By Sean Pendergast
By Sean Pendergast
By Jeff Balke
By Richard Connelly
By Jeff Balke
By Casey Michel
By Craig Hlavaty
By Jeff Balke
Not a fanatic: Wendy Grossman's article on my situation and on Falun Gong ["The Gong Show," July 11] reports on the Chinese government's persecution of me and my family, and I am grateful for that reporting. I find it unacceptable, though, to be painted as a fanatic for Falun Gong and as addicted to its practices.
Having practiced Falun Gong since 1997, I have benefited a lot, both physically and spiritually. I won two first-places in 1998 and 2001 in student symposiums at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, and got my Ph.D. in physics in 2001. I also published more than ten papers in professional physics journals. My success proves Falun Gong is a very good practice for the body, mind and the society.
I began appealing to the international community to help stop the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China. The real reason I have lost my visa status is that my passport was held by the Chinese consulate and denied renewal, which has resulted in my losing my postdoctoral position at UH and has brought me a lot of financial difficulties. Without this persecution, I would still be doing my research at UH and living a happy life.
The Chinese government is persecuting people who believe in truth, compassion and tolerance. In China, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are hung and beaten, forced to do hard labor, deprived of sleep, shocked by cattle prods, injected with nerve-damaging drugs and tortured. In the United States, the Chinese government security personnel intimidate, injure and suppress Falun Gong practitioners and supporters, including many U.S. citizens.
For all of these reasons, I write to the Congress to let them know all of these things in order to stop the persecution of people in China and here in America.
Good book look:Your article about the effects of the brutal persecution by the Chinese government against Falun Gong practitioners in China and overseas, specifically Jason Wang and his family in Houston, portrayed their horrendously stressful situation in a realistic way.
Unfortunately, most of the Houston Press's references to Zhuan Falun, the book of main teachings of Falun Gong and Mr. Li Hongzhi, don't bear much resemblance to the actual content.
I have met Mr. Li, and he is one of the most down-to-earth people one could imagine. He refers to himself only as our teacher. He has warned us repeatedly against worshiping him and urges us to take as our guides the principles he teaches rather than his persona. There is never a charge to learn the exercises or participate in any Falun Gong activity.
The incredible peacefulness and benevolence displayed by practitioners during the Chinese government's campaign of slanderous vilification and attempted eradication of Falun Gong speaks to the power of Mr. Li's teachings of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Practitioners in China put their lives on the line. This is for all of us. This is not just a Chinese issue. This is for everyone who ever had a thought not expressly sanctioned by government, for everyone who ever wanted to elevate his/her spiritual side, for those "inalienable rights" guaranteed by civilized nations. This is not something to make fun of.
Falun Gong and Mr. Li have been awarded more than 700 proclamations of support from governmental bodies, including two from Houston. He has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and was awarded the prestigious Religious Freedom Award. The peaceful journey continues. We invite everyone to read Zhuan Falun and investigate Falun Gong for yourself.
New respect:Your article on Falun Gong was informative and well written. I live in Montrose and have walked past the Chinese consulate several times and was horrified by the sickening pictures of the Falun Gong followers' dead, mutilated bodies.
However, before I read your article, I had no idea what Falun Gong was. I equated it with yoga, just some meditation. I don't believe in the principles of Falun Gong, but I also do not believe in murdering people for not renouncing their faith. I have respect for the Wang family for standing their ground.
If someone told me to renounce my faith in Christ or die, I would gladly die. I hope the Wangs will never have to make that decision.
Wasted resources: Thank God the pastor had a congregation that believed in him ["True Believer," by Richard Connelly, July 11]. Otherwise his life would have been ruined and his family destroyed. I am sure he suffered tremendously.
Investigators are eager to protect society, which is good. However, federal resources were wasted in this four-year investigation, resources that should be used to prevent terrorist acts and foreign aggression. Federal intelligence already has its hands full. Local law enforcement should handle pornography and the like.
The sex-offender program now in place has too many flaws. It does more harm than good. Lives and institutions are destroyed. Sex-offender registration banks and neighborhood notification create fear, anger, worry, paranoia and violence in communities. Thanks to the Houston Press for publishing the story.
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