Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Self-Immolation Survivors Denounce Falun Gong
"I don't want that kind of tragedy to happen again," said Chen Guo, her face scared with massive grafts and her hands missing. Chen then a 19-year-old gifted student at the Central Conservatory of Music set herself on fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square over a year ago.
"Falun Gong is indeed an evil cult and it led me to this," said Chen Guo, showing her horrific injuries to over a dozen Chinese and foreign reporters at a hospital in Kaifeng, central China's Henan province.
In a special ward this girl lies with burns over to 80 percent of her body, over 50 percent of them third-degree or worse.
Tiananmen Tragedy: a Conspiracy by Falun Gong Cult
On January 23, 2001, the former Falun Gong believer joined her mother Hao Huijun in setting herself alight on the Tiananmen Square for self-immolation to attain "all-round fulfillment" claimed by Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong's spiritual leader.
But all they have to show for it is life-long deformity plus the frequent occurrence of complications. To save their lives, medical staff in Beijing have made an all-out effort and all their medical bills were paid by the Chinese government.
After nine months of treatment in the Jishuitan Hospital in Beijing, mother and daughter were moved to a hospital in Kaifeng where 24-hour care was assured by four nursing staff.
"Falun Gong devastates people's lives and destroys normal social order. It's a right thing that the government outlawed the cult," said Hao.
"Some overseas Falun Gong organizations claim that you self-immolation people are not Falun Gong followers. What is your response?" a reporter from Reuters asked Hao.
"I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996," Hao said, "I was then a music teacher at a middle school in Kaifeng, my colleagues and friends will testify that I am a Falun Gong follower."
No more nightmare wished
Reporters from the United States, Britain, Japan, Hong Kong, and China visited Chen and Hao as they recovered in a local hospital in Kaifeng.
Hao said: "I also hope that other countries will pay attention to Falun Gong and work together to get rid of this evil cult to protect all people."
With the help of medical staff, Hao's daughter can now read books, listen to music and do some exercises. Once in a while, a joke was even made between the mother and the daughter.
But for Chen, Falun Gong is still a horrible memory and the thought of other victims of the evil cult still engulfs her.
"I really hope people captivated by the Falun Gong come to their senses quickly. That evil cult is detrimental to the world and mankind. I wish no more people experience the nightmare I've suffered", Chen said.
To "ascend to Heaven" or "attain all-round fulfillment" in line with Li's teaching of "neglecting life and death", many Falun Gong practitioners throughout the country were reported to have killed other people or committed suicide.
To date, up to 1,660 practitioners and innocent people have died in such incidents.
The Chinese government outlawed Falun Gong in 1999 and has since made great efforts to help followers escape spiritual entrapment. So far, almost all former believers have returned to normal lives.
Former Falun Gong Practitioners on Falun Gong
"The Falun Gong cult misled me into killing my beloved uncle".
"I suspected that my uncle was plotting to murder me and could not control myself when thinking about a Falun Gong cult lecture which summons followers to endure until there is no need to."