Updated June 1, 10:00 p.m. EDT
CHICAGO—On May 30 at about 5:00 p.m., the Chicago branch office of The Epoch Times received a threatening letter. Enclosed with the letter were a clipping from the most recent issue of the Chinese-language Epoch Times Mid-U.S. edition and an unidentified white powder.
"The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) fears the truth, and we are telling the truth. They don't want people to know the truth," said Helen Ye, the Chief Editor of the Mid-U.S. edition of The Epoch Times, when asked why the letter had been sent to her office.
Once called, police and firemen responded immediately. On arrival, the police separated out the staff who had touched the letter and held them in a makeshift quarantine. A tech team carefully removed the letter from the office and took it away for analysis. One hour later a call came that the contents of the letter were safe.
The letter has two lines, one praising the CCP and the other using vulgar language to attack Falun Gong.
After the letter was opened, Sen Yang, the president of the Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association, was called to come to The Epoch Times office.
"This letter was clearly related to the events going on in Flushing. The clipping was an article about someone from the mob there who had been given a summons to appear in court," said Mr. Yang.
Ms. Ye reflected on why a letter like this would have been sent, "Because right now the Chinese Communist regime wants to push away its responsibilities in relation to the Sichuan earthquake. So it diverts people's attention from the earthquake by attacking Falun Gong."
The Epoch Times has carried several articles detailing how the corruption of the Chinese regime lead to great loss of life, as substandard school buildings in particular were immediately leveled by the earthquake, and also how the quake relief efforts were very slow and inadequate.
Mr. Yang commented on "how low are the tactics being used by the CCP. Here they send a threatening letter. In Flushing, the mob they have brought together uses dirty gestures and dirty words. They tell lies about Falun Gong. They even beat people.
"They do this here in the U.S. where the police protect Falun Gong practitioners. You can imagine how they treat Falun Gong practitioners in China, where the police help persecute Falun Gong."
The Chicago office of The Epoch Times has several times in the past received threatening letters, but never before one that included a specific article.
Ms. Ye says that the letter will have no effect on the operation of the office and that her staff is fine.