Eyewitness Account of Persecution in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, and An Unforgettable Lesson Learned
On my path of cultivation, I've asked myself why I hesitated and lost my righteous thoughts at critical moments. I compared myself with others and repented for my mistakes. While studying the Fa I realized that some thoughts are caused by a human being's fundamental attachments.
Previously I thought that I was a good practitioner because I went to Beijing to validate the Fa and clarify the truth of Dafa three times. I was arrested and detained twice.
During my first time in the detention center, I did not write a "guarantee statement,"* and openly walked out from the detention center without any difficulties.
The second time I was in the detention center, I was interrogated many times by the policemen. Because I didn't cooperate with them, I was sent to a larger detention center. While detained, practitioners successfully validated Fa. We were allowed to study the Fa, practice the exercises and clarify the truth. Some inmates expressed a wish to learn Dafa from us after they were released from the detention center. Other inmates immediately started reciting Hong Yin with us. During my forty days in the detention center, policemen from the "610 Office"** asked me to give up my beliefs and hand over 10,000 Yuan*** as bail in order to let me go home. I refused to comply with their demands, so I was sent to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp for a term of one and one-half years of forced labor.
In the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, I was locked up in the No. 2 Women's Section, which has three floors. The second and third floors are for practitioners. Police took me to the third floor. Standing in the lobby of the third floor, I looked through the aluminum framed windows and saw about thirty people in each room. I recognized some practitioners that I knew. I greeted them but no one responded to me. I suddenly felt a horrible and nervous atmosphere.
Six of us were divided into three different groups. Collaborators**** body-searched us and checked our bags. Not allowing us to have a break, two or three collaborators started trying to brainwash us in an attempt to "transform" us. In front of the new practitioners, the policemen put on an air of being very friendly and considerate. They used polite words to persuade practitioners to give up the practice of Falun Gong. They used both vicious and manipulative methods, feigning kindness, toward determined practitioners. They fully exploited those who cooperated and gave up their practice. When the newly detained practitioners gave in to them, the police and collaborators sent them to brainwash the determined practitioners. At a critical moment, I wavered in my determination and accepted their "transformation."
Ms. Zou Guirong of Xinbing County, Fushun City (she was later tortured to death) and Ms. Su Juzhen were among the first group of practitioners imprisoned in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. Both of them were steadfast practitioners and were sentenced to three years of forced labor. Ms. Zou constantly suffered from collaborators' torture, including mental abuse, beatings, and stabbings with needles. Because of the brutal treatment, her back was black and purple. But she did not say a word. I did not have strong righteous thoughts and later on the old forces took advantage of my weakness. Once a collaborator and I were ordered to monitor Ms. Zou; we forced her to cross her legs in lotus position. From 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. the next day, the police used all means to brutalize her. They usually tortured her late at night. One night, she was dragged into the restroom when the floor was covered in water. They forcibly put her into an extremely painful pose; she was held on the ground with her legs dragged forward and crossed over her head. Three or four people sat on her and covered her mouth, not allowing her to cry out. I was very afraid as I witnessed it. She was tortured like this for three to four hours.
Police sent over a collaborator from the First Women's Section to brutally torture Ms. Zou again. Ms. Zou was locked in solitary confinement. I witnessed four people tying her up with her legs crossed over her head. The collaborator lied to us, saying that Ms. Zou was found to have spirit possession on her body, and that they beat her on the part of her body that supposedly was possessed. They tortured her for the entire morning. I was ordered to leave the scene early, after less than ten minutes. After enduring such cruel treatment, Ms. Zou was in bed for a week, unable to get up. Her body was so seriously wounded and deformed that not a single healthy patch of skin could be found.
Ms. Su Guzhun is a most persistent Dafa practitioner. Frequently, the police shocked her with electric batons and also force-fed drugs to her. Police verbally abused her with vicious words if she did not squat exactly as they demanded; one collaborator used a leather belt to whip her when no one was around. But she kept a calm attitude, was always smiling, and did not complain. I heard that she was released from the forced labor camp. With unbelievable cruelty, police use high voltage electric batons on the more persistent Dafa practitioners.
These events I witnessed tell how Dafa practitioners are persecuted in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp.
A paragraph in Teacher's article "A Suggestion" said, "Also included are those who have, during this period, voluntarily assisted the evil in persecuting the Fa after being so-called 'reformed.' These people have relatively large amounts of karma and they have fundamental attachments to [things of] humans, so in the midst of absurd lies during the so-called 'reforming,' they have, in the interest of their attachments and to justify their behavior, gone along with the lies and willingly accepted evil 'enlightenment,' while pretending they didn't want to. If this kind of person then goes and deceives other students, he will have committed the sin of damaging the Fa." (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Just as Teacher said, with a confused mind I cooperated with the vicious oppressors for eight months while in the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. My mind was still unclear even after I returned home. Dafa practitioners tried to help me raise my level of Fa understanding, yet not only did I not wake up, I also became self-critical and let myself go. I gave up on the Fa and lost my purpose in life.
I wandered around with this mindset for two years. Other practitioners often gave me Teacher's new articles and related Dafa materials, but I was never able to read them with a calm mind. One time I argued with another person over a very trivial matter. Afterwards I was shocked to realize that my attitude had dropped to such a low level. I calmly read all of Teacher's new articles. The things I experienced over the last two years were like a nightmare. I lost a lot of precious time by wandering away from Dafa; the evil old forces controlled me since I didn't let go of my fundamental attachments. I decided to start all over again, to find my true self and to truly cultivate from my heart. Teacher's words echoed in my mind, "One should return to one's original and true self; this is the real purpose of being human. Therefore, once a person wants to practice cultivation, his or her Buddha-nature is considered to have come forth. Such a thought is most precious, for this person wants to return to his or her original and true self and transcend the ordinary human level." (Zhuan Falun) I realized that Teacher was guiding me and still taking care of me. When I picked up Zhuan Falun again, my hands quivered, tears were pouring down, and I had a different feeling than when I first learned Dafa. Teacher's words struck the deepest part of my heart. My cells in the microscopic level experienced Teacher's compassion and immense forgiveness. I read again and again Teacher's new articles and related paragraphs. I was deeply touched and suddenly I understood many things, and also found the root of an attachment.
Teacher said: "I've said that if you fall, pick yourself up and keep going forward--Master won't abandon you, and you mustn't lose confidence. There are still opportunities, and I'll save you no matter what. Now do you still lack confidence?" ("Explaining the Fa during the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
Teacher also said: "Just do well next time, that's all, and don't dwell on it as if it were so grave. If in your mind you take it to be so grave it'll create another situation where you feel pressured by regret and worry, and then you will sink into the attachment and you won't be able to break out of it. The whole cultivation process of a Dafa disciple is a process of removing human attachments. No matter what it is you've experienced, as soon as you realize the problem just correct it immediately; if you fall, just get up and continue to do what a Dafa disciple should do." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003")
Teacher's lectures helped me let go of the attachment and self-concealment that I held onto because of my past wrongdoings. The goal of the old forces is to force me to abandon my cultivation and to face total destruction. I need to grab and eliminate these hidden factors with righteous thinking. I solemnly declare to the public that all my actions, what I said, and my behavior--I will correct myself with a clear mind and expose the vicious forces and their notorious camp. This is another chance that Teacher has given me. It is also part of the process of demonstrating the Fa.
I am keenly aware that without a deep understanding of the Fa and solid
cultivation, and with inadequate righteous thoughts, it is hard for one to
remain unmoved under the vicious persecution. Also, one will be easily disturbed
by outside interference, and it will be hard to overcome one's own attachments
and obstacles from distorted notions. This is an unforgettable lesson.
*The "Guarantee Statement" is a statement to declare that he or she is remorseful for practicing Falun Gong and guarantees not to practice Falun Gong again, not to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, and never again associate with any Falun Dafa practitioners.
**"610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
***Yuan is the Chinese currency. The average monthly salary of an urban worker in China is 500 Yuan.
****Collaborators are former Falun Gong practitioners who have turned against Dafa due to brainwashing and torture.