C h i n a N e w s D i g e s t
May 3, 2000
U.S. Cult Experts Voice Concerns Over Falun Gong
[CND, 05/02/00] U.S. cult experts discussed concerns over the nature and practice of Falun Gong in a Seattle conference, UPI reported, quoting Saturday's San Francisco Chronicle.
At the conference titled "Cults and Millennium" sponsored by the American Family Foundation, many attendants discussed the mind controlling exercised over its members and their children by Falun Gong. The group is growing fast on the West Coast and in New York City.
Americans show sympathy to the group because it is banned by the Chinese government, they pointed out, and many extreme and strange statements of the group's leader LI Hongzi have been repackaged when his writings were translated into English. They argue that the group itself has strong authoritarianism features.
A longtime cult-fighting California psychologist told the UPI that concerned parents had contacted her 44 times over their children's involvement with the group. Their children talked to them in memorized jargon and recited Li's words, according to psychologist. A common feature of all cults, she said, is that they tell their members not to think and to just recite the teaching of their leaders.
A Seattle Ph.D. told UPI that his Chinese wife had spent all her time and their money in the group's activities. "If I would have known she was going to join this cult, I never would have married her," he said.
A Falun Gong publicist in New York denied that Li had taken any improper control over his followers. "People come and go as they please, and they are never asked to donate money," she told the newspaper. (LIU Weijun, YIN De An)