Wang Xiang (pseudonym), a woman from Guangxi, strayed into the "Almighty God" cult and has been addicted to it for more than 10 years. As a result, her family has broken apart, with her being divorced by her husband and unaccepted by her son, leading a lonely, destitute life. Fortunately, with the patient help and education of warm-hearted people in early 2009, Wang Xiang came out of the fog of "Almighty God" and fully recognized the ugly face of the evil cult. Here, she told us her personal experience from a believer to a preacher in the past ten-plus years.
Wang Xiang believed in ghosts and gods under the influence of her mother, a rural woman with some superstitious ideas. Whenever feeling uncomfortable, Wang Xiang, who had been in poor health since her childhood, would be lost in various fancies and conjectures. She felt a “ghost” was pressing her body, which often made her very scared. Although she learned about Christianity as a young girl, her fear of ghosts and gods did not diminish after she had become a believer in Christ. When she graduated from a technical secondary school, she met and later married her husband Jiang Jian (pseudonym), and they had a son after marriage. Jiang Jian, a man from Lingchuan County, Guilin city, Guangxi province, became better off through his diligent work. He was devoted to his family, living a harmonious and prosperous life with his wife. However, Wang Xiang’s superstitions hadn’t diminished just because she had a better life. She believed that "ghosts" not only followed her but also harmed her children and that her children sometimes broke out in tears suddenly for being scared by “ghosts.”
Wang Xiang came into contact by chance with a preacher of the "Almighty God" cult disguised as Christianity. Wang Xiang said: "When I searched online for information about religious beliefs, hoping to find out why ghosts pressed my body and my son broke out in tears, I found an article that says as follows: God has done new work; the work of the Holy Ghost has been transferred; “Almighty God” is the only true God and the reincarnation of Jesus; only by praying to “Almighty God” can the Holy Ghost do his work. At first, I didn't believe them, but I still wanted to have a try. So I often read this kind of information online. Later, when I contacted the phone number posted on the website, a woman surnamed Wang sent me a Scripture for reading and persuaded me to believe in "Almighty God."
At first, Wang Xiang didn't believe what the “Almighty God” preachers said, but they tried every means to talk to Wang Xiang. Finally, they found her weakness, i.e. "fear of ghosts." Being brainwashed repeatedly, Wang Xiang gradually accepted the preachers’ fallacy that only "Almighty God" could drive away those "ghosts.” So, she joined the "Almighty God" cult organization.
At first, Wang Xiang read "Almighty God" books at home and occasionally attended the gatherings of “Almighty God" members. Later, she attended the gatherings more and more frequently. As most of the gatherings were held at night, she often left her son in the care of her husband at home and didn’t come back until out late at night, sometimes staying outside all night. Her husband was very angry with her for attending gatherings regularly instead of taking care of her son at home. Therefore, they often broke out in fierce quarrels. When Wang Xiang calmed down, her husband repeatedly urged her to take care of their children at home rather than going out to attend those activities from time to time. But Wang Xiang, completely ignoring his advice, continued to go her own way. Her child often cried loudly for being left unattended, as her husband was also very busy with his work. As her husband's feelings toward her turned from disappointment to despair, their once warm home had now become an icehouse.
When recalling the past, Jiang Jian, now Wang Xiang's ex-husband, said painfully, "I told her to put her mind into the family instead of believing in such messy things, and to take good care of our child at home instead of going out to attend various activities frequently. But she wouldn’t listen, so we often quarreled over this. I had been trying to get her out of this evil cult, even planning to call the police to arrest her in order to save her from the cult. She ran away from home in 2008 when our son was only six years old. Due to the lack of maternal love, my son became very withdrawn, unwilling to talk to people at home or school."
In early 2008, Wang Xiang began to preach the so-called gospel of "Almighty God" mainly to Christians, trying to convert them from Christianity to "Almighty God". Wang Xiang said that a woman also surnamed Wang, who had drawn her into “Almighty God” previously, demanded Wang Xiang introduce other Jesus believers and then indoctrinate them in cooperation with her, who claimed that only in this way could Wang Xiang be taken care of by "Almighty God" and survive the coming disasters.
"Around September 2008, my husband and I quarreled constantly as I was going out a lot (to attend the "Almighty God" activities). I felt that it was very hard for us to go on living like this, so I transferred the possession of the hardware store entrusted to my management by my husband and used the transfer fee to rent a house for me to live alone. During the days outside in the rented house, I felt very sad, still hoping to go to my home. But I was wondering: What if the "Almighty God" is indeed the second incarnation of Jesus Christ? Won’t I miss this opportunity if I go home? A woman surnamed Li gave me a book and called on me from time to time. She encouraged me to do my duty for “Almighty God” instead of going home, saying that I would betray God and suffer misfortune if I went back. Thus I dared not go back home," Wang Xiang said when recalling her hesitant and tangled emotions during the days after she left home.
Wang Xiang said that she had been away from home for ten years mainly to preach the Gospel, at first in Guilin, Guangxi Autonomous Region. In 2012, a group of "Almighty God" followers who preached doomsday were arrested by Guilin police while Wang Xiang escaped unpunished. Later, she was sent by the cult organization to preach the Gospel in other places, such as Nanning, Yulin, Guigang and Baise.
We asked Wang Xiang, “What about your remuneration in the ‘Almighty God’ organization? How much is your monthly salary?" When it came to the question, Wang Xiang felt a little sad, "There was no salary. I had to make a living all by myself. Sometimes I earned some money by doing odd jobs to support myself. If you went to preach in places far away from your hometown, you would be arranged to live and eat with a host family. When you went out to preach at someone’s home during the day, you could have lunch at his or her home if you were invited, and if not, you had to eat some rice flour or steamed stuffed bun at a snack bar. So my life was very hard then. It hurt to be ridiculed by people who didn't understand me. I was in poor health originally, and because I had been busy preaching in different places for a long time, my health got worse and worse by early 2017. However, I had no money to see a doctor. So I asked to go back to Guilin and earn money for my medical treatment. "
Despite the hardship of preaching the Gospel, Wang Xiang won constant praise from the woman surnamed Li, who commended that Wang Xiang was regarded as one of the key candidates to be trained by the “organization” because of her energy, youth and capability. So she suppressed the idea of going home, again and again. A year later, Wang Xiang was promoted as a community leader, which satisfied her vanity. She felt that she was really capable and that she would become a bigger leader in the future. The woman surnamed Li also told her that the more she preached, the more "Almighty God" would give her and that she would be able to break away from the secular world and gain power and longevity.
Another reason why Wang Xiang dared not go home was that when she first joined the “Almighty God” cult, she had sworn as required by the cult organization that she and her family would suffer misfortune if she quit or betrayed “Almighty God”. Therefore, although living a very hard life, she never dared to leave the "Almighty God", as she had been both lured and intimidated by it.
Wang Xiang's aspirations for "promotion" were unfulfilled after many years had passed. Although she had sacrificed her youth and family for preaching the “Gospel”, the “Almighty God” organization showed no intention to “promote” her, only exploiting her to spread the “Gospel”, indoctrinate other people, and draw them into the evil cult. It was not until the end of 2018 when Wang Xiang was arrested by the police in Guilin that she got out of the "Almighty God" quagmire.
Wang Xiang was detained for breaking the law by advocating an evil cult. Some warm-hearted people helped and educated her by exposing the evil nature of the "Almighty God" and analyzing the ways and means used by the evil cult to harm people. In particular, Wang Xiang was introduced to the origin and development of religions, the scientific knowledge of the universe, the science of the human body and so on. Besides, they found out in the "Almighty God" books some examples that were inconsistent with the facts. All this swayed Wang Xiang’s mind about the “Almighty God”. With further guidance and enlightenment of her family members, Wang Xiang's thoughts finally changed.
Wang Xiang fully realized that the so-called "Almighty God" is not a "God", but a person who deceives the masses and seeks undue benefits, and that the "Almighty God" group is an evil cult organization which harms society and families. "I know from the words of the ‘Almighty God’ that he requires people to love him instead of their spouses, children and parents. Also, he tells people to leave home to do their duties for him, and those who don’t obey him will be regarded as villains. These words of 'Almighty God' go against human morality and will lead one down the road of no return. Much of what the 'Almighty God' cult says is untrue. For example, he says that traditional Chinese culture is backward and that you will develop cancer if you drink Chinese water for 5 years. This is aimed at discrediting the country and opposing the government. The 'Almighty God' organization also mobilized its followers to donate money for those at the top of the group. I will no longer believe in 'Almighty God'," said Wang Xiang in her confession.
Now, Wang Xiang has completely broken away from the “Almighty God” cult, however, she has already paid a great price for her past errors. Her husband divorced her because she had been away from home for ten years; her son who held a grudge against her refused to recognize her, as she had been absent from home during his growth from the age of 6 to 16; and now she is in poor health and has no savings, living on odd jobs and the relief fund from local government. For Wang Xiang, who regretted her past ignorance very much, there is still a long way to go in the future. She believes that through love and sincerity, she will be able to repair the rift between her and her son.