The Chinese have a spiritual understanding that when you heighten your mental state, it reflects in your physical state. This is what Falun Gong teaches--a most traditional cultivation practice of mind and body.

Falun Gong is an ancient spiritual practice, embedding much of Chinese heritage and wisdom; it takes on ideas from Buddhism and Taoism, and includes exercises similar to that of Taiqi/Qigong. Its core purpose in imparting such teachings is to heighten peoples' moral conduct through principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. [...] I felt that in your article, a lot of the details are taken out of context.

Ex-chairman Jiang Zemin alone banned Falun Gong; he saw it as a threat to his power when over 100 million Chinese people soon obtained the practice, and illegally declared it a [slanderous words omitted] in 1999 --- an act that goes against the Chinese constitution and all treaties China has with outside countries. On the surface, there are two sides to the issue; one is from the regime that badmouths Falun Gong, which insists it's protecting its people [slanderous words omitted]

And how does it offer this so-called protection? China is spending over a quarter of its GDP to fund the persecution in which Falun Gong practitioners are subject to organ-harvesting. They are murdered while still alive and their bodies then burned to hide the evidence. To have other countries help cover up its crimes, companies like Google and Microsoft are coerced to censor human rights issues (words like "Tibet," "Falun Gong" and any mention of Tiananmen Square Massacre are filtered). Secret agents are sent overseas to see what Falun Gong practitioners here are up to. A lot of money and energy is spent to support this "protection."

The other side is of Falun Gong practitioners, who are often deemed anti-communist for speaking against the acts of the communist regime. You coin the term "PR," which is in truth, spreading awareness about the persecution. In that case, the more PR the better! The Chinese regime's key tactic is suppression, as they know they are committing terrible crimes.

Falun Gong practitioners are fighting this persecution by sustaining a voice and exposing facts about the persecution. Mere exposure presents an opportunity for people to obtain more information on the issue, and to distinguish between propaganda and the truth, so "PR" is a must. Amnesty International and many other significant NGOs have declared this to be a Grade A genocidal human rights crisis. Essentially, no matter what a group's spiritual understanding, no one should be subject to torture and genocide.

The death camps in China are horrifying and reminiscent of those in Nazi Germany, and history is currently repeating itself because China gets away with these crimes. In my view, the worst action is silence, which only fuels suppression, so in regards to the persecution of Falun Gong, we must speak up.

News media in the United States have failed to boldly report news of the persecution; the Chinese communist regime has spread lies and propaganda en-masse and the vested interests that people all over the world have in China make outside media unwilling to report. As readers, we look to our newspapers as a source of truthful information, particularly on issues that are suppressed (and therefore) unclear. If we are to express our negative opinions, we should remember our readers are counting on us for some kind of truth. This is particularly so for a sensitive topic like Falun Gong where peoples' stance can impact the future human rights of hundreds of thousands.

I'm a freshman at Carnegie Mellon, studying a BHA degree in English and Art.

I was first introduced to Falun Gong after witnessing a family member's failing health dramatically transform through the practice; then, three years ago, I began to practice myself. After becoming more familiar with the Falun Gong community, I was touched by the peacefulness of practitioners.

It's true that in order to make your own judgment, you have to really understand the content of the subject first. I knew Falun Gong was good by simply looking at those around me. The practitioners I met were kind-hearted, compassionate people; they are taught that if hit, do not hit back, when in a conflict always think of others first and take hardship with a smile. If you have ever been to Manhattan, practitioners meditate across from the Chinese consulate 24-7, whether in the hot heat of summer or blistery winter, as their hearts are intent on clarifying the truth of the persecution, to let the world's people know that prisoners in China are in need of their help. The practice and book, Zhuan Falun, truly wishes and succeeds in bringing people to higher levels so as to improve their moral character as human beings.

Vivian Song

Carnegie Mellon '09