Becoming More Mature in Hiring Upstanding Lawyers to Help Resist the Persecution
In order to help fellow practitioners, I have had to hire upstanding lawyers twice for their legal services – once several years ago to rescue my practitioner relative, and another time last year to help a local practitioner.
Several years ago, I was arrested along with my relative, who was also a practitioner. After I walked out of the prison, I heard that the prison had put my relative on trial illegally. The case was already with the Procuratorate.
I decided to hire a lawyer to defend my relative. At that time, I didn’t have any experience with the matter. I also didn't have any deep understanding of the situation from a Fa's standpoint. I only knew that there were upstanding lawyers who would be willing to take on Falun Gong practitioners’ cases.
I found related reports on the Minghui website and found the lawyers’ contact information. Deciding to try things out, I gave one of these lawyers a call.
Through reports on the Minghui website, I understood that practitioners could still be illegally sentenced even after a defense lawyer is hired. So I merely intended to hire the lawyer as a formality to try and help my relative in court.
However, Master might have seen that I was too immature, and had to give me some guidance via the lawyer that I consulted.
The lawyer suggested that I contact other practitioners and our family members so that they can be present at the hearing. He also said that I could even contact the Epoch Times or Sound of Hope in order to expand this case's influence. The more people I could get in on this, the better – a group movement like this would only improve the situation of the whole area, if done right.
This lawyer has handled many Falun Gong practitioners’ cases, and knows what to do given our circumstances.
Although the win rate for practitioners in court was not promising, every trial has helped to clarify the truth to the justice department personnel in the area. And as more of them understood the truth, more of them have stepped in to help practitioners.
I realized then that this whole process was actually a method of truth-clarification, and began working diligently towards the cause.
I started by collecting contact information of the personnel responsible for the case. Then, I sent this information to practitioners overseas so that they could call these people and clarify the truth.
I also asked Minghui to give this case coverage on other overseas media. Locally, I contacted practitioners, friends, and relatives to attend the hearing. I also helped to arrange the lawyer’s itinerary, and went with him whenever he reviewed case files or visited my relative in prison.
Though things were very busy during that time, I don't remember ever feeling fatigued; Master was strengthening and giving me courage and confidence.
The big day finally arrived when I would see my relative put on trial. Our lawyer fought valiantly, despite the fact that the presiding judge was bent upon giving him a hard time. Against the judge's wishes, our counselor had pleaded “not guilty.”
The atmosphere in the courthouse was tense. The court officials had only allowed me and one other relative to enter the court, under their close supervision. We were both tailed by an officer the entire time.
But we were the lucky ones: many more practitioners and family members were not even allowed inside. They had to wait outside the courtroom, where they were under the careful surveillance of a handful of plainclothes police.
Because they decided to come, some practitioners were harassed by their local residential committee. But a lot of practitioners still showed up that day to quietly send forth righteous thoughts outside of the courtroom. Later, I found out that I didn't even know a lot of these practitioners – they had come to support us anyway.
Some policemen were amazed by the sheer number of people who showed up. They thought that I was a popular person and had many connections, and that I had organized all these people to come. But I hadn't.
Ordinary people cannot understand cultivators. Every practitioner is a particle within Dafa; every day, we all have to follow Master’s requirements and do the three things well. When there is a need to cooperate with one another, we don't need to be told what to do – we'll just gather where there is evil to be eliminated, and do our job as one united body. It's that simple.
The hearing was reported on overseas media outlets, and many overseas practitioners were also making phone calls to China about this case. I was very happy and encouraged to hear the news – I thought with all these efforts from all these people, my relative would be rescued.
However, when I heard that my relative was still being sentenced, I felt disappointed. This exposed my attachment for results and the mindset of merely doing things. At the same time, I also had an attachment to human emotions; I was afraid that my relative would suffer in prison and get tortured severely.
I adjusted my mindset and began the appeals process. But the evil was afraid of public hearings, so the original judgment was sustained.
In hindsight, I did not have a clear concept of how I wanted to negate the old forces’ arrangements. My understanding of our anti-persecution actions was not deep enough, and I hadn't looked at this as a cultivation experience.
First of all, when I was arrested and got my house ransacked, I didn’t follow what Master taught us:
“Why should you, a Dafa disciple, fear the evil ones when enduring persecution? The crux of the matter is that you have attachments. If not, do not endure passively, and face the evil people with righteous thoughts at all times. No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil’s demands, orders, or what it instigates. If everyone does this the environment won’t be this way.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II, “Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful”)
“With regard to the manifestation of thought karma, the damage that the evil forces have created for us, and our clarifying the truth to people, we are actively eliminating the demons instead of condoning or passively enduring; but our thoughts and actions must be benevolent.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II, Commentary I )
Secondly, I had a competitive mindset and human notions instead of a true practitioner’s mindset during the hearing. My first thought was not to clarify the truth – I merely viewed the persecution as one among human beings.
With the lawyer's help, I did some truth clarification. But it was far from enough. I was also highly dependent upon the lawyer and didn't actively clarify the truth to all police and staff involved in this case myself.
I had the notion that the evil party was too strong, and that even if I did clarify the truth to people in the justice organizations, it wouldn’t help much. As a result, I became very passive in the truth clarification in my attachment to achieving results.
Later, Master’s “Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding” was published. In this lecture, Master provided clear guidance on the trial situation from the Fa’s standpoint. Several years later, I would heed these words when I had another experience in hiring a lawyer to help a practitioner.
A Fellow Practitioner
My practitioner husband and I relocated to a different city soon after – a city with many practitioners. However, the evil was fierce there as well.
Just last year, Practitioner A was arrested and illegally detained, and faced the possibility of being sent to labor camp yet again, for he had been to forced labor camp twice in the past.
His family did not understand the truth and could not understand his actions; his wife wanted a divorce. His father had to take care of his sick mother and blamed Practitioner A for all the misfortunes in their family.
The local practitioners had to carefully coordinate to help his complicated situation. Some wrote articles to expose the evil. Some made phone calls to clarify the truth. Some put up posters. Some edited and distributed materials locally. Some practitioners even talked to the wife and managed to persuade her not to divorce Practitioner A.
However, the wife still felt significant pressure in rescuing her husband. After some practitioners clarified the truth to his father, Practitioner A's family decided to hire a lawyer to help him.
Because I had experience, I was responsible for contacting the lawyer.
But it was a completely different experience this time – since I was family the first time, I did not have to worry about dealing with the family. However, in this case, communicating with the family was a crucial task. We had to do a lot of work to help the family understand the truth.
The practitioner who talked to the father helped eliminate a lot of his bad notions and impressions about Dafa. In the end, the father was impressed by the Dafa disciples and clearly stated that he no longer was against his son practicing Falun Gong.
Another difference was the cooperation among practitioners. The first time, I was almost on my own, and I did not feel the importance of cooperation with others. This time, there were many practitioners involved in critical roles. As a result, good coordination became an issue.
Many practitioners did not have enough experience, and the persecution was also very severe in the area. Some practitioners had an attachment to fear. Others questioned the lawyer fee and other monetary problems – everyone seemed to have a different opinion, and for a while, there was tension all around.
But after sharing our thoughts and studying the Fa together, we were able to all see eye to eye.
When the lawyer tried to visit Practitioner A, the officials were shocked; they did not think that there would be lawyers who dared to take on Falun Gong cases. They tried everything to stop the lawyer from meeting with Practitioner A.
The lawyer also took the family to visit the police department and Procuratorate. During this process, they also clarified the truth to many people.
Due to the evil's influence, the lawyer never was able to meet with Practitioner A, who ended up being secretly transferred to a forced labor camp. Neither the lawyer nor the family members were able to visit him at the labor camp. But through the lawyer’s efforts, the guards in the labor camp understood the truth.
There were still some reactions from practitioners, however. Some were not happy with the results and thought the lawyer should pay back his consulting fee. Some became discouraged and felt that hiring the lawyer was not useful.
I understood their reactions because I had gone through a similar process the first time, and I knew that these thoughts arose because we had an improper starting point for our actions.
“Taking legal action can really serve to expose the evil, save sentient beings, and protect Dafa disciples. If the local Dafa disciples can arrive at a clear understanding of the matter, and if you all can work together well carrying it out, then I think your effort would be a good thing. But, if the sole purpose is to avoid being captured and persecuted by the evil, then there isn't that much mighty virtue involved.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding”)
I shared my understanding with the other practitioners and explained that hiring the lawyer was not merely a way of rescuing practitioners – it was also for validating the Fa and exposing the evil. This whole process had given us many opportunities to clarify the truth and save sentient beings.
With the help of my practitioner husband and other practitioners, I continued to work with the lawyer and began the appeals process to sue the evil. And many fellow practitioners stayed with me.
Some continued to work with the family. Some coordinated on the effort of sending forth righteous thoughts. Some made phone calls. Some prepared mailing materials to directly sue the responsible parties involved in this case. Now that the evil forces have become suspected criminals in the eyes of the law, they are no longer as unruly.
Looking back at the entire process, I had thought about the risks of making phone calls directly with the lawyer, the risks of accompanying him and the family to different departments, and the risks of going to the forced labor camp with the lawyer. However, I also remember that Master taught us,
“The old forces don't dare to oppose our clarifying the truth or saving sentient beings. What's key is to not let them take advantage of the gaps in your state of mind when you do things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston')
I need to maintain a calm and stable mindset without giving the evil any loopholes to take advantage of. Leveraging the law to rescue practitioners is a righteous action. No matter where we are, we should always maintain a righteous mind with dignity. These are the righteous thoughts that Dafa disciples should have. It is the evil who should feel scared, and not Dafa disciples.
Thank you fellow practitioners! Thank you Master for your compassionate protection!