(Minghui.org) Falun Gong has been persecuted in China for 15 years, and more than 3,000 deaths have been confirmed as a result of physical and mental torture carried out by the regime, despite the Chinese Constitution clearly guaranteeing the freedom of belief. 

One of the keys of the CCP's propaganda campaign against Falun Gong is to label it a “cult”, thereby bypassing the practitioners' constitutional rights and turning public opinion against it.

The fundamental characteristics of Falun Gong mark it as a beneficial belief system and meditation exercise. In addition, even the Chinese regime's own laws do not recognize Falun Gong as a cult, thereby invalidating the legal basis for its persecution. This was recently reconfirmed by one of the CCP's own mouthpiece media outlets.

Falun Gong Is Not on CCP's Official “Cult” List

On June 2, Legal Evening, one of the mouthpieces of the Beijing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Committee, and other news media, listed 14 religious groups as “officially banned cult organizations” in their reports of a recent death case of a woman in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province.

Falun Gong was not on the list.

Jiang Tianyong, a renowned human rights lawyer, wrote on Twitter, “Falun Gong has been persecuted by the CCP under the pretense of being a cult for nearly 15 years. Countless cultivators have been followed, arrested, detained, put into labor camps, sentenced, sent to brainwashing centers... Where is the legal basis for so many years of cruel and bloody persecution?”

Jiang’s lawyer license was suspended for defending human rights cases, including more than 20 cases involving Falun Gong. He has also been the target of police brutality.

The 14-organization list came from a 2000 internal document issued by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), “Notice of MPS 2000 No. 39.” Out of the 14 organizations listed as “cults,” 7 were named by the Office of CCP Central Committee and Office of State Council, and 7 were named by MPS itself. Falun Gong was not on either list, despite the nationwide persecution having started in 1999.

The Persecution Has Been Illegal from the Beginning

The persecution of Falun Gong has been illegal from the beginning. Below is a brief summary of the CCP's progressive accusations against Falun Gong:

For the first three months, the ban was based on two ministry-level department regulations created on July 22, 1999, two days after the mass overnight arrests started.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs “banned” the Falun Dafa Research Society for not being registered, even though the Beijing-based Research Society had dissolved itself three years earlier.

Next, the MPS extended the “ban” to all Falun Gong-related activities and all Falun Gong practitioners. Neither ministry had jurisdiction to issue such a ban. The ban, even if it were issued by an agency with authority, would have violated the Chinese Constitution, which guarantees freedom of belief.

Three months later, then-head of the CCP Jiang Zemin labeled Falun Gong a “cult” in an interview with the French newspaper La Figaro on October 25, 1999. The People’s Daily newspaper ran with it, and soon published a special commentary repeating Jiang’s claim.

Now it has been reconfirmed that Falun Gong has never been on the CCP's own official “cult” list. After Chinese netizens took notice and raised questions, the CCP media began damage control by changing the number from 14 to 20. Yet, no documents have been shown to back up the new number.

“The CCP Is the 15th Cult”

The newly launched damage control campaign has backfired thus far. Internet users created a graphic entitled, “How to Identify a Cult.” Among the characteristics were: “Cults are highly exclusive, and propagandize how great they are.” Another was “Cults are coercive, and use mind control techniques on its members.” Cults also thrive on “an embedded network of personal relationships to protect their interests.” Responding bloggers joked about how all these characteristics apply to the CCP itself, more so than any other organization in China.

“We’re stuck under the rule of a cult!” one Internet user wrote. Another stated outright, “The definition of a cult is an exact description of the Party.”

The brutal persecution is still going on in China. A Minghui report revealed that between March and May 2014, close to 1,700 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in China.

Repulsed and disgusted by the CCP's brutality, on full display during the persecution of Falun Gong and previous political campaigns, over170 million Chinese people have announced their intention to quit the Party or its affiliated organizations since 2004.