In this paper we argue that studying Falun Gong's use of the Internet is essential to understanding the movement as a whole. Falun Gong has made skillful use of the Internet for three of its most important functions. In the area of information distribution, the Internet has become an important vehicle for disseminating Li Hongzhi's teachings. To strengthen the integrity of a globally-dispersed community, it has proven useful for organizing face-to-face gatherings and for online experience sharing. In Falun Gong's struggle for survival as a movement, the Internet has helped practitioners bring pressure against the People's Republic of China (PRC) government, especially at the international level. But Falun Gong's Internet use has not guaranteed success in these tasks. Reliance on the Internet has paved the way for the emergence of a splinter sect and challenges to Li's authority, and the PRC government has effectively countered much of Falun Gong's Internet use within the country.

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