20 Apr 2011
WASHINGTON DC -- A new round of fraudulent emails was sent from suspected Chinese agents to elected officials, journalists and NGOs in Canada, the United States, France and Norway earlier this month. The emails’ senders deceptively claim to be representatives of the Falun Dafa Information Center, and the content of the messages is crafted to portray Falun Gong as bizarre, threatening, intolerant, and otherwise undeserving of sympathy or respect.
The Falun Dafa Information Center received copies of two emails, sent on April 5 and April 14, to a list of recipients that included retired Canadian and Norwegian parliamentarians, newspaper editors, a collection of U.S.- and France-based human rights and press freedom NGOs, and members of the Nobel Prize Committee.
The emails make bizarre claims, including that if the recipients took up the practice of Falun Gong, they would be granted "exceptional capabilities" including "making a fortune without labor." Failure to adopt Falun Gong, according to the emails, would lead them to "bleed all over and be cursed," and "even go to hell."
Another set of emails received April 20 containing the subject of "Falun Gong advertising message" take a more subtle approach, relaying a meandering story of illness and recovery through faith in "the Falun Gong."
"The Falun Dafa Information Center did not send these emails, and in no way condones the threats or bizarre thinking that they advance," says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Mr. Erping Zhang.
"Falun Gong practitioners would never employ coercion or threats as a means of convincing someone to take up the Falun Gong practice," Mr. Zhangs explains. "Still, it's very clear why the e-mails take this tactic: it plays directly into the fears of extreme religious believers -- a category into which the CCP has tried to place Falun Gong for over a decade, when in fact such a characterization could not be further from the truth."
In January of this year, a U.S. Senate office received an email claiming to be from Mr. Zhang. The email threatened that Falun Gong adherents would be mobilized to kill the Senator’s chances of reelection if he didn’t meet a series of demands. The email was not sent by Mr. Zhang, but was instead traced to Wuhan, China.
In late February, city counselors in New Zealand and Australia received fraudulent emails purporting to be from area Falun Gong practitioners, stating that victims of recent Christchurch earthquake “got what they deserved,” and claiming, incredibly, that Falun Gong’s teachings hold that computer use and democracy promotion are “evil.” Again, the emails were not sent by Falun Gong practitioners, and were traced back to IP addresses in Beijing.
The Falun Dafa Information Center is currently working to trace the source of the latest wave of emails, and no IP address has been identified at this time. However, investigators have found that the emails originated from China's timezone, and one in particular has been traced back to the city of Wuhan.
The Falun Dafa Information Center would like to encourage anyone who received suspicious or bizarre emails purporting to be from Falun Gong practitioners to report them to the Falun Dafa Information Center to determine their authenticity.