Human Harvesting

Human Harvesting

How 16 years of persecution of Falun Gong has made China one of the top transplant countries in the world.

I was strolling down the sidewalk in the heart of the beautiful old town St. Augustine, Florida last week when my friend and I noticed a peculiar form of protest occurring. Several people, all of varying race, gender, and age, were sitting down cross-legged in the middle of a grassy park, each holding a lit candle. As I got closer to the individuals, I was able to read a sign they had posted that said something along the lines of “16 years of Falun Gong Persecution in China.” On another poster was a diagram of a human body depicting various organs labeled with selling prices. Not sure of what any of this meant, I went home that night and did some research.

Falun Gong [also known as Falun Dafa] is a Chinese spiritual practice founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992.

According to the practice's official website,

It is a discipline in which “assimilation to the highest qualities of the universe—Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance)—is the foundation of practice. Practice is guided by these supreme qualities, and based on the very laws which underlie the development of the cosmos.”

Originally, the Chinese government backed and supported Falun Gong as the exercises and meditations it taught its followers had health benefits deemed advantageous to the people of China. However, as the practice gained widespread support throughout the country, the Communist Party of China grew skeptical of the influence the practice then held. Therefore, in July of 1999, the leader of the Communist Party of China at the time, Jiang Zemin, took drastic action to take down Falun Gong as the party felt its massive following threatened their control over the people of China. First, he released a series of hateful propaganda which attacked the founder of the practice, Li Hongzhi, and the beliefs of all its followers. Zemin’s goal was to make the rest of the country hate the Falun Gong; taking down a hated group is much easier than bringing down a group loved and respected by all.

As of July 20, 1999, the official persecution and suppression of the Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime began. Zemin’s next step included the capturing of many Falun Gong practitioners and sending them to labor camps and detention centers. Others were and still are harassed; their entire practice banned from the country. With most of the party being wrongfully imprisoned, the Chinese government saw a window of opportunity to both make large amounts of money, and get rid of their “enemies.” The Falun Gong prisoners became nothing more to them than an organ bank, and they remain the same to this day. As of March 2006, the Falun Dafa Information Center has exposed the truth of the organ harvesting, so it’s no longer just a rumor.

While wrongfully imprisoned, blood tests are administered to the prisoners in order to match them up to a potential organ buyer overseas. Once a match is made, the organs are harvested without any anesthetics while the person is still alive. Organ harvesting of Falun Gong victims is well known and condemned by nearly every other nation across the planet. In May of 2006, the World Medical Association released a "Resolution on Organ Donation in China:"

Whereas, the WMA Statement on Human Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation stresses the importance of free and informed choice in organ donation; and…Whereas, there have been reports of Chinese prisoners being executed and their organs harvested for donation. The WMA demands that the Chinese Medical Association condemn any practice in violation of these ethical principles and basic human rights and ensure that Chinese doctors are not involved in the removal or transplantation of organs from executed Chinese prisoners. The WMA demands that China immediately cease the practice of using prisoners as organ donors.

However, the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong prisoners has persisted for many years after the above statement. A recent documentary, and winner of the 2014 Peabody Award for documentaries, titled Human Harvest, sought to bring light to the continued crimes against humanity committed in China. The film is not yet available in the USA, however, you can watch the trailer here. The opening line is a testimony from a Chinese doctor about his first encounter with live organ harvesting as a medical student. He said, “When I cut through...blood was still running... that is to say, this person was not dead.”

This grotesque crime against humanity is occurring today in China. The Falun Gong practitioners have suffered unjustified persecution for their beliefs for 16 years and that is simply far too long. As fellow human beings, it is necessary that we take a stand against these horrific crimes in any way that we can. Here you can sign the petition, as I have, which will contact your district’s House representative on your behalf and request that he or she take action. Perhaps, if a mass of people sign this petition, our voices will be heard in Washington D.C., and justice will be brought to the Falun Gong practitioners in China.

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.


I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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