Falun Gong is a spiritual philosophy with Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements that uses quigong exercise, breathing techniques and movement as a means to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual health. Whether or not it is a religion is debatable, but Falun Gong doesn’t require rituals, membership fees or church attendance. The discipline emphasizes morality and virtue on a pathway to spiritual enlightenment:
Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) is an advanced practice of Buddha school self-cultivation, founded by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the practice’s master. It is a discipline in which “assimilation to the highest qualities of the universe—Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance)—is the foundation of practice. Practice is guided by these supreme qualities, and based on the very laws which underlie the development of the cosmos.”
The Communist Party in China, threatened by the popularity of the movement and its focus on human rights, has condemned Falun Gong practitioners as heretical. Adherents are subjected to imprisonment, forced labor, psychological torture and other abuses in an effort to “reeducate” practitioners.
The letter above appears to have been written by a prisoner in one of the labor camps. It was found by a woman within the packaging of Halloween decorations purchased from Kmart. I am familiar with the Chinese style of writing and English language idiosyncrasies, which leads me to believe this is authentic. Coupled with what we know about conditions in China and their methods of suppressing dissent, I am confident that this letter is real.
I hope the world community pays attention and puts pressure on China to stop the human rights abuses and move toward a more egalitarian society. We should also hold businesses accountable for how the products on their shelves are manufactured and making consumers unwitting participants in human rights abuses.