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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Commentary: Is Something a Crime Just Because a Government Says It Is?

First a little background. Falun Gong is the number one issue in China. In just seven years since this cultivation practice was made public, one hundred million people came to learn it. At the time, China’s then head of state Jiang Zemin knew that if Falun Gong was allowed to continue thriving, the number of Chinese citizens who practiced it would enter the hundreds of millions. So he attempted to eradicate it. The teachings of Falun Gong strictly state that practitioners as a whole can in no way be involved in politics, yet Jiang Zemin made a political issue of the group. He started by violating the Chinese constitution and international human rights covenants. He established a Gestapo-like office called the “Office 6/10” to oversee the genocide of Falun Gong practitioners, expanded and created labor camps to hold practitioners, destroyed families both physically and financially, and for almost four years bred hatred through lies that the government-run media published against this peaceful meditation practice whose nature of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance has touched the hearts of millions of people.

Dr. Charles Li is an American citizen and a former Massachusetts resident. He went to China to attempt to broadcast truth clarification videos over the Chinese satellite system. In a Chinese courtroom, he truthfully stated his intent to expose the truth of the genocide of Falun Gong to the Chinese people, and on March 26 he was sentenced to three years imprisonment followed by deportation.

The question I pose is this: Does this righteous act make Dr. Li a criminal? What should one do when every day an enormous regime spreads lies through the government-controlled media and deceives its people? Or when all cases against Falun Gong practitioners are merely for show and every single means for appealing is made illegal? What acts are appropriate you read of people being tortured to death every day? How do you feel when stories relay how female practitioners are violated sexually and humiliated by their oppressors? How do you feel when you learn that Falun Gong practitioners believe in non-violence, and that not a single practitioner has even verbally attacked the criminals who commit these heinous acts?

We have seen examples in the past of non-violent resistance. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up and preached against the oppression of African-Americans. Do you think the “Jim Crow” laws were reasonable? Gandhi used his will to free the people of India from the British. Did the imposition of Imperial Rule bring freedom to the citizens of that nation? Today as I write this, men, women, and children are beginning to speak out against the unjust and genocidal attack against Falun Gong. As of today, there are reports of 636 deaths of Falun Gong practitioners by the will of Jiang’s regime, and China experts consider this an extremely conservative estimate. Given all of this, were Dr. Li’s actions unreasonable?

I leave you with a line by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, “Grand talk counts for naught when it comes to life and death, actions reveal what is true.”