As described in previous chapters, since its birth, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has explicitly stated its intention to create a society far removed from a belief in God and any divine concepts that are above the power of the Party and the state.
Particularly in China, spirituality and faith were always rooted in the people’s hearts thanks to their traditional culture passed down from generation to generation for millennia.
The CCP, obsessed with imposing atheism, has sought to break the ideas and beliefs of citizens using threats, terror, and indoctrination as a means to achieve its goals.
The Communist Manifesto, one of the fundamental books of the CCP, promotes the destruction of the family, the church, and the nation-state. Therefore, eliminating and subverting religions is one of the main objectives of communism, as stated in its most fundamental ideology.
Following these principles, the CCP became an expert in the persecution of ethnic, religious, and spiritual minorities such as Christians, Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists and practitioners of the ancient discipline Falun Gong.
In this note we will focus on the case of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, which has suffered the most ruthless and bloody persecution in the history of China, and according to some research, it could also be the most perverse in the whole world.
What is Falun Dafa?
Falun Dafa is described as an ancient discipline based on a series of simple exercises and meditation with proven benefits for people’s physical and spiritual health. In addition, its teachings are based on the principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance as fundamental pillars.
Its millenary origins are identified with the Buddha School and its teachings and qigong (Chi Kung) exercises serve to refine body, soul and spirit.
Its practitioners often say that they follow a path of XiuLian. Xiu (cultivate), consists of personal and spiritual improvement and elevation as the person progresses in incorporating the teachings based on the universal values of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. While Lian (refining), refers to the practice of 5 exercises and meditation aimed at the integral improvement of the body.
The practice of the discipline is entirely free and self-motivated, no institutions intervene, and no point of view manifests commercial or economic interests. Neither does it have hierarchical organizations of power and the only objective expressed by its practitioners is to improve oneself physically and spiritually while seeking to share the good traditional customs linked to the values of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance with the rest of society.
The main text that practitioners of the discipline study is called Zhuan Falun, published in 1995 by the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi. Its content and teachings have changed the lives of millions of people in China and the West, and many corners of the world, as it has been translated into more than 30 languages in just a few years.
Practitioners claim that through reading the book, practicing exercises and sharing among students, they are able to cultivate their inner nature in a genuine way in accordance with high moral principles, while at the same time improving their health noticeably.
During the 1990s, thanks to the serene state of mind achieved and the proven improvements in people’s health, the discipline grew to over 100 million practitioners in China.
Although Falun Dafa does not participate in politics, the CCP identified as a threat the fact that so many people were trying to redefine the traditional and righteous values that have been the focus of the regime’s attacks since it took power. Consequently, they began a fierce persecution, in which the atrocities committed often exceed what is imaginable by human reasoning.
Why is Falun Gong being persecuted by the CCP?
More than two decades have passed since July 1999, when then CCP leader Jiang Zemin made official the persecution of Falun Dafa and its followers.
The CCP, without further argument, declared the practice of Falun Gong illegal and launched a massive campaign to eradicate the popular faith from the entire country, imprisoning millions of people over the following decades. Since then, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have died as a result of torture and abuse by security forces, and the number continues to rise to this day. In addition, Falun Gong adherents and their families have been subjected to relentless harassment by the state apparatus.
In 1999 the Chinese Communist regime included Falun Gong on its list of “Xie Jiao,” a compilation of groupings that the government declares to be “heterodox teachings,” also translated as “evil sects.” This type of listing began during the Ming dynasty and has been revived by the CCP since 1995 as an argument to persecute certain minorities, since being on the Xie Jiao is a crime in China, and movements classified as such are mercilessly prosecuted.
Qi Gong is defined as a complex traditional system of body and mind improvement techniques ranging from physical exercises and martial arts to meditation and breathing methods.
In the early 1990s in China there were hundreds of types of Qi Gong, including Falun Gong. Interestingly, at first the CCP not only allowed them but encouraged them. It clearly did not emphasize the religious, Buddhist and Taoist origin of Qi Gong but presented them as an expression of traditional Chinese science and culture. Thus, numerous false Qi Gong methods also emerged, which only promote health improvement, in many cases pursuing economic and commercial purposes.
But Falun Gong marked a notable difference with the rest of the Qi Gong, and in a few years between 70 and 100 million practitioners began to occupy the squares and parks throughout China doing their exercises while spreading the teachings of Master Li whenever they had the opportunity, always warning that the exercises do not generate health effects if a virtuous life does not accompany them based on the pillars of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.
Gradually the more radicalized and Marxist sectors of the CCP began to notice the spiritual and divine essence of Falun Gong as a threat to their authoritarian and dictatorial power, as millions of citizens ceased to see the Party as something superior and essential in their lives.
Without legal justification but filled with envy at Falun Dafa’s resounding popularity, Jiang Zemin personally announced the persecution in 1999, with directives that included “ruining their (Falun Gong practitioners) reputation, breaking them financially, and destroying them physically.” As several witnesses subsequently reported.
One of the first measures taken by the dictator Jiang Zemin when he decided to make the Falun Gong discipline illegal was the creation of the so-called 610 Office or “liu yao ling”, a sort of Chinese Gestapo, which had the specific function of repressing the practitioners of the discipline.
The name of the office comes precisely from its date of creation: the 10th day of the 6th month (June), 1999.
The 610 Office operates outside the state system without any official status, basically a paramilitary security force, dressed in civilian clothes and focused on suppressing the Falun Gong spiritual group.
A wealth of eyewitness evidence, official documents, United Nations reports and independent investigations attest to the existence and atrocities committed by the controversial 610 Office.
The CCP already controlled a varied list of military and social control agencies, so what was the need to create a new office? Several factors must be taken into account to answer this question.
First, Jiang needed an agency that could act quickly and without bureaucratic constraints to accomplish his objectives, regardless of the ruthlessness with which they were carried out. There was no better option than a paramilitary body, outside the legal system that responds only to the commanding voice of the hierarchical personnel who control it.
At the same time, Falun Dafa practitioners were already in the millions and scattered throughout the country, including a large number of members of the military apparatus and Party officials, which undoubtedly aroused Jiang’s distrust of the traditional military agencies. Therefore, he would have preferred to create a new group that he was confident would fulfill this delicate and controversial task.
Thus during the following months, branches of the 610 Office were created throughout the country, creating a chain of command that responded directly to the orders of the CCP’s most powerful elite.
The main functions of the 610 Office are to coordinate the personnel of state institutions to help fulfill the institution’s objectives and conduct operations directly against Falun Gong and other banned spiritual groups. They spread terror by executing illegal methods and techniques such as torture, sexual assault, and unlawful confiscation of property.
Undoubtedly, the work of the 610 Office, like other aspects of the campaign against Falun Gong, such as the extensive use of forced labor camps and nationwide propaganda, is a throwback to the practices of the Maoist era.
Re-education and forced labor camps
Re-education through labor was the primary method the CCP used to persecute Falun Gong. This system of forced labor gave the 610 Office the power to send people to labor camps without having to go through the normal judicial procedure, such as a trial, the judge’s decision, and the appeals process.
These camps are distributed all over the country, some have an extensive infrastructure while others are improvised spaces and even occupied only for a certain period of time. But the aim is always the same, to force victims to abandon their beliefs using physical and psychological violence and terror as convincing techniques.
The camp guards applied various tortures to Falun Gong practitioners to force them to “transform” (renounce their belief), as the CCP offered significant reward incentives linked to the “transformation rate.” Many practitioners were tortured to death or disabled as a result of this policy.
Many survivors of these re-education camps managed to escape outside China and from exile have begun to recount their experiences in an attempt to awaken the world to take action in the face of such human rights abuses.
Such is the case of Yifei Wang, a former CCP journalist who now lives in the U.S. state of California after fleeing China because of the persecution of Falun Dafa.
As she told Fox News during a 2019 interview, Wang and her sister participated in the massive 2001 peaceful protest in Tiananmen Square calling on the CCP to stop the persecution. Both were detained that day for holding signs in support of Falun Gong.
Yifei was eventually released thanks to a sympathetic guard, but her sister, Kefei, never made it out. After spending four months in a forced labor camp, her family was told that Kefei died of a heart attack. After recognizing the body at a hospital, Yifei claims that her sister was tortured to death.
Ming Yu is a family friend who was also imprisoned for supporting Falun Gong, and told Fox he was able to film an undercover video at a forced labor camp where he was imprisoned by bribing a guard during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Yu says the workers were not given breaks and that some were so exhausted that they fell asleep under the tables they were working on. He also presented a video of a Falun Gong practitioner who he says was seriously injured by camp guards. The man is chained to his bed, underweight and with skin lesions.
“If you’re ever caught doing this kind of thing, videotaping the details of what’s happening in these camps, you would lose your life,” he said. “The Chinese Communist Party has a quota of people to be killed, and I am one of them.
Yu used hidden cameras designed as different products, including car keys and a watch, to film the videos.
A dying man can be seen chained to his hospital bed in other footage. Yu says the man was imprisoned for supporting Falun Gong, and was beaten and tortured until he suffered a stroke. He died in a vegetative state, chained to his bed, while his wife wept for him.
Wang’s husband, Mr. Gordon, traveled to China in 2015 and visited the Jilin women’s forced labor camp where Kefei died, there he managed to film valuable videos using a hidden camera.
Filmmaker Kay Rubacek, used the precious footage recorded by these brave people and made a documentary called Finding Courage, which details the government’s persecution of Falun Gong and the family’s struggle to recover Kefei’s body.
As it did against other religious and spiritual minorities, the CCP uses these re-education camps to force its victims to abandon their faith. Those who manage to survive are usually those who agreed to abandon their beliefs and continue their lives in an atheistic manner and following the guidelines imposed by the CCP. However, many manage to fool the guards into believing that they have abandoned their beliefs, and once released they continue to preach their faith from underground or exile.
Survivors have detailed situations experienced in forced labor camps that exceed even those seen in horror movies. Gang rapes, different methods of torture that mix feudal techniques with modern technologies such as electric prods, chemical drugs, food deprivation, and many other atrocities that are difficult to reproduce.
Illegal organ harvesting
Among the most questionable allegations of persecution is undoubtedly the illegal harvesting of organs from living practitioners.
It is estimated that the Chinese regime has received billions of dollars in revenue by harvesting hearts, livers and kidneys from healthy, living people of faith, especially Falun Gong practitioners who are known to be in good health. In addition, emerging evidence suggests countless innocent people have been killed for their organs because of these horrendous crimes.
In 2006, shocking reports began to emerge strongly suggesting that Falun Gong practitioners, supposedly “disappeared” after being illegally detained, were actually killed by the CCP in order to harvest their vital organs.
The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) was established in 2006 to investigate the Chinese regime’s imprisonment, torture, murder, and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia Pacific, and David Matas, a renowned international human rights lawyer, were appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of organ harvesting: the specialists agreed to investigate thoroughly and their findings shocked the world.
Months later Matas and Kilgour published their reports and revealed that: “Based on what we now know, we have come to the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true. We believe that there has been, and continues today, large-scale forced organ harvesting that is extracted from Falun Gong practitioners.”
“Their vital organs, including kidneys, livers, corneas, and hearts, were forcibly removed and sold at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long waits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries,” the report continues.
In 2009 the investigation reached another milestone when the experts published an updated version of their report in the book: Bloody Harvest, The killing of Falun Gong for their organs.
It is the first book to reveal the horrific crime of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. The book contains previously unpublished materials. It is presented in two sections: the first section sets out the evidence, and the second section details the reactions the final report received and some suggestions on how to end the practice of using live organ “donors” in China.
The amount of evidence provided in the book about thousands of Falun Gong practitioners killed to harvest their organs is overwhelming. In addition, it highlights details such as the market price at which various Chinese hospitals traded the organs abroad.
Since the report’s publication, the reality of the atrocities committed by the CCP has begun to take on greater international significance. As a result, governments of different countries have strengthened controls on “transplant tourism.”
CCP Persecution of Falun Dafa is Genocide
The tireless work of lawyers, judges, investigators, some public officials, and mainly eyewitnesses has allowed the truth about what the CCP is doing to Falun Gong and other religious minorities to be revealed today.
It is true that most of the world’s governments have developed close commercial dependencies with the Chinese regime that limit them from taking action, issuing opinions and public condemnations, but the reality is that a powerful force has been building in the West and the truth is slowly coming to light.
The atrocities of forced organ harvesting, in particular, have received widespread criticism from medical professionals, legislators, government officials, the media, human rights organizations and the general public. As a result, lawsuits and resolutions have been introduced in numerous countries to help end organ tourism and the atrocity of organ harvesting.
A panel of experts in China held a webinar on July 29, 2021, presenting irrefutable evidence that the CCP is physically destroying the lives of millions of Falun Dafa practitioners in China. They urged U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to designate the persecution of Falun Dafa as genocide, just as he did the repression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Ethan Gutmann, a renowned journalist and author of several books, reviewed the data that he was able to collect during several years of investigation and that to this day the regime has not been able to refute.
The journalist claimed that forced organ harvesting began in 1994 in Xinjiang province with the executed prisoners. Then, in 1998, he said that CCP commanders began receiving organs from Uighur activists in Urumqi who were killed for this purpose.
But in 1999, when the persecution of Falun Dafa began, China surpassed the number of transplants worldwide. At the same time that it had between half a million and a million practitioners imprisoned and available, China’s transplant industry exploded.
According to official data and cross-references, Gutmann estimates that by 2016 at least 200,000 Falun Dafa practitioners were killed for their organs.
He further detailed evidence indicating that the CCP has deliberately made its repressive apparatus available to systematically eliminate the ancient discipline of Falun Gong, meeting the characteristics detailed in international consensuses for a finding of genocide.