1. Falun Gong, which emerged in China in the early 1990’s, is a spiritual practice promoting the self-improvement of the body, mind, and spirit. The guiding principle of Falun Gong is “Truth, Compassion, Forbearance”. Falun Gong contains five sets of simple, gentle meditation and exercises. It promotes self-awareness and moral and ethical behaviour in an individual’s thought and actions.
Falun Gong encourages people to live upright and harmonious family lives. Practitioners of Falun Gong strive to practice in an open and dignified manner. Falun Gong teaches people to always think of others and be kind and benevolent toward people in all circumstances. The teachings of Falun Gong require and promote treasuring all lives and socially acceptable activity. The teachings of Falun Gong prohibit homicide, suicide and criminal activity. The practice of Falun Gong is voluntary and practitioners are free to participate or not to participate according to their own individual wishes. Practitioners pay no money to practice or participate in Falun Gong. While practitioners consider Master Li the teacher, practitioners are encouraged to think for themselves.
Testimony from Expert Witness
2. In a court hearing in Canada November 17, 2003, Professor David Ownby, one of the very few in the world who did field work and research on Falun Gong stated:
“In North America, Falun Gong practitioners are fairly well off, they’re very well educated, the generally live in nuclear families…They often work in computers or finance or, a lot of people in physics, engineering…They’re better educated, more wealthy, live in better houses than the average Canadian”.
3. In his testimony (November 17, 2003), Professor Ownby comments that unlike cults, Falun Gong has no mandatory financial obligations, isolation of practitioners in communes or withdrawal from the world.
4. Similarly, with respect to the Chinese regime’s allegations of murder, etc, Professor Ownby testified (November 17, 2003) that he had not come across any such homicidal tendencies and that in fact a basic tenet of Falun Gong is “that life is to be respected”. He also stated that
“Nothing in (his) research would connect Falun Gong practitioners with organized crime or with criminal behaviour of any sort”.5. As for the repeated accusations that Falun Gong encourages practitioners to withdraw from society and to break from their families, he stated “This is simply not the case”and added:
“Falun Gong members remain within society. In a vast majority, they live within nuclear families. They go towork, they send their kids to school…”6. His conclusion was that Falun Gong was not a cult and its practices were not dangerous. He found “quite little harm” in Falun Gong principles. In his International Journal article, far from seeing evil in Falun Gong, he comments: “My impression … is of innocence…and (that there is) little in the practices of North American practitioners that causes concern”.
7. Reference should also be had to Professor Ownby’s findings that the bulk of Canadian Falun Gong practitioners are very well educated, usefully employed and successful and have close family ties.
Judgement from Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
8. Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Finds Falun Gong a Protected Creed under Ontario Human Rights Code.
Check the related media coverage here and here.
Western scholars of religion would characterize Falun Gong as a new religious movement. The essence of Falun Gong is spiritual elevation. Falun Gong practitioners believe in the existence of gods and divine beings in the cosmos.
Its leader, Li Hongzhi, has written a form of ‘scripture.‘ His message is profoundly moral. "
- Quote from news release by Ontario Human Rights Commission after judgement rendered by the Tribunal
9. In a May 13, 2008 judgment, Appeal Court of Montreal ruled that the local Chinese newspaper La Presse Chinoise defamed Falun Gong and the founder of Falun Gong when the paper used word-for-word propaganda of the Chinese regime to describe and attack the Falun Gong and the founder.
Comments from CSIS, FBI, and RCMP, and Police Force
10.The Hate Crime Unit of the Police Service in Edmonton considers the Chinese Regime's propaganda against Falun Gong (distributed by the Chinese Consulate in Alberta) hate incitement. In the Edmonton Police report regarding one of the cases, in the Edmonton hate crime unite police's investigation report, it stated:
"It is in my professional opinion that the literature being disseminated by the accused [Chinese consulate staff in Calgary] does constitute hate as indicated by the supreme court in the Keegstra decision, ...."
“It should be noted that CSIS, FBI, and RCMP National Security have explainly verbally that Falun Gong does not pose a security threat to Canada.”
“Canada security, law enforcement and non government agencies and organizations have identified Falun Gong as a peaceful religion that pose no threat to the security of the country…. Some examples of organizations that confirm this verbally and through documentation are:
CSIS, Edmonton Police Servic, RCMP, National Investigative Services, FBI, ... "
Comments from Governor General, and Members of Parliament
"They cultivate the will to live in peace with themselves and in harmony with the universe, thus learning compassion for others and helping to create a more open and tolerant society." - Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada
"What we are witnessing today in China is the "criminalization of innocence" – the criminalization of a spiritual meditation exercise group – thereby subjecting all its members to intimidation, prosecution, persecution, and imprisonment, for no other reason than that they espoused the basic, fundamental values of Truth, Compassion and Forbearance." - Hon. Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice
DEFAMATION AND HATE IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE PERSECUTION
In 2001 A Washington Post investigative report stated that the Jiang Regime admits to three tactics in its persecution campaign against Falun Gong: state sanctioned violence, high-pressure propaganda, and brainwashing. The report quotes a Chinese official stating, “none of it would be working if the propaganda hadn’t started to change the way the general public thinks.”
Hate materials combined with slander, fabricated stories, and distorted facts have been forced into every facet of Chinese society, through all Chinese media, all levels of PRC government, work units and communities, to turn public opinion against Falun Gong. This hate has created an environment of hatred and contempt toward men, women and children who practise Falun Gong and apathy from much of the Chinese populace who turn their backs to the documented and nation wide torture and death of Falun Gong people.
In Amnesty International’s 2001 report titled, The crackdown on Falun Gong and other so-called ''heretical organizations,'' it states, “…the Chinese government launched a massive propaganda campaign to denounce the practice and the motivation of its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi… the impartiality of the government's information is questionable. Furthermore, the information published by the government leaves many essential questions unanswered.”
PERSECUTION SPREADS TO CANADA
In the 2004 National Post Feature article titled, “Falun Gong persecution Spreads to Canada,” it details how for the past seven years, Falun Gong practitioners in Canada have been living under suppression by the anti-Falun Gong campaign instigated by the Chinese Communist Regime and implemented through the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in Canada.