(Clearwisdom.net) Recently I read on the Internet some friends' concerns about China's democracy and legal system. Even though these friends have certain doubts about Falun Dafa, they are against the CCP's (Chinese Communist Party) persecution of it. To these friends I would like to offer my gratitude, and also discuss my personal thoughts and experiences with Falun Dafa.

1) The Example of Falun Gong Activities in Taiwan

Taiwan, which shares our common Chinese culture, is a democratic society. There are many Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan who are productive members of society. The practitioners have introduced the practice to students and teachers of primary and middle schools, as well as criminal prison inmates. There are also Falun Gong groups in a number of universities. None of them have had any conflicts with the government, other social groups, the media, or laws of that country.

Taiwan's Falun Gong practitioners are spread across all walks of life, from workers to businessmen to professors, but they don't get involved in Taiwan's politics. When voting in elections, each individual practitioner makes their own choices. As a group, Falun Gong takes no political stance. Falun Gong groups are not involved in the issue of Taiwan's independence. It's reasonable to believe that in China, Falun Gong's future status may well be similar to what it is now in Taiwan. That is, to co-exist within society, alongside other social groups and the government without disturbing anyone.

2) Respecting Societies that are "Governed by Law"

In legally governed societies such as those found in Europe, North America, Australia, and Taiwan, Falun Gong practitioners abide by local laws. In those places, Falun Gong practitioners and police officers treat each other with respect. In these legally governed societies, citizens have the freedom to gather in groups, the freedom of speech and the freedom to have their own beliefs. Falun Gong practitioners are permitted to organize media companies, hold meetings and even have parades. If government officials infringe upon anyone's lawful rights, they could be sued under the laws of each country for doing so. An example of this is when Falun Gong practitioners in Australia recently sued Foreign Minister Downer. In these countries, people also have the right to sue the media if it commits libel against them.

But in China, sadly, citizens have no freedoms with regard to their speech, their beliefs, or gathering in groups. When the government-dominated media slandered Falun Gong, its practitioners had no way to voice their opinions or defend it under the law. All they could do was peacefully appeal to the government, and clarify the truth to them in an attempt to protect Falun Gong's reputation and the high esteem in which it is held. After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, for simply exercising their basic rights, which are bestowed on them by the Chinese Constitution, practitioners were arrested, tortured, slandered and murdered. They were forced, as a last resort, to use such methods as handing out flyers and distributing various kinds of truth clarification materials to expose to people both the facts about the persecution and Falun Dafa.

3) Respect for Mr. Li Hongzhi

It is certainly true that Falun Gong practitioners have great respect and admiration for Teacher Li Hongzhi, but Falun Gong has never coerced any practitioner into doing so. In other popular religions, people worship different beings, like Jesus Christ or Sakyamuni. Teacher Li Hongzhi encourages his students to live their lives in everyday society, and gives them the freedom whether to practice or not according to their own choices. There is no enforcement whatsoever in this practice.

In democratic societies, people have the freedom to choose their own spiritual beliefs and whomever they wish to hold in high regard. In today's China, the CCP has brainwashed everyone with its Marxist ideologies. They detain Falun Gong practitioners systematically in brainwashing centers set up specifically for that purpose. This is a true dictatorship.

The word religion can be defined many different ways. Falun Gong does not regard itself as a religion, because religions have formal rituals and tend to get involved with politics. Falun Gong does not believe in either of those.

4) Preferences of the Media

Many who volunteer with the Epoch Times are also Falun Gong practitioners, and it is they who make the choices about which articles to include. All media have particular preferences. In the USA, for example, some media outlets lean to the right; while others lean more toward the left. Both of these views are allowed to coexist within the same democratic society. In China, however, the CCP controls all media to serve its own purposes, yet another case in point of how a dictatorship functions. Many overseas Chinese-language media outlets, and even some operating in other languages, have either yielded to CCP pressure and influence, or are even directly controlled by the CCP. It is the good fortune of the Chinese people that a media source like the Epoch Times, which does not yield to any of the pressures applied by the CCP, is now available. I believe that the editors of the Epoch Times respect all upright people who love freedom and democracy, and will work together with their friends for the sake of a better China.

5) Criticize the CCP and Withdraw Your Membership

The CCP's terrible dictatorship in China has caused millions of innocent deaths of Chinese citizens. It is everyone's fundamental right to condemn such crimes and atrocities . Enough withdrawals from the CCP could quickly dissolve its evil. To avoid the risk of persecution, a person could even use an alias to withdraw with if they wish. Nothing in the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, or with regard to withdrawing from the CCP, wish any violence or seek any retaliation against CCP members. It is simply a way of encouraging people to condemn the evil CCP and to refuse to cooperate with it. This is the best thing that can be done for China.

The CCP is still torturing and killing Chinese people. It has never negotiated with any civil rights groups or dissidents. Instead, its methods have always been persecution, detention, defamation and torture. It is impossible to trust the CCP.

6) Peaceful Resistance Is Healthy

Facing the CCP's brutal crackdown, Falun Gong practitioners have been peaceful but unyielding in resisting their persecution. This is different from the traditional meek submission to dictators. Practitioners have resisted without using any violence or hatred. Unlike political groups, what they have been doing in their resistance centers around "resisting the persecution," and "clarifying the facts." They believe that people should know the true facts and then make their own choices. If Falun Gong were to win back the basic rights of freedom of belief, freedom of speech, and freedom to assemble, other groups would also benefit from it. By resisting this persecution through exposing the CCP's lies, they are safeguarding people's rights to know the truth. In one case, their efforts to break through the CCP's Internet blockade allowed people in China to access outside information.

Falun Gong practitioners' colossal sacrifices and efforts are based on their firm righteous beliefs in "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." Seeking worldly benefits would not have lasting effects. Teacher Li Hongzhi has clearly pointed out that mixing religion with politics is not our goal. History has left us numerous examples of how badly that can turn out. Even though Falun Gong is certain to be the most popular belief of the Chinese people, it will not involve itself in politics.

Today's China is in chaos, and has huge problems to contend with. As members of society, Falun Gong practitioners are not corrupt, they neither take drugs nor get involved in gambling, deceit or prostitution. Any shortcomings they may have are corrected through their cultivation by following "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." Falun Gong has no intention to reform society, but its practice will inevitably help upgrade the ethical level of any society in which it exists.