Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is a beautiful land with magnificent mountains, beautiful rivers, and unique karst landforms; and it’s also one of the three major home towns of overseas Chinese throughout the country, with rich ethnic customs. It is in this scenic place that Huang Lijuan was born in February 1983. Although she came from a poor family without receiving much education, she had been optimistic and positive.
View of a rural village in Guangxi (Picture from the Internet)
Huang Lijuan was deserted as a child by her biological parents and adopted by an elderly person of no family. In 2000, when Huang Lijuan worked in Foshan, Guangdong Province, she met Wu Guibiao, her present husband, at a gathering of fellow-villagers. As they both were single and of similar age, working far away from their home town, they had much in common and got many opportunities to interact with each other. After a period of contact, Huang Lijuan learned that Wu Guibiao, just like her, was deserted as a child by her biological parents and adopted by others. Therefore, the two young people with the same experience made a better impression on each other. They fell in love before long and got married in 2004. After marriage, the couple lived in harmony, looking forward to creating a good life together with their own hard-working hands. The successive birth of their two sons had brought boundless vigor and hope to the happy family.
To ensure a better life in the future, Huang’s husband Wu Guibiao continued working in Foshan, Guangdong province, while Huang returned to her hometown to take care of her two children. Wu Guibiao sent money home on time every month as his family’s cost of living, and he called his wife regularly to express his care for his wife, sons and his wife’s foster parents. In 2006, Huang Lijuan felt a new change in her husband Wu Guibiao, as he no longer sent money home on time, nor did he call her as often as before. She sensed a coming crisis. So, in 2007, soon after her second son was weaned, Huang Lijuan, with doubts in her mind, went to Foshan, worked together with her husband Wu Guibiao in the same factory, leaving their two young sons in the care of Wu’s parents in the countryside. In Foshan, Huang Lijuan found that her husband went out frequently without saying where he was going. Every time he went out, he wouldn’t be back until more than half of the day had passed, and he couldn’t be reached by phone while he was out. Hoping to get some traces of his husband’s deeds, Huang Lijuan surreptitiously rummaged through his trunk while he was absent, only to find a book entitled The Three Steps of God's Work. One day, Wu Guibiao came back when Huang Lijuan was absorbed in reading a book during her day-off. As soon as he entered the door, he found his trunk had been opened and saw his wife Huang Lijuan reading with great interest The Three Steps of God's Work, which he had originally hidden in the trunk. Wu Guibiao stepped up and grabbed the book, scolding his wife angrily with the book in hands. Then it occurred to him that since his wife discovered the book, he might as well bring her into the ranks of "Almighty God" followers. So he began to explain to her how humans came into being, and how God created all things. He also told her that only by believing in God could she be blessed with peace and safety, and so on. Thus, a nightmare began to unfold.
Back in 2006, Wu Guibiao met a fellow-villager called Zhihong, who also worked in Foshan, Guangdong Province. At that time, Zhihong, a former soldier, had become an "Almighty God" follower. It was through his "evangelism" that Wu Guibiao was exposed to "Almighty God" and was brainwashed into the cult organization. Now, by drawing his wife into the cult, Wu Guibiao was going to push his wife and family to the fire-pit. Out of trust in her husband, Huang Lijuan, who had little scientific and cultural awareness, also began to believe in the "Almighty God". From then on, her originally peaceful family life had been shattered, and she was no longer the normal person she used to be.
In this way, Huang Lijuan, a nonbeliever originally, became an “Almighty God” follower as her husband did; and as required by the Church, she took two spiritual names, Yang Fen and Huang Xiaoling. On many occasions, including in each gathering, she would write a letter of assurance promising that she would rather die than betray God and that she, like the Jews in the Age of Grace, would voluntarily accept all kinds of punishment if she betrayed God.
Since Huang Lijuan followed her husband’s lead to believe in "Almighty God", she and her husband had less and less time to spend together, which gradually reduced their trust in each other. To satisfy their need for preaching the Gospel, the couple often changed their respective phone numbers and rarely met each other. Even when they were together, they talked more about how to worship and serve God than about their family matters. In the past, when Huang’s husband received his salary, he would immediately send it to his family at his hometown as their cost of living. Since he believed in "Almighty God", his income was significantly less than before as he no longer had a fixed job. As for Huang Lijuan, she thought only of spending her money on paying respect to God as soon as she got her salary, caring nothing about her family since she got addicted to the cult.
"In the past six years, I have donated more than 30,000 yuan to ‘Almighty God’. Now I was left with nothing whatsoever. Not only have I donated my several years of hard-earned money to God, but I have also turned my back on my own flesh and blood. When I came back home, especially in 2010, my two little sons didn't recognize me when they saw me, saying, 'who are you’ and ‘why do you come to my house?’ My father-in-law and mother-in-law angrily scolded my husband and me for being derelict of duties and running irrelevant businesses like fools. At that time, I thought there was nothing wrong with us, as God wanted us to let go of our loved ones and he would surely help take of these things for us," said Huang Lijuan. Talking about this, Huang Lijuan shed tears in remorse.
"I think that before I was an 'Almighty God' believer, I was a conversable and cheerful person, filial to my parents, kind to my husband, loving my children, and sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings with others regularly. So I could be considered a good daughter-in-law, a good mother and a good wife at that time. The ‘Almighty God’ organization didn’t allow me to tell the truth to others, and instead, it let me say that my husband died of cancer and that I had no parents or children. Consequently, I became a person refusing to have anything to do with all my relatives and friends, hiding and sneaking around all day, living in an atmosphere of fear created by "Almighty God” without a normal family life," continued Huang Lijuan.
Fortunately, with the help of anti-cult volunteers, Huang finally escaped the mind control of the “Almighty God” and returned to her original, normal life again. Now she cherishes her present life and has resumed her previously harmonious relationship with her family members. Both of her children used to be lonely due to the lack of parental care. One of them was naughty, making trouble everywhere, while the other was withdrawn and not very communicative. Now that Huang Lijuan has come back, her children have gradually become outgoing and sensible. However, her husband Wu Guibiao seems to have evaporated from the world since September 2010 when he came back home for the last time. Not only did Wu Guibiao not come back to attend to his father when his father was ill at home, but he also didn’t even give his father a single call to show his care and concern. In July 2015, his father died of a serious illness. The old man's funeral was handled by Huang Lijuan and her two sisters with the help of the villagers.
When it came to the current situation of her husband, Huang Lijuan felt helpless to do anything about it. She said that her husband and she used to be intimate with each other, but now he suddenly disappeared without a trace. The fellow villagers told her that having a husband like hers is the same as having none. Huang Lijuan was very sad at hearing it, but there was nothing she could do for it.
(Excerpts from the Stories of 36 Cult Victims)