Gao Yaojie, 89, is a retired gynecologist and medical professor who fled China in August 2009. Now living in the United States, Gao is fighting ill-health, and has written books that expose the truth about AIDS transmission, particularly through rampant blood-selling schemes in impoverished areas of rural China. However, she says she has been pursued by medical fraudsters wanting to use her name and reputation to peddle quack AIDS remedies.
Gao recently issued an "end-of-life" statement, and spoke to RFA's Mandarin Service about her wishes.
My name is Gao Yaojie. I hereby solemnly declare that when I die, I would like my body to be cremated, not buried in a grave.
My will ... is currently in the keeping of my son ... I would like my ashes to be scattered in the Yellow River as soon as possible after my death, with no ceremony of any kind.
Through this declaration, I want to let friends around the world know that I do not want the achievements of my lifetime or my death to be used by others to achieve fame.
I wrote this statement because people were talking about having me buried here in New York, but that was unacceptable to me.
'I want to disappear'
I have been in the United States for eight years now, but I still don't speak the language. I can't tell what kind of a person a white person or any other ethnicity is, but I can tell you that I have been visited by a lot of Chinese people, many of whom lied to me.
They seem to be working together, as if they've all caught the same virus.
That's why I don't want a tomb, because I am worried that these lying people will try to make money out of it.
That's why I can't stay in America. I want to float eastwards down the Yellow River, and basically disappear from this world.
I have a lawyer back home in China who is currently processing the paperwork for me. If they won't allow the arrangements to go ahead, they will appeal to a higher court.
I can't trust people either overseas or back in China. I'm not the same as the other people in my family. I went out to make my way in the world, while they stayed home to cook the food and raise the kids. We have had different experiences.
I have been forced to this point.
The wrong path
My memories go back more than 80 years. China has undergone all kinds of political movements, including the Cultural Revolution [1966-1976] and this has set its people on the wrong path.
When I was young, I was in school and university, and then later I was a teacher, so I was in schools the whole time. Everyone was very kind and friendly, but now everyone's divided into small cliques and factions. They're everywhere. It's the same now in universities too.
Nobody has any internal moral compass to tell them what is right and what is wrong. There are so many examples of this you would never get done talking about them. For example, fake medical doctors in China is one example that leaps out.
Doctors claiming to cure AIDS through some kind of traditional remedy are ten-a-penny. How can there be a traditional 'inherited' remedy when we have only had AIDS for a couple of decades in China? It's all smoke and mirrors, but they know a lot of people and they wield a lot of power. There was a bunch of them in Putian, farmers and fishermen, who somehow became doctors in the blink of an eye.
They have defrauded people of an awful lot of money. They claim to cure sexually transmitted diseases. They claim to cure infertility. You can read about this in my book.
'So much corruption now'
I can give you the example of a former construction worker who made up a medicine that he said would cure AIDS, and started selling it in the AIDS villages. Now, AIDS patients are totally helpless. They lack knowledge or education. They took the medicine, and few of them died.
Then this guy had the idea to go and open an AIDS hospital in Zhengzhou. He wanted me to be the director. He wrote to me three times, and I thanked him and turned down the offer. Then he visited me in person. I threw him out. Then he took me to court. He lost.
Things started to go wrong for China in the 1950s and 1960s. You didn't have this sort of thing before that. The most egregious example was that of the Cultural Revolution. That's when people learned how to operate in cliques. This did the biggest damage [to our society]. It became really obvious during the 1970s, and now these cliques are even operating overseas.
There aren't very many good people left in China now, and if there are, they have real problems getting by in life. There is so much corruption now.
Reported by Bei Ming for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.