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The Truth About The Epoch Times.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 update:

On Monday, June 3, the Chief Financial Officer of the Epoch Times was arrested for an alleged money laundering scheme and bank fraud. The alleged laundering began in 2020, and allowed the Epoch Times’ revenue to grow by around $100 million in only two years. 

The scheme is further evidence that the Epoch Times is an untrustworthy, unreliable news source, despite what their billboards say.


If you live in or around the Twin Cities, you may have seen a billboard claiming to be “#1 Trusted News,” accompanied by a photo of a man whose eyes seem to follow you down the highway. Or maybe you’ve clicked on a link to an enticing video and ended up on one of the Epoch Times’ many Facebook pages. In reality, The Epoch Times is anything but the #1 trusted news source it pretends to be. Filled with misinformation, The Epoch Times is an extreme, conservative news site operated by the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Here’s everything you need to know.

The History

The Epoch Times started as a small conservative, anti-China newspaper distributed by hand in New York City. The newspaper quickly grew through aggressive marketing campaigns, like mailing hundreds of thousands of free copies of their paper to conservatives across the United States. Their goal was to spread the word about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong. 

Supporting Trump

One of the strategies The Epoch Times used to grow to its current prominence was to affiliate itself with former President Donald Trump. Attracted to his anti-China rhetoric, the paper spent millions of dollars running ads to help elect Trump in 2016 and 2020. They even hired a conservative strategist to become closer to the Trump administration. Writers were encouraged to publish pro-Trump articles after he won the 2016 Republican nomination. Additionally, the newspaper used software to generate fake likes and shares on their Facebook posts to spread pro-Trump propaganda. Facebook banned The Epoch Times from advertising, but its influence remains strong. 

The Epoch Times’ style mirrors legitimate journalism but stops short of meeting many journalistic standards. One author admitted that his articles were edited to remove criticism of Donald Trump. The paper continues to publish articles with a strong conservative slant. Donald Trump, RFK Jr., and other high-ranking conservatives have shared Epoch Times articles and sat for interviews with the paper. By embracing Trump and U.S. conservative values, The Epoch Times has doubled its revenue since 2016. 

Falun Gong

The mastermind behind The Epoch Times and performing arts group Shen Yun is Li Hongzhi, the leader of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Founded in the 1990s, Falun Gong is a conservative practice that rejects feminism, modern medicine, evolution, and LGBTQ+ rights and strongly opposes the Chinese Communist Party. This conservative bias is present in The Epoch Times’ reporting.

The organization strives to remain mysterious and has denied allegations about its conservative belief system. Anonymous sources at The Epoch Times indicated they could not speak negatively of Falun Gong.

Spreading Misinformation

The Epoch Times’ popularity has helped fuel a global spread of mis- and disinformation. The publication has promoted conspiracy theories about QAnon, Black Lives Matter, voter fraud, and COVID-19. The Epoch Times was one of the first to promote the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created as a bioweapon in a Chinese military lab. In 2020, it falsely claimed that the Chinese government interfered in the election in favor of President Joe Biden. 

A newspaper that knowingly spreads false information should not be anyone’s “#1 Trusted News.”

Help us hold conservatives accountable.

Curious about other suspect organizations in Minnesota? Check out our blogs about Alpha News and The Center of the American Experiment.

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