The Shanghai "Law Education School" is a Completely Closed and Isolated Brainwashing Facility
(Clearwisdom.net) The Shanghai "Law Education School" was formerly a sanatorium for police officers from the Shanghai Judicial Bureau. It is located at 7936 Waiqingsong Road, below She Mountain in the Qingpu District. The sanatorium underwent a change just prior to the 2001 Spring Festival, under orders from the Shanghai "610 Office" (1), the Judicial Bureau and the Political and Judiciary Committee. The sanatorium was converted into a place used specifically for the detention and brainwashing of Falun Gong practitioners. Publicly, its name was changed to the "Shanghai Law Education School." Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to give up their belief have been sent there to be brainwashed in complete isolation. They range in age from seventeen-year-old students to retired seniors.
Typically, each brainwashing session in this "Law Education School" lasts two to three months. Falun Gong practitioners who do not give up their belief are detained indefinitely or sent to labor camps. Almost every session has had some practitioners sent directly to labor camps. There are usually 30-50 practitioners per class. A "military-style" management is enforced at the facility. After being sent here against their will, each Falun Gong practitioner is subjected to a body search and his or her personal belongings are inspected. Female practitioners are usually detained on the 2nd floor while male practitioners are held on the 3rd floor. Generally, there are two to three persons in a room.
"Assistant Educators" and "Companion Educators"
Each practitioner is assigned one "assistant educator" and one "companion educator." Usually, "assistant educators" are dispatched from other judicial offices such as forced labor camps, prisons, and so on. Most of these people come from low-level offices and don't understand the true situation of the persecution against Falun Gong, and they believe the negative propaganda and defamatory reports against Dafa. Often, however, some will secretly go to Falun Gong practitioners to learn the facts about Falun Gong. Corrupt officials may have realized that prolonged contact between these "assistant educators" and Falun Gong practitioners would expose the "assistant educators" to the truth of the persecution against Falun Gong, so groups of assistant educators are regularly replaced.
At the first few classes of the brainwashing program, the assignment of a "companion educator" to a particular practitioner was based on the kind of work that the illegally detained practitioner did, and could be dictated by that person's employer, residential administration office or school. An employer was required to send two "companion educators," who alternated with each other every week. The "companion educator" was required to stay closes by a Falun Dafa practitioner's side twenty-four hours a day. In many ways, these people also lose their freedom, and most have negative attitudes about the brainwashing sessions which are called "learning classes" and do not support the persecution. They think, "Nowadays corrupt officials prevail in society and they gang up to pursue personal gain. Our society is not safe now. Our government is not concerned with these serious issues that they are supposed to take care of. Instead, they are targeting law-abiding citizens. As a result, we have to put aside our normal jobs and lives and come here to brainwash someone." In order to lessen the negative effect on society caused by this disgruntled attitude, the authorities started to directly assign dedicated "companion educators" in the later stage of the brainwashing program.
An Enormous Financial Burden
Each of the so-called "Law Education School classes" costs a large amount of money. The money comes from two sources; some of it is directly paid out of the local and central government revenue, which is funded by the publics tax revenues, and some comes from the employers of the practitioners. The employers are forced to pay the money. At the beginning, when the employers were still assigning "companion educators," the living cost of a practitioner plus two "companion educators" was close to ten thousand yuan (2). If we also take into account the abnormal three-month leave of absence of three employees, the employer's loss was usually in the range of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of yuan. When Falun Gong practitioners were private business owners, factory directors of government-run businesses or important players in critical projects, forcing them to attend a brainwashing program caused an entire company's production to be reduced by half, to stop completely or to shut down, which led to immeasurable revenue loss. However, since these assignments are ordered by high ranking officials, most employers dared not complain.
An Incalculable Burden on Society
The damage caused by brainwashing programs goes far beyond economic loss. Forced brainwashing programs have caused all sorts of problems in society. First, the psychological damage and pain a person suffers in a closed and isolated brainwashing program is beyond description. Each of these practitioners has relatives or friends, who also suffer greatly from stress and worry. Brainwashing a person disrupts normal family relations and the effects can be felt in society as well. Nobody is an isolated individual in society. Everyone has many social ties. When residents of the practitioner's community, his colleagues or friends witness his unjustified arrest, it will raise emotional turmoil or even fear and have a negative impact on society's stability. Finally, some Falun Gong practitioners assume very important roles in society. Persecuting them will incur immeasurable losses on society's normal production and development.
This is my view regarding the damage to society caused by brainwashing programs. The persecution against Falun Gong practitioners initiated by a few individuals in the Chinese government has brought indescribable pain and disaster to China's society and Chinese people. According to an incomplete estimate, 950 people are documented to have been killed by the persecution; three to four hundred thousand people have been serving illegal sentences including forced labor terms; several thousands have been physically disabled due to the persecution; several thousand have been forced to enter mental hospitals against their will and injected and abused with drugs that damage the central nervous system; and countless people have been subjected to brutal forced brainwashing. In order to maintain the persecution, Jiang Zemin has resorted to spending huge amounts of money (one quarter of the country's GDP), to persecute innocent people, rather than spending it on the economic-reform issues dealing with farmers and unemployed workers that desperately need to be resolved. According to another incomplete estimate, in the first three years of the persecution, under the order of Jiang and the "610 Office," the campaign to attack Falun Gong alone included several billion yuan for campaign activities, several hundred thousand hours of TV and radio programming, several billion hours of workers' time, tens of thousands of anti-Falun Gong articles and reports and several million anti-Falun Gong comic books. Now in China there are people who are being expelled from their workplaces or schools every day because of their belief. The authorities even forced some of them to undergo brainwashing, to serve a forced labor term or an illegal prison sentence. Every day there are people who are forced to leave their loved ones and live away from home in order to escape the persecution.
People should become aware that this unprecedented brutal persecution not only victimizes Falun Gong practitioners, it also causes damage to the entire Chinese population. This persecution targets good and innocent people throughout the world and is also the biggest and most open challenge to people who believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and who hold faith that justice will ultimately prevail. I hope that these facts will move people out of any silent indifference, and dispel any thinking that this persecution is none of their business. I hope that those who read this article will stand up with courage and say "No!" to this persecution. Everyone's voice of justice should be heard, especially those from the Chinese people in Mainland China. I hope people will become more aware of these injustices happening around them, and help those who are suffering.
A Travesty of "Education"
Although the Shanghai Law Education School is officially labeled "law education," all the methods used there are unconstitutional and not supported by any law. Below is a summary of the specific conditions in the school, all of which expose the "illegality" of the "Law Education School" First, I should clarify one thing: the Shanghai Law Education School is politically defined as a "school." As a school, it should not be similar to a state-run institution that resorts to the use of violence, like a police station or a prison which both possess the power to use forceful and violent measures. Although it was founded by the Ministry of Justice, its legal definition should remain the same. A school is a place to acquire knowledge, to educate people; it should hold a great responsibility and obligation to students (who attend the school on their own accord) to teach them scientific and cultural knowledge, and is enabled to do so by collecting proper fees from students. A Law Education School, then, should, by its nature, be a place to teach law curriculum.
Let's look at how the Shanghai "Law Education School" proceeds to offer "law education" and how the legal system and human rights are manifested in the "Law Education School" located in China's biggest financial trade center, Shanghai.
1. First, let's see how this school obtains students. The Shanghai Law Education School usually gets Falun Gong practitioners by means of deception, intimidation or even abduction, completely bypassing all legal methods of approval and administrative action from any monitoring institution. Practitioners are deceived with a request of wanting to "talk to you" and tricked into going to places where policemen are waiting to send them to the Law Education School by force. Practitioners face intimidation by employers or their schools with threats to be fired, lose their retirement pension or serve forced labor terms, thus forcing them to cooperate. Abduction is even more horrifying. The police may arbitrarily arrest a Falun Gong practitioner while the practitioner is clarifying the truth on the street, and he/she is then directly taken to the "Law Education School" without the notification of the practitioner's family members.
2. Once a Falun Gong practitioner is taken to the school, he or she immediately loses all personal freedom. Practitioners are under surveillance at every moment and even the doors to the restrooms are removed. The practitioners' living space is limited to a tiny room approximately 36 square feet, completely depriving them of the right to freedom and privacy endowed by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. The "school" has also established strict regulations and schedules which Falun Gong practitioners are forced to follow. Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to cooperate face physical punishment. Those who insist on practicing the exercises are handcuffed with a special device with which their hands are shackled to their waist, preventing them from practicing the exercises.
3. The Shanghai "Law Education School" does not offer any curriculum in law. It is a facility solely for brainwashing people in a closed and isolated environment, a technique used very often by the ruling Party to deceive and mislead people. The "Law Education School's" name hides its actual purpose; however, propaganda is spread telling how the government is treating people who are undergoing brainwashing with "life-giving spring breezes and rain," as if these actions were noble. In truth, however, what takes place within this facility is the most degenerate and shameful.
Consider the following specific brainwashing methods.
Once a Falun Gong practitioner arrives at the school, he or she will be confined in a room where they must eat, drink and use the toilet, with the "assistant educators" and "companion educators" watching them twenty-four hours a day. In the room, there are three beds, one TV and one writing desk. The TV is used only to play videos that slander and defame Falun Gong. The desk is for Falun Gong practitioners to write their understanding (ie: state their agreement with the government policy against FalunGong) of these programs and to read articles that attack Falun Gong on a daily basis. Being completely isolated from the outside world causes tremendous mental stress. Every morning and afternoon the school plays videotapes, radio broadcasts and reports attacking Falun Dafa, and forces the practitioners to watch or listen to them. Practitioners are forced to tell their personal understanding during the daily experience sharing, in order to help the administrators gain insights into practitioners' thought activity and the effects of brainwashing, so they can design materials for the next step. Lies are repeated thousands of times and practitioners are intimidated in this completely closed and isolated environment, causing extreme stress and confusion. All day long practitioners live their lives under this relentless scrutiny and intimidation.
It is a well-known fact that the right to liberty and belief is an inalienable, God-given right that cannot be taken away by anyone or any organization. China's "Law Education School" blatantly tramples this universal law. Many people released from the school said that this kind of mental suffering was worst than physical torture. They said that in such an environment a person had no integrity or respect as a human being and they were forced to make a painful choice between physical freedom and their belief.
4. Many Falun Dafa practitioners were detained in the "school" for no stated, legal reason at all. Others were given what can barely be categorized as "reasons," which were instead ridiculous and absurd excuses. When sensitive days like National Day, Chinese New Year Day, July 20 or April 25 (3) were approaching, many practitioners were mass arrested and detained in order to prevent them from potentially going to Beijing to appeal, which would implicate local government officials (4).
In protest of this unreasonable persecution, some Falun Dafa practitioners conducted hunger strikes to protect their rights. Sometimes the hunger strikes would last up to a month, but the school still ignored their requests for justice and brutally force-fed practitioners in order to continue with their brainwashing. Some steadfast practitioners have been sent to brainwashing sessions many times.
How many of these "schools" and "learning classes" exist in China, and how many citizens are adversely affected? Although the number of people and family members affected is well beyond the hundreds of thousands, we must remember that throughout history, no ideology has ever emerged from force and no spirit has ever been destroyed by the use of violence.
(1) The "610 Office" is a personal command system and enforcement agency for Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong. The "610 Office" exists throughout the entire country, from the Central Government to cities, towns and villages, organizations and schools. Its establishment, structural organization, bureaucratic relationship, operation, and finance all are entirely outside the boundaries of the existing structure of the government in China. It assumes political power surpassing the constitution and the law, and uses national resources at will.
(2) Yuan -- Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income for an urban worker in China.
(3) July 20, 1999 is the date that the persecution against Falun Gong officially began; April 25, 1999, is the date on which ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing to peacefully appeal to the government in response to negative propaganda and violation of practitioners' rights.
(4) Jiang's political group has a policy of implication. Wherever there are Falun Gong practitioners going to Beijing to appeal, that area's local government officials will be criticized, penalized or even terminated from their posts should practitioners from their jurisdiction be discovered in Beijing.