25 years ago, I was a Falun Gong practitioner; now I am an anti-evil cult volunteer. Through an in-depth understanding of the Falun Gong cult organization, I considered myself lucky that I hadn’t fallen into the trap of the cult out of curiosity, nor had I followed Li Hongzhi, the so-called "Master." Otherwise, I don't know what would befall me, as the outcome must be hard to imagine.In the 1980s, the life science emerged quietly in China, and the practice of Qigong rose to extraordinary popularity across the country. Of course, there was an admixture of the genuine and the false, so it was difficult to distinguish the genuine from the false. Li Hongzhi, who was good at securing personal gain, exploited the opportunity to scrape together a set of so-called Qi Gong exercises by making combined use of Chanmi Gong (Practice of Zen and Tantrism), Jiugong Bagua Gong (Practice of the Nine Palaces and Eight Trigrams), plus some Thai dance movements. Then he began to look for partners to cheat for money by launching training courses. In order to maximize his profits, Li Hongzhi created an image of him imitating Buddha Sakyamuni meditating on the lotus seat, falsified his birthday and compiled mechanically some teaching materials.
The “Buddha” image of Li Hongzhi
In fact, Li Hongzhi is the biggest demon rather than the biggest Buddha in the universe as he claimed. He misled the public and made inflammatory statements, leading numerous people astray into evil ways, which resulted in many families being broken apart and family members being killed. Many people died tragically in order to “eliminate karma", "ascend to higher levels", or "reach Consummation."
In 1994, I took school courses in my spare time while working in Beijing. One day when I was off from work, Xiao Li, a fellow worker from Shandong Province, and I went to the urban area of Pinggu County. At a market entrance, several people stopped us, giving us leaflets and telling us that a so-called Falun Dafa training course lasting 10 nights would be held for “free” in Pinggu Youth Palace. According to them, the learners were to first watch the videos and listen to the explanations before a "Master" would teach the Falun Gong exercises on site. At that time, I was a curious and lively boy in my early twenties. I thought: since I could watch videos and learn Kung Fu for free, why not?
On the first night, Xiao Li and I arrived as promised at the training venue, where there were hundreds of people. After the opening ceremony, a video was played to publicize Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, spreading the “Fa.” In the video, Li advocated the doomsday theory, declaring that mankind was about to be destroyed; he denied modern science, claiming that human diseases were caused by "karma"; and he boasted that only he and his Falun Dafa could save mankind and so on. Then he began to teach the exercises in groups. There were five sets of exercises, including four sets of static ones and one set of dynamic ones.
On the third night, Li Hongzhi himself came to the training venue. After talking at random and uttering nonsense for a while, he began to “treat” people’s illness on site. I remembered vividly that someone pushed a "disabled person" in a wheelchair, saying that he had been paralyzed for years and that he had spent all his savings seeing many famous doctors to no effect. Li Hongzhi, muttering incantations, patted the body of the "patient" again and again before the "patient" finally stood up miraculously and walked several circles around the venue. The "patient" and his "family members" bowed and knelt before Li Hongzhi, expressing their gratitude for his kind act, and people around them were stunned and full of admiration for "Master" Li Hongzhi.
During the next few nights, more and more people came to attend the training course, and the fox finally showed its tail. After watching the video and learning the Falun Gong exercise, people were asked to buy Li Hongzhi's books, cushions and portraits. I bought three books, such as Zhuan Falun, as well as some small articles, which cost about 100 yuan.
During the exchange of practicing experience in the last night, the Falun Gong exercise was lauded as miraculous by people. Some said that their diseases plaguing them for many years suddenly got cured when they were practicing; others said that they had seen their previous life, this life, and future life when they were practicing meditation, and still others claimed that they flew up when they were reading a Falun Gong book.
Maybe because I was too dull to master the key points of the practice, or because I failed to learn the real skills from "Master", anyhow, they failed to talk me into joining the Falun Gong organization after ten days of training. When I was free, I occasionally browsed through the books by Li Hongzhi, such as Zhuan Falun, feeling they were insipid and hard to understand, so I put them aside and no longer touched them. Since then, I hadn’t got any contact with Falun Gong.
In 1997, I went back to my hometown to take a teacher recruitment examination and succeeded in becoming a middle school teacher, almost forgetting my experience with Falun Gong when I was in Beijing. In 1999, I learned on TV that Falun Gong was outlawed by the government as an illegal organization. I was shocked at that time, wondering how Falun Gong could have been an evil cult. I witnessed “Master” Li Hongzhi working on the scene to cure diseases and save people; besides, many practitioners extolled Falun Gong as miraculous when they were sharing their practicing experience.
Coincidentally, something bad happened to Xiao Li, who took the Falun Gong training course with me when we were in Beijing. Xiao Li was a very righteous and hard-working man, a few years older than me. I haven't met him since I left Beijing. It was said that he had been obsessed with Falun Gong and became a key member of the Falun Gong organization. He even quit his job in order to practice Falun Gong wholeheartedly. As he was too obstinate, his wife divorced him later, feeling very sad. So, Falun Gong has torn Xiao Li’s family apart in the end, instead of bringing happiness to him and his family.
Later, when I talked about it with a middle school classmate of mine, he told me a few examples about the Falun Gong cult harming society and killing people. I was rather dubious about it at first. Then I looked up the relevant information online, learning that the Falun Gong cult made a series of so-called “miracles” to deceive people, besieged the government departments again and again, and engaged in other illegal acts. Gradually, I realized that I was wrong. The “Tiananmen Self-Immolation Incident” on Jan. 23, 2001 had completely broken my illusion of Falun Gong. I was shocked to see the tragedies caused by the evil cult. How dangerous it is! If I had been as addicted to Falun Gong as Xiao Li, I wonder if I could have stood on the stage as a teacher to answer questions from my students today.
A few years ago, I joined the anti-evil cult organization of our county and changed from a former Falun Gong learner to an anti-evil cult volunteer. I told people around me about my experience and that of Xiao Li to persuade them to stay away from evil cults.