In the persecution of Falun Gong, brainwashing is one of the primary tools used to "transform" practitioners, or, in other words, to force them to renounce their faith in the teachings of Falun Gong.

Because brainwashing directly targets the heart and mind, its effects are often even more devastating to the lives of its victims than physical torture. At the same time, physical torture is widely used to help coerce the recipient to accept the brainwashing.

The techniques are designed to take over the person's mind and replace high-level spiritual principles such as Truth-Compassion-Forbearance with Communist Party doctrines.

When practitioners are deemed suitably brainwashed, their living conditions in captivity are improved, physical torture is reduced or terminated, and their sentences may also be reduced. They may even be set free. For those who persevere in their faith, the torture and brainwashing continue, and practitioners who successfully resist being "transformed" often have their prison or labor camp terms arbitrarily extended.