China Issued Anti-Cult Law (Nov. 2, 1999)

In the past three months, the Chinese Government has made great success in combating the Falun Gong Cult. In order to prevent and combat such cults in the future, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopted a legislative resolution on banning heretic cults on Oct. 30. On the same day, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate also issued judicial explanations on laws regarding cult-related crime. The Chinese Embassy hereby provides the contents of the above-mentioned documents and other relevant information for your better understanding of the true nature of the Falun Gong Cult and the Chinese Government's efforts to maintain social stability and protect the welfare of its people.


Legislative Resolution on Banning Heretic Cults

BEIJING, October 30 -- The 12th Session of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) today adopted a resolution concerning the banning of heretic cult organizations, prevention measures against them and punishment for cult activities.

The following is the full text of the NPC resolution:

To maintain social stability, protect the interest of people, safeguard reform and opening up and the construction of a modern socialist country, it is necessary to ban heretic cult organizations, and prevent and punish cult activities.

Based on the Constitution and other related laws, the following decision is hereby made:

1. Heretic cult organizations shall be resolutely banned according to law and all of their criminal activities shall be dealt with severely.

Heretic cults, operating under the guise of religion, Qigong or other illicit forms, which disturb social order and jeopardize people's life and property, must be banned according to law and punished resolutely.

People's courts, people's procuratorates, public security, national security and judicial administrative agencies shall fulfill their duties in carrying out these tasks.

To be severely dealt with according to law are those who manipulate members of cult organizations to violate national laws and administrative regulations, organize mass gatherings to disrupt social order, and fool others, cause deaths, rape women, swindle people out their money and property or commit other crimes with superstition and heresy.

The principle of combining education with punishment should be followed in order to unify and instruct the majority of the deceived public and to mete out severe punishment to the handful of criminals.

During the course of handling cult groups according to law, people who joined cult organizations but were unaware of the lies being spread by the group shall be differentiated from criminal elements who organize and take advantage of cult groups for illegal activities and/or to intentionally destroy social stability.

The majority of the deceived members shall not be prosecuted, while those organizers, leaders and core members who committed crimes shall be investigated for criminal conduct; those who surrender to the authorities or contribute to the investigations shall be given lesser punishments in accordance with the law, or be exempt from punishment.

3. Long-term, comprehensive instruction on the Constitution and the law should be carried out among all citizens, knowledge of science and technology should be popularized and the national literacy level raised. Banning cult organizations and punishing cult activities according to law goes hand in hand with protecting normal religious activities and people's freedom of religious belief.

The public should be exposed to the inhumane and anti-social nature of heretic cults, so they can knowingly resist influences of cult organizations, enhance their awareness of the law and abide by it.

4. All corners of society shall be mobilized in preventing and fighting against cult activities, and a comprehensive management system should be put in place. People's governments and judicial bodies at all levels should be held responsible for guarding against the creation and spread of cult organizations and combating cult activities. This is an important, long-term task that will ensure social stability.


Judicial Explanations on Crimes by Cults

BEIJING, October 30 -- China declared today the launch of detailed judicial explanations on laws regarding crimes committed by cults.

China's top judicial and procuratorial organs, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, also declared that the explanations take effect as of today.

Under the explanations jointly issued by the two departments, "cult groups" in Article 300 in the Criminal Law refers to those illegal groups that have been found using religions, Qigong or other things as a camouflage, deifying their leading members, recruiting and controlling their members and deceiving people by molding and spreading superstitious ideas, and endangering the society.

Section 1 of Article 300 in the Criminal Law stipulates that " those who organize superstitious sects and secret societies or use superstition to violate laws or administrative regulations" are subject to three to seven years imprisonment, and those whose cases are extremely serious are subject to seven years imprisonment or more".

Under Section 2 and 3 of the article, those who set up or use superstitious sects and secret societies or superstition to deceive people and cause death of others are subject to the penalties as indicated in the previous section.

Under the two sections, those who organize and use superstitious sects, secret societies or superstitions to sexually exploit women or swindle money or property should be punished according to articles on rape and swindle in the Criminal Law.

Under the explanations, those who organize and use sects and commit one of the following activities should be penalized according to Section 1, Article 300 in the criminal law:

I. gathering people together to besiege and charge government organs, enterprises or institutions, and disrupt their work, production and teaching and research activities;

II. holding illegal assembly, demonstrations to incite or deceive, or organize their members or others to besiege, charge, seize, disrupt public places or places for religious activities, or disrupt social order;

III. resisting departments concerned to ban their groups, or resuming the banned groups, or establishing other sects, or continuing their activities;

IV. instigating, deceiving or organizing their members or others to refuse fulfilling their legal obligations, and the case is serious;

V. publishing, printing, duplicating or distributing publications spreading malicious fallacies, and printing symbols of their sects; and

VI. other activities that violate the state law or administrative regulations.

According to the explanations, a case is regarded as "serious" if it involves any of the following while conducting the activities in the previous article:

I. setting up organizations or recruiting members across provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities that are under direct administration of the central government;

II. collaborating with overseas groups, organizations and individuals for sect-related activities;

III. publishing, printing, duplicating and distributing, either in terms of volumes or sales values, a large amount of publications spreading fallacious ideas and printing symbols of sects; and

IV. instigating, deceiving or organizing their members or others to violate state laws, administrative regulations, and resulting in serious consequences.

Under the explanations, setting up or using superstitious sects, secret societies or superstition to deceive people and cause death of others in Section 2 and 3 of Article 300, refers to the cases of establishing or using sects to mold, spread superstition or fallacies, deceiving their members or others to practice fast, inflict wounds upon themselves, or prevent patients from taking normal medical treatment and resulting in deaths.

The explanations says it will be a "serious offense" if the following occurs:

I. causing three deaths or more;

II. causing fewer than three deaths but serious injuries for many people;

III. those who have received criminal or administrative penalties for engaging in cult activities continue to establish or use sects to deceive people and result in deaths; and

VI. causing other special serious consequences.

Under the explanations, those who establish or use sects to mold, spread superstition and fallacies, instigate and coerce their members or others to commit suicide or inflict wounds on themselves, should be punished according to laws on intended murder or intended harming offenses under causes in the criminal law.

Those who organize and use superstitious sects and sexually exploit women or young girls by seducing, coercing, deceiving or other ways should be punished according to clauses on rape, or raping underage girl offenses, under the criminal law.

Those who swindle money or property by establishing or using sects or other means should be punished according to articles on swindle offenses in the criminal law.

Offenses of establishing or using sects to organize, scheme, carry out and instigate activities of splitting China, endangering the reunification of China or subverting the country's socialist system should be handled according to relevant laws on endangering state safety offenses, as stipulated in the criminal law.

All the money and property collected by sects or criminal offenders who use sects to violate laws, and tools and publicity materials used for criminal activities, should be confiscated according to law.

Those who organize, plot or use sects for criminal activities and those enthusiastic participants who refuse to mend their ways despite repeated admonition should be investigated and affixed the criminal offense responsibility according to the criminal law and this explanations, it says.

But those who surrender themselves to law enforcement departments, or who perform meritorious services, should be given lenient penalty or exempted from penalty according to law, it says.

Those who were deceived or coerced into sects and had already withdrawn from the sect will not be considered as offenders.


Falun Gong Revealed as Structured Cult

There is plenty of evidence to prove that Falun Gong is no ordinary illegal organization, but in fact a cult, a commentary published in People's Daily of Oct. 28 concludes.

A prominent feature of a cult is its hierarchical structure, through which practitioners strictly follow the instructions of their senior member and are willing to sacrifice themselves for this spiritual leader. Li Hongzhi, founder of the Falun Gong cult, demands that his disciples think, act and even give their lives at his command.

Members of a cult are subject to a systematic form of mind control, and Falun Gong is no exception. Li entices his disciples with the bait of physical fitness, brainwashes his followers with his heretical ideas and intimidates Falun Gong practitioners with his "super powers."

In order to gather more followers to his flock, Li fabricated heretical ideas such as the "doomsday" theory and the belief that the Earth will explode so as to frighten his disciples into following his instructions without question.

Li said he alone can postpone the explosion of the Earth, he alone can help Falun Gong practitioners enter heaven, and Falun Dafa alone can save all human beings.

Incomplete statistics indicate that more than 1,400 people across China have died as a result of practicing Falun Gong, and hundreds of others have suffered psychological distress.

The Falun Gong organization collected money from its followers through the illegal publication and sale of books, pictures, video and audio tapes, and other forms of communication which spread Li's lies.

Li and other core members of the organization became rich through exploiting the wealth and labor of Falun Gong practitioners and by dodging taxes. Li is reported to have fat bank accounts overseas.

According to the commentary, Falun Gong is also a tightly organized cult. Its supreme organ in China is the Falun Dafa Research Society (FDRS) in Beijing. Under the FDRS, there are 39 general stations, 1,900 instruction centres, and 28,263 exercising sites, controlling a total of 2.1 million practitioners.

Li tricked the practitioners of Falun Gong into joining his "kingdom," and gradually separated them from mainstream society, eventually convincing them to fight against it.

Since Li ordered his followers to surround Guangming Daily in August 1996, Falun Gong has held 78 illegal demonstrations, each with more than 300 people. Thousands of followers gathered outside Zhongnanhai, the compound accommodating the Communist Party's Central Committee, on April 25 this year in the most flagrant breach of the law.

No government can turn a blind eye to the cult's illegal deeds in threatening people's lives and social stability. The Communist Party, which takes the welfare of its people as its prime concern, will take firm action in its ban on cults.

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