Breaking Old Force's Arrangements

Susan Mitchell

PureInsight | December 2, 2002

Hello Everyone! My name is Susan Mitchell. I live in Toronto and have been studying the Fa for almost four years. As soon as I read Zhuan Falun, I knew that Master Li had accepted me as his disciple. It took a little longer for me to accept him as my Master, but that is how I regard him. However, because the word "Master" might be uncomfortable for some of you in the audience, during this speech, I shall refer to him by another respectful Chinese term: Teacher.

In Zhuan Falun, Teacher says that "he who understands, gains." In this opportunity to share experiences, I'd like to offer my understanding and experience of one of the things that we've been asked to do during this special time in history. Teacher has asked us to deny the arrangements of the Old Forces – those degenerated higher beings who organized the lives of people on earth, but not according to the purest standard of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. He has said that everything that we are doing to expose the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China is denying those old arrangements.
I've recently come to think that it is also important for us to understand how the Old Forces have arranged our own lives, and how we should go about changing that arrangement.

About a year and a half ago, as most of you know, practitioners established a virtual television station that broadcasts by satellite out of Los Angeles. It is called FGM TV, which stands, not for Falun Gong Media TV, but Fang Guang Ming, or 'Illumination' TV. It is run by volunteers who have families and jobs, and the dedication to clarify the truth to people so as to save as many lives as possible. The initial purpose of producing TV programs was to try to break the information and media blockade in China. It was also a major effort to reveal the truth of the persecution by the Jiang regime to Chinese people in other parts of the world who have been poisoned by the false propaganda; to let them know that one paranoid dictator is murdering good people and spreading horrendous lies for no reason but his own desire for power over the minds of his citizens. We also wanted to share the wonderfulness of the practice with as wide an audience as possible.
The Toronto FGM TV coordinator mentioned to me that they were looking for someone to do a weekly 5-minute English news overview. My heart opened and I offered to do it. Like most people on the TV teams around the world, this required quite a learning curve! Although I'd been a professional voice-over announcer at TV Ontario for 20 of the 25 years between the years 1975 and 2000, announcing just meant going to the studio once a week or once a month, being handed a script, then sitting down behind a microphone and reading it. Now I had to research and write what I planned to read, as well as appear on camera, which I'd not done much of for quite a while.

The first few 5-minute scripts took about 5 hours each to research and write. Then suddenly, the weekly program time was increased to 7 minutes – adding almost half the time again to the original request. Within another few months, 7 minutes a week was turned into 15 minutes a week, and 5 hours of research and writing became 10 to 12 hours of research and writing, even with a bit of help from a couple of practitioner friends! Meanwhile, I had been promoted at work to a one-year contract as assistant to the Interim Chief Executive Officer in a very high-pressure environment. Furthermore, last September, I was allowed to take two weeks off work to go to the Baltic countries at the invitation of the President of Estonia, to introduce Falun Dafa to people there. Because I couldn't afford to take the time off as a leave of absence, I now had added 77 hours of overtime to make up, on top of the weekly script, the already more-than-full-time job and the daily practice of 2-3 hours of reading and exercise!!!

Looking back, I can see that it was an excellent opportunity to go beyond being human. Was I successful? Yes, there were days/nights each week when I had only 2 or 3 hours' sleep, but I couldn't sustain it on an ongoing basis. So… overall, I have to say that I failed that test.

But what bothered me most of all was my inability to participate in any activity of the TV team other than writing and reading that script. I was watching others do everything, while I felt that my arms were tied behind my back. Yes, I could feel the pressure from negative forces in other dimensions, making things go wrong and trying to sabotage the whole effort – and I could push through that to actually arrive at the studio with a script each week… except one time when the Forces actually befuddled me enough to have me forget to put it in my bag (!) and we had to re-schedule. But somehow, the inner resistance from my own being went far beyond that and it was a mystery to me.
Over the year and a half of my working on the FGM TV news, the international media gradually reported more and more on Falun Gong. It was during this time that so many Westerners went to Tiananmen Square and raised a huge banner with the three beautiful characters of Zhen Shan Ren on it. It shook not only the Chinese and international communities, but surely the whole cosmos. I felt that, figuratively speaking, our banner had now been taken up by the international media and that perhaps my energy could be used in other ways to expose the persecution, and I began to think about stepping aside.
The Chinese side of our own TV teams went into high gear producing all kinds of programs without knowing much about editing or technical quality. It made the professional in me very uncomfortable because the emphasis was on quantity. Quality was only beginning to be born and I was painfully aware of how amateurish some of the work looked, without any disclaimer being made. My years of professional experience were in front of the camera, not behind it. And I could offer nothing in the way of technical help.

I began to feel that it would be better if I could find someone to take over from me who was not hindered by having worked for the large professional networks, someone who would also be willing to learn some of the technical aspects. I felt they needed someone with an open mind and some fresh ideas for the English news program. It took several months to locate the right enthusiastic person, help with his training and make a reasonably smooth transition before I was able to release the responsibility. Ideas were bubbling inside me to do other projects, but I was exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally – while others, although tired, were thriving! I knew that that should have been the state I was also in, but I was somehow out of the flow.

Suddenly, my mind was filled with the knowing that the reason I couldn't do more was because I was more concerned with my professional image and reputation than with disseminating information on the persecution so that we could lessen the effects for those suffering in China. It was a shocking and devastating revelation to me. How small and selfish I'd become! Practitioners in the United States had successfully marketed our English news program to quite a few community channels throughout the country, whereas my hands had been tied in Canada, because I didn't feel it was up to a professional standard. We had some great photos, but I refused to use the footage because the editors were only beginning to learn their craft. I felt that jagged footage would turn off whatever audience we might be able to attract. These thoughts and feelings paralyzed any action I might have taken. I didn't even want to ask for help to do some marketing here in Canada.

Just before the time when I began to hand over the responsibility of the TV news, a veritable life-saver in the form of an Australian-Chinese practitioner came to Toronto to share his wealth of professional television production experience. And I knew that quality was well on the way for our neophyte teams.

Of course there were many positive things. I know I was able to provide a rock solid start for the minute English side of FGM TV while the crew learned their craft. For example, as a professional, it was really disconcerting to have the camera operator so interested in the content of the program that any flaw in my physical, spoken, or scriptural presentation was never noticed – until it was too late to do anything about it! I know that my professional voice has a resonance that could still sound reasonable without a studio mixing board to compensate for any deficiencies. Over the months, things gradually came together as the team expanded their skills and increased the amount of equipment. Now my friends at TV Ontario envy their digital environment! I'm very proud of them and hope to do more work with them in the not too distant future.

I believe that FGM TV programming has already provided, and will continue to provide, a solid contribution to our efforts to expose the truth of the unjust persecution and to reaffirm to the people of the world, the goodness of the teachings of Falun Dafa and the absolutely highest integrity, nobility and compassion of its founder and Teacher, Master Li Hongzhi. I'd like to summarize what this experience taught me: First, I thought that if I stretched my capacity, it would be possible to produce a weekly 5-minute program. Actually, it was possible to produce a 15-minute weekly program. Was it easy? No! But it was possible. It showed me how our perceived limits are sometimes an illusion. Secondly, although my attachment to my professional image and reputation surfaced, in the past I would not have even considered doing an amateur production. This is the power of Dafa that will help a person see beyond and go beyond. And I believe it is denying the old arrangements made for our lives when we can take action like this. Thirdly, Teacher has said several times that the persecution has continued because practitioners still have attachments that need to be released. Mine was a very tenacious attachment. If it had not been for the persecution and the opportunity to report on it, I don't know how I would have been made to experience and understand how deeply rooted my attachment to reputation was, because I had already given up broadcasting a year earlier! Once you can identify something, you can deal with it.

In closing, there is one short experience of telephoning China that I'd like to share. My working knowledge of Mandarin is pitifully limited – almost non-existent, in fact. However, one day, on reading a particularly brutal report of the torture of a young woman, I was so moved that I immediately picked up the telephone and called the police station in China whose number was listed at the bottom of the article. The man who answered sounded almost like an animal. All I could say was, Ni hao! I'm calling from Canada and I just want to say, "Falun Dafa Hao!" He shouted something back at me. I just kept repeating, "Falun Dafa Hao!" He shouted back several times and then he hung up. I put the receiver down. Closed my eyes. And sat there. Then within my body, I could feel energy spiraling upward and shooting out the top of my head. My third eye opened briefly and for a few seconds, I could watch the energy spiral up until it disappeared through the top of the night sky, going…. I sensed…. far beyond this universe. The tears started to roll down my cheeks. How could one telephone call deserve such a response of gratitude from the universe? These are a couple of my experiences and understandings. Please compassionately point out anything that is not correct from within Dafa.

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