Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Through Page 233 in story #3

I started the story back up and a gentleman named Brother Li gave the author a detailed account (written by someone else) of a woman's death at the hands of the Chinese government. It turns out to be the account of the death of Ms. Chen. Brother Li is a strong supporter of Falun Gong also and lost his job in order to not have to renounce his belief. Both the author and Brother Li believed that their phones were tapped so had to meet secretly and only call from pay phones. I would think that the organization would keep this account of Ms. Chen's death in their possession and use them later when it would be helpful, but they have actually decided to send them to the government with a complaint letter about how Ms. Chen was killed. I think this is a symptom of the thread that started in the other stories where these people believe in their hearts that if they could only get their complaint to the highest level of government, all their problems would be resolved. I think that is a delusion that a lot of people in many governments hold to since it makes them feel better about their lives. It was heartbreaking to read the account of the daughter feeling guilty over her reaction to her mother getting arrested again for protesting against Falun Gong. "If she'd been more understanding, she kept telling herself, her mother might still be alive." I think everyone who loses a parent after some harsh words with each other wrestles with the guilt that comes from that for the rest of their lives. Ms. Zhang did beg her mother to stay home because of the danger to her. When Ms. Zhang went to this "re-education" center to go see her mother after being arrested, she was not allowed to see her mother and was told that her mother was not being beaten. After Ms. Chen's passing, her children were easily able to see that their mother had been beaten. It is painful for a child to see that in any culture, but imagine that in one of the Asian cultures that puts so much stock and wisdom in their elders. In reality, the central government had told the local governments that "no measures were too excessive to wipe out Falun Gong." The government pushed this crackdown on Falun Gong as a crackdown on a cult, but in reality what scared them was the actual organization of the movement and the potential for it to easily turn into a political movement. The government sent out propoganda about Falun Gong beliefs everywhere. They claimed that Falun Gong had caused some people to commit suicide and other ludicrous things. "I also thought that many people lost sight of the fact that after Falun Gong was banned, believers had been forced from their jobs and forced underground. If they lived cut off from society, it was the government's doing, not Falun Gong's teachings."

I welcome any comments whether you are reading along in the book or not. Let me know what you think about the book or answer any or all of my questions. Have a good night and stay safe.

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