Resisting the Evil to Validate Dafa, Breaking Free From Masanjia Labor Camp with Righteous Thoughts - Part 3
Apart from the re-education program, the Masanjia Labor Camp also required us to attend group "discussions" every week. Our group was required to run discussion sessions as well. Whenever such a meeting was to be held, a camp officer and group leaders would come around the prison for an inspection beforehand.
The "collaborators" (those who formerly practiced Falun Gong but due to intense pressure later turned away from Dafa) always greeted them with undue respect. One day, one of them picked on me purposely, "Zheng Shi, why haven't you greeted the boss good morning?" I replied, "I don't know how to please people. Greeting them good morning a hundred times won't help them. They won't change unless they know that Falun Dafa is good. I am not here to please them, but I can tell you how good Dafa is." Some practitioners told me afterwards, "We really admire your courage. What you have said and done gets straight to the point."
Some practitioners tried to compromise even though they were reluctant in their heart. I was worried for them and I felt strongly that they needed help. "When you don't feel right, why don't you reconsider things from the perspective of your understanding of the Fa? Teacher is waiting." I tried to get the message across at every opportunity, "Teacher has been showing his mercy all along. Why don't you think carefully? You have already obtained the Fa, and have benefited from it. Are you giving it up that easily? This is a serious matter. Some people who had slandered Dafa received their punishment the same day. Can't you see? When Zhang Chunqing insulted me, did you notice that her sickness immediately came back to her and she could not stop coughing? Many people have received warnings in their dreams. All these are Teacher's warning people. If you don't consider this a warning, won't you have wasted all your previous efforts? If you continue this way, you will be lost forever."
At each group discussion, there were about sixty people. I realized that it was a good opportunity to clarify the truth to them. From the comments made by Teacher Li on the article, "Eliminate Demon Nature,"
"The understanding is very good. With regard to the manifestation of thought karma, the damage that the evil forces have created for us, and our clarifying the truth to people, we are actively eliminating the demons instead of condoning or passively enduring; but our thoughts and actions must be benevolent."
I have learned that it is not sufficient to merely cultivate benevolence quietly. We need to clarify the truth with our benevolence as well. Therefore, during the next group discussion, I adopted a different approach -- using my compassion and sincerity to clarify the truth in front of some sixty people, including the officers. When I finished, our group leader looked at me with a smile I'd never seen before. The power of compassion seemed to manifest itself. In the past, the leader would be angry and stopped me immediately from talking further. But this time, I noticed that some people were crying during my talk. Shortly after that, the leader reminded me, "This is a group discussion, not a Dafa promotion session." Nevertheless, it was good feeling to be able to speak right to the end with no interruption. Everyone was eager to listen. It seems that Teacher had arranged through me to help save these people. I overheard others talking to each other afterwards: "Zheng spoke so well that I nearly broke into tears."
I constantly remind myself of this: The harsher the environment, the more I need to discipline myself. I must be more proactive, not passive. I must persist with Fa study and continue to practice the exercises regularly. The greater the pressure, the more determined I should be. At times when the pressure eased off, I became slack again. This is something a Dafa practitioner should avoid. For example, at times I craved a hearty meal, a good sleep or something warm to put on. I feel that these are warning bells to remind me that I must not be slack off in detaching from human desires, I must not forget that I am a Dafa practitioner, I must not forget to recite the Fa, and I must not lose contact with Teacher's words.
I had great admiration for the determination of a particular practitioner who came in with the first group of practitioners, and has persevered all this time without giving in. However, she did not seem to condone my way of validating the Fa. She did not stop others when they slandered Dafa. The group leaders and the collaborators seemed to like her behavior and asked us to follow her example. I personally feel that as a Dafa practitioner, not only should one be determined with one's faith, one should also proactively defend Dafa and get rid of anything damaging. I have realized that to validate the Fa properly, one must not deviate from the path one has chosen to follow. One must maintain a clear head and not be influenced by others.
Later, I met another practitioner who was highly educated. When she clarified the truth, she had examples to back herself up and she spoke logically and rationally. I had great respect for her ability. However, her temperament was a bit erratic, and sometimes would get worked up when defending Dafa. If she could calm herself down a bit more, the effects of her truth-clarification would be even better. By observing others, I have also improved on my own shortcomings. I have often tried to bridge the gap between the requirements laid down by Dafa and myself instead of going on my own human intuitions. I am determined to get a good command of myself, follow Dafa's requirements in every way, and cultivate myself in such a manner.
Work at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp was very intensive. From morning until late, we hardly had a break. The land covered a radius of about 6 miles, dotted with a few scattered houses. Sometimes we had to work on the arid land, and other times in the paddies. The work was heavy and pushed us to our physical limits.
On November 29, 2001 all the practitioners illegally detained in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp were relocated to a newly constructed four-story building, which had the capacity to accommodate about 1,000 people. The camp had also changed its name to "Thought Re-education School." No matter what its name is, it is still a den of evil. After moving into the new building, their abuse of Dafa practitioners intensified. One entire floor in the building was converted to "small cells" (torturing chambers). Whenever the labor camp staff felt like it, they would put someone who refused to compromise with them through the "small cells." Every now and then, screams from practitioners being tortured were heard from the cells through the locked steel gate, which was heavily guarded round the clock to prevent any information from leaking out. Since the Spring Festival, Dafa practitioners from other detention centers were relocated to Masanjia. Almost every day, people were being sent in. Some of them were arrested while they were asleep at home. The cells were filled up with people, three to a bed, but they released no one. The institute runs an unbelievably evil brainwashing class - with trainers consisting of officers from the main branch, thugs and collaborators who had been released but re-conscripted. Furthermore, specific officers were assigned to deal with practitioners who refused to submit. Two sentries took turns to watch a practitioner, making sure that he did not fall asleep.
One of my watchers was the most notorious collaborator, Zhang Chunqing. When I first met her, she hit me and said, "Take a good look at me, I am Zhang Chunqing." They took turns watching me around the clock. Masanjia Forced Labor Camp is remarkably evil. They would not let those who had comprised by going against their own conscience go free either. Not only did they not let them go home, they would continue to brainwash them until they had totally lost their own identity, and were unable to tell good from bad. They would make them write statements denouncing their faith repeatedly, and poison their mind with propaganda videos. They were the victims who later were used as brainwashing trainers. Nevertheless, some of these converts after returning home still come back to practice Falun Dafa. I know of five such people from our group. However, they were arrested again afterwards. As for the more determined practitioners, even when they had completed their sentences, they were not allowed to leave the camp either, but had to remain to be further persecuted. However, they have not scared us practitioners. We have remained very determined. Through the mercy of Teacher, all of us have the ability to defend against evil and validate Dafa.
Amongst the practitioners in the labor camp, the following I know were unmoved and rock-solid: Li Rong, Lin Lina, Yang Chunfang, Zhu Yun, Li Ping, and Shi Xiuzhen. All of them displayed an unyielding steadfastness and have frightened the evil. Zhu Yun, a practitioner from Tongbao, was a very determined practitioner. She was illegally imprisoned for a year and a half. In December 2001, when her term was up, instead of releasing her, they detained her for five more months. In June of this year, she was taken away from Team No.2 and her whereabouts are unknown. Lin Lina came to the camp after me. Liu Huiqing punished her by not letting her eat. To protest, Lina refused to work, and insisted on doing her exercises everyday. If she were not allowed, she would refuse to sleep. To every practitioner she ran into, she would tell them to persist with their practice of the exercises, and to send forth righteous thoughts consistently. After moving into this new building, she was taken to the hospital by the camp officer every day. Later, because they could not do anything to her, they put her down as mentally retarded and let her go home. As for Yang Chunfang, she refused to wear the camp clothes and refused to report her ID number. She was hurt so badly from being tortured that she could not walk properly and had to be assisted. But she is still as determined as ever. Seeing her actions, I also refused to report my ID number. Yang was later transferred to Team No. 6. Li Rong was a really determined woman. Later, when Li and I were sent to the hospital for forced feeding, we were found by people from Anshan, who later took us back to Anshan. The evil is scared of us Dafa practitioners, as we have coordinated with each other very well. Whenever we saw the watchers or the team leaders do bad things, we would team up to protest and condemn it. This was quite effective.
(To be continued)
for parts 1 and 2 of the story.