Leaving the Labor Camp Without Writing Any Statement
(Minghui.org) My mother, who had just obtained the Fa, gave me the book Zhuan Falun in the summer of 1996. I read it with a mentality of learning some new practice, and made comments in my mind while reading such as, “This sentence is mysterious,” and, “That sentence is a bit inconceivable.”
I put the book down and stopped reading it when I reached halfway. When I picked up Zhuan Falun half a year later, I had a completely different feeling: “This book is so broad and profound that it has answered all the questions I have in life.”
The shallowness of my understanding had previously hindered me. In this way, I obtained the Fa and decided to practice Falun Dafa.
Dafa Made Me Take Fame and Self-Interest Lightly
Before practicing Falun Dafa, I had severe menstrual cramps that I used to relieve with painkillers. Sitting on the bed one night, just after I began practicing, severe cramps hit me once again.
I held the book in one hand and the painkillers in the other; I hesitated to take the medicine. Finally, I said to myself, “Taking medicine hasn't helped for so many years. This time I will believe in Dafa and treat myself as a cultivator.”
I put down the medicine and tried not to think about the pain. I picked up Zhuan Falun and continued to study. It didn't take long for the pain to subside to the point that it was tolerable. After a while, I didn't feel pain at all.
It used to take a day or two for me to get over the cramps by taking medicine. When I considered myself a true practitioner, however, Master Li (the founder) immediately purified my body.
At the beginning of my cultivation, I was afraid of suffering and rarely practiced the exercises. Even so, my health improved quickly.
I recovered from Meniere's disease, allergic bronchitis, chronic gastritis, and chronic nephritis. Dafa not only brought me good health, but it also helped me understand the true meaning of life. I felt more relaxed and happy after ignoring life's gains and losses.
I worked as a civilian officer in the army, where people would compete for status and profit. Before practicing cultivation, I was also driven by self-interest.
Like everyone else, I thought it was normal to take office supplies home for private use. However, after practicing Dafa, I reminded myself to be a good person by following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion Forbearance. I returned the office supplies that I had taken home before, worked hard, and finished whatever work was assigned to me.
At the end of the year, my supervisor told me that the merit award should be given to me based on my achievements, but one of my colleagues was really attached to receiving it and lobbied for it.
The supervisor asked me if I minded the award going to that colleague. Without the slightest hesitation I told him that I had no problem with that. He was very happy because he didn't expect the problem would be solved so easily.
“Those Transforming Experts Just Came for the Money”
Life is unpredictable. The time for peaceful cultivation soon came to an end when the brutal persecution of Falun Dafa began on July 20, 1999.
Jiang Zemin, the then leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), used all state organs to suppress and persecute Dafa. Television and newspaper propaganda was overwhelming in spreading rumors to slander Dafa.
Everyone in the army was required to make a statement indicating that he or she supported the CCP and would not practice Falun Dafa. The statement also asked the soldier to confirm that his or her family didn’t practice.
Because I refused to sign, I was detained in the so-called “legal study class” for brainwashing where they tried to force me to give up cultivation.
In order to pressure me, senior officers of the army held a meeting and forced my colleagues to participate in the persecution by criticizing me for practicing Falun Dafa.
Cameras were set up at the venue to videotape what everyone said and did. Colleagues who I used to get along well with tried to avoid using malicious language with me. However, under the pressure they repeated the lies in the newspaper and on TV that slandered Dafa and Master.
After the meeting, a colleague whispered while passing, “Sorry! I had no choice.”
The so-called “legal study class” was actually set up in a labor camp, where detainees could be detained arbitrarily without legal procedures.
I was detained in the military labor camp and deprived of my freedom. I was watched the whole time. I was forced to read books and watch videos that slandered Falun Dafa, and I wasn't allowed to read any other books.
The food expenses were directly deducted from my salary, but the people who were assigned to monitor me received big bonuses.
The army set aside a large sum of money specifically for making Falun Dafa practitioners give up the practice. Three so-called experts were paid to brainwash me to give up my cultivation during this period of time in “legal study class”.
One of them was the leader of a provincial Buddhist Association, one was a legal expert of the Academy of Social Sciences, and the other was a psychologist.
My immediate supervisor complained to me in private, “These three experts are arranged by the leaders of our military district but the cost has to be paid by our unit, one thousand yuan per hour for each expert.
“Everyone is working hard to make money, but we have to spend the money on the expert fees for you. Please give up.”
The next day, the experts took turns criticizing me. The female psychologist accused me of not giving up Dafa while she worked hard as a volunteer “expert” on it.
I stopped her and said, “You are not volunteering to do this. The leader told me yesterday that you are paid one thousand yuan per hour for doing this. So, I will listen to you quietly without interrupting you, and you try to keep your talk within an hour. How does that sound to you?”
I took off my watch and put it on the table right in front of me. Her face became pale. I didn't hear what she said. I could only hear her voice become louder and louder.
Finally she slammed the door and left yelling, “Send her directly to the labor camp.”
My unit leaders and the personnel monitoring me watched this whole process. They had expected the experts to convince me to give up and they were disappointed by their performance.
They told me in private that what I said made sense. The performance of those experts showed that they were simply in it for the money.
Walking Out of the Labor Camp with Righteous Thoughts
One day, a leader of the labor camp came to chat with me after dinner. I said, “I have been here for several months. If my words or behavior are not right, please tell me and I will definitely correct myself.”
He said, “No, you have good character, and have never even spoken a bad word.”
I told him, “A person's words and deeds are the reflection of their mind. Since I have no bad words or deeds, my mind is good and is rooted in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. But you want to change my mind and transform me. Then what do you want to change me into?”
He was speechless upon hearing this.
Half a year passed, and I didn't give up my practice. A leader in the military district came and said, “You can go home immediately and your job will be reinstated, as long as you write a letter of guarantee and make a statement about Falun Dafa.
“If you don’t want to write anything, we can write one for you. You just need to sign it and read it in front of the camera. Otherwise, you will be sentenced to years of forced labor.”
I confirmed with him by asking, “Do you mean what you said? I will be released as long as I sign and read the statement?”
He patted his chest and said, “I meant what I said. In fact, nobody will know if you continue to practice after returning home.”
I asked again, “Didn't you say that I violated the law by practicing Falun Dafa? Why will it be okay to practice if I sign and read the statement? Is the law a joke?”
After this conversation, it didn't take long for me to receive a two-year forced labor sentence. Although I knew the persecution was absurd and unreasonable, all kinds of thoughts popped into my mind.
I thought about not seeing my dear family members again, and losing my comfortable lifestyle, my freedom, and even possibly my life. I felt so sad.
I kept asking myself almost every day, “Is Falun Dafa right? Is Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance good? Were the previous illnesses really healed or an illusion of psychological suggestion? Have I been cheated?”
I recalled little by little the changes that occurred in me after my cultivation, and finally I came to the firm conclusion that my choice was right, Falun Dafa is great!
I thought it was ridiculous that the army had spent so much money and manpower to “transform” me, and that I could go home by saying, “I will not practice Falun Dafa.” It was also ridiculous that I was sentenced to a labor camp for refusing to say that.
This made me ponder, “Why do they care so much whether I quit cultivation even if they know it is a lie?”
“Perhaps everyone has heard this statement in Buddhism: “When one’s Buddha-nature emerges, it will shake ‘the world of ten directions.’”” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I enlightened from the Fa that a person can shake the “world of ten directions” with just the thought of wanting to cultivate. It must be even greater if one says it out loud.
I understood that the purpose of the persecution is to make practitioners give up their cultivation, and for the people who persecute Dafa to be eliminated. The old forces have tried hard to achieve this goal by all means.
My mind felt crystal clear after I enlightened to that. In the days since, no matter what lies I faced, I have never felt confused again.
Under Master's protection and Dafa's guidance, I finally left the labor camp without writing any guarantee or statement.