Li Xiaoyan started a health service center in Lishu County, Jilin Province and became an anti-cult volunteer after she shook off the shadow of Falun Gong. This reporter met her on September 25, 2017 and had a chance to understand her experience in breaking away from the cult.
Her apartment is on the second floor of an ordinary residential quarter. Having receiving the reporter's call, she waited downstairs in case the reporter couldn't find her apartment.
In fact, it's easy to find her apartment. Everyone can see a red plaque with the words "Original Point Health Service Center" on it at the entrance to staircase between the windows on the first and second floors.
Her business is run out of her apartment. In every corner of her apartment were bottles and jars of various shapes and sizes, in which yeasts could be found.
Insider her bedroom was one bed and two massage tables. It appears that her apartment has become a studio for her.
"This is more than a home for me. It's actually a new starting point in my life," she said emotionally.
Li Xiaoyan is performing massage service for her customer.
But when her past experience was touched upon, her voice turned grave.
She used to sell books in the Lishu County Gonglongbing Store, but lost her job during the employer's restructuring efforts in 1995. To earn a living, she had to continue her old trade --- bookselling by renting several counters in the store. Her business was modestly successful. "When Falun Gong rose to popularity, this cult's books sold very well. So I prepared some for sales." she said. As a regular seller of books of this sort, she certainly had lots of chances to contact the practitioners of Falun Gong.
In 1998, she was persuaded by one of her former colleagues to practice Falun Gong. She was gradually enchanted by the "World of Falun" painted by Li Hongzhi.
To reach a "higher level" in the shortest time possible, she exploited her book-selling business to provide the books and audio-video products for local practitioners of Falun Gong at her own cost. In time her small bookstore became the place where those practitioners met one another, and she herself became a liaison and organizer.
She said "I was the secret coordinator of Falun Gong in Lishu County by 2003 and took responsibility for arranging the 'meetings of Falun Gong' and doing 'three things'". She was so busy during those days with the affairs related to "Falun Gong" that she could hardly spare enough time to deal with her business and family, let alone her child's study and life.
In July 2007, she was punished due to her violation of the law. Thanks to the patient help of anti-cult volunteers and lots of convincing facts, she came to realize the evilness of Falun Gong and Li Hongzhi's deception and exploitation of his followers. In 2010, she was able to start her normal life again. Because of her extensive knowledge of Li Hongzhi's fallacies and the problems with those unconverted practitioners obsessed with Falun Gong, she offered to act as an anti-cult volunteer. She voluntarily contributed to the anti-cult education program and worked hard to convert those obsessed practitioners. With the support of the relevant government authorities, she spent half of a year on assistance and education work for those practitioners.
She said that "after I resumed my normal life, I made a living by doing some part-time jobs." She's hard-working woman and also eager to support her family. After all, she owed too much to her family.
She started this health service center last year. When talking about it, she said; "I was touched by something during my assistance and education work for those practitioners."
Li Xiaoyan interviewed by the reporter
Because they were once misled by the cult, many former practitioners of Falun Gong have both physical and mental troubles. "After they go back to society, their problems and especially mental problems, tend to cause some troubles, if not addressed timely," she said. Her idea to start this health service center was attributed to a teacher surnamed Li, who helped her grasp some necessary skills.
"My service is free for those converted practitioners." she said. Their minor ailments can be changed for better right here by massage therapy, acupuncture or cupping. Meanwhile, she can relieve them of mental troubles by chatting with them.
"As long as I'm at home, they can call and come here to deal with their physical troubles." As she said, she spends most of her time in other cities of Jilin Province to work with the assistance and education program of Falun Gong practitioners. Furthermore, her mobile phone is made accessible around the clock. She offers to help former practitioners of Falun Gong see what's right or wrong.
"They used to follow my steps toward a wrong road. Now I must get them out of trouble so that they have a normal life." These words disclosed her determination.
It's right here that more than 50 former practitioners of Falun Gong received her assistance.
(Executive editor: Xu Hu)