Countering the Propaganda

Think You Know About Falun Gong? Think Again…

In July 1999, to repress Falun Gong, Party leadership initiated the largest campaign of propaganda and censorship since the Cultural Revolution. The Wall Street noted, "Beijing has ratcheted up the campaign to a fever pitch, bombarding citizens with an old, communist-style propaganda war."

Here are three of the biggest lies they told. They are the pillars upon which the rest of the Party's house-of-cards of propaganda was built. 
Peaceful protest labelled a "siege"
Self-immolation hoax
The "1,400 deaths" story
On April 25, 1999, some 10,000 practitioners quiety demonstrated in Beijing, asking that the law reaffirm their right to practice Falun gong and that a number of practitoners detained by police in nearby Tianjin be released. They stood in orderly rows on the sidewalk. Some meditated, and other read or chatted quietly. it was the most peaceful demonstration of its size on modern Chinses hidtory. 

The 10,000 left peacefully later that day after Premier Zhu Rongji gave assurances that the goverment did not oppose Falun Gong. But Party chief Jiang Zemin had other plans. He ordered the nation's propaganda apparatus to re-cast the demostration as "a siege of the central goverment compound," and used it as a pretext to launch a campaign of brutal repression.
On january 23, 2001, five people set themselves on fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Whthin hours, China's state-run media were claiming they were Falun Gong practitioners, and for weeks thereafter, the airwaves were filled with grisly images of the victims.

Evidence soon emerged that the whole event was staged, that the victims were actors, and that the Party was behind it all. Nevertheless, countless Chinese still believe the lies they were told to this day. 

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In the 1990s, millions of people took up Falun Gong as news of its dramatic health benefits spread. Government agencies, including state media and the National Sports Commission, fleled Falun Gong's rapid expansion by touting its positive impact on health.

But when the persecution began, state-run media began claiming that Falun Gong had "led to more than 1,400 deaths." A media onslaught featuring horrific images and emotionl stories drove the message home. There was no evidence to support these claims, and attempts to investigate them were blocaed. in the end, it turned out that the story was based primarily on lies and mis-truths. 
Discourse about Falun Gong varies remarkably widely, so widely as to possibly be disorienting. If you’re apt to just conclude that the truth must lie “somewhere in between” the two common poles (positive and negative attributions), you owe it to yourself to read on.

This section examines in greater scrutiny five claims leveled by China’s state media apparatus under the direction of the Ministry of Propaganda (see links below). They are claims literally sculpted to confuse. According to an August, 2001, Washington Post report, “propaganda” is an expressly stated component of a three-pronged formula meant to destroy Falun Gong; torture and brainwashing are its other two ingredients.

What few in the West realize, however, is just how actively Party-engineered propaganda has been disseminated in the West, where it is meant to alienate Falun Gong and breed suspicions. The aim is to undermine would-be support for the persecuted group.