There is a cult which has been identified as such from as early as 1995 and banned since then, but it still lived on like a snake in dormancy. In recent years, the cult came back to life and developed rapidly. In 2014, it claimed that it had established over 7000 churches in China and had over 300,000 followers. At present, most of the followers have a low education level, which is below senior high school, and are over 50 years old, on average. But recently, the cult has turned its focus towards the youth. The backbone members of the cult in China are mostly between 20-35 years old. This cult is the “Blood Holy Spirit”.
In 2015, Gao Qiang, then a 28 year old “proficient missionary” who was a regional leader of “Blood Holy Spirit” in Shanxi, Hebei, and Henan said, “when evangelizing in public places, you should find some youths or students. As long as their parents believe, they will believe. They have good education. The effect will be better.” How does “Blood Holy Spirit” deceive and control youths?
Deifying oneself and establishing founder worship
Zuo Kun advocated that his name was inscribed on scriptures as early as several thousand years ago. “Zuo” means oriental. “Kun” means woman. He was born in an oriental sea island on August 8, 1966. He claimed that after undergoing 40 years of cultivation and paying a price of life, he cultivated a body which evangelized and was prepared to host Christ. He stepped on the moon, shouldered the sun and wore a crown made of 12 stars. Therefore, he is not a mortal. Zuo Kun said that he had many experiences of escaping from death. When evangelizing in the U.S. in 2005, he encountered the deadly “17 degree hurricane”, which couldn’t break through his door. In 2008 when he was about to die, he was put on the most advanced MRI. When the machine was turned on, all of the iron things in the room were attracted to the machine, such as knives.
Zuo Kun distorted the content of Bible such as, “Before God comes again, a man will rise from the East.” He claimed that, “My life comes from God and I will not die”, “I’m a disciple of God”, “a servant chosen by God”, “the father of spiritual believers”. He asked believers (including youths of course) to call him “Dad” or “Father”, asked children to call him “God Grandfather”. At gatherings of “Blood Holy Spirit”, God, Jesus and other titles were seldom mentioned. Instead, “God’s Disciple” Zuo Kun appeared more and more frequently. His pictures, calendars and “Truth Flag” printed with pictures of the earth, running horses and eagles were hung in gathering places. Young believers come to believe that Zuo Kun is the real “God” to worship instead of God or Jesus. In this way, Zuo established personal worship. At a summer camp of “Blood Holy Spirit” in 2015, a 14-year-old presenter said, “Disaster has gone and fortune has come. Let’s follow grandfather to the nation of God.”
Deceiving youths with false “paternal love”
Zuo Kun pointed out that “from a long perspective, we should take high school and middle school students as key targets. We should make use of kindergarten teachers to instill theories into children and cultivate backup forces.”
Therefore, Zuo Kun set up “Youth Training Points” within “Blood Holy Spirit”. Children of followers were dragged into the church. Youth backbone members were developed and trained. They set up missionary points in cities with a good number of universities and colleges and infiltrated student bodies. To delude students, Zuo Kun disguised the cult as a normal Christian church. They use pirated “gospels” of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement to evangelize students and changed contact numbers into their own.
In addition, “Blood Holy Spirit” disguised their founder Zuo Kun as a “Father” with “paternal love” and deceived youths with false “love”. They organized various activities such as singing parties, poem societies, balls, tours and dinners to make a family atmosphere of “solidarity and mutual help.” They also acted as matchmakers and hosted wedding ceremonies for young people. They deceived a lot of young people in this way.
When young people joined “Blood Holy Spirit”, they would be encouraged to bring their boyfriend or girlfriend into the cult, so that the members become younger in average. In 2014, at the gathering of “Blood Holy Spirit”, the police found that all the participants were young people and most of them were students from primary and middle schools. Among the new members of Shandong District in 2014, 30% are young people, among which the youngest one is 9 years old. The first vice leader is 28 years old. The leader of Henan District is only 19 years old.
Intimidating and threatening young people with “doomsday” and “curses”
Zuo Kun advocated “doomsday” and exaggerates the horror of doomsday. He threatened young people with the so-called omen of doomsday such as the Malaysia Airlines accidents, the terrorist attack in Kunming, a shooting in the Canadian Parliament, explosion in Gaoxiong, and war in east Ukraine. He said that “doomsday is coming. Non-believers will all receive trial by God and can not be excused from death.” However, “believers and their family will be free of diseases and go to paradise after death and go to the nation of God”. He said, “It’s your luck to follow me. I’m on the path of God. We will try and manage the world together with Christ till the end of time.”
For those who betrayed “Blood Holy Spirit” (including young people), Zuo Kun threatened followers with the following recital, “I have received the gospel of Blood Holy Spirit and attached to his regional leaders in reconstructing the church. If I am bewildered by the oriental lightening or become an undercover agent in the reconstruction and bewilder my sisters and brothers, I will be haunted by devils and be cursed by God. I will be unsafe in this life and go to a firy lake in my next life.”
“Brainwashing” young people in many ways
The cult occupied the time of youths with lectures, prayers, and chanting so as to cut the connections between them and the outside world. The cult insisted that young believers had to ask for permission to go back home. They were forbidden to use cell phones and contributed them to “Dad” or turned them in. They were not allowed to call family, schoolmates, or friends without permission.
Another example is that the cult forced young believers to promise not to make contact with outside people by writing a “letter of cutting connections” and to take part in the cult activities voluntarily. Otherwise, they would be punished by the church. The cult also made young believers sign a “vow” to strengthen mental control of young believers.
The cult advocated that if young people believe in the cult sincerely, they would be “promoted to be kings, live forever and enjoy fortune forever”.
Of course, the cult also hosted “winter camp”, “summer camp”, “labor unions”, “youth and college student training camp”, and “8.14 Holy Spirit Reconstruction Day” to cultivate young “full-time missionaries”. The cult let young people assume posts so that young believers would have and enjoy a sense of achievement and self-worth. It enticed young people to commit themselves to serving the cult.
After knowing how the cult deceived and controlled young people, we need to take countermeasures. We need not only teach young people how to identify the cult but also guide them not to believe, listen to, see or spread the cult. Only in this way can we protect young people from being harmed.
Meanwhile, to tackle the trend of “professionalized preaching, younger members and business-like management”, public security organs and anti-cult organizations in China should step up their efforts to control and crack down on the cult, help and support those young people who have gone on the wrong path, help them get rid of the spiritual control of the cult, and promote society in order that they can develop in a healthy and orderly way.