Commentary: To Zhao Zhizhen and Cao Yuan - Please Do Not Use the Name of Science and Truth (Part 3)
Freedom of the Press
There is a joke where a Chinese and an American are discussing people's freedoms in both countries. The American said, "We can curse the American president." The Chinese replied, "What's the big deal? We can also curse the American president."
Zhao Zhizen cites the way the press in America questions American presidents and exposes scandals within their administrations, then pretends to suffer a grievance and asks why he cannot "question" Mr. Li Hongzhi, even though the logical conclusion to this line of thinking would be to ask, "Why can't Jiang Zemin's persecution of Falun Gong be exposed in the same way by the Chinese press?"
Those whom the American reporters exposed were political figures with high rank and lofty powers, while Zhao Zhizhen attacks a common person who has been deprived of all rights of free speech. So here we have someone who relies on the power of government to bully and oppress the common people describing himself as a noble man who doesn't fear influential officials.
Zhen Zhizhen sent people to interview those who harbored resentment in their hearts towards Falun Gong. Later CCTV repeatedly broadcast this interview to instigate hatred while Falun Gong practitioners were detained in jails, labor camps, and brainwashing centers all over the country. They are brutally tortured and brainwashed continuously, primarily with content from this TV program. Besides this, Zhen Zhizhen and the "scholar" He Zuoxiu, who does not have any real academic achievements, formed a so-called "anti-cult association" to criticize Falun Gong, a practice that teaches people to be good. This hate-mongering association serves to further hurt the kind Falun Gong practitioners who have already suffered greatly.
Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Johnson was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Falun Gong. One of the articles reported how a grandmother, Chen Zixiu from Weifang, Shandong Province was murdered for refusing to give up her belief. When Zhao Zhizhen executes his "freedom of the press," such reports cannot be seen at all in mainland China. On the contrary, a couple from Qinghua University, Zhe Tong and Yu Chao, were sentenced to 11 and 9 year prison terms respectively just for telling people the facts. Also, Associate Professor Zhang Mengye, one of Hu Jintao's fellow alumni from Qinghua University, was abducted and sent to a brainwashing class to be tortured simply for revealing the truth to the people.
Zhao Zhizhen claimed that he was exercising his "freedom of the press," but isn't this rather similar to how the Nazi reporters executed their "freedom of the press" while criticizing the Jewish people. Zhao Zhizhen's "freedom of the press" is the practice of "What I say counts" that instigates hatred. Hopefully Falun Gong practitioners' lawsuit against Zhao Zhizhen can help to change China's current state of "What I say counts," which will benefit every Chinese person.
Zhao Zhizhen also claims that the best way to figure out what crime this CCTV program had is to show it to people, and let the people around the world to be the "jurors."
In fact, CCTV has already forced all the Chinese people to be the "jurors." For Falun Gong practitioners, the summer of 1999 was rather similar to the red August of 1966 when the Cultural Revolution started. CCTV continually bombarded the people with this program. While all the Chinese were forced to be the "jurors," Falun Gong practitioners all over the country were silenced and thrown into jails. I would like to ask people who have had the experience of serving as jurors, have you ever seen a defendant being severely beaten while his mouth was gagged? Have you seen a judge that only listens to one side in the case? Just from this one point, the people around the world should know what crimes the creator of this TV program has committed.
"I will fight for science"
This pledge from Zhao Zhizhen is very strange. My professor at a U.S. university was quite a well-known scholar in his research area. He never taught me to fight for science. Zhao Zhizhen criticized others while their mouths were silenced from voicing their own opinion. He assisted the abusers by organizing an evil association when the victims were being severely beaten. What kind of person would fight for science this way? Science is the mainstream. Is it really necessary for you to fight for it this way?
In his article, Zhao Zhizhen attacked Falun Gong by taking things out of context as well as pure fabrication. Using this logic and by taking things out of context, one can attack any spiritual belief. For instance, Zhao Zhizhen could just as easily have said that a carpenter named Jesus claimed to be the son of God. He could have ridiculed the Christian beliefs that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he changed water into wine, fed thousands of people with five fish and two loaves of bread, and even walked on water. Zhao could have attacked Jesus for stating that people can enter eternity only if they believe in him--this in spite of the fact that several hundred million people are Christians, and many children begin their life's education by reading the Bible.
But Zhao Zhizhen, claiming he was compelled to react, formed an alliance with Fu Tieshan, a fake Catholic priest appointed by the Chinese Communist Party. This is how Zhao Zhizhen fights for science.
Recently, Dr. Michael Newton published his third book. In his books, Dr. Newton describes in great detail how he hypnotizes people and helps them recall their past life experiences. The U.S. cable TV Discovery Channel interviewed Dr. Newton on this subject. Discovery Channel enjoys a much better reputation than Zhao Zhizhen's program. In the U.S., a large number of books about reincarnation and other supernatural phenomena have been published. In this highly developed country, we can see an attitude of exploration towards supernatural phenomena. We haven't seen a Zhao-style "fight" in the name of science.
While Zhao Zhizhen expressed his "deep sorrow as a TV journalist" about the existing "feudal superstition" in China, we note that there are a huge number of religious believers in the U.S. and other western nations. In fact, the U.S. president is a devout Christian. While Zhao Zhizhen was proclaiming that he would fight for science, he forgot that many great scientists such as Newton and Maxwell were also faithful religious believers. Professor Wu Weibiao of Chicago University, Professor Feng Lili of Baylor College of Medicine, and Taiwan Economists Chang Ching-hsi and Wu Hui-lin are all Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong enjoys widespread popularity and support in Taiwan, a country that shares the same culture with mainland China. This itself demonstrates the strong appeal of Falun Gong, which teaches people to be compassionate.
Zhao Zhizhen's criticism of spiritual beliefs is a proof of his narrow-mindedness. The following expression vividly explains Zhao's position. A germ won't live to see the end of the month, a cicada's life is too short to know spring and fall, a frog in the bottom of a well has no idea about the ocean, and a summer insect doesn't know what ice is. Like the subjects of this expression, Zhao is in no position to deny things that are beyond his limited comprehension.
If Zhao Zhizhen indeed wants to fight for science, then he should question how He Zuoxiu, with no credible scientific achievements, can become a member of the Chinese Science Academy, and why Jiang Zemin's son was appointed to be the vice president of the Science Academy. He should ask why the Chinese government blocks the Internet, takes away people's right to know, controls people's thinking, and allows no independent observation.
"Truth" is being humiliated.
Zhao Zhizhen's article has a strange title "Truth can be damaged but can not be humiliated." Nobody knows what it means. Falun Gong practitioners are suing Zhao Zhizhen for instigating hatred. What does that have to do with Truth? Does it mean that Zhao Zhizhen represents Truth?
Zhao Zhizhen claims that he defends the "truth." But he fails to tell readers the most basic facts. While he was enjoying his reunion with his daughter, many children of Falun Gong practitioners who have been murdered in the persecution were silently looking at their parents' photos and weeping. His fabricated TV programs are repeatedly shown on CCTV, while Falun Gong practitioners have no rights to appeal and speak. They are being detained in forced labor camps and brainwashing classes for extended torture, and many have lost their lives. When he was forming alliances to attack Falun Gong, many Falun Gong practitioners were being forced to watch his shows in the labor camps and brainwashing classes while being deprived of freedom. While he was "fighting for science," his opponent's rights to self-defense were abolished, and their mouths were silenced. When he boasted about how he defends human rights, Falun Gong practitioners' human rights were ruthlessly crushed.
In his article, Zhao Zhizhen portrays himself as a warm father and an amiable scholar. But what we see is a person totally lacking in conscience who indeed humiliates science and truth.
February 4, 2005