Retrieving Master's Portraits from a Forced Labor Camp
(Minghui.org) Many things have happened during my 22 years of cultivation, some which are still fresh in my mind, and some that I have almost forgotten. The memory I would like to share today is so vivid, it's like it happened yesterday.
I am from Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province in China. On the surface, Shenyang looks like a bustling modern city, but it is actually one of the places where the most brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has taken place since the persecution began in 1999.
Crimes have taken place in this city and covered up by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in state run hospitals. It was in this city that Ms. Gao Rongrong was tortured, disfigured, and died. Her case was well-publicized outside of China.
In addition to the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, there are many other forced labor camps in Shenyang. Some were established for the sole purpose of imprisoning Falun Gong practitioners. Longshan Forced Labor Camp is an example of such an institution. It detained thousands of practitioners in just five years of operation.
Longshan Forced Labor Camp started as a brainwashing center to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce Falun Gong. It began detaining practitioners in October, 1999. The labor camp officially opened in March 2001 and closed down in October 2004.
On visiting days at Longshan, prison guards would put portraits of Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, on the entrance way so that visitors would walk on them. Visitors refusing to step on Master's portrait were denied entry. Guards not only persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in the labor camp, they also forced practitioners' families to act defile the founder of Falun Gong.
When two other practitioners and I found out about this, we decided that as Dafa disciples, we couldn't allow the desecration of Master's portrait. We resolved to somehow collect and bring back Master's portraits.
We first studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts, then set a date for action. The three of us left our homes early one day in October, 2003. We had to accomplish our task and leave the labor camp before prison officials arrived. We knew that Master's portraits were stored near the gate behind a janitor's room.
If we went through the gate and through the janitor's room, the janitor would see us. So we decided to climb over the iron fence surrounding the camp, then go to the janitor's room. One practitioner jumped over the fence and squatted down searching for Master's portraits in a bunch of stored items. The other practitioner and I stayed outside sending righteous thoughts.
The practitioner inside found several of Master's portraits. She carefully rolled them up and passed them to us through the iron fence. We hid the portraits inside our coats. She then climbed back out. With Master's protection, we completed our task smoothly. During the process, we did not think about things like the possibility of camera surveillance, etc. We had only one thought, “Bring back Master's portraits.” We believed this was Dafa practitioners' responsibility.
While the practitioner was searching for Master's portraits, I saw some people in the camp walking toward the janitor's room. I begged Master for help. None of those people saw what was happening or tried to stop it.
As our car drove away, I saw the shuttle bus full of prison officials arriving at the labor camp.
I had a dream a few days prior to our trip to the labor camp, in which a voice said, “Who will appeal for Dafa in Beijing?” I immediately raised my hand and said, “I will.”
We carefully cleaned Master's portraits with new hand towels. Even though the portraits were laminated, some had been ripped in places and were very crumpled. The things Master has done to save us are beyond description. Yet, his images had suffered such insults from the CCP.
No further instances of people tramping on Master's portraits occurred at Longshan Labor Camp after that. The camp was shut down a year later.