On the evening of March 8, 2001, the Chinese Consulate General in Houston held an anti-Falun Gong discussion forum at a local Chinese Activity Center. Overseas Chinese scholars were invited. On hearing about this event, some Falun Dafa practitioners decided to attend.

At 8 PM, consulate officials and guests arrived. Having perhaps been informed of the presence of Falun Gong practitioners, one consulate official first declared that it was a private gathering, and those who had not been invited must leave. One practitioner immediately said, "This is an American public place, not the Chinese consulate. We have a right to be here. Please show us your lease with the Center. If it stipulates clearly in the contract that this is a private gathering, we'll leave right away." Another practitioner continued, "If you think you are right, why wouldn't you want us to be 'educated' as well?" The officials from the Chinese consulate nervously discussed the situation. They reluctantly agreed to let us remain, but demanded that we not give our opinions in the middle of their program. We agreed. The officials then started to show a video.

The video was divided into two parts. One was the program-compilation related to the self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square [on January 23, 2001] aired by CCTV [China Central Television, the state-run TV station]. The other was a systematic review of the chain of events leading up to Jiang Zemin's persecution of Falun Gong. The video repeated the various lies fabricated and disseminated by Jiang Zemin's regime since the beginning of the persecution. Although it was carefully edited and compiled, perceptive people could easily see the loopholes in the story. During the whole process of showing the video, officials from the Chinese consulate constantly came in and out to discuss how to handle the situation. However, the practitioners finished watching the video quietly.

When the video was over, one practitioner first broke the silence by asking, " Is it over?" an official said harshly, "Who said that?" The practitioner answered calmly, "I am just asking. If you are finished, I also want to show a short video."

"You can't!" several officials said together.á á"What are you afraid of?" the practitioner said, "We were not afraid to watch your propaganda. We sat here quietly from the beginning to the end, without saying one single word, so why don't you have the courage to allow us to play our video? Moreover, our video is also from your CCTV programs. We changed nothing, just added some explanation. Don't you even dare to watch your own programs? "á áThe officials had no reply, but still insisted that we could not show our video. The guests watched all this quietly without saying a word. We believed that many of them had already made their own judgment.

The official who seemed to be in charge of the forum said, "Today, those whom we invited are all scholars in scientific circles. Everybody knows this, so I won't say much more. We are responsible for the people, and so on. Please feel free to voice your opinions after watching the video."

One practitioner, a teacher at the Baylor Medicine Institute, stood up and said, "Since everyone present studies science, let's talk about science. We recently discovered that cultivating Falun Gong has positive influences on people's immune systems and health. To illustrate, I have brought with me some photos." Not allowing her to finish, several consulate officials came up to stop her from showing the photos. The practitioner said, "It's all right if you don't permit me to show the pictures. I'll briefly talk about them." But she hadn't spoken for one minute before the official in charge cut in and said, "Time is precious for everyone. I can't understand what you are talking about." Another practitioner said to the official seriously, "Because you emphasized science, she is talking about it here. If you don't understand, please stop talking about science in the future." They had no recourse but to let the practitioner go on with her talk.

The next speaker was an invited guest. He used "The Great Cultural Revolution" [in 1960's 1970's] as an example to prove that China can't afford to be in turmoil and that China's reputation must be defended. Practitioners immediately pointed out that just as the Chinese people do not want to make disturbances, neither do Falun Gong practitioners want to make disturbances. The one who has placed China in tumult is none other than Jiang Zemin. Practitioners further used historical facts to explain that "The Great Cultural Revolution" was not a spontaneous mass movement, but an upheaval created and directed by the authorities. The ruler of today's China is creating a similar upheaval. The main thing that damages China's reputation in the world is that the government is killing its own people. One guest heard this and said promptly, "If so, what can we do?" Practitioners said, "Help us to call on the Chinese government to stop persecuting Falun Gong and to start a dialogue with us."

The last speaker was a practitioner from Taiwan. She talked about Falun Gong's ability to improve the mental and physical health plus elevate the morality of over 100 million people. She emphasized that if a thorough investigation would be fairly conducted among the over 100 million Falun Gong practitioners both inside and outside of China, so that every beneficiary could speak about his or her experiences, people would come to a very different conclusion than Jiang Zemin's dictatorship. She also suggested that the guests read Zhuan Falun. Everyone present was touched by her words.

Perhaps seeing that Falun Gong practitioners had completely taken the initiative in the discussion, the consulate officials hastily declared that the forum was over. Practitioners went up to them to express their gratitude for allowing them this opportunity to voice their opinions. The officials left hurriedly without saying anything.

After the forum was over, some guests remained to have deeper and more cordial conversations with our practitioners.

During the forum it was storming heavily, with thunder and lightening, but when we drove home the dark clouds completely dispersed, and the moon shone brightly in the sky.

Dafa Practitioners from Huston

March 14, 2001