PureInsight | March 22, 2004
[PureInsight.org] Thanks to the help of the Australian government, fellow practitioners in Australia and numerous kind people in the world, I was able to arrive in Australia in November 2003 after being released from a forced labor camp. Today, I would like to share with fellow practitioners my experience in brainwashing classes and at the labor camp. Please correct any wrong understandings.
1. The evildoers are scared when we do not cooperate with them
When I was first sent to a brainwashing class, accomplices of the evildoers locked me up in a room that was located in the middle of many other rooms, so I could see and talk with practitioners staying next door if I went to the balcony of my room. We recited Master's articles and shared experiences with each other.
Some practitioners did not understand the idea of starting a hunger strike. They thought it is committing suicide (actually, this is also an opinion frequently used by the corrupt officials [to discredit Dafa practitioners]). Therefore, I told those practitioners that I communicated with evildoers as follows: "Today, I was kidnapped to this brainwashing class, not because of my name, but because of my belief of Falun Gong. Could any of you show me a law that prohibits my saying 'Falun Gong is good?' Could any of you show me a law that justifies illegal detentions of persevering Falun Gong practitioners? All of you are either police or people assisting in enforcement of the law, but you break the law. Who gives you this privilege? If your answer is 'the government' then please tell me the definition of government and show me a legitimate document. OK, you do not have any document with you, that means that your action is not legitimate. I am going on a hunger strike to protest this illegal action, since this is the only way I can protest. All Falun Gong practitioners love life and cherish life. Master Li also taught us in Zhuan Falun: 'For practitioners, we have set the strict requirement that they cannot kill lives.' (From Chapter Seven in Zhuan Falun) When answering a question in the in Sydney:
Question: The third question is the issue of killing as mentioned in the book. Killing a life is a very big sin. If a person commits suicide, does it count as a sin or not?
Master: It counts as a sin.
(From "Falun Dafa Lecture in Sydney")
I am a practitioner who believes in Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. I will not take any extreme action toward you. I only have one life, and I cherish it. I am not committing suicide. My hunger strike is a voice of life. I sincerely hope you can hear it, stop the persecution and re-consider what you've done to me."
The evildoers stopped me when they were aware of our conversations. I disregarded them and continued to talk with practitioners. Then the evildoers pushed other practitioners away from their balconies and sent them back into their rooms. Two days later, they changed my room. I was in a room at the end of the building. In order to isolate me from other practitioners, the evildoers put a blackboard on the balcony so I could not see the other practitioners. I understood that they were scared. They knew that they were doing wrong deeds, so they did not want other people to know the truth. I moved a stool to the balcony and stood on it. I tried my best to speak to anyone I could see. In the beginning, they pulled me down from the stool. Then they emptied the room next to mine. They did everything to stop me from talking with other practitioners. Then I tried my best to speak very loudly so that the practitioners in the room two doors down could hear. When they realized that there was no way to stop me, they let me be. At that time, I could not recite all Master's poems in "Hong Yin" so the practitioner two doors down recited all the poems for me. She even found an opportunity to write them down and pass them to me, together with Master's article "Coercion Cannot Change People's Heart." These were the most precious treasures for me! Living in an environment without books and Fa [scriptures] for such a long time, getting these treasures! I did not know how to express my joy! I memorized all of them in one day and I felt that each of my pores was smiling!
I also insisted on practicing the exercises every day. When I started to do that, the evildoers pulled on my hand to stop me. I told them: "I cannot practice exercises when you pull my hands; however, you cannot pull my hands 24 hours a day!" Facing my perseverance, they eventually gave up.
I refused to accept anything they forced me to do during the brainwashing class. I refused to watch propaganda videos or listen to people who had enlightened along an evil path. Hence, the evildoers gave material to their accomplices and asked them to read it in front of me. However, the accomplices knew that it was useless to read it to me, so nobody wanted to it.
One day, they forced me to go to a meeting room and attend a class where people read articles slandering Falun Gong. I stood up and told them that these materials interpreted things out of context, and that they are distorted accounts of Master's articles. Three or four people dragged me back into my room before I finished my speech. Afterwards, no one dared to let me attend similar classes.
On another day, the evildoers ask everyone to watch a video in an auditorium. Although they claimed that the video was about education and giving proclamations to several policemen, I knew the aim of the event was to attack Falun Gong, so I refused to watch it. Still, the evildoers forced me to sit down. I noticed that there were some practitioners sitting beside me. Because we were detained alone in different rooms, we were not aware of each other's situation. I decided to take this opportunity to converse with those practitioners. The evildoers were fearful when they saw this. After consulting with their boss, they agreed that I did not need to watch the video. Because of my actions, several practitioners also asked to leave the auditorium. The evildoers could not shake my righteous thoughts with their usual tricks. After this event, they dared not let me attend any other activity.
2. Relinquish the competitive mentality, watch sentient beings with compassion
In the brainwashing class, many evildoers talked with me. They asked me to renounce my belief. I asked them to give me freedom. Although I thought my attitude was right, many people reminded me that I was like a hedgehog. When people offended me, my spines stood out immediately and I tried to protect myself.
I calmed down and noticed the competitive mentality in my mind. Why were so many evildoers trying to talk with me? Why were their conversations so similar to each other?
I came to understand that I needed to abandon my attachment to competitiveness.
It is true that I could conduct myself as a practitioner to get along well with fellow practitioners. I knew that different practitioners have different understandings of the Fa, so there is no justification for judging another practitioner's understanding. If I could not understand another practitioner's opinion, I knew that perhaps it was due to my own limitations. However, when I faced non-practitioners, I lacked patience and didn't have enough tolerance. I always emphasized that I was right and the other side was wrong. I always hoped that the other side would accept my point. If he/she did not accept it, I disregarded his/her feedback. It seemed like I had expressed everything, but actually I did not help people understand the truth of Dafa. Even worse, I might have generated the opposite effect. A lot of evildoers did not know what Falun Gong was. They did not know the truth of the persecution, either. Therefore they asked me many questions. Usually, my attitude was right. But if they asked me to slander Falun Gong, I would fight back immediately. Moreover, my harsh words hurt them. I realized that I had behaved emotionally and seldom considered the feelings of the other side, especially when I heard words that slandered Dafa and Master. If I treated what happened around me irrationally, I could not clarify the truth effectively.
When I noticed my problem, the surroundings changed. Fewer people came to brainwash me. On the contrary, people were more willing to chat with me. They said: "Falun Gong practitioners are different from what TV described. TV always said that Falun Gong practitioners abandon their jobs and family, but I found out that you are normal people in society. Your company even gave you a very high evaluation." Then, I stepped forward to explain why Falun Gong practitioners behave themselves well, why they appeal peacefully, and what persecution they suffer after their peaceful appeal. These non-practitioners listened to me with surprise, because they had never heard the truth before. I knew they would make up their own their minds. They became my friends. Some of them sent clothes to me after they went home, and some of them came to see me after I went home. I know they have a benevolent side. It is so sad to see benevolent people deceived by lies and propaganda. My experience strengthened my determination to clarify the truth.
3. Abandon the attachment to life and death and obtain freedom
When I was detained in the brainwashing center, I was deprived of any outside information. I did not know how long I would stay there. I did not know what would happen to me day by day. Moreover, I experienced a lot of tests, pressure and interference.
When my boss came to see me, he admired my courage for upholding my belief, but he also worried about me a lot. He told me how his family had suffered during the Cultural Revolution. He even told me: "Those evildoers may send you to a mental hospital. They will ruin you! There is nothing that the Communist Party dares not do." Although I behaved very "bravely" then and told my boss that I don't care, I was moved by his words. I thought about the possibility of being sent to a mental hospital: "What will I do if they really do that? If they do, I will not have any future…"
On the second day, I recited Mater's poem "Wu Cun." I suddenly enlightened that this was a test for me. If I pursued the future that meant that I had not abandoned the attachment to life and death. How could those human notions move me?
People in the brainwashing center often told me that someone in some room had already gone home because he/she signed a "repentance letter." They told me kindly because they did not want me to suffer in the brainwashing center. They even advised me: "Why don't you sign a repentance letter? You can continue to practice at home after you sign it. Then no one will bother you. How nice it is." Everybody here suffered and wanted to go home. However, how could I give up my belief and principles just because of the attachment to a comfortable life? Sometimes they circulated lies and told me: "If you do not sign, you may be sent to a forced labor camp immediately. One male Falun Gong practitioner was sent there. You know, a labor camp is not as comfortable as here; it will be totally impossible for you to practice exercises at a labor camp.
I understood that, above all, the evildoers wanted my signature. They did not care at all what I was thinking. The evildoers told me that this brainwashing class was supposed to be two months long. However, because some people like me did not want to be "converted" and did not sign a repentance letter, they couldn't finish this class. They couldn't help but postpone the next class.
I understood that if all arrested practitioners refused to cooperate with the evildoers and refuse to sign, the evildoers wouldn't be able to continue the persecution or hold more brainwashing classes. The evildoers keep holding brainwashing classes to persecute Dafa disciples, just because they see some "effects" there. If I refused to sign, the evildoers would need to keep me here and postpone their next class. Then they couldn't persecute other practitioners.
When the evildoers realized that they could not change my mind, they asked a woman who had "enlightened" along an evil path to persuade me. Instead of being hostile toward her, I talked with her very sincerely. I did not have any prejudice against her. She listened to me for more than two hours. Afraid she would be converted back to practicing, the evildoers took her away. From that day on, they didn't send any more people who had enlightened along an evil path to speak to me.
I realized that only when my heart is unmoved could I reject outside pressure and temptation.
Finally, only about six or seven practitioners were left in brainwashing class. A staff member of the 610 Office came to ask me whether I would like to sign a repentance letter. I answered: "NO!" Then he said: "Then you await the forced-labor camp." At that time, my mentality was very righteous. I said: "You cannot decide where I will go. No matter where I am, I will not give up practicing Falun Gong." One morning, I unexpectedly received a notice that I could pack up and leave the brainwashing class. Nobody knew where I was going to be sent. Before I left there, the evildoers asked me to sign a document. I did not want to sign it at first, but later on I decided to sign it, because I wanted like to leave proof to show that Falun Gong practitioners has been persecuted in this brainwashing class.
Because I did not have any fear or worry in my mind at that critical moment, I obtained freedom. The 610 Office sent me home.
4. Facing a test of life or death in the forced labor camp
Not long after leaving that brainwashing class, I was arrested and sent to a labor camp, because I distributed material about the truth of Falun Gong.
Based on my understanding of the Fa during that period of time, I wanted to let the prisoners around me see how a genuine Dafa disciple behaves, so I just tried to be a good person in that environment. I was very firm and steadfast about my belief. I never signed a repentance letter. However, I did not actively eliminate the evil, either. Now when I look back, I know that I was accepting the arrangement of the evil old forces during that period. That was why they could continue to persecute me for two years in the labor camp.
During the last six months at the labor camp, I was moved to a place that specialized in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. There was a policeman whose main job was persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.
Because it was pointless to use those evil articles, videos and propaganda on me, the evildoers let many different people try to convert me. These people had all enlightened along an evil path. They had different attachments. Some just wanted to the easy route, and said they would still practice cultivation after they left the labor camp. Some went to the opposite side and denied everything about cultivation practice. Some were driven by attachments and went into a very horrible state. There were practitioners being converted (transformed) everyday. At the labor camp, I could hear news like: "A has been transformed (converted). B "performed" well and went home earlier than his scheduled date of release. More than 10 male practitioners gave up their belief in Dafa," and so on. I faced a lot of interference like this at the labor camp.
I had many attachments too. Although they were hidden deeply within my steadfast heart, they began to sprout once there was suitable soil. One time, an elderly person told me: "Although I am old, I need to consider how to survive after my release. It goes without saying that you young people need to worry about it. You will need to work after your release. How can you find a job without signing a repentance letter? Another person told me: " A repentance letter is like a visa. Society will not accept you if you do not have it." Some even said: "They will not let you go if you did not sign a repentance letter, even though your release date comes up. They could just send you to a brainwashing class or a jail." Their words moved my heart and exposed my attachments: I did not want to have this kind of dark life. I was eager to get my freedom, especially when I knew that it was possible. The closer my release date was, the more I worried about my future.
My elder sister and my younger brother were then both in labor camps. So my parents were under a lot of pressure. It was difficult for them to support the entire family with their small pensions. I was the first one who was released. Even though I could not share their burdens, I should not increase their difficulties.
I recited the Fa that I could remember everyday. The worst was that human notions showed up in my mind whenever I recited the Fa. I noticed my hidden fear: I was afraid that I would not have freedom. Why was I fearful? That was because I could not let go of my attachment to living. It is easy to say that I could abandon the attachment to life or death. But taking action is difficult. I could face tests of life and death in the brainwashing class, because I had no hope of escape there. Now, a new temptation was in front of me, which was "freedom." For me, it was easier to relinquish the attachment of life and death. If someone put a knife on my neck today, I would not care. However, it is hard to relinquish the attachment to life. How could I live without a job after my release? How could I live without any savings? I did not need to consider these problems in the labor camp. But I would need to face them after my release. I underwent a tremendous amount of pressure at that time. I felt like I could not breathe freely. A voice always echoed near my ear: "Give up! It is not a big deal to sign a repentance letter. It is just a formality. You could pretend to be converted. What matters is your freedom. You will have nothing without freedom." But my clearheaded side knew that this voice was wrong. I struggled with this human notion for a long time.
Later on, a fellow practitioner reminded me that I should insist on sending forth righteous thoughts. Even though I did not do it perfectly, the righteous thoughts worked. I also used my righteous thoughts to judge my attachment to life. I know the evildoers were taking advantage of my attachment and trying to make me compromise with them. They would be happy also if I would sign a letter promising that I would not "break the law." Once a loophole of a practitioner showed up, they would take advantage of it and lead that person down an evil path. I knew that many practitioners had signed this kind of letter in the beginning, and then were gradually led to enlighten along an evil path afterwards. I am a Dafa disciple during the Fa-rectification period. How could I be controlled by the evil? When I realized this and relinquished the attachment to life, no one came to brainwash me anymore.
On the morning of my release date, I experienced my last test. One person asked me: "What if we sent you to a brainwashing class, instead of sending you home?" I smiled and answered: "It is impossible. I surely will go home."
With righteous thoughts, I went home without any trouble. There was another surprise for me: my company wanted me to resume working. My colleagues had been waiting for me for two years. As Master said in Zhuan Falun:
When I practiced cultivation in the past, many great masters told me these words, and they said: 'When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it.' In fact, that is how it is. Why don't you give it a try when you return home. When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!"
(From Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun)
Thank you very much!