Labor Camp Captain: “Please Forgive Me”
(Minghui.org) On the day of my release from a labor camp, the captain of my division made a special effort to meet with me. He clasped my hands and said, “I must apologize to you; please forgive me.”
He had once instructed his guards to beat me and other Falun Gong practitioners for upholding our belief while in detention. He refused to listen when I first told him that the Chinese Communist Party was wrong in persecuting such a peaceful spiritual practice.
However, his attitude gradually changed after observing and hearing reports about how other detained practitioners and I held ourselves to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance while in custody.
Here are the events that led up to his transformation.
A Respected Veterinarian Becomes a Police Target
I became a large animal veterinarian in early 2006 when I was in my 50s. Both my family and friends were surprised, as they felt I was too old to start a new career.
Thanks to the wisdom that Master gave me, my career change was very successful. In a short few years, I became a well-known and well-respected veterinarian. My clients were impressed by my knowledge and appreciated my integrity in doing business.
One older man said to me, “I've 'tested' you for almost two years. For every purchase I made from your clinic, I returned home to double check that you didn't give me less than what I paid for or fooled me with counterfeit products as most people do. And you never did. You always have high-quality products! I really admire you Falun Gong practitioners.”
After earning my clients' trust, it became natural and easy for me to tell them why they should sever ties with the Party to avoid guilt by association. I was thus able to get many to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
My popularity, however, drew the authorities' attention and led to my arrest on July 24, 2009.
One officer revealed that they had investigated me for a long time, “Your business is doing really well. People in the surrounding villages all praised you, and the county livestock bureau also said you did a great job helping control animal epidemics.”
He continued, “But officials from the county government are not happy because a person that's so well respected in the local community was also known as a Falun Gong practitioner.”
When I told him that I had broken no law by practicing Falun Gong, he admitted, “It's not my decision to arrest you. The persecution against Falun Gong is really none of our business. We are just doing our job and following orders from above.”
Unable to Sway Me, Domestic Security Head Keeps Me in Detention
Police officers from the county police department and domestic security office interrogated me in turn. I reiterated that I had done nothing wrong and would never give up my belief.
They then called in their boss, the Domestic Security Office Head, to “deal with” me.
As the domestic security office head, Tian had been involved in the persecution of local Falun Gong practitioners for years. I warned him of the consequences of his bad deeds against innocent practitioners, as what goes around comes around.
He had me sent to the county detention center that night.
Detention Center Guards Shocked to Receive Overseas Phone Calls
I learned the next day that the detention center received two phone calls shortly after my arrival.
A detainee was told by a guard, “The detention center received two calls last night, one from Korea and the other from Taiwan. The callers warned the guards not to mistreat the Falun Gong practitioner [referring to me] just sent here. We were all shocked that they cared so much about you to call from overseas!”
Domestic Security Head Sends Me to Forced Labor Camp
Domestic Security Office Head Tian brought his officers and people from the local 610 Office to interrogate me every day, trying to get me to sign statements renouncing my belief and to reveal the source of my truth-clarification materials. I refused to do so each time.
When they came again one day, I demanded to see their ID first. A person from the 610 Office said, “It's none of your business.”
I responded, “You're not qualified to interrogate me if you don't even dare to reveal your identity. Are you afraid of being exposed to the public about your evil deeds?”
They were rendered speechless. After a while, one official regained his composure and pounded the table angrily, “Are you going to reply or not?” I faced him calmly and said nothing.
They halted their interrogation and sent me back to the cell.
As I refused to give in, Domestic Security Office Head Tian and the 610 Office transferred me to Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp in Hebei Province on August 7, 2009.
Our Resilience Wins the Guards' Praise
There were four other practitioners detained in the same group with me. Though we were each monitored closely by about ten inmates, we still managed to encourage each other to hold firm to our belief in Falun Gong.
However, we were met with brutal beatings at the beginning when we started doing the Falun Gong exercises. While meditating one night, I was pulled off the bed and kicked violently. Several inmates on duty kept a close watch on me later that night to stop me from doing the exercises again.
When I refused to squat another night, guard Ma Juntao (马军涛) shouted at me, “You are violating the law because you insist on doing your exercises here.” He then grabbed my collar and dragged me to the next room, which did not have a surveillance monitor.
He pushed me to a corner and slapped me in the face and about my head. I sent forth righteous thoughts to transfer the pain back to him. My pain immediately subsided, but Ma began to rub his face and looked to be in pain.
The guards finally allowed us to do the exercises after two practitioners and I went on a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention.
Several officials from upper levels came to inspect the labor camp and caught us doing the exercises. They questioned the guards, “What are you doing here? Isn't this a forced labor camp? Has it become a Falun Gong practice site?”
The guards replied, “We could do nothing about it. They went on hunger strike when we stopped them from doing their exercises. It would be better to release them early.”
A team lead once saw me doing the exercises in a workshop during the day, but he simply left after commenting, “You have found a good spot.”
As we kept firm in our belief, the environment in the labor camp also changed for the better. The guards said to non-practitioners at a meeting, “You should all learn from Falun Gong practitioners. Our job would be so much easier if you could all behave like them.”
Master Helps Us Secure Falun Gong Books
We had no Falun Gong books to read at the beginning and could only rely on our memories to recall Master's teachings.
I thought it would be great if we could read Falun Gong books while in detention. Once I had such a thought, Master helped us.
One section chief asked the guards to pick a detainee to clean up three floors of another building, and they recommended one of our practitioners.
This practitioner found three Falun Gong books stacked in a corner on the third floor. We were grateful to have books to read since then.
We later obtained an e-book of Master's lectures from a practitioner in another group. We read the books in the evening and did the exercises at midnight. Though we slept for only a few hours each day, we never felt tired.
Urging Detainees and Guards Alike to Quit the CCP
The five of us practitioners also used every opportunity to tell guards and detainees alike about what Falun Gong was and why they should sever ties with the CCP.
Thanks to Master's arrangements, I got the chance to talk to officials and guards at various levels of the labor camp. Many of them quit the CCP as a result.
One inmate was detained for engaging in a street fight. His wife abandoned their 10-year-old daughter and moved to a different city after his arrest. She had filed divorce papers and was waiting to finalize the divorce upon his release. His elderly mother was struggling to bring up his daughter in their hometown.
I told him, “As long as you are determined to practice Falun Gong, Master will arrange the best path for your future.”
One month before his release, he received a call from an old friend, who offered him a dream job. He couldn't contain his excitement, “Wow, Master is already taking care of me as soon as I had a thought to learn Falun Gong.”
Two months later, he started his new job and reconciled with his wife. His work place provided his family with an apartment. He also connected with a local Falun Gong practitioner to study the Fa with. He said that his life had truly taken a fortunate turn.
Labor Camp Captain Apologizes to Me
On the day of my release, the labor camp office director told me, “The captain of your division called to relay a message to you: he will be waiting for you in the town of Gaoyang on your way back home. He said he must meet you in person.”
My family picked me up and we indeed saw the captain waiting for me in Gaoyang. He was the one who instigated his guards, including Ma Juntao, to beat me and other practitioners for refusing to give up our belief in Falun Gong.
He expressed his sincere apologies to me and said that he now understood the CCP is wrong in persecuting Falun Gong. I reminded him again to keep in mind “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” I also encouraged him to treat Falun Gong practitioners kindly in the future, so as to make up for the bad deeds he once committed.