Why are a large number of cases concentrated on a few attorneys?
First of all, we should recognize that there are a large number of cases and a heavy workload. The work is difficult. We should question why there are so many cases and why they are concentrated on a few attorneys, and why more attorneys are not involved.
Some attorneys have told us that they treat all clients the same, but certain practitioners stress that their case is very important and they need so-and-so to represent them. Besides, practitioners are always calling the same attorneys, one case after another. As a result, these few attorneys have too many Falun Gong cases in their hands.
Some practitioners say that because Master talked about hiring attorneys, whenever a practitioner is arrested, the other local practitioners want to find an attorney immediately. Of course, the easiest way is to call an attorney they already know. As a result, some attorneys have a large number of cases.
Under normal circumstances, Dafa disciples all know that people can be saved only if they have learned the facts. Yet, amidst tribulations, some practitioners become reliant on help from ordinary people. Inadvertently they have taken on a reversed role in their relationship with ordinary people. Actually, in ordinary society, a lawyer may not necessarily accept every case that comes his or her way. For example, there is an attorney who told practitioners that he would not accept too many Falun Gong cases, because there is a lot of stress involved and he can't really make a lot of money from them. It also impacts other cases that the attorneys have. On the other hand, human rights-related cases can raise a lawyer's profile in the international community and with the public. But most attorneys don't want to take too many Falun Gong cases, as they want to be able to do a thorough job and not just go through the motions.
But then, some other lawyers have indicated they are willing to take Falun Gong cases, but no practitioners have contacted them.
What happens if only a few lawyers take all the cases?
For each case, the practitioners generally pay the lawyer 20,000 to 40,000 yuan. It could be as high as 60,000 yuan. In a year, the fees can easily amount to several million yuan in total on all the lawsuits. Have we successfully rescued practitioners from prisons and labor camps? Have we made more lawyers aware of the facts? Sometimes practitioners' family members can't even see the files or the attorney's defense.
Recently, Wang Yonghang's case showed how bad the current situation is. Even though his family hired a lawyer, the lawyer didn't have the time to follow the development of the case. Everything was handled by Wang's family. The attorney didn't even know where the file was or when the first trial was scheduled. When the court arranged for the attorney to meet with the practitioner, the attorney couldn't come because he had no time. During the second trial, the court again arranged for the attorney to meet with the practitioner. Now, for the final trial, another attorney was there on behalf of the first attorney. He told the practitioner's family that the court decided not to hold a hearing. Although the family requested that the main attorney be present, the main attorney did not respond. Another attorney told the family that, as a form of protest, he would be present in the court. Both attorneys have essentially refused to be present at the hearing. Eventually, Wang Yonghang represented himself in court. However, the documents from the previous two trials both had defense attorneys' names, making it appear as though attorneys were involved in his defense. The family paid those attorneys 40,000 yuan in fees, plus 10,000 yuan for transportation. The whole case was handled by the substitute attorney. The main attorney didn't come to either trial. The attorneys made no written defense. The family also said that the substitute attorney did not respond to their requests at all. Such poor service is unacceptable to the family.
How the attorneys have changed shows that our mentality was wrong
Many practitioners have said that attorneys Lan Zhixue and Zhang Chuanli used to be good but have now turned bad. There is a wide range of opinions about these two attorneys. However, we are practitioners and we can't only look at the surface of things. The changes in the attorneys were actually caused by thoughts and actions of the practitioners.
Practitioners who have been persecuted know that when a tribulation occurs, the elements from other dimensions pressed down by the evil are quite dense and can be felt by the practitioners, their family members, and everyone else around. How can an ordinary person handle the evil forces in other dimensions for dozens of cases? Some practitioners have said that perhaps the lawyers develped "Stockholm Syndrome"as a result of the Chinese Communist Party's brutality. As long as they are not arrested, they will continue to defend the illegal activities of the police system in China, or even cooperate with the authorities' illegal requests at the cost of the interests of their own clients.
In addition, when some practitioners hear about an arrest, the first thing they do is call an attorney. They regard the attorney as a key person that can rescue practitioners, instead of a life waiting to be saved. Our strong dependence on them will result in the evil persecuting them, pushing them to the opposite side. Aren't we hurting them?
Actually, some lawyers have kindly pointed out to us that it is not necessary for every Falun Gong case to involve a lawyer. The reason is that there is a very limited role for a lawyer in a Falun Gong case. It doesn't necessarily help the case. If the lawyer is not able to thoroughly prepare the case and is only going through the motions, they are only cooperating with the legal system. If they don't have time and are unwilling to be interviewed by the media, then they serve very little purpose. We would be spending a lot of money without much result.
After ten years of efforts to resist the persecution and clarify the facts, most Dafa disciples are very tight on money. But in some regions, millions of yuan a year have been given away without any practitioners actually being rescued. Some family members don't even understand the facts about the persecution. The son of a practitioner said his mother deserved to be sent to prison because she broke the law. The only thing the attorney did was to show up on the day of the trial and present a defense. The son said that the local practitioners were "stupid" and should have given him the lawyer's fees instead. He would have bribed the judge to get his mother out. He also said that no practitioner had met with him during the entire process. On the day of the trial, in a courtroom that could seat over 100 people, he and a few court staff were the only ones present.
No shortcut in cultivation, rescue efforts, or other projects
When we hire a lawyer, we are not asking for ordinary people's help. A lawyer doesn't make things easier for the practitioners, because it's actually Master who is making ordinary people aware of the facts and helping the disciples. Dafa disciples' states of mind determine the outcome. If Dafa disciples' thoughts are not righteous, Master will not be able to help us. There is no shortcut in cultivation or the rescue efforts. In the process of working with lawyers, we must first make sure that they understand the facts. Secondly, we need to have some basic legal knowledge, so that we know what is involved, how much it should cost, and what we need to do to achieve the desired results. All of these issues are closely connected with whether the practitioners are clearheaded on what role they play in their interaction with the attorney.
A family member of a practitioner said that hiring a lawyer is helpful for the practitioner's family members to learn about the development of the legal case. They can see the files with the attorney's help. They can also read about how the practitioner has been persecuted and what governmental agencies and key personnel are involved. Based on this information, practitioners can target them in fact-clarification efforts. At the same time, the attorney can meet with the practitioner, so the family can indirectly find out whether the practitioner is safe. More importantly, the family members and attorneys may both be interviewed by the media. They can use this opportunity to call for help from the international community and clarify the facts to the Chinese public. Exposing the evil deeds is the best way to protect their family members.
Be clearheaded about the role of the law and lawyers; correctly position relationships between practitioners and lawyers
Practitioners in some areas call lawyers "nurses" and refer to the arrest of practitioners as being "taken to the hospital." Unwittingly, they have positioned lawyers as saviors of practitioners. Actually, under the currently legal system in China, attorneys are not able to rescue practitioners.
From a different angle, how do we rescue persecuted practitioners? A family member of a persecuted practitioner stressed the importance of clarifying the facts to the perpetrators of the persecution. Lawyers are only a small part of the system. Before we hire a lawyer, we should have some basic legal knowledge. Every step along the way, we should clarify the facts to the lawyers and guide them. We should save more people through the work of the lawyers and not expect the lawyers to save us. If we become dependent on the lawyers, the evil will take advantage of this opportunity and push the lawyers to the opposite side.
A lawyer who once worked on a Falun Gong case said that the biggest problem with China's legal system is that there is no enforcement. No matter how specific the laws, they are pointless without enforcement. He said that every Falun Gong case was unique, although the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is comprehensive and distinctly illegal.
There are 130,000 lawyers in China. Now, only 1 in 10,000 know the facts and are brave enough to carry out their duty as lawyers. So many other lawyers are awaiting their opportunity to learn the facts and speak up. They have a duty during this special historic period. But who will clarify the facts to them? The best candidates are family members of persecuted practitioners, as well as the practitioners who hire lawyers. In ordinary society, the practitioners and family members are "victims" that need help. But Fa principles tell us that we should use our righteous thoughts and actions to save those with predestined relationships even as we transcend our tribulations.
Master's teachings have opened the door for us to save those working in the legal system. They are directly under orders of the 610 Office. They have used the law as a tool to torture, persecute, enslave, or permanently detain Falun Gong practitioners. They have committed such grave sins; many of them are beyond saving. We have not been able to come into much contact with them and have not clarified the facts to them well. The persecuted practitioners and their family members all have a chance to contact these people in the legal system. When we are suffering from the persecution, we can clarify the facts to lawyers. Master has already pointed out the path for us. With righteous thoughts and actions, we can clarify the facts to lawyers, and the evil dares not interfere. When a lawyer that knows the facts defends a practitioner, it can shock the evil and spread the facts to more people in the legal system. These people can have a chance to be saved. We should be considerate of the lawyers who already have many Falun Gong cases. They are probably under a lot of stress. It is better if we don't give them more cases, out of consideration that their burden will become too heavy and the pressure on them may be too great to endure.
What lawyers offer is a paid service. If they fail to do what they are supposed to, or give in under pressure (such as forfeiting the right to defend), they will be destroyed. As cultivators, we should be kind to sentient beings. If we can't find suitable attorneys, we are better off defending ourselves. Actually, some practitioners have said that they don't need attorneys. They want to defend themselves, because the attorneys can't convey what the practitioners want to say.
We can't clarify the facts to attorneys at too high a level
Through our experiences, we have found that when we talk to the police or those with advanced education, we have to focus on the basic facts of Falun Gong. Most of them have heard and believe the CCP slander. In addition, most ordinary people in China, especially those who are highly-educated, are atheists. If we start by telling them that Falun Gong is a cultivation method from the Buddha School, they may be scared off. We can just say that we are improving our health and trying to be better people. They need to know that Falun Gong is different from the slander propagated by the CCP, that Falun Gong is good and worthy of their support. After they come to this understanding, we can talk about their involvement in the rescue efforts.
When some practitioners are arrested, they are taken directly to a detention center to be tortured, without the benefit of any legal procedures. If a lawyer is hired, he or she can obtain important information. The lawyer can also pass the information on to the practitioner's family members. The information can be used to suppress the persecution and rescue practitioners.
It is a lawyer's job to protect the legal rights of his or her clients. But not all of them accept or agree with the Fa principles. Some attorneys say that they disagree with our principles but agree that we have rights. We need to continue to clarify the facts to them, but we cannot hire them to defend us. We must be clearheaded on this. We cannot regard ourselves as victims or an underprivileged group among ordinary people.
Even for the lawyers who have accepted that Falun Gong is good and understand the persecution, if we talk at a level too high for them to understand (e.g. asking them to use righteous thoughts or telling them that Master is protecting them), they will be confused about their role. For instance, the lawyers may tell their practitioner clients, "You don't pursue results and only care about the process. You know that the more you pursue the result, the less you can achieve it." Or "The people working for the courts are good people, too. You don't want to cause them trouble, do you?" They may say, "Now we have your Teacher's protection and we aren't afraid of anything." But when a reporter wants to interview them, they still have a lot of fear.
And the lawyers have their own worries. For example, some lawyers did not dare to accept interviews when Dafa practitioners asked them to.
The CCP is afraid of detained practitioners' family members and the knowing public
In our efforts to rescue practitioners who have been arrested, we need to publicize the phone numbers of those involved in the arrest, as well as details of the arrest. The CCP is most afraid of the voices of Falun Gong practitioners, their family members, friends, and the knowing public.
The CCP seeks to destroy the reputation of Falun Gong practitioners and economically bankrupt them. When the persecution first started, many friends and family members of Falun Gong practitioners were deceived by the CCP. But now more of them have returned to the practitioners' side. Some non-practitioner family members continue to appeal for practitioners who are illegally imprisoned.
Some practitioners and lawyers believe that one representative case, if done well, can have a broad impact in the local area. This requires practitioners to clarify the facts on a large scale in the local area, the attorney to do a thorough job on the case, and the media to cooperate and publicize the facts. This could have a strong impact on the police and legal system and reduce the number of persecution cases in the future. It could also change the overall environment, and the public may be more willing to admit that they are aware of the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong. As the Fa-rectification moves forward, and as more people learn the facts, the voices of Falun Gong's supporters are becoming stronger. This is what the CCP is most afraid of. These voices are the most powerful. They encourage even more people to speak up. In our reporting of persecution cases, we can also include more quotes from the general public.