(Clearwisdom.net) The “Tiananmen self-immolation incident” happened ten years ago, on January 23, 2001. The whole thing was a propaganda stunt staged by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to turn public opinion against Falun Gong. Yet the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution has continued to be spread widely among the people in China, and Falun Gong has continued to flourish around the world It is now being practiced in more than one hundred countries.

Jiang Zemin and his corrupt regime initiated a political campaign to “crack down” on Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Overnight, thousands of Falun Gong volunteers were arrested around the country. The regime used every means at its disposal to slander Falun Gong, including an intense propaganda campaign parroted around the clock by each and every branch of China's vast state-run media operations. It was like the Cultural Revolution all over again. Practitioners went to Beijing's Central Government Appeals Office to petition the government to reverse the decision, because even in communist China freedom of spiritual belief is something enshrined in the constitution.

While the Appeals Office should listen to the claims made by various appellants, in the case of Falun Gong, it turned out to be simply another of the many places where practitioners would be immediately arrested. Falun Gong practitioners had nowhere to appeal, so many took the opportunity to go to Tiananmen Square to speak out for justice. They risked being beaten or tortured to death, and they peacefully sat to meditate, unfurl banners, or shout from the bottoms of their hearts, “Falun Dafa is good!” Their brave but peaceful acts were in stark contrast to the brutal violence of the police. Their peaceful expressions continued to be reported by the overseas media and people around the world sympathized with their plight. The CCP thus feared that their false propaganda demonizing Falun Gong would soon be exposed.

The tragedy of the Tiananmen self-immolation happened under circumstances such as these, but loopholes in the story were instantly recognized by the public. For instance, the Chinese police never patrol Tiananmen Square while carrying fire extinguishers, yet on that day many fire extinguishers were on hand. The “media” who recorded the videotape of the incident seemed to know exactly where to set up and what would happen. The camera recorded slogans shouted by the victims loudly and clearly, and got many up-close photos. One of the victims, Wang Jindong, had a soda bottle full of “gasoline” on his lap, but it did not burn when he set himself on fire. These and many more clues provide ample evidence to expose the entire incident as a horrific propaganda stunt.

A journalist from the Washington Post did some investigating in another of the victim's (Liu Chunling) hometown and found out that she was a prostitute who often beat her aging mother and young daughter. She was certainly not a Falun Dafa practitioner as the “media” claimed, and this was even confirmed by her neighbor. The Jiang regime staged this tragic event to turn public opinion against Falun Gong and to stop practitioners from peacefully protesting on Tiananmen Square.

No matter how the CCP used all their media to spread lies of the self-immolation, and no matter how the CCP cruelly tortured Falun Gong practitioners, the self-immolation case could not forever stop the truth about the practice and the persecution from reaching the people.

One phenomenal incident was the tapping into Changchun City Cable TV on March 5, 2001. Mr. Liang Zhenxing, Mr. Liu Chengjun, and other practitioners tapped into eight cable TV channels and broadcast 50 minutes of programming debunking the self-immolation incident and showing how Falun Gong has spread around the world. Tens of thousands of local Chinese were watching at the time.

A U.S. magazine, the Weekly Standard, recently published a long report about these brave practitioners. They were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and all met with untimely deaths. They sacrificed so much just to let the Chinese people learn the truth.

This TV-tapping incident shocked the authorities, yet even more efforts to clarify the truth are still being quietly undertaken. Chinese Falun Gong practitioners have established many material centers, including countless small-scale operations in private homes. They download materials from the Minghui/Clearwisdom website (such as brochures, booklets, periodicals, DVDs) and pass them out all over China. Many practitioners take to the streets to explain the truth to people face to face. More and more Chinese are learning the truth about the CCP's lies, and the truth that the CCP is persecuting Falun Gong.

The conduct of Falun Gong practitioners itself makes a powerful statement. The Jiang regime fabricated the self-immolation and many other killings and suicides by Falun Gong over the past ten years, but not a single case was true. Practitioners are to be found at every level of society in China and include government employees, teachers, doctors, businessmen, lawyers, workers, farmers, etc. They acquired good health and cultivated themselves to become better people through practicing Falun Gong. None has sought revenge even in the face of brutal mistreatment. They try to persuade the police not to harm themselves by joining the regime in its evil acts. At the same time, they are bearing the misunderstandings, discrimination, and persecution by the authorities. Even with all this mistreatment, they persist in clarifying the truth to people at every opportunity.

Outside China, Falun Gong practitioners often join community activities to introduce the practice to the public, and it is well received by the local people and governments, garnering many favorable proclamations.

Needless to say, Falun Gong practitioners will continue to cultivate to be better people according to the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. They will put in more effort to widely spread the truth and expose the CCP lies, to enable more kind-hearted people to benefit.