(Minghui.org) As the saying goes, “A leopard can't change its spots.” It is very hard to change one’s character even if the person tries really hard. I would like to relate how Falun Dafa changed me from being a rebellious girl and shrew of a wife to someone who is always considerate of others.
(Continued from Part 2)
Labor Camp Detention
After my daughter started school in 2001, my mother-in-law continued taking care of her. My daughter did well in school and did not need additional tutoring as many peers did. Lan, the younger sister of my husband Lei, lived nearby after she got married. She visited my mother-in-law almost every day to help around the house. She got divorced in 2002 and brought her son to live with my mother-in-law and my family. It’s been 20 years since we had this living arrangement, and she has helped me take care of the family, improve my mind nature, and avert harassment from police.
Right before the 2002 Chinese New Year, I went out one day to spray paint the words “Falun Dafa is good.” I was arrested on the way back home and later given one year of forced labor.
There were all kinds of work assignments in the labor camp, such as folding paper, gluing toy birds, and making stuffed animals. Any practitioner who refused to renounce their belief would be forced to do unpaid labor during the day and subjected to intense brainwashing sessions in the evening. One month later, those who tried to brainwash me gave up. They said I was too stubborn to change.
I saw some guards respected practitioners who were determined in their belief. When talking with me, these guards did not say bad words. Whenever a practitioner was newly admitted to the labor camp, the government would appropriate several thousands of yuan to the camp. Every detainee was ordered to write a “thought report” every month. I always wrote about how great Falun Gong is and why the suppression was wrong. Later on, I stopped writing altogether.
One day, the labor camp organized detainees to watch a slandering video on the staged Self-immolation hoax on Tiananmen Square. They required everyone to turn in a summary report of our thought on this. Citing words from Lecture Seven of Zhuan Falun, I pointed out that Falun Gong prohibits killing or suicide, and that the self-immolators in the hoax were not practitioners at all.
There were some inmates who knew that the persecution was wrong, so they secretly protected the practitioners they were assigned to monitor. Some other inmates, however, abused practitioners because they were brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party. Once an inmate beat me and scratched my neck with a nail. I wrote a letter to report her. Upon receiving my letter, the labor camp director had a guard pass the letter to the inmate who injured me with a nail.
I had an instinct that this director would support the upright. Because of this thought, the letter actually worked and many people heard about this. “Falun Gong practitioners did not commit wrongdoings and they are not criminals. It is wrong for them to be detained here for their faith, let alone being persecuted,” I wrote, “Any verbal assault and physical attack against practitioners is a crime.”
The inmate apologized to me and stopped mistreating me since then. Practitioners kept reciting Falun Gong's teachings, sending forth righteous thoughts, and encouraging each other to get over the difficult period of time.
The labor camp allowed one family visit per week and Lei came almost every week. Sometimes he brought our daughter, who always behaved well. One time she even brought a picture she drew for me. One time during the visit, my sister-in-law, Lan, and some other relatives also came. As soon as they saw me, they urged Lei to divorce me. All of them were hot-tempered women who spoke loudly.
“There are no three-legged frogs. But finding a two-legged woman is easy,” one of them said.
“You file for divorce today and we will find you a better woman tomorrow,” another added, “Don’t worry about money. We will give you whatever you need.”
Lei was quiet, and I said to him. “You are still young and you are not a practitioner. So there is no need to suffer with me.”
“It is true that everything that has a beginning, has an ending. But I do not know when the persecution will stop,” I continued, “Whether to wait for me or divorce, it is totally up to you. But if you file for divorce, I won’t blame you.”
Lei did not say anything. One guard monitoring the visit also asked him to divorce me.
“But, other than practicing Falun Gong, which you think is a problem, my wife is perfect,” Lei explained.
Lan and other relatives yelled and cursed. They then left with Lei.
On one occasion, the labor camp ordered all practitioners who refused to renounce their belief to take a white pill. Anyone who did not take it would be force-fed. When it was my turn, I let the pill slip into my undershirt. The inmate assigned to watch me checked my hand, my mouth, and the area beneath my tongue, but saw nothing. She thought I had swallowed the pill.
My term was extended by another two months since I refused to give up practicing Falun Gong.
After my extended labor camp term ended, Lei came to pick me up. But the 610 Office had me taken directly to a brainwashing center. Lei came with us as well. In the police van, he told me my mother-in-law and Lan cooked many delicious dishes waiting to welcome me home. Nobody expected I would be detained again.
When we arrived at the brainwashing center, Lei was told to pay 1,000 yuan per month for my food. He replied, “I don’t have a penny. If you want to keep her here, it is your job to feed her and cover the expenses.”
He then left. No one talked with me about the food expense anymore.
The brainwashing center was in a three-story building. The first floor housed so-called “staff members,” while the top two floors were used to keep practitioners who still refused to renounce their faith after finishing their prison or labor camp terms. I was held on the second floor. In each room, there was a desk, a chair, a bed, a washing basin, and a toothbrush along with toothpaste. The light on the ceiling was kept on the entire night.
Every day the food was brought to the room. When we ate, we had to sit on the chair facing the door, so the guards could see who refused to eat and would force-feed those on a hunger strike. The windows were secured with metal bars and covered with curtains all year long. Each door has a small opening for the guards to see inside.
As soon as I was brought to the room, I felt lost with all kinds of bad thoughts popping up in my head. The words from one guard also came to my mind: “Never think of getting out of here unless you are transformed (forced to give up practicing Falun Gong).” With no hope of being released in sight, I was devastated and mentally collapsed. I longed to see my family and fellow practitioners again and my mind was filled with all kinds of random thoughts.
Gradually I tried to calm down. And I remembered Master and Falun Dafa. Looking at the bloodstains on the walls, I knew they were evidence of the persecution against practitioners here. I tried hard to recite Dafa's teachings and send forth righteous thoughts to calm myself down.
The staff members were from various government agencies or companies. They received high pay and fat bonuses. Usually, two of them paired up as one team to monitor practitioners. There were also some people who were on a 24-hour shift. Some staff members were responsible for brainwashing practitioners, while others were beating up practitioners. Among them were also Buddhists. Faced with temptations of fame and material interest, these people lost their humanity and conscience, making the brainwashing center even more vicious than labor camps.
Other than being forced to attend brainwashing sessions, I had no one to talk to. Lei was worried about me and came once a week. Every time he brought some fruits and snacks. There were always two bags, one for the staff member on duty and one for me. I told him to stop doing that in order to save money, but he did not listen.
Every time when coming here, Lei would chat with staff members. They said that the food here was good and that there was no use going on a hunger strike since the guards would force-feed practitioners on a hunger strike. They would not release someone easily even if the family paid a lot of money. The only exception would be someone who contracted contagious diseases.
Two young men were assigned to work on me. I told them we could talk, but beating me would violate laws. They said they would not beat me. Every day, they would take me to a room, close the door, and play on their phones, without doing any brainwashing stuff. Later on, a Buddhist was responsible for transforming me. When he read Buddhism scripture to me every day, I sent forth righteous thoughts in front of him each and every time. He began to have a headache whenever seeing me so he stopped coming.
At noontime, the brainwashing center used to gather practitioners to watch videos defaming Dafa. Since this was the only time for practitioners to meet, we encouraged each other by exchanging glances without words. This also allowed us to send forth righteous thoughts together. Later on, no one organized the video watching anymore.
Every day I felt uneasy since I was unable to study Falun Gong's teachings or raise awareness of the persecution. One month later, I asked Master to help me break free from the brainwashing center. “Master, I will go on a hunger strike and leave here to save people,” I said in my mind. So I stopped drinking and eating secretly. I did not do it openly because guards would force-feed me. I tried for two days and it worked.
Every day, I put the food in a small bag and dumped it in the toilet when I went to the bathroom. One time, the guard leader in the brainwashing center came and asked me about my labor camp detention. He murmured to himself that he had coronary heart disease and suffered from chest pain and back pain as a result. When I asked him why coronary heart disease would lead to back pain, he said he did not know but it happened that way. I was not sure why he told me that.
On the third day of my secret hunger strike, the staff member on duty said I looked skinnier. I smiled but did not say anything. The following day, I had throat pain and the phlegm was dark with blood. I intentionally spat it into a basin with water for the guards to see. When someone brought over breakfast, I told him I was uncomfortable and could not eat. He went out to report it. One guard came and saw my eyes sunken. He said I did not look good. He opened the window to let in the fresh air and called in a nurse.
They also called Lei and asked him to come immediately. Seeing the bloody phlegm in the basin, they asked if I had tuberculosis in the past. I said no and I only became like this after coming here.
“We did not beat you here,” one guard said.
“I was not like this before coming here,” I replied.
After measuring my blood pressure and heartbeat, the nurse asked where I was uncomfortable. I suddenly remembered the guard leader’s words and said my back hurt.
Lei arrived and was shocked to see me.
“What did they do to you?” He shouted.
The guards said they did not beat me and would take me to a hospital.
“I don’t have money for her checkups,” Lei said.
The guards decided to send me to a hospital anyway. Already very weak, I told Lei I became like this because of the persecution.
After they brought me to a police hospital, one doctor examined me and diagnosed me with severe coronary heart disease and tuberculosis. He recommended I be hospitalized. I said no and Lei said he did not have money either. The brainwashing center contacted the 610 Office and one agent came. He knew Lei and later decided to send me home.
The day after I returned home, all the symptoms were gone. I was as healthy as ever. “Please do not believe in the police anymore. You need to believe in Falun Gong,” I said to Lei. I also told my mother-in-law and Lan how the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) suppressed Falun Gong and how I was abused in the labor camp.
“That is absurd!” my mother-in-law said. “How can they treat people like that just for practicing Falun Gong?”
“If they come to harass you, we won’t tolerate it!” Lan added.
Support from Family
Two officers from the local police station came to my home in July 2003. One of them stuttered. They asked me to sign some documents promising to give up my belief. I said I needed to find a pen and used the excuse to walk away, leaving only Lan at home.
“When will your... sister-in-law... come back?” stuttered the first officer.
“I...don’t...know,” Lan replied.
“How...come...you... stutter, too?” asked the officer.
“Well...since you...stutter...I stutter... too,” she answered.
The other officer could not contain himself and went outside laughing. They soon left.
As a matter of fact, this was not the first time that the police showed up to harass me. They didn’t know that Lei and I lived in the two-bedroom house in the back of the property, so they always went straight to the three-bedroom house in the front, where my parents-in-law and Lan lived.
One time when the police showed up again, they asked Lan to open the door, but she refused.
“Coming here without a search warrant is against the law,” she said. “Plus, my brother [Lei] has jewelry and cash worth 50,000 yuan. What if it is gone after you leave?”
The police left.
Another time two plainclothes officers parked their car outside and went into the courtyard without knocking first.
Lan saw them and called out to her father, “Dad, shut the door [of the house]. We have burglars!”
“No, we are the police!” the officers called out as they ran out.
“Then why aren't you in uniform? Please, it’s late!” Lan shouted. “Other people may fear you, but we do not. Don’t you dare come here again!”
The two officers left.
There was another time when the police came at dinnertime. I walked away saying I needed to go to the bathroom. Two officers followed me closely. I winked at Lan, and she intercepted them and started to chat with them. By the time the officers realized what Lan was doing, I was already out of sight. Failing to find me, they told Lan to report to them when I came back. She did not say anything.
When Lan went to the police station to run some errands one day, an officer asked why she did not report to them when I came back.
“Who do you think you are?” Lan shouted. “Why do I have to listen to you? Did you pay me?”
The officer did not expect this and did not know how to handle it.
“This woman is not easy to deal with,” someone commented when Lan left.
“Of course not!” Lan thought to herself.
One winter morning, four uniformed policemen came with a search warrant at 6 a.m. But they did not know I had left for work before 5 a.m. They did not know me and mistook Lan for me. So they pushed her down on the floor to handcuff her.
“Who are you looking for?” Lan asked.
One officer mentioned my name.
“Are you sure it’s me? You know arresting the wrong person has consequences,” she said. “Oh, my heart! I am so scared I think I am having a heart attack! [She did have heart disease.] Plus, my elderly parents are here. If they are frightened and get ill, will you pay their medical expenses?”
Her older sister happened to be staying with us just before having surgery for uterine cancer. She knew the facts of Falun Gong and often recited “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” Her surgery later went smoothly without complications. When the police came that day, she was still in bed. Hearing her sister Lan’s conversation with the police, she rushed out in her pajamas and shouted, “Who is bullying my sister?! I will fight you to death!”
The officers opened the handcuffs and helped Lan stand up. They then apologized to both her and her sister.
Lei’s oldest brother’s son, who was also living with us, was getting ready to go to work, but the officers stopped him.
“I can skip work, but will you pay me?” Lei’s nephew replied as he rushed out.
He then called his uncle (Lei’s second elder brother), who drove to my workplace asking to leave to avoid being arrested.
Another time was a summer evening around 8 p.m. I was taking a walk around our property, while Lei and his friend Sun were playing chess. Three plainclothes police officers came without turning on the headlight of their cruiser. They stopped and one of them grabbed my hands asking for my ID. I said I needed to go inside to get it. But the officer did not let me go. Lei saw this and grabbed the officer’s shoulder hard. He loosened his grip on me and Lei grabbed his arm to prevent him from following me. I went inside the house and locked the door from the inside. I then jumped out of a window and left home.
I learned later that the three officers went back to their police van, put on their uniforms, and called their police station director saying someone was obstructing official duties. The director came with over 20 officers and surrounded my home.
Many villagers also came to watch. Hearing the commotion, Lan asked my parents-in-law to come out. She then told my mother-in-law, “If the police make an arrest here, maybe you could lie in front of the police van to stop them from taking your daughter-in-law away.”
My mother-in-law nodded. Before marrying me, Lei often fought with others and my mother-in-law knew how to handle difficult situations.
Seeing I was gone, my mother-in-law and Lan were relieved. Two officers were dragging Lei into a police van saying he had obstructed official duties. My mother-in-law walked to the police van and shouted, “I am too old to take care of myself. I will go wherever my son goes.” She then began to enter the van. Seeing her gray hair and old age, the police let go of Lei.
Because of the frequent harassment, I was often forced to stay away from home.
Blessings and Gratitude
Through the years, there were many incidents that I and my entire family were blessed by Falun Gong. Here are some examples.
When I was riding my bike one day in October 2006, a taxi ran into me destroying the bike. I was pushed forward and sent flying before landing on top of the taxi. The force was so strong that the taxi windshield was shattered. The driver suddenly stopped the car, throwing me to the roadside. I lost consciousness. Since the taxi was driving really fast, it didn’t stop until it left a long and deep mark on the ground. Onlookers all thought there was no way I’d survive.
The driver sent me to the hospital. After regaining consciousness, I told him I would be fine and would not ask for compensation. We talked about Falun Gong and he agreed to quit the CCP organizations. He then sent me home. My body was aching the following two days. But I ignored it and continued reading Falun Gong books and doing the exercises as usual. I was back to normal two weeks later. I am very thankful to Master Li.
Because Lan believed Falun Gong is good and protected me, her fate was also changed. When she was young, a fortuneteller made predictions about her marriage, children, and other aspects of her life. Everything turned out to be true except for the prediction she’d die at 47. Now 52, Lan is healthier than when she was younger. Her ex-husband bought an apartment for her and their son.
I took good care of my parents-in-law. When they could not get out of bed, I fed them and cleaned them. Neither of them suffered much before they died. My father-in-law died at 85. My mother-in-law kept reciting “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” before her death at 82, and she told me she saw numerous red Falun spinning.
Lei’s oldest brother died in 2002 and his widowed wife married again and moved away. Their son is also a good person and he sometimes helped put up banners “Falun Dafa is good” banners high on the electrical poles. Since his house was old and leaking, Lei and I swapped our bigger house for his. He was very thankful. “I am proud of my aunt (referring to me) as a Falun Gong practitioner,” he often told people. “She treats everyone well. Falun Gong practitioners are the best.” He asked Lei to cherish me.
Lan later moved but still brought her son back to visit us. Her son has been very close to us and calls if we don’t get a chance to see each other in person for a few days.
Lei also changed a lot. He cared about the family very much and even did the dishes (the last thing he would do, he once told me). He didn’t hesitate at all when I told him that I wanted to use our house to host group Fa-study. He is also very nice to practitioners who come to our house. Compared to how he was in the past, he is almost like a different person. He now has an easy job with good pay at a factory. Everyone says he is very fortunate.
Lei also enjoys good health. He has a rosy complexion and dark hair, which he attributes to Falun Gong. When I tell others the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution, he often helps me.
Our daughter has graduated from college and is doing well at her job. Despite the chaotic society, she is able to stay true to herself and maintain her integrity. Both she and Lei hang Dafa amulets in their cars.
I know the happiness of my family comes from Falun Gong and I am sincerely grateful to Master Li for that.
I wrote this series of articles to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Falun Gong’s public introduction. I hope more people in this world will benefit from Falun Gong just like me and my family.
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