The 6-10 Office
The recent defections of Chinese officials in Australia has brought to light the existence of one of the world’s most ruthless organizations still in existence – the “610” office, an organization similar to the Nazi’s Gestapo. The Epoch Times has an exclusive report about the 610 office, reprinted from the magazine, “Compassion.”
Like Hitler’s Gestapo, the 6-10 office is an extra-constitutional body of unquestioned power whose business is terror. Created by former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, the 6-10 office has operated virtually unrestricted for six years.
The 6-10 Office aims to identify and isolate every single Falun Gong practitioner, and then bring to bear upon each one the full weight of the state and society.
The 6-10 Office’s singular capacity for terror depends, first of all, on the way it penetrates every aspect of Chinese society, from the top to the bottom. The CCP Central Committee 6-10 Office has ministerial rank. Every province, city, county, and township has its own 6-10 Office. Each university, government organization, and state-run corporation has its own 6-10 Office as well.
At every level of administration, the 6-10 Offices have higher authority than normal government agencies. In particular, they have authority over the Chinese public security organizations, judicial system, and the media. The 6-10 Offices’ mandated responsibilities are to direct and coordinate “the struggle with Falun Gong.” These loosely defined responsibilities give the officials of the 6-10 Offices virtual free rein, so long as they can justify what they do as being against Falun Gong.
The 6-10 Offices were given their pervasive place in China’s government and society, and their unchecked powers, for the sake of fulfilling this mandate of Jiang Zemin: to “eradicate Falun Gong” by “defaming their reputations, bankrupting them financially, destroying them physically.”
The 6-10 Offices carry out this mandate with propaganda, and with a system of social control meant to compel all Chinese to join in this campaign. In particular, it aims to compel the security forces to do so with no restraint whatsoever.
Defaming Their Reputations
The 6-10 Office’s strategy in its use of propaganda is borrowed from that of fighting a guerrilla war. If the 6-10 Office can succeed in “defaming the reputations” of Falun Gong, then it can count on the people of China giving practitioners no support and no safe harbor. The 6-10 Office seeks to psychologically isolate the practitioners of Falun Gong, while turning the entire population of China into willing informants and collaborators in the effort to “eradicate” this peaceful practice.
To do this, the 6-10 Office has concocted numerous stories meant to demonstrate that the practice of Falun Gong leads to psychosis, homicide, suicide, and alcohol and drug abuse. The now-debunked “self-immolations” on Tiananmen Square is the most famous of these. These stories are then used to justify the claims that Falun Gong is “anti-science,” “anti-society,” “anti-humanity,” “anti-government,” and “anti-Party.”
Falun Gong is meant to be viewed as something both contemptible and threatening. In particular, the propaganda tries to turn the great pride the Chinese people have in their homeland into a source of hatred, by presenting Falun Gong as a “tool of anti-Chinese forces.” But the depiction of Falun Gong attempts to touch even deeper instinctual sources of aversion. A recent commentary by Xinhua (BBC Monitoring Service, 9/24/03) refers to practitioners as being “chased by all, like rats running across the street.” The imagery of vermin removes all psychological barriers–one can do anything to a rat.
The Implication System–Society a Weapon of Persecution
In Imperial China the “implication” or “responsibility” system was a means of collective responsibility. The family or village was responsible for the individual’s actions and would be punished if the individual stepped out of line, and so had a role in assuring the proper behavior of all members.
The Communist Party has long found this Imperial relic useful, and one that fits very neatly Marxist-Leninist and Maoist teachings. The 6-10 Office has refined and extended the implication system.
One acts responsibly by “showing the right attitude.” If the government has condemned Falun Gong, then all must condemn Falun Gong. The local 6-10 Offices organize “study sessions” in work units and schools in which everyone is required to denounce Falun Gong in mandatory signature campaigns that extend down even to elementary schools. Even tourists report being stopped by police and prompted to curse Falun Gong or spit on a picture of Li Hongzhi.
The 6-10 Office wants everyone in China to express symbolically that they have joined the persecution. The orchestrated mass actions help complete the lessons imparted by the propaganda. If “everyone” is chasing the practitioners down the street, then surely the practitioners deserve to be chased.
If a practitioner is caught putting up posters or handing out leaflets, all parts of society may be required by the local 6-10 Office to punish such an act of conscience: the practitioner may lose housing, job, pension, and places in school.
But the punishment often does not end with the practitioner. The family also stands to lose housing, jobs, pensions, and place in school. For this reason, millions of practitioners wander China homeless today, trying to protect their families from punishment.
In addition to the punishments visited on the family, the neighbors may be fined, the workplace may be fined, and the school may be penalized.
The 6-10 Office uses these punishments to attempt to deprive the practitioner the means of life, and even the warmth of simple human contact. Beset by non-stop attacks in all the media, isolated from friends and family, without jobs or shelter, the 6-10 Office expects the practitioners to choose to abandon Falun Gong.
For those practitioners who remain steadfast, the 6-10 Office and the implication system have more forceful methods.
The Implication System and the Police
The 6-10 Office holds all members of society responsible for any Falun Gong activity, but it especially holds the security forces responsible. One way it accomplishes this is through quotas.
When the persecution first began in 1999, the first response of many practitioners was to go to Tiananmen Square to appeal. The response of the 6-10 Office was to hold the local government of the practitioner’s home responsible for any appeals. If the government met its quota in stamping out appeals, the police, the party officials and the government officials would be rewarded. If not, they would be fined, demoted, or even fired. This carrot-and-stick approach is applied across the board.
For instance, in February 2002 in the town of Kaian in Nongan County, a journalist took a photo of many Falun Gong banners that were hanging in public. He then wrote an article attacking Falun Gong, which was published with his photo. The Chief of Police of Kaian was immediately fired, and all of the personnel in the police stations in Nongan Country were changed.
Mingkai Hou was considered by the 6-10 Office in Changchun to be a leading figure in the March 5, 2002 broadcast by Falun Gong practitioners over the state-run cable TV, but somehow had escaped the police. So, a bonus of 50,000 yuan (equal to 8 years’ salary for the typical urban worker in China) and a promotion were offered for his capture, which then happened that August 21 (police hurriedly cremated his body two days later).
And the 6-10 Office has another form of reward, one that has the advantage of costing the government nothing: it encourages police at all levels to steal from practitioners and their families. Huge “fines” are extracted, with no receipt given for the cash lifted. Police walk into homes and simply take anything of value. If the practitioners are farmers, they lose crops, equipment, even seed. In villages throughout China, the local police chiefs often have new houses, with shiny new cars parked out front.
Transformation and Brainwashing
The Washington Post (August 5, 2001) reported that early in 2001 the 6-10 Office had begun the task of identifying every single practitioner of Falun Gong and brainwashing them. The 6-10 Offices had created “brainwashing centers” throughout China.
Now, the 6-10 Office had a new set of quotas–every township, city, county, and province had to meet quotas for “transforming” their practitioners. This is what the brainwashing centers were for: they were judged the most cost-effective way to transform steadfast practitioners.
The formal sign of transformation occurs when the practitioner agrees to write the “three statements” demanded by the 610 Office: a letter of repentance, a guarantee never again to practice Falun Gong, and a list of names and addresses of all family members, friends and acquaintances who are practitioners.
Wang Zhizhong suffered brainwashing in the Hebei Provincial Center, succumbing in the hope of sparing from abuse his nineteen year-old daughter, a promising classical pianist who is also a practitioner of Falun Gong. Practitioners who submit and agree to “transformation” describe this as the most painful experience in their lives. The guards know this, and know that merely writing the three statements is not enough. Wang Zhinzhong reports that a guard at the Hebei Center tells practitioners: “It is when I see you beat and curse people that I will count you as totally transformed.”
In fact, forcing practitioners to engage in the “transformation” of their fellow practitioners is part of the regular routine. Transformation has finally been accomplished when the practitioner replaces truth, compassion, and tolerance with lies, brutality, and selfishness, when the practitioner is implicated in the persecution itself.
For those who steadfastly resist brainwashing, the 6-10 Office has still other methods.
“No Measures Are Too Extreme”
“You talk about evil? I am evil.” So Director Zhang of the Dalian Re-Education Camp told practitioners in late summer 2003 who were about to receive the “hip-splitting torture: practitioners were hung up spread-eagled from the ceiling, and sticks with hot pepper oil were forced into their vaginas. When these practitioners still did not recant Falun Gong, boiling water was poured on them.
The 6-10 Office has created tens of thousands of Zhangs throughout China, individuals who routinely torture. Among them are those who, no doubt like Zhang, enjoy the torturing.
Ian Johnson, in a Pulitzer-Prize winning series of articles for the Wall Street Journal on the death of Chen Zixiu in Weifang City, explained how the implication system has within it a logic that promotes brutality (Wall Street Journal , 12/27/00) . If a practitioner travels from Weifang City to Beijing to appeal, as Chen Zixiu did, the local officials stand to be fined or worse. But if the local officials beat her to death, there is no problem. The implication system only seeks to reach the goal–no appeals in Beijing–and puts no limitations on the means for reaching that goal.
The 6-10 Office has made this logic explicit. “No measures are too extreme” to use on Falun Gong practitioners states a top-secret directive. The 6-10 Office makes sure of this directive by training police in more effective methods of torture. Force-feeding had been banned from the Chinese penal system as too dangerous and brutal. The 6-10 Office brought it back to use on practitioners, and many have died from it in the last four years.
Early in the persecution, when the Hebei province brainwashing center showed how to use on practitioners the techniques of sleep deprivation and abuse originally perfected for shattering the minds of spies, the 6-10 Office gave them an award, and brought local officials from around China to Hebei to study the technique.
In the summer of 2003, when the Gaoyang Labor forced-labor camp made an innovation in the torture of force-feeding by using human excrement, the 6-10 Office gave them an award, and brought others in from around China to learn this inhumane procedure.
Policemen in jails will beat and kick practitioners for hours; using an electric club with a charge of 25,000 volts that burns and blisters the skin and damages the nervous system, guards will torture until the batteries die out; women face all forms of sexual abuse, including rape, gang rape, and forced, late-term abortions; in mental hospitals, doctors and nurses administer huge doses of psychotropic drugs and electric shock, with catastrophic results; pokers heated in stoves are used to burn down to the muscle; acupuncture needles are stuck in the most sensitive points and hooked up to high voltage generators; needles are jammed under nails; practitioners are hung by straitjackets, with the result sometimes of slowly snapping their necks as they hang.
Those police who are hesitant to do these terrible things lose their jobs.
Death is not the object of this regime of torture, but it is also no cause for regret. The 6-10 Office has a policy for that as well: “Cremate the body immediately, and count the death as suicide.” According to the 6-10 Office, there has never been a single case of the abuse of a Falun Gong practitioner.
The 6-10 Office Tries to Hide by Changing Its Name
The 6-10 Office has come under increasing international pressure as knowledge of its existence has been reported in the international press and details of its mission have gradually been unveiled. The shady office was fingered in news articles by the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post as well as statements from concerned government leaders around the world.
Additionally, in 2002 and 2003 the 6-10 Office or its leadership was named in nine lawsuits filed around the world, alleging genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity.
In response, in October 2003 provincial governments in China announced that the 6-10 Office had been “disbanded.” Its name was removed from most Chinese official web sites. An official document from CCP Rongchang County Committee, however, revealed the true situation: the Communist Party has done what it has often done in the past, changing the facade of an agency or policy that violates domestic and international laws, while in reality maintaining the status quo with little or no change. The 6-10 Office has simply changed its name. “The name of 6-10 Office’ is not allowed to be used. In public activities, the use of ‘the County 6-10 Office’ is absolutely forbidden,” states the Rongchang County letter.
Since the 6-10 Office went underground in 2003, daily reports of extortion, loss of job or housing, beatings, torture and killings of Falun Gong practitioners have continued uninterrupted. The mission of the 6-10 Office lives on.