My father is Zou Quanzhong. He used to work in a construction company in Tancheng, Shandong Province. Before he became obsessed with the Eastern Lightning Cult, he was a responsible father. Yet after that, he lost his reason, even giving all of our family savings, including my college tuition fees, to the Almighty God (the god of the Eastern Lightning cult).
In the summer of 2009, my father suffered from declining health and resorted to the Eastern Lightning Cult for a remedy. According to him, you will be free from diseases and accidents as long as you follow the orders of the Almighty God.
At that time, my mother was busy with her clothes business and didn’t pay much attention to my father’s new religious belief. I was about to take the college entrance exam and was too busy to take care of the family. In this way, my father became obsessed with the Almighty God. To show his faith in the Almighty God, he often went out to bring evangelization to others and was absent from work. His superiors admonished him for that, but he just ignored them. In May, 2010, while I was on vacation during the few days before the college entrance exam, my father’s superiors came to my home and warned that if he continued to stay away from work without leave, they would fire him. I couldn’t understand my father and asked my mother why he regarded the spread of the Church of Almighty God (another name for Eastern Lighting) as more important than his job. My father said that it was for the benefit of the family. He even cited a few examples to show that after people are converted to the Church of Almighty God, their children are admitted to better colleges and they enjoy harmonious family relations and good health. I asked my father, “can the Almighty God bless me in getting admitted into college?” He answered affirmatively that the Almighty God can bless us in everything, as long as we faithfully follow his orders. My mother lost her temper and scolded him, threatening to divorce him if he didn’t abandon the cult. My father ostensibly agreed, yet soon he was fired from his job.
Still worse, when my mother went to the bank to withdraw the family savings for my college, she was told that the money had already been withdrawn. She rushed home to look for other bank cards, yet none were left. My mother questioned my father and he said that all the money had been given to the deacon of the Almighty God. He looked at me, saying that but for the Almighty God, I couldn’t have been admitted into college. I achieved admission to college through my own efforts, yet my father owed it to his Almighty God. My mother forced him to look for the deacon, only to find that he had fled from our county. My father didn’t even know his name.
My mother knew that he had been cheated and called the police. She was told that my father was cheated by the Eastern Lightning Cult and it was hard to investigate the case.
In this way, all the savings my mother had gained from her hard work were lost, and we borrowed my tuition fees from relatives.
After I went to college, my mother invited the anti-cult volunteers to help my father. He went to do the hardest work at the construction sites to make up for the harm done to the family. Now everything in the family is back on track. My father couldn’t figure out why he would give the family savings of RMB 60,000, which was for the education of his child, to the cult.