(Minghui.org) Many Chinese people have negative opinions about Falun Gong because of publications by China's government-owned media. They don’t realize that the systematic slanderous propaganda targeting Falun Gong was fabricated to incite people into hating this cultivation practice.

Let us discuss the staged self-immolation incident at Tiananmen Square in early 2001.

I was suspicious when I heard about the event on the news, as none of the participants had acted according to Falun Gong principles. Specifically, suicide is clearly described as a sin in the teachings, and absolutely forbidden by the practice.

Everything fell into place when a provincial 610 Office chief told me what he had seen on Tiananmen Square that day.

Witnessing the Preparation

We had this conversation on January 24, 2011, about ten years after the incident. Because the 610 Office was in charge of monitoring Falun Gong practitioners, he paid close attention to a message from the provincial police in January 2001 that claimed that some practitioners were planning to travel to Beijing and appeal for Falun Gong on Tiananmen Square.

“I stayed in Beijing during those days, and went to Tiananmen Square every day in the morning and afternoon to check,” he said.

On the afternoon of January 23, 2001, he heard that Tiananmen Square had been put under curfew. Plainclothes officers and curfew officials stopped him three times to check his identification.

“My regular pass was not accepted,” he said, “so I had to present my special 610 permit. That permit is issued exclusively to provincial 610 Officers or higher authorities,” he recalled.

Soon afterward, the police cleared the area inside the curfew zone. He had to present his special permit to stay.

“I then saw video cameras being set up for filming.” Considering this to be in preparation for some political activities or television program production, he did not pay much attention.

Nonetheless, he did stay for a while and walked around. Then someone called out, “Fire!” He looked at the place where the call came from and noticed some smoke. Some officers, in uniform and plainclothes, rushed toward that direction and began to put out the fire. He said that the fire was at the place where he had seen the video cameras. Since the location was far away from him, and he assumed that they were filming a television program, he did not go there to take a look.

Because of the curfew, hardly anyone else could get into Tiananmen Square. He wandered around for some time before he returned to his hotel. Due to an urgent meeting for provincial officials, he flew back later that day.

When watching the staged self-immolation at Tiananmen Square on television, he recalled what he had seen earlier, and everything made sense—it was another propaganda ploy arranged by the Chinese Communist Party.

For more information about the self-immolation hoax, please see Self-Immolation Hoax on Tiananmen Square.