The persecution of Falun Gong can only be clearly understood from the perspective of right and wrong: Thoughts of a U.K. Practitioner

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I have often encountered difficulty in explaining the question of “why?” in reference to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. I have come to realize that people are never truly satisfied with the answer unless it addresses the issue of right and wrong. The persecution of Falun Gong is not something, which can be just analyzed politically, psychologically, socially, or with any form of perception or explanation which does not place at its heart a clear recognition between right and wrong.

I have chatted to some people about Falun Gong and the persecution, and they have wanted to know the reasons for the persecution. If they view it simply from a political standpoint, it is very hard to get a handle on it, and they get frustrated - unless you begin to bring into the conversation the concept of good and bad. Having just described to them how good Falun Gong is, and how terrible the persecution is, just mentioning superficial reasons always appears to leave them frustrated, because it does not fit in with the picture you have given them. At some level, people know that it is really about right and wrong, and need to find an explanation, which is within their sense of good and bad.

People may, on the surface, be looking for a political, social, economic or psychological reason for the persecution. Underneath any explanation of the reason, it is always truly about right and wrong, about morality. For example, by way of explanation, I sometimes suggest that the leadership may have been jealous of Falun Gong’s ability to truly change people into good, hard-working citizens, jealous of its popularity and jealous of its impact on health; all things which they had not been able to achieve through any political or social measures. This jealousy was so severe that it caused them to persecute Falun Gong precisely because of its virtues. People often seem to understand this explanation, and to be satisfied with it. Perhaps this may have been initiated from their wish to find a political reason or psychological motive – but this explanation actually is more about good and bad. As a Falun Gong practitioner, I do not see jealousy as simply a psychological state, but as a selfish attachment, which if it gets out of hand, is extremely harmful to others. Of course, it is natural that all people become jealous from time to time about different things – for any human, this is only to be expected. I am not suggesting that all people should be devoid of this attachment – how could that be possible? However, it is clear that if this selfish attachment of jealousy was to become really big, and get out of hand, and dominated a person’s thinking, this would truly make them very cruel and vicious in their nature. It could turn them into a very bad person. When this attachment becomes such a powerful force that it drives people to such terrible, cruel acts against kind-hearted people, then this is a manifestation of its destructive power. What we are really talking about is the issue of right and wrong.

I am not suggesting that this is the only cause of the persecution; this is just one possible way of explaining. I am trying to show that whatever angle we look at it from, the reason for persecution is fundamentally about right and wrong. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, says, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the sole criteria to judge a good or a bad person.” From this broad perspective alone, then, since Falun Gong advocates the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” as the fundamental basis of its practice, if something directly opposes Falun Gong, isn’t this most fundamentally an issue of right and wrong? Isn’t what directly opposes the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance truly bad? I think that it is impossible to find a clear and satisfactory perception of the persecution, which does not have the underlying perspective of right and wrong.

Let’s take another example. Sometimes, one of the reasons given for the persecution of Falun Gong is as follows. There is a lot of corruption within China, penetrating to the highest levels of authority. (I am not suggesting this is unique to China). Falun Gong grew very rapidly in China, and became a significant social phenomenon. Those, who practised it, learned honesty, kindness, and integrity. To them the most important thing was no longer to fulfil their own wishes and needs, but was instead to do the right thing in any given situation. Right and wrong were no longer options to be followed if they fitted in with one’s personal gains, fears and wishes, but something to be adhered to regardless of the cost to oneself.

For those who rely upon corruption to retain their power, and to manipulate people below them, they must be able to control others. This is the way corruption is maintained: through threatening people into doing wrong things and through bribing them into doing wrong deeds. For example, if someone were in need of money, then they would bribe him or her with money. If someone were afraid of losing their job, they would threaten to sack them, and so on and so forth.

However, if people are really learning to have their own very clear, very strong, unshakeable sense of right and wrong and are learning to let go of their own personal needs, goals and attachments, then how could they be bullied, or bribed into doing wrong things? Also, with their increased honesty, wouldn’t those who are corrupt be in danger of being exposed? With the number of practitioners in China reaching 100 million, and with the recognition of Falun Gong as being a significant moral force, this was a real threat to the power base of corruption.

Falun Gong taught people to be kind and honest. Corrupt people who were only able to use bad means to maintain power opposed it in order to continue their corruption. This is really just bad versus good. I do not mean this as a dramatic, emotional statement. It is simply what can be observed through rational judgement

I do not see any specific cause as being the underlying reason for the persecution of Falun Gong. I view it more simply and broadly. Those who knowingly persecute people for wishing to believe in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance are truly bad people – the worst kind of people. I hope that everyone who reads this can take a moment or two to consider what it is that really makes us human, and what are the best qualities that can be found in a human being. What should a human really aspire to be? I think that for most people, they will find an answer in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. Or from another angle, what would humankind be like without these values? What kind of people, then, would knowingly oppose these values?

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