When it comes to the famous Zhuge Liang in Chinese history, many people can tell at least one story related to him, such as the Three Guesthouses, the Longzhong Pair, the Burning Bowangpo, the Straw Boat Lending Arrow, the Empty City Scheme, the Seven Captures, and so on, and his image of “feather fan scarf, brilliant calculation, integrity and loyalty, after death” has long been deeply rooted in people’s hearts. Some Song people said: “Those who have the heart of a benevolent gentleman may not have the talent of heroes and heroines; those who have the talent of heroes and heroines may not have the integrity of loyal subjects and righteous soldiers; the three are difficult for the world to complete. The only one who can do so is Zhuge Liang!”
After the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the Red Guards responded to Mao Zedong’s call for “Red Terror” on campus, and then rushed to society and began to “break the Four Olds”. “. The “Four Olds” refers to “old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits”. “As a result, many precious cultural relics were destroyed, and many outstanding scholars carrying traditional Chinese culture were beaten down and persecuted to death.
The historical relics related to Zhuge Liang naturally did not escape this catastrophe. According to overseas scholar Ding Lyr, Zhuge Liang had “plowed in Nanyang” before he left the mountain, and he needed help at that time, so Yan Changgui, who was then the head of the office of the Central Cultural Revolution Group (i.e. the head of the office) and was influenced by the Chinese Communist Party’s idea of “class analysis”, said. “What’s the big deal about Zhuge Liang? He is a landlord.” With such a characterization, the Red Guards everywhere began to act recklessly: Zhuge Liang’s cottage in Nanyang was smashed, and the Wuhou Temple in Chengdu was smashed; Zhuge Liang was buried on Dingjun Mountain after his death, and the Red Guards in Mianxian County, Shaanxi, were unable to find his burial place, so they smashed the “Ancient Dingjun Mountain” monument on the mountain. Woe is me!
I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but a few months later, Yan Changgui, who gave Zhuge Liang’s characterization, soon became a prisoner for sending a wrong letter.
Became Jiang Qing’s secretary
Born in Liaocheng, Shandong province, Yan Changgui graduated from the People’s University of China in 1961 and studied under Guan Feng, head of the Chinese philosophy history group of the Red Flag magazine. In 1966, he was transferred to the briefing team of the Central Cultural Revolution Group at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where he lived in Building 16. Later he heard that the person who transferred him was Qi Benyu, the head of the Political Secretary Bureau of the Central General Office.
Because of Jiang Qing’s position in the Central Cultural Revolution Group and her status as the “First Lady”, more and more letters were written to Jiang Qing, sometimes more than 2,000 letters a day, and they even had to be packed in sacks, so the Communist Party set up the “Central Cultural Revolution Jiang Qing Letter Office Group”, with Yan Chang Yan Changgui was in charge. Yan Changgui worked very hard and received Jiang Qing’s approval.
In January 1967, Yan Changgui was transferred to be Jiang Qing’s first secretary. Although Jiang Qing had a lot of requirements, but in the eyes of Yan Changgui, Jiang Qing still has some ability, at least do not want others to draft reports, speech is to prepare their own outline.
Soon after, Guan Feng, who appreciated Yan Changgui, collapsed, and Jiang Qing did not transfer Yan away, but appointed him as the head of the Central Cultural Revolution Group. However, a month or so later, he was inexplicably removed from his post.
Angering Jiang Qing
On January 9, 1968, exactly one year after he was promoted to be Jiang Qing’s first secretary, Yan Changgui was placed under isolation, and in June 2014, the mainland newspaper Time published an interview with Yan Changgui, disclosing in detail his experiences at this time and beyond.
According to the interview, Yan Changgui was investigated because one day at the end of 1967, he received a letter from the Central Cultural Revolution Group’s “Letter Office” to Jiang Qing, which came from an actress. The letter was very long, with more than ten pages and tens of thousands of words. In the letter, the actress told about her experience in the arts, said that she was once called “Jiang Qing” but had changed her name after 1949, said that she had some savings and was willing to give them to the organization as party dues, said that she had been shocked during the Cultural Revolution, praised Jiang Qing, and so on. The purpose of her letter was to express her hope that Jiang Qing would be able to make a contribution to the Party. The purpose of her letter was to ask Jiang Qing to say something for her, so as to alleviate or exempt her from the shock she was receiving.
Yan Changgui, who was unaware of the depths, forwarded the letter to Jiang Qing with a note: “Comrade Jiang Qing: Your name is in this letter.” It means that this person is not related to it in any way.
Jiang Qing was furious when she read the letter and called Yan Changgui to the conference room the next day. In front of Qi Benyu and Yao Wenyuan, he slammed the letter down on the table and sternly rebuked him for showing it to her. Since then, Jiang Qing changed her attitude towards Yan, not ringing him for a week, nor asking him to deliver or send documents.
Soon, Yan Changgui was ordered by Jiang Qing to hand over his job to Yang Yinlu, and he was sent to the guard company. At first, Yan Changgui did not realize how serious the problem was, thinking that if he was not called as a secretary, he would go back to do research. About the third night of being isolated, Chen Boda and Yao Wenyuan came, Yan was accused of being “Wang, Guan, Qi planted in the head of the nail”, Yan was very afraid.
After another ten days, Chen Bo Da, Vice Premier of the State Council and Minister of Public Security Xie Fuzhi, Acting Chief of General Staff of the PLA Yang Chengwu, and Yao Wenyuan came together to talk to Yan Changgui. He could only nod his head and say, “I’ll explain what’s there. Then, Chen Boda and let Yan according to his dictation, wrote a letter to his wife: “× ×: I travel on business, I forgot some documents at home, now send someone to retrieve. Where you live, according to the organization’s arrangements to move to x x ……”
Inexplicably imprisoned for nearly eight years, the family suffered discrimination
The day after this conversation, Yan Changgui was imprisoned to Qincheng prison. According to his recollection, as soon as he entered, he was asked what his last name was and what his name was. After registering, he was changed into a black prison uniform. After changing, the supervisor announced to him, “You are admitted today, your code name is ‘6820’, you will be called ‘6820’ in the future, you have to promise, understand?” Yan said he knew.
Yan Changgui lived in a single cell, the size of six or seven square meters, placed against the wall of a less than a foot high crib, the bed with dirty quilts and mattresses, there is a potty and a small pool for washing faces by the wall, the roof is lit all night ……
He later learned that late that night, he was also “raided”, the authorities to his wife and children’s temporary residence, rummaging through boxes, body searches. At that time, his wife and children came to Beijing from rural Shandong to see a doctor, and lived in the dormitory for family members of the guard company visiting relatives north of Diaoyutai. The “house raid”, although the use of Yan wrote a letter to his wife, but nothing else was found. After the “family raid”, his wife and children were sent by the security forces to the air force airport guest house in Beijing’s eastern suburbs under house arrest, a few months. In May, before the wheat harvest, his wife repeatedly requested that they be sent back home to Shandong.
In his hometown, Yan Changgui’s whole family became “counter-revolutionary family members” and were discriminated against and restricted in all aspects. The eldest child, 13 years old, was expelled from school before finishing junior high school and was ordered to participate in agricultural labor, digging the ground, digging ditches, and doing everything. What touched Yan Changgui was that his wife, no matter how difficult it was, did not divorce him, but raised the two children alone.
During the years when his family was discriminated, Yan Changgui’s life in prison was not easy either, mainly because of mental torture. For a long time, he could not even read books or newspapers. To pass the time, he turned over and over to count the holes on the bedside heating cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …… He later found a way to pass the time by repeatedly reciting familiar poems of Mao as well as Tang poems and Song lyrics, while learning to make poems himself, etc.
From prison to farm labor
After sitting in prison for more than seven years, on May 22, 1975, the task force came to the prison and suddenly announced to Yan Changgui that they had decided to release him, but to send him to a farm in Hunan to work and wait for the conclusion.
When he arrived at the farm, the first thing Yan did was to write to his family. Soon, his parents, wife and son came to the farm one after another, and the family was reunited. After a brief reunion, his parents returned home to Shandong, his wife and son settled down with him on the farm.
In November of the same year, someone from Beijing announced the conclusion of Yan Changgui: First, he tried to frame the comrades in charge of the Central Committee with false materials (referring to the letter he sent to Jiang Qing); second, he harbored the “May 16 elements” Wu Chuanqi and Lin Iushi (these two are middle-level cadres of the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, now the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. One was the academic secretary of the Institute of Philosophy and the other was the editorial director of Philosophy Research, both friends of Guan Feng. The punishment was “one year’s probation in the Party”.
In September 1979, the Communist Party “rehabilitated” him, and he was transferred back to the Red Flag magazine.
To many people, it seems absurd that Yan Changgui, who was considered an honest man, was inexplicably imprisoned for nearly eight years and then forced to work on a farm – simply because a letter was delivered by mistake. Obviously, the direct blame lies with Jiang Qing and the Chinese Communist Party. However, was Yan Changgui, who was held hostage to the Cultural Revolution in those years, really innocent? Who is to blame for what happened behind Zhuge Liang? It is said that the cause of what kind of fruit, there is no difference in the past and present.