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Mary Kay Inc. discontinues use of pledge in China that cites Falun Gong as ‘illegal’

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China pressures Mary Kay to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce faith
Falun Dafa Information Center Spokeswoman Welcomes Pledge Revision, Condemns Chinese Regime for Pressuring Many Foreign Companies in China

WASHINGTON (FDI) – Mary Kay Inc. has discontinued the use of a pledge that workers in China were required to sign, which categorized Falun Gong as “illegal” – a label former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin has used for the last four years in efforts to legitimize the persecution of those who practice the traditional, Chinese discipline.

Mary Kay announced the change in a letter to three Congressional Members of the House International Relations Committee: Vice-Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ranking Democratic Member Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Middle East and Central Asia Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). (full text)

According to the letter, a new pledge has been adopted by the cosmetics giant for its China operations that does not single out any particular “organization, religion, practice or movement.”

Mary Kay’s letter came three days after Congresspersons Smith, Lantos and Ros-Lehtinen co-authored a letter of their own to Mary Kay Inc.’s Chairman and CEO, Richard Rogers, admonishing the company for it use of the pledge, saying that in doing so Mary Kay is playing an “active role” in assisting Chinese authorities in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in China. (full text)

“We are glad Mary Kay has revised its pledge,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokeswoman, Ms. Gail Rachlin. “However, this issue is not just about Mary Kay…the Chinese regime is pressuring many American and other foreign companies doing business in China to adhere to persecutory policies that violate China’s own Constitution, U.S. Law and International Law.”

Ms. Rachlin adds, “Many have said that having foreign companies doing business in China will bring more openness and transparency to China, so it is very disturbing to see a number of cases illustrating the exact opposite…that is, the Chinese regime enforcing illegal, persecutory policies upon foreign companies.”

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NEWS – Nov. 24, 2003
Falun Dafa Information Center,


Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.” It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.

With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China’s then-Communist leader, Jiang Zemin, outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report), fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang’s regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. To that end, Jiang established the “6-10 Office,” a Gestapo-like agency spanning from the Central Government to the local governments. The United States Congress has described the “6-10 Office” as an agency charged with “overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong members through organized brainwashing, torture, and murder.” (news)

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 823 deaths (reports / sources) since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. In October 2001, however, Government officials inside China reported that the actual death toll was well over 1,600. Expert sources now estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.

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