Former “Transformed” Practitioner: Returning to the Path of Cultivating Falun Dafa
(Clearwisdom.net) In my previous article "Ms. Liu Xinyu Recounts CCP Brainwashing and 'Transformation'” (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2011/4/14/124391.html) I had mentioned that I would share about how I returned to the path of cultivation again. The following is my experience.
After I was “transformed” in June 2001, I still had three months left before my forced labor term ended. At that time, the Maojiashan Women's Forced Labor Camp in Chongqing and the Nanmusi Women's Forced Labor Camp in Chengdu City came up with a plan to consolidate their “transformation” effort so I wouldn't return to practicing Falun Dafa again. I was transferred back to Maojiashan Women's Forced Labor Camp. This time, they gave me a warm welcome by beating drums and gongs and treated me with "smiles" and "love" just like at Nanmusi Women's Forced Labor Camp. People were assigned to fill my bucket with hot water so that I could take a hot bath alone. It was considered the best treatment in the forced labor camp. They assigned Wang Dongyan to “look after” me and the other three practitioners who were “transformed” at the same time as me in Nanmusi Women's Forced Labor Camp.
We got along with Wang Dongyan like a sister. She prepared my bed and gave the four of us some personal freedom with special permission. She also gradually led us in trying to "transform" other practitioners. However, she wasn't in a hurry to ask us to do that, but instead told us to do a good job on our "homework." The "homework" was to get the four of us together with several other “transformed” practitioners in a meeting room and go through each paragraph in Zhuan Falun. After Wang read out loud one paragraph from the book, she would then ask us to voice our opinions or understandings while one of us took notes in a big notebook. Whoever was designated to take notes would write down everyone's understandings and also the source of the original sentence or paragraph. We earnestly prepared our "homework" every evening. We didn't realize it was the most evil plot—to lead us to truly deviate from and slander Dafa.
One evening we read the section "Zhen-Shan-Ren is the Sole Criterion to Discern Good and Bad People” in Zhuan Falun. Wang then guided us into a discussion. At the end of our discussion , everyone eventually said, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance does not exist." At that moment, I had a very bad headache—my head felt like it would explode at any minute. I also felt my blood rise. I asked a close friend of mine who was detained with me in Sichuan Women's Forced Labor Camp, "Didn't we say we would quietly become good people in line with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance?" She stared at me in disbelief and replied, "Are you calm now? There is no such thing as Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance!" I felt I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown and shouted out in desperation, "You liars! You are all deceiving me!"
Wang was arranging something, but I can't recall what it was. I only remember that everyone stopped what they were doing and tried to calm me down. I don't remember how they managed to get me back to my cell and get me in bed. I only remember that my tears kept running down my face while I repeatedly said to myself, "They don't even acknowledge Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." It was a night without hope. I don't know when I fell asleep, but I knew my heart had sunk to a bottomless pit. Afterwards, the attention I got from everyone at the forced labor camp was beyond imagination. Everyone used the most kind and gentle words to comfort me. Their smiles and love suffocated me and cut me off from any remaining opportunity I had at that time to return to practicing Falun Dafa.
Wang Dongyan was calm and experienced. She continued to lead us to do our “homework.” Actually, the notebook that we spent a lot of time and effort writing in proved to be useless, but the process of taking the notes was what helped to completely brainwash us and wiped out every memory engraved in our hearts. When Wang got the results she wanted, she stopped having us do this homework and fed us the "glorious history" of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leaders in songs, films, autobiographies, and stories. During this process, I even accepted a hearsay, “'fraudulent' is a superb wisdom and a guarantee of success.”
The third step in “transforming” us was to have each of us write articles criticizing Falun Gong. We had to go up to the podium and read our article out loud or read it in front of the media. Wang noticed that I was struggling in my heart when I had to write these kinds of articles, so she didn't push me too hard, force me to write more profoundly, or make me read it in public. Therefore, I escaped a catastrophe. However, they still arranged for the media to interview me. A reporter asked me, “Why do you want to be 'transformed?'” They wanted me to denounce Falun Gong while in tears. However, in my heart I heard a voice saying, “You must be fair. It is really good to have practiced Falun Gong. You haven't found anything wrong with Falun Gong.” Therefore, I simply talked about my narrow understanding of “politics” into the microphone.
I felt uncomfortable when I saw one of the “transformed” practitioners speak while in tears and the lights kept flashing at her. I learned that this person returned to her work in Southern China while working as an informer for the police at the same time. As a result, many practitioners were arrested.
The forced labor camp officials also talked to me alone, hinting that I could cooperate with the police after I was released. I pretended I didn't understand what they were saying. They didn't want to clearly state their request, so their ploy went nowhere. Of the special agents who insinuate themselves among practitioners, some are these “transformed” people. I avoided denouncing and criticizing Falun Gong in public and refused to be a special agent of the CCP. Not participating in these two events became my hope to return to the path of cultivation.
After being “trained” by Wang Dongyan, I was able to confuse the standards of compassion and evil and to “transform” other practitioners while remaining absolutely calm. I thought this reworking of emotions was a noble and great thing in “saving” practitioners so that they could reunite with their loved ones.
Shortly after I returned to my former job in September 2001, Wang had the head of Chongqing Women's Forced Labor Camp (whose surname is also Wang) and another female leader temporarily transfer me to the forced labor camp, where, specializing in “transforming” practitioners, I would work for pay. I asked that my salary come from my former workplace, because I didn't want to get it from the forced labor camp. The head of the forced labor camp promised to arrange it, but I later found out that my salary came directly from the labor camp. She then repeatedly tried to persuade me that it would be fine, saying that I had to have an income to live on. The truth was I already had a job and a salary, but I didn't speak up in consideration of her feelings. It was the dirtiest money I ever earned. I was constantly tortured because of it. After I returned to cultivating Falun Gong, I donated all of that money to make truth-clarification materials to save sentient beings.
At the forced labor camp, I acted as a guard. Several other “transformed” practitioners and I dined together with the guards in the same canteen. We had our own room and enjoyed some privileges. On my birthday, the forced labor camp authorities prepared a banquet for me and several leaders were invited to attend. We were also invited to attend their meetings to discuss plans for how to “transform” practitioners. We plotted all the concrete steps and details as if we were doing the guards' job.
A sense of extreme vanity and the feeling of being trusted made us redouble our efforts in our work. After some time of working closely together, the CCP officials' true nature was revealed. I found out that behind Wang Dongyan was an organization that specialized in persecuting practitioners to make them renounce Falun Gong. Led by the head of the forced labor camp, the organization was made up of strong, young guards that specialized in studying the psychological changes in practitioners and finding ways to deal with them.
I began to see the “backstage” of their performance. I saw that everything I experienced and witnessed at the time I was “transformed” was a performance—that their smiles and “love” were part of their job. They rehearsed before performing on stage. Through studying and learning from “transformed” practitioners “outstanding experience sharing,” they learned that two key areas could be used to make a breakthrough in their “transformation” work—compassion and missing loved ones.
Only abject hypocrisy could explain what I had seen and heard. I then began to take a passive attitude to my job. They noticed my change of mood, so they told me to take a few days off and prepared a feast for me as a treat. They also took me to the homes of the guards to play cards and chat about their kids in an attempt to try to get rid of the worries in my mind. Afterwards, I continued to do my job in high spirits.
They would usually arrange for the practitioner that was to be “transformed” to sit in a room before I got there to talk to her. One day I had something else to do and missed the time they had arranged for me to go talk to a practitioner. When I finally got there, I bumped into seven or eight inmates dragging a practitioner to the room where I was supposed to go to. When the guard who was in charge of the practitioner saw me observing this, she pretended to reprimand the inmates and told them to stop dragging the practitioner. She told them to support the practitioner by the arms instead.
When we were in the room, everyone, including the guard, kept quiet and didn't take part in our conversation, a strategy they had learned from their study. This made it easier for the transformer to relax the practitioner's guard. After witnessing what had just happened, I decided to not talk as much or give systematic guidance as I normally did. Instead, I only asked a few questions and just listened to the practitioner. I didn't know if they would eavesdrop on our conversation, so I only asked questions. Listening was considered part of the “transformation” plan, so it was relatively safer. When I saw the practitioner's messy hair and rumpled clothes, I figured she was being tortured. I knew that practitioners were being inhumanely tortured and that it had never stopped in the forced labor camp—it was just that they tried to not let me see it. When I was aware of this again, I began to pay attention to the condition of the practitioners they were trying to “transform.” From my indirect conversations with the practitioners, I guessed correctly about their conditions—they were being held in solitary confinement and were surrounded by cangues. They were not even allowed to take care of their personal hygiene. There was a lot more violence that I didn't know about.
The number of people that I could successfully “transform” began to decrease. The group that was responsible for “transforming” practitioners began to worry about me. One evening Wang Dongyan came to our dormitory to chat and watch television with us as usual. Over a small incident, I flared into a rage at the other “transformers.” The more Wang tried to persuade me to calm down, the angrier I became. I eventually pushed the door open and left the room. I wandered in the playground in the dark. After a while, Wang came out and asked what had happened. I told her that I didn't want to work at the forced labor camp anymore and that I couldn't do the job well. She tried again to calm me down and said that no one blamed me for not doing well. I was able to finally leave the forced labor camp to participate in an examination students of self-study. At home, I reviewed my homework to prepare for the exam. At that time, my husband was still detained.
One day, Wang Dongyan suddenly showed up at my door. I was surprised that she knew where I lived. She explained that she had happened to run into a residential committee member in my neighborhood and was given the directions to my home. She told me that she was on her way to visit a friend and wanted to stop by to say hi. She looked inside my bathroom and saw that the toilet had a poor drainage system. So she left to go buy a device to prevent smells in the bathroom. When she came back, she installed it for me and cleaned out the drain. Afterwards, she went with me to do some grocery shopping and reminded me that I needed to learn to take care of myself. I was moved by her show of concern since I felt very lonely. I kept in touch with her for a long time and didn’t realize that my deep friendship with her ruined my second chance to return to Dafa. I didn't realize that she was trying to maintain a long term “'transformation' victory.”
Officials at the Chongqing Party Political and Legal Committee and the forced labor camps wanted to continue controlling the “transformed” practitioners after their release to prevent them from returning to practicing Falun Gong. In 2002, Director Wang at the forced labor camp called me to attend a conference to talk about my so-called “happy life” after my “transformation” in order to try to push practitioners who were on the verge of being “transformed.” I arrived at the building on time, but couldn't find the meeting room. I wandered around to find the room and came upon a big conference room. Someone was talking inside facing the door, so I didn’t feel comfortable going in. I decided to stay outside the room and listen.
After listening for awhile, I realized it wasn't the conference I had been told to attend. It was actually a meeting for guards to learn how to continue suppressing Falun Gong and intensify the “transformation” work of practitioners. They discussed that “care” could play a great role in “transforming” practitioners and told the guards to switch from their strategies of suppression to showing care. They also explained which “care” methods moved the practitioners the most and provided examples of successful “transformations” that had been maintained. The presentation showed that the CCP was using “caring,” a true human affection, as a weapon to strike at practitioners. Recalling the bloodiness and “care” that I had experienced at the forced labor camp before I was “transformed,” I felt cold from head to toe even though it was springtime.
They suddenly took a break and began to file out of the room. I didn’t have time to step aside and Wang saw me. He looked scared and asked me, “Why are you here?” I replied, “Didn't you tell me to come here for a meeting?” He then asked me, “Oh, didn’t they inform you that meeting was canceled?” After I said no, Wang stopped a few men and introduced them to me. They were members of the CCP's Political and Legal Committee. One of them smiled and asked if I had any financial problems. He hinted at Wang to give me some money. I recalled their talk about using care, so I told them, “I’d rather beg on the street than take a penny from your guards, the legal committee or the 610 Office!” Then, I left.
After that, I stayed away from Wang Dongyan and the forced labor camp. I started to get in touch with the real world and tried to get rid of the distorted views that Wang Dongyan had methodically planted in my head. I started to contact regular people who were not trying to “transform” practitioners.
The first person who questioned my thinking was a good friend of mine from high school. After celebrating my release from the forced labor camp, she asked me, “How come you look like a changed person? It was illegal for the CCP to put you in the forced labor camp to 'knife' people. Now you are released, but you can’t tell good from bad. I feel very uncomfortable when I listen to you talk.” I was surprised. After being brainwashed by the CCP, I thought that I had maintained my conscience. But in the eyes of regular people, my thinking was abnormal. And even worse, I couldn’t tell where my thinking was wrong. The second person to mention my abnormal views of the CCP was an older gentleman. He showed me some pictures and articles about the Tiananmen massacre to mourn those who died in the June 4th event. He said sadly, “We are very happy that you are out. You need to pay attention to safety to avoid being arrested by the CCP again. But why did you become so muddleheaded after the CCP brainwashing? The CCP is a villain, a gangster. How can you call it your 'mother?' The most fortunate thing in my life will be to see the CCP collapse.” Although he worked in the government, he was very worried about how grateful I was to the CCP. I thought that I had insights into many issues, but in others' eyes, I had been deceived by the CCP, yet still knelt down to praise it as “great, glorious, and correct.” However, I still didn’t know where my problem was.
After giving up cultivation, my health continued to deteriorate and I kept coughing. I also felt very depressed. I later met a university professor who taught painting. He once lived in Tibet and created some of his greatest paintings there. He promised to take me to Tibet to paint. I thought it might help me to untie the knot in my mind. I looked forward to and prepared for the trip.
As I was waiting to go on the trip, someone from the public security bureau called me to help them “transform” an important Falun Gong practitioner. The officer said it was an urgent matter, so a car would come to pick me up the next day. I said that I hadn’t done that kind of work for a while and suggested that they find someone else instead. The officer then said a lot of good things about me and I became happy. My strong attachment to vanity was my weakness, and others used this to control me. I then halfheartedly said, “OK.” I then called the painter to tell him that I needed to delay the trip for a few days. After he found out why I needed to delay the trip, he criticized me for easily agreeing to help the police and urged me to call him back to decline their request. I called the police officer and said that I had some emergency to take care of, so I couldn’t help them. He started threatening me, “Your company reassigned you to 'transform' practitioners. Now if you don’t do it and don’t report back to work to your company...where's the permission from your company?” I kept trying to push it off, but he wouldn’t let me off the hook. I didn’t know what to do.
That night the painter called me to ask if I had told the police I wouldn't help them. He said that he had called several of his friends to discuss my situation. They all suggested that I not cooperate with the CCP, but stay away from it. He also said, “The CCP praises you today, but it may trash you tomorrow. It’s hard to predict. Also, you don’t know what the practitioner thinks. Why force her to do what she doesn’t want to do? Artists pursue purity and quietness. Why do you want to be used by the CCP to ‘knife’ people? History has shown that whoever is used by the CCP to hurt people doesn't have a good ending.” I told him that I had already told the police officer I would help them, so it was hard to decline now.
He became angrier and angrier as he kept trying to persuade me to not cooperate with the CCP. He said that I didn't realized how severe the problem was and how dangerous it was becoming. He and his friends were very worried, but I still felt that it was ok. I felt hurt and told him, “I will do it if I think it’s worth it. I don’t care of what other people say!” I could tell that he was in a rage. He said, “Worth it!?! What do you know about worth it? To be a victim of the CCP? To harm your mother, your relatives, and your friends? You think that it's worth it? To deceive others to give up their belief and hurt their dignity, is it worth it?” I was truly berated for the first time in my life. He said that I was selfish, shallow, vain, hypocritical, not considerate of others, etc. Before he hung up, he declared our friendship was over.
I felt trashed by the whole world. The splendid “transformation” work that I did to other practitioners was seen as dirty work in the eyes of others. I was completely lost. I cried helplessly in bed that whole night. I decided from then on I would never talk about “transforming” practitioners or get involved in the CCP’s activities. Early the next morning, I called the police officer to firmly tell him not to pick me up. As a result, I didn't have to help them “transform” the practitioner.
My friends' reactions made me wonder, “Was I really wrong to have been 'transformed?'” Seeing me so unresponsive, gaunt, and spiritually numb, my parents asked me to accompany them to visit Mount Emei. Surrounded by such peaceful and openness, and seeing the temples and pavilions on Mount Emei, my confused, impetuous heart was comforted. My desire to cultivate and return to my original true self was awakened again. This was my third chance to return to Dafa.
My instinct for survival let me hold on tightly to this precious opportunity. I went to the 610 Office and the forced labor camp to request the unconditional release of my husband. Although his two-year term was over, he was still detained in the Legal Education School, a brainwashing center, for another year. After appealing his case multiple times, he was finally released. With my husband back, I returned to a practitioner’s environment. Practitioners’ noble, honest, kind, and sincere words and deeds moved me. I truly felt that Falun Dafa is a pure land. I had experienced so many hypocritical, evil, corrupt, and cold things during the two years I was “transformed.” I now truly believe that Falun Dafa is a pure land.
In February 2003, I returned to cultivation. After I returned home and began to socialize again, I was able to see through the CCP’s lies. No matter how the CCP wanted to consolidate its “transformation” victories, it was done in vain.