PureInsight | November 14, 2005
Reporter: After you were released from the detention center, how were you able to recover after being completely paralyzed? How did you escape since you were being watched all the time?
Li: At the beginning, they sent me to a hospital and had guards watch me all the time. I insisted on going home. The 6-10 Office then ordered the local police station, the local residential committee, and my former employer each to send people to watch me 24 hours a day. At the beginning, they wanted to stay with me in my bedroom. After my husband's fierce resistance, they moved into a room next door. In order to be able to watch me at all times, they even wanted to remove my apartment's front door. In the end, we had to keep our front door wide open day and night.
After I went home, I continuously recited "Lunyu" from Zhuan Falun. I also got up in the middle of the night to practice sitting meditation. I soon got my health back and was able to move around on my own. My family wasn't sure what I should do next. My older brother wanted me to run away. My parents wanted me to go back to prison and finish serving the remaining term of my sentence. At that time, they felt that everywhere in China was under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party and there was no place for me to run away to. Even if I could run away, the thought of my "always wandering from place to place, always living in a strange place, and never being able to return home" made them feel very sad. My husband was worried about me and didn't know what to do. I knew that I might not survive if I was sent back to prison again and I chose to leave home in order to live.
About twenty days after I returned home, one day around noon the people who had been watching me were letting their guards down gradually. There was nobody else at home. As I was preparing to leave, my older brother called me and said, "Wait a little while. Let me take a look first and see if there is any police outside of your complex. Don't leave until you get a call back from me."
After I received my brother's phone call, I was able to escape right under the eyes of people who had been watching me. As soon as I came outside on the street, I saw a police car parked right across the street from me. A taxi came by. I signaled to the taxi driver but it didn't stop. The second taxi stopped right in front of me. When I opened the taxi's door, I saw my older brother sitting in the taxi. There are no words that can describe how I felt at that moment… My older brother asked me to go and hide in the home of one of our distant relatives in Tieling.
After my escape, my family members were punished even though they had nothing to do with my escape. That day the police took my sister-in-law to the police station and interrogated her. The office manager at the local residential committee hit her and injured her arm. My family didn't get her out of the police station until that night. The police then went to my parent's house, my older brother's house, and my husband's sister's house. They went to all my close relatives' houses looking for me. They then sent 6 people over and placed my parents and my brother's family under virtual house arrest.
Seeing how my relatives and close friends were worried and scared because of me, I felt my heart was breaking into pieces. At that time, I was staying with a distant relative of ours. One day a former classmate of the child of my cousin came over to the house to have some fun. My brother thought he was a plainclothes policeman and became terrified. After I saw the extremely frightened expression on my brother's face, I knew that I hade no choice but to leave the home of my relative.
Living Under Constant Danger Waiting My Head to Fall Off
Later on, several fellow practitioners and I managed to rent an apartment after going through a lot of trouble. Each morning we got up at 4 AM to practice the exercises. We started to study the Fa at 6 AM and went to distribute Falun Gong truth-clarification material every day after 10 AM. We spent the evenings making and printing truth-clarification material and wouldn't go to sleep until after midnight. Each morning we left together not knowing if any of us would make it back that night. We were living under constant danger. Using a colloquial Chinese saying, it was as if "we were waiting for our heads to fall off."
Many Falun Gong practitioners have been forced to live like this. The government tries to force every single Falun Gong practitioner to write a pledge promising never to practice Falun Gong again. If you refuse to write the pledge, the police send you to a brainwashing class. Once the brainwashing class is over and you still refuse to give up practicing Falun Gong, they send you to a labor camp for several years where you are tortured everyday. Some practitioners have finished serving the terms of their original sentences and yet they are still not allowed to go home. Another possible outcome is that the police directly sentence you to several years in prison. When it comes to Falun Gong, the Chinese Communist Party has totally disregarded the Chinese laws. Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China have lost almost their entire living spaces. Whenever I think of these things, it makes me cherish the time I spent with my fellow practitioners clarifying the truth even more. I am deeply touched by how my fellow practitioners have put aside their own safety and self-interest and continuously clarify the truth to their fellow countrymen even though they can't go home to their families and find it very difficult to make ends meet. I believe that in the future people will thank them and history will forever remember them.
Risking His Own Life to Rescue Me after Learning the Truth
Reporter: Falun Gong practitioners are usually not allowed to get passports. How were you able to leave China?
Li: It is mainly due to my older brother who risked his own life to rescue me. My brother is three years older than me and has always looked after me. He joined the army when he was 18 and was quickly promoted to the rank of a platoon commander. He then entered an officer training school. He was to be promoted to the rank of staff sergeant after he finished the officer training school. But then the Chinese Cultural Revolution took place and our father was singled out as a target of persecution. Because of his relationship with my father, my brother's military career was over. He then received a discharge from the army and went to work in the sales department of a factory. Later on, he opened up his own factory and his own business. My brother is very intelligent and a very good businessman. He told me that he was able to make a lot of money from his business.
Before the persecution against Falun Gong in Mainland China started in 1999, my brother had seen the immense changes in me after I started to practice it and wanted to learn it too. He read Zhuan Falun but said, "I am too bad a person and can't practice it." After the crackdown against Falun Gong started on July 20th, 1999, the government-controlled media outlets published slanders and lies against Falun Gong 24 hours a day. After I was arrested for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, my brother looked at me strangely sand said, "Don't your people have mental problems?" I was very surprised and asked him, "Brother, how could you say that? Don't you know me very well?"
In order to seek a better future for his children, my brother had always wanted to send his children to study in the U.S. At the beginning of 2002, he set up his own business venture touring the US looking for investment opportunities. He went to the US with his wife. They both got visas to the US valid for six months. They could leave and return to the U.S. twice during that six months.
When I was arrested on January 10th, 2002 for the fourth time, my brother had just arrived in the US three days earlier. He heard what had happened to me over the phone on the 13th and immediately flew back to China that very night. He wanted to get me out. When he saw that I had been tortured and become totally paralyzed while I was in the detention center, my brother broke down and started to cry. He wished he had taken me outside of China earlier. He called me by my childhood nickname of Zhuang and said, "My regret is so deep that I feel even my intestines have changed color."
In order to rescue me, my brother went back to the U.S. for a second time in June. At that time he carefully learned the truth about Falun Gong. He made a special trip to attend the 2002 Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Washington D.C. and also participated in the grand parade that commemorated the three year anniversary of the crackdown. My brother later told me, "When I participated in the parade held in the memory of Falun Gong practitioners who had lost their lives from the persecution, I cried for a whole day. I told myself, 'No, I can't allow it to continue. I am going back to China to help Falun Gong practitioners.'"
Practitioners around me indeed have suffered a lot during the persecution. A female practitioner I know had also been forced to flee from her home. While in police custody, she had been tortured to the point where she became paralyzed from the waist down. She could no longer move her legs and the muscles in her legs had become atrophied to the point where she only had bones left on her legs. She could sit up only by putting her arms behind her back. She has a 4-year-old child. When people from the local 6-10 Office went to her home to arrest her, her 70-plus year old mother-in-law tried to stop them. They shoved the elderly lady until she fell down on the street. Later on, the practitioner was able to escape and came to stay with us. Everywhere we went, we took her with us. We moved all the time. Once we had to move 5 times in one month because the police were looking for us everywhere.
Nine Members in the Family either Arrested or Forced to Flee from Their Homes
Later on, with help from my older brother, I was able to go to Thailand. One day, an image of my brother being badly beaten and leaning against the wall with one leg seriously injured suddenly popped into my head. Soon after that, I learned that the police had discovered that my older brother was helping Falun Gong practitioners. They arrested him and beat him badly. He lost the ability to use one of his legs from the beatings, and couldn't feel anything on one side of his body.
At the beginning, the police wanted to sentence him under the serious crime of "trying to overthrow the country." After a great deal of effort from my whole family, my brother was sentenced to 8 years in prison for "disrupting the implementation of laws." At one point, nine members of my family were either in police custody or had been forced to flee from their homes. My second younger sister was sentenced to three years in Longshan Labor Camp. I was sentenced to 16 years in prison. My older brother was sentenced to 8 years in prison. My sister-in-law was forced to flee from China. My next younger sister as well as two sisters and two brothers-in-law of my brother's wife had all been arrested. During that Chinese New Year holiday, my mother didn't know how she could keep on living. She felt her heart had been broken into pieces.
Later on, my mother called me and told me that my older brother's hair and beard had turned completely white over the course of one night after he was locked up in prison. He had also lost feeling in his hands and feet after being severely beaten. I asked my mother to remind my brother about the Fa conference he had attended in the U.S. and tell him he should say "Falun Dafa is good" and "Truthfulness Compassion Forbearance" in his heart constantly. On the following Chinese New Year, my mother called again and told me that my brother's hair has turned back to black again. I believe Master is watching over him now.
Mom, My Heart Feels Very Sad
Reporter: How has your son fared during all these years?
Li: Because I was always weak and ill when I was young, my son had been frail since he was first born. His hands and feet always felt cold no matter what season it was. He had a terrible temper. He also had serious migraines. When he got a headache, he felt a lot of pain and his face would turn black and purple from the pain. But before we could rush him to the hospital, he would recover on his own. The hospital could never tell us what to do.
In 1998, my son was in junior high school. One day he told me that he wanted to go to the practice site with me to practice the Falun Gong exercises. I casually made fun of him, "You are a young student and yet you want to practice the exercises?" My son replied, "I read the book a long time ago. Falun Gong is the science of the universe. Why can't I learn it?" On the first day my son went to practice the exercises, when he was "holding the Falun," he almost couldn't stop from yelling out loud. He felt current after current of warm waves moving down his body from his head and spreading everywhere. From then on, my son's hands and feet always feel warm. He never gets headache anymore. He also has become a much more reasonable child and no longer loses his temper so easily.
My son can't sit in the double-lotus position. He also rarely practiced the exercises. But he kept on studying the Fa every day. He told me that starting to practice Falun Gong wasn't a casual decision for him and it was the one that he had made only after giving the matter serious thought and making careful comparisons. Every time my son studied the Fa, he would sit in a perfect posture with his back extremely straight. Compared to him, I was much worse. Sometimes when I study the Fa, I still even lean against various objects. My son told me that he wants to do everything according to the principle of "Truthfulness Compassion Forbearance" and according to Teacher's requirements.
In 1999, my son was already 17 years old. He wasn't spending a lot of time with me. But on July 21st, he suddenly told me, "Mom, I want to go with you to appeal for Falun Gong in front of the provincial government building." He went to appeal for Falun Gong twice with me. The next day his school wanted him to write a pledge promising to give up practicing Falun Gong. When my son refused to do that, the school officials were going to add it into his record, which would make it impossible for him to go to college.
Fortunately the person in charge of keeping the records was someone that my husband knew. He was also sympathetic to Falun Gong practitioners. My son was able to go to college after all. As soon as he entered college, the school organized all the new students to get together and attack Falun Gong. My son refused to participate in the activity. The professors went to talk to him and even asked my husband to participate in the talk as well. My son told the professors my story and the true situation of Falun Gong. Finally the professors said, "When it comes to Falun Gong, we are neither for it nor against it." But at the end my husband still had to write a pledge for my son.
After I was forced to flee from our home, I figured out ways to see my son several times. My son didn't dare to call me "Mom" because he was afraid I would get caught. During the next several years, my son never called me "Mom" again. When my son heard that I was coming to the U.S., he went to Thailand to see me. Only then, was he able to finally call me "Mom." He told me, "Mom, I have no idea how I was able to make it through during the last several years. What hurts me the most is that the university uses loudspeakers to slander Falun Gong. None of my classmates dares to say anything. There are several Falun Gong practitioners in the school. But I don't know who they are. Mom, my heart feels very sad."
Being Forced to Live On Opposite Sides of the World
Reporter: After you came to the U.S, what do your family members think? Are they happy for you?"
Li: Many people might think it is a good thing to come to the U.S. But to my family members, we now live on opposite sides of the world. It is as if one person is dead and could never see the loved ones again. The pain of being separated from one's own flesh and blood runs very deep. I remember the night when my son first came to Thailand to see me. He was 23 years old and a grown man. But he lay next to me on my bed and didn't move at all. He told me, "Mom, I wish I never had to grow up. Once you leave, I don't know when I will see you again." My mother also cried over the phone. She told me, "You are going further and further away. Will I ever see you again?" Because he still has an elderly mother at home and my brother is also still in prison, my husband has decided to stay in China.
A while ago, I went to visit an American friend of mine at her home. Her youngest daughter wanted me to read her a story. The story is about how after he achieved enlightenment Buddha Sakyamuni went back to his hometown to offer salvation to his family members and pay back the friends and families member who had helped him, including the shepherd girl who had given him goat's milk to drink years ago.
As I read the story, I started to think of my relatives and fellow practitioners in Mainland China, and I broke down in tears. Even though I live in the U.S. where the sun shines constantly, I think of the distant land of China all the time. My relatives, my fellow practitioners, and my fellow countrymen are still traveling under total darkness right before the sun is about to rise.
"The windstorm continues through the night, but there is no need to worry"
Looking back at the path I took, I have personally witnessed the magic power of "Truthfulness Compassion Forbearance", the deep roots that Falun Dafa has grown in the vast fertile land of China, and the power that the truth holds over people's hearts. The things that my older brother did later on were not covered by the brotherly love he felt for me. He helped Falun Gong practitioners whom he had never met before. My brother has steadfastly held onto the conscience and compassion of the human race. From my brother, my relatives and my friends, I have seen hope for China.
After I came to the U.S., I have unexpectedly been pushed to the center of the world stage. Actually I am just an ordinary Chinese citizen and an unknown Falun Gong cultivator. But since history has chosen to have me stand on this stage, I feel I have the duty to tell people the persecution that Falun Gong has been experiencing in Mainland China and how many ordinary Chinese citizens have quietly supported and contributed to Dafa. Finally I want to tell my relatives and friends in Mainland China, "The windstorm continues through the night, but there is no need to worry." One day I will pay back the debt that I owe to each and every one of you.
From The Epoch Times
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/10/9/34155.html