The Mental Persecution I Suffered at the Beijing Huyu Brainwashing Center
Huyu Brainwashing Center, which is located near Huyu Village, Changping County, Beijing, was established by the Central State Organs Working Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the specific purpose of persecuting and “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners. Besides psychological torture, the staff also employs other methods, such as sleep deprivation and administration of unknown drugs.
Mr. Zhang Qiping is a former deputy commander and instructor at the Langfang City Armed Police Force Academy in Hebei Province. He was arrested by the Langfang City 610 Office and officials from the Armed Police Force Academy, because he refused to renounce his belief in Falun Gong. He was forced to endure brainwashing and was demoted to a lower rank and demobilized. The following is Mr. Zhang's account of what he endured in Huyu Brainwashing Center.
My name is Zhang Qiping and I am 61 years old. I am a former regimental deputy commander with a rank of colonel and an instructor at the Langfang City Armed Police Force Academy, School of Force Management. I was subjected to brainwashing from January 29 to February 14, 2001, at Huyu Brainwashing Center.
Huyu Brainwashing Center
Huyu Brainwashing Center was first set up in a hotel owned by the China People's Public Security University in Beijing near Huyu Village in Changping County. The hotel gate was closed during the brainwashing sessions, and there were no signs outside. After a few sessions, it was moved to another hotel near Huyu Village.
Ten other Falun Gong practitioners were there when I was there, all officials of various state organs and ministries. Each practitioner was assigned to a separate room and was accompanied by two officials from his workplace to monitor him. The rooms had been modified: windows were reinforced with security glass, and all the locks and bolts in the bathrooms removed. There were two to three beds in each room, and the two accompanying officials slept on the beds closer to the door. The practitioners were not allowed to leave the room unless they had been “transformed.”
The Armed Police Force Academy is under the People's Republic of China Ministry of Public Security. Two of us practitioners from the academy were forced to attend the brainwashing session. Together with the accompanying officials and a team lead, there were seven of us in total. The two people assigned to accompany and monitor me were Zhao Jinhu and Nu Baoliu from my department. The administrative official from the academy who led the team was Zhou Lichao, deputy director of the Political Department.
The brainwashing sessions were mainly funded by each workplace. I don't know specifically how much the academy paid, but I remember Zhou Lichao accidentally brought it up once that, “quite a bit of money was paid for the two-week session there.” The workplaces not only had to pay room and board for their own employees, but also the expenses of the “teaching assistants” and the staff of the brainwashing center, including the assistants' salaries (each was paid 1,800 yuan per month).
The “teaching assistants” were mainly employed to indoctrinate the practitioners and deceive them into “transforming.” A few of the “assistants” usually worked together to verbally attack one Falun Gong practitioner all day, attempting to make him hate Falun Gong. The practitioners never got a break mentally and eventually wavered in their determination to uphold Dafa.
The assistants also used twisted logic to confuse practitioners, saying that “transforming” did not mean to give up on the practice, but just to cultivate in a different way. They also told us that we, as cultivators, should not be so selfish to do whatever we wanted without considering our families, and to think about how much our families suffered because of us. However, they never dared to mention that the communist regime was truly the cause of why our families suffered.
Meetings were held every morning and every night, and a different strategy was designed specifically for each practitioner. They took advantage of each practitioner's loopholes. The practitioners were also forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong.
Staff police officers threatened us, saying that if we did not “transform,” we would be sentenced to forced labor. The staff all appeared kind and warm at first, but once their attempts to “transform” us failed, they would turn to violence. No matter what they did, it was all to achieve the same goal. Through brainwashing and confusing one's thinking, they tried to force us to “transform” and renounce our belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Because I was not clear on the principles of the Fa, I wrote the guarantee statement against my will and betrayed Master. It was such a disgrace on my cultivation path.
On the surface, psychological persecution is not violent, and it seems to be sentimental, the “spring breeze and rain” type of education as the communist regime portrays it. In fact, it is as cruel as physical torture. Psychological torture is a different type of torture that destroys the spirit little by little. In a closed environment, under a great amount of mental pressure, you feel helpless and eventually give in against your will.
I knew full well that Falun Dafa was good and it had saved my life, yet I had to write the guarantee statement and betray Dafa. I knew full well that the constitution protects our rights to freedom of religion and speech and that it is a citizen's lawful right to appeal to the government, yet I had to “transform” and renounce my belief. The internal conflicts and mental suffering were no less than physical torture. When I was able to do the exercises I was free of any illness, yet after my right to practice Falun Gong was denied, all my previous illnesses recurred.
The Cruelty of Psychological Torture
I started practicing Falun Gong because of my illnesses. I was diagnosed with early stage cirrhosis of the liver in February 1990 at the 302 Military Hospital of China. I was later diagnosed with cirrhosis caused by hepatitis at the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army (301 Hospital). I was on sick leave for as long as eight years and was hospitalized almost every year. I took a huge amount of medication every day and spent several tens of thousands of yuan on medical expenses. My wife had mentally prepared herself to become a young widow.
I had practiced four different types of qigong, but within four months of practicing Falun Gong, all my illnesses disappeared without spending a penny. I was overjoyed and did not take even one pill after 1997. Falun Gong saved my life. Now that I was not allowed to practice, would that illness claim my life? I was already trying to be a good person and to be mentally and physically healthy, so what should I have “transformed” into? Should I have transformed into “deceit, hatred, and violence?” Isn't psychological persecution a form of torture? It is even worse.
At the end of each brainwashing session, a party was held to celebrate, usually with a performance featuring various acts such as dancing and music directed and performed by the staff, all to reinforce the result of the “transformation.” “The Same Song” (praising the Communist Party) was performed at the first party and was later on performed at all such parties.
The staff knew very well that practitioners did not drink, yet they always offered alcoholic beverages at the parties. The teaching assistants and accompanying officials worked together to get the practitioners to drink. They explained that if you drank, then it showed that you had truly "transformed" and it was okay to just have a taste. I told them I had liver disease so they didn't force me.
Leaders of workplaces from all over the country later went to Huyu Brainwashing Center to learn how it operated. How could this be a celebration? It was misguided officials congratulating each other over their “success” in "transforming" us.
There is not much information online about Huyu Brainwashing Center. I hope other Falun Gong practitioners can give insights into it and expose the atrocities happening there.
Staff members at the brainwashing center:
Zhang Lu (张璐), male, in his 30s, an official at the Central State Organs Working Committee, director of Huyu Brainwashing Center
Cheng Yue (程跃), commissioner at the Central State Organs Working Committee, director of Huyu Brainwashing Center
There was also a female official of the Central State Organs Working Committee and a police officer.
Teaching Assistants (collaborators): Sun Hong (孙虹), Yue Huiling(岳慧玲), Zhong Xianghong(钟向红), Bai Yuliang(白玉良), Zang Xu(臧旭), Qu Yongmei( 曲永梅)