Dark Secrets Behind Flashy Merchandise – Slave Labor Products by Sichuan Province Women’s Prison (Part 3)

October 17, 2013 | By a Falun Gong practitioner from Sichuan Province

(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 2:http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2013/10/11/142653.html )

Yue Embroidery

All the sketches shown in the photos are Yue embroidery designs.

Are these embroidery designs not pleasant to the eyes? Certainly, silk bed covers embroidered with these designs, using colorful silk threads, are appealing. At a bargain price, who wouldn’t buy them? After all, it is quite unlikely that anyone would even dream that behind these colorful products with their intricate designs are heartbreaking stories.

Additional patterns: http://pkg2.minghui.org/mh/2013/8/26/yue-xiu.zip

Seventy individual patterns are combined and embroidered on bedcovers by Falun Gong practitioners and other inmates. Yet, they are not paid.

For certain, these embroidered products are elegant and to be admired. However, before becoming delighted by the bargain price one should ask, “Under what circumstances were these products produced?”

Embroidered products are desirable if produced by a willing workforce, but for prisoners who are persecuted for their faith, producing these products is an agonizing process full of suffering. These prisoners are forced to produce large quantities and given a untenable quota. Besides there are deadlines that are very difficult to be met.

The workers are given the bare minimum of raw materials. Any faulty embroidery is cut off and redone. Anyone who doesn’t meet the deadline and quota is subjected to physical punishment and torture. Many relatively rich inmates are paying skilled inmates to do the work and in some cases they bribe prison guards to get a free pass.

When working on embroideries, inmates have to remain in a fixed position for a long period of time with no break. This is devastating to their health. In addition, they are allowed only a short time for eating and restroom visits. Besides, any time away from work has to be approved by a prison guards.

Producing these embroidered products is heartbreaking work. Sitting there and embroidering all day long is already difficult, but the worst is the fear that they may be punished if they don’t meet quotas and deadlines.

It is hard to imagine that these people have to work despite suffering back pain. Also, many develop poor eyesight due to the dim light in the workshop, which doesn’t get better when transferred to other jobs.

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Dark Secrets Behind Flashy Merchandise (Part 1) – Slave Labor Products by Sichuan Province Women’s Prison

September 13, 2013 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Sichuan Province, China

(Minghui.org) Colorful butterflies; cute beetles; adorable puppies and kittens; eye-pleasing apples, bananas, and grapes; and cartoon images decorate beaded handbags and backpacks for teenage girls and ladies. But how many people know the sad story behind these beautiful products?

For practicing Falun Gong, the communist regime sentenced me to Sichuan Province Women’s Prison in Yangmahe Town, Jianyang City. The above images are copies of designs we used to make beaded bags in prison. I secretly traced the patterns on carbon paper while making the products. According to a technician sent by a manufacturer to assist production and quality inspection, these bags were for export only.

No one knows for sure what percentage of the made-in-China merchandise is produced by slave laborers in prisons. While incarcerated, I worked on a number of jobs: inserting real hair into a rubber scalp; making shoe heels; making paper boxes for moon cakes, and making envelopes. We were forced to work extended hours for days without a break. One inmate was so tired that she pierced her finger with the sewing machine needle. These jobs usually had a deadline, so we were forced to work day and night. Those who were old or weak were ordered to do simple jobs such as knitting, making embroidered insoles, and making fireworks.

After my earlier arrest at the end of 1999 in Chengdu City, I was sent to Ningxia Street Detention Center. I shared a cell with about 40 people and it was so packed that we could only sleep on our sides like sardines. People had to sleep next to the toilet and under the bed. The place was filthy and humid. Even in such a dirty place, we were forced to make dry tofu bundles with toothpicks and sausages for hot pot. We made candies, assembled medical syringes, and made plastic bags for chemical fertilizer.

We worked long hours. The plastic bags were very dirty and smelled awful. The workplace was dusty and the chemical dust made it hard to breathe and caused rashes on the skin.

(To be continued)

DAFOH Statement: “China’s announcement of phasing out the harvesting of organs from prisoners is deceptive and insufficient”

en.minghui.org

“This is no time … to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

Rev. Martin L. King Jr.
(“I Have a Dream” Speech, 1963)

September 16, 2013

Recently, China has announced its intention of phasing out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners by 2015 and the introduction of the China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS), a computerized organ-allocation system.

Unfortunately, COTRS lacks transparency: the matching process and information about the organ donors are not open to the public or to an independent third party. With regard to the announced 2015 time frame, Chinese officials speak vaguely of ending the reliance on executed prisoners, not of the complete cessation.

Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) holds that the announcement and the introduced systems are misleading and insufficient.

DAFOH states:

1. The international community considers the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners and from prisoners of conscience unethical. If killing for organs—under the guise of executing prisoners—is unethical, it remains so every day it continues. Seeking an end of this unethical practice conforms to ethical standards defined by medical organizations, such as WMA, TTS, WHO, and others.

Once it is recognized as unethical and as a crime against humanity, the harvesting of organs from prisoners needs to end immediately. It is ethically indefensible to gradually end a crime against humanity. The Chinese government announcement of “phasing out” this crime against humanity is a deceptive statement in itself. When people’s lives are at stake, then “This is no time … to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

2. In 1984, the Chinese regime issued a law to legalize organ extraction from executed prisoners. Chinese officials still called it a lie when Dr. Wang Guoqi testified about this practice before Congress in 2001. China denied the practice until 2005, when international pressure forced Chinese officials to admit the practice. Then they stated that up to 90 percent of organs originated from this source, which contributed to more than 10,000 transplants per year. Since the Chinese regime has a history of lacking in candor, it is mandatory to implement steps for scrutiny and monitoring.

In 2007, one year before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) pledged to the World Medical Association (WMA) to end the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners, except for relatives. Despite the pledge, China continued to perform more than 10,000 transplantations every year without an effective public organ-donation system.

Now, six years after CMA’s pledge, China does not even speak of ENDING the practice as it did in 2007, but only announces—with an indefinite time frame—to PHASE OUT the practice. We hold that the recent 2013 announcement from China is actually a step back from the pledge in 2007. Based on the above, it is incomprehensible why the international community applauds the recent announcements.

3. The official Chinese terminology is vague and ambiguous as it only announces the beginning of the phaseout without establishing a deadline when the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners will eventually come to a complete end. According to statements from Chinese officials, the time frame could be 2015, but also “indefinite.” When asked when the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners will end, Chinese officials describe the time frame as “indefinite.” In other announcements, Chinese officials speak of “phasing out the dependency on organs from executed prisoners,” which does not address the end of this unethical practice but only a shift in the percentage, keeping the option open to continue the practice if needed.

The official statements from China are insufficient and vague. Without international scrutiny and monitoring, the phaseout can last “indefinitely” and euphoric commendation is premature and misplaced. Instead of applauding China for its phase-out announcement, one should rather consider the innocent victims who will lose their lives every day this abusive practice continues.

4. The recent announcements state that China will introduce a computerized organ-allocation system. Yet, the computerized organ-allocation system does not guarantee that the organs entered into the computer system are ethically procured. Instead, without openness to verification, the computerized organ allocation system poses the risk of enabling a more efficient allocation of unethically procured organs. It has to be ensured beyond any doubt that the new computerized organ allocation is not a sophisticated form of “organ laundering,” using prisoners’ organs and erasing all traces of their unethical procurement.

Resolving the unethical organ harvesting from prisoners in China does not require a computerized organ-allocation system. Instead, what is required is an immediate cessation of the unethical organ harvesting and a system that provides traceable documentation of subsequent procurements.

As long as China does not officially acknowledge organ harvesting from prisoners as unethical, it remains uncertain whether this organ source will ever be abolished even after establishing a computerized organ-allocation system and a voluntary organ-donation program.

The mixing of the two pools of organs, one from executions and another from organ donations, through the announced computerized organ-allocation system will only serve to whitewash the unethical practices. It gives them a coat of legitimacy and acceptance. It is simply a way to pretend the initial crime did not occur. The mere establishing of a computerized organ-allocation system without immediate cessation of the organ harvesting from prisoners is ethically meaningless.

5. In a May 20, 2013 ABC TV interview with Huang Jiefu, former vice minister of health in China, when asked about the harvesting of organs from prisoners, he replied, “Why do you object?” This suggests that Chinese officials still do not acknowledge that organ harvesting from executed prisoners is unethical. Ethical organ donation requires free, voluntary, and informed consent, yet China evades this requirement by trivializing it as “written” consent from prisoners.

The announcements from China speak of a phaseout of organ harvesting from executed prisoners, but it is not mentioned whether military hospitals, known to be heavily involved in the unethical organ-harvesting practices, will be included. The announced developments also do not address the from China never-acknowledged organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, in particular from detained Falun Gong practitioners as the largest target group.

In 2012, David Matas said at the annual conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in San Francisco:

“On Nov. 30, 1999, the ‘610 Office’ [in China] called more than 3,000 officials to the Great Hall of the People in the capital to discuss the campaign against Falun Gong, which was then not going well. Demonstrations were continuing to occur at Tiananmen Square. The head of the ‘610 Office,’ Li Lanqing, announced the government’s new policy on the movement: ‘Defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.’

A call to destroy Falun Gong physically is a call to genocide. It is not admittedly a call to genocide through sourcing their organs. Nonetheless, when that sourcing occurs, in the context of a call for physical destruction, the two should be linked. Organ sourcing is the means. Physical destruction is the intent.”

There is virtually no dividing line between destroying physically and harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners—the latter is even profitable. Thus, without publicly admitting the use of prisoners of conscience as an organ source, there is no guarantee that this path of organ sourcing will end. A gradual phaseout of this abusive practice with an indefinite end is ethically indefensible. It might be desirable from the side of the perpetrator but it is gruesome and unacceptable from the side of the victim. It is a tragedy for both the victims and the medical profession. The following quote by Rev. Martin L. King Jr. appears as timely as it was in the 1960s:

“ … the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off, or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism … Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

6. The announced phaseout of the organ harvesting from executed prisoners was accompanied by an official announcement of a public organ-donation system. Yet, there is a traditional reluctance in the Chinese populace to donate organs, which is also acknowledged by Chinese officials. Furthermore, there is no brain-death legislation in place, which would regulate the organ procurement from the brain-dead. Thus the public organ donation system would be based on cardiac-death donations, which would reduce the effectiveness of some of the donated organs.

In September 2013, the Chinese Guang Ming Daily published an article stating that from 100 potential organ donors in China, only 5 percent of the donors’ organs can eventually be used for transplantation. Overall, the conditions in China are likely to result in a continuation of the use of organs from prisoners beyond the pledged time frame of two years.

It has to be assured beyond any doubt that prisoners of conscience, primarily detained Falun Gong practitioners, are not forcibly enrolled into such public organ-donation program under a fake identity. It has been observed that fake identity documents with a Chinese nationality were issued to foreign transplant tourists in order to bypass the transplant-tourism-prohibition law. Transparency and monitoring is required to prevent an entering of fake identities into the computerized organ-allocation system.

7. In October 2011, The Lancet published the letter “Time for a boycott of Chinese science and medicine pertaining to organ transplantation.” The letter called for a “boycott on accepting papers at meetings, publishing papers in journals, and cooperating on research related to transplantation unless it can be verified that the organ source is not an executed prisoner.”

While we appreciate the strict call for ethical standards in publications from China, we are missing the same strict call when it comes to defending our own ethical standards. As much as the co-authors were courageous to publish the aforementioned letter in The Lancet due to ethical concerns, we should be even more motivated to call openly for an immediate end of the unethical organ harvesting itself.

Refusing to publish papers, which include data from executed prisoners, is a necessary but insufficient response to the abuses in China. We have an absolute imperative to also object vociferously to the harvesting itself. Living in a society that allows freedom of expression, we are not prohibited from openly calling for an immediate end of the unethical organ harvesting in China. In fact, as medical doctors and medical organizations, it is our ethical responsibility and obligation to call for an immediate end of this unethical practice.

In 2006, China Daily reported the number of transplants in China as high as 20,000, with 90 percent of the organs coming from executed prisoners. Attention and pressure by the international community in the past few years have contributed to the recent developments and indicate that we need to continue our efforts to call for an immediate end of the organ-harvesting abuse.

Once the practice is recognized as unethical, there is no excuse to continue it. The unethical organ harvesting from prisoners could be resolved at once if the international community combines its efforts and opposes the practice with one voice. There is no law that prohibits us from calling upon China to refrain from unethical organ harvesting immediately—it only requires the willingness to do so.

Otherwise, we might need to ask ourselves if China were successful in using a computerized organ-allocation system and the announcement of a phaseout like a Trojan horse to undermine and dilute our ethical standards.

We call upon the international community to join us in calling upon China to immediately and unconditionally end the unethical harvesting of organs from executed prisoners and all prisoners of conscience.

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Lambs to Slaughter

Check out this song regarding the forced organ harvesting of innocent people in China. This is happening in hundreds of hospitals in China, offering less than 2wks waiting time for an organ transplant from the time of inquiry. Lambs to slaughter. Made to order.

Published on Jul 24, 2013

The first single off Belle’s upcoming album, “Speck of Dust”, “Lambs to Slaughter” takes on the confronting human rights issue of forced organ removals from living prisoners of conscience in China with hard-hitting lyrics and a stunning synthesized soundscape over an R&B groove.

“Lambs to Slaughter” is co-written with Sterling Campbell (David Bowie and B-52’s) and features guest emcee, Rise Ascend (f/k/a Ankh Amen Ra). Belle’s uplifting music is rich with folk melodies blended with eclectic sounds over driving beats. Within her deep, sweeping vocals you can hear resonances of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Alanis Morissette. “Belle’s soothing voice brings awareness to one of the biggest atrocities of this century” – The Epoch Times

More info: http://www.EverythingBelle.com
Record Label: http://www.IngeniousRecords.com

 

For more information head to stoporganharvesting.org

stop organ harvesting in China

Cheering for People with Conscience and Righteous Thoughts

July 05, 2013 | By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Chongqing

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) A villager who went to a small mountain village close to Chongqing, for a day fair, came back and found the booklet Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party in the basket he carried on his back. He read it over very carefully.

One day the villager talked about this booklet with his neighbors. He was emotional, and said, “This book is so good! It lists all the bad things the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has done over the years.” One of his neighbors was interested and wanted to read it, but he did not say so aloud because there was a crowd of people around. He later quietly asked the villager, “Where did you get this book?” He replied, “I found it in my basket after I went to the day fair.”

The farmer did what the villager did. He went to the day fair several times with a basket on his back, but when he came back the basket was empty. He quietly went and asked the villager again and said, “Why didn’t I also get the booklet? I’ve been to the day fair several times, but I still didn’t get the book.” The villager said with a smile, “These things must be done by Falun Gong practitioners. They like to talk with the vendors at the fair. Go there and pay attention when people are talking.”

The next time the day fair was held, the farmer returned with a basket on his back. He overheard a practitioner talking to people about Falun Gong. When the practitioner was done talking and ready to leave, she realized that someone was following her. When she walked faster, the man behind her also quickened his steps. She finally turned around and asked him, “Why are you following me?” The man was that village farmer with the basket on his back. He said, “I saw you handing out information to people, can I also have some? I want to read it. I’ve come here several times looking for this information.”

The practitioner was stunned that this man kept returning, looking for the truth. Unfortunately, she had no informational materials left. She told the farmer that she would bring some from home, and asked him to wait for her to return. The farmer said, “I’ll be here waiting for you.” This is how the farmer finally got what he wished for, and learned the truth. The story of the man with the basket who went looking for the truth spread to villages miles away.

I once had a conversation with a friend who was born in the 1980s. When we spoke about the corruption of the Chinese Communist regime, the increase in Chinese people withdrawing from the CCP, and how many people are waking up and openly opposing the persecution, his response moved me. He said, “My parents don’t agree with me. After decades of absurd and cruel CCP campaigns, they no longer have the courage to pursue justice and they just want peace. But our generation is different. We had very good childhoods and received good educations. Our education and knowledge is not only to make a living, but also to contribute to our country, not only physically but also spiritually. We have moral responsibility.” Not long after we spoke, he went online and declared his withdrawal from the CCP.

Overseas media recently reported that Mr. Jeffrey Van Middlebrook, a polymath inventor in Silicon Valley, USA, gave up a $60 million research grant and collaboration with the Chinese government after he read an Epoch Timesarticle about the CCP harvesting organs from a large number of living Falun Gong practitioners. He told a reporter, “I can’t take this money. To take their money is taking blood money. I can’t sell my technology and benefit financially. If it means that even if my technology doesn’t come to fruition, I can look myself in the mirror and say, ‘I didn’t take blood money from a government that is murdering its people.”

Some people didn’t understand his reaction, but I feel that his choice was an embodiment and manifestation of his kind nature. His choice shows that he’s returned to the most innate human nature. Mr. Van Middlebrook must feel at peace and he must be happy.

There have been many instances of people with conscience and righteous thoughts increasingly taking a stance. Let us cheer for them!

Contributing to this report:Epoch Times

Mental Hospital No Longer Persecutes Falun Gong Practitioners

July 02, 2013 | By Song Zhen

en.minghui.org

(Minghui.org) After the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999, my aunt was very frightened when she saw me actually being persecuted for practicing it. The persecution brought her back to the old days of terror that she had gone through during other bloody political movements launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the years.

Out of fear, she tried everything to prevent me from taking part in the practice; she even resorted to violence. She slapped me in the face and kicked me with her boots, which left scars in my right leg that are visible even today. She once tied me to the bed and fastened the rope to a window. She then told a nurse to inject me an unknown drug–as if I were a patient with a mental disorder! Yet all her contriving against me failed to turn me away from Falun Gong.

Mental Hospital Staff Moved by My Selflessness

In the winter of 1999 my aunt managed to get me sent to a mental hospital, where she thought I would be made to abandon Falun Gong.

At that time the CCP’s slanderous propaganda against Falun Gong permeated China, and people were very hostile toward practitioners. What should I do? From my heart I refused to acknowledge the persecution and their injecting of me with drugs. Meanwhile, I persevered in practicing Falun Gong and used myself as a vivid example of its magnificence.

Not long after I was sent to the hospital, the chief therapist made his first attempt to get me to give up Falun Gong. I was doing the first exercise, when he pulled my arms to stop me. I thought, “No matter what happens, I shall not stop until I finish doing all the exercises.” He pulled my arms again, but I did not move. He then left. When I got to the fourth exercise, he pulled at me again—so forcefully this time that I almost fell down. Still, I did not move. Seeing my perseverance, he left me alone. From then on he never again disturbed me while I was doing the exercises.

Because I did the exercises every day, I was in excellent health. Although not warmly dressed in winter, I did not feel cold and my face glowed with a health. A lady who worked in the dining section of the hospital was so impressed by my health that she would commend me in front of every one she met.

Most importantly, I let Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance guide my everyday life, and I tried to be a good person no matter what.

Every morning, I would tidy up the bed covers that other patients had messed up. When I saw the floor dirty, I would help clean it up. When it was cold, I helped the doctors start the fire in the hall so that the patients could go there to warm themselves up. Sometimes, other patients would be in a rush to use the restroom when I was using it, so I would immediately and without complaint get out and let them use it.

At mealtimes I would wait at the back until all the others had chosen their food. When I saw gravely ill patients unable to feed themselves and the nurses too busy to lend them a hand, I would put aside my food and go help them. In some cases a patient wanted more after eating their own portion, so I would give them my food. Although I often did not get enough to eat, I did not feel hungry. After seeing what I did, the head lady in the dining section would give me more food. They saw me giving my food away so often that they commended me for having such a good heart.

After having been in the hospital for some time, I began to perceive how much the patients were suffering. I felt so sorry for them that I was moved to tears.

I came to understand that, according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I should always considers others first. From this understanding, Dafa revealed a truth to me: All beings have Buddha nature, and it is their original nature to be good to others, just like the sun nourishes all living beings on the earth with its light. Even animals and plants are given the ability to reproduce to feed human beings.

If everyone could be good to each other, then virtue would mark the path of mankind, and earth would become a kingdom of peace and harmony. In contrast, a person who does not hesitate to harm others to serve his own interests will reap what he sows. If a government resorts to treachery and violence to dupe its own people, there will be consequences.

What goes around comes around. The CCP, which spares no effort in suppressing democracy and violating human rights, is now on the brink of collapse.

My firm faith in Falun Gong, as manifested in my altruism and optimism when dealing with others, influenced the staff of the hospital in ways that I never expected. Later, one of my colleagues came to the hospital for work. When he saw me, he said in awe, “All the employees hold you in high regard. You are known as ‘the Falun Gong practitioner who has changed the environment here for good.’”

When the chief doctor sent me home, he said to my aunt, “Just let her practice Falun Gong. It is her faith.” She nodded. “Yes, certainly,” she said. From then on she never did anything to prevent me from practicing Falun Gong. Later, she even agreed to do the three withdrawals.

Medical Chief Makes the Right Choice after Learning the Facts

In March 2010 the chief of the 610 Office of my county and several officers from the Security Section at work sent me to the mental hospital again in hopes of forcing me to give up Falun Gong. Several doctors, who supposed I had a mental disorder, held me down and injected me with drugs. As a result, my breathing was affected, I had a hard time walking, and couldn’t calm down. After that they force fed me large doses of drugs that worsened my mental state by the day.

It was such a difficult time, but I did not make any concessions. I managed to buy a notebook. I wrote an article about Falun Gong in it and gave it to the chief of the medical section. The article was titled “Good People, Please Give Yourself a Chance to Learn the True Story of Falun Gong.”

In the article I briefly stated what Falun Gong was and how it had been introduced to the public. I set the record straight concerning several well-known CCP propaganda ploys. I pointed out the inconsistencies so that people could see how they had been deceived. I detailed some of the reports made by China’s state-owned media before 1999 that praised Falun Gong. Those reports confirmed that the practice never broke any laws, that the public embraced it, and that it had spread around the world.

I gave examples of Falun Gong practitioners who had recovered from their sicknesses after beginning the practice, showing readers its physical and mental benefits. By giving some examples of practitioners who were well-educated professionals, I presented Falun Gong’s power to help people become wiser, and that it is a true science instead of some superstition. Finally, I concluded that the spread of Falun Gong around the world is the true blessing of mankind, right here in the 21st century. The whole article was marked with my goodwill and sincerity.

After reading the article the chief said to me, “It is well written. I read it twice. It is so remarkable that you can stand here and explain this when you are being so severely persecuted. I can tell you that all the drugs you have taken are harmful to you. I will have them replaced.”

My truth clarification awoke a life who still had a conscience, and the first thing he did was to protect a Dafa practitioner. It was truly remarkable! He was very courageous to face the truth and treat Dafa practitioners with justice.

From then on I clarified the truth to everyone in the hospital, including the patients’ relatives who came to visit. The truth of Dafa spread, and I was released.

Falun Gong, Popular and Serene Meditation (+Photos)

By John Nania | April 23, 2013

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of China’s best-kept secrets in the ’90s was Falun Gong. Whether you call it a meditation practice, a spiritual discipline, or a type of qigong, approximately 100 million people in China were doing it by mid-1999.

Yet even though 1 in 13 Chinese people was practicing Falun Gong, it was nearly unknown outside of China—until the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned it in July 1999 and instituted a far-reaching persecution campaign that continues today.

A key component of all the CCP’s persecution campaigns is flooding the airwaves, printing presses, and diplomatic channels with false propaganda. A major target of the anti-Falun Gong propaganda was foreign media, which had no other information source. Thus, the first and often only exposure to Falun Gong that many people outside China had was an intentionally distorted picture that was choreographed by CCP-controlled media and agents.

In other words, anything you learned before now about Falun Gong may be inaccurate.

Mind and Body

Falun Gong refines, or cultivates, both the mind and the body, which makes it difficult for Western terminology to classify neatly. Is it a spiritual practice or is it physical exercises? The correct answer is “yes” since both are integral to Falun Gong.

There are five exercises in Falun Gong. Four are done standing, and one is a cross-legged meditation. Gentle and slow, they have names like “Falun Heavenly Circulation” and “Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes.” People often report feeling refreshed or energized after exercising.

The key point of the teachings: Falun Gong considers the fundamental principle of the universe to be “Zhen-Shan-Ren.” “Zhen” translates to truth and truthfulness. “Shan” is compassion, benevolence, and goodness. “Ren” is tolerance, forbearance, and endurance. The teachings expound on this point to great depth.

Early Development

For thousands of years in China, spiritual practices have been handed down quietly from master to student.

The teacher or master of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, learned the practice privately and then brought it out to teach to anyone who wanted to learn, starting in May 1992.

Mr. Li crisscrossed China through the end of 1994. He held 54 seminars 8 to 10 days long wherever he was invited. He lectured on the principles, taught the exercises, and fielded questions on the last day of each seminar.

At first, only a few hundred attended each seminar, but by the end of 1994, lecture halls seating several thousand filled up, as word-of-mouth preceded his visits.

People told family, friends, and neighbors about how their ailments, from skin conditions to heart problems, were easing or vanishing. They also related how following the teachings led to better relationships with spouses and co-workers, and generally to a peaceful and relaxed state of mind.

The practice continued growing by word of mouth, from the tens of thousands who heard Mr. Li’s lectures live in 1992–94 to tens of millions by mid-1999. Practitioners included the old and the young, they included university professors and peasants, and they even included generals and Communist Party members.

Practice sites popped up in public parks all across China. Volunteer assistants taught newcomers how to do the movements and brought a tape or CD player to play the music that accompanies the exercises.

After doing the exercises together, while some practitioners would go off to work, some would sit down and read from the main book, “Zhuan Falun,” authored by Mr. Li. Refining the mind and character come through studying this book and other teachings—the texts of which are available for free online—and then applying what is learned in daily life.

Global Spread

Falun Gong practitioners took the practice with them to their universities and companies outside China, with many universities hosting Falun Gong student clubs. Mr. Li gave a full seminar in Sweden in early 1995 and lectured at conferences held by students in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and elsewhere before the CCP began its persecution campaign in 1999.

The Falundafa.org website lists regular practice sites in some 70 nations today. It states, “All Falun Dafa activities are free of charge.” (Falun Dafa is another name for Falun Gong. “Dafa” means “great way.”)

The number of people practicing outside China grows even as the ban and persecution inside China continues. The evidence of growth is anecdotal, since exact figures are not kept by anyone, and people are free to practice or not as they like.

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Article taken from: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/21898-falun-gong-popular-and-serene/