Prodigal Son and Former Gang Member Who Fought and Trafficked Drugs Turns His Life Around (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) An official at the Taiyuan Prison in Taitung, Taiwan always encourages hundreds of prisoners with this exhortation, "Think about Mr. Lin Jiaxiang. After he began practicing Falun Gong, he became a very good person. His outlook on life changed. After his release from here, he is no longer a gang member. He got a legitimate job and lives openly and righteously. You should learn from him. Only by making a radical change in heart like he did will you gain a new life."
Recalling with Emotion
As the saying goes, "A prodigal son who returns is more precious than gold." This is even more difficult for those engaged in gangs and who are drug addicts. Mr. Lin Jiaxiang said, "Falun Dafa saved me. I'm fortunate. Without Falun Gong I couldn't have made the radical change in heart. Without Falun Gong, following my release, I would have returned to the life of a gangster, no matter how long I was in prison or how well I performed while inside. That is why I very much appreciate the opportunity to encounter practitioners' disseminating Falun Gong to us in the Taiyuan Prison, to have more than a year to learn the beauty of Falun Gong, and then to step onto the cultivation path. Having missed the introduction would be the biggest regret in my life." Looking back, Mr. Lin Jiaxiang was filled with appreciation and gratitude.
Terrible Wild Days
Mr. Lin had only an elementary school education, as his family couldn't afford additional education. Mr. Lin had to work at a shoe factory as an apprentice. He quickly developed many bad habits while living in the factory's dormitory. He worked in the shoe factory for two or three years, and afterwards followed his neighbor into life in a gang. He was only 18 years old. Since then, he lived by gambling and aided others to collect debts. Swords, and guns, sticks and fists became his special skills. He often fought with others. Although his family worried much about him he didn't pay attention at all and gradually became a top bad fellow in his local area.
Mr. Lin Jiaxiang became addicted to drugs at age 33 years. He explained, "Once you take drugs, you easily become addicted within several days. When suffering withdrawal from drugs, I vomited and purged, shivered in tears and had a nasal discharge. The most terrible suffering was that I felt as if hundreds of thousand ants moved and bit inside my bones. I couldn't catch them and had to suffer tremendous itching and pain. Sometimes I couldn't bear it and ran up against a wall. That kind of fidgeting and pain was like a living death. The only thing in my mind was, 'Give me drugs to immediately relieve the pain.' To get drugs, I did all kinds of bad things. But my remaining bit of conscience prevented me from killing." To have enough money to buy drugs, Mr. Lin trafficked in drugs.
Six Petitions for Release on Parole Were Denied
In 1992, Mr. Lin Jiaxiang was given life imprisonment for drug trafficking. He was sent to the Taipei Prison and then transferred to the Taiyuan Prison in Taitung. Although consuming wine and drugs was forbidden, Mr. Lin still smoked, gambled and fought with others. He said, "Prisoners were required to work. Everyone followed a well-arranged schedule. I had more free time, and started to review my life. At one time I was inspired by Christianity, and I also studied Buddhist texts for three years. But I still felt empty and didn't lessen any of my bad habits." I applied six times for early parole when my prison term reached the minimum requirement for release, but all applications were denied.
Having lived in prison for 12 years Mr. Lin began to examine himself, questioning, "Will my life go like this to the end?" He didn't know how he could get out of the mire and create a new path for himself.
First to Sign Up for Falun Gong Study
One day in 2003, prison officials notified the inmates that Falun Gong practitioners were coming to teach the practice, and anyone who wanted to learn could sign up. Mr. Lin said, "As soon as I heard that, I went to sign up. I was the first one. Since then, my happiest time every week was studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Practitioners only came one day per week. It was the day that we all looked forward to every week."
After studying the Fa and doing the exercises for a while, Mr. Lin calmed down and gradually felt the miracle of Dafa. He said, "Through the Fa principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, practitioners know what they should do and what they shouldn't do, in words and deeds. Falun Gong can really help people to practice cultivation; fundamentally changing people. I am the most obvious example."
Cherishing the Reformation Opportunity
Mr. Lin shared two experiences. "When I was first in touch with Falun Gong, just casually knowing it, helped me to quickly eliminate my smoking addiction. Regarding the gambling, however, I was still addicted to it and fought with others sometimes. I once fought with another prisoner, and hurt him with a carving knife. Although the other prisoner was only slightly hurt, my using a knife was still a very serious violation of the law. Officials usually immediately transferred fighters to other prisons. However, the official who dealt with this matter forgave us and made those involved apologize to each other. I was in a cold sweat from fear at that moment. It was very clear that I was fortunate, because Master gave me another opportunity. If I was transferred to another prison where there was no environment to study the Fa, I might miss out on learning the practice. After this incident I was determined to become a genuine practitioner who truly practiced according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
Succeeded in Not Fighting Back When Being Punched or Insulted--Impossible In the Past
Soon after the above-mentioned incident, Mr. Lin had a conflict with another prisoner related to gambling. That prisoner fist-cuffed him. Mr. Lin immediately remembered Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and bore it successfully. All the other prisoners and guards found this unbelievable. Mr. Lin said, "This would be impossible in the past. Before I practiced Falun Gong, if others treated me bad, I then treated them worse. It was impossible for me to bear others' fists. But since practicing cultivation I came to understand some principles. I know that I need to be strict with myself and endure it."
He gradually developed a deep understanding of the Fa principles. He disciplined himself according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and gradually eliminated all of his bad habits, including gambling. His temper also became better and better. He was able to maintain a compassionate and kind mindset. Sometimes he also advised other prisoners to be good, already considering himself a genuine practitioner. He was released on parole a year after beginning the practice.
Living Upright and Openly
Mr. Lin said, "I was very fortunate to obtain the Fa in prison. All prisoners have grievances and harbor hatred due to the detention, but I feel it was worthwhile for me since I obtained the Fa. The greatest significance of my imprisonment was that I could practice Falun Gong, which completely changed my life."
Following his release Mr. Lin often went to Taipe's Xindian Drug Rehabilitation Center and helped people there by relating his own experiences with practitioners who helped him gain a new life. His family was happy about his changes. He has returned to his home in Sanxia, Taipei County, and has a legitimate job. He manages an airport transportation service with his friends and enjoys a full and meaningful life.
Friends from his former gangs sometimes still come to see Mr. Lin. He doesn't discriminate against them, just as practitioners accepted him before. He sometimes chats with those friends, shares his experiences, tells them of the wonders of Falun Dafa, and then advises them to be good.
Magnanimous and Upright New Life
Mr. Lin said, "Falun Dafa let me clearly know the difference between good and bad, and what I should do, as well as what I shouldn't do. I am no longer affected by illegal things, no matter how much money they could bring to me or how easy they may be." He gave an example, having encountered an international drug dealer after he was released, "International drug dealers usually trade in very large amounts of money. It is easy to earn several million. After practicing Falun Dafa, those temptations couldn't move my heart because I fundamentally understand that they harm others and the dealers themselves. Falun Dafa can fundamentally change people's notions and can improve society's spiritual demeanor. I am a living witness."
Spreading the Wonders of Dafa to All Sentient Beings
Time permitting, Mr. Lin Jiaxiang goes to tourist site such as the "Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall" and the "101 Building" to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution. He wants to tell everyone, especially visitors from China, about the wonders of Falun Dafa.