Facing the Sinister Regime Openly and Righteously (III)
(Clearwisdom) (Continued from Part II)
Peaceful, Rational and Self-disciplined
On April 25, 1999, ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered around the State Bureau for Letters and Calls. This large number of people remained quiet and in good order. The policemen at the scene were relaxed and started chatting with them. If we recall the scenes from the CCTV's report that day, the wall behind the practitioners, was not the red wall that characterizes Zhongnanhai (see photo). In fact, the red wall and the west entrance to Zhongnanhai were across the street from where practitioners stood. Everyone knows that the front entrance to Zhongnanhai faces the Xinhua Gate on Chang'an Street. Hence, no crowds gathered on Chang'an Street on April 25 as was reported in the news. Most practitioners had gathered at Fuyou Street and Xi'anmen Boulevard. No one was even close to the red wall of Zhongnanhai. Hence, these people did not "surround" Zhongnanhai as was reported in Beijing's official mouthpieces. Neither was there any incident of conflict because the police were simply chitchatting on the streets.
Police on duty chitchatting. Notice the wall behind the crowd is not the red wall of Zhongnanhai.
The appealing crowd was across the street from the west entrance of Zhongnanhai. One can see the red wall of Zhongnanhai.
In the CCTV's videos of the 4.25 Appeal, which were played after the persecution started in July, none of the scenes showed agitated crowds that shouted slogans or held up posters.
This crowd in China, at that time, seemed extraordinary. The international community gave this movement high remarks. This made the circle of power in Beijing jealous and they believed that there must have been a highly organized group with political intent behind this appeal.
Indeed, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that embraces atheism and absolute materialism is unable to understand the minds of true believers. The practitioners did not complain when they were treated unfairly. They believed that justice would prevail. These practitioners believed that when a man or a power cannot tolerate freedom of belief and suppresses the belief in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, they had the obligation to tell the man or the power to do the right thing. Many of these practitioners had experienced the June 4 Massacre and knew clearly what the consequences might be. They believed that the evil people would receive retribution and the good people would be rewarded.
Falun Gong practitioners at that time hoped and believed that the government would do the right thing. People might think that these practitioners were being naive. However, this was a group of people who cared little about fame and personal gain in this world and did not fear losing these things. They were not afraid and thus were able to act with an upright attitude. This was the power of belief. For the members of the CCP, who were so used to manipulating political power, who can be bribed with interests, who can give up principles under threat and pressure, they will never understand why practitioners behaved in such a way.
Peaceful Talk with Beijing
Schematic of the distribution of practitioners near Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999 (the symbol shows the position of the crowd).
Based on the CCTV's video, Luo Gan, Director of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security, seemed to know exactly what would happen to the practitioners who came to Beijing. Luo knew where they entered Beijing in their cars, where they got off the trains, and which roads they had taken to get to Zhongnanhai. Luo had prepared many cameras to videotape every participant as if he was expecting the practitioners to commit something big and illegal.
According to people from the Ministry of Public Security, three days before April 25, the Ministry had already known it was coming and monitored practitioners' movements. After April 25, someone interviewed He Zuoxiu, a pseudo-scientist who published slanderous articles of Falun Gong, and he said, "I will not comment now because I do not want to mess up the plan (to set up Falun Gong for future persecution)." (From Mingpao.com, May 5, 1999)
According to a practitioner at the scene, initially practitioners gathered in front of the State Bureau of Letters and Calls, which is located on Fuyou Street. Later, several armed policemen came and told these practitioners that it was not safe there and they were not allowed to be there. Following the police's guidance, practitioners separated into two groups. More and more people gathered. They spread out on Fuyou Street, which was 1.3 miles long and went north-south. The crowd on Fuyou Street stretched to Chang'an street on the south end and Xi'anmen Boulevard on the north end. On the Xi'anmen street that went east-west, the crowd reached Beihai on the east end and seemed endlessly long spreading toward the west end.
At 6 a.m. on April 25, a witness came to the north end of Fuyou Street and noticed that the police had already blocked the traffic into Zhongnanhai. Later, the witness saw that the police led practitioners from Xi'anmen Boulevard to go south. On the other side of Fuyou Street, policemen led practitioners to go north on Fuyou Street. The two groups, under the police's guidance, met in front of the west entrance of Zhongnanhai. Many media reported there were about ten thousand people at that time.
That day, the then Premier Zhu Rongji received representatives of Falun Gong.
Gao Dawei, a Falun Gong practitioner, recalled what happened, "It was around ten in the morning. Premier Zhu was going to the airport to see off a guest. He saw all these people and had his staff find out what had happened. He told us that he would see our representatives after he returned from the airport. The Falun Gong representatives proposed three requests, which were to first release all practitioners who were illegally arrested in Tianjin; second, to allow practitioners a legal and reasonable environment to practice; third, to restore legal status for publication of Falun Gong related books." Gao used to be a member of the Political and Legal Committee in Guangdong Province and was formerly the Dean of College of the Light Industry and Food Engineering Department in the Huana Science and Technology University.
Premier Zhu quickly ordered the Tianjin police to release Falun Gong practitioners and reaffirmed the policy that the government would not interfere in any form of qigong practice.
Another practitioner, Yang Qing, who used to practice near the Tsinghua University, recalled, "The night of April 25, around 9 p.m., the representatives left Zhongnanhai and told everyone to resort to our local appeal offices if we had any opinions and the State Department would take care of our requests. We were very satisfied that the government would help us."
Ten thousand practitioners waited quietly outside the State Department during the interview with Premier Zhu. After 8 p.m., the news was out that the Tianjin police had released the practitioners who were arrested earlier. Practitioners quickly left Zhongnanhai and left no litter on the ground, not even a piece of paper. The entire process was peaceful and orderly. A policeman saw it and exclaimed, "Look, this is virtue."
Ms. Zhu, who lives in the Netherlands talked about a report that was published in the Netherlands at that time, "A reporter from the Netherlands went to interview Falun Gong practitioners near Zhongnanhai that day. Afterwards, he called this crowd a group with high moral values and the book Zhuan Falun a blue sutra. He commented that Falun Gong practitioners had the discipline of gods and left nothing on the ground after they left."
The sincere good will of these Falun Gong practitioners put off the conflicts Luo Gan had intended to set up. The April 25 Appeal created the first example that people who live under the CCP's regime could actually talk to the government peacefully and resolve their problems. This news shocked the world and the international media highly praised this movement. Many people had hope for the Chinese society. And more people started to pay attention to Falun Gong.
It was a happy ending for everyone, except for Jiang Zemin.
A Jealous Villain who Confuses Right and Wrong
As we all know, Jiang Zemin became the supreme ruler, having all the power of the CCP, the government and military to himself--but not because of his ability to administer the country, not because of good qualifications or extensive connections in the CCP, but because of his political speculation. He was appreciated and promoted because he was the first one to strongly suppress the students at the Tienanmen Square incident. The CCP leaders were traditionally picked because of their family background and qualifications. That Jiang came to power was an exception. Jiang Zemin himself was also well aware of the fact that a large number of high ranking officials had far better qualifications and abilities than he did. They treated Jiang Zemin with ease, because he was a political speculator, and lacked both ability and moral integrity. When Jiang came to power, at the same time, Hu Jintao was designated to be Jiang's successor, which is rare in the CCP's history.
In an extremely complex political environment within the CCP, Jiang's opportunistic background and his lack of abilities, talent and experience put him in a strange position. Though he was the leader of the Party, the country, and the military, he always worried about losing his power. His craving for power and extreme fear of losing it made him a jealous person. Jiang was jealous and feared the popularity of Falun Gong and its founder, and the practitioners' strong belief in the teachings. The peaceful ending of the 4.25 Appeal put Premier Zhu in the international spotlight. This terribly bothered and embarrassed Jiang, the most powerful man in China. His anger, jealousy and fear made him lose all reason.
Traditionally, under the CCP, persecutions are the best ways to secure a leader's status and eliminate dissidents. Jiang saw Falun Gong practitioners as a group of people without political power and the best target for political struggle. He planned a battle against Falun Gong and forced everyone in the Party to take a stand. He wanted to know who was with him.
On the evening of April 25, without asking anyone's opinion, Jiang unleashed a Mao-style movement and wrote a letter to everyone in the Politburo. In the letter, Jiang wrote, "Couldn't we communists win over the teachings of Falun Gong with our Marxism, materialism, and atheism? If not, wouldn't we be the biggest laughing-stock?!" This letter later became a note circulated within all government offices, with a special request: To implement, not to inquire opinions or discussions.
Willy Wo-Lap Lam, senior China analyst of CNN, said in his article "China's suppression carries a high price. According to a party veteran, Jiang wanted a public showing of support for himself only because the Politburo had divergent views on what to do with Falun Gong. It is no secret that several Politburo members thought the president had used wrong tactics." 'By unleashing a Mao-style movement, Jiang is forcing senior cadres to pledge allegiance to his line,' said the party veteran. 'This will boost Jiang's authority -- and may give him enough momentum to enable him to dictate events at the pivotal 16th Communist Party congress next year.'"
No matter how times have changed, the war of ideology is the CCP's only focus. Jiang depicted Falun Gong as an enemy of the Party's ideology and he easily won everyone's support in the Party. When his letter clearly proposed to "Win the battle against Falun Gong with the CCP's atheism," all the standing members of the Politburo were reminded that they needed to keep their personal disagreement with the persecution to themselves because it was an issue that could "endanger the existence of the Party."
To ensure the success of the political persecution, Jiang spoke at a meeting of the Politburo on June 7. His speech was circulated confidentially within the Party offices- the no. 30 notice from the Central General Office "Speech from Cadre Jiang Zemin's talk at the Politburo meeting on urgently resolving the Falun Gong issue". In his speech, Jiang said, "Our Party has 2.5 million soldiers, 60 million members, and a group of high ranking leaders. How did we allow Falun Gong to become an issue?" Jiang believed that the founder of Falun Gong "apparently does not have such great power. The problems with Falun Gong involve deep political, social and complex international issues."
Without any convincing evidence, Jiang depicted Falun Gong as a dangerous political group with the support of opposing overseas powers. Jiang hushed the dissenting voices in the Party with accusations of attempting to endanger the existence of the Party. Jiang also made the decision to persecute Falun Gong thinking he would become an important character in the Party history, should his decision truly "rescue the Party at the most dangerous time." In the CCP's history, no political movement has failed to kill. Jiang believed that once this effortless persecution had succeeded, he would be able to hold abundant political assets in the Party from that point on.
The beginning of Ruthless Persecution
Two days after April 25, the State Bureau of Letters and Calls spoke through Xinhua News that Falun Gong "gathered in Beijing" and the government "never forbade activities with health benefits" and "allows different views and opinions."
Two months later on June 14, the Central Office for Petition and Appeals and the State Bureau for Letters and Calls published statements in every major newspaper, TV and radio stations that they never forbade any qigong practice.
At the same time, the CCP organizations passed down Jiang's talk and ordered "CCP members are not allowed to practice Falun Gong." According to the Taiwan-based China Times' report on July 21, 1999, an official from Shandong called the government's statements in June a delaying tactic.
Since May 1999, the local police and securities had been dispersing practitioners in their public gatherings. Some local policemen drove away practitioners who publicly exercised in a group by shooting high pressure water at them. Other policemen played loud music to stop practitioners from exercising. The police in all regions interrogated practitioners, searched their houses, monitored and followed them, and tapped their phones. Falun Gong practitioners were not allowed to travel.
Modern Gestapo--The 610 Office
On June 10, 1999, three days after Jiang Zemin made his speech at the convention of the Central Political Bureau, the CCP Central Committee set up "The Guiding Group to Deal with the Issue of Falun Gong," headed by Li Lanqing. Luo Gan, Ding Guangen, deputy heads of the Group, and its members, including all CCP branches, departments and ministries, such as the Supreme Court, the Supreme Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, the Central Propaganda Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and so forth. "The Guiding Group to Deal with the Issue of Falun Gong" was set up from the CCP Central Committee to Party Committees of all levels. At that time, the affiliated permanent body was under the name of "The Office of the Guiding Group to Deal with the Issue of Falun Gong" and was also known as the 610 Office due to its founding time. Most of them were linked to the Political Science and Law Committee of Party Committees; a small number of them were linked to the Party Committee Office, a Party sector.
Because it is not right for the Party sector to intervene directly with the administration, in September 2000 departments at all levels below the State Council set up "The Preventing and Dealing with the Cult Issue Office." It belonged to the administration in name, but in fact it is the same as "The Office of the Guiding Group to Deal with the Issue of Falun Gong" using two different names. They are the "610 Office". This office has been adjusted, strengthened, and had their names changed several times and it has had great power and receives a huge amount of special funds up to today. Its power has been extended to persecute churches that do not believe in the CCP, other religious groups, and qigong organizations. Although reports about the "610 Office" could be seen during their early days, one can not see it in a public file, formal legal file or government file of the CCP Central Committee. "The 610 Office" is an illegal institution even judged by the present laws in China.
In accordance with the law, if anyone commits a crime, he can be subjected to judicial and law enforcement agencies. The "610 Office" system at all levels from the central to local governments goes beyond the Public Security Departments, procuratorates, and courts, exactly like the Revolutionary Committee during the Cultural Revolution, or like the Nazi Gestapo. The Office was designed for Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan to be able to go above the law, to mobilize a repressive machinery directly and effectively at their will.
Ready for the Ruthless Persecution
At that time, the experience of repression that the CCP had accumulated for several decades was ready to be put into practice, and huge national resources of 1.3 billion taxpayers could be used at any time. A large-scale political persecution was launched by Jiang Zemin to eradicate Falun Gong.
Let's recall the incidents before and after April 25. When Falun Gong practitioners went to Zhongnanhai to appeal to the government, it was obvious that this incident was a pretext for the CCP to persecute Falun Gong on a large-scale. Yet the real reason for Jiang Zemin's determination to eradicate Falun Gong, was completely for protecting his own authority and due to his extreme jealousy. On the other hand, the principles of Falun Gong, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, are like a mirror that lights up the dark sides and evil of the CCP. Hence the CCP could not tolerate it, and other political clowns like Luo Gan played a catalytic role in stirring up trouble. In the end, Jiang Zemin colluded with the CCP in the persecution of Falun Gong.
In the so-called economic reforms and opening up of policies, the CCP's ideology has been completely bankrupt. Even high ranking officials of the CCP do not believe in the so-called "communist ideals". Especially with the "June 4" Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Communist Party in August 1991 and the ensuing dramatic changes in Eastern Europe, these domestic and foreign difficulties and crises gave the CCP great fear. At that time, the only way to gather together the CCP partisans was by means of corruption. The only reason why people were willing to become part of the Chinese communist system was to get huge material benefits.
All kinds of problems abound in society under the rule of the CCP. In fact, the most serious is the collapse of social morality, which is reflected in the corruption throughout the society. Teachers used to be addressed as the "soul engineers", and doctors were known as the "angels in white gowns", but that is not the case any longer. The corruption also manifests in the spreading of pornography. For economic benefits, environmental resources have been exhausted and pollution has become more and more serious. Toxic, harmful, and inferior goods are commonplace. The corruption is more reflected in the total loss of honesty and trust. People are indifferent and do not dare to trust each other. It would be extremely difficult to solve these problems regardless of how great the economic development is, because people cannot see hope in this morally collapsed society. When you are a good person, speak the truth and are honest, you are bound to suffer losses. The dissemination of Falun Gong is in fact a turning point, a hope in Chinese society.
Many people witnessed the power of faith from the Zhongnanhai petition in 1999, for the first time. Many people saw hope, especially those who had experienced different kinds of political movements, and who were disappointed at the indifference of the whole nation. Falun Gong, which serves as a clean current in a dirty world, has attracted millions of people to participate in the cultivation practice within a few years. This is the so-called "fighting of the people against the CCP". This is exactly what the CCP cannot tolerate.
At the end of 2004, The Epoch Times published an editorial series called the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, which talks about the collusion of the CCP and Jiang Zemin to persecute Falun Gong. "Jiang Zemin lacks both ability and moral integrity. Without a fine-tuned machine of violence like the CCP, which is based on slaughters and lies, he would never have been capable of launching this genocide, a genocide that is widespread throughout China and that even penetrates overseas. Similarly, the CCP would not have easily gone against the current of the historic trends and the environment created by the CCP's recent economic reforms and attempts to connect to the world; only a self-willed dictator like Jiang Zemin who was determined to have his way could make this happen. The collusion and resonance between Jiang Zemin and the evil specter of the CCP have amplified the atrocities of the persecution to an unprecedented level. It is similar to how the resonance between the sound of a mountain climber's equipment on accumulated snow can cause an avalanche and bring about disastrous consequences. " (authorized translation from http://en.epochtimes.com/news/4-12-18/24972.html)
Jiang Zemin formally announced his decision for the persecution of Falun Gong during a high-level convention on July 19. On July 20, Falun Gong practitioners were arrested nationwide. Thus an overall persecution against Falun Gong began, which was launched and commanded directly by Jiang Zemin.
After Jiang Zemin's decision was publicized, 100 million people were classified as "a handful" of different people. Overnight, they lost all their constitutional rights and freedoms, while people all over the country were urged to offer their so-called "support" and "response." Perhaps people who had experienced different political movements may not have felt unfamiliar with this situation. It was expected by experienced people that in a hurricane of such overwhelming persecution, Falun Gong practitioner might have persisted at most three months. In the end, they would be swallowed by the autocratic phagocyte killing machine of the CCP.
However, what they didn't expect was that Falun Gong practitioners would not yield after three months, did not fall after three years, and did not collapse even ten years later. The strength of belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" is moderate and noble like a lotus, persevering and determined like a plum, standing aloof in the decades of a long cold snowy storm. Since April 25, 1999, the peaceful Falun Gong group has been put onto the world stage because of the persecution launched by the CCP. In these ten years, practitioners have been peacefully telling people the facts about Falun Gong. They have persevered in countering the persecution, which has won attention and support from people of the world who believe in justice and love peace. Now there are voices of justice and condemnation coming from mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Belgium, Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, South America, Canada, and the United States of America. The April 25 Appeal at Zhongnanhai has been a witness to the sinister and cunning nature of the CCP, and the peacefulness and magnanimity of Falun Gong practitioners. It has also called upon the world's conscience and morality.