God Didn’t Have the Heart to Let Me Fall Into the Underworld
How a Public Security Bureau Local Station Chief Was Conquered by God’s Words
Zhang Jun, Sichuan Province
says: “Look back to the time of Noah’s ark: Mankind was deeply corrupt, had strayed from the blessing of God, was no longer cared for by God, and had lost the promises of God. They lived in darkness, without the light of God. Thus they became licentious by nature, abandoned themselves to hideous depravity. Such men could no longer receive the promise of God; they were unfit to witness the face of God, nor to hear the voice of God, for they had abandoned God, had cast aside all that He had bestowed upon them, and had forgotten the teachings of God. Their heart strayed farther and farther from God, and as it did, they became depraved beyond all reason and humanity, and became increasingly evil. Thus they came ever closer to death, and fell under the wrath and punishment of God. Only Noah worshiped God and shunned evil, and so he was able to hear the voice of God, and hear the instructions of God. He built the ark according to the instructions of God’s word, and assembled all manner of living creatures. And in this way, once everything had been prepared, God unleashed His destruction upon the world. Only Noah and the seven members of his family survived the destruction, for Noah worshiped Jehovah and shunned evil” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this passage of God’s words I fell into a state of deep contemplation …
My parents are both Christians and I was baptized and made a follower of the Lordat an early age. At that time, my spirit was always turned toward brightness and goodness. When the Cultural Revolution hit China, my father was sent to a remote place in the mountains for “reform through labor,” and after that we never got any more news about him. My mother was classed as one of the “four bad elements,” and because she was also a Christian she was classed as a “counterrevolutionary.” I wasn’t able to escape the damage done to my family either: By the time I got to school age there wasn’t a school that was willing to accept the son of a “counterrevolutionary,” and when I got to working age there was no work unit that would take me on. It wasn’t until I was 20 years old that I finally got a job. I’d been oppressed for so long, and had eaten a bellyful of pain and suffering, so when I started work I resolved to work as hard as I could and rely only on myself. There were a few times when I had to really pull out all the stops, but eventually I rose from being an ordinary police officer to being a PSB local station chief.
At the time, I secretly congratulated myself on rising up the ranks, and I didn’t for a moment imagine that behind this good fortune there lay a terrifying darkness that was going to swallow me up. It was like a dark, formless pair of hands dragged me down into the depths of sin. To be honest, soon after becoming a police officer I began to feel that we were no different from bandits or thieves. Our job wasn’t to catch criminals or maintain law and order: It was make money on the side. We even secretly directed prostitutes to go and seduce men so that we could arrest them in the act and extort a fine from them. Whenever we arrested someone we would try to extort money from them through lying, cajoling, or swindling. We have countless examples of this kind of behavior, behavior that was rife throughout the police force. Nightclubs, dance halls, etc. all had to discreetly give us a few thousand yuan or more every month in “protection fees,” otherwise we’d make life difficult for them. We were ready to crack down hard on them at any time. The prostitutes who worked in these red light places were all pretty afraid of us and would not only throw themselves at us but would even give us cash. There was one single guy in our station who, under the pretext of being their boyfriend, managed to cheat money and sex from over 100 females. There wasn’t a single police officer that I knew who wasn’t involved with prostitutes and I too became so deeply ensnared in this world that I couldn’t extricate myself even though I wanted to.
As police officers we had many opportunities to make money, and all it ever took to get some cash was a bit of casual trickery. For example, if a construction company or agency wanted to build some houses we would let the local gangsters set up roadblocks by the construction sites. The builders would then naturally call us and we would show up to deceptively resolve the issue by removing the “hooligans.” The construction companies or agencies—who didn’t realize what we were up to—would of course then be very grateful to us and were happily willing to give us some cash every month. But this cash was just pocket money. What we really wanted to achieve by causing trouble for the businessmen was to get batches of free shares in their companies. To this end, we would first conduct some background checks on the boss of the targeted company, and then if he didn’t meet our demands we would make our move. For bosses who liked to womanize, we would send prostitutes to seduce them. Then we’d follow them to the motel or wherever to catch them in the act and then coerce them. For bosses who liked to gamble, we would make them pay big fines. If any of them didn’t cooperate then we would send in the gangsters to force them out of business and out of our territory. Ordinary citizens would often say things like “The cops and the robbers are just one big family” or “The cops and the gangsters are as close as fish and water” and what they say is right. When I first started doing these evil deeds I always felt uneasy at the thought of making dirty money through unjust means. But every time my colleagues roped me into it I felt powerless to refuse, and after a few years I felt that I didn’t have the slightest bit of remorse left in me. I was stuck in a dark hole and had no way to pull myself out, but I didn’t care as long as there was money to be made. It particularly pains me to remember the times when we forced ordinary citizens out of their homes so that they could be knocked down for redevelopment projects. Those cases were rotten to the core with deceit, fraud, and all manner of evil. Officials from the Land and Resources Bureau and local demolition units would join forces to cheat and bully local residents solely in order to make money. For example, land developers would count the number of houses in the area that they wanted to redevelop and then would give the local government an estimate of how much they could compensate local residents for demolishing their houses and relocating them. If the compensation was 1 million yuan per house, local government officials would work with the PSB officers to coerce the residents to accept the least compensation and then share out the greatest difference between themselves. Generally speaking, in such cases the local government would want to protect its image, and so wouldn’t deal with the residents face-to-face but would instead let the PSB deal with them. As for those residents who refused to accept the compensation offered to them, the police had a number of different ways of dealing with them. Some of them were forcibly detained. Some residents were given notice to leave, had their houses demolished, and received no compensation whatsoever. Some houses were designated as illegal structures that were not eligible for compensation. Some houses were just demolished immediately with backhoes. Some residents were given a little bit of money; others just received a promise of money but never got it. In short, we used every dirty trick in the book to cheat people out of their cash. I remember one time when we were out drinking with a PSB officer from another county. He boasted to us that they had once demolished a 3-storey house but only compensated the owner for 2 stories by claiming that the upper story was illegal. On demolition day, the owner refused to move out and made a big fuss, so the police called in their gangster friends, who—in front of a crowd of people—took out knives and slashed the owner’s Achilles’ tendons. It was a terrible thing to have to watch and a lot of people in the crowd took photos on their cell phones, phones which were immediately confiscated by the police officers present. Someone in the crowd also started shouting about the injustice being done to the homeowner but was politely invited to the police station for a chat and locked up once they got there. There was even an incident in a rural area where a homeowner refused to cooperate during a demolition and so the construction company boss talked it over with the police and then told the bulldozer driver to run over the homeowner. All the other farmers flew into a rage when they saw one of their neighbors crushed to death, and grabbed the bulldozer driver and started beating him. So the police rounded up the 20-30 farmers at the scene and took them all down to the PSB station. Once inside, the police beat the farmers and locked them up, and injected the particularly intransigent ones with a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. Those injected with this drug showed the same symptoms as someone suffering from concussion: They looked stunned and terrified and didn’t dare to speak. Faced with national law enforcement agencies like these ordinary people had no recourse to justice no matter who they appealed to. For citizens unfortunate enough to come up against the government or the PSB it was like throwing eggs at a rock. In fact, many of the formalities used in land expropriation and demolition cases were illegal. They all relied upon forced occupation of the land, forced demolitions and removals, and in many places out-of-date government policies were used as a pretext to cheat and cajole local residents in order to squeeze as much money out of them as possible. Another method was to expropriate more land than officially sanctioned. For example, the upper level government might give permission for 20 acres to be expropriated to build a bridge and then the local government would use illegal means to take another 40 acres. These 40 acres would then be split between local government officials, police officers, and local gangsters who would all sell the land to developers for huge profits. I even heard of one station chief who was able to make over 10 million yuan from selling a piece of illicitly-gained land!
Having committed these evil deeds that were totally devoid of all humanity (although for some of them I was more of a passive participant), I felt that I had become toxic, cruel, and heartless. The darkness was spreading through my heart and I was turning away from all that was bright and good. My family life went from bad to worse: My wife spent her days playing mahjong—winning or losing thousands of yuan daily and coming home late—no one was looking after the kids, and the housework wasn’t being done. My house was a mess and my relationship with my wife was a mess. We began to hate each other, frequently argued ferociously, and threatened to divorce each other on many occasions. In the end, we just let each other do what we wanted: My wife had her mahjong, I had my womanizing. I began to spend money like it was water, drinking and singing in the bars every night and always accompanied by women. My wife became like a stranger to me and our family life was a shadow of its former self. That was when I began to feel that although I was making loads of money my life was nothing but misery. I was like a zombie, incapable of rational thought and lacking a soul. I was allowing Satan to corrupt my flesh, and was living a cursed life.
But there was one thing that I never forgot, and that was that I was a Christian and that God shouldn’t be offended. About 10 years ago, the CCP issued an important edict that stated, in the main, that all believers in God were to be arrested and detained for 15 days under the offense of “disturbing public order.” In fact, the reason for arresting believers was to get money by fining them, and so we were ordered to only arrest those with money because no one would pay for the keep of poor believers while they were in detention. But every time a Christian was detained I stayed in the background because I knew that this was an offense to God and anyone who offended God would suffer His retribution. I personally saw many of the colleagues who detained and viciously beat other Christians go on to suffer God’s punishment. Some of them died very painful or tragic deaths.
But when faced with these dark forces I was powerless as an individual to resist or make any significant difference. All I could do was to go with the flow. In order to relieve some of the suffering in my spirit I started going to church regularly, but I discovered that the pastors in my church were no longer truly pious believers. In fact, they had all become just more corrupt officials: The chairman of the Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement sold off all of the houses belonging toand kept most of the money for himself; the head of the Administration for Religious Affairs, Li X, colluded with the chairman of the Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement (Wang XX) to use donations from believers as capital for their car dealer business and were dismissed from office after being discovered; the next chairman of the same committee, Hao XX, embezzled church money that was to be used for buying furniture and was also dismissed. Then there was Pastor Zhang, who used a house belonging to the church as collateral to borrow a large amount of money which he used to buy a car for himself and one for the head of the Administration for Religious Affairs. He also had a sexual relationship with a nun, and was eventually sentenced to 3 years in jail. But the head of the Administration for Religious Affairs tried to absolve him of responsibility by telling the churchgoers that “Pastor Zhang has gone to the U.S.A. to study for 3 years.” I saw that the religious community was as filthy as my world and I knew that every one of those fake pastors was eventually punished by God. It made me sick to know what was going on behind the dark curtain in these cases, and it was a shock for me to discover that corruption and darkness were rampant at every level of China’s society. I couldn’t find even a twinkle of light, and so lost all hope and became so depressed that I left the church.