Falun Gong: How the West was Won


Lindsey Medenwaldt

Article ID:



Jun 27, 2023


Jul 15, 2021

This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 44, number 2 (2020). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal please click here.



Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a new religious movement founded by Li Hongzhi in China in 1992. Based on a mix of Buddhist and New Age principles, it began as a form of qigong, a worldview that aims to strengthen a person’s vital energies through bodily movement. Adherents of Falun Gong believe their teachings and practices are the sole means of attaining Consummation — a state in which humans apprehend the real meaning of the universe and become Gods or Buddha. The primary moral tenets of the worldview are truthfulness, compassion, and forebearance.

Falun Gong is not without its social and political controversies, particularly in its very public disagreements with the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party. Falun Gong was labeled an “evil sect” and banned in China in 1999. Practitioners claim that they have suffered tremendous persecution at the hands of the Chinese government, including imprisonment, torture, and nonconsensual organ harvesting. But there has been a shift of Falun Gong followers from China to North America since the early 2000s. Westerners are being swayed by the Falun Gong and may not even realize it. Whether it’s through the popular conservative newspaper, the Epoch Times, or their touring dance troupe, Shen Yun, the Falun Gong have become a widespread presence on social media and in theaters worldwide. Recently, they have become more political and have promoted conspiracy theories on their various media platforms.

Christians should work toward two primary tasks when it comes to Falun Gong: first, they should be aware of the new religious movement so they can respond with gentleness and respect and not fall prey to their beliefs; and second, Christians should have compassion for Falun Gong practitioners because they have been and continue to be victimized in China.


You may know the Falun Gong and not realize it. Located about two hours north of New York City is a picturesque 427-acre compound, the headquarters of Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa), a new religious movement founded in China in 1992 by Li Hongzhi and practiced by millions.1 Although the compound is secluded, the Falun Gong are ever-present in Western society. While researching for this article, I had a number of conversations with friends and colleagues about the new religious movement, and most had never heard of it (those who did brought up organ harvesting and concentration camps). But when I mentioned the conservative newspaper, the Epoch Times, or the Shen Yun dance troupe, recognition swept across their faces. Yet none of them knew there was a connection with the Falun Gong. Since the early 2000s, the Falun Gong have been attempting to win over Westerners.2


Little is known about Li Hongzhi’s early years, and it’s difficult to know what’s true because different sources say different things. Li was born in 1951 and completed middle school, but it seems he received little formal education after that. He rose to fame when he founded Falun Gong at about age forty.3 Li moved to the United States in 1996 but kept teaching his growing number of followers through lectures and recordings despite the distance.

Li practiced qigong, sometimes called “Chinese yoga,”4 “a mind-body-spirit practice that improves one’s physical and mental health.”5 The government considered it “traditional Chinese science,” but this view shifted as some qigong teachers, like Li, began making claims about supernatural abilities stemming from the bodily movements.6 Li developed “his own variety of qigong,” Falun Gong, causing some to accuse him of distorting tradition.7

Falun means dharma wheel (dharma means Buddhist teachings) and gong means exercise.8 Li describes Falun as “an intelligent spinning entity of high energy matter. It rotates in accordance with the Law of the movement of the entire celestial cosmos.”9 Through a series of specific bodily movements,10 and by adhering to the central tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forebearance, Falun Gong practitioners refine their beings, which results in cultivation energy — energy that relieves the practitioner from restraints like aging (wrinkles become a thing of the past).11 Practioners also seek to release themselves from attachment because “attachments may cause stagnation and fluctuation in a practitioner’s energy potency” and “may even lead him astray.”12 Attachments could be to people, places, behavior, or even Li himself. “The purpose of cultivation is served,” Li claims, “once all attachments are put down and the mind becomes empty.”13

What can one expect upon completion of cultivation? Cultivation energy leads to “the great supernatural powers of Buddha.”14 Practitioners believe “Falun Gong offers the sole avenue toward genuine understanding of the true meaning of the universe.”15 In this state of Consummation,16 practitioners see things beyond the physical plane with their Celestial (or Third) Eye17 and are no longer restricted by time and space.18 Indeed, to achieve Consummation is to achieve divinity: “human beings can become God or Buddha”19 — “One who has reached Consummation is a Buddha, Dao, or God with boundless radiance, and he will have the magnificent image of a God, having all of the Buddha Fa’s divine powers20 — he will no longer have a human appearance.”21 Even then, however, practioners must be careful — they can lose their high-level status should they succumb to bad karma.22

Falun Gong has been described as “a kind of New Age practice with Chinese characteristics”23 — a worldview where karma and reincarnation play pivotal roles. Li originally claimed Falun Gong was a form of Buddhism,24 and like Buddhism, there is a heavy emphasis on meditation and enlightenment. Li later denied the connection, backpedaling from his original claim that it was a form of Buddhism: “Falun Gong is the great Orthodox Law, qigong of the Buddha School, and has nothing to do with Buddhism.”25 He maintains that Falun Gong teaching exceeds “conventional understanding of the Buddha Fa” (Buddhism).26 Li has refrained from calling Falun Gong a religion,27 but his books, especially Zhuan Falun (2001), are referred to as “scriptures” and “gatherings of practitioners as dharma assemblies.”28 He is also considered a spiritual leader and speaks of God (or gods), the supernatural, eternity, enlightenment, morality, karma, reincarnation, and even demons. In other words, from the outside looking in, it looks a lot like a religion, not just a series of bodily movements that promote health.

Karma and Reincarnation

Karma, the belief that good begets good and bad begets bad, is preeminent for the Falun Gong. They believe in two types of karma: white (pure and good) and black (evil and immoral). Through cultivation, practitioners bring in white karma and push out black karma.29 One necessary way to push out evil is through suffering, which includes illness.30 Without suffering, one retains bad karma, and no salvation can be found. “Karma or a karmic debt,” Li contends, “results from one’s wrongdoing committed in this life or previous lives,” and “Karma is the root cause of illness.” Moreover, “What we owe to others has to be paid.” However, Li assures “true cultivators” that their “life course will be changed.” He promises them, “You will be provided with a new [life course] suitable for your cultivation. Your master will remove a part of your karma and leave the rest of it with you to improve.”31 Karma is collected throughout a person’s lifetimes (the Falun Gong believe in reincarnation, the rebirth of the soul into a new body), and Li can help lead practitioners along the path, but adherents are mostly responsible for themselves. Because one is potentally human only once every few thousand years,32 people should work hard here and now to purge their karma. If not, they won’t reach Consummation.

Medicine Manacled

This mindset has created some controversy for the Falun Gong, particularly regarding medicine. Li has been careful to avoid saying outright that practitioners can’t take medicine, but it’s pretty clear what he means if one reads between the lines. For example, in Falun Buddha Law, he says, “We don’t have a strict rule that says you should not take medicine. I am only teaching cultivators a principle as to whether or not to take medicine, rather than telling ordinary people not to take medicine.”33 Li distinguishes between cultivators and “ordinary people” (non-Falun Gong). And what if a cultivator takes what Li refers to as “poisonous pills”?34 He is an “ordinary person.”35 Medicine keeps a practitioner from completing the cultivation process and achieving Consummation.

Creation, Annihilation, and Aliens

Although Li has not specifically described a creation narrative,36 he rejects the theory of evolution37 and leaves open the possibility that gods were responsible for creation.38 He believes humanity was not created on Earth but on physical “highest levels of the universe.”39 Due to moral failure, humanity fell and landed on Earth.40 Li considers several things immoral, from feminism and rock music to drugs and homosexuality.41 “The root cause for all human ills,” Li says, “is the decay of human morality,”42 which has led to mankind’s “complete annihilation 81 times.”43

Li also asserts that intelligent extraterrestrial beings exist and have interacted with humans: “Aliens have visited our earth and there are even photos as proof, yet people still do not believe in their existence. Human beings are straightjacketed by this science.”44 The aliens’ plans are immoral, and while the gods know, they “no longer care”45 because humanity has “turned into degenerate people who manifest demonic furor.”46 But is there no hope for humanity? On the contrary, there is Falun Gong’s pathway to cultivation.47


The relationship between Falun Gong and the Chinese government started strong because of its connection with qigong, which is associated with health.48 It wasn’t initially labeled a religious organization — it was just another group that was part of the Qigong Boom in China in the late 80s and early 90s,49 a time when several people claimed to be qigong masters. Initially, Li fell into that category. But a shift in perception happened in 1994, scholar James R. Lewis suggests, when Li professed that Falun Gong was connected with Buddhism.50 Historically, the Chinese government has been leery of religion, so this likely put it on high alert, even though Buddhism is a state-sanctioned religion. Couple that with a decline in acceptance of non-traditional qigong sects, and Falun Gong was in trouble. The Chinese media began running critical pieces against Falun Gong. Li moved to the United States and, “from the safety of his new home,” encouraged Falun Gong practitioners in China to protest the Chinese government.51

With Li’s encouragement for protest, on April 26, 1999, more than ten thousand Falun Gong demonstrated peacefully in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.52 The protest brought back memories of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre53 and was a “direct threat” against the Chinese government that triggered events leading to the eventual ban of Falun Gong in China.54 The government labeled the group an “evil sect.”55

Persecution and Martyrdom

Since Falun Gong was banned, credible accounts of imprisonment, torture, and non-consensual organ harvesting at the hands of the Chinese government have been rampant. Such persecution is terrible and unjust, but the Falun Gong seem to celebrate it. Li once said, “I’d say that one’s cultivation is nothing more than enduring hardships. If you can let it go, you are sure to complete cultivation. To put it in higher perspective, you are truly a God if you could abandon that thought of life and death!”56 The more difficult the hardship they can endure, the more likely they will complete cultivation. Some scholars, like Lewis, have said that this belief is more likely to lead to circumstances where they have the opportunity to suffer.57

Tiananmen Square Burnings. On January 23, 2001, the eve of the Chinese New Year, five individuals (two men, two women, and a 12-year-old) set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square. Two died, including the 12-year-old. The Falun Gong worked to separate themselves from the self-immolations by saying suicide was prohibited by practitioners: “Mr. Li Hongzhi…has explicitly stated that suicide is a sin.”58 In the film False Fire, produced by New Tang Dynasty Television (which was founded by the Falun Gong), the Chinese government is accused of faking the event as a means of defamation against the Falun Gong.59 However, four of the five self-immolators had previously protested on behalf of the Falun Gong.60 One survivor, Wang Jindong, later wrote about his mindset on January 23, 2001: “No matter what other people would do, I [felt that I] must complete my task to defend Falun Dafa….I struck the lighter….I thought my mission was about to be fulfilled.”61 In the months following the Tiananmen Square fires, several Falun Gong practitioners attempted or completed suicide, some by self-immolation, some by hanging, and some by jumping off buildings.62 Lewis contends that “neither Chinese authorities nor the Falun Gong organization were the immediate causes of these various suicides and attempted suicides. Rather, the fact that they were carried out in no discernable pattern seems to indicate that they were not undertaken under the specific direction of either Li Hongzhi or the Chinese state.”63

Regardless of the motivation, the Tiananmen Square fires were enough to cause many Chinese people to side with the government against the Falun Gong. David Ownby writes, “Up until the self-immolation incident, many Chinese within China seem to have reserved judgment on Falun Gong, and outside of China, diligent Falun Gong practitioners had managed to wrestle the Chinese state to a standstill….After the self-immolation incident, however, Chinese within China increasingly came to see Falun Gong as dangerous and untrustworthy, and media outside of China slowly began to disengage as well.”64 That said, the media has taken note of recent (and long-standing) accusations against the Chinese government regarding state-initiated torment against Falun Gong practitioners.

Imprisonment, Torture, and Organ Harvesting. The Falun Gong claim thousands of their practitioners have been killed because of their faith, and tens of thousands were executed so that their organs could be sold.65 In the film, Painful Truth, human rights activist Maria Cheung calls it a “cold genocide” — the subtle, slow-going abuse of a particular people group.66 The Chinese government denies the accusations and says “it stopped using organs from executed prisoners in 2015.”67 But in 2019, an independent (non-Falun Gong) tribunal in London considered testimony from more than thirty people and concluded that illegal organ harvesting, a genocide, has been taking place for twenty years.68


As part of their efforts to win over Westerners as a persecuted religious group from China, the Falun Gong have created various media outlets and, perhaps surprisingly, a dance troupe.69 The Epoch Media Group is an umbrella organization that houses the Epoch Times newspaper, New Tang Dynasty Television, and Sound of Hope Radio. In April 2021, in response to the demonetization of the Epoch Times’s YouTube channel, the group announced a new Epoch TV streaming service — “without communistic acts of censorship.”70 Although Falun Gong is a self-proclaimed apolitical organization,71 much of its focus over the past twenty years has been to dismantle the Chinese Communist Party. And there has been a shift in recent years to more political and conspiratorial topics. For instance, in 2016, the Epoch Times, which has more than six million Facebook followers and about 407,000 Twitter followers, unabashedly supported Donald Trump and has perpetuated conspiracy theories,72 including the suggestion that the Chinese Communist Party intentionally spread the virus that causes COVID-19.73 Incidentally, Facebook banned advertising from the Epoch Times in 2020 due to violating the social media site’s advertising policies in the months leading up to the U.S. presidential election.74 The Epoch Times has denied biased and inaccurate reporting.75 New Tang Dynasty Television describes itself as an independent television station focused on airing family-friendly programs that “embody universal values, and celebrate the best of humanity’s culture and traditions.”76 But it recently produced a series called Edge of Wonder, which “became a firehose of content about QAnon, amplifying its foundational proposition that Washington is run by a pedophile cabal.”77

Falun Gong has taken its place in the arts, too. You’ve probably seen the ads — bright colors, beautiful costumes, and promises of “a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and virtues distilled from five millennia of Chinese civilization.”78 There is dancing; there is also what seems to be a series of vignettes against the Chinese Communist Party.79 The Chinese government said the production is “not a cultural performance at all but a political tool of ‘Falun Gong’ to preach cult messages, spread anti-China propaganda, increase its own influence and raise funds.”80 Representatives of Falun Gong decry the charge, noting that Shen Yun is a celebration of how Chinese culture used to be.81

Clearly, there has been a historical struggle between the Falun Gong and the Chinese government, and they’ve brought their battle to the West. I’m not saying we must reject what these sources communicate, but as in all things, we must proceed with caution and discernment. The Epoch Times media company admirably stands against communist ideology in defense of individual liberty — “Truth and Tradition,” as they put it.82 Through its emphasis on China and Falun Gong, it virtually promotes Falun Gong. In our post-truth, highly politicized culture, news sources increasingly mix opinion with fact and intentionally promote one side over another. Followers of Christ must continually keep in mind that He calls us to love not only our friendly neighbor but our enemy — or, under the influence of current post-Christian culture, those we might construe as our enemy (Matt. 5:44).


You may be asking yourself, “I’ve never met a Falun Gong practitioner, so why should I care?” Because these are Image bearers who need truth, and, as noted, you may know practioners without realizing it. So, then, what should we do? Become aware of where Falun Gong might show up in your life, whether in the paper you read with your morning coffee or on a sunny day at the park (what you assume is tai chi might actually be Falun Gong). Next, respond with gentleness and respect. For instance, don’t walk up to those people in the park and immediately tell them they need to leave their cult. Instead, if you do approach, ask them what they are doing and why. Keep in mind, too, that the worldview is a “self-salvation” type of religion — there is no god who will die for their sins. Each individual is ultimately responsible for releasing attachments, acting morally, and cleansing bad karma. Not even Li can do that for them. The Falun Gong believe that they themselves are their only hope. Knowing this, you may have an opportunity to share the hope within you — the hope of salvation through Christ.

Christians can show Falun Gong practitioners that we don’t have to be our own saviors because God incarnate died for our sins (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 15:3). While we should certainly strive to live upright, Christ-honoring lives within the context of the church — if we love Him, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15) — our salvation does not hinge on the merit of our works. We should also clarify that our Savior is the one true God. As Image bearers, we are set apart, but we are not God (and won’t be). Yet in Christ we become children of God (John 1:12), partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) — in Christ we enter into the fellowship that the Son has enjoyed with His Father for all eternity.

When it comes to the persecution, Ownby observes, their suffering is real.83 As Christians, we should seek truth and justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our Lord (Mic. 6:8). We can support the Falun Gong and fight against genocide while not upholding their beliefs. The Lord sent us out like sheep among wolves; we are called to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents (Matt. 10:16). This means we should recognize truth, call out falsehood, and do so peacefully. Ultimately, these are real Image bearers in need of a real Savior.

Lindsey Medenwaldt is Executive Director of Mama Bear Apologetics and serves as a consulting editor for the Christian Research Journal. She has a Master’s in Apologetics and Ethics from Denver Seminary, a JD from St. Mary’s School of Law, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Midwestern State University.



  1. Estimates of the number of practitioners range widely between seven to seventy million. An exact number remains inaccessible as many practice anonymously, and the numbers released by Falun Gong may be overstated. See Sarah Cook, “Falun Gong’s Secrets for Surviving in China,” Freedom House, July 22, 2019, https://freedomhouse.org/article/falun-gongs-secrets-surviving-china.
  2. This article is an update to Christine Dallman and J. Isamu Yamamoto, “China’s Falun Gong: The World Is Watching…and Joining,” Christian Research Journal 22, no. 2 (1999):20–25, https://www.equip.org/article/chinas-falun-gong/.
  3. David Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 81.
  4. James R. Lewis, Falun Gong: Spiritual Warfare and Martyrdom (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 7.
  5. “What is Qigong?,” National Qigong Association, https://www.nqa.org/what-is-qigong-; and Ownby, Falun Gong, chapter 3.
  6. Lewis, Falun Gong, 7–8.
  7. Ownby, Falun Gong, 85.
  8. As noted, the movement is also called Falun Dafa (“teaching of the great law”).
  9. Li Hongzhi, China Falun Gong, English trans. (Hong Kong: Falun Fo Fa Publishing Co., 1998), 36.
  10. Li, China Falun Gong, 83.
  11. Li Hongzhi, Zhuan Falun (1994, English trans., 2014), 46, https://en.falundafa.org/eng/pdf/ZFL2014.pdf.
  12. Li, China Falun Gong, 64–65.
  13. Li Hongzhi, Falun Buddha Law, English version (Hong Kong: Falun Fo Fa Publishing, 1999), 39.
  14. Li, China Falun Gong, 43, 52, 181.
  15. Ownby, Falun Gong, 95.
  16. Li, China Falun Gong, 82.
  17. Li, China Falun Gong, 11. This is similar to what New Agers believe.
  18. Li, China Falun Gong, 43
  19. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 26.
  20. “The Buddha Fa,” according to Li, “is the nature of the universe. It is the factor that created the origin of matter, and it is the reason for the genesis of the universe….Without this enormous Buddha Fa there would be nothing — and this includes everything in the universe, from the most macroscopic to the most microscopic, as well as all of human society’s knowledge.” Li Hongzhi, “Validation,” January 8, 1996, in Essentials for Further Advancement, English version (updated April 2001), Falun Dafa, https://en.falundafa.org/eng/jjyz26.htm.
  21. Li Hongzhi, “Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s),” August 12, 2000, in Essentials for Further Advancement II, English version (updated October 21, 2005), 21, Falun Dafa, https://en.falundafa.org/eng/pdf/jjyz2.pdf.
  22. Li, China Falun Gong, 168.
  23. John Pomfret and Michael Laris, “Silent Protest Draws Thousands to Beijing,” The Washington Post, April 26, 1999, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1999/04/26/silent-protest-draws-thousands-to-beijing/e0b7ee29-eec6-48ba-b6a6-5cd10980ec77/.
  24. Lewis, Falun Gong, 9.
  25. Li, China Falun Gong, 22.
  26. 26 Li, Falun Buddha Law, 42, and Maria Hsia Chang, Falun Gong: The End of Days (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004), 67.
  27. The Chinese government scrutinizes religions, officially sanctioning only a few.
  28. Lewis, Falun Gong, 9, 34–35.
  29. Li, China Falun Gong, 66–67.
  30. Li, China Falun Gong, 66, 69–70.
  31. Li, China Falun Gong, 66–69.
  32. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 13.
  33. Li, China Falun Gong, 12.
  34. Li, China Falun Gong, 13.
  35. Li, China Falun Gong, 11.
  36. Chang, Falun Gong, 66–67.
  37. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 25.
  38. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 62.
  39. Chang, Falun Gong,
  40. Chang, Falun Gong, 66–67.
  41. Ownby, Falun Gong, 105–107.
  42. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 60.
  43. Li, Zhuan Falun, 24 and Chang, Falun Gong, 70. Only a few, who were moved to other planets, survived annihilation. Chang, Falun Gong, 70.
  44. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 52.
  45. Chang, Falun Gong, 72.
  46. Ownby, Falun Gong, 108.
  47. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 23.
  48. Lewis, Falun Gong, 7–8.
  49. For more information about the Qigong Boom, see Lewis, Falun Gong, 7–9.
  50. Lewis, Falun Gong, 9.
  51. Lewis, Falun Gong, 9.
  52. Pomfret and Laris, “Silent Protest Draws Thousands to Beijing.”
  53. The Tiananmen Square Massacre was the result of a two-month student-led protest for democracy. The death toll was between 300–1,000 people.
  54. Lewis, Falun Gong, 9–10.
  55. Chang, Falun Gong, 9–10.
  56. Li, Falun Buddha Law, 39.
  57. Lewis, Falun Gong, 49.
  58. “Press Statement Regarding Tiananmen Suicide,” Falun Dafa Information Center, January 23, 2001, https://en.minghui.org/eng/2001/jan/23/vsf012301_3.html.
  59. False Fire: China’s Tragic New Standard in State Deception, produced by New Tang Dynasty TV, 2004, https://www.falsefire.com/en/.
  60. Lewis, Falun Gong, 68.
  61. Wang Jindong, quoted in Lewis, Falun Gong, 61. Wang’s claims have been denied by Falun Gong officials. See “The Tiananmen Square ‘Self-Immolation,’” Falun Dafa Information Center, December 2001, https://faluninfo.net/the-tiananmen-square-selfimmolation/.
  62. Lewis, Falun Gong, 68–70
  63. Lewis, Falun Gong, 70.
  64. Ownby, Falun Gong, 218.
  65. “Country Policy and Information Note: China: Falun Gong,” United Kingdom Home Office, version 2, November 2020, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/944238/China_-_Falun_Gong_-_CPIN_-_v2.0.pdf.
  66. See Painful Truth: The Falun Gong Genocide, produced by Yolanda Papini-Pollock, Prime Video, 2019; see also Maria Cheung, et al., “Cold Genocide: Falun Gong in China,” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal 12, no. 1 (June 2018): 38–62, https://doi.org/10.5038/1911-9933.12.1.1513.
  67. “China Is Harvesting Organs from Falun Gong Members, Finds Tribunal,” The Straits Times, June 18, 2019, https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/china-is-harvestingorgans-from-falun-gong-members-finds-tribunal.
  68. To read the full report, see “Judgment,” China Tribunal, March 1, 2020, https://chinatribunal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ChinaTribunal_JUDGMENT_1stMarch_2020.pdf. To view the public hearings, see “The Hearings: December 2018,” China Tribunal, https://chinatribunal.com/the-hearings/.
  69. The Falun Gong organization denies that they own and operate these organizations; however, this is disingenuous. The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television were created by and are currently primarily operated by Falun Gong practitioners. “Such denials tend to diminish Falun Gong credibility, no matter what the value of the newspaper might otherwise be” (emphasis in original). Ownby, Falun Gong, 163.
  70. The Epoch Times, “Introducing Epoch TV!,” email message to Epoch Times subscribers, April 29, 2021.
  71. “We don’t get involved in politics, nor do we set up tangible organizations that would need management; we don’t have a hierarchy, and we don’t touch money either.” Li, Falun Buddha Law, 75. Although the Falun Gong may not accept donations, their media outlets and dance company create revenue.
  72. See Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins, “Trump, QAnon and an Impending Judgment Day: Behind the Facebook-Fueled Rise of The Epoch Times,” NBC News, August 20, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/trump-qanon-impending-judgmentday-behind-facebook-fueled-rise-epoch-n1044121; Simon van Zuylen-Wood, “MAGAland’s Favorite Newspaper,” The Atlantic, January 13, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/01/inside-the-epoch-times-a-mysterious-pro-trumpnewspaper/617645/; see also a response from the Epoch Times to NBC News, Stephen Gregory, “NBC News Smears a Competitor,” The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/nbc-news-smears-a-competitor-11566947297.
  73. See “Preserving Our Values for the Next Generation,” The Epoch Times, https://www.theepochtimes.com/to-subscriber#letter-1; “Gordon Chang: Communist China Has Committed ‘Mass Murder’ of Americans,” Epoch TV, https://www.theepochtimes.com/gordon-chang-communist-china-has-committed-mass-murder-of-americans_3807328.html; and “Statement on Epoch Times Special Edition on Coronavirus Pandemic,”updated March 31, 2020, https://www.theepochtimes.com/statement-on-epoch-timesspecial-edition-on-coronavirus-pandemic_3371229.html.
  74. See Zadrozny and Collins, “Trump, QAnon and an Impending Judgment Day”; Brittany De Lea, “Facebook Accused by Lawmaker of Aiding Chinese Communist Party,” Fox Business, November 15, 2019, https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/facebookbanned-epoch-times-ads; and Allum Bokhari, “Facebook Blacklists Ads from the Epoch Times,” Breitbart, August 26, 2019, https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/08/26/facebookblacklists-ads-from-the-epoch-times/.
  75. Jasper Fakkert, “A Letter to Our Readers Regarding BuzzFeed’s Reporting about the Epoch Times,” The Epoch Times, last updated October 29, 2019, https://www.theepochtimes.com/a-letter-to-our-readers-regarding-buzzfeeds-reporting-about-theepoch-times_2697534.html.
  76. “About Us,” New Tang Dynasty, https://www.ntd.com/about.html.
  77. Simon van Zuylen-Wood, “MAGA-land’s Favorite Newspaper,” The Atlantic, January 13, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/01/inside-the-epoch-times-amysterious-pro-trump-newspaper/617645/. For more about QAnon, see Mike Wendling, “QAnon: What Is It and Where Did It Come From?,” BBC, January 6, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/53498434.
  78. “About the Performance,” Shen Yun Performing Arts, https://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/performance/about-the-performance.
  79. See Nicholas Hune-Brown, “The Traditional Chinese Dance Troupe China Doesn’t Want You to See,” The Guardian, December 12, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/12/shen-yun-falun-gong-traditional-chinese-dance-troupe-china-doesnt-want-you-tosee.
  80. Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America, “Facts about the So-called ‘Shen Yun’ Performance by the ‘Falun Gong,’” http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/xglj/flgzx/.
  81. See Hune-Brown, “Traditional Chinese Dance Troupe.”
  82. “Preserving Our Values for the Next Generation,” The Epoch Times; Gregory, “NBC News Smears a Competitor.”
  83. Ownby, Falun Gong, 226.
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