“Guan Yin Citta” is defined as an illegal organization with the cult characteristics. Its founder Lu Junhong gains an illegal income of several hundred million yuan each year. The Buddhist Association of China calls on people to resist this organization.
The disciples of “Guan Yin Citta” are kneeling in the “Dharma Talk” with Lu Junhong. Photo by interviewee
Lu Junhong, who proclaims himself as the incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy, is preaching the “Buddha Dharma” to his disciples. Photo by interviewee
“Guan Yin Citta” disciples’ threat and curse to those who question it.
2. Details of a small house
The yellow paper chanted by those disciples for many times is called the “small house”.
In 2000 or so, Lu Junhong, an overseas Chinese in Australia, founded “Guan Yin Citta”. Now this organization has involved more than three million disciples most of whom are Chinese.
He proclaimed himself as the incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy and went further to claim that he could save people even in his dream through his 48 incarnations. He organizes quite a few “Dharma Talk” across Australia each year, recruit the disciples in the name of Buddhism, and use his fallacies like treating diseases and eliminating disasters and karma to collect money.
As the related authorizes disclose, he can have an illegal income of several hundred million yuan each year by organizing “Dharma Talk”, arranging donation boxes, arranging master-honoring ceremonies, selling fortune stuffs and freeing captive animals.
As early as 2014, the Buddhist Association of China once stated that “Guan Yin Citta” borrowed some concepts and theories from Buddhism, but these contents are shallow and random, and even abuse the basic concepts of Buddhism, and called on the disciples of Buddhism to resist the adverse effects of “Guan Yin Citta” and avoid being deceived by this organization.
An entry ban is recently imposed on Lu Junhong by the related authorities of China. “Guan Yin Citta” is also defined as an illegal organization with cult characteristics.
In August 2015, Liang Ping, a disciple of “Guan Yin Citta”, suddenly fell dead when he helped another disciple move several cases of books.
The 43-year-old Liang Ping has practiced “Guan Yin Citta” for five years. He gets up even before 4 a.m. every day. After he finishes practicing “Guan Yin Citta”, he goes to distribute the books in vegetable market, at the entrances to metro stations or those places with heavy pedestrian flow before he goes to work. He does this for the sake of merits.
However, his death was attributed by Lu Junhong to “lust for money and evil minds”.
Liang Ping found this comment totally unacceptable. “Lust for money and evil minds can do harm to merits. Since he’s so crazy about accumulating merits, is there any reason for him to do this?”
She checked her husband’s bank cards and chat records of social software. She found no additional money or information suggesting any connections or improper ties with women. All the records were about preaching “Guan Yin Citta” and accumulating merits.
On the contrary, his family life gradually became even harder because he gave many books to others.
Disciples are told to chant sutras repeatedly when they are eager to save their seriously sick relatives.
On June 30 and July 1, some disciples described how they joined “Guan Yin Citta” during the interview in Shanghai.
Huang Ying joined “Guan Yin Citta” because her mother was seriously sick.
She was almost destroyed by the news that her mother had the stomach cancer. Liang Ping told her that “the only way to save mother is to chant sutras”.
Huang Ying seemed to get the last resort. She followed her husband’ step and became a member of “Guan Yin Citta”.
She chants sutras for eight or nine hours each day. She no longer goes to work, but her efforts proved fruitless. After her mother passed away, she was obsessed with “Guan Yin Citta”. She kept on chanting sutras in the hope that mother could ascend to the Heaven.
Four months after her mother passed away, her 49-year-old elder sister was hospitalized due to bleeding of cerebral aneurysm. Because Liang Ping was the main member of “Shanghai practitioner team”, all the disciples across the country chant sutras to pray for the recovery of her elder sister.
Yet, her elder sister passed away at last. Huang Ying was thrown into great grief by the death of her beloved ones. She called Lu Junhong, but was told that she should chant sutras more frequently to make sure her mother and elder sister could go to the heaven.
Following Lu Junhong’s instructions, she set the Buddha cabinet and chanted sutras. She changed flowers, fruits and Buddha water at the fixed time each day.
She even asked her son to chant sutras because Lu Junhong once said that “children can have more merits and better intelligence and health if they choose to practice ‘Guan Yin Citta’”.
Huang Ying and Liang Ping practiced “Guan Yin Citta” together, which reaped much admiration from other disciples. Many disciples had to face unhappy marriage and even divorce due to the opposition from their spouses or family relatives.
Huang Ying freed captive animals once every seven days within 49 days following the death of her husband. Within one whole year from 2015 to 2016, she kowtowed for 108 times in front of Buddha cabinet and chant sutras twice every day.
Her 108 kowtows for the first time lasted for more than one hour. After that, she collapsed and didn’t recover until she lay in bed for a long time.
Huang Ying chant 800 pieces of “small houses”, freed over 20,000 fishes and promised to help 100 people practice “Guan Yin Citta” this year.
What she did was to hope that “her husband could go to the Heaven”.
But Lu Junhong told her in March this year that Liang Ping “fell from the sky” because she set paper money on fire.
For Huang Ying, this news sounded as if Liang Ping died again. She knew that none of her relatives had ever set paper money on fire for her husband. In addition, Lu Junhong had said that her husband died of “lust for money and evil minds”. This caused her to have some doubts about Lu Junhong.
When she searched for the information about “Guan Yin Citta” online, she happened to notice many posts that said“Guan Yin Citta is a cult”. Lu Junhong had ever told his disciples that the results of search engine couldn’t be believed. According to him, they should never search for the information of this kind, nor gain knowledge about other Buddha Dharma; otherwise, their merits would be ruined.
In the search process, she happened to notice an anti-Guan Yin Citta community. There’re more than 80 people in the community.
It’s not until then that she found many people shared the same doubt as she. She was more determined to exit “Guan Yin Citta”.
Her exit was met by threats and curses from many disciples. They swore that her son would become an orphan and she had a violent death within half a year.
The person who introduced a job to Huang Ying was one disciple of “Guan Yin Citta”. Having learned that she exited “Guan Yin Citta”, the disciple forced her to resign.
Lu Junhong proclaimed himself as the incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy.
Huang Ying used the words “totally absurd” to describe her past experience. She said Lu Junhong was “a lair”.
In 2014, she met Lu Junhong himself for the first time in Hong Kong and honored the latter as his master, Before her visit, she had ever dreamed of being reminded to do this for several times. In her opinion, she thought it’s an enlightenment for her.
After Lu Junhong was honored as the master, she got a red certificate with the words “Certificate of Lu Hongjun’s Diciples”. Inside the covers are the disciple’s name and rules.
Lu Junhong told her that she could place the certificate over her chest in case of any troubles or diseases. In this way, his incarnation will appear to save her. This certificate is a ticket to the heaven for all the disciples.
According to Huang Ying, Lu Junhong proclaims himself as the incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy and has sown the seeds of lotus flowers for all the disciples, so they can “go to the heaven” together with him.
Huang Ying had no doubts about it at that time. She thought that the Goddess of Mercy did everything for ordinary people, and Lu Junhong’s proposal of “abstaining from eating meat and chanting sutras” is something good. Her belief in Lu Junhong was well grounded. “Now it looks so absurd”, she said.
For Lu Junhong and “Guan Yin Citta”, the Buddhist Association of China once made some comments.
On June 13, 2014, the spokesman from the Buddhist Association of China said when answering some questions about “Guan Yin Citta” that, some eminent monks of great virtue in the history of Chinese Buddhism have been honored as the incarnation of Buddha, but they are recognized posthumously by the future-generation disciples. Few of them ever proclaimed themselves as the incarnation or spokesman of one Buddha or Bodhisattva.
According to the Buddhist Association of China, “Guan Yin Citta” borrows some concepts and theories from Buddhism, but they only have some shallow knowledge and make random use, and even abuse some basic concepts like “five Skandhas” and “Nidana”. So the Buddhist Association of China called on all the disciples to consciously resist any negative effects of “Guan Yin Citta” to avoid being cheated.
Three months before the Buddhist Association of China make official comments, “Guan Yin Citta” organized quite a few large activities in Malaysia and Singapore. Eleven Buddhist organizations in Malaysia made the joint statements that “Guan Yin Citta” isn’t a legitimate school of Buddhism, so all the disciples should never be misled.
According to the Buddhist Association of China, it’s the consensus in the international world of Buddhism that “Guan Yin Citta” doesn’t have the doctrine of Buddhism and can’t be considered as a legitimate school of Buddhism.
Lu Junhong not merely claimed himself as the incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy, but enjoyed several “fancy” statuses, such as the winner of some “influential” international prizes like Ambassador of World Peace, and Special Contribution Award of National Community of the Commonwealth of Nations. But it’s hard to prove if these prizes are true.
Lu Junhong said that he received the prize of “Ambassador of World Peace” from the U.S. Congress on March 26, 2014. But the reporter didn’t find Lu Junhong’s name in Chinese or English on the official website of the U.S. Congress.
Lu Junhong said that he received the prize of “Ambassador of Education Peace” from the United Nations on March 24, 2014, but the United Nations has never set this prize.
Lu Junhong also said that she received the “Prize of ICD Excellent Contribution to World Peace” in “Global Cultural and Diplomatic Summit” in Berlin, Germany in 2013. The reporter visited ICD’s official website and got a checklist of the events of this summit, but found no records about this prize. The further search revealed no information about this prize ever granted during the previous years.
According to the information collected by the reporter, Lu Junhong is an overseas Chinese in Australia. He was born in Shanghai in 1959. His father used to be a teacher in Shanghai Drama School. Owing to his father’s influence, he became familiar with some traditional Chinese musical instruments even during primary schooldays, and he was also good at different percussion instruments. Later he studied in Shanghai Drama School to become a drama director. During this period, he took an active part in different performances. After his graduation, he started to be a director in Shanghai Jing’an Yue Drama Theater.
But after he went abroad, he was suddenly transformed into a “Master of Buddhism”.
His resume goes as follows:
1989-1995: a student majoring in Market Management and Enterprise Management of Sydney New South Wales College of Business, founder and editor-in-chief of Predestined Affinity with Buddha
1995: an immigrant to Australia under the category of special technical immigrant
1997: an editor in Australia’s Chinese radio station to be responsible for Metaphysics Discussions. Metaphysics Discussions
2007: a founder of Australia Oriental Radio, and Chairman and President ever since
Since the radio station was founded, he was a host of such programs as Metaphysics Discussions and Q&A of Metaphysics to tell fortunes for audience. He attracted new members in the same way as pyramid selling organization. In this way, “Guan Yin Citta” has gained a considerable scale.
In recent years, “Guan Yin Citta” has been questioned and defined as an illegal organization. At the end of 2015, “Guan Yin Citta” was also accused of publishing Lu Junhong’s articles on the fake webpages of www.people.com.
Lu Junhong fabricates fallacies to control his disciples mentally.
Huang Ying said that Lu Junhong have not just deified himself and threatened his disciples, but controlled his disciples mentally by fabricating fallacies and creating anxiety.
On more than one occasion, “spirit” is a frequent word in the mouth of Lu Junhong, in fact, his so-called “spirit” is a devil. “Possessed by spirit” also means “possessed by devil”.
“You get spirit enraged, and one man is on your waist. I’m here to pray to the Goddess of Mercy so that you can live longer.” On October 2, 2016, Lu Hongjun told a wheelchair-bound disciple in a “Dharma Talk” with the so-called Buddhists from the world that his cancer cells has expanded to every part of his body.
“I notice there’s one spirit in the back of your mother’s brain. It’s a man, who must be eliminated. You mother must chant Heart Sutra 17 times each day, or she’ll feel depressed.” In the same “Dharma Talk”, he told another disciple who was concerned about the mother’s health.
“Reading totems” is a way for Lu Junhong to “treat diseases” for his disciples. He boasts that he, based on the date of birth, zodiac signs and genders, has a pair of magic eyes and can identify the location, shape and color of totem, and gain insights into past and present lives, as well as karma regardless of gaps of time and distance. He can treat present diseases and even future diseases.
The spokesman from the Buddhist Association of China made comments on whether “reading totems” is something included in the doctrine of Buddhism. According to “Guan Yin Citta”, “reading totem” means that everyone has an animal “totem” that corresponds to his or her own zodiac sign. Some knowledge about fortune can be gained by observing this “totem”. In fact, there’s nothing like “reading totem” in the classics and doctrines of Buddhism. The practice of resorting to astrology is banned in Buddhism commandments.
In the book “Selection of Successful Treatment Cases of Diseases by Guan Yin Citta, there’re some successful cases in which the disciples have their diseases like cancers, AIDS, infertility, mental diseases, cerebral palsy, and vegetative state.
Many disciples refused to seek medical help in hospitals by following Lu Junhong’s instructions. But once they died of delayed treatment, Lu Junhong will claim that the patients are burdened with very serious “karma”. If they hadn’t practiced “Guan Yin Citta”, they could have lived so long.
In fact, Lu Junhong often uses some ambiguous words to guess the disciples’ troubles. If he gets the right result, he demands the disciples’ applauses. Otherwise, he will artfully start a new topic.
In one “Dharma Talk”, Lu Junhong assumed that one female disciple had one porcelain Goddess of Mercy at home, but the disciple said it was wrong. Lu Junhong quickly changed to another topic. He said the glass in her balcony would glitter because there’s an immortal there.
“Three tricks” of “Guan Yin Citta”
“Chanting sutras, freeing captive animals and making wishes” are “three tricks” of “Guan Yin Citta”.
Whether disciples get sick or their dead parents want to have souls released from suffering, Lu Junhong usually give “prescriptions” of this sort, which may vary when the severity of diseases and the number of sutras chanting and freeing captive animals are considered.
Lu Junhong once told a disciple with the worsening cancer that “you must free 25000 fishes and chant 760 pieces of ‘small houses’”.
The “small houses” don’t refer to the real houses, but the yellow paper for chanting sutrass. On the paper are about one hundred hollow points. Having finished chanting sutras once, the disciple finishes chanting sutras once, he presses the point once until all the points have been pressed. Then the disciple set the paper on fire. The so-called scripture is actually Lu Junhong’s wanton combination of Buddhism’s four mantras.
Lu Junhong said that “small houses represent big energy in the sky and big money on the earth”, “one small house is equal to ten gold bullions in the hell”, and “small houses can eliminate karma and repay debts”.
As one disciple said, it takes at least one hour to finish chanting one “small house”. Whatever problems he meets, Lu Junhong often asks him to chant “small houses” . Dozens or even hundreds of small houses can be chanted in a short time.
“You should chant if you meet a dead person in dream, some problems in work, some quarrels with spouse. You’ve got to keep chanting since once trouble is always following by another.” Huang Ying said.
She used to chant at least eight “small houses” every day. After she finished chanting, her mouth felt very tired. Later on, she chanted in a low voice. She never failed to press the counter after she finished chanting once. When her son wanted to talk to him, she’d wave her hand and said that “go away, I’m chanting sutras.”
Everyone who joins “Guan Yin Citta” has “the cause of disease”.
Problems with work, family and health, and even mental diseases all become the reasons for their decisions to join “Guan Yin Citta”. Those who encourage them to join this organization convince them that everything will get better as long as they practice “Guan Yin Citta”.
Li Ling’s son was in poor health. After she became a disciple, Lu Junhong told her that there’s a granny in her son, so she need to finish chanting 172 pieces of small houses.
On July 6, Li Ling told the reporter that she honored Lu Junhong as the master. She chanted sutras every day, but she gradually lost her normal life and friends.
In the eyes of Huang Ying, the most powerful of “three tricks” is changing sutras. They usually chant for thousands of times. As a result, disciples can become dizzy and sleepy.
The freed animals usually include fish, spawns, crabs and clams. Huang Ying said that these animals are often eaten by people. People in some sectors like cooks, insecticide-spraying workers, doctors of artificial abortion and butchers have to free captive animals frequently so that their sins can be offset. The best solution is to find a job of new profession. When captive animals are freed, they must chant sutras for self-protection.
Another trick of “Guan Yin Citta” is “making wishes”. This means that a disciple should change sutras in front of the Goddess of Mercy or pray to the Goddess of Mercy for blessing so that the personal problems can be solved. In the meantime, every disciple shall avoid meat on the first and fifteenth days of each month. Some disciples even wish that they would avoid sex with spouses, thus causing the tension between husbands and wives.
Lu Junhong’s ways to make money
Lu Junhong organizes quite a few “Dharma Talk” in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macao every year. For a disciple, the presence at these “Dharma Talk” is considered as the best way to accumulate merits. Some monks are even invited to the “Dharma Talk”. On July 6, one monk who had ever attended such “Dharma Talk”, told the reporter that he found that “disciples got brainwashed and bought valueless stuffs, but learned nothing about Buddhism.”
The first agenda of the “Dharma Talk” is the consecration of dharma-vessels, including landscape paintings, and porcelain statue of the Goddess of Mercy.
Lu Junhong told the disciples for more than once that bathrooms and kitchens are the dirtiest and most frequently haunted places. The landscape paintings can ensure the safety of family.
A very cheap landscape painting, once consecrated by Lu Junhong, can be sold at the price of 30, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 yuan depending on the size. The statue of the Goddess of Mercy is sold even at a high price of several thousand yuan.
Before one “Dharma Talk” started, the practitioner team from Hong Kong branch of “Guan Yin Citta” published an announcement that all the disciples are called on to “make real efforts” and raise fund for the stage lighting and audio system.
Some disciples find that Lu Junhong asks the local practitioner teams not to prepare the donation boxes or to raise fund and collect money. But he himself sets the donation boxes in all the “Dharma Talk” across the world.
Lu Junhong organizes the grand ceremony to honor master. He claims that no expenses will be incurred for most of his disciples, but several practitioner team leaders may often remind those financially strong disciples to offer generous gifts so that they can have a shortcut to goal.
One disciple mentioned that she once donated 80,000 yuan. She donated most of her income to Lu Junhong after the basic needs were satisfied. As a result, the serious discord was created inside her family. In May 2015, one female disciple sold her own house and donated 1.23 million yuan to the Secretariat of Oriental Radio, an institution founded by Lu Junhong.
The freeing of captive animals on the first and fifteenth days of each month is another major expense of disciples. The freeing of captive animals is usually organized by practitioner teams. Zhang Jiang, a disciple from Guangzhou, said that they couldn’t take materials or photos when captive animals are freed. They just give money to organizers and state the price of fish they are to free. Yet, they don’t know where fish is, and have no chance to see accounts. Sometimes, organizers even encouraged disciples to pay more to free more fishes.
What’s more, “Guan Yin Citta” publishes an account for supporting printing work on its official blog to encourage disciples’ donations in the name of printing books and materials.
In “Guan Yin Citta”, disciples shall not talk about their donations and those expenses related to printing books, making calendars and fans. Lu Junhong said that “any disclosure will render past efforts meaningless”, and even ruin merits.
Only a few disciplines still retain the receipts issued by “Buddhism Dharma Charity Organization of Australia Oriental Media”. As a matter of fact, nobody knows how much money the disciples have donated to Lu Junhong.
The police’s investigation results show that the disciples in Chinese mainland completed 842 transfers of more than 6.41 million yuan to the account with the name of “Australia Oriental Radio”.
As the related authorities disclosed, Lu Junhong can gain an illegal income of several hundred million yuan by organizing the disciples’ participation in more than ten large “Dharma Talk” in Malaysia and Hong Kong and other places, and by arranging donation boxes, organizing master-honoring ceremony, selling fortune stuffs and freeing captive animals.
Huang Ying and her husband spent over 100,000 yuan on “Xinling Dharma Talk”, including Lu Jun’s donation of 80,000 yuan and expense of over 20,000 yuan for freeing captive animals. Moreover, they spend a lot to attend “Dharma Talk” and buying books.
After she exited “Xinling Dharma Talk”, Huang Ying organized an anti-Guan Yin Citta WeChat group, which has more than 200 members. She often reposts the articles about Lu Junhong in the hope that other disciples can be awakened by reading these articles.
Li Ling also exited “Guan Yin Citta”. She and dozens of disciples found that Lu Junhong wasn’t preaching the real scripture of Buddhism, but boasting of his own power.
The groups of this kind have emerged in every corner of the country. Some people have even created WeChat public accounts to communicate the information about illegitimacy of “Guan Yin Citta”.
Today, Huang Ying has found a new job with the help of residential committee. Her life has gradually regained its normal track.
She removed the Buddha cabinet at home. She said, “I’m no longer afraid, and I needn’t chant sutras to repay debts every day.”
(Liang Ping, Huang Ying and Li Ling are all assumed names)