Rocko depicts Falun Gong organ-harvesting in LEGO

The recent Beijing Olympics — and NBC’s coverage of them here in the U.S. — painted a picture of the People’s Republic of China as a veritable utopia of modernism in harmonious balance with ancient tradition.

In this vignette depicting alleged organ-harvesting of Falun Gong detainees, Rocko suggests that the truth may not be so pleasant:

You can read more about this issue in the surprisingly well-sourced Wikipedia topic.

(Via VignetteBricks.)

21 comments on “Rocko depicts Falun Gong organ-harvesting in LEGO

  1. a LEGO lover from China

    I personally really don’t like involving LEGO in those ugly political fightings. If you are patient enough to go through the wiki description, you will find almost every ‘evidence’ is provided by Falun Gong itself. Since the Falun Gong organization has been deeply involved into the political fighting between Communist Party of China (CPC) and those anti-china groups, I suggest we shall not easily trust neither of these 2 sides. Falun Gong may not be so innocent like itself claimed and not that evil as CPC reported; CPC (obviously) is not that good as the olympics demonstrated, but may not that bad as Falun Gong described (like picture above).

    Again, Please don’t using LEGO in this political way. I don’t want LEGO’s stores in China shut down someday.

  2. Rocko

    If Lego stores in China get shut down because someone in another country (who’s not employed at the Lego company anyways) builds something like this, then you need to move out of China anyways.

  3. The Anonymous Collective

    Well, “A LEGO lover from China”, you don’t have to like it, you just have to respect it. And your adorable plea to stop being political with lego? Get fucked. You shouldn’t let your government intimidate you, and we’re sure as fuck not going to let it intimidate us through you.

    But we all know what this is about – the CPC isn’t going to shut down LEGO stores. You just don’t like the idea that bad things happen in your country, the same as the flag-worshipping dickheads in the states. And instead of pretending that everyone is morally equivalent, some of us have the balls to take sides.

  4. a LEGO lover from China

    Frankly speaking, I have no interest in arguing the credibility of the report about organ-harvesting. It’s beyond an individual’s ability to tell whether these political media coverage is true or forged. But for LEGO its own good, if it wanna do business in China, it should follow the regulations in China. Even if the greatest Google have to moderate the search results for request from mainland China according to Chinese laws. It’s business. I know this blog doesn’t represent the LEGO cooperation. But, it is clear that the image from Rocko is hurting LEGO’s brand image in Chinese market. I think people who shows up here may have dramatically different backgrounds, but we do share one thing in common: we love LEGO.

    We could find a much better place for political arguing. But just keep LEGO clean and let LEGO stay in its own fantasy peaceful world, please.

  5. Rocko

    Lego has not been peaceful in a long time, Lego Lover. As far as I can remember Lego has been producing sets with swords, spears, crossbows, guns, cannons, missiles, lasers, etc. for over 30 years.

    As far as the validity of the accusations of government run torture, China has a long history of human rights abuses. The murders by the Chinese government during the time of Mao Zedong is comparable to the Nazi holocaust. Considering that things haven’t changed that much politically in China, I’d say that claims of such horrors are possible and should be seriously investigated by independent researchers or representatives of another country.

    My vignette is meant to draw attention to the possibility that this has actually been going on.

  6. DomeKen

    Do I even need to say why this is inappropriate and not the best use of LEGO?

    See, Legos are made for fun, politic is made for something else. We need to keep these two as far away as humanly possible. Because if we don’t, Lego would be innocent and child-friendly again.

    Plus this feels pretty racist too.

    So I fail to see the point of this creation.

  7. Kuki Szabolcs

    Ain’t it funny that every time there is a post about human rights problem in China, an apologist appears?

    I mean, come on, people are dying, getting tortured, and still we say, no there is not enough information, even though the internet is filled with information.

    This attitude is really sickening, and dangerous.

    Just to illustrate this a little bit more exactly.
    1. We buy stuff from China because they are cheap
    2. We don’t care that the reason that these are cheap is because slaves do them (since the beginning of time slaves where the biggest source for profit)
    3. We get really surprised when we are out of a job, because jobs went to places that are more “cheap”. Then we need to be more “competitive”, but guess where that leads us, to the exact same situation. Only slaves can be as cheap as slaves, given that the technology is the same, so there is no difference in efficiency.

    So basically this is just to show you quickly, how indifference gets you to slavery.

    In short: Choosing moral things, is by far always the smartest choice, because this is the only way to build positively our environment. Our future is tied to our environment (and I’m not talking only about trees, but also about social environment).

    So how are we going to build our future?
    Is this future fair, a future in which is good to live in?

    Or is this a future created by the fact that it was more important for us not too miss the next episode from Dalas (for example but any trivial attachment will do), and thus get ignorant and leave everything related to the evolution of our future to the greedy few who then again also care less about us, and more about themselves.

    Then what will be the acceptable norm in this future?
    Should we have any trace of apology in us for genocide?
    Should we try to hide genocide?
    If we do any of this then, well at least it’s clear that we deserve anything that’s going to evolve from that.

    Better yet, shouldn’t we do something about it, now?
    Like tell everybody what is happening and make them realize that it’s important for them as well and try to involve them to get this stopped?

    – just a few thoughts
    Along these lines see: http://www.humanrightstorch.org/news/2008/04/20/video-global-human-rights-torch-relay/

  8. the enigma that is badger

    “Ain’t it funny that every time there is a post about human rights problem in China, an apologist appears?”

    Considering China has a population of over 1.3 billion people as well as the world’s largest number of computer users, it shouldn’t be too surprising that when someone makes post regarding their country (especially one that speaks ill of it), at least one would post a response.

    “I mean, come on, people are dying, getting tortured, and still we say, no there is not enough information, even though the internet is filled with information.

    The internet is also filled with information that claims to show the events surrounding Sept. 11, 2001 were the result of a Zionist conspiracy. Well-documented, independently verified sources of information are needed to show the validity of a statement. As can be read on the Wiki page linked to in the original article, there is a good deal of controversy surrounding the accuracy of the Kilgour-Matas Report in regards to its sources of information and conclusions.

    “Lego has not been peaceful in a long time, Lego Lover. As far as I can remember Lego has been producing sets with swords, spears, crossbows, guns, cannons, missiles, lasers, etc. for over 30 years.”

    Yes, LEGO has incorporated elements of stylized action into its sets for years. What they haven’t done is create sets based on realistic modern combat, let alone organ harvesting from a live, conscious victim by using a buzz saw. Including an axe in a medieval set is one thing; your MOC is quite another in regards to the type, tone, and severity of violence depicted.

    “As far as the validity of the accusations of government run torture, China has a long history of human rights abuses.”

    Which is something no one, not even most Chinese, would debate. Yes, there have been and continue to be problematic issues surrounding the Chinese Central Government’s administration of the country, especially in regards to freedom of expression. However, as noted in the Wikipedia article on the subject, the claim that Falun Gong political prisoners are being held in concentration camps and systematically euthanized for their organs remains highly controversial with little in the way of direct evidence to support it.

    Keep in mind, China has admitted to trafficking in the organs of executed criminals in general. As the death penalty is applied to many more crimes in China than in other countries who impose it, it’s entirely possible the wider availability of organs for transplant simply results for these practices. What has not been proven is that Falun Gong members have had this practice specifically and systematically applied to them.

    Of course, this raises the question is the use of organs obtained from prisoners without their consent is ethical. That China states it has suspended the practice is telling, however, given the large numbers of patients worldwide who die while waiting for transplants, it’s clear the Central Goverment is, misguidedly, attempting to assist its citizens with material that otherwise would be discarded.

    “The murders by the Chinese government during the time of Mao Zedong is comparable to the Nazi holocaust. Considering that things haven’t changed that much politically in China, I’d say that claims of such horrors are possible and should be seriously investigated by independent researchers or representatives of another country.”

    Reductio ad Hitlerum in seven posts; not a record, but on the shorter end of the spectrum in all the threads I’ve seen. If anything, your metaphor would better apply to the Kuomintang given their widespread massacres of Communist and Communist-friendly civilians, their invasion of Tawain upon losing the Chinese Civil War, subsequent massacres of local peoples and Communist supporters, and installation of a military dictatorship that lasted for nearly 50 years.

    Yes, the violent excesses and disastrous policies of the Chinese government under Mao and his subordinates, particularly the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, are well-documented are something, and the fact the Chinese have survived them and flourished as a nation is a testament to will and fortitude of the Chinese people.

    As for your claim that “things haven’t changed that much politically in China,” that’s frankly an incredibly ill-informed and inaccurate statement. If you were at all familiar with China and its history, you’d appreciate there has been a radical shift in the policies, both economic and political, of the Central Government starting in the late 1970s. Deng Xiao Ping much more than Mao is the architect of modern China, and his policies are directly responsible for widespread increase in quality of life in China, its newfound economic strength, and its greater willingness to engage other nations diplomatically.

    Evaluating this MOC, as a piece of exploitative gore, it’s not bad, but as an attempt at political protest, it’s anemic at best and crude propaganda at worst.

    To be clear, I likely would have posted something similar to my above statements if this were an MOC depicting US military personnel torturing a prisoner, a Georgian solider abusing an Ossetian, or Japanese soldiers slaughtering Chinese civilians in Nanjing. Turning our hobby into cheap political theater adds nothing to getting to the truth related to those allegations nor does it promote creative expression through building.

  9. Rocko

    Wow, you’re really good at typing a lot but not actually saying anything. You should go into politics. ;)

  10. huckles

    I find the argument that the organs are not coming from Falun Gong somewhat nonsensical, especially when it is claimed that they are actually, instead, coming from other kinds of executed prisoners. The basis for thinking they come from non-Falun Gong executed prisoners is based on less evidence than that showing they come from Falun Gong. And the same process of deduction from available evidence is involved. And there are damning factors for the prisoner argument, such as:

    *they don’t execute enough for those big transplant numbers
    *there’s no death row in China at all; i.e., when someone is sentenced to death he’s executed within a week. To do the kind of operation they have been, with on-demand organs, they need a living bank of donors. Executed prisoners can’t fulfil this.

    It’s also bullshit that the information comes from Falun Gong. The information comes from independent investigators, David Kilgour and David Matas. Kilgour was a crown prosecutor and MP in Canada, Matas is one of Canada’s best lawyers. These are precisely the independent parties. Their report has also been confirmed by two others. Their report should be taken very seriously.

    I think what people don’t really get is how this could happen. They’re judging this with a normal mindset, and the incredulity of the horror of the situation means “it can’t be true!” Then come the ridiculous ways of trying to talk around in circles and provide nonsensical explanations. It can happen in China basically because of how the Chinese Communist Party has so thoroughly distorted peoples’ thinking. Chinese people are fine with the idea of taking organs from unconsenting prisoners who are executed. They think that that guy committed a crime, so it would be a waste not to use the organ. Sentiments along these lines have been expressed publicly by officials. So they come up with ways of doing this effectively, like shooting them in the neck in the wrong place so they won’t die, but will be kept alive while they take the organ. Why not, right? If you’re going to kill the guy and take his organs, better make sure it’s in the best condition. This is the thinking. It’s really not a big step from there to taking organs from the Falun Gong. They’re already thoroughly maligned, beaten, tortured, mistreated in custody etc., so why not just use them for their organs? They’re right there in prison, in the hundreds of thousands, or millions, for the taking. Many didn’t give their names, no one knows they’re there. Why not use them for their organs? If you try to use a normal way of thinking to understand why these people could do this, I’d say you’ll never get it. Many people’s thinking in China is totally fucked by now, people have been taught to hate Falun Gong, it’s the fault of the communist regime, and these are the consequences. When it’s commonly accepted among people that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were killed like this, those who are now trying to rubbish the claims, play them down, pretend they can go away, will be too ashamed to show their faces.

    Finally, just an update, recently Kilgour and Matas said they got admission from doctors. Those phone calls are verified, or at least one of them is fully verified. This isn’t in the wikipedia article, though someone should add it. It only came out recently, see here: http://organharvestinvestigation.net/release/pr-2008-08-22.htm

    I’ve been an observer of this whole thing for a while and these are my observations.

  11. huckles

    By the way, I applaud this use of LEGO to convey an important message. The argument that LEGO is not a legitimate medium to convey such truths is inadequate. This is an expression of conscience and morality. Innocence is founded on those principles. If you want to be innocent, how could you reject simple moral standards?

  12. the enigma that is badger

    Wow, you’re really pathetic at addressing legitimate, thoughtful critique of your work.

    I suppose you really are as exceptionally ignorant of both the specifics of this issue and of China in general as I guessed you were from the poorly worded, inaccurate statements you’ve previously made and this lazy response.

    If you want the short version, here it is: Organ harvesting of Falun Gong members hasn’t been proven to have occurred with any direct evidence, China has made major steps in being more open but still clearly has much ground to cover, and your MOC is crass exploitation that does nothing to bring attention to the issue but instead demeans our hobby.

    Try doing some research before you try to enter a conversation about a controversial subject, otherwise you’ll come off as poorly as you have here.

    As for politics, as that profession means spending most your time pontificating about subjects you know nothing about and speaking with moral authority when you have none, I’ll leave that to people such as yourself. You’ve already shown quite a knack for it here.

  13. huckles

    I would like to respond to the last comment by badger. Clearly Rocko has good intentions in making this work. He has read about this issue and thinks it is worthy of creating a LEGO vignette on. You don’t need to speak Chinese and have a prodigious understanding of modern China and Chinese history to come to the conclusion that the organ harvesting is real, and to condemn it. These are basic human things. Everyone has moral authority, if they will act morally.

    Clearly, China has made steps to becoming more open. These are inevitabilities in a certain sense. But I think it is important to strike a clear differentiation between the Chinese Communist Party and China. They’re not the same thing. I would commend you to a work by John Lee called “Will China Fail?” — among other things, this book is the best I know which illustrates so well how the CCP is the so determinant in all the talk of China’s democratisation or inevitable political reform. The group of gangsters running China right now, have done and continue to do monumentally bad things to a huge number of people, and have repeatedly demonstrated that they will keep their power at any cost. They have opened up, yes, but only in the sense that it strengthens their position. When it comes to anything that they perceive will weaken their grip on power, they jump on it violently. Falun Gong is such an example, and organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners an outcome.

    I think Rocko would be aware enough of this issue to be qualified to construct a LEGO vignette depicting it. There’s a wealth of highly sourced information across the wikipedia articles just on this topic, and of the CCP’s human rights crimes. People can find out anything on the net these days in a couple of hours.

    I think the vignette obviously brings attention to this issue, and does nothing to demean LEGO as a hobby.

    I also regret my use of swearing in a previous post.

  14. Frank

    Thank you for raising awareness on this topic. People saw the Olympic games in Beijing now they should see what is going on underneath. I am not ashamed of being Chinese but I am ashamed of the Communist party ruling China. It is time for them to go.

  15. Charles Liu

    The Wikipedia article has been “hijacked” by FLG disciples. Check the Talke page.

    Falun Gong’s “organ harvesting” allegation has been discredited already:

    - Most recently by the Ottawa Citizen. The Sujiatun Hospital has no incinerator:

    link to http://www.canada.com

    - Here are US government and Chinese dissident investigations disproving it:

    1) link to usinfo.state.gov
    http://www.usembassy.it/pdf/other/RL33437.pdf (section CRS-7)

    2) http://www.cicus.org/info_eng/artshow.asp?ID=6491
    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060806_1.htm

  16. Kuki Szabolcs

    “1) link to usinfo.state.gov
    http://www.usembassy.it/pdf/other/RL33437.pdf (section CRS-7) ”

    Well don’t read just the CRS-7, but read the whole thing.

    The also read these articles:
    http://newstatesman.com/writers/leeshai_lemish

    The article is very clear and then in the comments you will see how confusion is tried to be implanted.

    But the bottom line is this: innocent people die, and persecuted today, just because they want to practice something that it’s not atheist.

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