(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioners have been using innovative methods to resist the Jiang group's information blockade about Falun Gong on the streets of New York City. During the U.S. Republican National Convention, about 15,000 news reporters gathered in New York. Media outlets began reporting stories about nearly a thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Manhattan to distribute flyers and to otherwise explain the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution taking place in China.
On August 29, when the Mayor of New York City, Mr. Bloomberg, and the Governor of New York State, Mr. George E. Pataki, were walking on Broadway, they encountered a practitioner from Canada who was distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying leaflets. They accepted the leaflets.
Falun Gong practitioners' truth-clarifying activities also included performances by the waist drum team and traditional Chinese dances. In Central Park, the largest park in New York City, the practitioners' performance became the focus of attention of New York citizens and media outlets. Correspondents from The New York Times and NBC-TV came to interview practitioners. Some New Yorkers said that they also saw many Falun Gong practitioners in Battery Park and Central Park. They said, "Falun Gong is everywhere and there are thousands of Falun Gong practitioners on the streets."
In some high-traffic areas, where numerous people constantly come and go, one can often see Falun Gong practitioners' live reenactments of the torture methods used against their fellow practitioners in China. Three or five practitioners wearing clothes stained with blood were tied on the "Tiger Bench" or hung up and beaten by police officers or locked in a small cage. They were not concerned about their own comfort, when exposing the persecution encountered by Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Practitioners talking with people on the streets to clarify the truth
Background: The Largest Brainwashing Campaign is Taking Place in China
The Jiang Zemin regime's brainwashing methods are widely known in the Western world. In fact, "Brainwash" is one of few English words that was directly translated from the Chinese. Currently, Jiang's group is launching the largest-scale brainwashing campaign in history against Falun Gong. If brainwashing is not successful, then physical torture and even killing are employed. The Chinese public security system has been widely using torture on Falun Gong practitioners in an effort to make them renounce Falun Gong. Thousands of practitioners have been tortured to death.
Torture is a major link in the process of brainwashing. They first torture the victims and then lure them by promise of gain. They take advantage of human beings' desire to live and weaknesses of human nature to convert people's thoughts and have them give up their principles and belief. During the Korean War, a group of American pilots were brainwashed by the Chinese ruling Party and accused the U.S. on China's media, which shocked the world. The Chinese ruling Party's shocking tactics of brainwashing were widely exposed and became a topic of research in the Psychology departments of some American universities. This also served as a subject in American movies and documentary films that have been repeatedly broadcast to the public.
On April 13, 2004, during the 60th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Chen Gang related the brainwashing and torture he had suffered in China because of his practice of Falun Gong. He said he succumbed because his body could no longer withstand the inhuman torture and abuse. This destroyed his dignity and confidence. He even thought of committing suicide because he had lost hope for himself. The Jiang group's destruction of people's belief is the most inhumane aspect of the persecution. He said, "Physical death is a kind of death. Another kind of death is spiritual death. These two kinds of death - physical and spiritual - are the same."
At one human rights forum during the UN Commission on Human Rights held in April 2004 in Geneva, Ms. Chen Ying, who was imprisoned three times in China shared her experience about being tortured and brainwashed while in prison. While relating her painful experiences, tears streamed down her face.
She said, "I was often beaten badly and even the criminal inmates who participated in beating me cried and asked the policemen stop beating me. They did not allow me to sleep and kept trying to brainwash me. On one occasion, they handcuffed me to the window and shackled my feet and forcibly injected an unknown medicine into my left arm. When the medicine got into my bloodstream, I felt severe pain in my heart, then my heartbeat sped up and beat severely. Every heartbeat felt like it would cause my heart to explode. After that, I clearly felt that I was having difficulty thinking. My reactions and memory became dull. The lost memory was exactly the part about the persecution I had suffered. I didn't begin to recall those painful experiences until I came to France and read materials about the persecution encountered by Falun Gong practitioners in China."
She said, "Physical suffering was not the most painful suffering. What was most painful was the mental torture. My husband was forced by the government to divorce me. I started suffering from insomnia and having nightmares. Under an extreme weakened condition, I gave up my belief. After being transformed (giving up my belief) through brainwashing, I was like a walking corpse. Whenever people asked me about that part of my experiences, I would say, ¡®I was fine,' In fact, endless pain was behind ¡®I was fine.' This invisible torture was even more brutal."
Mr. Zhang Liang, a Falun Gong practitioner from Weifang, Shangdong Province had suffered a method of torture at a brainwashing center, in which he was forced to stand still on the floor with no sleep for more than a month. A group of people took turns to shout at him and they beat, pushed, dragged and tore at him countless times. He was tortured so badly that his expression was numb and his legs were horribly swollen. His skin and flesh looked transparently white as if it would rupture at any moment. His lower legs were so swollen that they were as thick as his thighs. He was unable to wear slippers because of his swollen feet and had to stand on floor barefoot. In the end, he was unable to stand or walk. He had fallen down to the floor or against the wall numerous times.
In order to force Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief, Sanshui Forced Labor Camp in Guangdong Province set up a torture chamber to torture Falun Gong practitioners. The jail guards handcuffed a practitioner's hands and shackled his feet and then used all of their strength to stretch the practitioner's limbs in four different directions. Practitioner Mr. Huang Zhufeng was tortured by this method. In the end, Mr. Huang's left shoulder was broken and the ligament around it was torn apart, leading to the disability of his left arm.
Mr. Zhao Ming, a graduate student in Ireland can never forget his experiences in Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp in the beginning of 2002. One day around two weeks before he was to be released from Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp, he was tightly tied to a bed board by police guards in Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp. The guards bound his ankles, thighs, upper body, arms and across his mouth. He said, "They asked me to renounce Falun Gong again. I refused again. Then one police guard took out a bundle of electric batons, which were about half a metre long, and distributed them to the others. They started to shock me all over my body simultaneously. At least six electric batons were used to shock my body."
"My body was trembling very violently and was completely out of control. I heard the sound of very intensive electric sparks. They continued shocking while pressuring me to renounce my faith from time to time. Police guard Liu Guoxi was very skillful. He took one baton in each hand and started to shock my chest. He moved the two batons in circles in parallel to my body to shock me with the metal winding around the baton. That shocking made me breathe rapidly. My throat was dry with a burning sensation."
"I heard the sound of very intensive electric sparks. I tried my best to endure, but suddenly one of my legs went into spasm. The pain was huge. I just could not think rationally any more. At that moment I agreed to sign the documents they requested [renouncing Falun Gong]."
They Come from Everywhere to New York
Most Falun Gong practitioners clarifying the truth on the streets of Manhattan are from cities close to New York. But some are from the Midwest and the West Coast and some have even come from other countries. Why do they come to New York?
Dr. Tommy Tang, a postdoctoral research fellow from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina said, "Both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions drew great attention from media outlets. Many people also came to represent the American people. If they learn about Falun Gong and the persecution taking place in China, it will be very helpful to stop the persecution. Because I live in the U.S., I can explain the facts to the U.S. government. If we were able to express our views in China, we would not need to do these things to raise public awareness on the American streets."
Mr. Tang's family of eight people all practice Falun Gong and benefit from the practice. Later, his younger brother was arrested and detained for one year and six months. In order to stop the persecution, he went to Boston during the Democratic National Convention. Mr. Tang drove 14 hours to get to Boston. This time, he came to New York.
In the anti-torture exhibition, an elderly gentleman played the role of a victim tied and hung in a small cell. His son has been imprisoned for more than two years for his practice of Falun Gong. His son has suffered many kinds of torture.
He said, "Indeed, I felt a little tired. My arms, shoulders and legs feel numb. But this is only a demonstration. The real torture in prison is much more painful. One is unable to squat or stand straight while he is hung in the cell and the torture often lasts for several days, or even years in a row."
Why does he come here? He said, "The U.S. is a democratic country and we are permitted to demonstrate here. In China, most people are not even aware of the torture. Only family members and friends of victims have a chance to learn about it. What we demonstrate here is only a tiny part. The purpose of the exhibition is to allow the American people to visualize the Jiang Zemin group's suppression of Falun Gong, to let them learn about the facts so as to uphold justice, to have people's conscience awakened, to tell more people about the facts, and to remember that the suppression has been going on for five years and it must not continue! We cannot allow the crazed Jiang group to kill tens of thousands of good people."
Are Persecution Facts State Secrets?
According to reports from Clearwisdom.net, over the past more than five years of persecution of Falun Gong, more than 1,000 practitioners have been tortured to death. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are still being held in prisons, labor camps and brainwashing centers where they are subjected to torture. However, the Chinese government continuously spreads false news to try to conceal the persecution facts. Facts about Falun Gong have become highly sensitive topics that are strictly censored by the authorities.
The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) revealed that people who sent information about the persecution of Falun Gong to overseas websites would be arrested and sentenced to jail by the Chinese government in the name of disclosing state secrets. Police officer Li Baozhen from Liaoning Province was abducted and sentenced to 6 years in prison after he wrote three articles about the persecution and had them published on Clearwisdom.net. One of the three articles was entitled, "An Open Letter to Police Officers." When he appealed his sentence, his term was extended to 7 years because he phoned his daughter, which was considered as "disclosing state secrets."
The information blockade in China was bidirectional, namely, news from China is not allowed to pass to overseas while news from other countries is also restricted in China. Many Chinese people thought that the entire world is suppressing Falun Gong.
Forced Brainwashing is the Essence of the Persecution
Brainwashing is called "transformation" in the Jiang group's dictionary. The order to "transform" Falun Gong practitioners comes from the highest level of Jiang's regime.
"Transformation" became the most important goal of this suppression. "Transformation" was passed down as an assignment through layer upon layer of the ruling party's administration institutions.
In order to accomplish the assigned "transformation" quota, local governments of different levels brought forth various kinds of implication policies. If a Falun Gong practitioner is not "transformed," his company's manager and colleagues' interests will be affected accordingly. Similarly, the benefits of his neighborhood committee and that of his family as well as friends will also be influenced. One can imagine how much pressure has thus been exerted on Falun Gong practitioners. This has far exceeded the policy of incriminating all family members which was adopted in ancient Chinese history.
"Transformation" has become the authorities' major weapon to attempt to eliminate Falun Gong group both spiritually and physically. The means and measures adopted are almost standardized. It includes three parts: violence, overwhelming propaganda and "brainwashing." The suppression was accompanied with violence from the very beginning. Very few Falun Gong practitioners gave up their belief without being subjected to violence.
Brainwashing, mental persecution and torture have affected thousands of families in China. From 70- or 80-year-old senior citizens to small children, as long as they believe in Falun Gong, they are unable to avoid being persecuted. Questions regarding the Falun Gong issue are included in schools' exams and it is mandatory to answer them. The standard answers are from the official slandering materials. Five years ago, before the persecution began, the Chinese public security system's internal statistical data showed that more than 100 million people practiced Falun Gong. The current brainwashing campaign which has been the largest one throughout Chinese history, is therefore affecting hundreds of millions of Chinese people.
Those practitioners who wrote the "Three Statements" (including a written confession, written pledge of giving up belief, and statement revealing and criticizing other practitioners) and expressed that they would give up their belief could go home. Those who persistently refused to write the three statements are then subjected to further mental and physical tortures which are even more severe.
During the 60th Session of the UN Human Rights Commission, Falun Gong practitioner Dr. Chen Shizhong pointed out at a human rights symposium that over the 50 years of tyranny under the current Chinese government, at least 80 million innocent people lost their lives and 50% of the Chinese people have been persecuted. He said that such brutal state terrorism actually aims to destroy human conscience by forcing people to go against their own conscience. The worst thing about this is that it forms a vicious circle: the more people that give up their conscience, the more legitimate this crime becomes.
Dr. Chen Shizhong further explained that this persecution of conscience is the substance that the Chinese government uses to persecute Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners do not participate in politics, but only try to cultivate themselves to become good people. This inward cultivation will certainly lead to the upgrading of morality, courage and universal compassion on a larger scale. This is what the evil fears most and wants to persecute. The goal and means of the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong also clearly manifests this point.
What is the goal of the Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong? Jiang said he would eradicate Falun Gong and force all those who practice it to renounce their belief. This cannot be more obvious and states clearly that forcing Falun Gong practitioners to give up their own choice and violate their own conscience is the fundamental goal of this persecution. That is to say, the true motive is to cruelly kill the human conscience.
The worst type of massacre is genocide and this is acknowledged internationally. Its goal is to destroy people's physical bodies and its result is a large number of deaths. However, the Jiang regime's cruel slaughter of Falun Gong practitioners is even more sinister. Its goal is not to wipe out the physical bodies (although the slaughter does not care about the number of innocent deaths), but to force the sufferers to choose the death of either the physical body or the spirit -- to destroy the sufferers' will and make them give up their own conscience and dignity.
Therefore, to torture victims through brainwashing to the brink of death is a necessary means of this massacre. Policemen publicly tell Falun Gong practitioners that they will make them no longer want to live. Their only way out? To say Falun Gong is not good, "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance" is not good, and express gratitude for the government's "salvation." Telling the truth will mean murder but if they tell lies they will be allowed to survive!
Dr. Chen Shizhong expressed that what the Chinese government wants to destroy is not only the victims' conscience. When those policemen are ordered to cruelly beat their fellow man, to vent their beastly desires on their fellow women, to be hoodwinked by the deceitful propaganda which is causing this hatred, aren't they also being destroyed to the point of no humanity?
Falun Gong has started using legal means globally. Practitioners have filed legal complaints in the U.S. and Europe against Jiang Zemin and his followers for committing "genocide." Jiang Zemin is using lies to cover up his suppression of Falun Gong. He applies news censorship and economic lures to coerce people not to speak the truth. News about the oppression of Falun Gong has become the Jiang regime's high-level state secret. Falun Gong practitioners have to take to the streets to clarify the truth and call for support.
People's Hearts are Moved in New York
Manhattan is the world's major finance and information exchange center. There are the world's most famous stockbrokers and media in Manhattan. Residents in Manhattan correspond to the more than 1,000 nationalities in the world and Manhattan is the focus of the world. Falun Gong practitioners hope that people here would spread the real story about Falun Gong to the entire world.
Were it not for the real persons standing in front of them and telling them about it, the Americans who are immersed in the Wall Street Stock Markets would have never imagined that in the 21st Century there is still such brutal human rights persecution. It's even less likely for them to imagine that Falun Gong practitioners who have been suffering such inhuman tortures are so peaceful and serene.
Falun Gong practitioners are telling people, "What we follow are Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance, the most beautiful characteristic of humankind. Jiang's group tries to coerce us to "transform." In the process of upholding their belief and resisting the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have sacrificed all they have, even their lives."
The busy New Yorkers often stopped to accept a leaflet and asked, "What is Falun Gong?" "Why does China suppress Falun Gong?"
At an anti-torture exhibition held at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 59th Street, after learning the details about the persecution of Falun Gong, a woman asked practitioners whether she could take photos of the torture reenactment. When she got their permission, she took the pictures and said that she would post the photos on the Internet so as to allow more people to be aware of the persecution. She then signed the petition calling for an end to the suppression.
An elderly woman came over and told practitioners who conducted the anti-torture exhibition, "I support you very much! Many residents nearby have received your materials and learned about the facts. You can go to more places and let more people learn about this."
A man who had come from Israel to the U.S. joined in the Falun Gong practitioners' truth-clarifying effort. He not only asked his two companions to sign the petition, but he also asked all passers-by: "Have you signed the petition? Have you signed it?" He said, "Signing the petition can help stop the persecution." He spent more than one hour standing there and asking people to sign the petition.