My Experiences Clarifying the Truth about Falun Gong at Academic Seminars in China
(Clearwisdom.net) I am a veteran Falun Gong practitioner. I started practicing before the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Before 2006, I was required to attend several seminars at the provincial level every year, as well as chair meetings. I have grasped the opportunity at each seminar and meeting to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and distribute informational materials containing important facts about Falun Gong. I would like to share some of my experiences.
At a province-level seminar in 2001, the chairman of the academic association, who was a senior professor in the psychology department at a medical school, defamed Falun Gong in the speech he gave to an audience of several hundred people. Since I was the co-chair and one of the presenters, I was sitting in the front row. After the chairman finished speaking, I immediately stood up and spoke fearlessly, without concern for the audience's attitude. “Falun Gong does not practice mind control. Everyone is free to practice Falun Gong and join Falun Gong group exercises. And they are free not to. Falun Gong requires its practitioners to follow its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and benefits its practitioners with good health. Someone from our organization that used to suffer from cirrhosis was cured without medical treatment when he practiced Falun Gong. Another person from our organization was cured of cancer when he practiced Falun Gong.”
After I made my rebuttal, a tall man in his 30’s behind me protested, “This is an academic seminar. Please do not talk about non-academic issues.” I really appreciated his intervention because he was, in fact, deftly protecting me when the persecution against Falun Gong reached its peak in 2001. Afterwards, no one made any more negative comments about Falun Gong for the remainder of the seminar. Later, several close colleagues privately commented, “Will you look at where you are? You had some temerity to defend Falun Gong here!” I explained, “I was merely speaking the truth. No one had ever heard of any reports of Falun Gong practitioners becoming mentally deranged or doing anything insane before Falun Gong was banned. We all have lived through the Great Cultural Revolution. Shouldn’t we think about it?”
In 2003, I attended another seminar at the provincial level. During a break, the chairman of an academic association, who was a professor at a military medical college, defamed Falun Gong. His speech attracted a small crowd. I immediately spoke up. “Falun Gong does not practice mind control. You are free to practice Falun Gong and equally free to stop practicing it. Falun Gong requires its practitioners to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and to become better people while benefitting its practitioners with good health.” The professor refuted this by citing the “self-immolation” incident on Tiananmen Square. I explained, “That was staged propaganda. According to Falun Gong’s teaching, killing, including taking one’s own life, is not allowed. How could anyone who claims to practice Falun Gong commit suicide by setting himself on fire? Before Falun Gong was banned, there were already hundreds of millions people in China practicing. Why did we not hear of any Falun Gong practitioners setting themselves on fire before?” Then a division head of a hospital sitting next to me interrupted, “Do not demonize Falun Gong. All the people I know who practice Falun Gong are elderly folks and people trying to restore their health. Some of them actually had their health restored when they practiced Falun Gong.” An altercation broke out. (I had a strong attachment to belligerence at the time.) When the intermission ended, we were forced to stop the debate. If I had a chance now to do it over again, I believe I would be more calm and I would not become as excited. I would have been able to clarify the truth in a more peaceful manner.
It caught my attention that, each time, a kindhearted person came to my rescue. It showed that I was not alone. Perhaps it was Teacher who had them help boost my confidence, but it also showed that there are many kindhearted people with conscience and integrity.
Each time I attended an academic seminar, I would take the opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. If the seminar was held in my area, I would leave for the seminar early in the morning and return late at night. The only time I had left was at the lunch break, when I would clarify the truth or distribute materials in person. If someone asked me for my papers, I would take the opportunity to clarify the truth to him or her before I handed the person my article along with Falun Gong truth-clarification materials. If I could not afford the time, I would insert truth-clarification materials inside my papers. Sometimes I would offer people my articles with truth-clarification materials inserted.
If a seminar was held out of town, I would check if any of my old college friends lived in that city and find a way to contact them. I would prepare informatonal materials to give them when we met. One day, I went to a city for a seminar where three of my college classmates resided. They worked in a hospital and in schools. I arranged a reunion and took the opportunity to clarify the truth to them. When we parted, I gave them each a package of Falun Gong truth-clarification materials, including theNine Commentaries on the Communist Party that had just been published.
One day I attended a seminar in another city where three of my old classmates had resided and worked in the same hospital. However, one of them had lost his life to illness. Another left the city after retirement. The third one excelled academically, but was somewhat arrogant and difficult to approach. Additionally, we were not in the same class, and we were never close. For a few decades after we graduated from medical school, we never contacted each other. Her husband is the vice president of the hospital, which is affiliated with a medical school. I was presented with difficult challenges. However, Teacher has repeatedly asked us to save people from the CCP’s lies about Falun Gong. As a Falun Gong practitioner, I must follow Teacher’s teaching. There is always a way when it is difficult to get through. It is a long trip from my city. It must have been Teacher’s arrangement to save her. What was I waiting for? I got in touch with one of her close friends from school and obtained her phone number. Once I arrived in the city, I had half a day left, so I immediately gave her a call. However, she did not live in the college faculty residence community. She lived in a mansion in the suburbs. On my way to her home, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts and asked for Teacher’s help. I followed her directions and found her home. After I complimented her on her beautiful house, I told her that 10% of our college classmates had passed away. Then, I naturally changed the topic to Falun Gong. Finally, I gave her a copy of the Nine Commentaries along with other truth-clarification materials. She was receptive to them. I urged her to read all the materials because they would broaden her perspective, and she would benefit greatly from the reading.
It is a good opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Gong with people who share the same accommodations during the seminars. One day I met a person in charge of discipline at a detention center at the hotel I was staying while I was attending a seminar. After briefly chitchatting, I asked her, “Are there any Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in your detention center?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “They are all very good people. You must be kind to them.” When she made a negative comment about practitioners, I asked, “Have you read the materials they distribute?” She said she had not. I explained, “If they were allowed to talk, do you think they would risk distributing the materials? Everything in the materials is true. There are many things in the materials you do not know yet. Many people who have not been cured by modern medicine have been cured when they practiced Falun Gong. They persevere in practicing Falun Gong for their health. Some people had many domestic altercations before they practiced Falun Gong. When they practiced Falun Gong, they became better people and their family lives improved. They want to practice Falun Gong because they want to have a happy family. Those who practice Falun Gong want to become better people. You must be kind to them and you will be rewarded in some way some day. You have a beautiful and adorable daughter. Don’t you want her to have a good future?” I told her of incidents of people who persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and were met with karmic retribution. Finally, I gave her truth-clarification materials and my academic articles. She accepted them. I emphasized that it would be good for her to read the materials and urged her to be kind to Falun Gong practitioners.
In 2006, when I attended another an academic seminar, I stayed in the same hotel as a young physician from a psychiatric hospital in a neighboring province. Their hospital rarely sent anyone to a seminar at the provincial level. We had never met before, but she had heard of my reputation as a senior chairman of an academic association because I hosted a half day meeting. As a result, she respected and trusted me. After I told her some facts about Falun Gong, I asked her if she had heard of reports that Falun Gong practitioners had been killed so that their organs could be harvested for profit. She said she had not. But she added, “But I know of the existence of black market organ trades. I heard about a young man injured in a car accident. He was rushed to a hospital for emergency resuscitation. The hospital said they could not save the young man’s life, but all of his organs were removed from his body.” Next I told her that there was a place in Sujiatun, China, where Falun Gong practitioners were kept alive for organ harvesting. The wife of a doctor that took part in harvesting organs from these practitioners and a veteran military doctor have testified to the validity of the report. She was shocked. I also told her that Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to psychiatric institutions where they were injected with nerve-damaging drugs. I asked her to stop this from happening if practitioners were were sent to her hospital and that she would be rewarded by heaven in some way if she showed kindness to Falun Gong practitioners.
Before I attended the final chair meeting before I retired, I prepared a copy of Falun Gong truth-clarification material for each person in attendance. Each copy was customized based on his/her understanding of Falun Gong and their level of acceptance. Shortly before we started the meeting, I gave out the materials to all the attendees, as well as their chauffeurs. About 20 people attended the meeting. All but one accepted without protest. Some started reading right away. Only a PhD in her 40’s took a quick glance and gave me a suspicious look. She demanded, “What do you mean by giving me this?” I explained, “I mean to have you understand the truth and have a wonderful future.” She did not reply and accepted the material.
A chairman from another association came to the meeting from a city 100 km away. We had already begun when he arrived. He hurried to leave as soon as the meeting was over. I caught up to him and gave him a copy. “Please read it. It would be good for you. It might even bring you good luck.” He said, “Okay. Thank you.”
These are my experiences of clarifying the truth about Falun Gong during academic seminars. I stopped attending seminars in 2006. I didn’t do a very good job in persuading people to quit the CCP at the time. I am truly falling behind those truly diligent fellow practitioners. My understandings are limited to my present cultivation level. Please kindly point out anything you should find erroneous.