Five days after the March 14 Atrocity, fifteen of us practitioners were sent to the “L” Labor Camp in Jilin Province. Since all of us were put in one room, we were able to share and communicate with each other, even under strict surveillance. On our way there, one practitioner with an open celestial eye witnessed a large battle taking place in another dimension. He saw that a group of celestial soldiers came down. We enlightened to the understanding that they were sent by Master to help the practitioners who had become lost due to the persecution. We heard that all forty-two practitioners detained in this labor camp had written statements renouncing Falun Gong.
The section chief of the Education Section tried to garner extra credit by brutally persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. In order to maintain the “transformation” rate, he blocked all fifteen of us from contacting the local practitioners detained there. Meal times were the only opportunity we could see each other. He carefully picked a practitioner who had “transformed” to be the deputy team leader.
The deputy team leader had served in the armed forces and had a similar background as mine. He was 55 years old, five years younger than me. We had many common topics to talk about so we quickly became good friends. He asked me questions about the self-immolation: “Do you think the self-immolation is true? I am skeptical but cannot quite wrap my mind around it.”
He and the rest of the local practitioners did not know the truth; they had been arrested before the self-immolation hoax occurred. I told him, “Not only was the self-immolation staged by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), all propaganda you've seen or heard about Falun Gong are just lies and slander.”
After staying with us for three days, the deputy team leader changed and was determined to return to Dafa. He said, “Under the extreme pressure at the labor camp, both myself and the other 42 local practitioners were all “transformed.” Some were skeptical of the self-immolation. Some had doubts but didn't dare speak up. Some just didn't think much. However, as long as we eliminate the gap and break through the blocks to help more local practitioners here know the truth, they will change. I have the freedom to move as I wish within the labor camp.”
He wanted to make up for his past errors and help the rest of the “transformed” practitioners come back to Dafa. I shook his hands and thanked him for his help. “Dafa disciples are one body. I'm so fortunate to have your help.” After that, we met every two to three days and cooperated very well with each other in our truth-clarification activities.
On the third day after we arrived at the labor camp, the section chief of the Education Section ordered us to write a “thought report.” He said that we could take as long as we needed, and the labor camp wouldn't retaliate if we wrote anything against them.
We knew that this was a tactic to understand us better so as to “transform” us quickly. I suggested among the practitioners to use this opportunity to clarify the truth thoroughly. If the local practitioners could read it, they would want to come back to Dafa. One practitioner thought that it would be impossible and a waste of time, as this labor camp wouldn't allow local practitioners to read our reports.
All of us shared our thoughts. At last, we all agreed that the people of the world, including policemen, had been deceived by the CCP's propaganda, therefore they misunderstood Dafa practitioners. As long as we clarified the facts and exposed the lies, they would understand. Even if only one person read our “thought reports,” our efforts wouldn't be in vain. We would not let go of this precious truth-clarification opportunity.
We all wrote our reports. I wrote a report of 15,000 words in one and a half days. Some of them wrote reports with several thousand words. We all wrote from different angles, clarifying the truth about the self-immolation hoax, the April 25 Appeal, how practicing Falun Gong is not against any law in China, and so on.
This large-scale truth-clarification effort made a strong impact on the entire labor camp. Everyone, from the director, the Education Section chief, to the live-in prosecutor, the camp guards and the local practitioners, all read or heard about the facts we wrote in our reports. The majority of the people understood the facts of the persecution. The tide was turning in the labor camp.
One of the “transformed” practitioners collected the reports from us. He was curious about our thoughts and kept reading while collecting until he finished them all. He was so excited that he had finally jumped out of the web of lies that had deceived him. Subsequently, he told other local practitioners about the self-immolation hoax. At lunch time, many local practitioners who were working came to me and told me that they now understood the truth about Dafa and the persecution. Moreover, they mentioned that had they had known the truth before, they would never have renounced Dafa. Some of them thought it was too late. I told them Master's words,
“Amidst tribulations, it is very difficult for a student to see the cause of a matter; but it’s not that it is impossible. When he calms his mind and evaluates things with Dafa, he will be able to see the nature of the matter.” (“Rationality” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I reminded them about how their work environment allowed them more free time to study the Fa and share so that they could catch up quickly, since Master is watching everyone of us and knows our every thought and action.
The deputy team leader saw me at night. He told me, “A thought report was recommended to me. I was told that no matter how busy I was, I must read it. I took a look, and it was your writing. We are going to take excerpts from practitioners' writings, print them out, and make copies and give to each Dafa disciple. In this way, we can help bring back those “transformed” practitioners. What do you think?”
I grabbed his hands with excitement: “Master has given you wisdom. What a great idea! Please do it carefully and quickly, and as soon as possible!”
Whenever I ran out of ideas and didn't know what to do while trying to negate the persecution in the labor camp, a passage of the Fa always appeared in front of me out of the blue, giving me encouragement, like: "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!" (Zhuan Falun)
One of the local practitioners (I called him Practitioner A) wanted to come back to Dafa. On the day before our arrival at the labor camp, he and two younger practitioners handed in their declaration letters to the section chief, stating that they'd resume cultivation. The section chief became really angry and immediately took out his steel whip.
This whip was a brutal weapon. When people were beaten, it felt like their flesh was bitten, and many people had been whipped unconscious with it. When the two young practitioners saw the chief pull out his whip, they changed their minds right away.
The section chief warned Practitioner A not to ruin his 100% “transformation” rate. But Practitioner A refused to give in. The section chief madly whipped him five times, until Practitioner A lost consciousness. A guard poured cold water on him to wake him up, then put him in solitary confinement.
One day, I found a chance to talk to Practitioner A when I went to the restroom. I saw his bruises and cuts from the torture. He was very determined to come back to Dafa. I left him with tears in my eyes. I knew that the section chief blocked these local practitioners from coming back to Dafa. We needed to get rid of him.
Shortly after I had this thought, the live-in prosecutor bought us dinner with his own money. I did not understand why he did it. When I realized that he was in the position to process a legal case, I wanted to use this opportunity to file a lawsuit against the section chief and appeal for justice for Practitioner A. I tried to compose a letter of appeal but it touched upon many legal aspects that I did not know. Without any legal knowledge, I would be unable to tell what crimes the section chief had committed. But how could I learn the necessary legal knowledge? Where could I find a law book?
Three days after I had the thought, while I was thinking about what to do, a young man came to me during lunch time. He said That he was a practitioner and felt that I needed some help. He asked me if I wanted to read his brochure on law. I told him that I urgently needed it. He said that the brochure in his hand belonged to me now. I asked him how he knew that I needed it. He told me that he did not know why, it was just a feeling.
With the deputy team leader's help, I was able to concentrate on reading through the brochure and finished the letter of appeal in two days. When I was ready to sign it, I suddenly had an idea: why not have all fifteen of us practitioners sign our names. That would be much more powerful. Thirteen practitioners immediately signed, but two practitioners did not want to read or sign the letter. One of the practitioners shared with them and persuaded both of them to sign it as well. On the next day, I handed in the joint letter of appeal to the labor camp director. He was shocked when he opened the letter. Then he asked the section chief go to his office and scolded him.
After the section chief learned that I had written the letter of appeal, he began to interrogate me about where I got the brochure on law. He interrogated once every two or three days. In retaliation, he tried to instigate other team leaders to beat me up but failed. Then he ordered the local practitioners who did the facility service work to line up and ordered me to point out the one who gave me the brochure. I was a bit nervous at the beginning but I realized that this was his last struggle. I calmed down and recalled Master's words: “No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil’s demands, orders, or what it instigates. If everyone does this the environment won’t be this way.” (“Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
We had just received Master's scripture on sending forth righteous thoughts so I stared at him and kept sending forth righteous thoughts. I refused to cooperate with him and he eventually had to give up.
The section chief said, “Old man, in front of the labor camp staff and practitioners doing facility servicing, if you cannot identify the person who gave you the legal brochure, then you will have betrayed Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and Dafa. I will help your Master clean up the house. I will not let you go easily!”
From his weak remarks, I knew that the evil controlling him had already been eliminated. I replied, “Section chief, you pretend to be from the mafia, claiming to 'clean up the house,' and slander Falun Dafa. You should be careful of retribution. Precisely because I practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I'm not going to identify the person who gave me the brochure on law. This is to also to help you commit one less sin. It's good for all of us. What kind of crime is it to read a brochure on law that contains common knowledge? Your trick can scare a three-year-old child, but not Dafa practitioners. Stop such nonsense. It does nothing but waste everyone's time.”
The labor camp staff were speechless. Some gave me the thumbs-up. Some laughed quietly. Finally the section chief lit up a cigarette and said, “The old man is too old to remember. It's possible. Let's all get back to work.” Thus, the two-week-long interrogation ended.
One day during lunch break, the fifteen of us practitioners gathered together in a classroom and shared. Then we sent forth righteous thoughts together. Before we finished, we heard practitioners' crying and the sounds of whips coming from the Education Section room.
I shouted loudly, “Beating is not allowed, beating is against the law!” Then all of us rushed to the Education Section room. A practitioner kicked the door open. The section chief was drunk. Three practitioners were bent over and he was whipping them with his belt.
The section chief was shocked to see the room full of practitioners. A practitioner went over to help the three practitioners up and told them, “Don't be afraid. This is not what a Dafa practitioner should endure.”
The section chief argued, “I am helping your Master to clean up the house. I'm teaching them a lesson for your Master!” A practitioner responded firmly, “Our Master makes the call whether they are practitioners or not. No one can be forced to cultivate. They are free to come and go. They stopped cultivation yesterday and have decided to resume their cultivation today. This is their choice. It is not dishonest.”
We all asked the section chief to release the three practitioners, or otherwise, we would take him to the director. He was silent. He had been criticized by the director several days ago. His special steel whip was also confiscated. He was waiting to hear his director's decision as to what to do with him. He had no choice but to let the three practitioners go. Through this experience, all practitioners saw the power of one body.
That night, the deputy team leader told me that his family brought him Master's new article “Coercion Cannot Change People’s Hearts.” We told him that we would transcribe twenty copies at night. The next day, among all practitioners at the labor camp, two shared one copy and all tried to memorize it. Two days later, the deputy team leader gave us feedback and said that all the previously “transformed” local practitioners cried after they read Master's article and were so thankful for Master's compassion that they were still accepted as practitioners.
After the publication of Master's article, all the local practitioners wrote declaration letters stating that they'd come back to Dafa within a month after we arrived. Within three months of our arrival at the labor camp, the 100% “transformation rate” was replaced by a 100% rate of practitioners resuming cultivation.
Later, the section chief was removed from his post and was sent to guard the gate. The new section chief told everyone in the labor camp that Falun Gong practitioners are not criminals. He treated practitioners better than the other inmates. The whole labor camp changed and practitioners were treated well.
The new section chief also released some practitioners earlier than their term expiration. The deputy team leader was the first one released. The demoted section chief had also changed his attitude. He told a practitioner that the new section chief was better than he, and that it was own his actions that brought on his demotion.
Practitioners' righteous thoughts and actions dissolved the evil in the labor camp, validated Dafa and saved sentient beings.
(To be continued)