Li Hongzhi is born in Gongzhuling city, Jilin province, China.
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.
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.
Li Hongzhi is formally declared a Master of Qigong by the Qigong Science Research Association of China.
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.
Li Hongzhi publicly introduced Falun Gong in the city of Changchun.
Falun Gong is officially recognized as a qigong branch under the auspices and administration of the Qigong Science Research Association of China.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Li Hongzhi is declared a Grandmaster of Qigong by the Jilin Province Qigong Science Research Association.
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 Falun Gong public teaching is given, taking place in the northeastern city of Dalian. Around 6,600 people attend.
Zhuan Falun, the complete teachings of Falun Gong and focal book of the practice, is published by Radio & Television Broadcasting Press of China.
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 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.
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.
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.
The first major state-run media article criticizing Falun Gong appears.
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.
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 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.
It is estimated that over 70 million people practice Falun Gong in China by a study conducted by China's State Sports Commission.
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.
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.
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.