The author found a comparatively mysterious organization online named ‘Mind Deconstruction’ who held psychology lectures in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in the name of cross-Straits culture exchange. The organization seeks to spread its doctrines such as ‘give up the notions and get back to the original’, ‘find the exit of life’ and so on. The organization has a lot of followers. The following is an overview of the main features of the cult.
1. Basic information of the ‘Mind Deconstruction’
Hong Nanzhou, born in Pingzhen District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan on the 15th of October, 1952, created Mind Deconstruction despite only having a middle school education. In 1994, Hong Nanzhou claimed that he was ‘enlightened’ and established the so-called ‘Mind Deconstruction’ concept. This concept is actually a body of theory that Hong created by himself based on knowledge of Buddhism, psychology and his own understanding. The concept explains that ‘things all have Buddha natures, so they need to give up the notions and get back to the original’ and ‘find the exit of life’. The core concept is that the problems, sufferings and unhappiness people have in life are all imposed by societal notions. Therefore, only by giving up all the old notions, could people return to the state of origin. Hong Nanzhou claims that he is ‘the only one in the world who could master the truth and understand the principle of the universe’. He also instructs disciples that only by learning the lessons of ‘Mind Deconstruction’ could they give up old notions, find a way to escape and face the real self.
2. Collecting money by holding lectures
‘Mind Deconstruction’ has around 150 ‘professional missionaries’, of which 80 are Taiwanese and 70 are from mainland China. There are 4 levels of training classes. The first class is called focus class, followed by condense, restore and wish classes. The wish class is the highest level class for the core members. So far, the organization has had 20 focus classes, 17 condense classes, 2 restore classes and 4 wish classes. Each training class lasts for at least two days, no less than 500 audience members for each session, and 2000 people for most of the sessions. It is said that the domestic audience for the lectures held by the ‘Mind Deconstruction’ has reached more than 100,000 people. Some of the people have become ‘die-hard fans’ who follow every activity held by the organization. Every disciple has to pay hundreds of Yuan for the site fees. Therefore, one can image how much the organization gathered from all those events.
Besides having lectures, the organization has held the Bamboo Ink Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition at Joy Art Venue, D10 of 798 Art District, Chaoyang District, Beijing from 1st of May to 30th of July, 2015. By using the content of Chinese calligraphy and painting, the exhibition changed communication method to spread the ‘give up the notions and get back to the original’ concept and other theories of the ‘Mind Deconstruction’. During the exhibition, there was a lucky draw of ticket numbers. Guests who won the lottery were given the art pieces as a prize, and were asked to help propagate the ‘Mind Deconstruction’ concept via social tools like Wechat and QQ. Hong claimed that a venue twice or three times bigger than the exhibition area in 798 Art District would be rented to hold the exhibition in the next step.
3. Activities are mysterious within the organization
The organization has a comparatively secret way of communication. The participants live together, supervise each other, raise questions to only one explicator and do not contact people within the same level. The management of the training is very strict. Trainees are not allowed to use mobile phones, take recordings or pictures during the classes. One can only enter the site by scanning one’s tickets, and staff members need to show their staff cards while accessing the site, going to the toilet or refilling water. In addition, participants could not talk to each other during the classes. All disciples need to wear their class badges for their whole life. Once the badge is missing, one needs to begin searching immediately or report the loss and apply for a new one. ‘Mind Deconstruction’ has websites on the Internet, such as www.15928.info, or www.15928.cn. The content on the websites is set as semi-closed and can only be accessed by valid identification. The organization also has a public platform on Wechat through which publicity materials made by the ‘Mind Deconstruction’ is released.
4. The organization has faced public opposition
Because some of the disciples have become apathetic towards their everyday lives, quit their jobs, and abandoned their families to participate in dissemination activities to spread Hong Nanzhou’s courses, their family members have created the ‘Anti Mind Deconstruction QQ Group’ (QQ No. 366401656). There are 1.47million results when searching the key words of ‘Mind Deconstruction’ on Baidu, and 5,200 for ‘requiring the banning of the organization of Mind Deconstruction’. In addition, family members of some disciples went directly to the venues where the ‘Mind Deconstruction’ organization held activities to protest. They have also demonstrated and appealed at Party and government offices. Beijing citizen, Zhai Guixin’s niece did not care about her family and quit her job after joining classes. Zhou Jing, who was a tutor of TAL Education Group Liujiayao Campus, became introvert after joining the organization. She donated all her salary to Hong Nanzhou voluntarily. Despite her parents’ persuasion, who even took to begging on their knees, she quit her job to concentrate on propagating the ‘Mind Deconstruction’ concept and to follow Hong, which led to the breakup of her family.
In summary, the author thinks that the core message communicated by the ‘Mind Deconstruction’ organization‘s core idea is to instigate disciples to give up their system of values. Based on the theory of ‘things all have Buddha natures, so they need to give up the notions and get back to the original’, the nature of the organization is in opposition to human nature and all existing culture and civilizations of mankind. Therefore, this author appeals to everyone to see clearly what kind of an organization ‘Mind Deconstruction’ is, and not be ‘obsessed with’ or deceived by it easily.