[Minghui Net] When the consul general of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago saw the proclamation issued to Falun Gong by Decatur City, Illinois, he mailed misleading materials to the mayor in an attempt to disparage and twist the facts about Falun Gong, as he has always done. After receiving the materials, Mayor Terry Howley immediately wrote back and illustrated the characteristics of Falun Gong. He also expressed in the letter his hope that Decatur City will greatly benefit from Falun Gong.

When the consulate received the mayor's letter, they knew clearly that they had met with rejection. However, they did not let the truth stop them and employed villainous means. They fabricated lies and totally distorted the letter from the mayor.

On March 9th, 2001, a local Chinese newspaper, which is under the control of the Chinese Consulate, claimed: "Mayor Howley of Decatur City, Illinois, apologized to the Chinese Consulate for being misled into proclaiming 'Falun Dafa Week.'"

The Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency acted even more outrageously on March 7th by publishing an article titled "American Mayor of Decatur City apologizes for proclaiming 'Falun Dafa Week.'" This article distorts the facts and falsely claims that Mayor Howley wrote to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago that after he had read the letter and materials from the consul general, he realized he had been fooled. The article also said that he expressed his gratitude to the consul general and apologized for proclaiming "Falun Dafa Week" without a better understanding of Falun Gong. (Guangming Daily, by reporter Xue Fukang, 2001-03-09) (Note: the original article can be found at http://news.xinhuanet.com/china/20010309/420197.htm)

So what was in Mayor Howley's letter after all? Let's read the mayor's letter below and see if it shows that "Mayor Howley realized he had been fooled after he read the letter and materials from the consul general; he apologized for proclaiming 'Falun Dafa Week' without a better understanding of Falun Gong."


Dear Consul General Ruixing:

Thank you for your correspondence. When the request was made for this office to consider an official proclamation, the information that was presented regarding Falun Dafa stated it is a traditional meditation practice designed to improve the mind, body and spirit through genuine upgrade of heart/mind nature exercise and meditation. The correspondence further stated the practice has a tremendous effect on stress relief and overall mental and physical health. My assistant who handled this request asked the individual if this was similar to tai-chi and / or yoga because she is familiar and has taken classes. The individual indicated Falun Dafa was also a form of meditation.

In light of your correspondence, I believe it is in the best interests of the city of Decatur that official proclamations issued by this office will occur only for events and organizations that are represented in the community.

I appreciate your correspondence and regret any misunderstanding.



Terry M. Howley



Attachment below is the scanned version of mayor Howley's original letter


Postscript: This episode has attracted the local media's attention. Falun Gong has registered legally in the United States and the U.S. law protects it. People in the Chicago area who care about Falun Gong are right now working actively in taking legal action against the Chinese Consulate's slander and false accusation.

May 4, 2001