On March 21, 2001, the Geneva Branch of Amnesty International and the Swiss Falun Dafa Association jointly held a Symposium at the University of Geneva to discuss the persecution of Falun Gong , with special emphasis on the Chinese government's use of brainwashing techniques. Representatives from Amnesty International and several Falun Gong practitioners were the featured speakers.

Professor Kunlun Zhang, a recently released victim of both torture and brainwashing, attended the symposium and gave a speech. As soon as Professor Zhang finished talking, two unidentified people started to ask questions. One of these two used provocative language to question Professor Zhang about his so-called "letter of guarantee" to break away from Falun Gong. At the same time, the other person scurried down to the front of the room to take photos, as if he were gathering materials for more of CCTV's anti-Falun Gong propaganda.

Professor Zhang's answers revealed his honest, kind, and tolerant character, as well as his peaceful and benevolent attitude as a Falun Dafa practitioner. Though not eloquent in the usual sense of the word, his simple, straightforward answers touched many participants. Professor Zhang recounted his experience of being brutally tortured after his arrest. Then he recalled in detail the closed-door brain washing techniques and other devious measures the Chinese government used against him after receiving great pressure from the international community because of his illegal detention in a labor camp. Professor Zhang pointed out that all the words that he spoke when he wasn't in his right mind and was mentally exhausted by the never ending brainwashing did not represent his true will. In closing, Professor Zhang said gently to the questioner, "Which do you find it easier to believe, what I just said as a free man, or what I said in jail when I did not have any physical or ideological freedom?"

After the symposium, the unidentified questioner approached Professor Zhang and loudly impugned his character. In response, Professor Zhang calmly showed the man the letter he wrote to the jail staff who brainwashed him. Afterwards, the questioner and his accomplices left in a huff.

The way this questioner brought up the so-called "letter of guarantee" written by Professor Zhang while under severe duress reminded us of the rapist who publicly rebuked his female victim for not being a virgin. Is it not cruel to treat an honest senior of 60 like this?

Deng Xiaoping (The late Chinese leader - translator) once wrote a world-famous letter of repentance to Mao Zedong entitled "I will never seek to redress my case" when he was wrongfully criticized and put under house arrest by Mao. I wonder whether this questioner would like to also malign Mr. Deng's character because of this well-known document. Looking back at the history of the Chinese Communist Party, among the so-called "proletarian revolutionists," how many did not, at one time or another, write a "letter of guarantee" against their will? After the "June 4" Tiananmen massacre, how many Chinese nationals unwillingly wrote "Retrospect and Repentance over the past 56 days?" Who could be blamed for this?

In the era of Stalin, he put all of his political enemies in the "people's court" for a "trial." During the trial, the "Bolsheviks," who were once so strong and willful, cursed and insulted themselves in a way that suggested they desired to be punished more than the prosecutor desired to punish them. Obviously they had experienced great threats and mental torture. Should we therefore think that these people should be punished for their self-criticizing demeanor?

Fortunately, in the ideology of civilized Western society, prisoners of war are not regarded as criminals. When they are released and go home, they are still treated with cheers and salutes like triumphant heroes--unlike in China, where they are looked down upon. Mr. Li Hongzhi has also compassionately expressed that he does not recognize any "letters of repentance" signed by his followers when they were not in right minds due to persecution. The greatness and compassion of an enlightened being can often move a person to tears.

Here, I would ask those people who have persecuted Falun Gong to stop upholding and flattering the "criminal group" who destroy the consciences of human beings and corrupt their humanity. Especially, I hope you do not showcase your "rapist mindset" in Western society.

(Written on March 21, 2001 in Geneva)