Guards and Inmates Alike in China's Detention Facilities Support Falun Gong Practitioners Detained for Their Faith (Part 3)
(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, has been based on propaganda and deception ever since it began in 1999. To debunk the lies perpetuated against their faith, many Falun Dafa practitioners, including those in detention, have used every opportunity possible to raise awareness of this persecution that has no legal basis.
I was arrested on multiple occasions for refusing to renounce Falun Dafa, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. No matter where I was detained, be it a detention center or labor camp, I talked to the guards and inmates alike about my beliefs. Many of them have come to see through the CCP's slanderous propaganda against Falun Dafa and even appreciate the goodness of Dafa and the kindness of Dafa practitioners.
This three-part series presents a few such examples.
(Continued from Part 2)
I was arrested once again and held in a detention center in 2002. I went on several hunger strikes to protest being illegally detained.
I refused to wear the prisoner's vest, because I knew I didn’t commit a crime and should not be treated like a prisoner. The director attempted to compel me to wear one, and the deputy director gave orders to have my limbs tied to the four corners of a bed.
I started a hunger strike because it was the only way I could protest.
On the fifth day of my hunger strike, guards brought in the doctor and nurse to force-feed me. I refused to be force-fed. They held me down tightly, then pried open my mouth so wide that they almost broke my jaw. In the process they knocked out my incisors, and my mouth started to bleed.
I was transferred to another cell the next day because I still refused to eat. Guards told the inmates that it was their responsibility to put a prisoner's vest on me and that they would be punished if I did not wear it.
Cell Head: “All Falun Dafa Practitioners Are My Fellow Practitioners!”
To force me to give in, the inmates put a wooden plank on me, and four of them sat on it. Over an hour later, the inmate that was the head of the cell came in and asked what was going on.
They answered, “The chief told us to make this guy wear the prisoner's vest.”
The cell head punched two of the prisoners sitting on the wooden plank in the face, and the other two ran off. He yelled at them, “Whose orders do you want to follow? Don't you already know that all Falun Dafa practitioners are my fellow practitioners! How dare you treat a practitioner like this!”
Then he squatted down and asked me how I was. I did not respond because I thought it was a show orchestrated by the guards. However, when I looked up, I saw a handsome young man looking at me, his eyes filled with tears.
He said, “I heard that someone had just been transferred to my cell, but I didn't know it was you! You must have suffered a lot.”
“Have we met?” I asked.
He said, “Don't you remember? During the Chinese New Year, I forwarded a copy of Master Li's new lecture to you. You gave me a thumbs up and commented that I was a virtuous person.”
I remembered him then.
He went on, “I've met several Falun Dafa practitioners here, and they've told me the facts about Falun Dafa and the persecution. Although I haven't started yet, I will indeed cultivate Falun Dafa in the future!
“I'm not like you, I'm not a good person. I've done too many bad things and have accumulated lots of karma. It's good that you're here. Now I have a practitioner with me. You should not wear the prisoner's vest or recite the detention center rules because you're not a prisoner. You should recite Master's lectures instead. If you want to go on a hunger strike, go ahead because it's always better if you can leave early. However, if you want to eat something, let me know and I can get it for you. You'll eat with me. In the past, I treated the other practitioners the same way.”
The cell head could go outside every day because he knew many people in the detention center. He helped distribute copies of Master's lectures among our fellow practitioners. He also helped to hide all of the lectures in the director's office when people from outside came to check on our cell and returned them to us after the outsiders left.
Prisoners Fond of Falun Dafa Stories
Our cell was deemed a “civilized” cell, so the inmates could watch TV. Whenever someone was sentenced or about to be transferred, everyone's spirits were low, so the cell head would say, “We won't watch TV tonight. Let's have our Falun Dafa brother tell us a Falun Dafa story.”
I always used these opportunities to tell them the facts and benefits of Falun Dafa, and they were fond of my stories.
When one prisoner's appeal was rejected and his 15-year sentence was upheld, he was irritated and furious. Thinking about his wife, 10-year-old son, and parents, he felt particularly bad.
The cell head told everyone, “Our friend is not feeling well tonight, so instead of watching TV, let's hear a Falun Dafa story.”
I told them about my cultivation experiences, reincarnation stories, as well as Shakyamuni, and Milarepa's reincarnation stories.
The cell head commented, “We may not have witnessed much history, but we've seen how this practitioner was given a 10-year sentence simply because he wants to follow his faith to be a good person, but he is still very positive. For the rest of us, we have all indeed done bad things, and we must repay our karma. If we all learn Falun Dafa and regard the detention center as a place for us to cultivate, it would be a good thing.”
Once the cell head beat up two prisoners who were fighting over food. He was out of control and wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to stop him. He felt very sorry afterward and asked me, “The reason I called you my fellow practitioner is because I truly want to cultivate, but I don't have forbearance. Can a person like me cultivate Falun Dafa?” I said, “Although you have a desire to cultivate, if you don't read the Falun Dafa teachings, you don't have the power of the Fa to restrain yourself. If you read the teachings every day, you'll gain tolerance."
That night, he announced that we would not watch TV. He asked me to explain why I never had conflicts with anyone. I told them a few stories about cultivating forbearance.
I told them that I used to be a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official and had been brainwashed by the CCP’s philosophy of struggle. Consequently, I enjoyed competing with others.
After practicing Falun Dafa, my views on life and the world changed. I became more considerate. I constantly reminded myself not to do anything that harmed others, that if I was treated badly, it was an opportunity for me to improve my character. I had to work hard on developing Forbearance.
If someone held a grudge against me, I did not blame him. Instead, I searched inside myself to see if I had done anything wrong to harm this person, and then I would treat him with compassion. If I truly saw where he was lacking, I kindly pointed it out because I sincerely wanted that person to be good. We usually ended up becoming friends. So that was how my compassion grew.
The cell head commented, “I have met a number of Falun Dafa practitioners, but none of them ever ran into conflicts. Falun Dafa practitioners are indeed different from people like us.”
Master Has the Final Say
After I was transferred to a prison, I began a hunger strike because the guards prohibited me from doing the Falun Gong exercises.
Three days later, the prison required me to have a physical. The doctors said that I had liver issues, and because of that, they returned me to the detention center.
The cell head told me, “They should have let you out on a medical bail, but they won’t let you go home easily unless you start a hunger strike or if you become seriously ill.”
That sounded to me like a hint from Master, so I asked the detention center to release me for medical reasons. They replied that they would have to report my situation to the relevant departments.
Days passed, no one followed up with me, and the guards and the doctors avoided me. So I started a hunger strike. Every day, the cell head reported to the doctors that I did not eat, but still nobody seemed to pay any attention to me.
The cell head told me one day he had talked to the directors, and they told him they were well aware of my situation, but they couldn't release me because several Falun Dafa practitioners had left China and held press conferences about their situations in jail after they were released. They didn't want me to expose the persecution to the outside world.
I told the cell head, “What they said doesn't count because Master has the final say.” He repeated, “Yes, Master has the final say!”
One day, the cell head told me, “Although physically you're fragile, I can tell you're very healthy by just looking at your eyes. If they come to check on you again, don't open your eyes, and don't say anything either. We'll answer their questions for you.”
When the deputy director of the detention center, the doctor, and guards came to examine and force-feed me, the cell head said, “He is already so fragile, and he’s confused. He won't survive if you force-feed him. It's too risky!”
The doctor then had the nurse feed me some milk. After she poured the third spoonful into my mouth, I spit it out.
The doctor said, “Didn't you see that he just spit the milk out intentionally?” The cell head replied, “That couldn't be true. That only means that he can't eat anymore. If I haven't eaten for so long, I would have drunk the whole glass instead of spitting it out.” They looked at each other and then left.
Then the detention center began to give me IVs with unknown drugs. I knew that I was not sick, so every time the doctor left, I pulled the needle out and poured the contents into a water bottle.
The cell head said, “I understand why you are doing this, and I also know that the detention center doesn't really want to treat you. Besides, we don't know what's in that bottle. But if they found out that you've been pouring the contents out, they will tie you to the bed.”
He asked another prisoner to secretly remove the contents. He warned, “You know that my fellow practitioner is a good person. We want to help him get out early, so no one will tell anyone about this!”
The doctor increased the dosage from one bottle to three bottles a day, but every time the doctor came to check on me, he shook his head.
The cell head asked the doctor, “Why don't you give him some better medicine? It looks like the more you give him, the worse he gets.”
The detention center began to monitor my situation, and they checked on me several times a night.
One day, the door opened, and an official-looking person came in, “Who is the Falun Dafa practitioner?” The cell head pointed at me.
The person said, “Remove his quilt and let me look at him.” A prisoner did as he was told. The person looked at me and immediately ran out of the cell. The cell head whispered to me, “You're going to be free soon. They're afraid that you might die here.”
Before I was released, the cell head said, “You're finally free! Don't forget me! When I go home, I must find you to practice Falun Dafa. You must teach me!” I opened my eyes, looked at him, and nodded my head. I saw tears in his eyes once again.
This young man was indeed blessed for treating Falun Dafa practitioners kindly. After I was released, his sentence was reduced, and he was released early.