The Falun Gong Omission

How and why the biggest story out of China gets pushed aside

Falun Gong practitioner Kip Ng, center, holds a picture of a woman who was killed in China for her faith. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Falun Gong practitioner Kip Ng, center, holds a picture of a woman who was killed in China for her faith. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Size matters.

Both the New York Times and the Associated Press reported that there were 70 million people practicing Falun Gong in China in 1999. Both reports cited Chinese government sources, who later sought to down-play these numbers.

China’s state run media went further, reporting there were 100 million people practicing Falun Gong in 1999.

Ten years later, a detailed analysis of reports from inside China indicated there remained 20-40 million people actively engaging in grassroots acts of peaceful civil disobedience, resisting the persecution

That’s a lot of people.

The nature of the campaign matters.

In a pulitzer-prize winning series of articles, the Wall Street Journal‘s Ian Johnson revealed in 2000 how the decision to eliminate Falun Gong came from the top of the Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing. This was a campaign pushed down upon the country by the ruling party.

The level of brutality matters.

In a 2001 report, the Washington Post published a ground-breaking article detailing how violence — specifically torture — was one of three officially sanctioned methods used by the Chinese Communist Party, which was “systematically eradicating [the] group.”

The other two sanctioned methods were high-pressure propaganda and “brainwashing classes.”

What does all this mean? For the past twenty years, tens of millions of people have been systematically targeted with violence and “brainwashing” by the ruling party of China.

This should be the biggest story out of China, but all too often it’s not.

Read more about why Falun Gong is not featured more regularly in the news.