Falun Gong History

Main

Li Hongzhi Is Born

May 13, 1951

Li Hongzhi is born in Gongzhuling city, Jilin province, China.

Qigong Wave

1980 - 1990

A fitness movement in the 1980's known as the “qigong wave” sweeps China. Millions take up traditional, tai-chi-like health exercises known as “qigong." Some 2,000 different qigong disciplines are reportedly practiced by tens of millions.

Evaluation Of Falun Gong

1989

A two or more year period of trial and observation begins where Li Hongzhi gives private instruction to several students to evaluate the suitability of Falun Gong before it is taught to the general public.

Declared A Master

1992

Li Hongzhi is formally declared a Master of Qigong by the Qigong Science Research Association of China.

Beginning Travels

1992 - 1994

Li Hongzhi travels all throughout China giving 54 lectures and class series on Falun Gong. The classes typically last 8-10 days, two hours per day. Seminars are often arranged by local government-run qigong organizations. The number of attendees range from a few hundred to upwards of 6,000 per event. By the mid-1994s, Falun Gong was well on its way to becoming the most popular system of qigong in the country, having attracted millions on the basis of its moral philosophy, free teachings, the simplicity and flexibility of its exercises, and its efficacy in improving health.

Falun Gong Comes To Be

May 13, 1992

Li Hongzhi publicly introduced Falun Gong in the city of Changchun.

Fulon Gong Is Officially Recognized

September 1992

Falun Gong is officially recognized as a qigong branch under the auspices and administration of the Qigong Science Research Association of China.

Asian Health Expo

December 12, 1992 - December 21, 1992

Li Hongzhi and several students participate in the 1992 Asian Health Expo in Beijing. Hongzhi receives the most awards of any master at the event, announcing Falun Gong as a presence on the qigong scene, in effect.

Falun Gong Is Published

April 1993

The first book that teaches the practice, Zhonguo Falungong, is published, making the practice accessible to a greatly wider audience. A revised edition is released in December of the same year.

Makings Of Falun Gong

1994

Li Hongzhi creates Falun Gong which is a more accessible version of Falun Xiufo Dafa, the main lineage that Li had received transmission and practiced in private since he was four years old.

First Published Practice

April 1994

Window to Literature and the Arts magazine, publishes the first of three feature stories on the practice of Falun Gong. The practice increasingly finds itself in the news, primarily on grounds of its health benefits and the good citizenship it fosters.

Declared Grandmaster

May 6, 1994

Li Hongzhi is declared a Grandmaster of Qigong by the Jilin Province Qigong Science Research Association.

First Instructional Tape

September 1994

The first Falun Gong instructional videotape that demonstrates the practice’s exercises and meditation is published under the auspices of Beijing Television Art Center Publishing House.

Last Teaching In China

December 31, 1994

Last Falun Gong public teaching is given, taking place in the northeastern city of Dalian. Around 6,600 people attend.

Complete Teachings Published

January 1995

Zhuan Falun, the complete teachings of Falun Gong and focal book of the practice, is published by Radio & Television Broadcasting Press of China.

Teaching Abroad

March 13, 1995

Li Hongzhi begins teaching Falun Gong abroad, starting with a lecture given in Paris at the Chinese embassy, initiated at the invitation of China’s ambassador to France. A full seven-day class begins that evening in Paris, followed by a second series in May in Sweden.

Tensions Arise

1996

Tensions begin to emerge with the Communist Party as Falun Gong becomes more popular. Shortly after Zhuan Falun is listed in January, March, and April as a bestseller by Beijing Youth Daily, the Ministry of Propaganda bans the further publication of Falun Gong books. The same year, Li Hongzhi moves to the United States.

Withdrawl From Qigong Science Research Association

March 1996

Falun Gong withdraws from the state-run Qigong Science Research Association of China because they were under pressure to establish a Communist Party branch and charge fees for the practice.

Idependent Civil Society Group

April 1996

Former administrators of the Falun Gong Research Association of China try to formally join with three other state-administered entities but are denied. Now, left without formal ties to the party-state, Falun Gong becomes one of the largest independent civil society groups in PRC history.

Falun Gong Criticism

June 17, 1996

The first major state-run media article criticizing Falun Gong appears.

Falun Gong Books Are Banned

July 24, 1996

Falun Gong books are banned from publication by a July 24 internal order from the China News Publishing Bureau.The document accuses Falun Gong of spreading superstition.

Investigation

1997

China’s Public Security Bureau conducts an investigation into whether Falun Gong should be deemed a cult. Investigators conclude that there was no evidence pointing to a cult just yet.

Attacks Escalate

1998 - 1999

Attacks on Falun Gong escalate in state-run media even as positive reports continue alongside, suggesting internal divisions among China’s political leadership. The Falun Gong respond to criticisms by visiting, and sometimes petitioning outside local newspaper or television stations seeking greater accuracy in reporting. These events took place in Guangzhou, Tianjin, Beijing, and other major cities.

Reaching 70 Million

December 1998

It is estimated that over 70 million people practice Falun Gong in China by a study conducted by China's State Sports Commission.

Beginning Of The Crackdown

April 25, 1999

Over 10,000 Falun Gong followers assembled peacefully near the Zhongnanhai government compound to request official recognition and to stop the escalating harassment and violence against them. A group of five representatives met with Premier Zhu Rongji to present their requests, which Zhu agreed to. President Jiang Zemin, however, declared the same evening that the Communist Party must defeat Falun Gong, and began preparing for a crackdown.

"6-10 Office"

June 10, 1999

The “6-10 Office” is established because of the Chinese Communist Party Head, Jiang Zemin. It is meant to plan, orchestrate, and carry out a comprehensive suppression of Falun Gong.

Persecution Begins

July 20, 1999

The persecution of Falun Gong began with the abduction of hundreds of practitioners from their homes by security forces. The official media, acting under the direction of the Communist Party, announced the launch of the nation-wide suppression. Thousands are taken by security forces into detention centers and sports stadiums. Massive arrests are made along with ransackings, abductions, and the confiscation of Falun Gong related materials. A nationwide propaganda campaign is launched in synch. Millions respond by petitioning Chinese authorities, many traveling to Beijing.