(Clearwisdom.net) This story is about three cruel officials who lived during the Tang Dynasty. All of them received their punishment, which left a deep lesson for generations to come.

Zhou Xing's Crimes Came to Hunt Him

Zhou Xing (unknown-691), who was responsible for the court during the reign of Wu Zetian, was very corrupt and cruel. He always tortured people to make them confess. Consequently, countless people died because of him. Then the time came when Empress Wu Zetain no longer needed his services. Lai Junchen was asked to depose him.

One day, Lai Junchen invited Zhou Xing for dinner. After the dinner Lai asked Zhou, "If a criminal insists that he is innocent, what trick would you use to make him/her confess?" Zhou said, "That is easy. Take a big urn and put it over burning charcoal. Once the urn is burning hot, put the criminal in it. He will tell you everything."

Lai then asked people to bring a huge urn and put it over burning charcoals. He stood up and ordered Zhou, "Please get in the urn. I am following the Empress' order to get a confession of all the crimes you have committed."

Zhou was scared to death and confessed all his crimes. Zhou was banished to Lingnan, where many relatives of his victims lived in exile. They killed Zhou. Today, when people talk about Zhou Xing, they say, "Our ancestors said that when one has committed too many bad deeds, one will certainly walk down the path to a premature death."

Lai Junchen Took Himself to be Above the Law

Lai Junchen (651-697), who was responsible for the court during the reign of Wu Zetian, was very ruthless when attacking his opposition. He also took advantage of his position and accumulated much wealth. Besides that, he was condescending. He could not stop himself from offending the Empress' relatives and princess Taiping. As his "reward," he was sentenced to death.

Suo Yuanli Was Punished for His Crimes

Suo Yuanli (unknown-691) was a general during the guerrilla war in the reign of Wu Zetian. He was responsible for the court of Luozhou. He oppressed many innocent people, took bribes, and tortured people to extract a confession. He made a device, the Iron Dragon Head, used as torture instrument when interrogating criminals. The Iron Dragon Head torture instrument was used when he himself was interrogated. He confessed to all his crimes and died in jail.

The three officials discussed above tortured people to death. In the end, they received similar treatment to the ones they had meted out. The above shows clearly that, "Bad deeds meet with retribution."

Zhou Enlai Was Punished for His Ruthlessness

We also wish to talk about Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong's right hand man. Even though no one officially called him a ruthless official, he was only benevolent on the outside and was extremely cruel in his heart. In 1931, Zhou personally ordered the killing of Gu Shunzhang, family and friends, amounting to a total of more than thirty people including babies. In 1934, he ordered over ten thousand soldiers killed for not walking fast enough to catch up with escaping troops. A mass grave was left behind. He was not what he showed to the world, and he too met with retribution.

Liao Gailong wrote in his journal,"When Zhou suffered from cancer in his later years, Zhou's doctor asked for an approval from Mao to perform surgery. Mao refused to sign the request, using cunning excuses. He also ordered that Zhou's condition be kept confidential. Not even Zhou's wife was to be told. Given personal connections in the inner circle, Liao actually saw the document signed by Mao.

There is an old saying, "Cutting with a dull knife causes more pain than a sharp one." Zhou Enlai died a slow death under Mao's dull knife. When Zhou died, he was emaciated and in extreme misery. With a deep sigh, Zhou said that paper could not conceal the fire. He most likely knew that his crimes would be exposed one day.

All ruthless officials and their accomplices will eventually meet with retribution for their crimes.