Weathering the Storm, Chapter 1 of Part Five

Zhong Fangqiong

PureInsight | December 13, 2004

Part 5. While the Trees Try to Be Still, the Wind Won't Stop Blowing

Chapter 1: Righteous Thoughts Stop the Police from Doing Evil Things

"Friendly" New Year Visits

During all official holidays or sensitive days such as April 25th and July 20th, local police, community committee members, and members from the 610 Office often came to harass Falun Gong practitioners with all kinds of excuses.

On December 22, 2001, Wei Daping, from the Wannianchang Police Station, and Li Qiangjun, the director at the Community Office, came to check on me at my home. On the 26th, the chairwoman and a staff member from the local Women's Association came to check on me. On the 28th, Hao Wuyuan, the chairman from the Political And Legal Affairs Committee of Chenghua District and several others from the Wannianchang Police Station and Community Office came to my home "to show their care" for me. During all those visits, I patiently clarified the truth about Falun Gong to them.

Around midnight on the 28th, the doorbell rang again. I tried to look through the peephole. But I couldn't see anything. I thought the light outside was burned out but it turned out that someone had actually covered the peephole up. When I opened the door, a large group of people from the Wannianchang Police Station, the Community Office, and the Community Committee rushed inside. The new director for the Community Committee and policeman Wei Daping immediately dashed into my son's room, and confiscated a copy of Zhuan Falun, a photo of Master Li, and an article written by Master Li that I had in the room. They then took me to the police station against my will. I was sent to the Pi County Detention Center without any cause the next day. When I arrived at the detention center, I was given a physical by the detention center physician. I told her that I had painful sores all over my body and wasn't healthy enough to be detained at the detention center. She said, "No matter what diseases you have, we must hold you here" I was soon sentenced to one month at the detention center.

Officer Li Wakes Up from a Dream

I was detained in a cell in the detention center along with 40 other people, including 12 Falun Gong practitioners. In the afternoon of the 29th, the head of the cell told me to go outside. As soon as I set foot out of the cell, a female officer in her 20s shouted, "Squat down!" I remained standing while sending righteous thoughts.
After two minutes, she shouted with anger, "I told you to squat down. Didn't you hear me?" I continued to stand calmly before her. I looked right into her eyes and sent righteous thoughts quietly. Seeing that there was no action from me, she fumed with anger. Her face turned red, and she shouted toward the head of the cell, "Is this woman deaf or mute? Why doesn't she talk?"

The head of the cell became so scared that she turned pale and began to shake. She came over to me, begging, "Ms. Zhong, please talk to her. This is Officer Li."

I didn't say anything for another two minutes. I then said to Officer Li, "You look absolutely beautiful. Why is it that your appearance is so different from your words and actions?" All of sudden, it was as if she had changed into a different person. She looked embarrassed and said, "You may not understand it. I have a hard job. My shift ran from last night to tonight. We have to take in about 80 people per day. Some inmates are very hard to handle. I can't get even a single break." I said, "It is a tough job to deal with criminals every day. But you should be clear that other Falun Gong practitioners and I are not criminals. We have been treated unjustly. We shouldn't be detained here."

Officer Li softened her tone and asked me, "How many times have you been detained?" I asked her, "How many times do you think?" She said, "Three times? Five times?" I shook my head. She made a bold guess and half-jokingly said, "Come on, it could not be more than 10 times?" I replied with a serious expression on my face, "A total of 13 times. I was also sentenced to one year at a labor camp, and ended up spending 15 months there."

Her eyes opened wide in doubt, "Labor camp? You were in a labor camp? My boss told us in a meeting that the percentage of Falun Gong practitioners who gave up practicing Falun Gong after being detained in labor camps is 100%." I said, "That is a lie. If your boss was telling the truth, why would I be here? Think about it. Aren't other Falun Gong practitioners and I here simply because we insist on speaking the truth? If I simply said that I would stop practicing Falun Gong, I wouldn't have lost my business and wouldn't have spent the last two years in prison. Why would I lie to you?" Then I told her my story. After listening to my story, it was as if she had suddenly awakened from a dream. She kindly said to me, "When you are released from here, please be very careful. Do not ever come to a place like this again." I said, "We won't meet here again. I have a niece who is around your age. She is also quite beautiful. You should come to my house one day as a friend. I am sure you and my niece will get along very well."

After I got back to the cell, one of the Falun Gong practitioners who was detained in the same cell told me, "You are so powerful! Even Officer Li has fallen under your spell. Everyone here is scared of her. She is very tough. If she catches prisoners talking to each other when they are not supposed to, she not only takes away their TV privileges, she also makes them copy the detention center regulations 20 times. If you had been here earlier, I bet we would have been treated better."

An inmate who was detained in the same prison cell was the head of a factory. She was arrested because of some financial irregularities at her factory. One day an investigator from the Wannian Police Station took her out for an interrogation and they had a meal together. The investigator asked her, "Are you used to life in prison?" She said, "If it weren't for those Falun Gong people, I couldn't imagine how badly I would react to being locked up here. I enjoy being with them. It seems time passes very quickly. Zhong Fangqiong, who was sent here by policemen from your police station, is in my cell." The investigator replied, "She is quite remarkable, very courageous."

The Furtive Policemen

One morning during the time when we were allowed to go outside, I stood on the edge of an open field with my eyes closed and started to do the second set of the Falun Gong exercises. All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain on my face. I opened my eyes and found a policewoman holding a long bamboo pole and poking at me with a furtive look on her face. As soon as she realized I was looking at her, she did not dare to say a thing and left quickly.

One day, around midnight, the night shift supervisor of the detention center came to tell Mrs. Tian, a Falun Gong practitioner, to pack up her things and go home. I said to him, "You policemen are doing things that cannot be shown to the public. You are releasing Falun Gong practitioners at midnight. Why don't you do it in daylight? It is because you don't want the public to find out that you have been detaining good people for no good reason." The supervisor didn't say anything. Mrs. Tian hurriedly gathered her things and said to me, "It's extremely late tonight. There is no one to settle my account. Ms. Zhong, let me leave my deposit book with you. When you are released, please take out the money the detention center owes me." I agreed to do that for her. The supervisor heard our conversation. He held up his hand in the pose of sending righteous thoughts and said, "You do this here everyday. How is it possible that you will be released?" I replied, "I am sure I'll get out of here in a just few days. You wouldn't see me sending righteous thoughts here if I were home." The supervisor couldn't think of anything else to say to me. He left without a word.

There is No "what if …" in Cultivation

One afternoon, the cell door suddenly opened. The head of the cell told me, "Ms. Zhong, you have another fellow practitioner here." As soon as she came in, the practitioner asked: which districts different practitioners in the cell were from. Several practitioners, including me, were from Chenghua District. The newly arrived practitioner said, "Those of us who are from Chenghua District cannot go home. We are all being transferred back and forth from detention centers to prisons. Many practitioners from Chenghua District are currently being held at the detention centers and have served back to back prison terms. I am from Chenghua District. I have just been transferred here from another detention center." I told everyone, "I don't believe it will happen to me. I must go home."

An elderly lady from Chenghua District who was held in the same cell as me was supposed to get released the next day. She was ready to go home and had planned to leave some of her things behind for others to use. After hearing what was said by the newcomer, she got nervous and said, "It seems I should take all of my things with me after all. What if I cannot go home?" I said, "That thought is wrong. There is no 'what if …' in cultivation." The next day, the elderly practitioner was indeed not allowed to go home. She was moved to a different place and forced to attend a brainwashing session at the Pi County. The conditions there were very bad. She had to sleep on the cold cement floor every night. She developed rheumatism and ended not being able to hold her back straight due to the terrible pain. She had difficulty walking. She also couldn't stop coughing. She became so thin that she looked like a completely different person. Her family members were not allowed to visit her and had no idea if she were dead or alive. She was forced to attend the brainwashing class for over a year. In February of 2003, her son could no longer bear it and appealed for his mother twice at the city government, asking the mayor to release his mother. Because of that, he was arrested and taken to the police station. When he was released, he became extremely distraught at the thought of not being able to save his mother. He drank a lot of alcohol, called the police station, and told the police that he was going to commit suicide in protest. He then closed all windows and the door and turned on the switch to let out propane used for cooking. When the police arrived at his home, he was unconscious and foaming at the mouth. The police took him to the hospital and the doctors were able to resuscitate him. The police didn't want to be blamed for his death and finally allowed him to carry his skeleton-thin mother home.

In my case, after spending one month at the detention center, Policeman Wei Daping and Li Qiangjun, the director of the Community Office, took me back to the local police station.

I Should Be the One Who Decides My Own Things

When we arrived at the police station, the head of the police station with the surname Ran asked me, "Zhong Fangqiong, what is your plan after you go home?" I said, "I will continue to follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in everything that I say and do." As soon as he heard that, Ran flew into a rage. He shouted, "Lock her up!" and quickly left. I stood up from my chair, pounded my fist on the desk, and solemnly said, "What you said does not count. I am going home today." With those words, I headed towards the door. Wei Daping did not know how to respond to the sudden development. He quickly grabbed me and said, "In a short while, we will call your younger brother to take you home." I replied, "My brother is busy with his business. I will go home by myself." I sat down with even firmer thoughts of going home. After a while, Wei told me, "Zhong Fangqiong, why don't you go to the holding room for just a short while? I will then release you. You need to give some consideration to not making Ran look bad. Just look at this document that says that we will let you go home and will just monitor you from there. Ran has already signed the document." I told him, "Not making Ran look bad? What is not making someone look bad? Who has thought about not making my teacher look bad? Who has thought about not making Falun Gong look bad? Who has thought about not making me look bad? In society, I may very well have a more prestigious position than Ran does. I want to talk to Ran directly." Wei said, "Ran is in a meeting." I went over to have a look and indeed they were having a meeting. So I went back to Wei's office, sat on the chair and started to send righteous thought towards Ran.

Around 5 PM, my brother came to pick me up with his motorcycle. Ran said, "Zhong Fangqiong, I hear your house is very nice. I will go and visit it." That was how I got back home.

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