Part II: Tragic Mental Collapses and Broken Families as a Result of Brainwashing in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp
A female Falun Gong practitioner who survived life in Masanjia said, "In Masanjia, the most evil part is not the physical torture or humiliation -- people can easily tell that those are evil. The persecutors do not always use such overt tactics because they are also afraid (of being exposed, etc.), so they wait for the right time to do even worse things." "The most evil part is they use both persuasion and threats to destroy practitioners' minds and spirit. The police staff in Masanjia completely isolate the practitioners from the outside world, and in such a closed environment, proclaim themselves to be "selfless workers that are completely devoted to people and the country" and label the practitioners as "bad and selfish people who want to go to heaven while ignoring their families and their country."
The female practitioner also said that the police in Masanjia presented some "facts" and brought in some "scholars and experts" to hold seminars for the practitioners. Practitioners were forced to attend the seminars, and the "experts and scholars" lectured on their own views and theories about religion, qigong, psychology, sociology, and their "theories on reformation." They used these "facts" and seminars to try to turn the detained practitioners against their beliefs and their Teacher.
During the seminars, the persecutors use harsh military-style rules to control and monitor the practitioner's every movement. The practitioner said, "They exert mind and spirit control over one's life, and once those are distorted or even degenerated, one's life is wasted. What they call 'providing people with new lives' is actually killing one's mind and spirit."
1. Practitioners Who Refuse to "Reform" Are Made to "Disappear"
A practitioner from Liaoning Province wrote the following about Masanjia on December 9, 2003:
Every newly-arrived practitioner is separated from other practitioners. They are placed in the hallways, restrooms, dining halls, etc. Later, the persecutors put the newly-arrived practitioners in classrooms, where they are subjected to brainwashing. Usually, they are made to get up at approximately 4:30 a.m. and go to bed some time after 10:30 p.m. In such a state of isolation, many practitioners do not know the practitioners who sleep next to them, even after they have been there for a long time.
Persecutors also frequently transfer those practitioners who refuse to "reform" from one place to another within the larger forced labor camp, and do not allow them to appear in public places. Thus, the other practitioners don't see these practitioners at all. Then they fabricate news like "A was sent to another prison" or "B was sent to a quarry to do hard labor for refusing to reform." Their purpose is to create huge mental pressure and sense of isolation, making the practitioners lose any last bit of hope they may have.
Masanjia also has a rule. Inmates assigned to monitor and torture newly "reformed" practitioners must continue their "work" until the practitioner has "completely reached the standard of reformation." The "completely reformed" practitioners are then allowed to return to work in the group. Each practitioner who refuses to "reform" is constantly watched and tortured by several inmates. These inmates follow the practitioners wherever they go: while eating, working, sleeping, and even using the restroom. Practitioners are not allowed to talk or even look at each other.
2. The Inhuman Brainwashing
(From the December 9, 2003 report) Newly arrived practitioners are immediately surrounded by evil theories and lies. Persecutors arrive in groups to influence the practitioners. They also find the practitioners' friends, people from the same part of the country, relatives, or simply those who are good at persuading people, to work on practitioners. As one group leaves, another group arrives, and thus the persuasion continues day and night.
Every time a piece of fabricated news in which Falun Gong practitioners were reported to have "killed and torched" is broadcast on TV, the practitioners that refuse to reform are regarded to be the same as the "criminals" on TV. At such times, all the persecutors gang up on the practitioner. Some weep and wail, some shout curses, and others interrogate the practitioner. The bloody scenes accompanied by creepy music, scenes of scorched bodies, and the sad and shrill cries of the family members are played over and over again. Other than eating and using the restroom, the practitioners are forced to watch and listen to these programs, and read books that slander Dafa, all the time. Some practitioners cover their ears or run out of the room. The persecutors then put these practitioners into confinement cells. In the dark, cold, and damp cells, the speaker volume is increased and the practitioners are forced to listen to the slander and lies.
One practitioner who was "reformed" under such pressure became red in the face and felt extremely nauseated every time she was forced to read books that slandered Dafa. Still, the persecutors took her to the restroom, where she vomited, and then brought her back and continued to make her read the books. She begged: "I am feeling very dizzy, and I cannot even recognize any of the words." The persecutors then let her leave the cell. She was then surrounded by a group of "persuaders" who said that her symptoms were signs of "incomplete reformation."
Some practitioners suffered increased blood pressure and heart fibrillations whenever they were forced to watch TV programs or news shows (like CCTV's "Focus Topic") that slandered Dafa. Many others could not sleep at night.
Through my own practice, I proved that the Buddha Law is the truth; in my heart, Teacher is most sacred. When I saw Dafa and Teacher slandered, framed, and smeared, all I felt was a deep sorrow and horrifying pain in my heart and body. When I was first detained at Masanjia, the pain and sorrow tortured me every minute and every second. Many practitioners who have survived Masanjia describe the pain in a similar way.
3. The "Fortification Fight"
According to a report published on Clearwisdom in late March 2003, just before April 25, 2001, Su Jing, Masanjia's director, ordered the persecutors in every group to wage a "fortification fight" in order to reach a specified "reformation rate."
Starting on April 15, 2001, the persecutors formed two-person teams and did 2-hour shifts of "persuading" the solid practitioners. The practitioners were tortured this way through the entire night until 4:00 a.m. Female practitioner Gao Guangqing was kept awake for four days and four nights, and coerced each night. [Most practitioners detained in Masanjia are female, so unless otherwise stated, all the practitioners mentioned below are female] During the daytime Gao was forced to work as usual. Practitioners Fang Caixia, Wei Hongbo, and Wang Xia received shocks from electric batons. Persecutor Zhou Qian (head of sub-group No. 1) tortured practitioners Xing Fei, Wu Yanqiu, and Li Bo with electric batons. Persecutor Zhang Xiuyun (head of sub-group No. 4) used electric batons to torture practitioner He Hui (in her 60s), Yang Fengying, Zhou Haiyan, Zhang Jing, and Liu Lijuan.
Another perpetrator, Qiu Ping (head of sub-group No. 2), made many appearances on CCTV programs, such as "Focus Topic". In the programs, Qiu lied blatantly as she talked about "loving care" and "moving with a pure heart." In fact, Qiu tortured practitioner Zhang Jing with electric batons and other brutal torturing methods. Later, afraid of being exposed, the heads of the groups (including Qiu Ping) accused practitioners of "talking" as an excuse to take them to the office of Wang Naimin, a head officer in charge of all groups. In Wang's office, the persecutors tortured the practitioners in secret. Sometimes, after the head of the group tortured practitioners with electric batons, Wang Naimin would torture them again. Other practitioners often heard the sound of electric batons and the practitioners' cries of pain.
The "fortification fight" lasted for 20 days. During this period, all the practitioners were tortured, yet not a single practitioner gave in.
After the "fortification fight" failed, Wang Naimin thought of a new way to coerce practitioners. He put all the practitioners into group No. 5 and formed a "strict control group." Wang tried to use intensive labor to destroy the practitioners' wills.
In the "strict control group," everyone was forced to do hard labor from 5:30 a.m. until midnight; the solid practitioners were not allowed to rest or given enough to eat.
One time, a person named Cai Chaodong from Yunnan Province was invited to Masanjia to lecture practitioners. After the seminar, Cai toured the group No. 1 facility with Su Jing. Their last stop was a "strict control group," where practitioners Sun Yongli, Lin Ping, and Dong Hongzhu clarified the truth to Cai, and described how they were tortured and detained past their dates of internment. Cai was momentarily speechless, and finally said "I will report this to my superiors when I get back to Beijing" as he left the "strict control group."
Su Jing was infuriated by this incident. Later, when reporters from CCTV and a Hong Kong TV station arrived to do interviews, the persecutors did not dare to let the steadfast practitioners talk to the reporters. They took the practitioners to a dining hall and hid them there until the reporters left.
In the report written on December 9, 2003 the "fortification fight" was also mentioned:
The "fortification fight" started on May 8, 2001. All solid practitioners were ordered to stop working. They were then forced to squat down in the hallway facing a wall until 2:00 a.m., or even until the next morning.
Many practitioners became so sleepy that they fell over. The persecutors then kicked them hard. If anyone refused to squat, the persecutors would brutally pound the practitioner's head against the wall.
At the same time, the persecutors gathered practitioners who had remained firm in their beliefs for a long time and put them into an "intensified class." Here, the practitioners were forced to sit on a small stool all day long while maintaining a straight posture. Except for eating and using the restroom, the practitioners had to sit from morning until midnight. Many practitioners' buttocks were injured from the extended sitting on the stool, and some were even unable to walk. On top of the brutal physical torture, practitioners received brainwashing day and night. If the practitioners still refused to recant, the persecutors then asked their friends and relatives to beat, curse, and tearfully persuade the practitioners.
If the practitioners still refused to "reform," the persecutors then used electric batons to torture them. They would first use the electric batons to shock a metal water heater, creating a row of sparks to scare the practitioner. They then used the batons to shock the most sensitive parts of the practitioner's body.
Around that time, Dalian Forced Labor Camp transferred in 10 solid practitioners, all bearing frightful scars on their bodies. The eyelids of some practitioners were black and purple, and badly swollen.
According to a report published on Clearwisdom.net in August 2001, female practitioner Wang Hui, 33, from Dalian City, was one of the practitioners who received prolonged shocking from electric batons. The persecutor responsible was Wang Naimin. Wang Naimin took Wang Hui to a former office on the third floor, cuffed Wang Hui's hands to a bed, and then gagged her mouth with some rags. The persecutor then shocked her all over her body, including the face, head, chin, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and especially the wrists and hands. The 20 to 30 minutes of torture put Wang Hui in such pain that she struggled out of the handcuffs and rolled on the floor in pain. Her clothes and hair were soaked with sweat. After the torture, Wang Naimin brought Wang Hui in front of some practitioners and forced her to curse Teacher, with the electric baton in his hand. The persecutor also hit Wang Hui's head and kicked her in front of other practitioners, cursing and humiliating her. Under both mental and physical torture, Wang Hui was extremely pale, and she looked mentally strained. Her wrists and arms could not move normally for a long time after that.
Practitioner Li Ping is in her 30s, and she is thought to be from Xingxing City. Persecutor Zhang Xiurong tortured Li many times. Zhang ordered some inmates to beat, curse, and torture Li with physical punishment. On the coldest winter day of 1999, Zhang took Li outside and left her there for a long time. When Li Ping was brought back inside, I saw that her facial muscles were frozen; she could not feel her hands or feet, and could hardly walk. Li was also shocked many times and beaten, and the police dragged her down the stairs by pulling her hair. In October 2000, eighteen female practitioners were completely stripped of their clothes and put into the cells of male inmates. Li Ping was one of those eighteen women.
Many other practitioners experienced similar horrible torture constantly while they were in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp.
By August 1, 2001 Li Ping and Wang Hui were still being detained in Masanjia, because they remained firm in their beliefs.
According to a practitioner who survived Masanjia, persecutors often search the practitioners' bodies and their rooms. As a result, many facts of the persecution have not been recorded. Practitioners are transferred frequently, and they are not allowed to talk to each other. Some practitioners were transferred secretly after they were tortured, and their whereabouts are still unknown.
4. The More Vicious "Coerce-Reformation"
Going back to the report written on December 9, 2003... In early December 2002 another round of brutal torture started. The persecutors called the torture "coercive reformation." Persecutors came from areas throughout Liaoning Province and moved into a newly built facility called the "United Building." They were the "Provincial United Special Team," coming to Masanjia to help with the persecution.
The methods of coercive reformation included depriving practitioners of sleep. They forced practitioners to stand still in a small area with their eyes open, and played the slanderous propaganda. They also forced the practitioners to step on Teacher's picture. When the practitioner's minds became unclear due to lack of sleep, the persecutors wrote words that cursed Dafa on the practitioner's faces. The practitioners were so sleepy that they could barely keep their eyes open even while eating; they staggered when walking. Yet, they managed to forbear the pain with all their hearts.
When sleep deprivation did not work, the perpetrators used more brutal methods of torture. They hung practitioners up in the air by their cuffed hands, and used various ways of tying them up such as "Carrying a Sword on the Back." (See torturing methods: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/11/24/16156.html, #7 and #8.) When there were not enough handcuffs, they forced the practitioners to cross their legs in the lotus position, and then used ropes to tie the legs and body up. The practitioners were tied up this way through the entire night. As a result, the practitioners' legs and feet were swollen so badly that they couldn't remove their socks, and any slight move caused extreme pain. Being tied up left the practitioners unable to walk; being handcuffed left practitioners unable to move their arms.
Practitioners who remained steadfast in their beliefs were sent to the "Provincial United Special Team" in the "United Building." One time a group head (persecutor) told a practitioner, "I don't want to send you to the 'United Building,' people in that building carry ropes and electric batons all the time. Have you ever seen anyone leave there that was not reformed?" During those days, it was common to see someone suddenly faint and fall down in the hallways and on the stairs of the "United Building" as a result of the vicious torture. The persecutors pulled the unconscious practitioners up and continued their torture as if nothing had happened.
The so-called "Provincial United Special Team" treated human lives as if they were worthless. Many practitioners suffered complete mental collapse there. As a result of the torture, one practitioner lost the ability to speak, and she had to communicate using hand gestures; some ate feces and drank urine; some sang songs at night instead of sleeping; some cried out "I want to go home, I want my Mom!" all the time; some had serious hallucinations.
Within a sub-group of about 50 practitioners, five suffered mental collapse.
After I returned home, one after another scene kept haunting me, such as practitioners handcuffed and hung up to the tall heating pipes or on the big iron gates, or tied to poles in an area used to dry clothes in the sun; a row of practitioners were slowly walking toward the dining hall, with some being supported, others holding their hands, as the handcuffs had cut into the flesh so deeply that blood streamed down from their wrists.
(To be continued)