October 16, 2015 | By a practitioner in Heilongjiang Province, China
(Minghui.org) I was once a criminal offender serving a lifetime sentence for three burglaries. In prison, I had the opportunity to learn Falun Gong, and my life underwent tremendous changes.
From a Simple Youth to a Criminal
I was a simple and dutiful child who grew up in a rural area in Heilongjiang Province. After I graduated from high school, I decided to become a teacher, but while in school, I realized that I did not like it.
I then dated a girl my family did not approve of. We moved to a different city and opened up a wholesale business. The business was unprofitable.
I did not have the money to repay our debts, so when a neighbor asked me to steal something with him, I did not hesitate. Our first robbery was a success, and I continued to steal. After my third burglary, I was arrested and sentenced to prison in 1995.
My prison sentence was long, my family’s financial situation was not good, and I was plagued with illnesses. I lost hope.
My father visited me in 1997 and gave me the book Falun Gong. I read it and thought that it was very good–different from other books I had read, as it talked about profound principles that I had never come across before.
The prison flooded in 1998, and all the inmates were temporarily transferred to a big, empty warehouse.
Several Falun Gong practitioners visited the warehouse and taught the exercises of this cultivation practice to inmates who were interested. Other practitioners read the Falun Gong books with us.
The practitioners brought several Falun Gong books, including Zhuan Falun and Essentials for Further Advancement. After I read the books, I felt my true self awakened and my view of the world changed. I understood the purpose of life and began my path of cultivation.
My life sentence was changed to 25 years in prison in 1999. Under normal circumstances, for every two years that I served, one-and-a-half to two years could be deducted from my sentence.
Choosing Falun Gong Instead of a Lighter Sentence
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, I was given the choice of giving up the practice to get a sentence reduction and possible release in about 12 years or of continuing to practice it with no chance of a reduced sentence. I chose the latter.
All my Falun Gong books were confiscated, and I was not allowed to do the exercises.
When I did the exercises, an inmate reported me to the guards. They tried to force me to give up the practice, but I refused. The guards then tortured me.
I was locked in a small cell with my arms handcuffed behind my back to a metal ring on the ground. My legs were spread apart and shackled to the rings on the ground. I could not sit up or lie down. I was left like this for 24 hours. When I passed out, the guards poured cold water on my face.
When I still did not give give up the practice, the guards forced me to drink a powerful laxative. I had severe diarrhea for several days. When I was let out of solitary confinement 29 days later, no one could recognize me because I was emaciated.
I was locked in a small cell three times in 2002. The longest time was for more than six months.
I was also tortured with a device made out of metal pipes welded together in a large rectangle. My arms and legs were cuffed to the rings at the corners of the device, making it difficult to straighten my back. I was locked in this position for up to a month at times, except when I needed to use the restroom.
The guards sometimes carried me (on the device) to the restroom, opened the window to let in cold air, and poured cold water over me.
Guard: Practitioners Are Warriors
I went on a hunger strike many times to protest the persecution in prison. The longest time was for more than 40 days. The guards would force-feed me every time I went on a hunger strike.
I was tortured nearly to death many times. With righteous belief in Falun Gong and under Master’s protection, however, I pulled through each time. I knew it was because of this cultivation practice’s extraordinary power.
I now always sincerely recite, “Falun Gong is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
Another time, a guard hit and kicked me when I did the exercises. I was not moved and continued to do the exercises until I lost consciousness. After that incident, the guard never beat me again. He said, “Falun Gong practitioners are real warriors.”
Prisoners and Guards Want to Hear About Falun Gong
A practitioner taught me poems from Hong Yin.
I came to understand that, to be a true Fa-rectification practitioner, I must tell people about Falun Gong and clear their minds of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) lies about the practice. With a heart to save sentient beings, many inmates and guards I talked to about Falun Gong accepted what I said and realized that the practice is good.
Conditions in the prison improved a lot after practitioners started to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. Many inmates and guards who understood what Falun Gong is and about the persecution have started to treat practitioners kindly. Many of them have also quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
There was a reorganization of the prison management and guards in 2014. Several guards wanted to please upper management and began to harass practitioners in the ward where I was held. I was locked in a small cell again.
I talked to the inmates locked in the small cell with me about Falun Gong and the persecution. Some of the them quit the CCP after I convinced them that they did not want to be associated with the CCP when it collapses.
One day, a group of people came to tour the prison. When they passed through the small cell, the inmates and I shouted, “Falun Gong is good!” The visitors thought that everyone in the small cell was a practitioner.
Being Worthy of Master’s Salvation
I now have a healthy complexion and look much younger than my actual age. I try to do well everything a practitioner is supposed to do. I study the Falun Gong books diligently, sent righteous thoughts, and tell people about Falun Gong.
Falun Gong has changed me. Before, I used to spend money carelessly; now I am a dignified practitioner.
Category: Journeys of Cultivation