Six: Persecution Of Faith
11: The Fake Evidence
From the very beginning, Luo Gan put in a lot of effort in the persecution, for he saw a chance, to please Jiang, and to use suppression of Falun Gong as his ticket to membership in the elite elusive Politburo. Eventually, Jiang did put him in the Standing Committee of the Politburo.
Back in May of 1999, when the persecution of Falun Gong was still in its preparative stage, Jiang and Luo, on one occasion, planed a chilling special action: through the local police, plain cloth police and infiltrators spread the words to Falun Gong adherents: there would be a large gathering in Xiangshan.
Along with this, army troops were dispatched to Xiangshan, and armed riot police were positioned there in hiding. Falun Gong practitioners were meant to be lured to Xiangshan, where they would be murdered. Jiang would then have ground to label Falun Gong “an evil cult”, “collective suicide” or “failed suicide”.
And efforts to frame and suppress the group could expand with ease.
But as it turned out not a single Falun Gong practitioner went to Xiangshan. Three times between May 1 and Sept. 9, police and plain cloth police changed the gathering date they passed on to Falun Gong practitioners, hoping for better results. Nothing came out of the ploy. In the end, they had to plan their own phony shows of “self-immolation”, “suicide”, and “murders”.
Since there was no real evidence, Luo Gan put his focus on the falsification of it. At the beginning of 1999, he ordered his followers in the Public Security Bureau to manufacture fake evidence’ and frame Falun Gong.
But officials at the Public Security Bureau complained: Since there wasn’t enough time to manufacture evidence, the Public Security personnel had no answers, when suspicions aroused about their works, so their works were impeded to a certain degree. For example, people who personally received qigong medical treatment from the founder of Falun Gong and were healed their ailments, were hard to convert. Thus the officials had to use the methods of imprisonment, and limiting such persons’ freedom, to prevent the truth of Falun Gong from quickly spreading.
Jing Zhan-Yi was a general engineer at Handan Steel Company, and a former Falun Gong practitioner. Tianjin police threatened him with life in prison or secret execution, and forced him to deny the incredible phenomena he experienced practicing Falun Gong. The old man gave in, and was sentenced for 8 years. The falsified interview was aired in many regions through various state-controlled media outlets.
The CCP made Jing’s statement out to be evidence that Falun Gong was pseudo-science. Hao Fengjun happened to see all of this from outside the interview room. He couldn’t help but blurt out loud to the reporter; “Isn’t this a lie, though?” Afterward, Hao was locked up for more than 20 days in an isolation cell, with a temperature below freezing and no heat. He later exposed the phony interview in Australia.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, counter-terrorism concerns became the priority in the West. When Jiang saw that the West was keen on fighting terrorism, he reasoned that if he could brand these groups he didn’t like, such as Falun Gong as terrorist organizations, his quashing of them would jive with the Western world. Who could oppose him then?
Falun Gong practitioners by that time were sending large quantities of informational mailings throughout China, exposing Jiang’s unlawful suppression including the self-immolation incident. This was perhaps Jiang’s biggest headache, and so he hoped that by linking Falun Gong with things terrorists, he might in effect stop the information mailings. Soon after 911, an anthrax scare occurred in the US, when powder contained the deadly virus was sent via the postal mail. Jiang figured that an opportunity had arrived.
Thus on October 18, of the same year, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sun Yi-xi, claimed, at a press briefing, that two days ago, two envelopes had been mailed to China that were suspected of containing anthrax. And the envelopes were Falun Gong informational materials.
The CCP’s oversea mouthpiece, Hongkong based newspaper, Ming Bao, was the first to cover the alleged anthrax mailing.
Ming Bao had nearly 50 years of history in Hongkong, and had established distribution outlets in Canada, and both the East and West coasts of the US.
As soon as Ming Bao’s report came out, overseas media immediately ran articles, asking the rhetorical question that if the anthrax was sent inside Falun Gong booklet, then isn’t it obvious, that this was the work of someone who wanted to frame Falun Gong? And who other than the CCP would do something so foolish and shameful?
Since Sun Yi-xi’s remarks didn’t match up well with what Luo Gan wanted, things quickly turned embarrassing. On October 23, the Public Security Bureau had to announce that after investigation, the two suspected envelopes did not contain anthrax. Overseas printed media and online news quickly accused the CCP of using the underhanded means of the supposed anthrax-tainted mail, to frame up Falun Gong.
Sun Yi-xi received a stern warning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for he had misspoken and could not remedy things in time, thus incurring negative consequences, in terms of foreign relations. Later, when Afganistan was still much of a war zone, Sun was sent there as Ambassador.