Below are some questions that have been raised by concerned individuals in recent months.Many are in response to false allegations made by the Chinese state-run media against Falun Gong.We hope the following explanations will prove helpful to your understanding of the current situation in China.

(1)Falun Gong Practitioners keep approaching the Chinese government to appeal -- does this violate "Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance)?"

A: Falun Gong promotes "Zhen-Shan-Ren."A practitioner first must be "Zhen (Truthful)" and thus must tell the truth and do things truthfully.If the government insists on labeling something righteous as "evil," then it is necessary to clarify the truth.Speaking of "Shan (Compassion)" - in a Falun Gong practitioner you will not find any ill intent or extreme or impulsive behavior, you will not hear rude words, nor will you see harmful actions towards anyone or anything.The practitioners in China are only legally exercising a right granted to them by their Constitution - making an appeal to the government.Peacefully asking the Chinese government to allow everyone an environment in which they can practice -- what crime have they committed? (Practitioners found that they had no choice but to present the facts directly to the Central Government because trying to make appeals to local government agencies was not only hopeless but often led to unwarranted beatings and detention of practitioners).

In terms of "Ren (Forbearance)" - since the Zhongnanhai Incident until now, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been threatened, beaten, detained, and tortured, but not a single practitioner has struck back or physically retaliated against the police. Despite all the negative things the government says about Falun Gong, it has to admit that this group of people has truly been able to "turn the other cheek."How many people in the world nowadays can truly display this kind of conduct?Furthermore, for these practitioners to make an appeal is a sacrifice of their personal interests for the sake of others and for the Dafa.The realm of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance contained in their conduct has far surpassed the usual parameters .

(2) Why do you say that Falun Gong is not an "evil cult"?

A: The Falun Gong practice is free of charge.The teaching of the exercises is done voluntarily.It teaches people to be kind and improves health and fitness.There are no memberships, religious rituals, or office buildings.Everyone is free to come and go as he or she wishes.How can it be called a cult?Everyone would like to see an "evil cult" eradicated.And yet, why has Falun Gong been so well received in over 30 countries around the world?Is it possible that all these people lack the ability to distinguish good from evil?

Among the great numbers of Falun Gong practitioners, you will not find corrupt people who accept bribes and you will not find pleasure-seekers who gamble or go to prostitutes.You will not even find people doing unhealthy things like smoking.If this is whats "evil," then what is "righteous?"

(3) Why do you say Falun Gong does not participate in politics?

A: There is no need to worry about whether Falun Gong practitioners are involved in politics because the reason they come to learn the practice is simply to improve their moral character and physical health.People who conduct themselves based on "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" will naturally be open-minded and take worldly success very lightly.Moreover, politics usually involves deception, pursuit of fame, self-interest and political gain, and so on, which totally oppose the principles that Falun Gong practitioners follow.When practitioners go to Beijing to appeal, or go to Geneva to attend the United Nations Human Rights Conference, the purpose is not for fame or self-interest, but for the right of the people to have a legal environment in which to practice and to let more people to know the truth of Falun Gong.That is all.There is no political agenda.On the contrary, the purpose of these actions is to prevent us from being dragged into politics.

(4) Does practicing Falun Gong forbid people from taking medication?

A: Master Li has never forbade people from taking medication.Instead, for those who cannot stop worrying about their illnesses, Master Li has said that they should go to the hospital immediately.In reality, Falun Gong does indeed have rather miraculous effects on healing and improving fitness.After practicing Falun Gong, many practitioners recover from their previous illnesses, and therefore they very naturally stop taking medication.Some medical doctors did a survey in Beijing of 12,731 Falun Gong practitioners and among them 11,892 had illnesses before practicing Falun Gong.After practicing, 11,785 people had either fully recovered from their illnesses or their condition had improved.Among these, 6,962 people had fully recovered from their illnesses.

(5) Does Falun Gong promote superstition?

A: Since ancient times, the profound traditional Chinese culture, as well as the belief in Gods and Buddhas within religions, has prospered for thousands of years.Should all of that be called superstition?Many people categorize everything that our current science has not been able to verify as superstition.In fact, it is the belief in good and evil and karma (cause and effect) that has maintained the morality of humankind.It is easy to imagine how desolate and degenerate society would be if human beings didnt believe in anything and just did whatever they wanted to do.

(6) Does Falun Gong advocate doomsday theories?

A: In the program "Li Hongzhi - His Personality and His Deeds" made by CCTV (the television broadcast agency of the Chinese government), some so-called witnesses alleged that Master Li had advocated a doomsday theory.This report was pure fabrication and was intended to help someone achieve their political motives.Master Li has never stated this sort of thing.Instead, in many of his lectures, he emphasized repeatedly that only cults keep advocating doomsday theories about the end of world.CCTV cut out the second half of one of his sentences: "The end of the world does not exist" and presented it as: "The end of the world."The national television station of China really should not be deceiving the public like this. (7) If practicing Falun Gong will not make a person go astray, what happened with those "1,400 cases" that the Chinese government keeps talking about?

A: If you want to find fault with somebody, you can always fabricate a charge. Lets not even mention how "irrefutable" the evidence was when Liu Shaoqi (the former president of China) was charged with being a traitor during the Cultural Revolution, but with those "1,400 cases," how many bribes, incidents of coercion, and fabrications are hidden behind them? Lets also take a step back and suppose for a moment that all 1,400 cases are legitimate. Based on the percentage of the number of practitioners in China (the governments official statistics estimated that there were 70-80 million Falun Gong practitioners, but later they changed the number to 2.3 million), 1,400 divided by 2.3 million is 0.07% (this 0.07% is calculated just using the official figures and is for the entire 7 years between when Falun Gong came to the public in 1992 until 1999).This number is many times lower than the average mortality rate of 0.65% based on the official statistics in China in 1998.This number itself proves the extraordinary effects of Falun Gong.Please think about it: if we personally knew a Falun Gong practitioner who truly followed the requirements of Falun Dafa and in the end he or she went astray, committed suicide, or killed someone, many of us would automatically stop practicing without the government having to say a word.The truth is that even with the Chinese governments heavy-handed slander and persecution, most practitioners are not only not giving up, but instead are becoming more steadfast with the practice.This fact itself has shown the power of the truth.

(8)Do you think that the Chinese government will change its attitude?Historically, people who are in power rarely admit their mistakes.

A:Many people think that Falun Gong practitioners are "foolish" because once the government has made a decision, even though it might be wrong, they will not publicly admit it.There is a saying that "those who can follow the current are those who are smart."People are already accustomed to yielding to the abuse of power, meekly submitting to oppression, and taking advantage of political opportunity.But we Falun Gong practitioners hold ourselves to the universal principle of "Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truth-Compassion-Forbearance)."Therefore, in the face of this vicious crackdown, we try to do things in an upright and dignified manner, we try to maintain great compassion and forbearance, and we will guard the universal truth with our lives.

Although they could just promise to quit practicing and then secretly practice at home, the Falun Gong practitioners in China still dare to step forward to clarify the truth, knowing full well the price that will be paid for telling the truth for the sake of justice.How upright and noble this is, and how courageous.In ancient times, a wise king would gather good advice from far and wide and listen to the will of his people.Honest advice may be unpleasant to the ear, but it will bring wealth and happiness to the nation.If one ignores the will of the people, natural calamities and man-made disasters will abound.Unjust cause finds scant support.To tell a joke: would a cult or a criminal organization dare to go before the central government to prove that they are innocent?

(9)What benefits does the practice of Falun Gong have?

A:Talking about it at the lowest level, Falun Gong can heal illnesses and maintain fitness.From the perspective of higher levels, Falun Gong is a cultivation practice.It can upgrade ones virtues and improve morality and enable one to return to ones true self and reach enlightenment.Otherwise, why would there be so many people wanting to learn Falun Gong?Nowadays, people arent foolish enough to want their family members and friends to learn something when they themselves have been cheated."Good people will see good things" -- after you read Zhuan Falun and try the exercises, you will naturally experience the benefits for yourself.

(10)What about the issue of accumulating wealth?

A:Some people claim that Master Li has made a fortune by selling books.To this day, all Falun Gong books can be freely downloaded through the Internet.Books also can be borrowed from libraries.Even the publishing companies are not exclusive and as long as the type setting is not changed, we can also purchase them.We would like to ask - would someone who wants to accumulate wealth do such a thing?Moreover, the retail price of Zhuan Falun is twelve yuan in China (about US$1.50), yet a recent book that attacks Falun Gong is being sold for several times that amount.It is obvious who is trying to accumulate wealth.Doesnt it simply make sense that a writer should gain lawful income from his own works?

(11)What about the issue of his birth date?

A:It was alleged by CCTV (the state-run TV station) that Master Li fabricated his background, altered his birthday, and made himself out to be "a reincarnation of Buddha Sakyamuni."But in fact, it was the government during the time of the Cultural Revolution that mistakenly recorded Master Lis birth date, and Master Li simply had the erroneous birth date changed back to the correct one.Furthermore, the number of people who were born on this day could be in the tens of thousands.Can we say that all those people who were born on this date are Sakyamuni?Then how about the criminals who were also born on this date?Besides, Master Li himself has never claimed to be Buddha Sakyamuni.

It is even more ridiculous that the People's Daily (a state-run newspaper) published an article about an old lady who claimed that she had delivered Master Li over 40 years ago.Never mind that an 80 years old midwife has such an astonishing memory, she also claimed that she clearly remembered that Master Lis delivery in 1952 was a difficult one and so a labor inducing drug was used.In fact, the particular labor inducing drug that she claimed she had used had not even been clinically tested that year (Columbia Encyclopedia states that this labor inducing drug was not put into use until 1953).These kinds of reports necessarily bring into question the credibility of such a publication.

(Edited on July 10, 2000)