During my incarceration, we called the prison "hell on earth." This is where I spent ten years of my life. I was there for the crimes I committed, which I do not wish to mention here. However I do want to share some things I saw firsthand while I was in the prison.
In the winter of 2002, other inmates told me of the arrival of some new prisoners, all Falun Gong practitioners. Prior to that, I had heard about Falun Gong from TV programs, which called Falun Gong a cult. I was isolated from society for years, so I did not know anything about them. But, I thought cultivators would normally do good deeds to accumulate virtue, so why would they commit crimes and end up in prison?
Soon a Falun Gong practitioner was assigned to the unit I was in. The guards warned all the criminal prisoners that no one was allowed to talk to the Falun Gong practitioner in private. Four or five inmates were assigned to monitor him, even when he used the restroom. His clothing and personal belongings were searched periodically, and he was even closely monitored at night. Otherwise, our lives went on as they did before.
There is a Chinese saying that given enough time people can tell one's true nature. This Falun Gong practitioner gradually showed us his righteous nature in the following days. He was always ready to help and never fought for personal gain. Some criminals took advantage of his compassion, borrowing his belongings or money and never returning them. However, the Falun Gong practitioner never complained, even though he was treated unfairly. The guards attempted to force him to write statements to denounce Falun Gong and admit his "crimes." When he refused, the guards pressured him and deprived him of sleep for four or five days in a row. At night, four inmates were assigned as a group to sit around the practitioner. They pushed him as soon as he closed his eyes. The inmates took turns every two hours to make sure he was denied any sleep, be it day or night. He went on a hunger strike to protest, so the guards force-fed him. Even worse, after a sleepless night, the guards forced him inside a giant metal barrel during the daytime and struck the barrel, making unbearably loud noises for him to endure. Similar torture ensued. He did not do anything wrong, yet he suffered from all kinds of torture.
This is what happened to another Falun Gong practitioner, as well. The guards rolled heavy bars over his shins, injuring him to the point where he couldn't walk. They poured hot pepper juice into his nose and inserted toothpicks under his fingernails. The guards also took his money and belongings without giving him any receipts. The tortures were even worse than what we saw in the movies, how Japanese invaders treated Chinese people during World War II. Right and wrong were flipped. These people were doing such horrendous things under the name of "law". It wasn't hard to see who was righteous and who was wicked.
I asked myself, "What gave Falun Gong practitioners such firm faith to persist at the risk of suffering such inhuman tortures, to the point of losing their families and some even losing their lives?" The answer could only be that what they cultivate is truly something righteous, precious and solemn.
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