The Epoch Times has exploded in reach over the last few years, and copies have been mysteriously showing up in mailboxes in battleground states such as Colorado and Arizona in the lead-up to the presidential election. Additionally, residents in the San Francisco Bay area, and even the United Kingdom and Canada, have found the paper on their doorstep. So there seems to be an international marketing campaign underway to deliver the paper. We did some research to uncover the story behind it, and you won’t believe what we found out!
The Epoch Times and The Falun Gong
The Epoch Times was founded in the year 2000 in New York by John Tang and other Chinese Americans associated with the Falun Gong new religious movement. They were responding to censorship inside China and a lack of international understanding about the Chinese government’s repression of Falun Gong.
According to interviews with NBC News, members of Falun Gong believe “the world is headed toward a judgment day, where those labeled ‘communists’ will be sent to a kind of hell, and those sympathetic to the spiritual community will be spared.” As common in Eastern religions, the practice of Falun Gong also embraces regulated breathing and meditation exercises.
The Persecution of Falun Gong
Falun Gong was started by spiritual leader Li Hongzhi in China in 1992. The religious movement gained significant popularity in China, but was suppressed by the Chinese government in 1999. A persecution campaign was initiated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to eliminate the Falun Gong religion in China, which maintains a doctrine of state atheism and labeled Falun Gong an “evil cult.”
The persecution of Falun Gong was characterized by a massive propaganda campaign against the group, public burnings of Falun Gong books, imprisonment of tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, and reeducation through labor camps. In 2009, the New York Times reported that at least 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners had been killed amid the persecution campaign.
According to an Amnesty International report, Falun Gong sources documented over 3,700 named death cases by 2013. Due to the difficulty in accessing and relaying information from China, however, this may represent only a portion of actual deaths.
The Epoch Times published its first issue (in Chinese only) in April 2000, to “provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society.” The paper originally focused solely on pushing anti-communist messaging, specifically opposing the CCP, but also communism around the world.
The Epoch Times states, “One of the biggest threats we face is the struggle between freedom and communism. For decades, communist nations have systematically sought to subvert America. Our freedoms and values are increasingly encroached upon by socialist policies. We systematically expose this communist subversion in an effort to free America, and the world, from it.”
By 2003, the newspaper and website had grown into one of the largest Chinese-language news sites and newspaper groups outside of China, free from CCP control. The Epoch Times is blocked in mainland China. “The biggest socialist/communist regime on this planet is the Chinese Communist regime, which is one of the biggest threats to the free world. We at The Epoch Times know well its true nature,” they say.
Truth and Tradition
In 2003, The Epoch Times launched an online edition in English, which began printing as a newspaper in 2004, making it one of the few independent media outlets in the United States. (According to TruthorFiction.com, six corporations – News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, Comcast – own most TV and radio stations, movies, magazines and newspapers in the U.S., controlling 90% of what Americans see and hear. Talk about a media monopoly!)
The Epoch Times publishers actually consider Donald Trump to be an ally in the fight against communism, so you won’t find all the negative headlines about our President like you do in other news media. However, leftists can’t stand the newspaper’s favorable coverage of the Trump administration.
The Epoch Times ads have been banned by Facebook “as being political, not journalistic,” and the paper has been accused of publishing conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, we find their articles to be well-researched and fact-based. Likewise, black conservative talk show host Larry Elder said, “I rely on The Epoch Times newspaper for factual and unbiased news coverage.”
The regular weekly print issue of The Epoch Times contains four main sections: News, Opinion, Life & Tradition, and Mind & Body. The online edition contains even more, including op-eds on China, technology, society, government, economy, breaking news, and international news.
If you’re interested in the real scoop about China and the coronavirus, The Epoch Times is the place to find it. There is also heavy coverage of US-China trade relations. As a side note, The Epoch Times frequently promotes other Falun Gong affiliated groups, such as the Shen Yun dance troupe.
Overall, The Epoch Times is a good traditional-style newspaper without the liberal spin, if you don’t mind a little Chinese medicine and culture thrown in.
Have you received The Epoch Times in your mailbox? Have you seen it in a local newspaper rack? Or are you a subscriber?