China Fahui | Letters from Prison Show Both the Dignity of Dafa and the Horrors of the Persecution (Part 3)
Excerpt: My clarifying the truth was energy that suppressed his demon nature and empowered me to overcome a potential tribulation. Clarifying the truth is not only the key to overcoming tribulations, but also a treasure used to save sentient beings.
The Second Joint Appeal Letter
I enlightened that Master is in control of every situation and has the final say during the persecution that I endured.
The forced labor camp hired a new director—a big man about 50 years old. In order to make profit for the labor camp, he found an investor and built a factory with more than 50 machines to knit gloves. The investor required that the workers be Falun Gong practitioners only.
One day, the new director was giving a tour of the factory to several Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials at about 2 p.m. I used that opportunity to give him a second joint appeal letter. He asked me, “What's this?” I replied, “During lunch, the deputy chief prisoner was caught putting his hand in a practitioner's pocket. He claimed that there was paper inside the pocket and the practitioner was trying to spread Falun Gong information. The practitioner said that the prisoner was actually trying to pick his pocket, as he had been convicted of the same crime three times before. The guard on duty didn't investigate the incident and sent the practitioner directly to solitary confinement. Tomorrow morning, a hunger strike will begin during breakfast. See details in the appeal letter.” He told me, “I will get back to you.”
About two hours later, I was told the director was waiting for me under the big willow tree. I went there and sat down. The director said, “The practitioner is back in his division now. I have reprimanded the guard. He overstepped his authority. No one should be sent to solitary confinement without my approval. Thank you for your timely report, otherwise, we would've had a big loss.”
I asked him, “Why does the glove factory make only practitioners do the work? Is it because practitioners adhere to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and are good people? Everyone knows that, out of personal jealousy, Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong. He didn't care about the people.” He looked at his watch and said, “I have a meeting coming up. Let's talk later.” He hurried away.
Although it seemed the director had a sense of justice, he was actually deceptive and manipulative. He thanked me when we talked, but held a meeting that night to discuss how to send me away.
The political instructor of the No. 5 Division woke me up at about 5 a.m. the next morning and told me to pack my belongings to get ready to leave. I asked, “Where to?” He replied, “We will let you know when it's time.” He also said, “You are going to ride in the new director's sedan. The number one and two leaders will send you off. This is unprecedented. Your situation will only get better.” I said, “Thank you for your kind words.”
When we stopped for breakfast, I asked, “Why are you sending me away alone?” The political commissar responded, “We think it's good to separate you from other practitioners. It's good for all of us.” It was clear to me that they were afraid of practitioners forming a one body! That was why they wanted to separate us.
An hour later, we arrived at the lobby of the Department of Justice at the provincial level. The director and manager went to get approval for my transfer, while the commissar waited in the car with me.
The director came back 40 minutes later, looking unhappy. He said, “We had already reached an agreement before this trip that it would take only 10 minutes to process the transfer to Jiutai City (in Jilin Province). Now the transfer has been changed to the 'advanced' forced labor camp under the direct governance of the province, and it’s delayed. The 'advanced' forced labor camp refuses to take him. All of the practitioners there have been sent to the Falun Gong (persecution) base. Now the province is working on a solution.”
The commissar looked at me and said, “The 'advanced' forced labor camp is a good place. The lodging and entertainment there are first-class, almost as good as in a hotel.” He thought I would be happy to hear that, but I didn’t react to his comments. He kept quiet and didn’t say more.
Another hour passed before the manager finally came back. The approval was for me to be transferred to the 'advanced' labor camp. The director looked at me with an embarrassed smile and said to the other men, “Lately, there have been surprises every day. Yesterday, the old man (meaning me) gave me the joint appeal letter. I was shocked and couldn’t believe he did that. Today, the transfer wasn’t easy. It was also not what I had expected.”
He then looked at me and said, “Congratulations! The 'advanced' forced labor camp is a place where you can lead a retired life! Just stay put. Don’t be so nosy. You are so old anyways.” The commissar added, “Our director is saying this for your benefit!”
I put my palms together and thought, “Respectful Master, I will do the three things better at the new place and fulfill my historic mission to be worthy of your salvation.”
When practitioners later reflected on this incident, we realized that our one body was what the perpetrators feared most. At the Huanxiling Forced Labor Camp in Jilin City, practitioners formed a very powerful one body and effectively resisted the persecution and shocked the evil. As a result, the diligent practitioners were sent to different labor camps. However, wherever these practitioners were transferred to, they would collaborate well with others to suppress and eliminate the evil, so that the forced labor camp’s 100% “transformation” rate became 100% resuming cultivation. The perpetrators would get scared when that happened and transfer the diligent practitioners to a different place again.
Writing Letters to Validate Dafa and Helping Inmates Understand the Truth
The environment at the forced labor camp at the provincial level was different from the other labor camps where I had been held. I lost the group environment and felt alone in the cruel and oppressive environment. Then, I remembered that there was nothing to fear as long as I had Master and the Fa with me. No matter where we go, we simply remember our vow, expose the persecution, clarify the facts, and save sentient beings!
Four criminal inmates were arranged to monitor me 24/7: two in the morning and two in the afternoon. In the evening, one watched me for the first half of the night and another covered the second half. There was no personal space at all. Even when we went to the cafeteria, two of the inmates would sandwich me in the middle and hold my arms, fearing that I would try to escape.
At the first two labor camps, I didn't experience this type of persecution. Although the environment in the other camps was evil, I still had some personal space. I then thought, "Why are the inmates behaving this way? What is the core issue? How can I make them stop their behavior? "
Master has told us that, “Clarifying the truth is the master key.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference”)
I realized that I should tell them the facts about Dafa and the persecution whenever I got a chance.
We were required to constantly write down our “thought report,” so I used this opportunity to clarify the truth. Each week, I picked one topic to discuss and focused on clarifying one or two facts. Every time the convicts read my “thought reports,” they seemed to benefit from them.
The division chief at the provincial forced labor camp was often seen slouching over due to stomach pain. Within a week of arriving at the labor camp, I wrote a long letter to him. I told him why people suffer from disease, why cultivators didn’t have disease, and the similarities and differences between curing a disease in a hospital and with qigong. I also wrote about folk prescriptions and diet based on information I had read in newspapers and magazines. I ended the letter with information about Falun Dafa and the persecution.
The inmate monitors had to approve of the letter first before it could be given to the division chief. Two of the monitors couldn’t agree: one thought the letter was fine to pass along to the chief, while the other didn’t. The inmate who agreed to pass the letter along understood what I wrote about. He thought that the truth-clarification part were some high-level theories consistent with the folk medicine .
I told him that karma and virtue were not superstitions, but truly existed. Modern science can detect the electronic brain waves, and they are even more microscopic than particles. Even though our naked eyes can’t see them, they do exist. The inmate understood what I was saying and trusted me. He enjoyed discussing different things with me. He said, “I understand more from talking with you than when I was at school! If I had understood what you told me earlier, I wouldn't be in here.”
The division chief read my letter and accepted what I had written to him. After some time, he didn’t slouch as much as he used to. He also became more relaxed around me and often greeted me.
I wrote him a second letter soon after the first one. It focused on clarifying the truth at a deeper level. I wrote about 6,000 words. By that time, the monitors had become my friends, so they didn’t intervene. The division chief also changed. He said to the guards, “Look at this old man! He’s over 60 years old, but has no illnesses. I don’t see him taking any medicine. I’m full of health problems, and I’m not even 50 years old! I will practice Falun Gong after I retire.”
I also wrote a really long letter, more than 10 pages, to my son and daughter. I wrote about how I was taught and raised, what our ancestors taught us in regards to doing good deeds and accumulating virtue, how my parents practiced Buddhism, my experience in the army, and how I started practicing Falun Gong. I focused on how to be a good person and how I obtained good health through practicing Falun Gong.
All four inmates in charge of monitoring me read the letter and were moved by it. Besides them, almost all the prisoners in the forced labor camp read my letter. Inmate A told me, “No one, not even my parents, has ever taught me all of the things you wrote in that letter. If I had known this in school, I absolutely wouldn’t have ended up in here.” He wanted me to be his godfather, but was afraid to ask. I told him, “You are definitely my family now. I can help you write letters to send home if you don’t know how to.”
Afterwards, Inmate A took good care of me. He knew that I liked tea, so he would get a thermos for me. In the summer, he got me a pillow and a mat. During the day when most of the prisoners lined up to go work at the printing shop, he would “lock” me in the exercise room. That way, I could study the Fa and do the Falun Dafa exercises without any interruption. He would unlock the door in exactly two hours. At night, he slept near my feet, while I did the sitting meditation exercise.
My days at the forced labor camp consisted of doing the exercises, studying the Fa, and clarifying the facts for the one year and four months I was there.
The criminal inmates arranged to monitor me were periodically changed one at a time, every month or two. When the new monitor came, the other three would “teach” him, and within the first week, he would understand the truth. Clarifying the truth and validating the Fa through my words and deeds helped changed them into better people and created a less oppressive environment for myself.
I understood further what Master said in “Path” from Essentials for Further Advancement II, “The path a Dafa disciple takes is a glorious history, and this history has to be created by his own enlightening.”
Truth-Clarification Is Key
Master said in “What is a Dafa Disciple:”
“For them, amidst the tremendously harsh persecution, every single thought and idea is critical. Whether you’ve done well or not; whether or not you’ve been susceptible to being persecuted; whether or not you’ve handled things correctly and to what degree you have been persecuted—all of this is directly connected to how you have walked your path and how you have thought about things.”
I remembered this Fa teaching when another division chief in charge of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners tried to “transform” me.
The division chief summoned me to his office. He was nicknamed “Silver Tongue” because he was known for being eloquent but cold-blooded.
When I entered his office and sat down, I thought, “It doesn’t matter if you are 'Silver Tongue' or 'Iron Tongue.' I will simply clarify the truth. Truth-clarification is the key to eliminate the old forces’ arrangements and communicate heart to heart.”
He casually asked me how I started practicing Falun Gong. I asked him, “You are not going to use my own words against me, are you?” He said, “I like you people from Shandong Province. You are simple and honest. Just tell me what you have to say.”
I told him how my family were Buddhists who emphasized doing good deeds and seeking rewards in the next life, and it was a friend in the army who taught me the Falun Dafa exercises. After learning the practice, I fully recovered from the liver disease I had. Half a year later, my vision was even corrected and I didn’t need glasses anymore. He listened attentively, so I told him more about reincarnation, how ridiculous atheism was, the miraculousness of Dafa, and scenes I had seen through my celestial eye. He became very interested.
I told him that I went to Beijing four times to appeal for Falun Dafa and was arrested twice. With Master’s protection, however, I wasn’t transferred to my hometown police station but was released. I then detailed the lies of the self-immolation incident, the April 25 appeal, the murder cases the Chinese regime used to try to frame Falun Gong, etc.
He asked me, “How did you join the CCP?” I told him that the Party made up abstract concepts such as “Chinese characteristics” to deceive people. I said, "From the very beginning, communism was only a hypothesis. Around the world, communism is looked down upon. Heaven is eliminating it. It’s just a matter of time. Many accomplished scientists have turned to religion later in their lives because they realized that only a belief in the divine can reveal the truth. Reincarnation and retribution were indeed real."
I talked with him for two and a half days. At the end, he said, “I have gained a lot from listening to you! Many people didn’t tell me this because they were afraid. I don’t know why, but I am touched by your honesty and simplicity. You are as innocent and pure as a child. I’m conflicted because I was supposed to 'transform' you, but I don’t have the heart to force you to abandon your belief. I just want to say, for your safety, don’t tell others what you have shared with me.”
I later thought about why he had behaved differently with me. Master said,
“Even though the old forces do exist, if you don't have those thoughts they can't do anything. When your righteous thoughts are strong enough the old forces can't do a thing.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.”)
At that time, I didn’t have the thought that he came to “transform” me. I simply had the thought that I should clarify the truth to him.
My clarifying the truth was energy that suppressed his demon nature and empowered me to overcome a potential tribulation. Clarifying the truth is not only the key to overcoming tribulations, but also a treasure used to save sentient beings.
Master Has the Final Say
The Chinese New Year was approaching in about a week. I had served an additional three months in the forced labor camp, but still didn’t hear anything regarding my release. I went to ask the division chief to check on it for me, and he said he would look into it.
As soon as he left, the inmate on duty grabbed me and yelled, “I simply want to beat you! Is this your home? How could you talk to the chief without my approval?”
There were more than 20 people in my division. They all said that I was too naive, especially a former practitioner who had enlightened along an evil path. He said, “You haven’t studied the Fa enough. Don’t you remember? The more you are attached to it, the more you won’t get it! Not to mention, you haven’t been ‘transformed’ yet. I am still here half a year after my ‘transformation.' Some are still here a year later. Just stay put!” I believed that I didn’t deserve to be detained any longer. I thought the 'transformed' practitioners were too attached to fear and didn’t live up to a Dafa practitioner's dignity
Three days before the Chinese New Year, my wife visited me and brought some New Year snacks. While we were having lunch together in the family visiting room, a guard brought a release notice and asked my wife to process it at the local 610 Office.
That evening, I shared the snacks and gave early New Year wishes. Fellow practitioners were all happy for me. The 'transformed' practitioner paused and said, “Your situation has opened up my mind. I didn’t think it was possible to be released without being ‘transformed’ because it hasn't happened before. Usually people can go home six months or a year after ‘transformation.’ My thoughts are not up-to-date with the current situation. I must change.”
I told him, “It’s not a matter of up-to-date or out-of-date with the situation. I don’t acknowledge their rules. Remember, Master has the final say. Don’t mix the old forces’ arrangement with reflections of attachments. Otherwise, you won’t be able to negate the persecution. All our thoughts have to be on the Fa.” He nodded in agreement.
The next day, my wife returned to the forced labor camp and a guard led us to get the necessary stamps on the release form. Everything went smoothly until the last step before getting the certificate to leave the labor camp. The staff said that I wouldn't be able to leave if a representative from the local 610 Office wasn't there to process the release.
My wife got anxious because she didn't want to miss the bus home. She asked, “Can I guarantee his release? Do you want to keep my ID?” The clerk replied, “Let me make a call.” When he was done talking on the phone, he said to my wife, “You are a model worker! I will take care of it this time.”
The guard sent us off and said, “You are so lucky! You are a special case based on my experience here. You have made two ‘firsts’ here at this labor camp.” My wife asked, “What first?” He said, “Your husband is the first to be released without making the three statements. He is also the first to be released without a 610 Office representative onsite. This is not something that just anyone can do. Don’t come back here again!”
Two years and three months totaled 810 days in detention. How would I have been able to survive without Master’s protection? How much had Master endured for me? I can only remember my historical mission and that I’m a Fa-rectification Dafa disciple and do the three things well to repay Master for His infinite grace.
As Master said in “The Master-Disciple Bond” in Hong Yin II:
“Four years has the wild evil surged
A steady helm has assured the right course
The Disciples of Fa have gone through evil trials
And though great the pressure, their wills are unbowed
There is no affect between master and disciple
The Buddha’s grace remolds Heaven and Earth
When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide”
In summary, my two years in a detention center and four different forced labor camps helped me understand that, as long as we truly believe in Master and the Fa, and adhere to the requirements of Master and the Fa, we can overcome anything.
No matter where we are, we should expose the persecution, effectively clarify the truth, and save sentient beings. Let’s cherish our cultivation journey and bear our responsibility and mission in mind at all times!
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners.