Peaceful Appeals Are Both Reasonable and Legal; Falsely Charging Practitioners Is an Insult to Heaven and Humankind
(Minghui.org) Amidst the constantly escalating campaign to suppress Falun Gong in mainland China, the Chinese government has, in recent days, issued an official notice, which claims that arrested Falun Gong practitioners will be prosecuted on charges of “disrupting social stability” and “sabotaging the government,” among others, and to “punish them according to the law.” We deeply regret the Chinese government's flagrant violation of the constitution, its trampling of human rights, and its unjust and unwise actions.
Cultivating Falun Gong not only brings about health benefits, it also uplifts people spiritually, so that one tries to be a better person. What is wrong with that? On April 25, after being suppressed, slandered and unable to clarify the situation, Falun Gong practitioners took a legal peaceful approach and presented their case to the country's leaders. How is that a crime?
Despite the nationwide, large-scale arrests in the early hours of July 20 and the all-out campaign to root out Falun Gong since July 22, Falun Gong practitioners around the world have continued, as before, to peacefully do all they can to repeatedly present the facts to the Chinese government, to explain that Falun Gong does not participate in politics and does not oppose the government. How is this “disrupting social stability” and “sabotaging the government?"
The Chinese government's suppression of Falun Gong in the past months has made the large number of Dafa cultivators and many others very uneasy. Earlier this year, the Tianjin police beat and arrested Falun Gong students. Over 10,000 Dafa cultivators went to Zhongnanhai, the leadership compound, for a peaceful appeal on April 25. The central government did not recognize the mistake of a small number of officials in the Ministry of Public Security and did not point out that these officials had schemed against Falun Gong by restricting the top leadership's access to information and intentionally escalating the issue. Those officials made the peaceful appeal look like the Zhongnanhai compound was being "besiged" by Dafa students.
The leadership failed to vindicate Falun Dafa students and has now formulated an internal policy that regards Falun Gong as a “cult” to be eliminated. A media offensive blanketed the country with slogans calling for “trusting to science” and “overcoming superstitions.” Toward the end of July, Falun Dafa was accused of “promoting superstitions,” disregarding the fact that Falun Dafa is a cultivation practice characterized by Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, which has benefited hundreds of millions of cultivators physically and mentally over the past seven years. A campaign to root out Falun Dafa across the country was formally launched.
For a long period of time, Falun Dafa students have been patiently presenting the facts regarding Dafa to all levels of government agencies to correct misunderstandings and help the government and the public understand the mental and physical benefits a broad range of cultivators have enjoyed, as well as the prospect that the spread of Falun Gong will benefit countless more cultivators and the country. The Chinese government conducted extensive investigations and verified the validity of these benefits.
Regrettably, due to the political motives of a handful of people, the government has shelved its own findings on Falun Gong and instead published an extremely erroneous interpretation by stretching and ignoring the facts. Isn't this in violation of the scientific approach to seeking truth from the facts that the government promotes? How can one clarify the facts or be scientific with such an attitude? The materials that criticize Falun Dafa are filled with falsified numbers, none from any serious survey. One has to ask whether “adhering to science” has become a handy slogan to attack a chosen target.
Despite the fact that Falun Dafa values Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance and persuades people to be kind, the Chinese government has accused it of “spreading superstitions,” with the presumption that, after months of the state media affirming it, Falun Gong will be "undeniably guilty." The fact is, after enduring so many political campaigns, people in mainland China are not as easily misled by this scheme of “character assassination” and “political intimidation.” In countries where religion is practiced, such propaganda and name calling are even more absurd.
Cultivation is part of traditional Asian culture with a long history. In the past, this was something a very small number of people in temples or remote mountains and deep forests were devoted to. The extraordinary phenomena surrounding cultivators and legends in religions passed down for thousands of years have enshrouded cultivation in mystery. Master Li Hongzhi, who has imparted Falun Dafa in the simplest words, has offered a full and comprehensive exposition regarding the methods and goals of cultivation in combination with mankind's understanding of science. It is the first time that tens of millions of people can obtain the Fa and benefit from cultivating in the Fa. For so many people to experience improvement in their physical and mental health has benefited the society in terms of elevated morality and economic development. Rather than “disrupting social stability,” Falun Dafa has facilitated that stability. Falun Dafa cultivators as a group are calm and kind. Falun Dafa has offered explanations for many phenomena that have remained a mystery in cultivation and religion over the years, dispelling numerous “superstitions” rather than “promoting superstitions.”
Of course, human society is complex. With the spread of such a great and righteous Fa, interference and disruption from new and old deviant schools and methods will surface. Yet, whether a person decides to cultivate or not is purely a personal decision. A government decision could influence the future of tens of millions of people. Think about it, if the government stubbornly opposes the great many people who try to be good by living up to the standard of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, what good will that do for the country and its people? Is it possible for justice to prevail in a society that cannot tolerate Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance? To force tens of millions of people to lose the opportunity to cultivate is a sin beyond description. Also bear in mind that appeals from the large number of Falun Dafa students are completely legal, harboring no selfish motives, nor are they angry. Quite contrary, they have endured hardships. With immense kindness and forbearance, they have patiently presented the facts to the government and the public, sincerely hoping that people will come to a correct understanding of Falun Dafa, so that more of them will benefit.
In recent days, the propaganda machines of the Chinese government have worked overtime to influence public opinion about the April 24 event at the Zhongnanhai compound. Their goal is to mislead the public prior to the show trial of the arrested Falun Dafa practitioners. The large-scale public appeal, perfectly legal and extremely peaceful, was described as an "organized political activity."
Indeed, the April 25 appeal and its swift resolution surprised people both inside and outside China. Besides a handful of people within the Ministry of Public Security, who intentionally did not report the development to higher authorities so that it would appear that over 10,000 people “all of sudden” “besieged” the Zhongnanhai compound, the world marveled at the surprising improvement in the relationship between the Chinese people and the government. So many people gathered in one place, yet they were quiet and orderly, waiting politely outside the appeals office. They did not block traffic or the sidewalk, did not affect normal business of nearby stores, and even cleaned up the areas where they waited. With today's declining moral standards, it was hard to believe that these people came from different cities spontaneously, not knowing one another, all because of the same issue – they hoped that, by explaining the situation, the government would allow Falun Gong practitioners to cultivate legally.
Someone praised this event in an article, saying, "This is unprecedented in thousands of years of Chinese history." The government's proper handling of the issue, which was swiftly resolved, also earned favorable comments internationally. It reputedly showcased the Chinese government's transparency and maturity. This event, which would have been a milestone in China's march toward civilization and the rule of law, has been misinterpreted and transformed into a political activity that was “organized” to “disrupt social stability” and “sabotage the government.” One can't help but wonder whether there is such a thing as a "peaceful sabotage activity," and how it could be “organized” to be so peaceful and civilized? Only deliberate misinformation could explain such propaganda.
Whatever the political motives, whatever claims that it is following the rule of law, the suppression and banning of Falun Dafa has no legal grounds. It has seriously violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Chinese government has signed. As a result, the Chinese government has been condemned and ridiculed by international media. This campaign of suppression has reminded people of the lawless Cultural Revolution era. Those who survived the Cultural Revolution, after learning that painful lesson, were all for perfecting the legal system and respecting human rights and the rule of law, such that wrongful cases of arbitrary persecution of innocent people by a handful people in power would never take place. Yet, over 20 years after the end of the Cultural Revolution, Falun Dafa practitioners have been illegally detained for over a month. To deflect dissenting public opinion, the Chinese government has decided to go through the formality of staging trials for these cultivators to give the appearance of “punishing them according to the law.” Yet, even before the trial, the government has already found these victims "guilty." The Chinese government even issued orders that no law firm is allowed to consult with Falun Gong students or their relatives. Is this “the rule of law?” Isn't the historic lesson learned at the cost of so lives during the decade of the Cultural Revolution enough to serve as a warning? Or is the tragedy of replacing the rule of law by the rule of man to be repeated just to meet someone's political needs?
Today, the Chinese government's use of outdated political tactics to try to deceive the people and put them through yet another "campaign" that mobilizes a tremendous number of people and other resources will only invite loathing. Don't ever think kindhearted people are easy targets for humiliation. Don't think that just because a person is "in power," he can do whatever he wants. Paper cannot hold fire, and the truth is getting out.
The fact is that banning Falun Gong has already tarnished the Chinese government in the eyes of the international community. If it continues, China risks erasing the progress it has made in improving its legal system since the implementation of the reform and opening up policy. A Chinese proverb says that "the nets of heaven let nothing through." Abusing kindhearted cultivators, attacking and banning Buddha Fa cultivation, and slandering and persecuting an enlightened being will infuriate heaven and humankind and enrage both mortals and the divine.
We appeal to every person, group, and country to do their best to urge the Chinese government to change, as soon as possible, this policy that harms the country, its people, and society as a whole; to resolve the Falun Gong issue through peaceful dialog; to allow Dafa cultivators the freedom to seek the truth and their own belief; and to restore the reputation of the founder of Falun Gong.
Minghui Editorial Board August 27, 1999
Published August 27, 1999
Updated September 10, 2011