Persecution is always built on lies. In 64 AD, the Roman emperor Nero set in motion a large-scale persecution of Christians. Rome was set on fire and Christians were blamed for it. From 1938 to 1945, Hitler perpetrated genocide against the Jews, espousing a theory that they were an inferior human race. It sounds absurd today, but for many people at the time, it seemed to provide enough grounds for the persecution. Because many people believed the carefully fabricated lies, those who opposed the persecution were silenced by force.
The persecution carried out by Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party is also based on lies fabricated by the Chinese Communist Party and then broadcast by the state-controlled media. At the same time, the Chinese regime used terrorist tactics to cover up the truth so that the public would participate in and consent to the persecution.
In order to persecute Falun Gong, the Communist Party's methods of creating these lies have become very sophisticated.
1. Bombarded by Indiscriminate Lies
On July 20th, 1999, Jiang's regime started to arrest Falun Gong practitioners on a large scale. As ordered by the Jiang regime, all of the Chinese media began to malign Falun Gong, confusing the entire country about the true situation. The media continued to fill people's minds with lies, such as that practitioners "killed people and set them on fire," and promoted "superstition." They published intimidating announcements. The effort put into this media drive far exceeded the propaganda for any political movement in history. Over 2,000 newspapers, 1,000 magazines, and several hundred radio and TV stations began to publish and broadcast material to incite hatred towards Falun Gong among the Chinese people. Given the massive and unrelenting bombardment of lies, people began to believe this propaganda.
One example of a fabricated story is the "Tiananmen Square self-immolation," which was completely staged by the Communist Party. The Xinhua News Agency1, China Central Television (CCTV), the People's Daily2, and all the party's propaganda machinery in the country did not "cover up the bad news" as usual but were falling over themselves to report this fabrication. Through these media, the Chinese general public saw heartrending pictures, listened to people speak out against Falun Gong, and read police testimonies. The only oddity was that no one was allowed to ask questions. Although there were many questionable points regarding the self-immolation, the majority of people were unable to fathom that it was a staged drama created by corrupt Party officials. Thus, people accepted the "Falun Gong Self-immolation" as real. Soon after it happened, however, it was exposed both inside and outside China. On August 14th, 2001, about seven months after the incident, the International Educational Development Organisation published research findings based on the pictures shown by CCTV. Slow motion pictures showed clearly that public security personnel had killed the self-immolator, Liu Chunling. But to this day, four years after the incident, when Falun Gong is mentioned, many people still associate it with the "Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation." This is the evil consequence of the bombardment of falsehoods by the Chinese Communist Party.
2. Creating Something from Nothing
Although propaganda campaigns may shock and frighten people, using them too often will make people numb and bored. Only through constant lies can the persecution be sustained. "Creating something from nothing" is the easiest way.
At the end of April of 1999, ten thousand practitioners went to the State Council Appeals Office, a gathering that was distorted as "Falun Gong's April 25th Siege of Zhongnanhai." (Zhongnanhai is the headquarters of the Chinese Central Government.) The General Office of the Central Government promptly handed down a document creating a rumour that "On May 1st at Xiangshan Park, ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners will commit self-immolation." This document was widely spread within the Chinese government and police were deployed at Xiangshan Park. Such an event, of course, wouldn't have happened under the eyes of the authorities, but the lie had achieved its purpose: "Falun Gong teaches people to commit suicide, and the government used proper means to protect Falun Gong practitioners." Thus, it not only created a rumour to slander Falun Gong but also created an excuse for their policy that "killing Falun Gong practitioners is to be counted as suicide."
In 2000, China's mouthpiece in Hong Kong spread a rumour that the United States Agency for International Development had provided Falun Gong with twenty million dollars. Through the hired thug He Zuoxiu, this rumour was spread throughout China. This is another example of creating something from nothing. Because the US is equated with being "Anti-China" under the Communist Party culture, China was able to smear Falun Gong as an anti-China force. This false rumour has caused tremendous confusion among Chinese citizens. Although this rumour was later shown to be unsubstantiated, many people believe the lie. They believe that Falun Gong's activities against the persecution, such as group exercise demonstrations, appeals outside Chinese consulates, and clarifying the facts on the street, are paid for by the "foreign evil power." They thus show contempt for Falun Gong practitioners when they see them.
In August 2000, when a CBS "60 Minutes" reporter asked Jiang Zemin the question, "Why are you persecuting Falun Gong?" he cooked up a story. He said, "Their leader claimed to be the reincarnation of Buddha as well as Jesus." Being the president of a country, he compromised the prestige of the government by spreading such rumours through a renowned international media. People who did not know the truth though would never know he was creating something from nothing.
3. Confusing Concepts
The statement "Falun Gong does not allow its practitioners to see doctors when they are ill" is a typical lie, designed to confuse the general public.
Many practitioners, through cultivating "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance" and exercising, have achieved health and fitness. When many people talk about Falun Gong, the first thing they mention is the power to heal illness and keep fit. For example, a 70-year-old lady said, "I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from Foyedong Village, Lingyuan City, Liaoning Province. I have been practising Falun Dafa for eight years, since 1996. During these past eight years, I have changed completely. My gastric disease, tracheitis and gynaecological problems were all healed. I felt energised and my family was in harmony. It was the first time that I felt completely healthy and illness-free. I haven't needed to take any medication since I started practising Falun Dafa."
But, if the people understand that those who practise Falun Gong achieve a healthy body and retain fitness, then the persecution couldn't possibly have been perpetrated. Thus, practitioners' becoming healthier "without a single pill" was distorted to "people practising Falun Gong are not allowed to take medicine when they become ill."
In the face of such lies, people automatically have misunderstandings and thus feel hostility towards Falun Gong.
4. Twisting the Truth for Another Planted Story
Mistreating one's family members, corruption, and even suicide or killing others is common in China today.
Such behaviour without doubt violates the principles "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance." Such incidents have nothing to do with Falun Gong, which teaches its practitioners to cultivate "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance." In such situations, twisting the truth is the most frequently used method for making up a story.
Among the "1,400 death cases" fabricated by the regime, "cutting open one's own stomach to look for the Falun" is the one that incites people's hatred against Falun Gong the most. Ma Jianmin was an employee of the Huabei Oilfield in Renqiu City, Hebei Province. His family, including himself, had a history of mental disorders. After Ma Jianmin committed suicide by cutting open his own stomach, the CCTV went to take photos. His son declared many times that his father's death had nothing to do with Falun Gong, and he refused to appear on TV. But CCTV still claimed that Ma Jianmin's death was the result of "cutting open one's own stomach to look for the Falun."
Since the dead cannot speak, as in the aforementioned example, people who are adept at fabricating such stories can come up with something totally convincing. Another example is the infamous murderer Fu Yibin in Beijing.
Sitting cross-legged in front of a TV camera, Fu Yibin talked excitedly. One moment he said he would feel sorry for a person being pierced by a needle and the next moment he described how he had killed his wife and his father like butchering a pig or cutting up vegetables. This was obviously a case of mental disorder. But CCTV claimed that the killing was caused by his practising Falun Gong.
This technique of twisting the truth to frame someone does not work every time. In 2002, Kong Zhaoyun, a resident of the 7th Team of the Xincun Brigade in Linyuan Town, Datong District, Daqing City, Helongjiang Province, committed suicide by hanging himself because of family conflicts. Datong District government officials and legal medical personnel went to Kong Zhaoyun's home and wanted to cut open Mr. Kong's stomach. They told the family that, if they agreed to say that Mr. Kong had killed himself while cutting his own stomach open to look for a Falun because he practised Falun Gong, the government would pay for the funeral expenses. At the same time they threatened the family, saying that if they didn't agree, the government would sue them for mistreating Mr. Kong and causing his death. But the family refused because they didn't want Mr. Kong buried with his stomach cut open. Besides, they said their village didn't have anyone practising Falun Gong.
(To be continued)
Notes:(1) The Xinhua News Agency - The official Chinese news agency; it handles all official press releases to foreign media.
(2) The People's Daily - The largest state-run newspaper in China.
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