The author has long been engaged in the education of cult followers. From my contact with the people obsessed with Falun Gong, I found that women make up the majority. After talking with them, I found that their change of mentality follows the same rule: they fell into the trap of Falun Gong with the hope of enhancing their health and fitness. In life, they encounter setbacks and suffer from physical pain, loneliness and other difficulties. To seek psychological balance, they resort to Falun Gong and accept the psychological hints of Li Hongzhi and get mired in the mental traps set by him. As time goes by, they grow obsessed with the heretical ideas of Li Hongzhi and become stubborn addicts of the cult. In practice, the author help these female addicts to get rid of the cult and one thing is important, to disillusion them of their worship of the cult. Step by step, I save them from the traps of Falun Gong. Here, I would like to share my experience.
First, what is the mentality of Falun Gong worship?
With hints and threat, the followers act exactly the same in the end. They firmly believe Li Hongzhi is a god and he has eliminated the karma in their body. They just leave aside their health and seek desperately for “completeness”. Mr. Chen, who got rid of Falun Gong, once said, “In the end, we no longer care about fitness or health, but only pursue the so-called “completeness”. Yet no one dares to say that. Such is the mentality of “god worship”. This is especially true of female followers, as they seem to be more easily cheated and fail to think in a rational way. For female addicts, the most important thing is to disillusion them of such worship of Li Hongzhi as “god”.
Second, pay attention to the causes of setbacks.
Details determine success or failure. In preparing to help Falun Gong followers, I made a through survey of the causes for why they resorted to Falun Gong in the first place. I found that most of the female followers suffered setbacks in their life, which prompted them to escape from real life and practice Falun Gong. It is also the root cause of their paranoia and why they confuse right from wrong. Thus, we should attach importance to their reasons for resorting to the cult and find the crux to improve their resilience to setbacks.
There are four general causes for why female addicts resort to Falun Gong: marriage failure or family breakdown; disease or financial predicament; failure in career or interpersonal relationships; and superstition. We should adopt effective measures targeted at different types of Falun Gong followers and help them learn from setbacks, instead of becoming cynical or seeking the protection of “god” and help them build confidence.
Third, correct their perception and disillusion them of the cult
Setbacks are but like a catalyst, what really matters is the blind trust of the addicts in Falun Gong. Their paranoid and blind trust are caused by the repeated hints of Li Hongzhi in his preaching. For example, Li claimed that his interpretation of Buddhism is the most mysterious and super-natural science among all the religions in the world and even the cosmos is not as big as him. In this way, the followers feel they are superior and what they do is saving people. They gradually fall under the illusion that they are becoming healthier and morally enhanced, which is results in irrational confidence in the cult. This kind of blind confidence is more likely to exist among female addicts.
Another example is the effect of “warding off illness and building the body”. Li Hongzhi takes advantage of the group psychology of the followers. If someone recovers from a certain kind of illness, then no matter what illnesses others suffer from, the example will be cited to prove the effectiveness of Falun Gong in curing illness. In this way, people are wrongly informed. On the other hand, if someone suffers due to practicing Falun Gong, then people dare not to talk about it and would blame the person for not following the rules of Falun Gong. These kinds of negative group hints aggravate the illusion of superiority and the addicts’ paranoia. Those female followers who refuse to talk with common people often have such mentality.
When we try to help female followers who are under the illusion that they benefit from practicing Falun Gong physically or mentally, we usually avoid directly arguing with them about what is right or what is wrong. Instead, we show sympathy and build mutual trust with them to arouse their inner need for sharing feelings with others. Then we find the chances to reveal the paradoxes of Falun Gong; together with the comments and assessment of others, they will gradually begin to doubt or even deny the heretical ideas of Falun Gong. In the end, they will realize that they are deceived by Falun Gong and actively accept our help to be free of the cult.
Four, enlighten them with reason and reveal the truth of “the body benefiting from Falun gong”
Some Falun Gong followers refuse to come to their senses to this day, and the main reason is that they believe in the effectiveness of Falun Gong in curing diseases, especially women. These women suffer from chronic diseases and resort to Falun Gong for relief. They firmly believe that the cult is curing them. Therefore, the most important thing is to disillusion them and reveal the truth that they cannot benefit physically from practicing Falun Gong. The female followers have different levels of schooling, thus the author has employed methods of storytelling, deduction and reasoning to reveal the cult’s lies.
First: telling stories to bring out facts and reasons. One example is a story of a fisherman going fishing. Li Hongzhi is like the fisherman and his followers are like the fish. Food is the bait. The fish get the bait at the expense of their lives, while the fisherman is the biggest beneficiary. In this way, women, with rich emotional and life experience will reflect on themselves and consider whether they are the greedy fish. These women will think of the consequences and whether practicing Falun Gong has actually benefitted others at the expense of their own lives.
Second: deducting with facts instead of empty talk. I cite facts to refute the stories spread among followers of the exaggerated effects of practicing Falun Gong. I ask the rhetorical question that if Falun Gong is telling the truth, then why do so many important Falun Gong followers die from diseases. For example, Feng Lili, backbone key member and so-called Doctor of Medicine at the headquarters in New York, died from pancreatic cancer. She practiced Falun Gong for 7 years and refused to take medicine or receive medical treatment and died at the age of 54. Another example is Li Guodong, the man in charge of the news center of New Tang Dynasty Television. Widely recognized as an elite disciple of Falun Gong, he died from liver cancer in New York. By revealing these facts, I want the followers to see the heavy cost of practicing Falun Gong and undermine their trust in the cult.
Third: reasoning to convince. To help the Falun Gong followers come to their senses, the key is to disillusion them of the myth that Falun Gong can cure diseases. We can begin with Qigong and psychological hints. From the perspective of Qigong, the composition and structure of Falun Gong are defected with mixed movements and the emphasis that “Qigong only supplements Falun Gong”. Followers seek so-called “completeness”, a notion which neither exists in Qigong nor in the real world. With such misleading ideas, the addicts cannot benefit from practicing Falun Gong.
From the perspective of psychological hint, Li Hongzhi repeatedly hints in his preaching so that his followers are convinced that Falun Gong can cure diseases. They even equate the keep-fit effect with medical treatment. In the process, the author found that extra patience and explanation were needed to help female addicts. Diverse methods were adopted to show the effects of the psychological hints of Falun Gong, such as the medical benefits.
Mr. Yuan, a Falun Gong addict, always said that he felt faint or had headaches, or even illusion, when exposing the lies of Falun Gong. He thought it was his punishment for betraying Falun Gong. At this moment, we seized the opportunity to prove to him that the therapeutic effects touted by Falun Gong were but psychological suggestions.
Fifth, change the thinking pattern and eradicate the root causes
Bearing in mind the principle of "teaching one to fish is better than giving him fish", we realized that it ultimately relies on the practitioners themselves to get rid of the illusion and bring their life back on track. The practitioners who suffered from setbacks lack a sense of security. Therefore, apart from disillusioning them of the worship of Li Hongzhi, we must also help them change their thinking patterns and cultivate new interests and hobbies, so that they can be freed from the spiritual shackles of Falun Gong.
In the process of helping female practitioners, the author discovered several effective methods. For example, build the platforms for them to develop new habits and thinking patterns, tapping their potential in dancing, painting, calligraphy and foreign language. In this way, they will change towards the positive direction and get rid of the influence of Falun Gong, thus rebuilding their self-confidence.
From the above, we can see that the disillusioning of the female practitioners is a multi-dimensional and systematic process. In this process, we must take advantage of the rich emotions of women and help them sincerely. We must have confidence in them finding themselves and returning to the right track of society.