By Mr. Li Hongzhi
Recently it was reported in the news that Mainland China seeks my extradition back to China in exchange for a reduction of USD$500 million worth of their trade surplus [with the U.S.]. I would like to say a few words about this. I only teach people to be good. At the same time, I unconditionally help people get rid of their diseases and health problems, and I enable them to reach higher realms of mind. I don’t charge any money or ask for material things as reward. All of this has had a positive impact on the society and its people, and it has, on a large scale, turned people’s hearts towards goodness and made their moral level high. I wonder if that is why they seek to extradite me. Do they want me to return to China so that more people can obtain the Fa and cultivate their hearts? If that’s the case, please don’t let the country lose USD$500 million to strike a deal—I can go back myself.
I have heard, however, that normally people who are extradited are war criminals, public enemies, or criminal offenders. If so, I wonder which of the above categories I would fit into.
In fact, I keep teaching people to conduct themselves with Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Forbearance as their guiding principles. So naturally, I have also been setting an example. When Falun Gong disciples and I have been criticized for no reason and treated unfairly, we have always displayed breadth of mind with great benevolence and great forbearance, and have silently endured everything in order to give the government sufficient time to find out what we are about. But this forbearance is absolutely not because the students of Falun Gong and I fear anything. You should know that once a person learns the truth and the real meaning of life, he will not regret giving up his life for it. Don’t mistake our mercy or our great tolerance as fear and thereby intensify your reckless actions. These are actually people who have awakened, they are cultivators who have learned the true meaning of life. And don’t label Falun Gong cultivators as engaging in “superstition,” either. There are so many things that human beings and science have yet to understand. Don’t religions also exist because of a belief in higher beings? Actually, the true religions and ancient beliefs in Gods, which have made it possible for the morality of human society to endure for several thousand years, are what has allowed for the existence of today’s mankind—which includes you, me, the next person, and so on. If it weren’t for these, mankind would have committed sins long ago that led to catastrophes, people’s ancestral lines probably would have died out long ago, and there wouldn’t be what there is today. The truth is, morality is extremely important for mankind. If man does not value virtue, he is capable of doing all kinds of bad things, which is terribly dangerous for mankind. This much I can tell people. Actually, my intention isn’t to do something for society, and by no means do I want to get involved in ordinary human affairs, much less do I desire someone’s political power. Not everyone considers power that important. Don’t people have a saying, “Everybody aspires to something different”? I merely wish to let those who can do cultivation obtain the Fa, and to teach them how to truly improve their xinxing, that is, to improve their moral standard. Besides, not everyone will come to learn Falun Gong, and furthermore, what I’m doing is bound to have no connection with politics. Regardless, cultivators whose hearts have turned toward goodness and whose morals have improved are good for any country or nationality. How could something that helps people to get well and stay healthy, and that raises people’s moral level, be labeled an “evil religion”? Every Falun Gong practitioner is a member of society, and each has his own job or career. It’s only that they go to the park to do Falun Gong exercises for half an hour or an hour every morning, and then they go to work. We don’t have various provisions that people have to follow, as religions do, nor do we have any temples, churches, or religious rituals. People can come to learn or leave as they please, and we have no membership rosters. How is it a religion? As to “evil,” could teaching people to be good, not charging people money, and doing things to heal people and help them stay healthy be categorized as “evil”? Or, is something “evil” simply because it’s outside the scope of the Communist Party’s theories? Besides, I know that evil religion is evil religion, and it’s not something a government determines. Should an evil religion be labeled “upright” if it’s in keeping with the notions of certain people in the government? And should an upright one be labeled “evil” if it doesn’t conform to their personal notions?
Actually, I know perfectly well why some people are bent on opposing Falun Gong. Just as reported by the media, there are too many people practicing Falun Gong. One hundred million people is indeed no small number. Yet why should having a large number of good people be feared? Isn’t it true that the more good people there are, the better, and that the fewer the bad people, the better? I, Li Hongzhi, unconditionally help cultivators improve their morals and gain health, which brings about social stability and allows people to better serve the society with their able bodies. Isn’t this benefiting the people in power? These things have, in fact, truly been achieved. Why is it that instead of thanking me, they want to set as many as 100 million people against the government? What government could be so unfathomable? Furthermore, who among these 100 million people doesn’t have family, children, relatives, and friends? Is it a question of only 100 million people? So the number of people they are going against might be even more. What on earth has happened to “the leaders of my beloved land”? If with my, Li Hongzhi’s, life I can dispel their fears of these good people, I will immediately go back and let them do what they will. Why “risk universal condemnation,” waste manpower and capital, and use politics and money to pursue a deal that violates human rights? The United States, on the other hand, has been a leader in respecting human rights. So would the U.S. government betray human rights to make such a deal? Besides, I’m a U.S. permanent resident, a permanent resident who lives under the jurisdiction of U.S. law.
I don’t mean to point fingers at anyone in particular. It’s just that what they are doing makes too little sense to me. Why forgo a good opportunity to win public opinion, and instead set some 100 million people against the government?
It’s said that many people went to Zhongnanhai1, and that certain people were shocked and furious about it. In fact, the number of people who went wasn’t large at all. Think about it: there are 100 million people practicing Falun Gong, and only ten thousand plus went—could you say that’s a lot? There was no need to mobilize people: with 100 million some people, if one person wanted to go and so did the next, in no time there would be over ten thousand people. They had no slogans or banners, they didn’t act out of line, and much less were they against the government. They merely wanted to report our situation to the government. What’s wrong with doing that? Let me ask this: would any “protestors” behave as well as this? Aren’t you moved even one bit when you see this? Yet you insist on trying to find some fault with Falun Gong. But the approach of trying to eradicate Falun Gong while disregarding all of its merits is really backward. Falun Gong isn’t terrible, like certain people have imagined. Rather, it brings numerous benefits and doesn’t do harm to any society. Losing the favor of the people, meanwhile, is what’s most frightening. To be honest, the students of Falun Gong are also human beings who are in the process of cultivating themselves, and they still have human minds. In this situation where they are being treated unjustly, I’m not sure how much longer they can forbear it, and this is what I am most concerned about.
June 2, 1999
1. Zhongnanhai (jong-nahn-high)—the Chinese leadership compound, located in Beijing; it is located next to the Appeals Office of the State Council. This reference is about the April 25, 1999 appeal.
* Note: This and all other footnotes have been inserted by the translator and are not part of the original text.
Quote: “Other people may treat us badly, but we do not treat others badly or treat people as enemies. We are calling for all governments, international organizations, and people of goodwill worldwide to extend their support and assistance to us in order to resolve the present crisis that is taking place in China.”
Li Hongzhi, July 22 1999