2. Soft Methods of Mental Persecution
The persons engaged in the "reformation" of Falun Gong practitioners outwardly smile and pretend to be concerned about the practitioners. They pretend to be friendly to lull the practitioners into a false sense of security, hoping to trick them into letting down their guard. They have one-on-one conversations with the practitioners, try to understand their thinking, look for weak spots, and later use this knowledge to break them. They treat different people with different tactics. The real purpose is to "reform" as many as they can. These and similar tactics are commonly used in early stages of their "transformation" attempts.
If practitioners are worried that their families may be implicated in the CCP's guilt-by-association policy, the "reform assistants" put pressure on the practitioners along this line. They say things such as, "Your family will be shamed, your children won't find jobs, your friends, colleagues and neighbors will not dare to contact you," and other intimidating words. In the meantime, they pressure family members to force the practitioners to "reform" using love, death, divorce and other threats to convince them. This is commonplace.
When Shenyang City Danan Detention Center agents brought practitioner Li Weixun's family to see her, they arranged for a "family love attack." Li Weixun's elderly mother, crying and calling her daughter by her baby name, pleaded, "Please write a reform statement so we can go home, I am begging you!" Li Weixun answered with tears in her eyes, "Mother, I did nothing wrong. I cannot write this." The mother replied, "I will kneel down before you!" "Please don't, Mom! All my illnesses were cured after I practiced Falun Gong, and I became a much happier person. You know all this. Mom, you know your daughter. All I have done is completely legal. They are the ones who are doing illegal things." Watching her silver-haired mother turning her back and leaving, Li Weixun was heartbroken.
When practitioners' physical health is about to collapse, "reform assistants" use soft tactics to pretend to be friends who care about their well-being. They use this tactic in attempts to sabotage practitioners' willpower.
Twisted Psychological "Correction"
For an entire day, forced labor camps compel detained Falun Gong practitioners to watch video programs and read books that defame Falun Gong and the founder. The practitioners are made to listen to some twisted theories by some former practitioners who betrayed Falun Gong. The "reform assistants" and collaborators take turns talking to practitioners to pollute their souls, destroy their wills and "reform" them into non-practitioners.
Many twisted theories exist and are promoted in the labor camps and brainwashing programs. In Hubei Province Shayang Forced Labor Camp, the police invented a strategy called "Using Dafa to attack Dafa." Their tactic goes something like this, "Don't you want to be a good person? Now that you are detained, do you know how much you hurt your family and your employer? If you refuse to reform, your detention will be extended, causing them more harm. Are you then still a good person?" Anyone with a clear mind can see the fundamental flaw in such mind-twisting persuasion. What is actually hurting others is the fact these practitioners were detained. Prior to the persecution of Falun Gong, the practitioners were hard working and caring persons. Cultivation brought everyone joy and happiness. After the persecution started, practitioners went to the government to appeal for fair treatment according to the Constitution. But the Communist regime violated the Constitution and persecuted the practitioners. The Communist regime's persecution is precisely the root cause of all the suffering and pain.
It is difficult for many practitioners who benefited from Falun Gong's miraculous power, including those who were given a second chance for their lives, to become convinced that Falun Gong was a lie and force them to give up their belief. For these people the reform specialists have other tactics.
In the Beijing Xin'An Women's Forced Labor Camp, the "reform assistants" are teaching that "reformation does not equal giving up Falun Gong, it actually follows Falun Gong's principles to give up the self for the benefit of others, to give up yourselves, even your cultivation." According to this twisted "theory," giving up cultivation "represents a higher level cultivation." When people's minds are clear, such self-contradicting, preposterous nonsense is not even worthy of debate. But under high pressure, when a person's physical and mental endurance has reached the extreme point of tolerance, they may become confused and lose their ability to think rationally. After their release, many people who let themselves be fooled and "reformed" this way realize the nature of these tactics and return to Falun Gong practice.
Ms. Zhong Yue went to work in a central government agency after she graduated from a top university with a master's degree. She was sentenced to one year of forced labor after she wrote a letter to Jiang Zemin to tell him the facts of Falun Gong. The following is her account of the painful experiences in the Xin'An Women's Forced Labor Camp:
"The police detained me prior to sending me to the forced labor camp. The captors there were very cruel. They looked like ghosts from hell. I couldn't believe that such a place existed. When we first got there, the first thing they told us was to strip off all our clothes and submit to an inspection. If someone hesitates or shows any discontent, the police assault them with electric batons. Every second, I was suffering from physical pain and mental trauma. At first my brain remained alert all the time. After some time I found that my brain became dull. My consciousness became disoriented and numb.
Psychological research has discovered that when people are tortured to the extreme, their spirits become weak and slow to react. That is the time they are most vulnerable to being brainwashed and succumbing to "mind alteration." One day they moved me from police detention to the Xin'An Forced Labor Camp. The police there did not torture me. Instead, they surrounded me with a dozen mentally bankrupt former practitioners who had non-stop, one-on-one conversations with me. They prevented me from sleeping or even using the toilet. After they repeated the lies once, twice, ten times, one hundred times, after a long time of sleep deprivation and the continuous bombardment, my brain was unable to cope. I could no longer think clearly. I signed my name on the prepared guarantee statement. Afterwards I hid myself in a room and cried for several hours. I could not practice Falun Gong any longer. It feels like the world is coming to an end and everything is extinct. Nothing is left but endless despair..."
Evil Psychological Mind Games to Mislead
Isolated Falun Gong practitioners are misled by all kinds of psychological inductions. The purpose is to confuse them and compromise their judgments.
In all places used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, one can see slogans such as "reform into a renewed life," and "return to human nature." These slogans twist the teachings of Falun Gong to the extreme.
"Reform assistants" in the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp often tell practitioners things like, "Do you know the awful expression in your eyes? People suffering from paranoia have the same expression!" "Of course you don't know about it. How many mental patients actually admit they are indeed psychotic?" "You think the being locked up in a mental hospital is a form of persecution, but in reality, you are indeed insane!" After long-term psychological bombardment, hinting that resisting their reform efforts is a symptom of mental illness, some practitioners may actually begin to doubt themselves. The evildoers' intentions are to destroy practitioners' ability to reason, destroy their righteous beliefs and force them to cave in under pressure.
Psychological feedback is often used along with sleep deprivation and hard manual labor. In the Xin'An Labor Camp's intensive punishment programs, they lock a practitioner into a 3-to-4 square meter cell the entire day. All activities including personal hygiene and toilet use are done inside the cell. The camp forces people to stand facing the wall. After a long time, people feel extremely exhausted and dizzy. All they can see is the white wall. This had a profound psychological consequence. Some people even develop delusions and feel that they have no-where to go. This tactic eventually causes mental collapse.
Another widely used "soft" method is long-time manual labor under extremely harsh conditions. It is intended to diminish the practitioners' physical strength and will power. Officials in the Tianjin Shuangkou Forced Labor Camp made practitioners get up at 5:30 a.m. every day and work until 2:00 a.m. the next day. If someone is slow and could not finish his quota on time, the camp authorities order someone to beat this person. Liu Ping, from the Hedong District in Tianjin, was a young man in his 20's. He was a strong and healthy person, trained as an airplane pilot. After long-term abuse under these circumstances he was physically and mentally exhausted. He did not wake up on January 2, 2002, and was found dead in bed. The labor camp police often extend the detention term of the determined practitioners and tell them that they can choose to "reform" or die.
When practitioners are feeling despair, they have to listen to the "Same Song." The beautiful melody has a relaxing effect on the tired nerves, and then the "attractive" lyrics find their way into the practitioners' brains, deluding them into finding a way out. Some people eventually may yield to the pressure and choose to accept "reform."
Using "Reformed" People to Reform Others
One of the most vicious tactics is to use "reformed" people to work for the captors. On the one hand, the former practitioners using so called "similar experiences" and "mutual sentimental feelings" have a better chance of influencing other practitioners. On the other hand, even after these people become rational later on and wake up and realize their mistakes, they may be so ashamed of their actions that they don't have sufficient courage to resume cultivation. This tactic is indeed similar to "killing two birds with one stone." If a "reformed" person refuses to reform others, then the person will be considered still having compassion in the heart. Therefore, he has not completely broken away from Falun Gong. The person will undergo the same old persecution routine again.
Hebei Province Legal Education Center's education head Kong Fanyun told the "reformed" persons, "When I see you beat people and use profanity, then your reformation is complete."
Some people are so confused by the brainwashing tactics that they don't even know they were brainwashed. They think they have a second lease on life. Some feel grateful toward the evildoers, and some even help the evildoers to persecute others and believe what they did was justified, thinking they were doing people a favor.
Ms. Dong Cui, after long time detention in Beijing Women's Prison, wrote a letter of compromise. Tian Fengqing, a head prison guard in her area, thinks that Ms. Dong's "reformation" is not complete. She ordered police officers Xi Xuehui and Dong Xiaoqing to work on Dong Cui, aided and abetted by mentally bankrupt former practitioners Li Xiaobing and Li Xiaomei. Together they tortured Dong Cui to death. Her head had a bloody hole and wounds were discovered all over her body. The once-good people who followed "Truth-Compassion-Forbearance" are being "reformed" into killers. A participant later realized her terrible crime after coming out of the prison and felt tremendous regret. She cried," We thought we had good intentions for her, we had no idea that we may kill her."
Psychological torment at the hands of these evildoing people is frequently more destructive and severe than physical torture.
(To be continued)