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Chen Guo and her mother: Life of Tian'anmen 1.23 self-immolation survivors in the past and at present
Adjust font size:   Close Kaiwind By: Tan Deyin 2008-01-17

"My life is lamentable. It is so bad for me to have lead Guoguo (Chen Guo) to this misfortune." Hao Huijun put up her left arm to wipe her disfigured face with the gauze twined on her wrist. Because of self-immolation, Hao Huijun lost her hands, her hair, ears, eyebrows, noses, lip and a left eye with only the right eye wedged in the small eye-pit. Because of self-immolation, Hao Huijun lost her charm as a middle-aged woman, her beauty and grace cultivated in her years of music career, her kindness as a mother and her happy life.

Her daughter Chen Guo suffered more.

Hao Huijun and Chen Guo, two former Falun Gong practitioners who had participated in the Tian'anmen Square self-immolation incident on January 23, 2001, were allured into Falun Gong by the beautiful lies of Li Hongzhi such as rising to heaven, become Buddha and consummation. Before practicing Falun Gong, Hao Huijun was a musical teacher in a Hui middle school in Kaifeng City and Chen Guo was a sophomore in Central Conservatory of Music majored in Chinese lute.

"I want to lead a normal life." Chen Guo said in November 2006 in a hospital in Kaifeng City. There she also talked about her immature love in the middle school; she complained that the guard is a retired man, hoping he may be a cultivated young man with knowledge; she mopped her cardboard like face with her fingerless palm now and then and; she said, "I want to play my lute."

In Zhengzhou Jail, Liu Yunfang, Wang Jindong and Xue Hongjun, the major plotters, organizers and participants of the 1.23 self-immolation incident, felt extremely sorry when mentioned Chen Guo and her mother, "If my death could bring back their former beauty, I would rather die." Liu Yunfang said.

Tragedy cannot be redeemed. According to Hao Huijun, the outburst of a tragedy was indeed so "ridiculous"!

  In 1993, due to her outstanding professional performance, Chen Guo traveled to Singapore to give performance as a member of the CCTV Galaxy Art Troupe under the recommendation of the attached middle school of Central Conservatory of Music.

Chen Guo (right first) once was an outstanding student for her teacher.

Chen Guo (left first) was with her classmates.

Chen Guo was treated in the hospital after self-immolation.

Chen Guo before and after self-immolation.

Hao Huijun, before and after self-immolation

  Chen Guo: my mother dragged me into the mire

As she was in bad mood, Chen Guo had been in the hospital for half a month. She came back to the hospital after she stayed home for three days.

"I am so jealous of you!" That is the idea that Chen Guo often expressed.

In the hospital, Chen Guo liked to chat with others. She often tried to find any possible chance to chat with doctors and nurses. However, because of her frightful face resulted in self-immolation and for security consideration, the hospital didn't allow Chen Guo to go around as she wish. When Chen Guo saw a group of unacquainted women from Beijing was approaching her, she stared at them with her right eye and asked in low voice with smile, "are you from Beijing?"

Besides the experience of Tian'anmen self-immolation incident and her college life in Beijing, Chen Guo had some special sentiment to Beijing as well: in 1991, Chen Guo who was then a student in the fifth grade of her elementary school life enrolled in the attached elementary school of Central Conservatory of Music to learn Chinese lute.

Chen Guo learned Chinese lute at the very young age. "My mother liked Chinese lute and she wanted me to learn it as well." Chen Guo said.

When Chen Guo was about 6 or 7 years old, her mother Hao Huijun brought her to a teacher in Henan University in Kaifeng City. Since then, Chen Guo started to learn playing Chinese lute. "My teacher has studied in Central Conservatory of Music, therefore she recommended me to her teacher. And I studied with her in the summer vacation. As my teacher believed that I was talented in music, she liked me very much and trained me wholeheartedly. She taught me playing Chinese lute regularly. Maybe it was quite lucky for me." Chen Guo said in smile, "and I successfully enrolled in (the attached school). It was just by chance! Quite smoothly indeed."

In 1999, Chen Guo enrolled in Central Conservatory of Music.

But the family environment made Chen Guo feel very depressed.

According to Chen Guo, her father was an "uncouth fellow" who was not kind to her mother and even abused her frequently. Her father didn't cared about her study and her life. "The only way for him to show his love is buying something good for me." Chen Guo said. Although she felt unsatisfied with her father, when she talked about him, however, Chen Guo smiled for times.

Chen Guo's mother Hao Huijun suffered a failed marriage. As she was at issue with her mother-in-law, Hao Huijun seldom contacted with her. "At present, my grandma and my aunt didn't ever come to look at me, nor did they recognize me as their relative." Chen Guo burst into tears as she talked about this.

When Chen Guo was in the middle school, her father suffered from cerebral haemorrhage and had to lie in bed day and night. "My mother began to practice Gong because of him." Chen Guo said, "she just want to have him cured." The "Gong" indicated by Chen Guo refers to Falun Gong.

Hao Huijun had meant to have her husband practice Falun Gong, but he didn't believe in it and didn't practice. Hao Huijun herself was lost in Falun Gong indeed and she asked Chen Guo to practice as well. Chen Guo said, "It is true that I was dragged into the mire by my mother. If  nobody introduced Falun Gong to her, she would not learn it and she would not asked me to read books about Falun Gong either."

"I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996." Chen Guo's mother Hao Huijun said, sitting in the living room of her house with the November sunshine shedding slothfully on her. On top of the board beside her, there is a dark colored box with Chen Guo's lute in it. "I bought her (Chen Guo) a book 'Zhuan Falun' and finally things evolved so badly."

In the same year, Chen Guo also began to study and practice Falun Gong. "In those days I had no interest in practicing lute playing or my study." Chen Guo said, "I was just interested in reading books about Falun Gong every day."

In 1998, Chen Guo's father died as he got ill for the third time. "Since my father passed away, I changed in my temper and character." Chen Guo said, "As a kid, I was lively. Practicing Falun Gong made me more and more depressed, and I felt overburdened…"

As two of Chen Guo's classmates also practiced Falun Gong, they often exchanged experience in practicing. Fortunately the other two abandoned Falun Gong.

On July 20, 1999, Falun Gong was outlawed by Chinese government as it has resulted in more than one thousand people either died or injured, disrupted social security and even besieged Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999. Unfortunately, Chen Guo didn't abandon Falun Gong as she was obsessed in it and "firmly believed in it."

As for the reports about Falun Gong murdering people, Chen Guo said it was because those Falun Gong practitioners practiced Falun Gong in the wrong way, "How's it possible for a man to cut open his stomach to look for Falun? It must be that he has become mentally disordered." Chen Guo said in smile, "so bad that I myself made an event more impacting incident!"

On January 23, 2001, the New Year's Eve in lunar Chinese calendar, seven people from Kaifeng City in Henan province, namely Chen Guo and her mother Hao Huijun and other Falun Gong practitioners Liu Yunfang, Wang Jindong, Liu Baorong, Liu Chunling and Liu Siying made the shocking self-immolation incident on Tian'anmen Square. Liu Chunling died on the spot and her daughter Liu Siying also lost her life for the pathological changes from burnt after unsuccessful emergency treatment. Hao Huijun, Chen Guo and Wang Jindong were severely burned. Liu Yunfang and Liu Baorong were stopped before they could set fire on themselves.

"This has been planned for a long time." Chen Guo said.

"Once, " Hao Huijun said, "Liu Yunfang told us that the master (Li Hongzhi) enlightened him."

The illusion of Liu Yunfang when he was practicing Falun Gong

Hao Huijun learned from Xue Hongjun that when Liu Yunfang was practicing Falun Gong he had met something strange.

In the summer of 2000, Xue Hongzhi came to the paint store where Liu Yunfang worked- in the Falun Gong practitioners' community in Kaifeng City, Liu Yunfang, Wang Jindong, Xue Hongjun, Liu Baorong and Hao Huijun maintained frequent contact. When Xue Hongjun entered the store, Liu Yunfang was reading one of Li Hongzhi's books. As Liu Yunfang saw Xue Hongzhi, he put his book on the counter and Chatted with him later. "In a while, he (Liu Yunfang) suddenly changed the topic." Xue Hongjun recalled, "what is the topic then? Well, it's that he had a dream to go to Beijing."

According to Liu Yunfang, when he arrived in Beijing, he drank a lot of gasoline and poured gasoline on his body near Tian'anmen Square. Although he had brought with him lighter and matches, he fixed an instrument on his arm setting a three-minute autoignition for fear that the police might take his lighter and matches away.

When he got into Tian'anmen Square, the police found him soon as he had strong smell of gasoline with him. The police stopped him from lighting the gasoline. Liu Yunfang could not ignite with lighter or matches. Three minutes later, the timing instrument autoignited and the police had to relinquish. "There is gasoline both in my stomach and on my body. When I had a word, gasoline spurted out of my mouth. Therefore when I turned around with my mouth open, a big fire circle enclosed me. The gasoline on my body flew downward to the ground and the fire spread around, forming a sea of fire." Liu Yunfang said, "I just talked about the merit of Falun Gong and how to practice it there." Liu Yunfang recited Li Hongzhi's scripture. When it finished, "the fire got stronger and stronger…. Amid the fire there emerged a shining Buddha. It was a Buddha sitting there with Buddha light shining around him!"

"This is what I saw in my dream!" Li Yunfang said, "and I described the whole story."

"I now understand that it was just a dream. I know this now but not at that time." Hao Huijun said, "he said he had met something unusual when he was practicing Falun Gong."

  Liu, Yunfang, major plotter, organizer and participant of Tian'anmen Square "1.23" self-immolation incident (photo taken in 2006)

  Xue Hongjun, major plotter, organizer and participant of Tian'anmen Square "1.23" self-immolation incident (photo taken in 2006)

  Wang Jindong, major plotter, organizer and participant of Tian'anmen Square "1.23" self-immolation incident (photo taken in 2006)

  Chen Guo and her mother before self-immolation

"The master (Li Hongzhi) enlightened him to have self-immolation, asking him to persuade more people to have mass self-immolation on Tian'anmen Square." Chen Guo said, "He said it was what he met in practicing Falun Gong, therefore he led me there. He said the master (Li Hongzhi) asked him to have more people."

Liu Yunfang still had another illusion when he was practicing Falun Gong.

"It was when Falun Gong was just banned by the government, " Xue Hongjun said, "He (Liu Yunfang) had a dream." On the next day, Liu Yunfang visited Xue Hongjun and talked with him about the dream:

The policeman came to Liu Yunfang's family and asked, "Liu Yunfang, Are you still practicing Falun Gong? It will be ok if you don't practice. If you practice, just come with me."

Liu Yunfang didn't answer.

Therefore, the policeman took Liu Yunfang to the Gulou Square of Kaifeng City.

It was already well arranged on the Gulou Square. There were people from the police, procuratorate and court. There were servicemen standing guard and many people surrounding there. In the middle of the square there was a gallows.

Just then, the judge asked, "Liu Yunfang, are you still practicing Falun Gong? If you do not practice, you may go back home now. If you still practice, then you will be hanged."

Liu Yunfang answered, "I will practice!"

Therefore Liu Yunfang was taken to the gallows and a rope was put on his neck. Someone pushed the switch, the board under Liu Yunfang dropped and Liu Yunfang was hanged.

"At the moment when I was hanged, the Buddha emerged once again. Lumme, numerous Buddha with rays of shining lights. How fantastic!" Xue Hongjun said that Liu Yunfang just wanted to send the following denotations through the dream: it is essential to keep practicing Dafa at this very moment, and we should not stop practicing no matter what pressure posed upon us.

Liu Yunfang asked Xue Hongjun to call on several people to discuss the dream, adding, "Wang Jindong's house is quite good a place, let's go there."

Xue Hongjun called on two more people.

At seven o'clock that evening, they visited to Wang Jindong. In Wang's house they met another one. After the six people sat down, Xue Hongjun said, "Yun Fang called us here for that he had a dream. He just wants us to discuss it."

Later, Wang Jindong wrote the illusion of Liu Yunfang in practicing Falun Gong into leaflet named "Consummation" to circulate among the practitioners.

"Li Yunfang said that he is… at that time he said that he was the master (Li Hongzhi). It means in his former life, he was the master (Li Hongzhi)." Hao Huijun said, "At the very moment of hanging, he said that a big lotus emerged under his feet. He said that Dafa has got to the world."

"Now when I recall it I felt it very ridiculous. At that time I thought it was true instead of being ridiculous." Hao Huijun recalled it and smiled, "as I believed it was true, I was convinced that it was the master (Li Hongzhi) that enlightened us to have self-immolation."

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