Members of the Falun Gong cult demonstrate in NYC
Members of the Falun Gong cult demonstrate in NYC REUTERS

An apparently innocent poster that has been appearing in many haredi cities may be a Chinese cult's attempt to introduce itself to local residents, anti-missionary activists from the Yad L’Achim organization warn.

The notices, with the heading, "Revealed: Frightening Crime of Communist Regime in China," alleges that the regime cuts off the limbs of members of Falun Dafa, a Chinese cult which began operating in the 1990s.

The notice cites a halakhic ruling of the late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv regarding murder, in a bid to lend legitimacy to its activities.

It reads in part: "Come, let's pray that the Communist Chinese regime be removed from the world.”

At the bottom of the notice, beneath the verse, “Lo Ta'amod al Daam Rei'echa” (“Don’t stand idly by the blood of your neighbor”, Leviticus 19:16), contact information is given.

The use of Rabbi Elyashiv's ruling, the appeal to "come, let's pray" and the reference to a verse in the Bible, is the cult members' way of gaining access to the haredi community, in order to expose it to their faith, Yad L'Achim said in a statement Monday.

"Even if some of the claims in the ad about the Chinese danger are correct, it is our obligation to make the public aware that it is likely that these ads are meant to serve another purpose: to acquaint people with the cult and its methods."

Yad L’Achim stressed that the cult's idolatrous ceremonies involve its leader Li Hongzhi, who claims to be able to walk through walls and make himself invisible. For example, at the cult's first meeting in Israel, held in Tel Aviv, members bowed down to his photo.

In addition, the cult promises its adherents protection from evil spirits. Its members, like those of many other cults, are afraid to leave the group, believing that if they do so they will lose the "protection" of the cult.

The cult also convinces its members not to go to doctors, and to opt for alternative therapies it recommends.