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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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A Message To High School Seniors

It's going to be alright.


Dear High School Seniors,

You've made it! In just a few months you will be getting ready to put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage to get your diploma. Soon, you're gonna say goodbye to the life you've known for the past four years and start a new life somewhere else. At this point, your senioritis has most likely already kicked in and you're probably dreading waking up at 7 a.m. more and more each day. The second semester of senior year is annoying but cherish every moment of it.

Everything is about to change. As you walk down the hallways look around. Take a second to look at your classmates and ask them how their day is going. Learn about them and the stories they have to share with the world. Everybody has some advice to give and you never know what you're going to learn. Before you know it, you won't be seeing their faces anymore. The only form of connection you'll have with most of them is through social media which will eventually fade as well. You don't want your only memories of those you graduated with to be just seeing their face in the hall.

Go to the places you love the most. Whether it's your favorite hometown restaurant or your favorite place to hang out with your friends, go. Go until you're sick of it. Take a second to acknowledge the sights and smells around you. You're going to miss them. In a few months, you won't be able to jump in your car and drive five minutes to get there. The places that make your home your home are about to be a long car ride or flight away.

Spend time with your family. This is one thing I wish I realized earlier more than anything. Your parents are most likely going to soon become visibly upset or scared at the fact that you're leaving them. After all, you are their little girl or boy. This time is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But don't make fun of them, hang out with them. You're going to miss the once dreaded trips to the grocery store with your mom and the annoying car rides with your little brother. You really don't realize how important your family is to you until they're not a few footsteps away anymore. Unfortunately, no amount of facetime calls will ever compare to being with them in person. Don't leave home wishing you had spent more time with them.

Be involved in the things happening at your school. Go to prom. Buy a yearbook and get as many people as you can to sign it. Go to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer games you have left. These activities may seem boring at times but they are what you're going to miss. When you get to a big university it isn't going to be as easy to get involved.

Get excited about for the future. Even if you're not going to your dream school, it's going to be ok. The second semester of my senior year I spent upset over the fact I was going to stay at an in-state school. The school I'm at now was the last place I had thought about attending. I almost didn't even apply. However, I am so lucky that I did. I truly can not imagine there being a school that could have been a better choice for me. The people I have met and the opportunities I have been given would have never been put in front of me if I had attended another school. Try to keep an open mind. Everything really does happen for a reason. If you aren't going to the school you originally were hoping to, don't stress. You're going to end up at the place right for you, at least I know I did.

College is amazing but there will always be something special about your home. Make sure you make these last few months your best months. These next few months will be filled with a whole lot of lasts and followed by a whole lot of firsts. Good luck!

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