Observers outside of China have tried to explain why Falun Gong has been banned, such as its popularity, it’s refusal to coerce with the Communist party, and it’s independence from the state. The Communist party wants to maintain power and also the Falun Gong teachings are the opposite of the official Marxist beliefs. The Xinhua news agency owned by the communists stated that Falun Gong opposed the communist party and spread superstition and idealism. It also stated that the teachings of truth, forbearance and kindness are poles apart from the social, cultural and ethical progress they want to achieve. They suggested that Falun Gong needed to be crushed so that the Communist party could remain pure. Media outlets run by the state continued negative articles stating Falun Gong opposed Marxist ideology and therefore must be defeated.Jiang’s campaign against Falun Gong may also have been created so that he could force those under him to pledge allegiance to him and against Falun Gong. Not everyone in the party agreed with Jiang but there were no strong resistance shown by the Politburo.
Part of the campaign against Falun Gong is the Communist Party’s long historical way of removing religion from Chinese society, believing it to be subversive. The only religion allowed in China are five ‘patriotic’ groups that are state sanctioned. No other religious groups or teachings are allowed and will be suppressed and seen as a threat.Jiang Zemlin found it incredibly disturbing to learn that people in the Communist party and people in the military were practicing Falun Gong, which focused on historical Chinese traditions. He wanted the government and the military to have nothing to do with Falun Gong and it’s beliefs.
There may have been other reasons for the breakdown of the relationship between Falun Gong and the Communist party. These include the general infighting within qigong schools, influential qigong opponents amongst Communist party leaders and the many struggles in the 90’s between Falun Gong and the Chinese elite over the movement and status of Falun Gong.Those practicing Falun Gong have created a ‘resistance identity’ that prevails against pursuingwealth and power or the rationales of science. It was entirely different to the accepted Communist party Marxist belief system; therefore it had to be eradicated.
The writer Vivienne Shue believed that Falun Gong challenged the legitimacy of the communist party. Throughout history those ruling China claimed to have an exclusive connection to the truth. In the Communist parties case, their ‘truth’ is their Marxist-Leninism belief system and materialism. The teachings of Falun Gong challenged this and taught Buddhist and Daoist ideologies. Using Chinese traditions in it’s teaching which threatens the state because it is talking about another meaning of Chinese traditions when they want to be the only people with the power to define what the meaning of being Chinese is.
It was noted that after the Qin Dynasty was overthrown millenarian movements have had a very strong impact on Chinese historical events. This cumulated in the Chinese revolutions in 1949 wherein the Communist party became the leaders of China. There is a long-standing history of conflict between Chinese rulers and secular groups that often challenged the ethos of the rulers in power. Those in power throughout history would keep a close eye on sectarian groups, sometimes threatening them, campaigning for their demise and this continues to happen in the present day.
The Communist party aimed to stop Falun Gong and to make the practitioners of it believe in their teachings alone. This led the party to increaseits campaign of ‘re-education through labour’ programmes. They believed that such camps would renounce their Falun Gong beliefs and change their ways of thinking. The police, for reasons such as ‘disrupting social order’ or endangering the countries security would extend some terms in the camps. Many Falun Gong members would be processed through the camp system rather than the criminal system and if at the end of their term they didn’t denounce their beliefs they would be send to education centers whose practice was to ‘transform minds’.
The camps used Mao-style techniques to try to reform people’s beliefs and were made to watch anti-Falun Gong programmes and to study Marxism. The main content of the sessions was to study Marxism and materialism. The government presented an image of the conversion programme as using a gentle approach to transform people. Yet, Falun Gong describes a very different type of treatment for those people who will not renounce their beliefs. Agencies in Falun Gong state that there have been over 60, 000 individual cases of torture and there are over 14, 000 methods of torture classified. Some of the torture methods include violent and heavy beatings, heavy hard labour, solitary confinement in awful conditions and psychological torment. Other types of torture used include electric shocks to sensitive areas of the body, this can cause fainting and sickness, rape, burning and freezing the skin, removal of food and sleep and even asphyxiation.
All torture cases seemed to have concrete evidence they occurred and most can be applied to an individual Falun Gong practitioner. Each case states the persons name, age and occupation as well as where and when the abuse happened, as well as the names of the alleged abusers Some also include a list of witnesses and the descriptions of injuries sustained. Unfortunately even though this information has been published, there are no steps to stop this kind of abuse happening.