"Recently there’s a hot TV drama The First Half of My Life in which the heroine Luo Zijun’s life sees a huge change after her husband betrayed their marriage. Every time I watch this drama, I am reminded of Zhang Xiaojiang, whose life was ruined by Falun Gong. At this time, I can’t control my indignation and resentment. I hope those practitioners still obsessed with this cult can be awakened and avoid any future blunders.” Li Xianglan sighed. As a middle-aged woman over 50 years old, she was a friend of Zhang Xiaojiang, a Falun Gong practitioner who died due to her obsession with the cult.
Her colleague ushered her into the abyss
If Zhang Xiaojiang had her life to live over, Li Xianglan wishes that she would have never met this colleague. It’s this colleague who ushered her into the abyss of the cult.
Zhang Xiaojiang was Li Xianglan’s intimate friend. She was born into an ordinary family of workers in Wuhan on January 16, 1971. She was optimistic, innocent and cheerful. At the age of 18, she finished her three-year college education and started to work in a public institution.
“When we were young, a job with a public institution meant a guaranteed stable life. So I admired her luck for years.” Li Xianglan recalled.
As people often say, a smiling girl is sure to have good luck. However, not everything went as expected. She suffered from chronic stomach trouble during this period, which caused her great pain. Later on, Li Xianglan often heard her mention one of her colleagues. She said that this colleague also used to have stomach trouble, but regained her health by practicing Qigong. She wanted to try and see if her stomach trouble could be also be remedied in this way. Li Xianglan had assumed that she was just talking about it, so cared little about her actions.
Zhang Xiaojiang’s change happened at the age of 27. “I remember it was January 1998, when she had her 27th birthday. I was invited to attend her birthday party and had a chance to witness her changes. She used to love reading books on healthy living, but her sofa and bookcase were filled with books, tapes and pictures of Falun Gong. Once a hospitable hostess, she spent little time with her guests and started to practice Falun Gong after a little small talk. Li Xianglan was surprised at her changes.
As Li Xianglan recalled, Zhang Xiaojing said that Falun Gong was really miraculous. After she started practicing Falun Gong with her colleague, her stomach trouble no longer bothered her. She also mentioned some unfamiliar words like “reach a higher level” and “strive for final consummation”. She looked extremely excited every time she talked about Falun Gong.
LI Hongzhi taught her to believe in nothing but “Falun Gong”
Zhang Xiaojing's obsession with Faulun Gong was more serious than it first seemed. When Li Xianglan went to visit her in her office, her colleague said that she frequently took leave to practice Falun Gong. When Li Xianglan went to see her at home, she found that the door was locked. According to a neighbor, Zhang Xiaojing often practiced Falun Gong with other practitioners at home or elsewhere, usually for a few days.
“Once I met her in the street. I was shocked at her change. I hardly recognized her because of her expressionless face, dull eyes and frail figure. I tried to persuade her to seek medical help in hospital, but she refused by saying that, according to her master, diseases were caused by karma, and could be cured only by uninterrupted practice of Falun Gong. She also quoted her master as saying that she must “learn Falun Gong” well because her master would take her to heaven.” Li Xianglan was very angry with her words.
Li Xianglan used to read books and newspapers with her friend, but since her friend started practicing Falun Gong, she said that the master asked his followers to read neither books nor newspapers, and to abandon all other thoughts. She even claimed that she must attain a state of obsession in which nothing but Falun Gong was practiced and nothing but Falun Gong was believed in.
The crazy attachment to Falun Gong began to become obvious in Zhang Xiaojiang. Sometimes, she rushed to Li Xianglan’s home at midnight and claimed that her master would take her to heaven soon. Sometimes, Li Xianglan found her sweating with severe stomachache, but she refused to take medicine. Sometimes she practiced Falun Gong in the scorching summer sun and said that her master was testing her……
Her self-consciousness was too late to save her life
At the outset of 2004, Zhang Xiaojing suffered another attack of her stomach disease and fell unconscious at home. Her family members sent her to the hospital and arranged a thorough check, but the result was like a thunderclap to us. She was in the late stage of stomach cancer and the best period for treatment had already passed.
When the harsh truth was revealed to her, she gradually woke up to the cult’s lies . Her master didn’t cure her of stomach trouble, but caused her to have a fatal disease. She started her reflection and repentance when she knew her last day was around the corner. As a patient in the same ward recalled, she often wept inside the quilt late at night. She asked her relatives to burn all her Falun Gong books and pictures. For every visitor, she repeated the same words that they mustn’t be cheated by Falun Gong, a cult that robs people of their money and life.
“Watching her in the bed, she couldn’t help shedding tears. She couldn’t accept the reality that a once lively and optimistic girl could be reduced into a weird woman just due to Falun Gong. She couldn’t imagine that she, a girl who could have enjoyed a bright future, followed this tragic road. Watching her walking step by step to the desperate end of her life, I could do nothing to help her.” With these words, her face was bathed in tears.
Zhang Xiaojing reached the end of her life in a hospital bed in August 2004. At the age of 33, she died of stomach cancer.
Without Falun Gong, her life wouldn’t have experienced so many hardships. Without Falun Gong’s fallacies, her life would have been wonderful. Now Falun Gong has been defined as an illegal cult by the government, but there are still many practitioners obsessed with this cult. We hope that no tragedy of this sort happens again. We hope that they can come to realize the truth once they have read this story.
(Executive editor: Zi Yi)