Fort Lee, USA - For years Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials have tried to use the meetings of an association devoted to helping cult members as a platform to attack Falun Gong, but have been rebuffed. On the July 4 weekend, three CCP officials tried once again to do so and have now been banned from making any future presentations to the association.
The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) aims to research cults and to help members of cults who have been harmed. The ICSA does not support the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.
During the 2010 ICSA annual conference held in Fort Lee, New Jersey, three CCP officials who presented themselves as experts gave a “research report” on the “caring, transforming, and educating of cultic members in China.”
The three CCP officials are in fact directly involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. They are Cheng Ningning, deputy secretary-general of the China Anti-Cult Association; Wang Wenzhong, a psychologist; and Chen Qingping a specialist from the 610 Office under the Shaanxi Province Communist Party Central Committee. The 610 Office was established by then-CCP head Jiang Zemin on June 10, 1999 for the purpose of eradicating Falun Gong.
According to Michael Langone, ICSA managing director, these CCP officials have routinely submitted abstracts of papers to the conference as researchers and psychologists. In past years, their submissions were rejected due to their having Falun Gong content. However, this year there was no mention of Falun Gong in the paper’s abstract. Instead the term “cults in China” was used, and they were granted permission to speak during the conference.
During their presentation, Cheng and Chen did not mention Falun Gong at all. However they showed a photo of a “Caring Heart Center” in Nanjing City, which, according to the China Anti-Cult Association website, was established in June 2005 specifically for “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners. “Transforming” is the word used by the Chinese regime for brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners and compelling them to give up their belief in Falun Gong.
When asked about the subject of her research, Cheng struggled to answer and eventually replied “I don’t know.” When again asked if the subjects were Falun Gong practitioners, Cheng responded with a tacit affirmative.
When Mr. Langone asked them what other “Chinese cults” they are researching and the status of the cults, none of them could provide an answer. Wang admitted that since 2000 he has been exclusively involved in Falun Gong “research.”
After the conference, Mr. Langone told an Epoch Times reporter: “When we got these proposals, we have rejected them in the past…. The proposals [for this conference] were to talk about treating cult members and I would expect China to have many cults, just like we do and Europe does. What I wanted to hear was about other groups. I didn't want to hear about Falun Gong…
“We learned a lesson here. They admitted that they're talking about Falun Gong. This is not what we wanted to hear. We were looking for other groups. I'm very disappointed because I've had some dealings with these people. What's sad about this is that the authoritarian system in China constrains me."
One of the ICSA committee members Mr. Mike Kropveld told the reporter, "When there is bad research [like this] in conferences, it is so obvious, everyone can see that. We all know about the oppression of Falun Gong by the Chinese government. We do not agree with it.” Mr. Kropveld also said that there will not be another chance for these CCP officials to attend an ICSA conference.
Experienced ‘Transformation’ Techniques
Attending the conference was Mr. Charles Li, a Falun Gong practitioner who was held and persecuted in prison for three years by the CCP. He said he is very familiar with the communist regime’s so-called “caring” and “transformation” methods.
“I am a U.S. citizen. They forced me to watch anti-Falun Gong and pro-CCP videos over and over again. If I did not comply, they would beat me. They did not allow me to defend myself in court. They even used my mother’s illness to pressure me,” Mr. Li said.
“The CCP’s multitude of brainwashing techniques has inflicted tremendous pain on many people. Some were even tortured to death. I have evidence to prove this. These three people work for the 610 Office. Their goal is to persecute and eliminate Falun Gong practitioners like myself. I believe they have no right to speak here,” Mr. Li added.
China Anti-Cult Association
The China Anti-Cult Association was established on Nov. 13, 2000. It is directly controlled by the CCP Central Committee.
“The purpose of this Association is to persecute Falun Gong and make false statements about Falun Gong to international and domestic audiences. It utilizes government and media channels through the participation of so-called religious and scientific members,” said Mr. Wang Zhiyuan, a representative of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG).
Mr. Wang said that this is not the CCP’s first attempt to deceive the international community using the cover of human rights and opposition to cults.
During the period between 2001 and 2003, the China Anti-Cult Association held anti-Falun Gong conferences in Geneva. They sent letters to the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) extolling their accomplishments in brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr. Wang indicated that Wang Wenzhong has colluded with the 610 Office in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.
According to Wang, Cheng Ningning, as the head of the China Anti-Cult Association, has participated in the planning and promotion of the persecution against Falun Gong on a long-term basis.
“Because of this, Wang Wenzhong and Cheng Ningming have been under investigation by WOIPFG since 2004,” Wang said.
Chen Qingping works for the 610 Office under the Shaanxi Province Communist Party Central Committee and is a special expert responsible for providing theories to support brainwashing and spiritual persecution.
Wang said that Cheng, Chen and Wang have committed the crime of genocide and will one day be put on trial.