|Falun Gong, one of 10 Doomsday cults in the world|
Apocalypticism, the belief that the world will end soon, is found in practically every religion on the planet. The Romans were periodically gripped by panics involving the prophesied downfall of Rome throughout their history, and early Christians believed they were living in the End Times with as much zeal as modern American evangelists. Falun Gong is one of 10 doomsday cults that still exist.
In 1992, cereal factory guard Li Hongzhi started claiming he had godlike powers that allowed him to turn invisible, levitate, immobilize people, control the weather, and see into the future. This last power is especially important, because Li has seen that Fa-rectification, a cosmic process that reduces humanity to a pure state, will cause a "Great Havoc" soon. Li has developed a series of meditation techniques rooted in Taoism and Buddhism called Falun Gong to help mankind attain salvation in its time of need. It is spreading very quickly, there are an estimated 70 million Falun Gong practitioners in China alone. The Chinese government responded by banning the immensely popular religion under the argument that it has all the auspices of a dangerous cult. In 2003, Li announced that the SARS epidemic was the first wave of Fa-rectification. Falun Gong practitioners generally brush criticism aside, claiming that it is slander planted by the Chinese government.
Besides Falun Gong, the other Doomsday cults are Aum Shinrikyo, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Rastafarians, Raelism, Association for Research and Enlightenment, The Jehovah's Witnesses, the Church Universal and Triumphant and the Panacea Society.