(Clearwisdom.net) Melbourne is very active in promoting academia, and many seminars concerning China issues have taken place here. Local practitioners realized that using the Question & Answer sessions during such seminars is a good way to clarify the facts about Falun Gong.
Recently, Australia's ABC TV Station has sponsored a series of Asian Lectures at the University of Melbourne. On the evening of September 5, 2002, a China expert from Singapore University gave a seminar entitled "Unusual Moments in China." It was hosted by an ABC TV anchor in front of an audience of about 500 people. At the start of the program, the host announced that the program was being recorded and would be broadcast all over Australia and to some other Asian regions as well, and that the audio scripts would be posted on the Internet at ABC.net.au. Our practitioners immediately realized that this was an excellent opportunity for revealing the facts about the practice and persecution of Falun Dafa.
After the expert gave his presentation, a practitioner stood in the line of people waiting to ask a question.
As a result of our previous Fa-spreading and truth-clarification, a woman (not a practitioner) asked the following question: "In a country with only one political party, how can you guarantee the full functioning of the law? For example, the way the Chinese government treated pro-democracy people or Falun Gong practitioners is not really following the law." The professor did not offer a clear response to this question. He just mumbled a few meaningless words.
When it was the practitioner's turn to ask a question, he quoted facts from Resolution 188 recently passed by the US Congress that condemned the persecution of Falun Gong in China, moved on to the general situation of the persecution, and then commented on the speaker's remarks about Chinese society's moral crisis. Next, he said that the US Congress supported Falun Gong because Dafa's "Truthfulness -- Compassion -- Tolerance" is helpful in sustaining the harmony and stability of society. Then the practitioner asked with humor, "If you had the opportunity to whisper in their ears, what would you recommend to the Chinese leaders?"
Upon hearing this question, the audience burst into friendly laughter. The informal atmosphere had an effect on the speaker too. He replied with some sense of humor, "I would not be given any chance to propose anything. Besides they would not listen to me." At this answer, the audience laughed even longer and louder. The laughter indicated their understanding and feelings towards Jiang's dictatorial regime as well as friendly support for the Falun Gong practitioner. Then the professor remarked in a frank way that they (the Chinese leaders) had not anticipated the suppression would last so long and thus put them in an awkward position.
Thus, in this way not only did the professor and the audience have an excellent opportunity to learn the facts and to position themselves correctly, but also the later broadcast of the recording would benefit even more people.
On the same night, we heard about another seminar to be held by the China Issues research group at the University of Melbourne on the next day. A well-known reporter for the Sydney Times and Sydney Morning Tribune had just returned from a 2-year stay in China and was going to speak on "How Do You Spell Jiang Zemin? -- Another Report about China for Australians."
So we went to the University the next day for another seminar. The reporter talked about the difficulty and awkwardness of being a reporter stationed in Beijing. Foreign reporters are often regarded as spies (by the Chinese central government). Reporters have to notify the Chinese authorities even if they want to merely interview a passerby on the street. The foreign reporters club is labeled an "illegal organization." Their only news source was from government-controlled Xinhua.
During the Q&A, without knowing how much this reporter had been influenced negatively toward Falun Gong due to his long stay in China, our practitioner tactfully started the question as follows: "The issue of Falun Gong is very sensitive and really a taboo subject in China. Under the tight control of information by the Chinese government, how did you find out all the official propaganda against Falun Gong was fabricated lies?"
By phrasing the question in this way, the audience tacitly learned that the propaganda from Jiang's regime was all lies. Two researchers from China happened to be present at the seminar. They listened with intense interest to what they could never hear while inside China.
The reporter replied that he realized the truth little by little over time. Then he added that frankly, foreign reporters stationed in Beijing all disagreed with the Jiang regime's mistreatment of Falun Gong.
Since this reporter was so well known in Australia, his words had a very good effect on the audience.
Utilizing a seminar to clarify facts about Falun Gong has certain advantages. The audience is already there so there is no need to find them. Also by asking a question after a speech that relates to the content of the talk, we can focus on a certain point and bridge the gap between the practitioner and the speaker as well as that between the practitioner and the audience. Therefore, we think that this is an excellent way to tell people the facts about Dafa.