(Minghui.org) In part 2 of this series, we outlined four sources of revenue for brainwashing centers. These include government funds for construction and operational costs, as well as education and companion fees paid by Falun Gong practitioners' employers.

Below, we outline the centers' two other major sources of income, government awards for “successful transformations” and extortion of practitioners and their families.

Government Awards for “Successful Transformations”

One of the central tasks for a brainwashing center is to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners, i.e. force them to give up their beliefs. “Transformed” practitioners have to write one or more of (1) a statement guaranteeing one will not practice Falun Gong in the future, (2) an admission of guilt for having practiced Falun Gong, and (3) a statement renouncing Falun Gong.

Using the statements as evidence, a brainwashing center can claim a “successful transformation” and obtain a monetary award from the government. Below, we give four examples previously reported on Minghui.org:

In 2007, Lannigou Brainwashing Center in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province was awarded 10,000 yuan by the government for every practitioner who wrote the statements. [78]

In 2009, brainwashing centers in Beihai City, Guangxi Province obtained 15,000-30,000 yuan for transforming one practitioner. [79]

In 2011, the government of Hubei Province awarded the Hubei Provincial Law Education Institute 20,000 yuan for transforming one practitioner. [80]

In 2013, the Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC) of Heilongjiang Province promised a brainwashing center in Mishan City 20,000 yuan for transforming one practitioner. [81]

The awards, averaging around 18,000 yuan, amount to almost twice the average monthly education fee a center can obtain for each Falun Gong practitioner (9,400 yuan). Thus, it is in a center's interest to achieve a high transformation rate in a short period of time.

In general, local 610 Offices set a goal of 100% transformation for the brainwashing centers. For example, the 610 Office in Liaohe Oilfield and the governments of Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, and Hubei Province used 100% as their target. [82, 83]

However, since many detained practitioners refuse to write guarantee statements, the actual rate is lower. To claim their awards, brainwashing centers often forge practitioners' signatures on the statements and inflate the transformation rate in their reports to the government.

As a result, the reported transformation rate is usually between 90-100%. For example, the Laodaohe Brainwashing Center in Changsha City, Hunan Province, the center in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, and the center in Chengde City, Hebei Province all claimed a transformation rate greater than 90% for every “school” term. [84, 85, 86] Thus, in part 1 of this series (Table 3), we used 95% as the claimed transformation rate to estimate the total revenue from government awards.

Extortion of Practitioners and Their Families

In addition to charging practitioners' employers for “education fees” and “companion fees,” brainwashing centers often extort money from detained practitioners and their families. These arbitrary charges appear under a number of names, such as “education fees,” “living expenses,” “safety fees,” and “transformation deposit.” They are the same kind of fees that are charged to practitioners' employers.

When practitioners held hunger strikes to protest the torture, the brainwashing centers even required their families to pay a “force-feeding fee.” Sometimes, practitioners develop severe health symptoms due to torture, in which case centers require families to pay inflated fees for health care.

All other revenues described in this report are officially registered in the brainwashing centers' accounts. However, revenue from extortion is not, nor are receipts given for the collection of such fees. Since the centers control practitioners' terms of detention and can refuse to release them until the fees are paid, the practitioners' families usually have no choice but to give in.

For example, practitioner Huang Yanyun, a retired teacher at Dongfeng Kindergarten in Xichang City, Sichuan Province, was sent to Xining Brainwashing Center in October 2010. Thirty-five days later, the center asked her employer for a 5000 yuan “education fee.” Meanwhile, the center also extorted 1050 yuan and 100 yuan from Huang's daughter in the name of meals and utilities, respectively. [74]

In another case, Fu Yanchun, the head of Wuchang City Brainwashing Center in Heilongjiang Province, told practitioner Shi Mengchang, “We have all kinds of tricks to transform you. We can make you go bankrupt. Every day, we will give you 60-yuan injections and charge you 800 yuan. If you don't take the injections, we will hold you down and force you to take it. You will have to pay tens of thousands of yuan in a month.” [87]

The amount charged in each case is arbitrary and varies greatly based on practitioners' households.

For example, every practitioner jailed in Weifang City Brainwashing Center in Shandong Province is required to pay 2000 yuan each month for “living expenses.” Before release, they are also charged a “transformation fee” based on their income and “attitude,” ranging from 2000-3000 yuan to 10,000-20,000 yuan. There is no official paperwork recording this fee, nor are receipts issued. A previous report indicates that this money goes to the staff's personal accounts. [60]

In Liaoyuan City, Jilin Province, seven Falun Gong practitioners were sent to a brainwashing center in May 2012. On July 27, Pi Fuguo, the deputy chief of the Liaoyuan City 610 Office, charged each practitioner's family a 10,000 yuan “transformation fee” and threatened to jail the practitioners if the fee was not paid.

However, Pi warned that paying the fee still did not guarantee the practitioners' release, as they were also required to sign statements publicly renouncing Falun Gong. Pi went on to tell the practitioners' families, “you will need to pay 10,000-80,000 yuan extra as bail when they are finally released.” [39]

Practitioner Li Taohua, an employee of Gansu Qilianshan Cement Group Co., Ltd., in Gansu Province, was sent to Gongjiawan Brainwashing Center in Landzhou City in June 2012. Her term ended at the end of August. However, Chief Gong Manfu of Qilihe Police told her family that if they don't pay a 4500 yuan “education fee,” Li would not be released. Left with no choice, Li's family had to pay the fee and an extra 11,500 yuan “safety fee” to secure Li's release on September 3. [6]

Zhao Jiayu, a practitioner from Shapingba, Chongqing City, was arrested in November 2002 and sent to Geleshan Brainwashing Center, where he resisted transformation. One year later, the center told his family that if he doesn't sign the statements, they will have to pay 60,000 yuan for his living expenses and staff salaries.

Zhao paid the fee but was told that he still needed to sign the statements to free the center of blame from higher authorities. After he was released, the local government forced Zhao to sign a promissory note of 85,000 yuan, which he would have to pay if he was found to practice Falun Gong again. [88]

In Table 1 below, we list 77 extortion cases. Within this data set, the nationwide average term of each practitioner detained in a brainwashing center is 38 days. On average, each was forced to pay 7,256 yuan in undocumented fees. A simple analysis of the data shows that the average amount extorted increases by 844 yuan annually.

In parts 2 and 3 of this series, we reviewed revenues and costs in the brainwashing industry. More details about how the system allows officials to amass personal fortunes will appear in the next article.


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