Ye Fangfei is a 38-year-old woman. She was born in Meizhou, Guangdong Province and migrated together with her parents to Nanshan District, Shenzhen in 1990. She graduated with the major of tourism culture from the Communication Department of the School of Humanities of Shenzhen University in 1999. At that time, she was a lively and beautiful girl. As intellectuals, her parents loved her very much and expected much of her. They arranged for her to learn how to play the piano, but her good life turned a new page when she bought the book Zhuan Falun in 1998.
Falling into the trap due to random association
On one Sunday in the second half of 1998, Ye Fangfei happened to notice a book, Zhuan Falun, when she was walking along the street with her classmate. Innocent and curious, she was attracted by one word “enlightenment”. She was reminded that her teacher talked about this word used in Buddhism during a class about tourism culture. Its profound meaning impressed her deeply. She was eager to see how Zhuan Falun explained it, so she bought the book and took it back to school.
Because of her tight schedule, she could spare no time to read the book. She didn’t pick it up until she was going to graduate in April 1999. A group of people came to practice Falun Gong in the square under her apartment building. When she walked over, one aunt asked her“Girl, would you like to join us? You seem to have a predestined bond with Dafa. Master teaches us Dafa to cultivate ‘Xinxing’, reach a higher level and achieve final consummation. You should learn more about it.” Suspicious, she found this was a “kind” aunt, so she had a dim desire to have a try. From that time on, she took every chance to learn Falun Gong at this practice site. With the help from other practitioners, she made rapid progress and started to honor Li Hongzhi as “Master” with all her heart. Little by little, her classmates found her change from an outgoing and lively girl to a silent girl, travelling alone. She no longer took part in different social activities organized by classmates. She often buried herself in Zhuan Falun, and occasionally introduced the book to her classmates. As she said, this book could benefit its readers a lot, but her classmates didn’t take her words seriously because they were looking for jobs.
Cheated by the cult leader because of her credulity
The Chinese government declared a ban on Falun Gong in July 1999. Ye Yanfei felt frightened at the news. She secretly went to ask what’s going on at the practice site. The aunt who had regarded her as her goddaughter took out the scripture and told her that “it’s an evil force that is persecuting Falun Gong, and a rare chance for Master to test if our practitioners can remain loyal to Dafa. Only after we go through the test can we achieve the final consummation. Those less determined practitioners will be eliminated in the end.” With these reassuring words, Ye Fangfei vowed inwardly that she’d follow Master along the road of Falun Gong.
Soon afterwards, the aunt asked her to make trouble in Beijing, and they were reported to the police. At that time, her parents realized that their daughter, once a docile girl, had fallen into the trap of Falun Gong. They blamed themselves for their inadequate attention to their daughter, and tried to persuade her to give up the cult. However, she was unmoved and even told her parents that “according to our Master, everyone has countless parents. If I’m tied by affection, you’ll become a barrier for me. Nobody but Master is my real parent. I’ll follow Master forever.” Ye Fangfei’s words hit like a thunderbolt and almost knocked her mother out. Her father knelt in front of her, imploringly, but she still remained indifferent to what was going on before her.
Mental disorder caused by inward contradictions
Ye Fangfei walked further along the cult road and was punished for her distribution of Falun Gong-related materials at the start of 2000. With the assistance of anti-cult volunteers, she came to realize that her behavior had hurt her parents, and she had gone astray. She looked for a job and wanted to start a new life in March 2001, but her former fellow practitioner came to see her and said that there was a new scripture from the Master. She read some words like “your waiting for years will end up with nothing once you have gone over to the opposite side”, “physical and mental destruction” and “be doomed”. She was as timid as a mouse, and was seized by a huge terror. They told her that “Master said ‘consummation’ will happen soon, and Dafa followers will embrace a great world.” Due to their tricks, such as threatening, alluring and frightening, she was mentally entangled, both scared and yearning. With the mentality that “she’d better believe the worst than learn the worst”, she started to practice Falun Gong again. When her father turned off the music of Falun Gong, she condemned her father as a “big demon”.
In May 2003, after she and other practitioners learned the new scripture, she thought that she was far away from the standard for “consummation” set by the Master. For the sake of “accelerating compensation, keeping pace with the progress of justifying Dafa, eliminating mental attachment and achieving final consummation” she quit her job and left home. She went to talk about Falun Gong with her fellow practitioners, and even stayed in their homes. But their different understandings of Dafa confused her so much that she didn’t know which one was right. She was reminded of the Master’s words that “understanding of Dharmata is essential regardless of truth or falsehood” and “final consummation can be achieved through understanding of Dharmata”. But how could she manage it? Tortured by contradictions and entanglements, her normal sense was gradually eroded and removed. She began to suffer mental troubles. Once, when she practiced Falun Gong, she murmured that nobody could understand her. Her father sent her to Shenzhen Kangning Hospital. Following the doctor’s diagnosis, she was found to have Class-2 schizophrenia.
For about ten years, her disease sometimes improved, but sometimes worsened. Her parents arranged for her to be treated in the hospital several times, and also to travel everywhere for relief. But their once bright and docile daughter was nowhere to be found.
With their waxen-faced, emaciated and murmuring daughter in front of their eyes, they were heart-broken.
(Executive editor: Lin Mu)