---------- THE NEW AMERICAN • AUGUST 21, 2006 29
Dr. Charles Lee survived a three-year ordeal in a Communist Chinese
prison. His story of physical and mental torture reveals the true
nature of the communist regime in Beijing.
Torture Survivor Tells His Story
Interview of Dr. Charles Lee
by Roger Canfield
Dr. Charles Lee of San Francisco,
California, was released on January
21, 2006 from a three-year
ordeal in a Communist Chinese prison.
Dr. Lee is an American citizen and has
been since 2002. He grew up three hours
north of Shanghai, China. After attending
medical school in China, he applied for a
passport to the U.S.A. to get a master's
degree in physiology. When he traveled
back to China to aid Chinese citizens to
get uncensored news, he was imprisoned
and physically and mentally tortured.
THE NEW AMERICAN: What controls did
the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) exercise
on you as a student in the U.S.A.?
Dr. Charles Lee: Not much until I became
a Falun Gong practitioner in 1997. Then
the Chinese Communist Party-controlled
state police frequently visited my brother
and father in China to harass and intimidate
them. In the United States, the CCP
watched me. I believe they smashed my
car and stole my cellphone. They are always
trying to silence you.
TNA: What is Falun Gong? Is it a religion?
A cult? Why do you call yourselves
practitioners instead of members?
Lee: The Falun Gong cultivates good
health through exercise and meditation.
It is entirely peaceful, based on the principles
of truth, compassion, and tolerance.
Among Falun Gong practitioners you will
find no violence, no lies, no cheating. We
worship no leader. We have no temple,
no liturgy, no proselytizing, no collection
plate, no tithing. It is entirely voluntary.
TNA: So, why is the CCP afraid of the
Lee: "Truthfulness Compassion and Forbearance"
reflect badly upon the CCP. Falun
Gong's existence as a group of millions of
people inside China is like a mirror reflecting
upon the CCP's brutality and ugliness.
In only a few years, Falun Gong practitioners,
perhaps 100 million, far outnumber
CCP members. Falun Gong's existence,
however passive, threatens the CCP's absolute
control over the thoughts of people.
TNA: Why did you go back to China?
Lee: The persecution of Falun Gong was
getting worse. So in 2002, I went back
to China, preparing the way to reveal the
truth about the persecution on Falun Gong.
Since the CCP controls all media, I tested
equipment designed to tap into the CCPcontrolled
TNA: How did that work out?
Lee: One night I got caught and was taken
to a police station because I did not have a
Chinese identification. They did not know
who I was. While they were not looking
closely, I climbed over a wall, escaped,
and left China the same day.
Roger Canfield, Ph.D., the author of China's Trojan
Horses, is an associate editor for Military Magazine.
Recounting the horror: Just a week after his release from a Chinese
prison where he was tortured regularly for nearly three years on what
amount to vandalism charges in the United States, U.S. citizen Dr.
Charles Lee speaks at a news conference.
30 THE NEW AMERICAN • AUGUST 21, 2006
TNA: You went back again in 2003?
Lee: I was arrested getting off the airplane
at the Baiyun airport in Guangzhou (Canton),
on January 22, 2003 and taken 1,000
miles away to the Yangzhou Detention
Center in Jiangsu Province.
TNA: Could you tell us about the crime
you were accused of?
Lee: I committed no crime. I was accused
of intending to destroy broadcast equipment.
To be punished as I was, even Chinese
law requires intent to endanger lives or
property. Tapping into a TV broadcast hurts
no equipment, no person, and no property.
TNA: What was your trial like?
Lee: My one-day trial was in Yangzhou
Intermediate People's Court in
Jiangsu Province. As a Falun
Gong practitioner, any lawyer
daring to stand up for me
faced harassment by authorities.
I found a lawyer who said
he would plead guilty and beg
for lenience. So I defended
myself. Only one day before
the trial, the authorities appointed
an attorney. He showed up thirty
minutes before the trial. I let him have a
try. It turned out to be only a CCP trap
to show the world I had a lawyer and the
trial was legitimate. The court disregarded
everything my lawyer said and I was not
allowed either to present evidence or to
TNA: What was your sentence?
Lee: I was unlawfully sentenced to three
years and locked in Nanjing Prison, 170
miles west of Shanghai.
TNA: You have said that you were tortured.
What did they do to you?
Lee: In China, they use physical torture
and threat of death to get people to give in.
Sometimes the torture is worse than death.
It is hell. Death is better. They tortured me
with handcuffs, which cut into my flesh to
the bone; it was extremely painful. They
pulled my arms upward, from the back. If I
moved at all, the pain would get worse.
They did not allow me to sleep for 92
consecutive hours. They forced me to
stand up for 16 days, from morning to
evening in front of prisoners. Four to nine
prisoners insulted and kicked me for not
standing up straight. And I had to sit and
think about my "wrongdoings" in a fixed
position. The longest time was 48 days
straight, with my heart problem surfacing
as a result. I sat fixed from morning into
night broken only by breakfast, lunch, and
dinner. I was forced to watch their brainwashing
simulcast on CCTV (China Central
Television). I could not read or talk
to anybody. My bottom developed a hard
callus — it was extremely painful and so
was my back. Exhausted, after two weeks
my brain worked very slowly.
TNA: In what other ways were you made
Lee: They forced me to do slave labor
at the end of 2003, to make shoes,
Christmas lights, and other things for
U.S.A. export. The shoes used an industrial
glue containing benzene. It's
very toxic and irritating. I felt short of
breath and had a headache.
TNA: What was the worst?
Lee: My mother suffered a lot because
of CCP persecution. I never
had time to do anything for her. She
died less than one hour before I got
to her. Anything that happens to me,
I can suffer and recover. But my
mother died, and I could do nothing
TNA: The Epoch Times has reported
that the communists are performing
organ removal on live Falun Gong
prisoners. What do you think?
Lee: I believe it is happening. China
has the world's largest supplies of
body organs. The CCP has harvested
the organs of executed prisoners for
many years. I witnessed it as a young
doctor. Today you can get a kidney
in a matter of days versus a threeyear
wait in the U.S.A. Practitioners
"Human rights are in the interest of the
American people. If we fail to realize the
viciousness of communism, our children
will suffer in the future."
— Dr. Charles Lee
Stopping persecution: Members of Falun Gong, an exercise and
meditation group in China that
advocates uttermost honesty, are tortured and killed by Chinese
authorities. American Dr. Lee
was arrested and imprisoned in China for trying to aid the Falun Gong.
THE NEW AMERICAN • AUGUST 21, 2006 31
of Falun Gong have been
brainwashed, put into mental
hospitals, imprisoned, and
tortured to death. Why not
live organ harvesting?
TNA: Would the large numbers
of organs available reflect
the beliefs of the Chinese
people in regard to organ
Lee: Ninety-nine percent of
organ removals are forced,
not voluntary. Deeply held
Chinese traditions favor an
intact body after death. The
only exception is family
members lovingly donating
organs to their own family
TNA: How has the CCP
maintained control all these years?
Lee: The CCP maintains power through
brainwashing, mind-control techniques
they invented years ago. These have been
used on all the people of China including
Party members. The Party wants to know
what's in your mind and insists you report
your thoughts. Your thoughts belong
to the Party.
TNA: How effective are these methods?
Lee: These techniques cleanse independent
thoughts. You lose control over your
own mind, your self-esteem. You become
a slave, a minion seeking to satisfy the
master. This vicious thought control has
destroyed the soul of the Chinese people.
TNA: In speaking about Chinese propaganda,
you have equated it to that done by
the Nazis. How do these methods compare
to Nazi techniques?
Lee: Forced indoctrination — thought
control — is worse than Nazi propaganda.
It is a technique of suggestology, the subconscious
influence of repeated lies. In
prison you cannot say no, and the CCP has
turned China into a big prison. The CCP
says it is the master over you, and it forces
you to repeat it. One knows it is a lie. But
when everybody repeats it, one comes to
believe that the majority of people truly
think the same way. A lie becomes the
truth to many people. This is the essence
of the CCP's power.
TNA: How damaging is mind control?
Lee: For years there has been no independent
thinking in China. No science,
no creativity, no art, no literature, no
Nobel laureates. Chinese scientists can
only steal the technology of others. In
contrast, the Soviet Communists nurtured
education and intellectuals and produced
— and stole — advanced technology, a
space program, nuclear capabilities, silent
submarines, and jet fighters. The
communists in China relied on farmers
and peasants as Party cadre who have
hated, persecuted, and murdered intellectuals
for 60 years.
TNA: Many Americans believe a strong
Chinese economy and trade will bring democracy
to China; what do you think?
Lee: This is wishful thinking. The Chinese
economy is a kind of storefront "window
economy" limited to showcase coastal
areas. It is only superficially a free market.
The CCP controls the connections, corruption,
black markets, lands, real estate,
mines — all the rules and resources. Businessmen
tricked into "easy money" investments
get hooked on poisoned bait. They
cannot leave and may go to jail. Long ago,
the CCP confiscated private lands and factories
"for the good of people." And now
CCP officials embezzle state money and
state-owned properties, "reforming and
opening up to the outside world." The CCP
has never changed — it only changes its
face to deceive people.
TNA: What message would you like to
give to the American people?
Lee: Human rights are in the interest of
the American people. If we fail to realize
the viciousness of communism, our children
will suffer in the future. Please, have
a heart. Especially stop those helping the
CCP to suppress and torture the Chinese
people by investing in and making a quick
buck in the illusive Chinese "big market."
TNA: Is there anything really important
Lee: If the U.S. has a war with the CCP,
I believe the CCP will win. Americans
make a big fuss over 2,000 lives lost in
Iraq. For the communists, losing 200 million
is okay. The CCP could only be defeated
with atomic bombs. There would
be an outcry against this from the people
in a democracy like the U.S.A., but the
communists do not care. During China's
civil war, the CCP military surrounded the
targeted cities, and hundreds of thousands
of people could not get out and starved
to death. People are worth less than ants.
During the three-year famine, farmers
were not allowed to beg, and the military
blocked villagers from leaving. Lives were
nothing. Forty million died by official
count — 60 million by a careful count of
The only principle that guides the CCP
is that there is no principle at all; it is just
like a cancer. Feed it and it will consume
us all. ■
Life-saving effort: Dr. Lee, an American citizen imprisoned and
tortured in China, credits his fiancée Yeong-
Ching Foo and friends for gaining enough attention about his plight
across our nation, including gathering over 100,000 signatures urging
his release, so that he didn't "disappear" while in prison.
AP32 THE NEW AMERICAN • AUGUST 21, 2006