I’m an ordinary village teacher in Wusheng County of Sichuan Province. I had a colleague, neighbor and good friend whose name was Chen Dong. He was righteous, diligent and dutiful to his parents. We worked together and taught the same classes since 1983. I teach Chinese and he taught Mathematics. We worked together well and were like brothers. His wife, Teacher Zhang, is kind and virtuous. They have two clever and lovely sons and lived a happy life. However, because of his obsession with Falun Gong, their family fell apart.
From the first half of 1996, Chen Dong felt pain in his liver. I and his colleagues asked him to see the doctor, but he didn’t take it seriously and didn’t listen to us. In December 1997, he was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis, and received timely treatment with the help of his family, so his disease was under control. Durin the summer holiday of 1998, Chen went to Chongqing to visit his sister, a Falun Gong practitioner, who gave him a tape player, several tapes and books and told him that as long as he practiced as instructed by the tapes and books, he would cure himself. At first, he just wanted to try it out and took this as an exercise. Finally, out of his trust he felt to his sister and eagerness to cure himself, he became obsessed with Falun Gong. He believe what Li Hongzhi said, i.e. practice will cure disease and enhance oneself to perfection. He began to take “truth, kindness and tolerance” as his standards. He read the books, sat in meditation and practiced Falun Gong every day, morning and night. He took sick leave and his mind was filled with idea of “heaven”.
Due to ceasing treatment, Chen Dong became weak and his face became yellow. Leaders and colleagues from his school tried to persuade him to believe in science and see the doctor for treatment. At first, he nodded but didn’t take action. Since I was his good friend, the school asked me to persuade him. I didn’t expect that he would turn against me and ask me to mind my own business. Learning that we tried to persuade him not to practice Falun Gong, his sister came from Chongqing to support him. She said, “You have to persist. Master said that nothing is incidental and all is his arrangement. He arranges you this test. You must not quit, otherwise you will fall down and your ‘sin’ will be so serious that you will be hopeless!” After that, he became more diligent in his practice of Falun Gong. No matter how we persuade him, he turned a deaf ear to us. He told us how magical Falun Gong was: it could erase “sin” and diseases could be cured without medical treatment.
As his long term colleague and good friend, and seeing that he became such a person, I really hate Li Hongzhi for he turned a good person into another person. At the same time, I thought Chen was lonely and pitiable. I worried about his disease. Chen was a dutiful son, so I had an idea and asked Chen’s wife to invite his parents to persuade him and change his mind with family love.
With his wife’s efforts, Chen went back to his parents’ home. His parents asked him to see the doctor and his wife asked him to listen to his parents. The former dutiful son said, “A person has countless lives and countless parents.” He never went to visit his parents after that. Chen was formerly a good husband and listened to his wife, but this time he quarreled with his wife, claiming that his wife was a “devil” and the biggest barrier against his cultivation. His two sons begged him to go to hospital, but he asked his sons to drop out of school and practice Falun Gong.
Later, Chen became crazier. He cared about nothing and looked upon his family as strangers. He no longer ate with his family and demanded unique food for himself. Facing this, his wife chose to tolerate it, hoping that he would agree to receive treatment as soon as possible. However, he said that practicing was for the aim of “erasing sins”, and medical treatment was received only by ordinary people. Falun Gong taught him that seeing a doctor would increase his sin and stop him from being “enhanced” and getting to perfection, so he refused to go to hospital.
In May 1999, his sister died of cerebral hemorrhage due to not taking hypertension medicines. He seemed very confused and in suffering. He closed himself behind doors for a long time. He came to the office once in a while, saying again and again that “one person practicing Falun Gong will benefit the whole family”. He looked like a drug addict with sunken eyes and thin cheeks. We all felt pity for him and tried to ask him to go to hospital. Although his reaction was not as intense as before, he refused to receive treatment.
In July 1999, the state banned of Falun Gong and denounced it as an evil cult, which struck him heavily. Our school asked me and other anti-heresy volunteers to reveal the truth to him. When he learned that Li Hongzhi and his family had run away after an order for arrest was issued by the Ministry of Public Security, he came to realize the truth. How could a Falun Gong practitioner be afraid of being wanted by the police since they could become immortal gods? I said to him, “Since your ‘master’ is not a god, how could you become a god? All of this is a lie!” After repeated persuasion, he tore up all the materials related to Falun Gong and agreed to go to hospital.
After examination, the doctor said that he had missed the best chance for treatment and had developed severe hepatitis. This struck him like a thunderbolt and he fainted in hospital. Although he began to receive treatment, he was always under great spiritual pressure, feeling guilt for the way he treated his family and shame before his colleagues. Within a month, he lost nearly 5 kg in weight and needed others to support him when going up and down stairs.
In December 2000, Chen left this world. He was in a lot of pain before his death, holding his wife’s hands tightly. Half a year later, his father couldn’t bear the pain of losing his son and died. His two sons, who had been good at study since they were young, fell behind due to his influence. They went out of their hometown to be migrant workers after graduating from junior middle school. Chen’s family was completely destroyed by Falun Gong.
(Editor in chief: Xiao Han)