Practitioner Ms. Sun Shuqin Recounts the Persecution She Experienced at Her Workplace, in a Mental Hospital and a Brainwashing Center
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Sun Shuqin is a Falun Gong practitioner from Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province. Because she refused to give up her belief in Falun Gong, she was “illegally arrested” many times, imprisoned, put into a mental hospital and a brainwashing center, and laid off from work. We hope that people with a sense of justice will denounce the human rights violations and help stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China. We also hope that people who have participated in the persecution will wake up, turn away from the evil and choose a bright future for themselves.
The following is Ms. Sun Shuqin's account about how she was tortured and put into a mental hospital and a brainwashing center.
I was an employee of the Industrial and Commercial Bank, Chengnei Branch, Jinzhou City. I obtained a copy of the book “Zhuan Falun” in late 1996. After I read it once, I was delighted and I wished that I could have read it earlier. It was difficult to describe my happiness at finding answers to all my puzzles about life. I knew right away there that this was the meaning of my life and that this is what I had been waiting for and seeking my whole life. I decided to become a cultivator.
I lived by the three principles of Falun Dafa -- Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance -- and followed Teacher's teachings. Soon my illnesses were all gone and I enjoyed a healthy, joyful and full life. I applied a higher moral standard to myself and worked diligently and responsibly without any complaint. My managers and colleagues all praised me for my dedication to my work, kindness and upright character.
Illegally Arrested for Following the Law to Appeal for Falun Gong
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Radio, television and newspapers contained mountainous lies and slander against Dafa. Being sincere, honest and responsible to our nation and people, I felt that I must step forward to “clarify the truth.”
So I went to the Beijing Appeal Office in October 1999. When I approached the office, I was stopped and asked if I was a Falun Gong practitioner and where I was from. I answered honestly. Then I was taken to the Jinzhou City Police Department Beijing Office and later back to Jinzhou.
Put into a Mental Hospital
My mother received a phone call from my bank, asking me to write a statement promising to no longer practice Falun Gong. I refused to do so. At that time, there were many cases of arrests and layoffs of Falun Gong practitioners. The fear from past political movements during the CCP's regime really frightened my parents. Someone suggested getting a mental illness statement for me to save my job. So they took me to the Jinzhou City Kangning Mental Hospital.
The doctor at the hospital declared that I had “paranoid schizophrenia,” basing his findings on the fact that I would rather give up my job than promise not to practice Falun Gong. He told my parents that I needed to take medication. My parents were confused. I went on a hunger strike to protest. The doctors inserted a feeding tube into my stomach to force-feed me with food and medicine. My parents hid and cried helplessly. It pained me to see my relatives being lied to and their kindness being taken advantage of. I felt very sorry for them. People hurt the ones they are closest to because they don't understand one another, but they still love and care for each other. Though I loved my relatives, I would never do anything against heaven, morality, justice and conscience. I believe that someday the public and my relatives will come to understand that the greatest and most fundamental benevolence and care from Dafa practitioners is manifest in their enduring pain and validating Falun Dafa.
As I had been a good employee and a nice person, my managers and colleagues understood that I was not politically motivated but that I was only trying to defend my cultivation belief and be a good person. So I did not lose my job, and kept my position at work. That ended my stay at the mental hospital.
I am not sharing my experiences to blame my relatives. If someone is to blame, it's me. For I had not clarified the truth adequately to them. Actually what happened to me and my family was just a tiny sample of the torture that Dafa practitioners and their relatives experience.
Taken to a Brainwashing Center for the First Time
Six months later, in July 2000, the CCP started a new brainwashing campaign to persecute Dafa practitioners. Local police arrested or deceived Dafa practitioners to get them into brainwashing centers. Officials at the Shiyou Police Station, Jinzhou City claimed that my actual residence did not match my residence record. They sent my residence record, along with my identification card that they had in their possession (the police withheld the identification cards of all practitioners who went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong), to the Jingye Police Station in Jinzhou City. When I went the Jingye Police Station to correct my residence record, I was asked to write a statement promising not to practice Falun Gong. I refused. I was grabbed by the police right then and there and taken to a brainwashing center.
A lot of Dafa practitioners were taken to that brainwashing center. First, we were forced to watch television programs slandering Dafa and then ordered to write reviews. With our true and benevolent hearts, we all wrote why Falun Dafa is good and exposed the lies broadcast on television and in the media. When the managers of the brainwashing center read the reviews, they were speechless and kept shaking their heads without a word. One person said impressively, “These are disciples of Li Hongzhi!” Later, Dafa practitioners realized that this kind of “brainwashing” and “transforming” violated our human rights, so we went on a hunger strike together to protest. We recited Teacher's “On Buddha Law” and “Hong Yin”together, with our loud voices and righteous thoughts able to startle the universe and move the gods. We were using our true hearts to validate Falun Dafa and proclaim our Teacher's innocence! We practitioners used everything, even our lives to tell the public and government that Falun Dafa is good, and that Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good! We used this peaceful method to safeguard our belief and human rights. However, the CCP's persecution did not stop, but became even worse. Many practitioners were put into prisons, forced labor camps or detention centers. I was in critical condition after being on a hunger strike for five days. So my family and my employer were allowed to take me home. Then came two peaceful years of work and life.
Taken to a Brainwashing Center for the Second Time
Before the 16th National Congress of Communist Party of China in 2002, the CCP started another round of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners. In September the newly appointed executive of Jinzhou City Industrial and Commercial Bank (City Bank) and managers of our branch tried to illegally “transform” me in our branch's conference room three times.
They did not get what they wanted. The torture was escalated. City Bank Party Secretary Zhang Jiang, Director of the Party Affairs Office Li Yingzhu, Branch Manager Mao Jianhua, Party Secretary of the Branch Bank Zhang Sujie and Labor Union President of the Branch Bank Zhang Yujin made plans to illegally send me to Shenyang City Zhangshi Forced Labor Camp Brainwashing Center in Liaoning Province.
On September 27, 2002, I was suddenly told to give my work to another person. I was constantly monitored right after that, even when I used the bathroom. I was taken out of the bank through the lobby to a waiting minivan. The windows were secured with thick steel grates inside. I sat between two guards. Another Dafa practitioner, Mr. Ju Yonghe, a retiree, was also in the minivan. The van took off with sirens blaring. I asked where we were going. Zhang Yujin lied and said that the executives of the Provincial Bank wanted to talk to me. On the way, he also said to me, “Ms. Sun Shuqin, we have helped you in the past but what you are getting into now is because you are too morally upright.” I was puzzled, “Isn't it a virtue to be honest and upright?”
To my surprise, the van stopped at the Shenyang City Zhangshi Forced Labor Camp. I was put into the brainwashing center there. Later I was told that the brainwashing center did not want to take any practitioners from Jinzhou City, because it had its own brainwashing center. The bank officials asked the officials from the Jinzhou City “610 Office” to bribe the officials of the Shenyang City 610 Office to get me in. I did not know why they wanted to get me into Shenyang. Zhangshi Brainwashing Center was extremely expensive. They charged two hundred “yuan” per day per practitioner. My fee, after a discount, was five thousand yuan per month. The torture at the Zhangshi Brainwashing Center was very sinister and secretive (see Appendix A for details). After being tortured for a month, my health greatly deteriorated and I was in critical condition. My bank hired a doctor from Jinzhou City Hospital, who brought an emergency kit to the brainwashing center and took me home.
Employment Contract Illegally Terminated
However, the persecution against me did not end. The director of the Party Affairs Office of the Provincial Bank, Ning Changwen called the City Bank to ask me to apply for voluntary retirement, threatening to lay me off with minimal benefits if I did not do so. I refused, stating clearly, “Voluntary retirement is on a voluntary basis. Please do not force me to do it.” Then the branch terminated my employment contract and reported to the Human Resource (HR) Department of the Provincial Bank on November 15, 2002. But the Provincial Bank's HR Department would not approve it. Therefore, I was able to have six months of peace.
On June 19, 2003, my department manager called me into his office. Zhang Sujie and the newly appointed HR manager of the Branch Bank Zhao Hongjun handed me an employment termination notice. They told me that my employment with the bank would be terminated on July 31, 2003. If I chose voluntary retirement, I could get more money as severance pay. If I did not, they would follow the State Council's “Provisional Regulations on Institution of Labor Contract System in State-Owned Enterprises” published in 1986, to give me about ten thousand yuan as severance pay. Actually this regulation was nullified on October 6, 2001, but they claimed it was still in effect. I asked them why, since all employees contracts came to an end, did they renew the contracts of everyone else but singled me out, though I had the same or better qualifications as others? Was it because I practiced Falun Gong? Zhang Sujie said, “We don't want to talk about Falun Gong. We won't tell you the reason. The bank operates like a private entity. If we want to renew the contract with you, we will do it. If we don't, we don't. The managers have collectively decided not to renew your contract, so we're giving you this employment termination notice.” He said these words as if he was reciting. I wondered who told him what to say.
I said that it was not right, that the bank was a state enterprise and that if they didn't want to renew my contract, they should give me legitimate reasons. I went to talk to the seven managers of the branch and Zhao Hongjun, pointing out to them that their decision without legal basis was incorrect. It violated the law and violated my human rights.
They could not say anything but asked me to go to the City Bank's HR Department. I talked to the Section Chief of the City Bank's Human Resource Section, Xie Guangcheng. He told me that the City Bank had nothing to do with this decision and that the decision was made by the bank's branch managers. I went back to the branch manager Mao Jianhua and told him what Xie Guangcheng said. Mao Jianhua was clearly upset. I then asked him, “You said it was not because I practiced Falun Gong. Then why?” He said, “If not for Falun Gong, what else can it be?” He then added immediately, “I only say this in private. In public I will never acknowledge it.” I asked him, “Do you really think I became very evil after practicing Falun Gong?” He replied, “No. You are not evil at all. You are very kind.” Then I went to see the Party Secretary of the City Bank, Zhang Jiang. He said that he had heard of my situation, but it was not his responsibility. I then went to the president of the City Bank, Geng Jingdong, “You deny publicly that laying me off was due to my practicing Falun Gong. Then was it because I had personality problems or I made big mistakes at work?” He said, “I respect your character and high moral standards. As for your work, all your managers, including previous ones, and your coworkers speak highly of you. Except for practicing Falun Gong, we had nothing to say about you.” They agreed that I should go to the Provincial Bank to appeal.
My case lasted until April 4, 2004. The Branch Bank finally announced that they would not renew my contract. This decision illegally deprived me of about seventy thousand yuan, which I should have received as severance for my seventeen years at the bank. Instead, they only gave me ten thousand yuan as severance pay. The termination paper was signed by all managers of the Branch, who were pressured to do so from the top. How was this different from a thief robbing someone's money? The bank just did it “officially” in the name of the nation and “law.” The HR manager put together a list, including the severance pay and acknowledgment of employment termination, for me to sign. I did not agree with the employment termination, so I refused to sign them. I have not received the money.
Appendix A: Torture That I Experienced at Zhangshi Brainwashing Center
On September 27, 2002, the manager of the branch told me that the executives of the Provincial Bank wanted to talk to me. I was taken to Shenyang City by minivan. But the van stopped at the Shenyang City Zhangshi Forced Labor Camp. I refused to get out. Then several people carried me out. They were very experienced in carrying people, two held my feet, two held my shoulders and one carried my head. I was carried through the iron gate to the second floor of a small building.
The second floor was locked and guarded at all times. It was separated from other floors. On this floor they imprisoned the “transformed” Falun Gong practitioners who had been forced to give up cultivation at the forced labor camp. These practitioners were used as “collaborators” to help the forced labor camp to illegally “transform” steadfast Dafa practitioners. Lead Guard Shi Fengyou repeatedly assured the managers of my bank that the Zhangshi Brainwashing Center used only “inspiration,” but in reality they also used physical torture to “transform” practitioners. Accounts of the torture carried out at this brainwashing center have been reported on the Clearwisdom website. Later, I was told that the “inspiration” here would make a person so desperate that he would rather die than live. The Branch Bank manager was asked to search my body and take back all my belongings, including money, watch and bag. Later the guards took my belt. I completely lost my personal freedom there. Even though I had not been formally sentenced, my freedom was less than the collaborators who were sentenced to forced labor. I was put in a single room and monitored by collaborators around the clock. I could not contact other practitioners. I was allowed to leave the room only to use the bathroom, but was still watched by two personal cangues (formerly an instrument of torture, this term now also refers to those who supervise Falun Dafa practitioners in detention). I was even monitored when I was sleeping. The door was kept open and I had to face it while sleeping.
Zhangshi Brainwashing Center charged every practitioner two hundred yuan each day. I was charged five thousand yuan after a discount, and was told that the money would be deducted from my salary. I was surprised why the charge was so high. Wasn't this extortion? I told them that I had been lied to in order to get me there and therefore I should be released right away. I did not eat or drink at Zhangshi Brainwashing Center, nor did I take any “training classes,” so there was no reason for me to pay the fees. I told them I would not pay.
After about a month, Shi Fengyou told me, “Your bank has sent us the money for your second term.” He told me that normally after a month, people who refused to be “transformed” would either be sentenced to forced labor or taken to other places. But I was special and would be kept there to “study” indefinitely. After I left the brainwashing center, my bank asked me to pay the fees. I did not give them the money. Just think about it, five thousand yuan per person per month! There were one hundred million people practicing Falun Gong, how much would it be if the brainwashing center took five thousand yuan for each practitioner? Even if the cost was indeed this high, wouldn't it create a disaster when society, companies or individuals had to pay?
Force-Fed and Subjected to Brainwashing
I asked Shi Fengyou, “You have imprisoned me. Have I violated the law or committed a crime against society?” He said, “We do not care whether you have violated the law or were just put here by someone. Our responsibility is to carry out the order to 'transform' Falun Gong practitioners.” He also said, “We do not accept practitioners from Jinzhou City. Your manager asked the Jinzhou City 610 Office to bribe the Shenyang City 610 Office to get you in. Your manager held a 'thank you' dinner after getting you in.” I then requested to see my managers or call them. Shi Fengyou said, “What's the use of talking to your managers? You should talk to Jiang Zemin.” He then asked me, “Why did you go on a hunger strike?” I told him, “We cultivators also have our human rights protected by the constitution. I demand unconditional release. Is there something wrong with using a hunger strike to protest the violation of my human rights?” He said, “Forget about it. No one has been released from the forced labor camp using a hunger strike. We have many methods to deal with hunger strikes.”
Three days later, I was subjected to the brutal torture of having a feeding tube forcibly inserted into my stomach. The guards carried an old sofa into a room and held me down on the sofa. My hands and legs were held by guards and my head was pushed down on the back of the sofa. A short middle-aged doctor, whom the collaborators said was the best at inserting feeding tubes, inserted a tube into my stomach through my nose, esophagus and chest. He repeatedly inserted and then took out the tube and rotated the tube in my stomach. My stomach felt as if it was stirred upside down and I started vomiting. He did not stop until my nose and mouth were bleeding. Shi Fengyou blamed the bleeding on my not cooperating. Actually what they did was just to torture me, not to feed me. They did not even prepare food for the forced-feeding. And the tube they used was a thick and hard plastic tube (later they used a thinner and softer tube to feed me).
The collaborators then came to persuade me to eat. Some even cried, saying that my cries of pain reminded them of their experience being force-fed. They asked me to stop the hunger strike so that the bad memories would not come back to them. I refused to yield. Then I was tortured more. Shi Fengyou said that it was bad if I did not eat or was not force-fed for three days. So they forced a feeding tube into my stomach again. This time they brought corn paste with them and force-fed that. Once the corn paste entered my stomach, I suddenly felt cold, and a tightening in my chest, then my heart started beating crazily and my body became very hot. I could barely breathe. I lay next to the window thinking, “How nice it would be if I could breathe some fresh air.” But the door and windows were all locked tight. I felt as if I was suffocating to death. After a few hours, I was shaking and could not control myself. Then all of sudden I returned to normal and was able to breathe. Obviously, they had added something to the corn paste that caused these symptoms. My internal organs were badly injured and I was in great pain. I was so weak that I felt sick and dizzy when I smelled skin lotion. That night my upper body could not stand any pressure, and I could not lie down to sleep. I had to sit or stand. Later, I heard the guards threatening other practitioners, “Whoever tries a hunger strike will be hungry for three days, then we will exhaust him further.” I then realized that this was their method, part of their systematic torture. I do not know what substance they fed me.
The collaborators then tried to “inspire” or “influence” me. They told me that they could not bear to see me going through the pain, and offered to feed me themselves. They bought milk power with their own money and made milk. Then they used a spoon to pry my teeth open, held my nose so that I had to open my mouth, and then fed me. I refused their “kindness” and clamped my teeth tightly. Seeing that the “inspiration” did not work, they decided to use more force. They brought a mouth opener. Then they held me down on the bed. A male collaborator held my hands tightly and another male laid his upper body on my legs so that I could not move. A third male held my head down on his leg. The third male pried my teeth slightly open to insert the mouth opener. Then he rotated the screw and the mouth opener jacked my mouth open wider. A female used a spoon to put the milk into my mouth and then held my nose to force me to swallow it. One male said that he had never served other people this kindly except for his own child. Many people stopped by to watch, whispering and giving me dirty looks. The collaborators then discussed whether they should close the door. This humiliation was more painful than being force-fed. I told them, “Don't lie on my legs. Get up. Be respectful.” Then they changed a little bit. They held my head down on a pillow while force-feeding me. I was repeatedly tortured by the force-feeding with the mouth opener and the tube.
I asked the inmate who prepared the corn paste what other things he added to the paste. He said that he was only responsible for making the paste and that Shi Youfeng was the only person who decided what to add and then added it. Clearly they hid their torture methods carefully. One time it became a little chaotic at the forced labor camp when many practitioners were admitted. Many collaborators from Zhangshi Forced Labor Camp and Shenyang City's Longshan Forced Labor Camp came. Someone by accident tasted the corn paste used for force-feeding. He exclaimed, “What is this? I can't imagine what's going to happen once it gets into someone's body.”
Actually the collaborators did not have much freedom either. They were also monitored. Most of them did not know the torture details but followed the guards' orders. They monitored Dafa practitioners' every movement, reported back to the guards, and then took directions to carry out the torture.
I went through some extraordinary force-feeding torture. Once, on the day prior to the force-feeding, the labor camp doctor came to me and took out his stethoscope to listen to my heart. The next day, many people came to watch me being force-fed. The force-feeding sofa was moved closer to the door. I asked why but got no answer. That force-feeding session took a long time. First, I was fed with corn paste. When the room and even corridors were packed with visitors, I was force-fed with some unknown substance. My heart started beating quickly. I became very excited and had uncontrollable shouting while breathing. They videotaped this forced-feeding session. Later the collaborators mimicked my “excited shouting” and showed me the videotape. I did not know whether they were testing some new torture method on me or teaching visitors how to torture.
Once, I was force-fed with salt. I could tell it was the table salt crystal because the doctor kept shaking the feeding tube to get it off the tube and some even came into my mouth. The salt reacted with the previous unknown materials in my stomach. All of sudden, I felt extremely cold and I collapsed. My breath was so weak that I could not feel it at all. I also could not feel my body. After two hours, they force-fed me again with the regular material. I kept vomiting that time. That actually helped me to come back to life.
Later, Shi Youfeng told me that I could sleep whenever I wanted. Prior to that I was only allowed to sleep during the set time period. I then slept almost all the time. No one came to “brainwash” me any longer. The collaborators just kept watching me and recording my sleeping habit.
Besides force-feeding and brainwashing, the most common torture was physical punishment and threats. The collaborators dumped all kinds of “brainwashing theories” on firm Dafa practitioners. The collaborators were divided into smaller groups and each group was responsible for one “brainwashing theory.” If the steadfast Dafa practitioners refused to take their theory, they were threatened or physically abused. I heard a senior female practitioner crying and shouting for Teacher to help, as she was forced to squat for a long time.
I believe that my cultivation is a human right given by Heaven and no one has the right to take it from me. So I refused any form of brainwashing or “transforming.” From the very beginning, I refused to sit on a small stool. If I was forced to sit on it, I would use all my strength to get off of it. Even though several collaborators collectively held me down on the stool, I could always find the strength to break away and stand up. I kept doing this until one day there was a loud cracking sound in my neck when they held me down. Then they tried to force me to stand up instead. I refused to obey. They kept dragging me, but I would move around. Eventually they were exhausted. They put Dafa books where I was going to sit. Then I moved to a different place to sit. They tried in vain for a whole day to force me to accept the punishment. That evening I had a great pain in my stomach for I had not had a bowel movement for ten days after the force-feeding. Shi Youfeng said that they could give me an intravenous drip. I told him, “I will never let you do that to me. I have been cultivating for six years. I have always been healthy and I have not taken any medical treatment.” I understood their torture methods by then. Force-feeding could torture me so terribly, who knows what problem the intravenous drip would create?
On my fourth day at the forced labor camp, after I was first force-fed, the collaborators asked me to eat, but I refused. One collaborator used a soft drink bottle to knock on my head, threatening me that I would be punished and sent to forced labor or put into prison. They also threatened that if I refused to be “transformed,” I would be sent to the desert by myself and left to die gradually. Sometimes collaborators scolded me for no reason. Sometimes all the collaborators in the room verbally abused me together. Sometimes they sexually harassed me. Sometimes they tried soft approaches or deceit on me. They could use any methods in their attempts to “transform” me.
“The Same Song” -- the Mark of Being “Transformed”
Whenever a practitioner was “transformed” and released from the brainwashing center, everyone gathered in the corridor for a ceremony. They sang the song, “The Same Song” and videotaped it. Because I always firmly refused to attend these “ceremonies,” they just left me alone.
They also brought someone to sing popular songs and modern Peking Opera for me and invited me to dance. I asked, “You are doing pseudo-military management here, is dancing permitted?” They said that I was special. I told them that I had no interest in these things. I only liked to sit in meditation and do my exercises. The “personal cangues” exercised Tai chi every morning and read to me modern fitness and health theories. I told them that as a cultivator, I did not need any of that. For me, whether they were nice or rude to me, I was not moved. I was just nice to them. I was sympathetic to their situation, but I would not give up my belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. I wanted to wake them up, but I felt that they were afraid to be awakened because they would feel a lot of guilt and pain if they were awakened. What a pity for those once-good people to be “transformed” like this!
In the later stages, I was sleeping almost all the time. Then one day I felt great pain in my head, as if the blood cells in my head were splitting. On November 3, 2002, my bank hired a doctor from Jinzhou City and sent him to the brainwashing center to take me home.
My body was severely injured by the torture. I lost a lot of hair, and it started turning white. I became incontinent when running or jumping, had muscle spasms in my legs, and my nerves became insensitive. After I started cultivated Falun Gong, I could memorize a short article after reading it just a few times, but since being in the brainwashing center, my memory had significantly worsened. My bones were also in bad shape. Two of my teeth died and my neck bones kept cracking, and my left shoulder went numb and was painful.
I have written my experiences to help people see the nature of the evil and to stay away from it. As the old saying goes, “There are deities a yard above your head,” “What is done by night appears by day.” I believe that more torture details will be exposed in the upcoming days. All people, from the top to the bottom, who are involved actively or passively, directly or indirectly, in the torture against Falun Gong practitioners are witnesses of the CCP's persecution.