September 11, 2001
The World Trade Center towers that took 7 years to build vanished in the twinkling of an eye.
The symbol of the most powerful military strength, the Pentagon was attacked and burned in raging flames.
A nightmare, that happened so suddenly and unbelievably.
Unfortunately, tragedies like this often occur in many other parts of our world.
From the slaughtering of Albanians by the Yugoslavians to Iraq¡¯s invasion of Kuwait; from racial wars in Africa to the killings of Bruneian civilians and Chinese immigrants in Indonesia; from the ¡°Omu sheen riccio¡± cult¡¯s fatal release of poison gas in Japan to gunshots on school campuses.
Man can ultimately escape from impending disaster when we truly become people of high ethics. This goal will be impossible unless persevere. We must first realize that it is beyond the surface issues of economy, politics, or simple diplomacy.
A higher state of global consciousness requires elevation of human spirit.
In today¡¯s global society, the ability to exercise self-restraint is at large. If someone offers a way to improve the level of morality to tens of millions of people, he is truly helping society. Additionally, he is providing salvation from our own human extinction.
In the early 1990¡¯s, in the far East, one man pursues this monumental task.
He introduced to the public a holistic cultivation system that is based on the characteristics of the universe, Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. In 1992, he began his mind and body cultivation system in China.
This man is Li Hongzhi. His teachings are widely known as Falun Gong or Falun Dafa.
[Title: A peaceful Journey of Falun Dafa]
China is a nation steeped in 5,000 years of spiritual history.
But in modern times, the Chinese nation was propagated by Communism which calls for violence and dictatership. People eventually deserted their own traditional culture.
This spiritual flight reached its peak during the 10 years of the Great Culture Revolution. China emerged a country devoid of faith.
That¡¯s right, 1.3 billion people had faith in virtually nothing. Instead, the balance of the country resorted to the more tangible pursuits and goals like: money, political power and selfish personal pleasures. Some would use any means to profit and protect their own self-interests.
This was the social environment when Mr. Li began his formidable journey to spread Falun Gong.
From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Li gave 53 Falun Gong lectures around the nation and traveled to nearly every big city in China. These lectures were attended by a total of 20,000 people.
He told the people:
¡°The creation of one's actual life is in the space of the universe. The space of the universe is benevolent to begin with and embodies the characteristic of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance (Zhen-Shan-Ren). At birth, one is assimilated to the characteristic of the universe. One should return to one's original, true self; this is the real purpose of being human."
Mr. Li teaches that true peace - "can only be found in the universal cultivation of virtual. If officials are unselfish, the state will not be corrupted. If people lay stress on self-cultivation and nurture of their virtues and both administrators and civilians exercise self-restraint on their minds, then the whole nation will be stable and quiet. This accords with the feelings of the people everywhere. The kingdom will become impregnable, and foreign aggressors will naturally feel too fearful to attack, thus peace will reign under heaven."
In January of 1999, the 9th Winter Sports Festival was held in Mr. Li¡¯s hometown of Changchun. Early on a chilly morning, 10,000 local Falun Gong practitioners demonstrated the five sets of exercises to the spectators.
[Interview of those practitioners]
Scenes of large scale Falun Gong practices were common in China at that time.
Mr. Li¡¯s work Zhuan Falun (Revolving the Law Wheel) became the best selling book in China.
A Chinese official expressed his satisfaction of Falun Gong when interviewed by US magazine.(Quote from Time Magazine about saving about medical cost)
[Interview of Canadian Congressman]
Since 1995, Mr. Li started his worldwide teaching of Falun Gong
The spirit of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance rose above all cultural differences.
[Interview oversea practitioners]
[Interview of Canadian Congressman]
The Mayor of Houston, Texas wrote in his proclamation letter to Mr. Li:
¡°Falun Dafa transcends cultural and racial boundaries. It resonates the universal truth to every corner of the earth and bridges the gap between east and west. Li Hong Zhi has worked tirelessly to convey Falun Dafa from China to the rest of the world. Along the way, he has touched the lives of countless people in many countries, earning an acclaimed international reputation.¡±
When Mr. Li gave his first lecture in Beijing in 1992, only 200 people attended.
Today, worldwide, there are over 100 million practitioners of Falun Gong.
The growing popularity of Falun Dafa troubled the authorities of China. The fact that the number of Falun Dafa practitioners exceeded the number of registered members of the communist party generated a serious concern among a few top leaders, especially the president Jiang Zemin.
As a result, 1996 the official Chinese news agencies were ordered to start a propaganda campaign to slander Falun Gong. Additionally, the public security bureau secretly ordered the banning of Falun Gong which allowed for the illegal search, seizure and arrest of practitioners and their property.
On Apirl 25, 1999, 10,000 practitioners peacefully gathered outside the central government's compound in Beijing. They requested the right to practice Falun Dafa in a non-hostile and tolerant environment. This peaceful gathering was seen by all to be orderly and lawful.
This event marked the largest gathering in Chinese history whereby people peacefully appealed to government. That evening upon completion of the appeal, the practitioners picked up all the trash in the area, and left without incident.
The event was widely covered by the western media. The Falun Dafa practitioners¡¯ peacefulness and rationality impressed the world.
However, within the PRC, the fire of animosity against Falun Dafa was ignited. A plan to try to eliminate Falun Gong was under way.
July 20, 1999, the nationwide crackdown on Falun Dafa started. The resources of the entire state were utilized in an attempt to wipe out Falun Dafa. In the first 30 days, the official newspaper People's daily alone published 347 articles against Falun Gong. Over 100 official TV and radio stations were flooded with propaganda programs against Falun Gong. Citizens were organized by their grass-root governments and their working places to watch the programs made by the Chinese Central T.V station. Even overseas Chinese embassies were ordered to organize local Chinese scholars to condemn Falun Gong and distribute anti-Falun Gong materials to local country governments. President Jiang Zemin himself slandered Falun Gong when he attended international meetings, and handed the propaganda booklets to the head of all countries.
Mr. Li Hongzhi and his teachings of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, were challenged.
On that same July date, Mr. Li published a statement in response to the crackdown.
"Falun Gong is simply a popular qigong activity. It does not have any particular organizational structure, let alone any political objective. We have never been involved in any anti-government activities"
¡°We are not against the government now, nor will we be in the future. Other people may treat us badly, but we do not treat others badly, nor do we treat people as enemies.¡±
He called for all governments, international organizations, and people of goodwill worldwide to extend their support and help to resolve the crisis. And he hoped that the Chinese government and its leadership would not treat the people who practice Falun Gong as enemies.
Within 10 days of the initial ban, hundreds of thousands of practitioners attempted to appeal for Falun Dafa in Beijing. Since the dragnet system was set up to prevent practitioners from going to Beijing, many of them eluded the blockade by walking and biking across fields
An old peasant, when he was arrested, opened his parcel and showed several pairs of his worn-out cloth shoes to the policemen, and said that: "I've walked a long way here to say one word in my heart. Falun Gong is good! The government is wrong!"
It is impossible to know exactly how many practitioners went to Beijing to appeal. But on July 21st, the fields of the 2 largest Beijing sports centers: Fengtai and Shijingshan were filled up with arrested practitioners. That evening, heavy rain fell in Beijing, the practitioners gave their umbrellas to policeman. Their compassion and forbearance moved even the most iron-hearted policemen.
[Interview Profession Zhou]
The Practitioners¡¯ peaceful appeal only resulted in more intensified persecution activity. President Jiang Zemin takes Falun Gong as his personal enemy and has ordered to destroy Falun Gong by any means.
More horrible news keeps coming from China.
As of September 21, 2001, more than 500 practitioners have been sentenced to long prison terms; more than 1,000 practitioners were illegally imprisoned in 43 psychiatric hospitals where they were injected with nerve damaging drugs; over 20,000 have been sent to the labor camps without trial; at least 100,000 have been arrested and detained and at least 283 Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted to death. This is an average of 10 deaths per month.
Despite the wide spread crackdown, there has not been a single case of violence, retaliation or revenge by any Falun Dafa practitioner.
Gu Linna, a female practitioner from Hebei province wrote the following:
¡°In the detention center, what I faced everyday were policemen and prisoners. I defended Falun Dafa and the dignity as a practitioner. At the same time, I tried my best to be a good person. I always remembered Master Li's teaching
¡°Others may treat us unfairly, but we will not do the same in return.¡±
¡°A benevolent person always keeps a heart of mercy and compassion. With no complaints and no hatred, he takes suffering as joy¡±
On October 28, 1999, a secret press conference organized by practitioners was held in Beijing. It broke the news blockage imposed by the Chinese government successfully, and for the first time, the western media had a chance to listen to Falun Gong practitioners¡¯ own stories.
When all the channels to appeal to the Chinese government were blocked, practitioners went to the streets. They posted self-made banners and messages in public places, exposing the truth about Falun Dafa.
Some of them even started going to Tiananmen square.
[Inter view Doctor Hu:
Historically in China, when there is a conflict between the people and the government, it always comes down to passive submission or violent rebellion. However, in the case of Falun Gong practitioners, they don¡¯t resort to any means of violence, nor do they give in. Yet, they have always fought strongly for their basic rights in a peaceful and rational way. This indicates that Mr. Li¡¯s principle of Truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance is not merely a slogan. Through the practice of these guiding principles, people can truly reach the goal to assimilate with truth, compassion, and tolerance. This fundamental change once taken place within a person, it is impossible to be changed again by any external force.]
Chinese practitioners have moved and inspired people of different races. More and more people follow their devotion in the cultivation of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. They support the of peaceful actions that help out the situation in China, calling for an increase in justice and conscienceness.
[Interview Prof. Zhou]
[Master Li's speech]
The 9-year peaceful journey of Mr. Li Hongzhi and his fellow practitioners, give the world an important message:
True peace is reached naturally on the way to returning to one¡¯s true-self. And Falun Dafa is a great way for helping people to get there.
The two magnificent towers in Manhattan vanished. If their collapse could awaken the world to realize again the significance of man¡¯s morality, so that everyone embraces truly in their hearts Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance, then this tragedy is by no means a tragedy, it is a start of a brand new era for mankind.
The world needs sincerity, kindness, and peace. Living beings need "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."