Stick to the Basic Facts When Clarifying the Truth on the Internet
(Minghui.org) I have noticed that some practitioners discuss cultivation issues on YouTube. This has led to some negative effect, because some topics are difficult for non-practitioners to understand, believe, or accept.
For example, on a YouTube channel that mocks the Theory of Evolution, I saw a comment that read, “Many years ago, the founder of Falun Gong had said that there existed prehistorical civilizations. But because of the [persecution by the] Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chinese people cannot make sense of such a remark.” For people who don't know anything about Falun Gong, and believe in the theory of evolution, this comment could lead to a misunderstanding of Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa).
The Chinese government employs tens of thousands of web commentators (also known as “50 cent army” as they are paid 50 cents for posting one comment). Their job is to infiltrate chat rooms, message boards, and social media platforms. They comment on the Internet posing as ordinary users to support the agenda and interest of the CCP. They are known to spread misinformation. Therefore, we must be extra mindful of what we post online.
I have noticed that comments posted by Dafa practitioners have generally exceeded the understandings of everyday people. For those people who do not have a clear understanding of Falun Dafa, such comments could strengthen their negative impression of Dafa. For those who have some understandings of Falun Dafa, but are not particularly convinced, they may be swayed by such comments, and become skeptical of us again, or worse, turn against us.
Do Not Casually Mention Master
Based on my observation, more than half of the time when practitioners mention Master in their comments, the effects are negative. There are times when it is appropriate to mention Master. For example, we may want to take excerpts from Master's teachings about prohibition of killing or suicide when we explain the Tiananmen Self-Immolation hoax.
I think in our truth-clarification efforts, it’s good enough that people understand we are good people, and that we are being persecuted for our faith. When we casually talk about Master, it often leads people to think that we are worshiping Master as a Buddha, and that we think of Him as a higher god.
There are plenty of people who hold an unjustified hatred against Falun Dafa. In addition, the “50 cent army” is further inciting hatred toward Falun Dafa. If ordinary people already misunderstood us because of the lies from the CCP, and now they are having new doubts because a practitioner posted something beyond their understanding, it will create a new obstacle for awakening their conscience.
Perhaps a person's conscience might have awakened by reading the facts of the Tiananmen Self-Immolation, or reading the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, or seeing practitioners overseas clarifying the truth. We don't need to create another obstacle for them by talking about Master.
Do Not Causally Talk about Paranormal Phenomena
Young people, especially those who know how to break through the Internet blockade, and have access to websites outside China, are less likely to believe in paranormal phenomena. They usually hold modern science above everything else.
Our mission is not to get rid of their attachments to science, and convince them to become cultivators, but to awaken their conscience. For example, on a YouTube channel that streams a film about Falun Dafa and the persecution, someone may leave a comment saying “I do not believe in cultivation, but I support Falun Gong's effort to resist the persecution.” This comment itself already shows that this person is very good, because he is willing to support Falun Dafa.
However, some practitioners would comment on the previous comment, saying that Falun Dafa can cure illnesses, or we are cultivators, or I recovered from my illnesses after practicing Dafa, or someone's recovered from his illness after reciting “Falun Dafa is good”, and so on. Some even argue with this person as if he were a practitioner.
Instead of further commenting, one could simply say, “Thank you for your support and righteous thoughts. We are a group of people who strive to cultivate ourselves and raise our morals. If everyone in society is like you, China would not be as it is today, and the CCP would not be able to persecute us.” Once we convince him to withdraw from the CCP and its youth organizations, he has made a step in the right direction. We do not need to test if he believes that Falun Gong can cure illnesses, or if he believes in the existence of gods.
Show People Feelings They Can Understand
One time, I saw a YouTube Channel live streaming a short film about the facts of Falun Dafa. The storyline was about a Dafa disciple being persecuted, but still trying to awaken the police's conscience. At first, I thought it was very good, so I sent forth righteous thoughts. But, later, scenes became more exaggerated and unbelievable. I felt embarrassed reading the comments people posted.
Some negative comments may be from the “50 cents army,” but some were from real viewers. Most negative comments were similar. For example, “I support the Dajiyuan [the Chinese language Epoch Times] newspaper to tell the truth about Falun Gong. But this movie was like promoting a religion.”
I understand this type of audience very well. If I didn't start practicing Falun Dafa, and I had no family member practicing Falun Dafa, I probably would shun this type of movie, too. Imagine you are an everyday person in China who occasionally breaks through the internet blockade, and reads news outside of China. You are still an atheist and have many human notions. Suddenly, you see a short film promoting Falun Dafa with exaggerated acting, showing Falun Gong practitioners as martyrs. What would you think? “Wow, isn't this a bit too much...”
Ordinary people are often emotional. They may get teary-eyed seeing a little girl staring at the candy in a store. They may feel outraged seeing a little girl being bullied by classmates because her parents practice Falun Gong. They may feel sad seeing police torture a practitioner by inserting needles into her fingers. When an ordinary person sees the horror of the persecution and feels indignant about it, then he has a chance to awaken to the truth.
On the other hand, if a little girl appears indifferent about candy because she doesn't have the attachment, or she rebuffs her classmates when they try to bully her, and her classmates kneel in front of her because the evil factors were eliminated, it appears unbelievable in an ordinary person's eyes. People may also find it to be propaganda if a practitioner appears unscratched when tortured, and even had an aura around her from special effects.
Many of these young people are firm believers in modern science. They believe they understand our world better than average people. They believe they can understand anything in this world. Besides they don't believe that gods or Buddhas exist. They don't believe that there are aliens or prehistorical civilizations. If you mention Chinese medicine, some of them may start to criticize it based on what they had learned about Western medicine. In order to help them have a positive view of Falun Dafa, you need to talk to them from an everyday persons's angle, show them the cruelty of the persecution, avoid their attachment to modern science, and encourage their willingness to call for justice.
It is not our job to help them get rid of their attachments. We are trying to awaken the conscience of people by letting them understand the basic facts of Falun Dafa and the persecution.
Promoting Traditional Culture Is Not Our Mission
Some fellow practitioners promote traditional culture on WeChat and other social media platforms in China. They publish articles about the ideologies and morals of ancient people, or the wondrous effects of Chinese medicine. Then, at the end of the article, they vaguely refer to Falun Dafa. However, such obscurity can only be understood by fellow practitioners, and it is meaningless to an everyday person.
My understanding is that we need to present traditions, similar to what is seen about culture on the PureInsight website. We must ensure the traditional culture we present is the real traditional culture, not the sham ones marketed by ordinary people for the purpose of making a profit. Because websites like PureInsight are set up by Dafa practitioners, people are presented with a proper view of traditional culture when they read these articles. They are, therefore, likely to develop a favorable impression of Dafa practitioners as well.
However, if we only talk about traditional culture and not Falun Dafa at all, then it is just a waste of resources. I saw a blog by a fellow practitioner on a social media platform in China. The articles posted reference many points from Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa. For example, one article talks about the sensory abilities of plants. There are also a lot of “likes”. This article has not been taken down by the internet police. Why? That's because the CCP does not think this article has anything to do with Falun Dafa. So even if ordinary people like it, what purpose does it serve?
Earlier this month, Han Kuo-Yu, the mayor of Kaohsiung, was successfully recalled. Han was known to have a close relationship with the CCP. I saw a comment that is most likely from a practitioner, “Han's recall is a testimony of the all mighty God.” In this particular case, many ordinary people already commented on how the CCP had lost a puppet in Taiwan. I feel if we cannot use this incident to further clarify the facts of Falun Dafa, it's best we don't comment on it at all.
Do Not Try to Persuade People to Take up Cultivation
One time, I read a comment from an everyday person about a video of facts on Falun Dafa. It said, “I do not practice [Falun Gong], but I support you.” Then a fellow practitioner replied to him, “We cultivate our hearts primarily, practice exercises is secondary. You could try to read Zhuan Falun...” After the person refused, this practitioner again tried to explain the difference between “practice” and “cultivate” in the following comments without finding out if this person knew the basic facts about Falun Dafa, such as the Tiananmen Self-Immolation hoax.
It is true that some people with predestined relationships may start practicing Falun Dafa after knowing the facts, but, it usually takes face-to-face interaction, with the practitioner to fully understand the person's mentality, to convince them to start cultivating in Dafa.
I once saw a comment on the official Shen Yun YouTube channel. When the CCP spread a rumor that Shen Yun performers came from China, and had contracted the coronavirus, one Shen Yun staff member replied on their account that Shen Yun is based in New York, and does not come from China. And due to their exposure of persecution of Falun Gong, the performers aren’t allowed to go back to China to visit their families. It then attached a link for more detailed information. Imagine if the reply said, “We are cultivators, and our bodies can ward off the virus.” What would this person and everyone who saw the comment think?
Keep to the Basic Facts of Falun Dafa
When we clarify the facts face-to-face, we have the opportunity to understand the person's thinking at that moment. We can specifically target the person with the information he/she is interested in, and if that person responds well, we can then talk about some higher understandings.
It is very different on the Internet. First, we cannot understand the readers' mentalities. Secondly, readers may simply leave the site when we talk about things beyond their understanding. We have no way to know or clarify the misunderstanding like if we were talking to a person face-to-face. Finally, the comments on the Internet are public, which could cause a negative effect.
My understanding is that when we clarify the facts on the Internet, we should focus on the CCP's lies, the horror of the persecution, and the fact that Falun Dafa improves morality. We should not talk about things that are beyond everyday people's comprehension, or that could easily be misconstrued. After all, the Chinese people today have been deeply poisoned by the CCP. They lack faith, and have obstacles to accept the unknown, especially in regards to gods and Buddhas. If one sentence from us exceeds their level of understanding, their notions may feel attacked. It might lead them to oppose Dafa.
Category: Clarifying the Truth