A Prosecutor’s Story: Connecting the Dots Between a Self-Immolation Rumor and Incident Aimed at Defaming Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) I was asleep in the middle of the night when someone pounding on the door woke me up. It was so violent that I felt the whole building was shaking. “Is it an earthquake?” I wondered.
My father had been having trouble sleeping for a while and had taken sleeping pills that night, but he was still startled awake by the loud sound. He grabbed a shirt and rushed downstairs. My mother followed him.
It was the evening of April 30, 1999, the day before a long weekend “National Labor Day” holiday.
My father opened the door in a panic and saw that it was the local policeman Xiao Chi. He was acquainted with my family, but he still showed the police ID indicating that it was a business matter. He wanted to see me as soon as he entered the door.
I was still a young woman back then. When a male police officer came to find me in the middle of the night, my parents found it very inappropriate. When I came out of my bedroom, Xiao Chi asked: “Are you going to the Xiangshan Park to set yourself on fire tomorrow?”
“What are you talking about?” I was completely shocked to hear that. I had never even heard of such a thing and could not even fathom it.
I was a prosecutor at the time, with a wealthy and decent family that everyone admired. How could such a bizarre thing happen to me like a thunderbolt in the middle of the night?
Falun Gong and the Amazing Change It Brings to Practitioners
I began practicing Falun Gong in 1996. After that, I became a volunteer instructor in the local area. Because of the healing power of Falun Gong and the improvement of one's morality, many people joined after hearing about it through word of mouth. We set up an exercise site to promote the practice in our area.
By 1999, in just three years, every village and town in this suburban area of Beijing had a Falun Gong exercise site. The healing power of Falun Gong was experienced by many practitioners.
For example, Ms. Liu had severe back pain for over ten years. After she'd been practicing Falun Gong for just a few days, she recovered from her back pain! She was illiterate since she had never gone to school. But one year into her practice, she was able to read Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong, all by herself!
Ms. Sun was paralyzed and bedridden for years. She was able to get out of bed after reading Zhuan Falun and she recovered completely soon after she began to do the Falun Gong exercises. She even returned to her workplace and resumed her job!
Another elderly woman was discharged from the hospital to spend her final days at home. Her family had already planned her funeral. After she began practicing Falun Gong, she miraculously recovered. She could help with housework again and her family was amazed.
Falun Gong practitioners strove to abide by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and their morality improved. Some of those who used to take things from their workplace no longer did so, and they brought back what they took in the past.
There is a public toilet in the village which was very dirty in the past but has been cleaned by Falun Gong practitioners for many years. It was also Falun Gong practitioners who volunteered to clean the snow-covered roads in the winter, particularly the road in front of the region’s kindergarten.
When the great flood of 1998 occurred, various organizations called for donations, and it was Falun Gong practitioners who donated the most. When people donated clothes to the laid-off workers for New Year's Eve, it was also Falun Gong practitioners who donated their brand-new clothes bought for the New Year, instead of donating second-hand clothes like most others.
With all these good deeds done by the practitioners, everyone from the workplace to the neighborhood had a very good impression of Falun Gong.
For Falun Gong practitioners themselves, they also felt peace and joy in their lives. In the past few years, everyone was happy at the practice sites and their changes physically as well mentally continued to attract their relatives and friends to come to learn the practice.
A Sinister Plot Was Brewing
Due to the immense popularity of Falun Gong, the government’s attitude towards Falun Gong began to change subtly in 1997. In late April 1999, several practitioners in Tianjin were arrested for requesting the local magazine to correct a defamatory report about Falun Gong. When more practitioners went there to seek justice for Falun Gong, the authorities in Tianjin told them that the issue could only be solved by the central government in Beijing.
Upon hearing of the incident, 10,000 practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, only to be accused of trying to besiege the government. Since then, we began to hear rumors that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would start to suppress Falun Gong. But the official media publicly refuted the rumors that the country did not oppose the masses' practice. Many local residents also voiced their support for Falun Gong, saying that it is the most beneficial to society. No one believed that the CCP would suppress such a group of good people who only wanted to cultivate their hearts and improve their health.
So, when I was awakened and asked such an absurd question that night, I had no idea what was going on. My parents thought that the police officer was deliberately playing a prank on us. The policeman realized that something was wrong, so he awkwardly explained, “Don't get me wrong. It is secretary Wang who ordered us to ask the question. He is now sitting in the office waiting for an answer." He dared not sleep himself, because his superiors told him to report back immediately.”
After we sent him away, no one could go back to sleep. Living under communist rule, people knew that the regime could fabricate evidence and smear people at will and that no one was safe. Subconsciously I felt that an unknown danger was approaching, and the fright of that night was indescribable.
The next day, my father went to the police station to demand an answer for the incident. When he got home, he told me that the chief apologized to him and said that they couldn't understand what was going on themselves. Their superiors had told them that said that Falun Gong practitioners planned to go to Xiangshan Park on May 1 for group “self-immolation.” Even the chief of public security could not sleep and was told to visit a few houses in the middle of the night to ask the same question.
A few days later, I saw an online report that Jiang Zemin (the then head of the CCP) and Luo Gan (the head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee) had fabricated a lie that Falun Gong practitioners were going to set themselves on fire at Xiangshan Park.
In order to make people believe them, they issued documents to all local offices, and also sent armed police to guard Xiangshan Park. The date of the so-called “self-immolation” was changed three times, but not a single Falun Gong practitioner went there.
The local police were ordered to knock on the doors of Falun Gong practitioners’ houses in the middle of the night. No one knew the real intent behind this at that time, and the rumors were self-defeating. On the contrary, many police officers learned the truth that Falun Gong teaches people to be good people following the principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and the practice prohibits killing and suicide.
Two years later, on January 23, 2001, when five people set themselves on fire at Tiananmen Square and the CCP rushed to claim they were Falun Gong practitioners, I suddenly remembered the rumor of “self-immolation in Xiangshan” that had led the police to knock on my door in the middle of the night on April 30, 1999. I think Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan probably had spent more than a year trying to stage the incident to attack Falun Gong. As they could not find any real Falun Gong practitioners to do this, they had to pay people to do this to set up Falun Gong.
What a contemporary absurdity for those who abused the state power and used all the state machinery to target a group of unarmed cultivators who just want to refine their character and abide by the universal principles?
In the CCP’s 70 years of history, the Party has always used lies to attack and take down any groups that threatened its authoritarian rule. From the political persecution in the Cultural Revolution to the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre, and now the persecution of Falun Gong, the CCP has used the same tricks again and again to create class struggles and incite one group's hatred towards another. Their purpose isn’t only to control China but to destroy humanity.