Cultivation Experiences Related to Resisting the Groundless Lawsuit by the Singapore Police
Shared at the 2005 Asia-Pacific Falun Dafa Conference
Revered Master, greetings!
Hello, fellow practitioners!
In April 2004, the Singapore police filed a lawsuit against practitioners who did the Falun Gong exercises and clarified the truth at Esplanade Park on February 23, 2003. They charged the practitioners with "Assembly without a Permit" and "Possession and Distribution of VCDs without a Certificate."
For six months, practitioners clarified the truth to the government, the congress, the legal and administrative departments, and other segments of society. They asked the plaintiffs to withdraw the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs firmly refused. The practitioners were forced to defend themselves in court. Two practitioners were the defendants and six practitioners acted as witnesses during the 15-day trial. We clarified the truth and validated Dafa in this special manner to high-level government officials and judicial officials whom we didn't usually have access to. Many practitioners supported our lawyer and practitioners with righteous thoughts both inside and outside the courtroom. The practitioners who gave testimony exposed the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China and the unjust treatments Falun Gong practitioners were subjected to in Singapore. We made it clear that the unreasonable lawsuit is a serious mistake, and we also expressed our understanding of the 2000 "MacRitchie Reservoir Incident." Support from additional fellow practitioners also helped our lawyer to expose many suspect points in the police evidence, to the surprise of the plaintiff. It established that the lawsuit was groundless, not only morally but also on technical grounds.
At the beginning of the trial, the plaintiff and the judge were confident and cool, but they could barely defend their arguments when the questioning started. They struggled and made excuses by using "Criminal Exposure." Later, they saw that they could not cover up the lies so they tore off their masks and acted as if, "We're the dictators; we're afraid of no one." In order to come to a solution that satisfied their superiors, the judge and the lead prosecutor blatantly violated court procedures in their dealings with our lawyer and witnesses. On April 27, 2005, after a preliminary hearing, the judge announced that all the charges would stand. He imposed a large fine and sentenced the practitioners to prison. Six months later, the High Court of Singapore rejected an appeal by Falun Gong practitioners. The Chief justice did not even attempt to hide the court's intentions. He cited purely political reasons such as, "Our country is too small. We are powerless to influence a large country" and "I will deport you" and "I won't let you off so easily next time." His words exposed the true face of an outside dictatorial regime manipulating the law.
In terms of the significance of events during Fa rectification, this 18-month battle between righteousness and evil cannot be judged by the result alone. Many practitioners had deep feelings and said, "I only truly understood on my level the meaning of Fa rectification after participating and witnessing this battle between righteousness and evil." Our team was relatively small and powerless. During the whole process, practitioners abroad lent us support in various respects. In September 2004, April 2005, and May 2005, practitioners around the world participated in this battle between righteousness and evil and eliminated large amounts of evil influences gathered here. Due to all of our efforts, the situation improved.
Below are some of my experiences I would like to share with fellow practitioners.
For the sake of offering salvation to sentient beings in this land, Dafa practitioners decide to persevere until the end
In April 2004, when we were first served with the lawsuit papers, some practitioners remembered the "MacRitchie Reservoir Incident." Those who experienced that incident firsthand still had lingering fears, because they knew what tremendous damage a court that is being manipulated by a government in conjunction with slanderous propaganda by mouthpiece media can inflict. To avoid further losses for Dafa, some practitioners thought that, since the plaintiff refused to withdraw the lawsuit, the defendant practitioners should plead guilty on their own behalf. They thought this compromise would prevent further damage to Dafa's reputation. They did not think that there was anything wrong with this approach because the practitioners involved in the 2000 incident also pleaded guilty.
Some practitioners thought differently. They thought that the "MacRitchie Reservoir Incident" took place when the persecution was more severe and the practitioners did not have clear understandings. It didn't mean we couldn't do well now just because we didn't do well back then. These practitioners thought that the real cause for the Esplanade Park incident stemmed from evil elements in other dimensions using crooked people to persecute Dafa practitioners for their truth clarification efforts. Practitioners in other countries have filed lawsuits against the main perpetrators responsible for persecution, but in Singapore, Dafa practitioners are forced to defend themselves in court because the police have filed lawsuits against them for clarifying the truth. This lawsuit absolutely should not have happened, and it is a major insult to sentient beings here. From the perspective of Fa rectification, we are Dafa practitioners responsible for sentient beings. Whether we handled this incident well and rescued as many sentient beings as possible would largely determine the final fate for these beings.
To create confusion, the evil [in other dimensions] used the police to single out individual practitioners, although the incident was clearly targeting Falun Gong as a whole. They took advantage of practitioners having different opinions, which made the whole thing more complicated and resulted in arguments among practitioners that deviated from Dafa. The arguments not only distracted the practitioners but also weakened our strength as a whole. For a long time we did not cooperate well and we did not form a harmonious cultivation environment. The relationships among the assistants and practitioners remained harmonious only superficially. We did not lay a good foundation in terms of our understanding of Dafa, and we were at a loss as to what to do when differences of opinion arose. Some practitioners with strong human attachments unconsciously played negative roles, which had a great impact on practitioners who were not clear on Fa principles and kept them from rising above the tribulation and melting into the current of Fa rectification.
As interference occurred, we knew that the practitioners involved and also other practitioners should calm down, study the Fa and look inward, but we could not adjust our minds to achieve a harmonious state amid this complex situation.
After four months of racking our brains, the two practitioners concerned finally decided that they would absolutely not plead guilty. Other practitioners studied the Fa and exchanged understandings. They put aside their own notions. We united as one, strong body on the basis of Fa rectification. We didn't have a lawyer, even as we were ready to go to court. Yet we finally understood our mission to rescue sentient beings and the true principle that Fa rectification will definitely succeed. We remembered that goodness will be rewarded and evil will reap its own peril. Our hearts were not within the tribulation, and we felt we could "cleave mountains," as described by one Western practitioner.
The difference between "taking on the lawsuit" and "winning the lawsuit"
Although we were still uncertain about the outcome of the trial, things were naturally arranged after we affirmed our decision. To begin with, we miraculously found a non-practitioner lawyer, who agreed to work for us and had righteous thoughts. Next, many practitioners said that they are willing to testify in court. Later we endured 15 days of trial. The unfair preliminary trial ruling resulted in practitioners being incarcerated. We appealed to the high court but were completely rejected. In Singapore, this means that any possibility for a further appeal is gone.
Some practitioners were disappointed at this outcome and doubted whether or not it was worth our efforts. Other practitioners looked back at our initial determination to "take on the lawsuit" and our starting based on the Fa. We firmly dealt with the trial but did not expect to win the lawsuit. Persecuted Dafa practitioners offered sentient beings salvation while in danger through the special process of the lawsuit, in order to fulfill their vows and their mission in Fa rectification. Our hearts lies outside the ordinary world, therefore, we would not emphasize any result during the process. If we won the lawsuit, a large group of sentient beings would be saved from peril, and that is what we were trying and hoping to achieve. Yet it was not something to be attached to. After we have provided enough opportunities, what a sentient being chooses is up to him or herself.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa on Easter, 2004, at the New York Fa Conference"
"Very early on in the Fa-rectification I realized something: Whenever I wanted to clear away any group of beings at any level, there's not much to say or do--one thought disintegrates everything, and it's extremely quick. However, in the Fa-rectification, keeping certain beings, that's just extremely hard to do, with challenges piled atop one another; beings that have interfered with the Fa-rectification aren't qualified to stay now, having interfered with Fa-rectification as they did."
In terms of this case, it would have been quite easy to plead guilty, because we would then only have had to pay a few thousand SGD. By not pleading guilty, we had to pay a much higher price in the eyes of ordinary people. The old forces were trying to lead us down the easy path, to forget our mission. By doing so, a group of beings would have been destroyed.
We saw that people learned the truth in different ways. The plaintiff's first witness, the one that reported our practitioners to the police, believed at the beginning of the trial that she was being a socially responsible citizen by reporting us to the police and should be acknowledged as such. After our lawyer questioned and chastised her, saying that what she did was unjust and immoral, she cried all the way home. Later into the trial, some plaintiff's witnesses refused to testify in court. Perhaps they regretted their decision, and maybe they will learn the truth in the future. Other people demonstrated similar behavior in court.
Some people learned the truth during our initial efforts to clarify the truth. I think they are outstanding beings in the universe. More people, however, gradually learned the truth after numerous truth-clarification encounters with us. Some were rescued through "Stepping on Jiang" (place any form of Jiang Zemin's picture on the floor and step on it) and some learned about the evil nature of the Party from reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and awakened to the truth. Some practitioners thought that getting people to step on Jiang was inappropriate, and they thought the banners that read "Singapore, don't be an accomplice to the CCP" lacked compassion, while other practitioners felt Dafa practitioners' compassion. If some actions and words can quickly awaken a group of sentient beings, can we not make use of them only because they don't conform to our habits and notions?
Understanding the MacRitchie Reservoir Incident and going to court with a light heart
Singapore police filed another serious lawsuit against Falun Gong practitioners about the "MacRitchie Reservoir Incident." In the evening on December 31, 2000, dozens of practitioners held a candlelight vigil by the quiet MacRitchie Reservoir to mourn the practitioners tortured to death in China. They did not have a permit to hold this activity. A large SWAT team was dispatched. They surrounded the practitioners and arrested 15 of them. They charged the practitioners with "assembly without a permit." Several practitioners were later fined or sentenced to prison, and most of the practitioner participants were ordered to leave Singapore. Following the media reports, this incident generated a very negative impact on the Singapore public.
After this incident, the practitioners did not exchange opinions on Fa principles and did not improve their understandings. They kept the superficial understanding, "We did not have a permit for this activity, so the fault is ours" and ignored the main issue, which was that the old forces were manipulating bad people to persecute Dafa.
For quite a few years, many practitioners felt that they were in the wrong and usually avoided the MacRitchie Reservoir Incident when talking with ordinary people. We never clarified the truth on a large scale regarding this incident. Practitioners involved in the incident also did not have a clear understanding on the Fa. They passively endured and hastily plead guilty in order not to cause further damage to Dafa. In fact, we planted seeds for trouble for Fa rectification later on. If the practitioners involved could have stepped forward like the practitioners involved in the "obstruction" lawsuit in Hong Kong and taken the historic responsibility endowed by Fa rectification, maybe the environment in Singapore would be different today. We acknowledged and compromised in the face of persecution and humanly fostered the evil demons for more than three years, which caused repression of Fa rectification in Singapore ever since. From the perspective of not acknowledging all of the old forces' arrangements, our thoughts and actions of compromise gave the old forces excuses to escalate the persecution, and therefore the second lawsuit against the practitioners by the police was not a surprise.
Later we realized that we cannot take a detour when faced with barriers in cultivation. We must straighten our understanding on the issue or we cannot proceed to court. Practitioners from other countries who testified in court told us that the evil takes advantage of the practitioners' misunderstanding of the Fa and of their mental barriers and stir up troubles this way. We cleared up our understanding on this issue in terms of Fa principles, and we figured out how to answer the plaintiff lawyer's questions. Whenever the lead prosecutor on the plaintiff's side tossed out a question, our witness would use it as a good opportunity to clarify the truth. The lead prosecutor originally thought the "MacRitchie Reservoir Incident" was the weakest part of our defense, and he was surprised to see that we had watertight arguments. The plaintiff tried to avoid bringing up the "MacRitchie Reservoir Incident."
If we can regard this incident with righteous thoughts and not be moved by superficial manifestations, it's not difficult to see the true nature of this issue. The practitioners did not have a permit to hold the candlelight vigil and used some emotional words talking with the police, but these are not why the police took action. The sole reason the police arrested them was because Falun Gong is persecuted in China. From a legal perspective, the police were violating the law, because they charged the practitioners with "illegal assembly," and activities that constitute this offense must have an element of violence. The peaceful activity at the MacRitchie Reservoir that night had nothing to do with violence. From another perspective, if a similar activity took place before the CCP started persecuting Falun Gong, or if a group of foreign workers held a candlelight vigil to mourn their family members lost in the Tsunami, the police would not have arrested anyone, even if the group did not have a permit. Both cases are proof that the CCP has extended the persecution to Singapore and that the Singapore government is actively participating in the persecution.
Let us together create the unrestricted environment needed during Fa rectification
This battle between righteousness and evil, with the involvement of practitioners from both inside and outside of China, was an unprecedented cleansing for Singapore. After the evil specters and rotten demons were eliminated en masse, the situation has changed a great deal. Although Fa rectification here is still behind some other countries, the atmosphere has indeed lightened up.
I remember last year when we first received the legal documents, the police and the Internal Administration Department were extremely tough and unreasonable. They often threatened us with canceling the Falun Dafa Association and banning Falun Gong. Some practitioners were quite afraid of the consequences of pleading not guilty.
On September 24, 2004, when the practitioners refused to plead guilty after five months of trial, the government played their trump card by publishing the lawsuit in the newspapers and intimidated us again with the MacRitchie Reservoir Incident. They thought we would bow down like last time. We quickly published articles in the local newspaper to expose the truth, and we also published the truth about MacRitchie and our take on it. The practitioners involved wrote numerous letters to related government departments and members of parliament, and for the first time they explained their opinion to the public and emphasized their determination to plead "Not guilty!"
Concurrently, overseas practitioners also started the first round of truth clarification to the various parts of Singapore society. The Singapore government and police were overwhelmed by our actions and didn't know how to respond. A dictatorial regime perpetuates its existence by its control over the media, by brainwashing the people and manipulating people's fears. When all of these methods fail to work, the evil comes to the end of its rope.
This was an important turning point in the battle between righteousness and evil. It was then that the accusers respected the strength of Falun Gong and were willing to sit down and negotiate with us. Occasionally they were still unreasonable, such as when they upheld the original sentence, because they clung to the characteristics of a dictatorial regime. At other times, however, they were frightened by our public activities, such as press conferences and waist drum performances. They later tried to find problems with the Chinese practitioners' right to stay in Singapore, which showed the evil was weak after exhausting its scheming tactics.
Before the hearing at the high court, we invited the head of the police department to audit the trial. He said, "No, that wont' be necessary. I'll learn about it in the Straits Times." Surprisingly, the government mouthpiece Straits Times did not mention a word about the hearing. They could not find a proper way to handle it, so they didn't report it at all. During the 18-month-long trial, the Straits Times published only four reports. Aside from one article that tried to assert pressure on practitioners who were holding a hunger strike, the other three articles were short and obscure. Later it stopped reporting on the trial altogether. Several reporters from the Straits Times were conscientious and asked us many questions. We could tell they were struggling in their roles.
After all of the turmoil, the evil sometimes acted badly, but it has indeed exhausted all of its options. The good news, aside from the aforementioned reporters, is that many police officers have also learned the truth and refused to cooperate with the persecution. Now there are very few police officers willing to investigate this case, and, as a result, the chief investigator is frequently replaced. The evil is backed into a small corner, struggling in its death throes. The police hope to charge us with "assembly of more than five people" and find fault with the Chinese practitioners who don't possess long-term visas.
In fact, the true yardstick to measure improvement in the environment is our practitioners' cultivation state. Many practitioners are no longer waiting but are creating this environment. Whether or not our minds are compassionate and serene, we never forget about our mission to rescue sentient beings. Whether or not we can regard every incident with righteous thoughts, such as confiscation of our IDs by the police and threats of another lawsuit, we can see through the superficial phenomenon and respond with wisdom from Dafa. Whether or not we can look inward whenever conflicts arise among practitioners is the real key to success. If we can do well in all of these regards, this improved environment will endure and will become even better.
In order to spread the truth about the Nine Commentaries and withdrawals from the Party, more practitioners are now taking to the streets to clarify the truth. We also notice that the remaining CCP specter is desperately clinging to this land. Right now, the evil is still able to single out practitioners, because there are not enough practitioners participating in these activities. If more practitioners can understand the significance of these Fa rectification era activities and look at individual cultivation based on Fa principles, they will see that the environment is actually quite relaxed.
Not just a few practitioners, but every practitioner is responsible for creating a stage and an unrestricted environment for Fa rectification in Singapore. Hopefully, more practitioners will improve their realizations in this regard and quickly dive into the great current of Fa rectification.
Finally, I'd like to share with fellow practitioners Master's article "Position" written on June 13, 1999,
"The trials that a cultivator goes through are something an everyday person could not endure. That is why throughout history so few people have been able to succeed in cultivation and reach Consummation. Human beings are just human beings. At critical moments it is hard for them to let go of their human notions, but they always try to find excuses to convince themselves. A magnificent cultivator, on the other hand, is able to let go of his Self and even all of his ordinary human thoughts amidst crucial trials. I congratulate the Dafa cultivators who can come through the Consummation-determining tests. The eternity in which your beings never perish and even your future levels are established by you, yourselves; mighty virtue comes from your own cultivation. Be diligent! This is most magnificent, and the greatest privilege." (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Fellow practitioners, please benevolently point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, everyone!