1. China's State Media Uses Murder Case to Incite Hatred Against Falun Gong
  2. "Capital Murder Case's" Fu Yibin Was Insane According to Relative
  3. Visiting CCTV International News Reporter Comments on the Fu Yibin Murder Case
  4. A Psychiatry Professor Talks about the Case of Psychotic Killer Fu Yibin
  5. An American Psychiatrist's Comments: The Fu Yibin Case is a Psychiatric Case
  6. Letter to World Psychiatric Association Describes the Link Between the Propaganda Attacking Falun Gong and the Abuse of Psychiatry in China

1. China's State Media Uses Murder Case to Incite Hatred Against Falun Gong


In the latest attempt to bend popular opinion among the Chinese people against Falun Gong and counter international criticism regarding the treatment of Falun Gong in China, state-run CCTV and Chinese Xinhua News Agency began extensive reports Sunday about a recent alleged murder case, attempting to pin it on Falun Gong, whose teachings strictly prohibit killing and suicide.

December 19, 2001

By Falun Dafa Information Center

NEW YORK-In the latest attempt to bend popular opinion among the Chinese people against Falun Gong and counter international criticism regarding the treatment of Falun Gong in China, state-run CCTV and Chinese Xinhua News Agency began extensive reports Sunday about a recent alleged murder case, attempting to pin it on Falun Gong, whose teachings strictly prohibit killing and suicide.

Starting on December 16th, state-run CCTV and Chinese Xinhua News Agency reported the story of Mr. Fu Yibin who allegedly killed several people 20 days earlier. However, on December 15th -- the day before the media blitz began -- the Falun Dafa Information Center received information from a source inside China that a large-scale plot was underway to frame up Falun Gong in the state-run media. FDI issued a release early Sunday, December 16th (see website), to alert the media and the public of the upcoming propaganda blitz.

This latest media blitz comes just days after the conclusion of a national conference on religion in China, in which, according to the South China Morning Post, President Jiang "tacitly acknowledged international criticism on the issue [of Falun Gong], telling the meeting that China should 'strengthen propaganda'" surrounding Falun Gong.

Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Adam Montanaro pointed out that Falun Gong and its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, have received worldwide support ever since the teachings were made public. To date, in North America alone Falun Gong and Mr. Li have received over 600 awards and proclamations from government officials and supportive local communities.

One proclamation issued by the City of New York commended Falun Dafa "for their teachings of peace and spirituality, and for their courage and perseverance in the face of oppression by the People's Republic of China." Another statement from Illinois Governor George H. Ryan states: "it is my pleasure to officially commend you [Mr. Li Hongzhi] for the contributions your teachings of Falun Dafa have so significantly had on our nation and the world society."

Mr. Montanaro added, "There is widespread support for Falun Dafa across all of Europe, Australia, the Asia-Pacific Rim... only in China is Falun Gong routinely demonized and persecuted." "Falun Dafa teaches people the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance," Mr. Montanaro concluded. "Falun Dafa is against all forms of killing, and teaches people to have compassion for all beings. The persecution of Falun Gong is really a resurrection of the bloody tactics used during the Cultural Revolution. In fact, in many respects it is worse."

2. "Capital Murder Case's" Fu Yibin Was Insane According to Relative

By a Person Who Is Starting to Uphold Justice


(Clearwisdom.net) I am a spectator, but I can't help saying some truthful words for Falun Gong.

Originally, I knew one of Fu Yibin's relatives. After CCTV showed "The Capital Murder Case" committed by Fu Yibin, I asked his relative about the case out of curiosity. According to him, Fu Yibin had been insane for a long time and would lose control of himself very often.

Since Falun Gong was criticized by Jiang, the TV Stations have defamed Falun Gong endlessly as if there were not a single good thing about it. Then the so-called "1400 Cases" (fabricated cases of people who were alleged to have died as a result of practicing Falun Gong) were publicized. I felt something was wrong with this at the time I heard about it. I had a relative who practiced Falun Gong, and not long after he started, all of his diseases went away. Not only that, he also became a better person. Why is this so different from what was shown on TV?

Later on, the "Tiananmen Self Immolation" was broadcast. It made me totally confused. One time it said five people, another time it said seven people. I didn't realize what had happened until the Falun Gong practitioners brought me the "Self Immolation" VCD. The "Tiananmen Self Immolation" was completely fabricated in order to frame Falun Gong. Those who had been deceived and bribed to participate in the "Self Immolation" were burned so badly. Some of them were burned to death and one was beaten to death on the spot by the police. Isn't the Party killing innocent, ordinary people in broad daylight? On the other hand, Falun Gong teaches that it is sinful to kill sentient beings or commit suicide, and is absolutely not allowed at all.

Now "The Capital Murder Case" has been brought out. In fact it can be seen on TV that Fu Yibin had a mental disorder. The more I see it the more I know that CCTV is putting on a play to deceive us ordinary people and to defame Falun Gong. Jiang's regime is really out of tricks. Again and again they try to deceive people using nasty tricks that have already been exposed.

Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2002/1/24/23698.html

3. Visiting CCTV International News Reporter Comments on the Fu Yibin Murder Case


(Clearwisdom.net) I am a senior journalist on overseas assignment with the CCTV [the state-run China Central Television] International News. I heard about Fu Yibin and the Beijing murder case while traveling abroad. The following are my comments on the case.

Any news regarding Falun Gong is categorized as "top news" by CCVT. All Falun Gong "news" is drafted by a confidential group of "reporters" from the office of the Managing Editor following the political directives of various departments. Reporters in the News Department are not allowed to conduct real-life interviews regarding Falun Gong. Reporting is done secretly by a special group of people. In fact, those of us in the News Department don't want to be involved in the fabrication of such news and want to have nothing to do with it. We know clearly that the news is false. Who would want to work on it?

The special group is composed of corrupt reporters and politically reliable editors under the direct control of the National Security Bureau.

Zhao Yimei (alias)

December 27, 2001

Chinese version available at http://minghui.cc/mh/articles/2001/12/27/22102.html

4. A Psychiatry Professor Talks about the Case of Psychotic Killer Fu Yibin


(Clearwisdom.net) China's mental patients' crimes are worsening everyday because of lack of systematic cooperation among families, hospitals and police departments.

I am a teacher at the Psychology Department at the University of Zhongshan in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province and I am also a doctor. After watching the TV program on the murder case of Fu Yibin, as a doctor, I felt very sad about this event. By looking at the pictures, I could tell that Mr. Fu showed signs of being a psychopath. He would have shown signs of a mental disorder for quite some time before he reached this level [of killing people]. Why did the hospital and police department not do anything about it?

Among my patients, there are a lot of people with mental illness that approach the level of insanity and yet are freely allowed to participate in social activities. The Chinese government still does not recognize this social problem.

China has the highest occurrence of mental illness within the international community. Especially within the last ten years, there have been approximately seven million people that become mental illness patients each year. China has become the worst-case country in the international community. Although certain actions have been taken, we are still lacking systematic cooperation among the various institutions in society. In addition, Chinese people usually cover up the fact that their family member has a mental illness. Presently, in virtually every big city, everyday, we can hear of similar acts committed by mental patients. The Chinese government should take urgent action against the wide spread problems caused by mental patients, and prevent them from killing people again.

Chinese version available at http://minghui.cc/mh/articles/2001/12/27/22096.html

5. An American Psychiatrist's Comments: The Fu Yibin Case is a Psychiatric Case


By Dr. Viviana Galli

[Dr. Galli is an American psychiatrist who presents here her comments on the Fu Yibin murder case and Xinhua News Agency's article on December 17. Xinhua falsely alleged Fu Yibin was a Falun Gong practitioner who became insane from his practice.]

From a psychiatric point of view, it is very clear that this is a psychiatric case. Assuming that the perpetrator, Fu Yibin, is telling the truth to the reporter, we can conclude that he was psychotic in November 2001 when he killed his father and wife. Sadly, he still seemed to be psychotic during the interview that took place on December 17, 2001. He was not only delusional but he also was having command hallucinations and excessive energy at the time of the killing. He also seemed to have a chronic psychiatric condition.

His delusional thinking is revealed by his statement that at the time of the killing he was thinking, " I want them to leave suffering and go to paradise" and thinking that he would put the main consciousnesses of these three people inside his stomach to form a sun, earth and moon.

He also indicated that he heard some unknown voice commanding him by his statement, "a voice said 'it is time for action." The voice supposedly told him to destroy the three people in front of him. He continued, saying that, "I never thought they made me kill". He not only did what the voices told him to do but he also seemed to feel compelled to do so.

The newspaper article states that right before the killing he remembered his wife telling his parents that he had been confused, as if in a daze, and that his hands and feet were sweaty. He said his wife was concerned that something bad was going to happen. These were probably signs of nervousness, like when a person is getting ready to fight. He also talked about the energy that it took to kill three people, as if he thought his mother was also dead, and having to rest on the sofa afterward.

It seems that he had a long history of emotional problems. One of Mr. Fu's relatives told his colleague, Ms. Ma Ruijin, that eight years ago Fu would run in the street naked and that the family could not control him. This behavior indicates that he was delusional and exhibiting abnormally elevated energy levels. This can be even more clearly seen from a 1999 incident where he attacked his mother in a delusional episode. At the time, he thought his mother was the devil who wanted his father to die by going into his room to rest. He broke his mother's ribs, brutally beating her in an attempt to get rid of the "devil" that was supposed to be controlling her. When relating what happened in 1999, he stated, " I don't know where I got all this energy". Once again we see a combination of a high abnormal energy state and confusion. At the time, a neighbor called the police, who apparently took the case as a family conflict, releasing Fu instead of referring him for psychiatric evaluation.

At the time of the interview he still seemed to be psychotic. Not only did his statements lack logic but also they seemed to make sense to him. The content of his thinking was not coherent. Unrelated information seemed to make sense in his sick mind, like putting these people in his stomach to make a moon, earth and the sun, etc. In December 2001, he continued to believe that he should have tried harder to get the devil out of his mother in the 1999 episode.

It is inhumane to incarcerate him without psychiatric care. It is clear that he was psychotic during the interview. It is also clear to me that he did not undergo psychiatric evaluation, otherwise the Chinese authorities would not be calling this a simple murder case but a psychiatric case.

It is unfortunate that the Chinese government resorts to twisting sad cases of severe mental illness into propaganda aimed at defaming Falun Gong. Relating Falun Gong to this case is absurd. If someone with a history of mental illness tries Falun Gong, it does not follow that Falun Gong causes their dangerous psychotic behavior. If a person studies physics or astronomy, would we blame his study of physics or astronomy for his crimes? This is irrational. It is also completely irresponsible not to have done a complete psychiatric evaluation, not to have investigated his prior mental health history, not to have interviewed family members and neighbors, nor to have conducted a detailed medical examination.

From a psychiatric standpoint this appears to be intended to mislead people to believe that this case is related to Falun Gong, a cruelly deceitful twist to this story of a sadly tragic episode of violence committed by a psychotic person with a long history of mental illness and dangerous behavior.

Viviana Galli, MD
Clinical Psychiatrist
Ft. Campbell, KY

6. Letter to World Psychiatric Association Describes the Link Between the Propaganda Attacking Falun Gong and the Abuse of Psychiatry in China


Dear colleagues:

We would like to share our thoughts with you before the WPA's crucial international gathering in Yokohama, Japan about a subject of great urgency:

The Link Between Propaganda Attacking Falun Gong* and the Abuse of Psychiatry in China

"Blaming the victim" may be one of the more destructive forms of behavior we encounter in our practice. It is certainly one of the most unfair. As psychiatrists we can understand the temptations to such behavior, even as we work to try to help others find more productive ways of dealing with life's challenges. For victimizers, blaming the victim is a strategy that has clear benefits. It shifts responsibility away from the abuser and may even be used to justify the abuse itself. Thus, we have all heard the rationale that abusive behavior "was for their own good." Unless the assumptions behind this behavior are challenged and exposed, the strategy of blaming the victim can help perpetuate abuse, gaining the tacit approval or even the cooperation of others not directly involved.

Beginning on July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin, the President of the People's Republic of China, began a massive campaign of abuse in an attempt to "eradicate" the peaceful meditation practice of Falun Gong. Incredibly, but perhaps predictably, the propagandists who work for Jiang have made a central feature of their propaganda the claim that what the government is doing is "for the good of" the practitioners of Falun Gong. These practitioners are said to be psychotic, homicidal, and suicidal, and the government's campaign is therefore said to be necessary as a massive public health measure.

In order for our colleagues in the WPA to better understand the true foundation of the ongoing psychiatric abuse of the Falun Gong practitioners in China, we will in this letter examine cases that reveal the basis for the propaganda claims of the government regarding Falun Gong and mental health. Consideration of these cases shows that the government's propaganda campaign includes the participation of China's psychiatrists as an indispensable element. At the root of this connection lies the logic of the totalitarian state. This logic has perverted psychiatry in China and introduced into the ranks of a profession, whose sole concern should be the relief of suffering, the practice of torture. Understanding the true root of the psychiatric abuse in China helps one understand better how to approach the urgent task of reform.

"Self Immolation" as hate campaign --the pivotal event that led to escalation of the persecution

The most notorious case advanced by the government of China to prove the mental illness of Falun Gong practitioners is the so-called "self-immolation," in which five or seven individuals identified by the government as practitioners are said to have set fire to themselves in Tiananmen Square. This incident took place on January 23, 2001. Within the hermetically sealed media environment of China itself, the film of this incident, which was replayed several times daily on television for months after the event, had an undeniable effect on public opinion, initially helping to cause a skeptical public to accept the government's claims regarding the pernicious character of Falun Gong.

Outside of China, where reporters can look independently at the facts, the government's version of this incident was almost immediately called into question. The CNN reporters who happened to be on the scene at the time raised the first questions. The government claims that the footage it has of the immolation came from CNN. But the CNN employees insist that police immediately confiscated their film within moments after the incident began. Their story is corroborated by the film itself, some of which was shot from angles above the square, angles that are not available to any western camera crew. The rest of it features close ups, but the wide angle shots from above do not show the CNN crew filming these close-ups, while they do show someone who is working in concert with the police on the square doing the filming. The government, by the way, almost immediately expelled the CNN camera crew from China.

The CNN camera crew also revealed that they only saw five figures involved in the incident, with no child on the scene, while the government claims there were seven people who set themselves on fire, one of whom was a child, Liu Siying.

Phillip Pan, writing on February 6 in the Washington Post, revealed that the neighbors of Liu Chunling, the woman who died in this incident and the mother of Liu Siying, had never seen or heard of her practicing Falun Gong. What they did know was that she worked as a cocktail waitress and beat her mother and her child -- all behaviors very uncharacteristic of Falun Gong practitioners.

A February 14 report in National Review revealed its conclusion neatly in its title: "Beijing is Burning -- More Lies from the PRC." A February 7 New York Times article revealed that some Chinese were already becoming increasingly skeptical of the government's account.

In fact, a close examination of the government's own video reveals a long list of details that suggest that this incident was a staged event. Most of us are initially unwilling to accept such a conclusion, because the implications of staging such an event are too horrible to consider. However, the analysis of the government's video that calls into question the government's account has now been widely circulated by Falun Gong practitioners inside China itself, and the almost universal reaction among the Chinese people has been that the government has lied to them about the immolation, and if it has lied to them about that, it has lied to them about Falun Gong. You may see this video for yourself at: http://www.faluninfo.net/devstories/tiananmen/immolation.asp

The "self-immolation" case is the most spectacular case advanced by the government to show that Falun Gong practitioners are subject to suicide and other disturbed behavior. Typical of the self-immolation case and the other cases advanced by the government is that the government has not allowed any third party investigation, and none of the people the government claims took part in the incident has been shown independently to have been a Falun Gong practitioner.

  Another strategy used in this hate campaign has been the use of psychiatric patients who allegedly have murdered or committed suicide

In order to discredit Falun Gong, the government regularly takes actual cases of suicide, homicide, or psychotic behavior, and then after the fact attributes these incidents to the practice of Falun Gong.

  • The suicide of Li Youlin is a typical example. Here is an eyewitness account of how the police handled his case.

Li Youlin was trying to make ends meet by repairing bicycles on the streets, but the City Management Department confiscated his tools along with his cart for not having a license. A neighbor said that Li Youlin started to abuse alcohol. One morning someone found his body hanging on a tree on the mountain and called 110, the police emergency number. When the police arrived, the neighbors were also there to witness the scene. Li's wife told everyone the truth about her husband's suicide. The police lowered his body and took it to the family's home. In the afternoon, the police came back to the house and carried Li's corpse back to the mountain. They also placed a picture of Mr. Li Hongzhi [the teacher of Falun Gong] and some alcohol at the scene. Having done that, they hung Li's body up again and then took pictures and videotapes of this staged scene. Then, his wife no longer talked about his real cause of death and claimed that Li's death was linked to Falun Gong.

  • The homicide case of Fu Yibin was also used in the hate campaign. In November 2001 Fu Yibin killed his wife and father, and severely injured his mother, during a psychotic episode. According to his relatives, prior to this breakdown, Fu Yibin had an eight-year long history of psychotic episodes, some of which included violent outbursts. There was no evidence that he had ever been a Falun Gong practitioner as the government propaganda claims. No forensic psychiatric exam of Fu Yibin was performed, and no third party investigation was allowed.

The death of Li Youlin and the attacks by Fu Yibin actually happened. In other cases, the government simply fabricates incidents and then blames Falun Gong.

  • Consider the case of Zhi-wen Zhang. In the November 28, 1999 issue of the Xi-an Worker newspaper published a "Special Report" which claimed that a woman named Zhi-wen Zhang had burned her daughter to death, and then killed herself, all because of Falun Gong. Voice of America reported on an independent investigation carried out by the Hong Kong Center for Human Rights and Democracy (in spite of the government's ban on such investigations). That investigation found that "the people, location, time, and story in that report were all fabricated... There did not exist a lady named Zhi-wen Zhang at all."

  Qigong-induced mental disorder: another excuse used to cover up for the psychiatric abuse

Qigong-induced psychosis is a culture-bound disorder that was formally included in the Chinese Classification of Mental Diseases (CCMD-II) in 1989 and has been utilized to frame Falun Gong. Practitioners have been involuntarily admitted to mental hospitals and then labeled as having qigong-induced mental disorder when the real reason of the admission was to persecute people who practice Falun Gong.

  • Ms. Qi Bingshu, a 60-year-old well-known painter, was involuntarily admitted to Daliushu Mental Hospital in Dabeiyao Town for appealing to the authorities for Falun Gong. She was detained for over a year in the mental hospital, given forced intravenous injections and labeled as suffering "Qigong mental disorder." Prior to being admitted to the hospital she was mentally healthy, and looked like a 40-year-old woman, but soon after the torture started she lost her hair and had a constant tremor. She could not paint anymore.

Falun Gong is also blamed for pre-existing psychiatric conditions

There have been a few cases of individuals who had been mentally ill prior to practicing Falun Gong, and then the propagandists seize upon their continuing mental illness as evidence of the destructive effects of Falun Gong itself. Robin Munro, in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (June 2002) reports a case of a young male worker and Falun Gong practitioner who appeared to have a mental illness. This individual had been known to have mental illness since 1992. In 1997, his family, hearing that Falun Gong could cure illnesses, urged him to begin practicing. In cases such as this young worker, the government victimizes them even more by subjecting them to television and radio interviews, and coverage in newspaper articles.

But of course, these cases, which involve pre-existing conditions, do not establish the government's claim of a causal relationship between Falun Gong and mental illness. Blaming Falun Gong for such a pre-existing condition is doubly unfair because the texts of Falun Gong explicitly forbid anyone with a mental illness from practicing it. Moreover, the non-violence of Falun Gong practitioners should now be beyond doubt, and this non-violence is firmly rooted in principle: the teachings of Falun Gong prohibit any violence, not to mention any killing, whether suicide or homicide.

The facts as we know them stand in sharp contrast to the claims made by the Chinese government. Prior to the persecution of Falun Gong, there had been no reports inside China of Falun Gong causing mental illness, even though the numbers of practitioners in China had grown to between 70 and 100 million by 1999. Massive surveys of tens of thousands of practitioners done by credible medical professionals in China showed a strong correlation between several indicators of mental health - less stress, a greater sense of well-being, and a more harmonious family life -- and the practice of Falun Gong. Falun Gong is now practiced in 55 countries outside China. There have been no reports of the mental health problems that the Chinese government claims Falun Gong causes. If the uniform experience of all countries outside China contradicts the propaganda of the Chinese government, how can one avoid the conclusion that this propaganda is nothing but lies?

Information blockages prevent the Chinese public and international media from knowing the truth

The behavior of the government in handling cases of mental illness said to be caused by Falun Gong only supports the conclusion that these propaganda claims are lies. The government often threatens or bribes family members. It quickly cremates a victim's body without any forensic examination. It detains anyone who may know the truth of an incident. Investigations by international organizations such as Amnesty International are blocked. Foreign journalists who attempt to report on some of these cases (or in some cases merely to report on Falun Gong) are detained, harassed, have their licenses revoked, and have in some cases been deported. If the truth does manage to leak out, the government makes every effort to insure that the Chinese people never hear it. The government only allows censored versions of the western media to be broadcast in China and also censors the Internet.

The government does make other propaganda claims attacking Falun Gong, but these claims have had little success. The government has labeled Falun Gong as "anti-society" and "anti-government," and made a number of attacks on the character of the founder of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi. The Chinese populace has been through over fifty years of ideological campaigns by the Chinese Communists. Those who are middle-aged remember the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, and those who are young remember the slaughter of the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square. This population is understandably cynical about government campaigns, and likely recognizes the government charges of being "anti-social", "anti-government" and the attack on a personality to be the old stand-by tactics of party ideologists.

The claim that Falun Gong might damage those who practice it, though, fits more neatly the temper of today's China. In a society in which everyone seems to be trying to get rich as fast as possible, and self-interest is now understood to be the new ethic, the charge that Falun Gong damages the individual gets people's attention. Certainly, the greatest propaganda success the Chinese government has had against Falun Gong was the initial public reaction to the video scenes in the hospital of the girl Liu Siying, allegedly burned in the Tiananmen Square immolations.

No matter how heavy handed the government's tactics in attempting to slander Falun Gong, one cannot deny that these slanders have had some effect on the Chinese population. The psychiatric profession in China has played an indispensable role in this effort. If the psychiatrists of China were merely silent about the claims made by the government that silence would speak volumes to the Chinese people. In a society in which every act has political meaning, not taking part in the campaign against Falun Gong would be instantly understood as a protest against that campaign. Instead of not taking part, the psychiatrists of China have given this campaign credibility. They have attested to the spurious claims of mental illness, and have themselves becoming agents of the state's campaign of terror. By locking up practitioners in mental hospitals, China's psychiatrists send a powerful message to the population of China as a whole that Falun Gong is in fact implicated in causing mental illness. By torturing them with (among other methods) the abuse of psychotropic drugs and ECT, China's psychiatrists in the end produce "patients" who certainly seem to need psychiatric care. For those who don't know the truth, this abuse of psychiatry seems in fact to justify the government's most damaging charges against Falun Gong. For those who do know the truth, this abuse of psychiatry, which can literally destroy the higher consciousness of those who oppose the persecution, may be the most terrifying weapon in a formidable arsenal of terror.

Any violation of the WPA's standards stated in the Declaration of Madrid should not be tolerated

With the exception of foreign companies operating in China, there are no independent associations in China. All parts of society are controlled by the Communist Party. Those individuals who head the Chinese psychiatric association hold their positions at the pleasure of party chiefs. The same is true of the heads of other Chinese medical associations or the heads of hospitals or clinics, etc. Once the Party adopts a line, everyone in China is required to show enthusiastic support for the government line. Dissenting opinions are not allowed.

Given this social structure, the profession of psychiatry has no meaningful independent existence in China. That profession, like all parts of society, is required to serve the political goals of the Communist Party, and because of the particular effects of some psychiatric treatments, our profession is unfortunately peculiarly suitable to advancing some of the goals of a police state. The individual psychiatrist has no resources for standing outside the Party's control, and the failure to do the Party's bidding results in sanctions that may range in severity from the mere loss of a promotion up to summary execution. The abuses of psychiatry in China are not an aberration, and they are not due to a failure of education or of understanding. These abuses are rather the explicit goal of government policy. Any attempts to respond to this abuse that do not understand this basic fact are doomed to be misguided, and might even be harmful.

Even though we may understand the tremendous pressure the Chinese government can put on China's psychiatrists, this does not excuse the abuse in which they engage. At the same time, this abuse of psychiatry in China forces upon the World Psychiatric Association issues of the gravest character, ones that threaten the very integrity of the psychiatric profession itself in this new century. The WPA faced a similar challenge in the past: the abuse by psychiatrists in the Soviet Union of political dissidents. The actions the WPA took at that time helped stop this abuse, rescue the psychiatric profession in the Soviet Union from being an arm of the police state, and preserve the good name of psychiatry itself.

The challenge facing the WPA today is far more difficult: the psychiatric abuse occurring in China is the worst ever known in history. The typical cases of abuse are more severe than in the Soviet Union, often resulting in permanent, irreversible damage, and the scope of the abuse is much wider. The Soviet Union used the abuse of psychiatry as a weapon against a handful of dissidents. The government of Jiang Zemin is using abuse as a weapon in a campaign against tens of millions of its own people. This situation urgently demands that we respond. At the time of writing this letter, there have been over one thousand Falun Gong practitioners involuntarily admitted to mental hospitals, at least six have died as consequence of psychiatric abuse, and many have become physically and mentally disabled (http://www.faluninfo.net/hrreports/PsychAbuse.pdf.) Ninety hospitals are known to have taken part in the persecution. Over one hundred thousand practitioners have been imprisoned and over four hundred and thirty have died by police torture (http://www.faluninfo.net/devstories/deathcases/index.asp.)

As human beings, we have a duty to aid those who are suffering. As doctors, we have made that duty our vocation. As psychiatrists we have a duty to preserve and enhance the ability of our profession to respond to human suffering. As scientists, we have a duty to the truth, and to assuring the responsible use of discoveries whose only legitimate purpose is to relieve suffering. In whatever manner members of the WPA choose to consider ourselves in relation to the abuse of Falun Gong practitioners in China, we must see ourselves as uniquely called upon to respond. Our compassion, our self-respect, our duty to our profession, and our responsibility for the future all call upon us to act.

With time, together we can help reproduce in China the good effects the WPA had in the Soviet Union. If we fail to act, our silence will be known by us all to be culpable, and will be a source of shame as long as our organization exists. Let's begin by calling for an immediate, independent investigation of the abuse of psychiatry in China.