One day a friend asked me, "Why do you hate Falun Gong?" I said, "Nonsense! I don't have any enmity towards Falun Gong, why should I hate Falun Gong?" However, I felt something strike at my heart. Do I hate Falun Gong? Nobody practises Falun Gong in public at my workplace, so Falun Gong is seldom mentioned. I haven't criticised Falun Gong in public, either. Yet my friend pointed to me and said, "Judging from your behaviour, your words and even your expression, one can tell that you hate Falun Gong."
I was shocked. I thought about it for a while and confessed to my friend, "Yes, I hate Falun Gong, although I never show it intentionally. But I know that I hate Falun Gong in my heart and I connect them unconsciously with the most evil organisations in the world!"
My friend asked, "Why?" I said, "Because of the bloody scenes, [their] seeking no treatment when they get sick, their being a [slanderous word omitted], suicides, etc." My friend asked again, "I know. What you said are the reasons given by the state media. I asked you why you hate Falun Gong."
I couldn't offer an immediate answer. My friend asked again, "Have you read any Falun Gong books?" I was very startled this time. I haven't read any Falun Gong books, and I only heard that one of the books was named Zhuan Falun, which had been banned. I had only seen the cover of this book and never opened it.
What is Falun Gong? I suddenly felt a chill run through my body. In fact, regarding Falun Gong that I have hated for several years unconsciously, I didn't know anything about it, yet I hated it. Why? This time I searched for the real reasons.
Since one day in July several years ago, Falun Gong has been attacked every day by newspapers, TV and radio stations. I thought that I was well educated and was one who could discern the truth and facts. Not long after I graduated from college, I came to understand a simple logic. That is, for critical truths and essential life-and-death facts, never believe in the newspaper, TV and radio of the ruling Party. It is not enough to just ignore [it], sometimes you have to view it from the opposite perspective. For example, if the Party's TV station said that the Tiananmen Square Incident was an outbreak of social disorder, you should know clearly in your heart that the incident would be remembered as a great movement in Chinese history. If the Party said that China was becoming comparatively well-off and that the poor in the United States were miserable, you should go to the American Embassy early in the morning and wait in line for a visa, and go abroad like the children of those powerful Chinese officials. If the Party labelled themselves as the Three Representatives: that is, representing the interest of the Chinese people, an advanced workforce and an advanced culture, then you should know that as long as the present Party is in power, these three things would be kept away from the Chinese people! For so many years, Chinese people have lived according to such counter-intuitive logic. This is true for me as well.
However, on the issue of Falun Gong, since it was not related to me, and because of the invisible influence of all the media outlets, I was severely affected by the propaganda. I don't really watch TV, but the TV is turned on every day at home and Falun Gong is attacked all the time. I don't believe the newspapers, but who knows how many times the front page carried articles criticising Falun Gong. In this way, and together with the fact that books related to Falun Gong could not be found in public since that July many years ago, the Falun Gong that I know about became the image portrayed by CCTV and the People's Daily [the official Chinese state-run TV station and newspaper, respectively]. Thus after several years, I developed two extreme views about Falun Gong, absolute ignorance and a rich "understanding." Ignorance because in my life I have read Buddhist scriptures, several parts of the Bible and even Muslim texts, but not a single word about Falun Gong's principles. A Rich "understanding" because I know all the so-called "evilness" related to Falun Gong, most of them being bloody scenes not appropriate for children to hear about or know of.
There are many Falun Gong practitioners around me. During the time when the persecution was most severe, we were required to expose and find out the evilness of this practice. I think that the most evil example that I personally heard from relatives and friends went like this: When a female Falun Gong practitioner was practising, she ignored her child and just let him cry. Later on, the head of a local police station told me, "Falun Gong is so troublesome!" I asked him, "How?" The police chief said, "If Falun Gong practitioners are spotted in this region, we will be warned and will even risk losing our jobs." I asked, "What kind of trouble does Falun Gong present?" He hesitated for a little while, and then said, "There is no trouble from those who practise Falun Gong. On the contrary, they are very amenable. They follow the rules better than average people, and are very kind." I realised that Falun Gong was troublesome because the higher levels thought so and wanted to eliminate them. As for [the practitioners] themselves, even the head of the police department agreed that they were kinder than average people. These are the only two stories about Falun Gong that I have heard myself. All the other things about Falun Gong are what I have heard from the Party newspaper and CCTV.
At this stage, someone would say, it has turned out that Feng Qingyang [the author of this article] has been promoting Falun Gong in a different way. This is completely wrong. To be honest, until now, I still haven't read any Falun Gong books or even a single line of Falun Gong literature. No friend has explained to me what Falun Gong is, either. I will probably read the books in the future and even do some research. I only wanted to explain why I hated Falun Gong. Who taught me to hate this Falun Gong that I knew nothing about? I want to say more frankly, because I grew up in an atheist country, I probably won't like or hate Falun Gong even after I have read Falun Gong books and communicated with some people who practise Falun Gong; of course, then again, I may like it and I may also start to practise. I have this right and I can make either choice, as long as the choice is based on my own observation and careful investigation, based on belief from my heart and not something forced onto me.
However, I have hated Falun Gong over the past few years. Although I didn't do anything that harmed Falun Gong, my heart feels very uneasy when I think about it now. If I knew Falun Gong, for example, if I read their books, I wouldn't have felt disturbed if I didn't like Falun Gong then. But now, my hatred has come from the education of the Communist Party, and my hatred towards Falun Gong actually helped the Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin and his hatred towards Falun Gong. To be more direct, I became an accomplice!
I know that I have been brainwashed by CCTV and the newspaper, and I know that I can't completely get rid of what they pushed onto me through the media, the newspapers and TV in their control. But I have finally found out the real reason I have hated Falun Gong in the past few years. Under the attack of the intensive propaganda these past few years, many people in Mainland China have misunderstandings and even developed hatred towards Falun Gong. The reason for their hatred is more or less the same as mine. It is funny that those in power who really hate Falun Gong cite this as their evidence of "support from the majority," but they forget that this so-called "fact" is because they have controlled the media, covered up the truth and kept people from finding out for themselves.
Again I want to say, until today, I have no relationship with Falun Gong and I have never done anything to harm Falun Gong disciples; however, when I find out that I have been planted with thoughts of hatred towards Falun Gong unknowingly over these years, I feel very disturbed; I want to take this opportunity to offer my apology.
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