More Understanding on the Issue of Monetary Compensation from Litigation and Clarifying the Truth in the Court Case in California
After reading a practitioner's article about monetary compensation from litigation (please refer to http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/7/14/38113.html), in which it gave the example that at the beginning when doing VIP work, some practitioners felt that we were participating in politics; I concur with the writer. At that time, many practitioners mistakenly regarded clarifying the truth to the government officials as getting involved in politics, therefore a lot of people in society accused us of playing politics. Not until practitioners advance as a whole in our cultivation would the old forces give up making this an issue.1. Related Case
Teacher has told us in "Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Midwest-U.S. Fa Conference", "Wherever there's a problem, that is where we should go clarify the facts". Also, wherever there is a conflict, we need to look inside ourselves for the omission that was exploited by the evil old forces. In the California legal action, the judge found the two Chinese officers guilty and denied the invocation of their diplomatic privilege. This is a very righteous ruling but at the same time, the judge also considered the persecution of Falun Gong a Chinese government policy (in other words, the persecution is not a personal advocation of a particular individual). Therefore the judge did not penalize the defendant. With regard to the last conclusion by the judge, the plaintiff has already made an appeal to the court. Some practitioners have pointed out that the American judicial system is based on legal precedents. If the outcome of the California appeal is unfavorable, then the Jiang's regime could make use of the precedent to influence current proceedings of Jiang's prosecution in the Chicago courts.2. About Clarifying the Truth
Confronting these conflicts, practitioners must clearly recognize the problem and further clarify the truth to society. The persecution of Falun Gong is a direct result of Jiang Zemin's personal jealousy. At the time, the majority of the members in the highest level of the Chinese government, including the prime minister and members of the politburo were against the persecution. It was Jiang Zemin who used his dictatorship to manipulate and force the Chinese government officials into it. Hence the idea that the persecution is the Chinese government's national policy is incorrect. At the same time, practitioners must realize that we cannot simply look at the outward appearances. When facing conflicts, we should look inside ourselves to get rid of our misunderstanding of the Fa principles and our own obstacles. Teacher has already clearly explained the principle as exemplified by United Nation's Human Rights Commission. As practitioners we must not ignore the profound lessons therein.3. Regarding Looking Within
Why did the judge not think that the Chinese official should pay monetary compensation? Apart from the above-mentioned omissions in clarifying the truth, we, practitioners have yet to come to grips with the issues involving money. I remembered a practitioner said at the beginning of the legal proceeding that some of the plaintiffs even wanted to withdraw from the litigation because of the issue of monetary compensation. The reason they gave was that it was the principle of Dafa not to get involved with money or keep money. After the article regarding monetary compensation was published in Clearwisdom.net, there were heated discussions among practitioners who participated in the litigation. A lot of practitioners agreed with the opinion expressed in the article, but some practitioners also pointed out that the litigation was the practitioners' own initiative. Others had reservations about using money from the litigation for Dafa activities; they worried that this could be at odds with Dafa's principle of not to keep money or property. Some practitioners suggested that for litigation targeting the overseas media, we should endeavor to reach a benevolent solution rather than attempting to prevail so as to extract monetary compensation, lest we be perceived as being greedy. On this issue, I would like to offer my understanding.
Regarding Dafa's principle not to keep money, I think the reason we have this concern is because we confuse the notion of the individuals with Dafa. Regardless of the process or outcome, the practitioners who sue the people that persecute Dafa and Dafa practitioners is validating Dafa and clarifying the truth. Once they prevail and monetary damages awarded, whether one uses it to validate Dafa or clarify the truth or to meet one's material needs is the individual's action, and Dafa itself is not involved in the disbursement of the money. Therefore Dafa's principle not to accumulate money or property will never be changed by the individual's conduct. Similarly if some individuals are unwilling to follow the concept of the everyday society's judicial system and does not want to seek punitive damages, then it can only diminish the effectiveness of the legal action as a deterrent and encourage the defendant to disregard the legal actions taken, but does not have anything to do with upholding Dafa's no monetary involvement principle. In the final analysis, based on the principles of Dafa, the individual conduct of the practitioners cannot represent Dafa and their conduct is not equivalent to Dafa's conduct.
As to the issue of the perception of greed by others, as practitioners, we should always conduct ourselves openly and righteously. The key is to first truly have the purity of heart. Absolutely and thoroughly deny the notion of greed itself and conduct ourselves accordingly. Then we should not fear any accusation of greed as such. Second, in order to uphold justice and deter crimes, the judicial system of human society is expected to, in principle, punish criminal behavior. This is also the manifestation of the principle of the retribution of crimes and the method of reparation as enforced by the laws of the human society. As to the specific form it takes, if for example the sentence handed down is to have the defendant receive fifty lashes, then people who are aware of the principle would not say that the plaintiff does not have a compassionate heart and likes to see people get lashes.
Regarding benevolent solutions, I think we should not try to understand benevolent solutions of Dafa from the everyday people's perspective. Litigation is by its very nature adversarial, whether winning or losing, and whether a crime is committed or not. If settlement is reached either through adjudication, arbitration, or mediation by the courts, or through negotiation between the parties involved themselves, it becomes nonadversarial. But these are all the forms in the everyday society, and do not represent the true meaning of Dafa's benevolent solution. Since this form is chosen, why not allow it to fully produce its effect according to the operation of the laws of the everyday society?