Wang Jindong: My Personal Statement on the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident(I)
Wang Jindong: My Personal Statement on the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident(II)
Wang Jindong: My Personal Statement on the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident(III)
Editor’s note: Wang Jindong used to be an obsessed follower of Falun Gong. On the eve of Chinese New Year on January 23, 2001, he participated in the self-immolation incident in the Tiananmen Square, and was the first self-immolator. On August 17, 2001, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing Municipality with political rights suspended for three years. In May 2003, he wrote this article in prison, recalling the years of being obsessed by Falun Gong, recollecting the "1.23" self-immolation incident and surveying the process of waking up after the incident. This article reveals facts about the self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001.
Long after the self-immolation incident, I had been obsessed with Falun Gong. But the fire in Tiananmen Square made the focus of contradictions. That actually marked a change in my soul, and a turn to new life.
On January 30, 2001, I was transferred to the department for sick prisoners in Beijing Public Security Hospital. I was the only patient in a ward accommodating four patients. I was told that such arrangement was aimed at avoiding infections. I was given ultraviolet radiation treatment twice in a day. My surgeon was the best one in the hospital.
Dr. Yang Mo, aged about 30, was a very kind person. He had a height of 180cm, a fair skin, well-built body and easy manners. He always kept a smile on his face. When he was checking and dealing with my injuries, he was very careful, avoiding hurting me. I was deeply touched by his consideration. When I expressed my gratitude, he often responded, “It is my duty.”
Later I found out that all doctors and nurses in the department treat their patients equally, no matter what crime the patients had committed and what kind of disease they had. The sick prisoners were given nutritious food, which cost about 400-500 Yuan per month. We had never expected such good food in the hospital. When some sick prisoners wanted to take some food at midnight, the nurses on duty bought food with their own money for them. I would never have believed such things if I had not witnessed myself. I was very moved by their professional morals.
I was given extra care in the hospital. Although the ward was centrally-heated, Dr. Yang suggested buying an electric heater in order to speed up my recovery. To improve my physical health, he bought me Huiyuan juice. My gratitude cannot be conveyed in speech.
When CCTV journalists approached me for an interview for the first time at Jishuitan hospital, I rejected them on the ground that I was unable to speak. On February 2, 2001, CCTV planned to interview me. Leaders in the hospital came to send their best wishes to me at first. Then they asked whether I was willing to receive the interview. I answered, “Yes.” They told me that I could tell the truth and fact in the way as I like. I agreed.
Journalists asked, “Why did you attend self-immolation in Tiananmen Square?”
I said, “Falun Dafa is a righteous one. It was unfair for the government to outlaw it. As a real follower of Falun Dafa, I value Dafa more than my life. I would take my life to defend Dafa. The self-immolation in Tiananmen Square is a kind of protests. As other practitioners, I decided to defend Falun Dafa. Self-immolation is just the supreme form. ”
Journalists asked, “Don’t you think such behavior is too cruel for a Liu Siying who is just 12 years old?”
This question was the heaviest hit to me. But I gave an answer from the prospective of a Falun Gong disciple.
I said, “I had tried several times to prevent Liu Siying and her mother from coming to Beijing. But I did not know their plan until we got on the train. It was too late to stop them. Besides, I thought it may be their fate, just as what the master had said. What kind of reasons do I have to prevent other people from sacrificing themselves for Falun Dafa?”
Journalists asked, “What do you think about Liu Yunfang’s failure to set himself on fire?”
I answered, “we all volunteered to do this thing. None of us was forced to do that. Only those who have reached a fairly high level in cultivation can make such choice and do not feel regretful for it. Everybody has the right to choose what he/she would do and how he/she would do it. I do not comment on other people’s choice. ”
Journalists asked, “You just care about achieving consummation by yourself. Have you ever thought about the effect that your behavior may have on your family?”
I answered, “According to teachings of the master, the purpose of our practice and cultivation is to get rid of all kinds of attachment, including attachment to our body. But attachment to consummation is another kind of attachment. Nothing visional is permanent. The only thing that matters is to practice. Let it is as it is. I don’t care what other people’s purposes are. I myself was following the directions of the master. I know I still need to let go of attachment. But I am trying to achieve the goal. I am missing my family. But I know such emotion is an obstacle to my cultivation. I learn from history that only those who can get rid of attachment to family can eventually achieve their goal of life. I am proud of myself for being calm when I set the fire. ”
Journalists asked, “Do you feel regretful? You are so badly burned. How can you face your family and other people? ”
I answered, “I will never regret for it. I have expected all these things before the incident. I have told one of my fellow practitioners that there would be two kinds of results of my plan: one is that I die as I wish; the other is that I am saved. There are a lot of police people in plain clothes in the square. These police people are on guard. As a veteran driver, I know that there are fire extinguishers in the police cars. Even common vehicles are required to be equipped with fire extinguishers, not to mention the police vehicles patrolling in Tiananmen Square. If I am saved, I would be badly burned. But it does matter how I would face my family or other people. I would like to follow the direction of my master, letting go of life and death. I have kept my promise to sacrifice myself for Falun Dafa.”
A few days later, some other journalists came to interview me (I had no idea which TV station they were working for). They inquired about my physical condition, and asked what I was in need of and whether I was satisfied with treatment. When the interview began, besides similar questions asked in previous interview, these reporters told me a thing that they did not understand but were interested in.
The reporters asked, “Your determination to devote yourself to Falun Dafa put you in such a miserable condition. But the US-based Falun Gong headquarters said in a public statement that you were not followers of Falun Gong, but devils who were ruining Falun Dafa. What do you think about their statement? ”
I said, “I am a real follower of Falun Dafa. I took teachings of my master as guidance to what I say and do. The master repeatedly encouraged us to stand out to defend Falun Dafa. I just took the supreme form. What’s wrong with me? I practice Falun Gong. I do not care whether other people accept my cultivation. I know what I am doing. I just took it as a test to me. The incident is also a test to all followers of Falun Dafa. It is nothing special. ”Then the reporters wished me a speedy recovery. I said “thank you”to them.
In late March, I missed my family very much. The thought of my mother aged above 70, my wife, my daughter and my siblings saddened me. I don’t know how deeply they feel sorry for me. I don’t know whether my aged mother could bear the heavy attack that I brought out to her. I am worried about the health status of my mother. I know that my siblings must have felt heart-broken for me, and that I must have made a lot of trouble for my daughter’s boyfriend and his family. I felt very guilty and sad. But I would like to take the incident as a trial to me. So I had to control my feeling.
On April 3, two reporters from Henan TV came for an interview. They were nice, kind and very easy-going. They told me that they had already visited my wife and daughter, and shared some information with me.
Reporters asked, “Do you miss your family?”
I replied, “Yes. I miss them very much. I am anxious to learn their conditions.”
Reporters said, “We have interviewed your family and your colleagues. They all said you are a good son, a good elder brother and a good colleague. They recalled that you had saved the life of a man, a woman and two kids aged four or five in the pond covered by a layer of ice in Tieta Park on December 31, 1992. You are really a good person.”I knew the reporters felt sorry for me.
I answered, “I could not repay my parents for their loving care. I am not a good son. I felt regretful for I have not created a good life for my mother. Now I feel sorry for her. My father died young, leaving behind the whole family in poverty. As the eldest brother, I felt sad for not being able to arrange a decent wedding ceremony for my siblings. My leaders and colleagues sympathized with me, so they said good things about me. I know I am not as good as they said. But I thank them for their support. I will try to be a good person. Thank you. ”
Reporters asked, “Lao Wang, what would you do if your wife and daughter had participated in the self-burning incident and they wished you could set fire for them for they did not have the courage to do so?”
I said, “I would definitely not offer such help for if they do not have the courage to do a thing, they are not qualified to do that. I think such things are for those who have already reached a fairly high level in cultivation.”
Reporters added, “We met your wife and daughter at a labor camp in Zhengzhou. They both miss you, and wish you a speedy recovery. Your wife He Haihua is a very nice woman. You should be nice to her when you come back home.”The reporters also told me, “Your daughter and your wife are living in the same room.”I felt very relieved at the information.
The photographer told me in a gentle voice, “Your daughter speaks good Japanese. She is learning the language by herself. Lao Wang, do you speak Japanese?”I said, “No, I don’t. ” Then he said, “I told your daughter that I many transfer her regards to you if she said it in Japanese. She said one sentence, ‘Daddy, I miss you.’Both your wife and daughter were expecting us to transfer your messages to them.”
I cannot control my feeling anymore. I burst into tears. I was not able to speak for a long while. But the reporters did not urge me. The camera was on. When I calmed down, I said, “I have nothing more to say. We are sharing the same feeling.”
The two reporters said gently, “Take it easy. You’d better say something to them. It is convenient for us to record your message and give the tape to them as they expected. ”
I was touched by their sincerity. I said in tears, “I hope you will be home soon. I feel sorry for you.”
The reporters told me that my daughter would get married after she left the labor camp. I was very happy. I said to the camera, “I felt very sorry for missing your wedding ceremony. I am guilty for not creating a better life for you. I will make up for all your loss resulting from my behavior. I bless you, my daughter. Let us practice together after I get back home. ”
When the interview was over, I was excited for the good news about my family. I felt fairly relieved and was grateful for their concern and consideration. When the reporters were gone, I could not remain calm. I asked myself, “I had been such a good cultivator that I let go of life and death. Why now am I so excited? What happened to me?”
I asked the master quietly, am I wrong? In his teachings, my master urged his disciples to get rid of attachment. I had followed his direction and took my life to defend Falun Dafa. I am not wrong. Everything was a trial. The firm belief in Falun Dafa made blood boil.
Ice is melting
On December 20, 2001, I watched a TV report about that Falun Gong follower Fu Yibin killed his family. I thought Fu Yibin was a murderer without any humanity. I wondered why Fu Yibin got so wrong in practicing Falun Gong that he even killed his family and claimed to kill more people.
Fu Yibin’s talk to reporters in the interview did not make any sense. He had no idea about how to get to heaven. He even got lost in the practice. The heaven is a concept advocated by Jingtu Sect, which believed that any attachment was impermanent and was a stupid devil. Thus I came to realize that we all believed other people were wrong. When we criticized others, we were behaving no better than them.
I was shocked by the report about Fu Yibin. I could not refrain from being sad and resentful. I felt very upset at the thought of similar events and my follow practitioners who attended the self-immolation incident on January 23. I wept for them and felt my heart was bleeding.
Some people said that I was too stubborn. Am I stubborn? No, I had just strictly followed the direction of Falun Gong up to now. If some other people said I was wrong, I should calm down to think it over. I should avoid blind obedience. As my master had said, Falun Gong was too amazing for ordinary people to understand. Only the practitioners can experience and witness the miracles during practicing. I felt extremely confused about how to explain so many questions. I suffered more from such confusions than the injuries on my body.
My master, why didn’t you give instructions to stop such tragedies? You have the ability to correct all these mistakes. But you did not take any measures, as if you know nothing about it. It is easy to tell whether these are crimes. But who should take responsibilities? My master, didn’t you tell us that your followers would never get astray in practicing? Then how did such tragedies happen? Don’t you think you should give a satisfactory answer to all practitioners around the world?
In the past I thought those practitioners were not real followers and were not supposed or allowed to practice FAlun Gong. But now I learned from the facts that most of them were actual practitioners. It is unreasonable to deny their status as a practitioner of Falun Dafa. But a series of such bloody tragedies have created horrible consequences.
On December 27, 2001, I wrote the statement “My Decision to Make a Clean Break with Falun Gong”.