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  • On this episode of China Uncensored,

  • What is Falun Gong, and Why is it Persecuted?

  • Hi, welcome to China Uncensored, I'm your host, Chris Chappell.

  • July 20 is the 15 year anniversary of the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong.

  • To mark it, I've decided to compile everything I've said previously about Falun Gong in one

  • episode.

  • So what is Falun Gong?

  • Why, just the gravest threat facing China!

  • Look at them there, standing still!

  • Or here, sitting still!

  • Can't someone do something about this menace?!

  • Yes, good.

  • Okay.

  • Oh, wow.

  • Okay okay I get the idea.

  • Wow.

  • So what is Falun Gong and why is this happening to them?

  • Now, there's nothing I'd like more, than to treat this issue the way most Western media

  • have--

  • ignore it and hope that it goes away.

  • I mean, do you know how hard it is to report on this stuff?

  • The Communist Party gets a little touchy about Western media reporting on Falun Gong.

  • Even if the Western journalists want to report on it, that puts media companies in a tight

  • spot.

  • Are these companies going to risk getting kicked out of China?

  • Are they expected to risk losing all that money for a poorly understood spiritual group,

  • just because it's the right thing to do?

  • I mean just the other day I heard about this crazy group of people who believe in drinking

  • some poor guy's blood and eating his flesh.

  • Sounds like those sickos should be fed to lions for sport.

  • I mean, I'm sure there's no way people might have some misunderstandings about a heavily

  • persecuted and suppressed underground spiritual movement.

  • When there's a massive regime trying to spread misinformation about it.

  • Ah, if only there was an Ancient Rome Uncensored

  • But, since this is China Uncensored, I guess I'll have to try and clear up some of the

  • misunderstandings about Falun Gong, myself.

  • Have you heard of qigong?

  • Qigong is a broad term for movements meant to exercise the flow of qi, or energy, through

  • the body, that's supposed to be good for the health.

  • Think of Taichi as an example.

  • Falun Gong, which is also called Falun Dafa, includes 5 qigong exercises.

  • I think we can all clearly see why this is a threat to the Party.

  • Falun Gong also has roots in Buddhist and Taoist philosophy and thought, so you get

  • talk about things like karma and reincarnation, tranquility,

  • giving up anger and jealousy, trying to be less selfish.

  • Now, Li Hongzhi, the man who first taught Falun Gong publicly in 1992, claims that he

  • was taught a version of Falun Gong from a master when he was young.

  • And that the practice had been passed down from a single master to a single disciple

  • for a very long time.

  • But, just because there are hundreds of traditional Chinese practices like Falun Gong,

  • passed down through the generations in exactly the same way,

  • does that mean it’s true?

  • I mean, look at the symbol of Falun Gong, the Falun or Law Wheel.

  • That's a swastika, a symbol of pure evil, no matter how many thousands of years people

  • have been using it before Hitler.

  • Really? This is from 10,000 BC?

  • But it gets worse.

  • Whereas qigong usually is just about doing exercises to keep fit and healthy, Falun Gong

  • goes beyond that,

  • and requires its practitioners to live their lives based on three dangerous, subversive

  • principles:

  • Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance.

  • Luckily, there are those willing to stand up to this madness.

  • After the Communist Party started persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, state-run Xinhua News

  • Agency wrote,

  • The so-called 'truth, kindness and forbearance' principle preached by Li has nothing in common

  • with the socialist ethical and cultural progress we are striving to achieve."

  • Thank you, Xinhua.

  • Now there is the voice of the people.

  • I mean, Truth, Compassion, Tolerance?

  • If everyone followed that, China wouldn't have the kind of systemic corruption that

  • has made China great.

  • Corruption is why people the world over know the reputation of Chinese baby formula.

  • And you know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  • So, obviously, the only people who would be interested in this kind of thing would be

  • a few, probably poor, elderly, uneducated women from the countryside.

  • I mean, the facts speak for themselves!

  • When Li Hongzhi gave his first seminar in ’92,

  • it was to a little over a hundred people in a middle school in Changchun, Jilin Province.

  • 7 years later, according to surveys taken by the government, there were 100 million

  • people practicing it?

  • Wait, is that right?!

  • That would have been one out of every 12 people in China practicing Falun Gong.

  • Huh. I don't think, poor, uneducated peasant women can really cover that.

  • Actually, it even seems like some pretty high-ranking people in the Communist Party were practicing.

  • And in every park in China, you could see more people practicing Falun Gong than even

  • Taichi.

  • It was also spreading overseas pretty rapidly.

  • Man, Li Hongzhi must have been making a fortune!

  • On all of thefree public workshopsandfree online booksand especially when people

  • were going around teaching their friends and family the exercisesfor free.

  • So why was this becoming such a big thing?

  • Well, China, as you may know, is not exactly, well, it's a sludge-coated wasteland.

  • People tend to get sick, and healthcare was becoming a problem.

  • But apparently, one of the big draws of Falun Gong was that people were reporting a lot

  • of health benefits--even some rather miraculous ones.

  • People with cancer, tuberculosis, paralysis, all kinds of nasty stuff, were getting better.

  • So many people were getting healthier from the practice, that government organizations

  • started calling Falun Gong a beneficial public health activity,

  • and it was praised in state-run media and by Chinese officials.

  • If you took a walk in the park this morning, you can see that the recent hard work the

  • government has put into public health activities has not been wasted.

  • Every morning starting from 5 to 6 am the city’s green grass, parks, and public squares

  • become a morning exercise heaven.

  • Wait, a minute!

  • Isn't state run media always telling me how evil Falun Gong is?!

  • Oh my, if you can't trust state-run media, who can you trust?!

  • So for years, the government was actually promoting Falun Gong because of all the health

  • benefits people were experiencing.

  • But more than that, China researchers tend to point out that Falun Gong filled a spiritual

  • vacuum that had been left in China after the Cultural Revolution.

  • Falun Gong was a traditional, Chinese kind of spirituality that appealed to Chinese people.

  • At a time when making money was the only thing considered important, and getting rich was

  • glorious,

  • people liked something that taught them life was bigger than the size of your bank account.

  • And Falun Gong really must have meant a lot to people, considering anyone's practicing

  • it after how hard the Chinese regime has been trying to crush them.

  • In 1999, then Chinese leader Jiang Zemin declared the Party had to eradicate Falun Gong.

  • The people’s daily reports that Falun Gong is an evil cult.

  • Falun Dafa is an illegal organization and the decision is to outlaw it.

  • Since then, Falun Gong practitioners have disappeared, been tortured, raped, and killed

  • in labor camps and prisons, sent to mental institutions,

  • even become the cornerstone of China's organdonationsystem, as they, have their,

  • organs, ripped out and sold.

  • And in the 15 years this persecution, genocide, has been going on, Falun Gong practitioners

  • have never fought back with violence.

  • They have, however, been trying to tell people about all of the stuff that’s happening

  • to them in China.

  • Which, really, is almost as bad.

  • Why are Falun Gong practitioners always trying to give China a bad name?

  • I mean, they claim they're a peaceful meditation qigong practice or whatever, but they're clearly

  • getting political.

  • That's what I often hear Chinese people complain about is political; that Falun Gong is political.

  • No, the way you're supposed to handle it, when Chinese authorities do something bad

  • to you, iswell, definitely don’t question why theyre doing that.

  • Just keep your head down and try not to think about it.

  • Definitely don’t talk about it, ever.

  • It’s worked in the past, right?

  • That way, the Party can keep all those horrible crimes against humanity behind the scenes.

  • Then, they can put on some nice shows like the Olympics opening ceremony, or get placed

  • on the UN Human Rights council,

  • and then everyone in the world thinks China's great! And that's what really benefits the

  • Chinese people.

  • Because the Party says so.

  • But so why did Jiang Zemin launch the persecution against Falun Gong?

  • To understand what really happened, you need to understand how Jiang Zemin came to power.

  • Now, in case you didn't know, politics in China is a fairly dangerous game

  • In China, you're either rising in power, or getting purged.

  • And when you're at the top, that just means everyone else is gunning for you.

  • Case in point, these two guys, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang.

  • China was just emerging from the decade of horror that was the Cultural Revolution.

  • Deng Xiaoping, the guy in charge at the time, began a policy of reform and opening up.

  • In other words, China was allowed to have an economy again.

  • If you ever have trouble remembering his name, just think, with economic reforms, this guy

  • didn't want Chinese people to ever be done shopping.

  • Now Deng called Hu and Zhao his "left and right hands."

  • Together, they implemented Deng's economic reforms.

  • But they had their eye on some political reforms as well.

  • They proposed an increase in government transparency, and pushed for greater accountability from

  • officials, Hu believed in more freedom of speech and of the press.

  • They also launched an anti-corruption campaign that even targeted the children of top-ranking

  • Party elders.

  • Hu Yaobang apologized for the misrule of Tibet by the Party and pushed for greater Tibetan

  • autonomy.

  • What happened?! Why can't we have that China?!

  • Well, that's where the Party hardliners, or "conservatives" come in.

  • They weren't too fond of that whole, let's loosen the reins of power and let's investigate