BY STEPHEN GREGORY
The 6-10 Office aims to identify and isolate every single
Falun Gong practitioner, and then bring to bear upon them 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
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
The following sections of this article will sketch out the
various facets of the 6-10 Office that, when taken together, map out a schematic
of the comprehensive terror machinery.
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-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. (For further discussion of the propaganda, see
Why Didn't I Know This?)
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 leaf lets, 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. (more details in Anatomy Of Jiang's Genocide)
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
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 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.
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.
"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
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
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
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
Stephen Gregory is a doctoral candidate
in the Committee on Social Thought,
and an administrator, at the University of