Pls understand the truth about Falun Gong and the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China. Pls do not believe the Chinese Communist Party's lies. Falun Dafa is Good. Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) teaches 'Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance', it teaches us to be a GOOD person, and makes us HEALTHY!
And it is embraced in 114 nations!
Li Zhensheng, a photojournalist for the Heilongjiang Daily in the 1960s, became the premier documenter of the Cultural Revolution. He was born in Dalian, China, in 1940. (Courtesy of Li Zhensheng, Singapore International Photography Festival 2016)
“My teacher told me that a photographer should not only witness history, but also record the true history.” – Li Zhensheng, a former Photojournalist
Born in Dalian, China, in 1940, Li Zhensheng, a photojournalist for the Heilongjiang Daily in the 1960s, risked his life to record the gruesome reality behind China’s most catastrophic political movement, the Great Cultural Revolution.
The wave of red terror, which shattered families and demolished ancient buildings, was orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and spread throughout China from 1966 to 1976 under the rule of Mao Zedong. The number of unnatural deaths during this bloody calamity was conservatively estimated at 7.73 million, according to the award-winning ‘Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party’ (http://www.ninecommentaries.com/).
Instead of solely photographing the ‘glorious’ moments of the Cultural Revolution, which could appear in newspapers, Mr Li audaciously snapped images that framed a sombre account of this bloody 10-year revolution and stashed the negatives in secrecy underneath his desk. He thought: “Someday, people might want to see the light.”
These grim images of violent scenes, which allude to the dark side of the Cultural Revolution, were deliberately obscured from the public during the revolution.
Mr Li became the premier documenter of the Cultural Revolution, and his historic photographs have been exhibited worldwide. In Singapore, his exhibition run from Sept 10 till Oct 29 at The Arts House at The Old Parliament.
“My teacher told me that a photographer should not only witness history, but also record the true history,” he said.
In ‘Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution’, a public talk held at The Arts House on Sept 11, Mr Li shared his insights on this tumultuous period in Chinese history.
THE HIDDEN PHOTOS
These grim images of violent scenes, which allude to the dark side of the Cultural Revolution, were deliberately obscured from the public during the revolution.
SWIMMERS PREPARE TO PLUNGE INTO THE SONGHUA RIVER
WATCH: Part 1 – Li Zhensheng’s Public Talk (Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution)
Swimmers prepare to plunge into the Songhua River to commemorate the second anniversary of Mao’s swim in the Yangtze River, on July 16, 1968. (Courtesy of Li Zhensheng, Singapore International Photography Festival 2016)
The above photo captured a team of swimmers reading Mao’s little red book before diving into the water. At that time, according to Mr Li, Mao was believed to “help and direct your swimming, so that you won’t get lost in the water”.
The audience laughed upon hearing this.
“Back then, you would probably be in trouble if you laughed about this,” said Mr Li with a serious expression on his face.
‘Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party’ explains that “the Chinese people have not only been deprived of freedom of thought, (but) they have also been indoctrinated with the teachings and culture of the Party”.
THE DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLE OF BLISS
WATCH: Part 2 – Li Zhensheng’s Public Talk (Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution)
A scene of the Red Guards ransacking Jile Temple (Temple of Bliss) in 1966 (Courtesy of Li Zhensheng, Singapore International Photography Festival 2016)
The CCP’s Red Guards ordered three monks from Temple of Bliss to hold a poster board with these words: “What sutras? They are full of shit.” (Original photo from 5th SIPF 2016 – Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution)
When the Cultural Revolution first began, Mr Li was very hopeful and enthusiastic as he believed it could help advance the development of culture. However, the event turned out to be beyond his imagination. An inordinate outburst of violence and struggle sessions occurred soon after the onset of this socio-political upheaval. What struck him, in particular, was the assault on the party leader of Heilongjiang, Ren Zhongyi, who was “an amicable man”.
According to the ‘Nine Commentaries’, “struggle” was the primary “belief” of the Communist Party to create terror and maintain its rule in China. Through terror, the “Chinese people tremble in their hearts, submit to the terror, and gradually become enslaved under the CCP’s control”.
Mr Li was also shaken by the destruction of temples.
The photo above shows the destruction of the famous Temple of Bliss located in Harbin city, Heilongjiang Province. The temple, which housed many cultural relics and was the biggest Buddhist temple built in modern times (1921), was wrecked during the Cultural Revolution.
“The Communist Party does not believe in God, nor does it even respect physical nature,” the ‘Nine Commentaries’ points out. The Cultural Revolution motto (“Battle with heaven, fight with the earth, struggle with humans—therein lies endless joy”) had caused the Chinese people to suffer enormous suffering and agony.
“How could they ruin this culture in the name of Cultural Revolution?” Mr Li thought.
After witnessing this appalling spate of attacks and destruction, Mr Li started having ambivalent feelings towards the Cultural Revolution.
PUBLIC SHAMING BY THE CCP’S RED GUARDS
WATCH: Part 3 – Li Zhensheng’s Public Talk (Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution)
Public shaming by the Red Guards in front of masses, 1966 (Courtesy of Li Zhensheng, Singapore International Photography Festival 2016)
“Guess what was the placard made of?” Mr Li pointed to a photo on the screen and asked the audience.
The photo portrayed the humiliation of victims being criminalised during the Cultural Revolution. The victims were forced to hang placards around their necks, which accused them of being counter-revolutionaries.
“Cardboard? Wood?” the audience guessed.
“These are all answers from logical minds. In reality, the placard was actually made of metal attached with a metal string, which was tied to one’s neck. The accused had to struggle to hold the placard as it was heavy,” said Mr Li.
His words took the audience completely by surprise.
Next, Mr Li called attention to a photo showing a victim wearing a tall dunce hat with accusations written on it. When he was at the scene, he was baffled to see the accused standing straight, in a posture of subservience. To his amazement, he was told that bricks were hidden inside the dunce hat.
“They had to stand straight to support the bricks,” he said emphatically.
HIS FIRST LOVE
Mr Li reminisced about his first love during the two-hour talk. The couple was acquainted with each other during their university days, but they broke up due to the revolution.
His girlfriend’s mother, a textile worker in Dalian, was accused of being a wife of a landlord. Tragically, this dignified, middle-aged woman became one of the first persons he knew to commit suicide during the Cultural Revolution.
“Her mother hung herself and lost consciousness. When she regained consciousness, she realised she had a watch. She left her watch to her daughter, and hit her head against the wall,” he said ruefully.
Overnight, his girlfriend was labelled one of the five ‘black elements’ – “landlord’s daughter”, which was a stigma at that time. His heart sank when his girlfriend approached him and suggested they broke up. She ascribed her ‘bad element’ as a hindrance to his career.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
WATCH: Part 4 – Li Zhensheng’s Public Talk (Witness: The Archive of Cultural Revolution)
In a twist of fate, he married Zu Yingxia, who was his colleague at Heilongjiang Daily.
Merely 10 months into their marriage, his wife was staggered when she received horrifying news about her father ending his own life. Her father, who was a low-level physician in a small township, was wrongfully accused of being a Japanese spy, for no reason other than the fact that he had cured a Japanese railway worker during the Japanese colonial period.
“They tried to make him confess. He succumbed to the inhumane torture and committed suicide,” Mr Li bewailed.
His wife cried her heart out throughout the night. The next day, she confessed to her work unit that her father had died of shame and she wanted to terminate her relationship with her father.
“My wife turned herself in and felt ashamed that she had betrayed the party and the people. That was the standard formula at that time if you had a family member who committed suicide,” explained Mr Li.
The ‘Nine Commentaries’ states that during the Cultural Revolution, “[if] a person committed suicide, he would be labelled as ‘dreading the people’s punishment for his crime’” and “his family members would also be implicated and punished”. Hence, “it was all too common that fathers and sons tortured each other, husbands and wives struggled with each other, mothers and daughters reported on each other, and students and teachers treated each other as enemies”.
The suicides – coming so quickly on the heels of one another – rattled Mr Li and made him waver in his support for the revolution. By that point, Mr Li was completely aghast at the cruelty of the Cultural Revolution. And that was the moment of truth for him.
In Mr Li’s opinion, those who committed suicide during the Cultural Revolution were “very courageous, because they were trying to defend their dignity”.
HIS CHINA DREAM
“I love China. I am using this method to show my love for my homeland. We should reflect on the true history, so as to prevent such tragedies from ever recurring.” – Li Zhensheng, a former Photojournalist
The Cultural Revolution was a dark period in China’s history, replete with paranoia, bloodshed, killings, grievance, loss of conscience, and confusion of right and wrong. Mr Li’s China dream would be that one day, he could hold his photo exhibition in China and share with the young people in China “the true history of the Cultural Revolution”.
“I love China. I am using this method to show my love for my homeland. We should reflect on the true history, so as to prevent such tragedies from ever recurring.”
Some people may think that these brutalities belong to the past, and that CCP has changed. However, the savage persecution of Falun Gong – a traditional Chinese meditation practice that adheres to the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance” – in recent years indicates otherwise.
The persecution of Falun Gong signals another oppression as vicious as the Cultural Revolution. CCP continues to use the same old methods of inciting hate and instigating violence against Falun Gong by “ruining their reputations, bankrupting [them] financially, and destroying [them] physically”.
Under the deceptive façade of the Chinese Communist Party, a state-run medical genocide has been carried out by the Chinese Communist Party since 2000, which may have performed up to 1.5 million organ transplants from unwilling live donors, mostly from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience, according to a new China organ harvesting report published on June 22. 
 Robertson, Matthew. “Report Reveals Vast State-Run Industry to Harvest Organs in China.” Epoch Times. 22 June 2016.http://goo.gl/Bd8MR3
A Canadian reader, Jan, introduces a new spiritual practice, Falun Gong, to our ongoing series. He’s been a practitioner for 16 years and “came into my spiritual path in a most unexpected way”:
I grew up as a Catholic, though really only in the most basic sense of the word. Early on I tried to be a proper Catholic, was an altar boy, but I met with what I saw as sufficient hypocrisy in the church (no need for details here) that I proudly declared myself an agnostic in my teens. I came to see religion as a tool for powerful people to subjugate the masses.
I decided that science would be enough as a worldview, a paradigm. I dabbled in Daoist Tai Chi a bit, but purely for purposes of relaxation.
I studied to become a biologist, with particular interest in ecology, evolution, and conservation. I imagined myself becoming a professor. Things were going well. I was blessed with generous research scholarships. I made excellent contacts in my areas of interest, established great collaborations, found ideal field sites. What really interested me was non-Darwinian models of evolution. For my doctoral studies, I did field research in Madagascar to study apparent hybridization between different species of lemur.
Returning from the field, I began to feel weak, depressed, and after some time, my ability to do simple things progressively degenerated. Working with micro lab tools became progressively more laborious and difficult. I thought I was overworked, but no amount of sleep would help.
One day, running to catch a street light, my legs stopped working properly, and I barely made it to the other side. I checked myself into the university hospital.
I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome. My immune system was attacking my peripheral nervous system, and I was slowly losing control. Having found a rare neurological disorder, doctors kept sending interns and residents to me to attempt a diagnosis. I wasn’t getting better or worse, but there was no known treatment. The day I checked into the hospital I also discovered that I had a parasitic worm infection, and later, mono. Basically, my body was toast.
A tough six months followed. I watched my career disintegrate. The academic partnerships I had developed evaporated, and I could no longer teach effectively. My already rocky romantic relationship further suffered.
I returned to my hometown, where my mother encouraged me to try “alternative therapies.” I did, but none were effective. So I went back to my university town. There, in a smoky coffee shop, I met an old acquaintance who had explored numerous Eastern disciplines. He gave me a DVD, saying that what was on it helped him recover from chronic fatigue syndrome, which he had experienced some years back.
I’ll never forget watching that video for the first time. It was a video introducing the exercises and meditation of Falun Gong—a style of Chinese yoga rooted in Buddhist principles, also known as Falun Dafa. After half an hour of trying to mimic the slow-moving exercises on the video, I started to feel better for the first time I could remember. It was really an indescribable feeling—my heart, body, and mind were all singing.
I read an introductory book of the Falun Dafa teachings, though many of the references to Chinese qigong and folk traditions were at first difficult to understand. All I knew was that, as I was learning these exercises day after day, I was feeling better. At some point, I realized that my reflexes had returned (reflex loss is a common symptom of Guillain Barre).
Some months into it, I went for a checkup with my neurologist. I’ll never forget her words: “Congratulations. You’re in complete remission. I have no explanation, but keep doing whatever you’re doing.” I did, and didn’t really look back.
There were some curious side effects, however. Within about a week of starting, I started hating the taste of cigarettes. I was never a heavy smoker, but I enjoyed the social aspect, and it was consistent. Some time later, I experienced the same thing with alcohol. As it happens, both these states are described in Falun Gong’s seminal book of teachings, Zhuan Falun. As a Buddhist school teaching, Falun Gong encourages the abandonment of unhealthy addictions and attachments. I was fascinated, because it wasn’t something I really expected or necessarily wanted to happen.
One night while meditating, I experienced what really set me on the path of Falun Dafa. I had the proverbial experience of having my whole life flash before my eyes. I’d read about such things, but it’s really difficult to imagine until you experience it. Basically, I saw vignettes from my life, step by step, from an early age. I experienced this as one would a film, I suppose, yet at the same time, time it was moving very quickly; I was able to see a lot of my life in a matter of minutes.
But it was odd: It was clearly my life, yet it wasn’t somehow how I remembered it. Not exactly. Mid-way, it dawned on me: It was my life seen through my mother’s eyes. It blew my mind. I cried for several hours.
My mother and I had a complicated relationship. We loved each other, wanted it to work, but we couldn’t be in the same room without tension for more than 15 minutes. With this experience, I really, for the first time, understood her, understood her trials and tribulations, understood what her pains and motivations were.
I also knew how to fix our relationship. The next time I was back home, I was able to initiate mending process in a matter of 24 hours. Not perfectly, of course, but the relationship became something completely different: fully loving and respectful.
I knew then that I had found something deep and profound. I understood from Falun Gong’s teachings that cultivation was a path of constantly getting rid of attachments, and of gaining a broader and broader, more tolerant and compassionate perspective of the world. Here I saw it manifest in my life in reality. Initially, I was physically healed, and now, I saw I was able to change behavioural patterns that didn’t think I had the power to change. With this, I decided to commit to the discipline.
It’s fascinating that many of the issues I’d had with organized religion are absent from Falun Gong. Collecting money? Forbidden, according to one of the few strict rules. Hierarchy? None, amazingly. One can only measure one’s progress against the teachings and against oneself, not against others. Taking others as role models is not an option, nor is imposing on another how they should behave.
Studying the teachings, I saw myself becoming more truthful, compassionate, and tolerant day by day. (Truth, Compassion and Tolerance are the core tenets of Falun Dafa.) I came into it being enthralled by physical healing, but what I found along the way was something much deeper—spiritual healing, and dare I say, in a sense, salvation.