In China, Millions Targeted for Brainwashing
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is rolling out a new campaign that seeks to forcibly “transform” the minds of Falun Gong believers in China. It will go for three years, involve millions of people, and cost billions of dollars, according to Party documents available online and a recent analysis by a Falun Gong human rights group.
In July 1999 then-paramount leader Jiang Zemin promised to “eradicate” Falun Gong and this brainwashing campaign is the latest attempt by the CCP to make good on his threat. Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that consists of the practice of five meditative exercises and the study of moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
Seventy-five percent of the known practitioners of Falun Gong are being targeted in the new campaign, according to the CCP documents.
Estimating how many individuals are now at risk is not a simple matter. The CCP’s numbers aren’t credible and the persecution of Falun Gong obstructs any attempt to survey the practitioners active in China.
The Falun Dafa Information Center, which broke the news of the campaign in English on Oct. 25, estimates that there are between 20 to 40 million practitioners active in China.
This estimate is based on the knowledge of the grassroots network that practitioners rely on to exchange information. The practitioners in China depend on what they call “material sites” to create literature that helps to explain to their fellow Chinese what Falun Gong is, how it is persecuted by the CCP, and why that persecution is illegal and wrong.
Each of these material sites, which are usually in a private home and may be little more than a computer, a printer, and a copier, typically serves between 100 and 200 practitioners. According to the Information Center, there are 200,000 such sites in China, which leads to the estimate of between 20 and 40 million active practitioners.
The campaign targets 75 percent of known practitioners, but how many of the active practitioners are known to the authorities is itself unknown. If the 75 percent target is applied to the total population of practitioners, then tens of millions are at risk of being brainwashed over the next three years.
The campaign appears to come from the top of the Party and penetrate to the lowest rung of Chinese society. Of the eight documents that the Information Center analyzed, all bar one were from small townships—including one from even a local water resource bureau. The eighth document came from inside the Party apparatus, the Information Center said.
“Under the guidance of experts in re-education and transformation,” one of the documents reads, Party cadres are instructed to “go into different villages and households to educate and conquer those challenging individuals.”
The original circulars are full of blustery communist tropes, including the need to “educate, transform, and conquer key targets to solidify the overall battle,” “explore new methods in conducting the special political and thought work,” “educate scientifically” the captured practitioners, and “promote the transformed members in their return to normal life in the society, and consolidate and enlarge the war victory.”
The last slogan refers to state propaganda whereby “transformed” individuals are paraded on television or radio shows, denouncing Falun Gong.
Like a military battle plan, specific metrics are given for the various objectives: a transformation rate of 75 percent, a “relapse” rate of no more than 6 percent, and key tasks for each stage of the campaign, year on year.
Next: Previous Campaigns, Page 2