2. Torture -- the First Systematic Top-down Arrangement

In early 2001, at Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp, we practitioners did the Falun Gong exercises as a group. The guards thought that I had organized the activity. They didn't treat me the same way they did other practitioners. The others were subjected to physical and verbal abuse, and handcuffed at will. They faked kindness towards me. Zhang, the head of Hebei Province Judicial Bureau visited me at the labor camp. They wanted to make me feel their "kindness." They made systematic arrangements from the top down in an effort to entrap me and further use me. This form of persecution is quite shameless, because while they lull you into trusting them, they persecute you. You are unaware of their true intention, and eventually they'll put you in a position where you feel better off dead than alive.

The camp guards tried to "reform" me the whole time, but they couldn't convince me. Later I learned about the "self-immolation incident" in Tiananmen Square. In the time that followed, reporters from Xinhua News Agency came to the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp twice to interview Falun Gong practitioners, including me. They focused on me and hoped they could brainwash me and fabricate news to deceive the public.

On April 3, 2001 they put me in a car and drove to the Xinan Forced Labor Camp. They lied and told me that I was going to see an exhibit. By the time they took me to the "psychiatric counseling room" at that camp I still had no idea what they wanted from me. I heard the word "reform" for the first time when they forced me to wear a prisoner's uniform. They talked to me around the clock and would not let me sleep. I was extremely drowsy and could barely open my eyes. They didn't want me to sleep, so they forced me to stand up. They also forced me to squat in a corner without moving.

When I was semi-conscious and groggy from lack of sleep they forced me to wear the prison uniform. When I came to my right mind, I tried to take it off. The guards made me sit in a chair,and they handcuffed me to a rung on the chair that was between the two front legs of the chair and a few inches off the ground. After they handcuffed me this way, my hands were almost touching the ground, and my upper body was lying on top of my thighs. After a while my hands turned black and were badly swollen. When it came time for them to un-cuff me, they could not do it because the handcuffs had cut deeply into my swollen wrists. In the afternoon of the sixth day my mind was a blur. I was so drowsy that I could not think straight. I felt nauseous and I wanted to do nothing but sleep.

3. Manipulation of the Good Side of Human Nature - the Second Top-down Systematic Arrangement

I was muddle-headed from sleep deprivation and from their lies. At that time, I thought a cultivator should unconditionally look inward, rather than at them. The labor camp guards took advantage of this, and I went astray.

On April 8 when I was taken back to the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp, I saw that the whole labor camp had changed and the highly intense atmosphere was gone. In fact, this was part of their deceptive scheme to target me, planned by high level officials and implemented at the camp. Labor camp head Zhao Yinong said to me in the car on the way to the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp, "The labor camp is completely different now." I was so naïve, I believed him. When I walked through the camp gate, I was welcomed with such pomp and fanfare, it made me think they were welcoming a government inspector. I was muddle-headed enough to believe them.

All of the camp's detainees had been relocated. I was sent to Group 304, where I saw almost none of the Falun Gong practitioners I knew before. They didn't want me to come into contact with practitioners I was acquainted with. They let me see that all practitioners were wearing the prison uniforms we had refused to wear before (despite the labor camp officials' coercion on numerous occasions).

I thought it was strange. Once, a practitioner told me in private, "Do you know that probably the next day after they sent you to Beijing, the guards took all Falun Gong practitioners to the cafeteria downstairs in several groups. They piled prison uniforms on the table and asked each practitioner whether he would wear it. Those who said no were immediately taken aside and savagely beaten with electric batons and rubber clubs until the practitioners reached their physical limit and compromised."

More than one month later, when we were taking a shower, I saw many practitioners' buttocks and thighs were all black. Many of them could not lie on their backs at night and instead had to lie on their stomachs while sleeping. I felt terrible. I couldn't believe they didn't even spare older people in their 70s.

I felt awful because I thought I had betrayed Dafa. I was not with these practitioners when they were enduring such tremendous abuse under the persecution. I said to them, "I feel very bad when I see you. I know all of you have suffered a great deal. I don't know if I made the right choice. I hope you can talk to me if you want and help me." The guards heard me and stopped me.

What I had not known and I had never thought of was that the people whom I now lived with had all been "transformed." The guards purposely arranged for them to live with me. I had always held an attitude of trusting everyone. I had been brainwashed to the extent that I could not tell right from wrong. Some guards were superficially kind to us, so I completely let my guard down and shared with them whatever doubts or confusions I had. Afterwards, I was brainwashed day after day and had the so-called "talk" day after day. I would never have thought that everything had been meticulously premeditated in an effort to target a single person - me. Later, when I was asked to answer the questions on a piece of paper, I was unwilling to answer their questions. When they asked, "Who is Master Li Hongzhi?" I said, "I don't want to directly answer this question." They knew that I was not completely reformed, so they spared no effort to continue brainwashing me.

I felt the great pressure and my mind became more and more muddled. Only now do I realize that physical torment and abuse is not enough to make someone give up his belief. The suffering from the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) non-stop brainwashing and sleep deprivation can wear down and destroy your will.

Many practitioners who refused to give up cultivation under cruel treatment in other places were deceived at this labor camp. During the long, drawn-out detention at this camp we grew increasingly muddle-headed. They basically didn't give us any time to think and completely filled up our daily schedules. They feared that we might reflect and share our understanding of Falun Dafa with other practitioners. They simply wanted to completely put our minds in this condition in order to solidify the brainwashing result.

The guards later asked me whether I wanted to go back to school. I knew they were actually trying to earn promotions by using me as a pawn. I said, "I don't want to go back to school." They didn't give up and continued brainwashing me. I felt conflicts, "I still have to practice cultivation! I can't let people think that I don't do anything and don't go to school." In the end I said, "If I can go back to school, I'll cherish the opportunity."

I knew they wanted to present me as a role model and the fruit of their reform work. I didn't want them to use me, but I had no freedom inside the labor camp. I longed to get out. The "school" they sent me too, however, was nothing other than a brainwashing "class."

4. CCTV Lies in its "Focal Point" Program

In November 2000 they told me that I was being released early, but in fact they sent me to the Hebei Province Legal Education Training Center, which is in fact a brainwashing class. They wanted me to work as a "collaborator" and help them brainwash other Falun Gong practitioners. I thought I was walking on the right path, so I went to the center.

Overtly I had freedom at the brainwashing class, but in reality I became mired in even greater lies and deception. Everything that happened there was carefully designed. They made plans to zero in on each individual practitioner, how to deceive the practitioners according to their individual circumstances. They have different ways to target your weakness and to persecute you. They talked to me about my father. They said, "We know that your father is doing big things out there. If he gets arrested, he'll receive a prison term for sure." They then told me, "So-and-so was just sent to a labor camp." They often insinuated that my father was in danger and made me worry about my father. They also pretended to know my father's whereabouts and his activities and said, "[We know it all], it's just that we don't want to arrest him right now. We only hope you can do something." I was muddle-headed at the time and I didn't want my father to suffer any longer. They lied to me and said, "The sooner your father comes to his senses the better off he will be." I believed them and cooperated to arrest my father.

I regretted my decision terribly after my father was arrested. From any perspective, I should not have lured my father to the brainwashing center. I thought at the time, "Right now people don't understand me, but my father will probably understand later on." But I was wrong!

In late March 2002, the head of the brainwashing class suddenly told me that four major media would come to interview me the next day. I was caught off guard and talked to my father about it. He felt it was quite bizarre. The following day, people from Focal Point Interview TV program, People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency came to interview me. I was really afraid.

Li Yinqiang, the reporter from Focal Point Interview did most of the talking. At first he chatted with me and said, "The government made a wrong initial decision of suppressing Falun Gong, they turned so many people to the opposite side. How is this going to end? This decision itself is irrational." Then he changed his tone and said, "I hope these Falun Gong practitioners will come to their senses." Maybe these were his true thoughts, maybe he had ulterior motives, but he indeed succeeded to confuse me. I really thought I was clarifying the truth to the public and I truly believed the reporters. I thought as a reporter and a media, respecting facts is the most important thing. My father and mother had the same thoughts. Through us, we hoped to let the public know that the people who practice Falun Gong are not irrational and would never commit suicide through self-immolation or any other means. This is why we agreed to accept his interview.

The interview lasted about three hours, but the aired Focal Point Interview was very short. Although some words were from me, they quoted them out of context. They were not truly what I wanted to say. Right after the program was broadcast, Li Yinqiang phoned me at the brainwashing class from Beijing. He said, "I was afraid you might not be satisfied with this. You also know that some content was censored. This is due to political need. I hope you are not angry."

I want to mention in particular that an article published in People's Daily contained some very venomous words that are absolutely not what I said. I would never say such vicious words from my mouth. My father and I were indignant after reading the article, because we never imagined the largest newspaper in China would make such bold-faced lies. They wanted to cut off the path for me to return to cultivation practice. I never said those words but I did accept the interview, therefore I must take responsibility.

Because of these fabricated reports, I couldn't bear to face other practitioners. I think the reporters are so debased that they would do anything to achieve their goals, completely discarding ethics. My father and I both knew then that this was a trap, and they took advantage of us nonetheless.

[To be continued]