Recently, some fellow practitioners who had wrongly been imprisoned for many years returned home. Every practitioner wanted to help them to return to a cultivation group as soon as possible. However, we encountered some problems concerning the details of these actions. By studying the Fa and sharing with each other, we recognized that it is very important to treat fellow practitioners who had been persecuted with compassion.
First, don't rush and don't provoke these fellow practitioners. Fellow practitioner A was persecuted for seven years for making information materials about the truth of Falun Gong and the persecution. Practitioner A had been "transformed" while in prison, and was very depressed after being released. Fellow practitioner B and another practitioner went to visit practitioner A, and B talked about his experience when he broke out of the devil's den by using his righteous thoughts. But surprisingly, A got very angry and drove B out of his home. Practitioner B did not say anything wrong, but by pointing out practitioner A's failure in front of others, A was not able to tolerate it. This practitioner, who had been persecuted for many years, knew that it was wrong to compromise with the evil. He already felt ashamed when he faced other fellow practitioners, but after being lectured like this, he could not handle it. Master said:
"Some students have become confused during the persecution. However, once they become clear on things, or once they find themselves in a new setting, they are able to tell right from wrong. They definitely don't side with the evil deliberately, for sure." ("Fa Teaching Given at the NTDTV Meeting")
When we help fellow practitioners we can not rush them, we have to give them the chance to understand.
Secondly, we have to understand and care for our fellow practitioners. Master said in "Fa Teaching Given at the NTDTV Meeting":
"My point is, you shouldn't push your fellow cultivators away. They are fellow cultivators, and you should try your best to have them feel the warmth with which Dafa disciples interact with one another."
We need to visit these fellow practitioners often, in addition we need to show concern for their cultivation state. We should also care for their living situation, their family and work, and let them feel the warmth of practitioners as a group. Then their confidence will gradually recover, and they will open up to other practitioners.
In addition, we have to help fellow practitioners to analyze matters logically, and help them to find their attachments and knots. Someone pointed out the reason why an elderly fellow practitioner had been persecuted, and that it was because the old forces had used her attachments. Plus she needed to look inward and eliminate these attachments and deny the arrangements of the old forces. This fellow practitioner then denied that she was persecuted because of her attachments. She said that Master mentioned: "Why are Dafa disciples ruthlessly tortured by the evil? Because they persist in their righteous faith in Dafa, and because they are particles of Dafa." ("Dafa is Indestructible" in Essentials for Further Advancement II) This practitioner was afraid to admit that she had attachments, afraid others might think that she did not cultivate well, therefore she was hiding her attachments, and was scared to think about them, nor did she want to touch and eliminate them. After we helped her to find the knots in her heart, she was able to ponder over and eliminate her attachments.
We can not look down on fellow practitioners. Most of these fellow practitioners who had been persecuted earlier operated information material production centres. They had assumed the heavy workload of making these information materials. Their persecution is actually also the persecution of all cultivators as a whole. Had we shared some of their workload at the beginning, and had the work flourished on a large scale, they very likely would not have been persecuted so severely. Their courage and sacrifice is worthy of recognition and respect. Therefore, we should understand them even more, and use compassion when we help them to return.
We must have confidence in and patience for our fellow practitioners. Don't give up if you bump into a wall a couple of times, we have to give fellow practitioners the chance to come back. Wounds need time to heal, of course it is better if the recovery time is sooner rather than later. During the past few years, some fellow practitioners who were just released from labour camps did not want to see other practitioners. They did not regain their conscience until a little more than a year later, and then took the initiative to look for other fellow practitioners. At that moment, there were only a few of the evil elements left, and it did not take them long to recover.
We learned from experience that the most effective way is to study the Fa with these fellow practitioners. When we try our best to study the Fa with them, the Fa can resolve any problems. At the same time, we need to help our fellow practitioners to promptly issue a solemn announcement, stating that their previous actions are null and void. This is very important. We have to treat this solemn announcement seriously, and cultivate the Fa properly. Some fellow practitioners did not issue a solemn announcement after they had been released, and as a result, they were constantly harassed by evil beings. Even though some fellow practitioners did not write the "five statements" or similar things, their families had written them on their behalf. Those also should be corrected with an announcement, because we can not leave any stains on our cultivation.
At the present time, saving sentient beings is very urgent, the more practitioners involved, the more sentient beings can be saved. We have the responsibility to help fellow practitioners who have been persecuted in order to harmonize them into our bigger group as quickly as possible, and thus save sentient beings together.