Falun Gong: The Infinitely Small Culture that Threatened the Infinitely Large Power of State
WikiLeaks Actu, 2013
(Disclaimer: The following article was authored by the blog WikiLeaks Actu. Cableweek cannot take responsibility for its content.)
Falun Gong (FLG) is a religious minority founded in China, in 1992. China is seen as a diversity of cultural beliefs and spiritual influences. But this diversity is considered dangerous by a state, which from the period of the Cultural Revolution, has denied any cultural and spiritual diversity, and any kind of free speech. Where there is no freedom of religion, there is often no free speech. And so was Falun Gong a victim of this policy.
Falun Gong: Why “Spiritual” Became “Illegal” in China
Among others minorities, the Falun Gong movement was oppressed and harrassed by the Chinese government from 1996, and recognised on the 20th July 1999, as a movement threatening social stability.
As related in cables released by WikiLeaks, FLG became “officially illegal”, “during a national broadcast at 3:00 P.M. on July 22, China Central Television (CCTV) announced an official ban on the Falun Gong movement“.
In October 1999, laws in China started to repress any kind of religious organisations, and censorship increased. A “cyber-wall” started to take place. WikiLeaks cables show that Falun Gong was deranging authorities, not because they had some political views, but because of the growing number of FLG members — who were paradoxically seen as a threat to the state. FLG members were harassed, facing “obstacles in obtaining or renewing work permits”. People were tortured and arrested, facing in some cases “up to twenty years of prison“. This policy is qualified as a “draconian treatment” by a diplomat.
While FLG members were victims of organs trafficking, “overseas Chinese propaganda [was] denouncing FLG as an evil cult”. Many FLG practitioners were therefore “seeking refugee status” in other countries, like Thailand. China was very agressive in its policy against the FLG, even asking foreign countries to censor them or denouncing any kind of assistance to the exiled community. The US was worried about the Falun Gong case, but at the same time, they feared an economic impact, as China was warning of a potential “damage to US-China relations”.
From Falun Gong to WikiLeaks…
The persecution of Falun Gong can easily be compared to the US persecution against WikiLeaks, who, among other political groups, aim for the truth. The fate of the Falun Gong could have been the fate of any kind of minority in any kind country: symbolic of the unfair persecution committed against individuals and citizens of conscience. Falun Gong was declared as threatening social stability in China, just as WikiLeaks is today declared an “enemy of the state” in the US. The Chinese “cyber-wall” (Nicholas Kristof) is very similar to the US war against whistle blowers.
Behind their excuses, the current Chinese government fears the deterioration of its political power, facing the growing influence of FLG members, just as the US fears today to lose a part of its power as WikiLeaks continues revealing the truth and lies about its government. On July 5th 2009, people protested in China against the political and religious persecution of Falun Gong. The Chinese government made attempts to convince the US that the protests were organised by terrorists and separatists groups, even though these people were only claiming freedom of speech. WikiLeaks is claiming freedom of speech, but still persecuted, because they are revealing the nature of this power and because they are opening the eyes of the people, inviting them to a true democracy. Free speech starts when you can create your own truth. China reacts by employing the same totalitarian behaviour, of the US against whistle blowers.
Today, US policy against whistle blowers reminds us of the model Chinese policy against religious minorities, including the Falun Gong. Censorship in China became based on the “cyber-wall”, control of the internet, and finally, the US government has taken this same policy and created the security state, censoring whistle blowers.
The case of FLG is an example of the persecution and unjust treatment faced by any minority under the control of an infinitely large power of a state. No matter what (political, religious, artistic) ideas you are defending, the real fear of governments is your own freedom, your own ability to create a community, to share your ideas and to live as you want. Governments fear internet freedom. The US and China have very similar internet policies, however, one country claims to be a democracy, while the other is recognised as a dictatorship.
CHINA’S ORGAN HARVESTING OF
FALUN GONG PRACTITIONERS
Read the largest existing investigation into the illegal organ harvesting, online, free: http://organharvestinvestigation.net/report0701/report20070131-eng.pdf
Wang Bin, a 44-year old Falun Gong practitioner from Heilongjiang Province was mercilessly beaten to death by policemen Feng Xi and others at Daqing Men’s Labor Camp on September 24, 2000. Afterwards, his heart and brain were removed, and the remains were placed in the morgue of Daqing People’s Hospital. The photo is of Wang Bin’s scarred body. (www.clearwisdom.net)
The organs of some Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured to death were excised. Mysterious holes in blood vessels and cuts on the remains have attracted serious attention. The photo is of Falun Gong practitioner Liu Yufeng, who was beaten to death. (www.clearwisdom.net)
WIKILEAKS PROOF OF
CHINA’S FALUN GONG PERSECUTION
1. China removes all pro-Falun Gong websites, but leaves websites that are critical to the spiritual movement: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09BEIJING2383
2. China has banned and criminalised a spiritual/religious movement: http://wlstorage.net/file/crs/RS20655.pdf
3. China tries to garner US/FBI support in their religious persecution / genocidal activity:http://wikileaks.cabledrum.net/cable/2009/07/09BEIJING2084.html
4. Propaganda and lies between Chinese and Argentinian top officials regarding Falun Gong: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/10BEIJING138
5. Belgium recognises China’s human rights atrocities regarding the holocaust like persecution of Falun Gong: https://www.cabledrum.net/diff/09BRUSSELS1656
6. Chinese Propaganda succeeds at media brainwashing Chinese youth against Falun Gong: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09BEIJING3160
7. Censorship leading up to Beijing 2008 Olympic games: Falun Gong listed as key group to be suppressed: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09BEIJING2811 (as well as petitioners, students, migrants, and persons with disabilities)
Groups of concern
targeted for “control” include Falun Gong
practitioners, petitioners, students, migrants, and
persons with disabilities. The document notes that
the “610 Office” (an agency often cited as having
specific responsibility for combating Falun Gong)
had been assigned a number of responsibilities in
the neighborhood, including combating cults and
identifying “key people” to control. The language
of the document is militaristic and divides the task
of anniversary preparations into “pre-war” (i.e.,
June 10 to August 31) and “war time” (September 1-
October 10) duties. The “pre-war” duties primarily
involve addressing the grievances of petitioners,
monitoring key groups including migrant workers and
recent graduates, and cracking down on Falun Gong.
The “war time” efforts are described as “controlling
key trouble makers” and “getting rid of
8. Being a Falun Gong Practitioner is considered a sin among Chinese politicians: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09HONGKONG1807
9. Since 2006, China has decertified lawyers working on sensitive cases, especially those involving Falun Gong: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09BEIJING2692
Beginning around 2006, Communist Party authorities began to
use the evaluation process as a mechanism to decertify
lawyers who worked on sensitive cases, particularly those
involving members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual
movement. They noted that the BLA did not provide any
explanation, written or otherwise, to lawyers whose licenses
were not renewed this year.
10. China’s Ministry of Public Security demanded that lawyer Li Xiongbing stop defending Falun Gong. He refused. Later warned that he would be arrested: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09BEIJING2692
11. China’s paranoia of Falun Gong: Tracking practitioner behavior and monitoring communication: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09CHENGDU154
12. Falun Gong practitioners face obstacles in obtaining or renewing work permits, visas, and permanent
residency (PR) status: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09SINGAPORE703
13. Brazil credits Falun Gong practitioners in the US for software used to spy on Iran: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09RIODEJANEIRO162
14. Former leader Jiang Zemin of Hong Kong attempted to stop FalunGong: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09HONGKONG985
15. China Ministry of Foreign Affairs admits that leaders of Falun Gong have been punished: https://www.cabledrum.net/cables/09BEIJING1094
“Falun Gong is an illegal cult that was outlawed ten years ago.
People should help those who have been “taken in” by Falun Gong.” – China Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“Asked about reports that Falun Gong practitioners may organize a
sit-in and surround the Chinese leadership compound at Zhongnanhai,
Jiang responded that addressing Falun Gong activities is a legal
issue, because China outlawed the “Falun Gong cult” ten years ago, a
measure that demonstrates China’s concern for its people, especially
those must vulnerable. In response to a question alleging illegal
detention, torture and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners, Jiang
said that the “Falun Gong cult” controls people’s minds, and as such
has caused death and disability to many innocent people. Falun Gong
was thus outlawed and its leaders punished. People should help
those who have been “taken in” by Falun Gong, a posture, Jiang
reiterated, that reflects China’s concern for its people,
particularly those most vulnerable” – Jiang Yu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson