ZERO PLUS 1117 DAYS,--New York, NY, Sunday,
October 3, 2004--A
woman crouched in a cage, hands bloody, face bruised from
beatings, head hung low, not from shame, but from the yoke
of endless torture.
woman sat limp in a chair, a tube draining Draino drop by
drop into the corner of her mouth. Her head lolled back. Blood
dripped from her beaten eyes. Her jaw was slack, darkened
by shadows suggesting repeated beatings.
Gong members are tortured from forcefeeding...
a Chinese military officer brutalizing a prisoner with
a "beating stick"
few feet away stood a Chinese military officer taunting the
prisoners. He held a "beating stick" in his left
hand, his uniform sharply pressed, face expressionless as
any executioner who, after hundreds of deaths at his hand,
no longer recognizes humanity in the human he is painfully
beating to slow, agonizing death.
of this was happening on 7th and 5th Avenue, as part of a
major promotional thrust to spotlight the plight of hundreds
of Chinese being treated in parallel ways as the Romans did
the Christians a couple of thousand years ago for practicing
a religion the Romans considered threatening to the state.
of Christianity, the religion being quashed in 21st Century
China is called Falun
Gong and Falun DaFa. Again, similar to Christianity and
the Romans, it is only a seven-year-old movement.
of Falun Gong's tenants that sparks the brutality of Chinese
authorities is the main mission of believers since 1999 to
combat China's governmental repression of religious beliefs
not sanctioned by the state.
familiar with Roman history understands the agony Christians
were subjected to for expressing their faith. It included
crucifixion and being slaughtered in the arena by gladiators.
History reports thousands were mauled to death by lions and
other beasts as entertainment for the crowds of complacent
Romans who watched their fellow human beings die mercilessly.
streets of New York City are replaying these old scenes of
human horror with a 21st Century twist. It is the theater
of reality, a silent scream broadcasting across a Sea of Complacency
for help to reform China's draconian treatment of human rights
to express religious freedom, especially Falun Gong/Falun
continues to rule with an iron fist
Gong isn't by its nature revolutionary. However, the belief
in human rights divinely granted by a Higher Power has created
turmoil within China. Its okay to believe, but not protest
that belief. Protesting the rights of citizens against authority
is not taken lightly by a ruling government that still believes
in the iron fist in an iron glove.
Hongzhi (Master Li), founder of the meditation practice
Gong employs a mixture of traditional Chinese spirituality
and the teachings of a man followers call Master Li. It is,
as most all new religious or spiritual movements, a potpourri
of ancient and modern.
symbol for Falun Gong is a backwards swastika, used throughout
the centuries by different cultures, including the American
Indians. When the swastika turns clockwise, followers believe
energy is created to help expand the goodness of the individual;
when the swastika spins counterclockwise, energy is transmitted
outward to help others.
among China's 1.3 billion population--four times that of the
United States--is alleged to be 70
million. Another 30 million followers are estimated worldwide.
the Republican Convention here in New York City, daily Falun
Gong peaceful protests of human cruelty have punctuated every
busy corner of the city. Opposite the Chinese Consulate on
42nd St, New Yorkers have silently protested suppression of
their meditation group weekly for five years. Dressed in yellow,
members pray in front of signs and posters exampling the horror
prisoners undergo, and pass out literature with graphic scenes
and stories pleading for intervention by the West.
dominance of the protestors force you to look into their faces,
solemn faces of a people reaching out with thin straws in
hopes America will do for them what it has done for Iraq and
Afghanistan--stand up to the Beast of Terror.
was asked by one of them yesterday to be a Terror Hunter in
their behalf--to ring the Bell of Vigilance for Falun Gong,
to help remove the dictatorship that imposes brutal violence
on those who practice its beliefs.
was at a local street fair in the East Village and a conversation
ensued with one of the Chinese ladies in front of a display
showing the torture so common to the movement.
woman and Chinese woman filled me in on the religious
intolerance in China
the well-spoken woman and an ally from Sweden here for an
international conference begging recognition for the plight
of Chinese victims began to tell me about the problem with
the dictator, I injected that the real problem wasn't with
the dictatorial leadership in China, but rather with the Complacency
among the 500 million parents who allowed their government
to Terrorize them.
argued that the logic of deposing leadership without reestablishing
a base of Parental Vigilance in China was like cutting off
one of the heads of the Hydra.
led us to a healthy conversation about who was the Beast of
Terror, the people who allow the Beast to roam wild, or the
Beast itself. I was pressing her to focus on rallying the
millions of Chinese citizens to become Parents of Vigilance
and revolt against not just the harsh treatment of Falun Gong,
but to revolt against the idea that leadership of human rights
was held in the hands of government--good or bad--and that
only when the people stood up for their children's rights
would the problem be checked.
reminded me it was easy to speak about Vigilance in America
where living under a dictatorship wasn't the common way of
life for millions. She also reminded me that Chinese people
have, for countless generations, lived under rules of obedience
to rulership and while my rhetoric sounded good, it wasn't
concurred, but didn't agree that by removing one dictator
that another wouldn't pop up, and another after that, because
the Beast of Terror, like a chameleon, always seem to grow
another tail, head, finger, eye, nose just as soon as you
cut one off.
of us conversed about the need of the Parents of Vigilance
in the world rallying for the Children's Children's
though I agreed with the immediate problem, the long-range
issue was of my greatest concern--How do you keep the next
dictator from coming about? How do you not surrender your
Parental and Grandparental and Generational obligations of
protecting the future generations to some person or body and
expect them to be as concerned about your loved ones as you
are? I posed a number of questions.
if instead of blaming the problems of freedom on dictators,
the Chinese pointed the finger at themselves...as Parents
of Complacency? What if...what if...every dictator comes to
power because the people let that happen...if the Parents
of Vigilance just surrender their parental role to someone
they call a leader? What if instead of saying we need to change
the government, we said we need to awaken the duty of every
Parent of Vigilance?"
was an engaging conversation. China faces tough times on the
issue of accelerating its freedoms and civil liberties. Not
many nations want to tackle the Big Dragon as America took
on Iraq. The Chinese are evolving, however slowly, toward
an integrated trade community. With the interdependence of
its people and power with the world, it will be forced to
open its doors to more rights for the people, but that is
then, and torture is happening now.
I posed the big question to the Chinese lady and her friend
from Sweden. "Would you agree then that America did the
right thing in Iraq?"
Chinese lady didn't blink. "Yes. Now it's time to do
the same in China."
could tell she meant what she said. People who live under
oppression and see others become free from it by outside forces,
want the same themselves.
added a comment to balance her statement. "In America,
if you do things wrong or bad, you have the ability to expose
those mistakes and rectify them. In China, if the government
does something bad, they cover it up. Right now, we want your
help to uncover the bad in China and fix it."
ended up agreeing that if all the Parents of Vigilance in
all the nations were to throw their support in behalf of the
prosecutions of people in China for their religious convictions,
that China's leaders would be forced to change its policies.
question was, did people look at China as they would a relative,
a cousin, nephew, niece, brother, sister, grandchild?
is about the individual putting aside his or her individuality
in favor of being a Parent, Grandparent and Great Grandparent
of Vigilance. Seeing the world through the lenses of the Children's,
Children's, Children--out some 100 plus years--forces any
citizen of any land to think about who their children or grandchildren
might be married to, have children with at some point beyond
could justly say his or her great, great, great grandchildren
might not be married to a Chinese, an Iraqi, a Sudanese, a
Russian, or any host of ethnic or religious permutations.
told the Chinese resigned themselves to a life of slavery
point--as a Sentinel of Vigilance by my definition--was that
the Parents of the World must rally--the ones in China and
others in different lands. Removing one political head for
another, hoping the new one might be more merciful, didn't
guarantee anything except a confirmation that the people had
no power over their destiny.
she told me, was so common in China that most people resigned
themselves to a life of slavery under draconian rule. I proposed
that China needed to change its view--at least the Parents
of Vigilance had to.
fight Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--the Triads of Terrorism--means
more than putting up with torture for what you believe. It
means in believing that everyone is responsible to stand up
to Terrorism, not just a few, to make the Parents of Vigilance
awaken and to remove the Parents of Complacency who allow,
by default, the Terrorism to continue.
rhetoric sounded good on the streets of New York.
didn't relate to the women I had been involved in incidents
of torture while in Vietnam
didn't tell the woman I had been involved in horrible torturing
and killing of human beings similar to and perhaps worse than
any of the pictures on display when I was in Vietnam.
didn't seem relevant.
did I ask her if she had ever been tortured. I did ask if
she had children, and she said no. She replied she assumed
the motherhood of all the children in China.
didn't ask her either why she wasn't protesting the killing
of little girls by their parents--pressured to do so by government--but
still conducted at the hands of the parents. China imposed
a rule two decades ago to limit its explosive population:
one child for urban couples and no more than two for rural.
fines are levied for any violation. The only exception is
twins. Many poor Chinese cannot afford to pay the fines for
having more than their allocation, and kill their children.
other issue is girl babies. Female children are looked down
upon compared with boys, for boys can get jobs easier than
females that pay better. Thousands of baby girls are killed
or abandoned by parents seeking to have their allocation of
children in male numbers, enhancing the potential for revenue
to the family.
state of China discourages female babies, considering them
a source of the population explosion--the womb of the problem.
wondered why she could focus in on religious prosecution when
children were being murdered by their parents as grandparents
stood by and watched, and the nation didn't scream about that.
wondered if the torture of the people of China might have
some relationship to the bad karma of a nation sanctioning
the death of the unborn in vast numbers, based on sex, and
the consideration that children were still chattel in some
parts of the land.
also was quick to remind her that here in America we had horrible
torture like that in China, where parents beat their children,
sexually and mentally abused them, and were as evil or more
evil than anything the Chinese were promoting.
that we all must stand up to fight Terrorism in relation to
the future of the Children, and not try to fix others until
we ourselves had fixed our own viewpoints--that is, until
we became personal Parents of Vigilance.
know Vigilance starts at home...and am passing on that
took my card and asked me to be a TerrorHunter for her. I
agreed. But not until I asked her to become a Parent of Vigilance,
and to consider the duty to promote that we--Parents and Grandparents
and Loved Ones of Vigilance--must be the ones who change,
not just the dictators.
the end, I felt good.
felt I understood Vigilance a little better, and I knew it
all started at home.