A New Epoch
As a young doctoral candidate who had arrived from China in 1993 with little more than the clothes on my back, I was looking to make a life for myself in America.
The promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was new and exciting to me, a far cry from the totalitarian regime I had been living under.
Living in America is a life-changing experience. For the first time, I could speak without fearing repercussions from the state. I could take every breath knowing that the next one was a protected, inalienable right.
But though I now lived in a free nation, I was keenly aware that the communist regime still ruled my home country with an iron fist. This was illustrated for me in striking detail when, in 1999, Chinese communist leader Jiang Zemin began a crackdown of the spiritual practice Falun Gong.
As a Falun Gong practitioner myself, my life had been enhanced by its principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
And while I was free to practice my faith in America under the First Amendment, I watched as my friends and family in China lost their homes, their jobs, their freedom, and even their lives, simply for refusing to renounce their faith.
What's more, I watched as the media overseas began to parrot the Chinese Communist Party's disinformation about how we were dangerous, how we were insane, how we were a nuisance to society, and how we deserved to be eliminated.
I watched until I couldn't bear to just watch anymore.
I knew that one of the main reasons that this persecution was allowed to go on was because people didn't have access to the truth. Though I could try to convince people one by one, it would be much faster if I could reach the masses.
And with that, in 2000, The Epoch Times was born.
From the start, our founding principles have been truth and tradition—truth, so that injustice around the world can be exposed, and tradition, so that we can uphold the best of what makes us human.
As the year 2020 continues to unfold, I believe that we need both the light of truth and the guidance of tradition now more than ever.
With the CCP's disinformation once again blanketing the world, endangering the lives of millions with falsified reports about the CCP virus, I'm incredibly thankful that I can do more than just watch.
Today, we are a multinational media that spans 35 countries and 21 languages. We are prepared to debunk every lie with evidence and uncover those who pose a threat to the international community, wherever they may be. We strive to dig deep for the facts of the situation while leaving the opinions up to you.
We hope that our efforts can keep you and your loved ones safe in this crisis and beyond; we hope that you'll find our reporting honest, factual, and timely.
Because telling the truth was the entire reason we were founded, and it's the one thing we will always dedicate ourselves to before anything else.
Thank you for giving us a read-I hope your experience with us, no matter how long or short, is a pleasant one.
The Early Days of The Epoch Times
My name is Kirk Wang. As senior vice president of subscription at The Epoch Times, I am just one of the many who work behind the scenes to make sure each and every one of our readers gets access to our news. Today, I'd like to share my story with you.
My Journey to the United States
I was born and raised in communist China, where our textbooks taught us to “impale our enemies with a thousand spears.” Our problems were always caused by the “evils of American imperialism.” We had no freedom, only brainwashing and tyranny.
It was a society where relationships between people were tense. People struggled against each other for limited resources, and after rounds and rounds of political campaigns that culled most of the kind and trusting people from society, only the most cunning could survive.
This was not the world I wanted to live in. The mass slaughter of pro-democracy student activists in 1989 only confirmed my decision. So, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was forced by the West to loosen its authoritarian grip after Tiananmen, I left China.
Living the American Dream
My reason for coming to the United States was selfish at first: I just wanted to enjoy the freedoms of a democratic society and live a happy life. I didn't really think much about giving back. After coming over in 1993, I worked my way through two master's degrees and found a job as a software engineer.
In 1997, my wife and I bought our first house. The down payment cost me all the savings I had back then—$7,500—but I had a good feeling about it. Our neighbors also happened to be Chinese immigrants, a couple who practiced Falun Gong.
The spiritual principles of Falun Gong taught people to be truthful, compassionate, and forbearing. It was a stark contrast from the China I knew, where every man was out for himself. Through this qigong practice, I was able to get in touch with the traditional values of Chinese spirituality, while the meditation exercises improved my health. My wife and I soon became dedicated practitioners.
We had family, faith, and a home. And for a little over one year, everything finally seemed all right.
An Inflection Point
In July of 1999, the CCP selected the target of its next political campaign: Falun Gong practitioners. Overnight, the qigong practice that it used to praise widely was now slandered as a “dangerous cult”—a charge the CCP laid on its enemies—and all of its members were to be physically persecuted, and have their reputations smeared, and their finances cut off.
I was even more shocked that all the mainstream news sources outside of China repeated the same lies as the CCP's state media. For the first time, I realized that even the United States might not be completely free from the influence of the CCP.
I was faced with a choice. I could pretend like nothing was going on and continue to live life with my family, now including a little daughter. Or I could do something to fight back against the lies, and give a voice to the voiceless. I chose the latter.
When The Epoch Times was founded in 2000, I was the first to join the production team in Atlanta.
Our First Issue
In the early days, most of us were scientists and engineers by trade (learning this kind of expertise was one of the few ways to get out of China). We didn't know much about newspapers. Coming up with our 14-page PDF for the first issue was a days-long struggle in an Atlanta basement.
Our software crashed multiple times while we were working on our first issue. We learned the importance of pressing the “save” button rather quickly. If we didn't do so, hours of hard work could be erased in a second.
What's more, the printing press we used back then couldn't make plates directly from computer files. So we had to print out our files on sheets of 11-by-17-inch paper, stick them together two by two, and send them to the press, which would then make films out of the physical papers.
Now it seems silly what we had to do to make that first issue. But when I finally emerged from that basement after our last all-nighter with the completed proof behind me, there was no better feeling. When I felt the sunlight on my face, a calm determination welled up inside me from the depths of my heart; it assured me that despite all the challenges still ahead for The Epoch Times, truth would win out over lies in the end.
I burst into tears.
The Road Since Then
That was 22 years ago, and since then, things have been anything but easy. During those years, we almost went bankrupt several times. We hardly had any employees. I soon realized that I had to do this newspaper thing full-time if we were going to have a fighting chance at success. So I quit my cushy desk job to give my full attention to The Epoch Times.
Saying it now, it's just a few sentences. But hidden within them are countless other stories: nine years of constant travel and being away from my family for one to three months at a time, my neighbors thinking my wife was a single mother, my young daughter crying for me whenever I had to leave home yet again, seven-day workweeks, no vacations, sleepless nights wondering if I'd be able to pay my bills—the list goes on and on.
But every time I get to chat with a reader, I am reminded of why I do this, and of that calm determination I felt in my heart so many years ago. When a person has found the truth, you can see it in her eyes and hear it in his voice. There's something warm and pure about it, something that feels like sunlight.
Why I Keep Walking
Thinking back to why I gave up my comfortable life all those years ago, it came down to one thing: If I ever had my back up against a wall, I'd want people to fight for me, too.
It's a complete 180 from the “every man for himself” logic that I was raised on, and I'll admit that it's taken me quite a while to unlearn those habits completely. But America is a nation whose sons and daughters are willing to give their lives for the freedom of those they'll never meet—and that spirit is both very special and very contagious.
You, our readers, embody that spirit. Each one of you is a warrior who is willing to fight for the truth and the freedoms we're entitled to as part of our humanity. My only goal in working for The Epoch Times is to serve the men and women like you, so that you can have a reliable source of information to guide your decisions. It is a privilege to serve Americans like you, and to be a small part of the fight for our freedom.
It's the least I can do for the country and the people who have shown me the best of humanity.
The Best Quality Information
Dear Epoch VIP,
As editor-in-chief of The Epoch Times, I'd like to thank you—and congratulate you—on becoming one of our readers. Truth and tradition is our motto, and I'm excited for the opportunity to show you just how much that motto truly inspires our work.
Professionally, I'm a journalist before anything else. I chose to be a journalist because I wanted to deliver the truth to the public. I believe that presenting the facts of the situation, and nothing but the facts, is an art. It's not only an art of language, but an art of separating your own biases from reality and of recognizing what your own notions may prevent you from seeing.
Everyone is held to this same standard in our newsroom: to make a claim, they have to be able to prove it to everybody else, using facts. Nobody is given trust for free; it is something every reporter must earn from their readers (and their editors!) in every article they write.
This has made for many late nights and spirited discussions in the office, but we do it all for one thing: to provide you with the best quality information. That's what the word journalism has always meant to me, and I've been exceptionally fortunate to be in a position where I can dedicate myself wholly to this traditional form of journalism.
Now that this paper is in your hands, I truly hope that you'll have the opportunity to sit down somewhere comfortable and read it cover-to-cover.
Every week, we hope to become even more accurate in our reporting, even more conscientious in our editing, and even more delightful in our language, so that what you're holding is the latest and greatest of what we have to offer in our abilities. Next week, we hope to be even better.
And of course, we always welcome your feedback. Feel free to give our customer service line a call, send us an email, or even write to our editorial team. Each one of us here aspires to master our craft-and we're all seeking to improve however we can, with your help.
Thank you once again for setting out on this journey with us. We only hope that you'll enjoy reading our paper as much as we do creating it.
A Return to Tradition
Dear Epoch VIP,
It's such an honor to have you here as one of our readers. I'm Jan Jekielek, senior editor with The Epoch Times. You may already know me from our web series, American Thought Leaders, where I interview experts from a variety of backgrounds who have a hand in shaping the politics and culture of American society.
Many of my interviewees have devoted years to their areas of expertise uncovering valuable insights that are still unknown to many. Speaking to them, as you might imagine, is a very humbling experience.
But in my experience, a kind heart, an open mind, and a willingness to listen works wonders in getting just about any person to open up—especially when the person has had trouble finding an outlet to say what they've actually wanted to say. This is sadly the case with some of the guests I've spoken to: They've been de-platformed, sidelined, and censored for their opinions, their knowledge restricted from reaching the general public.
One of the main motivations behind what I do is a desire to give my interviewees a platform where they can speak freely about their expertise. This same principle also drives much of what The Epoch Times does as a media entity. In this constitutional republic that is the United States of America, we believe that everybody deserves a voice, even if different parties might not agree with each other. And we always seek to represent those dissenting opinions faithfully.
As a newspaper, we aim to be a starter of conversations, not the be-all and end-all. We want to be media that doesn't just talk, but media that listens deeply and tries to understand the bigger picture. To you, the reader, we aspire to give a truly nonpartisan view of the situation without any preconceived agenda or narrative. We aspire to present to you the kind of real discourse that can only be found in a free society, where through assent as well as dissent, people can refine their own ideas and make up their own minds.
Most of all (and perhaps this is a little bit ambitious), I like to think that what we strive to bring you is a return to tradition and humanity in journalism. Because behind every ideology, every belief, every argument is a human being who has their reasons for thinking as they do, and we believe that they should be given the right of free expression that every person deserves.
I hope that this week's paper gives you what you need to start some conversations of your own. And thank you so much for being one of our readers. Knowing that there are people like you out there, people who understand the value of free speech and a free press, is what keeps all of us going at The Epoch Times.
Truth Can Make A Difference
Dear Epoch VIP,
Thanks for subscribing to The Epoch Times. In these pages, you'll find news and information that you're unlikely to see in the legacy media. As a senior investigative reporter at The Epoch Times and host of our show “Crossroads,” part of my work at The Epoch Times is to help ensure this.
Investigative journalism isn't easy work, by its nature. No matter which topic we may be digging into, it seems there's always someone who doesn't want certain facts getting out—and it's fairly common to see push-back or attempts at censorship. This is especially true when the stories involve the Chinese Communist Party.
For more than a decade, I've been tracking, researching, and exposing the Chinese Communist Party's programs to subvert politics and institutions in the United States and in other countries, and to expose its programs to wage an unseen war using everything from organized crime to economic warfare. I've exposed its programs behind taking over Hollywood for “culture warfare,” its methods of supplying drug cartels with chemicals and weapons to undermine the United States, its systems to compromise the integrity of politicians and academics, and many other crucial issues. The big picture of these operations isn't pretty, but I've hoped—and have seen—through all these years that truth can make a difference.
Many trusted figures and institutions in the United States have folded to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party's programs of subversion—from news outlets, to heads of multinational corporations, to Hollywood elites, to government officials. The Chinese regime wants them to fall in line with its propaganda and its interests, and it has leveraged profits and personal interests to exert pressure.
You can rest assured that The Epoch Times will never follow them. Our goal is to provide honest journalism at a time when it's very much needed—and to expose the unseen hands of the Chinese regime that would try to spread its system abroad. Though we face pressure, threats, and censorship, you can rest assured that we will never back down.
It's an honor to have you with us on this journey, and your continued support makes this work possible.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the world thought that it was rid of communism and the horrors it had brought upon humankind.
But, as a media organization that's been focused on communism, socialism, and its related ideologies over the past two decades, we at The Epoch Times know that this isn't the case.
Instead of being vanquished, the specter of communism has taken on various forms, infiltrating the institutions that we know and trust here in the United States. Our government, our economy, our education system, our entertainment industry, and our think tanks have all been subject to communist influence or manipulation.
Under the guise of righteous-sounding concepts like “equality,” “diversity,” and “political correctness,” communist thought has stifled free speech and the free press. It has used those same concepts to attack all things good and traditional that humankind stands for, including but not limited to family, faith, morality, art, culture, and education. Anything that defies the main narrative of this movement is sidelined and rejected.
Most recently, we see this tendency in the fallout of the U.S. presidential election as multiple credible allegations of voter fraud have emerged. Yet, instead of waiting to see what the results are of recounts and ongoing litigation, and before any states have officially certified the vote, many in media and politics have demanded a blind following of the idea that the elections are over and have been decided in favor of their preferred candidate.
Since our founding, The Epoch Times has sought to expose communist influence. Our founders and many of our staff members have experienced the atrocities of communism firsthand; many of us have fled communist and socialist countries.
This experience has given us a unique perspective on the situation in America today. What we are facing as a people is no longer the competition between two parties, but a struggle between good and evil, freedom and communism—a struggle that will determine whether we continue to ascend or whether we fall into the same ideology that has resulted in 100 million unnatural deaths worldwide.
With that in mind, please take a good look at our journalism. If it is what you're looking for, rest assured that we have persevered and will continue to persevere to deliver that standard of reporting. Truth and Tradition is our motto, and we aspire to live up to it each and every day.
We are not beholden to any government, corporate entity, or special interest; we never will be. We answer only to two things—our readers and our motto—and we will continue to do so as long as there are still American people who yearn for freedom and yearn for the truth.
It's not been an easy fight against the forces of communism. We still have more obstacles to overcome. But we hope that you'll join us for the ride.
As a journalist by trade, I know all too well that the truth will always prevail— it's merely a matter of time.
We are holding the line
Dear Epoch VIP,
In America, publishing news is easy.
But publishing the truth … that's very difficult.
You might've seen some of the videos we've produced over the last year. But you likely don't know the difficulty of creating this type of honest news content to be published on the big tech platforms.
Because The Epoch Times has the courage and fortitude to both investigate and report stories that most media don't as well as to call into question the “established” narratives when the facts don't seem to line up, we have been attacked, demonetized, and de-platformed by the giant tech conglomerates, the legacy media outlets, and even certain service providers.
That's not to even mention how over the last 20 years, there were dozens (maybe even hundreds, but we never thought to count) of times when the Chinese Communist Party's consulates around the world have used threats to force businesses and ad agencies to pull their advertising from our publication.
I believe that open public discourse is vitally essential to our nation. It is paramount to a free republic.
Working here over the last eight years, at a truly independent news organization, has opened my eyes to the many forces attempting to restrict your access to truthful information. And contrary to what it seems like on the surface, these forces are not censoring our mouths. They are actually censoring your ears and your eyes.
They are engaged in an act of theft: robbing you of the truth.
For instance, when we examined claims about the CCP virus's origins that didn't line up with the established narrative or when we looked beneath the surface of FISA abuse that took place during the 2016 election and reported inconsistencies with the mainstream narrative, we were further attacked, censored, and de-platformed—directly limiting your access to a treasure trove of our investigative findings.
So what we are doing here at The Epoch Times is not simply reporting stories or conducting investigations.
We are holding the line.
We are taking the attacks so that you may be informed of the truth, and so our future generations may know what truth is.
We seek to be a stalwart bastion of objective reality which can stop the descent of our society into a place where our grandkids and great grandkids have internalized ever-encroaching politically correct thought confines to the point where even forming an independent idea is a crime.
To me, that might've seemed like hyperbole 10 years ago, but having seen this encroachment first-hand, I believe it is a grim possibility that we might just “naturally” slide into if we don't take a strong stand against it right now.
I hope you are enjoying this paper. I hope you share it with your friends, your family, and your entire community so that we can restore decency in this country's public discourse.
And I hope when that happens, you'll be there with us to see it.
A Truthful Media Is a Key Pillar for a Society
Dear Epoch VIP,
Not too long ago, I was only a subscriber of The Epoch Times - just like you - while working as a programmer at ESPN.
It was April 2019 when the Mueller testimony was unfolding; the broadcast was playing in the background while I was at work. I remember being frustrated with how few questions were answered during the hearing, and out of curiosity, I checked out how different news organizations were covering this (rather uneventful) event.
The headlines shocked me, to say the least. If you hadn't watched the event yourself and only read these articles, you would have thought the president was about to be impeached for obstruction of justice! I started to question why journalists thought it was acceptable to spin a story a certain way: did they expect most Americans to not have watched the hearing and just take whatever they said as the ultimate truth?
I then pulled up articles from The Epoch Times to see how they covered the story, and when I read the headlines, I thought: “Wow, if I were to summarize to a friend who's apolitical what happened in the Mueller testimony, this is exactly how I would explain it.” To me, that's simply what a newspaper is supposed to do: provide an accurate account of events so that a reader can be properly informed. I believe that to be able to summarize events as if you're talking to a friend is a sign of respect to the reader, and is a bit of a lost art today.
Though my job at ESPN was comfortable and taught me the ins-and-outs of being a professional developer, it was at that moment when I knew that I had to join The Epoch Times. My parents, both Chinese immigrants, often tell me how lucky I am to have grown up in a free country that celebrates free thought and speech. And now I understand, more than ever, that a truthful media is a key pillar for such a society. Without the basic foundation of Truth, you lose the sacred bond of trust that should be maintained between the press and the reader.
I read somewhere that a “dream job” consists of three elements: your passions, your skills, and your values. Coming to work at The Epoch Times has felt like coming home, to a place where my values align with my work, to a place where I can use my skills to help further grow the company, and to a place where I feel the work itself resonates with my own sense of right and wrong.
As a reader, I hope you can also appreciate the factual reporting that our journalists strive to deliver every day. I'm constantly in awe of the work our editorial staff does, and it's been an absolute honor to work alongside people whom I had only previously admired from the sidelines.
Thank you again for being here with us!
Uplifting, Inspiring, and Useful
Dear Epoch VIP,
I'm so happy you're receiving The Epoch Times in your home. I'm Barbara Danza, a contributing editor. You may have seen my articles in the Life & Tradition section or perhaps your children have discovered the page I edit: For Kids Only.
This is pretty much a dream job for me. Between interviewing knowledgeable and inspiring experts and influencers, diving into research about subjects I'm passionate about, or joyfully putting together a special page for our younger readers to enjoy, I feel so fortunate to play a small part in what The Epoch Times is bringing to the world. That I get to do this while taking care of my own family at home and homeschooling my children is truly a blessing.
Most of my work focuses on family life. Though it seems traditional family values have been under attack for some time in our culture, I see more families searching for ways to simplify their lives, preserve the magic of childhood, pass on family traditions, provide their children a solid education and ground their family life in the values they hold most dear.
Families face many issues today—from inadequacies in our educational systems to an increasing array of alternatives, from the frantic overscheduling of our lives to a trend toward simplicity, from the onslaught of disturbing media messages to more focus on what's good and true.
Family life has a tremendous impact on individuals and society as a whole. There are endless topics to explore. Should you have one you'd like me to cover, or if you have feedback you'd like to offer about my work, please send it on. I'd love to hear from you.
My first article in The Epoch Times was published back in its early days in 2005. It has been astonishing to watch our media company grow and see what a deep need it fulfills for our ever expanding audience. I feel lucky to be part of an enterprise that is giving so many people, as they often put it, what they've been searching for.
I hope you enjoy this week's edition of the paper, and that in addition to being well-informed about current events, you find ideas that are uplifting, inspiring, and useful in your own life.
We have only just begun. Please help us continue to expand our reach by sharing The Epoch Times with your family and friends.
Thank you for reading, for coming onboard as a subscriber and for supporting the work we do. Knowing that there are people like you who value high standards of journalism and traditional American values inspires us all to keep going.
For Our Parents, For Our Children, For Generations to Come
Dear Epoch VIP,
Once again, thank you for being a subscriber this week—you've probably seen this message a million times on this very page, but I assure you it's because we really do appreciate you that much!
I'm Channaly Philipp, your editor for Life and Tradition. But not just that: I'm also the daughter of a Khmer Rouge survivor, a former liberal arts college student, and now a mother.
Each one of these identities gives me one more reason why I must keep doing what I do at The Epoch Times every day.
You see, my father, like many other fathers, has a story.
Only 45 medical doctors survived the killing fields and death camps of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and he, Dr. Nal Oum, was the only doctor lucky enough to have escaped one of the Khmer Rouge camps.
But what he saw before he walked 22 arduous days through the jungle to Thailand, leaving him on the brink of death, left a mark on his psyche like no other: he had seen humanity at its absolute worst. He had seen what people were capable of when performing under a system that enabled their worst vices - the communist system.
The Khmer Rouge's rampage left 2 million Cambodian corpses in its wake, a faceless statistic to many. To my father, however, around 100 of them will always have names and faces, because they belonged to the sick children and infants that the Khmer Rouge forced him to abandon as they drove the populace from the city to the countryside in pursuit of a doomed agrarian utopia.
He remembers their tiny faces, their tiny beds. He remembers them every day.
At gunpoint, he was forced to leave his hospital and the lives of his patients to the Khmer Rouge, to communism—to death.
He's never forgotten what he's had to do on that fateful day, and even now, he's unable to forget the pain in the eyes of these children formerly under his care.
His life now is dedicated to ensuring that the rest of the world never forgets, either.
Twenty years later, and half-way around the world, as I embarked to enroll in one of our nation's elite colleges, I was met on campus and in some classes with—what else? Socialism, cloaked in the ideals of social justice, and as an impressionable young mind, it saddens me to admit that because I was young and well-intentioned, I fell for it.
It wasn't until years later, after leaving the hallowed halls of American academe, and then becoming a parent, that I realized that all of it was a lie. A beautiful lie, and probably the same beautiful lie that was told to the youths who had held my father at gunpoint.
I saw how subtly the indoctrination began at my daughter's public elementary school, as early as kindergarten. Looking ahead, I could see the gears of the machine turning. Mass public schooling, churning out generation after generation of youth perfectly calibrated to these new, false definitions of kindness, equality, truth, and righteousness.
Which is why The Epoch Times' motto of “truth and tradition” has always spoken to me; today, it's a guiding principle for me in how I run my small corner of the paper.
In the Life and Tradition section, I aim to preserve and protect the best of what's been left to us by the generations who came before: their values, their traditions, their stories—history as our families lived and experienced it, so we that we can learn from their wisdom and their sacrifices as we create our future.
And perhaps most importantly, I want to give hope to anyone that's still looking for a beacon of light—of real truth, of real goodness—in our modern society.
It is admittedly a lofty goal, but for all the children—for those in my father's memory, for my own, and for yours—I have no choice but to at least try.
A Reporter of the People, for the People
Dear Epoch VIP,
Welcome, and thank you for being one of our readers!
As a senior reporter, I'm always happy to hear that there are people out there who appreciate our work — especially since I believe that The Epoch Times is truly a media organization that takes a lot of risk in the pursuit of truth.
In my role, I strive to remain responsible to the basic ethics of journalism; it's my pledge to you. As a reporter, I am honored to spend time on the ground in the most fascinating places with the most fascinating of people, all for the purpose of getting as close to the heart of a story as I can.
This quest for the truth has taken me to all four corners of the United States, and beyond — from the migrant caravans coming up to the southern border to the homes of families beleaguered by the opioid crisis. More recently, I've listened to the stories of small business owners who are battling the side-effects of the American lockdown, their futures unclear at best.
What impresses me most is the remarkable strength of these men and women. Though many of them are ordinary people leading ordinary lives, they're taking on foes far greater than themselves — whether it's a deadly chemical dependency or economic restrictions that could reduce a life's work to dust — these people fight on, dauntless and determined.
News of a country typically follows its politicians, the so-called “movers and shakers” of the world, but I am exceptionally fortunate in that I also get to portray people from all walks of life in my reporting. I get to give them their rightful, undoctored place in public discourse.
You might have heard us use the term “traditional American journalism” as a tagline, and this is what it means to me — that a country made up of both elites and the common people should have a media that speaks to the interests of both. Not just one or the other.
My goal as a reporter of The Epoch Times is that regular Americans can pick up our paper and find the issues that they care about most in our articles. I want people to open our paper and see the strength and resilience that many other people just like them have exhibited in today's changing times. I want them to know they're not alone.
Of course, articles like this don't have a famous name attached to draw clicks or a popular Twitter account linked to draw retweets. But in spite of that — because of that — it's all the more reason that this is the type of journalism that we must do, to ensure that the voice of the ordinary citizen shall not perish from American public discourse.
I hope you find The Epoch Times relevant, accessible, and inspiring; I hope you find our reporting factual and authentic. And most of all, I hope you feel that this paper is written just for you, because that is what we strive for in the newsroom each and every day.
To Protect the American Dream
Dear Epoch VIP,
Greetings, and thank you for being one of our readers! I hope that your paper's been getting to you on time. If it's not, and you live in the Southern California region, please give us a call.
Two years ago, I left the family business to become the circulation manager of The Epoch Times' Southern California branch. My relatives and friends were shocked when I rejected a comfortable career and a good income to pursue something new and uncertain.
And their reaction was no surprise to me. To them, I was throwing away my own American Dream that I had earned with my own hard work.
Sixteen years ago, my uncle and I started a family business from a loan. Our business has since grown into a multimillion-dollar company with stable revenue. I'd had it all: a career I was proud of, a nice house, a happy marriage, and two daughters.
But when I heard that The Epoch Times needed talent to help expand in my area, I knew that I wanted to join up and make a difference - that this was my new American Dream.
My family was wealthy landlords in China, and when the Chinese Communist Party took over in 1949, the communists took away everything we had. But some of my distant relatives managed to escape persecution and find a new life in the United States. After the Cultural Revolution, they helped bring my family over.
As a Chinese immigrant who had nothing to his name, I am grateful for the American values that have allowed me to succeed. Because of our free market and emphasis on self-reliance, I was able to find plenty of opportunities to pursue my dream of owning a business. Because of the traditional American values - like equality, honesty, and diligence - that influenced me, I was able to accomplish my dream and become a responsible business owner.
And yet, I feel like our legacy media outlets have begun to attack these values over recent years. Even more alarmingly, many mainstream media are promoting socialism, something that I knew would only take away our freedoms and divide our country. Coming from China, a place that was deeply impacted by socialism and communism, I was disturbed and saddened.
Many times, I had felt like I needed to do something because our future was at stake. But I didn't quite know what to do next.
I've been a longtime reader of The Epoch Times, and I knew that it was one of the few outlets dedicated to seeking the truth through insightful and independent journalism. Not only that, but it was also dedicated to the preservation of our American values.
So when I saw that The Epoch Times was hiring in Southern California, something inside me clicked: It was time for me to give back to the country that's granted me such a wonderful life.
Though it was difficult to adjust to a whole new industry at first, fortunately, I was not alone. I work with many colleagues who are also willing to dedicate, sacrifice, and do whatever it takes to help The Epoch Times and our readers. With their support, we've been able to reach more and more readers in the area each month, and we're still continuing to grow today.
These last two years have flown by. We're a distance away from where we started out, but our work is far from finished. Every day, we strive to improve your reader experience a little more. To me, being able to serve our readers - patriots like you - is a very satisfying experience.
I feel that coming to The Epoch Times is the best decision of my life, and I cannot be any happier to contribute to the mission of defending our American values so that our future generations will be able to live out their American Dreams, just like I did.
On the Cutting Edge of China News
Dear Epoch VIP,
When I was still a student in China, my professor critiqued newspaper articles and TV programs every day to educate me. He showed me line by line how the media in China lied, why they lied, and the consequences of those lies.
He told me that the only truthful broadcasts in China were the international soccer games.
But many Chinese people followed the media and thus had their souls formed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). My professor was labeled a rightist and sent to a labor camp for 28 years.
Eighty million people in China have died of famine and in the CCP's various persecution campaigns. Yet, people have believed in the media, believed that the party has done the right thing, and believed that those killed had deserved it. The media has been the CCP's most efficient assistant in its many campaigns of persecution.
After I came to the United States, the generosity of the American people healed my heart. From then on, my only wish in life was for an opportunity to give back to the people of this country.
The freedom here is doubly precious to me as both a release from the tyranny under which I grew up and a chance to flourish in my new home.
When we started The Epoch Times, I was happy that we had an opportunity to build a media, a media that tells the truth. As I knew only too well, a bad media can kill. But at the same time, a good media can save.
Because of the censorship in China, few media have access to stories on the ground and information from behind the scenes. With our background and connections, we have a special strength for reporting on China. We have broken many important stories and have provided insights that are deeper and far in advance of other media.
The U.S. government recently has been discussing the danger of the United Front, a Chinese organization tasked to infiltrate this country. We were reporting on the United Front 15 years ago. We also reported years ahead of other media on the “thousand talents” program, spies in Chinese student organizations and in Chinese media as well as on the influence of Confucius Institutes.
We have had readers write to thank us for timely reports on the breakout of SARS in 2003 and the breakout of the coronavirus this year. They told us we saved their lives.
We have also presented to our readers an in-depth analysis of the Communist Party in China and its influence around the world. Our two editorial series—“Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” and “How the Specter of Communism is Ruling Our World”—have been awakening people by the millions.
As the senior editor of China news, I am very proud that we have been serving the public with this vital information. I believe the relationship between the U.S. and China is the most important international relationship, and that understanding the nature of the CCP is the key that will determine the direction of our country and the future of our lives.
Supporting Our History, Our Values—and You
Dear Epoch VIP,
Thank you for being here with us today. Like many others who've written to you on this page, I also have a story to share: the story of how I became a reader of The Epoch Times.
Around the time I finished college, my grandparents were in need of live-in assistance to continue staying in their own home. I wanted to reconnect with them after studying abroad, so I spent some time living with and assisting them.
That was when I first became aware of The Epoch Times: a friend had given me a copy of a series of articles about communism published by them while I was at my grandparents'. I was impressed by how clearly these articles explained the harm and ends of communism, and how aspects of communism have been discreetly invading our society.
Having visited China while in high school, I thought of socialism in China as a bit ridiculous. But I never really connected it with my life here in the States.
It happened to be around Christmas when I read the Epoch Times serial, Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party. Christmas carols were playing on the stereo—including a family favorite, the English carol, “Good King Wenceslas,” which tells the story of the 10th century king and his page going out in snowy weather to bring food and firewood to a peasant.
Suddenly, it hit me: “This is what communism wants to destroy.”
The song drove home for me what I had been reading in The Epoch Times: that communism aims to destroy the traditions, the folk culture, and the heritage that I cherished. Reading folktales and fables as a child had taught me to remember gratitude, to be patient, to be honest. That simple carol communicates a powerful idea: the model of a good leader, whose duty is to serve his subjects and ensure their wellbeing.
But if powerful ideas like this are removed from songs and stories, would children still grow up to become good leaders?
The Epoch Times helped me recognize that the influence of corrupting socialist ideas was already all around me—in pop culture, in social movements, in education, in government policy. Amid the competing narratives dominating the news, I was drawn to work at The Epoch Times for its insight and research on the deeper forces behind the events taking place in today's America.
In my role on the customer service team, I have the opportunity and responsibility to work hard to make sure our subscribers are served well. Shipping and delivery issues, for instance, have been a priority of mine to get resolved—something the head of our shipping department knows very well.
“Hey Nick, did I tell you we hired some drivers of our own? They'll cover half the distance. This should speed up delivery by one or two days,” she told me one day.
“What?!” I couldn't believe what I was hearing. “That's great news!”
I'd been discussing this issue to our shipping department for a while by this point, so this made me especially happy. More customers would be able to receive their papers on time, and less time would be spent coordinating logistics with a third party; our efforts had finally paid off.
Though I knew that we were still not yet perfect, in that moment, I could feel that with patience and persistence, we would be able to overcome all of the challenges that we face.
To you—our subscribers—know we are committed to improving our service. Whether in delivery of your hard copy Epoch Times or the service you receive when you contact our hotline, we are working hard to grow and meet your needs even better.
I hope you will, as I do, cherish the insight and perspective The Epoch Times has to offer. I hope you'll stick with us as we work to make your experience with us even better, because to us—and to me—being able to serve the people who still treasure the truths and traditions of our world is an honor.
The World Through A Journalist's Eyes
Dear Epoch VIP,
Thank you for your continuing support—we are at your service.
My name is Petr Svab and I've been covering politics, courts, police, immigration, economy, and other topics during my 13 years at The Epoch Times.
It is my pleasure to work for a newspaper that stands for values I can wholeheartedly endorse, fittingly summed up in our motto of Truth and Tradition.
I believe that truth is the living world, and an infinite journey of exploration. The more topics I tackle, the more issues I delve into, the more I realize how complex, multifaceted, and enormous the world truly is. We can never dream of grasping it all, but, with diligent effort, a journalist can map a part of the journey and present it to readers, hoping to help them navigate their own realities.
Moreover, I've found, a journalist can open doors closed to others, give readers the facts of the story, the context that enlightens them, as well as the insights of the participants.
I remember walking the streets of west Baltimore last year. My plan was to just interview some local business owners to see what the city was doing about some of its issues--from piles of trash and abandoned houses to homelessness and crime.
Within five minutes of my arrival, a man on the street noticed me and started to shout: “Guy with a camera! There's a guy with a camera here!”
A group of young men further up the street took notice as I approached.
“Are you a cop?” asked one of them. He was a young man with wide eyes that looked like they'd already seen more than their share.
I introduced myself and my business of the day, handing the gentleman my card. The young man's expression softened as he realized I was here to report on a story--the story of his home.
As it turned out, the young man was not only ready to share with me his insights on the local issues, but also offer advice on where to find what I was looking for. We parted ways with a handshake.
In all my experience talking directly to the people involved in various events, the truth seldom (if ever) favors partisan narratives—it's much more colorful: sometimes humorous, other times tragic.
Consider the story, for example, of Trayvon Martin. According to some, an innocent child killed by a racist man. According to others, a thug killed in self-defense. But after filmmaker Joel Gilbert retraced Martin's last moments, weeks, and months, it turned out neither narrative was quite true. Gilbert told a story of a young man whose life was falling apart and ultimately plunged into a tragedy that nobody wanted.
So if that's truth, what is tradition, then? For me, it is the lessons of history. It's the distilled universal wisdom collected by our ancestors over millennia--the timeless lessons of the enlightened, the sages, and the saints. This treasure chest of the past is where we can turn to help us better understand the truth at present.
My work is to safeguard this treasure, let it live through the pages of The Epoch Times and the hearts of our readers.
While it may seem the foundations of the civilization itself are under attack now, I truly believe our readers will be best equipped to withstand the storm—through clarity and peace of heart. For whatever the future holds, I believe the path will be less treacherous for those who walk it steadily, making choices informed both by truth and tradition.
What I pledge to you is yet more meticulous research, analysis, and fact finding. I'll do the digging for you, while letting you make up your own mind. Furthemore, I'll also hone my wit for you, to give you an ever-better read along the way.
Yes, we strive to be an influential media in the world, but I believe that our true success is measured in minds sharpened, hearts uplifted, and lives improved.
Once again, thank you for joining us on this journey. We do live in truly epochal times, wouldn't you say?
Communism Versus Freedom
Dear Epoch VIP,
You choose to read The Epoch Times out of a myriad of news sources during one of the most crucial periods for our nation and the world. Your choice inspires me to work harder every day to honor the trust you have vested in our reporting.
While partisanship and division have dominated the media's headlines for more than three years, our newspaper's independence has allowed me to report on stories other media won't.
Beneath the tumult and confusion, the forces of good and evil are vying to decide America's future. In my opinion, three words are enough to sum up what's going on—communism versus freedom.
I am a legal immigrant who became a proud naturalized citizen of the United States, the greatest nation in the world. My ancestors in Russia were Cossacks and hardworking farmers, making them targets for communist persecution twice over.
The Communists in Russia had feared the Cossacks' fiercely independent nature and directed a campaign to eliminate this ethnic group. As a result, my great-grandparents were forced out of their home, packed onto a horse cart and told to start their lives over in a barren field hundreds of miles from their homeland.
They built a mud hut and worked hard to survive and then thrive. Decades later, my grandfather, who spent his life on crutches due to a childhood injury, built on what his parents had achieved. His greenhouses and exotic livestock—pheasants and coypu—were the pride of the village.
That was unacceptable for the communists, who wrecked and ransacked what he had spent years cultivating -- "for the greater good."
In the United States, communists and their witting and unwitting conspirators have engaged in a long march to control the nation's vital institutions: schools, universities, the media, as well as government departments at the local, state, and federal levels.
President Trump's victory in 2016 was a shock to the establishment in Washington and around the world. But unbeknownst to us, the establishment already had an "insurance policy" in the unlikely event he wins the election.
Over the past three years, I've spent countless hours analyzing the growing body of evidence about the weaponization of America's government institutions against the Trump campaign and administration. While we have learned much from the thousands of pages of depositions, reports and declassified records, much more remains unknown.
From what I've seen, I believe that what we now know about Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI's codeword for the investigation of the Trump campaign, makes it just as big a scandal, if not bigger, than Watergate.
The scandal may appear removed from the lives of ordinary Americans because it involves politicians, foreign agents and government officials, it cuts to the heart of what our Founding Fathers sought to prevent with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The incredible force of the government we fund should never be illicitly used to target law-abiding Americans. If the previous administration could target the campaign of the opposing party, nothing could stop it from doing the same to my family and yours.
As a result, I am dedicated to finding out what happened so we can prevent it from ever happening again, for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
And I am grateful that you're joining me on this journey.
Growing Up Under a Biased Media
Dear Epoch VIP,
Pleased to meet you, and I hope you enjoy this week's paper.
My name is Siyamak Khorrami, and I serve as the Southern California region's general manager. I am also an Iranian immigrant, who has only experienced too well the effects of a media that's willing to twist the truth.
I was born and raised in Iran; I grew up during the war between Iran and Iraq. At that time, the Iranian media would always portray Iraqis as evil, and the U.S. and Israel as corrupt countries.
Since I had family in the U.S., I didn't believe them completely and I could tell it was propaganda. But because there was an ongoing war between Iran and Iraq, and I had seen and heard the bombings, these negative thoughts about Iraqis still stuck with me.
In the midst of this unrest, my parents decided to leave so that we could live in the free world and have a better future. We ended up moving to Mexico when I was 16 and immigrated legally to the U.S. when I turned 18. I attended university in Southern California.
While I was at university, I got the chance to meet Iraqi people here in America. Strangely enough, I found out that they were very similar to Iranians. I realized that Iraqi people not only looked like me, but they even ate similar food and have similar family values. In fact, I began to wonder why I disliked them at all.
At this point, I realized I had been brainwashed by the media in Iran, and it became clear to me just how much the media could shape people's opinions.
I later began working with a technology company, and eventually started my own business. In 2014, I started hearing more and more about how China will lead the world and replace America as the global leader. Since I'd had many business dealings in China and personally seen the extent of the corruption there, I thought there was no way this could happen. I was very surprised by this reporting from the American media, but I trusted the mainstream media here. After all, this is a free society, so I thought that the reporters and experts just didn't know the truth.
But around the same time, I learned about forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party-- a crime against humanity that was not reported in the media. I was again surprised about why the mainstream media was not covering these abuses.
After seeing this, it became clear to me that there is something wrong with the overall media landscape, and the media has lost its objectivity and independence, even in the U.S. After all, these issues are newsworthy and the public needs to know them, so why aren't we hearing about them?
When I came across The Epoch Times, and when I heard the story of the company, it was a breath of fresh air. This is what a media company in a free society should look like, I thought. The founders started with not much funding and simply as a nonprofit with a passion to bring truthful reporting to society. They sacrificed their careers and financial rewards and fully dedicated themselves to their cause, and now The Epoch Times has a major impact--not just in the U.S., but globally as well.
I left everything behind to join The Epoch Times three years ago. I am honored to be part of this team and working with some of the founders. Every day we are thinking about how we can serve you as our readers better and how we can reach more people with our reporting, and we hope that this sentiment reaches you.
A Taste of Tradition
Dear Epoch VIP,
Thank you so much for reading The Epoch Times, and welcome to the Epoch family. Pull up a chair—-we have cookies!
Well, a recipe for them, anyway.
As the food editor at The Epoch Times, it's my job and pleasure to bring you such tempting treats—to delight, nourish, and inspire you in the kitchen.
When I tell people I get to write and edit stories about food for a living, the usual response is something along the lines of, “You have a dream job!”
They're not wrong. But for me, the “dream” part of the job isn't really about the food. It's more about getting to be part of a paper with such an important mission at its heart: championing the values of truth and tradition, both in our news journalism by keeping readers informed with unbiased, fact-based reporting, and lifestyle content by grounding our coverage in traditional culture and universal virtues.
Because at the end of the day, I'm here—as I suspect you are, too—for more than just delicious recipes.
I am a strong believer in the power of food beyond the plate.
Think of your favorite comfort food, or perhaps a treasured family recipe, and you'll see what I mean. For me, it's the dumplings I grew up making with my family every Chinese New Year, gathered around our dining table in a makeshift assembly line to stuff hand-rolled wrappers with homemade filling. For you, it might be an exquisitely flaky buttermilk biscuit, fresh from the oven; or a pot of Grandma's Sunday sauce, simmering away on the stove.
Food forges connections: to the people we make and share it with, as one of the purest expressions of care and hospitality, and to our cultural roots and family histories. There is so much rich heritage and value behind each handmade strand of pasta, stack of tortillas, or crock of kimchi that's been crafted the same way for generations.
Now, however, these connections are in danger of being lost. Traditional dishes and home cooking skills are being forgotten, and there's a growing disconnect between the food we eat and the place it comes from. Meanwhile, home cooks have to balance feeding their families night after night with the time constraints of busy modern life; too often, family meals are reduced to individual affairs.
In our Food section, I want to shine the spotlight back on tradition and family.
So you might read about the story of a traditional dish from the other side of the world, and be inspired to recreate it in your own home. Or, you might find a hands-on, good-messy cooking project that would be perfect to tackle with the kids this weekend; or simply some quick and delicious inspiration for getting dinner on the table for your family tonight.
If there's any dish, ingredient, cuisine, or other cooking topic you'd like to see more of, please let me know; I'd love to hear from you.
I hope these stories make you hungry and then give you the tools to do something about it. I hope you learn something new about a different cuisine or traditional dish, and then find yourself inspired to revisit your family's own. I hope you snip out a recipe or two to take with you to the kitchen—newsprint isn't afraid of a little flour or oil!
And I hope they help you feed yourself and your loved ones well, and bring you together around the dinner table again. That's where conversations are opened, bonds are strengthened, traditions are kept alive, and memories are made—all over the comforts of a homecooked meal. Bon appetit!
The Best of the Human Experience
Dear Epoch VIP,
If you're at all like me, you know that it can be ugly out there. You read about it in the news, watch it on the screen, and maybe even see it out your window. And it seems worse lately—depressing. That's where The Epoch Times steps in.
Ever since its creation, The Epoch Times has featured an arts and culture section that acknowledges the importance of the truly beautiful—whether beautiful in a physical sense or a moral one, and we continue that mission today.
And as the Arts and Culture editor, the mission is at the center of how I run my section.
In keeping with our motto of Truth and Tradition, we aim to present the best and noblest that human culture has to offer. By exploring the best craftsmanship in the world, we acknowledge that diligence, hard work, and patience produce excellence. In reviewing films, we search for those that are actually good for the soul, or, conversely, we point out where they have failed in this regard. By looking to our heritage for historical, literary, and mythical figures, we seek those with outstanding character and virtues to offer as exemplars to emulate. And by looking to the classics in music, the performing arts, and fine arts, we find themes that emphasize dignity, uprightness, harmony, and purity to inspire us.
In a sense, traditional art, stemming from traditional culture and values, aims at the heart and can speak to us in surprising ways—as though we are having a conversation with a dear and trusted friend.
And just as conversations with a friend will sometimes touch on pain, the traditional arts not only capture the breadth of human experience but its depth as well, allowing us to recognize our sins and frailties, and transforming humanity's inevitable pain to give that pain meaning. It is the beauty of the classics that carry out this alchemy.
Most importantly, I believe that art has traditionally been a link to the sacred, as a way to remind us of purpose on earth. As the late philosopher Roger Scruton wrote, “True art is an appeal to our higher nature, an attempt to affirm that other kingdom in which moral and spiritual order prevails.”
That our society today has forgotten this purpose is all the more reason that each week, as the editor of Arts and Culture, I try to create a beautiful, uplifting, or thoughtful experience in order to reconnect us to our spirituality.
I'm continuing to find paintings, stories, and remarkable figures that astonish me and I hope they will affect you, dear reader, too. I hope you will enjoy the Arts and Culture section, and that it can help you step away for a moment from the violent, cynical, demonic, immodest, insulting, and tasteless. I hope our content leaves you refreshed and anticipating the next issue.
A Conductor, His Art, and the Truth
Dear Epoch VIP,
Years ago, I fell into covering classical music and art.
“Oh,” people would say with sympathy, as if I'd gotten stuck with the worst job in the world, “but no one is interested in classical things anymore.”
Occasionally I'd wonder whether there had really been some major change in the last half century, from the time when Leonard Bernstein popularized classical music for Americans and George Balanchine classical ballet.
Then I interviewed a wonderful conductor in the days approaching his 70th birthday. He just so happened to be a serious educator and also had a great interest in history, a natural area of study if you work in classical music.
When he lamented over the fact that many schools lack a music program, I nodded sympathetically to this common refrain. But then when he sighed and said it was a shame they didn't teach history in schools anymore, I first thought I misheard him. Then I thought perhaps he was greatly exaggerating.
Unfortunately I didn't mishear, and he didn't misspeak. Apparently only a third of American high school students today can list just one of our First Amendment rights. So it may not be a stretch to assume then that they would know little about the impassioned debate over the rights of the individual during the Enlightenment era when Beethoven worked. And I would see more and more the results of our not understanding history in the years to come.
In their formative years, these students might not be able to see the natural outcome of not understanding what Churchill meant when he said victory at all costs or Lincoln when he said we owed it to the dead to find a better way forward. But years later, I spent several months interviewing inspirational speakers—people from all walks of life whose stories had brought hope to millions of listeners—and realized that the truth and wisdom they were sharing were hard-won. Because it was only after years, sometimes decades, of suffering and struggle that many of them had stumbled upon what was true and universal and eternal.
Because that was really what they'd discovered, the answer to the oldest question known to civilization: how to live well. It's capital-T Truth, one of those pesky transcendentals. This was what their audiences were craving, and what is passed down in much of the history we know.
Perhaps it's why this conductor, for all his professional success, was most passionately focused on bringing music to the people. He had seen firsthand how music education could transform a troubled child or floundering corporation and how it could inspire people to seek out these truths, seek out their history.
We hear often from readers whose children or grandchildren stumble through life without objective truth, without this sense of where they came from or a vision of what future they should craft for themselves, and they don't really know where to begin. Well, I think that conductor was onto something.
The traditional view of the arts is a quest for the truth of the human condition, and here I agree with the conductor that art was perhaps history's best medium. You get to mine all of lived experience for the good and the true through the lens of the beautiful.
Maybe like the conductor seeing an office full of apathetic tech workers inspired to innovation after a performance of Beethoven's Fifth or young students developing a renewed interest in reading and self-responsibility once they pick up an instrument, you'll also find in the Life & Tradition section something to inspire you in your own life.
The Journey to Good Health
Dear Epoch VIP,
My name is Conan Milner, and I'm a health reporter for The Epoch Times. I've been writing for the paper since 2005, and exclusively for the Mind & Body section since 2014. This job has given me the opportunity to research and report on subjects I'm very passionate about, such as understanding how our bodies work and learning new ways I can take care of mine.
Health was not always my passion. For years, it wasn't even a concern. In college especially, I had about as unhealthy a life as you can imagine. I smoked compulsively, worked nights, and slept little. My diet consisted primarily of Coney dogs and Burger King. But it all caught up with me by my early 20s. It seems so young, but I felt old—miserable both mentally and physically.
Luckily, I met (and then married) an acupuncturist and my lifestyle changed dramatically. In addition to writing for The Epoch Times, I have helped my wife manage her clinic for over 20 years. In that time I've learned a ton about herbs, witnessed the power of natural medicine, developed an enormous respect for ancient Chinese wisdom, and have honed exceptional kombucha brewing skills.
My own health journey has served me well as a reporter because it has given me the kind of perspective that only comes with falling on your face, picking yourself back up, and walking a new road. This process has taught me that better health is often about making better choices. Even if you're born with great genes and enjoy top-notch health insurance, you still must eventually face the consequences of your lifestyle.
My articles give me a chance to share this journey with my readers. For example, after the opportunity of talking to several trainers, physical therapists, and a couple of back surgeons, I began to see exercise in a whole new light. Previously, I had little time or interest for anything athletic, but I've since developed a regular weight lifting routine that is still going strong after more than three years. Likewise, I've learned how to take care of my microbiome, discovered that a simple walk in the woods can inspire and help me let go of anxiety, come to know how to meditate for a clear mind, and have found that I should always be kind to others and grateful for what I have.
For me, these habits have little to do with willpower, and much more to do with an understanding of what hurts me and what heals me. It's made me realize that getting healthy doesn't have to be about sacrifice or self-denial. When you know better, you naturally want to do better.
I choose the topics I write about primarily on what I would like to read, and I know I couldn't find such freedom at any other publication. The Epoch Times has given me the support and encouragement to tackle subjects that many other organizations shy away from. It's allowed me to cover controversial subjects such as vaccines, wireless radiation, GMOs, and other topics that are often ignored or censored due to corporate interests.
Of course, I always keep in mind that our success comes from our readers—individuals who are curious, thoughtful, and hold the truth in high regard. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.
From Ceausescu's Romania to Today's America
Dear Epoch VIP,
I'm Steve Ispas and I serve as the Northwest edition's general manager here at The Epoch Times.
As always, it's support and faith from readers like you that keeps me going every day, and I can't thank you enough for that. In return, I want to share with you the story of my family, and the story of why I'm committed to getting you the truth every week.
I grew up in Romania under the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu—the “king of communism,” who was executed on Christmas Day in 1989. But before that day, life was bitter.
My grandfather belonged to a faction that opposed the communists who took over in Romania after World War II. As punishment, he was sent to a labor camp in Siberia and was a defeated man after he came back. My father, his son, was also blacklisted and forbidden to attend college.
I remember my father making the decision for all of us to leave Romania in order to look for a better life; we decided on the United States. He filled out all the paperwork and then waited, and waited. We would be denied nine times over the next five years.
The day before my 16th birthday, my father decided to protest in front of Ceausescu's motorcade. He did not tell us, so we wouldn't worry.
He took a day off from work, and that morning walked to a place where he knew the motorcade would pass in the morning. Once the motorcade approached, he stepped onto the street with a sign and a few words for the dictator.
“Let us go! Respect the Geneva Convention and approve our application to leave Romania!”
He was thrown in jail and told that he was lucky he was not shot on the spot. He was detained for a few days, where he had to sign a guarantee statement swearing not to protest like that again before they released him.
I did not see him that birthday, but his efforts seemed to have paid off in the end: After a month or so, we got a phone call from the emigration department saying that our paperwork had been approved. Nine months later, we were on our way to New York via Rome, Italy.
I still remember how amazed I was to walk the streets of Rome, as we were not allowed to travel anywhere when I was in Romania.
But what perhaps amazed me even more was when I began to see the media of the Free World romanticizing the concept of communism—the very thing that my family had fought so hard to escape.
Growing up in a communist country, I was fully aware of the fake news published daily by the communist propaganda organs. As time went on, I realized how the corruption of the media has extended beyond communist borders and how fake narratives have become front page news worldwide. Many true stories were being hidden away as the media cherry-picked facts to spin their own stories.
I was then very fortunate to come across The Epoch Times in 2004, when the Northern California edition was just about to be launched.
I gladly took the chance of working for a media that was focused on presenting the true stories at all costs—especially stories that exposed the crimes of communism, something that I was so aware of.
What motivates me every day is my desire to bring the truth to our readers regardless of the current hype or narrative, and to see the amazing appreciation from our readers. Though there are still challenges, I look forward to coming to the office every day and working with the absolutely amazing people who share in this mission to deliver the truth to you.
An Editor's Perspective
Dear Epoch VIP,
For my whole life I've distrusted the media and always felt something terribly wrong was happening behind the scenes. I made it a point to ignore as much as I could and rely on my intuition to figure things out. But I was neglecting important knowledge and information about the state of the world. It wasn't until I started educating myself on the nature and danger of communism that I really started putting the pieces together.
When I got the opportunity to work for The Epoch Times, I knew right away the vast potential of what I could achieve by becoming part of the media.
As an editor, I am responsible for maintaining a high quality of reporting in line with the values of The Epoch Times: Truth and Tradition. These values are not merely a branding slogan, but fundamental principles that define the reason why our media was established and our goal. To uphold this goal, I take my work at The Epoch Times seriously.
While at The Epoch Times, I've been able to fulfill my dream of helping to inform and change the world for the better. It's very satisfying to see the immediate impact and results of our efforts and how they help to build an informed populace ready to navigate the cultural and political pitfalls in today's society.
That said, listening to the feedback from our readers is also an important part of my job. We appreciate those who are watching out for us and letting us know when we make mistakes. Creating an open forum with our readers in the comments section has helped us better understand what people care about and has provided valuable insight and information. Aside from that, I believe that providing a place for the people to speak is crucial for a free society that is increasingly under attack and being silenced.
I'm very grateful to see the support and encouragement we get from those who truly value and understand what we are doing. The letters of support we get from our readers provide powerful boosts to morale and are cherished by our staff. They are a heartwarming source of inspiration that lets us know we are on the right path. Reading how others have clarity on the terrible dangers of communism gives me great comfort in knowing we are not alone in our efforts to protect freedom against tyranny. I am proud to stand with each one of our allies in this fight.
It is my hope that our work at The Epoch Times can help to restore the public's trust in the media and serve as a foundation for others to build on. The media is protected in the First Amendment because of its vital function of providing accurate information and holding those in power accountable. I believe that faith in the Fourth Estate must be restored, or we will lose an important aspect of what maintains social order and stability.
As things seem to inch closer to the edge and spiral out of control, I hope that The Epoch Times can hold the line and provide the rational wisdom we need to pull things back from the brink. I'll certainly try my best.
The Resilience of a People
Dear Epoch VIP,
Growing up in a Cantonese family in New York City, Hong Kong pop culture featured heavily in my childhood. My mom would turn on the cable television channel that broadcast Hong Kong soaps and Cantonese-dubbed cartoons. My dad would quote from his favorite Stephen Chow movies.
My family is from Guangzhou city, mainland China. Due to the city's proximity to Hong Kong and decades of Guangzhou people seeking refuge from war, strife, and political persecution in the former British colony, the customs and culture in both places are similar.
When I was dispatched to Hong Kong in late 2019 to cover the mass protests unfolding on the city's streets, I finally had the chance to satisfy my curiosity about this place that influenced my upbringing—and dominated global news headlines with images of youth confronting tear gas and police batons in their bid to protect the freedoms they grew up with.
In 1997 when Hong Kong was handed to the Chinese regime after nearly a century of British colonial rule, it was promised autonomy—with its way of life, separate political system, and basic freedoms left intact.
But in the summer of 2019, the Hong Kong government pushed forward with an extradition bill that would have allowed individuals to be transferred to mainland China for trial in Chinese Communist Party-controlled courts. To many Hongkongers, the proposal was Beijing's latest bid to tighten its grip over the city.
It propelled millions of people to take to the streets in protest—the largest demonstrations in the city's history. As the protests went on from summer to fall, The Epoch Times wished to delve deeper into the psyche of Hong Kong protesters. And so, late last year, I flew to Hong Kong.
After spending time speaking to Hongkongers at weekly rallies and marches as well as interviewing people from all walks of life who took part in the protest movement, I was most struck with how they were undaunted and unwavering despite the possibility of arrests, injuries, and other consequences for voicing dissent against Beijing.
Despite the daily sight of police in riot gear patrolling the streets and the uncertainty of where the movement was headed next, nearly all the people I spoke with said they were not willing to give up agitating for their cause.
Earlier this year, the Chinese regime, in an unprecedented move, implemented a national security law for Hong Kong that includes broadly criminalizing what the regime deems to be acts of subversion, secession, and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments as severe as life imprisonment. Protest slogans were banned overnight. Scores of activists have been arrested. The already-limited space in which Hongkongers could voice their dissent has diminished even further.
One young activist said in an Epoch Times interview that he would not leave Hong Kong despite the increasing risks, and would keep doing his part in sustaining the movement.
“We don't fight because we have seen hope. We fight because we want to chase hope, and hope is made by human efforts,” he said.
The right to protest, the right to speak one's mind, the right to vote in free and fair elections—this visit to Hong Kong helped me realize that these things did not come without a cost.
But it's not just Hong Kong where people bravely confront the Chinese regime's authoritarian threats. In mainland China, courageous human rights activists, lawyers, dissidents, and ordinary citizens risk their safety in order to speak the truth and defend their rights. From the whistleblower doctors who first spread information about the CCP virus to the villagers impacted by historic flooding who speak up about the authorities' flawed evacuation efforts, all chose to expose the reality of what's happening in China despite knowing the perils of doing so. That is why as the China editor, I feel an enormous sense of duty and pride in being part of a team that shares these people's stories with you, the reader.
In the Footsteps of My Grandfather
Dear Epoch VIP,
Sometimes when I look around and see our staff working hard out in the field or back at the office, I can't help but think of my grandfathers. One was a paramedic and the other a paratrooper in World War II, fighting for the freedoms we cherish.
While our goal is to report the news and inform readers of important events as they unfold, the tasks involved are many and the skills required are diverse. Producing a daily newspaper requires a great deal of coordination and discipline. At times it feels like we too are fighting a battle, one against a powerful force of misinformation.
Like soldiers, much training is involved as we become proficient with investigating stories, shooting photos, and planning each day's reports to be informative and engaging.
Some challenges we face also seem like impossible missions. For instance, in the early days we stayed up all night working on the paper's inaugural and subsequent editions. Another challenge was finding enough funding to keep growing our readership as the vast majority of advertising dollars go to a few giant tech firms. But no matter how hard it's been, it's been worth it.
There's something special to me about working at this newspaper that goes beyond the sacred responsibility of informing the public. The Epoch Times provides me with an endless pursuit of self- improvement and elevation in my skills. Jobs like this are becoming harder to find.
Though what I'm doing is nowhere near as intense as jumping out of a plane or taking enemy fire, I like to think that the reason my grandfathers fought, and the reason why I fight today, is the same: to resist tyrannical propaganda and defend against the devastation of socialism and communism. I get inspired whenever I'm reminded of the fact that, in my own small way, I am carrying on in my grandfathers' footsteps.
As an opinion editor, I hold our editorials to the same rigorous standards of fact-checking as we do with our news. It's important to hear from a variety of perspectives, but these opinions must have a basis in fact. One key thing we strive for in our opinion section is to focus only on issues, and to avoid criticizing or attacking people. We aim to help people understand the important issues of our time, not to make enemies.
It's sad to think that the noble profession of newspaper journalism could be on the verge of extinction. That's why I'm grateful to be surrounded by a staff of professionals who not only take their craft seriously, but who constantly strive to improve their skills and enrich the newspaper we produce every day. This process starts by putting the reader first in all that we do.
With your continued support, we'll innovate a new way forward based on hard work and determination. After all, it's what got us this far.
You the reader also play an important role in shaping our paper. You are what holds us up and keeps us going. By listening to you, we learn where we can do better. You are a critical part of our improvement cycle, and we hope you continue to watch us grow and move forward in pursuit of the truth.
Most of all, you remind us of the great responsibility we have and that countless eyes are watching. I enjoy reading all the letters you send. I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.
Thank you for your trust.
One Fateful Exhibition
Dear Epoch VIP,
Thank you for subscribing to The Epoch Times, and welcome to the family!
Over the years, I've had the pleasure of serving in many different roles here at The Epoch Times and I can honestly say that it is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.
One of the main reasons I work at The Epoch Times is because it helps expose the crimes against humanity committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
I admire that this media achieves such a goal without any government or corporate sponsorship—it is independent and tells it like it is.
In fact, The Epoch Times was one of the first publications that opened my eyes to the extent of human rights abuses in China.
When my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I were college students, we bought discounted student tickets through our college to Bodies: The Exhibition in downtown Manhattan. At the time I didn't really know much about the exhibition and was under the impression that these cadavers were anatomically accurate wax replicas of the human body. While waiting for the exhibition doors to open, the guard standing nearby overheard me and explained, “Most of these are unclaimed bodies from people around the world— such as homeless people who die in the streets with no identification on them and no one to claim their body. And others are from people who donated their body to science.” Of course, I believed him at the time. However, to my surprise, all the corpses I saw looked like they belonged to only one racial group—East Asian. I didn't see features on any of the bodies that represented other racial groups, which surprised me.
Years later, my husband emailed me an article from The Epoch Times exposing Bodies and other similar exhibitions for displaying murdered Falun Gong practitioners. This hit me so hard when I read it because I remembered seeing at least hundreds of different corpses from all age groups, and in all of the different stages in life—from gestation all the way to old age. I was horrified and disgusted with myself afterward for having contributed and attended such an exhibition. I felt so much guilt.
Right after reading the article I had so many questions like “Why would anyone in the U.S. approve such an atrocious exhibition?” “Why isn't the government aware of this?” “Surely they must know since it's a major exhibition! How could they not know?!” “Why is the Chinese regime doing this to their own people?” “So what if they have a spiritual belief—live and let live! What gives?!” Ever since I promised myself that 1) I'll never go back to an exhibition like that and 2) I would find a way to somehow help bring awareness about the CCP's inhumane practices against innocent people.
A few years went by and I applied for employment at The Epoch Times. I was hired and started my journey working with the Web Team in producing viral content.
I hope that upon reading our content, you'll be able to feel the difference from other newspapers. The same goes with our online content. I hope that our publication helps you make informed decisions based on just that—the facts, and I hope it enriches your life and the lives of those you love.
As someone who's passionate about human rights and truthful information, I hope that our work reflects our Truth and Tradition motto. Most of all, I hope that when you read The Epoch Times, you come out feeling refreshed and informed.
From the Desk of Our Puzzle Master
Dear Epoch VIP,
Thank you for subscribing to The Epoch Times and for supporting our journey of providing the world with truthful, uncensored journalism as well as analysis of world events, especially in China.
My journey with The Epoch Times actually began in 2009 when I discovered the publication's outstanding coverage of events in China, something of which I had studied for over 30 years principally as a linguist and China analyst. The Epoch Times' coverage was unique and included many aspects and facets of Chinese life under the Chinese Communist Party that were either not covered or were entirely avoided by the mainstream press. After reading this coverage, I felt compelled to “climb aboard” and support The Epoch Times on its journey toward truthful reporting that would not be beholden to any kind of censorship, whether it's from a government or commercial entity.
After discussions with the editor-in-chief on what the newspaper actually most needed and what I personally could do to support the paper, I published my first puzzle page on Jan. 4, 2010—over ten years ago. Since then, my Epoch Times journey has been eventful, to say the least. I have learned and grown a great deal, and so has our puzzle page! It's grown from a single page of puzzles in a 16-page edition to two pages of puzzles (and a half page on the Wednesday “For Kids Only” page) in what is now a 52-page paper!
Along the way, hundreds of puzzlers have reached out through our firstname.lastname@example.org email to comment on the puzzles, send me pictures of their unique solutions, ask questions, point out my mistakes (I've made many!), pass along a compliment or constructive criticism and offer to help. I've benefited greatly from the many relationships and friendships formed making the puzzle pages better and better with each passing year.
Thank you, readers! We wouldn't be where we are today without you! Each and every one of you who has subscribed, advertised, or who has sent in encouraging words, constructive comments, or ideas has helped to make The Epoch Times what it is today.
One reader, “Coder Chang,” climbed aboard as well and volunteered to produce our 4 Numbers puzzle—and he has done so for years now. Alan Morgan has provided Puzzles for Peace and Outside the Box, which will soon be returning to our daily lineup! Kannan, an Epoch Times staff member has consistently produced our Sudokus for years! Various readers have submitted crossword puzzles (most recently N.M. Tilson, thank you!). We are currently working with a reader and supporter who has volunteered to develop a weekly chess piece. Another reader has offered a variety of new mazes which we are considering.
In short, seeing people genuinely moved by The Epoch Times' commitment to journalism and truthful reporting of events, often glossed over or “slanted” by other media outlets, has been a heartwarming experience for me.
I hope that your journey with The Epoch Times will be as educational, satisfying, and fulfilling as mine has been. And, please, always feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com. We appreciate your insight, and who knows—I could always use a few more hands in the puzzle workshop.
A Ray of Hope
Dear Epoch VIP,
To say that The Epoch Times is a special media to me would be an understatement. It's been there for me ever since I was a little girl in China, and one of the few places where I know I can read the truth, regardless of what the government's media outlets may say or do.
When I was nine, my parents were arrested before my own eyes from our home in Beijing. They weren't criminals: just Falun Gong practitioners.
My mother, a hospital worker, had just been looking for a spiritual practice, a way to live around her many illnesses. My father, a professor and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member, followed suit after he saw my mother's improvement in health.
When I was younger, my mom would tell me stories about how people would commit suicide during the Cultural Revolution because they were so humiliated. And before that, how the landlords had all of their money taken away, simply because everyone had to be “the same.”
My parents used to tell me these stories about other people, but when the Falun Gong persecution began, it finally happened to them too—even though my dad was a Party member who taught communism, socialism, and Marxism in school.
In an instant, my parents were handcuffed and taken away from me to a labor camp, to a place I had no idea about. A place that the news never talked about. I had no idea what the authorities would do to my parents and it worried me.
I saw the brutal treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in labor camps for the first time in the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times (via a VPN). Though this knowledge made me extremely scared and gave me nightmares, it also brought a sense of security in finally knowing the kind of place my parents were taken to and that people like my parents were not forgotten. They wouldn't just disappear, no matter how much the CCP wanted them to.
Having lived through this experience, I can say there's no platform in China that gives a voice to the human rights victims. For all the people who are persecuted and their loved ones—it's really a very alienating experience.
But because there was a media like The Epoch Times, I felt less alone. It finally seemed like there was someone out there listening to me—to my parents—and hearing us.
When I was in high school, my parents (who had returned from labor camp by then) sent me to the United States as an exchange student. They told me to enjoy the freedom in America since by then, we all knew too well what a country without freedom for its people was like.
The American people that I've come across since then have been very nice, friendly, and helpful, and it's had a wonderful effect on me. But at the same time, it's always felt like some of them didn't really know what was going on outside of America.
In China, all of the elites and intellectuals— including those I saw on the news when I was younger—always said that due to differences in ideology, sooner or later there will be armed conflict between China and America. If you watch Chinese state-run news, the narrative (though it fluctuates based on the CCP's diplomatic needs) has always been anti-American.
It's not the Chinese people themselves, of course, that have something against America. But many Chinese people live in this environment where they're being brainwashed, and every day they're being told that America is the enemy. It was so strange to me that Americans, and the American government, didn't seem to have any reaction to this at all.
A media doesn't just keep things that people know about from being forgotten, like with my parents; it also brings into view things that people didn't previously know about, that they should know. That is why I take my job at The Epoch Times very seriously— so that the people I've met in America can have the knowledge they need to protect their freedom, and the people living in fear in China can have the knowledge they need to win it back.
From Reader to Employee
Dear Epoch VIP,
I work at The Epoch Times' customer service hotline. Maybe I've even had the good fortune of speaking with you!
Almost daily, somebody calls and expresses how happy they are to find a newspaper like The Epoch Times. Often, it is the older customers because they remember a time when journalism was different— that time, say 60 years ago, when there was a strong sense of integrity in journalism.
I also remember that time. Back in the '70s, my first job was as a paperboy. I would read the headlines and some of the articles. The premier newscasters and media, as I remember them, were those who focused on the facts. The news was about what happened and what didn't happen based on the facts, not about who's right and who's wrong based on someone's opinion.
Around 2010, I started becoming more aware of how certain stories were being covered by the mainstream media, and more importantly, how some stories were not being covered. When reading, I'd sense a clear bias in reporting and how instead of facts, the push of someone's agenda prevailed in the article.
It was around 2012 when I started reading The Epoch Times in earnest after some family members shared it with me. Instantly, I felt drawn to this news agency. I had noticed the lack of honesty and integrity in many other of our nation's journalistic sources. Against this backdrop, The Epoch Times stood out as a paper that was very much the opposite.
After I retired, I heard that The Epoch Times was hiring. I thought, “Mission-driven and honest? This is a media company I want to work for!” I reached out, interviewed, and accepted a position in the call center. The rest is history.
My passion is to get the truth out to our nation. I find it rewarding when people call to say they are excited to find a sample paper of The Epoch Times in their mailbox or on their doorstep and want to subscribe. The energy is contagious; I can sense that there is a thirst for news with integrity in our nation.
We are in unprecedented times right now, and our nation is hurting because of it. My goal is to help The Epoch Times be successful in presenting the truth. I'd like to see our nation get back to what it once was— when there was more respect for others and more morally-driven behavior and decisions. It's important to me that I support our subscribers in any way I can. You all are part of this journey.
Thank you so much for supporting us here at The Epoch Times. Know that we are aligned with you in your desire to get our nation back on track. Together, we have already established an incredible start, and I believe that we will prevail in due time.
Together, we are making a difference!
A Rewarding Duty
Dear Epoch VIP,
Since my part-time job in college at a golf course, most of my working life has revolved to some extent around sports. I was always exposed to sports and different sporting events, and they've become something I like to follow.
Lately, things have changed in the sports world. With all the sports being delayed or even postponed for quite some time due to the CCP Virus—and even as they begin to come back now, I can catch sports from time to time, but it's just not the same involvement. It's not quite the same feeling anymore.
It seems everything that's going on these days is even affecting our sports entertainment. Something I used to watch to get away from the news and politics is now filled with it.
Everybody seems to carry an opinion, and everybody seems to want to use whatever platform they have as their voice. I'm not necessarily opinionated about whether they should, but one thing I know is that all these different voices speaking at once make it hard for people to know what, or who, they can trust.
It's something I've been seeing a lot as I work with people on the customer service chatline. A few weeks back, the 2020 election was almost a daily topic. It seems hard (and this is the impression I get from most people I speak with) for them to find the truth, or to believe what they're seeing and hearing. They feel like there's an agenda being pushed from all sides and all angles.
Some of the people I talk with express how they would like to give The Epoch Times a try in an attempt to search this out, to see if we're the source of truth they've been looking for.
I also get subscribers who have already been with us for two months or even two years. The appreciation they show for finding us and for our being around is unparalleled. People are praying for our safety and success. They express their appreciation for us being out there and for all that it means to them.
I always try to share my experience and the reasons I support this company with both groups of customers.
I often tell them, “I completely agree with you, and that's why you got me today. This is why I'm here, and why I dedicate my time to this company.”
It's because I support and believe in our mission— the mission to report the truth and be a news source people can trust. It's just too hard to find, and these days, it feels like we're an anomaly.
But that's not the only reason I do my job. Some of you are simply a blessing to work with.
A while back I was chatting with a lady that said, “This feels like one of the most lighthearted, happy conversations that I've had with anybody in a long time.”
And it wasn't even a conversation, it was the two of us typing over a computer screen to each other. She wanted some information about the election and I was able to provide her with the infographic she needed.
She was just so completely grateful that there was a media outlet just trying to provide facts rather than push an agenda or opinion. It really moved me.
It feels very rewarding when I find people like her. It makes me feel like it's part of my duty and my mission to help this country and provide truthful information. Only when we're able to consume content that is based in fact are we able to look at things and decipher what is right and what is good. Because of that, I think my job is the best way for me to help society.
My work at The Epoch Times is an obligation—it's a way that God has given me to assist my fellow humans. For me, it's something I'll do forever, as long as I can.
In Truth and Tradition,
The Epoch Times