Recently, the hosting organizations for Shen Yun Performing Arts from all over the world disclosed that many theatres across Europe and North America have received email letters from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agents, claiming to be Falun Gong practitioners or overseas Chinese. These letters have followed a similar pattern. They first expressed their gratitude for the theatre's hosting of the show. The emails then take on a threatening tone and tell the theatre staff to practise and support Falun Gong. If they do not, the emails claim that punishment and bad luck will follow. Some of the celebrated artists or politicians who have attended Shen Yun Performing Arts and expressed their appreciation have also received similar emails.
The person in charge of the hosting organization for Shen Yun Performing Arts said that such nonsense couldn't possibly come from Falun Gong practitioners. The CCP agents use such reprehensible tactics to defame Shen Yun and attempt to interfere with their performances. Instead of turning people away from Shen Yun, such behaviour actually helps to increase the popularity of the show and helps to promote it when their own scandalous behaviour is made public.
The CCP Agents Pretended to Be Falun Gong Practitioners and Threatened the CEO of State Theatre in New Jersey by Email
Before Shen Yun Performing Arts was due to arrive in New Jersey in June, the CEO of the State Theatre forwarded an email he had recently received to the local hosting organization. The person who sent the email claimed to be a Falun Gong practitioner, but there was no signature at the end of the letter. The letter came across a a threat, telling the theatre to cooperate with Falun Gong practitioners, otherwise they would have misfortune. The wording, tone, and content of the letter completely went against the spirit of Shen Yun Performing Arts and the principles of Falun Gong.
Mr. Tom Liang, the person in charge of the Falun Dafa Association in New Jersey, said that such letters were from CCP agents pretending to be Falun Gong practitioners. He said: "In the past, the CCP Consulate in New York has made threatening phone calls to this theatre. And the CCP agents have also spread rumours among the Chinese communities in New Jersey and threatened the local Chinese Associations, attempting to block and interfere with the promotion of the performance. Recently, they even claimed to be Falun Gong practitioners and sent an email to the theatre, attempting to incite negative opinions towards Shen Yun. However, both the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre and the State Theatre have presented Shen Yun before. Both theatres have always been very supportive of our presenting the show, and they are well aware of the high quality of the companies and the content of the performance."
Mr. Liang said that they had already reported this incident of CCP agents pretending to be Falun Gong practitioners and sending threatening email to the CEO of the State Theatre to the FBI, and that, in the future, when the time is right, they will seek justice through legal means.
San Francisco Opera House Received a Threatening Email from CCP Agents
Ms. Lisa Duan, the contact person from the hosting organization sponsoring the Shen Yun show in San Francisco, said the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Centre, the venue for the Shen Yun's upcoming performance, has also received a similar threatening email from communist agents who pretended to be Falun Gong practitioners.
The author of the email claimed to be a Falun Gong practitioner and a fan of Shen Yun. However, his writing style was typical of CCP propaganda and included things like, "the explosion of the earth" and "the end of the world" to threaten the theatre's staff to study Falun Gong, advising that anyone who didn't believe it would encounter danger in the future.
Ms. Duan said that this was not the first time that the theatre received such emails. In the past the theatre informed the hosting organization about all the emails they received. After the hosting organization explained the real reasons behind these letters, theatre staff expressed their disgust for the communist regime's despicable acts.
The Host of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Rhode Island: "The CCP Agents Sent Out an Anonymous Letter"
Recently, an email was sent to the Rhode Island theatre, in which the author claimed to be a Falun Gong practitioner and highly recommended the Shen Yun performance. The letter writer then advised the manager of the theatre to promote and practice Falun Gong, or they would be punished and suffer from misfortune in the future.
Dr. Zhao is a contact person from the hosting organization of the Shen Yun show in Rhode Island. He said, "After the theatre manager received that email, they couldn't understand it, so they forwarded it to me. It's very obvious that communist agents wrote the letter. The reason why they wrote it was to encourage the theatre to have negative thoughts towards Shen Yun and Falun Gong. In this way, they thought they could further interfere with Shen Yun Performing Arts."
CCP Agents Made Phone Calls to the Manager of the Calgary Theatre in the Name of the Sponsor for Shen Yun Performing Arts
The agents have attempted to interfere with Shen Yun performances using all kinds of tactics. According to Ms. Juile, the contact person from the hosting organization for the Shen Yun performance in Calgary, on the morning of March 31, 2010, right before the performance, someone called the manager of the theatre in the name of The Epoch Times, one of the sponsors of Shen Yun Performing Arts, telling the theatre that the performance had been cancelled.
In addition, some of the communist agents posing as audience members complained to the theatre about the performance. They also told the theatre not to allow their facility to be used for the performance. Ms. Chen from the Canada Falun Dafa Association told us that the minister of the Department of Culture in Alberta, Canada, once received a "complaint" phone call from someone claiming to be an audience member and asking the Department of Culture to stop providing facilities for the hosting organization of Shen Yun Performing Arts. Because he knew better, the minister of the Department of Culture said to the caller, "I have seen Shen Yun Performing Arts, and I don't think the show is like what you have said."
The CCP Agents Threatened the Turin Royal Theatre in Italy
A defamatory email sent to the Turin Royal Theatre has also been recently disclosed by the local Shen Yun performance host. Different from the previous letters, the CCP agents wrote this email using the name of a local overseas Chinese.
In this email, they deliberately compared Falun Gong with Christianity. In the email, by making disparaging remarks about Christianity, they attempted to provoke a conflict between Falun Gong practitioners and Christians in the city of Turin, where Christianity is prevalent. They also harassed the theatre to cancel the performance by using the relationship of "Sister Cities" between Turin and Shenyang City in China.
The Host of Shen Yun Performing Arts: The CCP Agents Will Never Succeed
Mr. Yang Sen, contact person from the Falun Dafa Association Mid-US, which helped sponsor the Shen Yun performance in Chicago, said: "The way the CCP agents spread these rumours is exactly the same way the regime's media slandered Falun Gong in the past. The purpose of the emails is to give theatre staff a negative impression of Falun Gong practitioners as being irrational and weird, so that the theatres will cancel the Shen Yun shows.
"Actually since the first day Falun Gong was introduced to the public in 1992, it has spread by word of mouth. People became healthy and their moral standards improved after they practised Falun Gong, so they introduced the practice to their family and friends. Practitioners do the exercises in the parks, and anyone who wants to learn the practice can come and learn the exercises. The practice is entirely voluntary. Those who wish to stay may stay, and those who want to leave may leave. It is completely up to oneself. Even after the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, the form of doing group exercises outdoors didn't change in other countries. And the principle of 'free to come and go' has never changed. No Falun Gong practitioner has ever forced anyone to practice Falun Gong by threat or menace."
Mr. Yang Sen pointed out that, in recent years, Shen Yun Performing Arts has rapidly expanded from one company to two companies, and now three companies, and they tour several continents, travelling across the world to presenting their performances. Their colourful and exhilarating performances that showcase traditional Chinese culture have had a tremendous impact on mainstream society worldwide.
Shen Yun Performing Arts seeks to revive traditional classical Chinese dance and music. These performances are a great way to introduce traditional Chinese culture to people all over the world. But the CCP has spared no effort in an attempt to disrupt and interfere with Shen Yun.
"Initially, the CCP agents made harassing phone calls to the hotlines. However, it's illegal to interfere with commercial performances in this country this way. After they realized this wouldn't work, they next pretended to be patrons purchasing the tickets, and then they stood in front of the box office shouting out and demanding to return their tickets in order to interfere with the people who wanted to buy tickets to see the show. This kind of embarrassing behaviour did not confuse anyone," Mr. Yang said. "Americans can tell these people are not normal, and they knew that most of the things that the CCP is against are actually very good things.
"Later on, the communist regime's agents used typical Western names and sent out complaint e-mails. The content of these e-mails was nearly identical, claiming that the show contains violent content."
Mr. Yang said that those people who have seen the performance know very well that the show is beautiful, elegant, pure, and kind. "We can tell from audience feedback that both Chinese and Western audiences like the show very much. People from Western mainstream society have told us that they appreciate seeing the authentic China and Chinese culture in the performances. Overseas Chinese who've seen the show said that, by watching the show, they've gained pride and confidence in their own traditional, classical Chinese culture."
Although CCP agents have insidiously pretended to be Falun Gong practitioners and sent out threatening or slanderous emails, the result will not be what they expect. Most theatres have very good relationships with the hosting organizations, and they have developed a deep respect, mutual trust and confidence in them. These defamatory letters will not have the effect the CCP agents expect.
As Mr. Yang said, "What's even funnier is that, after many unsuccessful attempts, the CCP still fails to recognize that every single act of interference has only helped Shen Yun to be more widely known. The interference gives people a chance to compare who is truly promoting art and who is actually promoting propaganda."
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