Where Does Falun Gong's Money Come From?
A common question people ask about Falun Gong is: "You people have distributed so many flyers, done so much, and held such big events, where on earth does all this money come from?"
Some people think that one source is behind-the-scenes financial backing from a political party. In actuality, there has never been any evidence put forward to support this theory. In many cases, theories like this one are a direct or indirect result of the influence of Jiang's propaganda machine's accusing Falun Gong of having "political motives" and getting support from "overseas anti-China forces."
For instance, if someone were to "bribe" Falun Gong practitioners--let's say around ten thousand US dollars per year for each practitioner to cover their living expenses--and let's say that there are only ten thousand practitioners in North America, then the cost for maintaining these "anti-China forces" would amount to at least one hundred million US dollars per year. The financial records of many democratic countries are a matter of public record. Let's take the United States as an example. Is it possible that such a large sum of money could have escaped the notice of the media? That it could have been approved by the House Budget Committee? Or that there could be a clear explanation for tax-paying citizens?
In fact, practitioners outside of China hold regular jobs with average incomes. Below are several inspiring incidents that took place outside of China.
Once, some practitioners rented a space at a respectable location to hold an experience-sharing conference. To pay for the venue, one practitioner took more than forty checks, each for a different amount and from a different bank, and gave them all to the property manager. The manager said, "Can't you just give me the money in one check?" The practitioner was embarrassed and replied, "I'm sorry, my fellow practitioners and I each paid for a portion of the rent. That's just how it is."
Every day in Chinatown, rain or shine, practitioners hand out truth-clarification materials that help people learn the facts about the persecution against Falun Gong. One female practitioner was constantly ridiculed by a nearby storeowner, "How much money do they pay to have you work your fingers to the bone for them?" The practitioner just smiled and did not say anything. Her son who drove her to Chinatown could not take it anymore, and one day he said to the storeowner, "You go find some people for me. I'll pay them to distribute flyers under the condition that they have to be like my mother. It doesn't matter if there's a snowstorm, gusty wind or pouring rain, it doesn't matter if the temperature is above a hundred or sub-zero, they have to work 365 days a year and cannot skip one day of work." After hearing that, the storeowner quieted down. Since then, he ceased to make disrespectful comments.
An elderly couple, both practitioners, have been living outside of China for five or six years. They seldom buy clothes for themselves, because they spent their entire pension on clarifying the truth to people. It is common for some families with higher incomes to spend several thousand US dollars all at once to make truth-clarification materials, to buy materials, or to rent public places. In order to save money, many practitioners do the work in their spare time, including making banners, hand-outs, truth-clarification posters, CD's, VCD's, and so on.
In China, where conditions are more severe, there are even more touching stories that have happened to Falun Gong practitioners.
In order to protect people from being conned by the government media's lies and deceitful propaganda, a practitioner businessman withdrew 4,000 yuan to make truth-clarification flyers and CD's. Full of kindhearted intentions, practitioners risk being arrested and sentenced to forced labor camps for delivering these truth-clarification materials to hundreds of thousands of households, free of charge. By doing so, they have made it possible for people to discover the unaltered facts, free of lies and deceit.
In another story, the family of a practitioner had fallen on very hard times. They had very little money, because both the husband and wife had lost their jobs with the government, the mother-in-law had recently passed away from a severe illness after being hospitalized for several days, and their child was also sick and had been hospitalized. Working as a nanny, she made a meager monthly salary of 400 yuan. The entire family relied on her to barely make ends meet. While living under such difficult circumstances, she found a practitioner who made truth-clarification materials. She took out 100 yuan and handed it to the practitioner saying that it was for making truth-clarification materials. That was a quarter of their entire family living expenses for a month. She said earnestly, "I'm doing this so that people will no longer be deceived by lies. This is from the bottom of my heart."
Some people have said that practitioners are at peace with themselves. Why? This is because they have benefited from the practice of Falun Dafa and found the true meaning of their lives. They know that people are being fooled and deceived by reckless lies, and they understand that the suppression of good people who practice "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance" is an abuse of humankind's morals and conscience that will push China and its people into a bottomless pit of disaster where there is no moral bottom line.
There is an elderly practitioner who is a farmer and sells vegetables at a farmers' market. Nowadays, it is expensive to grow food and the selling price for vegetables is low. This practitioner has three sons. The eldest is married, the second son recently married, and the third son is also old enough to start his own family. You can imagine the financial strain on this family. (In China, parents are usually expected to shoulder their children's wedding costs.) Even under such difficult conditions, every time he sold a vegetable, he put away one or two yuan in order to print more flyers and help even one more person to understand the truth. Eventually, he saved up more than one hundred yuan in coins and gave them to fellow practitioners to make truth-clarification materials.
Another young practitioner couple were more than ten thousand yuan in debt. In gusty winds or under baking sun, the couple went to a silkworm farm to pick cocoons left over from the harvest. They picked cocoons for several days and sold them for three-hundred yuan. They did not spend the money on food, toys or clothes for their young child. Instead, they spent all their hard-earned money on making truth-clarification materials.
Many practitioners in the countryside save the money they earn through sweat and blood. Their day-to-day lives are very simple and frugal. They wear the same clothes for several years. They mix pickles and sauce for their meals. They have to think twice when they spend even one penny. They try not to spend money whenever possible. Yet, they never hesitate to use their money for the sake of people who don't know the truth about Falun Gong.
These are a few examples of how practitioners save their money, one penny at a time. Practitioners do not seek fame or wealth. They do these things in order to eliminate the propaganda-induced hatred in people's minds. They do so to safeguard justice and conscience in the human world.