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Interview with former cult leader
 
Adjust font size:   Close chinafxj  2018-06-06
 

“Mentuhui”, also known as “Triple Redemption Church”, “Erliangliang Church”, “Mentuhui”, “Mengfuhui”, “Kuangyezhaimen Church” and “Twelve Apostles Church”, is a cult founded in Shaanxi province in 1989. Its leader Ji Sanbao was a farmer who claims to be Jesus. In the guise of Christianity, the cult disguises illegal activities as “preaching Gospel”. It has also distorted the Bible and fabricated a series of fallacies to inveigle followers.   

In September 2012, a reporter interviewed Chen XX the third former “major leader” who served a sentence at Weinan Jail, Shaanxi province. In the face of legal sanctions, Chen had already repented of his sins and revealed inside stories of Mentuhui. 

 

△The third “major leaders” of the cult Mentuhui 

The cult leader was also misled by relatives.  

Chen once lived in Xunyang County of the Qinling Mountains area. The remote and backward area was not accessible to adequate information, so the founder of Mentuhui, Ji Sanbao, enrolled numerous followers under the banner of Christianity. According to Chen, whole families all believing in the cult were common to see there. As in his family, followers totaled more than a dozen, including his grandfather, parents, eldest brother and his second bother’s wife. 

 

Although he was later a leader, Chen was a typical victim at first.  

Originally as a primary school teacher, he stuck to teacher’s morality and exhorted students not to accept superstition. He once despised those benighted followers, so he firmly rejected his relatives attempts to persuade him to join, and even regarded returning home as a sort of torture. 

 

△The “red cross flag” hanging on the wall (or “flag of victory” within the cult) is one of the symbols of Mentuhui. 

 

△Followers always put white scarves or white handkerchiefs on their head while attending activities. 

However, he finally gave in to his mother’s persuasion accompanied by weeping and sobbing. In his words, he gave up all his principles. As a consequence, Chen quit his job as he considered his decision desecrated the teacher’s profession.  

Chen concluded with “passive acceptance”. Apart from disguising as a Christian group, the major underlying factor is that Mentuhui takes advantage of relationship networks to develop potential followers. 

After the death of the former two leaders, Mentuhui was in a pickle 

As an intellectual, Chen was promoted by the first leader Ji Sanbao to be one of the “twelve apostles” within a year from when Ji founded Mentuhui in 1989. 

Mentuhui was well-organized in line with a “seven-seven system”, that is to say, the cult has seven levels (namely general assembly, conference, branch, subordinate branch, base, church and gathering), and every level has seven units. Of course Ji was the supreme leader of the general assembly. The cult ran in a secret way, followers even could not reveal their real names and addresses. 

   

However, in the next year, Ji and another chief, Xu Mingzhao, were put into prison. Members of the general assembly in local areas acted on their own will, thus the cult was in a total mess. After Ji died in a car accident, the successive leader Wei Shiqiang died of cancer and Xu Mingzhao was caught by the law. Mentuhui was in hot water at that time.

The cult would not let go any chance of resurgence. When Mentuhui was slack inside, Xu summoned a general assembly and recommended Chen to be the responsible person. Chen rejected immediately, but Xu asked him to recommend another or accept. At last, the assembly ended in discord as Chen strongly refused the proposal. “I was in for it.” Chen put it in this way. In the end Xu , Chen and another member took responsibility for leading the cult together. 

In those days, Chen rejected Xu’s instructions. Hence Xu would associate all the misfortunes Chen suffered with his rejection of the leadership. The most serious event happened in December, 2001. Chen had a high fever, cough and was out of breath during the “year-end general assembly”. Members all persuaded him that his illness was punishment by Jesus for sure. 

As a result, Chen was compelled to be Mentuhui’s third leader. 

And here is another reason. After Ji died, his fallacies collapsed. Therefore, many followers chose to withdraw. Chen harbored the same intention and he was at large at that time. Both mentally and physically exhausted, Chen was not willing to take over the messy situation. 

As justice has a long arm, Chen was sentenced to jail for 13 years. 

The cult leader- a witness for the murder of his father by “praying to cure” 

“Praying to cure” is a typical cult feature that has entrapped and ruined most followers. Fabricating “miracles” is the most common method for Mentuhui to induce followers. Chen naturally grasped these tricks and revealed all to the reporter. 

  

   

All the “miracles” were to deify Ji Sanbao. A medley book, The Shining Spiritual Route, has recorded cases of “triple redemption” and “praying to cure”. it says Ji can cure blindness and paralysis, revive the dead or harvest more crops without fertilizer and pesticide. As Chen was an intellectual, he was responsible for the first draft and determined the term “triple redemption”. 

But Chen denied the “miracles” mentioned in the book, so that he was guilty for adding such cases. In particular, he witnessed that Ji prayed for a young man with a high fever caused by scabies. Delay of treatment had worsened his illness, and at last led to death, which strengthened Chen’s sense of guilt. 

 

△Being tricked by “praying to cure”, many followers became more seriously ill and died. 

Afterwards, Chen also witnessed messes of Mentuhui’s management. 

The most ironic thing is that Ji, the so-called “incarnation of Jesus” and “son of God”, died of car accident! 

“Now that God can bless all the followers and Ji is the son of God, why didn’t God and Jesus bless him?” Chen could not drive off such doubts as only Ji died in the accident while three others were only slightly injured. 

Another ironic case is that the second leader Wei Shiqiang died of cancer due to ineffective “praying to cure”. 

Previously, Wei always told followers that he had prayed to rescue patients denied by hospitals. Without witnessing it with their own eyes, followers still admired Wei as they absolutely believed in the leader. 

Around 1997, Wei was diagnosed with hepatitis B. However, Wei chose to pray instead of seek treatment. The delay in treatment of hepatitis developed into lethal liver cancer. The management of Mentuhui and Wei himself were all despaired of prayer, but in order to eliminate followers’ doubts, Wei sought medical treatment in Xi’an and Beijing. Finally, Wei still passed away after spending hundreds of thousands of followers’ donations. 

And the biggest shock to Chen was the death of his father. 

Chen had little faith in “praying to cure”, but being the leader, he himself couldn’t deny the biggest lie of the cult. 

 A tragedy happened owing to his hesitation .  

A couple of years ago, Chen’s father fell from a tree as he trimmed his fruit trees, which resulted in a fracture of his upper leg. At that time, Chen was busy preparing for the general assembly at other places. After being informed, Chen was very anxious but arranged family members and several followers in Xunyang to pray for his father rather than send him to a hospital. 

The fracture of the leg was actually a deadly injury. Prayer for several days had little effect, but Chen’s father suffered a lot. He strongly demanded to seek medical attention but Chen rejected the demand. Followers would not violate Chen, therefore, people still continued to pray regardless of the requests put forward by Chen’s father. 

All their “efforts” would naturally be in vain. Chen’s father developed a high fever due to infection. Chen also realized the gravity of the situation but could not personally send his father to the hospital. Finally, he decided to return to home with mixed feelings. 

Unfortunately, on the way home, Chen received the news that his father had died, which became the biggest regret in his life. 

I always conducted exorcisms for others but failed concerning my family.” Chen was still immersed in remorse. Moreover, it is the perfect evidence for Mentuhui’s tricks. The management members all harbour ulterior motives and attempt to mystify the cult’s followers. Any follower of such a cult will be doomed to ill fortune. 

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