Epoch Times: Report Details Degree of Brainwashing in China (Photo)
The Epoch Times
Oct 31, 2004
The Chinese Communist Party has been carrying out a huge brainwashing movement targeting Falun Gong practitioners. The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) released an investigative report on October 9 that revealed in detail the inside story of the brainwashing facilities all over China, as well as how Falun Gong practitioners have been abused in brainwashing classes in an attempt to force them to renounce their practice.
According to WOIPFG, establishing large-scale brainwashing classes is actually extending the unlawful labor re-education, or laogai, practices outside of labor camps. This significantly broadens the scope and distribution of the persecution and spreads the suppression of Falun Gong throughout China.
A group of experts from the U.N. Human Rights Committee finished a 12-day visit to China at the end of September 2004. They issued a statement severely criticizing the lack of Chinese legislation to guarantee the basic human rights set by the World Declaration of Human Rights. They also criticized the lack of judicial control over the so-called labor re-education program in China.
Numerous Brainwashing Classes in China
WOIPFG reported that numerous brainwashing classes targeting Falun Gong practitioners have been established all over the country, from provinces and cities to villages and township committees, from police departments and organizations to universities and enterprises. The amount of brainwashing facilities is far greater than the number of jails, labor camps and mental hospitals. Some provinces, such as the Northeastern provinces of Hubei, Guangdong, Heibei and Shandong, have the largest-scale brainwashing centers.
These centers are often called Law Education Centers, Law Education Classes, Law Education Schools, Education and Transformation Centers or Love and Care Centers, among other names.
Extension of Unlawful Labor Re-education Program
In the 1960s, the CCP started to comprehensively import the labor re-education program invented by former Soviet Union dictator Stalin to suppress dissent. At the beginning of the 1980s, China invested huge amounts of money to build labor camps for the punishment of minor offenders whose offenses were not severe enough for a criminal penalty. In the early years, labor camps and mental hospitals were the main institutions where the CCP carried out persecution and brainwashing of dissidents.
When a person is selected for the labor re-education program, a prosecutor is not involved and a trial is not required. It takes the local police station only a few minutes to approve a labor re-education case. This system is regarded as an unconstitutional and illegal system, which systematically violates human rights on a large scale. Recently, many non-governmental groups have advocated abolishing this system.
Countless Falun Gong practitioners arrested after the persecution started in 1999 were sent to labor camps, mental hospitals, detention centers, drug rehabilitation centers and jails.
Before the persecution, the official internal statistics of the Public Security System in China showed that there were about 100 million people practicing Falun Gong in China. Since authorities wanted to arrest so many practitioners, the above facilities were inadequate. The Bureau of Reeducation-Through-Labor in Beijing City began experiments with using centralized and closed training classes for legal system education in 2001. These classes were designed for brainwashing, but initially provided more space for detaining Falun Gong practitioners who couldn't be accommodated in the forced labor camps.
All other areas in China followed the lead of Beijing and created brainwashing classes. Brainwashing classes became another place to keep practitioners in long-term detention, in addition to detention centers and houses of detention.
The brainwashing classes have also adopted many methods used by the re-education through labor system. WOIPFG says that no legal procedures or registration is required to open a brainwashing center and there is no official document or law that specifies the nature, authority or administration of brainwashing classes; they have no organizing regulations or supervision, yet they can detain anyone without needing a legal document; staff members at the brainwashing classes are not law enforcement officers, yet they have more power than law enforcement officers; they can torture practitioners to death without legal consequences; and Falun Gong practitioners can be abducted without any legal procedure, forced into brainwashing classes and required to pay high-cost "education" fees, usually more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,208).
A China expert, who requested anonymity, compared brainwashing classes to places such as labor camps and mental hospitals. They are another tool for oppression and are established to circumvent the law with special power. They are unique high-efficiency, low-cost "thought correcting" institutions. They bypass the required judiciary procedures of collecting criminal evidence, filing, hearing, defending, sentencing, appeals process, and thus they silence voices of protest.
The latest WOIPFG report says that the transformation methods used by brainwashing classes are very diverse. People being brainwashed are often forced to make a choice between death of the spirit and death of the body.
"Caring transformation" is a popular method used in detention centers and brainwashing classes. The people in charge of brainwashing create a false appearance of "caring" for the person they are transforming. They find practitioners' weaknesses and shake practitioners' wills by attacking focal points. The "caring re-education school" in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, created a peaceful atmosphere by talking to practitioners for up to a week to find out how every practitioner thinks. They could then adapt their transformation work targeted at specific practitioners with different types of thinking.
The brainwashing classes also use the practitioners' family members and friends to persuade, force and threaten. The practitioners are often faced with emotional appeals from family members, threats of family members' deaths or suicide as well as divorce. The family members are directed to blame practitioners for getting them into trouble and not thinking of their families. This tactic attacks practitioners' mental state and often forces transformation.
One of the most insidious methods reported is to use practitioners who have already been brainwashed and transformed in further transformation work, thereby "killing two birds with one stone" and ensuring thorough transformation. On the one hand, these people are used to transform others because they had similar experiences. On the other hand, if these people later come to their senses, they will have such deep regrets for what they have done, that they will lose confidence in their own belief.
Kong Fanyun, the chief of the Education Section in the Provincial Center for Legal System Education in Hebei Province, said to those who had been transformed, "Whenever we see you beating and calling others names, we will consider you thoroughly transformed."
If Falun Gong practitioners were still not willing to give up their practice after "Soft Brainwashing," "Forced Brainwashing" is then used, which includes beating, threats, long periods of isolation and sleep deprivation, according to WOIPFG.
Falun Gong practitioners are normally jailed in an isolated environment, and denied any contact with the outside world. They receive forced brainwashing 24 hours a day. According to the WOIPFG report, barbed wire was installed around the buildings of the brainwashing center in the Wuchang area in Wuhan city. There are two monitors in every room. The window and the door of each room are barred with iron rods. The doors of the rooms are permanently locked and sunlight never enters.
At the brainwashing center in the Dongshang area in Guangzhou City, programs slandering Falun Gong were broadcast at high volume every day. Falun Gong practitioners were kept from sleep 24 hours a day, forced to look at video programs slandering Falun Gong and forced to stay inside their rooms for months or even years.
The methods used at the brainwashing center in Hubei Province are deception, blame, fear and beatings. Their brainwashing process is explained as follows: Workers prevent Falun Gong practitioners from sleeping for several days in a row and at the same time persuade them to give up their belief.
Then several people surround a practitioner and try to scare him or her by hitting the table and chair, and seriously threatening the practitioner in a loud voice. After that, they tell practitioners that they will be sent to a labor camp if they are not willing to give up their practice.
Finally, several people will put their full weight on a practitioner and force him or her to sign a statement promising to stop practicing Falun Gong. In one incident, six people squashed a female Falun Gong practitioner until she lost consciousness. These brainwashing methods are typical, WOIPFG reports. About 90 percent of people who gave up their Falun Gong practice were converted using these methods.
Research by Professor J. Allan Hobson, a doctor of psychiatry from Harvard University Medical School, demonstrated that if a person does not sleep for 5 to 10 days, the brain would start to lose normal functions. Their personality will become unreasonable. In addition, they will hear imaginary voices and hallucinate.
One policeman at Xinan Labor Camp in Beijing reportedly said, "We use the same methods that we use on spies. We want to make you collapse mentally."
WOIPFG disclosed the experience of Zhu Xia, a Falun Gong practitioner in Cheng Du City. Zhu Xia was illegally sent into a labor camp for more than 18 months and attended three consecutive brainwashing centers -- Beixian, Ponzhou and Xinjin. After detention, torture, brainwashing, beatings, and long-term sleep deprivation, she was mentally disoriented when she was sent home on April 2, 2004. She suffered from serious delusions and heard imaginary voices. She cried and laughed for no reason. She spread her feces and urine all over the room, and would frequently scream out in extreme fear, "Are you going to rape me?"
WOIPFG pointed out that "Psychiatric disorder is the extreme consequence of brainwashing. When a Falun Gong practitioner has been persecuted to the point of mental disorder or even rendered unconscious, he/she could not continue in their belief in Falun Gong and appeal for Falun Gong. This is the worst intention of brainwashing by Jiang Zemin's gang. However, brainwashing is not the end of the story. Large numbers of practitioners have lost their lives in labor camps and brainwashing centers."
In a WOIPFG statistical report, even under strict monitoring from the Chinese government, from the beginning of 2001 to April 2004, there were nearly 146,000 Falun Gong practitioners who published a statement on Minghui.org, the Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net, both Falun Gong websites, stating that they would like to start their Falun Gong practice again. They claimed that they signed a "promise to stop practicing" only because they were under extreme pressure, and those announcements were made totally against their will. At the same time, they disclosed the brutal brainwashing methods used by the brainwashing centers in China.