He is anti-gay and teaches that homosexuals will be "eliminated" by "the gods."
He preaches that children from multicultural unions have lost their roots and will never be recognized as a human race.
If you challenge his teachings or question his beliefs you will be repeatedly subjected to personal attacks, threats of litigation and frivolous lawsuits by his followers.
Welcome to the Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, who’s benign and sympathy seeking face as a heavily persecuted meditative practice is actually a façade for the intolerant, homophobic and racist teachings of its leader Li Hongzhi, say critics.
Now the Falun Gong movement which claims over 100 million followers worldwide, including thousands in Canada, is seeking a spot in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights when it opens in 2014 in Winnipeg.
Falun Gong followers led by University of Manitoba social work professor Maria Cheung claim that China, which has outlawed the cult movement, has silenced, jailed and used body parts of the movements’ practitioners for illegal organ transplants.
"Since the museum for human rights is a museum for the future, to prevent the atrocities that have happened and (are) happening, the Falun Gong experiences are valuable to human rights education," Cheung was quoted as saying in the Winnipeg Free Press.
“You might as well put Hitler and his Nazis in that museum, if you are going to put the Falun Gong in there,” retorted Vancouver-based newspaper publisher Harbinder Singh Sewak, who has been looking into the movements’ teachings and motivations for the last four years.
Sewak, who publishes the award-winning Asian Pacific Post, South Asian Post and Filipino Post newspapers, plans to expose the “inner workings” of the Falun Gong movement in a much-anticipated freedom-of-speech trial scheduled to be heard in the B.C. Supreme Court later this month.
The case in B.C. revolves around an article about a theatre-and-dance production that claims to showcase Chinese culture. The story — entitled “Dancing to their own tune” — said the show by the Divine Performing Arts company had been targeted by the Chinese government because it is founded by and affiliated with Falun Gong practitioners.
It was to be published in the Asian Pacific Post edition of January 8, 2009 by Sewak’s regular printer Frank Cui, a Falun Gong adherent.
Cui, the manager of Epoch Press and his workers who are also Falun Gong followers did not like the story’s “balanced” approach. They did not want readers to see the Chinese government’s views of the Falun Gong. They wanted to control the content and said they had a “legal right” to do it, according to Sewak’s lawsuit.
Cui allegedly refused to release the edition of the paper from the print shop and hijacked the print run after Sewak refused to let him change the story.
Cui in an e-mailed press statement to the media later said: “Unfortunately, news reporters feel that they must ‘balance’ stories about Falun Gong or events they are involved in by adding the bad words or opinions from the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], but in my feeling, between victim and perpetrator there can never be any neutrality or balance.”
Sewak said his right to free speech has been suppressed by Cui and the Falun Gong followers involved in the incident.
“You can’t complain about not having freedom of the press in China and then turn around and suppress the same freedoms in Canada,” said Sewak.
Frank Cui, when contacted said: "I cannot say anything, it is already in this process. Better not talking. I'm sorry I cannot talk too much."
Sewak said he has received legal letters from lawyers for the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, the Falun Dafa Association of Vancouver, pro-Falun Gong broadcaster New Tang Dynasty Television Canada, and the Divine Performing Arts Company. The entities say they are not in any way responsible for the actions of the Burnaby-based printer and his staff at Epoch Press.
But Sewak believes that all of them in some form or manner influenced the motivations by Cui to hijack his paper.
“The Falun Gong belief system is at the centre of this case…one of their core principals is not to provide a platform for people who criticize their leader…and that is the reason they hijacked my paper,” he said.
Sewak realizes he has an uphill battle as he is currently acting without a lawyer.
Cui, on the other hand, is using an expensive, blue-chip legal team from Heenan Blaikie, to defend his right to kill news stories that he deems unfavorable.
Heenan Blaikie, ironically, counts in its ranks former prime minister turned millionaire-lobbyist, Jean Chretien, who has been declared “China’s best friend in Canada” for his unabashed sinophilia and frequent pilgrimages to meet China’s top dogs, some of whom Falun Gong followers blame for their persecution.
Sewak plans to use reports by international experts, including cult expert Rick Ross in the upcoming trial.
Ross has said when Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi talks about “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” neither he nor his followers actually demonstrate any tolerance concerning critical questions or inquiry.
Within Falun Gong, Li’s followers are not allowed to question the basic assumptions of the group and criticism from outsiders is often characterized as “persecution”, states Ross, who has been accepted as an expert witness across the United States in numerous court cases.
Ross is especially critical of Li Hongzhi’s encouragement of hatred towards gays (Volume II of Zhuan Falun, the movement’s bible which was translated into English in 1996) and his depiction of the children of mixed-race couples as “intellectually incomplete”.
Another expert is Maria Chang of the University of Nevada, who wrote a book about the Falun Gong, said the movement treats organizations it has created as front components to influence public opinion through propaganda campaigns.
“Canada will know the real Falun Gong when this case goes to trial,” said Sewak, who has been recognized for his multicultural campaign to foster ties between the Canadian military and the Sikh community.
Falun Gong’s dark side
The Falun Gong or Falun Dafa movement which claims to be a non-political meditative practise is outlawed by China, which describes it as a cult whose leaders have caused the deaths of many of its followers and collected tens of millions of dollars worldwide.
While the movement claims it has no structural hierarchy, Falun Gong websites state it has gathered over 100 million followers since its inception in 1992 by Li Hongzhi — a former trumpet-player from northeast China who is known as “Living Buddha” to his devotees and an evil charlatan to his critics.
The reclusive Li — who has been variously described as an anti-Chinese doomsday cult leader, head of a sinister organization and a spiritual master - apparently also can fly, believes that Africa has a two billion-year-old nuclear reactor, and that aliens who look human but have “a nose made of bone” invaded Earth to introduce modern technology.
In Li’s world view, mixed-race people are part of a plot, contrived by the evil extraterrestrials. "By mixing the races of humans, the aliens make humans cast off gods," he told a gathering in Switzerland in 1998.
"Mixed races" are supposedly excluded from the "truth" and "have lost their roots, as if nobody in the paradise will take care of them. They belong to nowhere, and no places would accept them . . . the higher levels do not recognize such a human race."
According to Mr. Li, the offspring of mixed race unions are therefore "intellectually incomplete" or "with an incomplete body." In such cases, only he, Master Li, can help and "take care of it" (i.e. resolve the "incomplete" state). However, that can be done only if "such a person wants to practice cultivation."
Li Hongzhi also encourages hatred of homosexuals. "The disgusting homosexuality shows the dirty abnormal psychology of the gay who has lost his ability of reasoning at the present time," Li Hongzhi wrote in Volume II of Zhuan Falun, or Turning the Law Wheel, which was translated into English in 1996.
In his talk in Switzerland, Li Hongzhi also stated that gay people would be "eliminated" by "the gods." Asked in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1998 whether gays could practice Falun Gong, Mr. Li answered, "You can cultivate, but you must give up the bad conduct."
Earlier this year, Canada’s Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Mary Dawson, warned MPs not to accept tickets to a Las Vegas-style show being staged across the country by the Falun Gong group.
She believes that the free tickets being offered for the Shen Yun show by the Falun Dafa Association of Canada and its affiliates maybe an attempt by the group to influence Canadian politicians.