My Experience in the Brainwashing Center
I am Qie Lili, a 24-year-old female elementary school teacher from Xili, Shijiazhuang City. Because I spoke up and told the truth about Falun Dafa, I was forced to leave home in December of 2000 due to the persecution launched by Jiang's regime. I was kidnapped by the Police Department of Shijiazhuang on April 19, 2002. There, I was forced to sit on an iron chair for six days. I went on a hunger strike for six days to protest against the persecution, refusing both food and water. In those six days, I was forbidden to sleep and had to wear handcuffs and shackles. Realizing that torture could not work on me, they sent me to a brainwashing center at the Legal Education and Training Center of Hebei Provincial Capital. The cruel torture I suffered there for three and a half months from May 2 to August 17 almost destroyed me mentally. The following account tells how Falun Gong practitioners are tortured at this brainwashing center. 1. Details about Brainwashing
All of the Falun Gong practitioners at the Legal Education and Training Center had been kidnapped to the center. Everyone had to pay a fee ranging from 6,000 Yuan [approximately the yearly salary of an average urban worker] to 20,000 Yuan for the three-month torture. As soon as a practitioner arrives, she is immediately isolated in a small classroom. First, a practitioner is forced to listen to Dafa-slandering materials around the clock without any sleep. Ironically, the brainwashing videotape especially mentioned that evil cult founders would force their evil theories onto followers by reducing their sleep or forbidding them to sleep, in order to have tighter mental control over them. Eventually, the followers would become spiritual slaves of the evil cult founder after being brainwashed. This is exactly how Jiang's regime is forcefully brainwashing Falun Gong practitioners. Which one is the evil cult?
"Education Assistants" [former practitioners who had been successfully brainwashed due to intense pressure and torture and now collaborate with the authorities to persecute firm practitioners] surround Falun Gong practitioners day in and day out, threatening them with being sent to forced labor camps and generally creating a terrifying environment. To convert Falun Gong practitioners, they use any and all means including lying, seducing, instigating and threatening.
Persecution against steadfast practitioners is escalated if all the above means do not work. Collaborators begin to beat and pressure Falun Gong practitioners. All the torturing was done by collaborators or "Education Assistants", but was directed by the police. For example the authorities would say, "Today's assignment is to accomplish 80% conversion. If not, here is how to beat practitioners". All these shameful actions were done late at night such as 1 or 2am when few witness can watch.
I was forbidden to sleep for twelve consecutive days, force-fed with hot liquor twice and force-fed with water twice. My head was forced on the back of a chair, my hair was pulled down and my nose pinched during force-feeding. It hurt so much that I couldn't even move my neck after being force-fed. I was tied to a chair with military bandages. My eyes were bound with a towel. They shoved Teacher's picture under my clothes and grabbed my hands to force me to write the "Four Statements" [Note: these are documents which practitioners are forced to write under extreme pressure, torture and brainwashing, designed by the Chinese authorities to ensure that detained Falun Gong practitioners be appropriately brainwashed. The statements consist of a letter of repentance, a guarantee to never again practice Falun Gong, and a list containing names and addresses of all family, friends and acquaintances of the detainee who practices Falun Gong. This system was created by the "610 Office", an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems]. They would tie me up, smoke cigarettes next to me and blow the smoke in my face. They would play music of some other kind of Qigong and apply pungent paste medicine in my eyes. Zhao Juyong pulled my nose and ears until they were badly swollen. He also tied my eyes so tightly with a towel that my eyes were swollen and couldn't open. Yang Jie beat me while pulling my ears, and my arms were black and blue all over from his pinching. He once tortured me continually for 4 hours. Xing Xiao specializes in Chinese medicine massage. He always pinched our acupuncture points, causing terrible pain without leaving any mark. He told people that it was he who came up with almost all the torture ideas. Jin Weiping applied pungent paste medicine in my eyes and beat me with clothes hangers. She always tortured people for four hours at a time.
Practitioner Jiang Fan was on a no-food-and-no-water hunger strike for several months. Even when he was dying, arms and legs twitching, the "Education Assistants" still beat and kicked him. Liu Hui'e, whose cancer had been cured by Falun Gong, refused to give up practicing. She wasn't allowed to sleep for twenty-two straight days. She protested with a no-food-and-no-water hunger strike, but was punished by being forced to stand on a high stool and being denied use of the restroom. Twice, she had resorted to defecating in her pants. Sun Lijuan wasn't allowed to sleep for eight days. Her arms were pinched until they were bruised and swollen. She finally had a heart attack and lost consciousness. Zhou Wenli was forbidden to sleep for more than eight days. He eventually had a mental breakdown. They blamed it on Falun Gong.
At a certain point during this persecution, my mother was brought in to see me. My mother was so frightened to see the bloody scenes, including how they force-fed me with water, that she was in shock. She finally fainted on seeing how badly my body was swollen as the torture had been escalated. I felt very sad and could not bear to let my mother have to stand this indirect torture. Mom begged me to give up, on her knees. Zhao Juyong rushed up to take a picture of us, threatening to frame Falun Gong with this picture - the image being the very tragedy they themselves had created. Under such pressure I was forced to write the "Four Statements", though it was so clear to me that Dafa is righteous. This plunged me into deep pain. 2. The Dreadful Life after Forced Conversion
More suffering was waiting for me after conversion. I was kept isolated for thirteen days and was forced to write and read the "Five Statements". I refused and protested with another hunger strike. Then I was not allowed to go to the restroom. They tortured me again and again, but I was determined this time, stating, "I'd rather die than read it!" At that very moment, I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil behind the persecutors. They eventually gave up.
In the following days, I was subjected to all kinds of materials slandering Dafa and Teacher. They forced practitioners who had been brainwashed to curse Teacher and Dafa, and further, to persecute other practitioners who stood fast. Those who had been converted were utilized as tools of the police. A policeman named Cui was always saying, "You will wear a scar of shame for the rest of your life after you are converted." It was agony for everyone to give up his belief, much more to trample upon it and become a shameful collaborator. I felt that my heart was being eaten by devils. I was swallowed by endless darkness. Four months of torture almost destroyed my mind. The idea of hurting or killing myself kept emerging. However, on thinking that Dafa has clearly stated that practitioners cannot kill, much less hurt or kill oneself, how could I bring shame on Dafa? I could not help imagining, "I would be so happy if I was a bird, even if nobody listens to my songs, because I would be free and would be able to express myself without a care!"
When asked by a Falun Gong practitioner how she was converted, an "Education Assistant" at the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp told this true story: Every Falun Gong practitioner was taken out individually and tortured around the clock. If a practitioner could not bear it any longer and wrote the "Four Statements", he would be sent back to the camp. But if he showed a little bit of regret afterwards, he would be taken out again to be tortured around the clock. He could write the "Four Statements" again if he could not bear the torture any more. Writing the statements again and again would make a practitioner give up on himself eventually. He would think he did not deserve to be a Dafa practitioner and in turn, would give up his cultivation.
A female practitioner in the Fifth Team of the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp suffered a mental collapse under such pressure. She is still in illegal detention. Several practitioners suffered mental collapses at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp of Liaoning Province. Some practitioners were even forced to give up their lives to protest against the cruel persecution: Zhang Yun, a Dafa practitioner and former jailor of Luquan Jail who was detained in August, had been transferred to Kaiping Forced Labor Camp in Tangshan City when she refused to give up cultivation. She confirmed that under the bloody persecution, two Falun Gong practitioners at Kaiping Forced Labor Camp chose to hang themselves rather than to renounce Dafa. They left a letter denouncing the cruel torture they had experienced. Shan Shufang, a practitioner from Handan, had gone through all kinds of tortures at the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp and the Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp of Baoding City. She told us what she had experienced and seen. Twenty practitioners had been tortured with high-voltage electric batons at Gaoyang. Liu Haiqin, a practitioner from Handan, became vegetative after being forced to swallow an iron ball. [Note: Killing is strictly forbidden in Falun Dafa. Dafa practitioners should treasure their own lives in all circumstances regardless of any misery and humiliation. The brutal tortures in the brainwashing classes, which created a situation worse than death, were completely responsible for these tragedies. The murderers of Dafa practitioners will surely be punished by the law of heaven and of man.] 3. Devastating Long-term Detention after Forced Brainwashing
A few na ve practitioners accepted the evil theories while in a state of severe mental shock. Their normal thinking was completely disturbed and their nature heavily distorted. They eventually used wicked conduct themselves. Wang Bo is an example. She had been detained and forced to harm the good people ever since the Center was established. She has no freedom to step out of the center, not even shopping for her own clothes and shoes. Her severe depression and pain often made her lose her rational mind. She cannot find any other outlet for her agony. She was full of mean and biting words when she worked on me. One night, she became completely unstable and began to laugh and sing in the hallway, until she finally lost consciousness. It happened several times after that as well. Her situation was secretively kept within the center. She was still detained in the center when I left. Wang Bo is a typical victim of the devastation of long-term detention after brainwashing. Besides her, there were some other "Education Assistants" under long-term detention. Xing Xiao, 26, was sent to the brainwashing center last September by his father in person who works at the police department. His wife was sent to a forced labor camp. He was later diagnosed with hepatitis, but they still wouldn't release him. The devastating detention ruined his mind and made his young face look old and stony. "Education Assistants" Liu Kunjian and Chen Ping from Eastern Heat and Power Company are husband and wife. They had to leave their young child and elderly parents unattended at home. Liu Kunjian was found to carry the hepatitis A virus, but they were still being kept in the center when I left. At that time, there were more than thirty Falun Gong practitioners suffering at the center. It was said that another twenty practitioners from counties surrounding Shijiazhuang City would be sent there. 4. My Experience after Returning Home
The brainwashing center isn't sure that the released practitioners will remain "converted". Our families and companies were forced to sign an agreement to the so-called "two-months follow-up education". A suspicious man came to my home and harassed us just seven days after I arrived back home. My mother kept her eyes on me every minute. I wasn't allowed to touch the phone. I want to be a practitioner of my own free will. To avoid further persecution, I had to leave my home again.
I am very sad to have done things against Dafa while in detention, and deeply regret having caused serious loss to Dafa because of my attachments. I am solemnly declaring void and invalid all the things I, my family members, and my work unit did against Falun Dafa while under pressure (including the video recording of me done secretively, without my awareness). I will surely face my shortcomings, make up for the loss with redoubled effort, clarify the truth and catch up with the process of Fa rectification.