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瑞克.艾伦.罗斯:法轮功是邪教吗?(中英对照)
   2009-02-02   凯风网   作者:瑞克·罗斯 李芬(编译)

  以下是瑞克.艾伦.罗斯(Rick Ross)先生参加2009年1月中国社会科学院邪教问题研究中心主办的“膜拜团体研究国际论坛”所陈述的论文,由中国社会科学院刊印出版。

 

 


引 言


我的工作涉及1982年以来的邪教、有争议的团体及运动,还包括向数百个受影响的家庭、心理健康专业人员、律师、神职人员、执法部门和新闻媒体提供专业咨询。

我在美国许多法庭案例中拥有专家证人资格并被认可,其中包括在美国联邦法院出庭作证。我的法庭证词通常集中于破坏性团体的行为,包括他们为了招募新信徒所采取的说服技巧及产生的不正当影响。

我是美国新泽西州罗斯研究所的创始人和执行主席。罗斯研究所是一个非盈利性的免税教育机构,专门从事破坏性膜拜团体、有争议团体和运动的研究。研究人员与新闻媒体经常使用罗斯研究所档案文件作为信息资源,其中包含数千份文件,以及数百条各邪教组织、团体、运动及相关主题细目。我通过罗斯研究所每年回复上千条咨询。

罗斯研究所档案中的其中一个细目就是关于法轮大法,即法轮功,还包括其创始人李洪志的教义。法轮大法,创建于1992年,是其创始人李洪志把各种教义及练习方法的特殊混合,包括道教、佛教,还提及了外星人,以及通过一套指定的练习及冥想手法进行训练。

在专门讨论法轮功的邪教方面问题前,我想先提供一个关于邪教组织的定义,这个定义更多地取决于其行为,而非教义。

邪教团体的定义

以下邪教团体的定义由著名精神病学家与作家罗伯特·J·利夫顿(Robert Jay Lifton)制定,并在1981年首次以《邪教团体的形成》(Cult Formation)为题进行发表,这个定义的重点主要取决于三个标准:

1、一个日益成为膜拜对象的拥有超凡魅力的领导人,一般原则同样在团体组成的最初起着重要作用,但可能会渐渐失去力量;

2、一个强制性劝诱或者思想改革的进程;

3、领导人及其执政集团在经济、性及其他方面对组织成员的剥削。

法轮大法与利夫顿的三条标准

 一个日益成为膜拜对象的拥有超凡魅力的领导人

由李洪志所做的唯我独尊的主张,被法轮功练习者毫无条件接受,并成为了该组织的界定法则。

比如,据称“李大师”拥有超能力。李先生声称通晓“宇宙的最高机密”,并声称除了“全能的法”外,“没有宗教能够拯救人类”,这是他专门提出的。因此,他把自己定义成为了人类的救星。他在《转法轮》一书中的自传中称他八岁时“得上乘大法”。李洪志的教义还包括转动的“法轮”,他称能够把这个神秘的“法轮”植入信徒们的腹部,在里面不断运动。

此类关于领导者荒谬而特有的言论符合了个人驱动型邪教团体的典型特征。

法轮大法信徒们相信李洪志永远是对的,他们不允许对李洪志所谓超自然力量、教义或者主张的基本观点进行质疑。对于真正的信徒,李洪志具有绝对权威性和可靠性,因此远远超出他们所能想到的合理怀疑范围。

信徒们个人崇拜的例子包括,法轮功信徒经营了一个电视网络及“大纪元时报”,李洪志通过这二者在信徒中间进行有效地煽动。一些信徒还维护了众多网站,还有一些用以传授李先生教义的学校。全世界频繁的公众示威和上演的运动也反映出了他的追随者的个人崇拜。

虽然李洪志一直在讲“真、善、忍”,但无论他还是他的信徒们在面对批评质疑或者质询时,却并未表现出任何宽容。在法轮大法内部,李洪志是不允许信徒质疑组织的基本观点的,也不允许质疑来自外部的批评,他们通常把这些批评定性为“迫害”。

坚持不懈对李洪志和法轮大法提出质疑的批评者们已再三受到人身攻击、起诉威胁和频繁诉讼。

李洪志是绝对的、独裁的领导者,几乎没有任何人提出问责,在法轮大法内部,他的个人权力与影响力似乎没有任何限制。

一个强制性劝诱或者思想改革的进程

社会学家Richard J. Ofshe解释道:“强制性劝诱和思想改革也即通过胁迫手段、说服、或者操纵人与团体间影响力等,产生实质行为及态度变化的社会影响能力的过程。”根据Ofshe的“激烈的人际和心理攻击,破坏个人的自我意识”和在“一个有组织的同龄群体”框架内“促进整合”。

李洪志通过法轮功宣扬了一些关于外部世界不切实际的恐慌,比如临近的大灾难、邪恶的阴谋与迫害等等。他告诉他的信徒地球将会爆炸,但他可以阻止爆炸。他还称“神”将摧毁那些他不喜欢的人,他的追随者必须按照他所指定的“精神修行”方法进行修炼,风险即可解除。

对于法轮功信徒而言,没有任何正当理由能够违背或离开组织。离开组织的前信徒往往是错误的,受到否定,甚至被看成是“邪恶的”。虽然他们看起来可以自由离开,但他们往往会害怕离开所产生的后果。

李先生要求他的信徒不断坚持“修炼”,不断“修炼”直至达到“圆满”,作为一个普通人,在他们的有生之年,大约没有人能够真正实现这个愿望。这样的圆满当然在想像中不断推迟,只能在“其他空间”实现。

除了修炼,李洪志强制劝诱计划很大程度上依靠不切实际的担心和偏见,其目的最终是为了孤立和控制他的信徒。“李大师”操纵着信徒们的思想和感情以达到某些看似预定和想要得到的心态。

在李先生的世界观中,混血儿是邪恶外星人阴谋的一部分,他在1998年瑞士讲法中称:“外星人通过混合人类种族,使人类摆脱神。”“混血儿”理应被排除在“真”之外,因为他们“无根可循,天堂没人照顾他们。他们不属于任何地方,没有任何地方能够接纳他们……更高的层次不承认这样的人类。”李先生说,混血儿结合的后代因此会“智力不完善”或“拥有不健全的身体”。在这种情况下,只有他,李大师,可以帮助和“照顾他们” (即解决“不健全的”状态) 。然而,前提是“他们必须进行修炼”。

李洪志同样鼓动仇恨同性恋。他在《转法轮(卷二)》说:“丑恶的同性恋反映出此时失去理智的肮脏心理变态。”《转法轮(卷二)》1996年翻译成英文。李洪志在瑞士讲法中称同性恋人群将被“神”“销毁”。1998年,德国法兰克福法会上,当问到同恋性能否修炼法轮功时,李先生回答:“可以修炼,但必须改掉这个不好的行为。”

李洪志教导信徒让自己的思想与感情服从法轮大法的教义,他们本质上相信“李大师”已经安排好一切,是他们的保护神。

在谈及与法轮大法的经历时,邪教专家和临床心理学家玛格丽特·辛格说一个练习者“居然会说‘不要思考,只要背诵师父的经文。’”在法轮功许多可疑的心理控制训练中,“停止思考”和不断“背诵师父的经文”的要求与美国信息研究者与邪教专家Flo Conway和Jim Siegelman在他们的著作《美国突发性人格变化的流行》(Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change)一书中所提的邪教控制的主要标准一致。

几乎和所有主要邪教和类似邪教的组织一样,法轮功以不要思考或“精神控制”的某些形式作为他日常计划的一部分。这个过程可能包括重复祈祷、诵经、神神叨叨、自我催眠或者冥想的不同方法。这类方法,如果训练适度,可能会有利于身体和精神健康……但是长期受到精神控制,突然重新调整到不思考的新环境中,则可能会使大脑生理受损。我们发现,当这种情况发生时,大脑的信息处理能力可能会中断或进入一种完全中止……迷失方向,脱离……幻觉,错觉,而且,在极端的情况下,大脑可能完全萎缩。

领导人及其执政集团在经济、性及其他方面对组织成员的剥削

法轮功前信徒、家属和其他相关人员经常叙述同样的虐待指控,这反映了类似的不满模式。

李先生教导他的信徒,疾病是由病人前世或者今生的邪恶行为引发的。根据他的教义,现代医疗治愈的只是疾病的症状,而不能治愈根本的精神原因,而这只能通过修炼法轮功才能真正治愈。李洪志在《转法轮》中称:“修炼大法是使你的身体痊愈的唯一方法。”

我收到关于法轮功的投诉往往是与“修行”教义直接相关,这可能会妨碍病人看病吃药。这些教义直接导致的结果是,据说一些李先生的信徒因忽视医治死亡,而许多其他信徒的病情则不必要地恶化。

我还收到严厉的投诉,称法轮功在美国引发家庭隔阂,主要发生在家庭成员质疑或者批评李先生和他教义的家庭当中。

应当指出的是, “李大师”显然已通过他的法轮大法积累了大量的资产。1995年,李先生移居到美国,据称,1998年他在纽约买了一套价值293500美元的房子,第二年,又在新泽西州购买了一套房价值580000美元。这两套房的总值在今天超过一百万美元。

与法轮功信徒的交流

在与法轮功成员电子邮件交流的过程中,我通常着重于以下三个领域:

种族歧视和同性恋:我特别询问过法轮功成员,李先生把混血儿童称为“杂交的”和“不健全的”,他们是如何看待李先生这类种族歧视的教义?

一名法轮功练习者回复道:“我的理解是,当神创造人类,我们则被创造成了上帝的形象[原文如此] ,不同的神创造了不同的种族[原文]。当由两个不同民族的人组成婚姻的孩子出生后,很难追溯孩子的原生地,所以,孩子难以存活。”

在捍卫李洪志同性恋声明中,一名法轮功成员说:“其实,所有正教,包括基督教,看待这个问题都是一样的,即同性恋者很难上天堂。”

忽视医疗:我向法轮功成员咨询他们由于被捆绑在信条中而忽视医疗的相关报道。

在回答关于“李大师的”老年妇女修炼法轮功后经期重新开始的离奇说法时,一名法轮功成员说:“你能否证明,修炼法轮功的老年妇女‘没有’恢复月经?甚至,你有没有考虑过李先生在这一方面的教义可能是真的?我肯定它们是真实的。我建议您在嘲弄这些教义之前,先多做一些研究。”

抗议:公开抗议似乎已经成为法轮功的一个主要功能。

最令人毛骨悚然的例子是2001年发生在中国的自焚抗议,其中包括成年人和未成年孩子。然而,法轮功成员往往拒绝承担这一悲剧的任何责任,全然不顾幸存者发表的公开声明,而推托这是政府的“阴谋”。

悲剧幸存者之一,一位母亲解释说:“我们想向政府展示法轮功是好的。” 她的女儿评论说:“我认为,法轮功已经发展成为一个反人类、反社会的邪教组织。”

我的电子邮件交谈中一致的模式是无论这个组织的行为如何极端或有害,无论李先生的教义如何充满憎恨,法轮功始终是“好的”,“李大师”从来不会错。

玛格丽特·辛格曾经简要概括:“如果你想知道什么是邪教,你只要读读他们(法轮功信徒)的自我描述就好了。”

参考资料:
  1、李洪志,《转法轮》
2、法轮功明慧网英文版所刊登的文章
4、玛格丽特·辛格博士生前关于法轮功的实况采访
5、玛格丽特·辛格,《邪教在我们中间》,1996年
6、Flo Conway和Jim Siegelman,《美国突发性人格变化的流行》第二版,2005年

 

  原文网址:http://www.cultnews.com/?p=2346

 

Is Falun Gong a Cult?

Cultnews.com By: Rick Ross

The following paper was presented by Rick Ross at the January 2009 International Forum on Cultic Studies sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Destructive Cults in China and published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Introduction

My work in the area of cults, controversial groups and movements began in 1982 and has included professionally consulting with hundreds of affected families, mental health professionals, attorneys, clergy, law enforcement and the media.

I have been qualified and accepted as an expert witness across the United States in numerous court cases. This has included testimony given in United States federal courts.

My court testimony typically is focused upon the behavior of destructive groups, their persuasion techniques and the undue influence that such groups often gain over adherents.

I am the founder and Executive Director of the Ross Institute of New Jersey (RI). RI is a nonprofit tax-exempt educational institution devoted to the study of destructive cults, controversial groups and movements.

Researchers and the media often use the Ross Institute Internet Archives as an informational resource. It contains thousands of documents and hundreds of subsections about various cults, groups, movements and related topics.

Each year, through my work at RI, I respond to thousands of inquiries.

One subsection within the RI archives is devoted to Falun Dafa also known as Falun Gong and the teachings of its founder Li Hongzhi.

Falun Dafa, which was founded in 1992, is an idiosyncratic blend of beliefs and practices as assembled by its founder Li Hongzhi. This includes Taoist and Buddhist references predicated upon a belief in extraterrestrials and practiced through a set of prescribed exercises and meditation techniques.

Before specifically discussing the cultic aspects of Falun Dafa, I would like to offer a working definition of a cult determined more by its behavior than by its beliefs.

Definition of a Cult

Noted psychiatrist and author Robert Jay Lifton developed the following definition of a cult. This definition is focused primarily upon three principal criteria and was first published in a paper titled "Cult Formation" in 1981 :

1. a charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power;
2. a process of coercive persuasion or thought reform;
3. economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.

Falun Dafa and Lifton's three criteria

A charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship

Exclusive claims made by Li Hongzhi, which are implicitly accepted by Falun Dafa practitioners without exemption, are the defining principles of the group.

For example, "Master Li" purportedly possesses supernatural powers.

Mr. Li claims to know "the top secret of the universe" and says "no religion can save people" but the "almighty Fa," which he exclusively represents. He is therefore essentially the chosen savior of man. The biography in his book "Zhuan Falun" claims that he first recognized his special powers at the age of 8.

Li Hongzhi's teachings also include the spinning "falun," which is a mystical "wheel of law" that he claims to be able to insert into his disciples' abdomens telekinetically.

Such fantastic and exclusive claims about a leader fit the classic profile of a personality-driven cult.

Falun Dafa followers, believe that Li Hongzhi is always right and they are not allowed to question the basic assumptions concerning his purported supernatural powers, teachings and/or opinions. His authority and infallibility appear to be absolute for the true believer, and therefore beyond what Falun Dafa followers consider reasonable doubt.

Examples of the intense devotion Li Hongzhi has effectively engendered among his followers include a television network and a newspaper called "The Epoch Times" both run by Falun Dafa adherents. Devotees also maintain numerous Web sites and there are schools to perpetuate Mr. Li's teachings. Frequent public demonstrations and events staged around the world also reflect the intense devotion of his followers.

While Li Hongzhi talks about "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance," neither he nor his followers actually demonstrate any tolerance concerning critical questions or inquiry. Within Falun Dafa Li's followers are not allowed to question the basic assumptions of the group and criticism from outsiders is often characterized as "persecution."

Persistent critics of Li Hongzhi and Falun Dafa have been repeatedly subjected to personal attacks, threats of litigation and frivolous lawsuits.

Li Hongzhi remains an absolute, authoritarian leader with little if any accountability, and there appears to be no limit to the scope of his personal power and influence within Falun Dafa.

a process of coercive persuasion or thought reform

Sociologist Richard J. Ofshe explains, "Coercive persuasion and thought reform are alternate names for programs of social influence capable of producing substantial behavior and attitude change through the use of coercive tactics, persuasion, and/or interpersonal and group-based influence manipulations."

This is accomplished according to Ofshe by "intense interpersonal and psychological attack to destabilize an individual's sense of self" and "to promote conformity" within the framework of "an organized peer group."

Li Hongzhi through Falun Gong has promoted unreasonable fears about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. He teaches his followers that the earth would have been destroyed, but he saved it. He also claims that "gods" will destroy those he disapproves of and that his followers must practice his prescribed program of "spiritual cultivation" or risk obliteration.

For Falun Gong followers, there is no legitimate reason to disagree with and/or leave the organization. Former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative, or even seen as "evil." While they may appear to be free to leave they often fear the consequences.

Mr. Li asks his followers to continuously keep "cultivating" and go on and on "cultivating" until they reach "perfection," something that no one can ever realistically hope to achieve as an ordinary man and woman within their lifetime. Such perfectionism is then supposedly deferred and only reachable in "other dimensions."

Li Hongzhi's program of coercive persuasion largely relies upon the cultivation not only of unreasonable fears but also prejudice, which ultimately serves to isolate and control his followers. "Master Li" manipulates the thinking and feelings of his followers to develop a certain seemingly predetermined and desired mindset.

In Mr. Li's worldview mixed-race people are part of a plot, contrived by the evil extraterrestrials. "By mixing the races of humans, the aliens make humans cast off gods," he told a gathering in Switzerland in 1998.

"Mixed races" are supposedly excluded from the "truth" and "have lost their roots, as if nobody in the paradise will take care of them. They belong to nowhere, and no places would accept them…the higher levels do not recognize such a human race."

According to Mr. Li, the offspring of mixed race unions are therefore "intellectually incomplete" or "with an incomplete body." In such cases, only he, Master Li, can help and "take care of it" (i.e., resolve the "incomplete" state). However, that can be done only if "such a person wants to practice cultivation."

Li Hongzhi also encourages hatred of homosexuals. He has said, "The disgusting homosexuality shows the dirty abnormal psychology of the gay who has lost his ability of reasoning at the present time," Li Hongzhi wrote in Volume II of "Zhuan Falun," or "Turning the Law Wheel," which was translated into English in 1996.

In his talk in Switzerland, Li Hongzhi also stated that gay people would be "eliminated" by "the gods." Asked in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1998 whether gays could practice Falun Gong, Mr. Li answered, "You can cultivate, but you must give up the bad conduct."

Li Hongzhi's disciples are taught to subordinate their own thoughts and feelings to the teachings of Falun Dafa. They essentially come to believe that "Master Li" has arranged everything and is their protection.

In describing her experience with Falun Dafa, cult expert and clinical psychologist Margaret Singer said that a practitioner will "actually say 'Don't Think. Just recite the Master's teaching.' "

Among Falun Dafa's many questionable mind-altering practices, this command to "stop thinking" and continuously "recite the Master's teaching," when heeded, meets the main criterion of cult control American communication researchers and cult experts Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman describe in their book Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change:

Almost every major cult and cult-like group we came upon teaches some form of not thinking or "mind control" as part of its regular program of activity. The process may take the form of repetitive prayer, chanting, speaking in tongues, self-hypnosis or diverse methods of meditation….Such techniques, when practiced in moderation, may yield real physical and mental health benefits….Prolonged stilling of the mind, however, may wear on the brain physically until it readjusts, suddenly and sharply, to its new condition of not thinking. When that happens, we have found, the brain's information-processing capacities may be disrupted or enter a state of complete suspension…disorientation, detachment…hallucinations, delusions and, in extreme instances, total withdrawal.

exploitation of group members by the leader

Former Falun Dafa followers, the families of devotees and others concerned often relate the same allegations of abuse, which reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

Mr. Li teaches his followers that illness is caused by the evil deeds of a sick person, in this life or a previous one. According to his teachings, modern medicine treats only the symptoms of a disease, and not its underlying spiritual cause, which can be cured only by practicing Falun Gong.

"The only way to find yourself comfortably free of illnesses," Li Hongzhi writes in "Zhuan Falun," "is through cultivation practice!"

The complaints I have received about Falun Dafa are most often directly related to teachings about "spiritual cultivation," which may preclude seeing a doctor and/or taking prescribed medication.

As a result of such teachings some of Mr. Li's followers have reportedly died due to medical neglect, while many others have needlessly exacerbated their medical conditions.

I have also received serious complaints within the United States regarding the damage done by Falun Dafa through family estrangement. This has particularly occurred when families question and/or are critical of Mr. Li and his teachings.

It should be noted that "Master Li" has apparently accumulated substantial assets through his work within Falun Dafa.

Mr. Li moved to United States in 1995. In 1998 he reportedly bought a house in New York for $293,500. Li Hongzhi purchased his second residence in New Jersey for $580,000 the following year. The value of the two residences today may easily exceed a million dollars.

Exchanges with Falun Dafa devotees

In the many email exchanges I have had with Falun Dafa members I have frequently focused on the following three areas:

Racism and homophobia: I have specifically asked Falun Dafa members how they regard Mr. Li's racist teachings, which denigrate the children of interracial unions as "cross bred" and "incomplete."

One Falun Dafa practitioner responded, "My understanding is that when gods created man, we were created to god's image [sic], different races was created [sic] by gods of different races and when a child is born from a marriage of two people from different races it will be hard for the gods to trace the child's origin and therefore hard to save."

In defense of Li Hongzhi's homophobic pronouncements one member remarked, "Actually all orthodox (upright) religions view this matter in the same way, Christianity included, it is very hard to reach heaven when practicing homosexuality."

Medical Neglect: I have questioned Falun Dafa members regarding reports of medical neglect that have been tied to their beliefs.

One member responded concerning "Master Li's" bizarre claim that elderly women would start menstruating again after practicing Falun Dafa. "Can you prove that elderly women who practice Falun Gong DON'T regain their menstrual periods? Have you ever considered the possibility that Li's teachings in this regard are true? I know for a fact that they are true. I suggest you do more research on the subject before mocking these teachings," the member responded.

Protests: Public protests appear to have become a pivotal function of Falun Dafa. The most horrific example was the 2001 self-immolation protest in China, which included adult members and minor children.

However, Falun Dafa members routinely deny any responsibility for this tragedy, which is somehow consigned to the category of a government "conspiracy," despite the public statements made by the survivors.

One mother that survived the tragic event explained, "We wanted to show the government that Falun was good." Her daughter observed, "I think Falun Gong has developed into a cult with anti-human and anti-society characteristics."

The consistent pattern of my email exchanges is that Falun Dafa is always "good" and "Master Li" is never wrong, no matter how extreme or harmful the group behavior or hateful his teachings may be.

Margaret Singer succinctly summarized: "If you want a good description of a cult, all you have to do is read what [Falun Dafa followers] say they are."

Notes:

Robert Jay Lifton, M.D., "Cult Formation," The Harvard Mental Health Letter, February 1981.
Mark Jurkowitz, "Times for a change," Boston Globe, May 31, 2005.
Richard J. Ofshe, Ph.D., "Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change," Encyclopedia of Sociology, Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan, 2001.
ibid.
Sarah Lubman, "A Chinese Battle on U.S. Soil," San Jose Mercury News, December 23, 2001.
ibid.
"Falun Gong Derided as Authoritarian Sect by Anti-Cult Experts," San Francisco Chronicle, April 29, 2000.
Conway and Siegelman, Snapping, pp 153-154.
Peter Carlson, "For Whom the Gong Tolls," Washington Post, February 27, 2000.
Paul Vallely and Clifford Coonan, "China's Enemy Within: The Story of Falun Gong," The Independent (UK), April 22, 2006.
Jeremy Page, "Survivors say China Falun Gong immolation real," Reuters, April 4, 2002.

References

1. Hongzhi Li, Zhuan Falun (http://www.falundafa.org/book/eng/zfl_new.html).
2. Various articles posted on Falun Gong's Web site, www.clearwisdom.net.
4. The late Professor Margaret Singer's Live Interview on Falun Gong.
5. Margaret Singer, Cults In Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.
6. Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change, 2nd ed. New York: Stillpoint Press, 1995/2005.

(Cultnews.com, January 25, 2009)

 
 
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