Havard Scholar: Falun Gong Cult Should Be Combated In Any Country

Xinhua News Agency, August 18, 1999

BEIJING, August 18 (Xinhua)-- Havard scholar Kai-Alexander Schlevogt has refuted Western media's attack on the Chinese Government's ban on Falun Gong, saying that the cult, given its danger to society, should be combated in any country.

"Cults of any kind, such as Falun Gong in China, are dangerous for society in any country and have to be combated with all means, " writes Schlevogt, a faculty member of both the Harvard Business School and Harvard Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Asian Center, in an article published in today's China Daily.

The mass media has concentrated on the development of the Falun Gong cult in China in recent weeks, he says, "The foreign media was quick to attack China's determined efforts to protect its citizens from life-threatening manipulative practices."

"Unfortunately," he notes, "the allegedly objective media was silent about the fact that there are thousands of Qigong groups in China," who had always had the freedom to pursue their hobby. Neither did it mention that Falun Gong is a cult, not a simple association of practitioners.

Instead, foreign media described Falun Gong as a harmless meditation group, which could not seriously cause any damage to China, just "to make China look ridiculous in the eyes of Westerners," "as always in this type of criticism," he says. Schlevogt points out that cults usually have secret hierarchies, request obedience and engage in personality cults for their founders who wield absolute authority. Their aim is "to amass great wealth and power for the organization and the leader himself. "

Falun Gong "engages in pyramid schemes, a fact which Western media does not mention," he says. For example, the cult has manipulated its followers to believe blindly in the words of their leader. They refute medical advice because of their belief in the "supernatural power" of their leader. "This often costs them their lives," he adds.

The author says that given all these dangers and abuses, people should thank the Chinese Government for taking a determined stance to uphold its long-standing values and act as a mighty fortress for the welfare of its citizens. "This decisive action is especially important, given that cults eliminate the individual's ability to protect himself. The followers of Falun Gong are trapped without knowing it, the real culprits are their leaders."

There is religious freedom for people in China, but manipulative cults should not be tolerated here and elsewhere, he says.

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