But there are many instances in which the laws on the books don't have much effect, and society runs according to a completely different set of unwritten rules. Some Chinese call these "hidden rules." ...I live in the USA, not China. Our rules are written down. Officials do punish citizens for just challenging their authority. We don't get sent to a "study class" for stating an opinion. Or so I thought.
There sits a small hotel run by the government of South China's Guangxi province. Provincial officials occasionally use the hotel to secretly detain people who come to the capital to complain about local government abuses. They are kept under a sort of house arrest until they can be shipped home.
China has denied the existence of "black jails" to the United Nations' human rights commission, but almost anyone petitioning the government can show you one. ...
Many local governments also maintain informal detention centers. Petitioner Jin Hanyan, from central Hubei province, says she accused her county's Communist Party secretary of corruption. For this, she says, she was sent to a "study class" in an abandoned factory. Of course, she says, no studying actually went on in there. ...
Wu says this is the hidden rule that makes all the others stick: Officials have the power to punish citizens more or less at will, either for challenging their authority, or just to extort money out of them.
My kids have been taken away from me. No one can explain it in terms of any written rules. The last court-appointed evaluator, Ken Perlmutter, admitted that I had not violated any written rules or established standards of care for my kids. He admitted that I could not be ordered to stop complaining about the family court on my blog. But he said that I could be punished for it anyway.
We have a whole industry of bogus parenting classes, supervisors, therapists, and evaluators. They are as bogus as the Chinese study classes that have no actually studying. Nobody actually learns anything from this industry, and no kids ever benefit from the court using these processes. I am waiting for NPR to do a story on American human rights and the family court.