Jiansheng Chen (not her real name) gets a Leviathan’s Anklebiter award. She is a Falun Gong practitioner, and had an effect on the policewoman who was part of the torture crew in charge of her. Ethan Gutmann tells about it in “China’s Gruesome Organ Harvest” in the latest issue of The Weekly Standard. The last paragraph below describes it. A person has a responsibility to try to save those who would torture him/her, according to this belief system. In this case, there were genuine tears from the police woman.
Chen was a “nontransformable”–with an edge. Not only did she refuse to renounce Falun Gong, but she shouted down anyone who did. Chen was getting medication three times a day (possibly sedatives), so drug-testing can’t be ruled out. Yet as her resistance dragged on, the police said: “If you don’t transform, we’ll send you away. The path you have chosen is the path of death.” For eight days efforts were made to persuade Chen to renounce Falun Gong or gain her submission by torture. Suddenly the guards ordered her to write a suicide note. Chen mocked them: “I’m not dead. So why should I sign a death certificate?”
The director brought in a group of military police doctors wearing white uniforms, male and female. The labor camp police were “very frightened” at this point, according to Chen. They kept repeating: “If you still won’t transform, what waits for you is a path to death.”
Chen was blindfolded. Then she heard a familiar policewoman’s voice asking the doctors to leave for a minute. When they were alone, the policewoman began pleading with her: “Chen, your life is going to be taken away. I’m not kidding you. We’ve been here together all this time, we’ve made at least some sort of connection by now. I can’t bear to see this–a living person in front of my eyes about to be wiped out.”
Chen stayed silent. She didn’t trust the policewoman–why should she? In the last eight days, she had been hung from the ceiling. She had been burned with electric batons. She had drunk her own urine. So, the latest nice-nice trick was unconvincing. Then Chen noticed something dripping on her hand–the policewoman’s tears. Chen allowed that she would think about transforming. “That’s all I need,” the policewoman said. After a protracted argument with the doctors, the police left.
Practitioners like to talk about altering the behavior of police and security personnel through the power of their own belief. It’s a favorite trope. Just as a prisoner of war is duty bound to attempt escape, a Falun Gong practitioner is required by his moral code to try to save sentient beings. In this spiritual calculus, the policeman who uses torture destroys himself, not the practitioner. If the practitioner can alter the policeman’s behavior, by moral example or supernatural means, there’s some natural pride, even if the practitioner still gets tortured.