Falun Gong practitioner to tell about persecution

Spreading awareness

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In his office at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Frank Xie folds his legs into a sitting lotus to meditate.

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Falun Gong practitioner Frank Xie will talk about the practice, which is outlawed in his native China, at a meeting of the CSRA Peace Alliance.   Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Falun Gong practitioner Frank Xie will talk about the practice, which is outlawed in his native China, at a meeting of the CSRA Peace Alliance.

In his native China, fellow practitioners of Falun Gong are persecuted for the same practice, said Xie, an assistant professor of marketing,

He will speak Wednesday about religious persecution of Falun Gong at a meeting of the CSRA Peace Alliance.

Falun Gong, a meditation practice centered on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance, came to be seen as a threat to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Amnesty International has recorded nearly 1,600 cases of detention, arrest or sentencing of Falun Gong practitioners since China outlawed the belief system in 1999. The human rights organization reports that tens of thousands of practitioners have been arbitrarily detained, tortured, ill-treated or pressured to renounce their beliefs.

"All the while, the president of China is coming to visit, and our economy is tied up in China's," said Denice Traina, co-chairwoman of the Peace Alliance, which was established in Augusta in 2008. "We have to educate ourselves about that relationship. It seemed like such a timely issue to look at."

Xie is thankful the topic is garnering attention. He's traveled to universities in New York and Geneva to speak on Falun Gong persecution, and says too many Americans are still unaware.

"When I get the chance, I must speak up," said Xie, who moved to the United States more than 20 years ago. "Americans are always shocked. Everyone is shocked."

He studied science in China, and, in 1986, came to the United States to continue his education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. While he was away at school, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the subsequent government crackdown shook China.

"We couldn't go back," he said. "We had to stay."

Xie, who was born in Anshan, China, worked as a chemist before deciding it wasn't for him. He got his master's degree from Georgia State University and worked in finance instead. Xie earned his doctorate in marketing, and began to teach. After working in classrooms at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Xie moved to Atlanta.

"We like the South better," he said with a laugh.

He lives in Atlanta with his wife and commutes to Aiken mid-week to teach. He also writes a column for The Epoch Times , a multi-language international newspaper founded by supporters of Falun Gong.

It was there that Xie said he read of some of the gravest human rights abuses -- such as organ-harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. A 2006 independent investigation by Canadian human rights lawyers and politicians found circumstantial but persuasive evidence in support of the claims of systematic organ harvesting.

"The government has turned persecution into a lucrative business with the buying and selling of organs," Xie said.

Because of the hours Falun Gong practitioners spend meditating, Xie said, many have better-than-average health, which makes them targets for government organ harvesting. Practitioners also abstain from drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, premarital sex and homosexuality.

Since Xie began meditation in 2001, he says he's had good health.

"I've had no sickness, no problems. Not one doctor's visit for 10 years," he said.

Falun Gong helped him in other ways, too, Xie said.

"I'm a better person. I'm more truthful, compassionate and tolerant," he said.

Xie didn't learn about Falun Gong until well after leaving China. He says he didn't grow up with any particular faith.

"We were indoctrinated, everyone in China was, to be an atheist," he said. "Everyone was. I didn't believe in God. I didn't believe in Buddha. I didn't believe in anything."

Even as a chemist, Xie said he knew there was plenty that couldn't be explained by science.

"I knew something was there. I came to this country and started searching. I went to all the churches I could find," he said.

"I found Falun Gong and knew the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance were true. If we all followed those, society would be much better."

If you go

WHAT: Dr. Frank Xie, a practitioner of Falun Gong, will discuss religious persecution in his native China at a meeting of the CSRA Peace Alliance

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Richmond County Library auditorium, 823 Telfair St.

LEARN MORE: Call (706) 951-2413


Falun Gong, often referred to as Falun Dafa or just Dafa, draws on ancient traditions of meditation in China. In 1992, the practices, which were normally passed privately from student to teacher, were taught publicly by Li Hongzhi.

The movement quickly gained steam, with the Chinese government estimating more than 70 million practitioners.

By 1999, Falun Gong had been banned in China, and practitioners began suffering persecution.

Learn more at falundafa.org.

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follower 02/05/11 - 03:45 pm
Falun Gong seems to be an

Falun Gong seems to be an introspective practice based on "navel gazing". In others words, the secret or answer to life lies within. Meditating involves only "I", omitting a "you".

Sounds sort of like what philosopher Rene Descarte said, "I think, therefore I am". Basically "existentialism".

"Even as a chemist, Xie said he knew there was plenty that couldn't be explained by science."

The explanation is there, people just want to deny that answer.

Dixieman 02/05/11 - 05:57 pm
"I think that I think,

"I think that I think, therefore I am. I think."
Mr. Xie might be an okay guy, but the "CSRA Peace Alliance" is a traitorous left-wing bunch of kooks.

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