The Missouri Falun Dafa Association hosted The Art of Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance exhibition at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City on September 19th - 23rd. The sunny autumn weather and special sessions of the Missouri State Legislature brought a constant stream of visitors to the the Capitol building. Many legislative staff members and representatives also took breaks in their schedules to view the artwork.
|A touring church group views the artwork|
|Legislative assistants discuss the artwork|
|A woman studies the painting Organ Crimes|
The special legislative session was related to business with China, so many of the visitors were especially interested in the exhibit's relevance to the discussions at the Capitol. There were also many touring groups from China that came through the exhibition.
Ms. Debra Kohl discovered the exhibition on her way to a meeting with Missouri government officials to call attention to China's human rights abuses and how that relates to the current business proposals. She said, “I believe it is God's divine timing that this exhibition would be here at the capital at this time.” As a Christian, Ms. Kohl was very concerned about the one-child policy and forced abortions in China. The exhibition was her first introduction to the communist regime's crime of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners, but she said she was not at all surprised. She talked at length with the practitioners and wrote down talking points about the persecution of Falun Gong to share at her meeting.
Ms. Puri Wilson brought her relatives, who were visiting from Australia, to tour the Capitol. The family spent a long time viewing the paintings and talking with the practitioners. Ms. Wilson said: “When I was younger, I didn't pay much attention to what was happening around the world. Now I'm much more aware. The persecution of Falun Gong is terrible.” Ms. Wilson, her mother, and her husband expressed interest in learning Falun Gong. As her mother is elderly, a local practitioner agreed to teach them the exercises in their home the following weekend.
Many representatives and staff members visited the exhibition throughout the week. One representative commented that the artwork was “powerful,” and thanked the practitioners. A staff member who came to the exhibit upon another legislative assistant's recommendation mentioned that he had read about the Tuidang (Quit-the-CCP) movement in The Epoch Times and said he thought it was a great thing for the Chinese people.
Legislative assistant Daniel Wilhelm was struck by the contrast between goodness and evil in the artwork and the destruction of the human conscience in those who participate in the persecution. He was particularly moved by the painting Organ Crimes. He said: “The painting that really made an impact on me was the one with the barbarism, the doctors harvesting organs. You could see the doctor in the background - it seemed like he knew what he was doing was wrong, but he continued to go through with it.”
Missouri media, including a local TV station and two digital news networks, reported on the exhibition. One of the reporters happened to be from China. Through talking with her, it became evident that she, too, had been deceived by the communist regime's staged “self-immolation” incident and thus held misconceptions about Falun Gong. The practitioner being interviewed showed her a detailed report exposing the fallacies in the regime's story and how the event had been proven by western journalists to have been a hoax. As a result, the reporter came to understand the real situation. The practitioner asked if reporting the truth about Falun Gong would put her in danger with the Chinese government, and she replied, “I won't use my real name.”
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