Possibly the deadliest hoax in history. On January 21, 2001, a group of people set themselves on a fire in the center of Tiananmen Square. Chinese state-run media report they were Falun Gong practitioners who thought they’d go heaven for self-immolating. They broadcast that story every day for a year until the Chinese public, who used to be against the persecution, whole-heartedly supported it. But then people started asking questions about the footage. Things weren’t adding up and the Chinese media kept changing the story. Now, thirteen years later, it’s widely held the immolation was staged by the Chinese regime. And the result was a massive increase in detainment, torture, and deaths of untold numbers of Falun Gong practitioners.
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