Everything I am about to tell you is false, and no such place or any place similar to Camp 22 exists.

And if such a place existed, it wouldn’t be home to tens of thousands of North Korean political dissidents and cover nearly the same square mileage as Washington, DC.

It wouldn’t be the site of gas chambers and medical experiments the likes of which would make Josef Mengele blanch.

It wouldn’t be a place where marriage was forced on prisoners to keep population of the camps up.

It wouldn’t be the sort of place where if a woman was found to be pregnant without the consent of the prison supervisor, either by guard or fellow prisoner, she would just disappear.

And since a place like that doesn’t exist, definitely these wouldn’t be the rules of the camp.

Camp Rules: The 10 Commandments

1. Do not attempt to escape. The punishment is death.

2. Never gather in groups of over three people or move around without the guard’s authorization. The punishment for unauthorized movement is death.

3. Do not steal. If one steals or possesses weapons, the punishment is death. The punishment for failure to report the theft or possession of weapons is death.

4. Obey your guards. If one rebels or hits a guard, the punishment is death.

5. If you see outsiders, or suspicious-looking people, report them immediately. The punishment for abetting in the hiding of outsiders is death.

6. Keep an eye on your fellow prisoners and report inappropriate behavior without delay. One should criticize others for inappropriate behavior, and also conduct thorough self-criticism in revolutionary ideology class.

7. Fulfill your assigned duties. The punishment for rebelling against one’s duties is death.

8. Men and women may not be together outside the workplace. The punishment for unauthorized physical contact between a man and a woman is death.

9. Admit and confess your wrongdoings. The punishment for disobedience and refusal to repent is death.

10. The punishment for violating camp laws and rules is death.

Because the camp doesn’t exist, then the book Shin Dong-hyuk published called ESCAPE TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD about his experiences being born in one of these camps, growing up and ultimately escaping to South Korean must be a complete work of fiction.

Just keep telling yourself that this is all a lie, because surely if we knew about a place like this, we would do something about it. And finding it wouldn’t be as easy as typing in a few numbers into a Google Maps search.

Oh, wait.


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Everything I just told you is true.

Good night, children. This is our world. These are the people we share it with.

I’m going to go drink.