Clearwisdom's Interview with John Nania, an American Practitioner Who Just Returned to Minnesota After Appealing in Beijing
Clearwisdom: Welcome back, John. Great job done.
John: Thank you. A lot of other people did a great job.
Clearwisdom: When were you released? What charge(s) did the Chinese police make against you?
I was released at the door of the airplane right before I boarded.
From when I was arrested at Tiananmen Square to when I was released at 9:30am Wed., the 21st by Beijing time, I was detained for a total of 19 hours. I had some policemen watching me all the time. Even when we went to the bathroom, we had to keep the door open.
When they let me board the plane, they told me I was not allowed to enter China for 5 years.
They didn't let us know what charges were made against us. They didn't say anything and gave us no paper stating anything.
Clearwisdom: Where were you detained? How did the police treat you?
John: We were detained at a police station near Tiananmen Square for 4-5 hours. Then they took us to a hotel near the airport. We were divided into two groups and placed in two conference rooms. They questioned us one by one while others were in the same room.
I was questioned probably longer than others, for about an hour. The ones that questioned me were not rude to me, but some other practitioners were not treated the same.
We were not allowed to make phone calls at any time. We were not allowed to contact the U.S. embassy.
Clearwisdom: John, why did you decide to go to China and Tiananmen Square in particular?
John: I wanted to let the Chinese people and the government know that Falun Gong has broad international support, and let the people in the world know that Falun Gong is good. Also, we wanted to provide support and encouragement to the practitioners within China.
Tiananmen is a natural place to go because that's the symbolic center of China and that's where other practitioners have appealed before.
Clearwisdom: You were 30 some practitioners from 12 different countries and from all walks of life such as a CEO, engineer, students and a housewife, and you knew no practitioners in China. Why did you have a strong feeling about the persecution in China and took the risk to go to China to appeal?
John: Because we understood the great benefit of Falun Dafa. We know "Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance" are important to all humanity. Also, because we practitioners inside and outside China are one body. No matter where we are, all practitioners must do whatever we can to clarify the truth. And this is something Western practitioners can do.
Clearwisdom: How did you feel before going to Tiananmen Square, at the Square, and after being detained?
John: Before going to the Square, while I felt a bit nervous, I felt more of positive things and I was absolutely sure I was doing the right thing, the righteous thing.
At Tiananmen Square, once we sat down, I concentrated on sending righteous thoughts. We had only several seconds before we knew the police came. But I was concentrating on sending righteous thoughts, even when they dragged me into the police van.
Afterwards, as we practitioners always do, I reflected a lot to see if everything we did during the whole process was up to a practitioner's standard. Although there was no doubt that we were absolutely doing the right thing, yet we still found many different attachments and weaknesses that we had.
Clearwisdom: After visiting China, in particular after this experience at the Tiananmen Square,
what are your new understandings about Fa rectification? You got a taste of what practitioners in China have been experiencing?
John: Yes, I've got a lot of new understanding. Definitely a lot. I need a few days to reflect to organize my thoughts. I'll write for Clearwisdom later.
The police that we encountered are not the center of the evil forces. A lot of them know the truth at some level. What we experienced definitely can't be compared to what our Chinese practitioners have experienced [and are continuing to experience.] The biggest factor is that we're Westerners and the police knew they had to be very careful with us.
Clearwisdom: Anything you want to share with Western practitioners outside China in particular?
John: Yes, our responsibilities as Western practitioners include doing anything we can to expose the evil and remove the poisons from the minds of the Chinese people. There are many things that we Western practitioners can do, but Chinese practitioners cannot. We Westerners should look for all opportunities to do those things.
Clearwisdom: Thank you very much, John. I'm very glad you got back safely and look forward to seeing your article sharing your experiences in Beijing.
John: Sure. My pleasure.
Category: Accounts of Persecution