One of the main ideological mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party, Seeking Truth, reproduced an article on its website recently attacking democracy, and the Chinese democracy movement, as a type of “cult,” or “evil religion,” supported by the United States government.
“Why the Democratic Movement Is Also a Type of Cult,” written by Yin Guoming, a researcher at the Institute of Socialism in Wuxi City of eastern coastal Jiangsu Province, seeks to expose how Chinese democracy activists are members of “hidden evil religion” who regularly attack China’s socialist system and promote American universal values.
Seeking Truth is published by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and focuses on propounding communist theory. The article was republished from the author’s blog on June 11, with a boilerplate at the end indicating that editors of Seeking Truth do not necessarily endorse the contents (though the mere fact that they reproduced the article said something about their viewpoints, after all, Chinese netizens argued.)
The editorial came at the tail end of a massive state-led anti-cult campaign triggered by the murder of a young woman in a McDonalds restaurant in Shandong Province in late May. The killers were identified as belonging to the Church of Almighty God, officially designated an “evil religion” in China.
Subsequent to the murder, police blamed the group for the violence of its alleged members, and propaganda authorities launched a nationwide anti-cult campaign.
The piece in Seeking Truth sought to draw a line between Church of Almighty God members, portrayed as violent, irrational fanatics in the media, and democracy activists, public intellectuals, and advocates for human rights.
“They all possess the motive, and carry out the behavior, to make China chaotic,” the writer announced.
The United States was posited as the puppet master controlling these activists.
“America is behind the evil religion, behind the terrorist organizations, and behind the democracy movement,” the article said. “Under America’s unified coaching, the cult members, terrorists, and democracy activists find their common goal and interests, and together serve the U.S. to fight against China.”
The story was published on Seeking Truth’s website just a week after the 25th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, when the Chinese military opened fire on unarmed protesters in the heart of Beijing.
June 4 activist and student leader Wang Dan was also mentioned in the story. He was said to “collude with the leader of Church of Almighty God” to create chaos in China. Wang now lives in exile, in Taiwan.
Wang deigned to respond to the article, publishing a statement that it “consists purely of fabricated, completely made-up information” to attack the democracy movement.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s official media defames me as an evil cult force and a violent terrorist, obviously because of our success in commemorating the 25th anniversary of June 4, which makes the Party very scared and angry,” Wang wrote.
“Apart from demonstrating how ugly, childish, ridiculous, and evil the Chinese authorities are, this article achieves no purpose.”