PureInsight | October 27, 2003
Greetings Master Li!
Greetings Fellow Practitioners!
Understandings About the Lawsuit Against a U.S. Business for Civil Rights Violations and Conspiracy During Chinese Leader's Houston Visit
[PureInsight.org] Today, we would like to share our experiences and understandings about suing a U.S. business for civil rights violations and conspiracy during the Chinese dictator's Houston visit.
During October 23-25, 2002, when Jiang, the chief perpetrator of the persecution of Falun Gong, visited Houston, Falun Dafa practitioners from all over the world used their limited vacation time and spent their own savings to come to Houston to peacefully appeal for an end to the persecution. Practitioners also came to send forth righteous thoughts in close proximity to the head of the evil. Just two or three days before their arrival in Houston, several dozens of practitioners who had confirmed reservations to stay at the hotel near the hotel where Jiang was scheduled to stay in Houston, found their reservations cancelled with little or no notice. Some had already paid for the rooms.
Various reasons were given for the cancellations, usually some version of being "overbooked." Practitioners' reservations were transferred to a hotel 23 miles away. It appeared that anyone reserving under the Falun Dafa group rate or anyone with a Chinese surname was targeted. A few reservations by Chinese-named practitioners that were already paid for through an Internet booking service were cancelled. The hotel staff was evasive, nervous and defensive when asked about why this was happening. They gave inconsistent stories. At least twice, the staff threatened to charge practitioners in the lobby with trespassing: the practitioners were peacefully asking about their cancelled reservations.
Two practitioners had been clarifying the facts to a lawyer of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Houston just before the cancellations happened. They told the lawyer about this, and she immediately became interested in the case. She spent a lot of time with us during the next several days. Lawyers representing the hotel and the ACLU negotiated between October 22 and 24, but the hotel management stalled, and apparently did not act in good faith. Therefore, no settlement was reached, and practitioners who were inconvenienced and discriminated against received no compensation of any kind.
Two other hotels in the area also discriminated against Falun Gong practitioners during this time, so the influence from the "6-10 Office" and Chinese Communist Party was not limited to only one American business. Major Houston newspapers and TV stations covered the news of the cancelled reservations.
Under these circumstances, some practitioners formed a team to pursue legal action against the hotel. Through many tribulations and uncertainties, and a change of lawyers, the lawsuit was eventually filed in federal court in Houston on September 11, 2003. There are four claims against the hotel in this lawsuit based on federal civil rights laws. The claims mention discrimination on the basis of race and/or religion, violation of contract agreements and conspiracy. These are all serious charges against a business, and if they lose the case, it could cost them a lot of money, and their reputation would be damaged.
The actual lawsuit contains righteous language. It describes the evil of the "6-10 Office" while it explains the goodness of Falun Gong. Any ordinary person who reads it will learn the truth of the persecution.
How Do We Understand the Lawsuit?
There have been many discussions among fellow practitioners about the necessity and importance of this lawsuit. Especially, how do we understand it from the perspective of the Fa? Here, we would like to share a few of our understandings.
The Chinese dictator Jiang spreads corruption and ill fortune wherever he goes. He found an unsuspecting accomplice in crime in Houston last October. Because the evil was able to take advantage of our gaps, Dafa practitioners were prevented from sending forth righteous thoughts from a nearby hotel.
Practitioners called, faxed and sent materials to the corporate headquarters of the hotel to clarify the facts and also spoke to the local manager. However, some practitioners thought we should not expose this incident to the media, concerned that the evil regime would use it as propaganda to poison sentient beings. Other practitioners did not want to report something negative. Master has told us, "Don't be afraid that the consulates or the special agents will stir up trouble. As soon as they do that, you should use the opportunity to let more people know about the truth." (From "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference")
In countless cases, the Jiang regime and the 6-10 agents have deceived US businesses and persuaded them to do things which are actually harmful to their own long-term business interests and to the future of the individuals involved. US businesses have taken immoral and illegal actions based on misinformation. Almost certainly, those 6-10 agents also acted illegally. This is happening now on US soil and will ultimately damage the US economy and this country's morals.
US businesses have unwittingly become supporters of the persecution of Falun Gong. This is not good for their future. Practitioners' compassion is exposing this situation and providing an opportunity to rectify the wrong.
We practitioners know that, fundamentally, the old, evil forces that are opposing Dafa are the true perpetrators of this crime. If we accept this behavior without protest, aren't we cooperating with these forces?
In this case in Houston in October 2002, US laws were broken. Law-abiding, good people were discriminated against due to their beliefs. All individuals, government entities, organizations and corporations are responsible for the consequences of the decisions they make and the actions they take. In the recent LA lecture referring to investing in China, Master Li said, "On the surface people don't know, but people all have a side that's aware. You really can't say that you didn't know." (From "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference") People who put money above their morals are damaging their futures. No one who has committed wrong deeds while being deceived by others can be excused. This is especially true once they have been informed of the deception. This lawsuit offers the hotel an opportunity to rectify the situation and make amends.
In some ways, businesses are the most powerful organizations in the US. They have a lot of influence on government leaders, policy and legislation. If business leaders learn the truth of the persecution and understand it clearly, if they wake up to what is happening in China, they can make many helpful changes in human society. There are also many good people in businesses and many sentient beings that are waiting to learn the truth. This lawsuit provides such an opportunity for them to learn about the facts.
Through the investigation process of the lawsuit, we believe the truth will emerge regarding who are behind these illegal and damaging actions, and this will provide concrete evidence for suing Jiang and/or the "6-10 Office". Wherever Jiang went, he exerted his despotic power and forced the local governments and businesses to break their own laws and violate the rights of their own people. This lawsuit can expose the evil from a new angle, and in a way that will wake up many people in the United States and other countries. Previously, when we tried to clarify the facts to the US government officials of different levels, some officials often said that this was an international affair and they had no right to intervene. This lawsuit will help people to further realize the evil nature of the persecution, which is completely based on lies. These lies do not only deceive and damage innocent Chinese people, but they also deceive and damage other countries' governments and people. Everyone is affected by the persecution.
The agents of the "6-10 Office" will continue to do these immoral, corrupting things to unsuspecting individuals and businesses until the deception is clearly exposed. This lawsuit is to protect all the future potential victims of this deceit. Its purpose is to stop the evil in its tracks and prevent future losses.
This lawsuit also provides us an opportunity to clarify the facts to lawyers and to rectify deviated notions in the legal system. At the same time, it also offers us the opportunity to break through layers upon layers of human thinking and cultivate our xinxing. "Good is rewarded and evil is punished" is heaven's law. In the human world, laws are supposed to uphold justice, protect the innocent and punish the evil. Master said in "Falun Buddha Fa – Lectures in the United States," "The world has developed to this day, where everyone regards the legal system as good. Actually, it's the last resort when there's no way out. Humankind has developed for several thousand years. There were never this many laws in the past, there was only the simple 'King's Law,' and virtue (de) was the criterion for judging good and bad."
The deviated world arranged by the old forces created complicated laws. The criterion to judge good and bad is no longer virtue, but various items, articles and restrictions. In addition, attorneys in the ordinary human world often focus on "winning the suit." Therefore, our previous attorney wanted to sue the hotel for discrimination based on race, because she thought that might be easier to win the case. As Dafa disciples, we understand that "winning the case" is not our primary purpose. Instead, what we want to do through this lawsuit is to expose the evil and to clarify the facts. Thus, we related some persecution cases to our current attorney and explained what Jiang's regime had done on U.S. soil to persecute Falun Gong practitioners and influence U.S. government officials. The facts inspired our attorney's righteous thoughts. He decided to sue the hotel for discrimination on the basis of religion and/or race, violation of contract agreement and conspiracy. As we said before, the lawsuit contains righteous language. It describes the evil of the "6-10 Office", while it explains the goodness of Falun Gong. Any ordinary person who reads it will naturally have the facts of the persecution clarified. One outcome of this lawsuit is to help rectify the legal system.
During the process, we also encountered interference, tribulations and conflicts among fellow practitioners. During a critical time, one practitioner encountered interference when her job became extremely difficult and was too exhausted to study the Fa and was diverted from the lawsuit. Because of our gaps, our attorneys became sidetracked on another case. The coordinating team did not have a clear understanding of what we wanted. We took up our attorney's time to discuss issues that should have been discussed beforehand. One practitioner realized that he had just signed on to lend his name to the suit and wasn't really involved in the process. The core team did not put a high enough priority on this case. For a period of time, we left the first lawyer to operate on her own without the support of practitioners. Through Fa study and experience sharing, as well as looking inward, we saw even more attachments that we needed to get rid of, such as the mentality of doing a job, attachment to fame and the attachment of zealotry. At the same time, we also improved our understandings based on the Fa.
We practitioners who are directly involved in the lawsuit realize that we had not presented the importance of this lawsuit to the body of practitioners. The effect of this lawsuit on saving sentient beings is dependant on the righteous thoughts of practitioners.