Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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14-The memoirs
The personal memoirs, provided with their dossier, were filed for later reference and for the promotions of those nursed by the party. With such documented records no one can move nor breathe, except within the sphere indicated by the directors of the Party, and any act diverging from or contrary to the given instruction is punishable according to the gravity of the Soviet code.

In the Lai Yang university, accusation was practiced in diverse way. These we shall enumerate, showing their differences so as to be better understood. Each group of students had two accusations a week, one was rather general, while the other personal. Students gathered together according to groups each group presided by the sergeant. They would denounce their carelessness, omissions and disorders, in what related to material discipline: e.g. lack of cleanliness in the dormitory, windows open without being hooked up and made safe, dirty oil lamps, poor ventilation in the rooms and a hundred other acts of negligence. In fact, by this means were eliminated abuses inherent in communities or heterogeneous groups, and there always reigned a very praise-worthy cleanliness. Similarly, material cleanliness was accompanied by cleanliness in the persons themselves as well as politeness.

The personal accusation can be understood in two ways: the accusation of the matter done by other people and the spontaneous confession of one’s own sins. Both were in fashion, and certainly on a large scale. The companions of a single group would accuse themselves mutually of all the faults they had observed, and the accused one had only to remain silent and accept the corresponding finding or admonition according to the gravity of the sins, as these faults are called in the Communist parlance, even when they are unintentional.
It was taken for granted, and the public accusation was known; this was done on the occasion of the reading of the autobiography during which the biographer had to put up with a downpour of accusations to which his comrades treated him. And some of the accusers were implacable. One of them, in particular, was odiously remembered and detested. He knew the lives of a good number of people and felt a devilish enjoyment in delving for information, revealing shameful intimate acts of their past conduct. He would even go as far as to enrage the victim on whom judgment had been passed and make him cry. In very truth, those who participated in the reading of the autobiographies formed a people’s judgement and tribunal.
There were some who would spontaneously make public confession of their whole life, or part of it, before a reduced circle of their comrades, e.g. their own group. Their sincerity could not be questioned, and the declarations they made were so abominable that they rendered evident their intimate sentiments, base though they were, and the most lewd and wicked actions that they had perpetrated alone or on the sly. As Brother Philip Wu affirms, they gave detailed accounts, to their shame, of those very vileness and circumstances which they would not have been bound to reveal in the sacramental secret.

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