I used to be a person who was strongly attached to self-interest and to fame and personal gain. Because of my selfishness, my lack of self-control, and my tendency to always want to win, I was involved in a fight a few years ago. Because I hurt someone on purpose and violated the law, I was confined at the Chengdu City's Pixian Prison. While I was there I was fortunate enough to meet Falun Gong practitioners and was able to begin practising Falun Gong and start along my path of cultivating Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
At the time I was in agony because of my imprisonment. The first night I spent in jail I thought of my family members, especially my infant siblings, and tears uncontrollably streamed down my face and caused me trouble sleeping. The woman lying next to me inside the cell started to talk to me. She was about 30 something and appeared to be friendly and kind. "Do you know Falun Gong?" she asked lightly. I replied, "Yes. That is the one the TV says was involved in the Self-Immolation incident in Tiananmen Square."
She then clarified the truth to me, which greatly surprised me. I realised Falun Gong is not like what the TV described after all. Still, the police put good people who believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance behind bars. After hearing her words, I commented from the bottom of my heart, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. If everyone were like you Falun Gong practitioners, this world would be so wonderful!"
Later on I encountered many female Falun Gong practitioners who were unlawfully detained at the prison. Some of them were students in their teenage years while others were senior ladies, aged about 60-70. Inside the prison, they were highly respected by the criminal convicts because they are really kind people. However, they were suffering from the most inhumane persecution: savage force feedings, brutal beatings, and they were often sent away to secret places for crude tortures. To deceive the public and cover up the torture, the prison police said that those women were taken away for interrogation, but some women never returned to their cells.
One night a practitioner who slept next to me was taken away for several days of "interrogation" and was returned on the 7th day. When she came back to the cell, she was on deaths door and covered with wounds. We then learnt that she was brutally beaten by the "law-enforcing" personnel. They dropped her off at the front door of the prison to let her crawl back to our jail cell. With broken hearts, our cell companions looked after her, trying to get her attention by calling her name. But she could not respond, and she remained in a semi-unconscious state for three days.
On the second day after she woke up, she told us the following. The "6-10 Office"1 personnel cruelly tortured her for one week: they denied her sleep for seven days and nights, whenever she would close her eyes they would use a cigarette lighter to burn different parts of her face, her eyes, and eyebrows, etc. They also cuffed her hands and legs with heavy shackles while she was suspended in mid-air so that she could barely touch the ground. She had no food or water, and they tortured her mentally and humiliated her. They forced her to watch their homosexual acts, and if she closed her eyes they would brutally beat her. Still, it was said that her case was a relatively minor one. Other practitioners taken away at the same time for "interrogation" were persecuted more severely and tragically. Some are still missing and their status is unknown.
From what the prison police said, according to Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin, it is not illegal to beat a Falun Gong practitioner to death, for if he or she dies they can just call it a suicide. Jiang had ordered them to "destroy Falun Gong practitioners physically, ruin their reputations and bankrupt them financially."
All the people inside the prison sensed the injustice of the treatment of those who practise Falun Gong. We saw one kind heart after another, one firm and dauntless heart after another; suffer the cruelest persecution, and yet these women still thought of others all the time and patiently clarified the truth about Falun Gong to the people in the prison. Compared with these female practitioners, I reflected on my own selfishness and felt very ashamed. Inside my heart, I cried out "I want to be a good person, holding myself to the standard of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
Inside the prison, the compassion of Falun Gong practitioners touched and changed the hearts of many people. Almost every convict is able to recite teachings of Falun Gong. We all mentioned our intention to read the book Zhuan Falun2 after getting out of jail. We would like to be really good people and follow the requirements of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
One day I dared to start practising the Falun Gong exercises together with the detained practitioners. I also quietly helped those practitioners who had been tortured to the point of being unable to take care of themselves. All of my fellow prisoners in the same cell covered for me to prevent these things from being known by the prison police. After a long period of time, they somehow discovered it and one policewoman called me in for interrogation. "It is said that you practice Falun Gong inside the prison and that you help those practitioners!"
I replied, "I am doing Falun Gong exercises for my physical health. They are good people with a highly noble, moral character. What is wrong with me being kind to them? Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is also very good, and I like those ladies."
The policewoman said, "I know too that they are good people, but the top level does not permit us to be kind to them."
I simply answered, "I only believe in truth."
The policewoman looked at me but said no more, and then let me go back to my cell. My fellow prisoners worried about me, but my heart had no hesitation in standing up and saying a few fair words for those good people. High walls and iron bars in the windows, and violent suppression can only change the surface of a person, but is unable to touch the inner heart. Falun Dafa really changed so many souls and enabled them to be purified. For example, Falun Dafa has saved me. Six months later, instead of going to the forced labour camp, miraculously I was set free ahead of schedule because of my good behaviour inside the prison. I was so grateful to Master Li3 for his benevolent salvation.
Now I am committed to my cultivation practice. I believe that one day all the lies will be exposed. To warn kindhearted people from being deceived by the lies, I am writing down my own experiences in the prison with the hope that more people will know the truth about Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners do not want to get involved in politics and are not scrambling for power or profit, but only wish for a free environment to practice cultivation. Who does not want to have a warm family? Who does not have a spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister? But because practitioners sustain their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the most basic human right, these practitioners suffer from this unprecedented, inhuman persecution, which causes them to lose their families, their brothers or sisters, or even their own lives.
Kindhearted people, I hope that after you know this truth, you will pass it on to your friends and relatives. I also hope that you will step forward and say a few fair words for Falun Dafa.
1. "6-10 Office" - A bureau specifically created by the Chinese government to persecute Falun Gong. It has absolute power over each level of administration in the Party, as well as over the political and judiciary branches.
2. Zhuan Falun - A book containing the principle teachings of Falun Gong
3. Master Li - Respectfully referring to the founder of Falun Gong Mr Li Honqzhi
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