By the time of my release from the camp my daughter was eight-and-a-half. I was lucky to be alive at all after narrowly escaping certain death. A few days later, I found a note on the table in my daughter's handwriting. She had written, “Mom, I advise you to stop practicing Falun Gong. Please take a look at this book.”
Her school teacher had given her a book that described Falun Gong practitioners as murderers and psychopaths. I tried to explain to her that I was a good person, and that the book had been fabricated and was full of lies.
But she interrupted and shouted desperately at me, “I know you are a good person! But the television says Falun Gong practitioners are bad people! I don't know who to believe!”
Her dark, sorrowful eyes were sad and she looked like someone who had already gone through too much in life.
My heart felt a stabbing pain. I wondered how much this young life had endured during my absence? How much had her young heart been hurt? How did she respond when her teachers and school friends asked where her mother was? What other torment did she suffer during my absence? It hurt me to watch her trying to choose who to believe among her teacher, the media, those around her, and her own mother.
I had to tell her about many things that I would not normally discuss with such a young child: the Cultural Revolution, President Liu Shaoqi, who was killed during the Cultural Revolution, and the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Although these happenings were very brutal, there was no other way to confront the lies, and convince her to believe me and love me again.
A few days later, she nodded her head knowingly while telling me what she had discovered. “It seems that whoever is in power stirs up something: Mao Zedong had the Cultural Revolution; Deng Xiaoping had the Tian'anmen Square Massacre; and Jiang Zemin has the persecution of Falun Gong.”
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