"I Have Always Kept a Cheerful Spirit for the Last Three Years"
I obtained the Fa in 1997. Local people know the changes that took place in me after I started to practice Falun Gong. They used to say: "You look as if you completely changed into another person since you practice Falun Gong. Not only have you become healthy but you are also more noble. Falun Gong is truly miraculous." I know that from the bottom of my heart: Falun Gong is wonderful!
The First Arrest
At noon on July 19th 1999, we were doing the group exercises and studying the Fa as usual. On my way home after the practice, I was secretly arrested by the party secretary of the local political and legislative committee and people from the local police station. They detained me in a motel that is thirty miles away from my hometown for three days. At around 3:00 pm on July 20th, the CCTV (China Central Television) broadcasted the notice of banning Falun Gong. I was shocked and suspected that the government had made a mistake because they did not know the facts about Falun Gong. I did not give in. After being detained for eleven days, I was released and went back home.
The Second Arrest
After the first arrest, I did some serious thinking. Teacher asks us to be good people who is selfless and always puts others first. There is nothing wrong with this. Thus I become more determined. I made up my mind that no matter what happens, I will never let the Teacher down and I will cultivate all the way to the end. I decided to go to Beijing and appeal to the nation's leaders and tell them the facts about Falun Gong. In the evening of October 13, I went to Beijing. However, I was arrested by the local security agents on the 16th. I was detained at the local police station for eleven days. Afterwards, they dragged me into the van and drove around to show people. Later I was sent to the detention center. I could not sleep or eat well there. In order to force me to give up my belief, they forced me to do intense labor and often interrogated me. However, the mental and physical torture could not shake my faith in Dafa. One month later they sent me back to the police station and I was released only after paying 2,000 Yuan as punishment (they did not give me a receipt). Five days later, they once again arrested me and detained me for one month. During these two months, I had seen clearly the true evil nature of Jiang's regime. They never follow the law or respect the rule of law. At the detention center, every practitioner was charged an additional 300 Yuan. They often beat and curse at practitioners. They also sold food at a very high price. The police station has become a place where Falun Gong practitioners are illegally detained for long periods of time.
The Third Arrest
It was two days before the Chinese New Year. That afternoon, police handcuffed me and took me to the detention center. I was detained there for one month, during which I was shackled and handcuffed. I went on a hunger strike to protest. Their vicious torture did not change my mind. I am even more determined in practicing Falun Gong and no coercion can change me. They took me back to the police station and continued to detain me until April. They then started a new round of torture: "reeducation" through labor.
My Detention at the First Labor Camp
The first day I was sent to the labor camp, it was the start of some long and unforgettable years. The police announced to me the so-called rules: no talking, no spreading Falun Gong, no practice etc. In order to force me to give up practice, they employed various means including beating and cursing, physical punishment, extended labor time and inciting other inmates to torture me. However, all these could not shake my belief in Dafa. Seeing that these methods failed, they started a new trick. They asked my family and neighbors to persuade me. They deceived them by saying that I would be released immediately if I wrote a fake promise not to practice Falun Gong. I follow the principle of "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance," how can I make a fake promise? They would never understand the heart of a person who sees the ultimate truth. Their plot failed.
My Detention at the Second Labor Camp
Later I was sent to another labor camp along with other practitioners. This is the concentration camp where many practitioners from all over the province were detained. They used criminals and gangsters to torture and monitor us. The persecution escalated here. We were forced to sit on a small stool from 4:30 am to 11:00 pm with both hands on the legs. We were not allowed to talk or move and could only use the toilet at a fixed time. In addition, they forced us to watch the video that slanders Falun Gong and Teacher. We would be beaten up if we refused to watch. Facing the brutal persecution, all practitioners (about seventy) together recited Teacher's poem:
To live with no pursuits,
To die with no regrets;
All excessive thoughts extinguished,
Cultivating Buddhahood is not difficult.
(from Hong Yin, Master Li's collection of poems, unofficial translation)
80% of us then went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The police were infuriated and intensified the torture. After five or six days of our hunger strike, they forced us to run for a long time. If one fell, they would beat him up. If we still refused the food, they would shock us with electric batons. Almost every day practitioners were shocked or put in confinement. But all these methods failed to change practitioners' righteous minds.
The labor camp sent personnel to Beijing Tuanhe Labor Camp to "learn" their methods for torturing Falun Gong practitioners. After they came back, they started the brainwashing method: At first they deprived us of sleep and took turns torturing us. They would beat and curse at us, and used various methods such as pulling on facial hair, making us face the wall and pouring water over us from head to toe. After all these failed, they took me to the 11th team (the team that specifically detained newly abducted practitioners). The team head asked me angrily: "Are you going to give up Falun Gong or not?" I answered firmly: "Falun Gong is wonderful. I will never give up." The police took me to a room in the northwest side on the third floor. They stripped off my clothes and opened the windows. It was unusually cold in the winter of 2001. I was put there like that for two nights from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am. I recited Teacher's poem "Non-existence" over and over.
The policeman who was monitoring me was shivering even though he had a heavy coat and a thick blanket to cover him. Such a pity! In order to make more bonuses from Jiang, he did all these bad deeds. What is left for his life?
On March 22nd, I was taken to the 9th team and a new round of more vicious torture started. They put us in one class and focused all personnel and their time and energy on torturing us. They told us: as long as you practice, the torture will not stop. Besides the methods they used before, they also used the following methods: forcing practitioners to squat, do push-ups, squat with one leg support, or sit on confinement stool; pouring cold water on us from head to toe; striking practitioners' legs with wooden sticks; hitting practitioners with thick sticks; pinching practitioners' acupuncture points (such as Hegu point); putting toothbrushes in between two fingers and twisting the toothbrush so as to cause pain to practitioners; twisting practitioners' arms behind their back; pricking practitioners with needles; beating and cursing at practitioners. They became irrational and ruthlessly tortured good people who follow "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance." I further realized their vicious nature and the righteousness of the Fa. I am proud of myself for believing in Dafa. The police failed once again.
My Detention at the Third Labor Camp
In August 2001, I was once again transferred to another labor camp. Starting from September 27th, they began another round of brainwashing. The team head and officers handcuffed me in between two beds as if I was pinned down to a cross. I was forced to stand from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and sit from 12:00 pm to the next morning. I was not able to use the toilet or eat on my own. However, I still refused to denounce Dafa. They then put my legs in double crossed position and tied them up with a coversheet. It was terrible. Anyone with a bit of kindness in his heart would not do such a thing. Their viciousness cannot be described in words. After half a month, fearing that my legs would become permanently injured and leave evidence of their crime, they put me down saying: "That's it. We have used up all our methods. We quit."
During this period, when I was beaten up, one of my teeth was broken and my left eardrum was shattered. They asked me every half an hour: "Is Falun Dafa good?" I would say: "It is great." They then would beat me up. They would ask: "Will you still practice?" I firmly answered: "Yes." They then would beat me up again. I was not allowed to sleep on a bed and had to lie on the concrete floor in confinement for over half a year. I told them: "Don't waste your time. I will never give up. Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa. It is the ultimate truth." They also realized that there was no way they could change me.
One time during the interrogation, I told the police: "Our Teacher asks us to follow the principles of 'Truth, Compassion and Forbearance' and to be kind to others. We need to be kind to family and neighbors. We also need to do our job well. You tell me if this teaching is right or wrong?" He had to admit: "Yes, it is right." He then said: "I have lost this argument. I will quit brainwashing you and I know that you are a good person. But the government has this policy." At the end of April, I moved out from confinement where I could only see a light bulb. I was required to do two people's work and they extended the labor time. (Editor's note: practitioners should righteously resist the slave labor). They often threatened me with extended sentence term in the labor camp but this could not change my righteous faith in Dafa.
In March 2003, my sentence was completed. They used the "sensitive time of two conferences" (People's Congress Meeting and Political Consulting Meeting) as an excuse and extended my term for 19 days. Later they interrogated me. They asked me what the first thing I wanted to do upon going home. I said: "I have not studied the Fa for three years. I first need to study the Fa. Then I will cultivate the land and reopen the store." They asked again: "Are you going to talk to people about Falun Gong?" I answered firmly: "Of course."
Three years in the labor camp finally came to an end. I am going home. My friends and fellow practitioners are still detained in the labor camp.
In early April, they released me unconditionally. One policeman asked me: "What has made you persevere to this day?" I replied: "It is Falun Dafa."
I have always kept a cheerful spirit. They asked: "What makes you so happy?" I said: "I obtained the precious Fa that one cannot meet for thousands of years. I have a wonderful Teacher. I never even dreamed of this. Now I have everything. How can I not be happy? I am truly happy."
Now I follow Teacher's words and do the three things well. I follow the universal principle of "Truth, Compassion and Forbearance" and cultivate myself into a person who is selfless and thinks of others first.
July 27th 2003