Zhenbai Li’s Speech at the UK House of Parliament—Brainwashing, Persecution of Belief
(Minghui.org) My name is Zhenbai Li and I am a Falun Gong practitioner.
I would like to briefly share with you the persecution my parents have suffered because of their belief in Falun Gong.
Both my father Changgeng Li and mother Yaoli Zhang started practicing Falun Gong in 1998. They had suffered from various health problems, but fully recovered after they started practicing. They were also happier, both at home and at work, after following Falun Gong’s tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
They were severely persecuted after the persecution began in July 1999. Within two years, their home was illegally raided over three times, and they were illegally arrested, detained, and unlawfully interrogated five times. They were forced to move repeatedly as a consequence to seek safety and peace. I was a 13-year-old student at the time, and I often stayed with my classmates so the secret police couldn’t find out where my parents lived.
Local police and security agents raided their home again in July 2009. My mother was abducted and taken to the Shanghai Women’s Forced Labor Camp for a year and a half. My father was abducted the following year and detained in the Shenzhen Xili Education Center, which is actually a brainwashing center. He was put through a brainwashing program for three months, between June and September 2010.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses a particularly devastating method to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners. The practitioners are first indoctrinated with slander about Falun Gong, then redirected to a state-sanctioned belief, such as modern Buddhism. This is to keep them from returning to Falun Gong in the future. Other brainwashing methods are employed, the majority of which were used to “transform” my parents.
Around-the-clock monitoring by inmates, while being subjected to constant verbal abuse and aggression.Forced to watch slanderous videos, even during mealtimes and until midnight.Forced to read scriptures from state-sanctioned beliefs.Sleep deprivation, executed by inmates working on shifts.Forced into signing a pre-written statement denouncing Falun Gong.
My father recalls another member of the brainwashing center taking him to a local modern Buddhist temple to partake in an “Entry Ceremony” (similar to baptizing in the Christian faith) during his three-month course.
I once got a call from Qiuhu Chen, the vice president of the center, who was in charge of “brainwashing” my father. He said, “Only by leading the Falun Gong practitioners to a different school will they not easily return to Falun Gong after being released.” The president of the center is actually a “specialist” in modern religions, who assembled a group of similar scholars and came up with this method to try to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners.
It was the same for my mother. She was continually monitored by two inmates, one a drug-addict and the other a prostitute. Both were promised reduced sentences if my mother renounced her belief. During her detention, she was offered books about Buddhism, Christianity, and other schools.
This is how my parents were “transformed.” Their story is common, and demonstrates the typical brainwashing that many Falun Gong practitioners have suffered in this persecution conducted by the Chinese Communist regime.
Call for Action
The brainwashing plays a big part in the anti-Falun Gong campaigns. It is designed ultimately to mislead and forcibly replace Falun Gong practitioners’ belief by taking advantage of a mixture of other schools’ theories.
Under the Chinese regime, people have no freedom to choose what they want to believe. Instead, they are told what to believe. If they don’t do as they are told, the consequences are punishment, imprisonment, brainwashing, etc., until they break down and follow what the CCP tells them to believe. I sincerely wish that more people could see through the sinister tactics of the persecution.
By raising awareness of this, I have received some real support from my university, the Glasgow School of the Art, Glasgow University; my MP Keir Starmer; and other kind individuals. I was grateful and encouraged, and am determined to work hard on this matter until this persecution ends. I sincerely hope the UK and the international community can take strong actions to help end the persecution of Falun Gong so that no more individuals, like my parents, have to suffer persecution for their beliefs.
Thank you for your attention.