s shortcomings in public relations. Unlike the democracy activists or Tibetans, who have found a comfortable place in Western perceptions,​ "Falun Gong marched to a distinctly Chinese drum", Gutmann writes. Moreover, practitioners'​ attempts at getting their message across carried some of the uncouthness of Communist party culture, including a perception that practitioners tended to exaggerate, create "​torture tableaux straight out of a Cultural Revolution opera",​ or "spout slogans rather than facts"​. This is coupled with a general doubtfulness in the West of persecuted refugees.<​ref name=gutmann>​{{cite web|url=http://​www.weeklystandard.com/​Content/​Public/​Articles/​000/​000/​015/​824qbcjr.asp|title=China'​s Gruesome Organ Harvest. The whole world isn't watching. Why not?​|last=Gutmann|first=Ethan|work=[[Weekly Standard]]|accessdate=27 April 2010}}</​ref>​ Gutmann also notes that media organizations and human rights groups also self-censor on the topic, given the PRC governments vehement attitude toward the practice, and the potential repercussions that may follow for making overt representations on Falun Gong's behalf.<​ref name=gutmann_carrytorch>​Gutmann,​ Ethan. "​[http://​www.weeklystandard.com/​print/​Content/​Public/​Articles/​000/​000/​014/​986himak.asp Carrying a Torch for China]",​ ''​Weekly Standard'',​ 21 April 2008, Vol. 13, No. 30</​ref>​ +
- +
-Richard Madsen writes that Falun Gong lacks robust backing from the American constituencies that usually support religious freedom. For instance, Falun Gong's conservative moral beliefs have alienated some liberal constituencies in the West (e.g. its teachings against promiscuity and homosexual behavior).<​ref name=wildgrass/>​ Christian conservatives,​ by contrast, don't accord the practice the same space as persecuted Chinese Christians.<​ref name=Madsen247>​Richard Madsen, "​Understanding Falun Gong," p 247.</​ref>​ Madsen charges that the American political center does not want to push the human rights issue so hard that it would disrupt commercial and political relations with China. Thus, Falun Gong practitioners have largely had to rely on their own resources in responding to suppression.<​ref name=Madsen247/>​ +
- +
-==Controversies== +
- +
-===Personal monetary gain=== +
-Opinions differ on whether or not Li Hongzhi made money from the practice, and if so, how much. [[Dai Qing]] states that by 1997, Li was receiving annual income in excess of ¥10 million through sales of his books, noting that Falun Gong practitioners purchased numerous copies of Li's works, pictures, and made voluntary donations.<​ref>​Dai Qing: Members of Falungong in an Autocratic Society. Asia Quarterly, Volume IV, No.3, Summer 2000 http://​asiaquarterly.com/​2006/​01/​28/​ii-45/</​ref>​ Ian Johnson disputes the theory that Li made any serious money from Falun Gong, and noted that during the period of Falun Gong's greatest book sales in China, Li did not receive royalties because all publications were bootleg—the texts having been banned by the authorities in 1996 in an attempt to curb the practice'​s growth.<​ref name=wildgrass>​Ian Johnson, ''​Wild Grass: three stories of change in modern China,''​ (New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 2004).</​ref>​ +
- +
-[[Danny Schechter]] noted that from 1992 to 1994, while Li did charge fees for the lectures seminars he was giving across China at the invitation of local qigong societies, his fees were considerably lower than those of competing qigong practices, and the local qigong associations received a substantial share.<​ref name=Schechter/>​ Li justified the fees as being necessary to cover travel costs and other expenses, and on some occasions, he donated the money earned to charitable causes. In 1994, Li ceased charging fees altogether, thereafter stipulating that Falun Gong must always be taught for free.<​ref>​David Ownby, ''​Falun Gong and the Future of China,''​ p 86.</​ref>​ The practice'​s teachings are available for free download online. +
- +
-==="​Dharma-ending period"​=== +
-Opinions among scholars differ as to whether Falun Gong contains an apocalyptic message, and if so what the consequences of that are. Li situates his teaching of Falun Gong amidst the "​Dharma-ending period"​ (''​Mo Fa'',​ 末法), described in Buddhist scriptures as an era of moral decline when the teachings of Buddhism would need to be rectified.<​ref name=Ownbyfuture/><​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ The current era is described in Falun Gong teachings as the "Fa rectification"​ period (''​zhengfa'',​ which might also be translated as "to correct the dharma"​),​ a time of cosmic transition and renewal.<​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ The process of Fa rectification is necessitated by the moral decline and degeneration of life in the universe, and in the post-1999 context, the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese government has come to be viewed as a tangible symptom of this moral decay.<​ref name=burgdoff/>​ Through the process of the Fa rectification,​ life will be reordered according to the moral and spiritual quality of each, with good people being saved and ascending to higher spiritual planes, and bad ones being eliminated or cast down.<​ref name=burgdoff/>​ In this paradigm, Li assumes a messianic role of offering salvation through his moral teachings.<​ref name=Palmer/><​ref name=Pennyreligion/>​ +
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-Some scholars, such as Maria Hsia Chang and Susan Palmer, have described Li's rhetoric about the "Fa rectification"​ and providing salvation "in the final period of the Last Havoc",​ as apocalyptic.<​ref name=fieldnotes/><​ref name="​Chang"/>​ However, Benjamin Penny argues that Li's teachings are better understood in the context of a "​Buddhist notion of the cycle of the Dharma or the Buddhist law"​.<​ref name=ABC>​Chris Bullock, ''​Falun Gong: Cult or Culture?'',​ National Radio, [http://​www.abc.net.au/​radionational/​programs/​backgroundbriefing/​falun-gong-cult-or-culture/​3481242]. Retrieved 21 April 2012.</​ref>​ Richard Gunde notes that unlike apocalyptic groups in the West, Falun Gong does not fixate on death or the end of the world, and instead "has a simple, innocuous ethical message"​.<​ref name=Gunde/>​ Li Hongzhi does not discuss a "time of reckoning",<​ref name=ABC/>​ and has rejected predictions of an impending apocalypse in his teachings.<​ref>​Danny Schechter, "Falun Gong's Challenge to China, p 57.</​ref>​ Although he expressed concern over Li's totalizing discourse and millennial themes, Craig Burgdoff writes that such concerns are tempered by the fact that Falun Gong practice does not require unquestioning acceptance of all of Li's teachings, and there is no overt emphasis on dogmatically enforcing orthodoxy, Instead, Burgdoff writes that he found "​practitioners to be engaged seriously in a highly disciplined spiritual and ethical practice."<​ref name=burgdoff/>​ +
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-==See also== +
-{{Portal|Falun Gong}} +
-*[[Human rights in the People'​s Republic of China]]  +
-*[[Religion in China]] +
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-==References== +
-{{citation style|date=May 2012}} +
-{{Reflist|30em}} +
- +
-==Further reading== +
-*Ownby, David. (2008) ''​[http://​books.google.co.uk/​books?​id=Bwqkwx4SWS0C&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=ownby+falun&​client=firefox-a&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=&​f=false Falun Gong and the Future of China].''​Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-532905-6 +
-*Chang, Maria Hsia. (2004) ''​Falun Gong: The End of Days.''​ New Haven, Connecticut:​ [[Yale University Press]]. ISBN 0-300-10227-5 +
-*Schechter, Danny. (2001) ''​[http://​books.google.co.uk/​books?​id=v20J18hL1MAC&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=Danny+Schechter,​+Falun+Gong%27s+Challenge+to+China&​lr=&​client=firefox-a&​cd=1#​v=onepage&​q=&​f=false Falun Gong's Challenge to China].''​ Akashic Books. Hardback ISBN 1-888451-13-0,​ paperback ISBN 1-888451-27-0 +
-*{{Cite book|url=http://​books.google.com/?​id=RXeuibmD2dsC&​lpg=PR7&​dq=Qigong%20fever%3A%20body%2C%20science%2C%20and%20utopia%20in%20China%E2%80%8E%20-%20Page%20241&​pg=PP1#​v=onepage&​q=|title=Qigong fever: body, science, and utopia in China |pages= |work= +
-|first= David A. |last=Palmer |year=2007 |isbn=0-231-14066-5 |publisher=Columbia University Press |location=New York }} +
-*Tong, James. (2009) "​Revenge of the Forbidden City: The suppression of the Falungong in China, 1999–2005"​. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-537728-1. +
-*Shue, Vivienne. (2004) "​Legitimacy Crisis in China?"​ In Peter Hays Gries and Stanley Rosen (eds.), State and Society in 21st-century China. Crisis, Contention, and Legitimation. New York: RoutledgeCurzon. +
-*Johnson, Ian. (2004) "Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China"​. Pantheon. +
-*Johnson, Ian (2001). [http://​www.pulitzer.org/​works/​2001-International-Reporting-Group1 Pulitzer Prize winning articles in the Wall Street Journal].''​ +
-*United States. Congressional-Executive Commission on China. [http://​purl.fdlp.gov/​GPO/​gpo36961 Falun Gong in China: Review and Update: Hearing before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Second Session, December 18, 2012.] Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 2013. +
- +
-==External links== +
-{{Commons category|Falun Gong}} +
-* [http://​www.falundafa.org/​ Falundafa.org] +
-* [http://​faluninfo.net/​ Faluninfo.net] +
-* [http://​clearwisdom.net/​html/​index.html Clearwisdom.net] +
- +
-{{Falun Gong}} +
-{{Qigong}} +
-{{New Religious Movements}} +
- +
-[[Category:​Falun Gong| ]] +
-[[Category:​Political abuses of psychiatry]] +
-[[Category:​New religious movements]] +
-[[Category:​Meditation]] +
-[[Category:​Qigong]] +
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-Ich habe mich sehr bemüht die Übersetzung so genau zu machen wie möglich. Ich habe aber daher absichtlich keine wörtliche Übersetzung gemacht, so wie sie vielleicht Google-Translate ausgespuckt hätte. Sondern ich habe vor allem darauf geachtet das die eigentlichen Bedeutung als ganzes korrekt wiedergegeben wird. In einem Satz ist also nicht unbedingt jedes Wort einzeln wörtlich übersetzt so wie es Google-Translate machen würde, aber die Aussage eines jeden Satzes als ganzes ist so genau wie möglich wiedergegeben worden. +
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-Oft wird nämlich der Zusammenhang in dem ein Wort steht nicht richtig verstanden. Ein sehr gutes Beispiel das auch in diesem Wikipedia-Artikel vorkommt ist das englische Wort “Cult” z.B. in einem Satz wie “The leader of the Communist Party labeled Falun Gong a cult”. Viele Leute haben dieses Wort “Cult” dann irrtümlich als das deutsche Wort “Kult” übersetzt. Aber nur weil ein Wort am ähnlichsten KLINGT, ist es nicht unbedingt die richtige Übersetzung. Das Wort “Cult” alleine könnte man vielleicht als “Kult” im Deutschen übersetzen. Aber in dem Zussammenhang mit dem Satz in dem es hier in dem Beispiel steht, ist die Übersetzung als “Sekte” angebrachter. Der ganze Satz würde im deutschen also heißen: “Der Führer der Kommunistischen Partei brandmarkte Falun Gong als eine üble Sekte”. Eine rein wörtlich richtige, aber sinngemäß und im Zussammenhang völlig falsche Übersetzung a ala Google-Translate die auch überhaupt keinen Sinn machen würde, wäre dagegen so etwas wie “Der Leiter der Kommunistischen Feier hat Falun Klingel die Etikette eines Kultes aufgeklebt”. Das jetzt als ein Extrem-Beispiel dafür wie Google-Translate übersetzen würde und wie meine Übersetzung NICHT ist. Denn rein wörtlich ist diese Übersetzung richtig, sinngemäß ist sie aber totaler Käse. Deshalb muss man immer auf die Bedeutung im Zussammenhang achten und dies habe ich getan und ich hoffe ihr versteht nun meinen Übersetzungsstil besser und versteht warum er sich von der wörtlichen Übersetzung von Google-Translate unterscheidet,​ die Übersetzung aber dennoch (oder vielleicht gerade deshalb) so genau wie möglich ist. +
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-Links und Referenzen habe ich wie im Original belassen. Fall möglich habe ich die internen Wiki-Links so gesetzt dass sie weiterhin funktionieren. Wenn es bei internen Links einen deutschen Artikel gab, habe ich falls möglich auf den entsprechenden deutschen Wikipedia-Artikel verlinkt. Gab es keinen deutschen Artikel für etwas, habe ich den Link so gesetzt dass er möglichst weiterhin auf den ursprünglich gemeinten englischsprachigen Artikel verlinkt. Und Referenzen und externe Links habe ich eh so gelassen wie sie waren.+
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