PureInsight | March 22, 2004
Chapter 11: Good Hearts Amongst Evil Police
[PureInsight.org] We were the last ones to get on the bus. After I walked up the stairs and looked at the full bus I was a little shocked. There were young policewomen sitting at the windows of every seat and a practitioner sitting beside each one. There were two seats in the back row of the bus. As we walked to the back I couldn't help wondering what these police were trying to do. Why were we each sitting with these female police cadets (at least that's how I saw them). Did they want to make it look like we were treated well in front of the cameras? I didn't get it. I just sat there in the middle of the back row staring down the walkway through the front windshield. Of course the bus had police cars escorting it with their lights going. But even stranger, the buses were only traveling about 40 kilometers on the highway. It was a little peculiar. Then I gave up trying to figure out what they were doing. Why not make use of the time. Most young people in China know some simple English and I knew basic Chinese, so I turned and reached over the practitioner beside me, smiled and introduced myself to the girl on my left:
Zenon: Hello, my name is Zenon.
As I reached out my hand to shake hers.
Police girl: Hello
She then grabbed my hand to shake it but didn't exactly know how. I shook her rather limp and awkward hand as if she was doing it right. I gathered it wasn't a very common form of greeting for her. She was really nice and we both just smiled at each other.
Zenon: Do you know why you are here?
Still shining her cute smile, she shook her head "no."
Zenon: Do you know who we are?
She shook her head "no" again.
Zenon: Do you know what we are doing?
Again, she nodded her head "no." This was too much. They treated them like chopsticks not humans. They just use them like tools. I felt like this was a movie. Then it started to sink in. How could they tell anyone the truth of who we are? Then the police would know that they were being lied to. The orders of how to handle this issue must have been coming from high up. So I began to tell the girl that we were all Falun Gong practitioners from around the world. Then her faced started to change. I could see the minute I said Falun Gong all the propaganda that had been pumped into her head started to go to work. So I started by telling her what happened on Tiananmen Square. She needed to know that people around the world not only practiced Falun Gong but felt it important enough to come to China and risk their lives and let people know the truth. Then I started telling her how Falun Gong changed my life my mother's life and my friends' lives, as well. While she was listening you could see understanding on her face.
She asked me about the founder. In China he has been vilified. Propaganda has made him out to be this very terrible man. If Falun Dafa had given me so many benefits, how could this man be so terrible? This question was written all over her face. So I asked her,
Zenon: Have you ever spoken with Mr. Li Hongzhi?
Police girl: No
Zenon: Well I have. There was one instance that ten practitioners and myself had the chance to sit down with him and have a talk. During this conversation we talked about the Chairman of your country. Did you know that Mr. Li Hongzhi did not say anything to attack him or discredit him? Yet what has your Chairman done? He has spent millions of your nations dollars to attack him, his practice and his students. Yet not one mean or derogatory thing came out of his mouth.
Police girl: He is very clever.
She implied that he was manipulating me.
Zenon: He is smart but that is not the reason he refrains from saying bad things. It is because he is a truly good man. You have never met him. I have and his good nature and virtuous teachings have changed my life. If your Chairman wants to wipe out Falun Dafa he has to defame the founder. He has no choice but, make no mistake, those are all lies. If Falun Dafa was really bad why aren't you allowed to investigate it yourself and see for yourself? What is being hidden from you?
The police girl was speechless.
Zenon: If we leave China and look up Falun Dafa on the internet we can see anything we want. We can see it being practiced around the world and we can see the teachings to make our own decision. But if you look for Falun Dafa on the internet in China you will be arrested. He doesn't want you to see for yourself. Why? Think about it.
Then I was quiet and really let her think about it for herself.
I turned to my right and the little Malaysian lady was talking to the girl beside her. When I turned back the young practitioner had started talking to the girl I was just speaking with. Although she couldn't understand him very well she could see his kind nature. I did my best to translate what he was saying. He's a very nice young man and what he was saying was rather simple so it wasn't too hard. Then I continued:
Zenon: You have your own mind and your own heart.
The police girl looked confused. My broken Chinese wasn't that good so I repeated myself and used hand gestures until she nodded and saying she understood what I was trying to say.
Zenon: You can think I am telling you a true story or you can think I am lying, it doesn't matter. You have your own heart and your own mind; this is a very high law or principle…
She almost started laughing. I continued:
Zenon: As well as the law (principle) in the human world…
Then she was serious again.
Zenon: I just want to tell you, something you can't hear and show you something you can't see in your own country. Don't persecute Falun Dafa and its practitioners; don't even think bad things about Falun Dafa, just wait. Good is rewarded with good and evil with evil, you know that. All Chinese people know that. So just wait and you will see. When you can see everything than you will see and know for yourself.
She smiled and so did I. Whenever I have tried my best to clarify the truth for people in the past I would always try to force some of my thinking upon them. But this time I didn't. This time I was truly being compassionate and thinking of her before myself. I acknowledged her for having her own mind, I wasn't trying to change it, and instead I was just appealing to the goodness in her heart. All of the sudden it just hit me while I was talking with her. I am not trying to "brain wash" her but to truly share from my heart to her heart and she felt it.
When I was finished talking I turned away to look back at the flashing lights of our ridiculous escort. Then I heard her saying something. I turned to look and she repeated herself with a big smile and pointing her finger to her chest.
Police girl: I am Li Nei.
Pseudo name of course. I repeated to make sure I had it right.
Zenon: Li Nei.
Li Nei: Yes, Li Nei.
Saying it slowly.
Zenon: How old are you?
Li Nei: 19
Zenon: Nineteen, you're nineteen.
She nods "yes."
Zenon: I am 23, you are my little sister.
She began to giggle, covering her mouth with one hand and in a small voice said.
Li Nei: Yes, yes.
At this point I began to switch seats with another practitioner because he couldn't speak Chinese. I wanted to talk to another one, but before we could really get started, the bus stopped and we had arrived. Naturally the cameras were outside waiting for us as they escorted us into the hotel. There had to be about fifty police officers that walked us into a conference room. They had split the group into two separate conference rooms. When I walked into the room there were about two hundred chairs facing one direction. I thought to myself, if they start some defamation lecture I am going to start laughing and tell them straight out not to waste there time or turn off what ever movie they want us to watch. But as it turned out they just wanted us to sit there. All the young female police officers came in and I was happy to see Li Nei dragging her heels behind all the other girls with a disheartened look on her face. She knew this was all ridiculous.
Some police came in wearing their happy faces holding our food and water followed by a video camera man. It was so obvious that they wanted to use this as a chance to make some propaganda video so we all refused. The police tried to persuade us to say that the Chinese food was "very delicious" and they hoped we could enjoy some. We still refused and they began to get frustrated. So I stood up and said, "Excuse me, I also think that Chinese food is very delicious and I thank you for the offer…" They began to smile, and the cameraman was getting ready to shoot and I continued, "but I am not hungry and don't want to eat." He sighed and said fine. He tried everyone one more time and then left us alone. How could I have an appetite?
After about a half an hour they began to take us one by one to the back of the room to interrogate every single one of us. There was this sense of excitement. What a good chance to speak to someone in depth, and surely they will be able to speak English so I will be able to say a lot of things. After a couple of people had already been questioned someone came and called me. I smiled to myself, got up and followed him to the back of the room.
He pointed to a chair. I sat down and smiled at the man and asked him how he was doing in a quite friendly tone. He was a little taken a back and said, "just fine." It made him a little uncomfortable because his senior officer was standing right there.
He replied rather uncomfortably, because he had to stop himself from smiling back.
Policeman: Hi. Why did you come to Tiananmen Square?
Zenon: To say Falun Dafa is Good.
Policeman: We have to take your picture.
Zenon: Because you want to use it for something bad and I can't let you do that. I know that is not good for you. I used to be a really bad person in my past and the person I hurt the most was myself. I don't want to help you hurt yourself by doing bad things. I won't do that.
Policeman: No. We just need it for your file.
Zenon: Don't say that. You know that's not true. You know you guys want to use it for underhanded things so don't tell me you don't want to do that. OK.
This straightforward manner of speaking set the tone. I didn't plan on listening to these blatant lies. Then the cameraman and one of the officers left.
Policeman: So many of you came from so many countries, who organized it?
Zenon: I don't know.
Policeman: What do you mean "you don't know." How did you find out about the event? Who made the banner?
Zenon: I saw an email with a discussion about the event. The two people discussing it thought that it was a bad idea. In fact there were quite a few Falun Dafa practitioners who thought it was a bad idea.
Responding a little shocked.
Policeman: They thought it was a bad idea?
Zenon: Of course they did.
His face was still confused, so I explained.
Zenon: Falun Dafa practitioners aren't against China, we like China. We didn't want people to think we are against the government. We didn't want to be misunderstood. We just feel the persecution of Falun Dafa and the practitioners is wrong. We don't want people to misunderstand us and while there are so many lies circulated we have to be careful to reveal the lies and not support them.
He started to listen and not just interrogate. It seemed as though I got his attention.
Policeman: Why do you think Falun Dafa is good?
Zenon: Falun Dafa changed my life, helping me to get over past addictions to smoking, drugs and alcohol. It provided me with a deeper, more profound and clearer exposition of all life and matter. Falun Dafa has also benefited my mother and friends.
Policeman: If you can practice in Canada, just stay there. Why did you have to come to China? Falun Dafa is illegal in China.
Zenon: I came here because I love the Chinese culture.
Pointing behind him to three very large and very beautiful Chinese paintings, I continued.
Zenon: Just look at those paintings. Do you see how beautiful those paintings are? Their beauty came from your culture, and now you're attacking innocent people. I wanted to appeal to everyone in China. Further more your Chairman tells you and your people that Falun Dafa is banned in other countries, I came to show you and your people the truth, period.
Policeman: Why don't you appeal by submitting letters. You can write letters to the government.
Then I remembered our letters being thrown in the garbage or out onto the street at the Chinese consulate in Toronto and very seriously replied,
Zenon: You know that nobody would read my letter. You know that it would make no difference if I just submitted a letter.
He was about to say something and I interrupted him quickly and seriously.
Zenon: You know that, and I know that, so don't ask those questions. If I want to appeal to everyone in China, Tiananmen Square is the only place I can do it.
He sat there speechless, so I continued.
Zenon: Look at my passport.
He opened it.
Zenon: Why do I have two Visas? Why is one of them canceled?
Looking at the passport, confused, he repeated,
Policeman: Why do you have two Visas? Why is one of them canceled?
Zenon: I canceled it myself. I had planed to go at the beginning of fall, but I changed my mind because I didn't want to be misunderstood as being against the government and China. Once I thought about it again after seeing the email I re-thought my decision and decided to go. Standing up for the truth was more important, so I came and now I'm here, with you.
As he listened he began understanding that it wasn't some big plot to embarrass his country or oppose his leadership. My story was simple and true and I just told him everything in an open and dignified way. Now he wasn't saying anything - just listening. I remembered the painting of the bamboo plant, which symbolized standing up for the truth amidst any circumstances that the students shared with me the night before.
Zenon: Do you know about the Chinese painting of the bamboo plant. Do you know what it means?
He nodded yes. As I pointed my finger against the table I said very seriously and with enthusiasm,
Zenon: That's why I came here. That's why I came to China, to stand up for the truth.
Now he was really speechless because my heart for his culture and people was real, and no lies could cover this. It was staring him right in the face. He just sat looking at the paper that he was supposed to be writing all my answers on and didn't know what to write. His mouth was half open and his eyes just stared blankly at the paper.
In a sudden stern tone,
Policeman: OK OK, I am asking the questions here.
His superior was walking over. This must be difficult for him. I don't think he was ready for me.
I replied in a soft tone,
Zenon: And I am answering your question.
Policeman: Where is your luggage?
Zenon: I don't have any with me.
Policeman: You don't have any with you!?!
Zenon: I have my heart. What more do I need?
By this time he was used to not having any way to reply to me and gave up. Then he translated everything he wrote down on the paper and basically reiterated our entire conversation.
Policeman: Then you said Falun Dafa is good.
I spent a lot of time practicing how to write the Chinese character "hao", good, and what he wrote didn't look like "hao."
Zenon: That doesn't say "hao"
Policeman: Yes it does.
As I reached for the pen.
Zenon: No, it doesn't! Here let me write it.
Policeman: No! You can't write anything.
Zenon: That doesn't say "hao"!
Policeman: That's just how I write it.
Zenon: Write "hao" again on another piece of paper. Now that looks like "hao."
As he re-wrote it and showed it to me, it did say "hao" clearly.
Policeman: Fine. Is that better?
Zenon: No. Write "Very Good!!!"
He ignored me and continued saying,
Policeman: Then I asked you if you had anything to add and you said "no"?
Zenon: No. I didn't. You didn't ask me if I wanted to add something.
Policeman: Ok Ok, do you want add anything.
Zenon: Yes. Let's see…
As I rubbed my chin.
Zenon: Well, write that Falun Dafa helped me to get passed using drugs, alcohol and smoking and taught me to be a good person.
Policeman: Can I just write it changed your life?
Zenon: No, write everything I am saying.
Policeman: OK, can you repeat it slowly then.
I was so shocked what had happened here. He had really changed. He was now listening to me. Isn't he supposed to be trying to intimidate me? Other people were hit and kicked, others pushed and yelled at. Yet he was helpless. This is when I felt the power of compassion. There was no concern for myself; I was only concerned that he had this chance to learn the truth of what a Falun Dafa practitioner is. It was from this point I spoke. I was genuinely thinking of him, so when my voice was firm it didn't bother him. We are peaceful but that doesn't mean you can manipulate us.
Policeman: Is there anything else?
Zenon: Yes. To persecute Falun Dafa is to persecute all of China. And Falun Dafa is truly great.
Then the cameraman was back.
Policeman: OK. Sign here and here.
Zenon: This is a legal document, right?
Policeman: Its not illegal, its perfectly legal!
Zenon: That's what I said, it is a legal document right?
Zenon: Then I need a lawyer or at least my Canadian Consulate representative, I can't sign that.
Policeman: Fine. I'll sign it for you.
Zenon: Wait. I also want to add Mr. Li Hongzhi is truly great!
Policeman: No, you can't. If you don't sign it you can't add anything.
Since the video camera man was there, I chose not to sign. I didn't want them to make some propaganda video about me signing some alleged statement "against" Falun Dafa.
Policeman: OK! Falun Dafa changed your life I can accept that. But it ruined my life. I have a family and a job. I am happy. Why do I need this hassle?
He was obviously referring to the goings-on over time with Falun Dafa practitioners.
Zenon: Your life is ruined by your Chairman who makes you work so hard to persecute innocent people, not by Falun Dafa. He is in fact persecuting you too.
Policeman: OK! Enough. No more questions, I ask the questions.
Zenon: I am answering them, don't worry.
Then his superior walked over and said something to him in Chinese.
Policeman: You have to get your picture taken.
Zenon: I told you before, no.
Policeman: You have to, everyone else is and we need it for your file.
Then his superior mumbled something again.
Policeman: If you don't get your picture taken you won't go home, everyone will go home and we will keep you here.
Then I felt fear. I don't know why. It must have been from all the terrible stories I had read on the internet. Would they torture me too? I still refused. Another higher ranked officer came and began to act really silly, trying to position himself as they wanted me to position myself. Now two cameramen kept snapping shots but I kept talking like an Italian, waving my hands everywhere, so they were always blocking their shots. While I continued to talk to the officers I watched, using my peripheral vision, as the cameramen tried and failed numerous times. They were using digital cameras so they kept looking at the image right after they took the shot but it never turned out. My resistance and game finally weakened and they got their shot. Playing their game is something I shouldn't have done and I realized that after. I should have just refused and turned away. After they walked away I asked the superior officer to sit and talk with me. I tried to tell him that Falun Dafa was good and he tried to tell me he thought it was bad. When I asked him why then if it was so bad, has it been practiced for seven years throughout China? He got angry and walked away.