Confused by the fallacy of "ascending to the heaven to achieve total success" spread by Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong cult leader, now living in the United States, one male and four female Falun Gong followers set themselves ablaze in a self-immolation attempt on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
At about 2:40 p.m. on January 23, 2001, the eve of the Chinese Spring Festival, two incidents involving a total of five people (one man and four women) poured gas on themselves and tried to burn themselves to death, as a result of having been deeply confused by cult leader Li Hongzhi's fallacy of "ascending to the heaven to achieve total success, shedding blood when it becomes unbearable." Patrol police rushed to the site and tried to put out the fire and rescue the cult followers. So far one Falun Gong activist has been announced dead and four receiving emergency medical treatment of their injuries in hospital.
The police has initially identified the five people as residents from Kaifeng in China's central province of Henan.