(Minghui.org) The Pennsylvania State Senate held a hearing on November 25 to discuss irregularities and fraud that happened in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Video of the three-and-a-half-hour long hearing, during which multiple witnesses testified, is available on C-SPAN.

The hearing focused people's attention on a crucial issue: The U.S. and the world may face two drastically different futures depending on the eventual outcome of the election.

As the beacon of freedom and democracy for the world, if the U.S. succumbs to pressure to cover up the election fraud, the world will fall into the darkness of socialist totalitarianism.

On the other hand, if we safeguard our principles and seek the truth without conditions, we will be empowered by faith, and we will be blessed with courage and wisdom.

As the pandemic caused by the cover-up of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to ravage the world, and the CCP cast a shadow on the U.S. election, what Falun Gong practitioners have been doing in the past 21 years to peacefully defy the CCP to defend their faith in traditional values, may offer a ray of hope and a solution to the danger we are facing.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Its practitioners have not only benefited from the practice physically, but have also aimed to improve their moral character, becoming better citizens. Due to its quickly growing popularity, the Chinese communist regime launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong in July 1999 and the persecution continues to this day.

Standing Up to Brutality and Defamation for 21 Years

Falun Gong practitioners live by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which stand in stark contrast to the core ideology of communism – violence, deceit, and hatred. Since the CCP began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, many practitioners have been detained, tortured, or even killed for refusing to renounce their belief. Some even became victims of forced organ harvesting.

Like other campaigns launched by communism, the persecution of Falun Gong has also adopted the tactic of defamation to stir up the general public's hatred towards its target. Essentially all news media in China began to slander Falun Gong as soon as the suppression started. One of the worst examples of anti-Falun Gong propaganda was the staged self-immolation incident.

On January 23, 2001, five individuals allegedly set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The CCP-controlled media immediately moved to claim these individuals were Falun Gong practitioners who had gone astray, when in fact none of them practiced Falun Gong. Many media outlets in other countries simply reprinted the CCP's news reporting on the incident.

Falun Gong prohibits killing, including suicide. The five individuals exhibited behaviors contradicting Falun Gong’s teachings. Detailed analysis of the official footage, which was shot from different angles with professional cameras, also revealed dozens of loopholes that suggested the incident was a setup in collaboration with the military to slander Falun Gong. Nonetheless, the massive defamation and lies flooded news media, literature, and textbooks.

With normal communication and appeal channels blocked, practitioners have been using creative means to tell people what Falun Gong is and why the persecution is wrong. In particular, practitioners in Changchun City, Jilin Province, intercepted the cable television signal in March 2002 and played a 50-minute long video debunking the lies against Falun Gong. Up to one million residents in the city learned the real story of Falun Gong.

Retaliation soon followed. Former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who launched the persecution in 1999, issued an order to “kill without mercy.” Police arrested more than 5,000 practitioners in the city. Among them, at least 8 died in a short time due to torture and 15 were sentenced to jail terms of up to 20 years.

Despite the risk of being persecuted, Falun Gong practitioners have never stopped their efforts to expose the truth behind the staged self-immolation incident and other lies perpetuated by the CCP against the practice in the past two decades.

Speaking Out for Those Who Are Unheard

Although not many, there were a few reports from mainstream news media covering the tragedy at the time.

In April 2000, Ian Johnson from the Wall Street Journal reported the tragic experience of Ms. Chen Zixiu, a Falun Gong practitioner in Shandong Province who died in custody for upholding her faith. The title of the article was “Practicing Falun Gong Was a Right, Ms. Chen Said, Up to Her Last Day.”

Because of this and other reports related to Falun Gong, Johnson won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. “It was a tremendous example of courage and determination to get a story in the face of strong police pressures against the reporting, combined with very sensitive and powerful writing,” commented Paul E. Steiger, managing editor of the newspaper at the time.

Similarly, Philip Pan from the Washington Post also conducted his own investigation and reported on the staged Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident in a February 2001 article titled “Human Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery.” People that he interviewed for the article said the alleged “self-immolators” were not Falun Gong practitioners.

Since then, there have been hardly any reports on mainstream media about this, not even the forced organ harvesting that was exposed in 2006. As a matter of fact, the western media and governments have often remained mum on the CCP's human rights violations.

Seeking the Truth and Maintaining Justice

While the CCP controlled media keeps spreading untruths about Falun Gong, the U.S. election has also seen its fair share of media corruption. Instead of reporting truthfully on the election irregularities, most media called the election prematurely for the democratic candidate, when lots of legal challenges remained pending.

During Trump's interview with Fox News “Sunday Morning Features” anchor Maria Bartiromo on November 29, 26 days after the election, he said, “We don't have freedom of the press in this country. We have suppression by the press. They suppress. You can't have a scandal if nobody reports about it. This is the greatest fraud in the history of our country, from an electoral standpoint.” However, “The media doesn't even want to cover it.”

Trump also warned of the danger of the democratic candidate's promise to pivot away from “America First.” He said, “America first is exactly what it is, America first. We have to take care of ourselves first, and then we can help others. But we have to take care of ourselves first, or we won't have a country.”

Trump indicated that his legal team wanted to file one simple lawsuit, but the court said to them, “You don't have standing.” He also mentioned the Gettysburg hearing on November 25, where witnesses testified against election fraud.

Senator Doug Mastriano, who requested the hearing, said the following in his opening remarks, “As Benjamin Franklin is leaving Constitutional Hall in 1787, he was approached by Mrs. Powell... and she said, 'Well, Mr. Franklin, what do we have, a monarchy or a Republic? And he said, 'A Republic, if you can keep it.'”

“This is our time to keep this Republic,” Mastriano added, “We choose this day to walk as free men and women, and honor the sacrifice... We will be relentless in our pursuit of the transparency of accountability and truth. The time for dithering, politics, and games is over. The time for truth and justice is now.”

Freedom does not come easy. Seeking the truth and maintaining justice requires tremendous courage and effort. For us and the future generations, it is our obligation to stand up for justice and search for the truth – something that we have to keep doing with commitment and dignity.