No one should be capable of hurting their own children, but four years ago, Qiu Jidi almost “destroyed” her own daughter. It turned out that she had been brainwashed by the “Cult of Chief God”, and almost ruined her daughter’s whole life.
"She said my trouble was caused by something related to the dead, and asked me to set their artifacts on fire.”
Qiu Jidi, known as A Di by her friends, is a 48-year-old woman from Longchuan, Heyuan, Guangdong Province. She only had a primary school education but she’s kind-hearted and honest.
In July 2017, she rested quietly at home to recover from an operation for gastric leiomyoma. One day, two gray-haired ladies visited her and chatted with her.
“In the countryside, it’s a common practice to visit and chat with one another at home. Visitors may be strangers or acquaintances.” A Di recalled. “They both looked about 60 years sold. Very thin, and they spoke Hakka dialect. They came from Heyuan.” Learning that A Di had recently had an operation, the two of them soon started talking about “God” with A Di, and some things about their belief in “Chief God”. According to them, prayer could cure diseases and guarantee safety. All the benefits could be gained at no cost.
As a rural woman, A Di was superstitious and believed in ghosts and deities. In 2001, she started to believe in Christianity when she was told that this religion was good. She found that the two women used many words from the Bible, and found these things were almost the same as what she had read. Then, they said a lot about “signs”. In fact, their words were nothing new: some sick people recovered without treatment after they believed in Chief God. As a result, the superstitious A Di was doubtful about what they said.
In winter of 2011, A Di was found to have an ovarian cyst during a medical check. She was rather upset. After all, she had just gone through one operation, so h ow could she have another operation in such a short time? The doctor told her that she could see the doctor again when her menstrual period was over. Distracted, she told the disciple “Fu Shi”about her disease during a party.
“Fu Shi” exclaimed in a low voice: “your trouble is caused by something related to the dead! Have any of your dead family members left something behind?” A Di said that “my husband’s parents have been dead for years. Can the things they left behind cause all my troubles?”
“Sure. You must set them on fire at once! According to Chief God, these things adversely affect Chief God’s work.”
After she returned home, she found and burned all the items left behind by her husband’s parents, even including their old photos. After her menstrual period, she went to the hospital for another check. To her delight, her ovarian cyst had disappeared. After she set those things on fire, her trouble was eliminated. This “Chief God” was really miraculous! From then on, she was a devoted believer in the Cult of Chief God. It never occurred to her that there may be something wrong with the medical check.
"God took a fancy to your daughter. If she doesn’t go, that means she refuses to serve Chief God.”
In October 2013, A Di's daughter remained jobless at home. "Fu Shi" came to visit Ai Di and wanted to take advantage of the young girl. She said; “God took a fancy to your daughter. Let your daughter follow me to serve Chief God. What a blessing for her! Otherwise, you’ll be punished by Chief God!” “Fu Shi” listed many examples to explain how Chief God punished those who refused to serve him. After realizing her disease was cured by Chief God, she didn’t hesitate any more. She, together with “Fu Shi”, tried to persuade her daughter to serve Chief God.
“God took a fancy to my daughter. If she didn’t accept this offer, she would resist God’s work. Maybe I’ll get sick again or suffer a more serious punishment?” A Di was apprehensive and suspicious. Crying and shouting, she kept pestering her daughter all day long and even frightened her with “Fushi”. “If you go out to preach with God, God will bless our family. I’ll not get sick again! You want a disaster to befall our family?” Her daughter was close with with her since childhood so, helpless, she agreed to the silly request.
According to the Cult of Chief God, a female believer must wear long blouses and trousers to wrap herself up. These clothes shouldn’t be of bright colors and they can’t have their mobile phones with them. Before departure, A Di bought her daughter some black, gray and blue clothes which cost over 1000 yuan. Delighted, she sent her daughter away and gave 500 Yuan to “Fushi”, who was travelling along, saying that the money was offered to Chief God.
Her daughter said with the restrained weeping, “Mum, I want to go back home ……”
However, one month later, A Di received a call from unfamiliar number. She heard her daughter’s weak voice on the other side of line. Once her weeping was restrained, her daughter told her in a low voice, “Mother, I want to go back home. They aren’t good people. I found they cheated old people of their money. I don’t want to mix with them. I want to go back home ……”
A Di couldn’t help feeling distressed. After all, she had gone through much trouble bringing her daughter up. For two decades, her daughter, except those schooling days, never stayed away from her for such a long period, let alone travel out with strangers, penniless and out of contact. But she only had time to say a single word before her daughter suddenly hung up. She realized that her daughter had secretly called her before others noticed.
Soon afterwards, her daughter fled back home, shabbily dressed. The once beautiful daughter looked like a beggar. Her daughter cried bitterly in her arms, and said “Mum, they aren’t good people. They cheated money out of old people, and claimed that the money would be offered to Chief God. Once the torch used in preaching was out of power, but they didn’t want to buy batteries. Every day I couldn’t have a full stomach and good sleep …..” Her daughter also told A Di that this preaching happened somewhere near their town. Her daughter fled away before “Fu Shi” noticed her behavior and even got the money back that A Di had ever given to “Fu Shi”. It took her daughter several days to return home. Her daughter, still panic-stricken, often screamed and got awakened from nightmares at nights. A Di couldn’t bear to let her preach outside.
As the anti-cult activity in the village gained popularity A Di realized that the “Chief God” was a cult. She ever saw the news about one man from Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, who offered his two young daughters to the “Cult of Chief God”. She felt startled and scared. If her daughter hadn’t snuck back home or had been stopped and forced back and if she had stubbornly asked her daughter to leave home again, then …… A Di couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief.
(Executive editor: Lin Mu)