Exposing Torture and Circumventing It in a Labor Camp
(Minghui.org) My attachment to self-interests allowed the evil forces to take advantage of my loophole in April 2010. I was arrested and sent to a detention center. In the detention center, I failed to wake up in time to my mistakes but nurtured hopes my family would definitely succeed to devise a plan to bring about my release. Two months later, I was transferred to a forced labor camp to have my persecution further extended.
Eliminating Evil with Righteous Thoughts
In the labor camp, I knew the goal was to transform me, to make me renounce Dafa and betray Master. I would not allow evil to have its way.
I concentrated all my energy on sending forth righteous thoughts. I would use all my efforts, and strive to the best of my ability, to eliminate the evil beings and factors around me.
Whether walking, eating, or even sleeping, I made use of every single moment to center my thoughts and will to disintegrate the interference and evil factors present.
Clarifying the Truth to Save the Persecutors
The evil forces wanted to break me down by making me talk. But, no matter how much they tried to engage me in conversations, I refused to cooperate.
I once overheard one of the people charged with my transformation saying in exasperation, "I give up. Hand her (referring to me) over to the police. The police have ways galore to deal with her."
I knew immediately what that meant. I thought, “Somewhere at the other end of the corridor, steadfast Dafa practitioners are being tortured to force them to give up their Falun Gong practice. I can’t let them do bad deeds freely. I must suppress their evil side and wake up their good side.”
I then said to the people with the special assignment to transform me, “You want me to talk. Let’s talk. What should we talk about? On matters of my cultivation or on matters of the law?”
They decided on the latter.
They were happy. I was finally willing to talk. They thought they had won.
They said, “You are a good person. You should take the lead to be in compliance with our country’s laws. The laws say Falun Gong is a "cult" and had it banned in 1999. So, you can no longer believe in it or practice it.”
I reminded them, “We all know that China's system of government is a People's Congress system. That means a law can only be formulated in a meeting that includes all the deputies and can only be passed with the consent by more than two thirds of the representatives. Then the law can take effect. Otherwise, no matter who draws up a law, that law is invalid.”
I also told them, “From 1999 to the present, the persecution of Falun Gong has lasted ten years, but no law has expressly stated Falun Gong is a "cult." In 1999, what the Ministry of Civil Affairs banned was the Falun Gong Research Society, but that Society had not been in existence since the end of 1996.”
I concluded my speech by informing them, “We genuine practitioners know the Research Society’s existence or not has no effect on our cultivation practice. Falun Gong practitioners cultivate in accordance with the teachings in our main text Zhuan Falun, and a genuine practitioner will succeed in cultivation by following what the text teaches.”
They were shocked and speechless, as if hearing what I was saying for the very first time.
After a pause, one of them spoke up, “You must have done something bad or be in some kind of trouble, or you wouldn’t have ended up here.”
I said, “That is a topic about matters of my cultivation. Have we finished talking about matters of the law?”
They answered in the affirmative.
I announced, "Well then, from here on, you won’t mention the law or any legal issue in front of me ever again. I don’t wish to talk about the same topic over and over.”
I let that sink in and continued, “Now, let’s talk about matters of my cultivation. It’s true that I’m being locked up here, but it doesn’t mean that I am a criminal or have done anything wrong. In our country’s history, dynasty after dynasty had incidences of the miscarriage of justice. Especially since the Communist Party established its regime and took over our country’s government. Haven’t Party officials admitted their mistakes committed against good and innocent people during various political campaigns? Hasn’t the regime righted a lot of wrongs?”
I then told them with conviction, “It will be the same with Falun Gong, as practitioners who have been arrested are good people and innocent. They have been wronged. I have also been arrested and wronged. Can I as merely a weak woman resist the mighty Communist government? The government had me arrested, and the government has committed a crime.”
After that conversation, they stopped being mean and evil to me. On the contrary, they showed me respect and admiration. They said I knew the law, and they could not outtalk me. Some even agreed that I really was wronged and shouldn’t have been sent to the labor camp.
From then on, they never mentioned forcing me to give up my Falun Gong practice. They told the police that I was a good person and had never deliberately confronted them.
The guard in charge also sought me out to talk with me. So, I told her how I strive to be a good person at home and in my work unit.
She seemed to get what I said, but she still advised me, "If you agree to transform, you can have your sentence reduced, and you can go home earlier.”
I said, “I will never give up my faith in Falun Dafa. Is not living one’s life according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance a good thing? What do you want me to transform to?”
She didn’t respond, but sent me back to my cell.
Exposing the Torture and Circumventing It
Falun Gong practitioners continued to be secretly tortured during that time. They were violently forced to transform, to deny their faith, to write statements that slandered Master and Dafa, and to read these statements in public.
I didn’t know for sure what kind of physical tortures those practitioners had been put through, but I could see plainly that their walk became unstable and their wrists were marked with injuries. Their conditions and suffering greatly distressed me.
The mental pressure I was feeling was so extreme that it was manifested in multiple physical symptoms. I experienced severe pain in my back and chest. I found great difficulty when lying down, turning in bed, and sitting up.
I started to wonder when they would use torture on me or if my life would even be taken away from me. I started to think what I must do as a Dafa disciple in the time before they killed me.
I remembered Master's comment in "Reading My Students’ Articles” in “Hong Yin Vol. II” to an article written by a practitioner:
“Brilliant are the articles your sharp pens craftPowerful are their words, rich their sentences”
I decided to write an article also, but, what to write?
I thought, “I should tell them that it is illegal to torture Dafa disciples, and that a coerced transformation statement written under duress without true intent is invalid and a farce…”
I approached fellow practitioners to solicit their help to eliminate all interference with my project by sending forth strong righteous thoughts.
I found a suitable opportunity to ask for pen and paper from the people assigned to monitor my every movement. I told them I wanted to write a letter. They thought I meant to write a letter home, so they said they would have to put in an official request to the guards before they would dare to give me what I requested.
I said to them, “Thank you. Please make the request to the guards for me. If they turn you down, I will ask them myself.”
I had already formulated a rough draft in my head: how to start, how to end, and what to include in the content of the letter. So, soon after I received my pen and paper, the letter was done.
I folded the letter and told my monitors I wanted to hand it over to the guard in charge personally. They assured me they would not look at what I wrote, but they gave me an envelope and a stamp. In the harsh environment of a labor camp, those little items are precious and hard to come by. I didn’t need a stamp, but I placed my letter inside the envelope.
At lunch, I gave the envelope to the guard in charge. I told her, "This is what I wrote to you but it is also intended for our country’s leaders at all levels. Please take a look at it yourself first, and then help me send it."
I added, "Everything I wrote is from my heart and soul."
She was very concerned, "You wrote that letter to me? I thought your letter was for your family."
I said, "It is addressed to you. You look at it."
It was lunchtime. The room was crowded. The guards and camp personnel looked past each other at the letter with curiosity. I knew they were wondering what went on. Practitioners watched the exchange with concern. I knew they were all silently sending forth righteous thoughts for me.
I was getting a little uneasy. Then, I thought: "What is there for me to be worried about? They are the ones who are committing wrong deeds. I’m only exposing the scandalous acts they are performing in the dark that nobody is aware of.”
Right before she was to get off work, the guard in charge called me to her office and asked in a sullen tone of voice, “How do you know there is torture in here? Who told you that?"
By then, I was not at all afraid. I looked her in the eye and answered, "The people who work on transformation assignments told me many times that if I refused to be transformed, I will be sent off to be tortured.”
The guard said to me sternly, "There is no torture performed here. They are just trying to scare you. I will tell them to be careful what they say to you from now on. There is no torture here. It is illegal for guards to use torture. There are laws for the guards. There are laws for the prisons. Go, and stop thinking and talking any more nonsense.”
Three months later, I was assigned to work in the prison workshop. The workshop chief informed everybody, saying, “From now on, pay attention to what you say. We have somebody who is not transformed working among us.”
A young inmate looked at me in disbelief and said, “You did not transform? How is this possible!”
What she meant was, “How did you get yourself assigned to work here if you didn’t get transformed?”
Immersing Myself in Memorizing the Fa
Working in the workshop afforded me relatively more freedom. There was generally no coercion imposed on practitioners to give up their practice.
I tried to fill my mind with more and more of the Fa, I asked fellow practitioners to share with me the portions of the Fa they had committed to memory. I then memorized them word for word, sentence by sentence.
I later got ahold of a handwritten copy of Master's new lecture "What is a Dafa Disciple.” I looked at it as a great treasure. I was afraid someone would find out and take it away from me. I decided I should memorize every word in it so I’d have it for keeps in my brain.
With trepidation, I read the hand-copied lecture, doing my best to remember every word correctly, all the while feeling eyes were everywhere watching me, all the while thinking if I should quit or if I should go forward.
I wanted to keep the status quo. That I hadn’t been forced to betray Master and Dafa or to write the required transformation statement any more had been a hard-won battle. In the treacherous environment of the labor camp, every day was difficult.
I thought, “Although transformed practitioners continue to announce they want to resume their practice, yet new practitioners continue to be arrested and thrown into the labor camp. Going up and down the stairs, I often see practitioners faltering. Once I actually witnessed a practitioner fall. There was clear evidence that torture was still going on.”
I said to myself, “I have no doubt fellow practitioners outside are all moving forward in their cultivation, while I’m in here being left behind. I must catch up by studying the Fa, I must study the Fa at all costs.”
So, I said to the evil forces, “I’m a cultivator. Studying the Fa as a cultivator is a normal thing to do. You have no right to interfere. If you do, I’ll have you destroyed. I might lack sufficient ability to eliminate you in my current state, but my Master and the righteous Gods will help me.”
With my mind cleared, I started to memorize the 24-page lecture. I decided I would memorize two pages each day, then, I should have the lecture memorized in 12 days.
At the beginning, my attachment to fear was still very strong. I was constantly afraid somebody might show up unexpectedly and would find out what I was doing. My extreme nervousness was causing me to stay awake nights, but that afforded me more time to spend on the lecture.
I had just finished memorizing the first two pages the first day, when the wake-up bell was already ringing. Sometimes, I was able to sleep for a little while before it was time to get up. Dark circles started to form around my eyes after a few days with barely any sleep, but I was determined to do what I promised myself, no matter what.
Everyday, at night, I would memorize two pages of the lecture. In the daytime, I would review what I learned the night before, During lunch breaks, I would check to make sure I hadn’t made any mistakes.
Twelve days went by and I had the whole lecture memorized. I was feeling so happy I couldn’t keep my face straight. Fellow practitioners asked with curiosity, “Did something wonderful happen? Have you enlightened to some great Fa principles?”
I also made a few breakthroughs in those 12 days. Without consciously being aware of it, I had overcome my attachment to fear. I did not crave sleep as much as before, and was able to replace sleep with studying the Fa in the quiet of the nights.
Sometimes, fellow practitioners and I would exchange thoughts on what it means and what do we do to truly deny persecution.
I would say with conviction, “When we do the right thing, we are denying the persecution. The evil forces want us to give up our practice, but we insist on doing our practice. That is denying the persecution. The evil forces watch us like hawks to keep us from studying the Fa, but we will overcome all difficulties when we persist in studying the Fa. That is also denying the persecution.”
I recited the words in the lecture for the practitioners to hear, a little at a time, whenever we had the opportunity. Everybody felt happy and encouraged. Smiles that had disappeared returned to their faces.
I somehow got ahold of a copy of Zhuan Falun later on. I was overwhelmed to be able to look at Master’s photograph in the book every day. I decided to carry the book on me at all times. When it was not safe to do so, I made sure it was well hidden from all prying eyes and hands.
I also decided to commit the book to memory.
It took me four months to memorize the book from beginning to end the first time. It took me over two months the second time. The third time, a little over a month. When I started the fourth time, I had a premonition that I would be going home.
Feeling Big and Tall in an Evil Environment
During the months when I was memorizing the Fa, I felt truly happy and wonderful. A fellow practitioner once asked me: "Do you miss home?" I answered without a beat, “No. I’ve no time to.”
I immersed myself in the Fa, whether during mealtime or on the way to and from work. When we were forced to watch programs on television slandering Dafa, I would sit with eyes looking straight ahead, but my brain would begin to focus on reciting the Fa and I would see nothing and hear nothing.
Sometimes, when they turn on an interesting television series, I might occasionally watch it for a while. Then, I would think, “Isn’t this interference? How can I let myself be trapped?” Immediately, I would resume my Fa recitation.
Whenever I was walking and wherever I might be walking to, I would imagine I was destroying a lot of evil while reciting Master’s word: "...Countless the fiends trampled under his feet; ...”. (“The Awakened One” from Hong Yin)
I overheard a newly arrested practitioner telling the people assigned to transform her, “I don’t believe what you say. I want to ask her (referring to me) first.”
“I can see you’re different. Even your walk is different.” She quietly said to me when we found ourselves alone together, “You have an air of righteousness about you.”
One time, a guard was yelling at a Dafa disciple. I looked over at her. She immediately turned away. Another time, another guard was reprimanding a group of practitioners in the classroom. I passed by the window and looked in at her. She saw me looking. Her face immediately softened and her voice eased up.
Many times when we were given body searches, or the guards would spot check our cells, I would always somehow get off unscathed.
I remember the first time they announced such a search without prior warning, but I wasn’t mentally prepared and so wasn’t sure how to react. A fellow practitioner hurried over to me and asked me to give her the Dafa book on me.
I looked at the surveillance camera, thinking, ”If the guards were monitoring the camera, if the book changed hands, wouldn’t we be exposing ourselves?”
So, I said to the practitioner, “It’s too late now. I’ll just have to play it by ear.”
Everyone was on pins and needles.
We were ushered into the classroom to be searched one by one. When it was my turn, the guard just looked me over and let me pass.
One day, while we were working in the workshop. I suddenly realized something was at odds. A substitute guard was there watching us work. Where had our two regulars disappeared to?
I figured they were certainly up to no good. An all out search must have been called and they had left to start the search in our emptied prison cells and would return in no time.
I waited for an opportune moment when the substitute guard was distracted and hid the Dafa book I had on me in a safe place.
Just as I had conjectured, about half an hour later, the two regulars returned to the workshop, shouting, “Gather up!” And then, the body search began.
Fellow practitioners were nervous for me, but were relieved I passed the search. Afterwards, they asked, "Where did hide your book?"
I answered, “I guessed there would be a search, so I didn’t have the book on me.”
When I finally walked out of the labor camp, I took with me nothing but the book Zhuan Falun. The guards didn’t give me a body search.
Incredible things do happen to Dafa disciples. I believe when our thinking is simple and pure, we will be the more assimilated to the characteristics of the universe, and the righteous factors of the universe will be in communication with us. When the positive factors play a role, we will experience miracles.
I want to give special thanks to all fellow practitioners who had helped me and stood by me throughout those difficult years in the harsh environment of the labor camp.