Women account for a large proportion of the followers of the Church of Almighty God. Some of them leave home for evangelizing missions, some are cheated into prostitution, some suffer financial loss and some do harm to others under the name of removing evil. They are both victims and victimizers. It is the task and common responsibility of society to help women rid themselves of the Church of Almighty God and lead a normal life. As an anti-cult volunteer, I helped several women to become free from the control of the Church of Almighty God. Here are some things I’ve learnt from my own experiences.
First, whatever happened to them, we should practice tolerance instead of prejudice. Women who have participated in the Church of Almighty God have their respective reasons. Some join for blessings, some for fear of an impending doomsday and others were persuaded by their relatives. They all did something ridiculous: some bought the cult’s books, some donated money and others left home to evangelize or were cheated into prostitution. As anti-cult volunteers, we should treat them equally. In their eyes, all these actions are reasonable. Thus we must understand them so that we can communicate with them on the basis of respect, trust and interaction.
Second, listen to them and find the crux of their problems. When helping female cult followers, I focus on listening to them, instead of telling them what to do. Through conversations with them, we can see their inner world and find the source of their problems. Affected by the letter of guarantee of the Church of Almighty God, they have a strong sense of preservation and are afraid of leaking the secrets. Yet a human’s concentration is limited, and when they talk about some easy topics like the past, we can show sympathy for them. In this way, they will open up their mind to us. For example, one female follower lost her father during her childhood. The lack of a father’s love was part of the reason why she was seduced later by an elder male follower of the Church of Almighty God. As long as we find out the root cause, we know where to focus our attention.
Third, communicate with them to free them from the cults. It is evident that if one doesn’t want to change oneself, then there is nothing others can do. Thus, it is up to the followers themselves to make the change and the volunteers only to offer some help. Communication is important. First, figure out why they believe in the Church of Almighty God. Every action has a reason behind it. There must be some specific reasons for women joining the Church of Almighty God. We must help them figure out the reason. Second, help them figure out the harm that the Church of Almighty God causes. We can cite examples to let them know the reality and potential harm of the Church of Almighty God. Third, figure out the future. On the one hand, let them know the consequences if they continue to believe in the Church of Almighty God; on the other hand, help them find hope in life. If we can help them find hope, then we are already halfway successful.
Four, be realistic and offer long-term assistance. The volunteers must help develop a stable system of social help. We only fulfill half the task by freeing them from the Church of Almighty God. What’s more important is to help them settle down in real life. Here are some key points. First, help them find a job, develop a stable family environment and build a strong self-identity. Second, help them gain the recognition of their family and make new friends so that they no longer contact other followers of the Church of Almighty God. Third, promote their self-development so that they have a sense of belonging and self-fulfillment in real life. Fourth, offer long-term help: the Church of Almighty God often tries to attract back former followers, thus we must guard against it.
The methods vary in helping different female followers to get rid of the spiritual control of the Church of Almighty God. Every road leads to Rome. As long as we are kind-hearted and enthusiastic, we can find the effective ways to help them.