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Li Hongzhi's Background

  Li Hongzhi was born on July 7, 1952, in Gongzhuling City (formerly Gongzhuling Town of Huaide County), in northeast China's Jilin Province. From 1960 to 1969, he studied successively at the Changchun Zhujiang Road Primary School, Changchun No. 4 Secondary School and Changchun No. 48 Secondary School. After 1970, he first worked at an army stud farm, and later served as a trumpet player in a band of the Jilin Provincial Forestry Armed Police Corps. From 1978 to 1982, he worked as an attendant at a guesthouse run by the Jilin Provincial Forestry Armed Police Corps. Between 1982 and 1991, he was a member of the security section at the Changchun Municipal Cereals and Oils Company.

  Li Hongzhi began to propagate his ideas of "Falun Gong'' since the early 1990s. Initially, he fabricated the so-called "way of practice'' of "Falun Gong'' by combining the movements of martial arts he had learned from other people a few years before with movements imitated from traditional Thai dancing. At first, he earned money by teaching people to practice "Falun Gong.'' Later, when he found that few people took interest in his "way of practice,'' he changed the way of amassing money to treating people with diseases by "exerting his energy potency.'' But, cheating can never last long. So, after a period of scheming, he concocted a set of lies and heretical theories of "Falun Dafa'' and founded the "Falun Gong'' organization with overtones of a cult, thus further embarking on a road of crime.

  Later, Li fabricated his background, saying, "I was born in Gongzhuling City, Jilin Province, on May 13, 1951. When I was a child, the Law Master Quan Jue gave me secret instructions to turn me into a Buddhist believer. My training was completed when I was eight years old.

  "At the age of 12, the Taoist Master Baji Zhenren (Eight-Pole Immortal) taught me Taoist practices.... In 1972, I received Taoist instructions from Master Zhendaozi (True Taoist), and in 1974, I received further training in Buddhist cultivation and returned to public life.'' In books compiled by the "Falun Gong'' organization, it is stated, "At the age of eight, Li Hongzhi attained the superb Great Law with great supernatural powers, such as the ability to move objects (without lifting a finger), fix articles (at whatever spot), control other people's thinking and make himself invisible.... His energy potency reached an extremely high level. He understands the truth of the universe, has insights into life and can see the past and future of mankind.''

  In fabricating his life story, Li changed his date of birth from July 7, 1952 to May 13, 1951, and he personally altered his date of birth and acquired a new ID card. But the date of birth remained July 7, 1952 in the forms he previously filled in for determining his grade on his unit's payroll, applying to join the Communist Youth League and obtaining his ID cards issued on December 31, 1986 and March 31, 1991 respectively.

  Why did Li make this change? In the Chinese lunar calendar, the eighth day of the fourth lunar month is believed to be the birthday of Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism, and May 13, 1951 happened to be such a day. Thus, by changing his date of birth, Li intended to indicate that he is "a reincarnation of Sakyamuni.'' Moreover, he also had a photograph taken of himself in a stage costume he bought from a store to give himself the "image of Buddha'' sitting on a lotus flower.

  However, many of Li's former schoolmates, teachers and neighbors, when interviewed, all said Li Hongzhi was no more than an ordinary child obtaining average marks in his studies. In their reaction to his fabricated story of "spiritual cultivation,'' their answers were either "nonsense,'' or "impossible,'' or "I have never seen or heard of that.'' His superiors and roommates at the stud farm and the forestry police corps also said he was just an ordinary serviceman in an art troupe. They explained that the full schedule of rehearsals and performances, as well as the strict militarized routine and tight time schedule in the forestry police corps could not possibly leave him any spare time to practice his so-called "great law.'' His colleagues at the municipal cereals and oils company also said that Li Hongzhi knew nothing about the so-called "way of practice'' and "spiritual cultivation'' at all before he joined a qigong (a system of movements and deep breathing exercises -- Tr.) training class in 1988. In general, no one who had been on familiar terms with him knew anything about him acquiring the "miraculous abilities'' he himself boasted about.

  When Li's acquaintances asked him why he made up his life story, Li answered, "No one would believe me if I do not exaggerate a little bit.''

  But these completely fallacious "miraculous abilities'' deceived many practitioners of "Falun Gong'' who knew little about him.

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