Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Broken Fact: The Vehicles Red Guards Drove

The Original Story:
During the forced trip from Shanghai to Nanjing, Fu Ping was driven by Red Guards to and from train stations in Shanghai and Nanjing, respectively.

At Shanghai, on Page 20 in Bend, Not Break, she wrote:
They loaded me into an empty black military van. Ten minutes later, we arrived at our destination.
Then at Nanjing, on Page 25:
Crank Nose and Squeaky [the two Red Guards] led me to a car and drove me through the city.
The Changing Story:
Fu Ping told the same story in some of her media interviews, with altering details:

In 2010, during an interview with Dick Gordon on American Public Media's The Story show, she said,
I went down to follow them. They put me in a motorcycle, kind of like a military motorcycle.
Then, in 2013, in an interview on UNCTV's NC Bookwatch, Fu Ping said,
I was by myself. The Red Guard took me from the train station in a jeep and drove in Nanjing.
The Debunking:
For this dramatic event, Fu Ping had three different versions of what she was driven in from the Nanjing train station to the city: a car, a motorcycle, and a jeep. These are fairly different vehicles, especially the motorcycle. Even that she was only 8 years old, it's unlikely she would not remember whether it was a car or a motorcycle.

Even if she didn't remember, why would she just make things up on the fly? Isn't that a typical behavior of a habitual liar?

Beyond the obvious inconsistency, there is still a more serious issue. Where did these Red Guards get the vehicles and how did they learn to drive? Remember this was China in 1966. Van, car, jeep, or motorcycle were not household items. Only trained professionals had the access and skills for them. Yet a couple of groups of teenagers who could command them at will. Sounds real?


  1. She also said it was a BLACK military van in Shanghai.

  2. They did have access to vehicles the politburo allowed them to commandeer government cars at will. same way the red guards got their guns.