Weathering the Storm, Chapter 1 of Part Four

Zhong Fangqiong

PureInsight | November 15, 2004


Part 4. Sentenced to Forced Labor

[Note: Inside the forced labor camps, the inmates often loudly yelled to one another, "Do you know what the biggest cult in China is?" "It is the forced labor camp!" ]

Chapter 1. The Truth Cannot Be Covered Up

Getting lost and finding the way back

On July 28, 2000, I was sent to the 5th platoon of the Nanmusi Forced Labor Camp at Zizhong City, Sichuan Province. The guards there arranged a drug addict to keep an eye on me. She was to follow me everywhere I went at all times.

According to the policies at the forced labor camp, all inmates must memorize and be able to recite the 35 rules of the labor camp. I did not break any law, so I refused to memorize the rules. The guards punished me by not allowing me to get any sleep. They also punished the drug addict who was assigned to watch me and wouldn't let her get any sleep either. They also sent some former practitioners who had been brainwashed to brainwash me as well and wouldn't let me talk with other Falun Gong practitioners. Three days later, all other practitioners who had come to the labor camp with me were moved from the 5th Platoon to the 7th Platoon (also known as the Falun Gong Platoon because all the Falun Gong practitioners were held there), and I was left behind in the 5th Platoon. I felt lonely and helpless. I was unable to understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa. With human notions, I thought that I should follow the example of other practitioners who are better educated than me, had cultivated longer than me, and were very steadfast previously. So against my own conscience, I copied a "repentance letter" that contained a few sentences written by someone else and turned it in. On August 1, I was transferred to the 7th Platoon. Even though I didn't dare to say anything, I continued to silently recite Master Li's articles everyday. I felt I was not being honest and truthful. I felt lost and didn't know what to do. During that time, I heard about what had happened to Wang Xuzhi, who used to practice the Falun Gong exercises at the same exercise site as I did. He was illegally sent to the forced labor camp for going to Beijing to appeal for restorations of Falun Gong's respected standing. After he was sent to the Xinhua Labor Camp in Mianyang City, because he refused to renounce his belief in Falun Gong, he was often kept in solitary confinement, beaten, and hit with electric batons. The guards there also ordered inmates at the labor camp to force-feed him with feces and urine. Wang Xuzhi held a hunger strike for more than 5 months, and was tortured to death in August 2000. He was only 28 years old.

I spent a total of 3 months in a restless and confused state. It was Teacher's article "Suffocate the Evil" (from Essentials for Further Advancement II) that shone a light on the lost child that I had become. I immediately realized that I had been wrong when I wrote the "repentance letter." I shared my understandings with many fellow practitioners at the labor camp (especially those from Chengdu City). Most of them wrote solemn statements declaring that they would continue to cultivate in Falun Gong steadfastly. On November 25, 2000, I also wrote an article titled "Speaking to you from my heart." In the article, I solemnly declared that all the things that I had written and said about Falun Gong were against my conscience and nullified. I also wrote about my own experience after I began to practice Falun Gong. I wrote 4 copies of the article, and gave one to the head of the labor camp with the surname of Wu, one to Li Ziqian, the head of the management division of the labor camp, one to Li Jun, the head of the 7th Platoon, and saved one copy for other practitioners in the labor camp to read. On the same day, Zhang Xiaofang, a platoon leader, singled me out and said many harsh words against me at a big gathering of the labor camp. She immediately ordered two inmates of the labor camp to watch me and prevent me from speaking with other practitioners. I was also forbidden to write anything else. She also extended the term of my sentence by 3 months. I lost the little bit of the freedom that prisoners who had already been deprived of their freedom had. They had set up another special prison inside the prison just for me.

Around April 2001, Feng Jiuwei brought some TV station reporters to the 7th Platoon for a TV interview. He stopped me when I was walking downstairs and told the reporters, "This is Zhong Fangqiong. She used to be the owner of a successful business. She is very capable." The reporters immediately turned the video cameras and microphones toward me. Feng Jiuwei said, "Zhong Fangqiong, weren't you once 'transformed' and didn't you renounce your belief in Falun Gong? Why did you go back to your old ways later?" I replied, "In my mind, 'transformation' makes no sense. What is 'transformation?' Is it transforming a good person into a bad one? I have always known that Falun Gong is good. It was just that I was unable to bear the inhuman mental and physical torture and I didn't dare to say the truth. After realizing that I had done a bad thing, I immediately corrected my mistake. I am simply telling the truth as it is. That is all."

A Phony Show of Kindness

During the Chinese New Year of 2001, officials from the Chengdu City Labor Camp Bureau came to the labor camp to visit inmates at the labor camps. After an initial meeting, they divided the inmates into several small groups. Every small group was made to sit in a circle. They said, "All of us live in the same city, and we will take care of you. If you have anything to complain about, please let us know." I told them, "The local TV station fabricated a story about me and used it to deceive people. In order to speak out truth, I wrote an article to clarify the facts. I was illegally sent to the labor camp because of that. I haven't been treated fairly. I just want to be a good person, and all I did was to speak the truth. There is nothing wrong with that. I want to go home." They acted surprised and said, "Really? How could this happen? Which district are you from?" I said, "Chenghua District." They said, "We will follow up on this after we get back." Of course, I never heard back from them afterwards. All I know for sure is that the local TV station broadcast their visit to the labor camp to show how much the government cares about Falun Gong practitioners and how the officials "transformed" Falun Gong practitioners with "gentleness and kindness."

The police often brought former practitioners who had turned onto the evil path to talk to me. They acted as if they had cultivated to a high level and tried to deceive me with their twisted logic. They took turns trying to make me listen to words that slandered Dafa and defamed Teacher. When I did not listen to them, they laughed at me, cursed at me, and humiliated me.

Master Li said, "Think about it: the enormous test at present is exactly to see how Dafa fares and how students conduct themselves in Master's absence. How could Master speak out? How could I again tell you what to do? Additionally, they manipulate wicked human beings to examine Dafa and its disciples, putting them through a comprehensive and destructive test that targets all human thoughts and attachments." ("Towards Consummation" in Essentials for Further Advancement II) I kept reciting Master Li's teaching in my heart, and was not disturbed by any performance of the evil.

Is the Communist Party Good?

In the labor camp, the guards often ordered us to sing a song called "The Communist Party is good." I always refused to sing the song. Zhang Xiaofang, the platoon leader, told me that by refusing to sing "The Communist Party is good", I was against the Communist Party. When hearing other people singing the song, I could not open my mouth. My lips would tremble, my throat would tighten, and tears would run down my face for no reason. Hadn't I been arrested and detained at the labor camp for simply wanting to be a good person and speak the truth? If the Communist Party was good, how could it send people who follow "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance" to the labor camps and try to brainwash them?

A Living Example

Whenever I had a chance to speak, I would tell people that the news on the TV and newspapers about Falun Dafa were lies and made up to deceive people. I told people how the local TV station distorted my story to defame Dafa and deceive people. I had told the reporters that the many health problems I had suffered from disappeared after I began to practice Falun Gong. But in the story that it was aired in the local TV station, it said that I was healthy before and became paralyzed after I began to practice Falun Gong. The media completely turned black into white. The police then locked up me in the labor camp for speaking up about the truth.

I became a living example of the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong, and people listened to me. The head of the labor camp with the surname of Wu became infuriated by it. He swore at me, "Shut up! Shut up! Sooner or later you will be paralyzed…"

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