Clarifying the Truth in Manhattan: Overcoming Our Notions to Find Bright Flowers and Another Village Ahead (1)


PureInsight | November 15, 2004


Xingjian: Could you tell us your story of clarifying the truth to the police officers in Manhattan?

Elaine: Last Saturday the police gave us a $140 ticket for using stereo equipment without a permit. On Monday, we went to a different area to hold our anti-torture exhibit. We have a permit for using the stereo equipment for that location, but the police put ugly blue wooden barricades around our exhibit. There was a message, "Please do not cross this line," on each blue barricade. The police would usually use blue barricades around a crime scene or a dangerous area. When we talked to the police about removing the blue barricades, they were very hostile to us. It is very likely that the Chinese Consulate in New York might have spread slanderous lies about Falun Gong to the police.

In order to learn how to resolve the issues with the ticket and the blue barricades, we managed to find the Park Management Department. The staff members there took us to their legal consultation office. A young man told us that the police tend to be less strict with human rights-related activities. After we told them about our cause, he said he felt we were doing the exhibits for a noble cause and suggested that we go talk to the police officer that gave us the ticket. He also said that it was inappropriate for the policemen to use the blue barricades in this situation. He promised to talk to the police on our behalf about the blue barricades, although that location might not be within their jurisdiction.

Next we went to the police station at the Park Management Department and found the police officer that gave us the ticket. She was with a colleague when we arrived, so we clarified the truth about Falun Gong to both of them. When we talked about Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China, her colleague became impatient and cut us off. He said that he knew Falun Gong is being persecuted in China, but we must have a permit regardless of the cause. I said that we are not only exhibiting the tortures used on Falun Gong practitioners in China, but also telling Americans about the persecution's impact on Americans.

Dr. Charles Li is an American citizen. When he made a trip to China in 2003, the Chinese police arrested him at the airport upon his arrival because he practices Falun Gong. He was then sentenced to three years in prison in China, and he is still incarcerated in a Chinese prison and suffering from many types of mental and physical torture. When he went on a hunger strike as a non-violent means to protest the persecution, they tortured him even more. They punished him by forced feeding him punitively and beating him. He is also being made a slave for manufacturing export products to the U.S. Dr. Li's fiancée has been longing for him to return to the U.S. She has been working tirelessly to call for the American government's help to rescue him, but very few American knows about Dr. Charles Li's plight and the injustice he has been suffering. We have come all the way from Canada and organized the torture exhibits to tell you that American citizens are also victims of the persecution. This is the first thing we would like to share with you.

There is another reason why we came to New York. The Chinese regime has been persecuting Falun Gong practitioners for five years since July 20, 1999. Why isn't the persecution over yet? One of the key reasons is that they have been using money from foreign investments in China to sustain the persecution against Falun Gong. New York is the financial capital of the world. A big portion of foreign investments in China come from New York, but the businessmen and entrepreneurs in New York might not even know that their investments are being used to sustain the persecution against Falun Gong. They may have thought that they were only doing business with the Chinese government. A group of Jews are now suing IBM, demanding 12 billion dollars of compensation because IBM did business with Hitler during the WWII, and Hitler used IBM's investments to fund the holocaust. IBM might not have known that its investments in Germany went to the holocaust, but today it still has to face the legal and financial consequences of unwittingly assisting Hitler with its investments.

Everyone ultimately has to face the consequences of his own actions. The persecution against Falun Gong will not last forever. Because an increasing number of people worldwide are learning the truth about the persecution against Falun Gong, the persecution will end in the near future. When that day comes, everyone and every business involved in the persecution will need to take responsibility, including those American businessmen doing business with the Chinese regime. Even if they might not know that their money is being used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, they will still have to face legal consequences as long as they are a part of the persecution. This is an unfortunate outcome that we hope to avoid. Therefore, we hope to tell every American businessman the facts about his investment in China before it is too late. We hope that they will make a right choice when they learn the truth about their investments in China. We are not in any position to tell them what they must do or must not do, but we feel we are obligated to tell them the facts, so that they will be able to make a good choice. This is why I said we were hosting the torture exhibits for Americans.

The two police officers were speechless, appearing shocked yet touched. They both said that they were very sympathetic towards us and approved of our actions. They said they do not have the authority to cancel the ticket, but they suggested that we go talk to the judge and repeat what we have just told them. They believe that the judge will be moved, because our words are very powerful. They said that quite likely the judge would ask us to pay only $5 or even waive the fine. They also said that we could also write to the judge, and that would be just as good.

Next we mentioned that the police put blue barricades around our new exhibit location. The policeman said that they shouldn't have done that because we are not criminals and the torture exhibit is not in any way dangerous to people. They asked, "Where is your new exhibit location? I can call the police precinct in that area and ask them to remove the barricades." When we told them the location, they said it might not belong to the jurisdiction of the park police. However, he found the name and the telephone number of the police chief of the police precinct in that area, and gave them to us. He said we should go meet with him.

On the second day, I did not go to the torture exhibition because I had to stay at the apartment to write a letter to the judge. On the third day, I sent the letter out and went to the torture exhibit, only to find that the police had already removed the barricades. We have no idea what those two police officers might have said to the police here, but it is obvious that they made a good choice and supported our efforts.

This is my story with the policemen in Manhattan. It is my understanding that interference occurring during our truth-clarification efforts might be blessings in disguise, because they might actually create opportunities for us to tell more people about Falun Dafa and the persecution. Otherwise, we would not have any opportunity to meet them or clarify the truth to them. Everyone needs to know the truth, so perhaps it is a special arrangement for us to go talk to these police officers.

Teacher said, "Wherever a problem occurs, that's where you need to clarify the facts." (From "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")

When they learned and accepted the truth about Falun Gong, they tried to help Falun Gong practitioners and, by doing so, they have positioned themselves correctly. I feel this may be another type of manifestation of "The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities" (From "Energy Field" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun.)

Xingjian: Falun Gong practitioners worldwide are now validating Falun Gong with our own actions.

Teacher said, "Clarifying the truth is the master key." (From "Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference")

When we have righteous thoughts, all of the so-called trouble and interference will become opportunities for us to clarify the truth.

Elaine: A fellow practitioner named Zhen told me a story. They hosted a torture exhibit on Fifth Avenue on a Saturday without a permit. They had just finished setting up the table when two park police arrived. He thought they had come to ask to see the permit, but it turned out they had come to apologize. They said that they made us move to a corner last time we had a torture exhibit across the street. They explained that they had no choice because their boss was very adamant at the time. They were glad that we moved to this side of Fifth Avenue because it is roomier here and we will draw more people's attention here.

This morning some people came and tried to make us move. Later, two park police officers arrived and talked to them, and convinced them to leave. Later on, another two police officers came to the torture exhibit. They praised our cause and asked us if we needed any help. These police officers' attitude towards us changed completely after we clarified the truth to them.

Xingjian: I heard that you knocked on the office doors of some companies in Manhattan to share with them the truth about Falun Gong. Could you tell us about it?

Elaine: Our first challenge was to get into the building. Some Falun Gong practitioners have tried to enter the building before. They clarified the truth to the security officers at the lobby, but the security officers would not let them in. Although they were very sympathetic, they asked those practitioners to leave them with the truth-clarification materials, and they would deliver those materials to each company in the building. So those practitioners did not get past the lobby and left without meeting anyone working in the building.

Two fellow practitioners and I came up with an idea that got us into the building. We just need to tell the security officers that we were going to a particular company in the building and show them our ID's, and the security officers would let us in. So the three of us were admitted to the building successfully. Once in the building, we didn't rush to knock on doors. First we checked out the number of floors in this building. Then we decided to work from the top down. The receptionist of the company on the top floor was a young woman. She said the manager was not available, but another employee was very enthusiastic about helping us. He asked the purpose of our visit and then told us that the woman we saw in the room was their manager. However, the manager had to hurry to the airport and she is not a very patient person. If we tried to keep her here, she would be very upset. We took his advice and clarified the truth to him instead. He told us that he had noticed Falun Gong practitioners in yellow jackets distributing truth-clarification materials downstairs, and assured us that he would pass the truth-clarification materials to his colleagues. Another Falun Gong practitioner chatted with the receptionist while I talked to the man. The practitioner briefly introduced Falun Gong to her and gave her a Falun Gong flyer. She also promised the receptionist that she would come again and give her a music CD containing Falun Gong practitioners' music compositions.

We worked our way down. We knocked on each company's door and clarified the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution to them. They were very receptive and gave us many good suggestions. A movie company and a musician were among the companies renting offices in this building. They also pointed us to people in different arenas that they think should also know the truth about Falun Gong. The overall effect of our truth-clarification work was very good. We spent two days clarifying the truth to over 50 companies in that building. Only two companies refused to talk with us or accept our truth-clarification materials.

When we tried to enter the building for the third time, the security officers told me that they had received complaints from some companies that claimed we were disturbing their businesses by distributing materials floor by floor. We started by clarifying the truth to the security officers and then told them that the complaints must have come from these two companies, because all of the other companies were very friendly to us. The security officers confirmed our guess, but asked us not to distribute materials in the building any more. We agreed. We had a discussion afterwards and concluded that we should not have visited the same building three days in a row, and we should reduce the size of our team. Three Falun Gong practitioners were too many and attracted too much attention.

There are a lot of businesses in Manhattan. Although it was very effective to have three Falun Gong practitioners knocking on one office door at a time, it was not very efficient. We decided to have a lot of Falun Gong practitioners distribute truth-clarification materials from 6:30 to 9:30 A.M. in front of many business buildings. Those who enter and exit the business buildings during those hours are usually people working in the buildings. When they accept the truth-clarification materials, they will bring them to their offices and their colleagues might also have a chance to read them. We will attain the same goal by this approach.

To be continued…

Translated from:

Add new comment