(Minghui.org) “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” This Shakespeare’s phrase is well known to many people. To some degree, it also depicts a dilemma people living inside communist regimes are facing: to be an attack dog for the communist party, or not to be.
Some citizens in communist regimes may think it is easier for them to survive simply by following the communist party’s direction: if the party tells them to arrest someone, they will do it; if the party tells them to torture someone, they will do it; and if the party tells them to kill someone, they will do that, too.
However, the communist party’s anti-divine, anti-human nature means that it often orders people to do evil deeds, such as committing crimes against the divine or humanity, and then abandons them and uses them as scapegoats afterward.
Nikolay Yezhov served as the head of the NKVD (former Soviet Union’s state security system, precursor of the KGB) between 1936 and 1938. He started an internal purging within the agency when taking office and later expanded the purging nationwide.
From 1934 to 1940, about 19 million people in the Soviet Union were arrested during the Great Purge and many died at forced labor camps.
The Soviet regime praised Yezhov as the most loyal “communist fighter” to Stalin and awarded him with many honors and medals. His picture was in the newspaper, his stories were in paintings, sculptures, novels, and poems, and his name was used to name streets and arenas.
However, when evil goes too far, the communist regime needs to redress its own crimes to stay in power. Each time the party needs to find scapegoats so that the party can always be the right one and blame some “bad people” for the crimes.
Therefore, Yezhov was made into a scapegoat when the Soviet Union needed to acknowledge its criminal Great Purge. He was arrested on April 10, 1939. The government accused him of the same thing that he used to accuse other innocent people of: “having espionage relations with foreign intelligence agencies and with countries hostile to the Soviet Union, and leading conspiracy actions within the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs.” He was put on trial and then executed.
Including Yezhov, five NKVD and KGB heads were executed. Everyone thought they were chosen by the communist party to end their predecessor who was disloyal to the party. But they ended up being abandoned by the party later.
The same thing happened in communist China too.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) practiced “communist communes” and caused the Great Famine from 1959 to 1961. This man-made famine was everywhere in China. Peasants did not have enough food. They even struggled to feed themselves or keep seeds for the next year’s crops.
However, the CCP still imposed high food collection quotas on the peasants, so that they could distribute enough food to city residents, soldiers, and communist officials, to whom the communist party was concerned about the most.
There was just not enough for the peasants to submit to the government. Then the CCP started a campaign to collect food.
The Xinyang Region in Henan Province was an exemplary performer in executing the campaign. It mobilized all CCP cadres, from the region to county, from town to village, to apply political pressure, mental torture, and brutal violence to farmers.
For example, peasant Zhang Zhirong was beaten to death for not handing in enough grain. After that, the village officials used fire pliers to push grains and soybeans into his anus, all the while yelling, “We need grain to grow on you after you die!” His two children, ages eight and ten, died of hunger afterward.
Another peasant Feng Shouxiang did not offer meals to a village official. The official then had him hung and beaten, even tearing off his ear. That peasant died six days later.
Local officials adopted many torture methods including beating, kicking, freezing, starvation, piecing the palms with bamboo sticks, putting burning coals into the mouth, burning nipples, sticking objects into the vagina, and burying them alive. In the end, the government still did not collect enough food, as peasants just didn’t have enough.
But this practice had a devastating toll on the peasants, as the government took away their last food. Over one million people died of hunger in Xinyang.
To soothe the public outcry, the CCP turned around against the Xinyang officials. Mao Zedong, then CCP head, claimed that the Xinyang tragedy was due to “bad guys in power who killed people and caused other deaths.”
All of a sudden, the once CCP loyalists who worked hard to carry out the CCP’s policy became the organizers and murderers. The CCP sent public security officers to Xinyang and arrested the local officials, taking them to villages to publicly denounce them. All the torture methods these local officials used against the peasants were applied to them.
About 200,000 Xinyang party cadres, including cafeteria administrators and accountants, were put under “investigation.”
The CCP stayed “right” as always. It painted itself as the “savior” who redressed the crimes that it created in the first place.
Xinyang was not the only region with huge deaths. During the Great Famine period, tens of millions of Chinese died of hunger. Sichuan Province alone had over ten million people that died.
Somehow the CCP protected its top officials, including those provincial party heads, from being held accountable for such a humanitarian tragedy.
However, no one can escape heaven’s law of retribution. These provincial party heads and lower-level officials faced brutal torture, a few years later, during the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976).
Sichuan Provincial Party Secretary Li Jingquan was taken down and denounced. His elder son was arrested. His second son, after being beaten to near death, was taken to a crematorium and put into the incinerator alive. People pulled out all of his wife’s hair to humiliate her, and she died in prison. His other sons had to look for food in garbage cans to feed themselves.
Party heads from Henan Province and Gansu Province were also taken down or killed during the Cultural Revolution. They were the active executors in mandatory food collection during the Great Famine period.
When it comes to today, the same story is still playing out in China: The CCP is setting up its loyalists as the perpetrators of a mind-body Buddhist spiritual practice – Falun Gong.
Former CCP head Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999. He even gave an order, “It is fine to beat Falun Gong practitioners to death; beating them to death will be counted as suicide.”
This led to the police and the judicial system to abuse Falun Gong practitioners on a lawless basis. A common statement that the judges and other legal professionals say is: “We don’t need to follow legal procedures when dealing with Falun Gong cases.”
According to statistics compiled by Minghui.org, in the twenty years between July 1999 and July 2019, there were 86,050 arrests of Falun Gong practitioners, 18,796 prison sentences, and 19,566 cases to put practitioners in brainwashing centers. Also, there were 28,430 incidences of Falun Gong practitioners put in forced labor camps between 1999 and 2013 when China stopped the forced labor camps system.
At least 4,334 practitioners are confirmed to have been tortured to death. This was only the information that Minghui.org has collected. Due to the tight information control and blockade in China, the actual death toll is unknown but could be much higher.
And the CCP rewarded the perpetrators with money and promotions. That reward was given out on a large scale.
Sichuan Provincial Secretary Zhou Yongkang was responsible for the killing of 43 Falun Gong practitioners in his province. Jiang praised him and promoted him to the head of the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, the highest CCP extrajudicial organ given the power to override the judicial system. Zhou thus told his followers that “You can leave the murderers or arsonists alone, but you must go after the Falun Gong practitioners.”
Jiang told Bo Xilai, another high-rank CCP official, that he needed to show a tough stance against Falun Gong to get a promotion. Therefore, Bo ordered his police officers to give Falun Gong practitioners deadly treatment.
But these CCP best attack dogs didn’t have a good ending. Zhou was taken down under corruption charges and Bo was put in prison for a failed political coup.
In the past eight years, 164 high-ranking CCP officials, at the provincial or ministerial level or higher, were taken down under corruption charges. All of them had committed crimes against Falun Gong practitioners in the past. Among them, 47 were from the judicial system.
Recently, the CCP conducted a “going back twenty years” political campaign in the judicial system, targeting people working in the court, procuratorate, public security, judicial bureau, state security, and prison systems.
During the pilot of the campaign, 16,000 police officers were investigated. Among them, 2,247 were given disciplinary actions, 448 were put under further investigation, and 39 were facing criminal charges.
Since the CCP started an anti-corruption campaign eight years ago, many of the CCP’s loyal executors in the judicial system were scared, as they knew the persecution of Falun Gong was illegal and the CCP could throw them out as scapegoats at any time. At least 81 officials committed suicide between January 2013 and September 2017.
There is a saying that you reap what you sow. Those judicial staff following the CCP’s direction to persecute Falun Gong have assisted the CCP to commit crimes against humanity. Their payback time will come unless they stop the crime and make up for their wrongdoings quickly. And don’t expect the CCP to protect them. The communist party has a track record of turning its best attack dogs into best scapegoats.
We sincerely hope more people can learn from history, follow their conscience, and stop sinking with the totalitarian communist regime.