Remembering My Younger Brother, Liu Chengjun (Photo)
[Editor's note: On March 5, 2002, Some Falun Gong practitioners broadcast the truth-clarification video programs on Changchun's cable TV. Their courageous action shocked people all over the world and had a strong impact on the international community. Liu Chengjun was one of the main participants.]
Around 1997, while many Falun Gong practitioners studied one to three lectures of Zhuan Falun each day, Liu Chengjun would study the whole book of Zhuan Falun each day. No matter how busy he was at work or how tired he was that day, he would study Zhuan Falun after he returned home. Sometimes he would stay up the entire night or sleep for only one to two hours to study Zhuan Falun. He never missed and was never late for morning group practice.
Falun Gong practitioner Liu Chengjun's family portrait
Liu was tortured to death on December 26, 2003
From Top Right: Liu Chengjun, second eldest sister Liu Lu, eldest sister Liu Lin, sister-in-law Shan Hua, elder brother Liu Chenglin
From Bottom Right: Father Liu Changtai carrying eldest sister's daughter Wei Lanrui, mother Liu Guofang carrying elder brother's son Liu Yang
I once resolved to strive forward diligently in cultivation and study the entire book of Zhuan Falun with him, but I felt too sleepy to go on after 1:00 AM and went off to bed. But he would always go to bed after he finished studying the entire book. As soon as he got to bed, it'd be time to get up and attend the morning group practice. Back then a lot of elderly folks came to my mother's home in the morning to practice the exercises because of the freezing weather. The early winter morning in Changchun is dark and cold. My mother's home is large and has a spacious living room that can accommodate a lot of people to practice the Falun Gong exercises. But my brother Chengjun would always brave the cold weather and go to the outdoor practice site, no matter how late he stayed up the previous night. Chengjun was truly striving forward diligently in his cultivation of Falun Gong. I had to admit with regret that I was not as good of a cultivator as he was. He once told me, "The ancient Chinese people would tie their long hair to the roof beam or prick their thighs with a pointed stick in order to stay awake and study everyday people's knowledge. We are now studying the Great Law of the universe that we shall never have another chance to study. Why can't we stay up studying it? Wouldn't that mean Falun Gong practitioners are less diligent than the ancient Chinese people?"
Because Chengjun studied the Fa well, he was able to conduct himself strictly according to the Fa. I remember he once told me a story. His mother-in-law often scolded him for no valid reason and even hit him sometimes. Once he felt he could no longer endure her abuse. He felt his head was going to explode with anger. Just when he thought it was impossible to endure the abuse anymore, he thought, "I am a Falun Gong practitioner. How can I lose my temper? After all, Teacher has told us, 'When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it.'" Then his rage started to subside. He brought a stool next to his mother-in-law and sat down next to her. Then he said, "Mom, it's perfectly all right that you curse me and hit me to let off the steam, but I urge you not to hurt yourself because of the anger." His mother-in-law smiled upon hearing his words, and stopped the abuse right away. But Chengjun burst into tears after he returned to his room. He thought, "Teacher, I remember your teachings. You taught me, '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 "People with Great Inborn Quality" in Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun.) He advanced with solid steps on his path of cultivation according to what the Fa required of him.
On July 20, 1999, we went to the Jilin Provincial government in Changchun City, hoping to explain the truth about Falun Gong to the government officials, but we were met with the police's beatings and illegal detention. Over a dozen police surrounded Chengjun and kept beating him. Although his clothes were badly torn in many places, he remained absolutely still like a mountain in the sitting meditation posture. Finally a dozen policemen carried him to the police car and locked him in the courtyard of the Changchun Police Academy in the suburbs of Changchun. We escaped the same night and went off to Beijing, hoping the government officials would hear us out. But the five of us were abducted and illegally detained for 15 days.
In September 1999, Chengjun went to Beijing for the second time and this time he went alone. After he returned to Changchun, he was sentenced to one year in Changchun City Fenjin Forced Labor Camp. After they illegally extended the detention period for 22 months, Chengjun escaped from there with righteous thoughts. When he was first taken into Fenjin Forced Labor Camp, the prison police punished Falun Gong practitioners in the form of military training. When they ordered everyone to shout out slogans against Falun Gong and Teacher, Chengjun immediately stepped out from the formation and shouted out loud, "I will not shout such slogans!" The prison police jumped on him and kept beating him until his nose and mouth bled. Then the prison police asked him, "Will you shout the slogans?" "No! I will not!" he replied sternly. Then they started beating him up again, and asked the rest of the Falun Gong practitioners in the formation, "Who else refuses to shout the slogans? Step out!" Then three other Falun Gong practitioners stepped out from the formation. There must have been 70-80 Falun Gong practitioners in the formation, but only four of them stepped out. The prison police brutally beat the four of them in front of everyone. After the repeated beatings, Chengjun was locked up in a windowless cell for seven days.
Later Fenjin Forced Labor Camp held a meeting to attack Falun Gong. Chengjun and several fellow practitioners were determined to boycott the meeting, and they ended up being hauled to the meeting by force. A chilling atmosphere permeated the meeting room. As soon as the prison police commenced the meeting, my brother Chengjun shouted out, "I will not attend this kind of meeting!" The meeting turned into chaos. The prison police jumped on Chengjun and hauled him outside. Then police shocked Chengjun with eight stun batons until the batteries ran out. Next they locked him in a small confinement cell, where he was handcuffed and suspended in the air by the handcuffs. He was denied food, water and the use of a toilet for two whole days and nights. The handcuffs cut deeply into his wrists and caused extensive bleeding.
Later he realized that he should not cooperate with the torturers' demands, orders or requests, although at the time Teacher had not published the article, "Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful." As soon as he enlightened to the new understanding, he followed it through his actions. He refused to wear the uniform for the prison inmates, to perform forced labor, or to address the prison police by their titles "disciplinary staff." He decided, "I am not a prisoner. I am an honorable Falun Gong practitioner. No one is entitled to 'discipline' me." Whenever he saw prison police beating other Falun Gong practitioners, he would shout out, "Stop! You must not strike others!" Whenever he saw a prison inmate stealing Falun Gong practitioners' personal belongings, he would solemnly speak out, "Return the stolen items. Stealing is a bad deed."
His righteous thoughts and righteous actions effectively restrained the prison police and the inmates. They no longer dared to commit bad deeds in his presence. The prison police respected Chengjun and openly declared, "Will you look at Liu Chengjun! What an indomitable guy with an honorable spirit!" Later he was incarcerated in the intensified watch team, where he validated Falun Gong and clarified the truth about Falun Gong in an upright manner. Many prison inmates understood the truth about Falun Gong, and asked to learn Falun Gong exercises and study Falun Gong books, so Chengjun taught them the Falun Gong exercises in the prison cells.
After I was released from the forced labor camp, I would try all available means to pass Teacher's new articles to Chengjun as soon as they were published. He would transcribe many copies right away and pass these copies to other detained Falun Gong practitioners. Moreover, even though he was incarcerated in such a harsh environment in the forced labor camp, Chengjun managed to transcribe two copies of Zhuan Falun. He also memorized most of the Teacher's articles I delivered to him. All the prison police knew that he was the man who kept distributing Teacher's articles, but no one touched him.
When Falun Gong practitioners worldwide started to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil in other dimensions, I visited him and told him how to send forth righteous thoughts. I told him about the fierce battle scenes between Falun Gong practitioners and the evil in other dimensions. I also told him how Falun Gong practitioners inside and outside of China had formed a great force to validate the Fa. Since then, he devoted himself to studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts each day. Eventually he even wrote the formula for sending forth righteous thoughts in large letters on the wall in the corridor. The prison police extended his term by one month because of it. He responded, "Nothing you say counts. Only my Teacher's words count. Only my own words count." Then he started preparing to escape from the camp.
On Monday, July 16, 2001, my father, my husband, two fellow Falun Gong practitioners and I went to Fenjin Forced Labor Camp together, demanding the release of my brother Chengjun. Before this visit, I had visited the camp twice for the same purpose. I had talked to several Assistant Heads and eventually talked to the Head of the camp Mr. Zhou, telling them that they must release my brother. On July 14, 2001, I went to Fenjin Forced Labor Camp with three fellow Falun Gong practitioners so that they could help by sending forth righteous thoughts while I talked to Zhou. I also asked those fellow practitioners staying at my home to keep sending forth righteous thoughts until we returned home. At first Zhou was hostile towards us. He said, "Release Liu Chengjun? Are you out of your mind?" I solemnly explained the consequences of his action and clarified the truth about Falun Gong to him. With the combination of the powerful righteous thoughts of the fellow practitioners, his attitude soon began to improve. He even started to smile at us although he asked curiously, "How come you are not detained in prison for practicing Falun Gong?" I stopped him right away. "This is a wrong idea. Why should a Falun Gong practitioner be abducted and detained in prison? We are trying to become better people. If you continue to harm and persecute those who try to become better people, you shall face the most severe consequences because the heavens will not allow such immoral behavior. It is for your own good that you calm down and rationally think about what you have done. Make a wise choice for your own good. It is imperative that you release my brother today unconditionally or we won't leave."
Later he promised to release Chengjun two days later on July 16 on one condition: the staff from the "610 Office" or "the Jurisdiction Bureau" must come and sign off on the release. I refused to acknowledge his condition. This is why we had come to Fenjin Forced Labor Camp on Monday, July 16 to pick up my brother. We went to see Zhou and immediately started sending forth righteous thoughts without saying anything. After a while, he picked up the phone and asked the Head of Administration Section Mr. Han to process Chengjun's release. My husband thought he might have heard it wrong because he did not expect that Zhou would actually release my brother. My father was the same way. He didn't believe that they would actually release him, so he was requesting a visit with Chengjun. But I believe in Teacher's words, "Dafa disciples' righteous thoughts are powerful."
However, the phone in Zhou's office suddenly rang. He picked up the phone and ran out of the room shouting in panic, "A prisoner has escaped! Prisoner has escaped!" His voice trembled because he was terrified and nervous. The corridor turned into chaos. All the prison guards rushed downstairs. Zhou hurried back to the office, picked up a gun and ran out of the office again. I was also shocked and nervous. I followed Zhou out of the office and looked everywhere. I saw all the police cars going out and all the prison police carrying weapons as they were rushing out. My mind went blank. I had a feeling that it might be Chengjun. My husband and I ran downstairs and saw several policewomen chatting at the entrance. I went up to them and asked what had happened. One of them said, "A Falun Gong practitioner under the supervision of the intensified watch team has escaped. I heard the name 'Wang Chengjun.'" I knew at once that they actually referred to my brother Liu Chengjun because he was the only Falun Gong practitioner detained in the intensified watch team.
Then a prison policeman called out, "Hurry! Pull out Liu Chengjun's file and prepare a circular order to arrest him." Upon hearing these words, we hurried out of the door while sending forth righteous thoughts to help my brother escape successfully. Then two female Falun Gong practitioners that had been sending forth righteous outside the entrance ran to me and told me that they had seen a man resembling Liu Chengjun jumping off the walk and running towards the cornfield in the north. "That's him," I said, "Let's send forth righteous thoughts together to help him escape."
They closed the visiting room and kicked all the visitors out. When my father heard the news, he was overcome with fear. I said to my father, "You needn't be afraid. You should try to rectify your thoughts. From now on, we should keep asking Fenjin Forced Labor Camp for Chengjun. They lost our family member, who could be in danger right now." My father agreed and nodded. As soon as we returned home, we repeatedly sent forth righteous thoughts. Two hours later, the Head of Fenjin Forced Labor Camp Zhou paid a visit and produced a notice of release in order to relieve themselves from the potential charge of negligence. He told us, "Please do not tell anyone that he escaped. Just tell others that he has been released. We were going to release him anyway when he escaped." Then they left in a hurry. Chengjun returned to Changchun that night and stayed at a fellow practitioner's home. He was safe.
On October 1, 2001, Chengjun went to Beijing for the third time and went to Tiananmen Square alone. He unfurled a banner that said, "Falun Dafa is good," and called out the voice in his heart, "Falun Dafa is good!" He ran around the Square in large circles while being pursued by a group of policemen, who eventually tackled him and brutally beat him before locking him up. Chengjun refused to give his name or cooperate with the police in any way. He started a hunger and water strike to protest the illegal detention. The police then stripped off his clothes and handcuffed him naked to a bed in a public security bureau's hospital in Beijing. He could not move at all, but he thought, "I still have my tongue." So he kept clarifying the truth about Falun Gong and revealing the truth about the persecution against Falun Gong to people around him.
The prison doctors tried many different ways to torture Chengjun. He resisted the punitive force-feeding and IV's, and he battled the tortures with his life every day. Many days later, his face, nasal cavity, mouth and throat were severely injured because of the force-feeding. Other areas of his body were even more terribly injured. Because of the injuries to his mouth and throat, he could not speak any more. He then started to send forth righteous thoughts. On the 22nd day of his hunger and thirst strike, the police still did not get any information from him, not even his name. Chengjun had become emaciated and was extremely weak. He could feel he was at the end of his life. He called out to Teacher in his heart, "Teacher! Please rescue your disciple!" Then he heard magpies chirping outside the window. (In Chinese culture, a magpie is considered a messenger of good fortune.) Next, the prison doctors approached him and said, "As long as you drink a little bit of soup, we will release you. Otherwise, you won't even have any strength to walk home after we have released you." Then he drank a little soup. They fetched him a set of clothes and shoes left by a prisoner on death row, and released him unconditionally.
He struggled to walk to the train station and went to a mineral water stand to buy a bottle of water. He felt so weak that he had to sit down and take a rest. While he was resting, he told the elderly woman at the water stand that he was a Falun Gong practitioner, who had been subjected to torture, had a close brush with death, and had just been released. The elderly woman cried and told him excitedly, "My child, you are such a good child. I am also a Falun Gong practitioner!" Then the elderly fellow practitioner got Chengjun a cab, and bought him food and drink. She took a long time to say goodbye to Chengjun. They held each other's hands and both cried. Chengjun told me later, "At the time, I felt I could not even thank Teacher's immense grace. It is all part of Teacher's compassionate arrangement."
On March 5, 2002, Liu Chengjun and some other Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun broadcast the truth-clarification video programs on Changchun's cable TV. Their courageous action shocked people all over the world and had a strong impact on the international community. Their righteous action will be recorded in the history of Fa-rectification forever.
On March 24, 2002, the police abducted Chengjun again because of the March 5th TV broadcast. After that, he was subjected to numerous cruel tortures. On October 21, 2003, Jilin Prison called and told me that Liu Chengjun was going to die and asked us to go see him one last time. I was just released from the forced labor camp the previous day, but I hurried to Jilin City Central Hospital with my family to see Chengjun. After having suffered from countless atrocities, Chengjun was at death's door and barely breathing. He was as thin as a skeleton. His eyes were sunken. He had blurry vision and could not see things clearly. His heart and kidneys were failing. His throat was severely infected. His body was covered with wounds. He had difficulty speaking and could barely utter any sound. I held his hands and said, "Chengjun, your sister is here. I am applying for a medical parole for you. You will come home soon." He made an arduous effort to say, "Don't...be...attached...to...anything." I could not stop crying. Seeing me overcome with sadness, Chengjun shook my hands and struggled to open his eyes and said with tremendous difficulty,
"A Great Enlightened Being does not fear hardship
Having forged an adamantine will
And with no attachment to living or dying
He walks his path of Fa-rectification openly and nobly"
(From "Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions" in Hongyin II.)
Everyone at the scene was in tears. Although he had difficulty speaking clearly, we all understood him. He was reciting Teacher's poem "Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions." Next, he pointed at a guard and said, "This man...took care of...my going to the bathroom. After I die, you must...be kind to him. You must...save...him..." Everyone was deeply touched and burst into tears. The guard's eyes were filled with tears, and said, "It's nothing. It's something I should do." I kept holding Chengjun's hands while looking at his withered yet determined face. I cried so hard that I could not say anything.
This was my baby brother. He was a great and determined life that Falun Dafa has forged. When his life was in danger, he was still thinking about others.
Chengjun, we are so proud to have you as our family member and fellow Falun Gong practitioner. Your righteous thoughts and actions have inspired and reinforced our righteous thoughts and righteous actions. We will do better in the remaining journey to validate the Fa and clarify the truth!