University of Toronto Graduate Testifies in Court about the Effects He Experienced Practicing Falun Gong - Series Report on the Les Presses Chinoises Trial
On November 19, 2003, the trial against the Les Presses Chinoises continued in the Quebec Superior Court. In the morning, the plaintiff witnesses called by the court were Jason Loftus and Mr. Shou Heping. The two defendents, director of the Les Presses Chinoises Zhou Jinxin and He Bin did not show up for court. During his testimony, Jason talked about the four effects that the Falun Gong cultivation practice had on his daily life, including "thinking about others first."
At 9:30 AM, Jason was called to testify. Jason is a 23 year old graduate from the University of Toronto. In his testimony, he talked about the health and mental benefits he derived from practicing Falun Gong, as well as the harm done by the slanderous articles published by the Les Presses Chinoises. He also recalled his own experience about holding a news release conference with friends in China in early 2002, to expose the faked self-immolation and the brutal persecution he suffered as the result of declaring "Falun Dafa is good" on Tiananmen Square. During the 2-hour testimony, Jason's train of thought was very clear and self-contained.
The defendant's lawyer used a few technicalities and translation details in attempts to discredit Jason's argument, but the judge disallowed much of it. In his questioning, the defendant's lawyer repeated the Jiang regime's propaganda such as whether or not having an organization and whether or not making money. This very same kind of material is repeatedly published in China's state controlled media. Jason answered questions calmly based on his understanding from his cultivation in Dafa. Facing the solid facts and arguments, the lawyer was unable to refute.
Four Positive Effects of Practicing Falun Gong
When mentioning the practice of Falun Gong, Jason said, "My twin sister and I heard about Falun Gong during a health exhibition in Barrie. We began to study Falun Dafa from that time onwards. The principle of "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance" teaches me how to be a good person and has made deep changes within me."
The practice of Falun Gong affected Jason in 4 aspects. Jason said, "Firstly, Falun Dafa teaches me to be a good person and not to pursue gain and fame. Therefore I (still) try my best to do well but will not care or pursue a high grade." The cultivation of Falun Dafa has helped Jason to concentrate his attention on his college study so that he could achieve well in his studies. He was rated number one in both Mathematics and Physics and has been granted two scholarships to the University of Toronto. When he graduated from the university, three companies offered him a job. Through practicing Falun Gong, Jason's ability to study and work showed vast improvements.
The second change was to his health. Before practicing Falun Gong, he was rather unhealthy. He tended to take sick leave more than 50 days a year. After practicing Falun Gong, he and his sister no longer suffered from illnesses. His mother, observing the huge changes in his sister and him, also started to practice Falun Gong.
The third change happened to the family life. Before he cultivated, Jason often had conflicts and quarreled with his sister and parents. After learning Falun Gong, he and his sister always tried to help his mother do housework. His mother was shocked by their changes.
The fourth change, Jason said, "is not that observable and explainable as the changes in my school and family life. But the spiritual and mental changes are the most powerful. It changed my whole life. I no longer pursue gain and fame again and realized that being a good person exceeds all other desires. I benefited in both body and mind from the practice of Falun Gong. I feel peaceful and am able to think about others first whenever doing things."
Les Presses Chinoises's Outlandish Claims are Unprecedented!
When the plaintiff's lawyer asked him how he felt when reading the articles published by the Les Presses Chinoises, Jason said, "After reading these articles, I felt that the persecution has come to Canada. I think those articles were even more vicious than all slanderous articles I had read before."
Jason declared that the article published on November 3, 2002, written by He Bin who called himself a Falun Gong practitioner, used obscene and vicious language to describe some story as if it took place inside Falun Gong practitioners and repeated many rumors and slanders spread by China's propaganda. But Jason further indicated that the article on February 2, 2002 was even more vicious because this article, under the name of seeking 'justice', instigated hatred for the purpose of vilifying Falun Gong in the Chinese communities. Jason gave a few historical examples, such as Hitler's contention that Jews ate Christian babies, just before he began to massacre Jews. Those slanderous articles in the Les Presses Chinoises chilled Jason's heart and now he saw that it was possible that persecution could occur in Canada.
Jason also submitted statistical information that indicated the frequency of some words like 'suicide,' 'self-immolation,' 'murder,' 'cult,' 'cruelly injure,' and 'public enemy' in those articles.
"Self-immolation is a Staged Set-Up"
In his testimony, Jason said that on February 9, 2002, he and a fellow practitioner Levi Browde went to China. They held a news release conference in Beijing to clarify the truth about the 'self-immolation' to international media. At that time, 5 reporters from 3 media (ABC, BBC, etc) came on their invitation. Jason played the videotape of 'Tiananmen Self-immolation' program made by the CCTV itself. From the slowly played film, it could be seen that Liu Chunning was hit from behind by a heavy stuff thrown by a policemen , before falling down. A reporter from the Washington Post, after visiting Liu's hometown, Kaifen of Henan Province, announced that local residents did not se Liu practicing Falun Gong at any time. Wang Jindong declared that he had practiced Falun Gong for 5 years. But his cross-legged position, instead of double cross-legged position, looked more like the sitting position of a Chinese soldier.
Jason said, "Before the 'Tiananmen Self-immolation,' although Chinese people were affected by the propaganda, they had no strong feeling towards Falun Gong and also had a some doubt about the Chinese authorities' ban and persecution of Falun Gong." After this incident, Jason found from the Internet articles that indignant Chinese people invaded Falun Gong practitioners' home in large numbers, because they believed Falun Gong practitioners to be dangerous.
Treated As a Criminal in China and then Welcomed With Flowers in Canada
Another incident that triggered Jason's resolve to go to China, was the report about Chen Zixiu. A Wall Street Journal Pulitzer prize awarded report described Chen, a 60-year-old lady. She refused to renounce her belief in Falun Gong and thus was brutally beaten and tortured to death by local officials. Jason thought that Chinese people have the right to hear the truth.
The next day after the news release conference, Jason and Levi went to Tiananmen Square to display two banners "Falun Dafa is good" and "Self-immolation Was Staged As a Set-Up" to the public. Within a few seconds, policemen surrounded them in large numbers. It was later said by a BBC reporter that there were about 7 to 10 policemen. Later on, Jason and Levi were brought to the Tiananmen Sub-bureau of Public Security Bureau. A policeman brutally twisted Jason's arm back. Jason asked to contact his family members and the Canadian embassy. The police didn't take note of his request. They said to him, "You are in China."
Before being transferred to another detention center, not far away from the Tiananmen Square, Jason shouted loudly in Chinese to many Chinese people around, "Falun Dafa is good!" He was violently stopped by the police. Jason said, "Many Chinese people learned that Falun Gong is suffering persecution and Falun Dafa is good. Although I have endured some pain, I think it was very worthwhile." During the 47 hours of illegal detention, he was treated inhumanly. Jason contrasted in his testimony his being treated like a criminal in China, while on his return to Canada he was welcomed by his family members with open arms, including a few hundred friends who held banners and brought flowers. The media was also present.
Practitioner in Canada